Blade Shadow Ghost turns your TV into a snappy cloudgaming PC

first_img Share your voice Post a comment Blade Shadow Ghost delivers great gaming performance… The Ghost itself costs $140 (£110), while the service runs $35 (£27) per month. All told, it’s a pretty good deal. It’s not available in Australia yet, but the Ghost’s price converts to about AU$205.Like many competitors, the service is essentially a Windows virtual machine (VM) running on a Windows server within a datacenter; in my case, the server is running a 3.2GHz Xeon E5-2667 V3 with 12GB RAM and a Quadro P5000 with 16GB GDDR5X. It’s not cutting-edge gaming performance, but it is roughly in the same league as the GTX 1070 max-Q laptops we’ve seen recently. Overall performance will depend on the game and your quality settings.But unlike almost every other cloud gaming system I’ve seen, it runs well in 1440p and, depending upon the game, even 2160p. And it feels more baked now than it did when we tried it in its early US rollout. It’s probably the slickest, too, for a VM. (Gaming-only services such as GeForce Now are obviously more streamlined.)Though it publicly specs frame-rates of 4K at 60 frames per second (which matches most 60Hz displays and TVs and thus shows fewer artifacts) and 1080p at 144fps, it also does 1440p at 75fps, which is a solid happy medium for a lot of games. The alternative resolutions are also a perk that many competitors don’t supply, as most are limited to 1080p.04-blade-shadow-ghostGhost provides all the essential connections. However, if you hook up wired devices to the USB ports, it does ruin the look a bit, like a Mac Mini. Sarah Tew/CNET The Ghost box connects to a display via HDMI. It has four USB Type-A ports, a headphone jack and an AC adapter input. You connect via gigabit Ethernet or 802.11ac Wi-Fi (aka Wi-Fi 5). The overall fit and finish is good — for a device that feels like it’s 3D printed.It’s easy to set up and compact enough to tote from one place to another. Windows recognizes USB devices such as keyboards, mice and an HP Omen Mindframe headset as if they were running locally. (Note that I didn’t test chat or streaming functions.) There’s one big problem with the Shadow: Its 256GB Windows partition isn’t nearly big enough. You’ll need a USB hard drive to swap game installations. I’d like to see the company either increase the base configuration or introduce a tier of service with more space.       The Shadow can also connect to wireless input devices via Bluetooth. The connection isn’t really through Windows, though, just through the box itself. It doesn’t work while the VM’s open, so it’s not as convenient as it could be. 02-blade-shadow-ghostThere’s only one button, for turning it on and off. Sarah Tew/CNET Performance on the Shadow side is one thing, but your connection to the internet is another. It doesn’t handle latency problems gracefully — that’s when your internet connection sends data packets erratically and is a bigger issue than bandwidth for most people, since it can vary so much from moment to moment. It’s hard to diagnose if your network’s at fault, because (obviously) you can’t launch offline or in safe mode, among other things. And it requires a mouse and keyboard to start up, so disconnecting them to diagnose any USB connection issues isn’t an option.There’s a control panel application that displays network statistics and lets you select some basic options. In the US, Blade owns its own servers in data centers around the country (called “co-location”), and it’s newer to the US than Europe. At the moment, you can’t pick which data center to access; it’s all automatic. 03-blade-shadow-ghostSwoopy! Sarah Tew/CNET The Shadow suffers the same problems as every cloud gaming system I’ve tried, most notably a compressed tonal range. No matter how good your bandwidth is, the bitrate is never high enough that it doesn’t have to compress the video signal, which can result in flatter colors. Some people may not even notice, or they’ll notice it less once they’re immersed in gameplay. Aside from selecting the option to automate Windows updates, the rest is in your hands, such as Nvidia driver updates. Restarting during driver updates can be a bit wonky, since that tends to close the Shadow on the first reboot. But it keeps running in the cloud for 90 minutes, which means it’s really easy to launch right back into what you were doing.And when you’re not gaming? I’ve been using it as my primary work system, attached to a monitor. So far it hasn’t groaned once under the weight of several browsers’ worth of tabs or anything else I’ve thrown at it. Updated 1:04 p.m. ET: Blade doesn’t lease servers in datacenters as originally stated; it co-locates its own servers in datacenters. In practice, that gives the company more flexibility over the configurations. Tags 1:47center_img Now playing: Watch this: Desktops Gaming 0 It glows from the bottom to indicate it’s on. Sarah Tew/CNET Blade’s Shadow Ghost is a cool little box that lets you use the Shadow desktop-in-the-cloud service with just a TV or monitor. No PC required. The box that gives you the device and network connections you need to use the Windows-based desktop service. When I tried it out, I kept forgetting I wasn’t on a local PC and never found myself shrieking about the speed. I still can’t believe I like it so much.A “Shadow,” as Blade dubs the virtual system the service provides, can be used for anything, but the most obvious mainstream allure of a virtual machine these days is for cloud gaming. Think of the Ghost as a console without any local storage and simple video decoding that can run any Windows game. This is actually the second version of the box, but now it’s got a catchy name and most of the kinks worked out. last_img read more

AgustaWestland chopper scam ED raids involved firms freezes assets worth Rs 86

first_imgThe Enforcement Directorate on Monday raided several firms and their premises across New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad, freezing over Rs. 86 crore shares held by them in ventures abroad, reported Press Trust of India. The raids were part of the agency’s probe into Rs. 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.Officials reportedly said the agency seized a number of documents during the searches as they were connected to the case. It also ordered freezing of shares worth Rs. 86 crore of firms based in Dubai, Mauritius and Singapore.The report noted that both the ED and the CBI have issued judicial requests to many countries in order to collect more evidences and proofs.AgustaWestland’s parent company Finmeccanica allegedly paid Rs. 360 crore kickback to Indian individuals and enterprises to secure the deal. The deal involved selling 12 helicopters to be used by VVIPs in India and was masked as transactions performing multiple work contracts, reported IANS.Under the prevention of money laundering act (PMLA), the ED registered the case in 2014 and has so far listed 21 people in its FIR. Former Air Force Chief S.P. Tyagi, businessman Gautam Khaitan, Italian middlemen Christian Michel James, Guido Ralph Haschke and Carlo Gerosa have been named in the FIR.The Indian government in January 2014 cancelled the deal alleging breach of contractual obligations and charges of bribery. However, investigation in Italy reached a new crescendo with the chief executive of Finmeccanica held guilty of international corruption and money laundering. The court also highlighted that a few politicians too were involved in the corruption in the chopper deal in 2010.last_img read more

United States led air strikes hit Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria

first_imgThe Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, said the strikes were on an office and a vehicle in Idlib province in northwest Syria, where last week the group routed Western-backed Syrian rebels.Residents said one strike targeted a car used by Nusra commanders, near an internet cafe in the Nusra-controlled town of Sarmada close to the Turkish border.A rebel from another Western-backed group operating in northern Syria confirmed the air strikes on the Nusra Front and hardline Islamist group Ahrar al-Sham near the border with Turkey, and said they took place at around 1 a.m.‘The strength of strikes and their accuracy confirms that they were carried out by the alliance,’ the rebel said, speaking on condition of anonymity.The Nusra Front vehicle struck in the attack had been carrying ammunition, he said. In neighbouring Harem, residents said at least four children had been killed and dozens injured in an attack they believed was launched by the coalition.The Observatory also reported the first air strikes against Ahrar al-Sham.Residents around the rebel-held Bab al-Hawa border crossing, a strategic gateway to Turkey, said a missile flattened the group’s headquarters nearby and killed Abu al-Nasr, the head of its arms procurement division.Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Observatory, said it marked the second time the Nusra Front had been hit in the U.S.-led campaign. The first was on Sept. 23, the first day of U.S. air strikes in Syria, which are part of Washington’s strategy to ‘degrade and destroy’ Islamic State.Nusra, which has been trying with allies to remove its name from the U.N. terrorist list, was taken by surprise when coalition warplanes bombed several of its positions then. Several commanders are believed to have been killed in the September strikes, including Kuwaiti-born Mohsin al-Fadhli — also known as Abu Asmaa al-Jazrawi — reputedly a former member of Osama bin Laden’s inner circle.Nusra Front last week seized control of areas of Idlib province from Western-backed rebel leader Jamal Maarouf, head of the Syria Revolutionaries’ Front in northern Syria, confiscating its weapons.last_img read more

Woman found hanging at home in Jadavpur

first_imgKolkata: A woman was found hanging in semi-naked state inside a room of her rented house at Bijoygarh in Jadavpur on Wednesday night. The deceased has been identified as Sonali Burman (30). She used to live in the house with a youth identified as Avik Bose.According to sources, Bose and Burman had rented a portion of a house in Bijoygarh. They had introduced themselves as a married couple. According to the landlord Shibu Biswas, the couple had rented the house in December last year. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataA contract for 11 months was made. Since the couple had started living in the house there were no problems. Biswas said around 1 am, on Wednesday night, Bose had called his wife as she used to deal with the house rent and told her that Burman was suffering from breathlessness. She needed urgent medication and thus Bose requested the landlord’s wife to intervene and take his wife to the hospital. When Biswas came to know he went downstairs and knocked on the door. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateAs the door was locked, he called one of his neighbours and together they broke the door. The door of the bedroom was unlocked. As soon as they entered the bedroom, they saw Burman was hanging from ceiling fan. Biswas immediately called Bose and informed him about the situation. “Despite I told him what has happened, Bose said he was in the middle of a video call. There was something suspicious about his words,” said Biswas. Later, Jadavpur police station was informed. The police brought Burman down and rushed her to M R Bangur Hospital where doctor declared her brought dead. During preliminary investigation, cops came to know that Burman and Bose were living together but were not married. Burman had her birthday on Wednesday. But, Bose was in Digha for some reasons. Till late night both of them were on a video call. But, why she committed suicide is still unknown. The police are trying to contact Bose to know about the interaction that took place between them on Wednesday night.last_img read more

Cuba celebrates 1 million arrivals from Canada for 2018

first_imgTags: Cuba, Statistics Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Wednesday, December 5, 2018 TORONTO — Cuba has reached the 1 million mark from Canada, and the year isn’t even over yet.The Cuba Tourist Board of Canada made the announcement yesterday, saying the impressive statistic “follows similarly strong results from 2017” and highlights the enduring appeal of Cuba as the top destination for Canadian travellers.“We are both excited and humbled to have had the opportunity to accommodate so many guests in 2018,” said Eloy Govea, Director of the Cuba Tourist Board. “We look forward to sharing the unique spirit of Cuba with more of our Canadian friends in 2019. Cuba continues to be an exciting, dynamic destination rich in culture, cuisine, and – of course – beautiful beaches.”Govea says the strong results come from a dedicated effort by the country’s tourism industry to invest in properties and accommodations ahead of Havana’s 500th anniversary.Havana is set to add seven new hotels by the end of 2019. The completion of properties like the Prado y Malecón and Gran Hotel will further expand Havana’s already robust capacity, says Govea, currently at 12,000+ rooms.Investment into the city’s tourism properties will be matched with a commitment to restoration projects for over 600 buildings and complexes in Havana’s historical district. At the same time, Cuba will continue to expand its progressive roll out of WiFi service, with coverage for every hotel on the island on target for the end of 2019.Investment in Cuba’s tourism industry hit $1.035 billion in 2018, a year-over-year increase of 3.5%. Cuba celebrates 1 million+ arrivals from Canada for 2018last_img read more