Category: 32nd

Cellnet Review

Las Vegas shooting: How an iPhone stopped a bullet and saved a woman's life during the massacre

A woman’s life was miraculously saved by her mobile phone which blocked a bullet during the Las Vegas[1] massacre.

The unidentified woman told a taxi driver on her way home that her rose gold iPhone had saved her life and took a picture. 

The photo of the device shows the back of the iPhone completely shattered after being hit by a single bullet.

No details have emerged about how or where the woman was holding the phone while fleeing the scene of the worst mass shooting in US history.

Las Vegas shooting: What we know so far

Fifty-nine were killed and more than 500 wounded when a man, named as Stephen Paddock[2], opened fire on a concert crowd opposite the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.

Thousands of fans were forced to flee in terror after machine gun fire broke out during the country music festival just after 10.30pm local time.

Video taken during the attack shows a packed crowd ducking for cover as the bullets rained down in the middle of a set by country musician Jason Aldean. 

Long bursts of automatic gunfire can be heard amid the screams and shouts of people trying to flee.

Las Vegas Shooting Victims – In pictures

1/18

Bailey Schweitzer was among the 59 killed in the US’s worst ever mass shooting

2/18

Tony Burditus saw his wife Denise die in the shooting

3/18

Off-duty police officer Charleston Hartfield was among the victims

4/18

Victim Rachael Parker was a police records technician for California Police

AP

5/18

Adrian Murfitt, 35, a fisherman, was shot in the neck

AP

6/18

High school secretary Lisa Romero died in the shooting

7/18

Moth-of-three Neysa Tonks was killed

8/18

The death of Canadian Jordan McIldoon, 23, was confirmed by his parents

9/18

Jessica Klymchuk

Facebook

10/18

School office manager Susan Smith was among those killed

Facebook

11/18

Sandy Casey was shot dead at the concert

12/18

Student Quinton Robbins, 20, was also killed in the gun massacre

13/18

A memorial fund has been set up for victim Angela Gomez

14/18

San Bernardino County official Dana Gardner was among the victims

15/18

Country music fan John Phippen died at the scene

16/18

Chris Roybal served in Afghanistan with the US navy

17/18

Mother-of-three Hannah Ahlers was among the victims

Facebook

18/18

Young Lawyer Jennifer Irvine

Facebook

Police say Paddock started firing down on the crowd of 22,000 people for at least 11 minutes at the concert from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

Paddock killed himself before officers stormed Room 135 in the gold-coloured glass skyscraper.

At least 23 weapons, including multiple rifles, were found in Paddock’s hotel room. 

A further 19 firearms, explosives and several rounds of ammunition were later found in his Mesquite home, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

Las Vegas sheriff Joseph Lombardo said he is “absolutely” confident investigators will establish why the multimillionaire carried out the attack – the deadliest mass shooting in US history. 

References

  1. ^ Las Vegas (www.standard.co.uk)
  2. ^ Stephen Paddock (www.standard.co.uk)
Cellnet Review

From Fate/Grand Order to Mingol and PlayLink: Two years of Sony’s mobile big bangs and misfires

It’s safe to say that Sony has seriously stepped up its efforts in mobile gaming in the last two years or so.

It all started shortly after it announced plans to shut down its Sony Mobile service[1], a premium-only program which offered games across PS Vita and certain Android devices, in March 2015.

Four months later, it published Fate/Grand Order in Japan, which went on to be more successful on Android in its home country than even Pokemon GO[2].

Following on from there, Sony opened a new mobile studio called ForwardWorks[3], focused on developing free-to-play experiences for the Japanese market with a mix of original and existing IP.

It’s also started experimenting with second-screen play for the PS4 with its new PlayLink games[4], which require a smartphone or tablet to play either solo or with friends.

It’s a wide range of exciting prospects, and indeed many of the ideas and games already available are actually quite enjoyable.

But with every step forward, Sony seems to be taking one step back.

Tempting fate

We’ll start with Fate/Grand Order. There’s no doubt that the Aniplex-developed game (which actually sits under the Sony Music division) has been an enormous success in Japan, even ranking as one of the top grossing games worldwide in numerous months.

In the last year it hasn’t dropped out of the top 50 overall grossing ranks on iOS, an impressive feat by anyone’s reckoning.

And its lowest point on the Android grossing ranks is 28th, which it hit the day after it launched.

But while it’s been hugely popular in Japan, its release in the West has been a little more troubled. For one, it’s taken nearly two years to make the transition – it only launched in the US on June 25th 2017[5], while the Japanese original was released in July 2015.

It hasn’t yet been able to replicate that Japan success in the US yet. On iOS it had managed to peak at 20th on the overall grossing ranks before hovering around the top 100. At one point it even crashed down to around 300th place.

It’s performing slightly more consistently on Android, again finding a place in the top 100 and largely sticking around the 75th spot. It’s so far managed to peak at 32nd place on July 13th 2017. It’s no slouch, but it’s no Western cash cow either.

Say again?

There are a number of factors at play here. First off, it’s a particularly niche product – there’s going to be a very small number of people in the US who even know what the Fate series is, let alone love it enough to engage with a mobile game based around it.

On top of that, those who do know and love the Fate series and couldn’t wait for a translation will have already jumped onto a Japanese version of the game and just muddled through.

[embedded content]

Sony and Aniplex didn’t help themselves out much with these fans either. Shortly before the game’s Western launch, it was revealed that players on the Japanese edition wouldn’t be able to transfer their saves over to the US version[6], meaning potentially hours and hundreds of dollars worth of work would be lost.

Those that made the jump may have ended up disappointed with the results anyway, thanks to a rather lacklustre localisation. On Twitter, numerous fans including indie translator Andrew Dice[7], noted many spelling mistakes, poorly translated lines and total omissions of important details.

With that in mind, you may wonder whether Sony should just focus on Japan if the games it publishes in the West aren’t performing so well.

But not all its games in Japan are such big hitters.

Swing and a miss

Sony ForwardWorks launched its first game, a title based on the company’s Everybody’s Golf series called Mingol, in July 2017.

In terms of downloads, it’s doing pretty well. It’s managed two million downloads so far[8], no doubt thanks to the power of a huge pre-registration campaign and the strength of both Sony and the IP.

But revenues are a different story. It had a fairly strong start on iOS, peaking at 12th on the overall grossing charts the weekend of its release, but has been in decline ever since, punctuated with slight jumps here and there.

The Android grossing charts are a similar story, with a slightly higher peak of 11th place before dropping down to 98th in the space of two weeks.

Having a game in the top 100 grossing ranks is not to be sniffed at, of course. But for a company as big as Sony, it’s not exactly encouraging to see a game start to slide so quickly down the grossing ranks. The two million downloads and early grossing performance appear to say more about Sony’s user acquisition strategy than they do about long-term engagement.

Get connected

And then there’s PlayLink, the PS4 second-screen initiative which is being touted as one of the next big things for multiplayer games on Sony’s console.

It’s only had one game released so far, the social quiz That’s You!, and based on some preliminary tests it’s a fairly enjoyable game.

[embedded content]

But aside from some very unscientific opinions, there’s not a whole lot to say about the game. Sony hasn’t released any download figures for the title, which is currently free for PS Plus account holders, and the app download figures don’t tell much of a story.

In the US iOS download charts, its currently lingering at the bottom of the top 1,000 downloads. But it’s an app that you download specifically to play another game, so it’s unfair to draw conclusions from this.

It does raise one big issue with PlayLink however – each game requires a separate app to play. Not only is this going to rapidly fill up people’s device memory, but who’s going to keep an app on their phone on the off-chance that they’ll play a party game in the near future? And is a new download for each user each time a barrier for play?

Early days

Of course, in the rapidly-changing world of mobile games, it’s entirely possible that the misses Sony has suffered so far will be replaced by big hits further down the line.

Fate/Grand Order could face a huge relaunch with a vastly overhauled translation, which would no doubt boost its profile in the West.

And ForwardWorks has a lot more games to come, including the fantastically bizarre Soma to Umi no Aida[9] which is launching alongside its own anime series, and big IP such as PaRappa the Rapper and Wild Arms[10].

[embedded content]

Both ForwardWorks and PlayLink are still in their early stages too. There’s no telling what Sony will do once it takes the time to study the metrics, look at what’s working, and rethink its strategies.

But for now, it looks like the company is still struggling to find its feet in the free-to-play world – even when it has one of the top grossing games worldwide under its belt.

Cellnet Review

Internet Ban: No option but to adhere to government order, say cellular operators

“Face threat of license revocation if we don’t abide by instructions”

SAQIB MALIK
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jun 2 2017 1:19AM | Updated Date: Jun 2 2017 1:19AM


Internet Ban: No option but to adhere to government order, say cellular operatorsFile Photo

Even as the mobile internet ban continues in Kashmir affecting day-to-day life, an amalgamation of GSM telecom operators who are also operating in J&K said on Thursday that they are bound to follow such government implemented bans. 

Speaking to Greater Kashmir on phone, Director General, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), Rajjan Matthews said despite suffering huge losses due to the ban, terms and conditions of the licenses issued to telecom companies by the Government of India makes it imminent for the operators to adhere with any sort of communication ban implemented by authorities. 

“As per our licenses we comply with any security orders from the government of India as long as it is applied without any discrimination to any operators. In case an operator does not abide by government orders, there is a possibility that their license can be cancelled,” Matthews said.  

However, Matthews added that during the last year’s communication ban in Kashmir COAI had written to Department of Telecommunications urging that such communication bans have an adverse impact on the subscribers. “We have informed DoT that such bans result in losses to telecom operators and also affect local population,” Matthews said. 

To mention, at the time of implementation of social media ban in Kashmir, Matthews had earlier told Greater Kashmir that it is not technically possible for cellular operators to blackout selected social media websites and chatting platforms. COAI has estimated Rs 180 crore losses to telecom companies in Kashmir due to the communication ban during last year’s unrest. The umbrella body had said that telecom operators have suffered Rs 2 crore losses everyday during the 90 day complete communication ban when both data and calling services were suspended by the authorities.

The latest internet suspension is 32nd since 2012. Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC), a Delhi-based not-for-profit organization in its recently released figures had claimed that internet services were shut 31 times in J&K between 2012 to April 2017. The data reveals that internet services were snapped in the state thrice in 2012 and five times each in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Meanwhile, the internet ban, apart from taking a toll on students and business community has also hit the tendering process initiated by the government. “JK government on one hand uploads all e-tenders on e-portals. Most local companies are not able to participate for these bids and outside companies take advantage,” said former president Information Communications Technology Association of JK (ICTA) and owner of an IT company Mehraj Gulzar. “Individuals or contractors who applied for government tenders are unable to see status and progress of the earlier tenders filled by them. Several young entrepreneurs had set-up technical support and would render services to various clients outside India through contact centers. These centers cannot work on broadband as high speed internet is required for these,” said Mehraj.  

Interestingly, despite frequent suspension of internet services, Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed the maximum monthly increase in mobile subscribers, recent data released by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) reveals.

As per latest TRAI figures, JK witnessed a growth of 1.73 per cent in new mobile subscriptions in March, 2017 which was the most added by any state. JK added 2.2 lakh new subscribers during this month. Pertinently, the state had lost 4.5 lakh active subscribers during the 2016 unrest with total subscribers plunging to 95.74 lakh  in September last year. However, recently there has been a spurt in addition of new subscribers with total subscription base touching 1.20 crore at the end of March 31, 2017. The state had witnessed a drop in teledensity to 77.67 in September last year due to the unrest but has now bounced back to 95.88 in March, 2017. Teledensity is calculated as number of phone connections per hundred people of a region or state.  

Indianapolis cellular networks rank best in US

Indianapolis scored top overall honors on Root Metrics newly released rankings of mobile network performance in U.S. cities.

Among the 125 most populated cities in the U.S., Indianapolis ranked highest[1] in overall cellular network performance. This is a move up from Indy’s second place finish last year[2]. The 32nd most populous city also finished third in speed and data performance. Cities were ranked in six categories – overall performance, network reliability, network speed, data performance, cell performance and text performance.

Things could get even faster soon:Indianapolis is a test market for AT&T’s new 5G network[3]

iPhone updates:What’s new after Apple’s latest iOS update[4]

Root Metrics’ rankings are based on an average of all networks in a given metropolitan area. The report does state that Verizon did have “especially stellar median download speeds” in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis finished ahead of tech mecca San Francisco (No. 86), Los Angeles (No. 49) and New York City (No. 66).

Here’s where nearby cities finished in overall ranking:

Cleveland – No. 3

Columbus, Ohio – No. 4

Chicago – No. 8

Nashville – No. 17

Louisville – No. 29

Cincinnati – No. 33

Follow IndyStar Social Media Platforms Editor @JoeTamborello on Twitter[5] and Instagram[6].

Read or Share this story: http://indy.st/2nHNhpl

References

  1. ^ Indianapolis ranked highest (www.rootmetrics.com)
  2. ^ last year (www.rootmetrics.com)
  3. ^ Indianapolis is a test market for AT&T’s new 5G network (www.indystar.com)
  4. ^ What’s new after Apple’s latest iOS update (www.indystar.com)
  5. ^ @JoeTamborello on Twitter (www.twitter.com)
  6. ^ Instagram (www.instagram.com)