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Apple’s Spending has Increased… iPhone 6 Launch coming?

Apple seems to be getting ready big time.  There are alot of different source that conclude to a huge iphone 6 launch.  Apple’s spending on components and general manufacturing costs has risen steadily over the past year, with a quarter-to-quarter increase of 22 percent to $15.4 billion by the end of June. Well, according to a quarterly report filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty stated that this mammoth increase in spending can only mean one thing: Apple is preparing for its biggest product launch since the first iPhone debuted in 2007.

The rumors:

Apple will launch two larger iPhones along with a wearable item, the iWatch, in which so much talk about it may as well be confirmed.  I’m saying, there are leaked images of the two phones all over the Internet. The most recent reports state that the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will arrive in the second or third week of September, while the second 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may launch later in the fall, or on the same day. Meanwhile, most agree that the iWatch will arrive later in the fall, around October or possibly November.

  1. Larger screen: 4.7″ with a pixel density of 416 (perhaps 1704×960 pixels) and 5.5″ with a pixel density of 365
  2. The 5.5″ model with Optical Image Stabilization and a 128 GB storage capacity 
  3. Sapphire crystal screen
  4. Faster and more efficient A8 chip
  5. Slimmer bezel and thinner chassis
  6. iOS 8

Some interesting info on the Sapphire Crystal Screen

When I say a lot of rumor and hype I mean there are a lot. I would say more than what usually goes down for the best of phones now and I’m talking phones like the Note 3 and the LG G3.  People images of what may be the parts of this phone have been posted:

flex-cables-sim-card

Separate flex cables for the volume buttons/mute switch and top power button, and what may be the SIM card trays for the device, hinting at space gray, silver, and gold color options.

 

 

backpanel2

A possible backlight panel for the iPhone 6 surfaced in May from Chinese microblogging site Weibo, showing a part that looks like it is indeed from an iPhone. While the veracity of the image cannot be confirmed, it appears to correspond to the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. Along with the panel, images of Touch ID parts have also come from the Asian supply chain, as have images of the flex cable for the Lightning port and headphone jack.

 

iphone6-lcd-800x488

In June a possible LCD backlight panel for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 surfaced.

 

 

Don’t get me started on the concept images that basically say,”Hello I am an iphone and I don’t really change that much……….” …  Okay here are two  images:

 

iphone_6_ipod_touch

 iphone_6_mockups_gold_gray_silverApple is reportedly increasing production of both iPhone 6 models to record heights, with estimates ranging from 70 to 80 million units. The 10-Q filing does seem to confirm these reports but I am not a financial expert and all I see are a bunch of numbers that do show an increase after looking at it and finally making some sense of it. According to Huberty, such dramatic increases in spending on components and manufacturing indicate that Apple is planning its biggest launch ever. I don’t know about all that but we know Apple loves to make huge launches and well the launches have been large with Apple fan waiting in lines sometimes camping out the night before the launch dates.

“In addition to the $15.4 billion Apple spent building the iPhone 6 and presumably, the iWatch, the company has shelled out $5.6 billion for product tooling and manufacturing process equipment, advertising, research and development, and Internet and telecommunications services. Overall, Apple’s total commitment of $21 billion grew 46 percent year-over-year and a whopping 36 percent from the previous quarter. Huberty stated that this represents the highest sequential growth of a June quarter since 2007, when Apple first showed the iPhone to the world.

Huberty believes that these staggering increases essentially confirm not only is Apple making more iPhone units than ever before, but it is also preparing to introduce a brand-new product: the iWatch. Her suspicions were confirmed by a recent report from AppleInsider, which stated that Apple spent $1.6 billion on research and development last quarter and $4.36 billion so far in 2014. The publication also noted that R&D spending increased every quarter.” I’m quoting here from a Digital Trends post and Huberty has a lot to say about it it seems.

Gold_iphone 6_w750I could not help but to add that a 24k iphone 6 is in the air. Well probably a lil more than just in the air since luxury design and accessory company Brikk is already taking pre-orders for its extravagant take on Apple’s next big thing.

So the iphone is coming so be prepared for a lot of news on it. A recent report from The Wall Street Journal suggests Apple is ordering massive numbers of the iPhone 6 to meet high consumer demand. The company is expected to order between 70 and 80 million units of the 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 combined but with Android still out there racking up big numbers combined from several phone makers. The likes of which are also coming out with new phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Just how well will it turn out for Apple? Also how many issues are there going to be on these 2 new iphones. Apple I would think has stuck with there small sizes out of convenience and the easy factor while still making dough. Just what do you think?

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Hearthstone

World of Warcraft fan? Maybe?… Maybe not?… Or do you like card games? Blizzard Entertainment has released a free to play card game based on World of Warcraft. Having been a World of Warcraft player I was able to acquire a free mount for playing the game.

 

Well, yeah I had to do something in the game first. I had to do all the work of installing the game and then I had to play it.  As I played I started to have fun which kind of snuck up on me since I only wanted the mount. As I played and hours actually passed I saw how easy to understand the core rules were.  See it does not really rely on some complex and complicated rules. You can be a good player by simply playing the right cards at the right time. Now I did see a some exceptions related to what was related to a Crazed Alchemist.  For the most part the cards and their effects were simple with few words used to communicate what it is they do.  Actually some of the ones I like are Fireball which deals 6 damage, Chillwind Yeti is a minion with 4 attack and 5 health. The objective, of course, is to kill your opponent or rather get their health to zero.  As for the cards, some are very accessible, some not so much.

 

The game does take a lil brain power and playing mindlessly may just cost you a few losses.  There will be times when attacking may not be the best idea cause your opponent played a card that gets stronger depending on what you do. You may wanna knock that card out first. It is also good to have some protection instead by playing a card that Taunts attackers to attack it giving you some breathing room while you hope for a good card to show up so you can setup a good combo to knock your opponent’s health down. So you play at first to improve your deck. Also important to mention is what class you want to play cause each class has its own special powers.

  • Druid: Poison Seeds (spell) – Destroy all minions and summon 2/2 Treants to INSERT them.
  • Hunter: Webspinner (minion) – Deathrattle: Draw a random Beast card.
  • Mage: Duplicate (secret) – Secret: When a friendly minion dies, put 2 copies of it in your hand.
  • Paladin: Avenge (secret) – Secret: When one of your minions dies, give a friendly minion +3/+2.
  • Priest: Dark Cultist (minion) – Deathrattle: Give a friendly minion +3 Health.
  • Rogue: Anub’ar Ambusher (minion) – Deathrattle: Return a friendly minion to your hand.
  • Shaman: Reincarnation (spell) – Destroy a minion, then return it to life with full Health.
  • Warlock: Voidcaller (minion) – Deathrattle: Put a Demon from your hand into the battlefield.
  • Warrior: Death’s Bite (weapon) – Deathrattle: Deal 1 damage to all minions.

 

 

iPad version

 

 

As for this version, I honestly am not sure but the news is that it plays identically as on Mac and PC.  This sounds good to me and I would rather be able to play it on a tablet anyways but it is only available for iPad. Nothing Android at the moment but Blizzard states they will be working on one projected near the end of 2014. So myself being an Android person am not happy about that.  I played the game but not as often as I would like. Maybe if it was on Android I would play it more. (Actually I would.)

 

New Expansion Curse of Naxxramas

 

Curse_of_Naxxramas

Recently Blizzard has released a new expansion for Hearthstone adding new challenges giving players a chance at improving their card decks. If you play the game this is a must. As other players get these cards you may need some of your own to survive.  The first wing, The Arachnid Quarter will be available for free for at least a month but after that it will cost $6.99 or 700 gold to download. I hear Blizzard will let players buy multiple wings at once at a discount.

 

Here’s the full list of prices: 

US

  • All five wings: $24.99
  • Already own first wing: $19.99
  • Already own first two wings: $14.99
  • Already own first three wings: $9.99
  • Individual wings: $6.99, or 700 gold, each

Europe

  • All five wings: 21.99 euros or 17.49 pounds
  • Already own first wing: 17.99 euros or 13.99 pounds
  • Already own first two wings: 13.99 euros or 11.49 pounds
  • Already own first three wings: 8.99 euros or 6.99 pounds
  • Individual wings: 5.99 euros, 4.99 pounds or 700 gold each

 


So check out Hearthstone. It is a fun game, especially if you like card games. With the World of Warcraft feel to it, it is a treat for any WoW fans. Blizzard just need to get those other versions out there. Mainly iphone and Android. Once they do that the game will really flourish.
 

Hearthstone on Facebook

Update:

Looking back I see Hearthstone is available for Android now. At first the android release was for only tablets. During this time I was able to get the game going on my phone by finding the game from a 3rd source and at the time it ran really slow and was a bit weird to play. I had issues tapping in areas on the board so I could basically play cards but firing magic was an issue.  Blizzard has now released its hold on the game and now some phones can play it.  It ran fine on my phone. I have/had a Note 3.

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Killzone: Shadow Fall gets a new DLC

Do you like the smell of gunpowder after a battle? Just what does victory taste like? For all of you Killzone: Shadow Fall players the smell and taste might not be what you expected. That is if you pickup the latest DLC.  Killzone: Shadow Fall’s new “Fun & Games Spotlight Pack” bring with it new “Fart, Planking & Comedy spotlight moves”, allowing you to taunt your opponents with a dose of flatulence.  Remember to keep you mouth closed during these battles.

The pack costs $1.99

Fun & Games Spotlight Pack

This seems to be the new thing now adding little things to add a little humor to enhance the games we play.  Now you can destroy an opponent and fart over their dead corp or even listen Snoop Dog as you play. (Will throw in some info on this at a later date. So keep check the site.)

 

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A BREATH OF FRESH AIR. (A review from IGN.COM)

dishonored
Reviewed on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

→ OCTOBER 7, 2012 

Are you getting sick of playing games that don’t actually let you play? You know the ones I mean: they funnel you down a narrow path, don’t give you much freedom in what you can do, and rely on cinematic set pieces to drive the spectacle. I am, and that’s why Dishonored is such a refreshing experience. It picks up where games like Deus Ex and BioShock left off, and puts choice back in the hands of the player.

 

As Corvo Attano, protector to an Empress, players find themselves in Dunwall, a grimy port city whose population is being decimated by a rat-born plague. It’s an industrial setting; a fishing town grown rich off the back of the whale oil that powers the city’s circuits. It’s also a hive of corruption, political machinations and power grabbing, and this all comes to the fore when the Empress is assassinated, and Corvo sets out to avenge her death.

 

That vengeance can take many forms. Unlike so many video game protagonists, Corvo is not pre-ordained to be a mass murderer. The entire game can be completed without killing a single person, so guards can be avoided or knocked unconscious, and non-lethal options can be found for assassination targets.

 

Of course, if you want to cut a bloody swathe across Dunwall, that’s catered for too. Just be warned: killing your way to the end of the game has a number of ramifications. More dead bodies means more rats and more guards, and a darker overall conclusion.

 

If you’re anything like me though, you’ll probably take an approach that’s somewhere in the middle – at least for your first play-through. Whatever you do, the mechanics are highly versatile and each setting has been designed to give players multiple options for achieving any one goal.

Dishonored-Pendleton

I demand satisfaction, sir.

By way of example, in one mission Corvo has two targets to take out inside a brothel, but there is, of course, an alternative to killing them. If you can find another guest in the complex and get him to give up the code for his safe, you can then give this code to a character in the Distillery District and he’ll make both your targets disappear. In my first playthrough, I got the code, but went and eliminated both the targets anyway, then took the contents of the safe for myself.

These kind of options make missions much more engaging than if players were simply tasked with the usual ‘go here, kill this’ objectives. That said, it’s actually the moment to moment gameplay choices that make Dishonored so compelling.

What happens, for instance, if you need to get past a ‘wall of light’? These electrified gateways are set up throughout the city and will fry anything that’s not authorised to pass through them. You might be able to circumvent it by climbing up onto the rooftops and traversing around, or use the possession power to scurry through a drainage pipe as a rat and get to the other side. On the other hand you could deal with the gate itself by removing the whale oil tank that’s powering it, or hack into the system and reverse it. This last option is perhaps the most entertaining, as it means you’re now able to step through, but any guards who give chase will be instantly incinerated.

The approach you take will at least partly be determined by how you’ve customised Corvo, and these options are incredibly robust. Each of the game’s ten powers can be unlocked in any order (after Blink), and each can be upgraded. Runes hidden throughout the world are the currency for unlocking and upgrading powers, and that hunt is brilliant fun in and of itself. For my first play through, I focused on using and levelling up three core powers: Blink, Dark Vision and Agility.

Blink is a short range teleport that’s useful for moving from cover to cover, getting the jump on enemies and scaling buildings. Dark Vision lets players see enemy movements through walls, and also highlights other important objects in the world. Agility, on the other hand, is a passive power which increases jump height and movement speed, and reduces fall damage. As you can see, I opted for agility and stealth above all else.

To further enhance my cat burglar-like skills, I also spent cash upgrading my boots for quieter movement, and activated perks – via the game’s hidden bone charms – to drastically reduce the time it takes to choke an enemy, as well as to increase my movement speed in stealth mode and while carrying corpses.

You may well choose completely different abilities and perks. If you’re combat-focused, whirlwind sends enemies flying and is really effective, as is slow time, which actually freezes time when fully levelled up. While some powers are more useful than others, it’s a good selection and great fun to experiment with. They’re backed up by more traditional weapons: crossbow, pistol, grenades, spring razor, and so on, and these can all be upgraded too.

Dishonored’s nine missions are all very distinct. You’ll attend a society gala in disguise, scale a bridge, escape from prison, wander through flooded slums and stalk across rooftops. You’ll take part in a duel, carry an unconscious man through a gauntlet of enemies and decide whether or not to become a torturer. Each mission is designed as a sandbox, allowing players to utilise whatever approach they want, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll take your time, getting the lay of the land, discovering alternate routes, listening in on conversations, taking on optional objectives, looking for secrets and treasure, and generally just playing.

Players who really take the time to enjoy the experience are rewarded too. The more runes, bone charms and money you find, the more you can augment and upgrade your character, and the more bad-ass you’ll become. In fact, by the last couple of missions I was almost too powerful; able to stalk, choke and kill with ease. Good thing there are hard and extra hard difficulty settings to move on to, which ramp up the perceptiveness of enemies and increase the general challenge.

It’s also worth noting that taking out the actual targets in each mission can often be a bit of a letdown. In almost all cases you’ve got a serious advantage over them – no matter how heavily guarded they are. That’s not much of a deal breaker, however, because Dishonored really is about exploration and experimentation as much as the end goal. This is one of those games in which you’ll save often, reloading again and again to try different approaches, until you get each gameplay vignette just right.

Even though the odds are very much in your favour (on normal difficulty at least), the gameplay evolves nicely alongside the story. New factions and enemy types are introduced, which help shift up the vibe and introduce new challenges. One mission in particular pits Corvo against foes that aren’t so easily outmanoeuvred, and it’s a great touch, even though I’d have loved to see that sub-story pushed a little further.

Some of the more bad-ass enemies in Dishonored.

Some of the more bad-ass enemies in Dishonored.

In fact, that goes for a lot of the game. It’s a fascinating world with a memorable cast, not to mention an interesting overarching tension between mystical pagan magic and industrialisation, but all these elements never really feel like they come to fruition. The experience is still engrossing from start to finish, however.

You may also have some small issues with the controls. Climbing ledges – particularly when getting out of water – sometimes isn’t as smooth as it could be. The mechanic for sneaking up on guards and grabbing them from behind can be a little temperamental too – nothing worse than coming up behind a guard and blocking instead of grabbing. It’s also a little disappointing that the well-implemented first person perspective doesn’t extend to carrying objects, which just hover in space, in stark contrast to wielding weapons, powers and knocking guards out. Oh, and you’ll come across a few invisible walls in the play spaces, too, which is a bit of a shame, but probably unavoidable. None of these concerns are deal breakers, as Dishonored is very much a joy to play.

It’s also one of the prettiest games of recent years. The art direction is nothing short of incredible, and it’s matched with a visual aesthetic that makes the world look like an oil painting in motion. Dishonored isn’t competing on detail; it’s driven by soft textures, intelligent use of colours and contrast, and beautiful lighting. From terraced urban streets to industrial warehouses, menacing fortresses to regal palaces, it’s Victorian England meets City 17 meets whalepunk. The character modelling is superb too, even if the facial animations could be better… and the oddly oversized hands could be smaller.

As is becoming standard, PC owners are in for the biggest visual treat. Dishonored does look excellent on console – I finished it on Xbox 360, then started again on PS3, and thoroughly enjoyed playing on both. You may notice minor frame rate issues and a little tearing, but nothing that will really take away from the gameplay. That said, it’s significantly better-looking on a modern PC, so that should be the platform of choice for players who have the option.

THE VERDICT

 

 

It’s a shame that Dishonored’s story isn’t greater than the sum of its decidedly memorable parts, but its gameplay absolutely is. Each mission is built as an elaborate network of choices for players to explore, and the same can be said for Corvo himself. Each player’s selection of powers, perks and other upgrades will inform how they see and interact with this world, and no two play-throughs will be exactly the same. Dishonored is a game you’ll talk with your friends about, and that you’ll want to play multiple times. In this game there are always other paths to be taken and other challenges to conquer, and that’s a refreshing thing indeed.