HyperX Cloud Mix review: Pivoting to a mobile lifestyle brand brings mixed results

HyperX Cloud Mix

HyperX wants you to wear its Cloud Mix headset (MSRP $200) all the time—not just for gaming. At your desk? Sure. But also on the train, walking to the grocery store, maybe even while snowboarding. Wherever life takes you, thanks to the Cloud Mix’s built-in Bluetooth capabilities.

The Cloud Mix is HyperX’s attempt to move up the ladder from a gaming brand to a “lifestyle brand.” Astro made the pivot early, pitching its high-end gaming headsets as a statement, not a mere accessory. Then Razer swung that direction as well, ushering in some sort of RGB-everything future.

But can every brand make the pivot? HyperX is a brand that seems steeped in gamer culture more than its predecessors—a brand that started with RAM and other arcane PC necessities. Let’s see how things shook out.

Note: This review is part of our roundup of best gaming headsets. Go there for details on competing products and how we tested them.

Streetwise

Judging by the Cloud Mix’s design, HyperX already thinks it’s a lifestyle brand, or at least bordering on one. Let’s not dance around the subject: The Cloud Mix looks like any other HyperX headset. The color scheme’s a more muted gray-and-black instead of the brand’s standard red-and-black, but even this isn’t 100 percent new. HyperX used the same gray-and-black on the Cloud II headset, for instance.

HyperX Cloud Mix

IDG / Hayden Dingman

Hell, the Cloud Mix takes after the original Cloud and Cloud II more than the current-gen Cloud Alpha. This isn’t exactly a break from tradition, like we saw with Astro’s streetwear-oriented A38 headset. The Cloud Mix simply repurposes old and (at least in the desktop space) beloved ideas. The stitching’s been toned down a bit, but if I threw a Cloud Mix and a Cloud II into a bin together, I’d have a hard time separating the two. The new headset features the same leatherette-padded headband, the same oval-shaped earcups with enormous HyperX logos emblazoned on both sides.

That’s probably the most questionable decision HyperX made with the Cloud Mix. I’m actually a fan of the Cloud design. It’s pretty inconspicuous, not overly bulky nor flashy. I firmly believe you could wear it out on the street, same as any pair of Audio-Technicas or Sennheisers.

But the branding? The branding is anything but inconspicuous. The HyperX logo looks like, well, video games. It’s edgy and aggressive in a way you don’t see from mainstream audio brands like Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, Polk, and so on.

It’s not an impossible hurdle—Razer’s made inroads with a three-headed snake graphic, which is arguably worse. But HyperX’s logo is so big and so prominent. I can’t help but wish it were shrunk down or confined to the headband, or maybe rendered black-on-black where it’d be less glaring. Anything that would make me more comfortable about wearing the Cloud Mix on the street.

Branding missteps aside, there’s not much to complain about. As I said, it’s a HyperX headset. The Cloud Mix is extremely comfortable, as you’d expect from HyperX. I’ve worn it for hours at a time without issue, though the leatherette earcups might get a bit toasty in the summertime.

HyperX Cloud Mix

IDG / Hayden Dingman

In some ways I like it even more than the Cloud Alpha—or really, in one major way. The Cloud Mix finally rectifies one of my biggest complaints with the brand, by slapping controls onto the headset itself instead of relegating them to a small box on the cable. You’ll find volume and power on the right earcup, and a mute button on the left.

[“source=pcworld”]

Amazon Announces GameOn Masters India Mobile Game Tournament

Amazon Announces GameOn Masters India Mobile Game Tournament

Amazon is hosting a mobile gaming tournament in India called the GameOn Masters. Aimed at casual gamers it features popular titles like World Cricket Championship 2, World Table Tennis Champs, Jetpack Joyride (not the international version by Halfbrick, rather, the one developed by Mech Mocha), as well as the imaginatively named duo, Ludo Game and Real Carrom 3D: Multiplayer.

Qualifiers for these games start on November 23 according to a prepared statement from Amazon. Forty players – eight from each game – will participate in the GameOn Masters India Championships from February 3 to February 5 at the India Game Show in Delhi. The first prize winner for each game takes home Rs. 1,00,000. The organiser of this event is Nodwin Gaming, the same company responsible for running ESL, Dreamhack, and the Mountain Dew Arena in India.

Incidentally, all of the aforementioned games use Amazon GameOn. It’s a service that allows game developers to add competitive features such as leaderboards, leagues, and prizes. It’s built on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The service also gives developers the ability to drive engagement and increase monetisation of their games through local and regional competitions, Amazon claims. What’s more is, developers can also let streamers and players create their own user-generated competitions and invite participants.

GameOn is just one of Amazon’s many initiatives in gaming. The company has a studio developing brand new titles, the Amazon Appstore, the Amazon Lumberyard engine, and Twitch which hosts live streams from gaming content creators.

[“source=ndtv”]

Quantum Computing Can Reshape Our Physical Infrastructure If We Let It

The dilution refrigerator and quantum processing unit inside the D-Wave 2000Q System.D-Wave Systems

Despite growing excitement around the transformative potential of quantum computing, leaders in many industries are still unfamiliar with the technology that’s likely to prove more disruptive than Artificial Intelligence and blockchain. This ignorance seems particularly acute in industries that deal with physical systems and commodities. In an informal survey of two dozen executives in transportation, logistics, construction and energy, only eight had heard of quantum computing and only two could explain how it works.

In many ways this lack of awareness is understandable. Quantum computing’s value to our digital infrastructure is obvious, but its value to our physical infrastructure is perhaps less evident. Yet, the explosion of power and speed that quantum computers will unleash could indeed have a profound impact on physical systems like our transportation and utility networks. For companies, municipalities and nation states to stay competitive and capture the full benefit of the quantum revolution, leaders must start thinking about how quantum computing can improve our infrastructure.

Unlike classical computers, in which a bit of information can be either a zero or a one, quantum computers are able to take advantage of a third state through a phenomenon known as superposition. Superposition, which is a property of physics at the quantum scale, allows a quantum bit or qubit to be a zero, a one or a zero and a one simultaneously. The result is an astronomical increase in computational capacity over existing transistor-based hardware. Google, for example, has found that its quantum machines can run some algorithms 100 million times faster than conventional processors.

Some private sector heavyweights are already developing infrastructure applications for quantum computing. Volkswagen AG, for instance, is working on a quantum computing powered traffic management system. Although AI applications built on conventional hardware are making cars and streets smarter, they’re not capable of matching the processing speed and power of quantum computers. Volkswagen hopes that its solution can be used to predict traffic patterns hours in advance, reduce congestion, forecast demand for mass transit and ride-sharing services. The company has already used a combination of conventional and quantum computing to optimize taxi routes in Beijing by analyzing billions of unique data points from 10,000 taxis and direct taxi drivers to areas where demand would spike hours in advance by analyzing the behavioral patterns of cell phone users in real-time. It would take conventional computers exponentially longer to perform similar tasks, making real-time insight impossible. In addition to Volkswagen, Ford is also looking to use quantum computing to transform transportation.

Beyond the automotive arena, the applications for quantum computing in infrastructure are innumerable. Quantum computers could be used to hyper-optimize logistics operations across modes of transportation, creating a more seamless flow of goods between maritime, rail, air and ground shipping. They could enable real-time, adaptive mass transit that responds to demand rather than following predetermined routes. They could be used to optimize air traffic routes on a national scale and eliminate air traffic control based delays. One day, a single quantum computer might even be capable of managing every aspect of a city’s transportation infrastructure, from autonomous vehicles to traffic lights to mass transit to flying taxis. This level of integration would create invaluable efficiencies and usher in an era of highly responsive transportation.

[“source=forbes]

Telegram Brings Custom Language Support, Instant View 2.0 for Android and iOS Users

Telegram Brings Custom Language Support, Instant View 2.0 for Android and iOS Users

Telegram has updated its Android app to version 5.0

Instant messaging app Telegram has released an update that brings in new features like Instant View 2.0, new Settings screen, the ability to zoom videos during playback, and more. Telegram notes that the iOS app update to version 5.1 includes 400 minor changes, while Android also upgrades to version 5.0 with the latest update on Google Play. According to the changelog on the App Store, the Telegram for iOS app update v5.1 brings better Apple Watch support, a new ‘Read All’ feature, and more than 400 minor improvements as well. On Android, the app gets a new design for profiles, settings, notifications, and sounds, among other things.

The new Telegram update on iOS and Android brings support for custom languages. Using the Translations platform, users can create custom language packs and apply it in real-time. This enables users to make Telegram usable in any local dialect or minority language. Furthermore, it also brings Instant View 2.0 which improves webpage previews for Telegram users. Essentially, Instant View lets users open links in-app in a consistent format, and the 2.0 version brings improvements like support for right-to-left languages, blocks of related articles, image links, tables, nested lists, horizontal scrolling, collapsible text blocks, and more.

Telegram v5.1 for iOS gets the ability to pin messages in small groups. The update also brings the ability to select multiple chats and quickly delete them or mark them as read. There’s also the new ability to mark all messages via the new ‘Read All’ button. Users can also now report child abuse using the ‘Report’ feature on media in groups and channels. Telegram notes that there is over 400 minor improvements with the iOS app update version 5.1, including better support for the Apple Watch.

As mentioned, Telegram for Android gets a new design for profiles, notifications, and sounds. For example, profile pages now offer quick access to shared media, which is differentiated content wise for better discovery. The Settings menu has also been redesigned to offer a more streamlined experience. Just like the iOS app, Android users can take advantage of the new detailed settings for the badge counter in Settings > Notification and Sounds. The photo selector tool for profile pictures has also been upgraded so that users can choose a group photo and crop to a specific user in the photo to put as a profile image, and leave out the rest.

On its blog, Telegram notes that Android users also get the ability to zoom videos during playback and browse full-resolution images sent as documents just like normal photos, by swiping left and right. The latest version of Telegram for Android and iOS can be downloaded from Google Play and the App Store

[“source=ndtv”]

US SenateTRACED bill aims to end non-stop robocalls

The current situation of robocalls in the United States has blown way out of proportion. Personally, I receive at least six robocallers per day. Some are recordings, some are silent callers to see if a line is active or disconnected, and others really, really want to help me reduce my imaginary student loans. Sometimes, I’ll reject a robocall and then it will call right back… three times!

A new bill was drafted up by US Senator John Thune of South Dakota and Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts. The bill is called the TRACED (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence) Act and will target these mass Robocalling operations around the US.

The TRACED Act targets robocall scams and other intentional violations of telemarketing laws so that when authorities do catch violators, they can be held accountable. – Sen. Thune

And as much as you block the number, you still get calls from new numbers! Google’s Call Screening is a great feature on the Pixel 3, and now on the Pixel 2 to identify and block spam callers, but this doesn’t solve the problem, it only makes it more bearable as long as number spoofing is still easy to do.

Google Assistant Call Screen feature on the Pixel 3 XL

The bill would give the FCC the authority to fine up to $10,000 per call that intentionally abuses telemarketing laws. It would also let the FCC take action up to three years after a robocall took place, the current time window is 1 year. Also, it would require service providers to create call authentication technologies ( to filter out illegitimate calls from reaching callers in the first place.

The TRACED Act at this point is just a bill, it has not become law yet until it is approved. The release says that 29% of all phone calls are robocalls in the US and that number could grow to 45% next year. Should the bill pass, we should see less robocallers, but of course it would be because of the new caller authentication to actually disable the offenders trying to sell you a home security system.

[“source=gsmarena”]

Computer coding as child’s play at Saturday festival in Augusta

With just a few keystrokes Vincent Blanchard programmed a computer, at the Maine Digital Festival, to draw a circle and a three-dimensional cube, though the 11-year-old confessed to the workshop instructor Jon Janelle he wasn’t entirely sure how he managed to draw the cube.

“It took a lot of coding,” the Augusta boy said. “A lot of thinking, too. Actually I don’t know how I got this, to be honest.”

Janelle, a software engineer for Tyler Technologies and a former teacher, said that’s okay, and assured Vincent that there is a lot of trial and error, and trying things you don’t know how to do, and even doing things without really knowing how you did them, in coding, even for adults whose career is in programming.

“I, all the time, if I don’t know how to do something, I just give it a shot,” said Janelle. “If it doesn’t work, it’s okay. We do this a lot in programming. That’s how you learn what things do. You just try stuff.”

Janelle explained the basics of what they needed to do but let the half-dozen middle-school-aged students taking part in the workshop Saturday figure out the details themselves, and also gave them time to just try out the programming language they were using, Python, which allows users to draw, and animate, pictures.

Vincent managed to draw what looked like a circle, without that particular skill being shown to him, by typing in commands and numbers to make the program draw a line making 180 separate turns on his laptop screen. His parents, Vanessa and Zach, also took part, though their drawings, for the most part, appeared to be less elaborate than his.

Vincent said he’d already done some coding before taking part in Saturday’s workshop on how to code using the Python programming language, making video games. He said he also likes to tweak codes, to see what changing them does to the program. He said he’d consider, when he grows older, seeking a career programming computers.

Jason Judd, program director for Project>Login, a nonprofit program of Educate Maine which seeks to interest, and educate, Maine students in computer science and programming, said the Maine Digital Festival also has the same goal, to instill an interest and knowledge in computers in Maine students.

“We believe every student in Maine should have access to computer science,” said Judd, who added that less than 30 percent of Maine schools have computer science programs for their students. “We see it as a foundational subject, like math or reading. We want to make sure students are learning to program and learning to code, so kids understand they can tell a computer what to do. Part of that is showing kids computer science is accessible, and enjoyable.”

Toward that goal of showing that coding can be fun, even for students as young as kindergarteners, Saturday’s festival at the Augusta Civic Center included activities for young students including assembling Code-a-pillars, caterpillar-like devices which kids assemble out of individual pieces, each of which represents a different command, such as to go straight or turn left or right.

By altering their placement of the individual sections, youths change the path the Code-a-pillars take when they are set loose to roam on their own.

Saturday students from the math club at the University of New England setup an obstacle course of fake mushrooms, with a basket full of prizes in the corner behind them. Kids who successfully assembled, or coded, their Code-a-pillars to make it through the maze of mushrooms to the basket got a prize. Jennifer Fatula, an assistant lecturer at the Biddeford college, said many youngsters were able to do so.

Shawn Pilling, a UNE student volunteering at the event, said it’s one of the club’s biggest events of the year and he and his fellow students wanted to help get young students interested in computer coding at an early age. He said he didn’t do any coding until he was 19 years old.

The Maine Digital Festival, which Judd said drew about 120 students, was held on the second floor of the Augusta Civic Center as, below in the auditorium, the Maine FIRST LEGO League state championship robotics competition took place. Students, who were between 9 and 14 years old, in that competition programmed robots they assembled as teams to complete a variety of scored tasks, primarily involving moving objects on a gaming table.

[“source=ndtv”]

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.

[“source=forbes]

Move over Huawei, the Samsung Galaxy A8s is coming on December 10

Mere hours after Huawei announced that it will unveil the nova 4 with a selfie camera inside the display on December 17, Samsung announced it will show off the Galaxy A8s a full week earlier – on December 10.

The move is by no means coincidental – a fight to bring out the first phone with a screen hole has been on since late November. At this point it looks like Samsung will indeed beat Huawei to the punch, but things could change.

The Samsung Galaxy A8s is coming on December 10
The Samsung Galaxy A8s is coming on December 10

The screens on both the nova 4 and the Galaxy A8s are LCDs made by BOE, but it’s said that Samsung’s phone is the the more premium of the two.

Specs-wise the Samsung Galaxy A8s is expected to have a 6.3-inch 2340×1080 19.5:9 LCD, a Snapdragon 710 chipset with up to 6GB of RAM, a 24MP selfie camera embedded into the display and a triple camera on the back – likely a regular and an ultra-wide accompanied by a depth sensing third snapper.

[“source=vogue”]

Patna University students attack JDU vice president Prashant Kishor

Prashant Kishore

A massive political controversy has erupted after JDU vice president and close aide of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Prashant Kishor, was attacked by students of the Patna University after his meeting with the university vice-chancellor Rasbihari Singh at his residence on Monday night.

The JDU leader was attacked by students who had gathered outside Singh’s residence. The vehicle in which Kishor had come to meet the Vice-Chancellor was also damaged by the students.

Patna Police had a tough time ensuring that the JDU leader escaped unhurt from the university campus.

The meeting with Patna University Vice-Chancellor came just two days ahead of the crucial students union elections on December 5. Interestingly, professor Ram Shankar Arya, advisor to the chief election officer, was also present in this meeting which went on for almost 3 hours.

The Patna University Students Union election this time is witnessing an interesting battle between candidates of ABVP against the JDU, who are making their electoral debut in the university elections.

Allegedly, Prashant Kishor is garnering the support of youth from across the state ever since he has become the vice president of the party. Over the last few days, he has been meeting youths from Bihar at 7, Circular Road, the residence of Nitish Kumar from where he operates.

BJP has been alleging that Prashant was trying to influence the students’ union elections in favour of JDU.

Irked by his repeated interference in the upcoming students union election, four BJP legislators had issued a press statement slamming Kishor.

A BJP delegation led by MLA Nitin Navin met governor Lalji Tandon on Monday night soon after Prashant Kishor met the Vice Chancellor at his residence followed by him being attacked by students. The BJP delegation demanded the Governor to conduct the Patna University Students Union elections in the free and fair manner.

It may be mentioned that campaigning for the December 5 elections ended at 5 pm on December 3 and the model code of conduct was in place.

According to rules, no leader of any political party could enter the college premises after the end of campaigning and therefore Prashant Kishor’s meeting with PU VC raised eyebrows. Reportedly, he met VC with the intention to pressurise him to ensure the victory of JDU in the elections.

A massive political controversy has erupted after JDU Vice President and close aide of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Prashant Kishor, was attacked by students of the Patna University after his meeting with the university vice-chancellor Rasbihari Singh at his residence on Monday night.

The JDU leader was attacked by students who had gathered outside Singh’s residence. The vehicle in which Kishor had come to meet the Vice-Chancellor was also damaged by the students.

Patna Police had a tough time ensuring that the JDU leader escaped unhurt from the university campus.

The meeting with Patna University Vice-Chancellor came just two days ahead of the crucial students union elections on December 5. Interestingly, professor Ram Shankar Arya, advisor to the chief election officer, was also present in this meeting which went on for almost 3 hours.

The Patna University Students Union election this time is witnessing an interesting battle between candidates of ABVP against the JDU, who are making their electoral debut in the university elections.

Allegedly, Prashant Kishor is garnering the support of youth from across the state ever since he has become the vice president of the party. Over the last few days, he has been meeting youths from Bihar at 7, Circular Road, the residence of Nitish Kumar from where he operates.

BJP has been alleging that Prashant was trying to influence the students’ union elections in favour of JDU.

Irked by his repeated interference in the upcoming students union election, four BJP legislators had issued a press statement slamming Kishor.

A BJP delegation led by MLA Nitin Navin met governor Lalji Tandon on Monday night soon after Prashant Kishor met the Vice Chancellor at his residence followed by him being attacked by students. The BJP delegation demanded the Governor to conduct the Patna University Students Union elections in the free and fair manner.

It may be mentioned that campaigning for the December 5 elections ended at 5 pm on December 3 and the model code of conduct was in place.

According to rules, no leader of any political party could enter the college premises after the end of campaigning and therefore Prashant Kishor’s meeting with PU VC raised eyebrows. Reportedly, he met VC with the intention to pressurise him to ensure the victory of JDU in

[“source=indiatoday]

With this $25 gadget, Amazon will finally get you to stop scoffing at the idea of a ‘smart home’

Dave Limp, Senior Vice President of Amazon Devices, introduces the 'smart plug' during an event at the Amazon Spheres, on September 20, 2018 in Seattle Washington.

Stephen Brashear | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Dave Limp, Senior Vice President of Amazon Devices, introduces the ‘smart plug’ during an event at the Amazon Spheres, on September 20, 2018 in Seattle Washington.

Earlier this year, Amazon launched a $25 smart plug that lets you control any outlet in your home by voice with an Amazon Echo. That means you can control any lamp, appliance or anything else that plugs into an outlet by speaking a phrase to Alexa like “turn on the living room lamp,” without having to find a switch. It even lets you add other smarts, like a schedule so the light turns on and off at certain times.

It’s a really easy way to turn a “dumb” home into a smart one that you can control with your phone or by voice. You don’t need to fiddle with complicated hubs or spend too much time trying to get something to connect to your WiFi network.

If you can plug in a lamp, you can get the smart plug working. I’m going to show you how to get the most out of it.

This is the smart plug

Amazon smart plug

Amazon smart plug

It’s very simple. Think of it as a sort of adapter that adds the brains to anything you want to plug into an outlet. It will let you schedule an appliance to turn on and off at a certain time, enable you to turn it on or off even when you’re away from home and let you activate it by speaking to Alexa.

All you need to do is take the smart plug, plug in the appliance to one end —it makes the most sense with a lamp because it’s a simple on/off appliance, but you can use anything from a humidifier to a fan — and then plug it into the wall.

[“source=cnbc”]