Sketch Nation Competition

Who Can Sketch Best? The Repercussions of Losing At Your Own Game

NewsWatch created a fun, yet friendly, competition between Chris and Michelle to see who would don the famous dinosaur mask in public.

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Go On Head, Retweet Yourself: Twitter Gets an Update

We bet that quite a few of you are on Twitter. And since there are over 300 million active monthly users, the odds are in our favor. Well, just so ya know, Twitter got a whole lot cooler this week. Here’s our breakdown of what’s new in the Twitter-sphere:

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  1. Say bye-bye to harsh 140 character restrictions
    • You heard us right. Twitter just got a little more lenient with the character count. You’re now able to add pictures, GIFs, quoted tweets, and videos without adding to the total number of characters. Alas!
  2. Go on head, retweet yourself.
    •  Did we stutter? You can retweet yourself. Feel free to share all the glorious comments from your Twitter’s past.
  3. Replies sans @username
    • When you’d reply to a tweet, the tweet would start with @username before your comment. That’s no longer the case. Now there’s a thread line that shows who you’re replying to with your tweet below. So that just means that you have even more characters to share your reply.

So what do you think? Was this update everything you hoped for and more? If so, you can – shameless plug – tweet us @newswatchtv. Or if the update didn’t live up to the hype, you can still tweet us; we’ll be happy to reply.

Five Entertainment Tech Trends You Should Know

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By Hazel-Lovely Saunders

Creativity is the working body in the entertainment industry. And with recent advances in technology, creatives are finding insane ways to incorporate tech into entertainment. From virtual reality headsets in movie theaters to CGI in Fast 7. You never know what new technology will be up next for the industry.

  1. Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality (VR) is a computer technology that uses software-generate realistic images, sounds, and other sensations to channel a real environment.

The Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset, accumulated $2.5m in funding on Kickstarter and was available for the blockbuster film “Interstellar” to let audiences interact with the movie’s spacecraft and explore areas in the film. Hopefully we get to watch all movies on VR.

 

VR isn’t only popular in watching movies, but it’s the new trend in gaming. You’ll find VR gaming headsets from all the tech giants. For example, Samsung released their Gear VR while Sony is in the works for a headset for PlayStation 4. Additionally, Valve Software and HTC are working on Vive.

  1. Augmented Reality (AR)

Now augmented reality (AR) is found in the latest addition, Pokémon Go. This technology blurs the line between what’s real and what’s computer generated. Basically a mix of virtual reality, computer-generated environments, and what’s in the real world in real time.

In Pokémon Go players use their mobile device’s GPS capability to capture, battle and train virtual created, who appear on the screen as if they were in the same real world.

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But Pokémon Go isn’t the only one in the AR arena, Microsoft is currently working on a high-profile HoloLens project, and Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that the company is working on augmented reality.

  1. High Dynamic Range

High-dynamic range imaging (HDRI) is a high dynamic range (HDR) technique used in imagining and photography to reproduce a greater dynamic range. It’s better visual experience with greater contrast—highlights, brighter colors and a lifelike images.

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An example of HDRI is 4K TV. This tech is on the rise, but it probably needs to be watched on a huge TV to notice the difference. This tech can also be found in compact cameras like the new Nikon DL series feature 4K video. Although 4K can be very crisp it takes a lot of memory storage and a strong hard drive to import videos.

  1. Real-Time Cloud Rendering

Cloud rendering is a fast process of creating constant-shape clouds for games and flight simulators. Basically rendering of clouds in real-time. This technology can be used to render complex game image son mobile devices. Major studios use this to cut visual effects costs.

Atomic Fiction’s Conductor is in the lead for these visual effects technique and helped the visual effects for the movie, “The Walk”.

  1. Light Field

A light field camera captures information about the light field emanating from a specific scene; that includes, the intensity of light of the scene and the direction that the light rays are traveling in space. This gives the photographer flexibility to shoot first and choose the focus, aperture and settings after.

This is a time-saver for film shoots. Instead of multiple cameras for different focus points, this will capture it all in one shot. You can edit and change the settings after each shot to satisfy which image you want.

Ars Electronica 2013 - Lytro light-field photography

Ars Electronica 2013 – Lytro light-field photography

Companies Otoy and Lytro offer light-field capturing devices. Other companies like nVidia is also researching this field.

Join the conversation and let us know your thoughts and comments below. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

Netgear’s Multi-Unit Wi-Fi Solution

Courtesy of Engadget.

Courtesy of Engadget.

By Hazel-Lovely Saunders

The worst part of Wi-Fi connection is not getting a connection if you’re too far away from the router. This is definitely a first world problem people hate, especially for those tech savvy humans. Wi-Fi routers can be set up in any area in your home, but a majority of people loose connection in certain areas of their home. After all, who likes using their data in order to use the internet or play Pokémon Go?

Netgear is an American global networking company that delivers products to consumers, businesses and service providers. The company’s products are built on a variety of proven technologies such as wireless (Wi-Fi and LTE), Ethernet and powerline.

Netgear is introducing a multi-unit router called Orbi. It is a “Wi-Fi system” that is a combination of a router and a range extender. This single router is capable of covering 4,000 square feet of space to provide strong but fast Wi-Fi signal. Something we all want of course.

Courtesy of Engadget.

Courtesy of Engadget.

Orbi consists of two units. The main router, which you plug into the modem has a blue top and the secondary unit that should be placed somewhere in the “central” of your home (the satellite, has a white top). Although the Orbi is bigger it is faster. It’s standout feature is its tri-band mesh system that dedicates one channel to extending the internet from the router to the satellite while keeping the other two free for your other device’ connections. Netgear has two competitors, Ero and Luma, both of which already have multi-unit routers, but have a three-piece system. They are less noticeable being smaller than the Orbi.

Netgear’s vice president, David Henry, says, “Today we can’t sell a Wi-Fi router less than $99 because the products less than $99 are no better than what you have in your home.”

Courtesy of TechCrunch.

Courtesy of TechCrunch.

The Orbi will go on sale in early September, with the two-pack selling for $399.99. The single add-on units will eventually be on sale for $249.99.

What do you guys think of this new multi-unit router? Let us know in your comments below. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and Twitter.

4 Things to Expect From Nintendo’s New Console

mario

So Nintendo has been teasing us for a while now by keeping the details of their new console, the NX, pretty much confidential. Finally, we’ve gotten more of an idea of what to expect in the NX thanks to a number of sources that have confirmed details to Eurogamer.

  1. It’s a totally new concept – The NX is going to be pretty different than what we’ve seen from Nintendo in the past. This new console will be both a handheld and a console you can play on your TV. Basically, the NX as a whole will work as a handheld console that has its own display, which doesn’t sound too far out there – Nintendo has always been known for handheld consoles. Well, what sets it apart is the two controller sections on the side, that can either be attached or detached as needed.

    (Illustration by: Eurogamer)

    (Illustration by: Eurogamer)

  2. It’s basically 2 consoles – Nintendo knows that sometimes you get home and want to play on the big screen, and the NX totally reflects that. Yup, you can connect the console directly to your TV through the dock station. So it’s kind of like 2-consoles-in-1.
  3. It’s going back to cartridges – Physical media will be in the form of cartridges instead of discs, although we’re pretty sure that you’ll still have the option of digital downloads. Sources have also shut down the rumors that the system will run on Android. Instead, we’re expecting the NX to run on a totally new operating system from Nintendo.
  4. It’ll be very different from Nintendo’s previous consoles – Nintendo won’t confirm everything until the console’s unveiling, which is expected to be this September. However, one thing that Nintendo has made apparent is that this will be much different than the Wii and Wii U. Nintendo president, Tatsumi Kimishima stated, “It’s something unique and different. It’s something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base.”

 

Regardless, it’ll be interesting to see a new console from Nintendo and the secrecy that has been behind it is only building up the suspense.

 

What do you think about Nintendo releasing a new console? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter!

 

Want more? Check these out:

 

How Virtual Reality Took Over E3 This Year

Free Games for Everyone

10 Apps You Need this Summer

Tournament Gaming Headset

 

Have you checked out the Official NewsWatch Podcast yet?

 

How to Check if Pokémon Go is Down

If you’ve paid any attention at all to anything going on over the past few weeks, you probably know that Pokémon Go is huge (Seriously, even Andrew tried it out!). And with the servers constantly going down, it has become apparent that the response this game has received is way more than the developers had expected. Impressively, the game is so big after only being out a week it had more daily users than Twitter and people have reportedly spent more time on the Pokémon Go app than Facebook. According to TechCrunch, 5.92% of the Android population in the U.S. engages with Pokémon Go daily. That’s A LOT of people playing this game, no wonder the servers can’t handle it. And now with the game finally being released in Japan, the servers are really getting out of control with constant crashes.

There has to be a way to be able to check if it’s worth it to go outside to start hunting some Pokémon. Well, here’s a website that some developers made that will check for you whether or not the servers are down or about to go down – IsPokemonGoDownOrNot.com. The site runs on a pretty simple algorithm. Basically, it uses an automated account that attempts to log-in in thirty second intervals. If the log-in takes over fifteen seconds, most likely the Pokémon Go server is down or about to go down.

We’re glad we found this because we’re sick of getting stoked to play the game only to unfortunately realize once we’re outside that the server is down. Pokémon Go is addicting, so knowing when it’s available to play makes it even better.

Are you going to be checking this site before you go hunting for Pokémon? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter!

 

Want more? Check these out:

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/07/19/why-youll-probably-see-more-smart-bikes-in-the-future/

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/07/18/snapchat-wants-to-use-object-recognition-to-give-you-a-more-customized-experience/

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/07/14/how-drones-and-mms-are-being-used-to-save-endangered-ferrets/

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/07/13/why-researchers-are-teaching-robots-how-to-hunt-prey/

 

Have you checked out the Official NewsWatch Podcast yet?

 

The Perfect Umbrella

Picture this – you are walking through the pouring rain with your umbrella above you, keeping you nice and dry. A sudden gust of wind blows and flips your umbrella inside out, drenching you in the process. Don’t worry, it’s happened to us before too. While it is something not many people talk about, it can be very hard finding the perfect umbrella. Well, actually, we’re pretty sure we found it. Check out Procella’s Golf Umbrella.

Designed to withstand intense winds, the Procella is the only umbrella in the world that has been tested by skydivers in one of the world’s strongest wind tunnels. If you ask us, that alone is pretty impressive. It provides a double layer of protection that allows the wind to funnel through the two layers effectively preventing it from turning inside out. Now while other umbrellas might employ a similar system, Procella prides themselves in providing stronger canopies than their competitors. And while the material may be stronger, the umbrella is still really lightweight, making it a very easy umbrella to travel with. The oversized canopy allows for up to two people to keep dry underneath it – so no more holding the umbrella like a gentleman so your companion stays dry while you get soaked. The Procella Golf umbrella comes in six different colors: black, navy blue, royal blue and white, black and white, green and white, and red and white.

Are you ready to check out this awesome umbrella? The Golf umbrella is currently selling for $33.95 and is an Amazon top seller. You can check out Procella’s golf umbrella and their classic and travel umbrella by heading to Amazon or their website procellaumbrella.com.

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