Xbox One VS Playstation 4

Xbox One VS Playstation 4, how to decide which to get

Xbox One (X1)

X1 Likes

      • You can control the xbox one with Xbox One Smartglass. (PS4 has a similar App)
      • (X1E) X1 SmartGlass App can adjust the volume of your TV
      • (X1E) X1 can turn automatically turn off your TV when you turn off the console
      • X1 provides higher quality headset with mute and volume buttons on controller
      • Just Dance + Kinnect = Loads of Fun for the family
      • Kinnect is the best sensor on the market

X1 Dislikes

      • X1 Controller requires 2x AA batteries
      • X1 Controllers batteries can be easily depleted within a week
      • X1 forces you to patch games, before being able to play them
      • If you remove the disc of the game your patching, the download will fail, and patch progress is halted
      • X1 uses propriety port to connect headsets to controller

Xbox Live (XBL)

XBL Likes

      • Free XBL games you install remain yours, even if your XBL subscription terminates, or lapses.
      • (PS4E) PSN+ is not required to stream or use online apps (Netflix, browser, twitch streaming, etc)
      • Power Supply Unit is internalised in the PS4 case (X1 has a huge external brick
      • PS4 controllers are rechargeable out of the box
      • XBL cloud could bring us some interesting features in the future

XBL Dislikes

      • XBL is required for online multiplayer
      • XBL is required for any/all online activities (Netflix, Skype, Browsing, etc)
      • USD 59.99 per year (USD 10 more expensive than PSN+)
      • Viewing Gamer Cards takes forever to load

X1 Exclusives

      • Forza 5 (Racing Game)
      • Titanfall (SciFi FPS Shooter)
      • Killer Instinct (Arcade Fighter)
      • Ryse Son of Rome (3rd Person Action)
      • Deadrising 3 (Horror Sandbox)

Playstation 4 (PS4)

PS4 Likes

      • You can control the xbox one with PlayStation®App. (X1 has a similar App)
      • PS4 HDD is removable & upgradable 2.5 SATA HDD upgradable up to 2TB
      • Power Supply Unit is internalised in the PS4 case (X1 has a huge external brick
      • PS4 controllers are rechargeable out of the box
      • PS4 controller has a dedicated share button, which instantly starts streaming your gameplay to twitch
      • PS4 will allow you to immediately play “unlatched” games of disc (X1 will force you to patch before you can play)
      • PS4 controller uses standard 3.5mm port for Headsets, this means you can use your headset with your PS4, PC, or anything else

PS4 Dislikes:

      • Setting PS4 controller on flat surface will activate the bottom triggers
      • X1 Controllers batteries can be easily depleted within a week
      • Viewing Gamer Cards takes forever to load
      • Honestly.. the PS4 Eye/Cam sucks in comparison to the Kinnect

Playstation Network Plus (PSN+)

PSN+ Likes

      • USD 49.99 per year (USD 10 cheaper than XBL)
      • (PS4E) PSN+ is not required to stream or use online apps (Netflix, browser, twitch streaming, etc)
      • Power Supply Unit is internalised in the PS4 case (X1 has a huge external brick
      • Driveclub free to PSN+ subscribers

PSN+ Dislikes

      • PSN+ is required to play online multiplayer
      • If your PSN+ membership fails to renew or expires, you lose access to your previously installed free games, and will have to purchase them to play them again.
      • Viewing Gamer Cards takes forever to load

PS4 Exclusives

      • Killzone Shadowfall
      • Driveclub
      • Infamous Second Son
      • Knack

PS4 F2P Games (Available on PC)

      • Warframe (3rd Person FPS)
      • Blacklight Retribution (FPS)
      • DC Universe Online (MMO)
      • PlanetSide 2 (MMO FPS)
      • War Thunder (MMO Flight Sim)

PS4 VS Xbox One Myths

      • XBL and PSN+ both offer comparable latency
      • While PS4 technically has better specs, graphically you will not notice the difference
      • Console games do not interact with other platforms. You can’t play a game on X1 vs PS4 players
      • Both PS4 and X1 are officially Region Free
      • Both PS4 and X1 do not require always on internet connection in order to play
      • Both PS4 & X1 allow you to share, trade, and sell used game discs

My Personal Verdict

Ultimately I believe that PS4 is the better console for the following reasons.

    • PSN+ is cheaper, only required for Multiplayer games
    • I like the PS4 controller better, because I can use both sticks, and still use the upper triggers
    • The PSN+ free games appeal to me more than the XBL free games
    • I can live w/o Titanfall, and the other X1 exclusives do not interest me
    • I can live w/o the Kinnect even though I love it, I guess I won’t buy Just Dance this time
    • Seems to me that developers favour the PS4 see list of F2P PC games available on PS4 above..

However, if your undecided, don’t forget something very important.

If your into community & online gaming with your RL (real life) friends, then you might want to find out what their going for.
If all your RL friends are on the X1, going for the PS4 is going to be very lonely, unless of course you need a that break =)

Please note that this is my opinion, and its based on my having purchased both the PS4 and the X1 primarily to see which one I liked more. I’ve since sold the PS4, and am now using the X1, because… *frowns* sadly my friends are all on the X1 and XBL.
But I am planning to buy the PS4 again very soon =)

If I missed anything, or you’d just like to chime in, feel free to add your comments =)

Sources & Links:

Why I Chose The PS4 Over The Xbox One – YouTubePlayStation®App

Legend

    • (X1E) = Xbox One Exclusive, meaning only available on Xbox One
    • (X1TLE) = Meaning exclusive to Xbox One for a limited time
    • (PS4E) = PS4 Exclusive

Penn Manor School District

This morning I was reading an article about the Penn Manor’s School District 1:1 laptop program. Basically the school is providing 1,725 students with Linux Laptops. They took it a step further and developed their own Imaging solution “Fast Linux Deployment Toolkit” or FLDT.

I find this initiative incredible, but the icing on the cake is that student’s actually participated in testing and refining the FLDT.

Its news articles like these that make me wonder, what is Kuwait’s ministry of education doing? Kuwait’s public schools are simply terrible in terms of funding, and the educational curriculum.

Education is one the keystones of building a successful and healthy society.

Cost of Living in Kuwait

I often see questions about the costs of living in Kuwait on reddit, 248am, and various popular expat sites. Or sometimes people ask if they should accept a position in Kuwait based on their package compared to the living costs. Point being its a recurring hot topic.

Often the responses to this question are skewed or not well thought out, or simply not “realistic”. For example I often see responses that claim lower rent costs. They fail to mention such apartments are an “extinct species”, and the ones that can be found at those rates will certainly not be a good idea for your well being. I believe the common consensus is that a home should be safe, and comfortable, and not in areas that are subject to frequent police raids, break ins, etc..

So these “realistic” rates are based on real data. I’ve actually tracked the day to day expenses over a period of 6 months. Its based on the model of a normal work/home life in Kuwait. Which means you work during the week, and hang out on the weekends. Also do let me know if I can improve this post in any way. Lets take a look at the rates shall we?

Kuwait cost of living

Notice I’ve left “Spending Money” blank. I cannot predict your expenses.. I spend 46% of my income on Amazon.com =P

If your going to have to buy food at work (lunch, coffee, etc), you may need to factor in an extra KD 125/month.

If you’re a frequent shopper, you may wish to allow for an extra KD 200 a month. That should have you covered.

Ok lets look at these categories:

Living Costs

    RENT

    Rent in Kuwait is ridiculously expensive.
    Lets talk about what these rent rates are based on:

      Criteria

      • Safe
      • This means the place is not in a location that is subject to frequent disturbances such as: Police Raids, Prostitution, illegal drinking, violent or psychotic inhabitants

      • Not a Health Hazzard
      • Not located in a environmentally hazardous (toxic area)
        The apartment is clean, well ventilated, the building is structurally sound

      • Facilities
      • Central Aircon, 2 assigned shaded parking spots per tenant or for a studio complex 1 assigned shaded parking spot, water pressure is reasonably enough for a shower, usable fire exits,
        normal sized rooms 15-20m2 each (also on the endangered species list)

      • Location
      • Since you can get to anywhere in Kuwait within 30 mins, daily commute really isn’t an issue, reducing your commute from 30 to 10 minutes may be nice, but is generally not worth the premium you’ll have to pay for such luxuries. (Like 1200KD rent for 2 BR apartment)

      • Average Rental Rates
      • Rental rates do not follow logical rules in Kuwait. There are no guidelines, and you will often find truly horrible places at unrealistic rates, and yet they still get rented. This is due to the high demand, and low supply of apartments in Kuwait. It might also be interesting to note that furnished and unfurnished rates are the same. Though generally you will want to burn the furniture and offer to replace it at your own cost with something more hygienically and aesthetically appealing.

        Studio Apt: KD 350 – KD 400
        2 Bed Room: KD 450 -> KD 650
        3 Bed Room: KD 450 -> KD 650
        4 Bed Room: KD 650 -> KD 1200

        Groceries

        This is basically the average amount you’ll need to feed yourself. If you’re two people just add KD 70 monthly. As the months go by, the grocery costs will sink, mainly because you stop buying stuff you don’t need. The first few months living in a new place will always exceed your budget, because you have everything again. That adds up quickly.

        Car

        A sedan/saloon rental car will cost you roughly KD 150/month
        This will include full insurance, service, etc. Trust me you’ll want it that way.

        If you’re on a long term contract (5+ years) then I highly recommend you purchase your own car, and pay it with installments. You save much more this way.

        Fuel

        KD 10 / month
        KD 20 / month if your sharing your car with your SO

        Phone

        KD 30 /month Should be more than sufficient

        Internet

        Regardless of the medium, KD 24/month is ok. Available options depend on where you live in Kuwait. Kuwait offers LTE, fibre, DSL, 3g

Job

    Average Salaries for Working Professionals

    The average salary in Kuwait is KD 800 for working professionals. This does not include construction workers, labor, plumbers, etc. Anything from executive secretaries to IT professionals.

    Annual Leave

    You’ll want to have at least 30 days. To be more precise those days are “working days”. Kuwaits weekends are Friday, Saturday.
    Some companies will count weekends as part of your annual leave, never accept such conditions.

    Health Insurance

    Make sure your employer offers direct debit health insurance which covers at least 80% of your costs. This means at the medical facility you only 20% of the bill upfront, the medical facility would collect the remaining 80% from the insurance company directly. (Insurance Company Examples: Gulf Insurance Company)

    Annual Tickets

    Don’t accept anything less than KD 250 per person (Yourself and spouse). This is always deposited in cash to your checking account. You may opt to use that money for anything you like.

    Salary Pay

    As you can imagine, with a basic monthly living cost of KD 700, it would be unwise to accept a job offer that pays less than KD 800. Your just trading your current discomfort, with equal discomfort in a foreign country.

Why I sold my Sony VAIO Duo 13.3-Inch Ultrabook and got a rMBP 13″

Sony VAIO SVD13215PX 13.3-Inch Laptop

Why I bought it in the first place?

Being a full time IT professional, and a full time CS student, a hybrid laptop with a digital pen for note taking seemed to be the ideal choice.

So here are the needs I thought the Duo 13 could fill:

  • Digital Note Taking (Both in Class and at work)
  • Some light Java and Python Coding
  • portability
  • long lasting battery life (9+ hours)
  • maybe some light gaming (the likes of hearthstone, hex, etc)

And for USD 1,800 (~ KD 500) I thought I was set, so I ignored my alarmed gut instinct and went ahead with the purchase.

Boy was I in for a surprise…

The Duo 13 Experience!

Digital Note Taking

While many will argue that digital note taking on this tablet is fine… I sincerely disagree. The Duo 13 uses the Ntrig (Duosense 2 dual digitizer 13.3 @1920×1080).

While researching its note taking capabilities, I’ve gotten the impression from other users that this is fine. I’m here to tell you otherwise, it is “Certainly” not fine!

I was aware that you could not stow the pen in the tablet, and I was fine with that, cause I would just slide the pen into my messenger bags pen slot.

The clip they try to sell you on however, that was a total joke. The clip will often disconnect, and your likely to lose your pen, so best that you don’t depend on it.

As for note taking, when taking notes in class, and your ntrig digitizer fails for some unknown reason, you do not have the luxury to ask your professor to “pause” the lecture until you’ve sorted out your technical issues. In this case, restarting the Duo 13 would solve this, only for it to randomly happen again when you least expect it. And I promise this sudden and unpredictable failure will happen often, at least once in every class or meeting.

As for handwriting recognition, try playing an MIT lecture on another device, and take notes (freehand) on the duo 13, then ask One Note to convert to text. Now tell me, are your notes still usable?

No they wont be, because you’ll have to go back and spend another 45 minutes re-formatting your notes so that its not just a wall of text. You’ll also have to correct the spelling and false word recognition due to your shoddy handwriting.

Your notes will often include a mix of text, numbers, diagrams, special characters. Those of you who take discrete math or any advanced science course will know what I’m talking about.

So ultimately the question is: Can I use the Duo 13 as reliable Note Taking tool.

No you cannot, don’t fool yourself, go buy a real Ultrabook, skip the note taking illusion, we’re no where near it today. (Probably why Apple hasn’t built it yet.)

Two in One Hybrid Design

The Display

When I first looked at the amazon listing, looked at the pictures, I knew the slide out display design was not going to work. But I kept an open mind and decided I’d give it a shot, maybe I was wrong.

Turns out I wasn’t wrong. While it may seem cool and appealing, in reality its very counter-productive.

Once you slide out the screen, it locks into a fixed X angle. This is not adjustable.

So you why is this so horrible? Well the display is glossy and will reflect practically any light source, office lighting, etc.

Usually people tolerate the glare because they adjust the angle so that their own reflection (or person) blocks out the pesky neon office lights.

This is usually done by adjusting ones posture and angling the display towards oneself. Problem Solved.

Forget about doing this on the Duo 13, the display is only great in soft lit rooms, and how many of those will you find in the office or in college?

To be fair, in tablet mode this is much less of an issue obviously. However, I use tablet mode exclusively for taking notes, and in this case ntrig has failed me once again.

Its important to note, once the novelty of a touchscreen has worn off, you will only use the touch screen for the following:

  • Windows 8 calculator app
  • Scrolling while browsing the web

In my opinion the UIX for windows 8 touchscreen devices is horrible. This includes 8.1, and I strongly believe that Microsoft needs to can this entire windows 8 design, and start from scratch. And hopefully they’ll have the common sense not to force the touch interface on devices that have a keyboard and mouse. Despite having used windows 8 and 8.1 as a daily OS, I’m still not convinced. Windows 7 was bad, but windows 8 UIX is even worse if that’s even possible.

Keyboard

I’m a touch typist, and to be honest.. I think Sony did an excellent job with the keyboard. Its soft, responsive, and reliable. The short travel distance is something that I adjusted too over the course of a week or so. You’ll end up appreciating the idea of not having to punch the keys so hard to type something. If only Apple gave us the option for short travel keyboards….

However … there is one big caveat, the track pad. Its a narrow strip bellow the space bar, pushed to the right a little bit. Your thumbs will often brush the pad and move the cursor to some random place in your document whilst your typing. Very very annoying, so far, typing this article alone it must have happened at least 4 times. Which brings us to the next point…

The Trackpad

Somewhere (forgot who) someone said it best. At best its a very “crude” tool to move the cursor around. No exaggeration really. When you first test it out, you will think to yourself hmm… I could live with this .. its not too bad. Haha! You will hate it by your 3 month of active use. Its just horrible. Mainly cause its too narrow measuring a depth of 1″ (2.5cm) by length of x” (8cm). Length wise its fine, but the depth is horrid. So even for mainly a text editing task such as writing this post, I do in fact have an external mouse attacked. This leads me to believe that the engineers assumed users would simply use the actual display as a trackpad. This approach doesn’t work very well with plenty of non touch friendly apps.

Duo 13 ports

All the ports are placed on the back of the Duo 13 DC, 3.5m audio jack, 2 x USB 3.0, SD. (Respectively)

Plugging stuff in is very annoying, and you will plug everything in at the office and at home, so that you have enough power to go (attending classes, or at a coffee shop etc..)

Now if you have the screen out, and you need to plug in your mouse, and the DC port, this will frustrate you to no end at least 5 x week.

Just visualize this for a moment:

  1. Lift or angle tablet upwards
  2. Plug in DC and USB mouse
  3. Angle tablet back to surface, while carefully avoiding placing your laptop on the DC  or USB cable

Now imagine doing this at least 5 times a week.

Transport / Sleep Mode

Now this is very critical, isn’t it fair to say, that most of us put our mobile devices (ultraboooks, tablets, etc) to sleep when were on the move? When you get to your next work place which may not have to be on the same day, you just flip open the display and expect to be ready to work or play right? Not with the DUO 13.

Sure you can put it to sleep, but I guarantee you it will “wake up” while its stowed in your messenger bag or whatever you use to transport it.

The side power button will wake it, and the windows hardware button on the front of the display will wake it too if its pressed.

Due to this flaw, I’ve always had to shutdown the Duo 13 every time I moved location. Which is annoyed me to no end.

Gaming

I realize this is not a gaming tablet, however despite this I had no issues playing HEX (http://hextcg.com) If your into collectible card games like Magic the Gathering Online you might want to check out hex or hearthstone. I haven’t tried HS on the Duo 13, but I would expect it to run, and if not, I could always play Hex instead.

Security – Fast Access

Ok its a given face unlock is not secure on most devices. I’m not about to bash on that. Lets discuss something much more serious, Fast Access will unlock your tablet even if it cannot recognize your:

  • Face
  • Password
  • Unlock Pattern
  • Does not stay in sleep mode
  • Horrible Trackpad

Just keep trying, and eventually voila, it unlocks and grants full access. Now that’s just retarded. My advice is to uninstall it ASAP, just login with your password. If you plan on using face unlock, be prepared to sit up and over the display, while hovering an inch above your chair so that the camera can see you. Which is also annoying if you plan to use facelock as minor access deterrent.

Verdict

The bottom line.. for the same money, you can get a much better ultrabook. Be it windows or mac.

This is certainly a white elephant!

Cons

  • More expensive than the rMBP with weaker specs
  • Cannot be used to take digital notes (uses Ntrig)
  • Display has too much glare (cant adjust screen angle)
  • Bundled Software is crap
  • Fast Access is not secure enough even for people with light security requirements
  • certainly a white elephant

Pros

  • Its as light as a Macbook Air (2.9lbs)
  • Excellent keyboard

Specs of my Duo 13

Screen Size 13.3 inches
Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080
Max Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Processor 1.8 GHz Intel Core i7
RAM 8 GB DDR3-SDRAM
Memory Speed 1600 MHz
Hard Drive 256 GB
Graphics Coprocessor Intel HD Graphics 4400
Wireless Type 802.11bgn
Number of USB 3.0 Ports 2
Expand
Other Technical Details
Brand Name Sony
Series VAIO
Item model number SVD13215PXB
Hardware Platform PC
Operating System Windows 8 Professional
Item Weight 2.9 pounds
Item Dimensions L x W x H 8.27 x 13 x 0.77 inches
Color Black
Processor Brand Intel
Processor Count 2
Computer Memory Type DDR3 SDRAM
Flash Memory Size 256
Hard Drive Interface Serial ATA
Optical Drive Type No
Battery Type Lithium Polymer (LiPo)
Batteries: 1 Lithium Metal batteries required. (included)

I’m Kismat, co-founder of nothing, and this is how I work =p

** Credit Given, Where its due, this post was inspired by: http://lifehacker.com/how-i-work/

Kismat was born and raised in Austria, only to be return to Kuwait just in time for the Iraqi Invasion, and subsequent Gulf War. Having survived the ordeal Kismat was determined to push the envelope, technology seemed to be the most interesting and fun way of doing this. His first and probably best job was working for Qualitynet back in 2001, this is where his passion for open-source solutions turned into an obsessive addiction, this was it… hooked on tech for life!

One of the unique projects he worked on was setting up, and managing Linux game-servers (Counter-Strike, Battlefield)  for QualityNet. Community Management, and setting up events & competitions. (At that time, most managers would throw you out of the office for claiming games were profitable). As well as being embarrassingly schooled in the art of Counter-Strike headshots by 13 years olds.  Currently Kismet assists the private sector with getting their IT Infrastructure in order, and ensuring it stays that way.

Name: Kismat
Occupation: IT Prj. Management
Location: Kuwait
Current computer: Home-built  Desktop, 2 x 7970 3gb, 16GB Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz, AMD Phenom II X6 1090T
Current Laptop: SAGER NP9150 -| 15.6″ FHD 95% Matte 1080P | i7-3610QM | Nvidia GTX680M | 16GB 1600MHz Corsair Vengeance | 256GB Samsung 830 SSD | KillerNic 1103
Current mobile devices: Galaxy Nexus (JB 4.1.2, rooted), Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 3G, Stylistic Q550
One word that best describes how I work: progressively
Interests Include: Foreign Films, Scuba Diving, Motorcycle Tours, MMOS, Technology, Humane Dog Training Methods
Community Involvements:
Moderator of Open Garden Community Forums & Map Editor, Area Manager for Kuwait at Waze

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

I love Androids mobile Gmail app, and I cant possibly imagine a phone without that app.
Evernote & Dropbox: To ensure I have access to everything I need on the go
Waze: Invaluable tool to dodge traffic in Kuwait
Open Garden: Auto tethers my devices to my phones data connection without requiring me to press anything.
Titanium Backup Pro: The best back-up app for android devices

What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack? 

Considering the amount of time we spend in traffic every day, I’d say its Waze, it saves me at least an hour of grueling traffic a day. Thats 7 hours saved a week.

So…your favorite to-do list manager?

Astrid  (iOS, Android, Web)

What’s your workspace setup like?

Home office with triple monitor setup. Razer Megalodon the lightest most comfortable headset I ever owned.

What do you listen to while you work? 

Depends on my mood, but generally I prefer: Chillout Lounge – Dubstep – Classical music

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? 

It would have to be the Kindle, it allows to me read whatever I want, whenever I want, and not worry about customs and the ministry of information when importing books from Amazon.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

If your crossing the Saudi border by car, and the immigration officer insists on calling you by the wrong name.. DONT correct him.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Yeah, what does a techy have to do to find a great job with a company that actually makes progress in a fun and innovative way (Ala Google, Blizzard, Microsoft)