Sloclap's Melee Action Game 'Absolver' Arrives August 29

Nearly a year ago, Paris-based Sloclap introduced Absolver, a melee-based online action game. We first tried it at E3 last year, but now it’s nearing completion with a release date set for August 29.

The game will put you in the role of a Prospect who eventually joins the Absolvers, a group of fighters tasked to “maintain stability in the world.” In order to become an Absolver, you’ll need to increase your melee fighting prowess by learning new moves through combat. The latest trailer, which also revealed the release date, is a primer of sorts on the game’s combat system.


When you start playing, you can choose from one of three fighting styles, each with its own special ability. Each of these fighting styles has a list of moves called a “combat deck.” These moves are split into four sections or stances, which correspond to your orientation in relation to your opponent. Within each stance are a series of combinations that you can chain together. Some of these combos will also naturally transition to other stances, which will let you chain powerful attacks together.

As you make your way through the fallen empire of Adal, you’ll meet other players who you can fight. These are perfect opportunities for you to test your fighting skills, but these encounters can also help you learn new moves by observing the enemy attacks. You can also learn new moves and combat styles from another player who takes on the role of a mentor.

Eventually you’ll learn enough moves to create a unique combat style of your own. It’s a constant cycle of learning from others, creating your own set of skills, and passing it on to other players. You can choose to tackle the journey alone or with a friend. When Absolver arrives in August, you can play it on the PC or PlayStation 4. A price for the game wasn’t specified.

Name Absolver
Type Action/Adventure, Online
Developer Sloclap
Publisher Devolver Digital
Release Date August 29, 2017
Platforms PC, PlayStation 4
Where To Buy

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NVIDIA to train 100,000 developers on deep learning

To meet the surging demand for expertise in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), US-based manufacturer of graphics processor technologies NVIDIA on Tuesday announced it will train 100,000 developers this year via the NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute. 

The NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute provides developers, data scientists and researchers with practical training on the use of the latest AI tools and technology. 

“AI is the defining technology of our generation. To meet overwhelming demand from enterprises, government agencies and universities, we are dramatically expanding the breadth and depth of our offerings, so developers worldwide can learn how to leverage this transformative technology,” said Greg Estes, Vice President of Developer Programmes at NVIDIA, in a statement. 

Analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that 80 percent of all applications will have an AI component by 2020. 

The NVIDIA institute has trained developers around the world at public events and onsite training at companies such as Adobe, Alibaba and SAP and at government research institutions like the US National Institute of Health, National Institute of Science and Technology and the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre. 

It has also trained developers at the institutes of higher learning such as Temasek Polytechnic Singapore and India Institute of Technology, Bombay. 

NVIDIA is broadening the Deep Learning Institute’s curriculum to include the applied use of deep learning for self-driving cars, healthcare, web services, robotics, video analytics and financial services. 

“There is a real demand for developers who not only understand artificial intelligence, but know how to apply it in commercial applications,” added Christian Plagemann, Vice President of Content at Udacity. 

NVIDIA is also working with Microsoft Azure, IBM Power and IBM Cloud teams to port lab content to their cloud solutions. 

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UMIDIGI C Note review

UMIDIGI has turned out some great-looking phones of late, and despite its budget price tag the C Note is no different. Also see: Best Chinese phones 2017 and Best budget phones 2017

Available from GearBest in grey or gold at the low price of £106.03 ($129.99/€118.66) the UMIDIGI C Note is a metal unibody phone with a 5.5in full-HD screen and some mid-range specs. It supports all three UK 4G bands – and on both of its twin SIM slots.

Before you jump in and purchase the C Note, remember to factor in import duty to the purchase price. This is calculated at 20% of the value on the shipping paperwork, plus an admin fee of around £11. Also be sure to check out our article on buying tech from China for some other potential pitfalls.

UMIDIGI C Note

UMIDIGI C Note

UMIDIGI C Note design and build

The C Note has the same premium design as the flagship UMIDIGI Z Pro, with an aluminium alloy body and a large, bright full-HD screen. It’s 0.1mm thicker than its brother, but otherwise has identical dimensions, and is 3g lighter at 172g. Also see: Best Android phones 2017

Slim screen bezels and gently rounded edges at the rear make the C Note feel great in the hand. The screen features the same 2.5D curved glass, too, which makes everything feel seamless as you run your finger across its surface.

This handset is very well made for a budget phone, with no gaps, creaking or flex. The metal should prove reasonably tough against accidental drops, while Dragontrail glass protects the screen.

This panel is the same as that found on the Z Pro, a full-HD Sharp IGZO display that is sharp, bright and offers decent contrast and viewing angles. You can adjust the colour temperature and turn on Adaptive brightness in the settings, too.

UMIDIGI C Note

UMIDIGI C Note

The rear camera protrudes only very slightly at the rear, but fitted with the supplied clear protective gel case you wouldn’t know any different. Unlike on the Pro you get just the one 13Mp camera here, with a 5Mp selfie camera at the front. Also see: Best mid-range phones 2017

You’ll see two grilles at the bottom of the handset, which sit either side of a Micro-USB port – one of the few obvious signs that this smartphone has a cheaper price tag. There is actually just the one speaker inside, with a mic concealed below the other grille. The 3.5mm headphone jack is found at the top.

UMIDIGI C Note

UMIDIGI C Note

A pin-operated SIM tray is found at the top of the phone’s left edge, and this is a hybrid tray that can accept either two Nano-SIMs or one Nano-SIM and a microSD card up to 256GB in capacity. The built-in 32GB of storage is already very generous at this price point. Also see: How to add storage to Android

We’re not overly keen on the Home button, which you tap rather than press – it just doesn’t feel very natural, though we’re sure you’d become familiar with it reasonably quickly. Either side of this are multitasking and back buttons, though with no labels it takes a little getting used to.

Built into this home button is a touch-style fingerprint scanner, which worked very well and very quickly in our tests. It’s a shame that the phone has no NFC support, since this would have enabled mobile payments on the C Note.

UMIDIGI C Note

UMIDIGI C Note

UMIDIGI C Note core hardware and performance

So the budget price of this phone is not at all evident from the outside, but inside there is some decidedly low- to mid-range hardware. Real-world performance is still pretty decent, especially preinstalled with the latest Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, but you’re not going to get anything close to that achieved by the UMIDIGI Z Pro here. Also see: What’s the fastest phone?

In gaming framerates the difference in power is most noticeable, but benchmark results are lower across the board. To give you an idea of what we’re talking about here, the UMIDIGI C Note is a much closer rival to the Ulefone Gemini – it’s nothing to write home about, and UK budget phones such as the Moto G5 perform better.

But speed isn’t everything to everyone, and the 1.5GHz MediaTek MT6373T quad-core chip (based on the Cortex-A53) and ARM Mali-T720 MP2 GPU are up to the job of daily tasks. UMIDIGI also specifies 3GB of RAM, which will help improve multitasking.

We ran our usual benchmarks and recorded a low single-point score of 672 in Geekbench 4, and a still pretty low 1872 points multi-core. AnTuTu also clocked the C Note at 39,691 points.

Gaming performance was lower, with just 11fps recorded in GFXBench T-Rex (the best phones achieve 60fps here), 4fps in Manhattan and 3fps in Manhattan 3.1. This isn’t a phone you’d choose for playing games, though it is capable of casual titles if you keep down the detail settings.

Its JetStream JavaScript score of 20.7 is about average for a budget phone but, again, on the low side.

Battery life is very good from the 3800mAh cell – you should get two days’ use with moderate use. (And you can always use a power bank if you need more.)

UMIDIGI C Note connectivity and extras

The only real thing missing from this phone in terms of connectivity support is NFC, as we mentioned earlier. This will be frustrating if you want to make mobile payments, but it shouldn’t be too much of an annoyance otherwise.

There’s 802.11n Wi-Fi support, as well as GPS, GLONASS and Bluetooth 4.1. More interestingly, this is a dual-SIM phone that can support 4G on either card (not all dual-SIM phones do). It operates in dual-standby mode.

Both are Nano-SIM slots and support all three UK 4G bands (if you’re buying elsewhere then check out our advice on how to tell whether a phone is supported by your network), but annoyingly you must choose between either dual-SIM or microSD – you can’t have both.

UMIDIGI C Note cameras

UMIDIGI C Note

UMIDIGI C Note

The C Note is fitted with a 13Mp Samsung S5K3L8 rear camera with phase-detect autofocus and a  dual-LED flash at the back, and a 5Mp selfie camera at the front. Also see: Best phone cameras 2017

At first glance the camera app is rather basic, with just Normal, HDR and Panorama modes and no real-time filters to speak of, but there’s also a Professional Camera mode which UMIDIGI claims can help you to take DSLR-quality images.

This gives you loads of control over your images, with sliders for everything from saturation and brightness to ISO and white balance.

To be honest, the quality of the camera isn’t that good, but for the money it isn’t bad. Even in Auto mode we saw natural colours and a reasonable amount of detail, though blurred edges are visible.

With HDR mode switched on things look much better, but there is a lot of image sharpening in evidence.

You can check out a couple of our test images with Auto and HDR settings below. (Click to view full-size.)

UMIDIGI C Note

UMIDIGI C Note

UMIDIGI C Note

UMIDIGI C Note

The main camera is capable of video recording at 1080p but by default is set at 720p. You can turn on electronic image stabilization in the Video settings (or rather Vedio settings).

The selfie camera isn’t up to much, with a very soft image. You can make use of a beauty mode, turn on anti-shake and control such things as white balance and scene mode. Also see: Best phones 2017 

UMIDIGI C Note software

UMIDIGI C Note

UMIDIGI C Note

It’s refreshing to see a budget phone supplied with the latest version of Android (7.0 Nougat) out of the box. This is a vanilla version of the OS, with no deviations from standard Android – it should feel instantly familiar.

Nova Launcher is preinstalled, but there’s nothing else in the way of preinstalled bloatware.

You can double-click to wake the screen, change the colour of the notification LED for incoming calls, and rearrange the order of the touch buttons below the screen.

Read next: Best new phones coming in 2017

Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter

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Free Video Editor

Free Video Editor (formerly known as Free Video Dub) is a simple tool for trimming footage and converting it to AVI, GIF, MKV, MP3 (audio only) or JPG format (still images only).

It missed out on a spot in our roundup of the best free video editors for one main reason: with Free Video Editor, it’s only possible to cut and tweak a single clip. You can’t combine video clips, images and audio files into a single project and export it as you can with a more powerful program like VideoPad or Lightworks. 

Free Video Editor is best for simple tasks like preparing a video clip shot on your phone for uploading to YouTube or Facebook (rotating, cutting and volume adjustment are all useful tools), but most phones now come equipped with apps to do the same job, limiting Free Video Editor’s usefulness. 

User experience

Free Video Editor is as easy to use as the rest of DVDVideoSoft’s multimedia software – drag a video file into the main editing window and you’re ready to begin. The interface is simple and uncluttered, with a main playback window, audio waveform, timeline, and a small selection of editing buttons.

Cutting is easy – just select start end end points, then click the appropriate button. Unfortunately, other than the aforementioned volume and orientation settings, there’s very little else on offer. The Options menu promises more features in exchange for a subscription fee, but DVDVideoSoft’s store provides no guidance on what these might be.

Another drawback is the lack of export settings – you can choose a file format, and that’s it. There’s no way to set the quality or size of the encoded video or rename it. You can’t export directly to YouTube either, and there are no ready-made profiles for mobile devices (though MP4 will be fine in most cases).

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How to use your Windows 10 PC as a mobile hotspot

There’s nothing handier than turning one of your devices into a mobile hotspot so that all your gadgets can get on the internet when a router isn’t available. Usually when it comes down to sharing an internet connection, it’s your phone or tablet that does the heavy lifting. But there are times when your PC could end up being the device of choice.

If, for example, you’re on hotel Wi-Fi. Or say you want to share your Wi-Fi at home, but you don’t want to share your network password and your router doesn’t have a guest mode. Those are just two possible scenarios that you might run into from time to time.

mobilehotspot Ian Paul/IDG

You can turn your Windows 10 PC into a mobile hotspot.

Sharing your PC’s internet connection is easy in Windows 10. The feature allows up to eight devices to get online simultaneously. Here’s how I did it using a PC running the Creators Update.

There are two ways to activate your PC as a mobile hotspot. The first is to click the internet connection icon on the far right of your taskbar. In the pop-up panel that appears you should see a tile labeled Mobile hotspot (pictured here). Click that tile and you’re ready to go.

The problem with this method is that you don’t know the name of your hotspot or its password. That’s why the first time you use the feature you should start in the Settings app.

Open the Settings app (click Start and choose the settings cog icon in the lower-left corner), and go to Network & Internet > Mobile hotspot.

settingsmobilehotspot Ian Paul/IDG

On this screen, there’s an on/off slider at the top to activate the mobile hotspot feature. Below that is a drop-down menu labeled Share my Internet Connection from. Here you can choose which internet connection from your PC to use. If you had a Wi-Fi and ethernet connection, for example, you could choose whichever you prefer.

Below that setting is the all-important network name, which is the router name everyone will see when they search for nearby Wi-Fi connections. Next is the password. Windows automatically generates a network name and password. If you’d like to change either or both of these options click the Edit button.

Fractal Design Celsius S24 Cooler Review

The liquid CPU cooling market has typically been divided into low-cost/closed-loop and high-priced/open-loop configurations, but manufacturers have attempted to bring forward products that were supposed to combine the best of both worlds over the past few years. Buyers of factory-filled open loops have been able get all the convenience of a leak-free factory assembly plus the option to open it later to add components. Yet there was never a best-of-both-worlds compromise on price, because those factory-filled loops deployed premium-priced components.

Fractal Design presents potential solutions in its 2x 120mm Celsius S24 and 3x 120mm Celsius S36 kits. We got our hands on the two-fan version in time for a launch-day review.

Specifications

MORE: In Pictures: 20 Clever Liquid-Cooled PC Setups

The first thing you’ll notice in the specs is that the radiator size is just that: the size of the radiator. Unlike most pre-filled open loops, the Celsius S24 doesn’t have its pump mounted there. Instead, we find a slightly oversized version of the water-block mounted pump familiar to the closed-loop market.

The radiator and pump are still equipped with standard G1/4 fittings to allow reconfiguration, just like competing solutions. And while the Celsius S24 doesn’t include extra fittings, it does include all the hardware needed to fit it to Intel’s three most recent generations of square-ILM sockets, AMD’s legacy rectangular-pattern sockets, and the new differently-spaced AMD socket AM4 mount. AMD users will need to remove the motherboard’s clip bracket, of course.

The Intel bracket is factory installed using a twist-connect design with locking tabs. Noticing that LGA 2011, 2011-v3, and 1366 all use the same spacing, Fractal Design even included a set of holes on its CPU support plate for LGA 1366. LGA 2011 and 2011-v3 have an integrated support plate.

The AMD bracket also uses AMD’s stock support plate, though “stock” is a loose term given that multiple designs have emerged. The support plates of most legacy boards have used standardized screws for many years, though earlier designs often used alternative attachment methods where the focus was on the clip rather than the bracket that held it. Even today, some AM4 support brackets have a threaded collar that extends past the motherboard’s top surface, while others don’t.

Fractal Design’s workaround for differing threaded collar heights is to include a special set of standoffs with stops that go around the collar and bottom against the board. These are polished, so they won’t scratch through the board’s protective mask and short any circuits. If you’re still more concerned about touching your delicate motherboard than mounting height, you’re free to use the traditional hardware that’s also included.

The Celsius S24 is powered at the pump, yet its braided sleeve perfectly conceals any hint of the embedded cable that runs from the pump to a breakout header for its fans. Pump speed can be regulated either by the motherboard’s PWM signal or via an internal temperature-based controller, and the pump relays its speed control to the fans. The above close-up also shows two of the four G1/4 fittings in greater detail.

Fractal Design’s Dynamic X2 GP-12 PWM fans are rated at 500-2000 RPM and a maximum 32.2 decibel (A-weighted). Fractal Design’s literature doesn’t mention the implication of a maximum of 35.2 for the pair, since doubling the number of sound sources adds 3db to a measurement.

MORE: Best CPU Cooling

MORE: How To Choose A CPU Cooler

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[Daily Deal] Get the 256GB Drevo X1 Pro SATA III SSD for £72.99

Boost your computer performance drastically. With up to 560 MB/s Read and up to 500 MB/s Write, the Drevo X1 Pro delivers super fast system boot up or software loading. It’s also more reliable than a typical hard disk drive with shock and vibration resistance. The SSD also supports TRIM, Garbage Collection and DEVSLP. Get the 2560GB SATA III Drive X1 Pro for just £72.99 with free delivery in the UK.

You may also be interested in the following offers

Get the 2TB Seagate Backup Plus for less than £70

The Seagate Backup Plus is a slim portable hard drive with USB 3.0 and 2.0 connectivity. Using the provided NTFS driver for Mac and you can use it with Windows and Mac computers without reformatting. The Seagate Dashboard software provides all the tools for local and cloud backup, while the free Seagate Mobile Backup app is available to back up photos and videos from any iOS or Android mobile device. Get the 2TB Seagate Backup Plus on eBay for just £69.99.

Get the Netgear Mini N300 EX2700 WiFi Extender for £14.99

WiFi extenders are useful to get rid of wireless dead zones in your home network. The Netgear Mini N300 EX2700 WiFi Extender is discreet and convenient with its wall-plug design and two external antennas for high performance. It also features a Fast Ethernet Port to connect a wired device. Save 25% today and get it for £14.99.

Get the DOSHIn 12000mAh Power Bank for £11.96

With a 12000mAh capacity the DOSHIn is a slim and light Power Bank can charge an iPhone 6 4 times. Featuring Dual USB port (5V 1A & 5V 2.1A) you can even charge your devices simultaneously and quickly. Compatible devices can charge up to 75% faster than standard chargers and a 4 LED indicator keeps you informed of the remaining capacity. It also protects your devices from power surge and short circuit. Get the DOSHIn 12000mAh Power Bank for only £11.96.

44% off the Devolo dLAN 500 Powerline Adapter

This dLAN adapter connects and integrates with your existing power line for maximum flexibility. Installation is easy, Just plug it, connect and set up your expanded home network. Forget the cables and enjoy Wi-Fi everywhere in your home. An additional device such as a Smart TV or game console, can be connected using the additional fast Ethernet connection. Get the Devolo dLAN 500 Powerline Adapter starter kit today for just £44.99 with free delivery in the UK.

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