Categories
Entertaintment Gaming

AC GameTime

Guest article for this blog from my daughter Pooja Krishnan, who is sheltering in sofa with her favorite game.

More than a decade ago, my sister and I got two Nintendo 2DS consoles, an upgrade from our old Gameboy. Super Mario and Animal Crossing were our staples – we played for hours on end until my sister’s DS actually split in half. My personal favorite was Animal Crossing: Wild World – I would get absorbed into the world encased in my DS. Animal Crossing: Wild World is a simulation game with no end goal and no set plot – one just lives amongst adorable anthropomorphized animals, catching fish and bugs and digging up fossils. Sure, you’re constantly in debt to a raccoon named Tom Nook, and if you don’t interact with your neighbors often enough, they leave town – but all in all, it’s a wholesome, nostalgic game.

Nostalgia drove me to purchase Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which was released earlier this month. The premise is, Tom Nook bought a deserted private island, where you move to, along with a handful of other animals. He essentially commands you to develop and maintain the island.

My initial impressions are that the graphics are beautiful and that the customization aspects of the game are remarkable. Literally everything in the game is customizable – after you achieve enough tasks and develop the island a bit, you get the ability to completely reshape the island, add cliffs, expand rivers, and more. The quality and ease of movement is far superior to Wild World (this is a given, however, as Wild World was released 15 years ago). Visits to mystery islands provided by “Dodo Airlines” provide an opportunity to go to islands with different fruit, trees, bugs, and fish; DIY crafting abilities allow you to create your own furniture and redecorate in a more personalized manner. 

Shell bed on Beach
Hanging out with friend in museum

To wit, here is some snark from AC

Better April to all of you!

All in all, the game is just as enthralling as Wild World was as I first started playing – stuck in quarantine, I’ve had the option to visit my friends’ islands over online play, develop my island, and explore the vast features that this game offers. –Pooja

Editors Note:

PS: Huge sales for AC:New Horizons. No better way to beat away the pandemic blues, as many people have figured out.

https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2020/03/animal_crossing_new_horizons_sold_a_whopping_1_88_million_copies_in_three_days_in_japan

Categories
Personal

Run

Grateful to be able to do this while many of global citizens are under much stricter lockdown.

Playlist featuring Missy Elliott, ‘n sync, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kings of Leon, Destiny’s Child, Al Green, Backstreet Boys, Young the Giant.

Ready for some carb fueling.

Categories
Reading

POTW Mar 22-28

The articles that I came across that I found interesting. My picks of the Week.

Interview with the head honcho of China’s CDC – Hoping that he didn’t have to give politically correct answers. Given that possibility, still a useful read.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/not-wearing-masks-protect-against-coronavirus-big-mistake-top-chinese-scientist-says

Bacteria that can digest toxic plastic. Could be very useful to cleanup the earth. However, there will always be side effects. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/27/scientists-find-bug-that-feasts-on-toxic-plastic

How they apply Paint Protective film to a Ferrari. Something to marvel at Italian craftsmanship amidst these difficult times for that country

https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a31940140/ferrari-monza-sp2-paint-protection-film/

A longer read for those interested in Human history. Explores how we became cow’s milk drinkers. Lord Krishna was himself a cowherd and we know He loved to eat Butter.

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190218-when-did-humans-start-drinking-cows-milk

Categories
SmartHome Technology

Waiting for 5G

Waiting for 5G

The drumbeat for 5G is getting louder. By early 2020, we should have commercial 5G deployments, although some are predicting for that to happen that by mid 2019. Since 5G requires a lot of interplay with local governments and some governments can take their sweet time to decide on permits and regulation, mid to late 2020 seems like a better bet. Verizon and ATT are already conducting pilots in a few metro areas.

5G claims 20 times faster download speeds compared to 4G. 20 Gbit/s vs 1Gbit/s. Latency is expected to in 1ms range compared to 30–50 ms for 4G. In terms of connected devices 5G is expected to support 1 million devices per sq km. More details here.

These specs enable these enhanced use cases

  1. Virtual and Augmented Reality
  2. Internet of Things — Smart Homes, Buildings, Fleet Tracking
  3. Ultra low latency and high reliability — Autonomous Vehicles, Drones, Smart Cities

The core wireless technology that enables the enhanced specifications for 5G is use of millimeter wave (MW) spectrum. MW has been chosen to operate at high frequencies (30–300 Ghz). The 5G deployments are expected to use 30–100 Ghz range. MW is super fast, but it’s distance is limited, so it requires antennas that are placed much closer to people and therefore more antennas in a given area. Expect your street utility poles to start sprouting 5G antennas (also called small cells). The chart below shows expected carrier deployments. Verizon has the lead position among carriers for 5G.

Categories
Personal

Reset

Our daily life changed for so many of us a few weeks ago.

We can whine about all the changes or use it as an opportunity.

An opportunity to acquire some new habits. Because we just got some time saved from our day. If you are the lucky one whose work can be done from home, here are a few savings:

Average commute saved: 30 minutes

Dressing up for work: 10 minutes

Taking kids to school: 30 minutes

Meeting time saved: 30-40 minutes

Granted, some time got added: multiple trips to the home refrigerator; a parent handling kids of all ages at home all day; more screen time reading and responding to COVID infodemic; more cooking because everyone is at home and hungry all the time.

Regardless, this is a very good opportunity to start something new. .

Run? Meditate? Meditate while running? Or running in your meditation? Start a hobby that you have always put off by saying “if only I had…”.

Studies say that people who work from home work longer hours because there is no inertia to getting to your work desk. We are flesh and bone humans, not a gas that always expands to fill up a container.

So, hope you are putting this opportunity to good use. Something tells me this WFH thing is going to be around for at least next 4-5 months.

Cheers