Nintendo Switch, “Zelda Breath of The Wild” Are Simply Fantastic

During almost every console release, there is a fan base that will do whatever it takes to buy it. This was me for the Nintendo Switch.

After being the 51st person in line on midnight Friday morning, March 3rd, when the store was selling 50 consoles, I was pretty upset having to leave the store empty handed. I tried again the following morning, however, and got my place in line as number 54 of 59 consoles being sold.

Despite me almost losing out until the stores could be restocked like many others behind me, I was able to purchase a Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Switch itself is a pretty innovative and versatile piece of hardware. It can be played on the go or on TV. It is a portable home console.

The Nintendo Switch looks like a tablet with two controllers mounted on either side. These controllers, called JoyCon, are detachable and can function as a controller separate from the system. Each JoyCon can also function on its own to enable multiplayer mode.

Due to the detachable JoyCon, the system can be played many ways. It can be played with one JoyCon in each hand, connected to a grip to make it feel like a conventional controller, or can be directly connected to the Switch itself.

The Switch can be taken with you on the go. It can also be placed in the dock that comes with the system to connect to the TV. The Nintendo Switch is awesome functioning on its own without a TV, but when docked and playing on an HDTV, the Nintendo Switch is at its best.

However, even though the console is very good, I did come across a slight problem. When playing with a JoyCon in each hand, I had disconnection problems with the JoyCon in my left hand. I tested it out; it appears that when playing, my hand would wrap a little too far around the JoyCon, and I would block the signal to the console itself.

It is a minor hardware problem, but it did not happen often, and when it did, it was only for the slightest amount of time.

Another thing that some people see as a problem – but I don’t – is the lack of a streaming service such as Netflix. This is not a hardware problem, and it was confirmed that some type of streaming service is in the works by Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Amie according to bgr.com. This will come in time so it is not a flaw of the console.

Like many other consoles in their early life, the Nintendo Switch currently has a very limited, but growing game selection. Currently, there are around 10 games that are playable on the switch at the moment. However, one of the games that released already may already be better than any future game that will release on the console.

This game is “The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild.” This game is already topping many reviewer’s charts, and after one week with the game, I understand why.

The game is an open world experience where you can go wherever you want, whenever you want, and however you want. There is a storyline to the game, but it does not have to be followed at all. The final boss can be beaten without doing anything in the main quest.

It is a game that is easy to lose time with. I often found myself playing past the time I allotted myself to play. I have only had the game for one week and can tell this game is on my top five list, and it may even creep to number one by the time I finish the game.

The Nintendo Switch is definitely a step up from its previous console, the Wii U. Although I liked the Wii U, it did not do very well in sales.

Together, the Nintendo Switch and “The Legend of Zelda” are working magically together. With the extremely fun game and the many different styles to play it offered by the console, there are many, many hours of fun available with this system and game.

Due to the small hardware issue, I cannot give the Nintendo Switch a perfect score, so I give the Nintendo Switch a 9/10. Zelda, however, is one of the best games I have ever played and without a doubt give it a perfect 10/10.

Switch Inkwell Pics 1

Demonstration of the JoyCon being used independently for multiplayer mode.

 

Overwatch League Wants to Become NFL of Esports

Blizzard Entertainment is basing their new esports league after conventional sports leagues like the NFL and MLB. The league will start off only in the Americas and has plans to move to Europe, China, Korea, and the Asia-Pacific Region and will start in 2017. 

The Overwatch League is looking to bridge the gap between esports and conventional sports. Instead of having independent teams that can be from anywhere in the world, the league is planning on having teams stationed in cities around the world. The idea behind this is to make people get attached to a home team like they would in the NFL or NBA.

Another big advance for the league is that players will be given health benefits and a minimum salary. This takes away the risk of pursuing a career in the game because players are now guaranteed money and  health care, whereas before they only got money based off of performance and had no benefits.

The league is going to have a combine where they invite players of high-skill rank in the game’s competitive game mode to show off their skills and be evaluated for teams. Players have to get a special invitation from Blizzard to join the combine, and teams will sign the player they believe are best suited for their team according to the video Blizzard made explaining the league.

Existing pros have varying opinions on the league, but one thing is certain; they do not have enough answers.

“‘I’m not concerned as a [pro] player. I just like playing the game and everything seems good so far to me so we’ll see what happens,’” commented Lane ‘Surefour’ Roberts in an interview with Yahoo Esports. Surefour is one of the best pros in the game right now, playing for one of the best teams, Cloud 9, but not all pros share his openness to the idea of their teams splitting up.

“‘I just want to play with the people I like. I don’t like the idea of being forced to play for some other team. Even if I got paid triple what I got now I would simply still not do it,’” commented Timo ‘Taimou’ Kettunen in an interview with Yahoo Espots. Taimou played for the number one team in the world, EnVyUs, so it is understandable why he and his teammates would not want to change teams.

The Overwatch League seems to be an interesting experiment to bridge the gap between esports and conventional sports, which if done right, could change the way the world looks at sports, but if done wrong could destroy the Overwatch esports scene altogether.   

Technology on the Rise

Ever since the new technology standards were introduced at BL, students and faculty have different views on how it benefits them individually.

On the Boys’ Latin web page under technology, a brief overview on the tech department is given. It describes how each student has to bring a computer to class since it has more benefits to learning. It also talks about how it’s easier to manage things on the computer.

To learn more about the faculty and students perspective of the new technology, interviews were conducted which helped gain a bigger understanding on how the Boys’ Latin community sees the new technology advances.

Mr. Thomas, a member of the technology department, explained, “We are falling in the direction of how businesses run. Improvement of security for students and the community is needed due to the increased instances of cyber breaches.” Many students have had their accounts broken into, he mentioned. Students following the new steps should reduce the breaches tremendously. 

Mr. Thomas talked about how he disliked the lack of cooperation with students. He stated many of them do not follow the directions on emails or guidelines on how to do things which causes confusion.

 “Statistics have proven that students with technology in the classroom are more effective. Work is easily stored and able to be transferred from computer to computer,” said Thomas. It is an overall more effective process which will benefit everyone greatly.

If one thing could be changed, it would be the printing, he said. There are many steps involved in printing, which slows down the process, making students frustrated. It’s quite clear to notice since students talk about it constantly failing on them. 

Mrs. Rosiak, learning specialist and 11th grade English teacher, said, “I think the BYOD was necessary to prepare us for expectations in the college level, but it comes with frustration and all the students and teachers need to stay patient so we can learn how to use it. The boys can’t let frustration bring them down and make them quit.”

She also dislikes the printing processes since it’s so time-consuming, and students tend to use it as an excuse since it is complicated. Reverting back to the old ways would not be the answer, but solving many of the problems now would benefit the community greatly, she added.

“It takes too long to do simple processes like printing, I don’t get why it has to be so complicated,” said Graham Easton, a junior. This shows that students are in fact getting frustrated.

He also explained he likes paperwork more since technology doesn’t always work properly. Things can get lost, but if a paper gets lost, it’s the students fault. Overall, he would revert to the old technology ways. Lastly, Graham said,  “Nothing has been impressive this year; maybe next year.”

Nike Air Mags 2015 Release

In 1989, Nike designed a shoe to create the futuristic image for the “Back to the Future II”  film.  Tinker Hatfield, a Nike shoe designer, was the one who created the original shoe for the movie.

Since then, Hatfield has been working on making this shoe a reality.  The 1989 film takes place in 2015 which is why Hatfield feels that the shoes should be released.

Now that it is 2015, Hatfield plans to have the shoe created exactly how it was shown in the movie.  This includes the exact same lights in each area.  He also plans on the shoe to be self-lacing.

The Nike Air Mags were released in 2011 for the first time.  The shoes looked like the pair from the movie; however, they didn’t have all of the features.  1,500 pairs of the shoe were sold on eBay for about $7,000 each.

According to New York Daily News, the money went to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.  This foundation collects money that helps research to fight Parkinson’s disease.

Michael J. Fox was the star of the film.  He was also the first person to put on a pair of Nike Air Mags.

According to the official website of his foundation, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991.  However, he did not give the news about it to the public until 1998.

Because the shoe had such a high demand, they sold out right away.  The release of the shoe raised over $6,000,000 for his foundation.

In 2013, the Air Mags were sold on eBay again.  However, there was something different about this version.  It turned out that the shoes were fake, yet people were still buying them.

People buying fake shoes has become very popular.  According to Nike Talk, “replica dealers care much more about the customers than the authentic dealers.”  Nike Talk described the replica dealers as “catering to the customers.”

The issues with the Nike Air Mags  were the wrong colored lights and no Nike sign.  According to a KpopStarz article, they were sold on eBay for $99.  By the time the bidding was over, the shoes were sold for triple the original price.

At the beginning of 2015, Tinker Hatfield was quick to speak about the topic.  He promoted the shoe at the Agenda Emero event in California.  He discussed that his team is very confident that the self-lacing shoe will be ready to release in 2015.

So far, Hatfield has released a few images of how the technology in the shoe is being put in.  It is now May and there is still no information on when it will be released or how much it will cost.

New Apple Watch

Apple released the Apple watch on April 24 and is priced $349 to $17,000. The watch is being sold in Apple stores around the nation and is being bought by customers across the country. The Apple Watch sold more on the pre-orders than the Android watch sold in all of 2014 due to the technology that allows people to use the watch to make the use of their phone easier.

Although the watch costs a lot of money, it will sell because people want to keep up with the newest technology. It allows for people to use their watch as an easier method than their phones, even though the phone and watch are necessary for the use of each other.

Another thing that makes the watch a seller is the fact that there are many different kinds of watches that people are able to buy. There is a sports model watch, a regular watch, and a special watch that customers are able to get.

The watch allows for people to check notifications right on their wrists that would normally go to their phone. People are able to use Siri off of the watch and can also use certain apps without an iPhone.

People are able to use Apple Pay, play music, and also tell time all without the use of a phone. This means that the watch will allow for people to use the device on their wrists to do the little things that they would normally do on their phone.

Another reason that the watch will sell is because people are able to change the Apple Watch bands on them.

Since the watches are selling so fast from the pre-orders, the Apple store requires that people have an appointment in order to see a demo on the Apple Watch.

Senior Gavin Callahan said of the watch, “I think they’re dumb and that they are going to break.” He also said that he thinks they will be a waste of money.

When Blair Brooks was asked what he thought about the new Apple Watch, he said, “I think that the watch will be efficient.”

Since the watch costs so much money, customers are expecting the watch to do a lot. It is a concern for the customers that the watch will break and that it will not meet expectations.

Fortunately for Apple, many customers are willing to put the concern aside and take the chance buying the watch.

Sources:

https://www.apple.com/watch/

http://www.techradar.com/us/news/wearables/apple-iwatch-release-date-news-and-rumours-1131043

In-Car Facial Recognition Saves Lives

Car crashes are expected to be exponentially reduced in the coming years due to a new technology created by scientists that work for Volvo and GM. In-Car Facial Recognition is a new system that can detect distracted drivers before they make a mistake.

The system is programmed to detect an increase in stress levels. The computer can detect this by recognizing signs such as a tightened jaw or closing eyes.

Volvo claims “the technology relies on sensors installed in the dashboard. Called Driver State Estimation, this consists of small LED lamps that shine invisible infrared light on the driver’s face. Sensors pick up the reflected light, and the system uses face recognition technology to determine if the driver is awake and alert by measuring such factors as how wide open the eyes are, along with the position and angle of the head.”

The software can alert a driver with the use of both LED lights and buzzers. Modern cars already have the capability to detect lane departures, and the new system will be able to tie in with the preexisting one.

For example, if a person is deemed to be fully alert, the Facial Recognition System will tell the Lane Departure System to loosen its parameters. This will reduce the amount of unnecessary alarms inside the automobile.

Researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne—or EPFL for short, “have adapted an infrared camera-based facial detection system (so it works all hours of the day) to keep an eye out for two specific expressions: anger and disgust, which indicate the driver is upset.”

Scientists at EPFL have made a successful prototype of the device. A spokesman for the EPFL claimed that one of the hardest parts of programming the system is training it to recognize all types of possible reactions. Every person acts differently behind the wheel of the car.

Although scientists have not been able to make the system flawless, they have been able to see a dramatic decrease in crashes while the system is in use.

Volvo hopes its technology will be able to help personalize automobiles in the future. Scientists claim that the software will eventually be able to make adjustments to a car’s climate and seats.

Experts expect the new software to be just as common as seat belts in the future.

Sources:

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2014/09/02/gm-reportedly-ready-to-introduce-facial-recognition-tech-in-cars/

http://gizmodo.com/in-car-facial-recognition-detects-angry-drivers-to-prev-1543709793

More Money, More Protection

“All of the hours in the lab helped us identify the designs and product features that best met our goals” stated Thad Ide, Senior Vice President of Product Development and Engineering for Riddell in regard to Riddell’s opinion on their new technology of football helmets.

Riddell’s most recent football helmet released was the Speedflex. Before the Speedflex was the Revolution 360.

“At Riddell, our designers are a lot like artists. Our product is never perfect and we’re constantly refining it,” stated on of the company’s designers on Riddell’s official website.

The Revolution 360 was designed to be more comfortable, fit, and stable. The Revolution 360 has to compete with other leading Riddell products such as the Revolution Speed while also taking into consideration the price difference of the Speed and the 360 which is over $100.

The price of the Revolution Speed is just around $300. On the other hand, the Revolution 360 is around $425. Having the chance to prevent more concussions and for the helmet to be more comfortable, people have to pay for it in the long run.

Melissa Healy, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, wrote an article about the new technology of football helmets and how neurologists are going about the problem with concussions throughout football.

“‘All of them were terrible,’ Dr. Francis X. Conidi explained his opinion on the technology of the football helmets. Conidi is a Florida neurologist who is vice chair of the American Academy of Neurology’s sports neurology. ‘Coaches should be teaching football players tackling techniques that limit concussion risk.'”

Dr. Francis X Conidi looks for specific factors on football helmets to protect players of the game. Neurologists all around the world are trying to limit skull fractures, brain contusions, also concussions.

An article from ESPN.com from the NFL has some recorded stats on concussions that were within the league from 2014 and the previous year. “According to STATS, there were 265 players placed on injured reserve during the regular season in 2014, a 17 percent jump from the 226 the year before.” Surprisingly, the number of concussions increased.

One of the biggest reasons why the Revolution 360 is reliable is because of “The components, the shell, the liner system, and the list goes on and on—all of which stem from the vision and careful engineering that went into this helmet.”