Portal 2

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Overview:

Portal 2 is the long awaited sequel to Portal, made by Valve, the same developer of half-life, Team Fortress 2 and Counter strike.  The puzzle game challenges people to use their mind and navigate through the now decrepit Aperture Science facility with only a portal gun in hand to try to escape. Along the way you may find yourself solving test chambers the evil AI GLaDOS has set up, exploring the buried old Aperture Science facility and meeting new characters like Wheatley, an AI personality core that assists you as you escape.

Mechanics:

Other than the unique portal mechanic added with the first Portal, all new mechanics have been introduced to enhance the puzzle solving experience. Some of the new mechanics include lasers, laser redirecting cubes, bridges of made of light and gels that give surfaces and objects new properties.

Features:

One of the most long awaited feature is the 2 Co-op mode. Named the cooperative testing initiative, you play as 2 robots built by GLaDOS, Atlas and P-body. In the co-op mode, there are all new maps and puzzles to solve, pushing for communication and co-operation between the 2 players. Another new feature is the The Perpetual Testing Initiative, allowing players to make their own puzzles for others to solve.

Image result for cooperative testing initiativeAtlas on the left, P-body on the right

Story:

[Spoilers]

The game occurs an unspecified amount of time from the original game, but the state of the surroundings show that the time difference is quite sizable. You play as Chell, a portal gun wielding test subject from Aperture science. Woken up by Wheatley, an AI personality core, you try to escape the facility, accidentally reactivating GLaDOS. Eventually you defeat GlaDOS, and Wheatley takes charge of the facility. This drives Wheatley mad with power and knocks you down into the old Aperture facility. While doing so, he also puts GLaDOS into a potato. After exploring the old facility and uncovering the backstory of GLaDOS and the Aperture Science, Chell together with GLaDOS find a way back, put GLaDOS back in charge and send Wheatley to space.

Conclusion:

This is a great game with compelling story and interesting characters and the feeling of finally solving a puzzle on your own is a very rewarding one.

Photo courtesy: http://www.astrolabe-melun.fr/cms/articleview/id/1264

https://theportalwiki.com/wiki/Cooperative_Testing_Initiative

Cree Connected LED Bulb

Cree connected LED Bulb

The Cree Connected LED Bulb is an 11.5 watt smart light bulb made by Cree. The Cree LED bulb is able to be controlled by phone via a control hub, allowing it to be remotely controlled. Using the controls, you can turn the bulb off and on or dim and brighten the bulb from your phone.

The Cree Connected bulb is the cheapest connected bulb in the market at $15, slightly more than a non-connected bulb. It is pretty bright, illuminating at 815 lumens, and with an efficiency of 76 lumens per watt, it is also a relatively efficient bulb.

The Cree Connected LED bulb is also good at dimming and brightening without a buzz or flicker.  It is easy to pair with a control hub like wink, Hue Bridge, SmartThings and Staples Connect. With the wink app, using the Cree Connected LED bulb is a breeze. Tap to turn the light on and off and slide to make it dimmer or brighter.  Automation is quite easy with wink’s robots feature. You can make the light turn off and on when certain conditions are met, an example of this would be turning off the lights automatically when you are not at home. There is also a shortcut feature, allowing you to turn on more than one bulb at the same time. The Cree has some shortcomings though. One such example is its plastic cover that might look unsightly to some people.

Overall the Cree Connected LED Bulb is efficient at lighting up the place and is easy to use even though some might not like its aesthetics degisn

Photo courtesy: http://the-gadgeteer.com/2015/02/22/use-your-smartphone-to-control-cree-connected-led-bulbs-sponsored/

Pebble Time Steel

The pebble time steel is a smart watch made by pebble, it is an upgrade to the pebble time. Let’s start with the pebble time’s best feature, its battery life. The pebble steel’s battery life lasts for about 10 days on a full charge, beating the apple watch’s battery life of slightly more than 1 day and android wear’s battery life of 1 or 2 days. The screen is reflective so you can see the screen even in bright daylight.

The Pebble time steel also has a customizable watch face which you can get from the pebble app, which is available on iPhone and android, giving you the ability to customize the watch face to your liking. As the name suggests, it has an all-steel body. It is also water proof, allowing you to use it in the pool or the shower, although if you have a leather strap, you might want to take it off.

Even though the pebble time steel has it pros it still has its cons. One of its cons is its design. The design of the pebble time steel is very similar to the pebble time, so it does not stand out from the other watches.To add, the pebble time steel cannot take calls.

Overall, the pebble time steel is a good smart watch despite it’s short-comings.

Image courtesy of :Pebble Time Steel review: Steel-ing the smartwatch limelight? – Pocket-lint