Is this an Xbox One S — or is it a gaming PC?

 

In the four years since the launch of the current console generation, Eddie Zarick has donejust about everything you can with the Xbox One’s chassis. Well, now he’s stuffed a gaming PC into it.

It fairly raises the question of why, as just about any gaming PC worth the money should have some leg up on a console’s performance. It’s sort of like disguising a Porsche inside a Oldsmobile. But we’ll grant that fitting those components in something like the Xbox One S took a lot of planning and effort. And case mods are the cosplay of hardware, so practicality isn’t necessarily the goal.

Pulling this off required using a laser cutter to fabricate a back plate that could accommodate the necessary ports while maintaining a factory look. But that optical drive slot is cosmetic only — with space at such a premium, Zarick had to go for a solid state design throughout. (“I mean, who uses those things anyway,” he says.) Instead the slot lights up to serve as a power indicator.

Here’s the parts list:

  • Intel Core i3-7100 3.9 GHz dual-core processor
  • Thermaltake CLP0534 22.4 CFM CPU cooler
  • MSI B250I Gaming Pro AC Mini iTX LGA1151 motherboard
  • Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 8 GB DDR4-2400 memory (2 x 4GB)
  • Samsung 840 Pro Series 256 GB 2.5 solid-state drive
  • Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB low profile video card
  • PicoPSU-160-XT, 160 watt output, 12 volt input DC power supply.
  • [Source”indianexpress”]

This AR gaming demo has me seriously excited for the iPhone 8

iOS 11 FeaturesAugmented reality is one of the main features of iOS 11, Apple confirmed at its WWDC event last month. The iPhone maker already released the tools developers need to come up with various AR apps that will work on a variety of supported devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and we already saw a bunch of impressive demos of ARKit apps. A short video shows us what it’ll be possible for games when AR is included, and the iPhone 8 might offer us a gaming experience that’ll have no rivals.Posted on Twitter, the following video shows us a game built on the Unreal Engine platform, and adapted to work with Apple’s ARKit:

The app uses ARKit to overlay game graphics over an object in the real world, turning the entire game into an unparalleled experience.

Moving around the table or getting closer to the action will change the whole perspective, far beyond the zoom in and zoom out features that would be available in a traditional non-AR game.

These experiences should be available on a variety of devices, not just the iPhone 8. But Apple’s 2017 iPhones will feature faster chips and better graphics, which should turn them into devices that are even better suited to consume graphics-intensive AR content like the game above.

The only downside to the whole experience is that you still have to hold the iPhone in front of you and touch the screen to interact with objects. But even so, AR gaming already looks incredible in these demos.

[Source:-BGR]

Apple shows off new emoji coming this year, including zombies, a genie and T-Rex

Handout: Apple Emoji 2
Handout: Apple Emoji 2

Apple

Apple on Monday teased new emoji that it will launch later this year for the iPhone, iPad and Mac.

The company said it revealed some of the new emoji to help celebrate World Emoji Day. Several new characters are on the way, including a genie, a tyrannosaurus rex, zombies, an elf, a man doing yoga, a woman breastfeeding, and more.

The new emoji are technically a set of emoji that are launching as part of Unicode 10.0, the standard set for emoticons. While Apple didn’t show them, there will also be emoji for bitcoin, a man in a steam room, various additional dinosaurs, sleds and more. You can see the full list — though not necessarily Apple’s interpretation of them — on the Unicode website.

Apple didn’t say when the new emoji will be available on its devices but expect them sometime around the launch of iOS 11 in September.

Your Company May Soon Pay More for This Key Software

Many Fortune 500 companies will probably pay more to use Atlassian software starting next month, but it’s sort of hard to tell given the complexity of the newprice model outlined in late June.

While these Atlassian (TEAM, +0.31%) products—like Jira for tracking bugs and Confluence collaboration software—may not be name brands to non-IT pros, they are a big deal to software developers. And because most companies now build and maintain at least some of their own custom software, this price change is worth noting.

An example: Right now, a team of 26 to 50 people pays $3,000 per year for a cloud version of Jira. Starting July 31, 2017, that same team will be on the hook for $3,500 per year. Under the current plan, once a team hits the 51-user mark, it paid $4,500 per year. Now that bill will be $7,000.

With these changes, Atlassian, which went public two years ago, will offer what tech news site The Register called a “mind-muddling” 17 tiers of annual pricing. It is hardly the only software company to offer a dizzying array of price points. As cynics often point out, there is often money to be made in complexity.

Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter.

For those paying on a monthly basis, Atlassian is moving to per-user pricing at least after the first 10 users which can use the product for $10 per month flat fee. But once an 11th person is aboard, the price will jump to $77 per month (at $7 per user per month).

In its post, Atlassian characterized that $10 flat fee for up to ten users as its introductory rate. The company’s Jira Service Desk price will still carry a $10 flat fee covering three agents, the people assigned to handle support tickets. Atlassian also offers versions of all these products that can run on a customer’s own servers.

Atlassian claims many name-brand customers including Cerner (CERN, -0.89%), DocuSign (DOCUSIGN), Rockwell Collins (COL, +1.49%), and NASA.

Related: Atlassian Goes All In With Amazon Cloud

Atlassian became a bit more familiar to workers outside software development early this year when it announced plans to purchase Trello, a popular workforce collaboration application, for $435 million. There were no price changes listed for that product.

Fortune contacted Atlassian for comment and will update this story as needed.

Note: (July 10, 2017 11:11 a.m. ET) This story was updated to note that the Atlassian blog outlining the price changes posted in late June and that the company also offers on-premises versions of these software products, the price of which was unaffected by these changes.

[Source”indianexpress”]

ANYONE CAN DO THIS: A CONVERSATION WITH AWFUL RECORDS’ KEITHCHARLES ABOUT INSPIRATION AND WHAT IT TAKES TO BE GREAT

While patrolling the streets of Brooklyn in search of late night festivities I stumbled upon your run-of-the-mill rooftop function, equipped with an on-grade-level DJ, a dance floor in need of resuscitation, and a guest list full of socially awkward New York socialites afraid of losing even one of their 10.4K Instagram followers. But it wasn’t all bad so, with Jack Daniels in hand, I looked to my boys for approval and braved the unknown landscape. Personally, I’m not one to let an evening go to waste, even if the party is on life support, so I made my rounds dancing and weaving my way through the crowd and as the night went on, this random roof top became more and more the place to be. When I finally made my way to the perimeter of the function to catch my breath, someone, who I thought was one of the people I came with, started to walk toward me. Just as I was about to suggest we make our exit, I realize this wasn’t my friend, rather it was Awful Records’ own KeithCharles fresh from a European tour with singer-songwriter HOMESHAKE.

As it turned out, the person I had mistaken him for, Midland Agency’s Aton Ibe, was a mutual friend and this common denominator broke the ice of awkward introductions before it could freeze. Once identities were confirmed, the conversation ran like a faucet. All small talk was cast aside while the subject of creative inspiration took the lead role. The quick run-in swiftly evolved into a near monologue of KeithCharles’ muses, past and present. Whether through drunken passion or pure will to inspire those around him, KeithCharles became a fountain of bohemian energy overflowing with enlightening anecdotes meant to help his creative peers level-up. Thank god the party was calm enough for me to catch every word he said.


Everybody can do this s***! Everybody can f****** do this s*** bro. I started making beats on Kazaa. Do you remember Kazaa bro? Limewire Kazaa bruh! My parents are both musicians, I knew from an early, early age what I needed to do this s***. I told my mom when I was like 9 or 10 years old that I needed an MPC. I knew that this is what I wanted to do. And its crazy to me that I’m able to f****** do it.

And that’s what this is all bout, inspiration. You’re paying it forward with your talent.

I just talk to people all the time and I think that’s helped my fanbase tremendously. After a show, I’d stand out in a crowd and just talk to people and bro, this s*** is actually all about telling someone else that you can do this s***.

I like that, because not a lot of artists in this day and age want to help people, not like put people on but just inspire them or give them a little bit of insight into…

..what it takes to do this!

Exactly, its almost like older generations or more experienced people tend to put young artists down or tell them they aren’t tight before they even get the chance to develop.

Atlanta helped me bro, because I came from the swamps of Tampa, Florida. I’m from the swamps bro, the sticks! Ain’t no culture bro, well except the culture that there is. My mom strictly believes in Jesus. I told her one day, “What if I was muslim?”, she almost got into a car accident.

That’s crazy, but thats that old-head mentality. How are you going to deny someone from being themselves.

What its all about to me, and I feel like everyone can understand this from my music, is that I’m only here to make sure that people who didn’t know that they could do this, know that they can do this. And can do it better than I can. You feel me? I’ve met crazy, crazy musicians and thats what I aspire to be right now. I’m taking piano lessons, guitar lessons, bass lessons and that has been my dream since I was maybe 14 or 15 years old. You feel me?

You have anything specific that you’re working on that’s coming soon?

Oh yeah bro, I’ve got different albums under different names. I have a whole house project under the name Small Twin.

Is that joint out already?

Naw naw, I’m still brewing it, I’m still brewing.

I already know Awful Records artists do everything.

Yeah bro!

But one thing I do enjoy about your music is that you are very honest with what you say and even with the sounds you use.

Are you a big ABRA fan?

 Of course!

She’s way more honest than I am and has been able to get to a certain security that comes from insecurity and thats where I am trying to get with what I am doing now.

Before I could get another question out, “Knuck If You Buck” began to blare from the surrounding speakers and like a trap Cinderella, KeithCharles vanished into the dance floor. Although I was not able to relocate him once Diamond’s verse dropped, his glass slipper was the subject of our conversation. Art is, in its essence, meant to inspire all those who it may come in contact with. As KeithCharles says, it is the role of the artist to incite hope in their supporters so that they too can be the one on stage with thousands of followers chanting their lyrics. They too can grow to release award-winning albums and tour the world making millions of dollars doing what they love; all it takes is a mustard seed of inspiration and the openness and willingness to nurture it and let it grow.

[Source”indianexpress”]

Neil Featherby: Looking for inspiration at this time of year?

Sportlink's Neil Featherby says it's important to stay motivated at this time of year. Picture: Archant

What with all the early season races now out of the way, particularly those which were used in the run-up to marathons like London, Brighton, Manchester, Edinburgh or Bungay, it can be hard for the road runner to find motivation at this time of year.

I have always called this period Pimms and Lemonade months when perhaps people’s thoughts start to turn towards holidays, watching a bit of cricket, Wimbledon, or of course this year’s World Athletics Championships in London.

However, there is still plenty of running and racing to do especially with the autumn round of half and full marathons just a few weeks away.

Now whilst it can be hard going when it is so warm or indeed even stifling as it has been these last few days you perhaps just need that little bit of extra motivation to get going.

I was asked very recently in Sportlink by a well-known running couple, Simon and Deborah English, after they had both won their races earlier that morning as to how did I always keep my enthusiasm towards running 100 plus miles every single week of the year.

Needless to say my answer was that I wasn’t always motivated to get out and run 20 miles or more every day irrespective of the time of year, but what I did do was have a collection of brilliant videos which documented the lives of Sebastian Coe (Born to Run) along with Steve Ovett and Steve Cram which were all featured at one time or another during the 1980s.

I told them to go check them out with a lot of other great stuff which you can now see on Youtube and if that doesn’t inspire you to run, then I don’t know what will.

Later that evening I received an email from Simon saying: “Just watched it – awesome!”

On Monday night I decided to do a treadmill session for which I put Youtube on the display and whilst going through some of the great classics, my real attention was tuned in to two races which both have to be considered amongst some of the best finishes ever to big time races.

The Boston Marathon 1982 between Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley and The Great North Run 2013 between Kenenisa Bekele and Mo Farah.

Even for an old plodder like me, I could feel my energy levels rise whilst the hairs stood up on the back of my neck (none on my head) whereby my stride and pace increased with absolute ease.

Most amazingly I also noticed that my heart rate dropped by several beats as I cruised along watching these athletes at the very top of their game and all with two things in common…talent for one, but secondly the motivation to give absolutely 100pc when required.

Awesome and out of this world are most definitely the best words to describe athletes of this calibre, but I wonder if they ever had to go looking for inspiration?

[Source”pcworld”]

Could this be the Surface Phone? Microsoft awarded patents for a range of foldable mobile devices

Microsoft has been awarded a patent for a foldable mobile devices and other components that could point to something beyond a mere prototype.

I should preface this by saying that patents don’t mean products. This could simply be Microsoft’s way of protecting future ideas or prototypes that are simply too costly or problematic to ever see production. Still, it offers a tantalizing glimpse of what could be on the horizon.

A new patent granted to Microsoft last week shows dual and triple-hinged devices that support multiple configurations. They can be folded into something small and phone-like, placed in a “tent” mode, and even folded out to create a larger tablet. If this is Microsoft’s vision for the Surface Phone, it will have very few comparable devices on the market, and certainly fits the Surface modus operandi of bringing something totally unique to existing form factors.

The patent’s various configurations reveal double, and even triple-screened phones, that the patent describes as both a mini-tablet and a phone. The devices, which also include slide-out models that appear to include different types of housings, are described as supporting several use cases given the varied configurations possible as a result of their hinges.

It’s particularly interesting, as Microsoft was also recently awarded a patent for an electrical hinge that would naturally be essential in any and, perhaps even all of these designs.

Patent filings don’t always translate into products for market, but these recent developments are especially intriguing. Microsoft has long been teasing spiritually Surface-like mobile devices, and those devices, hopefully, are just around the corner.

 

 

[Source:- Windowscentral]

 

Does this type make my design look fat?

featured_typescale

Nothing can ruin a design like typography that doesn’t fit. Whether it’s too big (or too small), improper type scaling is a major problem.

It’s a problem for more designs than you might think. Too commonly you visit a website where the type renders beautifully on a desktop browser, only to revisit later from a phone and find it difficult to read. It happens all the time.

The issue is that the type wasn’t truly scaled for each device. It’s a totally avoidable problem when you consider a typographic scale for projects.

WHAT IS A TYPOGRAPHIC SCALE?

A visual typographic scale encapsulates the sizes, space and proportions of type elements relative to on another in a project. This includes everything from the main body text style to headlines, subheaders, captions and any other text element.

The scale helps determine size and placement of the text elements in relationship to one another. For web design, in particular, the visual type scale often corresponds to tags in your CSS (such as h1, h2, h3, p, and so on).

A type scale helps you create harmony and rhythm in the design. It also keeps you out of stylistic trouble because text elements correspond with CSS elements so that every part of the design uses the same elements and consistency.

The scale should be based on the size of body text. (Always set a typeface and size for that first). Then build the scale around this main typography. Not sure where to start? Google has a solid recommendation:

  1. Use a base font size of 16 CSS pixels. Adjust size based on properties of the font being used.
  2. Use sizes relative to the base size to define the typographic scale.
  3. Text needs vertical space between characters; the general recommendation is to use the browser default line-height of 1.2 em.
  4. Restrict the number of fonts used and the typographic scale.

CREATE HARMONY AND RHYTHM

A type scale does more than just help users move through the copy, it creates harmony and rhythm for the flow of text. This is important on any device.

So where do you start?

UX Matters has some of the best research available on minimum text sizes by device. Note that these are minimum sizes and as body text sizes continue to increase (as does line spacing), you should strongly consider larger point sizes. Steven Hoober recommends starting at least 40 percent larger than the recommended minimums. Further, enhanced content styles can go up to 80 percent above the minimum, but you should be cautious with exceptionally large type as well.

Device Type Minimum Size 40% Recommendation (adjusted for easy use) 80% Maximum (adjusted for easy use)
Small Phone 4 5.6 (6) 7.2 (7.5)
Large Phone 6 8.4 (8.5) 10.8 (11)
Phablet 7 9.8 (10) 12.6 (13)
Tablet 8 11.2 (11.5) 14.4 (14.5)
Laptop/Desktop 10 14 (14) 18 (18)

Once the body text size is set, you can determine how to size supporting text elements. There’s a fine art to that and the eye test is often a good place to start.

There’s almost no such thing as a headline that’s too big. Say what you need to say and size to scale the words in the space. A two-line headline will feel larger than one-line even if the text is the exact same size.

The easiest way to think about scaling up for headlines and other larger test elements is working in percent based on the body text. While every designer has a different starting point, 250 percent larger than the body text is a good ballpark for the headline; 150 percent for h2, 75 percent for h3 and 50 percent for elements such as block quotes. (This is not a rule, just a starting point.)

Here’s why percents, rather than set sizes, are important: Once you set the size of the body type the percents adjust sizes accordingly regardless of screen size. Every type element is relative to the body type.

CHARACTER AND SPACING GUIDELINES

There are some other guidelines that designers look to as well when it comes to type on the screen. When it comes to spacing, one of the rules of thumb has been to look at characters per line to ensure readability.

  • Desktop and large devices: 60 to 75 characters per line
  • Phones and small devices: 35 to 40 characters per line

Note that readability on smaller screens is based on having fewer characters (larger text).

The same idea applies to spacing as well. You need more space between lines of text when the screen size is limited to make it easier for users to read and scan content. Consider adding 25 percent more line spacing on smaller devices than for desktop typography.

The additional size and spacing helps ease that tight or crunched feeling that users can feel when trying to read on smaller devices. Because the canvas is small, reader flow and legibility is vital to keep users scrolling.

TIPS TO GET STARTED

There are plenty of ways to create a typographic scale and ensure that the text does not make your design look fat. How you go about it likely depends on your comfort level with code and development in addition to the design.

The best option is to use a responsive design with media queries. This is the designer-developer option that will provide the greatest level of control over text specifications. (For more go back to those Google recommendations, above.)

Another route is to design different versions. While this is a pretty out-of-date concept, there are still some places using mobile URLs and desktop URLs for their websites. It’s not recommended in most cases, but for some websites where the design is dramatically different or users experience different things, it can be an option.

The easy option is to start with a theme for your website. Just make sure to opt for a fully responsive option. When you use a high quality responsive theme, most of the guesswork is taken out of it for you. All you really have to think about is the body text size. Just make sure to check everything to make sure the mobile type sizes meet your standards.

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

 

This new Microsoft design patent is unlikely to be the Surface phone

Patently Apple goes a bit heavy with the speculation especially since their earlier find from February shared some resemblance of what was eventually Surface Studio. I call that luck as most patent filings rarely become actual products. Back to this patent, no information about the features, hardware, or materials used are mentioned making the filing pretty basic.

Oddly, the Patently Apple author goes on a tangent about pens, Apple, Samsung, and how Microsoft could be bringing inking to Mobile (a forgone conclusion already). They then cite FIG. 7 with the following conclusion labeled in their image:

However, what we can clearly see is that a Surface smartphone is likely to support their Surface Pen. Like the Samsung Note-styled embodiment, a slot has been designed into the body of the design at the top.

Of course, to our eyes, it only looks like a standard 3.5mm headphone jack like the kind you used to find on every smartphone in the world. I’m not sure when we started confusing headphone jacks with pen slots. 2016 is a weird year, and I suppose Apple fans have already moved on from ‘headphone-gate’ by forgetting it ever existed? I dunno.

The bottom of the phone has a single port, which again looks like an old micro USB slot and not quite the symmetrical USB Type C design we are accustomed too.

Frankly folks, I don’t see anything interesting here. This design patent is a generic filing on what could easily be the Lumia 640. In fact, the patent cites Micromax, Sony Xperia, LG Optimus, Lumia 830, and the Lumia 530 – all phones from 2012-2014 – under ‘other publications’ for the patent’s references.

Microsoft has some exciting stuff in the pipeline for sure, but please don’t go spreading this around as ‘proof’ of a ‘Surface Phone.’ Facts and data are still necessary, not a generic drawing based on yesteryear’s inspiration.

 

 

[Source:- windowscentral]

Don’t design this at home…3 UI disasters to avoid

featured_loathsome

I coined a term today: Loathsome Design.

It means something along the lines of “design decisions that make me want to die.” In other words, it’s the opposite of the recently popular “designing for delight” concept.

Loathsome design captures the essence of frustration. Often, this comes about as a result of neglect—in an attempt to achieve one thing, something else must be left by the wayside.

Why should you care about loathsome design practices?

Because they are the type of decisions that can drive users from your sphere of influence, and into that of your competitors.

1) HIDDEN SETTINGS

I opened my Spotify app today with the intent of showing an undecided co worker its “extreme quality” streaming options, so that he could make an informed decision on which music platform would serve him best—Google Play Music, Spotify, or Tidal.

Before Spotify redesigned their Android app to mimic the design language of their iOS app (and in effect, iOS itself), the settings icon was located in the hamburger menu. It was straightforward, and intuitive.

Now that the hamburger menu is toast, the four menu options have been moved to a permanent spot at the bottom of the screen.

So where’s the settings button?

That’s the question I found myself asking.

Turns out, Spotify’s designers have tucked the settings away in the top right corner of the “Your Library” tab; an extremely unintuitive placement, if you ask me.

And did you notice where the “My Profile” button went? Yeah, me neither. That little icon in the top left corner of the “Your Library” tab (the one that barely passes for a stick figure) is what you’re looking for.

The new design may become upsetting to users, because it forces them to fiddle with the menu in order to find the settings, or their profile.

For some, this may be a prime example of the drawbacks of the Apple-style bottom menu; for others, this is just a case of loathsome design.

2) DISRUPTIVE LAUNCH

One particularly loathsome design choice, is the disruptive launch. Uber and Wikipedia are both extremely guilty of this, except Wikipedia only does this during their fundraising season, while Uber does this year round.

A disruptive launch is one where the user is required to complete a task prior to using the app. In most cases, this is a one-time thing required of users on first launch—aka, the user must sign up before they can use the service. It makes sense, and it’s not that much of a hassle.

Uber takes this one step further by forcing users to rate their previous driver before they can order a ride. Regardless of whether you’re in a hurry, or if you don’t want to rate a driver, you cannot order a ride without rating the previous one.

This is not only an inconvenience, but it actively changes the way that users interact with the app. By mercilessly prompting users to rate a driver at every launch, they are essentially conditioning users to mindlessly click a rating as quickly as they can (see: classical conditioning).

What probably looked like a good idea on the Uber design team’s whiteboard is actually a horrible tactic that has made me, and likely other users, apathetic toward the rating system.

Users are effectively encouraged not to think before rating, because doing so will delay their gratification. Every driver gets a five star rating (or wherever a user’s thumb comfortably falls on the rating scale), regardless of the experience.

Wikipedia is guilty of this as well, if to a lesser extent. During fundraiser season, visitors to Wikipedia are prompted to donate to the online encyclopedia—something I am not innately opposed to.

It’s the way that the site prompts users to donate that makes it loathsome.

The donation prompt takes over the full height of the screen, and gives no indication the user need only scroll down to view their intended page.

Over time, of course, most users will learn that if they do not wish to donate, they need only scroll down, but for first-time users it is likely to be a catastrophic annoyance.

3) CUMBERSOME INTERACTIONS

Occasionally, all it takes for a design choice to become loathsome is for it to require cumbersome interactions. A prime example of this is the way in which Apple and some third party versions of Android have designed their alarm clock apps.

It’s not the apps as a whole that are causing me to feel encumbered, but rather the way in which the designers require users to input the time at which an alarm will sound.

This is the face of pure evil. Who decided that scrolling to a specific time, in increments of one, was a good idea?

Not only does it take longer to scroll than it would to input a time in one of a handful of other common ways, but it also cannot be done in one movement. On ZTE’s Android skin, in order to get from “01” minutes to “59” minutes, users have to swipe several times.

On iOS, one swipe will send the numbers spinning with momentum. Of course it’s cool and realistic, but it is hardly more efficient or usable. This seems to be a current trendwith Apple.

A dramatically more efficient and usable method for inputting alarm values is presented in stock Android.

Google’s designers have figured out a layout that allows users to input alarm values in just two taps. This means that when sleepy users are trying to set an alarm, they won’t be forced to pay extra attention to the input method, and can instead focus on getting to sleep.

DON’T MAKE YOUR USERS LOATHE YOUR DESIGN

There aren’t that many things that will make users loathe your app. Typically, the number one offense is simply inconveniencing users.

Hiding critical functions, disrupting the launch of an app, and designing overly complex interactions will inconvenience your users, and depending on how much it bothers them, they may come to loathe your app.

Avoiding the pitfalls of loathsome design isn’t hard.

You just have to start (and finish) every feature with one simple question: am I making this as convenient and intuitive as it could be?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then there is still work to be done.

 

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]