Sunset Overdrive 2 May Happen With or Without Microsoft: Insomniac Games

Sunset Overdrive was one of the better games for the Xbox One. So much so that till this day it’s one of the reasons to own Microsoft’s console. And while Xbox chief Phil Spencer has been silent on what to expect in the way of a sequel, that hasn’t stopped developer Insomniac Games from chiming in.

Sunset Overdrive 2 May Happen With or Without Microsoft: Insomniac Games

“You’d have to ask Microsoft,” said Insomniac President Ted Price to Game Informer before hinting that it might not be restricted to the solitary game.

“We are passionate about that franchise, and we own it, so you may see more Sunset in the future from us,” Price said. “No promises, and no timeline to speak of, but it is something that represents our willingness to create unexpected experiences.”

Could we see a sequel? Not in the short term at least. Insomniac is working on the PS4-exclusive Spider-Man game as well as multiplayer-centric game, The Unspoken, a VR title with a season’s worth of content.

With having shipped the stellar Ratchet and Clank as well as VR efforts such as Feral Rites and Edge of Nowhere in 2016, Sunset Overdrive fans will be curious to see where Sunset Overdrive 2, if that’s what it would be called, would go into development. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.

Vivo Y55s Launched at Rs. 12,490: Release Date, Specifications, and More

Chinese handset manufacturer Vivo has unveiled its second smartphone this year, the Y55s, priced at Rs. 12,490. The new Vivo Y55s will be available in Crown Gold and Space Grey colours across the country from Sunday. The company says that the new Vivo Y55s is an upgraded version of the Vivo Y55L launched last year. The new Y55s comes with a more RAM and a bigger battery.\

Vivo Y55s Launched at Rs. 12,490: Release Date, Specifications, and More

The Vivo Y55s features a 5.2-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display and comes with a 2.5D curved edge screen. It is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 425 processor clocked at 1.4GHz coupled with 3GB of RAM. The Vivo Y55L, on the other hand, was powered by Snapdragon 430 processor and came with 2GB of RAM. It runs the company’s Funtouch OS 3.0 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The handset packs 16GB inbuilt storage and supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 256GB). It sports a 13-megapixel rear camera and also comes with a 5-megapixel front camera. The 4G-enabled Y55s is backed by a 2730mAh battery. The Vivo Y55L came with a smaller 2650mAh battery.

One of the highlight features of the Vivo Y55s is its Smart Screen-Split feature which will allow users to multi-task as well as use two apps simultaneously.

Commenting on the launch, Kent Cheng, CEO of Vivo India said, “After the success of Vivo V5 Plus, we hereby strengthen our Y series portfolio with the launch of this power packed device, the Y55s. We at Vivo are motivated by our endeavour to consistently set industry benchmarks by offering best in class features at affordable prices. Focused on our commitment in servicing customer satisfaction through quality products, we are hopeful that our latest innovation will be as successful as our previous offerings. We are confident that Vivo will have a great run in the year 2017.”

Rayz Plus earphones solve the iPhone 7’s biggest problem

Apple’s decision to drop the 3.5mm headphone port from the iPhone 7 was one of its most controversial moves in years, but the Lightning port is a better option in many ways, and that’s never been clearer than with the new Rayz and Rayz Plus earphones from Pioneer.

These feature-packed ‘smart’ earphones would ordinarily require a battery of their own, but as they plug in via the Lightning port they can be charged by your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch instead.

But they won’t drain your battery more than necessary, as they’re based on Avnera’s LightX platform, which allows them to operate in modes with the lowest power use possible.

And in the case of the Rayz Plus model you can also charge your phone while they’re plugged in, by using the included in-line charging node, thereby solving one of the biggest problems of using the Lightning port to listen.

Six are better than one

Both the Rayz and Rayz Plus contain six microphones, which allow for ‘Smart Noise Cancellation’ – a feature which scans your ears to optimize the noise cancelling performance for your ears and environment, whether you’re commuting, at work, on a plane, at play or in school.

There’s also a ‘HearThru’ mode, which lets a little outside noise in, so you’re not completely cut off from the world.

The buds can detect whether or not you’re wearing them, automatically pausing your content when they’re removed and playing it when they’re put back on.

Both models have a smart button too, which can mute the mics during a call, and be programmed to open apps or control other Rayz features.

Programming the button is handled by a Rayz app, which also lets you personalize the settings of your earphones, and could get new features down the line via software updates.

Pioneer claims that many of these features would not only be impossible to include with conventional 3.5mm earphones, but are also firsts for Lightning ones.

If you like the sound of them they’re out now in the US, but being an early adopter isn’t overly cheap, with the basic Rayz costing $99.95 (around £80/AU$130) and the Rayz Plus retailing for $149.95 (roughly £120/AU$195).

Microsoft and Tata Motors join hands to redefine connected experience for automobiles

Tata Motors and Microsoft India today announced a strategic partnership which will brings both the companies to build-up on Tata’s vehicular technology. This collaboration is supposed to lead to two way growth for both the companies and take the in-car technology to the next level. Microsoft will take up its artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and IoT capabilities to transform upcoming vehicles from Tata.

The first vehicle to showcase the idea behind this partnership is slated to be launched at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show scheduled on March 7 2017. The upcoming car will be showcasing the enhanced driving experiences, and will be the first car under Tata’s sub brand Tamo.

“Using IoT (internet of things), AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning technologies, we will provide vehicle owners in India and across the world a safe, productive and fun driving experience,” Anant Maheshwari, President at Microsoft India, said.

Tata will be using Microsoft’s connected vehicle technologies on Azure intelligent cloud to bring the digital lives of their customers into their cars.

Commenting on the partnership, Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD, Tata Motors, said, “With the aim to develop innovative and technologically leading products that excite customers, we at Tata Motors, understand the need for a connected ecosystem that can integrate into the digital lives of customers”.

Tata Motors CEO further added that he saw the tie-up creating new revenue opportunities for the company as car buyers increasingly look for value-added services.

The best O2 phone deals in February 2017

O2 has been one of the best networks in the UK for some time, and it’s the only network that’s renowned for its extra giveaways. If you switch to O2 though, you obviously want to be sure you’re getting the best deals that O2 has to offer, and that’s where this page comes in!

We’ve rounded up all of the best O2 phone deals on the best handsets so that you can find the best prices and plans for your needs. If you’re after something a little more specific, take a look at our comparison chart below.

Want to browse the best phone deals at other networks too? Here you go: Vodafone deals | EE deals | Three deals

iPhone 7 deals of the month

iPhone 7 deals of the month

The best iPhone 7 deals on O2:

The new iPhone 7 is set to be another smash hit mobile phone thanks to further design enhancements. It’s now waterproof, has a better screen and stereo speakers. The long-rumoured dropping of the headphone jack has become a reality, but there’s an adapter in the box for your old cans, or there’s a pair of lightning cable-friendly headphones in the box too. Memory capacity has been given a boost now, with the smallest models now starting at a much more robust 32GB.

iPhone 7 32GB |   £175 £125 upfront (use code 50OFFO2) | Unlimited calls and texts | 3GB data | £28.50 per month

This is the best iPhone 7 deal out there in the UK this month, courtesy of the voucher code 50OFFO2 which saves you £50 on the upfront cost. It reduces the upfront to £125 and then it’s only £28.50 monthly for 3GB data and unlimited everything else. It’s £6 more than the best EE deal over the two years and for that you get 3GB data instead of 1GB Total cost over 24 months is £809

iPhone 7 32GB |   £125 £75 upfront (use code 50OFFO2) | Unlimited calls and texts | 3GB data | £31.50 per month
This deal is significantly cheaper than it was this time last month – plus it’s a 3GB deal that’s cheaper even than any 1GB iPhone 7 deal on O2. Save £50 with the voucher code 50OFFO2 and pay £75 upfront and then £31.50 per month for 3GB data and unlimited calls and texts. Definitely the best deal available on O2 this month but it’s not as strong as that 5GB EE deal above. Total cost over 24 months is £831

 

iPhone 7 32GB |   £50 £40 upfront | Unlimited calls and texts | 5GB data | £40 per month
If you want to be on O2 but you need a little more data, this is the next best deal. Again you can use the voucher code 10OFF to reduce the upfront cost of this deal to £40 and then pay £40 per month for 5GB data with unlimited calls and texts. This deal is £49.99 cheaper than it was last month! Total cost over 24 months is £1,000

 

iPhone 7 128GB |   £175 £125 upfront | Unlimited calls and texts | 3GB data | £34.50 per month
If you’re after more storage than 32GB then this 128GB iPhone 7 deal is just for you! Save £50 with code 50OFFO2 and then it’s £34.50 for 3GB data and unlimited everything else after the £125 upfront fee. It’s obviously not as cheap as the 32GB deals but the extra storage space is worth it for some people.   Total cost over 24 months is £953

 

cheap iphone 7 plus deals

cheap iphone 7 plus deals

The best iPhone 7 Plus deals on O2:

Apple’s larger iPhone 7 Plus is a premium upgrade over the regular iPhone 7. In addition to being waterproof, rocking stereo speakers and having an improved screen this year, the iPhone 7 Plus has a dual-lens camera with an incredibly clear zoom function for professional looking pictures.

iPhone 7 Plus 32GB | £114.99 upfront (with 10OFF code) | Unlimited calls and texts | 1GB data | £39.50 per month
O2’s only got an average amount of cheap deals for the iPhone 7 Plus, despite usually being pretty good for top phones. This time you’re only getting 1GB for a large-ish amount per month. The overall cost is one of the higher on offer, but it’s the cheapest on O2 right now. Total cost over 24 months is £1062.99

 

iPhone 7 Plus 32GB | £134.99 upfront (with voucher code 10OFF) | Unlimited calls and texts | 5GB data | £40 per month
This is definitely the better iPhone 7 Plus deals on O2 right now. You get 5GB data for the less than last month, although sadly the upfront cost has risen to again – and then it’s a flat £45 per month for 5GB data and unlimited everything else. Total cost over 24 months is £1094.99

 

iPhone 7 Plus 32GB | £54.99 upfront (with 10OFF code)| Unlimited calls and texts | 10GB data | £48 per month
If you’re thinking of going for few more bytes this iPhone 7 Plus deal will net you double the data – 10GB instead of 5GB. Obviously not one of the cheapest deals, but if you’re hell-bent on sticking with the bubbly network and want reams of data, this is the one. Total cost over 24 months is £1206.99.

 

The best iPhone SE deals on O2:

The iPhone SE looks and feels exactly the same as the iPhone 5S. But instead of sporting two-year-old hardware it’s fully up to date, with a super-fast CPU and graphics, and the 12MP iSight camera straight out of the iPhone 6S. It’s a modern iPhone in the shape of an old iPhone, for people who like the old iPhones but want more up-to-date hardware. O2 is now running contracts for under £32 per month.

Leaked pictures show Galaxy S8, LG G6 complete with cases

Few phone tipsters are as prolific or as well-informed as Evan Blass ( @evleaks ) and the man has had another Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6 shot to show off this weekend – one that sees the flagship phone wearing some kind of case.

We don’t know where the cases are from but the picture does give us a clear look at the front and back of the Galaxy S8 . The bezels at the side of the phone’s display have been reduced to just about nothing and the fingerprint scanner has been moved around to the rear of the device, next to the camera.

The LG G6 , meanwhile, is shown rocking its dual-lens camera with the fingerprint sensor also around the back, as it was on the LG G5. There’s also a look at the skin LG is planning to put on top of Android this time around. Click through on the image below to see the full view of both phones.

These images appear to be the real deal, considering the reputation of the source – and they match up with other leaks we’ve already seen for the Samsung Galaxy S8and LG G6 . We’re expecting LG’s flagship to be unveiled on February 26, with the Samsung phone probably showing up a month later.

One other rumor floating around the web this weekend about the Galaxy S8 concerns the phone’s battery: apparently Samsung is planning to fit some of the S8 phones with battery packs supplied by Sony, making it the third battery supplier alongside Murata Manufacturing and Samsung SDI, an affiliate of Samsung itself.

People “familiar with the matter” told the Wall Street Journal that the company wants to diversify its battery suppliers to avoid another repeat of the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. Let’s hope this time around there are no burning phones and no mass recalls

Style Your White Shirt Better

We often get the fix of styling our white shirt, you want to pull something more exciting, but always ending up wearing it the usual way?

Well, we spill out some fashion fixes which will help you in styling your good old white shirt better.

With your favourite pair of Jeans
Because pairing a white shirt with jeans is a classic combination and nothing can be anything chicer than this pair! Add a pair of sexy heels and you are good to go!

Playing Strong Monochrome Game

There is nothing more comfortable than black and pairing black with whites is nothing but a favourite combination! The game just turns exotic and formal with amonochromatic outfit.

Bold & Striped

When we experiment with bottom wears we need to keep the upper wear subtle, nothing plays fair than your good old white shirt. Whether you want to experiment with coloured pants or printed ones, a white shirt stands with you, in a pretty way!

Play Pretty With Skirt

The daring golden skirt or formal pleated skirt a white shirt will fix your outfit with a chic statement. Buy the quirkiest of skirts from Shoppers Stop, that offers a vivid range of apparels.

The bets way we use our white t-shirt is how we can layer it up in winter.

So, what are you waiting for? Get going with your white shirt and rock some chic look this week!

Shop your perfect white shirt only from Shoppers Stop, visit the store near you, or browse online!

Microsoft, Tata Motors Ink Technology Collaboration Deal

Tata Motors and Microsoft on Thursday announced a strategic collaboration on the technology front to make driving a more personalised and connected experience.

Microsoft, Tata Motors Ink Technology Collaboration Deal

The first vehicle showcasing the enhanced driving experiences will be unveiled at the Geneva International Motor show on March 7, the companies said.

This will be via Tata Motors’ user interface application and services suite utilising Microsoft-enabled functionalities such as advanced navigation, telematics and remote monitoring features, they said.

Announcing the partnership, Tata Motors Managing Director Guenter Butschek said the tie-up with Microsoft can create new revenue opportunities for the company as car-buyers increasingly look for value-added services. But he did not quantity the potential.

He said the programme will begin with its recently announced sub-brand TaMo but will gradually extended to the main Tata Motors branded passenger vehicles as well.

The companies did not share the commercial details of the partnership.

“Using the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, we will provide the vehicle owners here as well as across the world a safe, productive and fun-driving experience,” Anant Maheshwari, Microsoft India President, said at a press conference.

Maheshwari said Microsoft expects 90 percent of cars to be fully connected by 2020 and even today one-third of all car-buyers/owners want personalisation of his/her mobility experience.

Butschek said Tata Motors aims to enhance in-car connectivity and efficiency to provide an enriched mobile experience for its consumers with this option.

“We will leverage Microsoft’s connected vehicle technologies that bring together artificial intelligence, advanced machine learning, and the Internet of Things capabilities on the global hyper-scale Azure cloud, to traverse the digital and physical worlds and create a highly personalised, smart and safer driving experience across the digital life of a vehicle owner,” he said.

He said the company’s recently launched ring-fenced vertical, TaMo will act as an open platform to foster innovation through a startup ecosystem and develop vehicles with on-the-go connectivity.

“In the first phase, the advanced offerings will incorporate technologies such as cloud computing, analytics, geo-spatial and mapping and increased human-machine interface, creating a new benchmark in the industry for connected vehicles,” he added.

Earlier this month, Tata Motors announced a sub-brand TaMo with an aim to introduce new technology-equipped vehicles faster in its bid to regain the lost market share.

Xiaomi Mi MIX Successor Already in the Works, Confirms CEO

Xiaomi CEO and Founder Lei Jun has confirmed that the company is already working on the second-generation of the Mi MIX smartphone. Jun in his recent Weibo post revealed that the Chinese company is once again working in collaboration with French designer Philippe Stark to develop the Mi MIX successor. Further, Jun is his Weibo post (see below) said that Stark has come up with ideas for the Mi MIX successor and now, both the parties are now exploring ways to bring the idea into reality.

Xiaomi Mi MIX Successor Already in the Works, Confirms CEO

To recall, the key feature of the Xiaomi Mi MIX was its near bezel-less display with curved edges on top, and 91.3 percent screen-to-body ratio.

Unfortunately, Lei Jun hasn’t shared any timeline for the Xiaomi Mi MIX II launch this year, but we can expect it in the second half of the year. The Chinese company unveiled the Mi MIX in October last year, and introduced a White version of the smartphone at CES 2017 earlier this year.

We can expect Xiaomi to work on multiple prototypes of the Mi MIX successor before deciding on the final product. Based on preliminary leaks, the Xiaomi Mi MIX II could sport an even thinner bezel with a screen-to-body ratio of up to 93 percent.

Apart from bezel-less display, Mi MIX also featured a ceramic body, which was another highlight of the device. The smartphone also came with piezoelectric acoustic ceramic earpiece speaker, as well as the ultrasonic proximity sensor rather than the traditional front-facing infrared sensor.

Xiaomi Mi MIX was launched last year in China in two variants – 4GB RAM/ 128GB storage priced at CNY 3,499 (roughly Rs. 34,500), and 6GB RAM/ 256GB storage priced at CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 39,500).

To refresh on the specifications, the Mi MIX include a 6.4-inch display which bears a 9:17 aspect ratio, with a 1080×2040 pixels resolution, a pixel density of 362ppi, and a 94-percent NTSC colour gamut. It is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 821 processor coupled with 4GB or 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM. The Xiaomi Mi MIX smartphone sports 16-megapixel rear camera with PDAF, an f/2.0 aperture, and dual-tone LED flash. It bears a 5-megapixel front camera.

Crowd Forms on Alexa Bandwagon

New additions to Amazon’s growing ecosystem of Alexa-based products are making a splash at CES this week. With a growing number of home appliance, computer and electronics makers announcing integrations with the company’s digital assistant technology, the transformation to automated homes and home offices appears to be taking place before our eyes.

Among the most notable integrations is Lenovo’s Smart Assistant, which features Alexa’s cloud-based voice technology. Built in collaboration with Amazon, it recognizes the user’s voice, and performs a variety of functions. It checks calendar appointments, plays music, conducts Web searches and creates lists, among other things.

lenovo-smart-assistant

The assistant is designed to run Lenovo smart home devices and scores of third-party products as well.

Dish Network, which has 13.6 million pay-TV customers, is the first television provider to provide direct integration with Alexa. Dish customers will be able to use its Hopper DVR hands-free with the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot.

Starting later in the first half of 2017, users will be able to search, navigate and quick-play content on the Hopper DVR hands-free, based on show titles, actors, genre and channel, if they have a broadband connection and an Echo or Dot.

“Alexa seems to be a big winner at CES thus far,” said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

Amazon last week announced that Echo Dot was its best-selling item, and that Alexa-enabled devices — including the Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV stick and Fire tablet — were its top-selling items during the holiday season.

“The fact that Amazon is willing to share this technology and is a friendly partner is good for the industry and the company,” McGregor told TechNewsWorld.

 Early Days

Amazon has sold more than 5.1 million Amazon Echo devices since it was introduced in late 2014, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

Consumer awareness of the Echo has soared over the past couple of years, noted Michael Levin, a partner at CIRP. However, this product, which has an available marketplace of 125 million households, is still in its infancy.

“Amazon wants to create Prime members even more than it wants to sell Echo devices,” Levin told TechNewsWorld, “and Alexa could become the operating system for Prime membership.

Industry Smarts

Vivint Smart Home has announced that Sky — which uses machine learning to pick up activity patterns of home residents to help manage energy use and security devices — now accepts voice commands through Amazon’s Alexa system.

Ayla Networks announced that it has added Alexa integration and Alexa’s smart home skills to its Internet of Things platform. Partner manufacturers no longer will have to write complex code or run servers on AWS in order to configure connected products.

“There are a number of rules and tests that every company needs to follow and pass to work with the Smart Home Skills API,” said Oliver Cockroft, a product architect at Ayla Networks

“We have built our Alexa connector with the logic to conform and pass all the tests that Amazon requires for the different device types,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Only by doing this can we truly have a configurable connector, instead of having our customers need to write and manage their own lambda code to integrate with Alexa.”

For example, one of those tests might be making sure a fan turns off automatically if its speed is set to zero, he said.

Ayla’s technology is used for fire safety, water filtration, WiFi-enabled door locks, smart air conditioners and other uses, Cockroft said, but he declined to name manufacturers or consumer partners that have tested Ayla’s IoT with Alexa.

Although Ayla has spoken to other companies about integrating with their digital assistant technologies, he said, Alexa has been the most requested system from customers, and Ayla wants to make sure that it’s fully supported before it commits to other voice interaction platforms.

In addition to providing the Alexa system, Amazon has been “very aggressive at assembling the pieces of an end-to-end IoT service chain” in its AWS cloud, observed Paul Teich, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

“That is a clear service differentiation that dovetails nicely with their natural speech understanding for many consumer and industrial IoT use cases,” he told TechNewsWorld.

While Alexa is well ahead of its competitors, rivals like Google Voice and Microsoft Cortana are progressing significantly, said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

Both companies have “substantial partnerships that they will bring to the fore,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Alexa is widely successful, King said, but its capabilities are “far behind muscular, enterprise-class cognitive platforms like IBM’s Watson.”