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Samsung and Apple, two giants in the tech industry are setting the stage for their next great battle. While neither company has formally announced who their chosen champion, we already know who they are. Samsung’s S8 will step into the ring with Apple’s iPhone 8S. This will be the continuation of a long-standing rivalry and both sides will pull no punches as they attempt to outdo their competitor. While neither Apple or Samsung have officially announced the specs for their phones, recent leaks have given us a pretty good idea of what they will look like, so the question is, who will win this battle of the giants? Lets take a look.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8 – Credit Benjamin Geskin

Samsung Galaxy S8

The stakes could not be higher for Samsung. The Galaxy Note 7s tendency to burst into flames means that a lot is resting on the success of the S8. Thanks to a pretty huge leak from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, we know quite a bit about Samsung’s new offering,

The Galaxy S8 will come equipped with a huge 5.8-inch display with dimensions of 148.0 X 68.1 X 8.0 weighing in at 151g, an impressive 1g lighter than the smaller S7. It also has a new ultra-wide 18:5:9 aspect ratio, which allows it to have 2690 X 2400 native resolution. For the first time both models will feature curved OLED displays. The physical home button has been removed but the phone will still be dust and water resistant. The fingerprint scanner also appears to have been moved, somewhat intuitively, to the back of the phone. Next to the Camera. Perfect for your fingers to smudge the lens.

The front camera will be getting an upgrade to 8MP and the rear Camera is getting laser auto focus to “capture highly dynamic situations” which means that it is really really fast. Presumably so you can snap a shot of your camera-shy friends before they cover their faces.

Samsung is also improving on the S7s lackluster audio with stereo external speakers, which will route audio through the earpiece, creating a second channel. It also seems that Samsung has opted to keep the 3.5mm jack, perhaps to capitalise on the outrage that apple caused when they removed it from the iPhone 7.

Models sold in the US, Japan and China will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 385 chipset, models sold in Europe and the rest of Asia will use Samsung’s own Exynos 8895. It also looks like the Galaxy S8 will ship with 6 Gig of Ram in China and Korea and only 4 Gig in the rest of the world.

Battery-life may end up being a major downside for the Galaxy S8. Despite having a much larger screen the batteries are no larger than the Galaxy S7, which could lead to significantly shorter times between charges.

The Galaxy S8 ship in Black, Blue, Gold, Orchid Gray and Silver and potentially Rose Gold. It looks like it will cost around $899/949 for a GalaxyS8/Galaxy S8 Plus and Samsung expects the phones to do well. They hope to ship 40-45M units in 2017.

iPhone 8 Concept

Potential iPhone 8 concept – credit: ConceptsiPhone

iPhone 8S

With the iPhone’s tenth anniversary looming, expectations for Apple are high. Apple products are often regarded as the benchmark against which all others are measured. The pressure is even higher than usual. 2016 was the first year that their annual revenue has dropped since 2001 and iPhone sales have began to slip. Apple will hope that the iPhone 8s can turn this around. Much like the Galaxy 8S the iPhone 8 has not yet been announced but there is plenty we can gleam from recent leaks and rumors.

It looks like Apple will be releasing 3 iPhone 8 models. There is no information about the exact dimensions but we can say that it will feature an edge-to-edge design and will likely be similar in size to a 4.7 inch phone with a display size of a 5.8 inch phone. The physical home button will also be removed in favor of virtual buttons. Rumors suggest that the phone itself will be made with Glass rather than the aluminum used in recent models. The iPhone 8 will feature an OLED display that will allow Apple to make the iPhone 8 even slimmer than previous models. The phone will probably feature a lightening port, but some rumors suggest it could adopt a USB-C port instead.

The iPhone 8 will likely feature a dual-lens rear camera but there is not yet any information about its size. There are also rumors that it will include the ability to use both wide-angle and telephoto lenses and it might even feature support for 3D photography effects. The front facing camera also looks like it is going to be pretty revolutionary, it will consist of three modules that give it 3D sensing capabilities. This means that the camera could be used for facial and iris recognition as well as giving it a whole host of Augmented Reality capabilities.

The iPhone 8 will likely use Apple’s A11 chip, which will likely be one of the most powerful processors on the market. It is hoped that the A11 will not only be more power efficient than the current A10 but that it will also greatly improve battery-life, potentially reducing power usage by up to 40%. Sadly, for those of us who like to keep 20+ tabs open, it looks like the iPhone 8 will only ship with 3 gig of ram.

The improvements made by the A11 chipset may help account for the rumors that the iPhone 8 will have significantly improved battery life compared with previous models. There are no numbers yet but at the very least, an iPhone 8 will be able to offer comparable battery-life to previous models.

There is very little information about pricing yet, but based on previous iPhone releases and the improvements that are going to be made I would judge that the high end model will set you back between $900 and $1,100.

Whose Champion will prevail?

This is a difficult one to call. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 looks like it is going to be a huge step forward for the company but it might not go far enough to encourage people to trade in their S7 phones for an upgrade. There is also the concern that a lingering sour taste from the Galaxy Note 7 will taint the release.

The iPhone 8 on the other hand looks like it is going to be revolutionary step forward for apple. Apple is introducing a number of first-time features that will feel fresh to iPhone users.  Android users might not be swayed by familiar features like wireless charging or an edgeless display these changes will fresh to Apples primary demographic, iPhone users. These changes could prompt a lot of users to upgrade to the new model.

It looks like Apple have the edge over Samsung for now but in the end, the truth will be in the numbers.

You'll find me wandering around the Science sections mostly, excitedly waving my arms around while jumping up and down about the latest science and tech news. I am also occasionally found in the gaming section, trying to convince everyone else that linux is the future of the computer gaming.


4 Most Interesting Crossovers in Gaming





Gaming crossovers are a great way to bring in new people and drive up interest in a title. With that being said, crossovers aren’t as rare as they once were. More and more gaming companies are now embracing crossovers, to the point that some may say that it has lost its appeal. And while this is true to some degree, there are still crossovers that are really effective when it comes to adding a whole new dimension to a game. To prove our point, we’ve put together a list of five of the most interesting crossovers.

Forza Horizon 4: Halo

Forza Horizon 4 is the eleventh installment in the Forza series. The Forza series is known for its ability to emulate realistic racing conditions and offer accurate representations of real-world cars. And while they’ve partnered with car manufacturers before, Forza Horizon 4 features one of the most interesting collaborations in the entire series.

For a series that prides itself on realistic racing, Forza also knows when to cut loose and have a little fun. Nothing exemplifies this more than the Halo crossover that features Master Chief and the iconic Warthog.

Fortnite: Travis Scott

Fortnite is no stranger to crossovers. But if we had to pick one as the most interesting it would have to be the Travis Scott concert. Not only did this crossover include custom skins and emotes but it also paved the way for one of the most unique digital experiences of 2020.

The Verge’s article on the Travis Scott crossover details that the crossover included an interactive digital concert that turned the Fortnite island into a music stage. What’s great about this crossover is that it hints towards a future wherein music and video games will be working hand in hand to deliver immersive musical experiences to millions of people from all over the world.

Merge Dragons: Rick and Morty

When you think of the popular TV show Rick and Morty, a fantasy puzzle game isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. This is what makes this Rick and Morty crossover so interesting. The sheer absurdity of this crossover shows what gaming collaborations can achieve when one thinks outside the box. The game features original dialogue spoken by the characters that matches their characteristics from the show. It is a fun addition to the puzzle game.

However, this crossover shouldn’t be too surprising as Rick and Morty have appeared in other games, demonstrating how they have become pop culture icons. The comic nature of the duo makes them perfect for every type of genre, including slot games. Foxy Bingo’s pop cultured-themed slots include an official Rick and Morty game that features the iconic imagery and characters from the show. The show has also produced its own game in the form of the Pokémon-clone Pocket Mortys. One thing that all of these games have in common is that they maintain the show’s penchant for fun and wacky adventures. This is seen in Merge Dragons with the exclusive cow-dragon hybrid featured in the crossover event.

Mortal Kombat 11: Rambo

While crossovers in fighting games aren’t exactly new, Mortal Kombat has always had a knack for creating interesting crossovers for their iconic fighting game. One way that they’ve done this is with the inclusion of popular film characters. The franchise has had everyone from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Jason of the Friday the 13th franchise appear in their games.

However, the latest iteration of the game may have topped all of the previous crossovers. This is because Mortal Kombat 11 features John Rambo of the legendary Rambo franchise as one of its available fighters. To add to this, CNet’s article on Mortal Kombat 11 details that Sylvester Stallone voiced the digital John Rambo. This is certainly a treat for fans of the popular action film franchise, as they can finally play as one of the most influential action heroes of all time.

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Loot Crate vs. The Curiosity Box: A Beginner’s Guide to Subscription Mystery Boxes





With all the loot box shenanigans we’ve witnessed this year, you might have, while searching for more information, accidentally stumbled across something by the name of Loot Crate. Unlike the reviled loot boxes, Loot Crate isn’t a digital gambling scam. Instead, Loot Crate is a physical, subscription-based mystery box you receive in the mail that contains a bevy of geek-related material. Moreover, Loot Crate isn’t the only available service. Alongside the vanilla Loot Crate Classic, the Loot Crate company supplies geeks with anime-themed items with Loot Anime, gaming swag with Loot Gaming (Loot Crate also sells HaloMinecraftFalloutCall of Duty, and Destiny 2 themed boxes), and film/TV merchandise with Harry PotterFireflyMarvel, and Star Trek themed boxes. Loot Crate also has a rival in the form of Geek Fuel, which is more expensive than Loot Crate Classic but contains more (and more expensive) merchandise. While I don’t have a Geek Fuel box to compare to a Loot Crate, I received a different subscription box for Christmas, The Curiosity Box. This mystery box is a joint venture between the company behind Geek Fuel and the YouTube Channel VSauce, which is admittedly cool. So, without further ado, let’s get into what sets apart a Loot Crate from a Curiosity Box and determine which is right for you.


On the surface, Loot Crate and The Curiosity Box seem similar. They arrive in big cardboard boxes and contain random items. Well, not precisely random; each box focuses on a different theme, and the items provided center around that theme. While a lot of geeks subscribe to these boxes for various bits of swag, perhaps the biggest draw is the exclusives. The companies behind these subscription services make deals with other firms to create unique pieces of merchandise that are literally impossible to find anywhere else, aftermarket/marked up eBay sales notwithstanding. Some of these exclusives are just color variants of readily available products, such as a glow in the dark Funko POP Groot figure and orange Quantum Mechanix Tribble.


Most exclusives, however, aren’t available elsewhere in any other form and include items like the The Walking Dead art print, the Yeti temporary tattoo, the tower of magnetic rings, and “collectible” pins.


Furthermore, while most exclusives are decorative, some are practical items, such as a pen shaped like the Sledge Saw from Dead Rising 3 and light-up beverage coasters with periodic symbols.


Finally, these subscription boxes have some of the most awesome, exclusive, geeky shirts this side of ThinkGeek or Hot Topic.


The exclusive items tend to be the best pieces of merchandise in each box and are usually worth the price of the subscription alone. Usually.


Let’s get this out of the way: the most obvious differences are the prices and subscription models. Loot Crate Classic is about $20 per box and comes once a month, while The Curiosity Box is well over $50 and arrives once every three months. More importantly, these boxes are designed for two completely different audiences. The Loot Crate (and likely by extension Geek Fuel) is aimed primarily at adults or older teenagers and provides geek-related decorations and practical items, such as the Dead Rising 3 pen, Star Wars and Deadpool fridge magnets, and a Mega Man car air freshener.


Also, Loot Crate tends to include non-exclusive products that are part of a series. Case in point, during my brief stint with Loot Crate, I received (among other things) a Kidrobot Glow in the Dark Ooze Action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle vinyl figure and a Funko ReAction Alien figure. I got Donatello and the titular Alien, respectively, but I easily could have found Leonardo or Ripley in my Loot Crate subscriptions instead. However, since The Curiosity Box is almost exclusively made up of exclusive items, there is no element of randomness and everyone receives the same merchandise.


While Loot Crate caters to the video game, movies, comics, television, and everything pop-culture side of geekdom, The Curiosity Box is more science oriented and is designed for the family. For example, parents who bought the Summer 2017 Curiosity Box got to enjoy a t-shirt, a set of periodic table beverage coasters, a magnetic ring tower, a t-shirt, and a Nikola Tesla (as a sloth) enamel pin, while children will have fun with a temporary tattoo, a unique embroidered sticker patch, a solar system wall decal and poster set, a mobile microscope, and a castle cross-sections book. Finally, the Summer 2017 Curiosity Box came with the Universe Sandbox 2 Steam game, which is fun for all ages.


Since each Loot Crate and Curiosity Box contains new themes and items, you might find the contents of one particular box more to your liking than another. For example, one Curiosity Box contained a “grow your own glow in the dark crystals” kit, while another included a plush of The Curiosity Box’s mascot, the orange octopus Inq. Meanwhile, past Loot Crates have contained a Batman mug, a Doom Marine Funko POP figure, and the One-Punch Man manga.

While I only have personal experience with Loot Crate and The Curiosity Box, they are not your only options for subscription boxes. Geek Fuel is another decent mystery box, and it has come with its fair share of good products, including a South Park: The Fractured But Whole shirt, a Loony Toons Kidrobot blind box vinyl figure, and an exclusive Legend of Zelda pixel sword power bank. While I cannot recommend the Loot Crate, Curiosity Box, or Geek Fuel (or other) subscription boxes enough, you should research each to know what you should expect from these services. Sure, you technically can’t know what to expect since each box is supposed to be a mystery, but look into each specific subscription and figure out which one is right for you. Which do you think tends to have the best exclusives? Which box caters to your interests? These questions are important and will severely impact your enjoyment. Of course, luck also plays a big role, but that’s also part of the fun.

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Google Drive will Shut Down in 2018





It seems like yesterday when Google introduced Google Drive 5 years ago. Back then, people didn’t have a good grasp about what Cloud Storage did. Nowadays, there are many Cloud Storage services that it’s only a matter of preference to choose one for your file keeping needs. However, what struck me as an oddity was how Google Drive will pull their Google Drive service come 2018.

That’s right, Google Drive will completely shut down on March 12, 2018. With the software no longer being supported on December 11, 2017. People will have several warnings about this, for now, so they will have plenty of chance to switch to the new version of Drive, Backup and Sync.

This new program is basically a combination of the features between Google Drive and Photos. It’s readily available now for Windows and OSX systems and will be the new host for the Cloud storage. Alternatively, users can get a hold of Drive File Stream, which will become available on September 26, 2017.

The core differences between DFS and BaS come when you compare how they help customers. As shown in the image below:


A day without Google Drive.

It seems like users will have their first experience without Drive today though. Because as of this morning, the service was down for many users who constantly used the GSuit app. According to the independent site Downdetector, more than 7,000 users are experiencing issues with the service. This has been going on since 10:04 AM EDT, but the number of reports has been lowering afterward. You can check the stats here.

Thousands of users reported Google Drive issues

It’s a shame to see Google Drive go. To be frank, it was my preferred Cloud Storage option besides MEGA. However, it’s not a huge inconvenience considering they are not shutting down a Cloud Storage service altogether. So we at least have that.

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