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Samsung Gear VR: The Best Low-Budget Oculus Powered VR Around

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Samsung Gear VR: The Best Low-Budget Oculus Powered VR Around

Posted on 01 April 2016 by PakBee Team - Total hits: 814

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Samsung Gear VR is the company’s low-budget virtual reality headset that was developed in partnership with Oculus. Unlike the native Oculus headsets, Gear VR doesn’t cost as much and also doesn’t need a computer for operation. Instead, all you need is one of the Samsung flagships (S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, S7, S7 Edge or Note 5) which can easily be plugged into the headset.

Even though the Gear VR has been available in U.S. for quite a while now, it is soon going to be officially available in Pakistan as well. Every one who pre-ordered the Galaxy S7 will get a free Gear VR with it while others should be able to buy it from Samsung outlets. Price of the Gear VR is expected to be somewhere around 20,000/- PKR.

Gear VR Unboxing

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To keep the Gear VR’s cost at a bare minimum, Samsung packs the headset in a lost-cost, simple packaging. Outside is a cardboard box with a plastic tray inside. Front of the cardboard box has the Samsung Gear VR logo, “Powered by Oculus” logo, a list of compatible Samsung devices and a render of the headset itself.

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The back is same as the front with the addition of some basic information regarding the headset, plus a few health and safety warnings.

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Inner plastic tray of the packaging contains the Gear VR headset, two straps and a manual.

Gear VR Setup

Setup process of the Samsung Gear VR is fairly easy. To get started, I simply inserted my phone (microUSB side first) into the Gear VR headset. Then, I pushed down a little until the clip on the opposite side of the VR headset gripped my phone.

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Once my phone was inserted for the first time, it prompted me to take my phone out again and go through the setup wizard. This took a while since my internet speed was slow and it was trying to download about 120MB of Oculus goodness onto the phone. Once that was done, I had to signup for an Oculus account and it downloaded a few basic VR applications. Finally, it asked me to put my phone back into the headset to get started.

Putting my phone back into the headset, the Oculus software took me through a basic tutorial on how-to get around in virtual reality. After which I landed onto the Oculus Home for the first time and I was totally amazed (more on the experience later).

Gear VR Hardware

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Like other VR headsets, Gear VR isn’t exactly small. However, since it’s an accessory for your phone, Samsung has tried making it as portable as possible. It is quite lightweight and has velcro straps which are easily fold-able (or even removable). Moreover, it is comfortable to use because of the cushion around the edges of the headset.

Samsung’s Gear VR is different from other VR headsets in the sense that it provides an untethered experience. It has an array of sensors on-board — Accelerator, Proximity, Gyro — which reduce the latency in the VR world. Not only that, but it also has a some basic controls which eliminate the need of the controller if you’re only looking forward to watching movies on the headset.

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Almost all of the controls are located on the right side of the VR headset. There is a 4-way scrolling trackpad, a back button and the volume rocker.

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Not to forget, there is a wheel up top which allows you to adjust focus according to your eyesight. Even though the Gear VR headset has a lot of space to accommodate glasses, I’d recommend that you try using the VR without them for more comfort.

Gear VR Experience

If you’re trying a VR headset for the first time or maybe you’re coming from a Google Cardboard, you’ll find the Gear VR experience to be totally amazing. I simply snapped my Galaxy Note 5 into the headset and was taken to Oculus Home from where I could access my library of VR content. I’d recommend that you use some good quality headphones — like I did — with the VR for a totally immersive experience.

Once I started playing the content, I found myself totally engaged with the virtual reality. Being the Iron Man in an “Avengers: Age of Ultron” fight scene was super cool. Running from the temple while I could see a big monster chasing me was a totally new way of experiencing Temple Run. I also did have fun watching a few episodes of “Shadowhunters” on Netflix, feeling as if I was in nicely furnished living room with a big TV.

Below are a few videos of the different experiences I had using the Gear VR headset.

Watching 360 Content

Virtual Tour

Watching Movies

Playing Games

Despite the totally amazing experience offered by the Gear VR, there is one thing which can’t be ignored and that is the display quality. It isn’t exactly great but it isn’t too bad either. The pixels are easily noticeable but don’t hinder your experience once you are immersed into the content.

Nevertheless, I would’ve loved to see a Samsung flagship this year with a 4K display for a better Gear VR experience but unluckily — at the moment — S6 and S7 flagship line-up offers a pretty similar virtual reality experience.

Gear VR Wrap-up

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Below is a summary of our key findings from the Samsung Gear VR review:

  • Best low-budget VR headset powered by Oculus.
  • Fairly easy to setup and get started.
  • Portable enough to throw in a backpack and carry around with you.
  • Comfortable to use, even for long times.
  • More than 100 apps and games on the Oculus Store.
  • Display quality isn’t exactly mind blowing but is good enough.
  • Small list of compatible Samsung smartphones (S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, S7, S7 Edge and Note 5 only).

If you already own a compatible Samsung smartphone and have cash to spare, I’d recommend that you get a Gear VR immediately. For what it costs and what it offers, I’d definitely say that the price tag is justified by the experience.

If you don’t own a compatible smartphone but would like to experience VR, I’d recommend that you look into Oculus Rift or HTC Vive which are coming out later this year. They do carry much heftier price tags but will also offer a superior experience in comparison to the Gear VR.

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Pakistani Software Developers: Wake Up and Read This!

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Pakistani Software Developers: Wake Up and Read This!

Posted on 01 April 2016 by PakBee Team - Total hits: 397

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Without continual growth and progress, words such as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. – Benjamin Franklin
Ali, the Software Developer

This is a story about Ali.

Ali is 45-years old, has 20 years of experience and has been working at the same software house for the past 10 years. Like many of us, he is a computer science graduate and works as a developer. Considering his experience and age, the people around him often ask why he’s still just a programmer.

For Ali, the question does not carry any weight anymore. He arrives at the office around 9:00 am. After his arrival he does two things. One, he checks emails and second, he checks what tickets have been assigned to him that day. While sipping his tea, he browses Facebook, chuckles at funny pictures and videos and finally starts work.

Around 1:00 pm, he goes for prayers and lunch break and returns back to his seat at 2:00 pm. At 5:30 pm in the evening, he shuts down his computer, locks his drawers and leaves.

This is his daily routine. There has been no change in this for the past 5 years.

In a judgmental capacity, we don’t want to be like Ali right? Instead, we might just feel a little repulsed wouldn’t we?

We think that being an IT graduate, he should have been a project manager by now. He should have been earning double his measly 60k. While passing down the cubicles, people often stare at him with thinly veiled disgust. With his out of shape body, older-than-his-age looks, and mannerisms that have grown way too old, even if we aren’t repulsed, we surely don’t want to be him.
The Choice and Opportunities

Let me tell you something folks, you shouldn’t be like Ali. For him, there was always a choice but he did not pay attention. That is why he ended up where he is now.

Being a computer professional is all good but there are literally dozens of things you could specialize in. Just because you were taught a specific language does not mean you have to work on it professionally. Whether it’s Software Development, Business Analysis, Quality Assurance, Project Coordination, Networks, Security, Support, Implementation or Product Marketing, your education equips you to take on any of these.

But academia can direct you to a certain extent. Passionate teachers and mentors can help identify your field of interest in line with your education and personality, but what you wish to become will be yours and your choice alone. The most important thing is to find something you are truly passionate about and not get caged in by what you were taught or what you are expected to do.
Our Failure of Utilizing Our Human Resource Capital

Pakistan produces 15,000 IT graduates per year whereas local market demand is around 11,000 per annum although it’s rising. Only a handful of these professionals will excel in their careers, and even less will make a name in the international market. The rest will be on survival mode or leave the country.

Why is that? Why is it that with this awesome number of human resources, we are not able to boost the industry like our neighboring countries? Or are we all like Ali, unable to have faith in our own abilities, choosing instead to cruise through life seemingly on autopilot?
Suggestions for Pakistani Software Developers

Here are some areas which are lagging behind and have created huge gaps for opportunities, and if IT industry can support this with its resources we may have a lift off soon.

The Tourism Industry

It is needless to say that how rich Pakistan is in terms of natural habitat, but once someone tries to search Pakistan’s tourism industry online, there is a woefully low representation of Pakistan.

Land Reforms

Admit it. We don’t know how to make use of the land to make it efficient. Even if we do, we do it in populated urbanized areas. We don’t develop the lands that are in suburbs or rural areas. The reason is that no one has ever researched or collected data about it. A few NGOs have worked on it, but with limited access. It’s time Pakistani software folks step in in a big way.

Agriculture

Pakistan is an agricultural land, and 80% of our economy depends on it. Yet, how many technology startups and people we see regarding this huge arena of opportunity? Do the math yourself. Tech can help.

Sub Urban Outreach

Not everyone understands English and only 8% of Pakistan speaks Urdu. How many websites and applications we are developing that can be understood by the rest of the Pakistan, where the mobile and internet is now accessible to every corner of the country? Did you see the missing opportunity here?

Religion

We are also a culturally rich and religious country. Each sect has its own practices and norms. Even the dress code is different. But we fail to see this as an opportunity. Technology can make a huge difference here.

I may have included healthcare and education here as well, but what I have seen in the recent years is that these fields have gathered good amount of attention, but there is still much work to be done here.

It is time Pakistani software developers realize that they are worth more than what they’ve been led to believe. This requires showing initiative, thinking of out-of-the-box solutions for everyday problems that you and I can run over. Problems that, once solved, can make Pakistani lives much easier. It really shouldn’t be a Pakistan where the average individual is still seeking out the right definitions of his career and growth. Its time we put our foot down and stopped the brain drain. Only way to do that? To provide the right incentives for those who dare to dream big.

Its high time we stopped being a disinterested Ali, Nadeem, or Saad. It’s time we made our rightful mark and changed Pakistan’s fortunes for the better.

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PTA Given June 2016 Deadline for Auction of Remaining 3G/4G Spectrum

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PTA Given June 2016 Deadline for Auction of Remaining 3G/4G Spectrum

Posted on 31 March 2016 by PakBee Team - Total hits: 376

3g_4GThe government of Pakistan has given a deadline of mid June 2016 to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for conducing auction of the remaining spectrum, as it needs Rs 65 billion revenue for meeting budget deficit for ongoing fiscal year, official sources revealed.

PTA has reportedly informed the government that InterConnect Communication; the UK-based consultant for spectrum auction has recommended holding the auction process next year. It was further detailed that now a sub-committee of experts is engaged in conducting techno-economic review to reach final decision regarding the auction.

However the Finance Ministry is sticking to its guns and is reportedly pressing the Authority for conducting auction in the current financial year.

According to sources Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has chaired a meeting to review current status and progress of the next spectrum auction. Minister of State for IT, Anusha Rahman Khan and Chairman PTA Syed Ismail Shah briefed the meeting on the progress regarding the upcoming spectrum auction. The meeting noted the progress made on implementation framework being developed by Ministry of IT and PTA.

The Finance Minister directed to ensure complete transparency while concluding spectrum auction processes in the current financial year at latest by mid June.

According to sources, the IT Ministry did a follow up meeting on Tuesday where PTA officials briefed the participants on different aspects of the auction process.

According to sources, officials are engaged in finalizing different stages and timelines which include advertisement, Information of Memorandum (IM) etc. In light of these developments, IT ministry is drafting policy directives and would issue details once the process get green signal from PTA.

Finance Minister is going to chair another meeting on spectrum auction on Thursday, where PTA and IT ministry would give briefing on the process.

Fearing poor market response, the Auction Advisory Committee decided not to give a go-ahead for the auction of remaining Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) Spectrum Auction and decided to form sub-committee of experts for conducting techno-economic review to reach final decision regarding the auction.

Also Read: Pakistani Market isn’t Ready for Another 3G/4G Auction: PTA Consultants

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PTCL Gaming Lounge Brings New Online Multiplayer Gaming Servers

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PTCL Gaming Lounge Brings New Online Multiplayer Gaming Servers

Posted on 25 March 2016 by PakBee - Total hits: 501

Great news for Pakistani gamers wanting to experience a whole new list of titles on a multiplayer platform because PTCL has introduced new online game servers for multiple titles.

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On PTCL’s gaming lounge homepage, the company has mentioned that PGL has relaunched CS:GO, suggesting that other dedicated servers for games are also going to be introduced in the near future. If you take a look at the games list below, you will see that several more have been added in order to improve your online experience.

The list has been updated as follows:

Counter Strike titles

Counter Strike 1.6
Counter Strike Source
Counter Strike Global Offensive

Call of Duty titles

Call of Duty 1
Call of Duty 2
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3

Other games

Team Fortress 2
Battlefield 3
MOHAA (Medal of Honor: Allied Assault)
GTA SA:MP
Minecraft
Netplay Arcade Games Kaillera
Battlenet and Westwood
Just Cause 2

Getting Registered with PTCL Gaming Lounge

In order to start playing, you will first have to register yourself by visiting this link. You will have to install the game client software on PC to get access to Gaming Lounge servers.

Requirements for using this service include users having a working telephone line as well as a subscription to any high-speed broadband packages. The Gaming Lounge is open to all users, not just PTCL’s. However, PTCL users can avail special discounts for the service.

PTCL has really done its homework by laying down a long list of rules and conditions that you will have to follow to the letter if you want to remain registered to the service. Currently, the service is open to everyone but after March 31, 2016, PTCL will be including charges. We’ll be updating you with further details on PTCL Gaming Lounge when they become available.

As for now, check out these games that PTCL has introduced and hopefully, more titles will be added in the near future.

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Microsoft Open Sources .NET, Offers Free Visual Studio & Support for Android, Linux, Mac, iOS

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Microsoft Open Sources .NET, Offers Free Visual Studio & Support for Android, Linux, Mac, iOS

Posted on 14 November 2014 by PakBee - Total hits: 1,369

Microsoft Open Sources

In what is seen as a monumental shift in strategy, Microsoft has announced plans to open source the entire .NET stack. In addition, the company is going to give developers a way to use .NET and Visual Studio to develop software that runs not only on Windows, but also on Mac OSX, Android, Linux and iOS.

Prior to this, you could only build apps with .NET for Windows desktops and servers. If you wanted to run .NET on other platforms like OSX, Linux, iOS and Android, you had to use a third party run time called Mono. While it was a good compromise, native .NET development on these platforms is going to be significantly better.

Microsoft is also releasing a fully featured Community version of Visual Studio 2013 which will be free to use for indie devs, students and small companies. The version will include access to thousands of plugins, Resharper and other tools that were previously behind a paywall. The familiar and quite feature-limited Express versions of Visual Studio will eventually be replaced by the Community edition.

The company has also released previews for Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 2015. New additions in the feature set will make it easy for developers to write apps that run on Android, Windows and iOS.

The changes come after Satya Nadella took over as CEO, and are part of a broader strategy shift that aims to put the focus on cloud and mobile solutions. Traditional money makers like Windows and Office has been undergoing major changes, with Office being offered for free for Android and iOS recently.

Overall, this is a huge deal. Microsoft’s software development platforms and developer tools are absolutely amazing, as anyone who has worked with them will tell you. By allowing them to be used for development for other platforms, Microsoft is making a lot of developers very happy. It also shows that the company is leaving its legacy roots behind and embracing the requirements of the new internet age.

via ProPakistani.PK

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