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
The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) logo is seen at the BSE building in Mumbai, India, January 25, 2017.Reuters fileUpdate at 4.35 PM: Both Sensex and Nifty shed morning gains and ended on a flat note. The Sensex closed 7 points higher at 31,290 and Nifty lost 3 points to end at 9,630.Top losers were ONGC, Hindustan Unilever and Lupin while gainers included State Bank of India, HDFC, Reliance Industries and Bajaj Auto.Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have been net sellers of Indian equities, ending with net sell position for the 9th straight day on Wednesday.Tata Group saw its market capitalisation drop to $129.3 billion as of June 21 from $133.3 billion as of June 8, 2017. TCS, Tata Steel, Tata Motors and Titan contribute to the Group’s market capitalisation in a big way. The listed entities have about 4.1 million shareholders.Original story:Indian benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty opened on a buoyant note and scaled new historic highs on Thursday tracking Asian markets and bullish sentiments. The BSE Sensex crossed 31,500 in early trade while the NSE Nifty was trading 60 points higher at 9,693 at around 12.20 pm.Stocks that were leading the Sensex rally included Sun Pharma, HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries and State Bank of India (SBI).The morning session also saw many stocks hitting fresh 52-week highs on the BSE — SpiceJet, Indigo-owner Interglobe Aviation, BEML, GMR Infra, JP Associates, Mahindra Holiday Services, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Can Fin Homes, HDFC Bank, L&T Financial Holdings.Defaulting borrowers in limelightLenders to whom chronic defaulters owe a whopping amount are scheduled to meet today (Thursday, June 22) to decide on the future course of action.Essar Steel (debt ~Rs 45,000 crore), Bhushan Steel (debt ~Rs 44,000 crore) and Electrosteels Steel (debt ~Rs 11,000 crore) are the three companies that are being referred to in media reports.”The fate of the three large steel companies will be sealed soon. Lenders will seek mandate from the consortium to file for corporate insolvency,” said a senior SBI official who did not wish to be named. SBI, which is the lead bank for all the three steel companies, has called a meeting of the joint lenders forum (JLF), the Economic Times reported, citing a bank official from SBI.
European Parliamentary (EP) delegation discusses latest political developments in Bangladesh with senior leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office on Wenesday. Photo: BNPVisiting European Parliamentary (EP) delegation on Wednesday met senior leaders of the country’s main opposition political party – Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) – and discussed country’s latest political developments.Led by the chair of the South Asia Delegation of the EU parliamentary standing committee for foreign affairs Jean Lambert, the EU parliamentary delegation met the BNP leaders at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office this evening.Read more: EU asks Dhaka to hold inclusive electionsAfter the meeting, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told waiting reporters that they discussed country’s latest political developments and the verdict that sentenced BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia to five years in jail.“They told us that they want inclusive elections in Bangladesh,” said Fakhrul.He said the EU parliamentary delegation has come to Bangladesh essentially to assess the situation ahead of the next general elections.The BNP secretary general also said the EU is assessing the situation to decide whether they will send their election observers in the next polls.“They didn’t send observers in the 2014 general elections. That’s why, they hope that Bangladesh will get inclusive polls in future,” added Fakhrul.
Logo of BNPA high-profile BNP delegation is going to meet home minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Tuesday afternoon to discuss party chairperson Khaleda Zia’s health condition and her treatment, reports UNB.BNP standing committee members, led by its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, will meet the minister at 2:30pm at his secretariat office as per the schedule given by him, Khaleda’s personal secretary ABM Sattar told UNB on Monday.He said the home minister has given his nod for talks with the BNP delegation as Fakhrul contacted him over phone Monday.Sattar said most of the standing committee members will accompany Fakhrul during the meeting.He said the BNP delegation will discuss various issues relating to Khaleda Zia’s treatment and her illness.BNP leaders have long been alleging for the last few days that their chairperson’s health condition has deteriorated sharply and she needs to receive better treatment.Earlier in the day, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said Khaleda Zia herself told the makeshift court on Sunday that her physical condition is not god. “Like the country’s people, we’re very worried about her gradually falling health condition.”The BNP leader called upon prime minister Sheikh Hasina to shun ‘brutal and vindictive’ attitude towards her arch rival and former prime minister Khaleda Zia.”Release our leader instead of creating any obstacle towards granting her bail. Even, such inhuman attitude was not shown to the political prisoners in the colonial era. Don’t sacrifice civilisation, justice and humanity only to cling to power illegally. Eschew inhumanity and allow our leader to receive proper treatment through releasing her from jail,” he said.He also announced that their party will form a human chain in front of the Nation Press Club from 11am to 12pm on Wednesday demanding the unconditional release of Khaleda Zia and proper treatment of her.BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has been in jail since a special court convicted her in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on 8 February last year. BNP termed the case politically motivated.
Yasmine Arrington grew up like most of the other children in her neighborhood, but there was one part of her life that she kept mostly locked away, one that she says caused her lots of pain, embarrassment and financial struggles.For most of her life, her father was locked away in a Georgia prison while she lived in D.C. And later, after her mother died, she and her brothers ended up being raised by their grandmother.Arrington, 22, is a part of a growing demographic, children whose parents are behind bars. Approximately 2.7 million children in the United States have a parent who is incarcerated, according to experts..Local residents, City Councilmember LaRuby May (D-Ward 8), community organizations and others gathered recently in southeast Washington to discuss the phenomenon at a forum sponsored by the Strengthening Families and Communities Coalition. The event, titled “Improving the Lives of Children of Incarcerated Parents,” was held on Sept. 14 at the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center.The panel was made up of Arrington, Harold Dean Trulear, an associate professor at Howard University School of Divinity; Cedrick Hendricks, acting deputy director of Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency; Christophe Beard, the management/program analyst at the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education; Alan Inman, president of Global Peace Foundation-USA, Stuart Anderson founder and director of Family & Friends of Incarcerated People; Carole Fennelly, founder of Hope House DC, a nonprofit dedicated to helping men in prison stay in touch with their children; the Rev. Dr. Kendrick E. Curry, pastor of Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church, and K. Ivy Hylton, president and CEO of Youth and Families in Crisis.Hendricks explained how it can often be difficult for incarcerated parents to stay in touch with their children.“The fact that they’re as far away as California or West Virginia or Florida or Michigan makes it difficult for the families to stay in touch with their loved ones,” he said.“If you’re in Victorville in California, you’re not getting any visits,” Hendricks continued. “If you’re in Michigan, that’s a 10-hour drive. So, that has some impact on the ability of incarcerated persons to stay in touch with their children.”Hendricks explained how in a Hazelton penitentiary survey of 66 women, it was shown that usually when a parent is incarcerated, the child can end up in foster care, living independently or more often with relatives, usually the maternal grandmother.This is something to which Arrington, also a panelist, said she can attest.“I missed a lot of time growing up,” she said. “I missed having that father-daughter relationship. “When schools would have father daughter dances and girl scouts would have father daughter events I didn’t have my father there to participate.”“Fortunately, I still had a lot of other people — mentors and family and church family– that would speak positive to me: ‘You’re intelligent, beautiful. You’re going to make it and go far.’ So, I have a pretty good positive self-esteem,” Arrington continued.Arrington said her father is currently out of prison and has been able to obtain construction work through a federal agency. She said the two have been able to establish a positive relationship.Perry J. Moon, executive director of the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, said the subject is important, particularly to residents of southeast D.C. “We see firsthand the impact that incarceration of parents causes young people: the trauma, the impact on their education and violence in the community,” he said.May told the audience that she introduced a bill to the District’s City Council in July that she said will help those children as well. The bill requires the mayor to identify children of incarcerated parents in the District and do a full assessment on them.“Once we find out what their profile is, then we look internally in the District and across the country for the best practices on how it is we serve the children that we identified,” May said.