Archive for July 30th, 2012

Master Chief surveys the Art of Halo 4 book cover

Above, your eyes can gaze upon the cover of the upcoming Awakening: The Art of Halo 4 art book, featuring all sorts of concept art and designs from Microsoft’s upcoming Halo 4. It’s got everything you want in a Halo book cover, including Master Chief, some crazy epic Forerunner structure, and a trusty assault rifle.

Actually, that’s not quite true; we could use at least a little Covenant. Is that a Covvie ship flying through the background? Unclear. You’ll have to wait to get a better look when the book arrives on store shelves in November, along with the new game itself.

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Rumor: PlayStation All-Stars characters and stages leak all over the place

A slew of images reportedly pulled from a private beta of PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale shows off many of the game’s characters and stages. An original image posted by Reddit user 696Ly is a leak in the truest sense of the word, as the word “leak” is written all over the picture (seen here).

More visible images of 14 stages and 12 characters from the game were posted online by NeoGAF user miladesn. The images appear to be pulled from the game’s stage and character select screens, including the BioShock Infinite-inspired “Columbia” stage seen above.

Joystiq have reached out to Sony for confirmation.

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Indigenous technology must fend off cyber attacks: Hackers

NEW DELHI: IT security specialists also known as ethical hackers today pitched for indigenous development of software and hardware for securing the country against international espionage.

“There are countries which are subsidising their domestic companies to sell products in foreign nations at prices lower than cost of production just for the sake of spying,” IT security expert Jiten Jain claimed at a Hackers Conference here.

He said the practice is common among unfriendly nations but some countries do it against friendly nations as well.

“Only using complete indigenously developed technology can save country from espionage,” Jain said.

Jain talked about cases of malware being installed in telecom networks and smartphones.

“Around 85 to 90 per cent smartphones can be infected in the world. There have been instances when some components have been found in phones and telecom equipment which auto-update themselves without user’s knowledge,” he said.

The IT expert mentioned that nature of bugging and type of malwares are also changing with some companies making malware that can destroy themselves and some only bug hardware for one-time use only mainly at critical stage.

“There is new method being adopted by companies and countries. They initially supply clean hardware. Later install malwares required to spy by auto-updating products,” he said.

The conference was attended by government officials from Central Bureau of Investigations, Delhi Police, Defence, National Informatics Center and other security agencies.

CBI officials and Delhi Police (DP) officers urged ethical hackers to collaborate with government in spreading awareness and detecting vulnerabilities in the networks.

Delhi’s Additional Commissioner of Police SC Mishra said police officers have to spend more time acquiring skills to investigate cyber crimes.

“Investigation in cyber crime remains challenging as the same officer who has acquired a particular set of skill cannot stay on the same position for long as per administrative policies. Hence, we have to depend on experts for solving a case,” Mishra said.

Ethical hackers showed live demonstration on vulnerabilities in smartphones and famous internet browsers at the conference.


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Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera: The next generation of digital cameras

The Lowdown

Traditionally, the quality of digital photograph was always directly proportional to the physical size of the camera. But the new breed of Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera (MILC) are defying this stereotype.

The first generation of mirrorless cameras used the Micro Four Thirds system, created by Olympus and Panasonic. These cameras were smaller, lighter and had large sensors (though not as large as what a traditional DSLR offered).

Sony started the second round of innovation in this segment with the NEX series of cameras. The NEX also has a smaller body than a DSLR, but Sony managed to fit in APS-C size sensor – the same kind of image sensor that most DSLRs have.

The large sensor not only enabled much higher image quality but also high-quality HD video recording with autofocus. This was followed by Nikon with their 1 Series, Fujifilm with their X-Pro1 and now Canon, a late entrant into the segment, has announced the EOS M system.

There are some downsides to mirrorless cameras too. For starters, not many lenses are available, and the ones that are available, are expensive. Now that almost all major manufacturers have entered the segment, we should see lower costs and more innovation.

How They Differ


DSLRs have a much larger image sensor, mirror-box, a complex optical viewfinder system and lots of physical buttons – these aspects contribute to their much larger size as compared to compact cameras.

In the new crop of Micro Four Thirds cameras and interchangeable lens cameras that use DSLR-size APS-C sensors, the mirror and viewfinder is done away with, effectively reducing the overall size and weight. They also usually have touchscreens. Since one of the most important aspects, a large and high-quality sensor, is retained, you will end up with results that are very close to what a DSLR offers.


Mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras use larger lenses as compared to compact cameras. The lenses allow the sensor to capture more light and make for an overall sharper image from edge to edge. These lenses are not directly compatible with other DSLR lenses because each manufacturer uses a proprietary mount.

However, you still have a choice, ranging from 14mm ‘pancake’ lenses to 30-110mm zooms. Sometimes, you can also use a lens mount adapter to attach a DSLR lens, but a possible drawback is that the autofocus system in the lens may not work.


The larger image sensor in these cameras captures light more easily, giving you better images in low light and lower noise.

Manual controls for exposure (aperture, shutter speed), ISO (light sensitivity) and various creative modes/filters are always included in these kinds of cameras.

A higher quality interchangeable lens means that this kind of camera will deliver results close to what a DSLR will. Plus, the system is capable of expanding to meet future needs.


They tend to be larger and heavier than the usual point-and-shoot camera – definitely not ‘pocketable’.

An optical viewfinder is a rarity in a Micro Four Thirds or interchangeable lens camera – you only have the LCD.

They are expensive compared to entry-level DSLRs. In many cases, you can buy a DSLR with similar performance for the same amount or less.

Limited and more expensive accessories – since the market is limited, add-on lenses and accessories tend to be more expensive than DSLRs.

Compact body

The absence of a mirror and in certain models, the lack of an optical viewfinder is the main reason for the compact size of mirrorless cameras. Usually, they are half the weight of a DSLR.


Most mirrorless cameras can record full HD video and that too with continuous autofocus – a feature that most DSLRs lack.

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