Warehouse Discounts https://warehousediscounts.co.uk Bumper Bargain Offers Thu, 18 Oct 2018 17:47:33 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Battlefield 5 Campaign Story Details Revealed https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/battlefield-5-campaign-story-details-revealed/ https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/battlefield-5-campaign-story-details-revealed/#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 16:16:32 +0000 http://feeds.ign.com/~r/ign/all/~3/wqtZVZ_p5Y0/battlefield-5-campaign-story-details-revealed Warehouse Discounts Players will experience various parts of World War II's European Theater. By Nick Santangelo In a series of tweets this morning, DICE detailed Battlefield 5's campaign, dubbed War Stories, which drops players into France, England, and Norway to figh...]]> Warehouse Discounts

Players will experience various parts of World War II’s European Theater.

In a series of tweets this morning, DICE detailed Battlefield 5’s campaign, dubbed War Stories, which drops players into France, England, and Norway to fight for the Allied Forces during World War II. In the War Story “Tirailleur,” players will take on the role of a French colonial soldier from Africa to fight for the liberation of France, a country he’s never seen and which doesn’t accept him. “This is the untold story of forgotten soldiers fighting on a forgotten front,” tweeted DICE. “Under No Flag” gives a criminal a second chance to redeem himself after getting out of a London jail.

Players will fight alongside a Special Boat Section unit and do “whatever it takes to get the job done.” “Nordlys,” tasks players with leading a young resistance fighter through occupied Norway in an attempt ot rescue her mother and liberate Norway. It’s “a story of family and sacrifice,” that follows a “desperate” mission to prevent the Axis Powers from acquiring supplies crucial to their war effort.

IGN recently went hands-on with Battlefield 5’s War Stories and found them to be deeper and more meaningful than Battlefield 1’s. Earlier this week, DICE and Electronic Arts released Battlefield 5’s official single-player trailer.

Exit Theatre Mode

Battlefield 5 will be released on Nov.

20 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Nick Santangelo is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia.

He loves video games and sports, but not sports video games.

Follow him on Twitter.

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A new MacBook may be on the way, but I'm not buying one until Apple dumps Intel for its own chip https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/a-new-macbook-may-be-on-the-way-but-im-not-buying-one-until-apple-dumps-intel-for-its-own-chip/ https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/a-new-macbook-may-be-on-the-way-but-im-not-buying-one-until-apple-dumps-intel-for-its-own-chip/#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 16:10:00 +0000 https://www.macworld.com/article/3315097/macs/macbook-a-series-chip-2020.html#tk.rss_all We're expecting Apple to send out invitations any day now for a fall event that expects to be loaded with new products: an all-new iPad Pro with USB-C, slim bezels, and Face ID. We may also see a new Mac mini allegedly geared at pro users, refreshed iM...]]>

We’re expecting Apple to send out invitations any day now for a fall event that expects to be loaded with new products: an all-new iPad Pro with USB-C, slim bezels, and Face ID. We may also see a new Mac mini allegedly geared at pro users, refreshed iMacs, and a new low-priced MacBook. While an updated Mac mini will be the kind of pigs-flying release that I’ll believe when I see, I’m most intrigued by the MacBook.

Not since the days of the polycarbonate iBook G4 and original MacBook has Apple sold a true budget notebook. Sure, the current MacBook Air retails for £999, but there are a lot of compromises there: a non-retina screen, outdated processor, and aging ports. And above that is the plain MacBook, which is hardly a bargain with its £1,300 starting price.

IDG / Apple

Remember the plastic MacBook?

And there’s reason to believe that the new MacBook won’t just be a cheaper version of the current MacBook. According to a report in Bloomberg earlier this year, the new notebook will be a totally new model with MacBook Air stylings and beefed-up specs:

The new laptop will look similar to the current MacBook Air, but will include thinner bezels around the screen. The display, which will remain about 13-inches, will be a higher-resolution “Retina” version that Apple uses on other products.

That certainly sounds enticing.

Assuming it starts at £999 (Apple’s definition of low-cost when it comes to laptops), a Retina-powered super-thin laptop with skinny bezels and USB-C will be a sweet machine that’s sure to fill the empty space under many a tree this Christmas. As much as I’d love to see the second coming of the affordable MacBook, I won’t be buying it. Why?

Because it’ll still be running an Intel processor, meaning we’ll have to wait at least another generation to see the real future of the Mac–one without Intel. But it may be closer than we think.

2020 vision for the Mac

A report by oft-accurate Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple is designing its own A-series chip for the Mac, with an eye on the first machines arriving by 2020. As 9to5Mac reports, Kuo says that TSMC has already been tapped to manufacture the new chips, with the main benefit of “being off Intel’s processor release schedule.” That means Apple will not only be able to control the design of the new chips, but also when they’re ready.

Now, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with Intel chips. The high end of Apple’s lineup–the MacBook Pro, iMac Pro, and Mac Pro–all feature incredibly powerful processors that can power through anything you can throw at them. Even the aging Mac Pro is a workhorse, with up to 12-core Intel Xeon E5 chips.

A new MacBook may be on the way, but I'm not buying one until Apple dumps Intel for its own chipLeif Johnson/IDG

Apple’s pro machines are awesome, but the lower-end models leave much to be desired.

But the low end is another story. The £999 MacBook Air features a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor while the MacBook is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core 7th-generation Intel Core m3 processor. Those are already a couple of years old, and it’s even worse when it comes to graphics, with the Air using an Intel HD Graphics 6000 card and the MacBook running Intel’s HD Graphics 615 unit.

If you’re buying the MacBook for anything other than light tasks, you’re definitely going to feel a major difference between a MacBook and a MacBook Pro.

Granted, there should be a difference between a computer costing £999 and one costing twice as much, but as it stands, Apple’s low-end notebooks are extremely underpowered. Heck, there are Chromebooks that are just as powerful. And whatever new MacBook Apple releases next will likely bring more of the same.

A more-modern MacBook Air chassis will look good, of course, but the speed and graphics will likely be just as crippled as they are in the current models. It’s unlikely we’ll see the Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 in a budget model, so you can probably bet on an 8th-gen m3 with (hopefully) the newer Intel HD Graphics 620 card.

Anticipation is making me wait

That wouldn’t a bad £1,000 MacBook by any stretch, but with reports of an all-new A Series-powered laptop rumored to arrive within 18 to 24 months, I’d much rather wait. For one, we’ve already seen the kind of insane speeds and graphics power Apple can deliver with its custom silicon in the iPhone and iPad, and Apple fans have been salivating over the specter of a custom Mac chip for years.

Now, it’s possible Kuo is wrong, but considering Bloomberg started this rumor in April, there’s an awful lot of credible smoke to not have a fire.

A new MacBook may be on the way, but I'm not buying one until Apple dumps Intel for its own chipDan Masaoka/IDG

I have no doubt that Apple’s new low-cost Mac will look good, but I’m not opening my wallet. An A-Series Mac would raise the bar considerably for what Apple can do with the Mac. There’s performance, obviously, but there’s also battery life, seamless cross-compatibility with the iPhone, AI integration with Siri, Face ID, AR–the list goes on.

And that’s not even to speak of what it means for OS X and the Marzipan project. Sure, Apple can easily tick off many of those boxes using Intel’s chips, but again, it seems unlikely that it will bother if it’s already hard at work on a post-PC PC.

So unless Apple shocks the world with an A13-powered MacBook later this month, I’m gonna sit this one out. And probably next year’s refresh too.

I’d rather wait a year or two than be stuck with a slow machine when the real revolution arrives.

To comment on this article and other Macworld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.

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Video: Answering questions about the Oculus Quest https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/video-answering-questions-about-the-oculus-quest/ https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/video-answering-questions-about-the-oculus-quest/#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 16:05:51 +0000 https://arstechnica.com/?p=1396221 Warehouse Discounts[embedded content] Video edited by CNE. Click here for transcript. When the consumer-level VR revolution came in 2016, it left behind a lot of potential consumers. That's because, as Ars editor Sam Machkovech puts it, "a lot of [existing VR] is very ex...]]> Warehouse Discounts

[embedded content]
Video edited by CNE. Click here for transcript.

When the consumer-level VR revolution came in 2016, it left behind a lot of potential consumers. That’s because, as Ars editor Sam Machkovech puts it, “a lot of [existing VR] is very expensive or very underwhelming.” Oculus’ upcoming Quest headset is setting out to be the middle ground between these two poles.

Unlike most cheap, untethered headsets, the Quest offers full motion and hand tracking with its built-in cameras and included Touch controllers. Unlike high-end tethered headsets, it doesn’t require external cameras or a connection to an expensive computer tower or game console; £400 will get you “all in” for self-contained VR starting in the spring. Fresh from demoing Oculus Quest at the Oculus Connect conference in San Jose last month, Ars has put together a short video taking you through the pros and cons of the headset’s compromises.

Click through to hear some nitty gritty details about the system’s hardware, comfort, frame rate, and what kinds of games we expect to see on the standalone device. This is the first installment in a new video series we’re calling “Professor Gamer,” wherein Machkovech opines on games and game-centric topics (like VR!). You can also catch his sharp wit and opinions in our other culture-focused video series “The Unbearable Critic,” which kicked off last week with a look at the Neil Armstrong biopic First Man.

We’d love suggestions for both ways to improve the videos and also for potential subjects to discuss, and we’ll be keeping an eye on the comments.

Thanks for watching!

Listing image by Oculus PR

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Ars on your lunch break: Let’s talk about religion, politics, guns, and privacy https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/ars-on-your-lunch-break-lets-talk-about-religion-politics-guns-and-privacy/ https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/ars-on-your-lunch-break-lets-talk-about-religion-politics-guns-and-privacy/#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 16:00:22 +0000 https://arstechnica.com/?p=1395613 Warehouse DiscountsEnlargeThis is the third installment of my conversation with the outspoken author, podcaster, philosopher, and recovering neuroscientist Sam Harris. Please check out part one and part two if you missed them. Otherwise, you can press play on the embedde...]]> Warehouse Discounts

Enlarge

This is the third installment of my conversation with the outspoken author, podcaster, philosopher, and recovering neuroscientist Sam Harris. Please check out part one and part two if you missed them. Otherwise, you can press play on the embedded audio player or pull up the transcript–both of which are below.

Today, we start off discussing Harris’ first bestselling book, The End of Faith, inspired by September 11th attacks.

Having recently spent ten years on his own self-styled spiritual journey, “I immediately recognized the spiritual intensity of that enterprise,” he recalls. Of Osama Bin Laden, Harris says, “He was not faking his belief. He believed what he said he believed, and it was only rational to take his stated beliefs at face value.”
[embedded content]
Click here for a transcript and click here for an MP3 direct download.

Harris denounces his critics for viewing the religious justifications of terrorists as “just propaganda, and propaganda that nobody believes” and for thinking that more standard geopolitical or sociological motivations must surely be at work instead. “Many academics,” he says, “virtually every anthropologist I’ve ever had to talk to about this stuff, many journalists, many so-called scholars of religion just don’t know what it’s like to believe in God.

And then doubt that anyone really does.” From this we turn to lone-wolf mass shootings, US politics, the 2016 election, and the importance Harris attaches to free and open speech, which he has called the “master value” of a healthy society. We also discuss anonymous vs. open speech, Apple’s refusal to help the FBI access a dead terrorist’s iPhone, and other controversial topics.

You may find yourself screaming at Harris as you listen to today’s installment. You may yourself cheering him on. Or you may find yourself alternating between the two as we jump from topic to topic.

If you enjoy this installment and just can’t wait for part four (which will go up on Ars tomorrow), you can find it in my podcast feed, where it first appeared on September 12th of last year. The full archive of my episodes can be found on my site, or right in your favorite podcast app by searching for “After On” (the podcast’s title). There you’ll find deep-dive interviews with other world-class thinkers, founders, and scientists–tackling subjects including robotics, cryptocurrency, astrophysics, drones, genomics, synthetic biology, neuroscience, consciousness, privacy and government hacking, and a whole lot more.

Finally, I’d like to briefly mention a series of four articles that I’m posting to Medium this month on the uplifting topic of existential risk. Which is to say the grim yet perversely fascinating possibility that our technological creations might just annihilate us. I believe I present some arguments and analytic lenses that are new to this important topic–and some of these tie quite closely to the issues that Harris and I discuss in our conversation.

The first piece in the series is right here. I should note that Medium is running this in their editorially curated, paid, members-only section. The goods news is that Medium gives everyone access to a few articles per month with essentially zero friction.

And with that, I hope you join me tomorrow here on Ars for the conclusion of this conversation. This special edition of the Ars Technicast podcast can be accessed in the following places: iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-ars-technicast/id522504024?mt=2 (Might take several hours after publication to appear.)

RSS:
http://arstechnica.libsyn.com/rss

Stitcher
http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ars-technicast/the-ars-technicast

Libsyn:
http://directory.libsyn.com/shows/view/id/arstechnica

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Max Payne Was Originally Planned to Have Multiplayer https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/max-payne-was-originally-planned-to-have-multiplayer/ https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/max-payne-was-originally-planned-to-have-multiplayer/#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 16:00:12 +0000 http://feeds.ign.com/~r/ign/all/~3/dTTi6tZ5MW8/max-payne-was-originally-planned-to-have-multiplayer-a-ign-unfiltered Warehouse Discounts Spend some quality bullet time with IGN Unfiltered. By Joseph Knoop The popular Max Payne action games have almost always been revered for their blend of hardboiled crime drama and slow-motion, guns blazing shooting. When it came time for a fledgling...]]> Warehouse Discounts

Spend some quality bullet time with IGN Unfiltered.

The popular Max Payne action games have almost always been revered for their blend of hardboiled crime drama and slow-motion, guns blazing shooting. When it came time for a fledgling Remedy Entertainment to pitch publisher and producer Scott Miller on their next game, a top-down version of Max Payne was only one of three possible ways the company might have gone. Miller and Remedy’s other two options included a 3D racing game to follow up on their debut Death Rally, and a conceptual real-time strategy game set in space a la Homeworld.

Exit Theatre Mode

Having learned a lesson about character-driven franchises with Duke Nukem Forever, Scott Miller was excited to turn Max Payne into something that he thought could last for a decade.

Miller joined this month’s episode of IGN Unfiltered to talk about behind-the-scenes details of Max Payne and more, including the changes Remedy made that had fans scratching their heads, but have become normalized in the modern era. “That really worried us when we realized it was only going to be six hours long, Miller said. “Here’s a game that was so rich with story and so story-driven. We had a 300-page script for this game.

It was a very dense game. It’s not all about action in that game. There’s so much story there and the people loved it for that.

I think people forgave the fact that it was a short game. Originally we were supposed to have multiplayer. We dropped that.”

Exit Theatre Mode

You can hear the rest of Scott Miller’s tales of creating Max Payne, Duke Nukem, and the original Prey in this month’s full episode of IGN Unfiltered.

Also make sure to check out the previous episodes of IGN Unfiltered, where editor Ryan McCaffrey interviews some of video game’s biggest names, like Insomniac’s Ted Price, EA Sports Cam Weber, and Firewatch’s Cissy Jones.

Joseph Knoop is a writer for IGN, and he’s ready to be John Woo’d off his feet.

Spend some quality bullet time with him on Twitter @JosephKnoop.

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OnePlus 6T vs 6 vs OnePlus 5T: What's the rumoured difference? https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/oneplus-6t-vs-6-vs-oneplus-5t-whats-the-rumoured-difference/ https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/oneplus-6t-vs-6-vs-oneplus-5t-whats-the-rumoured-difference/#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:51:00 +0000 https://www.pocket-lint.com/phones/buyers-guides/oneplus/144102-oneplus-phones-compared-device-specs-resolutions-camera-differences OnePlus will announce the OnePlus 6T on 30 October, following on from the OnePlus 6 that launched in May and succeeding the OnePlus 5T that arrived in October 2017. The company has already confirmed a number of details surrounding the new device and th...]]>

OnePlus will announce the OnePlus 6T on 30 October, following on from the OnePlus 6 that launched in May and succeeding the OnePlus 5T that arrived in October 2017. The company has already confirmed a number of details surrounding the new device and there have been plenty of leaks too. So how will the OnePlus 6T compare to its predecessors?

We have put the new device up against the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 5T to see what differences and improvements you might be able to expect based on OnePlus’s confirmations and the speculation.

Design and dimensions

  • OnePlus 5T: 156.1 x 75 x 7.3mm, 162g
  • OnePlus 6: 155.7 x 75.4 x 7.75mm, 177g
  • OnePlus 6T: 157.5 x 75.7 x 8.2mm reported

The OnePlus 5T has an aluminium build and it was the first OnePlus device to introduce an 18:9 aspect ratio display, resulting in the fingerprint sensor moving from the front of the device – as it was on the 5 – to the rear. The rest of the design remains largely the same as the OnePlus 5, with a 3.5mm headphone jack, vertical dual-rear camera in the top left corner and a OnePlus logo in the centre. The OnePlus 6 shook things up in the design department.

Like the OnePlus 5T, the front is mainly display, more so in the case of the 6 however, which has a notch at the top and therefore slimmer bezels at the top and bottom of the display compared to the OnePlus 5T. The dual-rear camera repositioned to the centre of the rear and away from the left corner, while the fingerprint sensor is more oval in shape and positioned between the camera setup and the OnePlus logo. The 6 also opts for an all-glass body with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back, and it features everyday water resistance.

The OnePlus 6T is expected to retain the glass body of the OnePlus 6, but it has been confirmed the new device will ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack and offer an embedded fingerprint sensor under the display. Leaks suggest the display will see a water drop notch take the place larger notch found on the 6 and we’d like to see an official IP water and dust resistance rating too. Aside from the display and lack of headphone jack, the 6T is predicted to look largely like the 6, with an alert slider, centrally-positioned dual rear camera and a OnePlus logo in the middle of the rear.

Display size and resolution

  • OnePlus 5T: 6.01-inch, AMOLED, 18:9, 2160 x 1080, 401ppi
  • OnePlus 6: 6.28-inch, AMOLED, 19:9, 2280 x 1080, 401ppi
  • OnePlus 6T: 6.4-inch, AMOLED expected

The OnePlus 5T features a 6.01-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, which was a big difference to the OnePlus 5 and its 5.5-inch 16:9 display.

It’s an AMOLED screen for inky blacks and vibrant, punchy colours and it delivers a pixel density of 401ppi with the 5T offering a 2160 x 1080 resolution. There’s Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection with 2.5D glass for a more seamless transition between the display and the edge of the device. The OnePlus 6 has a slightly larger 6.28-inch screen featuring a small notch, which means the status bar is pushed out of the main display area, resulting in an increase in ratio to 19:9.

It too is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and the resolution remains at Full HD+, resulting in the same pixel density as the 5T at 401ppi. Rumour has it the OnePlus 6T will again up the screen size, this time to 6.4-inches, though it is expected to stick with an AMOLED panel. It is not yet clear whether OnePlus will move into Quad HD resolution territory, or whether it might offer mobile HDR support on the new device, a feature that hasn’t been present on any OnePlus device as yet.

Hardware

  • OnePlus 5T: SD835, 6/8GB RAM, 64/128GB storage, 3300mAh
  • OnePlus 6: SD845, 6/8GB RAM, 64/128/256GB storage, 3300mAh
  • OnePlus 6T: SD845, 8GB RAM, 128GB/256GB storage, 3500mAh battery?

The OnePlus 5T run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform, coupled with 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, which is the same as the OnePlus 5 it succeeded.

Like the OnePlus 5, the 5T doesn’t offer microSD support and comes with a 3300mAh battery capacity that supports Dash Charge. The OnePlus 6 runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 platform with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 64GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage. As with other OnePlus devices, microSD support is unavailable, but like the OnePlus 5T, there is a 3300mAh battery that supports Dash Charge.

The OnePlus 6T is expected to run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor too, like the OnePlus 6. We’re also expecting storage options of at least 128GB with 8GB RAM and 256GB with 8GB of RAM, neither of which are expected to have microSD support. OnePlus has confirmed the new device will have space for features like a larger battery capacity thanks to the removal of the headphone jack but it is not yet clear how much bigger – maybe 3500mAh like the Samsung Galaxy S9+?

We’d expect Dash Charging though, and we’re hoping to see wireless charging too.

Camera specifications

  • OnePlus 5T: 16MP/20MP rear, 16MP front
  • OnePlus 6: 16MP/20MP rear, 16MP front, adds Portrait Mode and super slow motion video
  • OnePlus 6T: Expected to be same as OnePlus 6 with processing improvements

The OnePlus 5T has a dual rear camera system like the 5, though its setup is slightly different from the 5 in that it ditches the telephoto lens. The 5T has a 16-megapixel f/1.7 sensor coupled with a 20-megapixel f/1.7 sensor. On the front, there is a 16-megapixel f/2.0 sensor and it offers a feature called Face Unlock.

The OnePlus 6 follows in the path of the OnePlus 5T, offering a 16-megapixel rear camera with f/1.7 aperture, combined with a secondary 20-megapixel f/1.7 sensor. The main sensor sees a 19 per cent larger sensor however and optical image stabilisation has been introduced for better performance in various conditions. Like the OnePlus 5T, the OnePlus 6 has a 16-megapixel f/2.0 front sensor and the Face Unlock feature.

Portrait Mode is available on the front of the 6 as well as the rear camera though, allowing users to apply a depth of field effect to selfies. In terms of video, the OnePlus 6 offers 4K video capture in up to 60fps like the OnePlus 5T, but it also sees super slow motion mode introduced, allowing for the capture of HD video at 480fps. There is also and in-device video editor on board.

The OnePlus 6T meanwhile, is expected to offer the same hardware as the OnePlus 6, though it’s likely there will be some improvements in terms of processing. We’ll update this feature when official details are revealed.

Software

  • OxygenOS

The OnePlus 5T runs on the company’s OxygenOS system based on Android 8.1 Oreo and it has OnePlus features, such as Shelf, along with the customisation options found on the OxygenOS software. It will eventually see an update to Android Pie, though a rollout date is not yet known.

The OnePlus 6 launched on OxygenOS, again built on top of Android Oreo, and it came with a few updated features on top of the 5T including Gaming Mode, previously known as Gaming DND mode, and the option to replace the navigation bar with gestures. These gestures include swiping up from the bottom centre of the display to go home, swiping up from the left or right of the bottom of the display to go back and swiping up from the bottom of the display and pausing to see recents. Android Pie has started rolling out to OnePlus 6 devices as of 16 October.

The OnePlus 6T will likely launch on OxygenOS based on Android Pie so it should offer a similar experience to the 6. We would expect to see a couple of new features introduced on the 6T however.

Price and conclusion

The OnePlus 6 starts at GBP469 or £529. The OnePlus 5T started at GBP449 so there was a slight increase in price for the 6, and we’d expect a slight increase again for the 6T.

The OnePlus 6T will be more widely available than the 6 though, moving from an O2 exclusive to being offered by EE and Vodafone too, as well as stocked at more retailers like John Lewis and Carphone Warehouse. The OnePlus 6 offers improvements on its predecessor and the 6T is likely to do the same. Choose the 6 over the 5T and you get an all-glass body for that extra money, along with water resistance, an improved camera, larger display and a more advanced processor.

Choose the 6T over the 6 and you’ll get an under-display fingerprint sensor as well as likely a bigger display, hopefully proper waterproofing and a larger battery capacity.

You will lose the 3.5mm headphone jack though.

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Rockstar developers speak out about “100-hour weeks” comment https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/rockstar-developers-speak-out-about-100-hour-weeks-comment/ https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/rockstar-developers-speak-out-about-100-hour-weeks-comment/#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:47:59 +0000 https://arstechnica.com/?p=1396285 Warehouse DiscountsEnlarge / Are developers being asked to push themselves too hard to make games like Red Dead Redemption 2?Aurich / Getty / Rockstar Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser has drawn criticism this week for an interview where he said "we were working 100-hour we...]]> Warehouse Discounts

Enlarge / Are developers being asked to push themselves too hard to make games like Red Dead Redemption 2?Aurich / Getty / Rockstar

Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser has drawn criticism this week for an interview where he said “we were working 100-hour weeks” on the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2. The ensuing conversation, which now includes many current Rockstar employees speaking publicly for the first time, has reignited a long-running argument about how much “crunch time” (if any) should be expected from developers in the run-up to major game releases. The controversy started Sunday, when a rare interview with Houser and fellow studio co-founder (and brother) Sam Houser ran on New York Magazine’s Vulture vertical.

Dan’s statement that “we were working 100-hour weeks” several times in 2018 is treated as almost a throwaway line in the context of other numbers highlighting the immensity of the game: 300,000 animations; 500,000 lines of dialogue, and “several hundred” edits for every trailer. It’s a theme that runs throughout the interview, where the Housers brag about the game’s 2,000 page “main story” script, 1,200 SAG-AFTRA actors, 2,200 days of motion-capture work, and 192 separate “interactive” musical scores, for example. “We always worked ourselves to the bone,” former Grand Theft Auto developer Navid Khonsari notes in the Vulture piece. “We all thought we were making badass shit, so it didn’t matter how hard we worked.”

Impressively scaled “badass work” or not, many people were disturbed by the idea that Rockstar employees were being pushed through a week’s worth of work days lasting over 14 hours each (assuming no weekend breaks).

That kind of sustained overwork is common enough to have a widely accepted shorthand name around the industry: “Crunch.” And the problems for employee health and well-being brought on by that kind of sustained crunch have been heavily discussed for years in and around the industry. The International Game Developers Association cites research showing that level of sustained overwork is actually damaging to productivity.

Off-handed talk of “100-hour weeks” on RDR2 prompted many developers to share their own stories of how crunch has negatively impacted their lives during their time in the game industry. “My first job in Games we had a leaderboard where we tracked who worked the most hours in one week on the project. I made it to 3rd place… with 118 hours,” Iron Galaxy CEO Adam Boyes wrote in a representative example.

Other developers took issue with the prideful, almost bragging tone of Houser’s comments, which suggested the long work weeks were worth it to create “this seamless, natural-feeling experience in a world that appears real, an interactive homage to the American rural experience,” as Houser put it. “This needs to stop being a point of pride, no matter how bittersweet you make it sound,” Creative Assembly developer Pete Stewart wrote. “I don’t want devs to work 100-hour weeks, even if the end result is a game of the year. No game is worth that kind of burnout.”

Speaking out

In the wake of those kinds of reactions, Rockstar issued a statement to Kotaku, attributed to Dan Houser. The statement clarified that the “100-hour weeks” comment only referred to the four-person senior writing team, which put in “three weeks of intense work” to finalize everything at the end of the game’s seven-year development process.

That level of “intense work” was temporary and not expected of the entire staff, the statement said:

More importantly, we obviously don’t expect anyone else to work this way. Across the whole company, we have some senior people who work very hard purely because they’re passionate about a project, or their particular work, and we believe that passion shows in the games we release. But that additional effort is a choice, and we don’t ask or expect anyone to work anything like this.

Lots of other senior people work in an entirely different way and are just as productive–I’m just not one of them! No one, senior or junior, is ever forced to work hard. I believe we go to great lengths to run a business that cares about its people, and to make the company a great place for them to work.

Some were skeptical of those words, especially considering the public accusations that Rockstar employees were routinely overworked during the development of the first Red Dead Redemption.

So Rockstar has opened the discussion up to the current employees themselves, lifting a ban on speaking about work policies and experiences on social media. The wave of employee comments (as collected by employees like Miriam Bellard) paint a much healthier picture of the work culture at Rockstar. Employees who have shared their thoughts on Twitter are nearly unanimous in saying they’ve never worked 100 hours in a week, nor been pressured to do anything close.

Most say that light overtime is common and sometime encouraged before deadlines, but they say it never exceeds 50 to 60 hour weeks at the maximum. Most of that extra work time is driven by personal devotion and not management pressure, according to multiple Rockstar employees. Many also expressed dismay at the way Houser’s “100-hour weeks” comment was being portrayed in the media. On the other hand, Rockstar North tools designer Tom Fautley wrote, “I’ve not seen anybody forced to work 100 hour weeks, but I’ve definitely seen friends get closer to that figure than is healthy.

I am asked, encouraged, and expected to work overtime (both nights and weekends) when coming up to a big deadline. The most I’ve ever worked in a single week… has been 79 hours, but that was not recently.” Many employees suggest that excessive crunch was a bigger problem at Rockstar in the past. “During my first few years here, it was a lot worse,” Rockstar North scripter (and five-year company veteran) Owain Davies wrote. “There were several 70+ hour weeks.

The worst it ever got I think was just shy of 80 hours. It is getting better, but it still absolutely happens. Normal crunch for me nowadays is more like 50-55 hours, and I’ve not personally had it as bad as other colleagues I know.”

Senior Code Content Developer Phil Beveridge concurred that “work practices have definitely improved. Crunch on Red Dead Redemption 2 has definitely been a lot better that it was on GTA V, where I was pulling a month of 70+ hour weeks (while being told by my boss at the time to go home…)” That gels with former Rockstar employee Job.

J Stauffer, who wrote that his time working on Grand Theft Auto V was “like working with a gun to your head 7 days a week. ‘Be here Saturday & Sunday too, just in case Sam or Dan come in, they want to see everyone working as hard as them.” Some employees also point to social pressures for developers to push themselves harder to match their colleagues. “It’s easy to fall into that trap, if you leave on time, and see other people still working, or read a comment about a 100 hour week, to feel guilty,” a Rockstar North employee with the handle @palbudster wrote on Twitter. “To question if you’re doing enough, to start staying longer… if I’m not alone in that, and in fact that anxiety is fueling how much overtime we work? I expect that’s an industry wide problem, and not a criticism of Rockstar.”

Others still point out that there can be a fine line between overtime that’s “forced” and overtime that’s just encouraged by the wider workplace culture. “Veterans in the industry, the few that survive the crunch for any length of time, and this is something I myself have been guilty of over the years, begin to wear their ability to crunch like a badge of honor,” Fate Tectonics developer Alex Bethke told GameDaily. “[That’s] further reinforcing the bad culture and directly and/or indirectly saying to newcomers, if you want to have even a chance of getting to where I am you need to sacrifice everything.”

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The Witcher Dev Reveals New Art for Series’ 11th Anniversary https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/the-witcher-dev-reveals-new-art-for-series-11th-anniversary-2/ https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/the-witcher-dev-reveals-new-art-for-series-11th-anniversary-2/#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:44:01 +0000 http://feeds.ign.com/~r/ign/all/~3/npX12fot_38/the-witcher-dev-reveals-new-art-for-series-11th-anniversary Warehouse Discounts On the third day of Witcher, CD Projekt gave to me... By Jordan Sirani Updated with Day 3 below! Over the next eleven days, CD Projekt Red will be sharing eleven "little known" facts about The Witcher to commemorate the series' eleventh anniversary....]]> Warehouse Discounts

On the third day of Witcher, CD Projekt gave to me…

Updated with Day 3 below! Over the next eleven days, CD Projekt Red will be sharing eleven “little known” facts about The Witcher to commemorate the series’ eleventh anniversary. Check out the gallery below for everything the developer has shared so far via Twitter, and be sure to check back tomorrow as we continue to update it with each new piece of information.

As of March 2018, the acclaimed action RPG series has collectively sold over 33 million copies, according to CD Projekt. The series’ latest entry, The Witcher 3, was released in 2015 and went on to win our Game of the Year. IGN’s The Witcher 3 review said its “excellent combat and RPG gameplay … elevate [it] to a plane few other RPGs inhabit.” While CD Projekt Red is stepping away from The Witcher for its next massive RPG, the studio is still set to release Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales later this year.

The standalone, single-player mode for Gwent will feature a 30-hour campaign that “combines narrative-driven exploration with unique puzzles and card mechanics”

Exit Theatre Mode

Jordan is a freelance writer for IGN.

Follow him on Twitter @jdsirani.

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Yeskamo 4-channel wireless CCTV review https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/yeskamo-4-channel-wireless-cctv-review/ https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/yeskamo-4-channel-wireless-cctv-review/#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:40:00 +0000 https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/review/security-cameras/yeskamo-4-channel-wireless-cctv-3685449/ Security camera systems generally fall into one of two categories: wireless or CCTV. The Yeskamo bucks this trend by being both CCTV and wireless. It records 1080p video from the four included cameras to a hard drive that's built into a wireless receiv...]]>

Security camera systems generally fall into one of two categories: wireless or CCTV. The Yeskamo bucks this trend by being both CCTV and wireless. It records 1080p video from the four included cameras to a hard drive that’s built into a wireless receiver with a colour screen.

That means this is a complete kit and includes everything you need to record, store and play back recorded video.

Price & Availability

At GBP389 from Amazon or £389 from Amazon US , it might sound on the expensive side. But considering you’re getting four 1080p cameras, a 12in monitor and a 2TB hard drive, it’s not bad value at all. A twin-pack of Nest Outdoor cameras costs GBP329 from Argos and requires a monthly subscription to unlock features such as recording and motion detection.

An alternative, if you want a wired rather than wireless system, or need more than four cameras, is the Swann 8-channel system. Yeskamo also has its own alternative which replaces the screen with a box containing the hard drive. This costs GBP299 / US£299 and could save you money if you don’t need a screen.

Features and design

First, let’s get one thing out of the way: the cameras don’t have microphones or speakers, and so this is a video-only system and does not record audio.

That could be a deal-breaker for some people, and it isn’t made obvious on the Amazon listings.

What you do get is good quality 1080p video which is detailed and colourful – a step above most CCTV systems. Although video is transmitted wirelessly, the cameras still need power.

They’re outdoor models with infrared LEDs for night vision. This means you’ll need to drill holes in your wall near enough to an internal power socket, or install external sockets. An alternative is to run the power cable through a nearby window: the power cables are thin like speaker wire, so this may or may not work with your windows.

The wall mount is designed so that the cable can pass directly through the wall, as well as having a cutout so the wire can be turned 90 degrees and routed along the outside of the wall. Yeskamo 4-channel wireless CCTV review

Whichever approach you take, note that the wire coming from the camera is fairly thick and has both Ethernet and power connectors. So you’ll need a sizeable hole in your wall, or have an Ethernet port dangling outside.

Even though the cameras are IP66 rated, the power connection doesn’t appear to have any seal or protection from the elements. So if you’re not drilling holes in your wall you might need to add your own protection from rain and other moisture. That said, we mounted a camera in an exposed position with the power cable left unprotected and it continued to work with no problems even after heavy rain.

The range you can expect will vary depending upon where you place the display and cameras, the construction and number of walls in between and other factors. We found the cameras paired very quickly (and automatically) when placed near the screen and, after relocating, had a reliable signal 60ft away. If you need to, you can use the one included special antenna which replaces the usual one on the camera and can be routed through a wall and mounted indoors to help with a problematic signal.

Alternatively you can run an Ethernet cable to the camera(s) in question, but this rather defeats the point of buying a wireless system. At least the option is there. In terms of the display, the screen isn’t a touchscreen but comes with a mouse and an on-screen keyboard.

The software is as archaic as we were expecting, just like a traditional CCTV system. It isn’t hugely easy to use but after you’ve worked out how to rename the cameras, view recorded footage from a specific time and day (and at various speeds) it is possible if not that pleasant to do what you need to do. Yeskamo 4-channel wireless CCTV review

Also, the screen is very reflective and not particularly bright, so it’s best placed in a dim corner and not in your conservatory where it will be unusable.

There are two main ways to record. You choose continuous recording which ensures you capture everything but makes it harder to find a specific event, or motion recording which only records a video clip when motion is detected. It’s also possible to have continuous and motion recording together.

Yeskamo 4-channel wireless CCTV review

You can set a schedule for when each type of recording is active, and the specific areas in each camera’s view that you want to monitor for motion. It’s possible to adjust the sensitivity for detection to reduce the number of alerts and clips where nothing important happens, but there’s no intelligence in terms of being able to detect the motion of, say, a tree moving in the wind or a person walking around. This means any motion is an alert-worthy event, even if it’s not something you will care about.

This is one reason why some of the latest Wi-Fi cameras are preferable: they can even recognise faces and only alert you if an unfamiliar face is seen. However, the bottom line is that this is a CCTV system that you’ll probably use in the traditional way and leave it recording constantly so you can go back and see what happened at any point in time. Cameras which only record when motion is detected can miss events, and that’s annoying.

At least you won’t have that problem with the Yeskamo.

Apps

Android and iOS are supported and you have a choice of two apps but Yeskamo recommends IP Pro3 for Android and EseeCloud for iOS. Unfortunately neither is made or controlled by Yeskamo. They’re generic apps which have more features than the Yeskamo system provides.

For example, you’ll find pan, tilt and zoom controls, but the cameras are fixed-position models. It means that while you can see live footage and view recorded video, there’s none of the polish or finesse you’ll find with the Nest app, say. If there’s one good thing, it’s that you only need to scan a QR code to link the app with your Yeskamo box and aren’t forced to sign up for an account and remember yet another username and password.

However, this does present a few worries about security: anyone with your unique code can connect to your box (which is why we’ve blurred it out below!). Yeskamo 4-channel wireless CCTV review

Verdict

At this price, the Yeskamo system is good value. You’re getting a four-channel CCTV system which is wireless and offers good day and night video quality.

It’s a shame there’s no audio and that it uses off-the-shelf apps.

But if you’re buying it because you want a ready-to-go CCTV system, it does the job pretty well.

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For the First Time Since 2012, PC Shipments Are About to Go Up https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/for-the-first-time-since-2012-pc-shipments-are-about-to-go-up/ https://warehousediscounts.co.uk/2018/10/for-the-first-time-since-2012-pc-shipments-are-about-to-go-up/#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:39:27 +0000 http://www.pcmag.com/news/364447/for-the-first-time-since-2012-pc-shipments-are-about-to-go?source=SectionArticles For the first time in a long, long time, PC sales will actually not slump. It's not a big jump—only a forecasted year-to-year increase of PC sales of 0.3 percent coming in 2019. That's practically a null gain. But this chart from Canalys shows that the...]]>

For the first time in a long, long time, PC sales will actually not slump. It’s not a big jump–only a forecasted year-to-year increase of PC sales of 0.3 percent coming in 2019. That’s practically a null gain.

But this chart from Canalys shows that the slumps have been so bad in the past seven years, especially in 2013 and 2015, that any increase is worth trumpeting. For the First Time Since 2012, PC Shipments Are About to Go UpThe reason cited by Canalys analysts for the refreshing albeit slight recovery? Windows 10.

It says the refresh of the OS will “continue to be the main driver of commercial demand for PCs in 2019.” It doesn’t hurt that IT is freaking out about security, and shortages of components will ease up by the end of this year. Canalys says, however, that this recovery thanks to Windows 10 won’t last forever. Also worth noting is that the recovery isn’t really worldwide.

It’s driven by projected increases mainly in North America and APAC (Asia Pacific) regions, which together will overcome continued slumps in China, Western Europe, and Latin America, all of which round out the top five PC regions.

For the First Time Since 2012, PC Shipments Are About to Go Up

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