Selfie Death Statistics Revealed

Most of us laugh at the selfie addicts, but there is no doubt that there are enough of them out there. In fact, the word selfie is mentioned in 365,000 facebook posts and 150,000 tweets each week alone and Instagram has over 50 million results when searching for the hashtag. That’s quite impressive, but there’s also a sad statistic when it comes to selfies and that is the one on selfie-related deaths.

With so many selfies taken every day, people are looking for that special one that will set them apart from the rest. They hang from cliffs, pose next to wild animals, and play chicken with oncoming trains. Sometimes they sadly don’t survive the attempts and become a statistical number. There hasn’t really been any general collection of these deaths up until now  and Priceonomics set out to change that. They went through three years of news archives and compiled every reported instance of a selfie-related death into a new report.

So let us get right to the numbers, at least those known to us. There can be a lot of selfie-related deaths that haven’t been reported as such. In short, 49 people have died while attempting to photograph themselves since 2014, the average age of the victims is 21 years old, and 75% of them are male.

Now, we should probably make it clear that it isn’t the selfie themselves that kill people. As far as I know, no one has died from taking their own photo yet and I don’t think anyone has managed to impale themselves on their selfie stick either. It is rather the lack of focus and dangerous places that are picked for the selfies that are the reason for the deaths. The most common reasons were falls from heights as well as drowning. Everyone should know to stay away from trains, but it looks like quite a few don’t know to do that either.

There is a clear picture of where it’s most dangerous to take selfies when we take a look at the location statistics. India is clearly ahead with 19 reported fatalities while Russia comes in on a second place with just seven deaths.

Last year it was 28 people alone that died as the result of their selfie addiction which in itself actually isn’t that much. More than double die from bee and wasp stings each year and it was also reported that up to 150 people die from falling coconuts each year. That puts it a little into perspective.

Still, you should use caution and not take unnecessary risks when you go for those special photographic memories. Keep in mind that no photo is worth your life, no matter how spectacular it might be. The below warning signs were made by a Russian site and they might be worth imprinting to memory.

Women Own More Consoles than Men According to New Survey

It’s always interesting when people release studies on video games and even more interestingly their users. While asking people for their opinions and ideas in polls may not be the best way to get accurate figures, it’s always interesting to see what people come back with. This time, the interesting figure is the number of console owners, or rather the number that identified themselves as female.

From the Pew Research Centre, the study looked at device owners, and what demographics they fit into. For example, they calculated that over 80% of 18-49-year-olds had a smartphone, with around 45% of U.S. adults owning a tablet (up from only 10% back in 2011).

Computer owners range at around 74% of U.S. Men, with 71% of Women stating they owned a computer, with 42% of women stating they own a console (described as “e.g. Xbox or Playstation“), a whole 5% above the stereotype of male gamers (who sit at a mere 37%). Dedicated portable gaming devices sit at 14% for each gender, with devices like the PSP and Sega Genesis (yes that was included in the category of portable gaming devices), while MP3 players still have roughly 40% ownership within the U.S. (38% and 42% for Men and Women respectively).

With roughly 3.7% margin of error stated on the gender, and up to 2.6% stated as the error in calculating the percentage of U.S. adults in whole, are there any figures that have surprised you or did you expect something different for any of the figures?

Statistics Show a Rise of Online Piracy in the UK

We’ve heard that the UK government is increasing the penalty for using online content illegally, with potential pirates now facing up to 10 years in jail. But now, let us show you why they came to this conclusion.

According to the Intellectual Property Office, online piracy has risen from 17% to 18% since their 2013 statistic. Breaking down the numbers, we see that 9% of Brits download music illegally, 6% have pirated at least a movie and 7% watched TV series online from illegal sources. But the latter numbers come from people who downloaded or streamed at least one item of pirated content over the span of three months.

The overall numbers show that 26% of music consumers are getting or streaming their music from pirated sources. A sizeable drop has been noticed for people who download or stream pirated movies, going down from 33% to 25%, but an increase of 3% has been noticed in TV series consumers, going up to 21%. The use of legal services doesn’t look too promising either.

A decrease from 40% to 39% of internet users can be seen in those who prefer to use legal sources, while those who mix legal and illegal sources seem to have maintained a 12% ratio. The overall download and streaming of legal content shows signs of slight decrease too, dropping from 70% to 69%, with a mix of legal and pirated content use remaining at the same 22% compared to the 2013 statistic.

In addition to the above, the research shows that there has been an increase of 6% in online media consumption, meaning that the more people consume online content, the more likely they are to either mix legal and illegal sources, or go ‘full-on-pirate’ and use illegal sources. But will the UK government change this by applying harsh penalties for online pirates? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Nick Falkner

Here Is Why Windows 8.1 Gained a Big Lead Over XP and Why It Matters

I know most people who loved Windows XP still stuck with it, even if Microsoft dropped support for it back in April 2014. The people who upgraded went to Windows 7, which now has the majority shares between all OS’. But why does Windows 8.1 need to be in front of XP?

Ok, the main reason XP needs to be something of the past is linked to its legacy security flaws. Since there is no more support, the remaining security issues can be exploited by everyone out there and you are pretty much using something you know you shouldn’t. But still, people are using it and it may pose a high security threat to anyone on the same network as an XP user (not to mention the user himself).

However, statistics show that Windows 8.1 now has a big lead ahead of XP. Statcounter shows that Windows 8.1 is roughly 5% ahead of XP and Netmarketshare shows only a 1.14% increase in usage. The big gap between the two services is due to their methods of analysing different OS’ and browsers out there, but it still shows promise.

While people are adopting real quick the 60.98% market share is still dominated by Windows 7 users. This is a big thing and the reason this matters is that it shows a view of how many people will adopt Windows 10 once it gets released. While we see a lot of XP users moving towards the newest Windows 8.1 release, the same cannot be said for Windows 7 users.

In my opinion, Windows 10 would bring a lot of features and restructure the user interface to something more familiar that is now found in Windows 7. However, the number of users upgrading to Windows 10 will be quite interesting to view as will mark a big turning point. Windows 10 is designed with a lot of new cloud services and business-oriented software in mind, as well as a lot of new and interesting features for the users themselves. The question is, will it be enough to change people’s minds about new software upgrades?

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Teen Driver Technology Aims to Keep Teenagers and Parents’ Worries at Bay

Parents are always worried to give the keys of their first car to teenagers, given all the accidents teens are involved nowadays. But a new technology aims to help keep parents’ worries at bay when teenagers are out cruising in their new car.

General Motors seems to have introduced a new system dubbed ‘Teen Driver’ at the New York auto show, having it been added in the new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu. It is said that the system aims in encouraging safe driving habits for kids. The company states that their system is aimed at helping parents teach their teens the valuable rules of driving safely in their new car.

“It’s a programmable feature that encourages safe driving habits in a number of ways,” GM safety engineer MaryAnn Beebe.

The technology is said to include trip monitoring that parents can review, giving information about the maximum speeds, distance driven and the number of times active safety features were enabled. The ‘Teen Driver’ is also said to allow parents to set a maximum speed anywhere between 72 to 120 KM/h, which in turn will set a visual and audio chime in the car if exceeded.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXsgcP2dexE

Other safety features includes the car radio being disabled until the seatbelts are buckled and smartphones connected to the car’s stereo system set on ‘do not disturb’ mode. The new technology could be a step forward in the right direction, but many seem to believe that the best safety precaution is just teaching proper driving skills.

“We do think we need to know the skills before you start relying a bit more on the technology,” says Ian Jack of the Canadian Automobile Association.

US statistics reveal that crash fatalities of 16 to 19 year-old is three times the rate compared to drivers of age 20 or over. The new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu model will debt at the New York Auto Show in April and is expected to hit the market by the end of this year.

Thank you CTV News for providing us with this information

Unity 5 Released, Including Fully Featured Free Version!

Unity 5 is finally here! This has proven to be a quick response to Epic’s shocking shift in making Unreal Engine 4 free last weekend. Unity 5 brings “over a thousand” improvements, including making the engine 64-bit and adding support for 21 platforms.

In terms of more detailed improvements, the team at Unity call the new engine a “graphical powerhouse”. What they mean by this is that there have been a lot of changes in terms of rendering:

  • Physically-based Standard Shader
    • The new Standard Shader will make your materials look consistent in any lighting environment, across mobile, high-end desktop, and consoles. Apply it across 95% of the materials in your game, such as metal, plastics, wood, ceramics and cloth. Use it together with the new HDR Skybox, Reflection Probes and Global Illumination System to create stunning visuals.
  • Real-time Global Illumination
    • Animate lighting with Real-time Global Illumination built on Geomerics Enlighten technology. Achieve dynamic lighting treatments on high-end mobile, desktop and consoles, and for lower-end devices, create beautifully detailed results with baked artwork.
  • HDR Reflection Probes
    • Enhance visual fidelity with our new HDR Reflection Probes. Add richer detail by having any object realistically reflect its surroundings. Reflection Probes are easy to implement—just place a probe at any location in your scene to sample reflections for its surrounding objects.

Moving further under the hood, we see some major changes in the Editor as well, having added a new audio mixer, enhanced animation workflows and PhysX 3.3:

  • The Audio Mixer
    • Now anyone can massively improve the audio in their game! Our new Audio Mixer brings nested mixing workflows, with snapshots to capture mixes in different areas of your project, plus industry-standard effects to add immersive new depths.
  • New Physics Engine
    • PhysX 3.3 brings massive performance improvements to 3D physics in Unity 5. New multithreaded simulation is available for platforms that support it, and there’s a new cloth component for character clothing. New wheel colliders bring better support for suspension and tire force simulation. Collision detection is improved and bake-free scaled MeshCollider support is added.
  • A more powerful Animator
    • We added more flexibility to the animation system. Add State Machine Behaviours to states to give precise control of script functions during animation. Anything in your game that requires some kind of State Machine-like logic can now use our visual editor live feedback. A new Asset Creation API is now exposed so animators can now create all sorts of tools to create and edit animation assets.

Other improvements include WebGL Preview, which is a preview of the deployment support for advanced 3D and 2D content in modern browsers. It aims at enhancing support for HTML5 and WebGL applications through Unity Web Player, stating that the new improvements will “deliver performance at native speeds”. Aside from WebGL, Unity 5 now supports iOS Metal Rendering, taking full advantage of iOS hardware in order to achieve greater detail, smoother performance and interactivity in games at a lower CPU usage cost.

Also, Unity 5 along with Oculus are working to “further boost the exceptional frame rates achievable with Unity on the Oculus”. This means we are going to see a lot of developers taking an interest in VR technology and in return, we should expect a lot of titles supporting the technology in the future.

In terms of new features, Unity 5 apparently is heading “to the clouds”. The team has prepared a new feature for developers, namely Unity Cloud Build, along with a set of game performance reporting tools and analytics:

  • Unity Cloud Build
    • Unity Cloud Build brings the magic of build automation to all Unity developers. Unity Cloud Build automates the creation and distribution of builds, by monitoring your team’s source control, and when changes are detected, it builds your project for multiple platforms in the cloud. Your whole team is kept updated with email notifications, making it easy for them to install builds on their devices with the tap of a button.
  • Game Performance Reporting
    • Game Performance Reporting is a new cloud service for Unity Professional customers that provides developers with new tools for improving game performance, starting with a preview of exception logging. Exception Logging captures exceptions in editor, development and release builds, and delivers detailed reports that can be read via a web dashboard.
  • Unity Analytics
    • Our new cloud-based analytics tool is currently in open beta. Unity Analytics provides you with powerful yet simple-to-understand tools that will help you understand your audience and get actionable insights into your players’ behavior. With that knowledge in hand, you can then improve your players’ gaming experience to boost retention, engagement and monetization.

Other improvements and additions are as following:

  • A 64-bit Editor to handle large projects
  • iOS 64-bit support
  • New Deferred Rendering
  • Graphics Command Buffers
  • Improved Linear lighting, HDR, Skybox and Cubemap workflows
  • Improved job scheduling system, plus a new CPU Timeline Profiler lets you see and investigate multicore usage
  • Improved NavMesh pathfinding system
  • Integrated SpeedTree support to create lush, rich and dynamic vegetation
  • New Frame Debugger to track down graphical issues in your projects
  • Improved Project Wizard
  • Updated Standard Assets
  • New UI and scripting APIs for AssetBundle Build system

Lastly, Unity 5 not only brings a lot of changes in terms of features, performance and improvements, but in terms of pricing as well. The team seems to be working with having two “goals” in mind:

Goal #1 — One of the founding principles of Unity is the idea that we work hard to solve very hard technical problems so our developers / users won’t have to. For this to be at all relevant, our best tools need to be a great value.

Goal #2 — Deep in Unity’s culture is the principle of Democracy. The goal is to price in such a way as to reflect our principles. Democracy is the principle we were founded on, and it means we do our best to put Unity in the hands of developers, Indies or Pros, that may not have the resources to pay for it. It’s about enabling most everyone to create with the best tools we can make. I won’t get too soppy in this post — but is an honor for me to work in a company so mission driven and principled.
Unity 5 Personal can be downloaded for free over at Unity’s website.

This is reflected in Unity 5’s pricing. This is why the Personal edition can be downloaded for free over at Unity’s website. However, the free version does not include the analytics, cloud, performance reporting and some other features. This is why the Professional edition comes with a subscription fee of $75/month.

However, the subscription fee mentioned above is just for Indie companies. There are three more subscription options, which include Enterprise, Education and Industry Solutions which are offered to bring the best subscription package for the job at hand. The pricing and more detail about the subscription packages can also be found on Unity’s website.

Sources: Unity Blog, Unity 5

Reliable Tech – Hardware Repair Rate Rankings Released

As computer enthusiasts often get hostile about their favorite brands warranties, returns and reliability, we’ve just been given an insight into hardware failure and warranty rates across popular technology manufacturers.

Only just being released but complied with data relevant prior to October 2014, these statistics will show the top four performers in each category.

Starting with motherboards, the results read:

  • GIGABYTE: 2.51%
  • MSI: 2.65%
  • ASUS: 2.86%
  • ASRock: 2.99%

Before you grab your pitchforks and book the next-leaving flight to the island country of Taiwan, take a close look at the results and think about what you see. The first thing noticeable is that all four of these figures are land within a 0.5% margin, which is a pretty impressive result. Another interesting fact is that of ASUS’s ranking. We’ve just reported that ASUS are looking to out-sell all other brands in 2014, followed next by GIGABYTE, but looking at these statistics shows they aren’t the most reliable.

As with many other things in life (even including CS:GO tournaments), these broad spectrum statistics aren’t a be-all and end-all. Obviously it’s a little damaging for ASRock to be places last in the race and GIGABYTE are sure to have some PR bragging rights given their first place rating – but warranty tracking is often a fickle thing.

If you wish to see the full list of rankings and percentages (and have a translating app or add-on handy), please feel free to check a list compiled here (in Chinese), or the full comprehensive list (in French).

Power supply rankings came in at:

  • FSP Group: 0.83%
  • Be Quiet!: 0.84%
  • Corsair: 1.32%
  • Cooler Master: 1.51% 

The memory (RAM) rankings are:

  • Kingston: 0.36% 
  • Crucial: 0.57%
  • G.Skill: 0.97%
  • Corsair: 1.20%

Graphics card failure rates are slightly higher than any other statistic – ranking from 5.09% down to 2.25%.

  • MSI: 2.25%
  • Gainward: 2.67%
  • GIGABYTE: 2.98%
  • ASUS: 3.00%

It’s also interesting to note that there’s a rather large (in comparison) failure rate here reported of the Radeon R9 280X – coming in at 8.81%.

Hard Drive manufacturers have reported:

  • Seagate: 0.69%
  • Western Digital: 0.93% 
  • HGST: 1.01% (former Hitachi)
  • Toshiba: 1.29%

SSD’s saw most of the lowest rates of failure and a very close race within the top 3:

  • Samsung: 0.24%
  • Intel:  0.27%
  • Sandisk: 0.29%
  • Crucial: 0.57%

Please note that this statistical data has been taken from French online dealers, meaning some companies were not included due to their product sample being too small to manage. But either way this gives you a pretty fair comparison of companies units as a whole.

Coming from my own experience, as a person who’s previously worked in a hardware manufacturing company for 4 years, here’s a few things I’ve noticed about this warranty/failure rate subject:

  • Not every end user will warranty their broken products
  • Warranty percentages can often be skewed by a bad batch of products due to shipment, storage or factory error
  • Warranty percentages are not always reported, double checked, nor stock-taken

Rankings thanks to Hardware.fr

iWatch Rumored To Cost Only $299, Rumored To Bring In $17.5 Billion In Just 12 Months

Smartwatches are still in their early days, having the first of their kind hit the market and manufacturers just started looking on how users are appreciating and utilizing the gadgets. Some may not be so awesome as the Galaxy Gear, but others have potential, having Pebble, Toq and other in mind. More are to come, but we will just have to wait and see what their impact will be when people start using them.

However, Apple is one of the main manufacturers which people are looking forward to bring the ‘revolutionary’ smartwatch to the stage, the iWatch. According to analyst Katy Huberty from Morgan Stanley predicted that Apple may sell $17.5 billion worth of iWatches in 12 months after the gadget’s initial release. Currently, it appears that there is no way of telling for certain when, or even if, Apple will launch its rumored smartwatch, but it could happen somewhere at the end of this year.

But having to believe the news about Apple selling more iWatches to customers who do not own an iOS device is proven hard to believe at the moment. The iWatch is rumored to be priced at $299, the same price rumored for the upcoming second generation of Galaxy Gear announced by Samsung which is bound to hit the stores in September. Whether it is a market strategy or coincidence, we will never know for sure until we see both competing on the selves.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information

Futuremark Releases The Basic and Advanced Versions Of PCMark 8

 

Futuremark has finally released the basic and advanced version of its latest PCMark 8 benchmarking engine. PCMark 8 is similar to the well-known 3DMark, having a modified UI which is reported to be touchscreen friendly. It also breaks up the benchmark into five tests, which are Home, Creative, Work, Storage, and Applications.

The Creative test is a superset of the Home and Work tests, and likewise Home is a superset of Work, but the overall scores in each category can still vary depending on the capabilities of the device being tested. Storage focuses on your storage device, and it can take a while to run on an SSD never mind waiting around for a hard drive. The Applications suite is said to require Microsoft Office 2010 or newer and Adobe Creative Cloud in order to run. Also included as part of the overall package are battery life tests for the Home, Creative, and Work suites.

The Basic edition only includes the Home, Creative, and Work benchmarks, along with the battery life tests, while the Advanced version adds the Storage and Applications suites. PCMark is likely to be the most common choice of every gamer and enthusiast for the most accurate benchmarking statistics, having following in the steps of 3DMark. The Advanced version of PCMark 8 can be bought at a price of $49,95 (or from Steam at a limited 20% off sale – $37,49), while the Basic version can be downloaded from Futuremark’s website.

Thank you Anandtech for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Futuremark

PC Sales Dropped In 2013, Statistics Say

PC sales have soared last year, especially during the Christmas holidays, where Gartner reported it being the worst decline in sales since PCs and laptops became a necessity in people’s homes. The reason, as we all are probably aware of, is the appreciation of mobile devices, and Gartner states that during the holidays it marked the seventh consecutive quarter of decreasing PC sales.

PC sales went down 10 percent, while shipments of desktop and laptop computers had never slipped by more than four percent in any other previous year. The other annual declines occurred in 2001, in the midst of a technology bust driven by a collapse in the Internet sector, and in 2012, which marked the early stages of the migration to tablet computers

Around 316 million PCs were shipped last year, according to Gartner. That means PCs have backtracked to roughly the same level as in 2009 when the worldwide economy was struggling to get back in track after the Great Recession. Even more, Gartner predicts that PC sales are expected to drop this year even further than last year.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

Game of Thrones Held The Title Of The Most Pirated Show In 2013

HBO’s Game of Thrones is a very popular TV series, there is no denying that fact. We often get to hear exactly how popular this series is when it smashes all piracy records. Earlier this year we reported that Game of Thrones season 3 finale had become the top BitTorrent download and also the most pirated show in the U.S. “sprint season.” So it shouldn’t come as surprise to see that this very series has turned out to be the most pirated show of 2013. It has actually held on that title for two years in a row.

AMC came in second and third, its insanely popular series Breaking Bad was at No.2 with the series finale being downloaded illegally over 4.2 million times. Breaking Bad was trailed by AMC’s The Walking Dead, another hit series, which saw roughly 3.6 million downloads for an episode that hasn’t been named. The Big Bang Theory, Dexter, How I Met Your Mother, Suits, Homeland, Viking and Arrow complete the rest of the list, released by the folks at TorrentFreak. Sure there has been a lot of hue and cry about online piracy and how these illegal downloads are costing studios an insane amount of money, its safe to say that the pirates aren’t going away anytime soon.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

Google To Develop ‘Mobile Meter’ App

Although Google knows best how people use the internet,  it also wants to dig a little deeper and monitor the app usage as well. It appears that the company is developing a new mobile apps that compensate users if they allow their mobile behavior to be monitored. From what we know, the project is called “Mobile Meter” and uses iOS and Android apps that intelligently monitor app usage and web browsing habits and send the data back to Google.

Google confirmed the development of the new apps later on, which it says are part of its Screenwise market research project that began rolling out last year. The Mobile Meter apps will replace an older method that allowed panelists to participate, helping Google measure media consumption across all screens but with more accurate results on mobile. Both the Android and iOS apps will be submitted to their relevant app stores in the near future, although only panelists will be able to actually use them. The company states that while there isn’t an open call for volunteers right now, it recruits for panels on an ongoing basis and compensation varies based on the panels people participate in.

The company already passively collects data to improve its apps and resources. The Google Maps app for example, regularly feeds back location metrics to enhance the service. Since Google won’t comment, we don’t know exactly which app and web metrics it intends to track with Mobile Meter. However, it will presumably enable the company to evaluate the different habits of Android and iOS users, gaining an important insight into Apple’s ecosystem. Google will anonymize all of the information it collects to ensure the privacy of its panelists. Given Facebook and Google’s previous mistakes, where private information was made public, Google will need to be transparent over how the opt-in service uses the data it gathers.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Endgadget.