Celebrity Edge Sails In Innovative Technology

Celebrity Edge, the newest vessel in the Celebrity Cruises’ fleet, set sail in late November 2018. Photo courtesy of Celebrity CruisesPhoto courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

For Celebrity Cruises, 2018 has ended on a high note, with the arrival of the Celebrity Edge at Port Everglades’ Terminal 25 (T25) in Hollywood, FL in late November. Along with being the latest addition to Celebrity Cruises’ fleet in six years, the Celebrity Edge is bringing innovative technology on the high seas and taking guest experiences to an immersive level.

The Celebrity Edge‘s ship-climbing Magic Carpet platform is an engineering marvel.Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

One eye-catching engineering feat is the Magic Carpet, a cantilevered venue being tangerine in color and size of a tennis court. When positioned along various deck levels, the Magic Carpet can become an exclusive restaurant or an open-air expansion of the ship’s main pool area or a component to the ship’s Destination Gateway, a luxury embarkation station for boarding the adjacent Edge Launches departure vessels.

Dining gets illuminated as well. Inside Le Grand Bistro, one of the ship’s 29 food and beverage offerings that reflects a French bistro, passengers will be entertained by “Le Petit Chef and Friends,” an animated tabletop 4D presentation. Then there’s Eden, an outward facing space is described as being part culinary experience, part performance venue.

“Le Petit Chef and Friends” is an animated 4D delight to watch onboard Celebrity Edge.Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises


Nokia 8.1 goes on pre-order in Taiwan, comes with a free case

The Nokia 8.1, the global version of the Nokia X7 is now available to order in Taiwan after going official yesterday.

The phone is priced at NT$ 9,990 (€285), which is a significant step down from its projected €400 ($454) price in Europe. Nokia Taiwan even bundles a clear case with the phone and also offer the official flip case at a discounted price of NT$ 22 ($0.71). So far it looks like the only available color is Steel. Pre-orders are live now and shipments are expected to start on December 12.

The United Arab Emirates are expected to start Nokia 8.1 pre-orders later today at a price of AED 1,500 ($410).

The Nokia 8.1 packs a 6.18-inch IPS LCD of 1080x2280px resolution, a Snapdragon 710 chipset with 6GB of RAM, a 3,500mAh battery and a dual 12MP + 13MP main camera at the back.


This week in games: Obsidian teases a game reveal, the FTC pledges to look into loot boxes

Obsidian game tease
IDG / Hayden Dingma

We’re in a bit of a lull here. Next week is the Game Awards, a.k.a. that one random point in the winter where we get a bunch of game announcements—and Geoff Keighley gives out a few awards too, if we’re lucky. This week’s all lead-up to that slew of trailers, basically.

But luckily we were off last week for Thanksgiving, so we’ve got two slim weeks of news to recap. Turns out two boring weeks is almost equivalent to one good week, so let’s dig into the FTC’s loot box investigation, Obsidian’s new game tease, Dragon Age…something, Life is Strange 2 and Pathologic 2 and the future of episodic games, and more.

This is gaming news for November 26(ish) to 30.

Anthem alpha and Dragon Age

BioWare’s got a double dose of news this week. First up, Anthem—the game we do know about. It’s set to release in February, less than three months from now if you can believe it. No surprise then that EA’s running a closed alpha December 8 and 9. If you sign up before December 3 you’ll have a chance to participate, though you might want to look over the rules first.

Then there’s the more exciting news, which is a potential Dragon Age reveal set for December—perhaps at the Game Awards, though Casey Hudson’s blog post doesn’t say for sure. Keep an eye out for more soon.


Just a few weeks ago Microsoft announced it acquired Obsidian, which called into question the state of Obsidian’s current projects. We won’t have to wait long for more news apparently, as Obsidian’s currently teasing an announcement for next week’s Game Awards, most likely the project it’s been working on with Take Two. If you head to Obsidian’s site right now you’ll see some odd ads that look vaguely Fallout-esque. Could it be a spiritual successor to Fallout: New Vegas? Or even a spiritual successor to the old isometric Fallouts?

Can’t wait to find out.

Obsidian game tease

IDG / Hayden Dingman

Weight and see

Speaking of Fallout, Bethesda announced its first changes to Fallout 76 this week. Some of these had been discussed before, but we now have a timeline and a few more details. By December 4 the stash limit will increase to 600 pounds, which Bethesda admits is “somewhat conservative,” but it wants to see how the increase affects server load. Then by December 11 the PC version will receive push-to-talk and ultrawide capabilities, as well as an FOV slider. There’s more to see in the official blog post, but these are the highlights. None of it really addresses Fallout 76’s fundamental issues, but at least those enjoying it for what it is will have a slightly smoother experience.

Begun, the Clone Wars have

Anyone still playing Star Wars Battlefront II? Anyone? I’ll admit, it’s been almost a year since I properly checked in on the game. First impressions count, and Battlefront II made a very bad one. But for those who stuck it out, DICE is finally getting around to releasing one of the most iconic conflicts from the original Battlefront II, the Battle of Geonosis. Ewan McGregor is along for the ride too, and those cool six-legged robot-tanks.

The wait is strange, too

Are episodic games over? Telltale shut down, Hitman 2 went back to a full-fledged retail release. It seems like the era has passed us by.

Not helping matters is Life is Strange 2, the first episode of which released in September. History tells us another episode should be releasing around now, but instead Dontnod said this week to expect a January 2019 release—four months after Episode 1. I want them to get it right, of course, but I also don’t want any game to take almost two years from beginning to end. Hell, I barely remember the finer details of Episode 1 already as it is.

Maybe it’s time to retire episodic releases for good.

Pathologic 2.1

…Or maybe not. Ice Pick Lodge announced this week that Pathologic 2, the long-awaited remake/reboot/sequel to cult classic Pathologic, will be released episodically starting in 2019. Like its predecessor, Pathologic 2 is a story told through the viewpoints of three different characters and will be released in corresponding chunks—first the Haruspex’s tale, then sometime later the Bachelor and the Changeling’s stories. Can’t wait? Well, you could always play Pathologic Classic HD instead.


The Yakuza games, long a PlayStation exclusive, started trickling onto PC this past summer with the release of Yakuza 0. It’s been silent since then though, which makes even a hint of news worth mentioning. One Andrew Marmo spotted a listing on SteamDB for Yakuza Kiwami this week, indicating the release isn’t too far off. Hopefully after its official arrival we get some news about the rest of the series too. (Via PC Gamer)


Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is one of the few releases left in 2018 that I’m still anticipating, blending XCOM with a just plain weird post-apocalyptic setting. Up until now we’ve seen a lot of Dux and Bormin, a mutant duck-man and pig-man, respectively. Now, just in time for launch, we’re getting a glimpse of Farrow the mutant fox-lady. Love it.

NieRly Game of the Year

Nier: Automata made its way onto our Game of the Year list last year, despite the PC version being pretty damn busted. And it’s still busted, almost two years later—which makes it a bit bizarre to hear Platinum’s reportedly prepping NieR: Automata – Game of the YoRHa Edition for PC. Will that version run? And more importantly, will the original version finally be patched? We’ll find out soon, I guess.


Health Expert Luke Coutinho Tells Us How This Lifestyle Change Can Help In Weight Loss!

Health Expert Luke Coutinho Tells Us How This Lifestyle Change Can Help In Weight Loss!

Do you eat late night dinners? It might take a toll on your body. Luke Coutinho in his recent live Facebook video addresses the issue of eating late dinners and how it adversely affects our bodies. Whether your goal is losing weight, body fat or detoxifying the body eating early dinners can make a significant impact on your life. To keep your body fit and healthy, skipping your meals might not be a wise option, especially at night. Many people think that skipping dinner can aid in weight loss. When you skip a meal, the body starts to crave for food, thus making you overeat whenever you eat. Having an early dinner offers several health benefits. It helps you to lead a better lifestyle and will have a positive impact on your overall health. It’s never too late to make a lifestyle change. If you eat late night dinner, it is time you think over it and try eat early dinners. If you eat your dinner at nine in the night try eating at eight and then gradually at seven in the evening.



OnePlus leads premium smartphone segment in India, pips Apple, Samsung: IDC report

Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus has emerged as the market leader in premium smartphone brand in India, according to leading market research firm IDC’s Q3 2018 Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report.

The device maker led the USD 400+ premium segment with 37 percent market share with Apple and Samsung trailing behind at second and third position respectively.

In addition to leading the premium segment, OnePlus also clocked its highest shipment ever in a single quarter, which led to pushing the average selling price in the online space to USD 166 in 3Q18 from USD 156 in 3Q17.

“OnePlus climbed to the leadership position at the back of OnePlus 6, surpassing Samsung and Apple. With its dedicated community building activities and high decibel promotional activities on social media platforms, the vendor has been gradually scaling up in volumes,” Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, IDC India said.

oneplus market share

After making its debut in 2014, OnePlus’ popularity has taken huge strides as the smartphone maker consistently launched devices with flagship level specifications at an affordable price.

While one can attribute OnePlus’ recent success to a strong word-of-mouth and positive reviews from tech pundits for its recently-launched flagship smartphone, it has tweaked its strategy for the OnePlus 6T.

In order to increase its reach into the tier-II and tier-III cities, the company moved away from its online-only strategy and tied up with leading offline players such as Croma outlets and Reliance Digital outlets pan-India.

OnePlus 6T, the company’s most recent flagship smartphone, sports features such as 6.41-inch Optic AMOLED display, Snapdragon 845, in-screen fingerprint sensor. The device is available in 6GB/128GB, 8GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB variants and has been priced at Rs 37,999, Rs 41,999 and Rs 45,999 respectively.

The device is available for purchase from Amazon.in, oneplus.in, Croma stores, Reliance Digital stores along with all OnePlus exclusive offline stores. It has been launched in midnight black, mirror black and thunder purple colour variants. Thunder purple, which is a special edition, will be available only in the 8/128 GB variant and will retail at Rs 41,999


Twitter bots spread misinformation in 2016 US election: Study

Automated Twitter accounts or “bots” played a disproportionate role in spreading misinformation online during the 2016 US presidential election, according to a study.

The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, analysed 14 million messages and 400,000 articles shared on Twitter between May 2016 and March 2017.

The period spans the end of the 2016 presidential primaries and the presidential inauguration on January 20, 2017.

Researchers from Indiana University in the US found that a mere six per cent of Twitter accounts that the study identified as bots were enough to spread 31 per cent of the “low-credibility” information on the network.

These accounts were also responsible for 34 per cent of all articles shared from “low-credibility” sources, they found.

The study also found that bots played a major role promoting low-credibility content in the first few moments before a story goes viral.

The brief length of this time — 2 to 10 seconds — highlights the challenges of countering the spread of misinformation online, researchers said.

Similar issues are seen in other complex environments like the stock market, where serious problems can arise in mere moments due to the impact of high-frequency trading.

“This study finds that bots significantly contribute to the spread of misinformation online — as well as shows how quickly these messages can spread,” said Filippo Menczer, a professor at Indiana University.

The analysis also revealed that bots amplify a message’s volume and visibility until it’s more likely to be shared broadly — despite only representing a small fraction of the accounts that spread viral messages.

“People tend to put greater trust in messages that appear to originate from many people,” said Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia, an assistant research scientist at Indiana University.

“Bots prey upon this trust by making messages seem so popular that real people are tricked into spreading their messages for them,” Ciampaglia said.

Information sources labelled as low-credibility in the study were identified based upon their appearance on lists produced by independent third-party organisations of outlets that regularly share false or misleading information.

These sources — such as websites with misleading names like “USAToday.com.co” — include outlets with both right- and left-leaning points of view, researchers said.

They also identified other tactics for spreading misinformation with Twitter bots.

These included amplifying a single tweet — potentially controlled by a human operator –across hundreds of automated retweets; repeating links in recurring posts; and targeting highly influential accounts.

For instance, the study cites a case in which a single account mentioned @realDonaldTrump in 19 separate messages about millions of illegal immigrants casting votes in the presidential election — a false claim that was also a major administration talking point.

The researchers also ran an experiment inside a simulated version of Twitter.

They found that the deletion of 10 per cent of the accounts in the system — based on their likelihood to be bots — resulted in a major drop in the number of stories from low-credibility sources in the network.

“This experiment suggests that the elimination of bots from social networks would significantly reduce the amount of misinformation on these networks,” Menczer said.


PC market in India grows 20.2% QoQ to 2.7 mn units in September quarter

PC shipment in India grew 20.2 per cent in the July-September period to 2.71 million units against the previous quarter, driven by strong growth in commercial and consumer segments, as per research firm IDC.

IDC, in its report, noted that while shipment had grown sequentially, the sales had declined by 10.6 per cent compared to July-September 2017 quarter “owing to increased sell-in due to goods and services tax (GST) implementation in Q3 2017”.

“While the excitement at the premium end of the market will remain and is expected to grow further, IDC expects overall India personal computer (PC) market to decline due to Intel chip shortages and also on account of post Diwali slowdown of the market,” Navkendar Singh, Associate Research Director (Client Devices and IPDS) at IDC India, said.

OEMs are also expected to revamp their portfolio with new product launches in mid to premium segment in the next few months, Singh added.

HP led the tally with 30.7 per cent market share, followed by Dell (22.9 per cent), Lenovo (21.3 per cent) and Acer (12.1 per cent) in the September 2018 quarter.

Ongoing global enterprise account refresh and fulfilment of spill-over education projects are expected to drive the commercial segment contribution in the fourth quarter of 2018, he said.

The consumer PC market recorded an overall shipment of 1.45 million units in the September 2018 quarter — a growth of 33.9 per cent over the last quarter.

“Increase in discretionary spending aided by consumer financing schemes provided a strong momentum to premium device like gaming notebooks. Festive season buying, and online sales also resulted in increased consumer spending,” IDC India Research Manager (IPDS and PC) Nishant Bansal said.

IDC noted that e-tailers also contributed to the growth “with their multiple efforts on wider product portfolio availability and affordability efforts like easy financing and EMI” in partnership with almost all the major vendors.

The commercial PC market registered a sequential growth of 7.5 per cent to 1.25 million units in the said quarter compared to April-June 2018 quarter.


Walgreens and Humana are reportedly in talks to take stakes in each other

A customer views merchandise for sale at a Walgreens store in the Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Christopher Lee | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A customer views merchandise for sale at a Walgreens store in the Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance and health insurer Humana are in preliminary talks to take stakes in each other, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.

The two are also in discussions about potentially expanding their current partnership that serves seniors, the report added. The report cautioned that such talks are preliminary, and there is no guarantee of a deal.

Shares of Walgreens were up less than 1 percent in trading after the market’s close, while shares of Humana were unchanged.

The discussions are a sign of the disruption facing pharmacies and health insurance companies, as both industries face new pressures. Consumers can now get their household goods online and in convenience stores. The health-care industry is undergoing dramatic transformation amid regulatory scrutiny over rising costs.

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Some competitors have already made their move. Amazon recently acquired online pharmacy PillPack. CVS Health last year announced its $69 billion acquisition of Aetna, which will combine CVS’ pharmacy and pharmacy benefits manager platform with Aetna’s insurance business.

Walgreens has been hoping to position itself as more of a broader health-care company helping to transform patient experience, while lowering costs. To this end Walgreen has been signing deals with a number of health-care companies including Humana and diagnostics company LabCorp.

It has also explored a number of options, including a potential deal with AmerisourceBergen. Talks with the wholesale drug distributor ended without an agreement last year.

Pharmacy sales account for almost 70 percent of Walgreens’ U.S. revenue. In the less competitive international retail environment, Walgreens garners about 35 percent of its sales from its pharmacy.


Here are the scandals and other incidents that have sent Facebook’s share price tanking in 2018

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., listens during the Viva Technology conference in Paris, France, on Thursday, May 24, 2018. 

Marlene Awaad | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., listens during the Viva Technology conference in Paris, France, on Thursday, May 24, 2018.

Facebook shares finished Tuesday at $132.43, up slightly from $131.55 on Monday, the company’s lowest closing share price in nearly 22 months.

The decline comes after yet another major scandal for Facebook in what has been a tumultuous year for the company. After peaking in July, shares of the tech company are down almost 40 percent.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify following a break during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

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Here’s a list of the numerous mistakes, scandals and other events in 2018 that have pummeled Facebook’s stock price into its current spiral.

News Feed changes

Facebook’s first big share price fall came in January when the company on announced major changes to news feed, one of its top products. Those changes included prioritizing content from users’ friends and family over content from brands they follow.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he expected that the time users spend on Facebook and their engagement with the service would decline as a result. Those warnings sent Wall Street into a panic, with the company’s share price closing down more than 4 percent on Jan. 12. The drop slashed Facebook’s market value by $24.5 billion, which is more than the total value of Twitter.

Cambridge Analytica

Facebook shares experienced a similar slide in March when the New York Times and The Guardian reported how Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm, had exploited Facebook to collect the data of more than 50 million users without their permission. Cambridge Analytica was then used by the Trump campaign in 2016 to target voters.

Facebook tried to get ahead of the reports by suspending the consulting firm on March 16, but the reports’ still had impact. The company’s share price closed down nearly 7 percent on March 19, the next day of trading, and Facebook’s market value fell by more than $36 billion, nearly twice the total market cap Snap held at that time.

Zuckerberg accepts Washington’s invitation

Facebook shares fell almost 5 percent on March 27 when reports broke that Zuckerberg had decided to testify before Congress. The decision came as pressure mounted on Facebook, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Just one day prior, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it would investigate Facebook’s data practices.

The day cost Facebook’s market cap nearly $23 billion. That’s almost three times how much Macy’s was valued at the time.

Facebook reveals its community standards

Facebook’s share price fell by almost 4 percent on April 24 after the company published its rules that outline what content that is not allowed on its social network.

The Community Standards were published as Facebook continued to clean up its services of harmful content, such as misinformation, hate speech and spam. The document was released one day before Facebook’s first earnings report since the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Facebook saw its market value sink nearly $18 billion that day, which is a little more than the total value of Dish Network at the time.

Executive exodus

Facebook has seen a flurry of top executives leave the company throughout 2018. It’s tough to quantify the effect that these departures have had on the company’s share price, but one in particular had an impact.

The first was the departure of Jan Koum, the co-founder of WhatsApp. The company’s stock price fell by almost 1 percent on April 30 after Koum announced his exit. Koum was one of Facebook’s top shareholders after selling WhatsApp to the social network in 2014 for $19 billion.

Facebook’s market cap floundered by almost $5 billion that day, the equivalent of Foot Locker’s total value at the time.


Macbook Air (2018) vs old MacBook Air: What’s really new in the Rs 1,14,900 new Apple laptop

<p>Nearly 10 years after the launch of the first MacBook Air by the late Steve Jobs, his successor Tim Cook presented on Tuesday the latest version of this PC, just 1.56 cm thick, compared to 1.94 cm (0.75 inches).<br> <br> This model was made with 100 percent recycled aluminum and recycled plastic, a change which reduces its carbon footprint, Apple said.<br> <br> In its most basic model, with 128 gigabytes of memory, the MacBook Air will be available November 7 in the United States at a price of $1,199, which is $200 more than the simplest current version of the computer.</p>

Nearly 10 years after the launch of the first MacBook Air by the late Steve Jobs, his successor Tim Cook pr… Read More

NEW DELHI: The Macbook Air has always been the most affordable Apple laptop in India that people had mostly aspired to buy. In the recent festive sales, the 2017 model of the Apple MacBook Air was available for as low as Rs 48,000 after cashback offers on e-commerce websites that made it a great buy for day-to-day usage Now, Apple has finally launched the next-generation MacBook Air. The starting prices of the new MacBook Air is Rs 1,14,900. So, does it still make sense to buy the old one or should you wait for the new MacBook Air to start selling in India?

Before talking about the price difference, let’s recalll the ideal purpose of the MacBook Air. The MacBook Air has never been a workhorse and was always meant for day-to-day regular usage. While for a market like India, the older MacBook Air(2017) still makes sense for people who just wants a reliable Mac for regular usage. Also, the new 2018 model is bound to give second thoughts to consumers, given its high price.

Apple Macbook Air: Original vs New

As far as the user experience is concerned, it would be very difficult to judge the performance in regular day-to-day jobs. Having said that when it comes to be prowess and display capabilities, the new MacBook Air is bound to please you.

Design-wise, the new MacBook Air is thinner and comes with a better Retina Display. Apple claims four times the pixels of the regular display. While the display quality claim remains to be tested, the new MacBook Air comes with Touch ID support. This means the Apple MacBook Air finally gets fingerprint support in 2018.

You can also use your fingerprint to access locked documents, notes and system settings, without entering the password.

The new Apple MacBook Air is powered by the T2 security chip which also enables support for ‘Hey Siri assistance.’

As far as the user experience is concerned, the new MacBook Air comes with ‘butterfly mechanism’ keyboard for better key stability than a traditional scissor. Thankfully the keys are individual LED-backlit keys with an ambient light sensor helping you type in low-light environments.

Apple has included a slightly bigger force TouchPad. The new MacBook Air comes with an eight-generation 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with up to 16GB of RAM and 1.5 TB of internal storage.
The screen size is similar with 13.3 LED backlight technology and IPS support along with Intel Graphics 617 UHD graphics comes with slightly better battery life