A Report from TECHSPO Toronto 2017

I was at the TECHSPO 2017 Toronto yesterday at the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel, having registered back in December 2016 this was an event highly recommended by an acquaintance to find out the local technology landscape.

I was anticipating a high-energy congregation of tech enthusiasts with several booths as is expected of large trade shows and expos, however, I was left disappointed at the thin crowd and fewer tech companies being represented at today’s event, while I guess my timing went awry because most of the exhibitors were at lunch break! Moreover, I’m glad I attended because there was a lot to discover about digital marketing and VR/AR from the companies (out of 13 that were represented) I was able to interact.

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My Decade on Twitter

It was exactly a decade ago on this day in 2007 that I published my first ‘tweet’, without the slightest clue as to what I was signing up for except that it was known as a ‘microblogging’ website because it allowed you to publish your thoughts in 140 characters in comparison to a standard blog post. I soon realised, this platform called ‘Twitter’ challenged my creative limits to produce noteworthy but short-lived content in a shorter span of time. It had an informal design set up yet a distinctive personality, but most importantly it brought me closer to like-minded individuals from around the globe. They were known as ‘followers’ whom I ‘followed’ and virtually befriended, some of whom I was lucky to have personally met while in India. Speaking of creativity, an enthused generation of users also developed an inane vocabulary to describe activities with passion such as coming up with terms like ‘twitterverse’ (twitter+universe), ‘tweeple’ (other Twitter users), or ‘tweetups’ (meetups of Twitter users). Back then it didn’t feel that way, but Twitter spurred the imagination of a silent generation to come out fearlessly & communicate and it diminished cultural and geographical distances to unite egalitarian forces.

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Elon Musk, Games, and The Last of Us

I somehow stumbled upon this Y Combinator interview of Elon Musk – actually a clipping, on YouTube – I’d seen the full interview but this video reveals his deep interest in gaming. After stating his recommendation ‘Overwatch’ & applauding the gaming studio Blizzard for their titles he quickly turns to the interviewee (Sam Altman) and asks what his recommendations are, and he says “The Last of Us” (TLOU). It struck me right there that Elon could see his prophecy of human extinction being proved through this amazing gaming experience.

In his presentation at the Astronautical Congress in 2016 he laid out a plan to “Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species” and colonizing Mars to avoid the danger of becoming extinct due to some unforeseeable incident. Without revealing much, TLOU presents a similar scenario in which human species is infected by a mysterious virus and a chaotic sequence follows which brutally resembles a doomsday apocalypse.

If there’s one person who’d really appreciate a script such as ‘The Last of Us’ it’s definitely Elon Musk.

The Last of Us – A Late Review

I’ve never been so stressed and nervous playing games ever, as I have been with The Last of Us – Remastered on PS4 lately. This has drastically changed my perspective on gaming and so I decided to share my thoughts through this blog post. The Last of Us (TLOU) released on the PS3 by Naughty Dog in 2013 and the PS4 in 2014, I couldn’t play it on the PS3 for reasons that I will describe later in this post but I’m so glad that I picked it up for the PS4.

Naughty Dog launched the mind-blowing and one of my favourites Uncharted 4 in 2016, which is an open world thriller and action-adventure title. In contrast, when I played TLOU I couldn’t bear the thought that it required me to work in stealth to progress in the game. The semantics for Uncharted were quite simple and linear but not with TLOU and that left me disappointed on the PS3. When I started playing the Remastered version (that’s what they call it for the PS4) I looked at it from a new perspective with no comparison with Uncharted, and that’s how it became more enjoyable for me.

The Runners, Clickers, Bloaters are without a doubt the worst characters to face in The Last of Us. Runners are still fine as mêlée attacks will overpower them but I have problems with the Clickers who can overrun you at the slightest noise. The Bloaters are the worst looking and the toughest of the group of infected creatures and I realised very late (after several ‘deaths’) how to defeat them. There’s a specific strategy to defeat these guys individually, or you may just use stealth tactics to go ahead further in the game. But at some point eventually, I’m left with no choice but to face their grunts and horrible attacks. It’s the worst situation in this game, one which I couldn’t come to terms with on the PS3 version.

One of my favourite features in the game is ‘crafting’. You could be creating medicines for yourself (Joel) or mêlée weapons or Shivs (sort of dagger to kill Clickers). To craft any of the items I must constantly scan the surroundings for items like scissors or adhesive tapes or antiseptic and so on. It’s wonderful to note how the game will change for better or worse if you continuously engage or fail to engage in exploring the vicinity for items. I have kept searching for Firefly pendants as well with zero luck. There are Artefacts and Manuals too which will help you to upgrade your weapons and skills, it’s a narrative relevant to a post-apocalyptic world and one which hits you hard when you consider the devastating effects of climate change on the environment. The game’s AI engine is also very sensitive to your moves and will change the gameplay often and keep you immersed.

It’s a great game, and if you own a PS4 you must own a copy. Moving on, let’s see how I can settle my score with the Hunters now.

‘User Interface Design’ In 25 Hottest Skills List for 2016

‘User Interface Design’ made it to the 10th place on LinkedIn’s ‘Hottest Skills of 2015’ Global list — jumping 4 places. It puts ‘User Interface Design’ in the 11th place for Canada. LinkedIn analyzed the hiring and recruiting activity on its website in 2015, and uncovered the 25 hottest skills, and it believes that these skills will stay in demand in the early part of 2016. You can also view the presentation on SlideShare.

LinkedIn - User Interface Design in The Hottest Skills of 2015 - Global

Source: The 25 Skills That Can Get You Hired in 2016 | Official LinkedIn Blog