The Static Page
Courage of a different kind
Siddharth Parwatay Managing Editor
even sell (or licence) lightning-based amps soon. So one more gadget to buy and one more thing for Apple to get licensing fees from. There is also a thriving ecosystem of devices made by independent tinkerers using the standard 3.5 mm jack to expand the functionality of the iPhone. These devices might suddenly be rendered useless, because it’s not known how well they’ll play with the adapter. Things such as thermometers, light meters, credit card readers and many more (http://dgit.in/apldevices) will now have to change their interface, and cough up about $4 to Apple for every device they sell to get their hands on the coveted Made For iOS (MFi) license. It seems obvious to me that the decision to kill the headphone jack is purely business driven. It’s just another case of putting shareholders before buyers, because going proprietary on yet another interface is hugely profitable for Apple. As a thought experiment, try considering why an open standard like the USB-C port wasn’t chosen if this shift to digital was inevitable? However, no company other than Apple could’ve achieved this, and for better or worse, that’s the direction the industry will soon be heading in. Both manufacturers of smartphones (on the Android side) as well as makers of audio gear will probably soon make that jump now that the big boy is all-in. Thankfully, I expect at least USB-C headphones to be more universally usable across a wider range of devices. Only time will tell whether the audio space actually benefits from going digital, or if it’s going to be all about capturing markets and making money.
pple’s iPhone 7 launch has got the market buzzing – even more than usual, and a lot of it is centred around one particular design choice that will directly affect the audio industry. Previously, with the iPod and iTunes, the company was instrumental in bringing about a revolutionary change in the way consumers listen to and acquire music. This time though, all the hoopla is around its decision to kill the good old headphone jack. Apple said it took “courage” to do so, and while that may be true, the move isn’t about leading the industry towards a more technologically advanced or a more consumer-friendly future, as much as it’s about filling its own coffers. Before I get to the how, let me first tell you what the removal of the 3.5 mm jack and going digital means exactly. Files are stored on your phone or PC in a digital format like MP3 (1s and 0s) and before leaving your device, they need to be converted to an analog electrical signal that can use the principles of electromagnetism to move the speaker coil, which in turn is connected to a diaphragm that vibrates the air and creates sounds of varying frequencies. It is also worth mentioning that it’s the responsibility of the device to convert that digital signal to the highest possible quality analog signal (so far). With the iPhone 7, the lightning port will now output 1s and 0s, which the speaker cannot interpret. Of course there’s still a DAC (digital-to-analog converter) on the iPhone, or else the earpiece and speakers wouldn’t work; there just isn’t one for headphones. Thus, all those headphones (even expensive ones) you’ve invested in over the years, will become redundant in one fell swoop. Unless of course you carry around the lightning to a 3.5mm adapter, which Apple has so generously decided to bundle with their phones (for now). If you lose the adaptor, you pay $9 to get a new one. But is the the headphone jack a simple casualty along the path of technological progress like the floppy disk or serial port? Not really. Those were dead
Is the the headphone jack a simple casualty along the path of technological progress like the floppy disk or serial port?
technologies, whereas no matter what, for a human to hear a sound via existing speaker tech, a DAC has to be involved at some stage – whether at the source device end or in the headphones themselves. In that case, what were Apple’s reasons? At 7.1mm, the iPhone isn’t thinner than a headphone jack, so it’s not about slimness. Then there’s the argument about making the iPhone waterproof, but LG and Samsung have managed to do it while retaining the headphone jack. The wireless argument is also silly, because we could still have AirPods and the headphone jack. Now consider this: what if the DAC that Apple is using on its little ‘free’ adapters isn’t very good? After all, $9 for anything Apple-made suggests super cheap. A Beats headphone with a better DAC might suddenly sound way better. The AirPods and Beats wireless models that use Apple’s proprietary W1 chip might also sound great, while regular Bluetooth sets might not. That translates to more sales of Beats headphones and more money from licensing “Apple Certified” accessories. Apple will probably
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www.digit.in | October 2016 | Digit | 1
Why wait till Diwali?
product purchases, because the bang that Diwali shopping bonanza makes has been diminishing with each passing year. It’s 2016 and e-commerce is an accepted reality of our lives. Digital natives don’t suffer from the burden of tradition the same way elders in their families do. Individualised buying and spur-of-the-moment purchase trends are rising across all consumer goods verticals in our country, including tech. People don’t want to wait, they want everything instantly – I’m guilty of similar tendencies whenever I see something enticing on an e-commerce portal or when I place an order and keep checking its delivery details every single day. Less and less people are willing to wait for Diwali to come around so they could save money on purchases. But Diwali shopping continues to be a force to be reckoned with, and even e-commerce portals bend over backwards to entice customers. While most discounts do seem attractive, make sure you don’t lose your head in the heat of the moment and make illinformed buying decisions. For unbelievable Diwali discounts often come with unbelievable asterisk-marked ‘conditions apply’ disclaimers in barely legible font size. Don’t get swayed in, always be sceptical. Having said that, online shopping keeps getting bigger every year, which means every month is pretty much Diwali from the customer’s perspective. Eager to woo customers by offering them the latest and greatest tech gadget and appliance, e-commerce portals leave no stone left unturned to have exclusive product deals, pre-orders, flash sales, end-of-season sales, clearance sale, app-only discounts, lucrative giveaways, additional discounts on preferred credit card purchases, week-long discounts on certain category of products, and much more, to keep customers salivating for more. Always, all the time. Everything our heart ever desired ordered with a few clicks. Done. No time to waste, right? Therefore: Why wait till Diwali?
ast month, an advertisement caught my attention. It showed a couple deliberating on a new purchase for their house. Girl asks guy if they should buy a brand new table for the living room, to which the guy instinctively responds by asking how long away Diwali was and wouldn’t it be prudent to wait till then in order to get the best deal. Angry, the girl gives him dirty looks, obviously pissed off at the guy’s lack of urgency and alleged cheapness. But there’s a deeper lesson here – haven’t we all put off our prized gadget purchases until Diwali on more than a few occasions? Our naive heart wants to cling onto eternal hope that sellers will open the floodgates of bottled up benevolence for a five-day festival associated with wanton money spending? That they’d all truly offer us a discount that’s worth the many month-long wait? Pfft! Come on, give me a break. There was a time not too long ago where entire households used to postpone buying anything until Diwali – from new clothes to school bags, washing machine, home appliance to furniture – in perennial hope of saving a buck. When I was little, beyond the auspiciousness of gold purchase, I used to often question the absurdity of divine providence that made people postpone their mundane shopping to one heralded week of the year. Later I realized how Diwali and Shopping coalesced as part of an ingenious industry-wide marketing ploy, forcing people to buy without them realizing it. All this for what? Saving a few bucks here and there? Are we all really that money-conscious? Doesn’t relevance, timely need, convenience and trust matter? Maybe this tradition of holiday shopping spree was a lot more resonant in the preonline era, where Diwali discounts actually mattered. Like the American tradition of Black Friday-inspired buying spree, where people actually lined up outside brick and mortar stores, hoping to get in early and have the chance to score the sweetest deals. But even Black Friday isn’t the biggest consumer retail spending day in America anymore, with the rise of e-commerce and daily discount culture. And for similar reasons, Diwali shouldn’t be the only time of the year you decide to spend big on gadgets or tech
Jayesh Shinde Technical Editor – Test Centre firstname.lastname@example.org
“Individualised buying and spurof-the-moment purchase trends are rising across all consumer goods verticals, including tech. People don’t want to wait anymore, they want everything instantly."
Let me know your thoughts on this column at: facebook.com/jayesh. shinde | @jshinde | email@example.com
2 | Digit | October 2016 | www.digit.in
Contents octoBER 2016
volume 16 \ issue 10
001 Enter 016 DGT Desire
Life 034 Digital Geek Life Origins
Tech 051 Sci Tomorrow’s Tech Space Age
& Tested 058 Tried Bazaar Comparison Test
081 Devworx 085 Worldview
Smart 089 Street Killer Rigs Top 3 Agent 001
Data 45 Detective The long arm of the law just got a little longer
Tips and Tricks Workshop
105 Tech@Work Work@Tech
thanks to Big Data. But are you willing to let go of your privacy to be safer?
SmartSoho Industry Connect
137 Esc Unwind
Our future is Dataism
It’s a new global religion. We’re already practicing it, knowingly or unknowingly.
Tried & Tested
4 | Digit | October 2016 | www.digit.in
59 Asus zenfone 3
60 Ripjaws Mx780
The latest flagship from Asus is not a complete package
61 Brainwavz Blu-200
Competitive feature set from G.SKILL
Incrementally better sounding than its younger sibling
On The DVD Gamescom 2016 Highlights
Some Indie games out there are giving AAA titles a run for their money, and here’s why!
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Battleline: Steel Warfare Epic Battle Fantasy 3 Minds Eyes Image Path of War
BlueStacks CCleaner Chromium Comodo Dragon Messenger for Desktop NitroPDF NVIDIA Graphics Drivers OpenOffice Origin Telegram for Desktop VirtualBox WhatsApp for Windows
Best of Digit We shoot several videos across various products and categories, and we’ve decided to include five of the best every month. Best Horror Games HP Spectre 13 Ultrabook Review Compare Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 vs Redmi 3s Prime Talk with Twitter Hacking a Wi-Fi Router & Securing Yourself From Such a Hack
Make this issue of Digit come alive
111 SKOAR! (Now inside Digit)
Agony Gameplay BioShock: Remastered Dead Rising 4 Dishonored 2 Mafia III Metal Gear Survive Prey Resident Evil 7 Sniper Ghost Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 Titanfall 2 Multiplayer Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands VAMPYR Gears of War 4
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78 Can you survive a month on a Chromebook? We tried it, and here’s the verdict
94 Shubh Geeky Diwali
Forgot to buy gifts? Or just don’t know what to get? We’ve got you covered with some geeky ideas.
Free Image Editing Tools Autodesk SketchBook FireAlpaca Krita MediBang Paint MyPaint Paint.NET
Exploring the universe
In this video series from MIT Opencourseware, you’ll be learning about the physical effects in the vicinity of a black hole as a basis for understanding general relativity, astrophysics, and elements of cosmology. Introduction The Universe Questions You Were Afraid to Ask Einstein’s Field Equations X-Ray Binaries and the Search for Black Holes The Universe and Three Examples Cosmic Structure Formation
Gamescom 2016 Highlights Best of Digit
Image Editing Tools
63 MSI GE62VR 6RF
64 ECS Z170
Our new ‘best performing gaming laptop’
A step in the right direction with the Z-170 LIGHTSABER
www.digit.in | October 2016 | Digit | 5
The RSS Feed
Big data, little minds and are aware of the question. Now compare that state to what you’re doing when you’re channel surfing on YouTube, or scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed. The latter is like big data hitting you smack in the face, and leaving you dazed and confused. What’s worse, this disturbing trend is not abhorred, but is actually welcomed. We’re like little toddlers now, running amuck on the internet, laughing at silly cats and fart jokes… How else would you explain something like “tl;dr” (too long; didn’t read) now becoming a perfectly accepted and widely loved response to any text heavy article, or even serious videos that are more than 5 minutes long? And why? Because people have too little time and too many duck-face selfies to like online? People have always behaved sillier in groups, and on the internet, it’s always a “new low” because of the lack of real world consequences. Conversations are often ruined by trolls, our attention spans are too short and making wise-ass comments is the order of the day – Twitter pretty much survives on just that. Meanwhile, places like forums are dying while WhatsApp groups are thriving. The Digit Forum is now crawling along at the lowest activity it’s ever seen, while the Forum’s WhatsApp group is a non-stop chatfest and often people spend hours talking about absolute rubbish. Why? Instant gratification, no desire to take a little trouble, and certainly no thought for the benefit of others – WhatsApp and most social networks are closed systems, accessible only to those inside, whereas something like a forum has worldwide access, and thus some discussions might actually benefit a larger audience. ← shameless forum.digit.in plug! I guess what really concerns me is that mastering big data to become god is merely keeping a finger on the pulse of the general public, and then giving us exactly what we want. However, if what we want is to spiral downwards like kamikaze pilots, are you OK using big data to play god over little minds? Reminds me of the plot of the movie Idiocracy...
Robert Sovereign-Smith Executive Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
t might seems strange for me to use that headline in an issue that has “Become God” on the cover... but you will get over it. Heck, chances are, you will forget it in ten minutes anyway – well, you might remember it for a little longer now that I’m harping on about it… So what’s the deal? Am I actually going against the cover story? Not really, because “God” today symbolises power, and you don’t have to be smart to wield power… certainly not if the US presidential race is any indicator! Humanity is getting weaker with each generation, and dumber to boot. You don’t have to take my word for it, just look around you and you will know it’s the truth. There’s even genetic evidence to back this up, which proves that we are in fact getting weaker, and quite possibly dumber as well because of mutations in our genes. Check out http:// bit.ly/1hIe0YY and http://bit.ly/2cUc1VL for more information on the genetic and physical differences between us and our ancestors. Of course, unless you’re close to my age, chances are you will ignore this column as just another “old guy” calling the younger generation stupid… it’s been happening for generations, and will happen for many more, because, you know, grumpy old guys! Still here? You must be old at heart! Our knowledge is a mile wide and an inch deep, whereas it used to be an inch wide and a mile deep. Of course there are advantages to being able to pick a few thousand brains for ideas, unlike the few dozen we used to be able to before the internet came along. Being exposed to much more data than before is good, but only to a certain point, beyond which it’s indistinguishable from white noise. As our cover story will tell you, using technology to tame, poke at and get meaningful answers out of big data is the secret sauce for success. However, it’s can also be a recipe for disaster. Knowing what you want from big data is the key. This is best understood with an example: Think of the way in which you do research for something – an office project, student assignment, when buying something, when looking for data to refute points made by that idiot you’re having an internet argument with, etc… Right from your posture to the way you use technology, the questions you ask, the way your mind works, it’s all energetic because you are searching for an answer,
“Humanity is getting weaker with each generation, and dumber to boot.”
6 | Digit | October 2016 | www.digit.in
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October 2016 • Volume 16 • Issue 10 To Advertise
Managing Director Dr. Pramath Raj Sinha Printer and Publisher Kanak Ghosh Publishing Director Vikas Gupta Editorial Executive Editor Robert Sovereign-Smith Managing Editor Siddharth Parwatay Multimedia Co-ordinator Abhijit Dey
Sales Director: Lalit Arun, Mobile: +91-9582262959
Asus Zenfone 3
South: Ram Sarangi, Mobile: +91-98864 06961 West: Suvarna Shringarpure, Mobile: +91-93249 28247 North: Mayank Sharma , Mobile: +91-8800661912 East: Jayanta Bhattacharyya, Mobile: +91-93318 29284
Reviewers Hardik Singh, Souvik Das, Shrey Pacheco
Editor Soham Raninga
Assistant Editor Prasid Banerjee, Sameer Mitha Features Editor Adamya Sharma Mgr - Online Shauvik Kumar Design
Sony X9350D 4K HDR TV Sony MHC-V44D Brainwavz M1 Brainwavz BLU 200 MSI GE62VR 6RF
Biostar Racing B150GT5 RDP Thinbook 1430
Brand.............................................. Page No.
Seagate....................................Inside Front Cover TP-Link......................................Inside Back Cover
G.SKILL Ripjaws KM780 RGB G.SKILL Ripjaws MX780 ECS Z170 LIGHTSABER
Assistant Vikas Patil
Lenovo Vibe K5
Test Centre Senior Reviewer Mithun Mohandas
Ringing Bells Freedom 251
Writers Arnab Mukherjee, Manish Rajesh, Nikhil Punjabi
Technical Editor Jayesh Shinde
Products reviewed this month
Sr. Art Director Anil VK
Associate Art Director Shokeen Saifi Visualiser Baiju NV
Gigabyte................................... Back Cover, 45, 47 LIC............................................................................... 3
Comparison Test: Smartphones under 30k Asus Zenfone 3 OnePlus Three LeEco Max 2
Xiaomi Mi 5
Lead UI/UX Designer Shri Hari Tiwari
Sr. Designers Haridas Balan, Charu Dwivedi,
Peterson PJ & Manoj Kumar VP
Comparison Test: Mid-tower PC cabinets
Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5
Sr. Photographer Jiten Gandhi
Corsair Carbide Spec Alpha
Writers Abhishek Balaji, Anusha Sinha, Arjun
Krishna Lal, Kshitij Bedekar, Meghana Gupta, Ronak
Thermaltake Core V51
Gutpa, Varad Choudhari
Taiwan Excellency............................................... 30
Production and Logistics
Manager Operations Rakesh Upadhyay
India AV................................................................. 143
Manager Logistics Vijay Menon
Asst Mgr Production & Logistics M P Singh
Executive Mohd. Nadeem Ansari
Brand Head Mitin Kumar
Co-ordinator / Scheduling Kishan Singh Circulation Sales
Head - Circulation Samir Mehta
Regional Mgrs Jayanta Bhattacharyya,
Manager Circulation Dharmendra Singh
Reader Services Team Leader Sudhir Patel Executives Poonam, Bhishm, Nilesh & Narendra +91-22-67899678 / firstname.lastname@example.org Cover Design Peterson PJ
8 | Digit | October 2016 | www.digit.in
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Google has finally released the Angular 2.0, incompatible with the older version. http://dgit.in/Angulr2
Feedback for the September 2016 issue of Digit
) Hello there! I've been reading your magazine for the past year and the magazine is very awesome. The 'Become A Hacker' issue was very cool. I've learnt many techniques from it and I might try 'em out (not on you guys!). The article on other popular hackers was something that I admired. Happy Birthday Joshi virus story was funny! Anyway, this month's SKOAR! was awesome! The article on Devil May Cry was the best. I want to ask you a question: Do you know about Hatsune Miku? If yes, can you give a FastTrack about the vocaloid? In the end, thank you guys for inventing such a cool magazine. –Shivam Shekhar Soy
Angular 2.0 released
All the latest lifestyle technology, gadgets to drool over and gizmo porn like never before. Desire, Greed and Temptation ahead...
Thanks for the feedback Shivam. We’re glad that you liked the September issue. But a FastTrack about Hatsune Miku? Are you serious? Looks like someone’s got a little crush ;-) –Siddharth
) Greetings, Team Digit! First of all I would tell you what countless others have already said, but is very true – that you are doing an amazing job. Digit is not only the best tech magazine in India, but in the entire world (at least from my point of view). I discovered it in class 6th and have always read it whichever issue I find, wherever I find. Having said that, I have gripes about your website. I use the site to stay connected with you, and visit it daily. However, it seems to be extraordinarily cluttered and disorganised (either that or I am missing the system of organisation). Often it has happened that one month old articles are at the top, while the newest articles and news are somewhere down below, to be found after much scrolling and carefully looking at the date of publishing. Something that has been worrying me lately is how the PC is being neglected for the last 3-4 years or so. We see cheap, 10-15K smartphones boasting 2K displays, while even today
) I am 13 and I have started reading your Digit magazine recently and IT IS AWESOME! Your YouTube channel has improved a lot. Just some suggestions1. Increase product reviews as they are loved more by the audience. 2. Please provide better games in the disc as they are a little boring. 3. Keep more tech articles. The ones like Human 2.0 and Trolling can be a little boring. 4. Please provide DIY articles and interesting projects that are really awesome! (I really liked the How to repurpose old tech! In the 15th anniversary issue). Robert sir told me that you guys have an office in Mumbai eh? I can give you a visit anytime as I live in Pune! You guys feel like a family to me! P.S. Can you please answer what is the salary of a Digitian? Thank you for inspiring me and millions of fans and taking them to the Tech World! –The Prefecttaps
a visit. Be sure to give us a shout before coming. As for the salary question, the answer is “not enough”. –Siddharth
Good suggestions! Yes we have an office in Mumbai. Sure you can give us
12 | Digit | October 2016 | www.digit.in
a 55K laptop runs at mere HD 720p. "Budget" phones are getting shiny new deca-core processors, 3 GB DDR4 RAM, while mid-range PCs run at 4 GB DDR3 and barely a quad-core. Why should we have to spend a bombshell for a good experience, while extremely powerful smartphones are being made available at a price barely a fraction of a top-end gaming PC. Agreed, that PCs are more powerful, but why are no attempts being made to make PC tech affordable and compact? Why should a thin laptop be labelled as an ultrabook? At this point, every laptop should have been an "ultrabook". Maybe I have lesser knowledge and understanding about how R&D works, but still it seems unfair. Even today the PCs have crap webcams, crap in-built microphones, and crappy speakers. It is really sad to see the most productive tech we have being neglected like this, and it pains me greatly. I would love to hear your views about this topic. –Hritvik Kaushik
Thanks for your mail, and continued support to our magazine that we all love, Kaushik. Your feedback on the website's been received, loud and clear, and let me tell
For those who just want more than should be humanly allowed, we have enough to satisfy your hunger...
If you’re wondering what to do with yourself or how to spend some time getting cultured, this section is for you...
This month: Tesla S P100D, Hermes Apple Watch, Sealine F530, Gold Sony Walkman and a lot more...
This month: TV Show: Narcos Season 2, Book: Elon Musk and upcoming stuff to watch out for
Technology with Style showcase
Acer Predator 21X An Acer like none other
cer is no stranger when it comes to making gaming laptops. But we can guarantee you that NOTHING they’ve ever made is anything quite like this one. The Acer Predator 21X is a behemoth, where you can take the word ‘behemoth’ literally. This monster houses two GTX 1080s (TWO!), a 21-inch curved display – yes CURVED – and a mechanical keyboard to boot. This beast is massive, and weighs a whopping 8kgs, so you’re not going to be lugging it around. You need two power supplies to juice those two 1080s inside. The mechanical keyboard uses Cherry MX switches, there’s RGB backlighting under each key. The keyboard also has macro keys to the left,
for your specialised gaming needs. To add to that the Predator 21X comes with Tobii’s eye-tracking, which tracks your eyes movements and changes camera angles accordingly, so you can actually aim with your eyes. Acer says they’ll start shipping next year but we don’t know when or for how
GoPro Hero 5
The Codex Silenda wooden five page book that has puzzles on each page, albeit there’s only five pages. The book reveals a story as you solve puzzles and progress through the pages.
The Zungle Panther sunglasses are built-in with bone-conduction speakers which transmit sound waves directly to the skull via vibrations. Now that’s music that goes right to the head!
The BioRing is a wellness tracker that automatically measures calorie intake, protein intake, fat intake and consumption, stress levels, activity intensity and other useful parameters.
GoPro have officially announced the Hero 5. It comes in 2 variants, Hero 5 Black and Hero 5 Sessions. Both can shoot in 4k at 30fps and both are water resistant up to 33 feet.
B&O BeoSound 1
Band & Olufsen’s BeoSound 1 looks like a work of modern art, and the best part is it sounds as good as it looks. According to B&O their reason for the cylindrical design is for 360 degrees of sound. The BeoSound is equipped with the latest Google Cast, Bluetooth, AirPlay, and DLNA technologies. If you’ve got other B&O products, it can pair up with them. The BeoSound 1 has a battery life of upto 16 hours, while it’s larger counterpart, the BeoSound 2 runs off main.
16 | Digit | October 2016 | www.digit.in
much. It’s safe to assume it’ll cost a small fortune.
SPECIFICATIONS Display resolution: 2560x1080 | Display Size: 21-inch Curved Screen | CPU: Intel 7th gen Kaby Lake processors | Storage: 4TB SSD | GPU: Two GTX 1080s in SLI
Tracing the evolution of what has been making your gadgets sick since gadgets came into being.
Pokémon GO wearables Pokemon GO will eventually come to Apple Watch and maybe even Android Wear. http://dgit.in/PGoWrble
Arnab Mukherjee firstname.lastname@example.org
Modern day parenting is highly reliant on technology, and the options are only increasing!
ho hasn’t heard of the phrase - ‘Parents are always right’. From the very moment we are born until we are full grown adults, wise enough to make our own decisions, it is our parents who take care of our every need, plan and nurture our growth, and solve our problems. And that can never change. What can change, and in fact, is changing, is the way it is done. Technology has found its way into the art of parenting. Innovators and developers from all over the world are creating software, hardware, and complete platforms to help parents go about the hallowed responsibility of shaping a life. And modern parents are adopting these changes for the betterment of their children as well as making their own tasks, as parents, much easier. After all,
like sleep trackers, that parents can use striking the right balance between care, for a number of purposes. love, discipline, encouragement, education and fun isn’t child’s play! The main areas where parenting is The Apps infusing with technology are smartThe part of childhood that has changed phone apps, devices, and a complete the most due to the influence of techplatform in the form of children’s nology is education. Information and tablets. App developers are creating even full fledged online courses are a applications that are meant to help mere Google search away, but how can a children learn while having fun along parent trust the source of that informawith other apps that are for parents tion? A survey reveals that the internet is to monitor the baby’s the second most sought growth, take care of mechanism of redressal pregnant mothers, and for parents. But, as many more. Device manufacparents would agree, turers are picking up unleashing the internet this mantle by making into a child’s world, changes to the more expecting it to be a benign common childhood possource of educational sessions like the pram information and nothing and the cradle by turning more, is not exactly a brilthem into smart devices. liant idea. This is where On the other hand, they the idea of using an app are also making devices, as a learning platform Mr. Jairaj Bhattacharya, MD, ConveGenius using IoT and otherwise, makes sense, because the
34 | Digit | October 2016 | www.digit.in
illustration: PETERSON PJ
INDEX: Detective data.............................................41 Our future is dataism............................45 decision, decision, decision...................53 40 | Digit | October 2016 | www.digit.in
The long arm of the law just got a little longer thanks to Big Data. But are you willing to let go of your privacy to be safer?
magine walking down the street in the near future, the IoT has reached its peak and its ever pervasive nature entails that anything and everything in and around you is connected, and petabytes of data is being sent from trillions of connected systems to intensely powerful analytical systems. You are decked with gadgets – smartphone, smartband, and an AR visor are bare minimum. As you continue walking, your AR (augmented reality) visor has your morning schedule listed and its navigation assistant directs you to take a turn to save a few minutes. You turn into the corner and your visor camera analyses every object and every person in front of you, highlighting those whom you may be connected to on social media. Your visor immediately turns a shade of orange and outlines a man 150 meters ahead of you. Your visor camera hasn’t identified the person but the mere fact that he has been pacing to and fro rather hurriedly gets flagged. You notice that some of the CCTV cameras on the street turn in his direction. Seconds later, the orange alert turns red and so does his outline. You become alert and come to a halt, the visor navigation directions reroute to show you the fastest way to safety. You notice that every other person on the street just received the same alert on their visors and they’ve all started moving away from the suspicious person. A counter soon pops up on your visor, the cops are on their way and they’ll reach in barely two minutes. The area you’re in has a heightened police density owing to the number of crime incidents here. You’ve double-backed to the earlier street corner, notice that the cops are already there and they’re already
SA imaging: Peterson PJ
By Mithun Mohandas email@example.com
observing the person. A crime has not taken place so they can’t arrest anyone. Two officers from the other end of the street slowly walk towards the suspect with a smile on their face... It might seem a little too futuristic, but similar systems have already been designed and multiple pilot programmes are being run in cities and towns across the globe. Predictive Crime Analytics is very much in the present thanks to Big Data.
Predictive Crime Analytics While not quite the way Minority Report – a Tom Cruise movie about predictive crime – pictured it, quite a few software already deal with Predictive Crime Analytics with even technology giants such as IBM and Hitachi coming out with their systems. Needless to say, quite a lot of questions have been raised regarding the efficacy of such systems. PCA is doing exactly what analysts and detectives have been doing for decades – poring over all the evidence to identify patterns and shortlist suspects. The only difference is that our methods of obtaining information have multiplied to the extent that humans will soon not be able to handle the enormous amount of data that needs to be analysed.
Enter, Machine Learning. Traditionally, databases would be populated manually by humans so there was a defined structure but this would also mean that the very same structure ended up being restrictions to the kind of data that could be stored in the database and thus a portion of the data would be discarded. As technology progressed, www.digit.in | October 2016 | Digit | 41
GOW 4 free
In NVIDIA’s latest offer, a GTX 1070 or 1080 could get you Gears of War 4 for free. http://dgit.in/GOW4Free
SpaceX’s reusable rocket Falcon has had its share of disasters, one quite recent. Should we be worried?
Machine learning: Artificial Neural Networks
Before we move on to what understanding emotion is and will mean, let’s talk a bit about the techniques ‘intelligent’ machines currently use. To provide computers with intelligence, researchers look at a structure that has time and again proven itself to be a pinnacle of complexity and learning ability – the human brain. Nestled within our brains are a multitude of neurons, each of which interact and communicate in an intricate fashion to give us memory and processing abilities. But memory and processing components lie within every CPU box as well. What makes a human brain radically different from the world on a motherboard chip is that the neurons in the human brain network in a fashion that allows them not only to respond to stimuli, but also to continually learn from the input information. So, scientists replicated the working of a human brain on an algorithmic level and that led to the birth of an Artificial Neural Network (ANN). What an ANN essentially does is study a large set of input-output combinations to train itself, much like a child learns to identify an apple by seeing it a number of times. Once the network is trained, each input is processed and a new input is mapped to an output. Over time, because of feedback, and much like ourselves, the network corrects errors and gets better at dealing with inputs that weren’t part of the original training set. This process can be broken down with a simple example. Any image is made of numbers, bytes representing values of color intensity for example. Now, an image of a red ball will have a certain input matrix of numbers. The fact that it is a ball can be represented with another unique marker matrix. The job of an ANN is to breakdown an image into raw data - an input function and after processing that information through its vast sieve of hidden layers, construct a corresponding output function. The output function will tell the ANN if the input corresponds to a ball or a cat. The same fundamental method is adopted by all deep learning machines. A chess
Bots are cruel and heartless, following cold hard logic. But can they ever be programmed to understand emotion, feelings and other sentimental stuff? Let’s find out... Ronak Gupta
n 1837 Charles Babbage came up with the Analytical Engine, essentially the first machine design that laid claim to include all the elements of a modern computer. Back then Babbage’s machine was designed to compute, crunch numbers and perform calculations. Today the landscape of modern computing has undergone a paradigm shift. Sure, we have computers that are fast and mean machines designed purely for number crunching, but now they can do so much more.
Traditionally the dividing line between a human and a computer has always been the ability of the former to process information to adapt and learn. But artificial intelligence, built on the bedrock of Turing’s and Von Neumann’s work, can now simulate human behaviour in not only absorbing, storing and even making sense of information. This ability to learn has allowed machines to be adept at image recognition, speech and text recognition and even games like Chess and Go. But a question that has been plaguing scientists and futurists alike for sometime is: Can machines understand emotion?
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I N SIDE
The latest products reviewed For you
Page 60 G.SKILL RIPJAWS MX780 Gaming Mouse
The Digit Test Centre receives hundreds of products every month. Each of these products is put through a series of tests and is finally given a score. The final score is arrived at after considering a number of factors and evaluating them in terms of features, performance, value for money, build quality, and, in the case of software, even ease of use.
Page 62 Freedom 251
Page 63 MSI GE62VR 6RF Apache Pro
For better understanding of our ratings, hereâ€™s a quick guide to our overall score to
Extremely poor product. Keep away!
Page 61 Brainwavz BLU-200
Very good product.
Page 64 RDP ThinBook
Go for it, but there may be better products out there.
Ground-breaking product. Weâ€™ve never seen anything like it before. A definite must buy!
58 | Digit | October 2016 | www.digit.in
& M ORE . . .
Page 64 ECS Z170LIGHTSABER
Mid-tower cabinets and a Smartphone comparison between some of the most popular phones this month.
Can you survive one month with the Chromebook as your primary device? We give it a go.
ASUS Zenfone 3 Not a complete package
hen you jack up a rather than vibrant and overphone’s price, you saturated images. There is some have much more to noise in photos, but not enough live up to. ASUS chose to hamper social sharing needs. a tough road this time, possibly Sharpness and contrast are appreto change user perception and be ciable, but not stunning. recognised as a premium brand. Under low light, the Zenfone However, the Zenfone 3 doesn’t 3’s “optimisation” mode produces quite hit the right notes, the way bright photos, even in extremely the Zenfone 2 did. To be clear, it low light. They’re soft, and lacks does have redeeming values, but details, but it’s still much better it’s not the no brainer its predethan the OnePlus 3 and others in cessor was. this range. However, without this The Snapdragon 625 is an octamode, you get the same as any core SoC built on the 14nm process. other phone. This makes it quite efficient in The camera actually makes terms of battery life and heat, but the cheaper (3GB RAM) variant at the expense of raw power. The of the Zenfone 3 a better buy than eight Cortex A53 cores together the Xiaomi Mi 5 and the Vivo V3 are weaker than a Snapdragon 652 Max, since its camera is vastly or even the 650. Of course, ASUS’ better and makes up for the perbloated and heavy ZenUI affects formance gap. the performance too. Last but not the least, the The Zenfone 3’s performance Zenfone 3’s design is reminiscent is 80% lower than the OnePlus 3 of last year’s Galaxy S6. It doesn’t Price99 27,9 on graphics, and about 60% on feel as premium though, and we’d single core CPU speed. It’s quite close in easily pick a OnePlus 3 over this one. terms of multi-core performance, though. From a build point of view, the Zenfone As a result, there are visible lags in games like 3’s machined speaker holes lack the premium Injustice and Asphalt, and load times are also finish, and you can see slight (very slight) gaps high. It works for basic users, but power users where the plastic antenna bands pass its metal and mobile gamers won’t enjoy the phone. frame. This is also not a phone you’d want to The good news is that it takes some doing to drop. With Gorilla Glass 3 on both sides, there’s get this phone up to 40 degrees Celsius, and it’s too much to break. also good battery-wise. The Zenfone 3 runs for Further, if you care about ergonomics, you over 11 hours on the Geekbench 3 battery test, will find this tough to deal with. Thick front with a score of two 7043. On a regular day, you’ll bezels and a 5.5 inch display make it wide. This easily get the full 24 hours with this phone. We makes it tough to get a good grip, especially got an average screen on time of 4 hours, which because of the slippery glass back. The thin finis quite good, especially at 60-70% brightness. gerprint sensor on the back is also tough to reach. Speaking of brightness, prepare for a someTo sum up, the OnePlus 3 is a better choice what dim display. The Zenfone 3 can go up to at `27,999, however, you may still consider the 618 Lux, nearly 200 Lux lower than a OnePlus cheaper variant of the Zenfone 3. This isn’t the 3. Also, the contrast ratio isn’t very high and the best phone ASUS has made since the Zenfone 5, display lacks deep blacks. Overall, the Zenfone but it does have some good elements. 3’s display isn’t something special, but just It has a good camera, but that’s pretty much about does the job. the only thing making it worth consideration. The best feature of this phone, though, is It’s not a phone for the power users and needs a its camera. It 16MP rear camera takes natural more refined design to really stand a chance. photos, with emphasis on true to life colours, Prasid Banerjee
Features........................72 Performance.................71 Design............................72 Value............................. 64
Display Size: 5.5-inch; Resolution:1080x1920; SoC: Snapdragon 625; Processor: 2GHz octa-core; RAM: 4GB; Internal Storage: 64GB; Expandable upto: 128GB; Rear Camera: 16MP; Front Camera: 8MP; Battery: 3000mAh; Wi-Fi standards: 802.11 a/ b/ g/ n/ ac
Phone: 18002090365 Email: http://dgit. in/2cX7hP4 Website: https://www. asus.com/in/support/
www.digit.in | October 2016 | Digit | 59
Google. How exactly do you intend to build the trust of your consumers if you regularly indulge in shady behaviour? And it isn’t just HP, a lot of hardware manufacturers do the same. Take Xiaomi for example, if you’re running the stock MIUI then you’ll likely find an app called ‘AnalyticsCore.apk’ which constantly runs in the background and reappears even if deleted. It’s job? To check with Xiaomi’s servers every 24 hours for a file named “Analytics. apk” which if a new version is found will be downloaded and installed without user consent. It’s not uncommon for companies to deliberately manufacture their devices so that they fail after a certain period. It’s called planned obsolescence, something we’ve covered in good detail back in 2014. It’s a worrying trend that’s spread across the technology sphere, be it hardware or software. Companies are moving towards either resorting to planned obsolescence or subscription models to ensure a steady revenue stream. Proprietary software such as Windows and Adobe’s Creative Suite rely on subscription revenue models. Video games have DLCs, hardware like printers have increased dependence on expensive inks and toners with built-in kill switches. This reminds me of a study performed by Economics Professor Philip Babcock of the University of California. The study found that when grades were inflated i.e. students expected to get a good grade then they were 50% less likely to put in real effort. The technology industry is undergoing a similar change with such fixed streams of revenue, the need to innovate for companies isn’t as pronounced. Instead, be prepared to see companies breaking down innovations and providing them in updates on a piecemeal basis. Soon enough the pace of R&D in the technology segment will slow down and this is the heavy price us consumers have to pay, and pay we will!
owards the middle of last month – 13th of September to be precise – everyone who was using third-party cartridges with their HP printer had a nasty surprise. An error claiming that one or more cartridges had been damaged and would require replacement popped up. So if you replaced those cartridges with another thirdparty cartridge, you’d still get that problem and your HP printer would refuse to print at all. It took a while and when Dutch retailer 123inkt investigated, they found out that the printer firmware itself was programmed to reject third-party cartridges. As an enormous number of complaints started pouring in, questions were raised. HP was asked by numerous sources to comment on the issue and they feigned ignorance. They released an official statement six days later claiming that they did indeed program the kill code in order to “protect innovation and intellectual property, but also to improve the safety of products for customers”. Yeah, right… A quick glance at their Q1 FY16 results indicates that HP is losing revenue in the printing segment. Total number of hardware units sold was down by 20% which included commercial units that had dropped by 15% and consumer units that had dropped by 23%. Those are huge reductions. And where does HP make money from the printing segment? From sales of supplies which include printer cartridges. Supplies account for 67% of their revenue, i.e 2/3rd of HP’s revenue from the printer division is just from selling cartridges. So when a company this big decides to pull one over the customer’s eyes then you’ve basically traded years of customer trust for a minor bump in revenue. Not smart, not smart at all. Despite printer manufacturers claiming that billions of dollars have been spent towards developing printer ink, the original ink sure does look ridiculously indistinguishable from third-party replacements. And this isn’t the first time HP has decided to sabotage equipment that customers have paid for. They are known for frequently slipping in backdoors into their enterprise systems as well. A cursory Google search points to news articles covering backdoors in 2010, 2011 and 2013 on the first page of
Mithun Mohandas Senior Reviewer firstname.lastname@example.org
How exactly do you intend to build the trust of your consumers if you regularly indulge in shady behaviour?
Let me know your thoughts on this column at: @mithun_mohandas
www.digit.in | October 2016 | Digit | 65
> code / creativity / community > Python 3.6.0 Beta 1 is now available http://dgit.in/PythonUpdt
Profiling Django views for SQL queries
>>Optimizing Django code by profiling the views for SQL queries> by Shubham Jain and Vivek Prakash
e at HackerEarth regularly conduct 24-hours internal hackathons usually once a month to boost ourselves to get familiar with new technologies and to come up with great ideas and hacks to increase our productivity. A hackathon project can be anything from creating a new product to creating some tools which helps our own development. In the hackathon in Dec 2015, we came up with the idea to create a profiler which could tell which code inside Django views causes SQL queries so that we can optimize them easily.
Initial thoughts There are already many good Django packages to profile views for SQL queries. One of them is django-toolbar which we already use. Django-toolbar is great but it shows all raw SQL queries which are happening inside a view and you have to analyze each query, see the whole trace back and figure out which line of code inside the view is triggering the query. This way, you can only figure out the line number of the code in a file, not the exact function or expression or attribute access which is causing the query. What we wanted was that a profiler should tell about the exact expressions which trigger the SQL queries.
There were some solutions which came up in our mind to get it done like using trace backs or by manipulating AST of the Python function. Python’s AST module can parse and modify code during runtime and we were fascinated about using it in the future. What is AST? AST stands for Abstract Syntax Tree. Python converts all Python code to AST as one of the compiling step when creating its bytecode. Same functionality it provides dynamically through AST module. We can convert any Python code to AST at runtime using this library which we can compile to bytecode and execute the bytecode too. Here is an example. Let’s have the code of a function which returns the square of a number code = “””def f(x): s=x* x return s “”” We can convert this code to AST using ast.parse method import ast module_ast = ast.parse(code) func_ast = module_ast.body
*Android Studio 2.2
>>Latest version of Google’s Android development studio released with improved C++ support and more.
*Oracle beats Amazon
>>New Oracle Database-as-aService is 20 years ahead of Amazon Web Services.
*Vim8.0, Emacs 25.1 out >>First major Vim release in 10 years and Emacs 25.1 with dynamic library support released.
www.digit.in | October 2016 | Digit | 81
Our pick of the best tech articles from around the globe
Time to rethink about your broadband router
Not a tech laggard
Apple, on the iPhone 7 launch says that the company may be stronger than ever with its expansion in several fields such as wearables and apps, even though the recent reports suggest the opposite.
Evolution of FPS games
Walk down the nostalgia lane with us where we take you through years tracking the evolution of FPS games starting from Maze War released in 1974 up to the latest Overwatch.
Driving, a thing of the past
In a race towards the smart home era, something very important that we’ve forgotten clearly stands to stare at our face, well kept in the corner of your house. The broadband router, the gateway to our smart home needs to be re-invented.
Automobile manufacturers claim that the evolving technologies are quite capable of taking ‘driverless cars’ further than just providing assistance to the driver and take full control of the car, ending the current form of transportation.
SightSound Versus Apple
The intellectual property can be hard to protect as well as defend. Here is SightSound’s story of a war that they fought against Apple Inc that started back in 1988. Quite an interesting one.
The next ‘Big’ thing Smartphones have been the biggest thing that the tech evolution has seen. 2-in-1’s were designed to push laptop users to shift to convertibles but the giants could not really succeed in popularising them with the masses. Here’s their plan B.
State of Music Streaming Music streaming boom has set some trends with on-demand music and ad-supported models continuing to dominate. Even after being forced to choose the alternative, the masses choose to disagree, and that does say something about the music streaming market.
Inexhaustible cloud power Being connected to the cloud has become mainstream and several apps and services are empowering us with cloud computing for day-today activities. All of this is possible due to enterprise cloud computing market, that seems to be struggling to keep providing services.
www.digit.in | October 2016 | Digit | 85
This Diwali, instead of buying a new TV, give HD projectors a shot. You'll be surprised!
Diwali is here and weâ€™ve got a list of geeky gifts prepared to save you hours of planning.
Spend Smart Ultrabooks Brand
ThinkPad X1 Carbon Intel Core i7 6500U 14" QHD
OS Windows 10 Pro
Intel Core i7
The sleekness of Ultrabooks comes at a price, and the same goes for the heart of your PC, i.e your motherboard. Strike the right balance between price and quality with these recommendations.
Weight Price (`)
512GB SSD Intel HD
512GB SSD AMD Radeon R9 M370X
Intel Core i7 6600U 14" FHD
Windows 10 Pro
256GB SSD Intel HD Graphics 520
Intel Core i7
Windows 10 Pro
512GB SSD Intel HD Graphics 520
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Intel Core i7
Windows 10 Pro
256GB SSD Intel HD
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Intel Core i7 6500U 13.3" QHD Touch Windows 10
512GB SSD Intel HD
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512GB HDD Intel HD 520
Intel Core i5 4200U 12.5"
Intel Core i7
15.6" FHD Touch Windows 10
AMD Radeon R7 M270
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Intel HD 520 Graphics
Intel Core i7 6700HQ 14" FHD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M 1.94 Kg
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256GB SSD NVIDIA N16S-GT
Intel Core i7-6500U 15.6" FHD Touch Windows 10
Pavilion 14 AL010TX Intel Core i7-6500U 14" FHD
128GB SSD NVIDIA GeForce 940MX + 1TB HDD
Pavilion 15 AB522TX Intel Core i5 6200U 15.6"
NVIDIA GeForce 930M
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www.digit.in | October 2016 | Digit | 89
Tips & Tricks
Go productive with our productivity tips for Gmail, and then know all about saving money while shopping online.
Want to create cutting edge videos, photos and web pages? Adobe has got your back with Spark.
Mysterious virus, overheating laptop and a dead iPod; we tackle them all Driver confusion
got solved for around five minutes. But it was then all the same. I don't use any anti-virus either. Could it be a problem? Now I have to right-click each time I want to open something. It applies only with the folders and desktop icons. And not the same within any application options where I can select any option. My laptop configuration is as follows: • Lenovo B40 80 (JVLU65UC) • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit • Intel Platinum 3825U • 4GB DDR3 • HDD 500GB –Joydeep Rabha, Assam
checking out the magazine of August 2016. I came across a tip on remote controlling VLC from a browser on page 68. And I tried but I’m not able to figure it out, exactly how it works. So, could anybody help me out? –Raveena
Hello! I have a small query regarding driver updates on my laptop. I have a HP AB 522TX running the latest version of Windows (anniversary update). The thing is, when I click on update driver for my graphics card in the Nvidia GeForce Experience application it says I have the latest update but when I check the same on the slimdrivers application it says that there is an update available, same goes for display, network and processor updates, I mean shouldn't the latest update of Windows pack all of that. Please advise. Also is slimdrivers good enough for updating my driver's or do you recommend something else? Thank you. –Pranav Kumar
Even though you might love your gadgets a lot, there are times when nothing you do works. Is it really the end? Not if we have anything to do about that!
Hey Pranav, a better way to ensure that you have the latest updates and drivers installed is by downloading them from the official websites or aggregators. Although third-party software makes it easier to download every update with one click, manually downloading and installing them leaves no room for error. If it sounds tasking to visit every website for your drivers, another way would be to download them from software aggregators such as Softpedia, Filehorse, Filehippo, etc.
Hey Joydeep, Although a virus can be programmed to mess with your system in the way you’ve described, it seems more like there’s an issue with your keyboard, especially the Ctrl or Shift key. You need to find out if these two keys are stuck to the base, making it difficult to select the files. If the keys are fine, then it could be a glitch in the OS, but we weren’t able to come across any such issue on forums for Windows 10. Try to reset your system to factory settings and then verify whether the problem persists. Not having an antivirus can make your system highly vulnerable to attacks and we would suggest you to download and install an antivirus tool. You’ll be fine with free solutions such as Avast, Avira, Comodo etc.
Keyboard vs Virus
I’m having problems with my laptop since the last month. Whenever I want to select a folder, more than one folder gets selected. So, I can't double click, otherwise several windows open up at a time. It works in a way as if I am pressing the CTRL key. Once I did a full PC scan with Windows Defender then it
96 | Digit | October 2016 | www.digit.in
Hey Raveena, we missed out a few steps to remotely control VLC from any browser. In the Preferences tab in VLC, select the All radio button at the bottom left and then go to Main Interface. Enable Web and then go back to the left column and Main Interface > Lua. Here add your desirable password to both Lua HTTP and Lua Telnet. Save and restart VLC. Now, open browser and enter http:// localhost:8080, where localhost can be replaced with the IP address of the PC you want to control. You'll be asked to enter a username and password, where you need to enter only the password you had saved, and not the username. You'll get the interface and now you can control the media playing on VLC player through the web interface.
VLC on browser Hello, this is Raveena. I was Set the password for Lua HTTP and Lua Telnet
There are several business and team collaboration tools out there, and we try the popular ones out just for you.
This time we chat up with industry experts from a hardware company, and a marketplace for ticket bookings.
Career in data science
Data, the religion that is also science, has its own set of commandments if you want to convert.
Arnab Mukherjee email@example.com
emember the Gold Rush of the 19th century? Well, maybe you don’t, most probably because it was more than a couple of centuries ago. During that period, people travelled vast distances and even migrated completely to try their hand at prospecting for gold. Their only motivation was to strike a fortune and get a much better life going for themselves. Well, I wouldn’t be too wrong to say that in the current day and age, data is that gold for almost all major corporations. You won’t actually find corporate employees going around the street hunting for data (they actually do and it’s called surveys). There’s no denying that major companies have completely changed the way they work since they have harnessed the power of data and analytics. Major decisions are being taken by companies as diverse as a software giant and a fast food retail chain by applying the same data techniques. With all this and more, it is evident that data science is a great career choice to make right now. But with automation looming large over the industry, is it really a safe option?
common dearth of awareness about what the role actually entails. Or if it is even an actual role at all. A broad definition of data science encompasses any kind of insights drawn from a large enough set of data. But that isn’t helpful for someone who wants to be a data scientist. Without the knowledge of the role, they would essentially be flying hazy at best, blind at worst. Mr. Arun Krishnan, Founder and CEO, nFactorial Analytical Sciences, says, “A data scientist is a combination of a computer scientist and a statistician. She has skills in Math, Statistics, Programming, Databases, Data Visualisation and Domain Knowledge, in addition to having good communication skills to tell a story with the data. A data analyst is probably someone with logical and statistical skills without the others mentioned above.” While the role of a data scientist does not bring much more information to light by itself, there are quite a few job roles that are related to the title. All of them might be called Data Scientists, but the roles can be quite different when compared. The following are not actual roles and only meant for getting an idea of possible tasks: • Data Analytics: While Data science is well established as a separate field now, there are multiple companies that equate it with being a data analyst. Typical responsibilities in this role might involve pulling data
Look Ma, I’m a Scientist! While data science and data scientists might be a buzzword, there is a
out of MySQL databases, becoming a master at Excel pivot tables, and producing basic data visualizations (for example, line and bar charts). This role is good to get a hang of things without much risk, and even experiment once in a while. • Data Wrangler: Medium to small companies that are making the switch to a better data infrastructure, due to increased traffic and consequently increased data, have the demand for a role like this. This role usually involves setting up the infrastructure along with providing analysis and is suitable for someone with a software engineering background. This one’s for the risk takers who want an opportunity to shine in this field. • Data Jedi: Data drives these companies and data is their product. Usually, in such an organisation, the degree of machine learning and statistics involved is high. As a result, this type of a role is ideal for someone with a strong academic background in those fields with a passionate desire to continue down the same road. • Data Consultant: Companies with a reasonable stake in data, but not data companies themselves, are usually on the lookout for this role. When joining a company like this as a data scientist, you will probably be a part of an established team of data scientists. www.digit.in | October 2016 | Digit | 105
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SA decision time
Should you buy the new PS4 Pro?
118 Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
122 The Indie Era
Should you buy the new PS4 Pro?
113 | Mobile monthly 120 | Piercing Blow
127 | Mobile gaming epochs 132 | Phranchise: Fallout
Cover Design: Anil VK
116 Battlefield 1 open beta
contents | october 2016
Bring SKOAR! To life by following these simple steps:
Whether it’s speed runs, graphics tearing or any other momentous grabs from our favourite games, these are videos for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
Stranger things as a game?
Now that’s what we call skill
Assassin’s Creed: Ezio Collection
Duration: 7 mins 19 secs
Duration: 32 secs
Duration: 1 min 41 secs
Why not! We’re big fans of the show here and these are very legitimate reasons for why it would totally work.
These are the kind of skills we can only dream of having. Just kidding we’re totally better than this guy.
Everybody’s favourite assassin is coming to the Xbox One and PS4 with enhanced graphics. We can’t wait!
112 | SKOAR! | October 2016 | follow us on:
K U VA H S T ORY
For independently developed by small teams, games from no-name studios are finally not just outnumbering big studios and AAA titles… they’re outclassing them, too By Manish “Trigger Happy” Rajesh firstname.lastname@example.org
course there’s games like Journey. Definitely looks and feels indie, heck we totally thought it was an indie game till we started writing this article. Turns out Journey was part of publishing deals with major players so no, not very indie either to begin with, eh?. So then finally what do we consider indie? Well we’re looking at small studios where there’s only like one or two people. A skeleton crew if you will, who do not care for the whims of publishers or licenses and all that. They’re not tied down by anything so to speak. The games these guys make, is what to us, define an indie game.
PHOTO IMAGING: ANIL VK
he term indie has been popping up all over the place these days. It’s become quite huge for that matter. There’s people calling it the Indie Revolution and the Indie Movement and whatnot. But first, let’s ask ourselves the most basic question. What exactly is an indie? Well, in theory indie stands for independent, so studios or companies who are not owned by a publisher would technically fall under this category. But in that case, companies like Valve and Gearbox would fall under this category too. They aren’t owned by any publishers and they pretty much do what they want. But we don’t consider them indie, nah they’re way too big. A company like Telltale for example, might have started off indie but they’ve increased in size tenfold since their success and they have 150+ member studios who work on licensed games. Doesn’t look very indie to us at the moment. Then of
Why are Indies so successful? Is there a lesson for AAA titles here?
Now it wouldn’t be right to just straight up say that indies are more successful than your standard AAA title. A title by a AAA developer and publisher is expected to make well over $5 million. There are many factors that come into play follow us on:
here. It’s incredibly rare to find an indie game with the same production quality as a AAA game. Which makes sense, considering a AAA company has much deeper pockets, larger teams, infrastructure, all that. Furthermore, there are many indie games being dished out every other day. A much larger number when compared to the number of games released by AAA companies. It’s much more difficult to find the good indie games among the thousands of releases than it is to spot a good AAA among the few that release every year. But despite all this we find ourselves gravitating towards indie games. Why is this so? It’s quite simple really. It’s not that we’re boycotting AAA companies and standing up for the little man (sure that’s nice too) but it’s because indie games are giving us what we want. Over the past few years all we seemed to be getting from AAA companies was rehashed and recycled goods. The name of the game is money, demand
twitter.com/skoar | October 2016 | SKOAR! | 123
The modern day internet friendly generation has some really interesting (and wierd) gods to worship.
Making great videos doesn’t really need fancy and expensive gear. just the right tricks up your sleeve.
What the what
Uber logo re-design: Before this particular redesign, Uber had a perfectly serviceable logo. While it wasn’t aesthetically gorgeous, it was fulfilling the chief requirement a logo has – to be recognizable all over the world. Let’s be honest, it is quite literally a 90 degree counter clockwise inversion of their previous logo. Predictably, social media went mad.
TO MOCK IS DIVINE Here are epic fail reactions to technology brands’ attempts to woo everyone gone horribly wrong
n the 21st century, creativity is all but a misnomer. Nothing is original, you see. So, there are certain similarities between global brands and their Indian counterparts. Take, for example, Whatsapp – a free messaging app that is available for Android and iOS phones globally.
An ambitious entrepreneur might come up with, say, Hike. Which, as you might’ve guessed, is also a free messaging app. Another example would be how Ebay spawned OLX, Quikr, or a spate of other online sales portals. Nowadays, brands spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying to come up with an iconic logo change, or new innovative technology. Sometimes though, they should’ve just copied.
A spatula is hardly a logo for a taxicab company, right? Or perhaps they took inspiration from Star Wars? Probably not. Of course, a press release came out almost immediately, explaining how this new logo is essential to the realignment in the brand priorities. Something about ‘bits and atoms’ inspiring such a logo. That might very well be so, but when your new logo resembles a badly done henna tattoo, there might be something wrong. This was broadly hailed as an absurd decision. But then again, it isn’t close to as absurd as compared to some of the others in this list.
Google Glass: This piece of revolutionary technology first came up in 2012, and was available to the public in April 2014. If you were lucky though, you could’ve been one of the lucky few who beta tested it for a knockoff price of a mere $1500. It’s groundbreaking features include being able to take photos, shoot videos, and err…. Google stuff. That’s about it. If you were paying $1500 for a pair of glasses, the least you could expect is a Cyclops style laser beam obliterating your enemies. Or just fulfill the primary purpose of a pair of glasses. To people saying that Google Glass is just a phone taped to your face – that www.digit.in | October 2016 | Digit | 137
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