Cutscene Lighting Mod for Witcher 3 Released

Witcher 3 is an action role-playing video game set in an open world environment. It provides awesome experience with stunning graphics, but there is always space for improvement and that is where mod kicks in. Today, a modder ‘KNG’ has released a mod which replaces the default lighting definitions with the one used for cut scene illumination in the game. The mod basically enhances the lighting conditions to make it look much more natural.

This mod makes the game looks like what it was teased last year, but not quite there yet. There is no significant frames-per-second drop. The mod is not compatible with sweetfx settings so make sure that you disable them. The shadows in some places are very dark so it may take some getting used to. This is still a work in progress project so do expect bugs and make sure to report them. Although, the players who have tried the mod have not faced any issues yet.

Instructions for Installation.

  • Unpack archive content to YourWitcher3Directory\content\content0\bundles
  • Launch install_cutscene_lighting.bat file.
  • If you are prompted to skip the file you type: force
  • Press Enter
  • Done

As KNG noted, this mod is compatible with the latest 1.05 version of the game. The Mod itself can be downloaded from here.

Image courtesy of TomHanks12345.

Nvidia Levels up with ‘Pascal’ Based Silicon in Works

Nvidia has made a significant advancement in its product development cycle. Reportedly, it has managed to successfully figure out its next big silicon-based on its upcoming “Pascal” GPU architecture which is codenamed GP100. A successor to GM200, this chip will act as foundation to several others based on this architecture. The company has successfully fabricated a small quantity of working prototypes for internal testing and further development.

Nvidia, as expected, plans to follow its practices and release another chip targeted to gamer segment and is codenamed GP104 (successor to GM204). 3dcenter Speculates that the GP100 could sport anywhere between 4,500 to 6,000 CUDA cores. With this advancement, Nvidia will skip HBM1, which is making its debut with AMD’s “Fiji” silicon; and jump straight to HBM2, which will allow SKU designers to cram up to 32 GB of video memory.  The chip will be built on TSMC’s upcoming 16 nanometer silicon fab process using either 16ff or improved 16ff+ process.

Specifications

  • Architecture: Pascal “Stacked DRAM”
  • Fabrication Process: 16nm production by TSMC (probably “16ff +”).
  • DX Render: DirectX 12.1 hardware
  • VRam: up to 32GB HBM2 memory.

Speculated

  • 500-550mm² chip area
  • 4500-6000 shader units
  • 4096 bit DDR memory interface HBM2

It is speculated that GP 100 (professional segment) will be ready for release in Q2 / 2016 and GP 104 (gamers segment) in Q3 / 2016.

Thank you 3DCenter for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of AnandTech.

‘Better Re’ Made a Use for Old Phone Batteries

Better Re, a new project on Kickstarter with a goal of $50,000 by designer Enlighten has been funded by 648 backers. The idea behind this is it reuses batteries from your old smartphone (so long as it’s of the removable sort) to transform it into an external power source to charge gadgets such as mobile phones, tablets, and even laptop. They claim that we replace our smartphones in every two years and the batteries are still about 80% efficient which is quite wasted and unharnessed. On the greener side of things, it will serve the purpose instead of us mining for more Lithium as demand increases.

This is offered in two variants, the base tier is priced at $39 and includes the shell that turns your lithium-ion battery into an external power source and a USB cable, while the “full” package is at $55 and gets you the case, a USB cable, a used battery (with at least 80% efficiency) and engraved panels for the case. Enlighten believes that if batteries shrink, the shell can adjust the size of Better Re to fit them. If you are looking for a cheaper option, ‘Single Green Package’ which is the only good deal as the ‘Early Bird’ is unavailable.

Chrome for Android Gets New Touch to Search Feature

Last week, an update for Chrome Stable for Android with version 43.0.2357.78 brought a new feature called “Touch to Search”. It is quite similar to the one announced at Google I/O called “Now on Tap”, but has limited functionalities. This feature has been in the Chrome Beta channels from last several months. Google Now on Tap is a feature coming to Android M in the upcoming developer builds in the near future that enables you to long-press your home button to launch Google Now and then either listens for a command or examines the content on your screen to bring up relevant information.

With this new “Touch to Search” feature in Chrome, you can tap on words or phrases on a page and Google will start searching for them in a tab towards the bottom of your screen and all of this takes place without ever leaving the application. The only difference between this Chrome’s offering and Android M’s Key feature is that the latter one can assist you in all the environments and is not limited to the Chrome application.

The feature can be toggled in Menu>Settings>Privacy>Touch to in Chrome.

Thank you Chrome Releases for providing us with this information.

Mods Bring Old City to Grand Theft Auto V

It might be an exciting day for GTA V players because another awesome mod is out. A Grand Theft Auto V modder NTAuthority has figured out a method of adding custom maps to the game using a client called “FiveM, a multiplayer modification for GTA V. This  map modification is not yet ready for the public release but modders are already working on transforming the old GTA mods and locales for the platform of GTA V. NTAuthority has posted his own map which shares the assets used in its ancient predecessor Grand Theft Auto : London. The map consists of the low textured objects and yes, it does not suit the surrounding, but it is just a proof of concept.

After Character animations, weapons, scripts, and vehicle handling modifications, it is time for modders to conquer the summit of Maps. This POC makes it possible to enjoy the custom-made maps in the world of Grand Theft Auto V. At this speed of modding, that day is not far away when Niko’s Cousin, Roman Bellic (From GTA IV) to ask Michael (From GTA V) to go for bowling in the streets of Liberty City.

This is a significant breakthrough for the modding community of the franchise. It might take a while for the mod to get ready for public use.

Thank you GTAForums and Kotaku for providing us with this information.

The US Army Introduces a New Camouflage Design

After the US Army announced that it had selected a new camouflage uniform, finally selecting the replacement for its pixelated camouflage outfits, known as the Universal Camouflage Pattern. The reason was simple that those outfits did not work and now the replacement uniforms which are a version of older uniforms are coming.

In 2004, the Army adopted the new patterns in the hopes of improving invisibility, but that failed pretty bad, the new pattern may have made troops more visible. So 6 years later in 2010, the Army launched a competition to find the next generation of camouflage, but no one won the competition as reported by Gizmodo and the Army went for the self-designed pattern; under the contract from a company that had designed the stopgap camouflage after it was discovered the UCP designs did not work. The Army had that self-designed pattern since 2002, meaning, essentially, everything that happened afterwards never needed to.

“The biggest one is the claim (oft-repeated) that it was a $5 billion waste. That’s not true because people conflate the purchase of uniforms and equipment with the camouflage effort. They are different. For instance, the vast majority of that amount refers to the purchase of uniforms which were used, worn out and discarded during the time period which is referred to. So that was not “wasted” money. People got their use out of that gear. There WAS money spent on development of camouflage, and that, of course, is a sunk cost. But that is a matter of several million dollars, not $100 million, and certainly not $5 billion.

This is not a defense of UCP, which, although it performs pretty well under night conditions, will not be missed by the most Soldiers, said an unnamed army official.”

The new uniforms will be named “Operational Camouflage Pattern Army Combat Uniform (ACU)” are ready and comes with two T-shirt variants, TAN 499 and Sand and they will be sold in military clothing stores across the United States on July 1st and the possession will go mandatory October 1st, 2019.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Wiki.

The Play Store Update Brings 600 New Apps to Android TV

Since the launch of the Android TV, app support and app discovery has been a serious problem for the platform. It had less than 200 apps to offer between the video, audio, and game sections. Now, however, Google is expanding its software catalogue, adding over 600 new apps via a Play Store update today for Android TV devices, including the Nexus Player. These are the only Android TV apps available,  the rest had to be manually searched.

These new 600+ apps are categorised into 20 new sections that simplify the task of finding specific types of apps like movies, sports, news, multiplayer games and more and improves the app discovery. The update should be showing up on compatible devices now, and you’ll see the new content in the store navigation area of your device. Along with the Top App list, the standard apps are divided into Messaging, Photography, Media, and Tools & Utilities.

This updated Play Store version 5.5.15 should reach all the compatible platform soon if it has not reached you yet, you can sideload the same signed APK in no time. You can grab the APK from here and install it by uploading the APK to any supported cloud storage service like Google Drive and using the cloud storage function of ES File Explorer to load the app.

As Google does not release update notes for Play Store in a user-accessible way, under-the-hood changes are not known at the moment.

Metro: Last Light Trailer Recreated in GTA V (Updated)

Creator’s view update at the end of the article.

Grand Theft Auto V is such an incredible open world game with stunning graphics which makes almost anything possible. Nicky Sierra, a YouTuber took it to a whole new level by recreating the scene called ‘Genesis’ from the gameplay trailer of the Metro: Last Light in the world of Grand Theft Auto V. He has managed to pull off such complex scenes by utilizing the built-in Rockstar Editor which assists in making and shooting the gameplay from various angles and provides the cinematic-like result.

The video is about the week of the creation of the life on the planet Earth by the God. It starts from Day 1 when the world witnesses light, next day “the majestic sky” starts existing. On the third day, God plants trees on the planet and a day later, the day and night is separated. On the fifth day, God creates birds and smokes a new life in the sky followed by creation of glorious creatures, animals and makes the Humans Beings dominant, “To Nurture, To Rule”, but on the final day of the week, as humans starts killing “they say, the God rested”.

I would recommend you to take a look at the original Metro: Last Light “Genesis” gameplay trailer before watching this re-creation so you can fully appreciate the effort that’s gone into it.

It is one of my favourites, we have already witnessed creative work done by various players such as Furious 7’s Paul Walker Tribute and the Breaking Bad Scenes. What are your thoughts on this video? Let us know in the comments section.

Update: The creator has used mods to set the specific time of the day, weather and character animations. The most challenging part, according to him, was finding the right animations due to the presence of thousands of character animations; which are needed to be tried out manually as some of them have misleading titles.  It took the creator and his friends about 5 hours to get the video ready including filming to editing.

Metro Logo courtesy of VboxArt.

Prepare Your Wallet, Solid Gold Plane Coming to GTA Online Next Week

Rockstar has announced that new luxurious content is arriving in the city of Los Santos of Grand Theft Auto V next week (8th June). It is the first one of the two big content updates which are planned so far and is being called as “ILL-Gotten Gains Part I”. This update is packed with a lot of flashy and drolly goodness. Starting from a  Buckingham Luxor Deluxe (Plane) and Buckingham Swift Deluxe (Helicopter) made of solid gold, a golden Combat PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) to suit your ride along with 2 sports cars, Albany Virgo (Muscle Car) with designer paint jobs and hundreds of new expensive clothing items and accessories. These updates are meant for the multiplayer version of the game, also called Grand Theft Auto Online.

For your viewing pleasure, Rockstar has thrown few screens showing off high-end vehicles and weapons.

The second part of this DLC is planned to be released during summer time and just keep in mind that GTA V mods can spice up the gameplay experience in story or single player mode but do not use them in the multiplayer mode, it can get you banned.

Thank you Rockstar Newswire for providing us with this information.

Rise Of The Tomb Raider Trailer Released

Microsoft has released a new trailer for the Rise of the Tom Raider which is being developed by Crystal Dynamics. It is an action-adventure single player game and a sequel to the which was launched back in 2013. After Tom Raider, Trinity, an organization covers up Lara Croft’s experience of the supernatural on Yamatai. Lara becomes obsessed with finding the truth behind myths around the world just in order to prove that she is not insane. This story follows Lara Croft and Jonah Maiava as they search Siberia for the ancient city which built by the Grand Prince of Vladimir in the 13th century called Kitezh, which Lara believes holds some truth behind immortality.

This story follows Lara Croft and Jonah Maiava as they search Siberia for the ancient city which built by the Grand Prince of Vladimir in the 13th century called Kitezh, which Lara believes holds some truth behind immortality. As Trinity, a well-funded organization which is also interested in the supernatural, Lara has to survive against humans, animals, and the environment in order to find the truth behind the myths and become who she was destined to be. Talking about the

Talking about the Gameplay, combat has been redesigned and spiced up with more options for stealth and sneak attacks. Lara is now capable of confuse]ing enemies using the environment, hide behind bushes or in trees, or avoid combat altogether by climbing trees or traveling across rooftops. The bow and arrow return from Tomb Raider.

The first gameplay trailer for Rise of the Tomb Raider will release during the Xbox Briefing at E3 on June 15 and the game itself will be released in Q4, 2015 during the time for the holiday season only for the Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Thank you Wiki for providing us with this information.

Canadian Apple Watch User Fined for Using it While Driving

Do you use a smartwatch? Does your place has distracted-driving laws? If yes, you should be careful while operating it while driving. A man has got himself ticketed by the police in Quebec for using his Apple Watch while driving as reported by CTV News. They noted that under Quebec laws, smart watches are the devices which fall somewhere in between the permitted Bluetooth-based hands-free devices and the “handheld device[s] that [include] a telephone function,” which is banned while driving in Quebec.

Jeffrey Macesin was caught controlling his music using his Watch. Police have fined him with a $120 (Canadian) after they caught him. He told CTV that he didn’t realize fiddling with his smartwatch was illegal under Quebec’s distracted-driving laws. CTV has reported that Macesin is going to challenge the ticket and “is considering hiring a lawyer to represent him in the case.”

Smartwatches and other wearables are new to the market and fall under the law that was made keeping mobile phones in mind. It is time to update the existing distracted-driving laws to consider other electronic devices so that the users get less confused about the boundaries.

Thank you PCWorld and CTV News for providing us with this information.

Apple Watch’s Irregular Heart Rate Reading is a ‘Feature’, Not a Bug

Do you own an Apple Watch? Have you noticed the irregularities in heart rate monitoring pattern of the device? Apple says that it is not a bug in watch’s software, but it is a feature. The device measures your heart rate in an interval of ten minutes, but after the update (Watch OS 1.0.1), the device now attempts to measure the heart rate in same intervals as before, but it does not record it if the arm is in motion. 9to5Mac were the first ones to spot the updated heart rate information page on Apple’s website. This development has been made because the initial pattern of measurement prevented the passive heart rate readings, a feature which records your heart beat during carrying out physical activities.

There has been some speculation that Apple changed the recording frequency to conserve battery life because the updated frequency pattern drains battery less than the initial and it seems that Apple is trying to avoid inaccurately high readings caused by physical activity although this development is not mentioned in changelog.

This update has displeased the user who thought that the initial measuring frequency worked without any issues and now see the device as losing functionality. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Thank you 9to5Mac and Apple for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of 9to5Mac.

‘Injured’ Crash Victim Starts Using his Phone

Do you use your mobile quite often? Are you obsessed with your mobile phone? So obsessed that you won’t even think to pull it out and start playing on it after you have met an accident. Well, that is what happened in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, China, last Tuesday. Reportedly, he was riding his motorbike when he met the accident. He had injuries, according to Chinese People’s Daily reports. The reason behind the accident and severity of the injuries, though he was conscious enough to operate his mobile phone while lying on the ground, is unclear at this moment.

Few photographs first published on Weibo show the man lying in the street, clutching his phone and seemingly playing a video game. The Daily Mail reports that the victim is subsequently been discharged from the hospital as reported by the police. The Mail also said that skeptics on social media suggested that the man stayed prostrate so that he could extract compensation from the driver. However, if that was the case, surely he might have acted a touch more, well, hurt, than the playing on his phone indicated.

Thank you CNET and People’s Daily for providing us with this information.

The Witcher 3’s PC Patch 1.05 and 1.04 for Consoles Revealed

Have you faced the glitches and bugs while enjoying Witcher 3 : Wild Hunt, a role-playing game? The developers are right where they should be, fixing the game and that is how we get more information about the upcoming patch 1.05 for PC and 1.04 for consoles. Community Coordinator Marcin Momot mentioned that a hot fix on Monday will actually come in the full patch 1.05 for PC, which will be released on Tuesday or Wednesday that would solve the issue that causes XP not to be assigned for certain quests and as pushing hot fix on Monday and then pushing the game patch on the very next day is not the best way to deliver updates.

“That’s correct. It’s getting fixed next week. We were trying to release a hotfix on Monday but since the 1.05 on PC is coming right after that, we might just release 1.05 and include the XP fix in there as well. That will happen most likely Tuesday/Wednesday.”, said Marcin Momot. “We do not stop working. We are trying to fix everything. Thank you for your understanding.”

Momot clarified few things on twitter and official forums today. Bugs such as micro stutter issue, wrong total play time and buggy quest of Pyres of Novigrad will be fixed with the upcoming patch. It was made clear that the 30 FPS lock on Xbox is not optional.

“1.05 is coming after the weekend. This patch will address majority of bugged quests. The Pyres of Novigrad quest will be fixed in the upcoming patch, both on consoles and on PC. Sorry about the delay.”, said Marcin Momot.

Thank you DualShockers for providing us with this information.

Google Play Services 7.5 Brings Smart Lock and Goodness To Android

At Google I/O 2015, with the launch of Android M, Google also announced the rollout of the new Google Play services version 7.5 which brings a truckload of new features and optimizations to all the Android devices running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and above. The features, reportedly, includes Smart Lock for Passwords, Instance ID, new APIs for Google Cloud Messaging and Google Cast, as well as access to the Google Maps API on Android Wear devices.

The most significant one seems to be the Smart Lock for Passwords which simplifies the task of signing in an app. Developers can now utilize this feature by using a new Credentials API to allow user passwords to be attached to user Google accounts. It is basically Google’s password manager and all the stored password on Chrome can be found at passwords.google.com.

This announcement also brings ‘App Invites Beta’ which will work on both the platforms, Android, and iOS. This will add the functionality to increase the reach of the app by inviting specific contacts to try the app out and will enable to share the selected content.

This development is going to change a user starts its experience with Android. These touch to details will make the experience great.

Thank you Android Developer Blog for providing us with this information.

Facebook Now Supports GIFs

Brace Yourself! A flood of GIFs on Facebook are coming! Finally, Facebook is rolling out support for GIFs. Other Social Networking sites like Google Plus has supported this for a while. Facebook has not laid out full support at this time; the support is conditional and requires you to have the GIF hosted on a different server, like Imgur or Tumblr and then drop the link of the file in your status. Uploading the GIF to Facebook will convert it into a static file and the result will no longer be the one that is desired at least at the time of writing.

Here is the static image showing the GIF play button on Facebook.

The animated GIF can be played / activated by clicking the “GIF” button encircled by a dotted line in the center of the image. You can check out some animated GIFs in action in this Facebook group. It looks like the functionality is still being rolled out, so if it might not work for you just yet.

To spice this development up, an incredible awesome trick to share YouTube video in GIF format appeared yesterday on Reddit. To pull this off, just add “gif” before www.youtube.com/[id] which makes it www.gifyoutube.com/[id].

This is a desirable change which should have come long ago, but better late than never, it is finally here. Let us know your opinions on this change.

Thank you TheNextWeb for providing us with this information.

Metaio, AR Startup Reportedly Joins Apple

An Augmented Reality startup, Metaio has reportedly been acquired by Apple. The startup defines itself as “pioneer in augmented reality and computer vision” has managed to pull off a number of great projects for big clients like Ferrari, Volkswagen and Ikea. Their technologies enable you to know much more about the features in a much more intuitive way such as knowing the aerodynamics and apply different colors on cars in the showroom, possibilities are limitless. Apple is looking forward to securing its future in the department of Virtual Reality ( AR is not VR ), but Apple has been spotted posting job listing for Virtual Reality jobs and it already filed a patent for a device like VR headset that works with an iPhone.

Techcrunch has managed to obtain legal documents which show a transfer of shares from Metaio, an augmented reality to Apple on May 21st/22nd. Apple has confirmed the acquisition by responding “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” This development has affected the company’s products offerings as they have stopped selling them and the tech support will end on June 30.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT5Wd8mvAgE

Thank you Techcrunch for providing us with this information.

HBO Now is coming to Android

Are you an Android user? Have you missed the HBO Now on this platform? Rejoice! For those who don not know about this service, HBO is known for its popular TV shows such as Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley and True Detective. Its standalone subscription service, HBO Now has been exclusive to Apple for a long time, but it is going to change very soon. Today, at Google I/O 2015, Google SVP Sundar Pichai announced that HBO now is coming to Android this summer. It will be headed to the Play Store with support for Google Cast and Chromecast. The compatibility will be extended to the iOS version of HBO Now. HBO is going to see its customer base increase in millions after this move.

$14.99 is the price you need to pay for HBO Now on the monthly basis. It offers subscribers full access to the premium network’s original shows and the huge catalog of Hollywood movies. At the moment, Apple devices such as iPhone and iPad are the only multimedia devices that can stream content from the HBO Now. As announced by the Google SVP at Google I/O, HBO has already offered for long time an HBO Go app, which requires a cable account and runs on Android platform.

Thank you The Verge and Google I/O for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Fool.

GTA V Mods Lets You Play on Low End PCs

Do you have a low-end PC? Are you looking forward to enjoying in Los Santos in GTA V, but your PC does not let you? Fret not, Grand Theft Auto V modding community has got your back. A modder with the handle ’emirh08′ has managed compile and achieve the proper settings with file modification that will let the game run on playable frame rates (over 30 Frames-per-second) on any average system with low specifications. As the developer has mentioned that he gets over 30 fps on 1280*800 resolution with details, textures at maximum along with FXAA and Shadows enabled, reflection quality on high and Anisotropic Filtering at 8x on his 10.6″ 1080p Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Tablet which sports an Intel HD 4400 and a 4th generation 1.6 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 CPU and has passive cooling.

The mod does exactly what it is supposed to because it makes the game render at playable frame rates on the systems which have lower system requirements than the officially stated note. The minimum system requirements for GTA V are –

Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs) / AMD Phenom 9850 Quad-Core Processor (4 CPUs) @ 2.5GHz
Memory: 4GB
Video Card: NVIDIA 9800 GT 1GB / AMD HD 4870 1GB (DX 10, 10.1, 11)
Sound Card: 100% DirectX 10 compatible

The modder has compiled all the presets / profiles of the settings according to the specification of your system in an archived file. The profiles vary from normal / mid-end all the way to ultra low-end configured systems.

The mod working at its best can be found in the videos below.


This video shows that this mod is not going to get you banned by Rockstar in GTA Online or Multiplayer mode. The game being played on an Intel Core 2 Duo laptop with a 7670m graphics card.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOgIAcWjmyU

The mod can be found right here.

LG’s G4 is now available in the US

Living in US? Looking for a new high-end smartphone? You might want to add the LG’s G4 to your list as a US Telecom Carrier T-Mobile has stocked it up and launched online sales today. The pricing is, as expected, $599.76 outright or $0 down with 24 monthly payments of $24.99. The device will be available in two variants
(Color / Back Panel) which are metallic gray and the T-Mobile exclusive, brown leather. Both the variants have absolutely no hardware specification differences. T-Mobile has mentioned that they will begin shipping online orders out immediately and the G4 will hit T-Mobile retail shops on June 3rd. However, if you are looking for the G4 with the Black leather option, you might have to wait till Sprint makes the device available on June 4th.

As LG G4 is the only major flagship device with expandable storage. T-Mobile is throwing in a free 128GB microSD card for a limited time (and till the limited stock) which end the end-user up with 160 GB of storage. This pretty much for any user to store all the multimedia files like Pictures, Videos, Movies, etc. You can grab your device right now from here.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.

Bing Can Now Tell The Age and Gender of A Person

Microsoft’s Bing can now tell the age of the person by processing the image. It recognizes the face and analyzes them to determine their age. It was initially revealed last month at Microsoft’s BUILD 2015 where they showed off one of their Azure APIs by hosting a website that does exactly what it is supposed to. Microsoft has finally implemented their face-recognition technology in its Bing search engine. It enables the end user to see the gender and age of the person predicted by the search engine.

To get it working for you, just open up Bing and click the “images” tab on the top and search someone. Click on one of the images and then hit the little gray button floating on the right and middle of the picture which says, “#HowOldRobot.” On clicking the button, it will undergo an animation and will finally show the gender and age estimation with a short note which says “Sorry if we didn’t get it quite right, we’re still improving this feature,” which is linked to one of Microsoft’s “Machine Learning FACE APIs” which has parts varying from Verification, Grouping and Identification. This development has been rolled out worldwide.

Thank you Venture Beat for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Blacklemag.

Microsoft Announces Cortana for Android and iOS

Microsoft has finally confirmed that Cortana, voice assistant will be made available on both the popular platform, Android and iOS. It is available only for Windows 10 Preview and Windows Phone devices and in order to make it truly competitive, this major step of releasing the product for the devices running Android and iOS is necessary. It works like any other voice assistant such as Google Now or Siri, but it will have limited functionalities on the new platforms as it will be released as a standalone application and will not have access to root / core services, however, the basic functionalities should not get trimmed. The features that are going to be missing initially are toggling system settings and launching specific applications via voice commands.

Microsoft has announced that their voice assistant will be released on Google’s Android platform at the end of the month of June, but the users of iOS will be witnessing the offering later this year.

Microsoft has made a tricky step by making its voice assistant available on the more popular platforms, let us hope that it turns out well. We currently do not have any more information of the roll-out dates, but we will keep you up to date as soon as we do.

Solar Cell Hits High efficiency, Can Power Remote Locations

Another day towards greener future has passed and researchers over Aalto University with Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya has managed to boost the efficiency of solar cell by 4 percentages on nanostructured silicon solar cells. These solar cells are also referred as ‘Black Silicon’. These solar cells can convert solar energy to usable energy (electrical) with an efficiency of 22.1%. The Black silicon is far better at collecting light from the sun at low angles and thus can be used in northern regions where it is common.

This is an advantage particularly in the north, where the sun shines from a low angle for a large part of the year. We have demonstrated that in winter Helsinki, black cells generate considerably more electricity than traditional cells even though both cells have identical efficiency values, Professor Hele Savin said. In the near future, the goal of the team is to apply the technology to other cell structures – in particular, thin and multi-crystalline cells.

The new Black Silicon is expected to be cheap and good for mass production. It can replace the current solar cell and should reach the end market soon. It is going to be a very useful tool to produce electricity in remote locations where power supply via grid is not yet possible. We currently do not have any more information on any release date, but we will keep you up to date as soon as we do.

Thank you Nature for providing us with this information.

Galaxy J5 and J7 Specs Certified By TENAA

Two new additions to the Samsung Galaxy J series has been revealed by a TENAA, a Chinese certification authority which certifies the electronics to be sold in China just like what FCC does in US. The upcoming pair of Samsung offerings is named Galaxy J5 and Galaxy J7 and will join the Galaxy J1 which is already in the market. Today, TENAA has published the images and specifications of the mentioned devices.

Galaxy J5 is going to sport 5.0-inch display, a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor coupled with 1.5GB RAM and 8GB of internal storage. It also has a removable microSD card slot is backed up by a 2600mAh battery and 13-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front camera. It is 8.5 mm thin and weighs just 149 grams. Samsung Galaxy J7, on the other hand, will be powered by a 1.4GHz Marvel PXA1936 processor coupled with 1.5GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. It’s going to boast a 5.5-inch display, 3000mAh battery and a 13-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front camera. Both of the devices will be shipped running Android 5.0.2.

Thank you Sammobile for providing us with this information.

Witcher 3 Hunter’s Config Tool Released

As seen here, mods for Witcher 3: Wild Hunt started popping up soon after the release, but a really must have tool surfaced recently which enables you to access the extensive options of the game. The tool is made by MelekTaus and is called as “W3HC – Witcher 3 Hunter’s Config ” and it includes SweetFX.

Initially, PC players had to modify the *.ini files manually and it took much more patience, but with this configuration tool it can be done easily. This tool even supports a popular mod known as SweetFX (which has been earlier mentioned here).

Instructions to get the config up and running, as quoted by the dev, are as follows;

  • The ZIP included only one single file (W3HC-xxx.jar), just copy it into your Witcher 3-installation folder.
  • Starting first time: it will make a backup of your config files.
  • I added an 1-Click-Downloader for SweetFX (< 1 MB)
  • Some tooltips are not 100% accurate but I’ve done my best

The tool requires Java 7 (or higher) to be functional on the system. The *.jar file is supposed to be executed / opened with Java Runtime. The developer has left clues that the tool will keep on getting bigger and better and few missing settings are going to be fixed pretty soon.

The Mod itself can be downloaded from here.

GTA V Now Has Grappling Hook from Just Cause 2

Have you enjoyed playing Just Cause 2 due to the presence of the almighty “Grappling Hook”, Brace yourself! A Grand Theft Auto V modification named “GTA V – Just Cause 2 Grappling hook mod” is made by JulioNIB, a modder and he has managed to pull off the trick and brings some features based on that amazing game. The mod enables you to do the following things –

  • Attach hook to buildings, pedestrians, and vehicles
  • Attach multiple entities (shoot and hold aim)
  • Fly to the hook attach position on building or vehicles (shoot and release aim)
  • Pull pedestrians with hook (shoot and release aim)
  • Use parachute while in mid-air (while flying to hook position)

To get the mod up and running, follow these steps:

  • Download the latest version of (Above V0.8) ScriptHookVDotNet v0.9 from here.
  • Download ScriptHookV.dll and Asi loader (Bundled) from here.
  • Copy those files to the game’s main folder, i.e. where GTA5.exe is located.

Controls are simple and can be changed easily. They are as follows-

  • Ctrl + N – Show mods menu
  • Left Mouse Button – When hook mode On a hook will be launched when you shoot
  • Space – While moving to a target in mid-air press space to parachute
  • F – Release player hook from helicopter
  • Z – Release hooks from player vehicle
  • H – Toggle hook mode on/off

As previously mentioned (Rockstar Bans GTA Online Mods), be careful with what modification you use as Rockstar may ban you if any of the mod / custom script runs while you are in the multiplayer mode.

A Canadian Hoverboards Across Lake & Makes World Record

Catalin Alexandru Duru, a Canadian inventor just managed to use his invention, the first real-life hoverboard, to cross by hovering across over 300 Meters (1000 feet) the Quebec lake. He invented a hoverboard which he claims that it can be used anywhere (on any terrain). His device seems to be inspired by the gadget called Hoverboard present in the Sci-Fi movie named ‘Back to the Future’ franchise. The world record was made in the presence of the crew from the Guinness Book of World Records there to confirm the “Farthest Flight by Hoverboard”.

Duru just had to fly a distance of 48.7 Meters (160 feet) to qualify for the record but that was apparently just a starting point of the flight for Duru. He kept flying for more 275 Meters (905 feet and 2 inches) before touching the water surface and sink.

“The prototype can be used anywhere,” Duru explains. “But is usually tested over water because of how dangerously high it can fly.

Put your money back in the wallet as this is just a prototype and has no date for official release in the market. It isn’t even confirm that if the product will ever make it to the market for interested folks to buy.

Thank you Popular Sciences for providing us with this information.