Will DirectX 12 and Cloud Gaming Be Possible for VR Games?

There have undoubtedly been a lot of attempts in introducing Cloud Gaming in the past. The concept is great and it will really help reduce a lot of computing power on a user’s machine, but failed attempts so far don’t make it practical, so how about adding DirectX 12 and VR to the mix?

Elijah Freeman, Executive Producer at Crytek, told GamingBolt about some interesting ideas of combining all three technologies, and from what I understand, it might just work. Of course, VR requires low latency and high FPS to run the latest games, so optimizations for all titles using the technology should be on the developers’ minds all the time.

DirectX 12 already revealed its power of optimized draw calls and high FPS, so the API should be a must for developers looking to get a lot of ‘fancy’ stuff in their titles and get good frame rates at the end. This is why Crytek believes that combining the cloud, DirectX 12 and VR might just do the trick.

You can’t actually play a fully fledged VR game straight from the cloud, but Crytek believes that using it to simulate complex code which is not required on a user’s PC will greatly increase the performance and free up more resources. They presented such a concept when showing off a lot of explosions being simulated in Crackdown 3 without having a performance drop. You can view the title’s trailer below.

So what do you think? Is DirectX 12 and Cloud Gaming the future for complex VR games? Let us know!

Thank you GamingBolt for providing us with this information

Europe Might Take the Lead in Adopting Electric Vehicles

It’s really surprising to hear something like this, but the fact is that Europeans are more interested in electric vehicles. I know the EV hype has been going on in the US for quite some time, but according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, Europe has seen a 78% rise year over year in Q1 2015. So if you were eyeing these futuristic vehicles, it’s time to get informed because you never know when they might rule the EU roads!

Of course, the majority of people interested in acquiring EVs are found in countries such as France, Germany, UK, but the interesting thing is that developing countries are interested in them as well. It might not be a big number of them, but selling a dozen or more EVs instead of a couple of them is still big progress for a developing country. The report states that there are already a little over 53,000 EVs sold in the EU, with more to come in the near future.

The huge gap between the US and Europe EV sales seems to come from two problems. Fuel prices are about the same amount you get for a full EV recharge in Europe and the distance that a regular individual travels is in the range of what an EV can offer. These two factors are really a game-chager for EV adoption. I myself live in the EU and to be honest, I would definitely choose an EV over a fuel-powered vehicle anytime, should I be given the option to choose between the two.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Komu

FlatOut 4: Total Insanity Will Be Ready for Some Road Mayhem in 2016

I might not know how many FlatOut fans are out there, but I know I am one. One might argue that the game is slightly similar to Carmageddon, but the derby style is kind of giving it its own personal touch. But to be honest, if you know FlatOut, you know the thing you like most about the title is when you see the driver skyrocketing out through the windshield, hoping to get as much points as he can!

The latest FlatOut title seems to be in development by Tiny Rebel Games, Strategy First, and Kylotonn Games. One interesting thing about this title is that the developers are now working closely with fans to help shape the game and add more interesting things fans want to see in the game. If you haven’t seen how FlatOut 4 looks like, here are some screenshots.

The game is still in its early stages, but if you’ve played FlatOut before, you know a few screenshots won’t stop you from wanting to throw the driver out through the windshield every time. FlatOut 4: Total Insanity will be out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC next year, but until then, you can get involved in shaping the game by heading over to the title’s website here.

Thank you GamingBolt for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of FlatOut

Apple Watch Hack Allows You to Run Custom Watch Face

I know Apple is strict with its programming and customization, but the company did state it will allow developers to make a few tweaks here and there to the visuals of the watch face in watchOS 2. However, if you choose to push even beyond that, you could end up tweaking even more. A developer by the name of Hamza Sood went and did just that, having created a fully-fledged custom watch face.

The developer published his work in a tweet, along with steps on how to make your own custom watch face. I don’t really know why Apple won’t make at least some guidelines for developers to follow in creating Watch customizations because, to be fair, giving your own personal touch to an accessory is something people are looking forward to. Even so, if they give the thumbs up, more projects such as this one would crop up immediately.

You can also find Sood’s project over on GitHub, should you wish to try it out, but you must be aware that the tweak might void the Watch’s warranty, so do it at your own risk! Until we see more of these projects coming out, you can at least see how it looks like in the video below.

Thank you 9to5Mac for providing us with this information

Star Wars Battlefront Scraps Single Player in Favour of Multiplayer Gameplay

I always used to play the single player campaign in all Battlefield series. It might not have been the best, but it was enjoyable and something to do to pass the time. But since the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront title was announced, no word about its single player campaign was released to the public.

I know the title in question is not Battlefield, but I was hoping to see a single player campaign that follows the Star Wars storyline a bit. However, the latest information coming from Pete Moore, EA’s COO, tells that they scrapped the single player mode and are solely focusing on the multiplayer bit.

Moore says that nobody is playing the single player campaign in games focused on multiplayer gameplay and he emphasizes that they encountered the same problem when developing Star Wars: The Old Republic. He stated that “people don’t play the single player on these types of games”, but still leaves a back door opened to make single player available in a sequel, should there be demand of it.

I don’t think people would mind the title not coming out with a single player campaign since everyone will rush for the multiplayer feature from day one, but it would have been nice to have one for those of us who want a story strapped to the Star Wars title. What do you think?

Thank you TechnoBuffalo for providing us with this information

Redditer Discovered Hidden Feature in iOS 9 and Mac OS X El Capitan

We got a lot of information out of what to expect from iOS 9 and El Capitan this fall at Apple’s WWDC in June. Even so, developers are said to be good at discovering Apple’s ‘hidden’ new features, but this time around, it seems that one of them, who I think is actually useful, was actually discovered by someone else.

A redditer going by the name of homeboi808 seems to have stumbled upon a feature who went on unnoticed so far. On both iOS 9 and El Capitan, if you tap on a flight number in either the Mail, Messages or Notes app, the OS’ will work the flight out and give you a flight path overview, along with all information about that flight. This includes arrival, departure times, possible delays and even airport terminal details.

It seems that Apple has added a built-in feature that detects and reacts to gestures when it finds a flight number. However, that needs to adhere to the actual flight number style, so don’t expect it to do the same with just anything you type in. Even so, the flight number needs to be valid in order to get information about it.

Even so, the feature is really helpful when you’re expecting to pick someone up from the airport or are planning a journey. Getting up-to-date information about your flights is a must from my point of view. What do you think?

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information

Witcher 3 Gets Mod Support With New Tool

Those of you who were eagerly awaiting to mod CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3 should be interested in this. The developer has announced that it released a new tool, named ModKit, which grants you everything you need to mod the title as you see fit.

ModKit seems to come with a lot of options, from modding the appearance of in-game objects with texture import and export, to making your own scripts and fiddle with the gameplay mechanics. I haven’t modded anything in a long time, but the tools given here are almost everything you need to change the whole game. If we are to talk about something more complex than this, we are already talking about a fully fledged game engine development kit.

However, ModKit is not an actual mod editor or game engine, but a set of tools to get you started. But with all these options and features offered, I think more experienced modders will surprise us with their craftsmanship in no time. I personally can’t wait for the first one to be released!

You can download ModKit from here, but we also want to hear about what you think. Are you excited for the upcoming mods? Will you test your skills too? Let us know!

Thank you Tech Report for providing us with this information

See How This Robot Is Able to Improve Its ‘Mini-Robots’ with Each Generation

Researchers at the University of Cambridge seem to be studying how evolution took place and are apparently using a ‘mother’ robot for that. The robotic arm in question is able to build miniaturized robots from a selection of blocks equipped with small motors, check their progress on the table and make the necessary adjustments to improve and fix what went wrong in earlier generations.

This might sound quite scary, but it really is mind-blowing. The robotic arm is able to watch the progress of the robots while they move on the table with the help of a mounted web camera, while observing their speed and ‘imperfections’. Lead researcher, Dr. Fumiya Iida, explains that this might seem as a heartless evolutionary process, but don’t forget, this is done without the use of DNA. I mean, when you look at how evolution took place on Earth over millions of years, you kind of see a glimpse of it in the video below.

While we learn things in a similar way, evolution on a larger scale has different ways of ’embedding’ information into their ‘next generation’. Iida hopes that this experiment may shed some light on some unanswered questions about evolution, but in the meantime, he even has real-world applications for the project. Think about quality control and how these machines can spot imperfections or broken products on down the line. It is a start, but for those of you who are thinking about a Terminator scenario, we are still far away from something like that. At least with this particular project.

Thank you IFLScience for providing us with this information

Billionaire Invests $1 Million in Drone Racing League

Is drone racing really a thing? It looks like it! Since more and more people are taking an interest in the little (or not-so-little) gadgets, competitions were bound to crop up sooner or later. Some competitions already took place around the world, one at the California State Fair with a prize offering of $25,000 and others in Australia, France and the UK.

But when it comes to competitions, it’s all about money and investment. That’s why sponsors are the key to it all. You might think that people, companies or organizations may not be interested in drones, but the truth is that they are. This is the case of billionaire Stephen Ross, owner of Miami Dolphins, who already invested $1 million in the first round of New York startup The Drone Racing League.

The real challenge here is drawing fans to these sporting events. I know you can get millions of viewers on YouTube or similar streaming services, but you actually need a crowd to cheer, support and spend something to keep these championships going. It is said that there have been an estimated 60 spectators who showed up at the California State Fair event, but weather conditions may have influenced the low number of spectators.

In addition to the above, drone racing may be a bit boring to sit and watch. Competitors use first-person view racing techniques to manoeuvre the drones with the help of goggles that send a live feed from the drone to the pilot, but the real killer here is that drones only reach a top speed of up to 70 mph. I know they are not as fast as rally racing cars, but this could actually be the start of a new type of sporting event. What do you think?

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

Japanese Company Wants to Build a Stunning 3D Holographic Display

We’ve been talking about holograms like something out of sci-fi movies, but with today’s technology, it really is possible to make a holographic display. We’ve previously seen this as a DIY project, where a guy showed you how to build your own pyramid-shaped display and use it with your smarphone. Now a Japanese company named ‘SSS’ seems to take it even further and started a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo for a 3D holographic display, dubbed ‘Holo case’.

As with the DYI project, the display is shaped as a pyramid for a full 360 degree holographic effect. The company already has a lot of useful real-world applications for it, from meeting your favourite characters in the ‘real-world’, to displaying expensive jewelery and minimize the risk of it being stolen from the showcase.

“Our mission is realize that thinking about how to interact with the characters. VR is the way we go through the world of character. However, there isn’t the only one answer for it. One of these is studying how to ” invite character into this world ” and we’ve realized it.”

“Here’s the example of exhibiting “authentic” ring in “Holo case”. Although the ring itself is just $10, you can display it just like expensive one by giving effect to the ring. Here’s the mini figure set in Holo case. We can display snowing scene.”

The company says that making an app for the Holo case is easy too. It just takes some animations to display on all sides of the pyramid, and you’re all set! They even say that using a game engine such as Unity3D or Unreal Engine 4 will make life even easier for you. You can find more information about the project over on Indiegogo.

Facebook Plans to Send Breaking News Alerts with New App

Facebook has taken an interest in the news business for some time and has pushed to take a piece of the market share since then. We’ve seen it deliver the latest breaking news on the social media platform and from what I’ve seen, the news pushed by the social media giant is really spot-on hot. But now, Facebook wants to send the hottest news straight to your phone.

They are said to be working on a new breaking news standalone app, which is still in its early stages. Once the app is released, Facebook says it will ask you to choose what news sources you like, what topics and get all the hottest news from them through push notifications. All news will link back to the original website on which it was published, but getting a 100 character push notification of your favourite news as it gets published really sounds something of a ‘must-have’ to me.

It is said that the app will have a select number of news websites, which is to be expected, but more may be added after it gets released. Since Facebook wanted to take a bite out of the news market, this new app could really bring them a small fortune. Also, having the ability to select and make deals with news websites will surely increase the social media giant’s capital in the long run, while also making a name for itself in the news market.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

Microsoft Announces Skype Business Preview for iOS and Android

We’ve heard that Microsoft plans on killing the old Lync app for business chat and meetings and integrate everything in Skype, namely Skype for Business. In a blog post, Microsoft today announced that it just released Skype for Business preview apps on iOS and Android, just months after it announced the Skype for Business project.

They state that the new apps come with a new and improved dashboard for easy navigation of contacts, calls, and meetings, while also updating the In-Call and In-Meeting experience. The dashboard now seems to show upcoming meetings and recent conversations in one place, while its new handy tools are built to make your life easier. For example, the contact search bar now find contacts by first and last name, email address, and even phone numbers. In addition to the latter, all contacts in your phone are now automatically included in the search.

The In-Call and In-Meeting experience is now more fluid and easier to navigate on smartphones and tables by making the buttons larger. Also, videos now fill the entire screen, but the best part is that you can now browse content while in a call or meeting, view it in full size and view the speaker’s video at the same time.

Skype for Business apps are said to work with anyone on Lync Server 2013, Skype for Business Server 2015 and Skype for Business Online. IT Administrators who wish to take part in the preview can get more details by visiting the Skype for Business Preview app web page here.

Images courtesy of Microsoft

Researchers Prove How They Can Stop a Corvette with a Simple Text Message

Since a couple of hackers found a way to remotely control a Crysler, we’ve heard a lot of similar successful attempts on other vehicles. The latest comes from researchers over at the University of California, who have taken an interest in third-party devices coupled to the TCUs.

The TCUs are directly linked to a vehicle’s Controller Area Network bus, who sends and receives messages from all systems. The thing is that TCUs also have a SIM card to send data back to the manufacturer or insurance companies. This is how the researchers were able to discover, target and compromise a Corvette’s systems with just a simple text message.

The researchers made a two-staged attack, first by updating the device’s software, then making use of funnel commands which could be sent directly to the CAN bus. They were able to prove on a Corvette that they can remotely start the windshield wipers and ally the breaks while the car was moving.

In the researchers’ paper, they state that finding mobile numbers for TCU SIMs is fairly easy, having assigned numbers that start with the 566 area code. They also said that the TCUs are not cryptographically signed, allowing them to install the malicious software update without the TCU knowing and that TCU NAND flash units share the same SSH key, allowing hackers to use it on other TCUs.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Your Smart Home Appliances Are Not as Safe as You Think

Are you a proud owner of smart lock? How about motion sensors, temperature sensors, bulbs or other Internet of Things gadgets? Well, if they’re made by ZigBee, chances are your house is vulnerable to hacking, according to a paper revealed at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas.

ZigBee, a company that specializes in IoT smart appliances that supplies big name companies such as Samsung, Philips, Motorola and Texas Instruments, is said to have implemented just enough security measures to pass the requirements to ship, which means that security measures are almost non-existent. Hackers are said to easily be able to sniff out exchange network keys, gaining access to the entire network and all smart appliances.

The security experts say that the main cause for the lack of security is due to the companies, who want to quickly ship out the latest tech, make it communicate and interact with everything, all while keeping prices down to a minimum. As a consumer, I get the bit to keep prices down, but if I have to pay a bit extra to prevent someone opening my door or fiddling with my lights, I think that would be an option all of us may opt for. In the end, security is more important than cheap product, don’t you think?

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Architect’s Toy Box

Hackers Find Serious 0day Vulnerability in Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla got word this Wednesday that a severe Firefox 0day vulnerability was being exploited by an ad on a Russian website. Although the company was swift in delivering a fix, they are now urging users to check that they are running version 39.0.3 or later to prevent hackers from gaining access to their sensitive data.

It looks like the vulnerability affected a non-privileged part of Firefox’s built-in PDF viewer, where hackers were able to inject JavaScript files. Since they are in the same origin policy as the local browser, hackers could then have the script search and upload data to a server located in Ukraine, as sources indicate.

Security specialists found that the exploit mainly targeted developer-focused content, though it was released to the general audience. However, the attack seems pretty neat because you can have a large number of audience on the website, but have data transferred from browsers with significant relevance. The guys looking into the hack found that it did not leave traces of it behind, which means that even experienced users may be unaware if they have been the victim of a hack or not.

Though the hack affected only Windows and Linux systems, Mac users should also be on guard, since the hack can also be modified to target Macintosh OS’ too.

Thank you Sci-Tech Today for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Mad Max System Requirements Revealed

Warner Bros. really did a number with its recent titles. Mortal Kombat was a disaster due to its console porting to PC and let’s not get started on Batman: Arkham Knight. I mean, when you are forced to suspend all sales of a title after it gets launched, you know it’s bad.

Nevertheless, Mad Max is almost here, and we can just hope that this one will actually be optimized. However, Warner Bros. seems to have covered their backs a bit here, asking for a 6GB minimum RAM. I know games are becoming more demanding, but upping it to 6GB as a minimum is kind of scary. Though, looking at some pics and the trailer, the time may have come to up the requirements a notch; either way, if it runs good (this time), it’s fine by me!

Minimum:

  • OS: 64-bit Windows Vista, 7, or 8
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-650, 3.2 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 965, 3.4 Ghz
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660ti (2 GB Memory or higher) or AMD Radeon HD 7870 (2 GB Memory or higher)
  • DirectX: DX11
  • HDD: 32 GB available space

Recommended:

  • OS: 64 bit: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3770, 3.4 GHz or AMD FX-8350, 4.0 GHz
  • RAM: 8 GB RAM
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 (3 GB Memory or higher) or AMD Radeon HD 7970 (3 GB Memory or higher)
  • DirectX: DX11
  • HDD: 32 GB available space

Thank you GamingBolt for providing us with this information

Researchers Prove That Drones Can Be Disabled Using the Right Sound Frequency

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejon, South Korea, seem to have found an easy way to take out drones from the sky using ‘the right sound’. They explained that some components inside drones are vulnerable to certain frequencies, so with the right one, you can disable them.

One of the researchers stated that components such as gyroscopes have been made to resonate with sound above the audible spectrum, but some of them are still in the audible spectrum, which makes them vulnerable to interference. In an experiment, they used a speaker attached to a drone and connected to a laptop via Wi-Fi. When the right sound was played through the speaker, the drone dived down and crashed.

Of course, you won’t be able to physically attach a speaker to a drone in most cases if you want to make it crash, but this proves that sounds can be used to crash drones. Other experiments involved attaching a speaker to a police shield and making a sonic wall, but without the proper high-tech equipment to keep aim on the drone while it spirals out of control, it is useless.

The conclusion is that drone enthusiasts shouldn’t worry about it, unless your neighbour silently attached a speaker to your drone. Using high-tech sound disruptors, as far as I know, is illegal in most countries, so if you’re not piloting a high-tech military drone, you should be fine.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

DDoS Attack Puts a Stop to Valve’s Dota 2 Tournament

Well, Well, Valve’s Dota 2 international competition, The International 2015, is underway and this time things got a bit serious. The competition was reported to have suffered from a DDoS attack that blocked internet connection to the Dota 2 servers.

The attack is said to have taken place when a match between Evil Geniuses and compLexity Gaming needed to be played, halting the competition for a few hours. You know, something like this was bound to happen sooner or later, since Dota 2 needs an active internet connection to be played. It would have been nice for the title to have a LAN mode from the very start, to avoid things like this, but there you go, trolling at its best.

The saddest part about DDoS attacks is that there is not a lot that can be done to stop them. Of course, once a DDoS attack takes place, you can isolate and reduce it to prevent it from taking out your severs, but you can’t predict and prevent it. This is why Valve’s competition is still vulnerable to DDoS attacks until the tournament ends on the 8th of August.

The real question here is why did Valve rely on public Dota 2 servers for a competition such as The International? I mean, they could have easily made special modded servers, independent from the Internet, to serve as a secure playground for the tournament. I bet this is one of the things they are considering now for future events.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information

OneDrive Can Finally Sync Shared Folders

The long-awaited option to synch shared folders on OneDrive is finally here. Microsoft finally started to roll out an update that allows users to sync content in shared folders and have it pushed to other users as soon as the files get synced.

Up until now, Google Drive and Dropbox took the lead in sharing folders and making it easier to collaborate with other people on the same projects. I personally preferred Dropbox so far due to the fact that it synced files and delivered the updated files to colleagues almost instantly (depending on the internet speed, of course). However, as Microsoft wants to integrate OneDrive in its upcoming Office 2016 suite, changes needed to be made.

Besides, synching folders in OneDrive was one of the top upvoted features in Microsoft’s feedback forum, so it was bound to be implemented sooner or later. You may not have the feature yet, but Microsoft is said to have started gradually rolling out the update to users. Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 and Mac OS X will get the aforementioned update, and yes, it seems that Windows 8.1 will be skipped. OneDrive Director of Product Management, Angus Logan, tells that Microsoft is focusing on Windows 10 and this might be a way to ‘force’ users to update to the latest Microsoft OS.

It seems that Microsoft is moving one step closer to helping businesses collaborate and make it easier to share and sync files, but is it enough to get you to switch to OneDrive? We like to know what software you are using to share folders. Is it Dropbox, Google Drive, or will you switch to OneDrive in the end? Let us know!

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of macitynet.it

Hackers Can Now Use Square Reader to Act as a Credit Card Skimmer

The Square Reader device has been a popular and cheap alternative to point of sale devices. However, as you know where everything is heading nowadays, what can be used to make transactions can also be used to hack your accounts too.

A few grad students seem to have managed to alter the Square Reader with everyday tools so it can be used to skim credit cards. They say that this was made possible due to the fact that Square Reader is made using cheap components and direct communication with smartphones. Of course, its developers wanted it to be cheap and effective, but in doing so, they opened up other unwanted doors too.

The mod consists of stripping away the encryption on the Reader, which makes all credit card information visible after swiping it through the device. Of course, once modified, the Reader becomes unusable with the official Reader app, but the student researched a way of making a custom app and adapting it to the hacker’s purpose. The app they made was so great that it automated the whole process, meaning that a hacker would have access to a target’s bank account as soon as he or she swipes the card through the tampered Reader.

So, the bottom line here is that the devices are not as safe as people thought. If you’ve paid a merchant through a Reader device, you should keep an eye on your bank statement. It is said that all models of the Reader are vulnerable and can be tampered with, so customers should take caution when completing transactions through a Reader device.

Thank you Motherboard for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Mashable

Largest Plane on Earth Will Be Airborne as Early as Next Year

Meet Stratolaunch, the largest plane on Earth! Codenamed the “Roc” after the mythical bird of prey, this ‘beast’ looks to be a true king of the sky. In terms of size, it is said to be 65 feet wider than the “Spruce Goose” H-4 Hercules and 95 feet wider than the spaceship-carrying Soviet Antonov An-225, so you can imagine how small you may feel when next to it.

In addition to the size, the “Roc” boasts six Pratt & Whitney jet engines, 28 landing gear wheels and a 385 foot wingspan. But the plane was not made to enter the Guinness record book. Microsoft’s co-founderm Paul Allan, is the guy behind the project and he aims to make the “Roc” the next big alternative to launching rockets into space.

The plane is able to hold a three-stage rocket between its fuselages, as shown in the picture above, which can then be launched at extremely high altitude and detatch its payload into space. So why is this helpful? Well, think about weather conditions. Having to launch a satellite from the edge of Earth’s atmosphere takes away a lot of unwanted variables, so it makes it easier and somewhat safer to launch from up above the clouds.

This is why Stratolaunch was designed so big and massive, weighing in at 1.3 million pounds (including the rocket). But will it do what is expected of it? We won’t know until they do the test runs, which are said to begin as early as next year. If they prove to be a success, Stratolaunch’s first mission is said to be planned for 2018. Until then, here’s a simulation of how the plane and rocket launch should take place. Enjoy!

Thank you Yahoo! for providing us with this information

See How the BMW EnLighten App May Help You in Traffic

Traffic lights could become a nightmare in heavy traffic, to the point where you never know if you can send a quick text or take a sip of your morning coffee before the light ahead changes. You always need to keep your eyes peeled and check if the light turns green before the guy behind you honks you to death, or you may never know if that green light will change before you try passing the intersection.

BMW has been working on solving this and came up with the EnLighten app, having it work with participating cities by communicating with the traffic light control system. This means that the app makes use of your phone’s GPS and knows which light you are approaching, then gives you a counter to see how long it will take for the light to change.

However, don’t think that the counter is 100% accurate, so don’t try forcing your luck on that last second. The data is received and processed based on red, amber and green cycles, as well as traffic flow cycles at different times of the day.

While there may be a slight time deviation, the app is still useful in giving drivers a chance to time their arrival at intersections when the light is green, or give them a chance to do something else while waiting at a red light.

The app is currently available on iOS and Android for use in any BMW car and a map of participating cities can be found here.

Thank you Gizmag for providing us with this information

China Bans Supercomputer and UAV Exports Based on National Security Concerns

The Chinese superpower seems to be a bit concerned about its latest tech getting into the wrong hands and has banned the export of unlicensed supercomputers and some UAV models.

The ban seems to forbid any company attempting to export machines capable of outputting eight TFlops of data or more than 2 Gbps of network bandwidth. Taking a look at the Top 500 list of supercomputers, we see China’s Tianhe-2 at the top of it, while the US occupies the 2nd and 3rd place.

The UAV ban comes from news about an Indian drone being shot down in Pakistan, suspected of using Chinese tech. Pakistan has close ties with the US and we all know how the US is keen on getting their hands on Chinese technology, so the word regarding the drone seems to have freaked out some high-ranking officers enough to ban UAV exports from China too.

However, the UAV ban seems to affect only aircraft capable of flying for more than an hour or reaching altitudes of 50,000 feet, so there aren’t many UAVs boasting those kind of specs outside of military use.

There has been no official reason for the ban in question, but speculations point to the ban as a result of the US blocking Intel’s export of high-end x86 chips to China. The race for who has the best tech has been noticed between the US and China for ages now, but signs like this just keep on cropping up. So where is all of this heading? It could be anyone’s guess, but we like to hear your own!

Thank you The Register for providing us with this information

Russia Looking Into Blocking Facebook Over Gay Emoji

Russia has been trying to push a lot of western companies out of the country for some time now. After it closed access to Google and Intel back in 2014, the country is now looking to block the world’s most popular social media platform, namely Facebook.

Russian Facebook users have been told to stop using the platform numerous times up until now, throwing a lot of accusations. However, with the addition of gay emojis, the government now believes it has actual proof to build a case that will block the social media for good.

Russian senator, Mikhail Marchenko, called an investigation to check if the emojis in question are violating the Russian anti-gay laws. This is quite interesting, since Twitter and even Apple’s own emoji keyboard come with gay emojis.

The above leads us to believe that Russia might have something personal against the social media platform, but the saddest part is that the government has high chances of succeeding. The country’s Federal Service For Supervision of Communication, Information Technology and Mass Media closed over 10,000 up to date, so blocking Facebook will just be another addition to the latter websites. But how comfortable are you with this decision? Should a few emojis be enough to get a website banned?

Thank you Tech Radar for providing us with this information

Twitter Hope To Increase Users With Their New Homepage

Twitter has been cooking up a new homepage for its social media platform and it is now ready to launch. The social media platform plans to roll out their new homepage today, but what is the ultimate goal here?

From the looks of it, Twitter plans to get more people to join its platform. When you previously navigated to Twitter.com, the page would only display categories, but this is now going to change with the latest homepage. Twitter wants to draw more people in by showing a bit of what’s going on in and how the social media interaction is on the platform.

The new and improved homepage will display actual tweets by targeting and displaying ‘high value tweets’, something that Twitter hopes will get newcomers’ attention. In my opinion, Twitter was a bit of a mystery at first and it didn’t expose what you would expect from the platform. This made me a bit skeptical and I haven’t joined the platform until recently.

So, in a sense, Twitter’s Interim CEO Jack Dorsey has a good idea with the homepage. In addition to that, his ‘question everything’ perspective aims to get more out of user expectations and opinions in order to make the necessary changes and additions to expand Twitter even further. But until then, how do you find the new homepage? Is it something you were looking forward to?

Thank you Buzzfeed for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of TheNextWeb

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Will Shed Some Light on the Series’ Storyline

Those of you who played the entire Assassin’s Creed series so far might be baffled and confused on where the story is headed. I am a huge Assassin’s Creed fan myself and since Black Flag, everything seems to have turned into fragments and totally different stories around the world, whereas everything up to Assassin’s Creed 3 seemed to follow Desmond Miles’ present story and his ancestor’s life stories.

However, Ubisoft wanted to assure its fans that everything is connected and hinted that all of it will have a meaning and be explained in the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Sure, things got a bit weird since Black Flag, when players found out that the present day character is now a Templar ‘guinea pig’, but you must have seen Shaun and Rebecca briefly during the exploration side missions around the Templar HQ.

During a GameSpot interview, creative director Marc-Alexis Cote wanted to reassure fans that the story is actually heading somewhere, though the above mentioned signs were somewhat obvious. He said that the story is divided into cycles and everything up to Assassin’s Creed 3 was the ‘Desmond cycle’, as he calls it. Black Flag was actually the transition point between cycles and beginning with Syndicate, a new cycle will start and explained in the upcoming title.

Cote did not go into too much detail, of course, but judging by the actual signs who some might not have been aware of so far and what was briefly explained during the interview, we might actually see Syndicate be released with an amazing comeback in terms storyline. So how excited are you about this?

Thank you GamingBolt for providing us with this information