Checkpoint: A Little Website Update Q3 2016

Checkpoint: A Little Website Update Q3 2016

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

You may have noticed but if you didn’t, I’d like to highlight the fact that this website is now encrypted via Let’s Encrypt‘s free SSL. Through SiteGround, it was easy as pie to enable SSL. If all goes well with this site in the next week or so, I’m considering enabling it for GameDealsCanada.

The only thing keeping me from enabling Let’s Encrypt right now is the relatively shaky ground GameDealsCanada is operating on. Wordfence, Cloudflare and other issues make administrating that site an annoyance. I’m receiving a lot of 500 errors when trying to access certain areas of the WordPress admin page. There has to be a way to perform a health check on WordPress sites right?

Dragon Quest VII is comfort food in game form and Overwatch is just a ritual at this point. There’s no letting up on the latter and with the impending Halloween seasonal event, I can see myself and the GAF folks that I play with pour in more time.

Rosy Improvements

Rosy Improvements

posted in: Game News, Technology News | 0

Apple A9

Intel’s battle against physics may not be going according to plan with setbacks and less than spectacular performance increases but that doesn’t mean CPU performance increases in other areas have stagnated. The newly released Apple A9 SoC looks like another one of those jumps in performance that we’ve come to expect from the tech giant.

The CPU and GPU improvements are impressive but were known. The significant jump storage though? That was a pleasant surprise. The inclusion of NVMe over the industry standard eMMC gave the iPhone 6S nearly double the storage performance over last year’s iPhone 6.

Well done, Apple. Well done.

PS4 System Software 3.0

Speaking of incremental updates, PlayStation 4 System Software 3.0 arrives tomorrow and if you’re a fan of socializing and streaming, it seems to be a wonderful update. I’m hoping for some hidden surprises because only the PNG screenshot feature is appetizing to me. If I stream, I’ll likely switch to YouTube but that’s an “if”. Everything else seems like extra fluff and I’m not seeing the immediate appeal.

 

 

Announcements Ahoy, Mon Capitan

Announcements Ahoy, Mon Capitan

OS X El Capitan

This year’s OS X release isn’t going to be the overhaul like Yosemite was. El Capitan will offer fixes, refinements and other nice but not so sexy changes.

I welcome it. I welcome features like Expose side-by-side so I can stop using BetterTouchTool for the sole purpose of including Windows Snap.

I look forward to Metal, Apple’s low-level API, improving rendering performance across the board. I don’t play graphically intensive games on my MacBook Air but hopefully this gives the user base fewer reasons to switch over to Windows just to play games.

I’m hoping OS X El Capitan breathes new life into my MacBook Air like Mavericks did with its power optimizations.

iOS 9

Unsurprisingly, iOS 9 looks to follow El Capitan’s lead and focus on refinements and improvements to performance, battery life, security and usability.

I use Siri regularly for sports and weather updates. On occasion, I ask her to figure out the name of a song or some trivia but her accuracy remains so suspect that I tend to stick to the basic inquiries. Apple promises to address accuracy and capabilties but I’ll believe it when I see it. The day, I don’t feel the need to launch Google Search for reliable voice inquiries is the day I’ll consider Siri a dependable digital assistant.

Apple continues its trend of adopting popular ideas into its own apps and gently pushing out competition. Notes and News apps were their latest efforts. They gave Notes additional word processing capabilities for simple note taking and News (rebranded Newsstand) is now a Flipboard clone.

My favorite iOS device isn’t the iPhone. It’s the iPad and Apple finally gave it some love with the addition of multi-tasking and a new shortcut bar that sits on-top of the keyboard. Fortunately, I have an iPad Air 2 which supports the new multi-tasking functionality. But if I was an iPad Air user, I’d feel a little miffed knowing that a key feature like multi-tasking won’t be making back to mine. I understand the limitations (the Air 2 has 2GB of RAM) but not everyone will.

And the Rest

WatchOS 2 is coming as well and I know exactly one person who’s excited by that announcement. The native app support is a step in the right direction. I’m curious what developers will come up with in that space. I doubt they can make the thing appealing to me though.

Apple Music is now a thing. If the likes of Spotify, Rdio and other music streaming services aren’t to your liking, maybe give Apple Music a try? They’ve hired humans to make a 24/7 radio station a reality. No idea how that radio station will fare Apple promises it’ll be better than having algorithms select the music.

I didn’t know what to expect from Apple Music but it wasn’t whatever they announced. Jimmy Iovine started by pointing out all the streaming services available and how it’s fragmented. I thought that was going to a segue into a Wallet (they renamed Passbook) or News app amalgamation app but for music. That would have been a logistical nightmare but that would have been nice.

Pre-E3 Announcements Continues

  • 1TB Xbox One Console will take over at $399.99 USD
  • New Xbox One controller revision features wireless updates, 3.5mm audio jack & minor refinements. Costs $64.99 USD
  • Xbox One wireless adapter for Windows will be available in autumn. Will cost $24.99 USD
  • Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst will see the light of day in Q1 2016
  • Halo 5: Guardians will have 20 maps at launch & 15 free maps by June 2016
  • Dark Souls 3 will be available in early 2016
  • Marshawn Lynch will be in Call of Duty: Black Ops III
  • Call of Duty lives for another year on PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360

Thought of the Day

As soon as I saw what 2015’s OS X release was called El Capitan, I thought of Q and Captain Picard.

Checkpoint: Winter Update Edition

Checkpoint: Winter Update Edition

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

I lost an hour, it’s around 0 degrees Celsius and yet it’s still technically winter. And since it’s technically winter, this Battlefield 4 Winter Update is still relevant.

To say this is what Battlefield 4 should have been would be an understatement. They’ve fixed so much with this update. Everything from netcode, map fixes, weapon balance, new game modes and matchmaking tweaks were made in this update alone.

I’m amazed that DICE/DICE LA and/or Electronic Arts continues to update and fix Battlefield 4. They have Battlefield: Hardline coming and yet they’re still giving Battlefield 4 attention I guess it makes sense when they’re planning to issue more content this year. And all of this is a great idea when you consider not many Battlefield fans are keen on Hardline.

I’ve only played the post-Winter Update Battlefield 4 once and I enjoyed it. I still wish the framerate was consistently closer to 60FPS but it didn’t take long for me to forget about the framerate and get down to business. I hope to play more but with my FIFA 15 addiction and Wolfenstein: The New Order, I don’t know if I will.

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