‘Skyrim’ for Nintendo Switch

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, is an open world RPG made by Bethesda, which, as we all know and agree upon, is the best video game developer in history. The reason it’s called Skyrim is because they were to lazy so simply say “horizon.” In Skyrim, you play as the Dragonborn, a mythical hero with the blood and soul of a dragon, that can speak the language of dragons, but spends the entire game killing dragons.

Skyrim starts out with you being taken towards your execution, with some other side characters that will either die in a few minutes or will never come up again. Actually, they might. I don’t know, I haven’t beaten this game yet. 

When you get to the execution, you get to create your character, by which I mean you pick from 9 playable races and spend way too much time deciding facial features that will never come up or aren’t noticeable. You also get to pick a name, which doesn’t matter either, because the game has voice acting and might not be able to pronounce your name. 

And you’re off, as a dragon attacks the execution and ironically saves you from being beheaded. After spending the first few minutes with your hands tied, you finally make it to a safe area with either an imperial soldier or a rebel (the choice doesn’t matter, you go through the same dungeon to escape from the town anyway). On your way out, you learn useful mechanics, like sneaking, fighting, and how much bows suck.

Once you finish the first dungeon, you have access to all of Skyrim. The guy you escaped with will give you a quest marker, but you can ignore it and just sorta do what you want. In my first session, I traveled to the northeast and ended up in this one town with a murder mystery, and I had to help solve it.

“Cool!” I thought. “What could go wrong with this?”

Everything. First of all, Skyrim has a problem with quests. The menu you access that shows your quests is bland and unorganized, and it doesn’t do a good job of showing which quests you want to do. 

Secondly, the game has a mini-map problem. A compass at the top of the screen will always show which way you are headed, and marks the directions of stuff like the nearest town. However, it also marks quest trackers. Here’s the problem: Every objective in the quest is marked, meaning to complete a quest, you basically just have to go where your mini-map tells you to.

I ended up abandoning the quest and decided to play the actual game. Speaking of the game, how does it play? Well enough, I would say. Except for motion controls. Motion controls suck. Don’t use them. 

For basic controls, you have two buttons mapped to each hand to use whatever is in that hand. If you have a shield in your left hand, and a sword in your right then those buttons will either use the sword to attack or block with the shield. If you are holding a two-handed sword, then you attack with the right hand button and block with the left. At first, I had a difficult time with the controls, but then I realized you can change any buttons to do anything in the settings menu, so I got over it pretty quick.

There are basically two pause menus: one for saving, settings, and stuff like that, and another for actual gameplay. The gameplay pause menu has four branches: Inventory, Map, Magic, and Skills. Inventory and Map are self explanatory, and the only thing you need to know about the Magic menu is that it also shows your active affects, like any poisons or disease you have, as well as your powers, like Amiibo support and dragon shouts, which we’ll get into later.

But the Skills menu is special. You have about 30 different skills, like one-handed, alchemy, sneak, restoration, etc. The more you use a skill, the more you level it up on a scale from about 10 to 100. When you level up a skill, you also get experience, which goes to leveling up your character. When you level up your character, you can choose between increasing your magic, stamina, or health, and also get to pick one feature from a certain skill, like increasing the damage of two handed weapons, healing more hit points from restoration spells, or being able to sell anything to any type of merchant.

It’s worth mentioning that this game is freaking huge! I’ve been playing for 10+ weeks and haven’t come close to discovering everything. My quest log is flooded with quests, both main and side, and I haven’t even been to every major town yet. However, the size of the game doesn’t always work in it’s favor.

See, Skyrim is what is known as an “RPG”, which means role-playing game. Role-playing means taking on the role of someone else and acting as they would, like playing pretend with rules. The RPG category is pretty broad, so normally I wouldn’t discredit a game for how it handles character interactions, but Skyrim is a special case. 

In Skyrim, when you are in a character interaction, you will have several dialogue options to choose from. Most of the time, the options they game gives you are pretty diverse, so you can make your character, at least in your eyes, friendly, hostile, sassy, basically any personality you want or can invision on your character. Sometimes the options are pretty sparse, but every game with detailed character interactions is like this, so I’m willing to let it slide.

“But Oliver,” you ask. “How does the character interactions have anything to do with the size of the world?”

I’ll tell you. The world of Skyrim is so huge you are bound to get distracted by anything and everything. Every side quest offers new possibilities for adventure, so of course you’re going to delay the main quest. But the size of Skyrim’s map means the game is going to be much longer, and in between play sessions the average player is going to forget what they are doing.

This means that you don’t really care about the character interactions because you just want to go onto your next quest by following the marker on the minimap. This issue is made even worse by the fact that all of the dungeons are very similar, and so is the quest design. 

Most quests follow the same formula: Go to a town, talk to a guy, now talk to another guy, now go complete a dungeon, and then go back to these guys called the “Greybeards,” which are sort of like your protectors to learn a new Shout, which is a special power only you and the Greybeards have.

Despite the formulaic plot structure, I really like some of the plot design in Skyrim. It focuses on certain “wow” moments that you get when playing, like fighting your first dragon, and hearing the “Song of the Dragonborn” play in the background. Another example is a remarkable character interaction, like when you find out that the innkeeper in the first town is secretly part of this underground organization.

By far my favorite dungeon was the one where you had to sneak into a party for a bunch of royal snobs and then sneak out and find information the host was hiding. It was a super unique quest, and I remember every aspect of it fondly. There was even this one part where I interrogated a prisoner and then punched him to death, and a glitch activated where he flew out of his chains and started flailing around on the floor for 30 seconds. It was surprising, not intended by the game developers, and honestly one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

Unlike other RPGs, there are no classes in Skyrim, but the game is designed around three unique play styles: Thief, Warrior, and Mage. Thieves focus on the lock picking and sneak skills, and try to get critical hits by sneaking up on enemies. Warriors tend to use a variety of weapons and level up their one handed, two handed, block, and heavy armor skills. Mages focus on upgrading their magic, and skills like destruction, restoration, illusion, and conjuration skills, which are all different types of magic.

What I like about this system is that you can choose what you want to do with your level up abilities. Your character can be whatever you want, and it’s not really limited to the three main play styles. For example, I played a Warrior, but spent some of my levels into increasing my restoration skill, so on paper I was like a Paladin, which if you don’t know, are holy warriors that derive healing magic from their gods. If you wanted to be a Ranger, you could focus on the archery skill and also have some conjuration spells to summon a beastly companion. There are so many options.

Even if you don’t play a Mage, you have access to some magic called, “Shouts,” that you learn from those Greybeard people I mentioned. They will teach you how to do it, you can equip them in the Magic menu to the special powers button. Each one has a unique effect, like one pushes people away from you and another just sets everything on fire. The best part about them is that they don’t require magic to use, and instead have a cooldown timer, so that anyone can use them and no play style is better at them than others.

Oh yeah, this is the Switch port of Skyrim, so I have to talk about Amiibo. Amiibo can be used once per day, and when they are used, a Breath of the Wild style chest falls from the sky. 90% of the time, it will contain useless ingredients, but you have an off chance of getting some rare Breath of the Wild gear, like Link’s blue “Champion’s Tunic,” or even the Master Sword. I actually got the Champion’s Tunic, but died before I saved, so I didn’t get to keep it. It’s okay, because you can find both of them hidden on the actual game, so you don’t need Amiibo to get them.

I could talk about this game forever. To recount all of my adventurers would take hours and several more pages, so I’ll leave it out with this: Skyrim is a great game, and I would recommend it to anyone, but only if you have the time. If you’re in it for the long haul, just sit back and relax, and don’t expect a super engaging story. My only complaint is that there should be more to do on the title menu so you have an excuse to listen to the title theme for longer.

My final rating for this game is a 9/10.

Highlights from the recent Apple event

Everyone knows about Apple. The extremely successful company has grown over the years and has created many revolutionary products of our time, like the iPhone. Recently, they had an event where they showcased some of the new products they were releasing this year. Here are some of the highlights:

New iPad

The newest iPad is better and cheaper than ever, with a starting price of just $329. That’s a great price considering the iPad is like a computer and many people use iPads on a daily basis for work and school.

The new iPad also has a 100% recycled aluminum body and comes with a free, year-long subscription to Apple TV+. We’ll get to that later.

Apple Watch Series 5

This announcement was expected at the event, but nevertheless was exciting. This new Apple Watch has many new features that can make your life much easier. Some of these features include a new compass function, and many health-monitoring features, including a heart rate monitor and an emergency phone call function if you can’t access your phone.

The best new feature is an always-on feature, where the display of the watch never turns off, which is very useful.

Apple Arcade and Apple TV+

Some of the software features announced were the Apple Arcade and Apple TV+.  Apple Arcade is a subscription service that allows access to a wide variety of games to be played on your iPad or iPhone. There were over 100 titles released when it launched on September 19, from big game companies like Capcom and Konami.

The other subscription service announced was Apple TV+. Apple TV+ is, when boiled down, Apple’s take on a television streaming service, similar to Netflix or Hulu. The service has original TV shows and movies, and is set to release on November 1st for $5 a month.

iPhone 11

The announcement of the night, that had to take the cake, was the iPhone 11 and the iPhone 11 Pro. These new iPhones have tons of new features that top them from their previous models, especially the iPhone 11 Pro. It comes with 3 cameras, which includes an ultrawide camera lense. This lense is used to take very wide photos that look amazing, and it is considered the greatest camera on a mobile phone, ever.

 

Apple has created a wide list of products, and is improving on them now more than ever. These products are designed to be integrated into our everyday life and match with our lifestyle. Apple products have many uses, and can help make our lives easier.

‘Mario Kart Tour’ review

Nintendo just released a Mario Kart game for mobile platforms, called, “Mario Kart Tour.” I’m not going to lie, when I first heard this, I almost lost it. In my mind, there was almost no way this game could work. “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” is already playable on the go, thanks to the Switch, and I just didn’t see a need for a mobile Mario Kart game. At the start, I was mildly annoyed that Nintendo would put one of my favorite games on mobile just for money.

Then I saw how the game played, and things got a whole lot more complicated. You see, my first real experience with this game was watching my friends play it at lunch. After just a minute of viewing, I could already tell something was off. The swipe controls were comically bad, and you had to play the game vertically. My blood was boiling. How could they make such a good game awful. YOU HAD ONE JOB NINTENDO!!! ONE JOB!!!

I put off playing the game for another week, until finally I couldn’t put it off anymore. Begrudgingly, I fired up the app. The first thing I noticed was that they randomly give you a character. I got Toad, which is good, because he’s my favorite. Still, I don’t like any system that practically forces you to play as someone you don’t want to.

Lakitu, that floating turtle on the cloud, acted as my tutorial. I mentioned how the swipe controls are bad, but here’s the real kicker: it isn’t even explained well. The tutorial simply says, “swipe which way you want to turn,” not “swipe from the opposite side to turn a little bit. Also, it doesn’t work sometimes.” 

Controls aren’t even close to the only issue with this game. First of all, it looks like garbage, even for a mobile game. All of the textures look blocky and unfinished, and take one moment to look off the track, you can see how little thought was given to the art.

Oh, but you can’t even look off the track, because the game is played vertically. Look at every other Mario Kart game; they are all played on TVs so of course they are played horizontally. But “Mario Kart Tour” is played the same way you play “Knife Hit.” Your view of the road is extremely limited, and this means you have less time to dodge or maneuver around other players.

Whoops, silly me! There are no other players! This game doesn’t support multiplayer yet! But for some reason that we mere mortals cannot begin to comprehend, it still pairs you up with other players names! This means you are racing against CPUs, but you still have to have an internet connection to play because it needs to load in their names! 

This is stupid for multiple reasons. One, it means people can’t play a mobile game outside of their house unless they want to use data. Two, it means that when you pause the game, the other races, which are computers might I remind you, still keep racing, just like if you paused any other online game. But remember, it’s not an online game! Nintendo’s strange desire to have us on an internet connection whenever we play this game is hurting the game design because it makes us commit to a race.

But the most bizarre thing of all is when you leave the match, the game pauses for real. Let that sink in. When you press the pause button in game, all it does is bring up the settings menu. But when you leave the app, the game freezes and waits indefinitely for your return, as long as you don’t close the window. All this horrid system does is let the game keep running when you want to change settings, or adjust the music volume.

That was it. After a single race (which now only have two laps, for some odd reason), I was ready to write this game off as a cheesy cash grab that people would spend money on because it’s, legally speaking, “Mario Kart.”

But then, after my first race, I went into settings and saw this:

You can change to motion controls. I don’t even remember why I even went into settings, as soon as I saw this, I turned it on and was in the next race.

As it turns out, the motion controls aren’t half bad. You still have to play the game vertically, which sucks because when you tilt the device, the position of the screen changes, and sometimes you can’t see it when turning. There is no sensitivity adjuster, so you’re stuck like this until they release an update.

But, as luck would have it, I found myself enjoying the game a lot more. It was nice to have some semblance of actual control over my Kart, and before I knew it I had completed the first world. The game is actually kind of fun.

Of course, I still have a lot to go over. First and foremost, the app is free, but does have in-app purchases. There are two in-game currencies, gold coins and rubies. The thing is, you can only buy rubies, just like in “Clash of Clans,” where you can only buy gems. However, in “Clash of Clans,” the other two currencies (gold and elixir) actually have uses in-game other than to spin loot boxes (which we’ll talk about in a sec). In “Mario Kart Tour,” rubies are just a way of confusing the player in how much money they’re spending. 

Oh yeah, rubies can also be spent on loot boxes, sorry, “Mystery Pipes,” which give you items like new racers and Karts. Of course it does the tutorial thing, where it gives you free in-game currency and lets you spin it for free. This is stupid, because as of right now, there is no way to access the stats of the Karts, so any more Karts is just for aesthetic. I was lucky to get my favorite character in the tutorial, but I can’t really imagine playing as someone I don’t like the entire time.

Even so, this game is still fun. Most of the gripes I mentioned can be overlooked, and the game isn’t awful when you have motion controls on. If you just don’t spend money on the game, and enjoy it as a mobile game, I recommend downloading it.

My final rating for this game is a 7/10, when I was expecting something like a 3/10.

Can machines think?

 

Artificial Intelligence is a big part of how our world is today and what our future will look like. When people go on Google, put something in Google Translate, or order an Uber, they don’t realize how much A.I. is really doing. 

So what is Artificial Intelligence? A.I. is a broad branch of computer sciences. Its goal is to create different systems that can work intelligently and independently.

In more simple words, A.I. makes computers have the intelligence of humans.

There are different algorithms being made, or are already made, that allow computers to solve problems that used to be solved by humans.

The possibilities for A.I. are endless and are being used every single day. Just to name a few examples: A.I. powers voice-based devices, filters our emails, and guides our search engines.

A great example is Tesla’s new model; it’s self driving car. A.I. is a computer within the car. It holds all the road safety rules within it to drive just like a person. 

Now that we know what Artificial Intelligence is, let’s get into the most frequently asked question about it – What will happen if a strong A.I. system succeeds and becomes better at cognitive tasks than humans? 

A.I. has a great potential to become more intelligent than humans in the near future.

How will it behave in the shape of a robot? Will it get out of control and take over?

People ask questions about safety and how humans will stay in control of the machines that could be stronger than anything. The future of it is unpredictable.

Scientists have never done anything like this in the past, so there’s nothing to base what they are doing off of. There’s high controversy on weather to make A.I. stronger than it is, or to not use the resources and leave it be.

No matter what does happen. Artificial Intelligence has forever changed the earth. 

How Instagram (and other social media sites) have an effect on high schoolers

High schoolers go through a lot. They have homework assignments due every day, quizzes, lab reports, tests, and they need to maintain a proper social life, all while getting enough sleep to last throughout the week.

One issue that arises with students in the 21st century is having a social media presence, mainly being on Instagram. Here are some ways that Instagram (and social media in general) have an effect on high schoolers.

Students with social media grow up with less self esteem and more anxiety. Experts say that exposure to technology at a young age can affect the livelihoods of people. In today’s modern world, everyone uses technology now more than ever before, and that includes children and teenagers.

The overuse of social media sites, like Instagram, have been statistically proven to lower the self esteem and cause more anxiety with teenagers. People on social media tend to post their best moments in life, which can lead viewers to believe that their life is boring in comparison.

Recent studies show that teenagers’ social skills are lacking due to their overuse of social media. Because of the simplicity and ease it takes to talk to someone online, or over the phone, high schoolers have been spending less time hanging out with each other. This can cause teenagers to have weak social skills and trouble talking to people face-to-face.

Another way social media has an effect on high schoolers is cyber bullying. According to the Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Learning Network, cyber bullying has been linked with a range of mental health effects. Cyber bullied teens are more likely to smoke, drink and do drugs, which are all proven to shorten life spans and cause addiction.

 Another study by the same organization reads 20% of cyber bullied victims have symptoms of depression and anger. The last thing a high schooler needs in their life is mental problems that can make a busy lifestyle even worse.

Instagram has a big impact on high schoolers and teenagers in general. This article isn’t saying you should stop using Instagram altogether, just be informed and aware with what you post and see online, and monitor the amount of time you spend on social media.

For more information, please visit:

Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Learning Network

The Child Mind Institute

‘A Link to the Past’ Review

 

A ‘Link to the Past’ Review

So for the 1st anniversary of the Nintendo Switch online service, they finally released Super Nintendo games for the Switch. I have been waiting for these games forever, and now that they’re here, I decided it would be a good idea to review one of my favorites: The Legend of Zelda: a Link to the Past. This game is incredible and ahead of its time, and I’m about to explain why.

Graphics

A lot of gamers today are super obsessed with good graphics, which is ridiculous considering how many people play Minecraft. I grew up playing a Wii, so I never really had the luxury of caring about graphics.

I initially thought that the pixelated graphics would be a detriment to the game. I was wrong.

A Link to the Past was originally released on a 16-bit system, so you would think it wouldn’t hold up today. You would be wrong in that assumption. A Link to the Past looks great for it’s time, and a cartoonish theme can be distinguished from the pixels. 

The biggest complaint I had with how the game looked was the repetitive assets. Every tree, rock, and bush looks identical, and at times it got a little boring. 

However, all the repetition makes you notice when something is different. A single tree on the map is slightly lighter than the others, so it’s no surprise that running into it reveals a secret cave.

Sound Design and Music

A Link to the Past is part of the Zelda games, a series that is known for its stunning music. Even though this is only the third game in the series, it has some of the best music. 

The main Overworld theme is a new rendition of the Overworld theme from the first game, created to sound triumphant to fit the setting, while not being so good or loud that it distracts the player.

The Dungeon theme isn’t as good, but it serves a more important purpose than sounding awesome. The dungeons are the most difficult areas of the game, and they have a sense of danger that you don’t feel in the overworld, even when exploring dangerous areas. The dungeon music also makes you feel relieved when you exit a dungeon, and makes you feel like you’ve just been in a movie theatre and just went into the sun for the first time in hours.

What I really love about this game is that it feels satisfying to hit an enemy with your sword, all because of the sound design. Every successful hit from a sword rewards you with what sounds like a tiny vibration, and a miss is signified with a little dink. It actually frustrates me every time I miss an easy shot because of that sound, and incentivizes me to improve my aim and therefore my skill in the game.

Story

I love a Link to the Past’s approach at storytelling. You start out on a set quest that you have to complete before the world is open for you to explore. This quest sets up the main villain of the campaign, the ways you can attack, how to use an item, how to solve puzzles, how to interact with the environment, and most importantly, rewards your exploration. 

When you do get out of that first dungeon, you have options. The main quest tells you to go to Kakariko Village to talk to this lady, but you can completely ignore it and head for the next dungeon, or explore the world to get upgrades. 

Upgrades and hidden items play an important role in exploration. As an adventurer, you want to become more powerful, so naturally you seek out as many of those upgrades as you can. However, some items require certain items to get, items which can only be found in dungeons. This invisibly makes the player want to do more dungeons to get more loot, and that’s how they provide you with story.

Gameplay

A Link to the Past features a top down zoomed out camera angle, which is perfect because it shows just enough of what is ahead on the map and gives you enough time to maneuver around enemies and other obstacles.

The main weapon in Zelda is the sword, but every other item you get is just as useful. You have a green magic meter on the side of your screen, which limits how much you can use some magic. If I am being totally honest, the magic meter is a bit too limiting, even with the upgrade that halves how much magic you need.

The dungeons are one of the greatest parts of the game. Each one provides a unique theme and has interesting puzzles. My biggest complaint is that many of the enemies are reused, and it got a little frustrating to kill the same things so many times. 

The puzzles in the dungeons are great. They require a perfect balance of using your items and using your brain. If you get around to playing this game, try not to look up the solutions for any of the dungeons. The moment of satisfaction you get when you figure it out yourself is worth it.

I Just Like This Game

I just have to say it, this game is awesome. It’s one of the best additions to a legendary game series, expanding on the first of its line and setting the formula for the dozens of games that followed it. 

Every random feature of A Link to the Past amuses me. There’s this one part where you drain a lake in the light world to gain access to the dungeon, and it’s a great way to do world building.

In that same lake, you can find a fish that you can carry for absolutely no reason. If you bring it to a man in Kakariko Town, he’ll randomly give you a bunch of items in exchange for it. I have no idea why this is a thing, but it’s awesome.

The Master Sword, the main weapon of the game, is talked about in literal terms. People describe its power, and going back to what I said earlier, you want to find it to make yourself more powerful.

There’s this mushroom you can find in the Lost Woods, and if you bring it to the witch she’ll give you the magic powder. You can sprinkle this on monsters to turn them into weird creatures, an example being it turns electric slimes into these goofy monsters with handlebar mustaches. You can also sprinkle it on anti-fairies to turn them back into fairies to heal yourself.

Every item has a double use. The Cane of Somalia can be used to create blocks to hold down switches, but you can throw those blocks and make them explode by pressing the Y button again. The Hookshot can be used to zip across rooms and over gaps, but can also be used to stun enemies.

A lot of people complain about the difficulty of games that came out before they were born, and most of the time, they’re right. The original Super Mario Bros game is difficult, so much so that I’ve never beaten it. But A Link to the Past doesn’t have any super huge difficulty spikes, and the more you play the more you naturally get better in certain situations. 

They could’ve made this game very dependent on items, but instead it was very freeform. The item you get in a dungeon is sometimes optional, and sometimes you don’t need it for that dungeon but the next one. Sometimes you need to beat a dungeon with an item you got in the overworld. There’s this one point where you need to grab a book to translate the text outside a dungeon, but that same book can be used to translate certain texts throughout the land to gain magical pendants.

Every sword upgrade is found in a different way. The Master Sword is discovered by collecting three pendants from different dungeons. When you finally get to it, the moment is epic, as the three pendants collide and you finally draw the Sword that seals the Darkness. You can temper your sword by rescuing one of the dwarves trapped in the dark world. He’ll power up your sword as thanks. You can increase the damage output again by throwing it in a fairy pool.

Everything about this game is unique, and it never pulls the same trick twice. I’ve only put it down for a few days, and I’m already itching to play it again. If you have a Nintendo Switch, or a SNES classic, or even a Gameboy Advance, I highly suggest playing this game.

My final rating for this game is a 9/10.

Top 5 smart speakers 2019

With new smart home speakers coming out frequently, the public needs a guide to the pros and cons of the different brands. You’ve probably seen ads for these speakers (Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomePod, and many more), but which one is actually the best?

Coming in at 5th place is the Amazon Echo Plus. It has an attractive fabric design, and has good audio drivers. It also has a temperature sensor. This speaker does have some cons, like it sometimes doesn’t work with Fire TV commands, and it has a premium price of $150.

The next best smart speaker is the classic Google Home. This speaker is great for music lovers, with it being connected to YouTube’s massive song library. It also has a customizable base, along with an affordable price of $99. A few downsides to this speaker are it misses some of Google’s own services and it sometimes requires precise phrasing for the speaker to pick up what you’re saying.

In 3rd place, the Amazon Echo has a great new look and a cheap price. It also has some new Alexa features, but it is pretty close to the old generations. Customers also have said that the Alexa app could be better, with some features being slow or sometimes not working.

The 2nd best speaker is the Apple HomePod. It’s compact, has spectacular sound quality, and has built in Siri (which is very responsive). There are a few cons though, including no Bluetooth feature, no Apple Music support, and a high price tag of $350 (or more, depending on where you go to purchase it).

The first place spot goes to the Sonos One, with a clean look, fantastic sound quality, built in Alexa, and an affordable price tag of $150. The only con that I found was there’s no Google assistant support.

All pictures taken from: https://www.techradar.com/news/best-smart-speakers

PlayStation 5 – news, specs and pricing

It has been more than 6 years since Sony released the PlayStation 4, so many people are asking for details on a next-gen system. Last week, PS fans got their wish. The PlayStation 5 will be released sometime in 2019.

In a recent interview, Mark Cerny (architectect of the PS4) said that the architecture of the PS5 will be similar to the PS4, which means that the new system will be backwards compatible (works with games from previous PlayStation systems).

The new console will have some significant upgrades with graphics and speeds, including 8K visual support (this will rely on upgrades from TV companies). The graphics will be driven by Raedons Navi line. This new graphics chip will support ray tracing, a fairly new chip that’s beginning to be used in many new movies and video games.

The new Sony console will not be inexpensive, but not as pricey as some devices coming out these days. At a starting price of $499, the system will be $100 more than its predecessor, the PS4. Hopefully, there will be significant upgrades and new specs that will make up for the $500 starting price tag. The system will probably also have more storage upgrade options, which will raise the price for consumers who want more storage for entertainment.

The Instagram “Nasty List” hack

In the past few weeks, many Instagram users have seen strange messages on their accounts and sent to them by friends. If you have seen any of these messages, you are not the only one. The messages are spread from person to person, by clicking one link and entering a password.

The messages that people have been seeing all refer to something called the Instagram “Nasty List.” The messages vary slightly, but they all tell you that you are on the “Nasty List.”

Below the intriguing message, there is a live link. Many people unknowingly click the link hoping to discover where they are on the list and why. After clicking on the link, users are brought to a login page, where they are asked to enter their username and password. Although the page looks very similar to the real Instagram login page, it is really just a convincing fake.

Shortly after giving your information to this website, the same message you received will be sent to many of your followers. By clicking the link and entering your information, you are giving the hackers full access to your Instagram account. It is unknown what the hackers will do with the stolen accounts, but it is always better to avoid finding out.

The best way to avoid getting hacked in this case, is simply to not click the link. If you’ve already clicked the link, change your account password as soon as possible. This will make it so that the password you gave the hackers is invalid; however, they may have already changed your password. In that case, there unfortunately isn’t anything you can do.

If you are ever worried about your Instagram account getting hacked, the best thing you can do is set up two-factor authentication and never enter your information anywhere except for the official website or app.

AT&T releases fake “5G E” – slower than other 4G networks

With the roll-out of new smart devices coming soon from various companies (such as Samsung’s foldable phone), there is a need for a faster network connection. The idea of 5G has already started at Verizon, where they claim their 5G broadband will be 20 times faster than current 4G LTE speeds.

The issue is, AT&T released “5GE” (5G Evolution), which is reportedly slower than Verizon and T-Mobile’s 4G LTE speeds. AT&T claims that 5GE runs on an “advanced” LTE network, but Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint all currently run 4G on that network, making AT&T’s claim false and misleading.

Sprint took this false claim seriously, and filed a lawsuit against AT&T. They say that what AT&T is doing to customers is completely unethical and wrong. This is because what they claim is their 5GE network, is literally the same as Sprint’s advanced 4G speeds.

The fact that AT&T was able to release this network and call it 5G is concerning. This is because as technology develops, consumers need to be able to purchase reliable speeds for their devices, and not be lied to by powerful corporations. AT&T needs to accept what they did wrong, and actually work on a future connection with real 5G speeds.