Tech News

Hell yeah, the Kindle lock screen can now display book covers

Mmm, I love a bit of news that seems tailor made just for me. So here it is: the Kindle lock screen can now display book covers. If you’re lucky.

Some of you will read that and shrug and wonder why you even bothered clicking on this dumb article. Others? Well, let me put it this way: I’m currently shirtless, covered in sesame oil, and being told to get out of this boulangerie or the police will be called.

This delicious, greasy update is currently rolling out, according to the lovely folks at Good e-Reader. This will occur on a gamut of Kindle devices, specifically the Kindle (eighth and tenth generations), Kindle Paperwhite (generations seven through 10), Kindle Oasis (generations eight though ten), and the seventh generation Kindle Voyage.

If you want to see if you’re able to have a book cover on your Kindle lock screen, you’ll need to head into Settings. From there, select Device Options. And — if you’re lucky — you may be able to turn on the Show Cover option.

Enable this and it’ll replace your Amazon Kindle lock screen image with the cover of the book you’re currently reading.

Don’t see it? First off, make sure your Kindle is supported (that info is earlier in the article). Secondly, ensure the device is updated to the latest firmware. Still nothing? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re gonna have to wait for a little while.

Unfortunately, neither of the two Kindles I have in the house have got the option to display book covers, but I’m waiting with bated breath for that moment. God, it’s gonna be glorious. And I’m happy we can share this moment together.

This might sound hyperbolic, but Amazon’s Kindle lock screen is one of the worst things to have ever existed. First things first, I despise the fact that you have to pay to remove adverts on a device you own. I’m truly baffled why this hasn’t become a regulatory issue.

Oh, wait, money. That’s why.

Anyway, even if you have a Kindle “without special offers” (god, even that language is disgusting), you’ve had to spend years looking at dire images like this:


Diablo II Resurrected alpha impressions: Back to Hell we go

Diablo II Resurrected‘s first technical alpha wrapped up earlier this week, giving us a brief glimpse at the game Diablo fans have been requesting for years. This is the first of at least two Diablo II Resurrected tests Blizzard plans to hold, and this one was fairly limited in scope – not only did we just have the weekend to check out the game, but we were limited to three of the game’s seven classes and just two of its Acts.

Still, that was more than enough to get a feel for how the remaster is progressing, and though I didn’t get to play as much as I wanted thanks to being sick during the technical alpha’s weekend, I played enough to say that this is shaping up to be every bit as exciting as Diablo fans were hoping it would be.

It really feels like Diablo II Resurrected is the Diablo II many of us remember, only with souped-up graphics. If you’ve played Diablo II before, it might not even seem like the graphics have changed all that dramatically when you first boot up Diablo II Resurrected. When I was playing through the opening stages of the technical alpha and broadcasting it in Discord for my friends, we all commented on the fact that Diablo II Resurrected looks like what we remember the original Diablo II looked like when we first played it 20 years ago.

Obviously, Diablo II Resurrected looks a lot different from the original game that released back in 2000, and when you see images of the game side-by-side, those differences are clear. You can see the difference between the two versions in-game anytime you want with a simple keystroke. If Blizzard’s goal with Diablo II Resurrected was to make it feel like you were coming home again, it definitely succeeded.

I think the new graphics look great – they almost have a retro feel to them despite being one of the only truly new components of Diablo II Resurrected. Most of the original game is left intact, which means that a lot of the quality of life features implemented in Diablo II‘s spiritual successors, descendants, and derivatives aren’t present here.

Think those Town Portal scrolls should stack? Well, they don’t, and until you buy a tome to store them in, each of those scrolls will be taking up one slot in your very limited inventory. In Diablo II you have a stamina bar that you have to manage, and when it becomes fully depleted, you can’t run anymore. I’d entirely forgotten about the stamina bar before I booted up Diablo II Resurrected for the first time, because it’s something that I haven’t seen since the last time I played the original nearly two decades ago.

I’m positive there’s a large contingent of players out there who are thrilled by the fact that Blizzard hasn’t made a ton of quality of life changes to the game, but for any newcomers who might be thinking about diving in for the first time when Diablo II Resurrected releases, it’s important to know that this game – despite being a remaster – is still very much a product of its time. Some of the mechanics feel a little bit clunky at first just because we’ve had 20 years of refinement in the action RPG space since Diablo II was the big dog on the block.

Outside the graphics update, it isn’t as if Diablo II Resurrected is exactly the same as Diablo II, though they are close. Blizzard has made a few common sense quality of life changes to the game to make things flow a little smoother. There’s an auto-pickup option for gold now, and I can safely say that I will never play with that option off. There’s also a shared stash now, which is a big win for people who like to maintain multiple characters (and who doesn’t?).

Outside of that handful of quality of life changes, though, Diablo II Resurrected sticks to the original Diablo II formula and does not deviate from it. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so, but for me this is a trip down memory lane, not a new experience that I’ve been hearing about for 20 years and am now only checking out with the remaster. I think some new Diablo II players might be turned off by how slow and methodical this game can be at times, especially if they’re coming from faster-paced games like Diablo 3 and Path of Exile.

With that being said, I would like to see a couple more quality of life improvements made to the game before it launches. The biggest thing I’d like to see is an show loot toggle that I can set and forget. As it is, you need to hold the Alt key to see the loot that’s on the ground, and I’d prefer to just see that information all the time. I’d like to see that extended to lootable containers like chests and hidden stashes as well, because even with the new graphics, they’re easy to miss.

Aside from some small quality of life tweaks, though, I think Blizzard’s approach to Diablo II Resurrected – that being “make it look pretty on a widescreen monitor but leave most of the other stuff alone” – is the right one. We already know that Diablo II is a fantastic game that doesn’t need many changes to be good in 2021.

While we only got to play the first couple of Acts in the technical alpha, I do wonder if Diablo II Resurrected‘s endgame is going to be enough to keep players interested in the long run. After all, we’ve had 20 years of action RPGs that have only expanded the endgame grind. Path of Exile is the best example of this, because with that title, the main story can largely be viewed as the prelude to endgame maps, which these days are the true meat of the game.

You can play a game like Path of Exile (or even Diablo III) forever thanks to endgame grinds that never really end. While you can also play Diablo II forever, it doesn’t have that same endgame structure to keep people hooked. Does it need that structure, though? Does Diablo II Resurrected need to compete with newer ARPGs on the never-ending grind front?

I’m not convinced it does. Of course, it’s been a long time since I last played Diablo II, so perhaps I’m forgetting just how addicting this game is. For now, all I can say is that whether it keeps me occupied for 30 hours or 300, I’m looking forward to playing the full version of Diablo II Resurrected when it launches later this year.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Tech News

NVIDIA’s answer to RTX 30 restock hell is some familiar old GPUs

NVIDIA may not be able to keep up with GeForce RTX 30 series graphics card demand, but its stopgap fix for the frustrating shortage will involve some familiar old GPUs rather than a sudden restock of the cutting-edge chips. As anybody who has tried to upgrade their PC or outfit their new-build with an RTX 30 GPU has discovered over the past few months, getting hold of one of the prized graphics cards is about as tricky as finding a new Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 at retail.

It’s been enough to put a serious dampener on enthusiasm for the new GPUs, given the restock efforts have generally varied from impossible through to inept. Whether it’s random sales whenever stock may have come in, wait-lists that never seem to end, or odd lottery approaches, in the end it always seems to be the bots and resellers that get their hands on the lion’s share.

Now, NVIDIA is taking steps to try to alleviate the GPU shortage, but it’s not with more RTX 30 chips. Instead, the company plans to stem some of the tide with older GPUs, releasing extra stock of those surpassed – but still available – models to its board partners. As a NVIDIA spokesperson pointed out to PC World, chips like the GeForce RTX 2060 and GTX 1050 Ti were never actually officially declared end-of-life (EOL).

“We’re just meeting market demand which remains extremely high,” the spokesperson confirmed.

Clearly, this isn’t going to satisfy everyone. The RTX 2060 first arrived back in January 2019, making it more than a year old; the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, meanwhile, was brand new back in 2016. If you’ve been hoping for the bleeding-edge in graphics, neither is going to hold a candle to the capabilities of the well-reviewed GeForce RTX 30.

All the same, there are some potential advantages. One will be ease of upgrades, since those older cards have more accessible slot compatibility and power requirements. If you’ve been weighing whether to upgrade your whole PC or build a brand new one, a cheaper GeForce might hold you over until stock levels settle in the future.

The other should – eventually – be price. Since it’s not like these are new chips, boards based on them should be much more affordable. We’ll likely have to wait for manufacturers to catch up with that fresh supply of familiar older silicon first, of course. For those still holding out for a GeForce RTX 30, meanwhile, a lot more patience may be required: it looks like the restock situation is going to get worse early in 2021 before it gets any better.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Tech News

What the hell is a Chief Meeting Designer?

For those of us in the startup scene, it’s become pretty mundane to deal with all sorts of ‘wizards’ and ‘ninjas’ on a daily basis. But despite the onslaught of ‘quirky’ and ‘free-thinking’ job titles, I can’t help but to stop every once and again and wonder “wait… wtf is this person’s job exactly?”

That’s why I got curious when I came across Juraj Holub, the Chief Meeting Designer at Slido. Was this yet another case of a fluffed-up startup jargon title? What does someone in that role do all day? Are they taken seriously at all? With all of these questions racing around in my head, I reached out to Holub to get to the bottom of this.

Now, to be honest, the first idea that came to mind when I heard ‘Chief Meeting Designer’ was pretty ridiculous. I simply imagined a dude who’d barge into even the lowliest internal company meetings, just to tell people they were doing their quick catch up wrong — then he’d launch into a 20-minute slideshow, presenting in excruciating detail how it should be done.

Fortunately for Holub, Slido, and my faith in mankind, my guess was completely off. 

Why on earth would a startup need a Chief Meeting Designer?

“The title actually came about because of the mantra we’ve had since the very early days of Slido. Focus on the success of the client and everything else will follow: growth, revenue, and so on,” Holub tells me from his home in Slovakia, where Slido is headquartered.

But how does that title relate to client success? Holub explains that Slido is a Q&A and polling platform that helps people to get the most out of events — and more recently, internal meetings — by bridging the gap between speakers and their audiences.