The Valve Index is for PC gamers who use Steam VR…and you may not need all its parts. Sarah Tew/CNET There are plenty of PC-connected VR headsets, and most of them work the same way: a set of full-motion controllers, a bulky head display that has a long thick cord going to your PC. Maybe it has extra room sensors you need to set up. Maybe it doesn’t. The Valve Index is not much different from other PC VR headsets in that regard (see also: Oculus Rift S, HTC Vive, or Microsoft’s VR offerings). It’s not wireless, it doesn’t have eye tracking, and it hasn’t reinvented a way to not be a bulky, cabled headset.But it is probably one of the best PC VR headsets of the moment, and its wild new controllers feel like the future.And yet I recently had a realization I never thought of the first time I tried the hardware weeks ago: this doesn’t feel like a new system. That’s because you don’t need to buy all of it if you’re already someone who owns an HTC Vive.Now that the Valve Index is available (although current shipping times put new orders into mid-September), here’s my guide on how to consider whether to buy it — or which part of it.All the stuff in the Valve Index $999 package (you don’t need the sensor boxes if you already own a Vive). Scott Stein/CNET Welcome to the modular VR world of SteamI mean, of course, Valve Index is a new VR system. Index is a new head-mounted display, there are new controllers, and there’s a $1,000 box that includes all of this along with little boxes to mount in your room to track your movements.But what’s cool about the Index is it’s all made on the same Steam VR platform that the HTC Vive uses. You could mix and match Vive hardware and Valve Index hardware. This is, in a way, an HTC Vive 2.HTC isn’t making the Valve Index, to be clear. Vive still exists, and Valve Index will exist alongside it. But you can mix and match Vive and Valve Index hardware, both of which use Steam VR. Which means, if you already own a Vive, and you’re Valve Index-curious, you may want to just buy the Index’s super-cool new controllers instead, spend $279, and consider that your upgrade.Take a look at Valve’s different piecemeal part offerings for yourself. It felt a little tight-fitting over my glasses. Sarah Tew/CNET Index headset: Excellent video and audio, but…The Valve Index’s headset does look great, optically. The LCD resolution is sharp (1,440×1,600, same as the Vive Pro and Oculus Rift S, but lower-res than the HP Reverb), and the extra field of view (about 130 degrees) reduces the VR scuba-goggles feel. A faster 120Hz frame rate makes things feel even smoother-moving and more present (there’s an experimental 144Hz mode in Steam VR, but I haven’t felt the need). The hovering pull-down speakers on the sides deliver booming, crisp sound. In that sense, it’s a head-mounted display that feels really good.However, the Valve Index lacks a few things. It’s not wireless, which means you need a cable tether. The Index’s streamlined cable setup skips the clunkier breakout box on the Vive, but it’s still a big cable (it needs DisplayPort 1.2 and USB 3.0 on your PC, plus a power outlet to power the headset).The Index also lacks eye tracking, a technology that should greatly impact control and graphics quality in future VR. Eye tracking isn’t really in non-enterprise VR yet (the Vive Pro Eye has eye tracking but only for enterprise use, and it costs a fortune). But still, it’s a missing feature.The Index doesn’t do self-contained room tracking, either. The Oculus Rift S and Microsoft’s VR headsets like the HP Reverb use cameras in the headset, and that’s it. The Valve Index still needs little light-emitting boxes to be installed in the room you’re in. It’s the same tech, basically, that the original 2016 Vive used. The 2.0 version of these sensor boxes can enable a large room to turn into a holodeck, and the tracking is really good — but it’s extra gear you need to set up.Finally, like most VR headsets, even though the resolution’s good, it’s not “retina-level.” Meaning, you can still see pixels. I’ve only ever seen one retina-level VR headset, and it costs $6,000. Someday, it’ll arrive to all headsets. Again, just a reminder that the Index isn’t the uber-headset.These are excellent controllers. Not many games take advantage of the wild finger tracking yet. Sarah Tew/CNET The controllers are great upgrades, but app support variesThe Valve Index controllers, as I’ve said, feel like the overdue sequel to the original Vive VR controllers. They’re great, they feel comfy and can track all your fingers like magic gloves. They can register force when you squeeze them. They feel like the future of VR input.They also have some nice extras that the Vive controllers lack, like buttons and analog sticks. That makes them serve as more-capable game controllers, much like the Oculus Touch controllers.It’s great that these controllers can work with all the games and apps that support Vive’s controllers, so there’s a deep library to tap into. They can be your Vive replacement controllers, easily.But that being said, only a handful of games take advantage of the Index controllers’ unique qualities right now. A list, if you’re curious:Space JunkiesMuseum of Other Realities#SkiJumpGarden of the SeaVacation SimulatorFujiiTrover Saves the UniverseAperture Hand LabsShadow Legend VRVRChatOnwardPavlov VRArizona SunshineSpace Pirate TrainerFruit Ninja VRSuperHot VRHot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand GrenadesPokerStars VRVanishing RealmsCosmic TripNeos VRAccounting+Job SimulatorTilt BrushJet IslandDuck SeasonWindlands 2MossEcho GrottoBlade & SorceryBigscreen BetaClimbeyBeat SaberCompoundAnd, even in that list, some games don’t really do much with the extra finger tracking. The brilliant Aperture Hand Lab is a great demo app that shows what experiences could do when designed with these controllers in mind. But how many games and apps will bother to do that?The Valve Index controllers have analog sticks and buttons and a trackpad, a big improvement on Vive’s older controllers. Sarah Tew/CNET Not the same wireless freedom as Oculus QuestThis is a totally unfair comparison… but the $399 Oculus Quest, all self-contained and wireless, not needing any PC at all, was a more surprising experience to me than Valve Index. I love the Quest’s easy-on, instant-start satisfaction. Admittedly, it’s a totally different proposition: it’s using a mobile chip and has a limited closed-off curated library of games. It’s not as powerful as Valve Index.Again, sorry for the comparison. But I want VR to become more effortless and wire-free, easy to be immersed in. Valve Index isn’t that. You need a PC. You need those sensor boxes in your room. There’s a long, thick cable. It is, however, an improved set of hardware that the Steam VR platform needed, and those Index controllers are really great. I just don’t know, at this point, whether it’s worth your money to dive in. Computers Gaming Post a comment 0 Tags Share your voice Steam Valve Virtual Reality HTC
Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) or jet fuel prices have increased 3 percent to Rs 46,826 per kilolitre, which came into effect from October 1. This is the first month the jet fuel prices rose after two consecutive months of decreasing costs.Last month, the prices fell by 3.8 percent. In a statement, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) said the price for international carriers has been fixed at $494 for October. It was $480.31 in September after the prices fell.ATF prices account for nearly 30-35 per cent of operating costs for airlines and directly impacts profit margins. The prices differ in different cities.The jet fuel price rise also seems to have impacted the share price of domestic carriers. Following the news, the SpiceJet stock was trading at Rs 60.25 at around 10:25 am on Monday, up 2.99 percent from its previous close. Similarly, the InterGlobe Aviation shares were trading at Rs 934.75 apiece, up 2.04 percent from its previous close around the same time. Jet Airways shares rose 3.95 percent and were trading at Rs 495 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange.The Indian Oil stock was trading at Rs 601.45 at around 10:30 am on Monday, up 3.21 percent from its previous close on the Bombay Stock Exchange.The revised ATF prices, new and Old (per kilolitre) are:CitiesCitiesNew Price (Oct 1)New Price (Oct 1)Old price (Sept 1)Old price (Sept 1)CitiesDelhiNew Price (Oct 1)Rs 46, 826Old price (Sept 1)Rs 45, 411CitiesKolkataNew Price (Oct 1)Rs 51, 562Old price (Sept 1)Rs 50, 265CitiesMumbaiNew Price (Oct 1)Rs 45, 743Old price (Sept 1)Rs 44, 418CitiesChennaiNew Price (Oct 1)Rs 49, 474Old price (Sept 1)Rs 48, 108 MumbaiRs 45, 743Rs 44, 418 KolkataRs 51, 562Rs 50, 265 ChennaiRs 49, 474Rs 48, 108 DelhiRs 46, 826Rs 45, 411 CitiesNew Price (Oct 1)Old price (Sept 1)
Myanmar army helicopter. AFP File PhotoAfter repeated incursions on Friday morning, Bangladesh has strongly protested the recent instances of violation of its airspace by Myanmarese army helicopters.Bangladesh demanded Myanmar take immediate measures to prevent amy recurrence of such incursions in future.In a Diplomatic note sent to the Embassy of Myanmar in Dhaka on Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs protested the repeated instances of violation of Bangladesh’s air space by a number of Myanmarese helicopters on 27 and 28 August and then again today (1 September).This morning, Myanmar helicopters violated Bangladesh’s air pace near Ukhia on three occasions.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that these instances of incursion into Bangladesh airspace by Myanmar helicopters run contrary to the good neighbourly relations and could lead to an unwarranted situation.The Ministry further emphasized that while Bangladesh has been cooperating with Myanmar in the security sector, such instances violation of sovereignty may affect the existing understanding and cooperation between the two countries.
Myanmar BGP shoots Rohingya child along border. Photo: UNBA Rohingya child suffered bullet wounds in firing by Border Guard Police (BGP) in Myanmar along the Tumbru border of Naikkhonchhari upazila in Bandarban on Thursday, reports UNB.The injured is Ansar Ullah, 13, son of Zamir Hossain of Raymonkhali village in Maungdaw township of Rakhine state. He was currently residing at Konapara Rohingya camp along the Zero Point.Commanding officer of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Battalion-25 lieutenant colonel Noman Hossain said the incident took place inside the Myanmar territory near pillar No 34/1 of Naikkhongchhari border around 5:00pm when the child entered Myanmar to collect firewood.Later, other inmates of the Rohingya camp rescued the child and took him to MSF Hospital of Kutupalong camp in Ukhia upazila of Cox’s Bazar, he said, adding that BGB members remain on high alert in the bordering areas.Naikkhonchhari Upazila Nirbahi Officer Sadia Afrin Kochi said the administration was informed about the matter.Meanwhile, Rohingya leader at the Konapara Rohingya camp Dil Mohammad claimed that the incident of firing took place at the Zero Point when the child went near the barbed-wire fence.After the incident, panic spread among 4,000 Rohingya who were staying at the camp. Many of them entered Bangladesh out of fear, he said.Ansar Ullah along with his family members fled to Bangladesh during the military crackdown in Rakhine in December last year, Dil Mohammad added.
On Feb. 26, the Baltimore Ceasefire 365 movement was honored during the inaugural Black History Month Community Leaders Awards ceremony, presented by the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism. And on that day I was proud to be an honorary member of Baltimore Ceasefire 365.So, here is the backstory on how I got to be a part of the Ceasefire crew for a day. My friend, Ericka Bridgeford, the group’s co-founder, texted me on Facebook to announce Ceasefire would be among the group’s honored at the Black History Month event at the Banneker-Douglass Museum, in Annapolis. “Wow….Dope!” I replied. “When can I write about this?” Her reply was, “We have one more seat for a guest…and we’re inviting you to attend the awards ceremony. Can you come?”It was my honor.It has been a short, yet remarkable odyssey for the Baltimore Ceasefire movement, an organic answer to the violence, murder and mayhem that has seemingly possessed Baltimore for too many years. After Bridgeford ranted to her son last spring about the skyrocketing murder rate, she reached out to her inner circle, specifically Ogun Gordy and her best friend Letrice Gant (aka Ellen Gee), and the first Ceasefire weekend was birthed in Aug., 2017.Sean Yoes (Courtesy Photo)When AFRO First Edition was on WEAA’s airwaves, we dedicated an hour a week on the show for several weeks, leading up to the first Ceasefire in an effort to help build momentum and spread the word. In less than a year, the movement has garnered accolades from around the world and the nation. And this week, the vital work of Ceasefire 365 was officially honored by the state.“Baltimore Ceasefire 365 is a grassroots peace movement created to raise awareness about the high murder rate in Baltimore City, comfort families of the deceased, and reduce violent deaths in the city. The group makes a simple ask: For Baltimore City to be free of murder for 72 consecutive hours. This simple ask has transformed into ceasefire weekends in Baltimore with much success,” is how Ceasefire’s bio read in the program accompanying the awards ceremony.The awards ceremony this week recognized the incredible, life sustaining work that so many organizations do everyday across our state, typically with little fanfare and too often, few resources (hopefully that will change one day).Organizations like Generosity Global, which helps the homeless population in Baltimore, and Inge Benevolent Ministries, which operates the only shelter in the country exclusively for Muslim women refugees and their children, among the other groups honored, are the bedrock of volunteerism and service in our state.For the Ceasefire crew, getting out on the streets of the city and engaging many of the young men and women, who are most vulnerable to violence and murder is hard, grimy, challenging, joyous and ultimately, life affirming work.It is a never-ending battle against all of the demons that the world outside of Baltimore (and far too many of us within the city) often attempt to define us as; murderous, violent, ignorant, lawless, ruthless, addicted, to name a few. True, we are all of those things. Yet, we are not bound by them, because we are so much more; resilient, loving, fiercely loyal, wise, brilliant, creative, powerful. The good overwhelms the bad, if it wasn’t true, the city wouldn’t be standing.We are “more than conquerors” to quote Romans 8:31-39.When Ceasefire was presented with the award, Gant eloquently spoke for the group. After thanking Van Brooks, with the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, among others and name checking the Ceasefire crew, Gant ended her short speech with what has become the Baltimore Ceasefire mantra.“Don’t let anybody tell you what Baltimore can’t do.”Sean Yoes is the AFRO’s Baltimore editor and host and executive producer of the AFRO First Edition video podcast, which airs Monday and Friday on the AFRO’s Facebook page.