Last Build Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2015 01:37:08 +0000
Fri, 26 Jun 2015 01:37:08 +0000On today's show we interview Caseen Gains, the author of "We Don't Need Roads: The Making of the Back To The Future Trilogy." We geek out, pose trivia and have an awesome time. The book is available everywhere. Learn more at www.caseengaines.com.
Wed, 20 May 2015 14:30:59 +0000News Google's standalone Photos service is reportedly almost here For some time now, Google has been working to split off its terrific photo backup and enhancement service from the rest Google+, and it sounds like the fully standalone version of Google Photos is nearly ready. Bloomberg is reporting that the company is making final preparations to unveil the new product, and the upcoming I/O conference keynote seems like a perfect venue for the big reveal. The existing photo service has long been one of Google+'s biggest draws. It allows for unlimited photo uploads (so long as you don't mind a max width of 2048 pixels) and can automatically apply effects to your shots or turn a sequence of them into a GIF without any effort on your part. Like similar services from Flickr and Amazon, Google also offers free backup of your smartphone's camera roll. And since it's finally being divorced from Google+, the revised Photos service will allow for easier posting of your images directly to Facebook and Twitter, according to the report. Google's Sundar Pichai all but confirmed the plan to liberate Photos back in February, and it's likely he'll have far more to say on the subject when Google's I/O presentation kicks off on May 28th at 12:30PM ET. http://www.theverge.com/2015/5/19/8625917/googles-standalone-photos-service-is-reportedly-almost-here Lightning Dock for your iPhone, oh yeah? http://techcrunch.com/2015/05/19/apple-now-sells-a-lightning-dock-for-your-iphone/#.hvm2gg:VmkU Geek this Week Aaron - Storium fun with ending a game. Magic helping me with vinyl shopping on Friday. Gozer - Mad Max review Review: MPow iSnap X Selfie-Stick + giveaway! On the radar Gozer - selling my PS Vita, game fire sale: SF Alpha 3, Terreria, Walking Dead Season 1 Ghostbusters Movie Select Action Figures Series 1 Asst. A Diamond Select Toys release! After years of producing a variety of quality Ghostbusters products, DST is finally tackling 7-inch-scale Select action figures! With 12 releases planned in the line, the first three will be Ray Stanz, Winston Zeddemore and Louis Tully, each with detailed sculpts, exacting likenesses and character-specific accessories. Each figure will also include a diorama piece – collect all twelve to build the rooftop battle scene from the end of the film! Each figure features approximately 16 points of articulation and comes packaged in the famous display-ready Select packaging, with spine art for easy shelf reference. Sculpted by Gentle Giant! Coming in Series 2: Peter Venkman and Egon Spengler! (Item #MAY152168, SRP: $24.99/ea.) http://www.diamondselecttoys.com/ghostbusters-movie-select-action-figures-series-1-asst Aaron - The new Steve Jobs film. Listener Feedback & Items of Note: Check out my newest creation: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:822739 -Yakov We’ve made our Patreon perks even better by lowering the level to get them. Want to help out the show? Like us on Facebook or click through our sponsor ads on our site. Sponsors: Dashlane: Forget forgetting your passwords. Sign up for Dashlane today. Hostgator: Host unlimited websites for just $7.95 per month.
Wed, 06 May 2015 14:30:08 +0000News IMEO TEAMS UP WITH HASBRO STUDIOS TO BRING COMPLETE HASBRO CLASSIC COLLECTION TO VIMEO ON DEMAND Vimeo today announced a collaboration with Hasbro Studios to offer digital collections of classic animation series from the Hasbro Classic Collection, including fan favorites Transformers: Generation 1 and Jem – both available now on Vimeo On Demand. Fans of the beloved franchises have the option to buy individual episodes for $2.99, rent for 24-hours for $.99, or purchase the entire series for $40. Additionally, the collaboration will bring hundreds of episodes across 13 Hasbro Studios franchises to Vimeo On Demand through 2015. For the first time, fans of popular animation series like Jem, G.I. Joe, My Little Pony, and Transformers can now own every episode in one organized collection on Vimeo to watch anytime across any device. Hasbro Studios titles coming to Vimeo On Demand include: Jem and the Holograms: The Transformers (Generation One): G.I. Joe: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Transformers: Rescue Bots: Transformers: Prime: Transformers: Robots in Disguise: G.I. Joe: Renegades: Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters: Littlest Pet Shop: Pound Puppies The Adventures of Chuck & Friends B-Daman Crossfire Geek this Week Aaron - Thumbtack app for iPhone, Magic SMS service, Parallels. Gozer - Avengers: Age of Ultron Review: Armor Fit iPhone 6 case On the radar Gozer - man cave Aaron - Pebble Time shipping soon Listener Feedback & Items of Note: Hey Guys! Just back from a Games Music Festival in Dublin called iDig Music Festival. At the event I got the chance to meet composers like Christopher Tin, Eimear Noone, Russell Brower, Tommy Tallarico & many more. Me & my wife got to try out some new games from Irish Developers including: Little Acre Guild of Dungeoneering Darkside Detective On the last night we got to see Video Games Live! 120 piece Symphony playing everything from Mario & Tetris to Final Fantasy! A really great experience & any Irish listeners should check it out next year! Love the show -Barry Cork, Ireland Hi guys, I can see life is getting the better of you -- congrats to Gozer on the addition. Looking forward to one myself in the fall. So I've been up to a few neat things of late. I finished my long dreamed of project to make my electrical panel smart, I won't get into here -- it's on my blog: http://www.kazolar.com/?p=221. Suffice it to say, the power bill is now lower for once thanks to one of my harebrained projects. I'll phrase the e-mail like the show -- what I'm geeking out now -- my 3d printer -- MakerGear M2, not be confused with the evil Makerbot, makergear is all open source, and has fantastic customer support, and you get awesome results if you put in the time to tune it right. I've printed some cool things, a couple of transparent lampshades, some medicine cabinet shelves, a few action figures for kids of friends. Once you do put in the time to figure things out, it's basically set and and leave the room for A LONG TIME. Unless it's something small and simple, most prints are either an overnight job, or start in the morning and have it done when I get home from work. And watching it print although is fascinating, is much like watching paint dry. My longest single print so far has been a touch over 30 hours. One lampshade was a long series of 7-9 hour prints totaling in over 80 hours. So it's not fast, but think this way -- upload to it a model, start it up before going to bed, get up in the morning and it's done. -Yakov We’ve made our Patreon perks even better by lowering the level to get them. Want to help out the show? Like us on Facebook or click through our sponsor ads on our site. Sponsors:
Thu, 23 Apr 2015 14:30:25 +0000News Geek this Week Aaron - Silicon Valley Gozer - Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Ant Man & Jurassic World Trailers. Fuckin’ Daredevil on netflix Review: Mortal Kombat X & MadCatz TE 2 Arcade Fight Sticks On the radar Gozer - Avengers: Age of Ultron Aaron - New Offspring vinyl shipping soon Listener Feedback & Items of Note: We’ve made our Patreon perks even better by lowering the level to get them. Want to help out the show? Like us on Facebook or click through our sponsor ads on our site. Sponsors: Dashlane: Forget forgetting your passwords. Sign up for Dashlane today. Hostgator: Host unlimited websites for just $7.95 per month.
Wed, 08 Apr 2015 14:30:34 +0000News CBS' internet TV service is now available on Roku CBS's internet TV service is arriving on Roku today. For $5.99 a month, Roku owners will be able to subscribe to CBS All Access, which gives subscribers streams of many current and past CBS TV series and allows viewers to actually watch CBS as it's live on the air, so long as they're within certain areas. It's the exact service that people who want to ditch cable are looking for, making this an important grab for Roku. Though All Access has already been available on the web and through iOS and Android apps, the addition makes Roku — which already has a huge number of online channels — an even more compelling option for those looking for a device that'll let them cancel cable. For now, CBS All Access' killer feature — the ability to watch CBS as it's airing live — is only available in 14 markets. That includes New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. CBS says that more locations are coming "soon," but it doesn't mention where or exactly when. Notably, those live streams do not include NFL games, though other sports content is available. CBS does mention that you can expect to see All Access on more platforms very soon. "The launch of the CBS All Access channel marks the first of many connected device platforms we’ll be bringing this service to in the coming months," Marc DeBevoise, a CBS Interactive exec, says in a statement. One would expect the Apple TV to be among those, but Apple has exclusives of its own for now: for the next three months, it's the only streaming box that's going to have HBO Now. There's a good chance that'll be more of a sales hook that CBS. http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/7/8364265/cbs-all-access-roku-launch Geek this Week Aaron - Sliders rewatch.Ditty app. Gozer - Attack on Titan, Facebook & Dreamcast, av to vga to hdmi into my receiver & Advanced Warfare DLC pack 2 Ascendence. Exo Zombies Infection, Review: Baby / Video Monitors Dropcam Pro https://www.dropcam.com/store?gclid=Cj0KEQjwgI6pBRDak6aRovWNqLsBEiQA8zZSLo5W2qH7DpmhWX3bBxq4DdGfzbT_rTobi1OZP20SC48aAvYw8P8HAQ VS. Motorola 7" Large Screen Video Baby Monitor Mbp867 http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-Large-Screen-Monitor-Mbp867/dp/B00UGVRI7Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1428453132&sr=8-2&keywords=motorola+7%22+baby+monitor On the radar Gozer - Mortal Kombat X & Mad Catz TE 2 Arcade Sticks Aaron - NHL Playoffs Listener Feedback & Items of Note: Saw this and thought of you two! http://www.wsj.com/articles/arcades-in-a-chase-to-recapture-gamers-1427074744 Still Liking the Apple Laptop Thanks David in Atlanta We’ve made our Patreon perks even better by lowering the level to get them. Want to help out the show? Like us on Facebook or click through our sponsor ads on our site. Sponsors: Dashlane: Forget forgetting your passwords. Sign up for Dashlane today. Hostgator: Host unlimited websites for just $7.95 per month.
Wed, 01 Apr 2015 14:30:23 +0000Amazon has invented tiny plastic buttons that allow for instant product ordering The company is rolling out new hardware today called the Dash button that promises to solve these scenarios. It’s a small physical button that you can stick wherever, and press when you want to order more of something. Need more diapers? Hit the diaper button. Need more toilet paper? Just hit the toilet paper button. Find yourself running low on mac and cheese, razor blades, Gatorade, or laundry detergent? There is now a button for each one of those things. The future where you can just be lazy. it’s a much smaller Wi-Fi-enabled button that will instantly order a predetermined product within seconds of pressing it. Amazon already has your credit card information on file, and knows what size and quantity you want, so two days later, that product shows up at your house. A little multi-colored LED on the front of it will blink after you press it, then turn green to let you know it worked. Dash buttons can be stuck just about anywhere with an adhesive strip that’s on the back, though they are not magnetic. Amazon also gives you a small bumper that can go around it and allow it to be hung up on hooks or on strings. Some smarts have been included in its programming, so that if you or someone else hits the button more than once, it won't reorder until that same product has been delivered to your house. You can also turn this feature off — at your own peril — in Amazon’s mobile phone app. Amazon is launching the Dash buttons with 18 different partners today, and they’re free if you’re a Prime Member. You don’t get to use it on just any product on Amazon.com though. Each button is tied to a brand, or to be more specific, a product from a brand. You can, for instance, get a button for diapers, but it’s only for Huggies. If you’re a Pampers person, you’ll still have to order the old-fashioned way. http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/31/8316775/amazon-dash-buttons-turn-homes-into-shopping-carts Google pushes Chrome OS software, with or without Chromebooks Google announces new Chromebook laptops and an intriguing new device called the Chromebit that pushes Google's operating system without trying to sell you a laptop. Google's mobile operating system may be the most popular software in the world for powering phones and tablets. But Google is also making a push for its other operating system, Chrome OS, which mostly powers laptop and desktop computers. Consider a few of the new devices the search giant announced Tuesday. The Asus Chromebit is a small device that looks like an oversize flash drive that turns any screen or monitor with an HDMI video port into a full-blown computer. With the Chromebit, you can connect to a Wi-Fi network and run Google's Chrome browser, check Gmail and watch YouTube -- all through Google's Chrome operating system. The device will sell for less than $100, Google said. It's set to be released this summer. http://www.cnet.com/news/google-pushes-chrome-os-software-with-or-without-chromebooks/ AT&T’s newest fiber customers to pay $40 more than Google Fiber users There's no $70 Google Fiber in Cupertino, so AT&T can charge what it wants to. AT&T today launched its gigabit fiber Internet service in parts of Cupertino, California, but the price isn't as good as it is in cities where AT&T faces competition from Google Fiber. Google Fiber and AT&T's U-verse with GigaPower compete head-to-head in Kansas City and Austin. In those cities, AT&T matches Google's $70-per-month price for gigabit service, as long as you opt in to a program that lets AT&T watch your Web browsing and serve up personalized ads. But AT&T charges more when it doesn't have to compete against Google. In Cupertino, AT&T said today it will offer "Internet speeds up to 1Gbps starting as low as $110 a month, or speeds at 300Mbps as low as $80 a month, with a one-year price guarantee.
Wed, 18 Mar 2015 14:30:16 +0000News Nintendo Bringing Mario and Other Games to Smartphones and Tablets Nintendo announced on Tuesday that it has partnered with Japanese mobile game maker DeNA to jointly develop games for smartphones, tablets and PCs, meaning that new titles based on iconic franchises such as Mario, Pokemon and Zelda could soon be available on devices such as iPhone, iPad and Mac. Nintendo will purchase a 10% stake in DeNA for $182 million as part of a cross-shareholding deal, according to The Wall Street Journal. Nintendo consistently refused to license its intellectual property to other platforms, fearing that doing so may threaten its traditional, console-based business model. Nevertheless, as the mobile gaming industry has grown into an estimated $25 billion market, and competitors such as Sony begin making more games available on other consoles, it appears that Nintendo has caved into the pressure. “The company seems to have totally changed its mind-set, after having resisted against mobile game development, publicly complained about the low quality of content in mobile and played down its role in the game world overall,” said Serkan Toto, a Tokyo-based game consultant. “This is about the most drastic, bold shift in strategy Nintendo could have undertaken.” Nintendo and DeNA will team up to develop a “multi-device membership service for the global market," available next fall for PCs, smartphones, tablets and also Nintendo gaming consoles, according to the report. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said at a news conference on Tuesday that he hopes the service will allow the company to reach hundreds of millions of new users, while the company remains committed to its own lineup of gaming devices. http://www.macrumors.com/2015/03/17/nintendo-games-iphone-ipad-dena/ Microsoft is killing off the Internet Explorer brand While Microsoft has dropped hints that the Internet Explorer brand is going away, the software maker has now confirmed that it will use a new name for its upcoming browser successor, codenamed Project Spartan. Speaking at Microsoft Convergence yesterday, Microsoft's marketing chief Chris Capossela revealed that the company is currently working on a new name and brand. "We’re now researching what the new brand, or the new name, for our browser should be in Windows 10," said Capossela. "We’ll continue to have Internet Explorer, but we’ll also have a new browser called Project Spartan, which is codenamed Project Spartan. We have to name the thing." Internet Explorer will still exist in some versions of Windows 10 mainly for enterprise compatibility, but the new Project Spartan will be named separately and will be the primary way for Windows 10 users to access the web. Microsoft has tried, unsuccessfully, to shake off the negative image of Internet Explorer over the past several years with a series of amusing campaigns mocking Internet Explorer 6. The ads didn't improve the situation, and Microsoft's former Internet Explorer chief left the company in December, signalling a new era for the browser. http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/17/8230631/microsoft-is-killing-off-the-internet-explorer-brand Apple's TV service due this fall with about 25 channels With the thawing of the spring we have a renewal of an old favorite: Apple TV rumors. After Re/code suggested a month ago that Apple might go its own way Sling TV-style instead of working with cable companies, the Wall Street Journal is reporting similar details. According to WSJ, Apple is negotiating to launch a "slim" package of 25 or so channels for streaming this fall for $30 to $40, but there's a twist: There have so far been no negotiations with Comcast-owned NBCUniversal, thanks to a falling out between the two companies. The rumors go so far as to claim Apple felt Comcast was intentionally stringing it along while it developed its X1 cable box. So fa[...]
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 14:30:13 +0000News Apple Hotness Watch & Macbook Geek this Week Aaron - Meerkat, Rhino Shield Crash Guard Gozer - Evolve & Bat in the Sun Batman vs. Darth Vader alternate ending & Jaboody Dubs How to: Transfer files between two macs via lightning bridge On the radar Gozer - Ghostbusters http://deadline.com/2015/03/ghostbusters-channing-tatum-joe-and-anthony-russo-drew-pearce-ivan-reitman-dan-aykroyd-1201388917/ A Diamond Select Toys Release! Nobody steps on a church in our town! DST has taken their popular 11-inch bank of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters, put it on a large stick and held it over a roaring fire to create this scorched, battle-damaged edition! With a coin slot in the back and a removable head that hides an access door, this bank is a mouth-watering addition to any Ghostbusters collection! Sculpted by Bill Mancuso! (Item #MAY142237, SRP: $29.99) http://diamondselecttoys.com/ghostbusters-toasted-stay-puft-marshmallow-man-bank Aaron - Outatime BTTF Kickstarter Listener Feedback & Items of Note: We’ve made our Patreon perks even better by lowering the level to get them. Want to help out the show? Like us on Facebook or click through our sponsor ads on our site. Sponsors: Dashlane: Forget forgetting your passwords. Sign up for Dashlane today. Hostgator: Host unlimited websites for just $7.95 per month.
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 15:30:55 +0000News SanDisk Announces 128GB iXpand Flash Drive and Updated Sync App With Touch ID This week at mobile-focused technology show Mobile World Congress, SanDisk plans to announce a several updates to its line of iXpand Flash Drives and companion app, mainly focused on expanding storage space and enabling quicker and more secure data decryption with the help of Touch ID. The iXpand flash drive includes both USB and Lightning connectors to allow users the ability to easily transfer files, photos, and videos from an iOS device to a desktop or notebook with a traditional USB port. Currently available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB sizes, the company will be announcing its first addition to the iXpand line with the introduction of a 128GB model for even more file storage. SanDisk also promises new iOS 8-inspired updates to the iXpand Sync app, notably implementing Touch ID to let users encrypt and decrypt their most sensitive files while transferring data to and from the drive. The company also notes that the update will allow users to interact and open files from the iXpand drive with various other "popular apps", as well as save content inside of the third-party apps directly onto the drive. No official pricing has been given for the 128GB drive yet, but seeing as the current highest capacity version of the iXpand flash drive at 64GB retails for $109.99, those interested in the new high-end model can expect to pay a substantial premium over that for double the storage. Update: SanDisk has issued a press release regarding the announcement, noting that the new 128GB iXpand drive will be priced at $149.99 http://www.macrumors.com/2015/03/01/ixpand-flash-drive-touch-id/ Sony's PlayStation 4 VR headset launching in the 'first half of 2016' Sony's PlayStation 4-powered virtual reality headset, Project Morpheus, has new specs and a slightly different look (seen above). Okay, it doesn't look that different. What's new? For one, the screen resolution is improved: it's now 1,920 x RGB x 1,080. The refresh rate is doubled from last year at 120Hz, and the new 5.7-inch screen also has a higher field of view (nearly 100 degrees). Oh right! It's got a new, bigger screen at 5.7 inches! But you already guessed that. Further upping the specs is lower latency, now under 18 milliseconds. Most importantly, the unit will launch at retail in "the first half of 2016." That's... kinda soon? Almost? First things first, there's a new screen and it's 5.7 inches. It's an OLED, and the specs specifically are 1,920 x RGB x 1,080. Wait, what? The long and short is that the screen has a higher resolution than last year's model. It will help reduce the "screen door" effect that many VR headsets suffer from, in so many words. The screen is afforded "super-low latency" (sub-18 ms) by way of improvements Sony's made to the software across the past year, and the field of view has been expanded to "nearly" 100 degrees. And the design has changed a bit as well: It's now got nine LED sensors on the outside, making it way more glowy blue than before, but also offering more points of articulation to be measured by the corresponding PlayStation 4 camera. http://www.engadget.com/2015/03/03/playstation-4-vr/ Geek this Week Aaron - Yosemite 10.10.3 beta with Photos, 1 Second Everyday Gozer - Big Hero 6 & Whiplash, Product Review - ESimple Film Screen Protection for iPhone 6 Gozer tried out the ESimple Film Screen Protection for iPhone 6 and quite enjoys it. It's hard to see, which is the absolute point of a screen protector. The cutouts near the top speaker area and around the home button line up perfectly. A few bubbles were found after applying the film but they were minimal. Gozer liked the card that was included to get the bubbles out. Application was simple and a ripple effect to "set"[...]
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:30:34 +0000News Pebble Time Smashes Through $6.5M On Kickstarter In Half A Day Early this morning, we noted that the Pebble Time — Pebble’s new color e-ink smartwatch — had smashed through its $500,000 goal in an absolutely preposterous seventeen minutes. We don’t generally do play-by-play updates on Kickstarter campaigns, but this one is a bit too crazy not to note. The Pebble train just won’t stop. Nine hours after the launch of the campaign, Kickstarter is still vacuuming up cash at an absurd rate. It now sits at $6.5 million, earning it a spot in the Top 5 most funded projects to ever hit the site. The only projects that have pulled in more? The Ouya console ($8.5M), The Oatmeal’s Exploding Kittens card game ($8.7M), the original Pebble ($10.2M), and the Coolest cooler ($13.2M). All of those had a month-plus to earn their totals; the Pebble Time has joined their ranks in half a day. Pebble’s repeated success on the platform has started something of a debate, with some arguing that they’re too successful to turn to a crowdfunding site. “It’d be like watching Bill Gates, Mark Cuban and Warren Buffett panhandling on the streets of Seattle”, writes Daniel Cooper on Engadget. http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/24/pebble-smashes-through-6-5m-on-kickstarter-in-half-a-day/ Microsoft came remarkably close to predicting all 24 Oscar winners Cortana isn't the only part of Microsoft that's interested in predicting the future. David Rothschild, an economist with the company's New York research lab, was behind the team that successfully guessed six of last night's biggest Oscar winners, including the awards for best film, director, actor and actress. In fact, across all 24 categories they only slipped up on four -- original screenplay, original score, animated feature and film editing. http://www.engadget.com/2015/02/23/microsoft-oscar-predictions/ Geek this Week Aaron - AppIt! StoriumArc. More Storium games. Gozer - Funko Reaction figures http://www.toywiz.com/reaction.html On the radar Gozer - Amazon Echo Aaron - Rhino Shield iPhone Case Listener Feedback & Items of Note: We’ve made our Patreon perks even better by lowering the level to get them. Want to help out the show? Like us on Facebook or click through our sponsor ads on our site. Sponsors: Dashlane: Forget forgetting your passwords. Sign up for Dashlane today. Hostgator: Host unlimited websites for just $7.95 per month.
Wed, 18 Feb 2015 15:30:24 +0000News AT&T announces it will match Google Fiber's price and speed in Kansas City At midnight this past Sunday, AT&T announced it would be bringing its Gigapower internet service to Kansas City, offering to match exactly the price and speed offered by Google Fiber. For $70 per month, customers can get connectivity of 1 gigabit per second, and for $120 they get a basic TV package as well. The rollout highlights how increasing competition is benefitting consumers. After the arrival of Google Fiber, the dominant player in Kansas City, Time Warner, has tripled its speeds without raising prices. http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/17/8050935/att-google-fiber-kansas-city-gigapower-internet-price-match Report: Apple has “several hundred” staffers building an electric car On Friday, recent rumors about an Apple-branded automobile exploded with allegations that a staff of "several hundred" employees was working on an electric car inside of Apple headquarters. The Wall Street Journal's report cited "people familiar with the matter" in describing a project named "Titan," and while the report acknowledged the possibility that such a car might never see release, or at least take years to launch, its sources claimed that the specific people put onto the Titan project—including former Ford engineer and current Apple product design vice president Steve Zadesky—were a sign that "the company was serious." The report also noted that Apple recently hired former Ford designer Marc Newson; if Apple is indeed building a car, then Newson's hire starts making even more sense. In addition to his watch design efforts, Newson designed the stunning 021C concept car for Ford. To further cement its assertion, the WSJ report claimed that Apple executives have held meetings with "contract manufacturers for high-end cars." http://arstechnica.com/cars/2015/02/report-apple-has-several-hundred-staffers-building-an-electric-car/ Geek this Week Aaron - Last Week Tonight w/ John Oliver, Guardians of the Galaxy, BACK TO THE FUTURE MONOPOLY, SUMMER 2015, $39.99 Gozer - Kingsman: Secret Service, SNL 40th Anniversary & App Review: Yamaha RX-V477 - 575W 5.1-Ch. Network-Ready 4K Ultra HD and 3D Pass-Through A/V Home Theater Receiver - -ethernet - 6 HDMI inputs ( labeling inputs ) - 1 USB - airplay - 4K & 3D pass through - volume display on screen - Xbox remote compatible with receiver, volume and mute - Extra bass function - internet radio, Spotify & Pandora On the radar Gozer - Evolve & BTTF iPhone 6 case http://www.cnet.com/news/its-time-for-a-back-to-the-future-delorean-iphone-6-case/ Aaron - Getting back to playing Rocksmith Listener Feedback & Items of Note: I agree with you that Samsung should not try to copy Apple, but I think right now with the introduction of larger iPhones, it’s Apple who is copying Samsung. I really like using the Stylus -- takes me back to the Windows Mobile days, but it’s much better now. The screen on my Edge is MUCH better than the iPhone Plus. I had to use the iPhone Plus side by side with my Edge for work, the size is the same, but my Edge has a higher PPI and it’s noticeable. Still, it’s your preference, you may think Apple is innovating, to me it looks like the innovation stopped with 5S, now it’s just catchup with Android -- Samsung Phablets in particular. The size of the phone -- I thought it would be a big deal, but depends on the feel -- the LG G3 the screen on that is also WQHD -- like the Note and Edge, but it has sharp unbalance corners, no comfortable to hold and the display itself is washed out. The Edge is very comfortable, I’m 5’6”, I have freekishly big palms for my height, so maybe it’s easier for me to hold it, but I find that af[...]
Wed, 11 Feb 2015 15:30:58 +0000News Sony Pictures Entertainment Brings Marvel Studios Into The Amazing World Of Spider-Man (Culver City, California, and Burbank, California February 09, 2015) – Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Studios announced today that Sony is bringing Marvel into the amazing world of Spider-Man. Under the deal, the new Spider-Man will first appear in a Marvel film from Marvel's Cinematic Universe (MCU). Sony Pictures will thereafter release the next installment of its $4 billion Spider-Man franchise, on July 28, 2017, in a film that will be co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger. Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films. Marvel and Sony Pictures are also exploring opportunities to integrate characters from the MCU into future Spider-Man films. The new relationship follows a decade of speculation among fans about whether Spider-Man – who has always been an integral and important part of the larger Marvel Universe in the comic books – could become part of the Marvel Universe on the big screen. Spider-Man has more than 50 years of history in Marvel's world, and with this deal, fans will be able to experience Spider-Man taking his rightful place among other Super Heroes in the MCU. Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company said: "Spider-Man is one of Marvel's great characters, beloved around the world. We're thrilled to work with Sony Pictures to bring the iconic web-slinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which opens up fantastic new opportunities for storytelling and franchise building." "We always want to collaborate with the best and most successful filmmakers to grow our franchises and develop our characters. Marvel, Kevin Feige and Amy, who helped orchestrate this deal, are the perfect team to help produce the next chapter of Spider-Man," said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. "This is the right decision for the franchise, for our business, for Marvel, and for the fans." "Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios share a love for the characters in the Spider-Man universe and have a long, successful history of working together. This new level of collaboration is the perfect way to take Peter Parker's story into the future," added Doug Belgrad, president, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group. "I am thrilled to team with my friends at Sony Pictures along with Amy Pascal to produce the next Spider-Man movie," said Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. "Amy has been deeply involved in the realization on film of one of the world’s most beloved characters. Marvel's involvement will hopefully deliver the creative continuity and authenticity that fans demand from the MCU. I am equally excited for the opportunity to have Spider-Man appear in the MCU, something which both we at Marvel, and fans alike, have been looking forward to for years." Spider-Man, embraced all over the world, is the most successful franchise in the history of Sony Pictures, with the five films having taken in more than $4 billion worldwide. http://marvel.com/news/movies/24062/sony_pictures_entertainment_brings_marvel_studios_into_the_amazing_world_of_spider-man 1,700 RadioShack stores closing soon, some liquidating stock at 50% off In a new court filing Monday, RadioShack has formally announced the 1,784 stores that it will be closing between now and the end of March 2015. They include stores nationwide, from Warwick, Rhode Island, to Redondo Beach, California—it's likely that most are currently offering going-out-of-business sales[...]
Thu, 05 Feb 2015 15:30:19 +0000The Geekcast is Back!! Geek this week, news & on my radar News News: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced this morning that he will invoke Title II and reclassify consumer broadband access as a telecommunications service, something that is anathema to Internet providers. First, the asinine: I give you the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Ryan Radia: This regulation will essentially cause consumers to pay more for less. In addition to imposing a new annual fees on each broadband subscriber, the FCC’s proposal will almost certainly cause Internet providers to invest less in their networks, meaning consumers and internet-based services will see fewer speed and reliability improvements. If Congress doesn’t rein in the FCC, broadband providers will soon look and act like power companies and the old Ma Bell telephone monopoly: stagnant, slow-moving, and anything but innovative. That sounds bad! Taxes! But here’s the FCC [emphasis: original]: The Order will not impose, suggest or authorize any new taxes or fees – there will be no automatic Universal Service fees applied and the congressional moratorium on Internet taxation applies to broadband. So there’s that. To Radia’s second point, Verizon has admitted that reclassification of broadband under Title II will have no impact on how it invests in both wireless and wired connections. On the other side of the political spectrum, Senator Al Franken, an outspoken advocate for net neutrality, was predictably ecstatic [emphasis: original]: This is a big victory. It’s is a win for consumers, for small businesses trying to compete with the big guys, and for innovation. It’s welcome news for all of us who have fought to keep the Internet free and open, and I’m so glad that the millions of Americans who spoke out in support of strong net neutrality rules have been heard. As always, net neutrality is either the fundamental essence of what the Internet was and should be, or it’s something that will axe investment and break the web’s back. As always. And how about the industry group that nearly every non-ISP tech company* you can name is part of — the Internet Association? I am here to deliver satisfaction: Internet companies are pleased to hear that Chairman Wheeler intends to enact strong, enforceable, and legally sustainable net neutrality rules that include bright-line rules that ban paid prioritization, blocking, and discrimination online. The details and implementation of the proposal matter, and we look forward to seeing the text of the order to ensure that a free and open Internet is fully protected. The Internet Association remains results oriented, and it is essential that the end result protect the user experience as a first priority. We thank Chairman Wheeler for including equal treatment of wireless and fixed broadband connections in his proposal. There is only one Internet, and users expect that they be able to access an uncensored Internet regardless of how they connect. It is also important that broadband gatekeepers not use interconnection as a chokepoint to thwart net neutrality protections by degrading consumer access and harming online services. http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/04/tech-companies-praise-the-fccs-net-neutrality-plan/ Geek this Week Aaron - Amazon Echo Gozer - Advanced Warfare DLC & Disney Infinity & WD Net900 Router and Terabyte hard drive & MK X preorder, Predictions: 2014 Results 2014 Tech Predictions: Aaron: Nintendo will release 1 game on mobile to test the waters Apple will move into a new category of product. no watch no tv Yahoo will have a major PR issue that puts Marisa Mayer on the ropes as CEO Someone will announce plans to actual[...]
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:00:09 +0000On today's show we welcome Marc Morrell from Let's Voltron, the official Voltron podcast. Join us as we geek out about everyone's favorite 80's robot. Also, a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating. As always, we have our annual special after the show.
Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:00:10 +0000News: Firefox dumps Google for search, signs on with Yahoo Google's 10-year run as Firefox's default search engine in the US is over. Yahoo wants more search traffic, and a deal with Mozilla will bring it. In a major departure for both Mozilla and Yahoo, Firefox's default search engine is switching from Google to Yahoo in the United States. "I'm thrilled to announce that we've entered into a five-year partnership with Mozilla to make Yahoo the default search experience on Firefox across mobile and desktop," Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer said in a blog post Wednesday. "This is the most significant partnership for Yahoo in five years." The change will come to Firefox users in the US in December, and later Yahoo will bring that new "clean, modern and immersive search experience" to all Yahoo search users. In another part of the deal, Yahoo will support the Do Not Track technology for Firefox users, meaning that it will respect users' preferences not to be tracked for advertising purposes. With millions of users who perform about 100 billion searches a year, Firefox is a major source of the search traffic that's Google's bread and butter. Some of those searches produce search ads, and Mozilla has been funded primarily from a portion of that revenue that Google shares. In 2012, the most recent year for which figures are available, that search revenue brought in the lion's share of Mozilla's $311 million in revenue. http://www.cnet.com/news/in-major-shift-firefox-to-use-yahoo-search-by-default-in-us/ Uber executive casually threatens journalist with smear campaign It seems that for every story about how much people love Uber, there's another story about something awful that Uber has done or that its executives said. Here's the latest one: according to BuzzFeed, Uber's senior vice president of business, Emil Michael, floated the idea of spending $1 million to hire Uber's own team of researchers and journalists who would surreptitiously fight back against reporters by digging up dirt on their personal lives if they write bad stories about the company. It seems that for every story about how much people love Uber, there's another story about something awful that Uber has done or that its executives said. Here's the latest one: according to BuzzFeed, Uber's senior vice president of business, Emil Michael, floated the idea of spending $1 million to hire Uber's own team of researchers and journalists who would surreptitiously fight back against reporters by digging up dirt on their personal lives if they write bad stories about the company. In particular, Michael is reported to have singled out PandoDaily editor-in-chief Sarah Lacy, suggesting that he already knew something about her and could have his team of journalists confirm it. He's also reported to have said that Lacy, who previously wrote about removing Uber from her phone because of the company's "asshole culture," should be held "personally responsible" for every woman who deletes Uber from their phone and then gets sexually assaulted by a taxi driver, arguing that assault is more likely from a standard taxi driver. Uber confirmed the incident in a statement to The Verge. "The remarks attributed to me at a private dinner – borne out of frustration during an informal debate over what I feel is sensationalistic media coverage of the company I am proud to work for – do not reflect my actual views and have no relation to the company’s views or approach," Michael says. "They were wrong no matter the circumstance and I regret them." Michael is also reported to have believed he was making the comments during an off-the-record conversation, though BuzzFeed disputes that [...]
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 15:30:35 +0000News: Obama says FCC should reclassify internet as a utility President Obama has come out in support of reclassifying internet service as a utility, a move that would allow the Federal Communications Commission to enforce more robust regulations and protect net neutrality. "To put these protections in place, I'm asking the FCC to reclassifying internet service under Title II of a law known as the Telecommunications Act," Obama says in a statement this morning. "In plain English, I'm asking [the FCC] to recognize that for most Americans, the internet has become an essential part of everyday communication and everyday life." There's been a growing battle around protecting net neutrality — the principle that all internet traffic, no matter what it is or where it comes from, should be treated equally — ever since the FCC's original protections were struck down in court earlier this year. Those protections were able to be struck down because the commission didn't make the rules in a way that it actually had authority over, so it's been trying to create new rules that it will definitely be able to enforce. It hasn't chosen to use Title II so far, but net neutrality advocates, now including President Obama, have been pushing for its use. Regulating internet service under Title II would mean reclassifying it as a utility, like water. This means that internet providers would just be pumping internet back and forth through pipes and not actually making any decisions about where the internet goes. For the most part, that's a controversial idea in the eyes of service providers alone. It means that they're losing some control over what they sell, and that they can't favor certain services to benefit their own business. Instead, providers would be stuck allowing consumers to use the internet as they want to, using whatever services they like without any penalty. If that sounds pretty great, it's because that's basically how the internet has worked up until now. http://www.theverge.com/2014/11/10/7185933/fcc-should-reclassify-internet-as-utility-obama-says Chromecast adds Showtime Anytime, Starz and new party games A few key TV apps are adding support for the Chromecast TV dongle, including Showtime Anytime and Starz, as well as casual games like Wheel of Fortune and Just Dance Now. Chromecast is closing the "app gap" with Roku and Apple TV. Today Google announced a key update that allows a major app to work with the $35 streaming dongle: Showtime Anytime. The video streaming app is Showtime's version of HBO Go, delivering to movies and original series like "Homeland" and "The Affair." (Editor's note: Showtime is owned by CBS. CNET is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.) A similar app, Starz Play, also added Chromecast support today. Like HBO Go, both require an active subscription to Showtime and/or Starz and authentication via your cable or satellite provider. Now you have another reason to "borrow" your parents' Comcast password. Showtime Anytime has been available on Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV for a while, but Starz Play is not available on any of those three platforms yet (nor can it be accessed via AirPlay, according to the PDF FAQ). Google's announcement also touted a few new "party" games adding support for Chromecast. They include Wheel of Fortune, Just Dance Now, Emoji Party, Big Web Quiz, Simon Swipe, Connect Four Quads and Hasbro's Monopoly Dash. All are said to facilitate family fun on the TV screen. It's worth noting that Chromecast already has more than 50 game titles on its official support page, which now features category tabs (yay!). All Chromecast-compatible apps [...]
Wed, 05 Nov 2014 15:30:45 +0000Today on the show we welcome former Sega of America CEO Tom Kalinske. Tom is the main subject of the book Console Wars by Blake Harris. Join us as we completely geek out about Sega, the Genesis, and all those damn AC adaptors when using the Sega CD and 32X.
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:30:34 +0000It's Halloween time and we're changing it up this week. Join Aaron and Gozer as they recount their ghost adventures and celebrate this spooky time of the year.
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 11:30:23 +0000Our second of two episodes covering NYCC 2014. Today we speak to * who were all panelists for the Voltron 30th Anniversary celebration panel. In addition we're delighted to also interview authors Cory Doctorow (In Real Life) and John Scalzi (Lock In).
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:30:53 +0000We're back with our annual coverage of NYCC 2014. We have so many interviews that we had to split the podcast into two episodes! Today we speak to Brett Elston from Capcom, Zach Oat from Diamond Select Toys, and Hero Ventures founder Doug Schaer who's partnered with Marvel for their new Marvel Experience.
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:30:38 +0000News: Apple: First weekend iPhone 6 sales top 10 million, set new record Smartphone users snapped up Apple's latest iteration of the iPhone in record numbers, the tech giant announced Monday, saying sales topped 10 million in three days. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales eclipsed the launch figures of the 5S and 5C models, which moved 9 million units in their first three days last year, the Cupertino, California-based company said. Thousands of consumers had camped out at Apple retail stores around the world in advance of the launch, some for weeks. CEO Tim Cook said despite technical glitches in the preorder process, "we couldn't be happier." Apple "could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible." http://www.cnbc.com/id/102020922# Microsoft Buys Minecraft Microsoft announced this week that it's buying hugely popular game franchise Minecraft for $2.5 billion. For that money, Microsoft gets rights to the game and ownership of its Stockholm, Sweden-based development studio, Mojang. It doesn't retain the company's founders or Minecraft's infamously outspoken creator, Markus "Notch" Persson. Does that sound like a lot, $2.5 billion? Well, it is in human dollars, but not so much when you're Microsoft and you've got $85 billion in "cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments." Regardless of the fact that this week's deal only cost Microsoft around 3 percent of that, here's the real kicker (in the form of a statement from Microsoft): "Microsoft expects the acquisition to be break-even in FY15 on a GAAP basis." Woof, that's a doozy of a sentence right there. Here's the translation: Microsoft expects the purchase of Minecraft/Mojang to make it a lot of money. And that is why Microsoft bought Minecraft. http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/19/microsoft-buying-minecraft-explanation/ Rudy Giuliani defends Call of Duty publisher in Manuel Noriega lawsuit Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is joining a video game company’s fight against disgraced Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, who is suing Activision over his inclusion in the hit game “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.” Giuliani says he does not want to see the imprisoned Noriega profit from his crimes, which include convictions for murder, drug trafficking and money laundering. Activision Blizzard Inc. announced Monday that Giuliani and his firm will ask a Los Angeles judge to dismiss Noriega’s lawsuit, which claims his likeness was used without permission in the 2012 game, part of its popular “Call of Duty” video game franchise. Noriega sued Activision in July, claiming the company depicted him as a “kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state.” “What’s astonishing is that Manuel Noriega, a notorious dictator who is in prison for the heinous crimes he committed, is upset about being portrayed as a criminal and enemy of the state in the game Call of Duty,” Giuliani wrote in a statement. “Quite simply, it’s absurd.” Activision contends that if Noriega’s lawsuit goes forward, it could impact how historical figures are depicted in video games, as well as television and movies. The company’s games have featured historical figures such as President John F. Kennedy and Fidel Castro, the company noted in a news release. The lawsuit contends Noriega’s inclusion in the game increased the profits Activision earned from “Black Ops II.” The game earned more than $1 billion in sales within 15 days after it was released in 2012. [...]
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:30:35 +0000News: News is skipped this week ************ Geek This Week: Aaron: Broke out the Dreamcast! Played Bass Fishing and Crazy Taxi Gozer: Destiny & GB2 Blu Ray ************* Feedback and items of Note: ************** Sponsors: Check us out on Stitcher! Visit http://www.stitcher.com/geekcast and sign up. Not only can you catch the podcast through the app, but if you use the code ‘geekcast’ within the app and you’ll be entered to win $100! Audible: Try Audible Now and Get 1 Free Audiobook Download with a 14 Day Trial. Choose from over 85,000 Titles. Continue your membership and receive 1 audio book credit a month for only $14.95 per month! Just visit AudiblePodcast.com/TheGeekcast
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 14:30:34 +0000News: iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus. All specs & pricing: http://www.apple.com/iphone/compare/ Apple Watch - http://www.apple.com/watch/ Apple Pay - http://www.apple.com/apple-pay/ Retirement of the iPod Classic. Apple no longer sells any device with a click wheel. iOS 8 On Wednesday U2 gives away their new album to every iTunes customer ************ Geek This Week: Aaron: Gozer: ************* Feedback and items of Note: ************** Sponsors: Check us out on Stitcher! Visit http://www.stitcher.com/geekcast and sign up. Not only can you catch the podcast through the app, but if you use the code ‘geekcast’ within the app and you’ll be entered to win $100! Audible: Try Audible Now and Get 1 Free Audiobook Download with a 14 Day Trial. Choose from over 85,000 Titles. Continue your membership and receive 1 audio book credit a month for only $14.95 per month! Just visit AudiblePodcast.com/TheGeekcast
Wed, 03 Sep 2014 14:30:53 +0000News: iPhone 6 Rumors http://www.fascinatingthings.net/technology/iphone-6-rumours/ Apple denies iCloud breach in celebrity nude photo hack Apple says that the mass theft of nude celebrity photos that were released over the weekend did not occur because of a breach in any Apple systems, including iCloud. Apple says, however, that certain celebrities were the subject of targeted hacking attempts that focused on compromising their usernames, passwords, and security questions — a common and well-tread technique across the web. Though Apple's statement doesn't make it entirely clear, it sounds as though iCloud may still have been involved in the thefts in some capacity: that is, Apple's customers may have had their iCloud usernames and passwords stolen, giving another party access to their account. Apple also says that Find my iPhone was not involved in the photo thefts. There had been some speculation that this service was at fault, as someone had recently discovered and published a flaw in it that allowed a malicious party to continually guess passwords without any recourse. Apple appeared to have patched the issue shortly thereafter, and its statement implies that this Find my iPhone flaw was not used here. That said, Apple's statement also does not make it perfectly clear that this flaw was not put to use. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for clarification on the matter. iCloud was immediately pointed to as a potential source of the stolen photos, particularly by anonymous commenters on 4chan who claimed to have some knowledge of their theft. At the very least, it was a reasonable guess: most of the photos are reported to have been taken on iPhones, and photos are often automatically backed up into Apple's cloud. This may still be part of the reason that these photos were available to be stolen, as iPhone owners may not always realize that their pictures are being backed up. http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/2/6098107/apple-denies-icloud-breach-celebrity-nude-photo-hack Thousands of developers sign plea for tolerance in gaming community Amid weeks of heated rhetoric and misogyny-charged threats and attacks in the gaming world, many members of the gaming industry have publicly signed on to a petition asking for tolerance and acceptance in the larger community. "We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or disability has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened," Spaces of Play's Andreas Zecher wrote in an open letter on Medium. "It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish. If you see threats of violence or harm in comments on Steam, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook or reddit, please take a minute to report them on the respective sites," the letter says. "If you see hateful, harassing speech, take a public stand against it and make the gaming community a more enjoyable space to be in." Zecher has asked gaming industry members to write in with their names and organizations to be counted as supporters, and as of this writing over 2,100 have done so. While the signatories so far include a large number of independent developers and students, Zecher's letter has also drawn public support from developers at major studios like BioWare, Crystal Dynamics, Double Fine, Epic Games, DICE, Electronic Arts, Harmonix, Infinity Ward, Insomniac Games, Microsoft, Riot[...]
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:30:25 +0000News: Director Rian Johnson says upcoming 'Star Wars' films will feature more practical effects and less CGI As if it wasn't clear already, it sounds like the next trilogy of Star Wars films is going to do its best to distance itself from the derided prequel trilogy of the last decade. We already knew that director J.J. Abrams planned to shoot Episode VIIon film (both 35mm and IMAX) rather than in digital, and it sounds like he's also planning to use more practical effects in the next film in addition to the inevitable CGI effects that will surely be necessary for a film of this scale. Speaking on Grantland's "Girls in Hoodies" podcast, director Rian Johnson (who will helmEpisode VIII) said that Abrams' film will be more grounded in real world effects than its predecessors: "They're doing so much practical building for this one. It’s awesome. I think people are coming back around to [practical effects]. It feels like there is sort of that gravity pulling us back toward it. I think that more and more people are hitting kind of a critical mass in terms of the CG-driven action scene lending itself to a very specific type of action scene, where physics go out the window and it becomes so big so quick." This isn't the first hint we've gotten that the new trilogy will pull back a bit from the CGI overload in the prequels — last year, details emerged that the film would feature plenty of on-location shoots and models from Lucasfilm's Industrial Light and Magic. More recently, Abrams has posted several on-set videos — one of which showed off some live-action alien costuming. Still, these are high-budget fantastical blockbuster films, so we're not expecting them to be entirely free of CGI. But if it can be tastefully mixed with more real-world effects, fans may warm to the new trilogy's aesthetic more than they did of the prequels. http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/21/6053587/director-rian-johnson-says-upcoming-star-wars-films-will-feature-less-CGI Sprint attacks T-Mobile with $60 unlimited data plan On Thursday, Sprint unveiled a $60 Unlimited Plan for individual customers. The new service offers unlimited voice, text messaging, and data for $60 a month. Sprint is marketing the new plan as the cheapest around, beating T-Mobile, its only national competitor offering unlimited data by $20 a month. AT&T and Verizon abandoned unlimited data plans more than two years ago. Today, AT&T and Verizon only offer new customers their shared plans, which include unlimited talk and text messaging and different tiers of data per month that can be shared among family members or devices. The new unlimited pricing plan along with a new Family Share Pack introduced on Monday are meant to kick-start Sprint's competitiveness in the market and help right a ship that has been going off course for several quarters. Sprint -- which has fallen to last place nationally, according to recent RootMetrics network testing -- has been struggling to keep customers. In the last quarter, it lost 220,000 customers. A new CEO came on board less than two weeks ago and has already started to shake things up. Priority No. 1 has been to reposition Sprint's pricing so that it not only adds more value for customers but also is easily compared to plans offered by rivals, such as AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile. On Monday, it introduced new family share plans that look very similar to plans offered by AT&T [...]
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 19:52:17 +0000News: Award winning actor, stand-up comedian, voice actor, hardcore video gamer, and all around great guy. You might know Robin Williams for his roles in top-rated films like the universally acclaimed Good Will Hunting, the $262 million grossing Jumanji, or the 90′s comedy hit Mrs. Doubtfire. What you might not know is that he identified himself as a “hardcore gamer”. Robin Williams spent decades of his life enjoying video games, casual and hardcore. He got to see first hand how far technology went, from the 80′s dominated by Mario, to today’s photo realistic titles that an 80′s gamer could only dream of. Related: R.I.P. Robin Williams (1951-2014) We’ve decided to look back at one of Robin Williams’ favorite hobbies: video games. These are just some of the games that he enjoyed playing. Call of Duty Which Call of Duty? None in particular. Robin Williams posted several times on his Twitter account over the years that he loved playing Call of Duty. First-person shooters were his favorite genre, after all. Here’s a post he made on his most recent Reddit AMA: No! I haven’t. I’m still waiting for the next Call of Duty. It’s been very unusual for me because I’ve done trips overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan, and I would see guys who had just come back from patrol playing Call of Duty, and I would say “you’re living this stuff! And yet you’re still playing this game…” The game he was referring to was Call of Duty: Ghosts, which came out a month later. His Call of Duty appetite wasn’t for the online, though. He admitted to not being particularly adept at competing against other players, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy a good story. Warcraft Williams always loved his PC gaming, and shared that he played Warcraft 3 when it first came out. He particularly enjoyed the WarCraft lore and characters, leading him to complete the single-player campaign. He enjoyed the Warcraft IP enough that he would play World of Warcraft for a while. Some say that he was into raiding, but his online identity was never made public. Portal Robin Williams always had a strong taste for clever games and puzzles, so it’s no surprise thatPortal was one that made a strong impression on him. During his Reddit AMA he shared the following: We believe it’s 2014? We’re jumping now to different decades. The time portal will close soon! Another great game – PORTAL. That one is INSANE> You were right, Williams. Portal was insane. Wizardry This one might come as a shocker. Robin Williams had a particular affinity for pen-and-paper RPGs during the 80s and early 90s, with the Wizardry series being a particular favorite of his, making his Apple 2 purchase worth it. Williams was regarded as one of a few notable celebrities that played Wizardry a lot, the others being Harry Anderson and the Crown Prince of Bahrain. Battlestations: Pacific Battlestations: Pacific was the most recent game Robin Williams spoke about. Although he didn’t say much about it, he played it as recent as 10 months ago. He said the following about the game and even his excitement for the Xbox One during his Reddit AMA: I’m playing a game called Battlestation Pacific. I’m looking forward to the next Xbox. I can’t imagine the graphics being any better. It will be like these characters are living in your house. I’ll have to be doing duck and cover just[...]
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 14:30:17 +0000News: Ghostbusters 3 With A Female Cast Isn't A Gimmick It's infuriating that in this day and age it needs to be said. But as Paul Feig felt the need to state on Twitter last night: Interesting how making a movie with men in the lead roles is normal but making a movie with women in the lead roles is a "gimmick."#its2014 His comment appears to be in response to outcry from some that Ghostbusters 3 might just be centered around female folk who ain't afraid of no ghosts instead of male ones. Now some people are opposed to Ghostbusters 3 out a sheer distaste for reboots and sequels, especially long-delayed ones that have the original cast avoiding them like the plague. That I totally understand. But others have a specific brand of rage about this latest news, and it's sinister. Cynics are suggesting that having female leads in Ghostbusters 3 is a gimmick. Perhaps this is because Feig, who is the frontrunner for the sequel's director's chair, is best-known for helming such comedy smash hits as The Heat and Bridesmaids, which starred women. Or maybe it's a snarky view at the rise of successful female-fronted films, like those and Lucy, The Hunger Games, Frozen and so on. Regardless, it's ludicrous to claim that fronting a movie with women is a gimmick. First off, this news of female ghostbusters actually predates Feig's potential involvement by years. Back in 2011, Dan Aykroyd, who has at times been Ghostbusters 3's lone cheerleader, spoke about who he'd like to see cast in the film,and said: "We're going to need... three guys and a young woman." The script was reportedly revised following the death of Harold Ramis last February. Perhaps this is when one lone lady ghostbuster became several. But this might not in any way impact the established plot, which still remains a mystery. We need to stop believing that every movie role has a hard-fixed assigned gender from conception. Recently it was rumored that Gwendoline Christie was cast in Star Wars: Episode VII for a role initially conceived for a man, potentially Benedict Cumberbatch. But you know what? Gender could have been in no way a defining element of the character. If you read the sentence, "a hulking bounty hunter entered the tavern, carrying a heavy gun pointed right at our hero!" is your first thought, "Does this bounty hunter have a penis? Or a vagina? I need to know for plot purposes!" I'm going to guess it was not. Sometimes a role is written as a man. But a few minor tweaks can make it a fine female character. And the result can be awesome. The result can be Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in Alien. And as I said of the scripting of Guardians of the Galaxy, it's not about the genitals of the artist involved, it's about the art they can create given the opportunity. Maybe Feig has an ensemble in mind that's more promising in this instance because it allows for women as well. Now let's consider the apparent bankability of female-led movies. When Bridesmaids and even The Heat opened, such movies were considered risky. But both proved to be major hits, and a slew have followed. The Sandra Bullock-led Gravity broke box office records. Frozen, which centered on two princesses, became a Disney juggernaut and the highest worldwide grossing film of 2013. Domestically, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire took the number one spot, beating out Iron Man 3. The Angelina Jolie-led Ma[...]
Thu, 17 Jul 2014 02:34:18 +0000News: Google buys music service Songza to take on Apple and Beats Google announced today that it's acquiring the streaming-music service Songza for an undisclosed sum. Over the coming months it will be integrating the company's smart playlist creation into Google Play Music and perhaps YouTube. Songza will remain an active and independent app for the time being. The purchase highlights the increasingly competitive landscape emerging around music, as Apple, Amazon, and Google all seek to differentiate their mobile products by offering top-notch streaming services. When Beats Music launched in January of this year, it offered users the ability to build a playlist based on variables like their mood, location, and activity. Songza actually offered this kind of contextual playlist creation way back in 2010, when it was still web-only. The company launched its mobile app in 2011 and has since grown to serve 5.5 million active users. Sources familiar with the deal say that the purchase price for Songza, which had raised a total of just $6.7 million to date, was far less than what Apple paid for Beats. Earlier reports on the acquisition from the New York Post said Google was offering around $15 million. Google's music service already included a radio feature that generated a playlist based on a user's taste and a song or album they selected as the starting point. It also has a very complex and computer-driven approach to figuring out what music to recommend, one that relies on dual-sided machine-learning technology and advanced machine listening to analyze not just people's taste but the component parts of the songs themselves. Songza, by contrast, offers up simple hand-picked mixes like "Indie Music That's Not Too Weird" and "Easy, Breezy, Summer Songs" that are created by real people and geared to match a person's mood. In that sense, Songza is closer to Pandora, which uses human musicologists to decide what songs go well together. Beats Music also has a team of editors hired from places like Pitchfork and XXL to create playlists for its users, and even Google's machine learning gets a little help from an in-house record store geek. Across the board, what's valuable is removing the effort of deciding what's next when there are tens of millions of songs to choose from. "Every jukebox in the sky needs curation to be valuable," says David Pakman, a tech investor and former digital music entrepreneur. "Google is admitting humans have a big role to play in that process." http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/1/5861864/google-acquires-songza 'Overwhelmed' FCC extends Net neutrality comment period A surge of traffic is crashing the agency's electronic filing system, so it's bumping the feedback deadline on the controversial proposal from Tuesday to Friday. The Federal Communications Commission has extended today's deadline for filing comments on its controversial Net neutrality proposal due to a last-minute wave of traffic that's crashing its site for some. "The deadline for filing submissions as part of the first round of public comments in the FCC's Open Internet proceeding arrived today," said FCC spokeswoman Kim Hart. "Not surprisingly, we have seen an overwhelming surge in traffic on our website that is making it difficult for many people to file comments through our Electronic Comment Filing Syste[...]
Wed, 18 Jun 2014 14:30:27 +0000News: Uber: Roll out with Optimus Prime http://blog.uber.com/UberTRANSFORMERS World’s largest video game collection sells for over $750,000 When we first stumbled upon the auction for the Guinness-certified "World's Largest Video Game Collection" a few weeks ago, bidding had only reached $50,000, short of the auction reserve price. When the GameGavel auction came to a close late Sunday night, though, the price was significantly higher: $750,250 to be exact. According to the GameGavel price history, the bulk of the bidding action took place last Wednesday, as users "catch123" and "peeps_10091970" rapidly outbid one another from a starting point of $150,000. The final bid has yet to be publicly verified, though, so it's still possible this could be another hoax bidding situation similar to the one surrounding a $100,000 Nintendo World Championship cartridge auction earlier this year. If the sale goes through at this price, though, it will be among the largest single sales of video game items in history. It won't be the largest, though; a 7,000-game set, including "complete" game collections for 22 popular systems, reportedly sold for more than $1.2 million last year. Seller Michael Thomasson has said in interviews that he set a "regimented budget" averaging about $3,000 a year for the past 20 years to build up his collection of more than 11,000 games and 100 consoles. That's a pretty good return on investment for a part-time hobby and should hopefully go a long way toward helping Thomasson with the unspecified "family obligations" that led to the sale in the first place. http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/06/worlds-largest-video-game-collection-sells-for-over-750000/ Amazon's big bet: How a smartphone intensifies war with Apple, Google The online retailer treads into new territory that will test its strategy of selling products at cost. When the Seattle e-commerce giant introduces its smartphone -- which is widely expected to happen at a company-hosted event on Wednesday -- it will be only Amazon's fourth device in the last seven years. But where its first three products have skirted the edges of mainstream consumer electronic devices -- an e-reader, a budget-priced tablet, and a streaming Internet TV box -- Amazon is now jumping straight into the heart of an industry with the most personal and critical of tech gadgets. In doing so, Bezos is escalating Amazon's fight against Apple and Google for control of the hearts and minds of consumers by combining a branded smartphone with a set of services available through its Prime premium membership. Amazon's anticipated foray into the smartphone world comes as its fellow tech titans have steadily expanded their own reach beyond devices such as PCs and smartphones, with Apple and Google -- as well as Microsoft and Samsung -- introducing an array of services. Their common goal: to power everything from thermostats to medical equipment to automobiles. "The great ecosystem war has begun," said Ben Schacter, an analyst with Macquarie Research. "This is going to be a long, hard war with many battles." For Amazon, it comes back to the smartphone, the one device many people won't leave home without, and its potential to be the remote control for all the other devices in our lives. The company likely sees it as the[...]
Thu, 12 Jun 2014 14:30:21 +0000News: E3 Microsoft: Games!! COD: Advanced Warfare, Forza Horizon 2, Evolve, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Sunset Overdrive, DR3 DLC: Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha, Project Spark w/ Conquer the Squirell , Fable Legends ,Ori and the Blind Forest, Master Chief collection & Halo 5 Beta in December, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Witcher 3: WIld Hunt, Phantom Dust & Scalebound Crackdown Sony Grim Fandango, Far Cry 4, Little Big Planet 3, Destiny Beta, Rainbow 6: Siege, The Order:1886, Entwined, Let it Die, Dead Island 2, The Last of Us ( remastered ) , Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, GTA V, Batman Arkham Knight, Uncharted 4: A Thieves End Sony TV $100 micro console Nintendo http://www.tomsguide.com/us/nintendo-e3-roundup,news-18940.html ************ Geek This Week: Aaron: Watching Chuck. Doctor Who World Tour. Apple stock. Gozer:Mario Kart ( Luigi death stare ) & Wolfenstein. New Alpine Bluetooth head unit ************* Feedback and items of Note: I know I haven't written in a while, I've been listening though. Been super busy with too many projects. I wanted to comment on the Home Automation stuff you guys were discussing. I think that you getting deeper into smart things is really exciting. Welcome! My system is actually totally hand coded. Not some overpriced ridiculous of the shelf software. I paid to be officially licensed as an insteon developer ($200 -- pretty reasonable actually), which gives me access to some of the more tricky insteon APIs. So basically my system is insteon for light switches and motion sensors, and my own raspberry pi powered circuits I've made which control doors, windows, curtains etc. My most recent endeavor has been to make the temperature in the nursery match what it is in the main 2nd floor thermostat -- not a simple task. I tried Z-Wave control vents, total fail, had to return them. I was going to add z-wave to my server, got it all working, but the vent firmware was garbage. Alternative is insteon power outlets in the attic with motorized dampers. I got the code for the wireless insteon thermostat working, so when it reports that the nursery has reached the main target temperature, the motorized damper will close -- and the nursery won't turn into a freezer. Hope to have that finished this week before the central air really needs to get going. Other tasks have been doing whole home ventilation (look into it -- it's fairly inexpensive -- a couple of hundred bucks in parts and some knowhow) and the air quality in the home is tons better. But now I gotta tie all that into my Home Automation system, I want logs when the outdoor air is being let in, when the humidifier turns on. So more custom raspberry pi circuits -- love those things. Sorry for the long e-mail -- but home automation is sorta my thing, so when you get me started -- ask my wife. -Yakov PS. House talking about various events gets old quickly. I implemented that a few years ago. Had to turn it off when the baby came. Hey guys, I was looking through flipboard and found this article. It is about the first computer to pass the Turing test. Just incredible what computers are able to do. This is the first true show of artificial intelligence[...]