he holidays are upon us, and shoppers are in the midst of researching the latest and greatest high-tech gifts. We decided to go straight to the source, asking top tech experts which gadgets they’ve had their eyes on this year. Whether they want to give these products as a gift or receive one for themselves, here are the products that top Forbes Technology Council members’ lists.
1. Apple Watch Series 4
While many people have considered the Apple Watch to be superfluous, unnecessary technology for technology’s sake, the latest version is, in fact, a boon to geriatric healthcare. With fall detection and the ability to monitor your vitals and call emergency services, there’s now a much more fashionable alternative to “life alert” technologies that your grandparents may want to wear. – David Isaac Murray, Doctor.com
2. HTC Vive
An HTC Vive works well with everyone, ranging from adults to young children. I took my kids to a VR gaming arcade and it was heaven. My youngest doesn’t understand that it’s just a headset. He thinks he’s actually transported to a different world. It’s unreal! If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out. – Matthew Barlocker, Blue Matador 3. Apple’s AirPower Wireless Charging Mat
It’s more on the wish list for Apple to release it than it is on my personal wish list. With a growing number of electronic devices, it has become cumbersome to keep track of different charging cables or even wireless chargers. The AirPower wireless charging mat is a nice initiative to remove the need for separate charging resources for multiple devices. Hopefully, it comes out this holiday season. – Vikram Joshi, pulsd
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.
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.
…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.
Young students form a line as they walk to classes after morning assembly in New Delhi, India. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)
In a world where kids already seem to be spending far too much time staring at screens, how do you keep them intellectually challenged without giving them any gadgets?
That’s the problem that Chennai startup Flinto Learning Solutions is seeking to address. Flinto is a reference to flint stones and how early humans created fire. It’s a nod to how the company would like to ignite young minds.
The five-year-old company that was founded by three dads has become a leading player in the early childhood education segment. It provides learning kits and activity boxes to children and to mom-and-pop preschools on a subscription basis. It’s raised $9.5 million in funding to date, the latest of which was a debt investment round in August. Flinto’s investors include venture capital firms Globevestor from the U.S. and India’s Lightbox.
Chennai’s Flinto Learning Solutions provides subscription-based activity boxes and kits for toddlers and kids up to the age of 12. (Source: Flinto Learning Solutions)Flinto Learning Solutions
Flinto said that it made $2.7 million in the past year, and is already profitable at the operational level. It’s looking to make $6 million in the upcoming year. It’s reached more than 500,000 children across 1,000 cities. Flinto is currently shipping to Singapore, Malaysia, Qatar, the UAE, Laos, Indonesia and Kuwait. It sends out 80,000 kits a month, both domestic and overseas.
The company’s cofounders: Arunprasad Durairaj, 37, Vijaybabu Gandhi, 38, and Shreenidhi SP, 36, who had all worked for Tata Consultancy Services at one point, started Flinto when they realized that their own kids were in need of more intellectually stimulating activities. The three of them brainstormed and wanted to see if they could put together toys, activities and books that would help parents.
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.
The market is likely to decline this week as the correction resumes after the brief rally of the last twoweeks. The drop will likely complete by the 19th.
The seasonal cycle for Micron Technology falls from November 8th to the 20th, Micron’s weakest period in the month of November. In addition, the weekly cycle of Micron Technology turned down on October 4th. Six of the last seven sell signals have been successful. The stock could decline to $93.4 to $92.0 in the coming week. The cycle does not bottom until the 22nd, but traders may wish to take profits by the 19th.
The Micron cycle peaks this week.Cycles Research Investments LLC
The stock is overbought and relative strength is weak.Cycles Research Investments LLC
Facebook is likely to decline this week. There is a cycle peak on the 13th. Ten of twelve sell signals have been profitable in the last year. The stock is overbought daily and relative strength has hit a new low. The $139 level, the October 29th low, is a downside target.
LAM Research was featured in a posting on September 23rd as a short. The stock has declined from $154.70 to $147.85. All six sell signals in the last year have been profitable. The $141-$143 level is a reasonable downside minimum target.
I bought my first stock in 1966 and then obtained my BS in banking in 1971 and MBA in corporate finance in 1972 from NYU. A study cycles began in the same year. A 9-year psychotherapeutic training apprenticeship followed. Many of my concepts concerning crowd psychology deriv…
It sounds incredibly dystopian, and like a nod to Spike Jonze’s 2013 movie Her, but Viv Labs CEO Dag Kittlaus shared his quirky-sounding vision for the future of gadgets and machines during a discussion this week as part of the Samsung Developer Conference. One day, he imagines, you’re going to make a tech purchase of some kind, take it home, pull it out of the box, plug it in — and it’s just going to start talking to you. Politely, like a friend, in a kind of high-tech superseding of the days when you had to navigate start menus and read instructions. It will just know who you are, what you like (thanks to pre-loaded data), and will ask you what you want to do next.
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“I have a vision — and I think a lot of us here at Samsung share this vision — where it’s not just about buying a cool, shiny object anymore,” said Kittlaus, who’s also a co-creator of Apple’s Siri. “I can imagine a day where every time you buy a Samsung product, you literally take it out of the box, plug it in, authenticate yourself somehow and it says, ‘Hi Spike, how’s it going today? I just downloaded your favorite preferences. Do you have any questions on how to use me?”
The reference to Spike was because Jonze himself, along with Samsung CMO Marc Mathieu, were onstage with Kittlaus, who painted an ambitious future for a company that makes and ships 500 million TVs, dishwashers, appliances and other gadgets each year.
“It knows you,” Kittlaus continued, as reported by VentureBeat, “and that is sort of the first step toward moving from, ‘Wow, this is a really cool, shiny new device’ to creating an emotional relationship with a brand or a company that has gone so far as to take these ideas and really turn them into products, where it just makes you feel good when you pull it out of the box. And it knows you, and it knows your past and it can help you.”
It’s yet another radical vision of the future to come out of Samsung’s conference this week, the highlight of which has arguably been its long-awaited reveal of a foldable smartphone display. Samsung, however, also showed off a new version of its Bixby virtual assistant that’s based on technology developed by Kittlaus’ Viv Labs. Samsung’s mobile chief DJ Koh reiterated the 500 million shipments figure during the conference, and when you couple that with the company committing to put AI into all of its devices over the next two years, you quickly see how comments and ideas like Kittlaus’ this week shouldn’t be ignored. As he sees it, it’s a matter of when, not if, we’ll find it utter commonplace to talk to most, if not all, of our tech gadgets.