Bill Gates Used to Memorise the Number Plates of All His Employees

All the way from school to work we are expected to give a hundred percent. Teachers take attendance in our lessons and in an interview with the BBC, Bill Gates revealed he also took attendance of his employees, by knowing their number plates.

Getting Microsoft to where it is as one of the leading technology companies in the world took a ruthless attitude and Gates is said to have had that mindset and then some. In his interview Gates stated that he “worked weekends” and “didn’t really believe in vacations”. Gates even went so far as to know “everybody’s licence plates so I could look out the parking lot and see, you know, when people come in”. This behaviour became more and more relaxed when the company got to a “reasonable size”, you can imagine trying to remember several hundred number plates just to see if Bob from accounting was in on a Saturday to finish up the paperwork.

Gates stated that he had to be careful that the same standards he gave himself weren’t forced upon his employers, a noble act when you consider how much the company grew and grew, in part, due to their hard work and commitment.

Gates also defines himself as aggressive in business, but only in the context that having “super-low prices are ruthless”. He carried on to say “it’s hard to compete with somebody who’s betting on the volume and saying ‘hey, we’re going to have… these super-low prices’. That’s very intimidating…”.

It’s always interesting to see how people who founded large companies act, and with Gates once again being the richest man alive, there really is very few you can compare on the same level. Not sure I could ever remember everyone’s number plates, without a little notepad or excel spreadsheet, just to keep track of who’s in work on time.

Apple Car Has New Staff – Straight From Tesla

Apple made a splash earlier in the year when it announced its interest in making a car, with an initial report showing that we could have an Apple car as soon as 2019 and more recently discussing the possibility of Apple and BMW working together on the next big Apple product. Now while this seems good news to a lot of people, there will always be some people who have a good laugh at this news and it would seem that the CEO of Tesla, one of the world’s largest and possibly famous electric car companies, Elon Musk is less optimistic about Apples chance in the car market.

During an interview with a German newspaper Handelsblatt, Elon Musk responded not just to the news about Apple’s car but was asked about their latest product, the Apple Watch. When asked if he had an ever taken a look at the Apple Watch, Musk replied with, “No, seriously: It’s good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches”. As if that wasn’t enough, when asked about the Apple car Musk commented on how eager Apple were to hire employees and engineers, even taking those that had been fired from Tesla for not pulling their weight.
In the interview Musk stated, “They have hired people we’ve fired. We always jokingly call Apple the Tesla graveyard. If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work for Apple”.

It’s not uncommon for companies to have friction when working on similar products, but they tend to have a way of coming back to bite you in the future.

Thank you Handelsblatt for the information via The Verge.

Image courtesy of Tech News Today.

Shenmue 3 to Prioritize Story Over Graphics

Yu Suzuki is one of the most influential and beloved figures throughout video gaming history and responsible for creating the Shenmue series. Shenmue’s bizarre gameplay, beautiful music score and stunning world creates a joyous experience which feels so unique. While perceived as a cult classic, Shenmue I and II hold up remarkably well in 2015 and look fantastic using a VGA cable on the SEGA Dreamcast. For many years, fans implored SEGA to produce a sequel, but the publisher probably felt it was too niche or overly expensive.

Thanks to crowdfunding, Shenmue’s emotionally-charging story can finally continue after years of disappointment regarding SEGA’s inactivity. Although, there has been some concerns about Shenmue 3’s budget and lack of funds to create a proper sequel. Yu Suzuki addressed these reservations in an interview with Eurogamer and said:

“The game itself doesn’t have to be gorgeous visually – a lot of the money these days goes into the graphics. If we perhaps compromise on the graphics and put more into the story, we can make a good game.”

“Kickstarter’s not the only source of money,” says Suzuki. “There’s also funding from Sony and Shibuya Productions. Before we started Kickstarter, we had goals set around the budget – so if we only got $6 million, we’d create Shenmue 3 based upon what we could do with that $6 million.”

Firstly, Shenmue’s narrative has to take priority as the game’s theme is story-driven and doesn’t really depend on graphical quality. However, comments like this makes me think the game is being developed on a shoe-string budget. At least, Suzuki has clarified Sony’s involvement in the project and the source of additional funding. This is vital as the current PayPal donations are not amounting to a large amount of money.

Thank you Eurogamer for providing us with this information.

WikiLeaks Julian Assange Fears he will be “Assassinated”

Let’s for a minute contemplate the appearance of Julian Assange, he looks as if he is attempting to apply for this year’s role of Santa at a shopping centre. He might be slowly losing his marbles considering a few of his comments concerning his stay at the Ecuadorian embassy during an interview with The Times Magazine.

Can I source this link? Noooo, why? Behind a paywall, oh where else can I find a summary, I know, the many sources on the internet of course. Anyway, Julian Assange fears he will be assassinated if he steps onto either a balcony or out the door of the embassy. This is technically possible, although he might need to move further away from the building than that for it to look less obvious. Now for the weird, the following comments are his views on being “droned”

I’m a white guy,” Mr Assange said. “Unless I convert to Islam it’s not that likely that I’ll be droned, but we have seen things creeping towards that.”

I am just going to let that sink in for a sec, he also describes receiving bomb and death threats and he has also not been able to have any fresh air or sunlight for 3 years. His situation could be resolved in the next 2 years by which point his hotel stay at the embassy will be nearer five years.

Julian Assange is controversial yet has, through Wikileaks, been able to expose many a scandal which has included Surveillance and also disgraceful military practices. His situation depends on your viewpoint, many spectators have formed a conclusion that he does indeed have a target on his head, but it’s difficult to quantify his situation, after all, where will he be in 5 years.  Let’s hope he re-enters the world otherwise officials will start charging him per night for his room.

Thank you huffingtonpost for providing us with this information.

Tim Cook: We Shouldn’t Give Up our Privacy Due to “Scare-Mongering”

Tim Cook was in London yesterday giving an interview to The Telegraph, in which he covered a whole range of topics, including the subject of privacy.

Cook has always been a vocal supporter of protecting user privacy. In this interview and others, his message has always been that “you are not our product” – effectively criticising companies like Google that utilise user information to sell ads. He’s also very strongly against government use of data, something particularly topical in the UK, where David Cameron recently said that encryption should be banned; a ban that would include Apple’s end-to-end encrypted iMessage.

“None of us should accept that the government or a company or anybody should have access to all of our private information. This is a basic human right. We all have a right to privacy. We shouldn’t give it up. We shouldn’t give in to scare-mongering or to people who fundamentally don’t understand the details.”

His response to the threat of terrorism is interesting. He said that the privacy of good citizens should not be risked for the privacy of the few, and that no matter what governments do with relation to spying, terrorists will always find a way of hiding their tracks.

“Terrorists will encrypt. They know what to do. If we don’t encrypt, the people we affect [by cracking down on privacy] are the good people. They are the 99.999pc of people who are good.”

The interview is an intriguing read, one that gives us an insight into the mind of a man at the helm of the world’s largest company.

Source: The Telegraph

Tim Cook: Apple Watch Can Be Used as Car Key Fob

Tim Cook is still on his unannounced international tour, today stopping in London. He paid a visit to the flagship Covent Garden store, meeting with employees and customers (some even posed for pictures, as you can see below). He also took the time to give an interview to The Telegraph, offering some more details about the Apple Watch in the process.

Cook said of the key fob functionality that “This will be just like the iPhone: people wanted it and bought for a particular reason, perhaps for browsing, but then found out that they loved it for all sorts of other reasons.” That feature, like many, is yet to be properly announced. We expect to hear more about the watch on March 9th, when Apple will be holding an event, believed to be largely focused on the new device ahead of its release in April.

That event will hopefully reveal the actual release date of the device, as well as the prices – something highly anticipated as many still try to figure out just how much the 18-karat gold version will cost.

Source: The Telegraph 

Apple Reportedly Declined to Show ‘The Interview’ on iTunes

In Sony Pictures’ hunt to find a place to show ‘The Interview’, they reportedly asked Apple, who supposedly declined the offer.

According to The New York Times, Sony apparently asked the White House to help them get it on iTunes, but Apple was having none of it, “at least not on a speedy timetable”.

“It remained unclear, however, whether any on-demand service would take “The Interview.” According to people briefed on the matter, Sony had in recent days asked the White House for help in lining up a single technology partner — Apple, which operates iTunes — but the tech company was not interested, at least not on a speedy time table. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.”

We reported yesterday on the news that the movie will now see its original Christmas Day release, showing at a handful of cinemas, but it’s still unclear as to how everybody will be able to see it.

Source: The New York Times Via MacRumors

 

Johnny Rotten of ‘The Sex Pistols’ Spent £10,000 on iPad Apps

John Lydon, best known as ‘Johnny Rotten’ has revealed he spent £10,000 (about $15,000) on iPad apps.

Talking to The Telegraph, Lydon said that “A bit of my childhood was taken from me and I’m determined to bring it back.”.

“I wasted – you’re the first to know this – 10,000 f‑‑‑‑‑‑ pounds in the last two years on apps on my iPad. I got into Game of ThronesGame of WarReal Racing, and I just wanted to up the ante. And like an idiot I didn’t check myself. I’ve been checked now. But there’s a kid in me, see?”

I wonder how much he spent on in-app purchases?

Source: The Telegraph

Interview: AMD’s Richard Huddy Responds To Criticisms of Mantle

AMD’s Mantle API is an interesting development in the PC Gaming industry, it allows developers to leverage low-overhead designs to improve the performance of their games on AMD hardware. Around a month ago we put AMD’s Mantle to the test in a trio of games and revealed some impressive results: Mantle was capable of boosting average frame-rates on AMD based systems by as much as 42.7%, with the lowest gain still being a healthy 13.6%. In our analysis we came to the conclusion that Mantle is an impressive technology, although we weren’t sure about the future of Mantle and how its criticisms can be addressed. From browsing forums, engaging with our readers and even having discussions with other media outlets I came across numerous criticisms of Mantle. We thought that it would be interesting to hear AMD’s responses to these criticisms because there are certainly a lot of myths that need to be busted and records that need to be set straight with regards to Mantle.

With all that in mind enter Richard Huddy. AMD were kind enough to allow us to quiz Richard Huddy to get his rebuttals of common criticisms of Mantle. For those of you who don’t know who Richard Huddy is, let us briefly introduce him. Richard Huddy is AMD’s “Gaming Scientist” – that’s his current official title since he returned to AMD this year in June. Huddy had previously worked for AMD but departed in 2011 to work for Intel. Richard Huddy is a veteran of the PC graphics industry and he’s had an impact on developing DirectX and a variety of other visual effects as well as influencing Intel’s graphics roadmap. In his professional career so far Huddy has worked for 3DLabs, AMD, ATI, Intel and Nvidia. AMD’s Gaming Scientist has been in and out of the news a fair amount in the last few months, most notably for his public criticism of Nvidia’s Gameworks program. Today we are hoping for a less controversial discussion!

For our interview with Richard Huddy I compiled a list of 6 questions and statements that encapsulated criticisms of Mantle that I had come across fairly frequently. I then pitched these to Richard Huddy for answering, so let’s get stuck straight in and see what Richard Huddy had to say in our interview:

Q1) Mantle only works with AMD hardware, as a result what incentives are there for more game developers to adopt Mantle when Nvidia and Intel have a larger share of the PC graphics market? Evidence of which has been presented by Jon Peddie Research and Steam’s hardware survey several times.

Right now Mantle only works with AMD hardware, yes, that’s true.  But AMD has created what could become the foundation of a new Open Standard.  That means that AMD is considering publishing an open SDK later this year, and at that time it would be up to NVIDIA and Intel (and anyone else who wants to consider this path) to decide whether they want to adopt it.  If they do so, then they should be able to show performance wins like we have done – and that’s good for all PC gamers.

We already have  somewhere in the region of 70 registered developers actively working with Mantle (7 with publicly-announced or released projects, so it’s pretty clear that Mantle is very attractive to the PC development community.  That number of 70 is up very significantly from forty in May.  And remember that Microsoft announced DirectX® 12 in March this year – so it’s clear that developers see good reason to move to Mantle.  Indeed our momentum with Mantle is only increasing – and the simple reason is that it helps solve developers’ problems.  Developers want to unlock the potential of the hardware – and Mantle lets them do exactly that.

The publicly announced titles for 2014 include:-  Battlefield 4, Thief, Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare, Dragon Age Inquisition, Civilization Beyond Earth, Battlefield 4 Hardline.  There have also been announcements by Crytek that they are including support in Cryengine and Oxide Games said they’re doing the same with their Nitrous Engine.

Q2) Mantle can act as a stepping stone from DirectX 11 to DirectX 12, as AMD’s whitepaper explains, but what incentives are there for game developers to use Mantle as a stepping stone when they can just miss it out altogether and go straight to DirectX 12?

I guess the incentives for jumping to Mantle comes in several guises…

(1)    It’s a handy stepping stone to DirectX 12.

(2)    It’s possible to address the many millions of gamers using AMD hardware right now, rather than waiting for a new version of DirectX which is not scheduled to ship until the end of 2015.

(3)    Any extra features in AMD hardware now, or in the future, will be accessible through Mantle now or in a future version.

Q3) “Mantle will lose out to DirectX 12 simply because Intel, Nvidia and other game developers have more reason to trust Microsoft than AMD”. What is your response to that?

Well, I guess you must be underestimating how much trust AMD has right now.  The large number of active developers is a clear indication that games developers see Mantle as a great solution to some of their important problems.  You might want to talk to some of the publicly disclosed advocates of Mantle.  They can explain their position themselves, and it’s clear that there is a great deal of passionate support for Mantle.

We can see exactly that, in Oxide Games blog about the next generation of API’s where Dan Baker answers the question in his blog (http://www.oxidegames.com/2014/05/21/next-generation-graphics-apis/). “Does D3D12 mitigate the need for Mantle? Not at all. Though it is difficult to deteminre without more complete information on D3D12, our expectation is that Mantle will have the edge of D3D12 in terms of CPU performance. This is because that GCN architecture by AMD is the most general of all the current GPU’s and therefore the driver needs to do a bit less”

We have also seen similar from Kevin Floyer-Lea from Rebellion in his interview with dsogaming.com – “The bottom line is that we’ll support and use whichever APIs give our players the best performance. D3D12 is definitely a step in the right direction in that regard. As it currently stands there is no reason to see why D3D12 and Mantle can’t co-exist – especially if it turns out that D3D12 is limited to newer versions of Windows. If nothing else Mantle is establishing the importance of low-level, minimal APIs, for which we’re very thankful.”

Q4) “With Mantle AMD undercut Microsoft, AMD just wanted to be the first to produce a low-overhead API”. How far would you agree with this?

I think I’d put this very differently.  AMD didn’t “undercut” Microsoft, instead AMD lead the way in bringing low level APIs into the 21st Century.

Q5) “Mantle cannot succeed overall without getting traction in the console market”. Is this true?

We have already validated the initial success and future outlook for Mantle with support for Crytek, Thief, Battlefield 4, and the more than 70 or so active developers now supporting Mantle. I’ll give you two more numbers to demonstrate the success of Mantle.

Number one – we have (as I mentioned)somewhere in the region of seventy active registered developers.  I think that’s clear proof of traction if you want it.

Number two – we expect to have more games published in Mantle’s first year than there were games published using DirectX 11 in its first year.  That’s amazing.  As you mention AMD is not the only player in the PC graphics market – but we are clearly having an impact that’s simply astonishing.

Q6) “The creation of Mantle was a selfish move designed to reduce the importance of the CPU in gaming with the ultimate goal of making AMD CPUs more competitive with Intel CPUs.” Does this have any substance?

No, this has no substance.

Having Mantle is a public spirited move that allows games developers to fully expose the potential of any hardware which runs Mantle.  When we publish the full SDK that will means that Mantle will allow Intel and NVIDIA to fully expose any untapped potential in their hardware too  Mantle is all about solving developers’ problems.  I find it hard to see how giving games players a better experience on our hardware can be seen as selfish.  It’s the developers and the players who benefit.

Reducing the importance of the CPU in gaming is a direction that must be considered.. AMD’s idea was so good, that we’re seeing others take a similar path as they’ve realised that doubling down on the GPU as the sole arbiter of gaming performance is a great idea for gamers.

Before Mantle it was often the case that DirectX 11 or OpenGL based games would have artificial bottlenecks in them which meant that the full potential of the platform was under-utilized.  Mantle does a great job of removing those bottlenecks and allowing the games developer to deliver everything the platform is capable of…  It’s a win for developers and it’s a win for games players..  What’s not to like?

So there you have it: AMD’s Richard Huddy has certainly done a good job at robustly defending some criticisms of AMD’s Mantle API. There are probably many more questions about Mantle that remain unanswered but we certainly think this has been a good start. We’d like to say a big thank to AMD’s Richard Huddy for taking the time to rebut criticisms of Mantle that we presented him with in this interview.

Edit: AMD’s Richard Huddy also wanted us to mention the fact that AMD will continue to support all modern Windows operating systems with its Mantle API: notably Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. As we’ve written before DirectX 12 is likely to be a Windows 9 exclusive.

We’d be very interested to hear what you, our readers, think about Mantle in general. Furthermore, has this interview made you see criticisms of Mantle differently? Do you think the criticisms were adequately rebutted? Are there any other criticisms you think we should have addressed? Please do let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

NZXT Talk Us Through The New H440 Chassis

We speak with Rob Teller; one of NZXT’s product managers as he takes us through the brand new H440, their latest chassis to hit the market. If you’re after something that is that bit different, but also extremely practical and loaded with style and features, then sit back and enjoy as we awe you with something that is like no other.

The H440 includes some unique features and we wanted to highlight these for consumers wanting to buy a chassis like this as we believe this video should give you a further insight as to why the H440 beats the competition. After talking to NZXT and Rob, we found that NZXT take product management very seriously and have listed contently to their consumers needs and what they want from a chassis of this nature.

Remember to check out our full review of the H440 chassis here.

For now, we invite you to check out the video below, and enjoy:

Roccat Office Tour & Interview with eTeknix

Roccat Office Tour & Interview with eTeknix


Earlier in the year, Andy and the team here at eTeknix headed over to Germany to get coverage on one of the years major gaming events in Europe – Gamescom. After the show had finished and the exhibition halls closed to the press and public for the last time, eTeknix had a couple of additional things planned and one of these included going to see one of Germany’s fastest growing peripherals vendor: Roccat.

Roccat – headed up by René Korte – are passionate about bringing the mixture of gaming expertise and German engineering together through a sweet medley of gaming peripherals and software packages to tie them together and this is exactly what René was keen to talk to us about.

In our interview with Roccat, René was more than willing to talk to Andy about the history of Roccat and how they got their name. Following a sit-down interview, we are invited to take a tour around the Hamburg offices and the stages of design and testing that the enthusiastic and skilled team go through to create a new product.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/b828-86PqQ4[/youtube]

We would like to thank René and his team at Roccat for welcoming us into their offices and taking some of their time out to talk with us and share their knowledge on how a product at Roccat comes together.

GTA V Graphics Inspired Ubisoft To Delay Watch Dogs

Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs was one of the most anticipated game in the next-gen console launch lineup until the developer delayed it along with its multiplayer open world racing game “The Crew” without giving any reason. Many gamers were not pleased to hear that they would not be able to buy Watch Dogs along with their new consoles. Ubisoft managed to take out some time and explain why the game was actually delayed.

Ubisoft is one of those developers that have been giving first quality AAA games for quite some time now. Games like Far Cry 3 and Assassin’s Creed are the proof that the developer puts all its efforts in making a game, and knows how to make a game look better. Ubisoft has a short history of delaying its several major game titles, the developer accepts no compromise when it comes to the quality of the game. Ubisoft’s two famous and well marketed titles Watch Dogs and The Crew were going to be among the launch lineup of next-gen consoles but the developer delayed the titles to mid 2014.

An interview with IGN with Ubisoft’s North American President Laurent Detoc revealed that delaying Watch Dogs launch was an intense decision, the game would have been one of the highest rated PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launch titles if it had released alongside the systems but the delay was in best interest of the game and the company. Ubisoft became impressed by Rockstar Grand Theft Auto V’s game quality and visuals, and so they decided to make a game that is competent.

“It’s a very intense decision,” Detoc said regarding the delay of the game. “I think one of the fascinating things about this industry is that you can go from genius to idiot in an extremely short time frame. These are some of those moments, where you’re riding sky-high on Watch Dogs or Rayman, and then suddenly you have to break it to the outside world, and sometimes even convince the inside people. Not everybody agrees. You have to say, ‘this is in the best interest of the product, to do this,’ because at the end of the day we’re going to be able to do this extra fine tuning.”

“We wanted it to be even higher. The whole package is there already. But without sending them too many flowers, the guys at Rockstar have shown us again that if you make a 96-percent game, people will come. Watch Dogs, I can only hope we get to that level. There’s an attachment to the brand, in the case of GTA, that makes people really want to give it that 100-percent review. We’ll be missing that on Watch_Dogs until we go further, potentially. That’s what we’re after.”

According to Detoc, at Gamescom in August 2013, Ubisoft had full intentions to release the game on its original launch date, among the next-gen consoles. Despite some lasting doubts, everyone believed that the game would be launched in November. However, the game was delayed shortly after the event.

When talking about Gran Theft Auto V, Detoc said that Rockstar inspired the developer to make a complete game that could become famous among people, because it is complete and polished. It is better to delay the game and finish it rather than releasing it unpolished and half-finished. We just hope that the delay is worth the wait.

Watch Dogs has been delayed until June 30th according to Gamespot, and hopefully that would be the date on which the game will REALLY be released.

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information

MSI Gaming Notebook Event Interview With Steve Clark

Recently we were invited to a special event in the Grange Holborn in London by MSI, where we got to see a whole host of new products coming to the retail channel involving Intel’s newest chipset and range of processors. Part of this was their gaming range of notebooks, so we stopped to have a chat with Steve from MSI and Gavin from Fnatic about what makes an important notebook in MSI’s gaming range of products.

MSI have worked with pro gaming team Fnatic to provide the best feedback on what a true gamer is looking for in a gaming product, which is incorporated on the component and notebook side of MSI products. This ranges from the Bigfoot network to reduce latency and lag when gaming and making the difference between life and death in a game, and possibly getting that vital kill that wins you the game, and in a pro team situation; a lot of money.

Other key features include having a 1920×1080 true HD anti-glare screen with a crisp picture and a SteelSeries keypad to provide gamers with the most responsive touch and vision throughout the game. Audio is another key highlight and all together, this makes the MSI gaming notebooks one of the best on the market with true gamers in mind.

Check out our interview with Steve Clark from MSI and Gavin from Fnatic about what makes a gaming product and why it’s important to have all of these features to allow you to be the very best gamer that you can be.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/eWEJ3RdRJ4Q[/youtube]

Image courtesy of MSI

BeQuiet Product Updates At CeBIT 2013

We have a sit down with Aaron from BeQuiet to see what’s new in their product lineup. Three new items are on show this time round with a non-modular PSU, entry level fan and new heatsink.

Following the trend that was set last year, we can only sit and have a beer with Aaron during the busy day as he takes us through the new items that are on show in the Planet Reseller at CeBIT.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/agmpzLlSnnI[/youtube]

MSI Z77 Gaming Motherboards on Show at CeBIT 2013

CeBIT 2013: Its been a busy day here at CeBIT in Hanover, Germany and one of our first meetings has been with MSI. Alongside their huge display comprising of laptops, systems and all-in-ones, they have a range of their motherboards and graphics cards on show. What has caught our eyes is a new colour coded board to their display. Those who follow MSI will know that traditionally they use blue and yellow highlighting for their mainstream and high end boards, but this new set of board that we can see come with red highlights for their gaming range.

This new range is set to lie as a mid point between their mainstream and high end boards and offers up a balance between performance and cost. Thankfully we don’t see any guns, magazines or bullets appearing on the boards, but instead we see a dragon on the chipset cooler with the red highlighting on the black PCB’s

Whilst talking to MSI we also got a sneak preview on something which is up and coming in the tech world – Haswell.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/QE6KcbkxLiA[/youtube]