Uber Won’t Raise Prices More Than 3.9x Due to DC Metro Shutdown

Ride sharing is becoming the new taxi service, with people ordering a lift for their friends from an app on their phone and then having someone come and pick them up in their car. Uber is the biggest example of ride sharing, with the app even being considered as the end of taxi services. The problem Uber has is that it is fully in control of their fee’s and tend to adjust them based on demand, but thanks to the DC metro shutting down Uber are capping this increase and say they won’t raise prices more than 3.9x.

The algorithm used to calculate Uber’s rates has been targeted as a bad example when it raised prices by over 4x in Sydney when people began fleeing a hostage situation in 2014. While Uber refunded these and even offered free rides to others, the company wants to ensure that it doesn’t suffer this embarrassment again.

With the DC metro closing, Uber is enforcing a cap on the price hike at 3.9 times the original. While they encourage people to share the rides and split the costs, it would seem that the initial impact of the metro shutdown only raised the price by 1.7 times its normal price.

Do you think companies should be able to raise prices like this? should there be a limit on how much they can raise their fees during busy times?

Metro 2033 Set to Become a Film

It would seem the dark is set to become a scarier place with games like Thief becoming movies. If the idea of a master thief sneaking around wasn’t enough to make you want to avoid the dark then the creatures from Metro 2033 will probably be best left on the small screen as it’s been revealed that Metro 2033 is set become a film.

Based on a novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky, the book follows the story of Artyom and as he explores the world after “the war that ended the world” and the mysterious creatures titled “the Dark Ones”. The series is set in the dark tunnels of Moscow’s subway system, a dark tunnel where both friend and foe live in the dark corners of its embrace.

Commenting on the news that a Metro 2033 movie is in early development, Glukhovsky commented saying “my novel and I have been waiting for this to happen for the last ten years”.  As with many writers Glukhosvsky said he was “extremely careful about handing my ‘baby’ over to Hollywood producers for adaption for a feature film” but was convinced to hand over the concept as Michael De Luca and Stephen L’Heureux “have a great vision”.

Are you a fan of the book? Maybe the game got you into the world of Metro? Do you believe a film is a good idea for this series and if so who would you cast?

Why You Shouldn’t Upgrade to Windows 10 Today

Introduction


The launch date of Windows 10 has finally arrived after an extensive Beta testing period for users in the Windows Insider Program. Microsoft’s latest operating system is designed to be light on system resources and implement the Metro user-interface in a less obnoxious way. Windows 8 was heavily criticized by Microsoft customers, game developers and even Valve who became so concerned, they pushed their own Linux-based operating system. Microsoft’s strategic direction was too focused on mobile devices and tried to implement touch functionality at the expense of Desktop PCs.

Microsoft made a catastrophic error in trying to enforce full-screen applications through the Metro user-interface. As a result, it was extremely awkward to arrange multiple Windows and the OS felt pretty cluttered. Furthermore, navigating to newly installed programs, the Control Panel or advanced settings seemed counter-intuitive and hidden behind too many sub-menus. The end result was a terrible operating system for power users or customers opting for a traditional keyboard and mouse control scheme.

Windows 8.1 alleviated some of these concerns but kept the garish Metro system and Microsoft were unwilling to admit defeat. Many users derogatorily refer to Windows 8 as “the next Vista” and refuse to upgrade from the highly acclaimed Windows 7 operating system. Given the amount of disdain Windows 8 received, you might be a little perplexed about not upgrading today. However, there are a number of factors which you should take into consideration before upgrading.

Slow Download Servers


As with any digital product launch, the download servers are being hammered and resulting in extremely slow download speeds. This can create a rather frustrating experience as the queues grow and Microsoft struggles to keep up with demand. Perhaps waiting a few days is a more cogent option so you can download the update when the servers aren’t overpopulated. Also, the free download only applies to existing customers. Subsequently, you cannot legitimately acquire an ISO from a fast mirror and apply the update yourself. Personally, I would perform a re-format of my existing operating system, then install Windows 10; unless you have a boot SSD and few programs, this may take a while.

Windows 10 Could Suffer From Undocumented Compatibility Problems


Despite undergoing a thorough Beta testing phase, Windows 10 hasn’t been adopted on such a widespread scale. This means various third-party programs, games or hardware could experience teething problems. For example, older printers using a Parallel to USB converter might no longer work until the manufacturer releases a fix. Of course, this is a very small percentage of people but emphasizes what kind of problems you might run into. More commonly, many older games could become unstable or fail to detect the platform being used. It shouldn’t be a major issue due to Windows’ compatibility mode, but it’s something to be wary of.

Additionally, mods or unofficial game patches are untested and it’s sensible to let others be the guinea pig. Another factor to take into consideration is the amount of old games like Wing Commander which already struggle on modern operating systems. Windows 10 is brand new, so the amount of threads with information to get the game running will be minimal. Hopefully, the Windows 8.1 fixes work on Windows 10, but this is still an unknown entity.

DirectX 12 is Here, the Games are not


In terms of potential, DirectX 12 is one of the most revolutionary changes to PC Gaming in over a decade. This new low-level API reduces CPU overheads and theoretically increases the performance of games by an estimated 20%. However, there are no games on the market able to leverage this extra performance and it’s up to developers to begin supporting the new API. Realistically, this could take at least a year before modern games are reworked to use DirectX 12.

A large quantity of older games were produced by defunct studios and unable to implement DirectX 12 functionality. I highly doubt this could be done by a modder since the engine needs to be reworked. The data on DirectX 12 is quite new and we need to wait until the API has matured before analyzing its significance. Make no mistake, DirectX 12 will be a monumental change, but gamers shouldn’t expect to see this anytime soon.

Windows 10 Will be Free for a Year


It’s remarkably easy to get into the hullabaloo of a product launch and be disappointed by the final result. There’s no need to rush if you want to upgrade because Windows 10 will remain free for an entire year. As such, you could wait a month to see how well the operating system has been received and until the launch bugs are patched. Perhaps Windows 10 doesn’t offer enough of an improvement from Windows 7 and isn’t worth the hassle of learning a new visual style. This will be fairly prominent with those who aren’t technically minded and struggle to navigate around an operating system.

The Metro UI Still Exists


For all Windows 10’s posturing about returning to its Desktop roots, the Metro UI is still an integral component, albeit in a less obtrusive manner. In Windows 10, clicking the Start icon brings up the familiar Start menu. Unfortunately, this takes up a lot more space as the Metro icons are positioned adjacent to the Start menu. Once pressed, the menu can take up to 50% of your screen space instead of the narrow 20% seen in Windows 7. Microsoft’s ideology revolves and integrating all their services together including mobile, PC and Xbox. This sounds like a good idea, but I strongly believe Microsoft should release two versions of Windows 10; a Metro-based tablet edition and PC version which drops the Metro UI completely.

Windows 8 or 8.1 users can download an invaluable tool called Classic Shell which removes the Metro UI and replaces it with a simple, yet customizable Start menu. I’m surprised Microsoft didn’t take greater notice of this software which creates a much better experience than Windows’ 10 default setup. While the tool should work on Windows 10, this is just another example of how previous operating systems can be made more intuitive than Microsoft’s latest effort.

Final Thoughts


Windows 10 is shaping up to be a highly successful release, as Microsoft attempts to transfer individuals from older operating systems through the free upgrade incentive. Despite this, launch dates are always marred with a wide array of problems. In this case, the servers are almost at breaking point and I wouldn’t recommend downloading the update right now. Furthermore, DirectX 12 games could be some time off, and the Metro user-interface is still an integral part of the user-experience.

There’s no need to rush out and instantly download the update either as the average user will not majorly benefit from upgrading today. This doesn’t apply to technology enthusiasts or tweakers who want to play with the latest operating system. I’m still wary about the lack of mature drivers for unusual peripherals and wonder if they will work without any complications.

Microsoft has hinted that this could be the last version of Windows formally released. After that, Windows could possibly become a service platform which evolves without reselling the operating system as a product revision. Windows 10 is here and you should definitely upgrade, but now is probably not the best time for everyone.

Say Goodbye to Metro Skype App

Microsoft says that the Metro version of Skype is not that popular and it won’t continue with it. All users will be moved over to the Desktop version next month, having the Metro service close on the 7th of July. That’s in less than a month now, so wouldn’t an earlier heads up be nice?

Even so, Microsoft says that it wouldn’t make sense to have two apps delivering the same service on its latest operating system, namely Windows 10, since both Desktop and Metro apps will now open and interact in the same way. They say that while Skype for desktop is made for keyboard and mouse use, it does very well with touch input too.

While Metro Skype will redirect everyone to download the Desktop version of Skype after the 7th of July, Windows RT users will still be able to use the Metro version until upgrading to Windows 10.

We heard that Microsoft is planning on integrating the Skype feature in the latest Windows build, but we don’t know what it will include exactly. ZDNet states that Microsoft is also planning on releasing a dedicated Skype bundle. This means a new and improved Skype Messaging, Phone and Video service will be rolling out in the near future.

The exact release date of the new Skype bundle is not yet clear, but rumour has it that Microsoft plans to make it available to existing Windows 10 users sometime this fall. So what do you want to see in the new version of Skype? Let us know!

Thank you ZDNet for providing us with this information

Nvidia PhysX Adds Massive Visual Improvements to Metro Redux

Metro Redux is rapidly approaching its release date and it is shaped up to be far more than your average re-release. Redux will see Metro: 2033 and Metro: Last Light get a massive overhaul and Nvidia are on board to help the developers at 4A Games make it even better.

GPU accelerated PhysX effects are being added to both games, and everything from the geometry, enemy encounters, lighting and level transitions have been tweaked and fine tuned for better performance, fidelity, immersion and more.

Metro: 2033 has received a massive graphics engine overhaul and both games now aim to offer up PnP tessellation, higher resolution textures, higher quality effects, 4K resolution support, PhysX and more.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/IZwVvl71JnM[/youtube]

The game is set for release on August 26th in the US and will launch in Europe on the 29th.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TweakTown.

Microsoft’s “Treshold” Rumored To Be Expected In April 2015 At BUILD

Microsoft is reportedly trying to forget its failure that came with Windows 8.1 behind it by calling the OS Windows 9, and although it hasn’t entered the development phase, the company has already started planning ahead.

Microsoft will hold its annual BUILD conference in April 2014 and it’s rumored that the company’s long-term vision will be presented at the show. This will include the first look at what Microsoft has planned for Windows 9, alongside more information on Windows Phone and Xbox.

Addressing the criticisms surrounding Windows 8 will be a major focus of Windows 9, and the OS is expected to bring the “Metro 2.0”, a major update to the design language used from Windows 8 onwards set to fix issues. This update may introduce a feature that allows Metro-style applications to be run on the desktop as floating windows and not just full-screen apps.

The Start menu may also return in Windows 9 “Threshold”, or even earlier in a second “Update 2” for Windows 8.1. “Threshold” updates should also come to Windows Phone and Xbox, but it won’t necessarily bring the eventual merge of Windows RT and Windows Phone.

Microsoft is now busy working on the first update for Windows 8.1, which is essentially a free service pack that will likely debut in April 2014 alongside Windows Phone 8.1. The development of both OSes is nearing completion, so it shouldn’t be too long before we’ll get our hands on updates for Microsoft’s main platforms.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information

Official Facebook App Available For Windows 8.1 Users

This morning, after Windows 8 users upgraded to the new-look Windows 8.1 update, an official Facebook app was waiting in the revamped Windows Store.

The Windows 8.1 Facebook app is extremely functional, having a three-pane design with your settings, groups, and viewing options on the left, your main news feed front-and-center, and a list of your Friends and their chat availability on the right. The exact look varies slightly depending on the menu you’re on, but the options pane remains consistent on the left side.

Writing something new or uploading a picture coaxes a Charm-style pane to slide in from the right side of the screen, where you’re free to spill your heart’s innermost secrets.

While the look of the app definitely screams “Facebook,” it also oozes Microsoft’s unique modern UI style, with sharp edges and tiles galore. Pinning the app to the side of the screen ditches the side panes to focus on your news feed, with the “three horizontal lines” options button familiar to users of other Facebook mobile apps appearing in the topmost tray. Again, however, the exact look can vary depending on the Snap ratio you use.

Facebook for Windows 8.1 lacks one crucial Microsoft feature however, the Share Charm integration. If you see an interesting tidbit in the modern version of Internet Explorer 11, or any other modern app, you can’t open the Charms bar and seamlessly share it to Facebook. That’s a major disappointment, seeing as how sharing links is such a major part of the Facebook experience.

All in all, however, the Facebook app for Windows 8.1 is a great first showing for the must-have social network, and it fills one of the most gaping holes in the Windows Store’s app selection. Microsoft still has a long way to go before the Windows Store can go toe-to-toe with Android or iOS, but it’s definitely headed in the right direction.

Than you PC World for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of PC World.

NVIDIA GeForce 320.14 BETA Driver Released For Metro: Last Light

Metro Last Light is pretty much upon us and while I haven’t had chance to source a copy for myself, Nvidia have been hard at work tinkering and optimizing the latest batch of drivers ready for eager gamers to enjoy the show. The new BETA 320.14 drivers are said to increase performance in the game by up to 10% and given the visual juggernaut that was the original Metro game, any boost in performance is a welcome bonus indeed, regardless of your systems specifications.

You can download the drivers you need right here and get your system ready to rock and roll in post apocalyptic Moscow.

NVIDIA GeForce 320.14 BETA – Windows 8/Windows7 64-bit

NVIDIA GeForce 320.14 BETA – Windows 8/Windows 7 32-bit

“A sequel to the million-selling Metro 2033, Metro: Last Light ups the ante for videogame graphics in addition to further refining its own brand of first-person shooting action. NVIDIA GPU users can enhance their experience with hardware-accelerated PhysX effects and stereoscopic 3D Vision rendering.

The new GeForce 320.14, Metro: Last Light beta drivers are now available to download. Boosting single-GPU and SLI performance in the eagerly anticipated sequel by up to 10%, the 320.14 beta drivers also ensure maximum system compatibility when battling the monsters of Last Light‘s post-apocalyptic world. For an in-depth look at the game’s technology and GPU performance check out our new Metro: Last Light Graphics Breakdown & Performance Guide.

320.14 beta also includes all of the performance optimizations and SLI profiles found in the recent320.00 beta release, improving performance and compatibility in games such as Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Dead Island: RiptideDungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, GRID 2, Remember Me, Natural Selection 2, Resident Evil 6, Tomb Raider, and TrackMania² Canyon.”

So did you pick up the latest Metro title, let us know what you think of it in the comments section below.

Source: Nvidia