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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
Aspart 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 modding@bit-tech.net with the subject Happy 5th Birthday Aquatuning.

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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

Jaffles

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


(Credit:
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.


(Credit:
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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Glasshole heaven: Hotel offers free drink if you wear Glass

Give that woman a free drink.


(Credit:
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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Courtney Love: I may have found missing Malaysian plane

Here it is. Or may be.


(Credit:
Courtney Love/Facebook; screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

Rarely have so much knowledge and so much ignorance melded to produce so much speculation.

Malaysian Airlines flight 370 might be somewhere or nowhere. It might have crashed or been hijacked. Extraterrestrial explanations seem not too far-fetched.

In confusion such as this, what you need is an enterprising attitude and a level head. Unsurprisingly, Courtney Love has stepped in to offer her services.

In a post to her Facebook page, Love says she has participated in the Tomnod challenge to see whether she can scour the seas to find evidence of the plane.

Lo, she believes she might have beheld not only the plane, but an oil slick too.

She posted a picture — which I must admit to finding inconclusive — and the words: “I’m no expert but up close this does look like a plane and an oil slick. http://www.tomnod.com/nod/challenge/malaysiaairsar2014/map/128148 … prayers go out to the families #MH370 and its like a mile away Pulau Perak, where they ‘last’ tracked it 5°39’08.5″N 98°50’38.0″E but what do I know?”

I will leave you to decide whether this does, indeed, look like a plane and an oil slick. Some posters to her Facebook page are skeptical.

For example, Craig Hobson offered: “What are the odds thou [sic] that it would land right next to a red sign saying plane let alone next to the arrow ?”

Jason Miller sniffed: “The MS Paint development team just high fived.”

Currently, however, it seems as if Love’s efforts are as good as anyone else’s. The latest theory, written by a pilot and published in Wired, suggests that the plane caught fire and crashed, soon after contact was lost.

One commenter to Love’s page has an altogether different view of this mystery — that it’s no mystery at all.

Todd Rizzo wrote: “The government(s) know exactly what happened to this plane. Objects do not need a transponder to be picked up on radar. Transponders are used to identify the plane as ‘friendly’ so that our own missiles cannot be used against them.”

Governments keep things from us?

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OK, Glass, have an NBA player dunk in my face

Sacramento Kings guard Ray McCollum slams home a dunk during a scrimmage while wearing Google Glass.


(Credit:
James Martin/CNET)

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–”This is the real Google,” taunted Sacramento Kings guard Orlando Johnson.

Johnson leaned in, dribbling a basketball, ready to explode to the hoop. Only teammates Ray McCallum and Jason Thompson stood in the way. Through the
Google Glass I was wearing, I watched Thompson prepare to stop Johnson. From Thompson’s exact point of view.

Moments earlier, I’d watched as McCallum had dribbled in, jumped high in the air, and dunked the ball hard. My view? A look at the rim from a couple of feet away, close enough to see the stitches on the net, again from Thompson’s vantage point,

Each of the three Kings was wearing Glass, and each was recording as they worked their way through an informal shootaround hours before the night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans. As they played, they taunted and bragged, well aware of the technology they were wearing. “Google, record that,” one shouted as he made a sweet shot. “Google, stop Ray,” Johnson commanded.

Johnson, McCallum, and Thompson were wearing Google Glass as part of a new program the Kings have started that is designed to let fans see things like shootarounds, pre-game workouts, and even in-game huddles from the players’ perspective. Using technology developed by San Francisco’s CrowdOptic, the Kings plan on making feeds from Glass being worn by players, announcers, the team’s mascot, and even its cheerleaders, available during games to anyone running its app on their own Glass, on TV, and on the arena’s JumboTron. Unfortunately, players will not wear Glass during actual game action.

A Sacramento Kings cheerleader dances while wearing Google Glass. Her view was broadcast to the team’s JumboTron during a game against the New Orleans Pelicans.


(Credit:
James Martin/CNET)

The Kings’ experiment is an interesting one that promises to offer fans a unique new look at game day action. Along with other experiments, like accepting Bitcoin, using drones to shoot video inside the team’s Sleep Train Arena, and even incorporating Oculus Rift, the Kings are trying to take the lead among NBA teams when it comes to using technology to enhance fans’ experiences.

And no wonder, given that the team’s ownership group is packed full of tech heavyweights like Tibco Software founder Vivek Ranadive; Paul, Hal, and Jeff Jacobs (whose father founded Qualcomm); Leap Motion President (and former Apple vice president) Andy Miller; and former Facebook chief privacy officer Chris Kelly. Thanks to those connections, the team, in its search for new tech to try out, is “literally one phone call away from every tech CEO in the world,” said Kings senior vice president for marketing and strategy Ben Gumpert.

But back to Glass. Here’s how it works.

When Glass records video, it can broadcast that feed, and CrowdOptic’s software can capture it, send it back out, allowing anyone running its app to “inherit” the feed. Although there’s a short delay, it means that an average Glass wearer — or later, someone running the CrowdOptic app on a smart phone — will be able to see just what I saw when I watched Thompson, Johnson, and McCallum play 1-on-2: an up close and very personal view of getting dunked on.

NBA dons Google Glass to put you in the game (pictures)

To start with, the Kings bought 10 pairs of Glass, meaning that at any one time, there are few possible feeds that fans could inherit. But over time, as the team buys more, or fans’ own Glass or smartphone feeds are incorporated into the mix, CrowdOptic’s algorithms will be brought to bear to help find the most compelling views for fans. As Jon Fisher, the company’s CEO explained, its technology is able to analyze multiple feeds coming from a similar location and choose the best one to share. Ultimately, when there’s hundreds, or even thousands, of feeds choose from, “the fans will be in charge,” said vice president of business development (and former NFL linebacker) Jim Kovach. “They’re going to see what they want to see.”

As far as the players are concerned, wearing Glass and using the hot wearable technology to give fans a little more access is a no-brainer. According to Thompson, the best way to use it is when doing “tricks and dunks, and flashy things….[You can] see different things, like the way people talk.”

That’s exactly what CrowdOptic is hoping pro sports teams will realize. In addition to the Kings, the company is working with a half-dozen other (as yet unnamed) NBA franchises, as well as some college teams. The technology, said Kovach, lets fans have a much closer look at players’ personalities. “They have their quirks, and you can’t pick that up from the stands,” Kovach said, referring to things like players messing around during workouts, or on the sidelines. “It’s just interesting to see.”

Sacramento Kings players Orlando Johnson, Ray McCallum, and Jason Thompson (left to right) scrimmage while wearing Google Glass.


(Credit:
James Martin/CNET)

To be sure, this technology isn’t ready for widespread deployment. Though the Kings have tested it out during two recent games, the team has so far only pushed the feeds to the arena’s JumboTron screen. For now, network support is the limiting factor. But soon, Glass wearers will be able to see what it’s liked to get dunked on by an NBA player.

“This is a new century,” Thompson said. “It’s 2014, and this is definitely the future, not just of basketball, but of the world.”

Then again, maybe McCallum put it better as he scrimmaged against Johnson and Thompson. “Oooooooh, Google,” the 22-year-old guard said as he drained a pretty bucket over his teammates.

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Kalamazoo Growlers to wear selfie-inspired jerseys

Selife jersey

This gives an idea of what the selfie jersey will look like.


(Credit:
Kalamazoo Growlers)

Once you get outside the realm of Major League Baseball, you pretty much have a license to be goofy with your uniforms. Last year, the Toledo Mud Hens marked May the 4th with Chewbacca-themed uniforms. This year, the Kalamazoo Growlers, a Michigan collegiate summer team, are jumping on the selfie bandwagon with a Salute to Selfie theme night, complete with selfie jerseys.

While it would be super-cool if the players wore unis with their own selfies on them, the actual unis will feature a mosiac of photos chosen from selfies sent in by fans. Submissions through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will be accepted through April 1, with the Salute to Selfie night taking place on July 24 for a game against the Wisconsin Woodchucks.

One fan, who embodies “the most Growlers spirit” will get a prominent position on the jersey, whereas everyone else will be pretty small. Attendees at the game will be able to bid on the jerseys during a silent auction. It would certainly make for an unusual piece of sports memorabilia to hang up in your home.

The selfie trend doesn’t look like it will abate anytime soon, so perhaps it’s not too surprising it’s being turned into a baseball promotion. It sure beats just another bobblehead.

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