Red Dead Online: So Much Potential.

I really like open-world games.

Titles I loved playing the most are GTA Online, Red Dead Online, and Zelda Breath of the Wild. To me, open-world games have this special charm to let players live completely different lives and, to some extent, escape from the mess of a world that we have.

Rockstar Games is so good at making open-world games. A good open-world is not about giving you a massive map so that you have to spend so much time traveling from place to place (like in Just Cause 2), but rather, it makes the game non-linear and gives players the choice to engage with different activities all by their will.

The reason I prefer Online counterparts of GTA and RDR2 is because I get to create my own character, from the look to the voice to the clothing to the weapon loadout. In that world, I am that cute little girl that did all the hunting and grinding. I make life-altering decisions that actually impacts the girl’s fate, and every bullet she took pains me too.

Rockstar’s Red Dead Online is the virtual WestWorld we were looking for. It is so real, you couldn’t help but to relate to everything in that world.

Your character has to eat, otherwise she’ll lose weight, and be more fragile during combat. Your horse will be more friendly to you the more you interact with it. Hunting is extremely exhausting because literally every animal will flee once you shoot a bullet, and they’ll run as far they feel safe, even making maneuvers like real deers to avoid your aim. Carcasses would be too heavy to carry so you can put them on your horse, but they’ll also exhaust your horse faster when galloping. Shotguns will make carcasses and pelts less valuable because it caused too much damage. Fish could actually break loose when you’re too impatient with fishing techniques. And you know what, your horse shits, like quite actually, shits.

One thing that haunts GTA online is its hostile players. The game actually encourages players to attack each other and interfering with each other’s business. So you’ll see players attacking you for no reason and destroying your cargo all the time even when there’s no quarrel. We call these toxic players Griefers, and there aren’t really any effective approach to avoid them.

RD Online on the other hand is a rather peaceful world. You’ll still get attacked, but it happens less and griefers would receive heavy penalties for it. That’s partially because RDO’s map is more scattered than GTA Online so players would very rarely encounter one another. And there’s an Honor System which currently doesn’t do much, but will definitely be more relevant as the game expands. Hostile activity will cause immediate bounty and will have an negative impact on your honor. Eventually you’ll be locked from certain missions and NPCs will treat you differently. I would suggest that Rockstar actually put low honor players in their own separate lobby so that high honor players will be able to enjoy the world without distraction.

GTA Online was released six years ago, and it has developed into something that still attracts new players year over year. I see so much potential in RD Online and am sure that the game will be so different six years from now.

Let’s just hope by that time, Xbox players would finally be able to play with Playstation players in one lobby.

OnePlus 6: Finally a notch phone that does not look terrible.

OnePlus has always liked to call their phones “flagship killers”. There is no clear definition of what a flagship killer is, but to my understanding, a flagship killer must be: a) a phone that’ll make you think how crazy you are to cast a lot of money to buy a flagship, b) most importantly, NOT a flagship. Let’s get to the not-flagship part first.

继续阅读“OnePlus 6: Finally a notch phone that does not look terrible.”

OnePlus 5T: You call this a flagship?

Its predecessor, the OnePlus 5 is a phone I loved the dearest. It was the fastest Android phone I’ve ever used, pretty much on par with a Google Pixel. It does come with a few flaws, unfortunately, one of which being the screen. Somehow OnePlus decided they should install the screen upside down, causing the content to stretch and squish when moving. This “jelly” effect is very visible during the day to day use and is kind of annoying. So when I heard that they launched a new phone, the OnePlus 5T, with the screen attached the right way to eliminate the jelly effect, I was very excited.

Or was I? 继续阅读“OnePlus 5T: You call this a flagship?”

About the CPU of the new 12-inch MacBook

Apple just released its Early-2016 iteration of the 12-inch MacBook. In addition to the new pink (rose gold =_=) option, they swapped the processor from Broadwell Core m to the new Skylake Core m, namely the Core m3, m5 and m7, as shown below.

 

One interesting point about this is that the price of Core m3 and m5 are identical, despite the ~$200 price bump when buying from Apple. Although it is possible that Apple managed to force Intel to drop the price of Core m3 when they were buying them from Intel, it is more likely a pure marketing strategy due to the irrelevancy between price and cost.

 

Also according to Intel’s ARK database, the base frequency of these processors (900MHz, 1.1GHz, 1.2GHz)  are different from what Apple claimed on its website (1.1GHz, 1.2GHz, 1.3GHz), but the Turbo Boost frequency stayed the same. Considering the massive Turbo Boost headroom of Core m processors, it is possible that Apple clocked them 100MHz higher due to its confidence on the MacBook’s thermal capacity.

 

Another interesting point is about the TDP. While the TDP and the maximum configurable TDP of these processors are identical, the minimum configurable TDP of Core m3 is slightly higher than its brothers.

One big feature of the Core m lineup is its variable TDP. The manufacture could change the processor’s target TDP to adapt to the product’s form factor and thermal design, thus altering the performance thereof. Because of this flexibility, the “Core m” brand couldn’t make any guarantee on the performance’s side, for a higher-clocked Core m3 with better cooling can perform well better than a poorly-cooled Core m7.

In this regard, although the minimum TDP of Core m3 is higher than m5 and m7:

  • it won’t affect shit,
  • actually this might just be a typo from Intel.

 

As Intel stated, all three of these Core m processors support video output at 2160p@60Hz via DP or eDP. But when using HDMI as the output tunnel, limited by HDMI 1.4, it can only output video up to 4K@30Hz.

 

But according to Apple’s tech specs, the 12-inch MacBook can only output video at up to 2160p@30Hz. It’s safe to say that the MacBook “can’t work with” a 4K monitor because almost no one want there screen refresh rate to be limited to 30 Herts. Here’re three possible causes:

  • It’s limited by the Intel HD Graphics driver in OS X,
  • Apple doesn’t sell USB-C to DP adapter. What Apple offers is a USB-C to HDMI adapter (along with a USB-A female port and a USB-C female port for power), which,  limited by the data rate of HDMI 1.4,  can only achieve 4K@30Hz. However technically, it is possible to achieve 4K@60Hz via the USB-C’s native support of DisplayPort 1.2. Although it remains to be tested.
  • The USB-C port that MacBook utilizes is of USB 3.1 Gen-1, with maximum data speed of 5Gbps, whereas a typical 4K@60Hz video signal (with overhead) is at about 15Gbps, far exceeding the capacity of USB.

A Tiny Glimpse on Android N’s Multi-Window Feature

With Google’s quiet announcement of Android N brings long-waited multi-windows feature for Android. Many considered Google’s implementation of multi-tasking is way superior to any other platforms, and that was true, and that is even more so.

Multi-window functionality, technically, is brought to the world by Apple with its original Macintosh launch, but the one who first brought the feature to mobile platform is Samsung. Samsung singlehandedly developed a multi-window multi-tasking feature for its Galaxy Note lineup in order to push sales, and the feature was later introduced to Galaxy Tab. Since TouchWiz is based on Android, many considered that this is the first sign that multi-tasking on Android is perfectly possible. 继续阅读“A Tiny Glimpse on Android N’s Multi-Window Feature”