When John Carmack left the walls of id Software for Oculus VR, we knew good things were about to happen, and it was a time when the thought of the world's largest social network acquiring a virtual reality start up were far, far from your mind. Carmack, the Chief Technology Officer of Oculus VR, has finally weighed in on Facebook acquiring the company he just joined.
"Titans" is a term Carmack used to talk about Facebook and Oculus VR, where he said: "The fairly rapid involvement of the Titans is inevitable, and the real question is how deeply to partner with, and who. Honestly, I wasn't expecting Facebook (or this soon). I wasn't personally involved in any of the negotiations - I spent an afternoon talking technology with [Facebook CEO] Mark Zuckerberg, and the next week I find out that he bought Oculus".
People have concerns, thinking that Facebook will be the end of Oculus VR - something that I'm going to write about in a few days when I get home - but Carmack has said: "There is a case to be made for being like Valve, and trying to build a new VR ecosystem from the ground up. This is probably what most of the passionate fans wanted to see. The difference is that, for years, the industry thought Valve was nuts, and they had the field to themselves. Valve deserves all their success for having the vision and perseverance to see it through to the current state".
Samsung has announced several new displays that will be launching in the coming weeks. The most interesting of them is the 28-inch UD590 display. This monitor supports UHD resolution with a native resolution of 3840 x 2160.
One of the coolest parts about that display is that it is affordable even though it has UHD capability. The UD590 will sell for $699.99. For the money, you get a screen with good viewing angles and a brightness rating of 370 cd/m2 and support for 2 billion colors.
It features dual HDMI ports and a single DisplayPort. Response time for the panel is 1Ms GTG and it has a stand that can be tilted for a comfortable angle. Samsung also has a number of other new displays coming that support full HD resolution ranging in price from $249.99 to $329.99. The UD590 can be pre-ordered now and it's unclear when it will ship.
You can bet that if your average action sports junkie is doing something crazy, they will have at least one camera in tow. You can also bet that most of the time the video of said crazy stunt will end up on YouTube. A kayaker named Dane Jackson took his kayak and a GoPro camera along with some friends to a waterfall in Veracruz, Mexico.
The team of people had to climb a cliff and drag the kayak up the cliff to perform the stunt. The drop from the river up top to the river below the falls is 60-feet. With the GoPro on, Jackson paddled off the edge and plummeted to the water below.
One of the coolest things about the video to me is that he stays on the water after dropping over the edge for a while and controls the kayak with the paddle as he falls down. At the end of the video, it appears that he ends up under the water briefly, but it's hard to tell if he is just swamped with water from the falls after hitting the lower river surface. With a fall from that height, I could certainly see the kayak going under for a bit.
If you are a fan of the Alien movie franchise with Sigourney Weaver, one of the masterpieces of science fiction, you may have been following the development of the newest game based on the film series. The game is called Alien: Isolation and it has Ripley's daughter as the main character.
Earlier this month a behind the scenes video turned up looking at the game and it got us very excited. The game has now been given an exact launch date when it will land for PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, and PC gamers. That launch date is October 7, 2014.
That will put the horror/survival shooter launching during the spookiest month of the year. Players will have to fight the Xenomorph that is hunting them with scavenged resources and wits. This may be one of the coolest games to launch this year.
A few years back an interesting video game called Metro 2033 launched. This survival/horror shooter had players playing in a post apocalyptic Moscow. Most of the game took place in the metro tunnels under the city.
Players fought against mutants and other humans with a mix of weapons. The original game was offered on the PS3 and the Xbox 360. It was a cool game and spawned a sequel eventually. If you liked the original game and its sequel and have a PS4 and Xbox One, some leaked photos have surfaced that will interest you.
These leaked photos claim that Metro 2033 Redux will be coming to the PS4 and Xbox One. Details on the game are scant at this point. The developer and publisher haven't officially confirmed the game is in the works for the new console.
Many modern aircraft that are fielded by militaries from around the world have stealth attributes that make them harder to see on radar. The Navy is also working on stealth ships that are harder to be seen on radar as well. One thing we haven't seen too much of so far are land vehicles with stealth attributes.
Poland is changing that with an awesome new tank concept called the PL-01. The tank has some very cool tech that is already possible and some concept tech that will be coming in the not so distant future. The tech that is available now is designed to help the tank reduce its infrared signature. This is done to confuse the tracking systems of weapons used against tanks on the battlefield.
The way the tank does this is with temperature controlled wafers on the outside of the tank near the armor that can match the infrared output of the surrounding terrain. To confuse the enemy even more, the wafer system can allow the tank to mimic the look of a car or other object when viewed in infrared.
Samsung announced its new generation smartphone at Mobile World Congress this year called the Galaxy S5. The device is the new high-end Samsung Android offering to replace the Galaxy S4. We know that he S5 has a lot of cool features and nice specifications.
A previously unknown feature of the smartphone has now surfaced called the baby crying monitor. As you can gather from the name, this feature is designed to alert parents when their baby is awake and crying.
The way the feature works requires you to sync the smartphone to your to the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. One the two devices are synced, when the phone detects the baby crying it will alert the parent via a vibration on the Gear smartwatch. The S5 has to be left within 1 meter of the baby for the feature to work in a quiet room with no background noise.
It's been almost a week since DICE first tried released the Naval Strike expansion for Battlefield 4. Unfortunately, only PlayStation 4 owners who were Battlefield premium members could play the new DLC. A major bug in Naval Strike forced DICE to postpone the game for PC and Xbox One premium members until a fix could be implemented. In a statement on the delay,DICE said that: "We know that many Battlefield 4 Premium owners wanted to play Naval Strike today. However, we didn't want to release the new content until we believed it was quality content."
It appears that DICE was able to implement the fix a little earlier than expected, and today Battlefield 4 premium members on PC are beginning to receive the Naval Strike update. This follows a roll-out to Xbox One premium members just three days ago. I just finished downloading the update, and will have a post up very soon with a first look at Battlefield 4 Naval Strike in high-resolution on max settings.
Today, at the Electronics Engineering Live! Conference and Expo in San Jose, CA, Silicon Motion Technology Corporation (NasdaqGS: SIMO), manufacturer of NAND flash controllers for solid state storage devices, will announce new additions to its Ferri portfolio with single-package Ferri-eMMC™ and ultra-high performance SATA 6Gb/s FerriSSD embedded memory solutions.
The Ferri-eMMC is available in two flavors, the SM667 for applications that require up to 30K P/E cycles and the SM661 for applications that do not require such high reliability. The new controllers are designed for a wide range of embedded applications and provide for more flexible PCB design and low-cost manufacturing. They are available in configurations ranging from 2GB to 32GB.
The new SATA 6Gb/s Ferri-SSD embedded memory series also has two models, the SM659 and SM619. Embedded DRAM extends the SSD life and delivers best-in-class performance of up to 80K random IOPs. These solutions leverage Silicon Motion technologies including PowerShield, DataPhoenix, Intelligent Scan DataRefresh, SSDLifeGuard health-monitoring, and remote firmware updates. They are available in 8GB to 64GB configurations.
To celebrate this week's release of the 2013 sci-fi hit Ender's Game on home video formats, our friends at Icon Home Entertainment have supplied us with copies of the film on Blu-ray to give away to five lucky readers.
Filled with extra features including two audio commentaries, a 50 minute making of documentary, a collection of Deleted and Extended scenes and Easter eggs, the Blu-ray will hold pride of place in sci-fi fans Blu-ray collections.
To go into the running to take one copy home, simply answer the following question in 35 words or less:
What would you do if you found an unhatched egg containing a previously extinct animal?