Posts Tagged ‘Gaming’
“My name is Edward Thorp.”
“My name is Edward Thorp.”
“My name is Edward Thorp.”
It’s 1964 and Edward Thorp is on the television game show To Tell The Truth, sitting alongside two other well-dressed men also claiming to be Edward Thorp, a man so adept at card counting that he’d been barred from Las Vegas casinos. Thorp, the quiet man on the right, every bit the mathematics professor with black-rimmed glasses and close-cropped hair, is the real deal.
Two years earlier, Thorp’s book, Beat the Dealer, was published, explaining the system for winning at blackjack he developed based on the mathematical theory of probability. The system worked so well that Las Vegas casinos actually changed the rules of blackjack to give the dealer an added advantage. Those changes would prove to be short-lived, but Thorp’s book would go on to become a massive bestseller, and remains a key guide to the game of blackjack to this day.
That all this happened as the computer age was flourishing in the 1960s isn’t coincidental. While working to beat the house, Thorp was also working at one of the hotbeds of that revolution: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There, he had access to two things that would prove invaluable to his research. One was the room-filling IBM 704 computer, without which, he writes in Beat the Dealer, “the analysis on which this book is based would have been impossible.”
Picking a gaming laptop is a difficult task these days: machines can be found in all shapes and sizes, from pricey thin-and-lights to oversized behemoths. That wide selection is a good thing, allowing buyers to pick and choose the best machine from dozens of manufacturers, possibly even finding a deal on a lower-cost ODM system. Still, there needs to be some sort of benchmark buyers can look to, and for many, Alienware serves that purpose. The brand, now owned by Dell, is known for offering powerful, high-quality machines at the market’s going rate; that is, not too cheap, not too expensive, but reasonably priced with just a hint of prestige. Considering Alienware’s 2013 hardware refresh, it seemed about time we took a closer look at Dell’s updated family of gaming portables. We picked out two: the Alienware 14 ($ 1,199+) and the larger Alienware 17 ($ 1,499+). Let’s see how they stack up.
While we had an inkling that Gigabyte would be fitting its latest miniature BRIX PCs with Haswell processors, we were pleasantly surprised to learn it had also built a tiny gaming computer with Iris Pro graphics on board. Indeed, the BRIX pocket gaming PC has similar internals to the recently announced Gigabyte BRIX II — it has an HDMI port, Ethernet, four USB 3.0 slots, Bluetooth 4.0, a Mini display port, built-in WiFi and a headset jack — but with the added benefit of Intel’s latest integrated graphics and the choice of red, yellow or black aluminum housing.
We had a chance to play around with a prototype model at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, and we have to say we’re impressed. We played a short round of Grid 2 and the race car looked amazing as it roared across a large 1080p TV. While the performance appeared robust enough in our brief hands-on, an Intel rep did warn us it probably won’t replace a system with a dedicated GPU. The box itself is an adorable little thing that we felt was compact and light enough to bring to our next gaming party without taking up too much space in the trunk.%Gallery-slideshow84011%
We suppose if there are folks who’d prefer a gaming laptop as their primary PC, then there must also be a market for portable gaming mice. But would you pay $ 115 for one?
A slew of negatives plague video games — Peter Pan Syndrome, hyper-violence, camping — but their youthfulness could do just what Nintendo’s Brain Age promised: improve elderly brain function. Over four years, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco had a group play a custom game (video of it in action is after the break) that tasks players to drive and identify road signs that appear while ignoring certain others, according to the New York Times. It’s not quite Grand Theft Auto, but it proved how hard successfully multitasking becomes with age. However, after training with the game, the 60 to 80 year old test subjects stomped those a fraction of their age who had no prior exposure to it. What’s more, this experience produced brain functionality benefits outside of the game.
This isn’t a fluke, either. For proof, the scientists used electroencephalography to monitor the older subjects and found that while playing, the theta wave activity — associated with attention — in their prefrontal cortexes looked like that of a younger adult’s. These findings may help scientists understand what areas of the brain “could and should” be manipulated to improve cognitive functions like memory. The study appears in today’s edition of Nature and backs up similar research from May that also used a concentration-heavy game, and reported like results. Now if you’ll pardon us, we have to show our parents that all those hours of our childhood weren’t wasted.
Source: New York Times
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Microsoft has spent a good amount of energy detailing the controller for its upcoming console, and now we’ve learned yet another detail — the Xbox One will support up to eight wireless controllers simultaneously. That’s double what the Xbox 360 supports, and the One’s wireless controllers will also feature a 30-foot-range. Of course, it’s unlikely that many developers will utilize so many controllers for local multiplayer, but it could potentially be a great way to play Madden or FIFA with a large number of friends. More importantly, it also means that the Xbox One could be home to the next-gen Bomberman game of our dreams.
After a year’s wait, DICE+ is finally shipping its Bluetooth game die. The chance cube is available for $ 40 in the US, and €40 ($ 53) in many other parts of the world. While the selection of compatible Android and iPad games is limited to a handful of party and strategy titles, the developer kit should lead to more releases in the future. If you’re eager to modernize your board game experience, you can buy the digital dice from DICE+ itself through the source link.
Via: The Verge
Back when it announced the launch date for the US, Wikipad also said its 7-inch slate would become available in more markets soon thereafter. Fast forward to now and the company’s announcing that its perplexed tablet is set to reach United Kingdom shores next month, on September 27th for €299.99 (roughly $ 400). Wikipad says the 7-inch, gaming-focused tablet will be found at a number of “well-known retailers” from day one, so UKers interested in snagging one of these should have no problem doing so.
Hate swapping out the drained batteries in your mouse during intense Battlefield sessions? Then Logitech’s vying for your dough with its new G602 wireless gaming mouse. The latest G-series entrant’s battery is rated for 250 hours in gaming mode, and up to a whopping 1,100 on its endurance setting. Around the mouse you’ll find 11 buttons, all of which are assignable via Logitech’s Gaming Software. As you’d expect, this kit also features the company’s ultra-fast 4,000 DPI Delta Zero optical sensor and a minuscule wireless USB dongle for computer hookup. The G602 is set to launch in September for $ 80, alongside the $ 30 G440 Hard Gaming Mouse Pad for “high-DPI gaming” and the $ 20 G240 Cloth Gaming Mouse Pad for “low-DPI gaming.” You’ll find the press info after the break. %Gallery-slideshow73529%
We’ve known Plantronics to craft solid PC gaming headsets and now, separate from the GameCom series, its new Rig package aims to appease gamers on every platform. The stereo headset itself features a slim profile with circumarual earcups that fold flat and it connects with two included cables: one features a boom mic, while the other packs an in-line remote and mic for smartphones. The heart of the setup lies within a wired mixer, which’ll let you hook up your cellphone, gaming rig (computer or console via USB and Toslink) and the headset simultaneously.
Aside from a slider that lets you adjust the balance of game and chat volume (à la Astro’s Mixamp), you can answer phone calls and re-route the mic as necessary at the press of a rocker switch. What’s more, game audio (including chat) can be mixed into your headset during calls and visa versa via a second balance slider. Lastly, you’ll have a choice of three EQ profiles, including a bass boost for extra wubs. Rig will hit retailers in the fall for $ 130, and we’re told future products under the moniker will drop beyond that. Full press release after the break.