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Acer launches new high-end gaming laptops with Nvidia RTX 2080 GPUs – TechCrunch

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Acer today announced two new gaming laptops at CES, the 17-inch $4,000 Predator Triton 900 with a convertible 4K display and the somewhat more affordable all-metal 15-inch $1,800 Triton 500. What sets these laptops apart is, among a few other interesting features and some interesting design choices, support for Nvidia’s new(ish) RTX 2080 GPUs, the most powerful graphics processors on the market today.

The Triton 900 features the RTX 2080 by default, while you’ll have to shell out an extra $700 to get it on the Triton 500. Otherwise, the specs are very much what you’d expect from a modern gaming laptop, with 8th generation Intel i7 chips, 16GB of base memory (with the option of going up to 32GB) and up to a terabyte of NVMe-based storage.

The Triton 900’s flipping screen is a bit of a gimmick, but it doesn’t look bad and the company argues that it’ll allow for “multiple gaming scenarios and better ergonomics.” I’m not sure ergonomics is top of mind for most gamers who are willing to shell out $4,000 for a laptop, but it can’t hurt either. The 4K display is a touchscreen, too, which could make it interesting as a more high-end portable workstation for creative work. If you’re a gamer, though, you’ll likely be more excited about the built-in Xbox wireless receiver and audio by Waves, which offers head tracking to provide you a more realistic 3D audio experience

Unsurprisingly, the Triton 500 is the more “sensible” option here, with a more palatable starting price, slim design (it’s 0.7 inches thick and weighs in at 4.6 lbs) and the promise of eight hours of battery life. You only get a full HD display, though, with even the base model comes with an RTX 2060 card, which is no slouch either and should easily be able to let you play and modern game at its maximum graphics settings in HD.

CES 2019 coverage - TechCrunch

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A suave gentleman thief attempts a high-risk heist in trailer for Lupin

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Omar Sy stars as Assane Diop in the new Netflix series Lupin, a contemporary retelling of the classic French story about a gentleman thief and master of disguise.

A man seeking revenge for the death of his father attempts a risky museum heist in Lupin, a new series premiering on Netflix in January starring French actor and comedian Omar Sy. The series is a contemporary reimagining of a classic character in French detective fiction, Arsène Lupin, a gentleman thief and master of disguise who was essentially the French equivalent of Sherlock Holmes.

Suave, stylish, and sophisticated, Lupin is the creation of Maurice Leblanc, who based the character partly on a French burglar/anarchist. Leblanc was also familiar with the gentleman thief featured in the work of Octave Mirbeau as well as E.W. Hornung’s famed gentleman thief, A.J. Raffles, and he also knew about Rocambole, a character whose adventures were recounted in a series of stories published between 1857 and 1870 by Pierre Alexis Ponson du Terrail.

Relentlessly pursued by a detective named Ganimard, Lupin is captured stealing a woman’s jewels on board a ship. Although he is imprisoned, he ultimately escapes before standing trial and goes on to pull off many other colorful heists. In a June 1906 story, “Sherlock Holmes Arrives Too Late,” Lupin meets the aging detective, although for legal reasons—Arthur Conan Doyle objected—the name was changed to “Herlock Sholmes” when the story was included in the first book of collected stories. The Sholmes character appeared in a few more stories later on. All told, Leblanc wrote 17 novels and 39 novellas featuring Lupin.

The Netflix series is the creation of Louis Leterrier , who directed the 2013 heist thriller Now You See Me, in which a band of magicians pull off ingenious robberies. So it’s easy to see why he might be drawn to this project. Per the official premise: “As a teenager, Assane Diop’s life was turned upside down when his father died after being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. 25 years later, Assane will use Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar as his inspiration to avenge his father.”

“We’re gonna steal it”

The trailer opens with a voiceover by Diop, explaining that he works as a janitor at the Louvre, surrounded by artwork worth millions. Currently on exhibit is a jeweled necklace that once belonged to Marie Antoinette, in advance of a public auction to sell the piece to the highest bidder. (I’m guessing this particular plot line is based on the Lupin short story “The Queen’s Necklace.”) “We’re gonna steal it,” he tells his partners in crime. “Go in as janitors, come out millionaires.” While his cronies are pulling the actual heist, Diop disguises himself as a wealthy potential buyer and crashes the auction.

The Louvre heist is personal. Diop’s father was unjustly accused of stealing Marie Antoinette’s necklace from the wealthy Pellegrini family, for whom he worked as a chauffeur. Diop is out for revenge. We learn that Diop’s father gave him copy of Leblanc’s Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar as a child, and he passes that copy down to his own son. We also meet a police detective—clearly modeled on Ganimard—who is also a Lupin uber-fan, and he notices the similarities between Diop’s work and the fictional gentleman burglar (“the method, the panache, the style, the talent!”). His partner is unimpressed: “What’s next? D’Artagnan and the Three Little Pigs?”

All in all, the series looks enticing, although it’s a shame the trailer is dubbed. Lupin debuts on Netflix on January 8, 2021.

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Fortnite’s Nexus War event could expose Twitch streamers to DMCA problems

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Enlarge / Luckily you can’t hear this image—it might result in a DMCA strike if you could.

Epic Games

Epic Games and Twitch are warning streamers who broadcast during Fortnite‘s season-ending Marvel-crossover “Nexus War” event last night that they may need to delete their VOD clips to avoid the risk of DMCA copyright strikes.

The event, which saw players take on the world-eating Galactus in a ten-minute battle, featured AC/DC’s Demon Fire as a licensed background song during a portion set in the game’s iconic Battle Bus. Thus, shortly before the event started, the official Fortnite Status Twitter account warned Twitch streamers that “we cannot prevent your VOD/clip content from getting flagged by the platform’s copyright detection systems. The general recommendation is to either mute your VoDs or turn off VODs/clips entirely to protect yourselves against any kind of claims or strikes as best as possible.”

Shortly after the event, Twitch Support tweeted out a similar warning, telling users who streamed unmuted sound from the game that they may “want to be cautious about DMCA risk from the music in that event” and “consider exporting/downloading and then deleting any related VODs or Clips.”

A bit more than 130,000 Twitch channels were streaming Fortnite at its peak Tuesday night, reaching nearly 1.6 million viewers, according to stats gathered by TwitchTracker. That’s way up from peak streaming between 10,000 and 15,000 accounts and peak viewership between 200,000 and 300,000 throughout November.

A continuing problem

The warnings over the Fortnite event music come weeks after many Twitch users were hit by vague warnings from Twitch that some of their archived VODs would be deleted in a matter of days thanks to DMCA takedown notifications. Rather than specifying which content would be deleted—and giving those streamers their rightful opportunity to file a counter-claim—Twitch unhelpfully recommended that affected users “review your Clips, VODs, and any other content in your Creator Dashboard and delete anything that includes unlicensed copyrighted material. If you are unsure about the contents of your archive, you can delete all of it.”

The Fortnite Nexus War event. The licensed music can be heard around the 6:30 mark.

Last month, Twitch publicly apologized for how it handled that copyright crackdown and for the lack of granular tools available for streamers to manage potentially infringing music content. But the service also warned that users should simply “[not] play recorded music in your stream unless you own all rights in the music, or you have the permission of the necessary rights holder(s). Doing this is the best protection for your streams going forward.”

The Fortnite Status account specifically called out Twitch for a “lack of solutions similar to Lickd,” a reference to the service that lets YouTubers quickly and easily purchase music licenses for their videos. Twitch recently introduced SoundTrack, a library of rights-cleared music that streamers can add to their videos as background music.

But that service doesn’t help with licensed music that might appear in the streamed games themselves, as in the case of this Fortnite event. Those games are often subject to their own EULAs that could place additional restrictions on streaming rights as well.

Twitch says it is “actively speaking with the major record labels about potential approaches to additional licenses that would be appropriate for the Twitch service,” but that those talks are complicated by the fact that “the vast majority of our creators don’t have recorded music as a part of their streams, and the revenue implications to creators of such a deal are substantial.”

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Exterminate! BBC drops trailer for Revolution of the Daleks special

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Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor is a prisoner of the Judoon in Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks, a holiday special that will air on New Year’s Day 2021.

The series 12 finale of Doctor Who back in March ended on a cliffhanger, with Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor imprisoned and her loyal companions (or “fam”) back on Earth without her. Fortunately, we don’t have much longer to wait to find out what happens. The BBC dropped the official trailer for the upcoming holiday special, Revolution of the Daleks, slated to air on New Year’s Day.

(Spoilers for S12 below.)

As I noted in my review earlier this year, series 12 felt like classic Doctor Who, to the delight of longtime fans disappointed by Whittaker’s first outing. (I thought that first outing was solid and showed a lot of promise.) In the episode “Fugitive of the Judoon,” the Doctor encountered the intergalactic police force-for-hire, the Judoon (introduced in the series three episode “Smith and Jones”). The Judoon were supposedly hunting a man who lived in Gloucester with his wife, Ruth (Jo Martin). But their true target turned out to be Ruth, who recovered lost memories and declared herself to be the Doctor, with her own buried blue police box TARDIS. Yet neither Doctor had any recollection of the other.

In the penultimate episode of series 12, “Ascension of the Cybermen,” the Doctor and her “fam” traveled to the far future and humanity’s last outpost. They discovered a portal leading to the now-ruined planet Gallifrey, out of which popped the Master. In the finale, the Master revealed the truth about a story the Doctor and the Master were told as little Time Tots about a “Timeless Child” (briefly mentioned in last season’s “The Ghost Monument”), who was the source of the Time Lords’ ability to regenerate. It should be painfully obvious that this Timeless Child was the Doctor herself. Doctor Ruth was a prior incarnation she just couldn’t remember, thanks to past memory wipes. And that revelation is definitely going to have plenty of repercussions going forward.

Anyway, with the help of a Lone Cyberman, the Master converted all the dead Time Lords on Gallifrey into “CyberMasters,” and while the Doctor and her allies thwarted his original plan, he escaped with the CyberMasters. The companions safely made it back to Earth in another TARDIS (with the outward appearance of a house), but as the Doctor was making her way back to her own TARDIS, she was arrested by the Judoon and taken to a prison somewhere in deep space.

Ending on such a cliffhanger was a bold move, but showrunner Chris Chibnall promised back in March that the Doctor’s current predicament would be addressed in the upcoming holiday special, chock-full of Daleks, exterminations, and “thrills, laughter, and tears.” Chibnall deliberately avoided bringing in classic Doctor Who villains in his first outing as showrunner, although the Doctor and her “fam” defeated a Reconnaissance Dalek that had managed to rebuild itself after a long hibernation in the 2019 holiday special, Resolution.

Chibnall has said this latest holiday special will be both a standalone episode and a sequel to Resolution. “In a sense, that Dalek gives birth to this next iteration,” he told Radio Times.

In the trailer, we see Jo Patterson (Harriet Walters)—who appears to be the British Prime Minister—introducing two Daleks as “defense drones” in front of 10 Downing Street before peering inside one of the shells along with the villainous Jack Robertson (Chris Noth) and his sidekick Leo (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett). We’re also getting more Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman)—we last saw him in “Fugitive of the Judoon,” in which he delivered a cryptic message to the Doctor via her companions to “Beware the Lone Cyberman.”

Per the official description:

Viewers last saw the Thirteenth Doctor at the end of season 12, where her fate was left hanging in the balance as she was locked away in a high-security alien prison with no hope of escape. In the upcoming New Year’s Day special, Yaz, Ryan, and Graham are far away on Earth and having to carry on with their lives without her. However, they soon discover a disturbing plan forming. A plan which involves a Dalek. How can you fight a Dalek without the Doctor? Even with Captain Jack’s help, the gang are set to face one of their biggest and most frightening challenges yet.

Alas, it’s been confirmed that Revolution of the Daleks will mark the final appearance of two of the Doctor’s trio of companions over the last two series: Bradley Walsh’s Graham and Tosin Cole’s Ryan. “The fam as a four is no more,” Whittaker said at a recent press conference, pronouncing herself “absolutely devastated” at the cast shakeup. Chibnall was understandably loath to offer many details, particularly on the question of whether the characters might return to the series at some point in the future. But he did say we could expect an emotional exit.

“We’ve all been in tears watching it,” Chibnall said. “It’s a really important part of the mix of the special, lots of thrills, lots of humor, lots of Daleks, and lots of emotions. We don’t shy away from what it means for this family to have its final moments together. I hope it feels like a good send-off for those two characters.”

Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks will air on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2021, at 8pm EST on BBC America.

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