Posts Tagged ‘book’

Attenborough working on a documentary for the Oculus Rift

Attenborough working on a documentary for the Oculus Rift

Attenborough is reprising his work with production company Atlantic to create a nature documentary for the Oculus Rift.

Beloved nature documentary veteran Sir David Attenborough has announced that he is working on a project for the Oculus Rift.

Conquest of the Skies is currently being filmed for the virtual reality headset in Borneo’s jungles using an eight-camera setup to produce a full 360 degree experience. It is being produced by a joint venture between production company Atlantic and broadcaster Sky.

Attenborough, best known for his documentaries aired through the BBC, has worked with Atlantic before with nature programs that have been filmed in 3D.

Production company Atlantic has already acquired several Oculus Rift development kits and the company’s commercial director John Morris told Realscreen that he considers this new virtual reality technology as being ‘a new platform you can monetize’ and predicts that millions of the headsets will be sold.

Morris also added that the company is excited by the fact that there are no rules of convention around what a non-fiction experience on the Oculus Rift should be like, comparing this phase of virtual reality to the beginning of cinema. This will be one of the first non-gaming productions to be considered for the Rift.

Oculus VR has achieved a significant level of mainstream recognition outside of the gaming industry thanks to Facebook acquiring the company for $2 billion last month. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg explained that he sees the technology as having massive potential for the future of communication beyond its gaming capabilities.

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Aquatuning UK 5th anniversary give away and free shipping

Aquatuning UK 5th anniversary give away and free shipping

As well as a water cooling kit and free shipping on orders over £35, Aquatuning UK is also offering an iPad to one lucky person that submits a photo of their PC to its Facebook competition

Aquatuning UK is celebrating its fifth year of operations and has a number of prizes and offers up for grabs.

There’s a £200 water cooling kit including an Alphacool VPP655 pump and Repack reservoir, dual 120mm-fan radiator, fans, CPU waterblock and coolant plus an iPad mini too.

The Aquatuning UK webshop was opened in 2009 due to massive demand in the UK for European water cooling brands.

In the five years since opening, the German warehouse has been forced to expand due to demand and now holds a massive 6,000+ product lines with over a million items in stock.

It’s now considered one of the biggest PC modding and water cooling component etailers in the world with a staggering range of cooling gear and modding items.

Aquatuning UK 5th anniversary give away and free shipping *Aquatuning UK 5th anniversary give away and free shipping
As part of the birthday celebrations it’s offering the following:

The question is: How many items does Aquatuning have in stock?:

  • A) One thousand
  • B) Ten thousand
  • C) Over one million

Please select A, B or C from the list above and email it to with the subject Happy 5th Birthday Aquatuning.

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Intel announces Braswell, Cherry Trail

Intel announces Braswell, Cherry Trail

Intel’s Bay Trail architecture is to be succeeded by a low-cost system-on-chip design dubbed Braswell and a higher-priced family known as Cherry Trail.

Intel has announced its planned successors for the Bay Trail architecture, 14nm designs dubbed Braswell and Cherry Trail and aimed at low-cost portables.

Unveiled at the company’s Intel Developer Forum China last night, little is known about the new designs beyond their overall aims and the company’s use of a 14nm process node – and, Kirk Skaugen told attendees, Intel’s hopes to use the chips to help Google grow its Chromebook and Chromebox businesses.

Braswell will focus on ultra-low cost devices, Intel claimed, and use a system-on-chip (SoC) design to reduce the size of the final product as well as the number of supporting chips required. The result, it is claimed, will be entry-level smartphones and tablets boasting a full 64-bit x86 implementation and with excellent power draw.

Braswell is to be joined by Cherry Trail, a more powerful design still based on a 14nm process. Unlike the smartphone-oriented Braswell, Cherry Trail will be aimed at tablets and will offer higher performance at the cost of size and power draw. No performance figures were provided for either design, however.

Intel also told attendees of changes it plans to make to its Bay Trail design, promising new models which will reduce the cost of the processors and their supporting components still further. The aim, it is claimed, is for the company’s customers to be able to launch tablets based on Bay Trail designs for under $100 (around £60 excluding taxes) – a price point currently the exclusive preserve of ARM-based systems from semiconductor companies like AllWinner.

The announcement of the new designs comes as Intel looks to partner with software companies to develop packages exclusive to Intel’s own chips, something its rival AMD has previously investigated with projects like the AMD AppZone.

Release dates and pricing for Braswell and Cherry Trail parts were, naturally, not part of Intel’s presentation.

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Facebook buys Oculus VR for $2bn

Facebook buys Oculus VR for $2bn

The virtual reality headset has earned a great deal of interest from developers and both Oculus VR and Facebook want to bring it to a much larger audience.

Social networking giant Facebook has bought virtual reality pioneer Oculus VR for for $2bn.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said that the company’s general direction with regards to gaming will remain unchanged by the acquisition but that he sees the virtual reality platform as a future method of global communication.

Oculus will operate independently within Facebook to meet its goals with regards to immersive gaming with Facebook only chipping in to throw its weight behind striking deals with more developers and publishers.

‘Oculus’s mission is to enable you to experience the impossible. Their technology opens up the possibility of completely new kinds of experiences,’ said Zuckerberg. ’After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court-side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face, just by putting on goggles in your home.’

Facebook intends to bring the virtual and augmented reality offered by the Oculus Rift into the lives of billions of people.

’Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming and we have a chance to build it together,’ added Zuckerberg.

In the last 18 months, the Oculus team has taken more than 75,000 orders for development kits and interest from developers has been high. In a statement from the Oculus VR team, they assure everyone that the Facebook and Oculus teams are very much on the same page with regards to the future and potential for the virtual reality platform.

In reaction to the news that Facebook had acquired Oculus VR, Minecraft developer Markus ‘Notch’ Persson and Oculus VR investor called a halt to plans to bring the open-world cube-rearranging game to the Oculus Rift, citing his uncertainty over Facebook’s motives and their historic instability as a platform as reasons.

’I did not chip in ten grand to seed a first investment round to build value for a Facebook acquisition,’[i] said Persson on his blog. [i]’I definitely want to be a part of VR, but I will not work with Facebook.’

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Restaurant uses parachutes, PayPal to deliver sandwiches


A woman removes the parachute from her just-landed “jaffle,” a toasted sandwich popular in Australia.

Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET)

Waiters are so last century. These days, sushi is flown to your table via a quadcopter and beer is dropped out of the sky from an octocopter. Now, a new pop-up restaurant in Melbourne, Australia, has added another, albeit less high-tech, method of food delivery: sandwiches that parachute several stories down to customers waiting on the street.

The novel nosh drop is the brainchild of David McDonald and Adam Grant, who make the toasted sandwiches, called “jaffles,” after people order and pay for them via PayPal on their Web site. The customers then stand on an “X” on the sidewalk and wait for their meal to drop down like mana from heaven. The locations change, and customers are kept up to date via Facebook. The company is fittingly called Jafflechutes.

The sandwiches are pretty basic — either cheese and ham for $6 AUD ($5.45) or cheese and tomato for $5 AUD — but this restaurant definitely seems to be more about style than substance.

Interestingly, parachute-delivered food could have a real benefit for would-be restauranteurs, as pointed out by Pop-Up City. Storefronts on busy city streets can demand super-steep rents. If chefs can prepare food from lesser-priced spaces higher up in buildings and then just throw it out the window to their customers, they could test out culinary concepts in a much less-expensive way. Plus, there are no pesky waiters to pay or tables to clean up.

At the moment, “Melbourne’s first float-down eatery,” as Jafflechutes terms itself, is taking a break to prepare for a roadshow to New York. So if you happen to be in the Big Apple over the next few months, be sure to keep your eyes on the sky. You just might see a sandwich floating your way. And if you’re in Melbourne, you can help the Jafflechuters create 1,000 new parachutes at its workshop on March 29, where they promise: “There’ll be beer nearby, some tunes, and a full afternoon’s worth of jafflechuting anecdotes (and other tall stories). We’re even working on a way to allow you to be recognised for every parachute that you make!”

(Via Pop-Up City)

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Christian Bale is top choice to play Steve Jobs, says report

Christian Bale and Steve Jobs

Don’t expect any Batsuits in the new Steve Jobs movie.

Warner Bros and Apple)

Move over, Aston Kutcher, there may soon be a new Steve Jobs in town. An as-yet-untitled movie for Sony Pictures centering around the Apple co-founder has a script by Aaron Sorkin (“The Social Network”), but it doesn’t yet have a star attached. Director David Fincher (“Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) is said to be the likeliest person to helm the production. According to a report from TheWrap, Fincher said he would only do the film if Christian Bale signs on as the lead.

The source is a classic unnamed “individual familiar with the project.” Whether that person is a Sony exec or a coffee fetcher, we don’t know. Fincher and Sorkin teamed up previously for “The Social Network,” a geek-flavored film about the rise of Facebook. It would seem natural to turn them loose together on the Steve Jobs story.

Many fans strongly associate Bale with his Batman role, but he does have a notable physical resemblance to Jobs. Back when news first came out about Ashton Kutcher getting his Apple on, CNET was among those rooting for Christian Bale instead, calling him a “strong contender.”

Right now, we’re running on speculation and rumor. Bale would have to ditch his gruff Bat-growl, but he has the acting chops to pull off the complex role. Perhaps he’ll learn from his predecessor’s mistake and avoid the fruitarian diet that landed Kutcher in the hospital.

As long as we’re at it, can we please cast Zach Galifianakis as Steve Wozniak? Share your thoughts in the comments. Would you cast Christian Bale in the role of Steve Jobs?

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‘Say hello to my e-go’: 10 funny first tweets we love

Twitter is the open mic at The Improv of the Internet, so unless you’re a funny person who wants to be heckled, you might want to make your first tweet chuckle-worthy. To celebrate turning 8, Twitter on Thursday opened its archive, making it easy to look up anyone’s first tweets. Yeah, we confess; we fell down the first-tweets rabbit hole fast. But at least you get to share in the adventure with a sample of our favorites funnies. See any we missed? Let us know in the comments.


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Victor the trash-talking robot hates losing at Scrabble

Watch out or Victor the Gamebot might start insulting you.

Debra Tobin/CMU)

Scrabble can bring out a healthy sense of competition among humans, but what about robots? The robotics department at Carnegie Mellon University created a robot named Victor who can play Scrabble, just not very well. But that doesn’t stop him from blaming his opponents for his double-word-score shortcomings.

Victor has a head with an animated face complete with glasses, blond hair, and even a collegiate soul patch, but his fiberglass body lacks arms. He can move, look at the board, and talk to people. He sits at a table at the lounge in CMU’s Gates computer science building waiting for a human to challenge him to a match. Just don’t expect any friendly banter.

Lobbing regular insults such as “Your word scored less than a CMU student at a party” and “I have seen better, but not from you,” may not win him any points for good manners, but Victor still intrigues humans enough that they want to challenge him to a Scrabble match just to see what he’ll comment on next.

“He’s a terrible loser,” CMU robotics Professor Reid Simmons explained in a Wall Street Journal video. “One of the things we’ve done in collaboration with the drama department is giving him different moods. When he gets ahead he goes into a happy mood. When he’s losing he gets into an angry mood and he’ll trash-talk people and he’ll be self-deprecating.”

While human players can use any word legally allowed in the official Scrabble dictionary, poor Victor is only equipped to use 8,592 words selected from “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” a book Simmons enjoyed reading as a teenager, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Simmons and his team created Victor in 2009 to test human interactions with robots, making them more likely to be treated as companions instead of other machines like a toaster or dishwasher. While we’ve seen robots pole dance, solve a Rubik’s Cube, and tell jokes at comedy clubs, this is the first time robots have been given permission to throw a fit while losing at Scrabble.

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Man, mad at Internet seller, texts him Shakespeare (all of it)

He wrote a lot.

Bio/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

Getting mad occasionally results in getting even, but often only in getting madder.

Ultimately, the whole point of revenge isn’t even to get even at all. It’s to feel that you have.

Edd Joseph needed to feel better about an internet transaction. As the Bristol Post declaims it, he bought a
PS3 online for 80 British pounds (around $132) on the Gumtree site and the transaction went perfectly.

Except for the tiny detail that he didn’t receive his PS3.

This he deemed an arrow of outrageous fortune. So he mulled and cogitated and pondered and thought therefore of revenge and ceased to weep. (Oh, it’s “Henry VI,” if you must know).

The 24-year-old Joseph fell upon the realization that you can copy and paste things from the Web and send them as texts.

He told the Post: “It got me thinking, ‘what can I send to him,’ which turned to ‘what is a really long book,’ which ended with me sending him ‘Macbeth.’”

Joseph was mad because he knew he couldn’t get his money back. He’d paid by bank transfer (which is against Gumtree’s terms and conditions.)

On the other hand, he had an iPhone. He realized that with just one pressing of “send” he could text a whole play to his alleged scoundrel.

So he cried havoc and let slip the dogs of war. One text for him was 792 texts for the receiving party.

This was quite some dagger he saw before him. For he had an unlimited text plan, to complement his need to inflict pain. Why not send all Shakespeare’s works?

Not all Shakespeare plays are the same length. “Hamlet” is the longest. Yes, that one would have amounted to 1,143 texts at the receiver’s end. In total, Joseph hopes to complete his task of sending all Shakespeare’s plays, which ought to result in 29,305 texts.(He says he’s already sent 22 plays.)

You might wonder whether the alleged bad guy responded.

Joseph said: “I got the first reply after an hour, and then a few more abusive messages after that. His phone must have been going off pretty constantly for hours.”

This is not deterring Joseph.

“I’m going to keep doing it. If nothing else I’m sharing a little bit of culture with someone who probably doesn’t have much experience of it,” he explained.

There’s one small part I don’t quite grasp. If this story is as Joseph describes, why doesn’t the seller just block his number?

Perhaps he’s afraid that parting will be sweet sorrow.

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Glasshole heaven: Hotel offers free drink if you wear Glass

Give that woman a free drink.

Google/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

Being seen in public wearing Google Glass is a statement.

Some, though, see it as a statement that you are tone-deaf, socially blind, and congenitally self-righteous.

Casinos have banned it and one Seattle restaurant owner described
Google Glass wearers as “man children stinkin’ up the joint.

But now one joint has come to Glassholes’ rescue. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the Stanford Court, in San Francisco’s snooty Nob Hill, is welcoming Glass wearers.

Indeed, it’s not just opening its arms. It’s opening its pockets, by offering a free cocktail to anyone who DOES wear Glass in its Aurea Lounge.

Naturally, there’s an element of brown-nosing to the monied. A hotel spokesperson told the Chronicle: “The complimentary drink is geared toward the local tech crowd who own a pair, and might feel like an outcast or nuisance due to the recent string of negative press. [We] want them to feel at home.”

There is a tiny catch. No, it’s not that you have to first count backwards from 100 in Mongolian.

To qualify for this fine free cocktail, you have to photograph your drink or the hotel with your Glass and post your work to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with the hashtag #stanfordcourt.

In a possible lapse of humor, you appear to get nothing if you post your photograph to Google+.

Personally, if I walked into this hotel bar and saw that almost everyone was wearing Google Glass, I’d run for the hills. Even though I was on one.

But this is bold-faced marketing at its finest. The hotel is under new management. It was apparently spurred by the dust-up the other week in a slightly less fancy establishment, when a social media consultant called Sarah Slocum was allegedly assaulted for wearing her Glass and allegedly recording people.

Stories differ as to everything that might have truly transpired. Moreover, the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday that Slocum was once accused of recording her neighbors surreptitiously with her cell phone.

Still, I fancy that those who want to see a veritable coven of Glass doing their worst will be tempted to the Stanford with the idea of mockery or worse.

We should all be glad to live in such exciting technological times.

I can currently find no evidence that, if the promotion is a success, the hotel intends to rename its bar The Glasshole In The Wall.

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