Avengers: Endgame Trailer is a Misdirection

Marvel Studios seems to have mastered the art of crafting emotionally powerful trailers that also don’t reveal anything. Not only that, but the studio also goes the extra mile to include misleading shots. Think about the money shot in the Avengers: Infinity War trailer which had Hulk running alongside the rest of the Avengers to take down Thanos’ hench-aliens.
This proved to be nothing more than a clever misdirection as Hulk didn’t even make another appearance in Infinity War after getting his ass handed to him by Thanos in the opening sequence. Well, it looks like the Avengers: Endgame trailer has more of those too.

In a chat with Empire Online, one of the directors of Avengers: Endgame, Joe Russo discussed why he and his brother found it necessary to convince the Marvel Studios marketing team to mislead audiences:
“We talked about all scales of marketing. The thing that’s most important to us is that we preserve the surprise of the narrative. When I was a kid and saw The Empire Strikes Back at 11am on the day it opened…it so profoundly moved me because I didn’t know a damn thing about the story I was going to watch. We’re trying to replicate that experience.”
It’s great to hear directors getting involved with the creative process of the trailers. One of the biggest problems with trailers these days is that they tend to show too much in an effort to get butts in seats. Remember the Batman V Superman trailer from three years ago that comprised of every major plot point and reveal from the movie including the involvement of Wonder Woman and Doomsday.

However, this hasn’t been the case with Disney, especially when it comes to their tentpole movies under the Marvel banner (and Lucasfilm too). The Russo brothers who also helmed The Winter Soldier, Civil War and Infinity War, are especially passionate about it. In an interview with Josh Horowitz of the Happy Sad Confused podcast last year, The Russos had this to say:
“We look at the trailer as a very different experience than the movie, and I think audiences are so predictive now that you have to be very smart about how you craft a trailer because an audience can watch a trailer and basically tell you what’s gonna happen in the film.
We consume too much content. So at our disposal are lots of different shots that aren’t in the movie that we can manipulate through CG to tell a story that we want to tell specifically for the purpose of the trailer and not for the film.”
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Instagram Checkout Allows Users To Purchase Products Without Leaving App

Instagram just launched a new feature on its platform called “Checkout”. It is a built-in feature that allows users to directly purchase products listed on an Instagram shopping post. To date, more than 20 brands have signed on for Checkout. Including Nike, Adidas, and Uniqlo.
The Checkout process starts when you tap on any product listed in the shopping post. You will then be forwarded to a selection page with various options for said product, with the “Checkout” button located at the bottom the page.

Today, we're introducing checkout on Instagram. When you find a product you love, you can now buy it without leaving the app. https://t.co/o1L5WsfgVE pic.twitter.com/IlVJxOr10x
— Instagram (@instagram) March 19, 2019

Before making the order, it is a requirement that you provide your delivery information and choose a payment method. For now, the feature supports only credit cards and PayPal. Users can also save their payment information for future transactions as well.
Once the order is completed, users can track their shipment and delivery directly through the app itself. Instagram will also send a notification the minute the retailer ships their order.

For the moment, Instagram Checkout is currently a closed beta, and only available within the US. At the of writing, Instagram has not released any information regarding the availability of the feature for other parts of the world.
(Source: Instagram, Engadget)
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Rovio Announces Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs; Exclusively Available On iOS

Rovio, the developer of Angry Birds, has announced a new addition to the popular franchise during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2019. It’s called Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs, and as the name suggests, it’s the first AR game to come from the studio, and it is an exclusive on iOS devices.
Like all Angry Birds games before Isle of Pigs, the premise and game mechanics of the game is a familiar one. You slingshot your flock of birds at complex block towers; toppling them over to crush the pigs hiding within them.

The game utilises Apple’s ARKit technology to constructs the virtual levels within the real world while you use your phone as a slingshot in a first-person perspective to rain destruction down on the pigs. Further, the ARKit allows players a 360-degree view of each level and will have the freedom to move around to get the best angle to attack.
Even as an exclusive game on the App Store, not every Apple device is supported. Rovio said the game only supports iOS devices that use ARKit. That includes the iPhone 6S and newer; iPad 5th generation and 6th generation; and every iPad Pro model.

Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs will be available as a free app when it launches. Rovio has not specified an official date for the launch yet, but the game is currently available for pre-order on the App Store now.
(Source Engadget, CNET)
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Samsung Galaxy A10 And A20 Pass SIRIM Certification; Malaysian Launch Seems Likely

Just a couple of days after Samsung Malaysia launched its Galaxy A30 and A50 in the country, the Korean electronics giant seems to be getting ready to bring in two more of its Galaxy A series smartphone. Specifically, the Galaxy A10 and A20.
According to a tweet posted by Kevin Ng TK (@KevinNgTK), the two phones had apparently passed the local SIRIM certification process on 19 March 2019. Both certifications list the model name for each phone; the Galaxy A10 being SM-A105G, and the Galaxy A20 as SM-A205F.
Additional product information shows both phones supporting 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth, but only the Galaxy A10 seems to support the ANT+ wireless protocol. Hinting at the possibility of the Galaxy A10 having some sort of health monitor (presumably a heart rate monitor).

Other hardware specifications for the Galaxy A10 include a 6.2-inch HD+ Infinity-V Super AMOLED display, a 13MP main camera and 5MP front-facing camera, and a 4000mAh. As for the Galaxy A20, the phone is expected to be powered by an Exynos 7884 SoC – the same as the Galaxy A10 – a 6.4-inch HD+ Infinity-V Super AMOLED display, and a 3D Glasstic back.
Camera-wise, the Galaxy A20 is expected to carry a dual 13MP+5MP setup for its main camera, while the front-facing camera is an 8MP sensor. Lastly, the phone will also be powered by a 4000mAh.
There’s still no word about the pricing, but given the discovery, it’s likely that Samsung Malaysia will be making some sort of announcement for the Galaxy A10 and Galaxy A20 soon. As always, we’ll keep you posted.
(Source: Thanks @KevinNgTK for the tip!)
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Malaysia To Draw Up Blueprint For eSports; To Be Ready By April 2019

Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Youth and Sports Minister recently announced Malaysia’s first blueprint on the development of electronic sports (eSports). The blueprint is expected to be ready by April this year.
A special committee is involved in drawing up the blueprint, which includes eSports enthusiasts and industry personalities. The blueprint was set up through the National Sports Council (MSN) and will allow for structured planning and implementation of Esports programs for integrated development.

According to Syed Saddiq, the blueprint will focus on five main strategies. The five strategies are:

Nurturing athletes in eSports
Advancement of the eSports industry
Providing better eSports facilities to attract investors
Building public awareness and promoting responsible games
Instilling good governance and administration in the eSports industry.

The minister further added that eSports would create job opportunities for locals and boost the country’s economy through technology and tourism. As an example, Razer is one of the largest eSports company. It recently opened a new headquarter in Malaysia and employs more than 280 youths.
As of now, the ministry is working with eSports Malaysia Association (ESM) to organize eSports competitions to scout for national players that would best represent Malaysia in the upcoming SEA Games 2019.
(Source: Bernama, Malaysiakini)
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Xiaomi Mi Smart Sensor Set Now Officially In Malaysia; Alongside Home Security Camera 360 and LED Smart Bulb

Alongside Redmi Note 7 and Redmi 7, Xiaomi has also launched three more new products in Malaysia yesterday. They are not smartphones though; instead, these new products are part of Xiaomi’s smart home solutions.
One of them is the Mi Smart Sensor Set which consisted of two Mi Motion Sensors, two Mi Windows and Door sensors, a Mi Wireless Switch, and a Zigbee-based Mi Control Hub. The set basically acts as a starter smart home kit and allow users to receive alerts whenever a motion detected in their home although users can integrate plenty of other smart devices into the set.

Aside from that, Xiaomi has officially brought the Mi Home Security Camera 360° 1080P into Malaysia as well. As per its name, this particular camera provides users with the ability to remotely to monitor their home in Full HD resolution with full 360-degrees horizontal view and 96-degrees vertical views. It is also equipped with AI-based motion detection and 2-way audio talkback feature.
Last but not least, there’s also the Mi LED Smart Bulb that offers users the ability to customize the color of the bulb to their liking. With support for Google Assistant and 16 million colours at their disposal, they can also set the bulb’s colour temperature and brightness.

Naturally, all of these smart home products can be controlled through Mi Home app. Available through Mi Stores nationwide, the Mi Smart Sensor Set is priced at RM 329 while the Mi Home Security Camera 360° 1080P and Mi LED Smart Bulb can be obtained for RM 159 and RM 99 respectively.
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Qualcomm Developing New Wireless VR Headset Called “Boundless XR For PC”

Qualcomm revealed that the company is currently developing a VR headset. Specifically, the semiconductor company is working on creating a wireless PC-connected, head mounted display (HMD).
The initiative is known as “Boundless XR for PC”. A dual mode headset that is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC and wireless 802.11ad chip. The latter being capable of providing a 60GHz high-bandwidth connection, ensuring latency is kept at a minimum for split-processing between the VR headset and the PC.

The headset works as a standalone which Qualcomm and has six degrees of freedom (6DoF) head and controller tracking, thus eliminating the need for cables. When in proximity with a PC, the headset is designed to wirelessly connect to the PC and utilise the rendering resources from it.
Qualcomm says that the first commercial headset to support its Boundless XR initiative will be called the Pico Neo 2 VR headset, and is expected to hit the market sometime during the second half of 2019. The company also says that HTC Vive and Viveport will support Boundless XR’s new specification through hardware and content, although no solid timeline for such product has been announced.
(Source: CNET, Qualcomm// Image: Qualcomm)
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Vivo X27 and X27 Pro Launch In China ; Sports Pop-Up Selfie Camera With RGB Lights

Vivo officially launched the Vivo X27 and X27 Pro at an event in China recently. The Vivo X27 comes in two different variants which are similar to the Pro counterpart, albeit with a few differences here and there.
To start with, the X27 has a 6.39-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display with relatively thin bezels along the sides. As per our earlier report, one variant is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. While the other sports the same amount of memory, but with a slightly more powerful Snapdragon 710 SoC and a 256GB internal storage capacity.
Both variants are powered by a large 4000mAh battery with support for fast-charging technology at 22.5 watts.

The X27 has a 16MP pop-up selfie camera that slides out with multi-coloured light strips embedded around the edges. The lighting can be customised from a choice of six different colours. Around the back, the triple camera array consists of a 48MP sensor, a 13MP wide-angle lens, and a 5MP depth-sensing sensor.
The Vivo X27 Pro, on the other hand, bears a larger 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a screen-to-body ratio of 92.12% and an aspect ratio of 20.5:9. The pop-up camera is also wider and houses a 32MP sensor with a dedicated LED flash. The same RGB light strips are also found on the selfie camera.

The internals of the X27 Pro comprises a Snapdragon 710 SoC accompanied by 8GB RAM and an internal storage capacity of 256GB. The specification of the triple camera array on the back is identical to the X27, however, the camera is placed dead centre as opposed to X27, which is on the left.
The Vivo X27 with the Snapdragon 675 SoC is priced at 3198 yuan (~RM1940) and comes in white, green, and blue. It will be available from March 30 onwards. The X27 variant with the Snapdragon 710 SoC comes in blue and white and will be available from March 23 onward at 3598 yuan (~RM2183).

Last but not least, the Vivo X27 Pro will be available in Black Pearl and White, and will retail for 3998 yuan (~RM2426). Unlike the other two, the X27 Pro won’t be availble in China until April 2019.
All three variants of the Vivo X27 is currently available in China at the moment. At the time of writing, Vivo Malaysia did not specify if and when it will be bringing in the phones.
(Source: GizmoChina)
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You Need To Fork Out Additional RM 22880 For The New 256GB RAM Option On iMac Pro

Apple has recently added new memory and graphics options for its iMac Pro. Prior to this, the powerhouse maxed out at 128GB RAM and AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64 graphics with 16GB HBM2 VRAM.
Now, customers can choose to add 256GB DDR4-2666 ECC RAM into their new iMac Pro. However, that particular option costs RM 22,880 alone and to put things into perspective, you only need around RM 100 to RM 200 more to buy a Perodua Axia.

That’s not even considering the fact that the iMac Pro base model is priced at RM 20,855. This means that the iMac Pro with 256GB RAM would cost at least a whooping RM 43735.
On another hand, the additional fee for the Radeon Pro Vega 64X option is much lower at RM 3080. For more details, just head on to Apple Malaysia’s website.
(Source: Apple Malaysia via Amanz, 9to5Mac.)
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Unity Partners With NVIDIA; Adds Ray-Tracing Support And Integration To Game Engine

During its keynote at GDC 2019, NVIDIA made many announcements, with its proprietary RTX ray-tracing being a major topic of conversation throughout. Besides promising GeForce GTX graphics cards owners access to the feature, video game developer Unity Technologies (Unity) announced that it would soon be integrating support for NVIDIA’s RTX technology into its self-titled Unity engine.
The partnership between NVIDIA and Unity is interesting from several angles. For starters, and stating the obvious, adding ray-tracing to the Unity engine means that the game developer is now able to produce and render ultra high-resolution 3D objects. With an even greater depth of realism.

More importantly, integrating and baking NVIDIA’s RTX technology into its game engine now give it an edge against its direct competitor; Epic Games’ Unreal Engine. For the record, Epic Games had already announced that its Unreal Engine 4.22 would carry support for ray-tracing. Unity’s adoption of the technology simply puts them on even footing.
At the moment, the technology is only available to a select number of Unity users in “Production-focused” industries. Translated, that means that the API is currently being used by individuals working in production houses and companies, such as BMW.
(Source: NVIDIA via Ars Technica, TechCrunch, TechSpot // Image: TechCrunch)
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