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Sitting in the eye doctor’s office yesterday, I was trying to ready my iPhone and wondering if my prescription had gotten worse. As I get older, I have picked up the need for reading glasses if I’m wearing my contact lenses. It dawned on me while sitting there that eye charts would be a perfect self exam on an iPad or iPhone.

Once I got home, I did a search for apps, and of course found out I’m not the first to have this idea. There are a few different apps out there for self-testing eyes, although they all warn they are not meant to be a substitute for eye care from a professional. They also have other aids, such an app to see how different-shaped frames look on you, and to remind you when it’s time to change your disposable lenses.

EyeXam

EyeXam does a lot, but it suffers from being a newer app without all the promised info. It allows you to sign up and create a profile, then take an eye test with your iOS mobile device. It features the letter C pointed in different directions, and you have to identify which way it’s facing. It also checks for Astigmatism, Color Vision, and Macula. It gives you a recognized value for your eyesight, such as 20/20. It will also search for eye doctors near you and give you their contact info plotted on a map. Additionally, it promises to keep track of your insurance benefits, but that part of the app doesn’t work. There is only one insurance plan included, and my guess is the app can’t find any others that are agreeable.

LooC

These apps are all either free, or only cost a few dollars. They will definitely fill that gap in between appointments when you’re wondering about your sight, about purchasing new frames, or when you need to replace your lenses. There is one unreviewed app that promised an eye test that cost $9.99, but it was hard to justify that price to try it out. For that price, it’s almost better to set up an additional appointment with your eye doctor if you’re concerned.

Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site’s sponsored review program.

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The Turing Test Review: A Brisk, Breezy Test Of Your Humanity

Every year there’s a Portal. I mean, it’s not called Portal or anything, but every year there’s a puzzle game that wears its influences so obviously on its sleeve so as to invite comparisons. Quantum Conundrum, QUBE, Antichamber, The Talos Principle, and now—for 2024—The Turing Test.

Here, the gimmick is electricity instead of portals. But still, it fits the genre. So, how does it stack up?

Fork in a socket

As you might expect from the title, The Turing Test revolves around similar questions of human consciousness and machine intelligence as The Talos Principle. Hell, there’s a reference to the story of Talos hidden within one of The Turing Test’s optional chambers.

You play as a woman with the bit-too-on-the-nose name of Ava Turing, part of a crew sent to Jupiter’s moon of Europa to drill for energy and search for the possibility of life. A few years into your mission you’re awoken from stasis by an AI named T.O.M. who says communication with the rest of your team has ceased, and you need to find out why.

Arriving on Europa from an orbiting space station, you find that the crew’s living quarters have been rearranged into a series of puzzle chambers, a la Portal, which require “lateral thinking.” This is apparently impossible for T.O.M. (hence the Turing Test title), and so it falls to you to do things like throw boxes through windows and step on switches.

As I said, The Turing Test revolves around electricity—evident by the number of cables draped casually through windows and nailed to the walls. You manipulate the flow of electricity in a number of ways, but most typically by either a) removing fuse-like boxes from walls and placing them in other sockets or b) using your “Energy Manipulation Tool” a.k.a. a gun to suck electricity from the wall and shoot it into new sockets.

That’s an oversimplification, but it’s decidedly more one-note than something like The Talos Principle or Antichamber. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. This is a breezy puzzle game, one where the rules are clear, there are only so many possibilities for each room, and the answer always feels just around the corner. I blasted through all seventy of The Turing Test’s main chambers and its seven optional (slightly more difficult) puzzles in about five hours, and came to appreciate the quick pace. It never grinds, never gets stuck for too long.

That lack of friction also works against The Turing Test, though. You burn through the puzzles, and when you’re done it feels like a blur of similar rooms. There’s not really an a-ha moment, no puzzle that really stands out as the culmination of its ideas. It feels like the puzzles never get as hard as they should, or as hard as they had the potential to be. Wonderful set-up, but no payoff.

This is most evident in the aforementioned optional chambers—seven not-so-secret rooms with more playful puzzles, ones that challenge you to use the game’s limited tools in more creative ways. It’s a shame The Turing Test doesn’t provide more rooms in this vein, because I found myself sprinting through puzzle after puzzle trying to get to the next optional room, one that would require slightly more of the game’s vaunted “lateral thinking.”

And reward me with more story. The Turing Test’s plot is as breezy as its puzzles, told mostly through found documents and pace-killing audio logs hidden in the optional rooms and scattered at the end of each ten-puzzle chapter. (Please, developers, if you have to include audio logs at least make it so I don’t have to stand in one place to listen to them.)

The title probably gives you a good idea of the game’s themes—“Can machines think?” “Are they conscious?” “Are they conscious in the same manner as humans?” “Do they make decisions?” “Does free will exist?”

Classic themes, although The Turing Test isn’t nearly as subtle or contemplative as The Talos Principle. There’s quite a bit of backstory to piece together, and playing post-hoc detective in search of the crew makes for ghoulish fun, but The Turing Test doesn’t say much that hasn’t been said by a thousand other robot stories. And it’s so damned earnest about it too.

Bottom line

I don’t want to disparage The Turing Test too much. It suffers by nature of comparisons with other similar games, but perhaps unfairly. With its lightweight puzzles and plot, The Turing Test is one of those “Great-For-An-Afternoon” games, the ones that scratch a specific itch and go down easy. In this case, it’s the “I need something like Portal, but I’ve already played Portal” itch.

Sometimes that’s exactly what you need.

Fix: There Was A Problem Reading This Document

FIX: There was a problem reading this document [Adobe error]

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Stuck on There was a problem reading this document? Try your hand at repairing the PDF with specialized tools.

Adobe error 14 will prevent you from opening your file. Fortunately, there is no shortage of PDF openers on the market.

Thus, different software can just as well mean the end of PDF error 14.

Another solution to Acrobat Reader error 14 is to extract pages from the PDF – make sure sure you give it a try!

Adobe error 14 pops up for some users when they try to open PDF documents. The full error message states: The document could not be saved. there was a problem reading this document (14).

Consequently, users can’t open PDFs in AR. Obviously, you can try to repair your document in order to eliminate the PDF error 14. But there are other quicker solutions as well. In the end, it’s all up to you.

Here are a few resolutions that might fix Adobe Error 14: There was a problem reading this document.

How do I fix Adobe Reader error 14? 1. Update Adobe Reader

The Adobe error 14 is often due to outdated Adobe software. PDF documents set up with the most recent Adobe software won’t always open in earlier AR versions. Thus, updating your AR software to the latest version will probably fix the issue if there are updates available.

In many cases, the version you have can still have issues after updating it as it has previous function errors. In this case, we strongly suggest you re-check the source if you use genuine software. If it’s not from the official Adobe website, you should uninstall it and delete all its entries.

After that, you can get a copy from the official website. Check the same PDF to see if the error there was a problem reading this document is still there.

2. Repair the PDF File

There was a problem reading this document error might also pop up if the PDF file is in some way corrupted. Thus, you might need to repair the file in order to open it. And you can do so easily with specialized PDF repair tools.

The guidelines are pretty straightforward and similar to most software available on the market. To ease your search we recommend using Stellar PDF Repair. So, here goes:

3. Open the PDF with alternative software

This resolution might not exactly be a fix, but there are plenty of alternatives to Adobe Reader. If you get that there was a problem reading this document error in Adobe, you might give it a try from a different PDF reader.

Even browsers such as Edge can view these files now. So why not give it a go? We recommend you pick a fast and lightweight tool that can act as a PDF opener and editor alike.

⇒ Get Soda PDF

4. Extract pages from the PDF

Some users have confirmed that extracting pages from PDF documents can fix Adobe error 14. You’ll need to open the pages separately in Adobe Reader after extracting them.

This is how you can extract pages from PDFs with the Sejda PDF extractor.

By following any of these steps or using any of the software solutions listed below, you should now be able to fix PDF error 14 and any PDF-related issues for that matter.

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Valve Index Impressions: An Eye

Commitment-phobic

Which I guess brings me to my first point: The Valve Index uses base stations.

I’m torn. PC-based virtual reality is in a weird spot right now, I think. On the one hand, writing about the Oculus Rift S a few weeks ago, I said the following:

“If you’re hardcore enough about VR that you prefer to hook up to an expensive gaming PC (and deal with the accompanying cable) rather than opt for the less powerful (but self-contained and wireless) Oculus Quest, you’re also more likely to care about flawed controller tracking—and less likely to care about mounting base stations to your wall to ensure peak performance.”

I stand by that statement. And as far as tracking goes, the Vive/Index base stations are the gold standard. The original generation was near-flawless. The second generation might actually be flawless, with a wider field of view both horizontally and vertically. They cover an enormous area, and they do it well. There’s not much else to say.

Valve

Base stations are cumbersome though, no doubt about it. Mounting them on the wall is a commitment. Choosing not to mount them usually proves annoying sooner or later, as they either end up in the way or get bumped and need adjusting. I’d also nearly forgotten about the high-pitched whine the base stations emit, having unplugged my Vive a few months ago for Rift S testing. That’s back now as well.

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Oculus Rift S

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That said, there are benefits to being plugged in. Keep in mind, these are just our early impressions, but my early impression was “Holy [Redacted].”

Valve

The Valve Index jumps from 110 degrees to 130ish degrees and it is (heh) eye-opening. I didn’t notice the difference so much horizontally, but vertically it was like removing blinders. Did you know you can usually see the ceiling and floor while staring straight ahead? Subconsciously, I’d gotten used to not being able to in VR, grown accustomed to moving my entire head to look up or down. The Valve Index makes that unnecessary.

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It looks crisp, too. On paper the Vive Pro and Index have the same 1440×1600 resolution per eye, for a total of 2880×1600. The Index’s RGB LCD display has more subpixels than the Vive Pro’s AMOLED display though. For the layperson: We think of the pixel as being the base unit for displays, but like an atom it can be subdivided into smaller components, or subpixels. These are the actual colored bands of light that, in combination, allow a pixel to reproduce the full spectrum.

Note that the Oculus Rift S also pivoted to RGB LCD and thus looks similarly crisp, but the Index’s higher resolution and larger FOV take it a step further.

Valve

It makes minimal impact on how games are played, but the subconscious difference is enormous—or at least it was in my case. When I first donned the Valve Index I noticed how smooth and snappy the hand-tracking felt, only to realize it was due to the increased frame rate. The difference was especially noticeable because I was coming from the Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest, which run at 80Hz and 72Hz respectively, but even compared to the 90Hz Vive Pro the Index feels fluid.

I am admittedly sensitive to frame rate and use a 144Hz monitor at home, so your mileage may vary. I was impressed though.

Knuckle up

You’re going to spend a lot of time staring at your hands too. A lot. As I said, the Index also ushers in the official release of Valve’s old “Knuckles” prototype controllers, which we first saw back in the halcyon days of 2024, back before Oculus had even released its first-gen Touch controllers.

Anyway, the “Knuckles” controllers have been redubbed the “Valve Index Controllers,” which is way less fun. Regardless, this is the hardware I was most excited to get my hands on (literally), because it’s so different.

Valve

I’m going to simplify a bit here, but the HTC Vive Wands essentially track three different parts of your hand: Thumb, pointer finger, and three-finger grip. Of those, the thumb is the only one with fine movement reproduction, thanks to the capacitive touchpad. The other fingers were basically “On” or “Off,” though the pointer finger at least had an analog trigger.

Oculus’s Touch controllers improved on this by making all buttons capacitive, and both the trigger and grips analog. Suddenly you could have a hand that was half-open!

IDG / Hayden Dingman

Like so.

This allows for more realistic item manipulation. To pick up an item, you “grab” the Index controller. To drop it, you open your hand and “let go.” There are also sensors built into basically the entire chassis, so you can close your hand halfway, or point, or ball up just your ring and pinky fingers or whatever and in theory the Index controllers know what you’re doing. (Check out this Valve blog post for some nifty GIFs.)

There’s very little software support for the Index controllers so far, and I’ll need a lot more time with them before we do a proper review. That said, it’s…interesting. When it works it’s incredible, but I’ve had plenty of moments where it doesn’t quite understand what my hand’s doing and it’s taken me out of the experience.

I also find myself fighting my instincts. “Open your hand” to drop an item sound intuitive enough, and yet I keep not doing it. I think it’s the weight of the Index controllers that throws me, because of course when you let go of a virtual item the Index controllers stay put. It makes it hard to “drop” them, even knowing they’re firmly fastened to my hands.

IDG / Hayden Dingman

Still, I love certain features, like the variable grip strength—used to great effect in Valve and Cloudhead’s Aperture Hand Labs, when you grasp a robot with a handshake so firm its arm rips off. That’s cute.

And I’m hoping more time is the answer to the rest. That means more time on Valve’s end to iron out the software kinks, and more time on mine to get used to the whole idea. Part of me wonders whether Valve sent out review units this early for that express purpose, because honestly the Index controllers require a shift in thought that’s comparable in some respects to the ill-fated Steam Controller, a novelty that seemingly everyone bought but…well, let’s just say I don’t know anyone who uses one regularly. It doesn’t mean nobody is, but we didn’t suddenly give up analog sticks industry-wide.

IDG / Hayden Dingman

You can make a peace sign, or (more likely) ruder gestures.

People don’t have two decades of VR instinct ingrained in them, but the Index controllers are going to take an adjustment period nevertheless. I’m looking forward to digging into Vacation Simulator, Arizona Sunshine, and the rest of the early proofs-of-concept to see if I can make the switch in style.

Bottom line

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While you’re at it, be sure to check out our Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest reviews. Valve’s not shipping the first Index units until June, but the second generation of VR’s already started—especially if you hate wires.

Is There A Link Between Headaches And Gallbladder Problems?

A common health issue most of us face is that of headaches. We related our headache issues to migraine, or maybe change in weather conditions, stress levels, and sometimes serious health ailments. However, headaches may also be linked to health conditions of the gall bladder. Both headaches and gallbladder problems are two common health issues that affect a significant number of people worldwide. Although it may seem unlikely, there is a link between the two conditions that has been researched in various studies. In our subsequent sections, we will explore the relationship between headaches and gallbladder problems and discuss the possible mechanisms that connect them.

The link between headaches and gallbladder problems

Let us first start by understanding what each problem is.

Headache

A headache is a very common form of pain that occurs in the head or neck region. A number of factors trigger headaches. The factors can be tension, stress, dehydration, or certain medical conditions. Yes, gallbladder conditions too.

Gallbladder problems

A gallbladder is a small organ located near the liver. Gallbladder problems, on the other hand, involve issues that arise in the gallbladder. The issues can range from gallstones to inflammation and infection of the gallbladder. Common symptoms of gallbladder problems include abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.

How are headaches linked to gallbladder problems?

Research studies suggest that headaches and gallbladder problems are linked due to the disruption of bile flow in the body.

The bile juice, stored in the gallbladder, plays an essential role in the digestion of food. When there is a disturbance in the bile flow, it can lead to the formation of gallstones, which block the bile ducts and cause pain in the abdominal region of the human body causing a lot of stress and discomfort. It is the pain and discomfort that may also trigger headaches.

Conditions where the gallbladder is infected and there is inflammation may also cause a systemic inflammatory response that can trigger headaches. Inflammation releases chemicals known as cytokines, which triggers headaches and other symptoms such as fever, fatigue, and body aches.

Another major reason can be the use of certain medications used to treat gallbladder conditions. The use of opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which health experts often prescribe to treat gallbladder pains may lead to rebound headaches.

The above reasons pretty much make it evident why some people may experience headaches during a gallbladder ailment.

Treatment of headaches caused by gallbladder problems

While we strongly recommend you consult a health expert of your family physician for diagnosis of the underlying cause and treatment, here is some information on how one can treat headaches caused by gallbladder problems –

If the headaches are caused by gallstones, your doctor may rely on treatment which includes medication, surgery, or a combination of the two.

Oftentimes, people experience relief from their headaches after undergoing gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy).

You may also take antibiotics to treat infections, and medications to relieve pain

Dietary changes work a great deal in minimizing gallbladder symptoms.

Conclusion

While the link between headaches and gallbladder problems may not be very obvious, it does exist. The disruption of bile flow, inflammation, and medication side effects may all contribute to the occurrence of headaches in people with gallbladder problems. If you experience frequent headaches and other symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, it is essential to seek medical attention to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Ethernet Vs. Wifi In Gaming: Is There A Real Difference?

A common question in PC gaming is the choice between playing over ethernet cables (wired) or Wi-Fi (wireless). While there is a simple answer to that question, ultimately a lot of different circumstances and variables come into play that can make either option a valid one. Stick around to find out which is right for you.

Ethernet vs. WiFi: Basic Differences

The most basic difference between ethernet and WiFi connections is obvious. One requires you to physically tether yourself to your router, which isn’t ideal on a laptop, while the other allows you to use your connection from anywhere within range.

For many people the question of ethernet vs. WiFi just boils down to simple convenience, and this is as far as the argument goes. In fact, people who attend universities or live in shared housing may be literally unable to use ethernet, making WiFi the best and only option for them.

However, there’s quite a bit more to discuss than that, especially when gaming or using other low-latency applications.

Ethernet vs. WiFi: Performance and Reliability

There are multiple factors that affect performance of these standards. The kind of cabling you use for ethernet and the supported WiFi hardware of your devices, for instance, can make a huge difference in the performance and reliability of these standards!

In most cases, however, ethernet is by far the most reliable solution for gamers. This is because WiFi routers do something called “QoS,” or Quality of Service, wherein traffic is shaped and prioritized based on how the router perceives its importance.

Many mainstream wireless routers, such as the one you get from your ISP, may not view your games as a latency-sensitive application, instead prioritizing voice and video over your gaming traffic. This is especially bad on slower connections (5mbps and below) where there’s not much bandwidth to share, and using an unoptimized wireless setup for your games here will result in frequent packet loss (lag spikes), increased ping (delayed response time) and general connectivity issues.

It is important that gaming traffic is able to be prioritized, and non-gaming-oriented WiFi routers often fail to do that.

By connecting directly over ethernet, however, users don’t need to worry about prioritization. And thanks to the fact that you’re hard-wired to the router, you won’t generally need to worry about packet loss and unplayable pings since you’re on a stable, reliable connection.

For people with high-end connections, they’ll also enjoy higher download speeds than offered by most WiFi standards (more on that in a bit), since ethernet cables (especially Cat-5 and higher) are typically much faster than what your average-joe WiFi connection has to offer.

Gaming online means that there will inevitably be some level of latency between you, the server and the other people you’re playing against, but using an ethernet cable minimizes latency and interference as much as one can gaming over that distance.

So the common wisdom would be that ethernet wins, now and forever, right?

Ethernet vs. WiFi: New Solutions on the Market

The debut of the 802.11ac standard has brought some of the benefits of wired to contention. Since very, very few consumer Internet connections exceed 1Gbps, there is no longer a severe download/upload speed bottleneck by using WiFi. There are notable improvements in latency as well, but there are two key issues:

The 802.11ac standard does not protect from wireless interference or an overcrowded network, which is the usual cause of poor/inconsistent gaming performance on WiFi.

The 802.11ac standard also suffers from having much less range which lessens the convenience angle of WiFi by a notable margin, especially when compared to the 802.11g standard.

On a non-congested network with minimal interference, Wi-Fi over 802.11ac or 802.11g should be fine … in most circumstances. However, if you’re playing competitive and are looking to seriously improve your game, you need consistent performance from both your PC’s hardware and your networking setup.

Here are a few articles around the site that can help you do that:

Finally, I leave you with this last bit. Do you game wireless or wired? Casually or competitively? Do your experiences contradict this article? Is there something not considered here? Do you need help figuring out gaming performance issues on your network? Comment below and let us know!

Christopher Harper

I’m a longtime gamer, computer nerd, and general tech enthusiast.

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