I Got A $1,200 Virtual Reality Facial From John Mayer’s Favorite Skin Line

“I’m getting a $1,200 virtual reality facial that uses John Mayer’s favorite European skin-care products tomorrow — and it’s in an oxygen bubble,” I told my boyfriend last week.
Most men outside of the beauty industry would have thought this was odd conversation, but after seven months of dating, I have my boyfriend on a dedicated skin routine that’s kept his complexion clear and bright — and he’s into it. Meanwhile, he’s exposed me to all that virtual reality, or VR, has to offer, including games, experiences, and a working knowledge of how the technology will inevitably change the future of media — and I’m into it.
So when I heard about a treatment that brings these two seemingly opposite experiences together, I had to try it out.
You may know Natura Bissé as the Spanish brand front and center in John Mayer’s slightly-satirical stab at beauty vlogging last year. In the viral Snapchat videos, he shared his most effective hacks for better skin, including Mayer-isms like CNZs, or “crucial necessity zones” that should be always covered with face cream (so, basically just everywhere) and D.A.T., or “direct application technique,” which involves squirting face cream directly onto skin to limit product waste on fingers. (Spoiler: This is not actually effective.)
Jokes aside, the reason these videos went viral is not because of his application techniques, but because his entire routine rang in at a whopping $1,457. But hold onto your debit cards, because this year, the brand’s implementing a treatment that’s just as novel — and nearly as expensive.
Called The Mindful Touch Experience, it is, according to the brand, “the most innovative and trailblazing venture within the spa sector, in which the results of Natura Bissé’s cosmetics are combined with the most advanced technology.” So how does it work? “Through virtual reality, mindfulness and the therapist’s expertise – the touch – we invite the client to reconnect with the here and now, to relax their body, to awaken their senses and to experience the pleasure of beauty in a more intense way,” the official statement reads. Still confused? I was, too.
Let’s get this out of the way first: At $1,200 for one hour, the facial is far from affordable. However, this has less to do with the bubble itself or the VR technology and more to do with the fact that the brand’s products are just really pricey. Even though I was getting it at a comped press appointment, I still felt a little guilty.
The brand is famous for its bubbles and there are only a few, so you have to catch one while it’s on tour. (Yes, the bubble has more expensive tickets and fewer tour dates than Bieber.) It’s large enough for a bed, a table, and your aesthetician, and it’s filled with 99% pure oxygen, which it supposed to help with the absorption of products. Once you enter said bubble, you remove your robe and lie down, then affix the VR headset.
For eight minutes, you’re walked through a virtual reality experience — you travel through the ocean, wander around a brain, and are led on what is essentially a guided meditation to relax and let go of stress. Meanwhile, your aesthetician is floating essential oils under your nose and massaging your head and limbs to sync with what you’re seeing. It was pretty amazing.
But then, after eight minutes, the headset comes off and the facial begins. As far as facials go, this one was pretty standard: cleanse, tone, mask, peel (but no extractions, unfortunately). As a wonderful added bonus, though, the guided meditation continued, so I was reminded throughout the experience to clear my mind and stay present.
“I’m getting a $1,200 virtual reality facial that uses John Mayer’s favorite European skin-care products tomorrow — and it’s in an oxygen bubble,” I told my boyfriend last week.
Most men outside of the beauty industry would have thought this was odd conversation, but after seven months of dating, I have my boyfriend on a dedicated skin routine that’s kept his complexion clear and bright — and he’s into it. Meanwhile, he’s exposed me to all that virtual reality, or VR, has to offer, including games, experiences, and a working knowledge of how the technology will inevitably change the future of media — and I’m into it.
So when I heard about a treatment that brings these two seemingly opposite experiences together, I had to try it out.
You may know Natura Bissé as the Spanish brand front and center in John Mayer’s slightly-satirical stab at beauty vlogging last year. In the viral Snapchat videos, he shared his most effective hacks for better skin, including Mayer-isms like CNZs, or “crucial necessity zones” that should be always covered with face cream (so, basically just everywhere) and D.A.T., or “direct application technique,” which involves squirting face cream directly onto skin to limit product waste on fingers. (Spoiler: This is not actually effective.)
Jokes aside, the reason these videos went viral is not because of his application techniques, but because his entire routine rang in at a whopping $1,457. But hold onto your debit cards, because this year, the brand’s implementing a treatment that’s just as novel — and nearly as expensive.
Called The Mindful Touch Experience, it is, according to the brand, “the most innovative and trailblazing venture within the spa sector, in which the results of Natura Bissé’s cosmetics are combined with the most advanced technology.” So how does it work? “Through virtual reality, mindfulness and the therapist’s expertise – the touch – we invite the client to reconnect with the here and now, to relax their body, to awaken their senses and to experience the pleasure of beauty in a more intense way,” the official statement reads. Still confused? I was, too.
My Time In The Bubble
Let’s get this out of the way first: At $1,200 for one hour, the facial is far from affordable. However, this has less to do with the bubble itself or the VR technology and more to do with the fact that the brand’s products are just really pricey. Even though I was getting it at a comped press appointment, I still felt a little guilty.
The brand is famous for its bubbles and there are only a few, so you have to catch one while it’s on tour. (Yes, the bubble has more expensive tickets and fewer tour dates than Bieber.) It’s large enough for a bed, a table, and your aesthetician, and it’s filled with 99% pure oxygen, which it supposed to help with the absorption of products. Once you enter said bubble, you remove your robe and lie down, then affix the VR headset.
For eight minutes, you’re walked through a virtual reality experience — you travel through the ocean, wander around a brain, and are led on what is essentially a guided meditation to relax and let go of stress. Meanwhile, your aesthetician is floating essential oils under your nose and massaging your head and limbs to sync with what you’re seeing. It was pretty amazing.
But then, after eight minutes, the headset comes off and the facial begins. As far as facials go, this one was pretty standard: cleanse, tone, mask, peel (but no extractions, unfortunately). As a wonderful added bonus, though, the guided meditation continued, so I was reminded throughout the experience to clear my mind and stay present.
The Results
The facial was great — my skin looked and felt radiant, soft, and hydrated for days (for $1,200 it had better, right?), but it wasn’t unlike anything I’ve ever tried. What excited me most was seeing a beauty brand find a way to use VR to relax the client and add another layer to a classic spa experience.
The headset (a Samsung) and the content weren’t the best quality I’ve seen, but in the context of where I was (nude, in an oxygen bubble, being fawned over in the middle of a weekday afternoon), it was pretty great.
After all, from Coachella installations to the future of surfing Facebook or watching YouTube, VR is on the horizon — and it’s about time the beauty world dove in. Once they figure out how to do a facial with a headset on the entire time? Then things will get real sci-fi.
Natura Bissé just upped the game, so I guess it’s your move, Mayer.
[“Source-refinery29.”]

Nearly 1/2 of breast cancer patients have severe treatment side effects, 1 in 20 Indians suffers from depression

Health weekly roundupHealth weekly roundup
This week was packed with some very shocking yet important health news. To ensure that you don’t miss any, we bring you a weekly roundup. Here is this week’s aggregation of the latest news stories on health, fitness and diet.

Insomnia may triple the risk of asthma: Study

Asthma affects approximately 300 million people worldwide, with major risk factors including smoking, obesity and air pollution.

Mother’s cervical bacteria may help prevent premature birth

The presence of bacteria in a woman’s vagina and cervix may either increase the risk of premature birth or have a protective effect against it, researchers say.

Attention parents! Cooking in those aluminium pans may reduce your kid’s IQ

The findings published in journal Science of the Total Environment, indicate that cadmium is neurotoxic in children and causes kidney damage which is linked to cardiovascular deaths and is carcinogenic.

Eating celery, broccoli can improve treatment of breast cancer

The findings indicate that Luteolin, a naturally occurring, non-toxic plant compound that has been proven effective against several types of cancer.

‘Anxiety, depression may up risk of death from cancers’

Higher levels of anxiety and depression may increase the risk of death from certain cancers, scientists have warned.

Nearly half of breast cancer patients have severe treatment side effects

Many women being treated for breast cancer suffer from severe treatment side effects even when they don’t receive chemotherapy, a recent study suggests.

One in every 20 Indians suffers from depression

Indians popped in more anti-depressants than ever before in 2016, indicating perhaps that they are now more open to the idea of seeking help for mental health problems.

Wrongly diagnosed foot injury may cause arthritis, chronic pain

The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association Review has highlighted the importance of additional imaging, second opinions for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Only 1% of R&D funds spent for HIV, TB and malaria: WHO

Investments in health research and development (R&D) are poorly aligned with global public health needs, the World Health Organisation said.

Healthy food may benefit people with HIV, diabetes: Study

Mediterranean diet loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats for six months may benefit people with HIV and Type 2 diabetes.

Cheap breath test may detect stomach, oesophageal cancers

Scientists have developed a cheap and non-invasive test that can measure the levels of five chemicals in the breath to detect cancers of the oesophagus and stomach with 85 per cent accuracy.

source”cnbc”

Nearly 1/2 of breast cancer patients have severe treatment side effects, 1 in 20 Indians suffers from depression

Health weekly roundupHealth weekly roundup

This week was packed with some very shocking yet important health news. To ensure that you don’t miss any, we bring you a weekly roundup. Here is this week’s aggregation of the latest news stories on health, fitness and diet.

Insomnia may triple the risk of asthma: Study

Asthma affects approximately 300 million people worldwide, with major risk factors including smoking, obesity and air pollution.

Mother’s cervical bacteria may help prevent premature birth

The presence of bacteria in a woman’s vagina and cervix may either increase the risk of premature birth or have a protective effect against it, researchers say.

Attention parents! Cooking in those aluminium pans may reduce your kid’s IQ

The findings published in journal Science of the Total Environment, indicate that cadmium is neurotoxic in children and causes kidney damage which is linked to cardiovascular deaths and is carcinogenic.

Eating celery, broccoli can improve treatment of breast cancer

The findings indicate that Luteolin, a naturally occurring, non-toxic plant compound that has been proven effective against several types of cancer.

‘Anxiety, depression may up risk of death from cancers’

Higher levels of anxiety and depression may increase the risk of death from certain cancers, scientists have warned.

Nearly half of breast cancer patients have severe treatment side effects

Many women being treated for breast cancer suffer from severe treatment side effects even when they don’t receive chemotherapy, a recent study suggests.

One in every 20 Indians suffers from depression

Indians popped in more anti-depressants than ever before in 2016, indicating perhaps that they are now more open to the idea of seeking help for mental health problems.

Wrongly diagnosed foot injury may cause arthritis, chronic pain

The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association Review has highlighted the importance of additional imaging, second opinions for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Only 1% of R&D funds spent for HIV, TB and malaria: WHO

Investments in health research and development (R&D) are poorly aligned with global public health needs, the World Health Organisation said.

Healthy food may benefit people with HIV, diabetes: Study

Mediterranean diet loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats for six months may benefit people with HIV and Type 2 diabetes.

Cheap breath test may detect stomach, oesophageal cancers

Scientists have developed a cheap and non-invasive test that can measure the levels of five chemicals in the breath to detect cancers of the oesophagus and stomach with 85 per cent accuracy.

Protein can cut progression of both inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer: Study

A new study finds that altering the shape of a protein can significantly reduce the progression of inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer.

Children exposed to complications at birth are at risk of autism, study finds

A study by Kaiser Permanente found that children who were exposed to complications shortly before or during birth, including birth asphyxia and preeclampsia, were more likely to develop autism spectrum disorder.

source”cnbc”

People with Type 1 diabetes need to exercise safely

People with Type 1 diabetes need to exercise safely (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)People with Type 1 diabetes need to exercise safely (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
Maintaining good exerciseregimen may be difficult and risky, especially for people with Type 1 diabetes, because exercise tends to cause fluctuations in blood sugar, which may even become dangerous, researchers warned.

Patients with Type 1 diabeteshave to monitor their blood glucose levels before, during and after exercise, said Michael Riddell, Professor at York University in Ontario, Canada.

Regular exercise can help individuals with diabetes to achieve their blood lipid, body composition, fitness and blood sugar goals.

However, for people living with Type 1 diabetes, the fear of hypoglycemia, loss of glycemic control, and inadequate knowledge around exercise management are major barriers, Riddell said.

In the study, published in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, a team of 21 international experts brought out a set of guidelines on glucose targets for safe and effective exercising as well as nutritional and insulin dose adjustments to prevent exercise-related fluctuations in blood sugar.

Diabetic patients should maintain a healthy body weight nor do they achieve the minimum required moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity of150 minutes per week.

In paediatric patients, exercise reduces the cardiovascular disease risk profile, improves the sense of well-being and brings down average blood glucose levels, whereas in adults, being physically active may decrease the risk of both diabetic eye disease and kidney disease.

They also have a better chance of achieving target levels of glycated hemoglobin levels, blood pressure levels and a healthier body mass index (BMI) when compared to inactive patients, Riddell said.

The results showed that aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging or light cycling are associated with reductions in glycemia while anaerobic exercise like sprinting, heavy weight-lifting, and interval sports like hockey are known to temporarily increase glucose levels.

Hence, a clear understanding of the physiology of different forms of exercise and the changes that can influence glycemia during exercise may ensure safe and diabetes control, the researchers noted.

source”cnbc”

Only 1% of R&D funds spent for HIV, TB and malaria: WHO

Sushmi Dey| TNN | Jan 24, 2017, 12.30 PM IST

<p>Only 1% of R&D funds spent for HIV, TB and malaria: WHO</p>Only 1% of R&D funds spent for HIV, TB and malaria: WHO

Investments in health research and development (R&D) are poorly aligned with global public health needs, the World Health Organisation said, highlighting that merely 1% of the total funding on health R&D was allocated towards neglected diseases like HIV , tuberculosis and malaria which account for more than 12.5% of the global disease burden.

“Investments in health R&D are still insufficiently aligned with global public health demands and needs,” the UN agency said in its as assessment which showed that high income countries had 352 times more health researchers than low income ones.

According to the Global Tuberculosis (TB) Re port-2016, India accounts for 24% of global TB cases. Six countries -India, China, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa -account for 60% of the global total. India is also the hub for multi-drug resistant TB.

India is under international pressure to tackle the national pressure to tackle the TB problem on priority , as it accounts for 1,400 of the 5,000 TB deaths daily worldwide. Though the number of deaths from the disease has come down in the past few years globally as well as in India, but with a huge rural population living with poor sanitation and poor nutrition, elimination of the disease in India looks like a distant dream.

The HIV and malaria burden is also significantly high in India. In 2015, the number of people living with HIV in India was estimated at 21.17 lakh, whereas 86,000 new HIV cases were found.

India also accounts for the highest malaria burden outside Africa. Around 7.5 lakh cases and 188 malaria deaths were recorded till September 2016. Government estimates show an investment of $18 billion is required to achieve its 2030 deadline to eliminate the disease from India.

source”cnbc”

Tested: Battlefield 1 shines on this all-AMD gaming PC despite DirectX 12 weirdness

Bizarre DX12 results don’t take away from Battlefield 1’s brilliance on AMD’s FX-8370 processor and Radeon RX 480.

amd bf1 pc
Credit: Brad Chacos
11COMMENTS
DICE didn’t let you down this time, folks.

Battlefield 4 stumbled out of the gate with connection problems. The less said about Battlefield: Hardline the better. But Battlefield 1 roars in your face and punches you in the gut, blending a surprisingly poignant single-player campaign with the massive, chaotic multiplayer experience the series is famous for, all set in World War I’s frantic trenches. It’s a strong frontrunner for 2016’s game of the year.

But Battlefield 1’s jaw-dropping gameplay isn’t the only reason it’s interesting. The Battlefield series has always been more PC-centric than its rival, Call of Duty, with gigantic 64-player battles, vehicular combat, private server rentals, and graphics settings galore.

More intriguingly, DICE leveraged its technical prowess to help push “closer-to-the-metal” graphics APIs into the world. Long before DirectX 12 was a glimmer in Microsoft’s eye, DICE built support for AMD’s similar Mantle technology into its Frostbite engine and Battlefield 4, with technical director Johan Andersson cheerily praising Mantle’s capabilities to industry and press alike. Heck, DICE’s Star Wars: Battlefront served as the first-ever DX12 game to hit Xbox One—and Battlefield 1 is the first game in the series to support DX12 from day one.

Mantle’s since been supplanted by DirectX 12 and Vulkan, but its legacy lives on, as AMD constantly trumpets how its PC hardware was designed to better leverage next-gen graphics APIs. Considering the rich, intertwined history between AMD, DICE, and “close to the metal” graphics technology, when AMD offered to send us a custom-built, all-AMD PC built with Battlefield 1 in mind for testing, we jumped at the offer.

Grab your bayonet and let’s go.

Meet AMD’s Battlefield 1 PC

dsc01095

Brad Chacos

Before we dive into performance, here’s a high-level look at every aspect of AMD’s Battlefield 1 PC.

  • CPU and cooler: 8-core, 4GHz AMD FX-8370 with Wraith cooler, $185 on Amazon
  • Motherboard: MSI 970A Gaming Pro Carbon, $90 on Amazon after $10 mail-in rebate
  • Graphics card: MSI Radeon RX 480 Gaming X 8GB, $245 on Amazon after $20 mail-in rebate
  • Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, $53 on Newegg
  • Storage: 256GB Intel SSD 600p Series M.2 NVMe SSD, $95.45 on Newegg
  • Power supply: 550-watt modular Corsair CS550M, $79 on Amazon
  • Case: Corsair Carbide 400C ATX Mid Tower, $97.49 on Amazon

Oh, and AMD tossed in a strip of red LED lights because Radeon. Multi-colored LEDs are essentially a gaming cliché by this point, but hey, I dig them.

Anywho, add it all up and you’re looking at a grand total of $844.94 for the complete PC at the time of this writing. And if you build a similar PC in the near future you’ll get two of 2016’s best PC games tossed in free, as AMD’s bundling FX processors with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided through November 13, and AM3+ motherboards come with a free copy of Doom until January 27. (Nope, there aren’t any Battlefield 1 bundles being offered right now.)

Building a PC around an AM3+ FX processor feels kind of worrisome right now, as AMD’s high-performance “Zen” processors are set to replace the aging platform in early 2017. That said, FX processors still deliver great bang-for-buck performance in budget and mainstream gaming PC builds, and AMD loads its processors with many more cores than Intel’s, which could theoretically pay dividends as more and more games embrace DX12 and Vulkan.

msi rx 480

Brad Chacos

The MSI Radeon RX 480 Gaming X 8GB.

AMD’s Radeon graphics cards are also built for that theoretical future, packing dedicated asynchronous shader engine hardware that helps AMD graphics processors handle several tasks concurrently. That technology can greatly improve frame rates in DirectX 12 and Vulkan games that take advantage of it, with Radeon cards delivering far higher frame rates in DX12 versus DX11 in Doom, Ashes of the Singularity, Hitman, and other games.

The Radeon RX 480 can power no-compromises 1080p gaming and even virtual reality, while this MSI Radeon RX 480 model in particular adds more future-proofing with its spacious 8GB memory buffer and wonderful custom cooler, which hovered around a chilly 64 degrees Celsius under load and never once topped 67 degrees. Even better, Radeon RX 480 prices are finally starting to hit their MSRP, with the 4GB version of the MSI RX 480 Gaming X going for $200 on the nose on Amazon after rebate.

The rest of the build is pretty straightforward, aside from the Intel Series 600p NVMe M.2 SSD—a component that’s still relatively rare in PCs. Look at how tiny it is! You have to remove the graphics card to even see it. This tiny barn burner makes Windows 10 boot times and Battlefield 1 load times lightning-quick.

amd bf1 pc no gpu

Brad Chacos

Beyond that, the MSI 970A Gaming Pro Carbon is damned sexy for an affordable motherboard, and I was surprised at how spacious and well-designed the Corsair Carbide 400C is. It won’t be for everybody, because it eliminates 5.25-inch storage bays completely in order to achieve cleaner airflow inside the case. But finding so much elbow room inside a mid-tower is wonderful, and the windowed side—which swings out like a door with the push of a latch—is another nice touch.

Onto the software!

Battlefield 1

Battlefield has always been a PC-centric series, and as usual, DICE didn’t skimp on this game’s PC port. Battlefield 1’s graphics menus are loaded with all sorts of settings. You’ll find options to adjust the field of view (both on-foot and in-vehicle), resolution scaling, granular graphics quality controls, anti-aliasing choices, DX11 vs. DX12, and even various color filters for colorblind gamers.

Of particular note is the “GPU Memory Restriction” option, which dynamically adjusts the game’s visual quality if you start to bump up against your graphics card’s onboard memory limits. It sounds similar to Gears of War 4’s “Tiled resources,” which automatically lowers texture quality to avoid blowing past your VRAM.

We disabled the feature for testing purposes (not that it matters on this PC’s 8GB Radeon RX 480), but you should leave it enabled at home. The loss of visual fidelity is preferable to using more memory than your graphics card has onboard. If you exceeded your card’s VRAM, the game would tap into your PC’s far slower overall system memory instead, resulting in nasty in-game stuttering. That said, 4GB cards shouldn’t have any trouble running the game on Ultra settings.

Here’s a look at all of Battlefield 1’s graphics options:

basic video

advanced video

The game offers control options and key binding support galore, as well. Like I said, DICE does PC ports right.

control options

key bindings

DICE’s technical prowess visibly manifests the second you boot up Battlefield 1. It’s gorgeous. Utterly gorgeous. As beautiful as Star Wars: Battlefront was last year, Battlefield 1 one-ups it in every way—though the two definitely share a similar visual style and feel. Even better, all that delicious eye candy runs buttery-smooth.

DirectX 11

To quantify my initial “damn that’s purdy” reaction, I turned to benchmarking. With V-Sync and the aforementioned GPU Memory Restriction disabled, and FOV set to 90 (PC gaming ftw!), I booted up the first checkpointed section of Battlefield 1’s “Through Blood and Mud” campaign—a straightforward jaunt that has you guiding a tank toward a fortified windmill.

benchmark start

The start of the gameplay portion tested.

Testing began when the checkpoint loads, before the infantry runs ahead to start the surge, to right after the tank passes underneath the bridge ahead of the windmill. There’s some slight variability in troop movement and weapons fire along the path, so I ran the section three times with FRAPS recording and averaged out the results. Battlefield 1’s stock Ultra and High graphics presets were used.

Without further ado, here are the results:

bf1 performance

There you have it: Battlefield 1 on this all-AMD PC easily surpasses the hallowed 60-frames-per-second mark at 2560×1600 resolution and flirts with 90 fps at 1920×1080, even with all the whistles cranked. The very high minimum frame rates—a mark of fluidity and lack of stuttering—are just as impressive, staying at nearly 60 fps at 2560×1600/High and 75 fps at 1080p. That’s downright superb, especially for an affordable AMD CPU/GPU combo found in many budget and mainstream gaming PCs.

The one downside to this machine? Power efficiency. At 355 watts under load, this FX-8370 rig consumes 71W more than PCWorld’s Core i7-5960X-based GPU testing system when it’s equipped with a reference 8GB RX 480. On the flip side, MSI’s custom cooler keeps the GPU running at a frosty 64 degrees Celsius—a damned fine result.

DirectX 12 results

Encouraged, I enabled DirectX 12…and immediately found myself disappointed.

bf1 dx12 performance

DICE’s rich history with close-to-the-metal graphics APIs isn’t apparent in Battlefield 1’s DX12 implementation, as was immediately clear the moment I booted up the PresentMon DX12 benchmarking tool and just plain looked at the game.

Flipping the DX12 switch results in no noticeable frame rate increase and actually results in slightly slower average frame rates at 2560×1600 resolution, even with the extra CPU cores and dedicated async shader hardware built into Radeon GPUs. Worse, enabling DX12 actually introduced some infrequent but massive stuttering to the game. Frame rates sometimes stalled out and dipped below 30 fps, which is very noticeable while you’re playing. That stuttering behavior wasn’t consistent, oddly enough; in a handful of benchmark runs it didn’t occur whatsoever. When it did, though, it tended to be when explosions roared or buildings collapsed.

Activating DirectX 12 in Battlefield 1 results in a demonstrably worse experience. But it might not on your rig?

Intrigued by the poor and somewhat random DirectX 12 performance, I glanced around the web for other Battlefield 1 performance results. Gamers Nexus, TechSpot, and even AMD’s own BF1 reviewers guide reported similar results, though TechSpot didn’t see minimum frame rates plummet with the RX 480, and AMD’s guide focused only on average frames rates.

But! In Tweaktown’s tests, the RX 480 received massive frame rate increases in DirectX 12, while a separate AMD test comparing Battlefield 1 performance with various FX-brand processors—also paired with an 8GB RX 480—showed a roughly 20-fps gain moving from DX11 to DX12 with the FX-8370.

amd fx results dx11 vs dx12

AMD

An AMD-supplied graph showing increased performance in DirectX 12 when using a rig outfitted with various FX processors.

Bizarre stuff indeed, and we’ve reached out to AMD to ask how it achieved the results in its CPU-centric testing, because the basic configuration of that rig is largely similar to the all-AMD PC I’ve tested today. Testing by the other sites mentioned above show PCs outfitted with Intel and Nvidia hardware displaying similar behavior in DirectX 12.

amd bf1 pc inside

Brad Chacos

Something weird is going on. No matter how you slice it, Battlefield 1’s DirectX 12 support out of the gate is pretty damned disappointing, and doubly so considering DICE’s legacy with Mantle and DirectX 12. Here’s hoping DICE keeps polishing BF1’s DX12 implementation and results slowly improve, similar to how Rise of the Tomb Raider’s DirectX 12 support keeps slowly getting better.

But don’t sweat that if you own an FX-8370-powered rig or a Radeon RX 480. Even though Battlefield 1’s DX12 support falters, the good news is it doesn’t really matter, because the game plays so well in standard DirectX 11. Stick to that and Battlefield 1 flat-out shines on AMD’s budget-friendly hardware. It looks awesome, runs buttery-smooth, and is nothing short of spectacularly optimized, even at 2560×1600 resolution.

source”cnbc”

Microsoft’s $300 Windows VR headsets: 6 things we know (and 1 big question)

windows 10 vr headset 2

Everybody expected mixed-reality technology to play a part in Microsoft’s big Windows 10 event on Wednesday—but nobody expected what we got. Rather than showing yet another HoloLens demonstration, Microsoft instead announced a small army of virtual reality headsets unlike anything available today, and they’re all powered by the forthcoming Windows 10 Creators Update.

The demo raised more questions than it supplied answers, but there was still plenty of info to glean if you were paying attention. Here’s everything we know about Microsoft’s Windows 10 VR headsets—and one massive question spurred by their mere existence.

Further reading: Everything Microsoft revealed: Surface Studio, Windows 10 Creators Update and more

1. They’re wholly unique

Seriously.

Today’s mobile VR headsets (like the Gear VR and Daydream View) can track your head’s rotation, but not its position in space, making mobile VR a stationary experience. PC-powered VR (like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive) can track both head rotation and position, but require the use of extra “base stations” that cast out invisible laser beams to keep tabs on your movement across space.

Windows chief Terry Myserson says the new Windows 10 powered VR headsets use “inside-out six-degree-of-freedom sensors.” That means they’ll be able to track their own position with internal sensors, negating the need for base stations and dedicated VR spaces. No currently available VR headset offers that flexibility. The closest we’ve seen is the Santa Cruz prototype revealed at Oculus Connect earlier this month, but it’s far from finished, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stressing that Santa Cruz is more idea than reality at this point.

The HoloLens overlays 3D holograms atop the real world, providing an experience totally different from traditional virtual reality.

2. They’re tethered

windows 10 vr headsets

The Windows 10 headsets can’t quite shake all of PC-based VR shackles, it seems. Unlike Microsoft’s HoloLens (and Oculus’ standalone Santa Cruz prototype), it appears as though these incoming devices lack onboard computers, requiring them to be tethered to a PC—somewhat of a bummer after the excitement about inside-out sensors. During an on-stage demonstration, the host’s headset clearly sported a long wire, and a promotional image for these headsets shows a discrete connection to a laptop in the background.

This raises some interesting questions. How powerful will the PC powering these Windows 10 headsets need to be? Full-blown VR is much more graphically demanding than the HoloLens’ augmented reality. The laptop in the image doesn’t appear bulky, butNvidia’s new GTX 10-series mobile chips are powerful, yet cool enough to drive virtual reality experiences from relatively svelte notebooks. We’re going to have to wait for more info. Myerson suggested you won’t need a particularly beefy rig.

3. They share HoloLens controls

These “Windows 10 Creators Update accessories,” as Myerson calls them, may be different from the HoloLens but it appears they’ve picked up some tricks from Microsoft’s augmented reality device. During Microsoft’s on-stage demo yesterday, the Windows 10 VR headset was controlled using voice commands and hand gestures, similarly to how you control the HoloLens. No obvious in-hand controllers were visible.

holotour

You can’t help but wonder if these more affordable, tethered VR headsets will stand in as “consumer HoloLens” alternatives until Microsoft’s able to perfect the design of its headset and drive the cost of its standalone design down to more reasonable levels—which may take years.

4. They’re popular with PC makers

A slew of PC makers want in on the VR action. HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer will all offer Windows 10 VR headsets. Here’s hoping Microsoft and its partners institute some quality controls, as janky VR hardware can make you puke in a jiffy.

5. They’re damned cheap

Or at least one version is. Myerson says these Windows 10 VR headsets will start at just $299, compared to $600 for the Oculus Rift and $800 for the HTC Vive.

6. They’re coming soon

Look for these Windows 10 VR headsets to appear around the launch of the Windows 10 Creators Update, early next year.

The big question: What about Oculus?

Just last year, Oculus and Microsoft seemed pretty buddy-buddy. Xbox chief Phil Spencer took the stage at Oculus’ E3 2015 event to announce that the Rift would ship with an Xbox One controller, and be able to play Xbox One games on a virtual TV screen. Rampant rumors suggested that rather than building an in-house headset like PlayStation VR, Microsoft would instead tap Oculus as a drop-in solution for the Xbox One.

oculus rift consumer june 11 2015

Hayden Dingman

The new consumer version of Oculus Rift is due to ship in early 2016.

But it looks like things have changed since then.

Those Xbox games have yet to materialize for the Rift, and these Windows 10 headsets could very well wind up being the Xbox One’s VR solution. The only time Oculus was mentioned at the Microsoft event was when Myerson tossed shade, stating that “those other, less immersive accessories today cost over $500 dollars” (emphasis his).

To be clear, the Rift headset still ships with an Xbox One gamepad, and neither Oculus nor Microsoft have mentioned anything negative about each other. The Rift could very well still become the Xbox One’s VR headset! But the Oculus team’s noticeable absence at Microsoft’s event paired with the natural rivalry between the Windows 10 VR headsets and Oculus’ Santa Cruz headset sure makes you wonder.

“I think that Microsoft has been targeting this price segment for quite some time,” says Anshel Sag, associate analyst and VR expert at Moor Insights & Strategy. “Their biggest fear is missing this technology inflection and not being a major player like in mobile. That is why they partnered with Oculus early before they had a working headset design of their own.”

“Microsoft will still likely partner with Oculus, but that relationship seemed one more out of convenience than necessity,” says Sag. “Facebook and Microsoft fundamentally have competing visions and platforms for VR and that ultimately boils down to why their partnership couldn’t last.”

source”cnbc”

SSC CGL TIER 1 result to be announced today on October 7: Keep a track at ssc.nic.in

SSC CGL TIER 1: Result

The result of Staff Selection Commission (SSC) CGL Combined Graduate Level (Tier I) online exam will be announced today on October 7. All those candidates who had appeared for the same are required to keep a check at the official website, www.ssc.nic.in. The exam was conducted from August 27 to September 11 for filling up 4874 (tentative) posts in various departments and ministries of the central government.

The answer key for the same was released on September 21, enabling the candidates to tally the paper.

All those who will qualify in the tier 1 exam will then be required to appear for the SSC CGL tier 2 exam which is tentatively scheduled to be conducted in the month of November. A large number of candidates had applied and appeared for the exam.

It is after clearing all the below mentioned rounds, a candidate is finally recruited.

  • Written examination
  • Data entry skill test/computer proficiency test
  • Document verification

(Read: SBI specialist cadre officers’ recruitment notification released at sbi.co.in)

Steps to check the result:

  • Log on to the official website, www.ssc.nic.in
  • Click on ‘SSC CGL Tier 1 Results’ on the homepage
  • In the provided fields, enter all the required details
  • Click on submit
  • Your result will appear on the screen
  • Download the same and take a printout for further reference
  • source”cnbc”

Soft Gold OnePlus 3 launching in India on October 1

Last month, OnePlus announced that the Soft Gold variant of its OnePlus 3 smartphone will land in India sometime in the first week of October. In line with that, the company has now revealed that the model will go on sale in the country on October 1, and will be an Amazon exclusive at launch.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

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OnePlus India

@OnePlus_IN

Mark your calendars, fans! The #OnePlus3SoftGold will go on sale on October 1st, only on @amazonIN.

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The device will carry a price tag of INR 27,999 (around $420) in India, with buyers also getting INR 500 worth Amazon Kindle Credits, a year of double data on Idea Cellular pre-paid and postpaid connections, as well as 12 months of OnePlus Care complimentary accidental damage protection.

source”cnbc”

Inventor of $1 microscope Manu Prakash wins prestigious ‘genius grant’ fellowship

In picture, Manu Prakash (Image source: Official website of MacArthur Foundation)

An Indian-origin scientist has won the prestigious MacArthur ‘genius grant’ fellowship for his low-cost paper microscope, that he built last year which costs less than USD 1.

IIT alumni Manu Prakash was among the 12 people who won USD 625,000 award this year. He is an assistant professor of bio engineering at Stanford University in the United States.

Achievements:

  • Low-cost paper microscope, Foldscope which costs less than USD 1, is designed from a single sheet of paper and also contains lenses and electronics. It has been widely appreciated from all over the world and helps in promoting practical education in the rural area
  • This young scientist also stunned the world last year by making a computer clock, using tiny water droplets that move in a precise direction and distance when the magnetic field is rotated which holds that droplets of water.
In picture, Manu Prakash (Image source: Official website of MacArthur Foundation)

Honours:

  • Prestigious ‘genius grant’ fellowship award in 2016
  • Brilliant 10
  • TR35
  • Pew Scholar, Pew Foundation
  • Lemelson MIT Student Finalist Award in 2008
  • MIT Ideas Sustainability Prize in 2003

Education:

  •  Ph.D, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Field of Study: Applied Physics (MAS) in 2008
  •  M.S, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Field of Study: Applied Physics (MAS) in 2004
  •  B.Tech, Indian Institute of Technology, Field of Study: Computer Science and Engineering in 2002.

About Professor Subhash Khot- the prestigious ‘genius grant’ fellowship winner 2016

In picture: Subhash Khot (Image source: Official website of MacArthur Foundation)

 

Another IITian, Professor Subhash Khot, also won this prestigious award. He is a computer scientist at New York University and was graduated from IIT-Bombay in 1999.

MacArthur ‘genius grant’ fellowship:

The fellowships are awarded to persons with exceptional creativity in their work. T

source”gsmarena”