Pros and Cons of PS4’s Share Play

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Share Play for the PlayStation 4 was released Tuesda. Share Play, which is being released with System Update 2.0, allows a host to invite a friend to watch, take over for, or play with them on their PS4. Sounds like a dream come true, right? But before you get too excited about these advertised abilities, here are some important things you should know about the release.

Share Play is only for PlayStation Plus subscribers, but the invitation can be sent to someone who doesn’t have a PS Plus account. The invitation can be for viewing or controlling purposes only—and yes, unfortunately, it can only be one invitation per session. If playing a multi-player game, then both players will need PS Plus accounts. The Share Play sessions are limited to just an hour but with no restrictions on the number of sessions. Theoretically, it’s possible to let a friend play a game from beginning to end, but you’ll have to keep renewing the hourly sessions. Sony is open to the possibility of changing the time limit based on user feedback, but remember that even if you borrow a game through Share Play, you won’t be able to collect trophies or save game progress.

For the detail-oriented, a deal-breaker might be the resolution. The highest resolution for Share Play will be 720p, and it will be dependent on the host and their friends’ internet connections. Much like the age old TCP/IP networking, it doesn’t affect the host. As Share Play becomes more widely used, Sony may bump up said resolution.

On the up side, the host can take back control of the game at any time, thereby ending the session. Is your expert gamer bro done getting through that super-difficult level? You can then take back possession of the game and continue playing without them, even before their hour is up.

One lacking feature of Share Play is its lack of cross-platform usability. Share Play doesn’t work with any other system, not even the PS Vita. But even with the limitations, Sony seems to have put in a lot of thought into the software. Users should probably expect some tweaking and updates in the near future as bugs are worked out. For instance, hopefully the session limit will be extended from an hour, and the resolution increased, but user feedback will ultimately be the deciding factor in those key details.

Check out the video below to see Share Play in action:


Via: PlayStation Blog
Source: Videogamer.com

Five Worst Bars to Hang in Washington DC

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Yes, this blog is subjective and will start fires, but I’m going to give you a list of the worst social establishments in Washington, D.C. It’s not necessarily the bars themselves or their staff, but sometimes it’s just the people attracted to the spot. Sure, it’s not tech, but this is something I’ve been meaning to get off my chest for days. So here we are at last:

5.Town Hall – Glover Park

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Rating: Bourgeoisie

We’re no longer in high school, so we’re not allowed to make fun of people for how they dress. Of course, if everyone in your bar came by in letter jackets and cheerleader outfits, you might feel a little left out or critical of the group. Meet Town Hall: A Georgetown establishment known for its old money ties and absurd attire. Don’t get me wrong, Town Hall is an incredible bar with a giant patio, and friendly staff who know how to serve their customers.

Of course, then you realize something’s different. Am I the only one this summer who didn’t buy a $60 Lacoste polo and J. Crew khaki shorts? Shit, I forgot to wear the $150 Sperry’s I bought for my dad’s yacht. This bar, sponsored nightly by the Ivy League (or Ivy League rejects), is like entering Gatsby’s house without a pocket square; you just feel out of place and unable to take your eyes off the “sameness.” Sure, the people are friendly…while they look down their noses at you. Run.

New OK Go Music Video I Won’t Let You Down is Insane

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OK Go has never been a disappointment in terms of music videos, with notorious choreography done by one of the band member’s sisters, Trish Sie. And with OK Go’s recently debuted music video, “I Won’t Let You Down,” OK Go isn’t lying. This is arguably one of the most insane one-shot (at least some of it) dance-filled music videos the world has laid eyes on. The track is off OK Go’s new album, Hungry Ghosts, which is currently available for preorder in the UK.

The video is almost unbelievable to watch. If you’ve seen their previous hits using treadmills, this one is equally inventive with its technology use. The band rides what looks to be Honda’s U3-X seated scooters throughout. The electronic unicycles move when leaned upon in any direction (much like Segways). The band members ride them,  following lines and hash marks drawn on the ground as they  circle around each other and a plethora of dancers in a colorful and magnificent display of foot and wheel-work, not to mention amazing cinematography. Check it out for yourself.

The prominence of Honda’s new vehicle is just amazing (Yes, the umbrellas too.). The amount of versatility the shown by OK Go on these “scooters” is quite absurd (and obviously entertaining). Where can I get one now? It’s sad to see this unicycle has been in development since at least 2009, and we still have yet to get our hands on them. Walking is clearly for suckers. If this video teaches us anything, it’s that Wall-E-esque lazing is just moments away for this generation. What do you think?

Source: YouTube

New Google Inbox Makes Gmail Simpler

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Gmail has been the beloved email choice of millions of people for over ten years. Despite much evolution (tabs for Promos, Social, and Inbox) and branching off  in different directions (i.e. Google Talk, which is now Google Hangouts), the software and search giant has decided to add a new version of its email application for mobile devices and Chrome browsers. It’s called “Inbox by Google.”

The new inbox is a much simpler design than Gmail as you know it. Like your old BlackBerry, Inbox wants to bundle your messages together by thread and relationship to one another. Your obnoxious Living Social promos will now only have one header, bundled with all the rest. You can also create your own customized bundles based on friends, subjects, etc.

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Inbox will also prioritize your email based on important tabs like “Travel,” which will show you all your hotel, food, and flight reservations in a glance. As it appears, Google is looking to make Inbox what you want it to be–a personal assistant with an eye for organization and relevance. As Google puts it:

“Built on everything we learned from Gmail, Inbox is a fresh start that goes beyond email to help you get back to what matters.”

Currently invites are being given out directly by Google and early-adopter friends who can also send invitations. This could be a new beginning for email, much like Microsoft’s revamped Outlook.com. We also expect Inbox to continue to sync up to Google Now, with all of those daily reminders popping up in your daily feed.

Have you checked out Inbox by Google just yet? Lets us know your first impressions.

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Source: Google

Google’s Failure is Apple’s Reward: Why Apple Pay Stands a Better Chance than Google Wallet

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When I told my friends I used Apple Pay for the first time (debut 10/20), my Android friends all said, “Welcome to the party…”  But lets be real, barely any of them are actually using Google Wallet, Softcard, or any other mobile payment system. And we even have the stats to back it up. Here’s some interesting data from 2013. 8% of users report using Google Wallet although 41% claim to know about it. So I find major fault in the claim that “peeps been doing it for years,” because in truth,  they haven’t. 
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I’d like to let everyone know that I don’t hate Google. I like what they’re doing overall, and it has an allure. The data they collect with their software tools enables them to offer proactive services for the world. Free. You literally can’t say Google does not benefit you in some way. That’s a profound fact.

So they have a big leg up over hardware companies in the long term.  Their products are quite diversified, and they have services that are indispensable to any Internet-based device. Unfortunately for Apple, they’re solely a hardware and software company (no monopoly on search, and Apple Maps was a disaster at first). Thus, they are lacking in certain market dominance, and I’m not sure how/if they will bridge the gap.

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But Apple Pay could be a great start. Apple customers love their iPhones and iProducts with a disgusting passion. They get all the best apps first (i.e. Instagram, Secret, and even Snapchat) and have some of the most beautiful hardware and software. And their products are so exciting, new models sell out in the tens of millions (10 million iPhone 6s were sold in the debut weekend). So when Apple Pay comes around after years of ISIS/Softcard and Google Wallet, I’m not surprised to see it potentially cornering the market on mobile payment in hyper-adoption frenzy. And according to polls, Apple has already seen interest. One suggested 20% of Apple users are interested in mobile payment.

Google Wallet isn’t successful because Google’s way to market is sloppy and unrefined. When they nail a product (which they inevitably do after a million revisions of it), it’s great. It’s just that you have to be their crash test dummy the entire time (Remember Google Buzz and Google+?). Yes, Google+ is growing, but you’re still not using it.   Half the time they announce something, the company just waits for it to stick. If it doesn’t, they move on.  And it’s really a shame, because Google is platform agnostic. Despite Google Wallet being available for the iPhone, Apple Pay is going to crush it.

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I like Apple’s software, simply because I’ve had a better experience with it. It’s intuitive and it fits right into Apple’s own ecosystem seamlessly. I’m sure others can say the opposite, and that is perfectly fine with me. However, I’m tired of those suggesting Apple is losing a battle because they’re no longer being “first” to an idea.

 Keep in mind,  there were companies before Google and Apple who were first and they’re not in the game anymore. *cough* Palm, Sony, and Research in Motion (BlackBerry) to name a few. So at the end of the day, who the hell cares? Tech is more than being first. To me it’s about ubiquity, coherence, and reliability. Others may have different priorities and that’s why they choose Android or other platforms over iOS.

But despite all the yelling, I don’t believe Android users are “power users.” The ones that screaming the loudest drown out the vast percentage of mobile phone owners who barely use their software features. These low-end users could not care less about the obscene amount of cluttered options and customization offered by their smartphones. They’re glorified Facebook machines with a selfie camera. Why would they care about Google Wallet or Google Now? And if they did, why don’t the numbers show otherwise?

This is terrible for the adoption of technology. Tech is for everyone, not just geeks. When the Everyman can adopt, we move forward. With Google, I feel you have a greater array of ignorance among users. This causes a disparity between the appeal of technology and actual adoption of it. Android claims to be ahead (it is in software market share) but the problem is that simply creating the technology does not push it to the forefront. In fact, it does everyone in tech a disservice by simply half-baking this crap.

Google doesn’t care if you like their product. They just wait for the geeks to sell it for them. Or they wait for Apple or some other company to come along and sell the same idea, which they have millions of [ideas].  Google is an information company and not a manufacturer. This is the fundamental difference that determines the success of Apple Pay over Google Wallet.

So do I care that Google wallet was around in 2011? No, because it was half-baked tech versus a holistic product involving all the moving parts of the payment industry. Tech is good if you can convince people to use it.

In the end, I’m happy being last if that means other people besides me (a self-described geek) are going to use it.

What about you, are you using mobile payment? Tell us your experience in the comments below.