Saturday 30 April 2016

Watch: Musician Plays Game of Thrones Theme Song on Indian Drums


Dedicated “Game of Thrones” fans have recorded themselves playing the show’s theme music on an accordion and a Hungarian dulcimer and have even mixed a six-minute long dance track.
A new version by a Mumbai-based musician playing traditional Indian drums has become an online hit. One man drum circle Karan Chitra Deshmukh performed the piece using 10 tablas–and a banjo–in a video posted to YouTube and on his Facebook page.
“All you Game of Thrones fans!!!! Here’s a treat for you,” Mr. Deshmukh said on Facebook.
The now-iconic theme song tugs at the heartstrings of the show’s fans, who watch each episode, eager to see which of their favorite characters writer George R. R. Martin will kill off next.
Mr. Deshmukh’s impressive tabla solo is one of a number that put an original spin on the tune composed by Ramin Djawadi, who also wrote the themes for the Iron Man movie and Batman Begins.
Last year, Dutch DJ Armin Van Buuren released a 6 minute 46 second dance remix of the minute-and-a-half long song.

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization Game's English Story Trailer Streamed

Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe began streaming an English-subtitled story trailer on Friday for the Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita gameBandai Namco Entertainment streamedthe same trailer without subtitles on Monday.


Bandai Namco Entertainment will release the game in the Americas and Europe in fall. The game will feature Japanese voices with English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish text.
The staff previously revealed the game's new character, who is an NPC named Premiere and voiced by Yuiko Tatsumi (The irregular at magic high school's Shizuku Kitayama).
The game's official website describes her as follows:
A mysterious girl. Does she have any interests? Expressionless, she stares fixedly at Kirito from afar and leaves a message for Kirito and his friends.
The game will ship in Japan on October 27. Both the PS4 and PS Vita editions will be available in regular and limited editions. The limited editions will include a box art illustrated by abec, a soundtrack CD, a special contents Blu-ray Disc, a special case for the Blu-ray Disc and CD, a "Dengeki Nerve Gear vol.4" pamphlet, and mini clear posters. Those who order the game early will get a product code for an additional costume.

Game of Thrones season 6 episode 5 title leaks - what does 'The Door' mean?


Since season six of Game of Thrones premiered the titles of episode two, three and four have all hit the internet, through both official confirmation and leaks.
Now, thanks to HBO Asia, we have the ominous title of episode five: 'The Door'. There's yet to be any confirmation from HBO US or UK.
Now, episode four’s title is ‘Book of the Stranger’, which has a little bit more meaning and history to it, while 'The Door' could mean almost anything.
Let’s quickly think of some famous doors from Game of Thrones. There’s the Moon Door at The Eyrie: that hole Littlefinger pushed Lysa Tully down in season four. 
With there currently being little reason for any of the main characters to go back to the Eyrie within the next few episodes, this is unlikely to be what the title refers to (unless Sansa decides to head back, something she probably will not do).
There’s also the prominent door to The House of Black and White which Arya waits outside. Could she be kicked out for not training hard enough? 
Is this door a metaphorical door one of our characters will walk through? A door into the afterlife, perhaps? A door back into real life (Jon Snow)? 

Saturday 16 April 2016

ChatSim: SIM Card That Lets You Access WhatsApp Anywhere Without a Data Connection


WhatsApp is the most popular mode of communication these days. The popularity of the app has now led an Italian company to launch a new SIM called WhatSim, a SIM that lets you use the messaging service even on roaming without the need for Wi-Fi or data connection.

So, how does it work? WhatSim is compatible with 400 operators across the world and works in about 150 countries. It easily connects to a provider network and in case you change your position, it automatically searches for a new provider. In case a provider with better signal is available, then it automatically connects by itself without the user even noticing it, explains the company.
The SIM could not only be a boon for anyone who loves to travel. This way, they can stay connected with their dear ones, without incurring any roaming charges.

The WhatSim costs €10 that translates to approximately Rs 714. At this price, you can chat for free all over the world for a year. WhatSim has neither fixed costs nor monthly payments and it never expires, claims the company.

However where multimedia exchange such as Photos, Videos, Audio Clips are concerned, it will require users to recharge and the number of credits you require to share this content will depend on which zone your country falls into,says WhatSim.

India is currently in Zone 3 and users will need 150 credits for photo, 600 credits for sharing video messages, 30 credits for voice messages. Contact and location shares don’t require credits. Each recharge of €5 gets users 1000 credits and recharges can go up to a maximum of €50 (10,000 credits). So if you want to share photos, etc in India, you will have to shell out some money.

Meanwhile these are the expected credits for Chatsim

And these are the zones

To help explain the service, here is a brief breakdown from the press release.

Anywhere in the world it connects to the provider with the best coverage and signal right where you are. If you change your position, it automatically searches for a new provider. If a better one is available, it connects by itself without you even noticing it.
Everyone now uses WhatsApp, even when traveling. But you need a data or Wi-Fi connection to chat for free. The most common problem is that the roaming data connection is usually expensive and Wi-Fi is not available everywhere and often it is not even free.
WhatSim allows you to chat with WhatsApp whenever you want.

Friday 15 April 2016

15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World

15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World_techxerl

Today we’re here with some interesting facts about the world. Maps aren’t always boring, check out the list of the most creative and varied collection of world maps will blow your mind, no matter where you live or how much coffee you’ve had today.

1. Homicide rates around the world.

15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World

2. Imperial Japan in 1853, centering on Tokyo.

15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World 2

3. World in 43 AD: a reprint of one drawn by Pomponius Mela, a Roman scholar credited as the father of geography.

15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World 3

4. Results of a survey asking the world who they see as the biggest threat to world peace.

15 Maps That Will Change How You Se

5. How the official time and the solar time differs around the world.

15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World 5
15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World 5

6. Every city in the world with more than 100,000 inhabitants.

15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World 6
15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World 6

7. World as seen by the Ottoman Empire in 1803.

15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World9
15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World9

8. Prevailing religions in countries around the world.

15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World 10

9. World from 1154.

15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World 11
15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World 11

10. Where you’d end up if you dug straight down to the other side of the Earth.

15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World 12
15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World 12

11. The Mercator projection, 1569.

15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World 13

12. Most popular sports around the world.

15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World 14

13. The Ortelius World Map (1564), the first map by Abraham Ortelius, creator of the first modern atlas.

15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World 15

14. Countries by number of internet users.

15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World 16

15. Most popular website in each country.

15 Maps That Will Change How You See The World 17

I hope you found this article helpful? Share it so that others can also know about it.

Japanese university “otaku class” has strict requirements: “You must watch 20 anime per week”

anime class top

Not to mention the foreign language prerequisite: “You must speak fluentotaku/fujoshi.
When most people imagine a university class about anime and manga, they probably imagine a laid-back, easy way to snag some college credits. And that makes sense; a course about anime and manga can’t possibly be that hard… can it?
Well, at one unnamed Japanese university, their anime and manga class is serious business. One student tweeted the online syllabus for the anime and manga class, and it’s intense.
▼ The course syllabus. It can’t be that hard, right? (Translation below.)
otaku class syllabus
Course Outline/Methods:
In this course we will look at anime as a subject in film and art, examining trends and analyzing important works from the 2000s, as well as older anime such as Gundamand Evangelion. Other titles we will explore include: Star Driver, Code Geass, Lucky Star, Durarara!!, Monogatari Series, Tiger & Bunny, Penguindrum, and PSYCHO-PASS among others. We will also discuss moe culture, social gaming, fujoshi culture, cosplay, and symbolism in manga.

*Notice: This is a class intended for people very familiar with anime and manga. You must speak fluent otaku/fujoshi in order to attend.
Class/Educational Goals:
To be able to analyze and comprehend anime on a variety of different levels.

Grading/Evaluation Criteria:
Reports: 50%
Exams: 50%

Extracurricular Requirements:
#1. You must watch 20 or more anime episodes per week, typically late into the night.
#2. You must read 10 or more books per month, including the reference materials assigned in class which you either purchase or borrow from the library
#3. You must have current or past experience with “visual culture” (film, art, etc.).
#4. You must be able to use the internet and social media.

*Notice: Requirement #1 is a prerequisite for the class.
Yikes! I don’t know about you, but I when I started reading that, I thought this would be an “easy A” class. Then my eyes grew wider with despair the further I got down. Fluent in otaku/fujoshi? 20 episodes per week?! Is this a college class or anime bootcamp?
And for those who think 20 episodes per week isn’t that bad, keep in mind that these aren’t all 20–30- minute episodes. Some of them can get up to an hour long each, and that’s only for the first watch through. Since the class requires students to analyze the shows, certain episodes will probably have to be rewatched several times, turning a once-pleasurable activity into potential torture.
Here’s how Japanese netizens reacted to seeing such an intense anime course:
“Man, I really want to take that class!”
“Wait… 20 anime per week? That’s almost three episodes every day!”
“What a grueling pace. Are they training for the anime olympics or something?”
“Hey, this isn’t supposed to be fun. It’s school!”
“Pfft, I watch over 30 per week. I’d get an A+ easily.”
As funny as it may sound, anime/manga classes are popping up more and more at universities all over the world. Taiwan’s prestigious Cheng Chi Univeristy offers a manga course that thousands apply for each year, and Japan’s Senshu University has a class specifically focused on boy’s love.
At this point it feels like it’s only a matter of time before universities eventually offer degrees specializing in manga/anime. Although we’re not exactly sure what you could you do with that major after graduation besides becoming an incredibly knowledgeable yet incredibly unemployable hikikomori.

Thursday 14 April 2016

First Look: Scarlett Johansson In Anime Adaptation ‘Ghost In The Shell’

Ghost In The Shell

The #filmtwitter world is focused on France and the Cannes Film Festivalannouncement this morning, but there's much more going on beyond the Croisette. Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures have announced that production has started on “Ghost In The Shell” starringScarlett Johansson, and they’ve released the inaugural first look image from the movie.
Rupert Sanders (“Snow White And the Huntsman”) is directing the anime adaption, with lensing taking place in Wellington, New Zealand. Paramount Pictures will release the film in the U.S. on March 31, 2017. Press release details below.
The film, which is based on the famous Kodansha Comics manga series of the same name, written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow, is produced by Avi Arad (“THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1 & 2,” “IRON MAN”), Ari Arad (“GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE”), and Steven Paul (“GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE”). Michael Costigan (“PROMETHEUS”), Tetsu Fujimura (“TEKKEN”), Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, whose animation studio Production I.G produced the Japanese "GHOST IN THE SHELL” film and television series, and Jeffrey Silver (“EDGE OF TOMORROW,” “300”) will executive produce.
Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, “GHOST IN THE SHELL” follows the Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.
“We are so pleased to be in Wellington to shoot ‘GHOST IN THE SHELL,’” said producers Avi Arad, Ari Arad, Michael Costigan and Jeffrey Silver. “The city boasts state-of-the-art production facilities and a rich urban landscape that make it an ideal setting for a sci-fi action film. The crew-base in New Zealand working on the film is first class, and working with Sir Richard Taylor and the team at Weta Workshop is inspirational on every level. The people of New Zealand have been terrific partners in helping us bring this story and its beloved characters to audiences around the world and we are thankful for their continued hospitality.”

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Priyanka Chopra invited for special dinner at White House

Priyanka Chopra, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, White House, White House Dinner, Priyanka Chopra White House, Priyanka Chopra Barack Obama, Priyanka Chopra Michelle Obama, Priyanka White house Dinner, Priyanka Obama, Priyanka Chopra US, Priyanka Chopra America, Priyanka Chopra Quantico, Entertainment news

Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, who is a popular name in Bollywood and has found visibility internationally with American TV show “Quantico”, has been invited to the annual White House Correspondents Dinner with US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
The actress is among some of Hollywood’s biggest names like Bradley Cooper, Lucy Liu, Jane Fonda and Gladys Knight to have been invited for the special dinner, which will take place at the White House, said a statement from Priyanka’s representatives.
However, Priyanka is still not sure if she will be able to attend the get-together or not given her tight shooting schedule for “Quantico” as well as for her Hollywood debut “Baywatch”, said a source close to her.
The non-profit White House Correspondents’ Association, whose members include the reporters, producers, camera operators and other journalists regularly covering the White House, traditionally hosts this annual dinner to raise money for journalism scholarships.
In “Quantico”, Priyanka plays FBI agent Alex Parrish. The American thriller TV series also features Josh Hopkins, Jake McLaughlin, Aunjanue Ellis and Yasmine Al Massri among others.
The“”Bajirao Mastani” actor will also be seen in “Baywatch” alongside Hollywood stars Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron.

Xiaomi, Hasbro Partner to Launch Soundwave: Mi Pad 2 Transformer Toy

Xiaomi, Hasbro Partner to Launch Soundwave: Mi Pad 2 Transformer Toy

Xiaomi, soon after launching its Mi 5 flagship smartphone in India at a price tag of Rs. 24,999, has launched the Soundwave: Mi Pad 2 toy that turns into a Transformer-like robot, in collaboration with Hasbro, a US-based toy and board game company.
"There's more to Mi than meets the eye. Teamed up w/ Hasbro for Soundwave: Mi Pad 2 that turns into a Transformer," tweeted the company with images on Tuesday.
The toy has been launched as a crowdfunding project. It is priced at CNY 169, and will begin shipping first in China starting May 13. At the time of writing, the project raised CNY 384,306, which is more than 200 percent above the original target. The Soundwave: Mi Pad 2 features Lego-like pieces that one can detach from the assembly.
Xiaomi launched its Mi Pad 2 tablet back in November last year both in Android as well as Windows 10 OS variants. It sports a 7.9-inch (2048x1536 pixels) resolution IPS display with a pixel density of 326ppi. It runs a 64-bit quad-core Intel Atom x5-Z8500 processor (2MB cache, 4 cores, 4 threads, base frequency 1.44GHz, burst frequency 2.24GHz) under-the-hood, clubbed with Intel HD GPU and 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM. It is also the first Xiaomi device to be powered by an Intel processor.
The Mi Pad 2 features an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and f/2.0 aperture, along with a 5-megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera. The tablet comes with Wi-Fi 802.11ac, USB Type-C, Bluetooth v4.1, and GPS connectivity. The metal-clad tablet's 6190mAh battery is rated to deliver up to 648.8 hours of standby time. It comes in Dark Grey and Champagne Gold colour variants. Measuring 200.4x132.6x6.95mm, the Mi Pad 2 weighs 322 grams. The tablet is also 18 percent thinner than its predecessor, which was 8.5mm thick. The device is yet to be launched in India.
Download the Gadgets 360 app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with the latest tech news, product reviews, and exclusive deals on the popular mobiles.

Tata Tiago Launch: Highlights

Tata Tiago, the home-grown carmaker's most anticipated hatchback for 2016 is all set to be launched in India today. Based on the carmaker's popular XO platform the, Tata Tiago shares its underpinnings with the Indica but thanks to company's new design language, the car looks smart, stylish and fresh. Equipped with some of the best-in-class features, the Tiago is expected to be the carmaker's ace in the hole in the compact hatchback segment. Tiago's biggest rival in India will be Maruti Celerio.

Juno, a more driver-friendly alternative to Uber, will soft-launch in NYC this month

A new ride-hailing app that is positioning itself as the anti-Uber is expected to soft launch in New York City this month. Juno, the brainchild of Israeli-American businessman Talmon Marco, has spent the last few months recruiting highly rated Uber drivers to its platform in anticipating of going live this spring. Now it appears that the launch may come sooner than expected.
Marco told The Verge that Juno would be available in a private beta mode to "family and friends" later this month, and expects to launch officially in late spring or early summer. In an interview with The Washington Post today, Marco claimed that Juno is already the second largest ride-hail company in New York City based on the number of drivers it has signed up. "We have sufficient liquidity to launch tomorrow," he told The Post.
How does Juno plan on out-Ubering Uber? The company's strategy is twofold: sign up the cream of the crop, Uber drivers with ratings of 4.75 and above; and promise those drivers to pay them more money, as well as shares in the company. If drivers are happier, the rides they provide will be higher quality, the theory goes —€” and customers will be convinced to use Juno over Uber.
To be sure, Juno will have to overcome huge hurdles to compete in the most cutthroat, highly regulated taxi market in the country. Uber is large and in charge, while Lyft has positioned itself as the scrappy, pro-driver alternative. It's unclear whether riders care about details like driver pay and equity plans in the five seconds it takes to open a smartphone, choose an app, and hail a ride.

Charlize Theron Says Hollywood Is Hard on “Pretty” Actresses

“When meaty roles come through, I've been in the room and pretty people get turned away first.”

he record, being beautiful doesn’t always work to your advantage in Hollywood. Take Charlize Theron, the genetically perfect human specimen who has purposefully handicapped her looks by gaining weight, shaving her head, wearing unflattering sweatpants, and going to whatever other means necessary for casting agents and even Academy members to take her seriously. Even after winning the Oscar for Monster—effectively proving that she could play average-looking—Theron still says that her looks have gotten in the way of some of Hollywood’s best parts.
“Jobs with real gravitas go to people that are physically right for them and that’s the end of the story,” Theron tells British GQ in a new interview. “How many roles are out there for the gorgeous, f***ing, gown-wearing eight-foot model? When meaty roles come through, I’ve been in the room and pretty people get turned away first.”
Even when she did play a normal-looking person in Monster, so much attention was paid to her physical transformation that the actress pointed out that people might be missing out on the performance. “The greatest thing I can hope for, which is an impossible thing to hope for because so much emphasis has been put on the transformation, but it’s that people can go see it and get past all that,” Theron said at the time.
Even directors have a hard time coming to grips with Theron’s looks—with Woody Allenfamously saying of the actress, who played a supermodel in his movie Celebrity, she’s “so hot that if she was in this room your buttons would melt.”
It was a female director, Patty Jenkins, who cast Theron in Monster and took a “shot” on the pretty actress.
“The truth is, I just thought she was great,” Jenkins has said of looking past Theron’s looks. “I thought she was always better than everything she did, and always made her characters completely real. Yeah, she’s beautiful. Who cares if she looks like [serial killer] Aileen Wuornos or not? The point was, she has heart, and she’s really brave, and she’s really strong. I knew if I could get those things focused on this role, she would give it the humanity and the dedication necessary to pull it off.”
During Theron’s interview with GQ, the Oscar winner also speaks about the gender disparity in (and outside) Hollywood, saying, “We live in a society where women wilt and men age like fine wine. And, for a long time, women accepted it. We were waiting for society to change, but now we’re taking leadership. It would be a lie to say there is less worry for women as they get older than there is for men. . . . It feels there’s this unrealistic standard of what a woman is supposed to look like when she’s over 40.”

Tuesday 5 April 2016

Finally, A Great Trailer For A Virtual Reality Game

It is notoriously difficult to convey what a virtual reality video game looks and feels like to people who aren’t wearing virtual reality goggles. This trailer for Vive launch game Fantastic Contraption, however, nearly nails it.
The mixed-reality video from indie trailer maker Kert Gartner inserts live-action footage of a person playing the gizmo-building VR game with the graphics they see while playing the game. Because this is a Vive game, the player really does move around in a rectangular space and uses two wand controllers to build objects out of virtual wheels and bars. And, speaking from my own time with the game, it really is as incredible as it looks here.
This trailer is, of course, not exactly what the game looks like. The trailer is a little more Who Framed Roger Rabbit than what players or observers would see. You don’t see your body when you play, since you’re wearing a headset that blocks out your view of the real world. And anyone who is in the same room watching you doesn’t see the VR graphics, though they can follow along and see what you see on your computer’s monitor. Nevertheless, the gameplay looks exactly like what you see to the eyes of the person using the Vive.

Finally, A Great Trailer For A Virtual Reality Game

Fantastic Contraption was developed by Radial Games and Northway Games, the latter of whom I’ve previously written about in order to highlight other very unusual and cool things they’ve done in gaming.
Co-developer Colin Northway explained to me that they made the trailer by creating a version of their game that outputs two views, one that shows what is in front of the headset and one that shows what is behind it. “Then we film the player in front of a green screen so we can separate them from the real-world background (for the trailer we rented a big green screen studio in Winnipeg). Kert then composites the three images together so you can see the player in the world of the game they’re playing.” The filming is done using a camera connected to a third Vive controller.
You can find a more detailed description of shooting the game in this “mixed reality” style at the Northway website, where they explain how they do the shots that show people’s living rooms and how anyone playing the game can do a version of all of this, too.
You may notice there’s a Kotaku blurb in the trailer. That did not affect my assessment of this trailer, though if we were scoring the trailer we might have docked it a half point just to be sure.