Claws Mail is an open source email client with more bite than most. It’s not quite as slick as rivals like Mailbird Free, but whatever it lacks in polish it makes up for in speed and flexibility. It’s made primarily for Linux, but there’s also a port for Windows users, with an experimental 64-bit version.
Claws Mail is packed with tools to help you tame even the most unwieldy of inboxes, including quick importing of contacts, a fast message cache system, the ability to download all attachments in an email at once, and a powerful quick search tool.
That’s not all; Claws Mail is an open source project, so anyone can use its code to make plugins to expand its capabilities. Many users have done just that, and spent their free time building include tools that you never realised you needed, like one that strips attachments out of emails automatically, and another that alerts you to new emails by illuminating lights on your laptop.
Setting up your accounts in Claws Mail isn’t quite as straightforward as it is in Mailbird Free (which just requests your webmail login details), but it’s not excessively complicated.
Importantly, Claws Mail doesn’t place a limit on the number of email accounts you can add, making it a great choice for anyone with lots of personal and work inboxes to manage.
Claws Mail looks simple at first, and the basic features are all self-explanatory, but spend a little time delving into its menus and you’ll find dozens of powerful timesaving tools like advanced message filtering. You can create your own filters from scratch, including any combination of flag color, sender, age, phrase and many more. Custom filters can be applied globally to all messages, or limited to specific folders.
Another of Claws Mail’s best features is threat-scanning courtesy of open source antivirus engine ClamAV via the Clam AntiVirus plugin. Emails are one of the most common vectors for malicious software, so this is a very welcome extra layer of protection for your inbox that won’t conflict with your existing antivirus software.
It’s a shame there’s no calendar tool as standard, and its archive of add-ons can’t compete with the hundreds available for Mozilla Thunderbird, but if reaching inbox zero is your goal, Claws Mail is the tool for you.
The hype may have died down but there are still some Pokémon Go diehards out there, who will be excited to learn a Legendary Update is teased for this summer. Read about the latest Pokémon Go news in our complete guide to everything from gameplay and updates to accessories.
Could legendary Pokémon be heading our way this summer? That’s what one Niantic rep has hinted at.
Top tip: If you are going to be playing Pokémon GO you are probably going to need a power bank. We highly recommend the Anker PowerCore 10,000 or Zendure A2 – pocketable, high-capacity batteries that charge your phone fast and are also pretty tough. If you’re taking out young kids who have tablets but not phones, it’s also worth considering Mi-Fi (mobile Wi-Fi routers).
Pokémon GO news
Gen 2 Pokémon
80 Pokémon from Generation 2 are now in the game. They include Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile and more. Plus, there are a few new features in the update to the game:
New Evolutions: Some of the original Pokémon can evolve into Gen 2 Pokémon. You need to collect items from PokéStops (guaranteed on your 7-day streak) to evolve some Pokémon.
Gameplay: Monsters might react in new ways as you’re trying to catch them.
Item carousels: These appear on the main screen and allow you to select Berries and Poké Balls without going into your bag all the time.
New Berries: Two new Berries are available at PokéStops: Nanab Berries and Pinap Berries. The first slows a monster, while the latter doubles the amount of Candy you get.
New Avatars: Finally, there are more options in your wardrobe to customise your avatar (most are paid-for).
In an interview with Wired Germany, Niantic CEO John Hanke confirmed that the legendary Pokémon (Zapdos, Articuno, Moltres, Mew and MewTwo) will come to the game by the end of the year.
He reiterated what he’d previously said to Vice in another interview, that two things need to happen before these rare Pokémon are introduced to the game. One is PvP (player-versus-player) battles, and the other is gym battles. Hanke also told Vice that trading would soon be coming to Pokémon GO.
And those legendary Pokémon could arrive as early as summer 2017: upon accepting the Webby Award for Best Mobile Game of 2017, Archit Bhargava, Global Marketing lead for Niantic, said: “This summer will be legendary.”
How to play Pokémon GO
How to use Nearby feature
You’ll see a photograph of the PokéStop where nearby Pokémon are hiding. To use it, tap the three paw prints icon which will reveal on the map where that PokéStop is. It will also highlight it in pink so you can more easily navigate to it. You’ll get a notification if the Pokémon flees before you get there.
• When you first launch Pokémon GO you need to select the clothing for your avatar. A recent update allows you to customise this, which is handy if you want your clothes to match the colour of your team.
• You are then offered three Pokémon, of which you get to choose one to try to catch. Tap on the Pokémon and your camera app will open showing the Pokémon somewhere near you. Find it, then try to catch it. This is achieved using a PokéBall, which you flick at the Pokémon aiming at the circle that appears over its head. The smaller the circle the easier the Pokémon will be to catch, but the better your aim will need to be. A green circle means the Pokémon is relatively easy to catch, orange is medium difficulty and red is hard.
• The ultimate aim of the game is to catch all the Pokémon. You can hold 250 Pokémon in your inventory without upgrading it; likewise, you can hold only 350 things (such as PokéBalls) in your items without upgrading your bag.
How to get Pikachu
You can get Pikachu as your starter Pokémon if you are the patient type. To do so, ignore the starter Pokémon you are offered and walk away. Do this four times and you should eventually be offered Pikachu.
How to find Pokémon
• Now it’s time to go out and about to find Pokémon in the wild. Pokémon GO displays a map of your surroundings, and nearby Pokémon are shown in the bar at the bottom right with a photograph of the PokéStop closest to them. If the Pokémon is greyed out then it is one you haven’t seen before and is not yet in your PokéDex.
• You’ll find different Pokémon in different areas. For example, near a lake or river you might find water Pokémon, and in towns and rural areas you’ll likely find a lot of normal Pokémon. In our experience some of the most common are Pidgeys and Rattatas, but both can become quite powerful when powered up fully and then evolved. Don’t worry if certain Pokémon are never in your area – you can still hatch them via eggs.
• Crowdsourced maps were available that could help you to find certain Pokémon. These Pokémon Go maps included Pokémon Go Nests Curated Map and PokéRadar and PokéVision, while the PokeDetector app for Android was able to run in the background and tell you when a Pokémon was in the vicinity. Unfortunately, many of these have recently been pulled offline.
• For every Pokémon you catch you’ll get 100 stardust and 100 XP points. If it’s a Pokémon you haven’t seen before you will get an extra 500 XP when it is added to the PokéDex. You can also earn extra XP by completing a nice throw. You also get a number of candies which are required when you power up or evolve a Pokémon; the exact number depends on the Pokémon you catch.
• Soon enough you will run out of PokéBalls. You can collect more from PokéStops, which are usually found in towns and cities or places of interest. Alternatively, PokéBalls are among the items you can buy with coins in the Shop; you will receive some coins for levelling up, or you can make an in-app purchase.
• You can see which Pokémon you have at any time by clicking the PokéBall at the bottom of the screen and choosing Pokémon. The aim of the game is to power up your Pokémon so they are sufficiently powerful to win gym battles, which become accessible from level 5.
• Our best tip is to power up Pokémon in their first stage as far as you can before you evolve them, and you will get a much higher combat rating in return – however, be selective about which Pokémon you power up as stardust is like gold. If you have a Pokémon with a low combat power that has already been evolved it’s not worth keeping. You can power-up, evolve or trade a Pokémon by selecting the PokéBall icon, tapping Pokémon and then choosing the Pokémon in question and scrolling down to choose one of those options. If you trade a Pokémon you cannot get it back later, though you will get one candy in return. (Note that the Trade option has now been moved to a separate menu – view the Pokémon you want to trade and tap the three lines icon at the bottom of the screen and choose Trade.)
• Until you hit level 11 the number of XP you need to progress through each level goes up in increments of 1000XP. After level 10 you need 10,000 XP to progress to each new level, and this gradually increases. For example, to progress to level 20 from 19 you’ll need 25,000 XP, 50,000XP to hit level 21 and 75,000XP to hit level 22.
How to evolve Eevee
Eevee is able to evolve into a Vaporeon, a Flareon or a Jolteon. It can also evolve into Umbreon and Espeon, which are both Gen 2 ‘mon.
There’s a special trick that allows you to select which evolution you get, but it works only once for each evolution.
If you want to give it a go, simply rename Eevee and then restart the app before you evolve it. For a Vaporeon rename Eevee as Rainer, for a Flareon rename Eevee as Pyro, and for a Jolteon rename Eevee as Sparky.
For Umbreon, rename an Evee to Sakura, and for Espeon, use Tamao.
Just bear in mind that this works only once for each of the three evolutions, so you may want to wait until you have an Eevee with high Combat Power.
• Once you hit level 5 you get to choose your team: Team Instinct (yellow), Team Mystic (blue) or Team Valor (red). You will be prompted to do so when you first visit a gym. Choose carefully: you can’t change your mind later. The team leaders have now been announced for each team: Team Valor is Candela, Team Mystic is Blanche, and Team Instinct is Spark.
• You’ll see four types of gyms on the map: grey, yellow, blue and red. Grey gyms are unclaimed, but you can’t walk straight up to these and add a Pokémon because the person who just took down the gym has a while to put their own Pokémon in the gym.
• If a gym matches the colour of your team you can enter and train your Pokémon in order to increase the Prestige of the gym (which makes it more difficult for rival teams to win). If you level up the gym through training you will also be able to leave behind one of your Pokémon to help protect that gym from rival teams.
• To begin training in a friendly gym you enter and press the glove icon. Battle will commence, and you will use six Pokémon to beat as many of the Pokémon defending that gym as possible, so it makes sense to choose your strongest Pokémon against the defending Pokémon (for help as to what Pokémon to choose see Pokémon Matchups). However, you will add more prestige points to the gym if you can defeat the defending Pokémon with one that has a lower CP than it. Tap your opponent to fight (but be careful not to tap too fast or the game may glitch), and long-tap to perform a special move. If you know your Pokémon you’ll know some types are better at fighting certain types than others – you can pick which Pokémon you take into battle by tapping on it and selecting a new one before the contest begins.
At the end of the battle, whether you win or lose, the gym’s prestige will increase and you will earn XP. However, your Pokémon will also lose HP. You can increase its health with a Potion, Super Potion, Hyper Potion, Max Potion or Revive, which can be picked up from PokéStops or when you level up and are found in your Items (click the PokéBall and choose Items). If you manage to level up the gym, click the icon with the plus to add a Pokémon of your choice.
• If a gym is not friendly and you want to battle in an attempt to take it over, visit the gym and scroll left and right through the defending Pokémon to see whether your Pokémon are powerful enough to take it on. If you think you can do it, press the star icon to begin. You get to choose six Pokémon to take into battle with you, and if you manage to take out any of the Pokémon defending the gym you will lower its prestige. Again, your Pokémon will lose health, so you may need to revive them in between battles. When the gym’s prestige hits level one a win will turn the gym grey, or neutral. At this point it is free to anyone, so get in there quick to add your Pokémon before the rival team beats you to it.
• When you win your first gym go immediately to the Shop and click the shield at the top of the screen where it says Collect now. You’ll get 500 stardust and 10 coins, and your 21-hour countdown will begin. At the end of this time you’ll receive rewards for however many gyms you are holding, regardless of whether you have held them for the full 21 hours.
• If you can hold on to a gym for 21 hours you will receive stardust and XP in return. If you don’t regularly visit an area where there are lots of Pokémon to catch, for instance a city centre, this is probably the second easiest way to gain stardust (the easiest is through hatching eggs).
Pokémon GO gives you a daily bonus for catching a Pokémon and visiting a PokéStop. If you get this bonus for seven days in a row, you will get bigger bonuses. You’re eligible for the next day’s bonus from midnight onwards.
Bonus for catching a Pokémon each day:
Bonus for catching a Pokémon every day for 7 days:
Bonus for visiting a PokéStop each day:
A number of additional items
Bonus for visiting a PokéStop every day for 7 days:
A greater number of additional items (up to 60 in some cases) plus a guaranteed evolution item.
How to appraise Pokémon
A new update to Pokémon GO allows Team leaders Candela, Spark and Blanche to appraise your Pokémon. This can be handy in terms of choosing which Pokémon to keep when you have multiples of the same type, and also which to enter into battle.
Appraising your Pokémon is easy: you simply open the Pokémon menu and select a Pokémon, then tap on the circular three lines icon at the bottom of the screen and choose Appraise. Tap the screen to move through the appraisal dialogue.
The tricky part is interpreting the Team leader’s predefined responses. @PokemonGoNews has published this handy guide (via Games Press). Click/tap to view at full size.
Pokémon GO FAQ
What is a PokéBall?
A PokéBall is the ball you use to catch wild Pokémon. You can collect more PokéBalls from PokéStops, when you level up or from the Shop.
What is a PokéStop?
A PokéStop is a place from which you can win rewards simply by visiting. You might get PokéBalls, potions and revives, for example. You need to be near the PokéStop in order to access it – a blue circle will appear around it when you are close enough. When you have visited that PokéStop it will turn purple, and you need to wait a few minutes before you can visit it again.
What is the PokéDex?
The PokéDex is a catalogue of all the Pokémon you have caught, plus any that you have seen but not managed to catch. The aim of the game is to catch them all.
What is a gym?
There are neutral, friendly and rival gyms. You can claim a neutral gym by adding your Pokémon. In friendly gyms you can train up your Pokémon to increase the gym’s prestige and to earn XP; if you level up the gym you can leave behind a Pokémon to help defend it. In rival gyms you can battle Pokémon in an attempt to lower the gym’s prestige and eventually take over that gym.
Why can’t I add my Pokémon to a friendly gym?
You need to level it up through training first. A level one gym needs to be level two before it can accept a second Pokémon; a level two gym needs to be a level three gym before it can accept a third Pokémon and so on.
Why can’t I win a gym?
If you have all but defeated your opponent but it refuses to die, this is a server issue. If it won’t let you walk away, restart the game and try again. Try tapping slower on your opponent to prevent it glitching.
How do I get more PokéBalls?
You can get more PokéBalls at PokéStops, by levelling up or in the Shop.
How do I get more stardust?
Stardust is earned by catching a Pokémon- you’ll get 100 stardust for each Pokémon you catch. A faster way to earn stardust is to leave Pokémon in as many gyms as you can. For each Pokémon you manage to keep in a gym for a day you will earn 500 stardust. Note that the time limit is an overall limit – when it gets down to the last few minutes you need to adding Pokémon to gyms everywhere in order to get the most benefit. You can also earn stardust hatching eggs.
How do I get more candy?
Candies are earned when you catch a Pokémon, though the number you receive depends on which Pokémon you catch. You can also earn one candy when you trade a Pokémon, and candies when you hatch an egg. New is the ability to also earn candy by selecting one Pokémon as a buddy to walk with you. Candies are specific to a Pokémon type, so you can’t use Rattata candy with a Pidgey, for example.
How do I get more coins?
Coins are earned by levelling up and by leaving your Pokémon in a gym for a full day. It takes a while to earn them, so you can also buy them in the shop if you’re prepared to spend real money.
How do I level up? How do I earn XP?
XP is earned for basically everything you do. You’ll earn 500XP for evolving a Pokémon, 50XP for visiting a PokéStop, and a minimum of 100XP for catching a Pokémon (you’ll get 500 bonus XP if it’s a Pokémon not currently in your PokéDex). When you earn enough XP you will progress a level, and get various goodies in return.
What is Potion? What is Super Potion? What is Hyper Potion? What is Max Potion? What is Revive?
When your Pokémon either train or battle in a gym they lose health. This can be restored using a potion, super potion, hyper potion, max potion or revive. A potion restores the Pokémon’s HP by 20 points, a super potion does so by 50 points, a hyper potion by 200 points, and a max potion by whatever is the Pokémon’s max HP. A revive restores a fainted Pokémon, and now works when a Pokémon faints in training as well as in a gym battle.
What is incense?
Incense, available in the Shop or when you level up, draws nearby Pokémon to your location for 30 minutes. Only you benefit from it.
What is a lure module?
A lure works like incense, drawing out nearby Pokémon. However, it must be used at a PokéStop, and all players can benefit you’ll spot one by the pink and purple petals coming out of it. Be warned that the lure will be visible on the map to all players, so for your own safety it’s probably not a good idea to use one in a dodgy area when you are alone if you want to keep your phone.
What is a lucky egg?
A lucky egg earns double XP for 30 minutes. For a quick way to level up, collect as many rattatas and pidgeys as you can, then activate the lucky egg and evolve those Pokémon. You’ll get 1000 XP for each one you evolve. You can get lucky eggs by levelling up or in the shop.
How do I get more eggs?
You’ll get Pokémon eggs at PokéStops, but you can hold only nine at once and, at the moment, it is not possible to delete eggs you don’t want (for example 2k eggs to make room for 5- and 10k eggs).
How do I hatch an egg?
To hatch an egg you will need an incubator, which you can sometimes find at PokéStops or you can get them when you level up or buy them in the Shop. Bought incubators are three-uses only. To hatch an egg, click the Pokémon icon, choose Pokémon and slide across to the Eggs tab. Pick an egg. To hatch it you will need to walk a certain distance, which is shown below the egg. Longer distances are likely to return more powerful Pokémon. Add it to an incubator, then get moving to hatch that egg. Distance is tracked via GPS, and if you move too fast it won’t be counted, so no cheating by getting in the car.
What is a Great Ball?
A Great Ball is like a PokéBall but better, and has a more successful catch rate than a standard PokéBall. If there’s a Pokémon you really want to catch, use a Great Ball instead of a PokéBall. This is achieved by tapping the bag icon mid-capture attempt. Later in the game you also get Ultra Balls, which are bigger still.
What are Razz Berries?
Razz Berries can be fed to tough Pokémon in order to make them easier to catch on your next throw. You can pick them up when you level up and at PokéStops.
Generation 2 Pokémon
We had hoped the new Pokémon coming on 12 December would be the full set of 2nd generation. However it Niantic released them slowly, starting with the babies. To get some, you’ll need to collect eggs from PokéStops and walk to hatch them.
Here is the full list of new Pokémon which must be hatched: (you can see their outlines in the Pokédex if you have their evolved forms)
Cleffa (evolves to Clefairy) – 2km egg
Igglybuff (evolves to Jigglypuff) – 2km egg
Togepi (this can then be evolved to Togetic) – 5km egg
Pichu (evolves to Pikachu) – 5km egg
Magby (evolves to Magmar) – 10km egg
Smoochum (evolves to Jynx) – 10km egg
Elekid (evolves to Electabuzz) – 10km egg
No cheating in Pokémon GO
Niantic has written a blog post confirming that those who cheat WILL have their accounts terminated.
Pokémon GO creator Niantic Labs has issued a statement claiming that if you cheat, you’re out! After a raft of users publicly (and others not so publicly) demonstrated how they could just sit indoors and trick the game into thinking they were outside roaming the world, Niantic is attempting to crack down on the players supposedly gaining an unfair advantage.
The list, here, says reasons for players being banned “includes, but is not limited to: falsifying your location, using emulators, modified or unofficial software and/or accessing Pokémon GO clients or backends in an unauthorized manner including through the use of third party software.”
So, if you’re doing any of the above, don’t be suprised if one day your Poké pals take a hike. You can submit a ban appeal, but if you want to be safe, just get outside, we say.
Pokémon GO is a hit with Siri… well, sort of
Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, has a load of new responses to the question: ‘Do you like Pokémon GO?’ Most are positive, for example “I like playing peekaboo with Pikachu” and “Of course. That’s what it’s all about. Oh, wait, that’s the Hoké Pokémon.” But we also like: “Snorlax. Zzzz. Sorry, what was the question?”
How to change Pokémon GO username
It is now possible to change your Pokémon GO username, but you can do so only once. Tap on the PokéBall on the main screen and select Settings. Scroll down to and select Change Nickname. You’ll receive the message: ‘Do you want to change your nickname? You can change your nickname only once. It will be displayed to other Trainers, so please choose carefully!’ Select Yes or No to continue.
How much does Pokémon GO cost?
Pokémon GO is free to download and play, but it is possible to buy PokéCoins that will unlock special items within the game. PokéCoins are the in-game currency, and they are available without handing over real cash, but you’ll pick them up at a slower rate than you might like during the early stages of Pokémon GO.
Pokémon GO is a mobile game for Android and iPhone developed by The Pokémon Company and Niantic, a former Google startup that has since branched out on its own and is known for its earlier augmented-reality mobile game Ingress. Nintendo is also contributing with the development and manufacture of the companion Pokémon GO Plus (see below for more details on that).
Pokémon GO is a mobile app that you download to your Android smartphone or iPhone, but play in the real world through augmented reality.
John Hanke, founder of Niantic, said: “For the first time, Pokémon will roam free in the real world. Pokémon GO will allow players to capture Pokémon who inhabit parks, shopping areas, sidewalks and the countryside all around the world. Imagine discovering a Squirtle hiding along the waterfront in San Francisco, a Bulbasaur at Shinjuku Station or a Pikachu beneath the Eiffel Tower.”
In Pokémon GO the aim is to locate, catch, battle and trade Pokémon, and you are encouraged to connect with other nearby Pokémon GO players as you do so.
“Get on your feet and step outside to find and catch wild Pokémon. Explore cities and towns around where you live and even around the globe to capture as many Pokémon as you can. As you move around, your smartphone will vibrate to let you know you’re near a Pokémon. Once you’ve encountered a Pokémon, take aim on your smartphone’s touch screen and throw a Poké Ball to catch it. Be careful when you try to catch it, or it might run away! Also look for PokéStops located at interesting places, such as public art installations, historical markers, and monuments, where you can collect more Poké Balls and other items,” writes The Pokémon Company on its official blog.
Pokémon GO Screenshots
When you first sign into Pokémon GO you need to pick your avatar, and at the moment this cannot be altered later.
You’ll then get a choice of three Pokémon to catch to get you started. And that’s pretty much as far as the tutorial goes.
PokéStops are places you can get new items, such as PokéBalls. You need to be within close range of a PokéStop to benefit – when a blue circle appears around it you are close enough. Tap on the PokéStop and spin the wheel to get your goodies. The PokéStop will turn purple for a few minutes afterward, and you need to wait for it to revert to blue to hit it again. A PokéStop with pink and purple petals flying out on it has a Lure Module attached to it – these draw nearby Pokémon to the stop for 30 minutes, so hang around for a bit if you can.
At any time you can tap the menu at the bottom left to see which Pokémon are nearby, and how close they are (shown by one, two or three footsteps). When you spot a Pokémon on the map, tap on it.
To catch the Pokémon you need to throw a PokéBall at it, and hit it within the circle that appears around its face. The higher the CP (combat power) the harder it will be to catch, although your ability to catch better Pokémon increases as you level up, and later in the game you can also use Great Balls (big PokéBalls).
If you don’t want the Pokémon you can transfer it to the Professor in return for a candy, although you can hold up to 250 Pokémon so there’s no need to decide at once.
An alternative to transferring the Pokémon is to Evolve it – provided you have the required amount of candy to do so. We strongly recommend you power up the Pokémon in its primary stage as far as possible in order to get higher combat power when it evolves.
At any time you can click the PokéBall at the bottom of the screen and choose Pokémon to see your current Pokémon. A slide to the right will also show you any eggs you have incubating.
Other options here include the Shop, where you can buy incense, potions, more PokéBalls and the like, and the PokéDex, which is a catalogue of all the Pokémon you have seen or caught so far.
When your Pokémon are ready you can take part in battles at gyms. You can train in a friendly gym to increase its prestige – if you level it up you’ll be able to leave your own Pokémon behind to help defend it. Battles take place in rival gyms in an attempt to lower their prestige and hopefully claim that gym for your own team. You can see on the map when a battle is taking place at a gym by the whirlwhind, sparks and smoke coming out its top.
Below is a list of the Pokémon in the PokéDex for Gen 1, although there have been no confirmed sightings of Farfetch’d (083), Articuno (144), Zapdos (145), Moltres (146), Mewtwo (150) and Mew (151).
Pokémon GO Plus is a companion device that is either clipped on or strapped to the wrist and worn like a watch. Pokémon GO functions without the Pokémon GO Plus, but the device is expected to enhance enjoyment of the augmented reality game.
Pokémon GO Plus was developed and manufactured by Nintendo, and launched in the UK on 16 September at a price of £34.99/$34.99. It’s available to order now from the Nintendo Store, but the first stocks have already gone and new orders won’t ship until late October.
Pokémon GO Plus lets you play Pokémon GO without looking at your phone by delivering haptic feedback and flashing LEDs in a series of colours. It encourages players to look not only at their phones and Pokémon GO, but to experience what’s going on around them in the real world.
Pokémon GO Plus connects to your phone over Bluetooth and notifies you about events within the game, such as a nearby Pikachu. A button on the front of the Pokémon GO Plus also lets you perform simple actions such as throwing a Poké Ball and catching Pokémon.
Pokémon GO kinetic motion controller
The Pokémon GO Plus isn’t the only Pokémon GO accessory on the horizon. GamerReality LLC has developed a kinetic motion controller for Pokémon Go that you physically throw to catch a Pokémon in the app. It’s on KickStarter.
Pokémon GO Aimer
There’s also the Pokémon Go Aimer, which sits on top of your phone screen and improves your throw accuracy, which should result in fewer lost PokéBalls. The Aimer is available in black, pink, blue, red or white and costs $9.99 direct from PokemonAimer.com.
After a close second match. for the first 100 moves anyway, between Ke Jie and AlphaGo, the AI got the upper hand towards the end of the match and eventually defeated Ke Jie.
“Perfect Moves” From Ke Jie
In the first match between AlphaGo and Ke Jie, the AI scored a narrow win of only half a point against the world’s current best (human) Go player. However, AlphaGo seemed to only care about winning, and not necessarily winning by a large margin, which made it hard to deduce whether or not it was close to its game-playing limits.
Ke Jie said that in the second match, the AI played “opposite” of how he expected it to play to maximize its chance of winning, which means that AlphaGo changed its playing style from the first match.
Ke Jie was excited to play the game in the beginning and even thought that he may be able to win. The AI’s evaluation of Jie’s moves was also showing that the human Go player’s first 50 moves were “perfect.”
“For the first 100 moves it was the closest we’ve ever seen anyone play against the Master version of AlphaGo,” said DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis in the post-game press conference.
However, around the middle of the game, AlphaGo started to gain an upper hand and Jie became nervous about his chances of winning. Eventually the AI forced the human player to resign.
AlphaGo Expert At Playing Against Itself
The updated version of AlphaGo was nicknamed “Master” by the DeepMind engineers late last year when they unleashed it online and allowed it to play 60 games against human players. AlphaGo proved to be unbeatable and went 60-0. Among those players was Ke Jie, who lost three times.
AlphaGo “Master” learns mainly by playing against itself, which means that it has become an expert at finding its own weaknesses and then either eliminating those weaknesses or learning how to properly counteract when its match rivals try to exploit them.
Hassabis mentioned that even though the AI may already know all the moves it needs to make against itself to win, that’s not necessarily true when playing against human players. However, as we mentioned in a previous post, even though it should theoretically be possible for humans to “surprise” AlphaGo with certain moves, chances are slim that AlphaGo can still be surprised in a major way. The AI was able to watch millions of matches between professional players and play against itself thousands of times during the training of its neural networks.
Final Match To Watch
Even though AlphaGo has already won two out of three scheduled matches against Ke Jie, Ke Jie asked DeepMind’s CEO if he could play “white” (the first to make a move) in the final match, to experiment some more aggressive tactics against AlphaGo. If Jie’s tactics are successful, this could make the final match the most interesting one to watch yet. The final match will be streamed on YouTube on Saturday (10:30-17:30, UTC+8).
This Friday, there will be two other matches: One is called “Pair Go” (8:30-12:30, UTC+8), in which two iterations of AlphaGo will assist human players who will play against each other, and the other is “Team Tournament” (12:30-17:30, UTC+8), in which AlphaGo will face a group of five players, all playing together to defeat the AI.
Acer’s Nitro 5 laptop is designed for the casual gamer who feels lucky. This person may not game often, and may never have tinkered with a PC’s cooling system (as many seasoned gamers have) to get maximum power without singeing precious CPUs or GPUs. But the Nitro 5 will let these casual gamers adjust the fan speed themselves, giving them an unprecedented amount of control over delicate thermals.
Acer offered some tantalizing details on the Nitro 5, which is due to ship in July. With prices starting at $800, the laptop targets the growing number of casual gamers. These users won’t shell out for the huge, expensive Predator 21 X, but they still want good gaming performance in a PC they can tote around. Acer says the Nitro 5 is carefully balanced to give them exactly what they need: “all of the really important, necessary features without going too far overboard,” said Acer.
Those features include a gamers’ choice of an Intel or AMD rig, albeit with substantial differences in playing power. For those who need serious horse power for graphics intensive games, stick with a model packing Intel’s “Kaby Lake” Core i5 or i7 processors, paired with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 or 1050 Ti graphics for discrete graphics.
The AMD-flavored Nitro 5 is perfect for those who want to play e-Sports games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Dota 2, and don’t mind playing regular AAA titles with most graphics settings on low. This laptop comes packed with seventh-generation AMD A-Series, FX, A12, or 10 APUs and Radeon RX 550 discrete graphics.
Both the AMD and Intel flavors of the Nitro 5 support up to 32GB of DDR4 2400MHz RAM and Windows 10. Select models will also come with a PCIe SSD up to 512GB. The SSD models can also be paired with a hard drive (up to 2TB) for storage.
As for the display, all Nitro 5 models feature a 15.6-inch 1080p IPS display. Meanwhile, Dolby Audio Premium and Acer TrueHarmony sound technologies promise something better than the usual tinny laptop output.
The overall look of the laptop is pure gamer with a matte black chassis, a red hinge between the keyboard and display, and a red backlit keyboard with the WASD control keys getting a bolder outline for easier identification.
The most intriguing feature of this laptop, however, is a new thermal solution called Acer CoolBoost. This technology will let the user adjust the rpm-speed of the laptop’s fans.
We’re assuming Acer is building in some level of restraint to prevent reckless users who don’t know any better from, say, turning off all the fans and toasting their hardware. Still, anyone familiar with PC thermals is probably looking a bit askance at this, as if you were letting someone run with scissors. Or maybe it’s annoying that hardcore gamers had to walk uphill both ways to adjust the fans on their PC, and now amateurs get a free ride. We’ll certainly be interested to see how this works.
The Nitro 5 also has a Gigabit ethernet port, 802.11ac Wi-Fi (2×2 MIMO), one USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen 1) port, one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, and an HDMI 2.0 port supporting up to 90Hz refresh rates to a compatible external display.
The impact on you at home: The Nitro 5 sure does look nice and will suit not only casual gamers, but dedicated gamers looking for a new portable rig on a budget. If you’re interested in AMD hardware, however, you might want to wait a few months.
Around late summer or early fall we expect to see AMD’s new Ryzen processors hit laptops. Ryzen boosted performance by more than 50 percent over AMD’s older processors on the desktop; we’re expecting to see about the same difference in performance for laptops. The first round of AMD-powered gamer laptops will probably be premium models, but towards the end of the year there may very well be some budget gaming laptops rocking higher performing Ryzen chips. That’s just speculation—but don’t say we didn’t warn you.
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It’s been a pretty long wait, but the update to the Surface Pro 4 is here. Oddly, it’s not called the Surface Pro 5 but as you’ll see there are clear reasons for this.
Whether you’re thinking of upgrading from your Surface Pro 4 or trying to decide which device to buy as an upgrade from something else, our comparison of the two hybrids will help you make the right choice.
What are the differences between Surface Pro 4 and the 2017 version?
Compare the key specifications (see our table below) and you could easily come to the conclusion that very little has changed.
The two tablets look the same, have the same 12.3in screen, selection of ports and – aside from very minor changes – the same chassis.
During the launch, Microsoft said the new tablet was thinner and lighter. However, that’s not exactly true. Its own website lists the same dimensions for the two and, depending in the configuration you choose, the new device is either a couple of grams lighter or heavier than the equivalent old model.
So it’s not thinner and no-one is going to notice that miniscule weight difference. Can you spot which is which?
Not everything remains the same, of course. The main difference is that the new Surface Pro includes the latest seventh-gen Intel Core processors, which also means upgraded integrated graphics.
Battery life is also improved from ‘up to 9 hours’ for the old model to ‘up to 13.5 hours’ from the new Surface Pro.
The last notable change is the new kick-stand hinge which now reclines to an almost-flat 165 degrees. This position is called ‘Studio mode’ and lets you use the Surface Pro like the Surface Studio – it’s a more comfortable angle to use for sketching and drawing.
Other minor improvements are better sound quality from the speakers and more rounded corners.
The Surface Pro 4’s stand allows it to tilt back to 150 degrees – the same as the Surface Pro 3. The extra 15 degrees sounds like a small change, but until we’ve properly tested the two devices, it’s hard to know if it really makes a difference or not.
As before, there’s a choice of ultra-low-power Core m3, i5 and i7 processors. The fanless Core m model is available from launch this time – it came later with the Surface Pro 4.
If you opt for the flagship model with 1TB of storage, that’s an NVMe SSD which should improve performance even more compared to the equivalent Surface Pro 4.
That covers the main tablet, but both the keyboard and Surface Pen have been updated for 2017 as well.
Like the recently announced Surface Laptop, the Type Cover keyboard is now skinned with Alcantara – a man-made suede-like material.
This costs £149 (US$159) and comes in three colours to match the new shades for the tablet: Cobalt Blue, Burgundy and Platinum. They go on sale 30 June, a couple of weeks after the Surface Pro.
The new Surface Pen comes in the same colours, plus black. It costs £99.99 (US$99.99) – yep, it’s not bundled in the box any more – but there’s no confirmed release date yet.
It’s longer than the old Surface Pen and does away with the clip. New is its ability to detect when you’re tilting the pen at an angle (similar to Apple’s Pencil) and can therefore more accurately reproduce the effect of that on screen.
Depending on the type of pen you’ve selected in an app, it could mean you get a thicker line the more you tilt.
Which processors and storage can you get with the new Surface Pro?
The table below shows how the old and new Surface Pro models compare for their main specs.
Intel HD 615 (Core m3); Intel HD 620 (Core i5); Intel Iris Plus 640 (Core i7)
Intel HD 515 (Core m3); Intel HD 520 (Core i5); Intel Iris (Core i7)
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
8Mp (main), 5Mp (front)
8Mp (main), 5Mp (front)
USB 3, microSD, 3.5mm headset, Surface connector
USB 3, microSD, 3.5mm headset, Surface connector
How do they compare on price?
The Surface Pro 4 has dropped in price now that the new version has been announced, and the Core i7 versions are no longer on sale in the US.
The Pro 4 comes with the older version of the Surface Pen (unless you go for the Core m3 model), so don’t forget to add £99.99 (or $99.99) to the price of the new Surface Pro if you know you’ll need a stylus.
Surface Pro (2017):
Core m3, 4GB, 128GB: £799, US$799
Core i5, 4GB, 128GB: £979, US$999
Core i5, 8GB, 256GB: £1249, US$1299
Core i7, 8GB, 256GB: £1549, US$1599
Core i7, 16GB, 512GB: £2149, US$2199
Core i7, 16GB, 1TB: £2699, US$2699
Surface Pro 4 (UK):
Core m3, 4GB, 128GB: £636.65
Core i5, 8GB, 256GB: £917.15
Core i7, 8GB, 256GB: £1104.15
Core i7, 16GB, 256GB: £1231.65
Core i7, 16GB, 512GB: £1529.15
Core i7, 16GB, 1TBGB: £1869.15
Surface Pro 4 US models:
Core m3, 4GB, 128GB (no pen): US$699
Core i5, 4GB, 128GB: £979, US$849
Core i5, 8GB, 256GB: £1249, US$999
Core i5, 16GB, 256GB: £1549, US$1399
Core i5, 8GB, 512GB: £2149, US$1399
Core i5, 16GB, 512GB: £2699, US$1799
Should I buy the new Surface Pro?
Until we’ve tested and reviewed the new model, our advice is based on what we currently know about it.
It is, overall, very similar to its predecessor. That’s probably why it isn’t called the Surface Pro 5. The new processors mean better performance and battery life, but those are the significant two improvements.
Microsoft says the screen on the new tablet is better, but hasn’t yet specified how.
In the UK at least, the Core i7 versions of the Surface Pro 4 are significantly cheaper than the equivalents from the new range, and they’re even better value because they include a Surface Pen.
If you already own a Surface Pro 4, there’s no real incentive to upgrade unless you’re going from a low-powered model and are planning to buy a Core i7 version.
Nvidia has revealed a refreshed range of Battlebox PCs – preconfigured rigs made by third-party PC manufacturers, which are designed to be a hassle-free way of getting a new machine capable of churning out some seriously smooth frame rates.
The new GeForce GTX Battlebox PCs run with Nvidia’s latest Pascal-based graphics cards and come in two flavors: Essential and Ultimate. The former is the lower-end variant aimed at hitting 60 frames per second in Full HD (1080p) resolution in common competitive games such as Overwatch.
Whereas the Ultimate rig is pitched at those wanting much higher frame rates, or indeed to enjoy demanding 4K or virtual reality gaming.
There will be a variety of configurations for these PCs, and the systems can ship with a monitor in some cases to make them a complete from-the-ground-up gaming solution.
As for the minimum spec, the GeForce GTX Battlebox Essential PC runs with the following as a baseline: Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor, with a GeForce GTX 1060 (with 6GB of video RAM), 8GB of system RAM, and an SSD for storage.
Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Battlebox Ultimate turns things up a notch with a minimum spec of: Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 CPU with a GTX 1080 Ti graphics card, 16GB of system RAM, along with an SSD for storage again (of course, there will be options to add larger hard drives for more space).
Systems which come with a monitor included will have an Nvidia G-Sync capable display.
The previous Battlebox PCs (running last-gen 900-series graphics cards) were built by a diverse range of PC vendors, and in the UK that included the likes of Chillblast, Cyberpower, Overclockers UK, PC Specialist, Scan and more.
Partners Nvidia has named this time around include Box.co.uk, Chillblast, Dino PC, PC Specialist, Scan and Utopia Computers.
Titan Xp recently replaced the Titan X atop Nvidia’s desktop graphics card hierarchy, correcting the strangeness of a $700 GeForce GTX 1080 Ti outperforming the company’s $1200 flagship. You’d think that would be another milestone to celebrate. But Nvidia announced the news quietly, curtly declining our request to take Titan Xp for a spin. The writing was on the wall, then: Titan Xp, still priced at $1200, assuredly wouldn’t serve up enough performance to tempt gamers away from the 1080 Ti. It was built to correct a discontinuity in Nvidia’s line-up.
And yet, we cannot help but wonder how much additional performance you get from a fully-enabled GP102 processor operating at a similar GPU Boost clock as 1080 Ti, coupled with 11 Gb/s GDDR5X memory overclocked even higher. So, like moths to a flame, we went out and bought ourselves a Titan Xp.
Titan Xp, From The Inside
Up until now, Quadro P6000 was the only card based on a pristine GP102 processor. The previous-gen Titan X, also constructed around GP102, had two of its Streaming Multiprocessors disabled (for more on GP102, check out our Nvidia Titan X Pascal 12GB Review).
But as yields at TSMC improve, Nvidia has more fully-functional GPUs to go around. Titan Xp is a direct beneficiary of this. All 30 of the processor’s SMs are enabled, yielding 3840 CUDA cores and 240 texture units. Using the base clock rate to calculate compute performance, this gives Titan Xp an FP32 rate of roughly 10.8 TFLOPS (or 12.1 TFLOPS if you believe it can maintain its rated GPU Boost frequency though compute-intensive workloads). Unfortunately, with only four FP64 cores per SM, Titan Xp’s double-precision rate plummets to 337.2 MFLOPS at its base clock rate.
Like the Titan X before it, Titan Xp sports GP102’s complete back-end. All 12 of its 32-bit memory controllers are active, each bound to eight ROPs and 256KB of L2 cache. That adds up to 96 ROPs, 3MB of shared L2, and 12GB of GDDR5X.
Titan X (Pascal)
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
GeForce GTX 1080
GPU Boost Clock Rate (MHz)
Memory Clock Rate (MHz)
Nvidia bolsters peak bandwidth compared to Titan X by populating GP102’s 384-bit memory interface with the same 11 Gb/s modules found on GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. The company even overclocks them slightly to 11.4 Gb/s, resulting in more than 547 GB/s of theoretical throughput (Titan X topped out at 480 GB/s; 1080 Ti nudged that up to 484 GB/s). After almost two years as the only gaming card to exceed 500 GB/s, AMD’s HBM-equipped Radeon R9 Fury X is eclipsed by Titan Xp.
Similar to the 1080 Ti, Titan Xp boasts a typical GPU Boost frequency of 1582 MHz. Its base clock rate, however, is a more conservative 1405 MHz, according to GPU-Z. That’s a bit lower than Titan X’s 1417 MHz and a larger dip compared to 1080 Ti’s 1480 MHz, likely reflecting Titan Xp’s larger pool of active resources.
Titan Xp, Titan X, and GeForce GTX 1080 Ti all share the same layout. But whereas 1080 Ti’s PCB is fully populated, Titan Xp and Titan X utilize co-packaged high- and low-side MOSFETs from ON Semiconductor (NTMFD4C85N).
Also like Titan X, all 12 of Titan Xp’s memory emplacements are populated (vs. 1080 Ti’s 11).
A similar 250W board power calls for the same eight- and six-pin auxiliary power connectors, both of which face up, out of the card’s top. You can also see on the PCB where Quadro P6000’s eight-pin connector would attach, pointing straight back.
Titan Xp, From The Outside
Titan Xp looks just like this Titan X, minus the DVI output
If you were hoping for some sort of gussied-up exterior to show off that you spent $1200 on Nvidia’s latest and greatest, prepare for disappointment. Titan Xp is distinguishable from Titan X in exactly two ways. First, there’s a tiny sticker on the back plate with the card’s model. Second, Titan Xp sports the same I/O bracket as GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.
You get four display outputs, then, including three full-sized DisplayPort 1.2-certified interfaces (they’re DP 1.3/1.4-ready) and one HDMI 2.0b port. The original Titan X’s DVI connector is notably absent, facilitating more airflow through the bracket. Back when it launched 1080 Ti, Nvidia claimed the freer-flowing exhaust improved cooling and reduced noise. Our own Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Review showed that card’s acoustic profile to be slightly different than Titan X, though not necessarily any better. Expect a similar experience from Titan Xp.
The good news for system builders is that any gaming PC designed to accommodate one of Nvidia’s Founders Edition boards will take the Titan Xp’s dimensions without a problem. The distance from the card’s slot cover to the end of its cooler spans 26.9cm. From the top of the motherboard slot to the top of the cooler, we measure 10.5cm. And with a depth of 3.5cm, Titan Xp fits nicely in a dual-slot form factor. Whereas our GeForce GTX 1080 Ti weighs in at 1039g, the Titan Xp’s 1072g is a bit heavier (matching the Titan X in our U.S. lab).
The external similarities between Titan X and Xp show a bit of laziness on Nvidia’s part. Despite the marketing department’s attempts to scrub gamer-oriented GeForce branding from this card’s name, there’s still a back-lit GeForce GTX logo on Titan Xp’s top edge. Further, Nvidia couldn’t be bothered to etch an extra ‘p’ on the shroud—it still reads Titan X.