Posts Tagged ‘dog’

Titanfall live action series inbound

Titanfall live action series inbound

Playfight has previously done work on Call of Duty live-action content.

Multiplayer mech-shooter game Titanfall is to be joined by its own live action series.

In a collaboration between developer Respawn Entertainment and Playfight, Titanfall: Free the Frontier will build on the Titanfall universe.

The content will be launched tomorrow alongside the game’s North American launch. Titanfall will be launching in the UK on Thursday.

‘Titanfall is set in a rich near future universe with visceral, epic battles with Pilots and their Titan companions, reads the announcement site. ‘We wanted to partner with Playfight, who has a history of delivering movies that meld gameplay, live action and stellar CG into truly entertaining media, for Titanfall.’

Playfight has previously worked on Video Game High School and Call of Duty: Operation Kingfish. The production house specialises in visual effects, animation and motion graphics.

Video games have increasingly been experimenting with this sort of cross-media project. A live action series, Forward Unto Dawn, was used to support the launch of Halo 4 in October 2012 and proved a successful method of promotion.

Other games have also received anime or comic book treatments while Hollywood has also turned its attention to several successful game franchises, most recently Minecraft and The Last Of Us.

Titanfall from Respawn Entertainment, a studio formed of several ex-Call of Duty developers, is proving to be a highly anticipated title and has already garnered positive press from its beta rounds. The game was originally intended as an Xbox One release title but along with several other next-gen titles such as Watch Dogs, its delay was put back several months.

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Will crowdfunded NY-to-SF dating airlift face rocky landing?

As a single lady living in San Francisco for more than 18 years, I can say with expert-level knowledge that dating in San Francisco isn’t easy.

I’ve had plenty of dismal dates with wannabe indie rock stars, crazy artists, money-obsessed biz-dev dudes, clueless Glassholes, smug hipsters, and even a guy who insisted on wearing a cape (and not in a sexy cosplay way) everywhere we went. I’ve had longer relationships, and more reliable ones, with my local pizza delivery guys. I’ve always thought San Francisco is one of the hardest cities for a single gal to find Mr. Right. Too many of us settle for Mr. Good Enough.

But according to The Dating Ring Crowdtilt Campaign, there are more datable straight guys here in San Francisco than in New York City. And there are supposedly more available single gals looking for serious relationships in New York.

Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET)

Because of this single-guy-to-girl ratio, The Dating Ring wants to play cross-country Cupid with those hoping to catch a few love arrows by bringing a planeload of New York ladies to the Bay Area.

“It would be amazing if there was a plane of amazing women that were flying out to San Francisco to meet guys, myself included, I think that would be a lot of fun,” says one eager San Francisco bachelor in The Dating Ring video.

And, “I feel like a different coast would give me a different perspective,” a New York woman is shown saying.

For the New York City women, each $20 donation earns them a chance to be selected to win a free flight to San Francisco. (Not a guarantee…a chance!) For $500, an NYC lady gets a flight to San Francisco, three dates, a private cocktail party, and a large bash in her honor. For $1,000, she gets the same but also housing. And for a whopping $1,250, the lucky lady gets everything mentioned plus three 30-minute matchmaking and dating coaching Skype sessions with a Dating Ring matchmaker.

For the San Francisco men, $20 buys them a ticket to the San Francisco Memorial Day bash that all the New York women will be attending. For $100, they get a ticket to both the bash and the cocktail party. And for $350, three 30-minute matchmaking Skype sessions as well as tickets to both parties.

All funds collected for The Dating Ring Crowdtilt Campaign (excluding direct purchase of the $500 flight or $1,000 flight and hotel) will go toward sponsoring free trips for additional NYC women.

So let’s say a bicoastal love connection is made, then what should the potential couple do? “They can fill their next few months with romantic Skype dates, text messages, and cross-country trips, and perhaps even one day have an epic thumb war to determine where they settle down with two kids and a dog,” The Dating Ring’s FAQ states.

“If someone had tried to convince me to move to the Bay Area to improve my dating odds a few months ago, I probably would’ve balked at the idea,” Lauren Kay, CEO of The Dating Ring, said in The Huffington Post. “But after meeting hundreds of single people in both cities, skipping the unending winter-2014 blizzard for weeks of 70-degree weather and experiencing firsthand the effect of the gender imbalance in both cities, I don’t think it’s that far-fetched of an idea. There are great career opportunities and restaurants and people in both cities. If your job is mobile, and you’ve lived in one city for a while with no dating success…well, it can’t hurt to try a new city out. So why not let fate in a city with better odds have another go-around at this crazy thing called love?”

It may sound unlikely, but the Crowdtilt page has already raised $3,280. However, New York women looking for the same kind of good-looking, successful, ambitious men in San Francisco might be in for a shock when they discover…those men are indeed here, but they are also just as picky and flippant as their counterparts in the East Coast. Or worse.

The Bay Area is full of eligible bachelors, it’s true; however, many of them just don’t have the time to put into the dating scene. Many men at tech companies are constantly under looming deadlines and keep crazy work hours. Not all companies encourage a social life. Work hard, then socialize when you have a spare moment, that’s the ethos.

Universal truths
And then there’s that pesky “Peter Pan” problem. How can women find a grown-up man — if that’s what they’re looking for — when many startups and tech companies make a point of offering ping-pong tables, video games, Nerf guns, and every toy anyone could ever want? Not that there’s anything wrong with that! But when guys are encouraged to act like they are still in college, they may not think in terms of moving on to stages of life such as settling down, marriage, and the two kids and a dog Kay talked about.

Then again, we can’t just blame the lads. And can we really blame San Francisco? Cities do have different cultures, but some things are universal. Why gamble on a crowdsourcing venture or fly across the country just to have the same problems?

The truth is, women are just as picky as men. And that’s the problem. Letting go of perfection and giving guys we wouldn’t normally date a chance is key. If you only date hedge fund guys, why not try going on a date with a guy who runs your favorite food truck? Instead of chasing after lawyers at trendy bars, try flirting with the guy you see reading “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier Clay” on your Muni commute to work. Give others the chance to prove that love exists in every city, no matter the guy-girl ratio.

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The Last of Us strikes film deal

The Last of Us strikes film deal

The Last of Us was released in June 2013 and saw its first major DLC release, Left Behind, last month.

The Last of Us is to have a live-action film adaptation that is already entering pre-production.

The critically acclaimed title from Naughty Dog will be adapted by Ghost House Pictures headed up by Sam Raimi and will be distributed by Screen Gems.

Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra, game director Bruce Straley and creative director Neil Druckmann will also be involved in creating the film.

The Last of Us was brought to the attention of the studios thanks to its emphasis on narrative. Wells commented to Deadline that he saw Screen Gems and Ghost House as ‘a perfect fit’ for the project and that many other studios have previously approached them about making a film out of the game.

Video games long ago drew the attention of Hollywood and several popular franchises currently have films in the works. Sam Raimi was also at one point attached to direct the long-awaited World of Warcraft film.

Other series that have film projects under-way include Assassin’s Creed and earlier this month it was revealed that Warner Brothers is working on a film adaptation of Minecraft.

Earlier this week, Uncharted writer and creative director Amy Hennig left Naughty Dog after 10 years at the company. Early reports suggested that she had been forced out of the company by Druckmann and Straley but the two have subsequently released a statement denying that this is what occurred.

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Watch Dogs Release Date confirmed

Watch Dogs Release Date confirmed

Watch Dogs sees players roaming an open world, GTA-style, but with the ability to hack everything around them.

The highly anticipated next-gen sci-fi adventure, Watch Dogs, has finally been given an official release date, with Ubisoft confirming the title will be available from 27 May 2014.

Originally scheduled to arrive shortly after the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One, the Watch Dogs release date was put back, along with that of Ubisoft’s other big new franchise the open-world driving game The Crew, only weeks before the consoles arrived.

Along with the likes of Titanfall, Battlefield 4 and Destiny, Watch Dogs was expected to be one of the early big hitters for the new consoles. However, only Battlefield 4 managed to arrive on time, with Titanfall due out on 11 March in the US and 13 March in the EU and Destiny and The Crew are still yet to receive a release date.

“We are pleased to be able to reveal to gamers all over the world the new release date for Watch Dogs,” said Geoffroy Sardin, EMEA Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Ubisoft. “We are extremely confident that the additional time we afforded the dev team to refine and polish the game will be more than worth the wait.”

Watch Dogs sees players take control of Aiden Pearce, a vigilante who is also a hacker extraordinaire that can use his skills to manipulate the world around him, controlling traffic lights, stealing money, and accessing secret information. The look and style is very much GTA with hacking, thanks to the 3rd person view and heavy use of cars in the game.

Although earmarked as one of the big new franchises for the next-gen consoles Watch Dogs will also be arriving for all existing platforms such as PC, PS3, Wii U and Xbox 360. Players on the PS3 and PS4 will get access to an exclusive 60 mins of extra gameplay, however.

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Texas man and his dogs go after Ellen’s selfie retweet record

Terry Shipman selfie

Terry Shipman’s dogs are viral Twitter stars.

Terry Shipman)

Ellen DeGeneres had the power of the Oscars and a score of celebrities rocketing her now-famous Academy Awards selfie into the record books with more than 3 million retweets. Texas engineer Terry Shipman is hoping the power of his two scruffy little dogs can help him catch up.

In what appears to have been a throwaway joke, Shipman shared a selfie of himself on the couch with his two pups out to his handful of followers along with the message, “Let’s see if we can beat the Oscar re-tweets!” Somehow, the word got out and, almost a day later, Shipman’s followers had ballooned to more than 2,800 and the tweet got retweeted over 75,000 times.

Those 75,000 retweets are a drop in a very big bucket compared with DeGeneres’ millions, but it’s still an impressive amount, and the retweeting isn’t over yet.

Shipman’s secret weapons in the retweet war are definitely the dogs seen chilling out around his head. The poodle is Oreo, and the Yorkie is Max. Everyone knows the Internet loves cute furry things, though Bradley Cooper’s beard in the Oscars selfie is certainly a strong contender.

Ellen Oscars selfie

This is the selfie Shipman is chasing.

Bradley Cooper)

(Via Yahoo)

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Brick bazinga! Bring on ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Lego

Fans can vote for their very own Lego set of The Big Bang Theory complete with Leonard, Sheldon, their friends and even Rajs pup Cinnamon.

Fans can vote for their very own Lego set of “The Big Bang Theory” complete with Leonard, Sheldon, their friends, and even Raj’s pup Cinnamon.


Scientist roommates Leonard and Sheldon, along with their geeky pals Howard, Raj, Bernadette, and neighbor Penny could be sharing their usual witticisms and take-out food in a Lego living room that mimics the set of the hit sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.” (Disclosure: The show airs on CBS, CNET’s parent company.)

This “Big Bang Theory” set created by Lego Cuusoo users “Alatariel” and “GlenBricker,” features minifigs of Howard with NES belt buckle and rocket, Bernadette, Amy, Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, and Raj with his dog Cinnamon.

Plus you can vote for which nerdy T-shirt you’d like Sheldon’s minifig to wear.

Four of Sheldons most characteristic T-shirts are up for a vote. Choose from Flash, Green Lantern, Test Pattern and 73 (Sheldons favorite number.)

Four of Sheldon’s most characteristic T-shirts are up for a vote. Choose from Flash, Green Lantern, Test Pattern and 73 (Sheldon’s favorite number.)


The set also represents the geektastic living room of Sheldon and Leonard, which is the core location of the series. It’s filled with geeky details accurate to the show, including Sheldon’s dry-erase board, the Green Lantern lantern, the Rubik’s cube tissue box, the DNA model, and more.

Lego Cuusoo site is a fan-oriented online community where builders share custom sets. If enough fans vote on them, their projects could urn into real Lego kits. Currently, this “Big Bang Theory” Lego set has almost 4,000 votes, but it needs 10,000 before the Lego Group will consider producing it. So if you want to see Sheldon and his crew get their own Lego living room, vote now.

Sheldon, Leonard and their pals enjoy some Chinese food in their geek bachelor pad in this Big Bang Theory Lego set submitted for a vote by fans.

Sheldon, Leonard and their pals enjoy some Chinese food in their geek bachelor pad in this “Big Bang Theory” Lego set submitted for a vote by fans.


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Mardi Gras hangover? Scientists suspect it won’t slow you down


If the party’s fun enough, even the worst hangover may not discourage some drinkers from partying again soon after.


Flickr, Ricardo Liberato

Have you ever woken up with a hangover so bad you’ve sworn that you’ll never drink again? Me too. Now researchers may be finding hints of what you and I have long known…that no matter what we say, or how we feel, our hangovers likely have very little to do with how soon we’ll drink again.

The cross-university study, which will be published in the May 2014 online-only issue of Alcoholism: Clinical Experimental Research, followed 386 drinkers (about evenly split male and female) who were asked to report on their drinking behaviors and the mornings that followed by keeping electronic diaries for 21 days. In total, the study participants, described as “community-based frequent drinkers,” logged 2,276 drinking episodes, with 463 of them resulting in self-reported hangovers.

The drinkers were also asked to report on how likely they were to drink later that same day. The researchers were looking to see if hangovers made further short-term drinking either more or less likely — to see if people tried “hair of the dog” drinking to make themselves feel better, or if feeling bad the morning after would discourage drinkers from partying again later that day.

What they found was, according to Thomas M. Piasecki, a professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri, “it was striking that ratings made on hangover and non-hangover mornings did not differ. Even when the drinkers were acutely suffering a hangover, it didn’t seem to affect their conscious drinking intentions.”

Undaunted by pain, partiers were ready for more. Or at least claimed to be ready: there could be social pressure for hard-drinking students to proclaim themselves ready to drink again.

According to another study author, Damaris J. Rohsenow, professor of behavioral and social sciences at Brown University School of Public Health, the research can have applications for counselors working with patients who have issues with alcohol. “The message here for clinicians,” she said in a statement, “is that it is probably a waste of time to discuss hangovers when trying to motivate a problem drinker to drink less or drink less often.”

The researchers also found something else that many a barfly (or college student) has also long known — that the fun of a night of body shots isn’t entirely eclipsed by a headache and dry mouth the next morning. Piasecki explained of the surveyed group that those with hangovers “also tended to experience more pleasure from drinking the night before, and those immediate pleasurable effects are likely to drive drinking decisions more than expecting an unpleasant hangover would.”

Rohsenow said, “The pain of hangover is temporary, and may be considered a nuisance rather than an important negative consequence. Some studies show that younger drinkers do not consider hangovers to be a negative experience, and that many drinkers are willing to experience hangovers time after time.”

Apparently, these positive associations are strong enough for some people that they can even overpower currently experienced physical misery and make another drink sound good. Of course, college students often have a different relationship to alcohol than the rest of the world.

Still, my personal research bears all this out. How about yours?

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The 404 1,434: Where we make room for meat (podcast)

February 28th, 2014 No comments

Whistle, the Fitbit for dogs, makes push into mainstream

February 28th, 2014 No comments

Kona, an Australian Shepherd, wears his Whistle tacking device.

Courtsey of Tina Haskins)

Surrounded by hundreds of miles of icy water, Tina Haskins still found a way to connect with her dog, Kona, who was thousands of miles away back home in New Jersey.

A marine scientist conducting research on plankton in Antarctica, Haskins used an app to track the activities of Kona, a blue-eyed Australian Shepherd, throughout the day.

In this case, the app syncs with the Whistle device, a small, coin-shaped wireless tracker that attaches to a dog’s collar. Whistle tracks Kona’s movements as well as her location, and Haskins’ friend, Kona’s temporary caretaker, posts photos of Kona and updates of his activities on the app.

“Every morning, every night, or whenever I’m missing him, I can pull up my Whistle app and see what he’s up to,” she said during a phone interview with CNET.

It’s one of the more colorful instances among Whistle’s users and while it illustrates how Whistle is effective when helping owners feel connected to their pets, it doesn’t show the real magic behind Whistle. Haskins said the big value for her is in the data Whistle gathers. It’s the key to establishing a baseline of data for Kona’s health, something that would be difficult to determine otherwise, given that she doesn’t know everything about Kona’s past.

“Kona’s a rescue. I don’t have any real knowledge of what his life was like before I had him, and I don’t know what his parents were like,” Haskins said.

In a world where humans are starting to quantify every aspect of their waking, and sleeping, life, it’s not surprising that we would want to gather data on man’s best friend. Pitched as the “Fitbit for dogs,” Whistle is finding a need even beyond the usual gadget-crazed tech community. The company announced on Thursday that PetSmart, the leading pet retailer in the US, is putting Whistle, which costs about $130, in all of its stores next week. Whistle said it’s also launching the
Android version of its app.

Big data

Other devices, like GPS trackers, have been around for several years and Whistle is not without competition. For example, Dogvacy, the company that connects owners with dog-sitters, was testing the use of GPS and activity monitor Tagg to let owners track their pets from afar. What’s setting Whistle apart from its competitors is an emphasis on using the data gathered by the device to help improve a dog’s health.


Like every good caregiver, Haskins is concerned about her dog’s health. Through the device she can see what level of activities are typical for Whistle and eventually Whistle could help Haskins spot any anomalies with Kona’s behavior or activities and allow her pinpoint issues before they come up.

As an oceanographer, her life’s focus is on gathering data and deciphering what it means, so it’s important to her to do the same for Kona’s health, she said.

Along with testing its device among beta users like Haskins and Kona, Whistle is working with researchers to establish data on dogs with varying ailments. The idea is establishing a baseline for how these ailments affect dogs throughout the day. It will give veterinarians the tools to catch symptoms early on.

Whistle is a wireless monitor that uses a sensitive accelerometer, similar to what’s in a fitness tracking devices or cell phone. It’s tracking hundreds of data points every second, according to the company. And researchers are actively harnessing that data to help pets.

Michael DiGregorio, the director of the Veterinary Clinical Investigations Center at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, uses Whistle and other tracking devices in his research. The clinic sees about 33,000 cases a year — all pets with aliments.

Its researchers has been using Whistle for chronic pain studies. These are cases involving ailment like arthritis or bone cancer. The animals wear the device on their collars for 7 to 10 days and then researchers have them try out various activities, like sitting, walking or running. Understanding how active an animal is — even at night when pain can cause a dog with bone cancer to move around a lot — could understanding how to make an animal most comfortable when dealing with ailments.

“It allows us the opportunity to quantify what often are very subjective measurements in animals,” DiGregorio said. “Because dogs can’t talk to use, they can’t tell us how they’re feeling.”

There’s also potential to track dogs with epilepsy or allergies, or determine how much food to give a dog in one sitting based on its size, breed and activity level. This could lead to an array of products that will help owners optimize their dogs’ health, DiGregorio said.

This is part of the vision for Whistle CEO Ben Jacobs, who started Whistle in 2012. As a llfelong dog owner, Jacobs said he knows the joys and pains of caring for a dog.

“Having a pet is fun and it obviously makes people happy, but we take Whistle very seriously when it comes to a pet’s health. It’s not a game,” he said.

Jacobs talked fondly about his German Shepard, named Bear, who died from an intestinal obstruction. The symptoms weren’t noticeable to begin with. When Bear stopped being able to walk up the stair or eat properly, it was just too late. Jacobs hope for Whistle is to gather enough data, across various breeds and ages, to prevent something like this.

To get there Whistle needs to be widespread and PetSmart is just the first step, according to Jacob. The retailer has more than 1,300 stores in the US and Canada, and plans to display the product prominently at the front of the store. It’s a great push for the device but Jacobs wants to see Whistle along side wearable tech like the Fitbit in general stores like Walgreens.

This reality may not be far off, especially since Whistle has created a community of ambassadors with owners like Haskins, and the rising popularity of wearable tech for humans. Haskins said she was initially intrigued by Whistle because it was a similar concept to Fitbit, which she had recently purchased for herself.

“I might be a little dog crazy about my dog,” she said. “But it’s not a product for the obsessed. I think there’s a push for not just being healthy person, but being more in-tuned with what makes our animals healthier.”

Correction, 2:46 p.m. PT:
This article has been change to reflect that Whistle is not GPS-enabled.

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Ban lifted! It’s time for ‘Doctor Who’ Lego

February 27th, 2014 No comments

Lego Doctor Who ideas.

Fans can now submit their “Doctor Who” ideas to Lego Cuusoo without worry of licensing conflicts.

Lego Cuusoo)

Grab your bricks and build a Tardis worthy of a Time Lord. Lego Cuusoo, which previously banned fans from submitting ideas based on licensed properties, recently posted in the License Conflicts and Resolutions section of its Web site that there’s no longer a conflict with the “Doctor Who” license.

“Sometimes we have to turn down project submissions that refer to specific brands or licensed properties,” Lego Cuusoo said. “We do this to avoid getting your hopes up for something we know we aren’t able to make. In these cases, we already know the Lego Group can’t secure licensing rights to produce construction toys based on a particular brand or property, due to a conflicting interest with a third party. If such a conflict goes away, we’ll then be able to accept projects based on a particular brand or license.”

“If your project was previously turned down, archived, or deleted due to a licensing conflict that is now resolved, you may re-submit it as a new project. Supporters from past projects cannot be applied to a future project. We now welcome projects based on the following licenses that used to have conflicts: Doctor Who – February 2014.”

Lego fans share their concepts on Lego Cuusoo for a chance at seeing them created. “Doctor Who” ideas have been regenerating onto the site, like this Doctor and his companion project that includes the Tardis, two minifigures of the Doctor, his companion, and his robot dog K9.

Now it’s just up to the fans to vote new “Doctor Who” ideas into reality.

(Via Doctor Who TV)

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