IMAC WITH RETINA 5K DISPLAY FIRST IMPRESSIONS: A SCREEN IN WHICH TO LOSE ONESELF

Apple’s new iMac boasts a screen with an almost preposterous resolution of 5180×2880 pixels, which makes it the world’s highest resolution display. The screen is the key ingredient here, despite changes under the hood, and after a couple of days of use, it’s still the screen that (stating the obvious here) catches my eye.

Amid the flurry and elbow-throwing of the Apple hands-on room at their unveiling event this past Thursday, truly coming to grips with the quality of the iMac’s screen wasn’t really possible – only when I got my review unit home and stared at it untroubled by throngs of competing journalists was it clear just how much of an achievement Apple has pulled off here.

It’s even more apparent in my home desktop setup, where the new iMac is flanked by a 2011 27-inch iMac on the left, and a 27-inch Thunderbolt display on the right: The iMac with Retina 5K display is far and away the best visual experience ever produced, for any kind of computing device, and likely for any kind of A/V device, period. It’s easy to make a big screen look good when it’s designed to be seen from five or more feet back; this iMac is made for use with only a couple of feet at most between it and the viewer, and it looks absolutely stunning even when seen with a gap of just a few inches.

retina-imac

What’s even more amazing is that the display quality doesn’t seem to come with any trade-offs – it’s brighter and has better contrast and color rendering than the two Apple-made monitors flanking it on my desktop currently, which is no small feat. Performance doesn’t stutter, and you don’t even see the kind of minor visual hiccups on image-rich pages that we witnessed with early Retina MacBook Pro tech. When you can find 4K video samples (which took some digging), they render beautifully, but even standard HD content upscales remarkably well.

This isn’t just a video and image geek’s dream machine, however: Text on the new iMac is rendered with a whole new level of crispness and legibility. More than once, I’ve found myself staring at a block of text not because I’m engrossed in the content, but because I’m infatuated with the detail and quality of the rendered type.

Our full review will go into much more detail, but suffice it to say for now, the new iMac’s display alone is worth the price of admission.

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CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE LAUNCH TRAILER HAS GUNS, KEVIN SPACEY, DOUBLE XP

Sure there’s guns galore in this Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare launch trailer, but virtual Kevin Spacey overshadows all of them. Pre-ordering will get you 24 hour early access (along with double XP and a bunch of guns) but really, we just want more…

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GGJ Welcomes 2015 Jam Sites

Global Game Jam 2014 sites in Google Maps

Hello everyone! My name is Ciro Durán, and I’m the Executive Producer for the Global Game Jam 2015. I welcome everyone to the biggest, funnest game development event in the world. We’ve been working a lot to make things a lot easier for you as a site organizer, and I’m sure we will all have a lot of fun during the weekend of January 23th to 25th, 2015. I hope to see many returning sites (see this map for all the sites) and countries, but I’d also be delighted to see new ones! That’s where you enter: when you sign up for a Global Game Jam site, you will not be alone. You will receive a lot of the knowledge we, as organizers, have accumulated throughout all these years.

I know that the idea of organizing a game jam might seem strange, or even terrifying, but allow me to tell you a story. I’m from Caracas, Venezuela, and I’ve been collaborating with the Global Game Jam since its first edition in 2009. Back in 2008, when the call for sites was put up, no event like that had been done in my country, let alone in my city. I asked the question, with real doubts, in my blog and to friends and acquaintances: “A game jam in Caracas? Would you participate?”, and the answer was a resounding yes! At that moment, we were working mostly guided by the instinct of keeping participants happy. We now have people that actually expect to participate, save the date, and have discussions regarding to what they will do. But even so, it has been always a challenge each year for me and my team to craft a game jam that leaves a good experience for everyone. If I could summarize the experience of organizing a site in one sentence, it’s like organizing a party for friends: they know what to do, you just provide for them so they can focus on making great games.

Remember this event is not only for videogames: we welcome and encourage experimentation in games, so board and card games are also an important part of the event. So if you think you’re up to the challenge, click on Start a 2015 Jam Site and join the fun!

Participants at the Caracas Game Jam 2014

event home site:http://globalgamejam.org/

ANDROID LOLLIPOP VS ANDROID KITKAT?

Interface, design and notifications

There was plenty of debate over what the new version of Android would be called, with “Lemon Meringue” and even the controversial “Licorice” said to have been in the running at various points.

Thankfully the lovable “Lollipop” won out, as Google revealed when it unveiled the new Android update today, but the name is hardly all that’s been improved since the last version.

Here’s exactly how Android 5.0 stacks up to Android KitKat.

Material world

Android Lollipop is the biggest change to Android in some time, finally bumping Google’s OS up a full integer to version 5.0.

It’s packed with changes, but the most obvious improvements are visual.

Google’s been working on getting its new “Material Design” aesthetic out in the world for months, and Lollipop is its culmination. One of Android’s biggest failings up to date – including with KitKat – has been that its design language never felt unified, and with Material Design Google hopes to fix that.

Material Design

The aesthetic is meant to look both flat and 3D, as if you’re starting at animated paper that exists on a z-axis as well as the x and y.

Material Design reflects this with clean, bold lines and colors that transform and alter with fun animations. At its best it lets you sense the depth behind the interface, even when it’s at rest and appears flat.

This extends from app icons, fonts and interfaces to simple elements like the new navigation buttons and notification bar icons, and once you get past the changes you’ll likely agree that most things look better now.

The changes to Android’s interface with Lollipop aren’t all visual, either – voice commands with “OK Google” are more prominent now as well, and can even be used when the screen is locked and off on some devices, and there are massive improvements to notifications.

Notifications

Notifications are one of the most prominent ways we interact with our devices, and they’ve been significantly overhauled in Android Lollipop.

The OS’s lockscreen is no longer a static barrier you have to get through before you can reach the meat of your phone’s functionality, but instead now has many elements of KitKat’s notification panel, plus more interactivity.

In Lollipop you can see what notifications you’ve received and what’s going on with your apps and contacts as soon as you pick it up, before you even unlock your device – and you can even respond to messages from the lockscreen.

Android L notifications lockscreen

The way you see notifications is changing as well – now rich, descriptive, and interactive notifiers will pop up on top of what you’re doing without interrupting, so you can reject a call or read a message without quitting that game or whatever. Some of this functionality was present in KitKat, but it was half-baked and inconsistent.

Android Lollipop is also getting a “do not disturb” mode a la iOS, which Android KitKat and previous versions sorely lacked. You can use it to silence your ever-buzzing phone during specific hours or, more importantly, to only let notifications from specific sources come through.

That’s extremely useful if you don’t want to be bothered by spam emails all night, but do want to be able to be woken in an emergency.

Lollipop’s quick settings bar also has new options that KitKat desperately needed, like easy buttons for flashlight, hotspots, and screencasting. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and location options have been expanded here as well.

Connectivity, security and performance

Connectivity and APIs

With Android Lollipop Google is making connectivity a big focus – not just between different handsets, but among different classes of device as well. For example Android TV is now built right into Android Lollipop, helping you easily navigate big screens with smartwatch voice commands, phone gestures, and more.

That’s just scratching the surface, but it means your Android experience will be consistent across smartphones, tablets, TVs, smartwatches, and more. At least, that’s Google’s hope.

Samsung Gear Live fitness

Google also wants Lollipop’s apps to communicate with one another more than KitKat’s do. Examples are simple, like tapping links in Chrome and having them open in specific apps instead of taking you to mobile websites. The OS already does it sometimes, but Google wants it to be more consistent.

This depends quite a bit on app developers taking advantage of Lollipop’s 5,000 new APIs. These will make the new Android OS more versatile over time, though their presence might not be noticeable for end users at first.

Google says Lollipop is also better at connecting with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. For example Lollipop devices won’t connect to a Wi-Fi network unless they can verify there’s an actual connection there – so unlike with KitKat, you won’t be stumped wondering why you suddenly have no data because your gadget decided to connect to a turd of a network.

Safe and sound

Android Lollipop has some new security features as well, like the ability to set geographical “safe zones” where your device won’t require a PIN to unlock.

You can do the same with specific Bluetooth devices, like Android Wear smartwatches, which your phone or tablet will sense automatically and turn off its security barriers.

And despite all the changes to notifications that let you see and interact with them without unlocking your phone, Android 5.0 also has new settings that let you hide sensitive information anywhere it might appear.

Lollipop also has better protection against vulnerabilities and malware thanks to SELinux enforcing for all applications, and encryption is turned on by default on all Lollipop devices.

And multiple user profiles on a single device, including temporary guest profiles, makes it easier to share your phone with others while still maintaining control over your own stuff.

Performance

Google has reportedly also put a lot of work into making Android Lollipop run better under the hood.

KitKat’s optional runtime ART is now the standard for Android Lollipop, and Google says it will help make Lollipop run faster, more efficiently and with less hiccups.

That won’t harm existing Android apps’ compatibility, but it has let Google future-proof Android further against the inevitable onslaught of 64-bit smartphones coming in the near future.

Android L performance

These phones will have more RAM than existing phones with KitKat and other operating systems are capable of packing, which is a huge benefit that only future generations of Lollipop handsets will be able to take advantage of.

For now, though, Google says Android 5.0 is way more power-efficient over its predecessors, with the same phones getting significantly more battery juice out of Lollipop than they did with KitKat.

Multitasking has also been updated with the ability to have multiple cards for the same apps open at a time, letting you have more than one document or website next to one another, for example. It’s also easier to switch keyboards now too, and Android Lollipop even supports RAW images.

Availability

Android Lollipop has countless other small improvements over KitKat and other past Android versions, from greater accessibility options and easier set-up to improved graphics capabilities.

Many of these changes won’t be noticeable until phone and tablet hardware improves, but that doesn’t mean you want to wait until then before you upgrade.

Luckily Android 5.0 Lollipop begins rolling out to devices in late October and early November. Specifics are currently scarce, but keep an eye on TechRadar’s Android Lollipop hub for every new update as it happens.

world smallest computer

The Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of promoting the teaching of basic computer science in schools.

The Raspberry Pi is manufactured in three board configurations through licensed manufacturing deals with Newark element14(Premier Farnell), RS Components and Egoman. These companies sell the Raspberry Pi online. Egoman produces a version for distribution solely in China and Taiwan, which can be distinguished from other Pis by their red coloring and lack of FCC/CE marks. The hardware is the same across all manufacturers.

In 2014 the Raspberry Pi Foundation launched the Compute Module, which packaged a Raspberry Pi Model B into a SODIMM 200-pin module. This was to encourage its use in embedded systems.

The Raspberry Pi has a Broadcom BCM2835 system on a chip (SoC), which includes an ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHz processor,VideoCore IV GPU, and was originally shipped with 256 megabytes of RAM, later upgraded (Model B & Model B+) to 512 MB. It does not include a built-in hard disk or solid-state drive, but it uses an SD card for booting and persistent storage, with the Model B+ using a MicroSD.

The Foundation provides Debian and Arch Linux ARM distributions for download. Tools are available for Python as the main programming language, with support for BBC BASIC (via the RISC OS image or the Brandy Basic clone for Linux), C,Java, Perl and Ruby.

Raspberry Pi B+ top.jpg