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Amazon Luna is live, and it’s already out-streaming Google Stadia

Roughly one month ago, Amazon ended over a year of speculation by announcing the upcom..



Amazon Luna is live, and it’s already out-streaming Google Stadia

Roughly one month ago, Amazon ended over a year of speculation by announcing the upcoming launch of Amazon Luna, its own dedicated gaming-in-the-cloud service. At the time, Amazon suggested that Luna would launch "next month" in the form of a limited public beta, meant to reach a tiny subset of interested users before a wider launch at an unspecified date.

"Next month" is right about now, and sure enough, Amazon began sending random invites on Monday to users who'd previously signed up. Somehow, I received an invite to my personal Amazon account faster than any formal "press" demo opportunity. I immediately signed up and logged in to see what Luna's $5.99/mo tier will look and feel like when it launches to a wider audience in the near future. So far, I must say: It's pretty darned good, but not perfect.

One more big-tech fish in the cloud-gaming stream

  • Amazon Luna's starting menu.
  • Everything you need to know to dive in.
  • Full game selection in the "Luna+" channel's beta phase, page one. $5.99/mo to play each of this channel's games as long as you want, on up to two devices simultaneously.
  • Full game selection in the beta phase, page two.
  • Pick a game to see this splash screen. Amazon makes sure to emphasize that each game in its selection has all kinds of Twitch feeds running at any given moment.
  • Scroll down for more information about the game in question.
  • "Now loading your game. In the meantime, enjoy this ad from our sponsor… us!"
  • Amazon would really like for you to purchase the Luna-specific controller.
  • The sales pitch.
  • Profile selector, should multiple people want to share a single account.
  • Plenty of icons to pick from. Including a plunger-wielding turd! Sure, why not.

If you're oblivious to the rising trend of cloud-streamed video games, catch up by checking out our previous coverage of major players in the space: Microsoft Project xCloud, Google Stadia, PlayStation Now, and Nvidia GeForce Now.

All of them have an operating principle in common: users don't need a powerful computer or console to play modern video games. Instead, they can use a puny computing device—in many cases, a streaming stick or Chromebook will do—with a fast, reliable Internet connection. Connect to a server farm, and it handles high-end 3D graphics and gameplay. The rest is an Internet back-and-forth of your button presses and the server farm's visuals, leading (hopefully) to a near-identical gameplay experience on the weakest laptops, phones, and set-top boxes imaginable.

Amazon Luna's first strength, compared to the existing competition, is its incredibly clear sales pitch: pay a monthly fee to access streaming-only games on a variety of devices, with neither confusion as to whether something is console- or device-specific, nor whether it requires an a la carte purchase. Its second strength is its price-to-content proposition, offering 50 games in its current beta period at a $5.99/mo rate.

Instead of selling "performance" tier upgrades, like in Stadia or GeForce Now, Amazon has opted for a clever "channel" strategy. Think of how you access various movies and TV series on a streaming box (like, ya know, Amazon Fire TV). You pay Netflix, Hulu, and others a monthly fee, then visit their portals for specific content. Amazon Luna works the same way, with only Amazon's "Luna+" channel available as of press time. Amazon has already announced that Ubisoft will have its own Luna channel, which will require a separate monthly subscription (price not yet confirmed).

Cloud gaming, meet blast processing

I can't help but be impressed by this channel-based approach to game streaming. If Luna+'s $5.99/mo cost is representative of what we can expect from each channel, then that might mean a variety of $5-15 subscription options that users can pick up and drop whenever they please, based on the content available—and, really, this is what I wanted from Stadia from the get-go. Plus, Luna+'s seven-day trial is a solid period to estimate how well your ideal cloud-gaming setup runs with Amazon's service.

Speaking of: what kind of performance can you expect?

  • Supported platforms as of press time in the beta app. Curiously, while Luna works in desktop Chrome instances, along with Safari on iOS, the service fails to run on Chrome instances within Android.
  • What this menu doesn't show you: how easy it is to add an additional controller in Windows. Just plug a new gamepad in with a wire, or sync a controller wirelessly, and Luna will instantly recognize that extra gamepad mid-game.
  • 20GB an hour for 4K streams, you say? Those aren't live yet, but gosh, we look forward to measuring those.
  • Parental controls extend as far as blocking Twitch feeds on product information pages.
  • Luna does not yet include explicit ties to booting games and streaming them on Twitch. But settings pages like this make us think those could come soon enough.

I tested Luna through its dedicated Windows app (though it also works on most desktop Web browsers) on a computer with hard-wired Ethernet. The above gallery includes explainers about other supported devices. As of press time, it's a solid-but-incomplete list, with iOS' Safari browser making the cut, Android's Chrome getting left behind, and only Amazon's latest generation of streaming sticks and set-top boxes qualifying. (With no official Android app yet available, you're currently out of luck trying to sideload Amazon Luna on other set-top boxes.)

My home Internet connection, served by Comcast in Seattle, maxes out at roughly 275Mbps download, 10Mbps upload. That's decent enough for every streaming service listed previously in this article, and differences between each are arguably negligible. In my anecdotal experience, at least, I've found GeForce Now offers the snappiest controls and highest fidelity of the bunch, with Project xCloud standing out as an incredibly responsive wireless service (since it's focused on smartphone streaming at this point). But they all exhibit bits of lag and image artifacting, if you look hard enough.

I point all of this out because Luna is, by and large, fine enough as a streaming option in its very first day of public operation. In particular, I have found that image quality from its 1080p feed is incredibly clear, even with fast-moving content.

But my "fastest" game demo, the 2017 "blast processing" rebirth of Sonic Mania, also exposed Luna's struggle to produce consistent frames of animation. While the game looks quite sharp at any given moment, it rarely produces smudgy or blurry frames of animation; instead, the service has so far opted to drop frames entirely when iRead More – Source

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How does technology affect reading and writing?



Technology has dramatically changed the way we read and write in the 21st century. From e-books and online articles to social media and instant messaging, technology has made reading and writing more accessible and convenient. However, it has also brought about new challenges and concerns.

One of the biggest benefits of technology is the increased access to information. With just a few clicks, people can access an endless supply of books, articles, and other written materials from all over the world. This has made reading and writing more accessible for people who may not have had the opportunity to do so in the past. It has also allowed for greater collaboration, as people can now share their writing and receive feedback from a global audience.

Technology has also made writing and reading more interactive. Social media and blogs have made it possible for people to engage with written content in real-time, sharing their thoughts, opinions, and experiences with others. This has led to a more dynamic and engaged reading and writing community, with people able to communicate and connect with each other in new and meaningful ways.

However, there are also concerns about how technology is affecting our ability to read and write. One of the biggest concerns is the decline of attention span. With so much information available at our fingertips, it can be difficult to stay focused and absorb what we are reading. Many people find it difficult to concentrate on longer written works, and are instead drawn to shorter, more bite-sized pieces of content.

Additionally, technology has led to an increase in informal writing. The widespread use of text messaging and instant messaging has led to the widespread use of shorthand and abbreviations. This has created concerns about the impact it may have on people’s writing skills, as well as the way they communicate with others.

Another concern is the rise of “fake news.” With the ease of publishing content online, it has become increasingly difficult to differentiate between credible and unreliable sources. This has led to a decline in trust in the media, and has created a need for critical thinking and media literacy skills.

Despite these concerns, technology has also provided new opportunities for writing and reading. E-books and online platforms have made it easier for people to self-publish their work, giving them greater control over the distribution and promotion of their writing. This has created a more democratized publishing industry, and has made it possible for voices and perspectives that may have previously been excluded to be heard.

In conclusion, technology has had a profound impact on reading and writing. While there are certainly challenges and concerns, the increased access to information, the ability to connect and engage with others, and the opportunities for self-publishing have all made reading and writing more accessible and dynamic. As technology continues to evolve, it will be important to address the challenges it presents and embrace the opportunities it provides.

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How to measure human intelligence?



Measuring human intelligence is a complex task that has been attempted by many experts and researchers over the years. Intelligence is often defined as an individual’s ability to think, reason, and solve problems. However, this definition is not enough to capture all the aspects of intelligence. In this article, we will look at some of the ways that human intelligence can be measured and evaluated.

  1. Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Tests: IQ tests are the most commonly used method of measuring intelligence. They are designed to measure an individual’s ability to solve problems, think logically, and understand abstract concepts. The results of an IQ test are expressed as an IQ score, which is a number that represents a person’s intellectual abilities in comparison to the general population.
  2. Achievement Tests: Achievement tests are designed to evaluate an individual’s knowledge and skills in specific subjects such as mathematics, reading, or science. These tests can be a good indicator of a person’s intelligence in a particular subject area and are often used in schools and colleges to assess students’ abilities.
  3. Neuropsychological Tests: Neuropsychological tests are used to evaluate the functioning of the brain and nervous system. These tests can be used to diagnose neurological disorders, measure cognitive abilities, and determine the impact of injury or illness on a person’s cognitive abilities.
  4. Cognitive Ability Tests: Cognitive ability tests are designed to measure an individual’s mental abilities such as memory, reasoning, and problem-solving. These tests can be useful in determining a person’s potential for learning and development.
  5. Behavioral Assessment: Behavioral assessment involves evaluating an individual’s behavior, including their social skills, emotional regulation, and communication abilities. This type of assessment can be useful in identifying areas where an individual may need support or intervention.
  6. Performance-Based Tests: Performance-based tests are designed to measure an individual’s abilities in real-world tasks and activities. These tests can be useful in determining a person’s practical intelligence and can be used in a variety of settings, including schools, workplaces, and healthcare facilities.

It is important to note that no single method of measuring intelligence is perfect and each has its own strengths and limitations. Additionally, the results of intelligence tests can be influenced by many factors such as cultural background, education, and experience. As a result, it is important to use a variety of assessment methods to get a more comprehensive understanding of an individual’s intelligence.

In conclusion, measuring human intelligence is a complex task that involves evaluating a variety of cognitive, behavioral, and performance-based abilities. While intelligence tests can provide valuable information about a person’s intellectual abilities, it is important to use a variety of assessment methods to get a more comprehensive understanding of an individual’s intelligence. By using a combination of tests, experts and researchers can get a more complete picture of an individual’s intellectual abilities and potential for learning and development.

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The best children’s movies to watch on Netflix



Before the 1950s there were only two types of films, those for adults and those for children, it is since then films for boys have become a respectable cinematographic trend. Family, study, sexuality, love, rejection, growth of an ego no longer willing to come to terms with the will of others (especially adults), originality, over the years, teen movies have become the spokesperson for the present of their target, bringing at the cinema what the kids of one era after another wanted to see.

From action-packed special effects to the exploration of sexual identity, from makeover movies to first love dramas, to animated films and anime, there are many unmissable children’s titles. On Netflix there is a good selection, here are the ones to watch.

Little Women by Greta Gerwig

Although in the Netflix catalog there is also the version with Winona Ryder from 1994, we choose the one with Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson and Florence Pugh by Greta Gerwig from 2019 because, even if remaining faithful to Louisa May-Alcott’s classic and not abandoning the costumes, better approaches in spirit and staging to a more contemporary filmic language. 

The narration is entrusted to Jo (Ronan), who tells her story at the March house and that of her very different sisters. The great protagonist of this narrative but we can say of Little Women in general – is Amy, in whose shoes there is an amazing Florence Pugh. No baby-girl-boy-girl etc. can remain without ever having read or seen this cult. 

Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, by Ian Samuels

Sierra Burgess is a Loser is a teen-comedy that tells the hard life of a not-so-IT teenager at school. Sierra Burgess (Shannon Purser) is a very intelligent and somewhat nerdy young woman who ends up the (voluntary) victim of an identity mistake. Jamey, the most popular boy in school starts sending her a series of messages thinking he’s writing them to cheerleader Veronica. Once the exchange is discovered, however, she is unable to tell him, and so sets up a real parallel relationship.

Spirited Away and all Studio Ghibli films 

At the announcement that all Studio Ghibli’s animated cult films from Porco Rosso to My Neighbor Totoro had been included in the Netflix catalogue, we could only rejoice in profound joy. The films of the studio founded by Miyazaki, on the other hand, are little jewels of plot and staging, full of deep meanings and the result of boundless imagination. Watch them all. With the little ones have fun with Ponyo on the cliff, with the older ones let yourself be carried away by the wonderful stories of Kiki’s home deliveries, Howl’s moving castle or The enchanted city, but also by the amazing heroines of Princess Mononoke or Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Getting to know, seeing and re-watching the Studio Ghibli-Miyazaki films is a gift that you give yourself and you will give to those who don’t know them yet. 

Mowgli – Son of the Jungle, by Andy Serkis

This Netflix adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic is certainly not suitable for the little ones, but for grown-up kids. Forget the dancing bears and the tunes of the Disney animated version, Mowgli – Son of the Jungle is a ruthless and dark film about diversity and acceptance. The story is known, Mowgli was still a baby when he was stolen by the panther Bagheera from the clutches of the bloodthirsty tiger Shere Khan who had just exterminated an entire village of humans. Entrusted to the care of a family of wolves, Mowgli grows up thinking he is one of them, but it will only be through the famous ‘hunting test’ that he will be able to prove whether he is worthy of remaining in the pack.

Harry Potter – the saga

The world of Hogwarts and the most famous wizard ever arrived for Christmas in streaming, immediately positioning itself among the most viewed titles. From Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 1 and 2: all 8 films in the saga are available on Netflix, to watch and watch again while waiting for some news. 

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