Archive for August 23, 2017

Samsung Introduces Galaxy Note 8

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 23, 2017 by itnerd

Hoping to rebound from their last Note series phone that blew up in their faces, Samsung today announced the Galaxy Note 8. From where I stand, it isn’t a huge departure from the ill fated Note 7. Here’s the key specs:

  • 6.3-inch display with a resolution of 1440 x 2960
  • Octa core processor
  • 6GB Of RAM
  • 64GB of storage (expandable)
  • Android 7.1.1
  • Dual 12MP rear camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • Iris scanner, fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2
  • IP68 water/dust resistant, stylus
  • Heaphone jack
  • USB-C

Pre-orders for the Note 8 start today. You’ll likely get your hands on one if you pre-order or walk into a store on September 15th. Customers that pre-order between August 23rd and September 14th will receive a free 128GB Micro SD card and wireless charger. But that depends on who you get the phone from. Expect to pay $1299 for one unlocked.

Samsung has to prove that it can restore the Note name to its former glory as it got hammered pretty badly last year. This is their chance to do so and the whole world will be watching for anything that may go sideways.


ASUS Republic Of Gamers Teams Up With Microsoft for Weekly League Of Legends Tournaments

Posted in Commentary with tags , on August 23, 2017 by itnerd

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced a collaboration with Microsoft Store to host weekly League of Legends tournaments throughout Microsoft Store locations across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Australia. Gaming is open to the public, and players will have the opportunity to experience high-powered gameplay on the award-winning ROG G752VS gaming laptop and ROG peripherals. Register online starting today. The tournaments begin on Saturday, August 26th, and will continue every following Saturday.


Players will experience League of Legends on the ROG G752VS, powered by Windows 10. The ROG G752VS features the 7th Generation Intel Core processors and features NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 series graphics, and up to 64GB of DDR4 memory. In addition, the ROG G752VS cooling system – consisting of dual copper heat pipes and the ROG 3D Vapor Chamber– ensures that players experience superior cooling and improved reliability. The backlit anti-ghosting gaming keyboard with 30-key rollover provides precise command and control in battle, and the wide-viewing- angle panel delivers superb image quality and contrast, even when viewed from extreme positions. Lastly, a super-fast native 120Hz refresh rate and NVIDIA G-SYNC display technology ensure ultra-smooth gameplay.

Players will also be equipped with leading ROG peripherals; the ROG Gladius mouse and Whetstone mouse pad. The ROG Gladius is a 6400dpi professional gaming mouse with customizable click resistance that delivers 2000Hz USB polling rate support. The ergonomic design accommodates all right handed grip types, and includes separate left and right buttons, with two specially-engineered programmable ‘slide-to-press’ buttons. An exclusive ROG Armoury interface allows for programmable buttons, performance settings, lighting effects, and surface calibration. Paired with the Whetstone mouse pad, a durable, silicon-based mouse pad, players will experience smooth, precise and silent control. The rollable design is easily portable for gaming on-the-go.

Contenders taking part in the ASUS ROG Arena tournament at Microsoft Store will enjoy access to League Unlocked, a premium experience made available for official League of Legends partners and live events. Tournament participants will have access to over 100 unlocked skins for the duration of the event and players can earn an extra 20 percent IP and 50 percent XP for their personal accounts. In addition, winning individuals or teams will receive prizes for winning gameplay, like mystery icons, RP, character skins, and ASUS ROG swag.

Gamers can register as teams or sign up individually to battle against one another. Register online starting today. Tournament entry is first-come, first-serve with an eight team (5v5) maximum. Individuals and teams must check-in at the store to guarantee a spot. The tournaments are open to anyone, no matter their skill level. The only prerequisite necessary is an active League of Legends account.

On Saturday, August 26th, Microsoft Store at Westfield Century City and ASUS will be hosting a special launch event with celebrity gamers from 3 to 9 PM PDT. Twitch Streamer, Pokimane, and members of Echo Fox’s League of Legends team, Froggen and Brandini, will be in attendance to interact with tournament players and gaming enthusiasts. The event is open to the public and attendees will be treated to a photo experience, raffle prizes, and ROG giveaways.

The Great Canadian Road Trip: Part 5: – Day 1 In Gros Morne

Posted in Commentary with tags , on August 23, 2017 by itnerd

Now that we’re in Corner Brook NL, we decided to start with a bike ride through the southern part of Gros Morne National Park along The Viking Trail. Gros Morne is a 1.5 hour drive from Corner Brook and is a must see place if you come to Newfoundland as it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a variety of things to do and see. One thing to note is that the park has very sketchy cell coverage. That limited the usefulness of Apple Maps as it needs an Internet connection to come up with a route to get you from point “A” to “B”. However, once it has a route, turn-by-turn navigation will still work if you lose Internet access. But it may not look pretty doing so because it has no way to download the maps to display on the screen.

Now the original plan was to do this route which I plotted out on Strava and downloaded to the Garmin Edge 520 cycling computers on our respective bikes. This route would have covered 50 km in an out and back fashion:

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 2.56.18 PM.jpg

As you can see, there is a lot of uphill and downhill. All told, it would have been 2700 feet of elevation gain in 50 km which is a lot. But we were thwarted by the fact that there was a lot of road construction on a lot of the roads that were going to ride. Thus we had to cut it short to this:

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 2.59.46 PM.jpg

This route covered 28 km and had 1165 feet of climbing which is still a lot. It took us about an hour and a half to compete. It may have been short, but my wife and I can say that it was far from easy.

Fortunately, the scenery inside the park more than makes up for the fact that we didn’t cycle as far as we wanted to. Here’s a few shots that I took with the Nikon COOLPIX W300 camera:

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After our ride, we drove back our hotel in Corner Brook, showered and then went out to Jungle Jim’s for dinner. I had fish n’ chips while my wife had pan fried cod with steamed vegetables and Cesar salad. It was all good.

We’ll be back on Saturday to do another route in the northern half of The Viking Trail as we discovered those roads have less construction. But in the meantime, we have two days of hiking ahead. Starting with an attempt to climb Gros Morne mountain tomorrow. Tune in tomorrow to see how that goes.