Apacer Unveils Panther Series DDR4 Memory

Since the release of Intel’s Skylake architecture, the price of DDR4 memory has come down at an exponential rate. Additionally, manufacturers are creating more lavish aesthetic designs to suit the gaming market. Typically, consumers chose memory based on a colour scheme as gaming tasks increased frequency has a minimal effect. Unfortunately, most companies appear to fixate on the standard red and black theme and it can be difficult to acquire DDR4 modules which suit yellow motherboards like the ASRock Formula series. Thankfully, Apacer has launched the Panther memory kits to provide a visually unique design which fits perfectly with motherboards sporting yellow or gold accents. In terms of its technical specifications, the memory comes in 2133MHz, 2400MHz and 2666MHz configurations with tight 15-15-15-36 and 16-16-16-36 timings. Furthermore, the DIMMs support XMP 2.0 and utilize 1.2 volts. This guarantees stability at low voltages and doesn’t require a boost to 1.35v.

While it’s not the fastest memory on the market, as many DDR4 kits reach speeds in excess of 3000MHZ, it’s still extremely fast and I love the colour scheme. Additionally, the black PCB adds to the overall look and makes for a superb finish. Hopefully, we should be bringing a review of this particular memory kit very soon.

AeroCool Announces XPredator GM Series 80 Plus Gold PSU Line-Up

Aerocool might not be the most recognizable name in the technology industry but they have a great selection of cases, fan controllers, air coolers, fans, and power supplies. The company was setup back in 2002, and continues to bring great products at affordable pricing. Although, I’ve personally not used any of the items in their line-up. The latest addition is a new range of power supplies rated to an 80 Plus Gold efficiency standard. While this isn’t the greatest rating available, it’s more than enough for the average user and should come at a much cheaper price point. The XPredator series comes in 550W, 650W, 750W, and 1000W models to suit a variety of usage scenarios.

Furthermore, all of the units in this range feature DC-DC switching, a single +12V rail design, active electrical protections, Core C6/C7 power-state support, and active PFC. As you can see from the picture above, each power supply adopts a semi-modular design to help with cable management. The 1000W model utilizes a 140mm fan while the lower wattage versions use a 120mm. Unfortunately, AeroCool didn’t provide any pricing information at this time, but I’m pretty sure these units are aimed at the mainstream gaming market. As a result, they should be pretty affordable.

Amazon Instant Video to Bundle With Other VOD Services

Strong rumours suggest that Amazon Instant Video will soon include access to other video-on-demand networks, and could do so as soon as this December. According to Bloomberg, Amazon’s video streaming service is set to become the on-demand equivalent of a cable or satellite package, with the company even considering launching its own live channel through Amazon Prime.

While Amazon’s potential new partners have not been revealed – Amazon spokesperson Craig Berman refused to comment on the story – it would make sense for cable channels such as HBO and Showtime to bundle their existing video-on-demand services in an effort to expand their reach beyond existing US cable subscribers.

Amazon Instant Video has an estimated 43.2 million US subscribers, second only to Netflix, and the move can only attract more customers from its rival, especially if, say, Amazon Instant Video becomes the portal through which people get to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones online, a privilege previously restricted to HBO Go subscribers.

The company is also in the preliminary planning stages to launch its own live channel, in partnership with CBS Corp. and Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, to position itself against TV providers such as Comcast, AT&T, and Sky. Apple are reportedly pursuing a similar strategy.

Raspberry Pi Zero Was Inspired by Google

The Raspberry Pi Zero, the tiny, £4 ($5) microcomputer from the Raspberry Pi Foundation which sold out in less than a day, would not have existed were it not for a timely intervention from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. Eben Upton, founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, revealed to the Wall Street Journal that, were it not for Schmidt, the company would have instead released a larger, more powerful $60 model.

“I told him we were thinking of making future Raspberry Pi’s a little bit more expensive, up at about $50 or $60, and a bit more powerful,” Upton told WSJ.

Schmidt, though, discouraged the move, with Upton adding, “He said it was very hard to compete with cheap. He made a very compelling case. It was a life-changing conversation.” That life-changing conversation, which took place about three years ago, led to the creation of both the Raspberry Pi 2 and the Raspberry Pi Zero. “The idea was to make a more powerful thing at the same price, and then make a cheaper thing with the same power,” he said.

“We really don’t think we’ll get any cheaper than this. We’ve gone from say, four lattes, to one latte. We’re not going to go below the cost of one latte,” Upton said.

But has Schmidt seen the microcomputer he helped birth? Not yet, according to Upton: “I don’t want to bother him.”

Peter Jackson to Direct Episode of Doctor Who

A year ago we released an article stating that Peter Jackson could direct a future episode of Doctor Who. The time is nigh.

Peter Jackson is very active with his facebook, posting snippets from behind the scenes and regarding causes he actively supports. While he is well known for his work on the J.R.R Tolkien films such as the Lords of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogies, Jackson is well known for supporting and looking out for anything that he could be creative with. Doctor Who is just one of those shows and as a video posted on his facebook shows, he is not one to shy away from announcing his activity in the show in the near future.

While there are no real details and this may be premature, there is hope that this could mean in the near future, maybe next season, we could see an episode with the Jackson touch. While famous for its big guest appearances there is rarely a guest producer or director, especially one known for his large films. As if that wasn’t mean enough for the Doctor Who fans, Tolkien fans may notice the Silmarillion (yet another one of Tolkien’s books set in Middle Earth) marked with post-it notes and an inserted page. Because teasing one fan base is just not enough.

4K Content From Netflix and Amazon Floods Torrent Sites

Did you spend all your money on a 4K television in the Black Friday sales, leaving you unable to afford food, clothing, or legal on-demand video streaming services? Well, fear not, because 4K content from Netflix and Amazon has hit torrent sites with a vengeance. Granted, it won’t fill your belly or cover your modesty, but who needs basic human comfort when you can watch Jessica Jones in Ultra HD?

Online video content is, more often than not, protected by High-Bandwidth Digital Copy Protection (HDCP) version 2.2 or higher, but pirates have discovered a loophole that allows them to bypass the protection and rip 4K video.

The first Ultra HD file – an 18GB copy of Breaking Bad’s first episode – hit three months ago, with more content expected to follow, but encoding problems and quality issues stymied the tide. Those issues seem to have now been resolved, though, with 4K copies of Marvel’s new small-screen offering Jessica Jones and movies such as Looper, Spider-Man, and The Bridge on the River Kwai leaking to torrent sites within the last few days, with many of the initial 100GB+ files being squeezed down to a more manageable 5-15GB.

“Many groups started releasing 4K rips recently and they are working perfectly. I expect that 4K resolution releases will become more popular now,” an anonymous source from a release group responsible for the recent 4K content told TorrentFreak.

Some of the content, though, has been criticised for its quality. For that, the source added, the blame should be aimed at Netflix itself: “For example for Marvel’s Jessica Jones new TV series from Netflix the 4K captures look bad, because the master from Netflix is probably bad [sic].”

Image courtesy of DealsPlus.

Pensioner Demands Compensation After Apple ‘Wiped Away His Life’

Whether you love or hate Apple, the turnaround times for replacing iPhone models is very impressive and I wish more companies adopted such a swift procedure. However, as with any customer service, there are situations which leave people very unsatisfied. For example, 68-year-old Deric White received text messages informing him of a hardware fault and decided to visit Apple’s store in London’s Regent Street to book a repair. According to The Sun newspaper, during the visit, Deric claims, staff members inspected the handset and said the problem was “sorted”. Although, Deric wasn’t best pleased when he found out that all his data had been erased. He said:

“It was only after staff fiddled around they asked if I’d backed my things up.”

“My wife was in tears and I started crying when I realised what had gone.”

“My life was saved on that phone. I lost my favourite video of a giant tortoise biting my hand on honeymoon in the Seychelles.”

Deric is seeking £5,000 in damages for the loss of photographs from his honeymoon plus 15 years of contacts. Apple strong refutes the need for monetary compensation and said:

“The claimant has not demonstrated how he suffered any loss.”

The court courting begins today and if Deric wins, he will use the funds to jet off to a second honeymoon.

Sunlight Can Now Be Transformed into Clean Fuel Cheaply and Easily

Artificial photosynthesis has been taken into consideration by scientists before, but we’ve never actually seen clear results regarding this technology. However, even though they didn’t find a radical solution that would replace the plants in our homes, researchers from Florida State University have reported some progress. These researchers have created a material made from a single-layer of manganese oxide, which could trap sunlight and transform the energy into oxygen and hydrogen. Scientists believe that this technique would be a lot cheaper when compared to other light-gathering devices such as solar cells, as it would be simpler to build.

There is still a long way to go before the material would be ready for production, but there’s no doubt that it could provide incredible advantages, especially domestic ones, as it could potentially replace or complement plant beds. As for cars that rely on hydrogen for fuel, this technology could generate a sizeable hydrogen supply on the go. If the material becomes fully functional at some point, we won’t have to give up on your precious gardens, but we will definitely be able to use solar energy more efficiently. As long as it helps us achieve cleaner air and “green” fuel, I think that this technology should be finalized and implemented on a large scale as soon as possible.

The Witcher 3 Mod Improves Evironment Textures and Draw Distance

Pretty much anyone can agree that The Witcher 3 is one of the best looking games that were released this year and that CD Project RED did a really great job on the game. But that doesn’t mean that modders can’t improve further on the game. Games with modding abilities usually draw a big crowd as it opens up to nearly endless possibilities and fixes on things that the original game might have mixed. One place that CD Project RED didn’t pay so much attention to were the environmental textures such as rocks, wood crates, and sacks, and that is where the first new mod comes into play.

The first new mod is the Environmental HD texture pack by modder Halk Hogan PL. It updates the textures of most rocks, wood crates, sacks and checkered floor in the amazing The Wither 3 and best of all, it shouldn’t affect your performance. According to the creator, the new mod didn’t affect the performance on this AMD Radeon HD7970 with 3GB memory but warned that 2GB VRAM models might experience a slight performance hit. That, however, is still unconfirmed and it might run just as well with 2GB VRAM. You can find the mod here.

The second new mod increases the overall draw distance and level of detail for a lot of in-game objects and it was created by the modder sjbox. The mod can increase the draw distance and detail levels by 10 to 40%, but it will naturally have some impact on the performance. This shouldn’t be an issue for high-end gaming systems as it reportedly only is around 5 FPS in crowded areas. When the GPU has to draw more objects, it will need some more power. That’s just logic. You can find the mod here.

You can see comparison screenshots with the two new The Wither 3 mods below:

Environmental HD Texture Mod

Draw Distance and Detail Level Mod (modded then unmodded)

The Pirate Bay Won’t Be Blocked in Sweden

The Pirate Bay is a website that has been targeted many times by the American authorities, but it looks like things are progressing as users from several other countries are asking their internet service providers to block it. Even so, the site’s founding country, Sweden, won’t give in to these demands. This issue has been discussed many times, and one of Stockholm’s courts has decided that Sweden cannot force ISPs to block the website because these companies cannot be held responsible for their customer’s actions. The court has also pointed out that the networks are not committing any crimes themselves, and that they are simply there to provide information.

However, several music and movie studios will probably appeal the decision, and it’s needless to say that the Swedish police are not exactly happy either. Still, it’s quite impressive that The Pirate Bay has managed to dodge a bullet once again, and for a site that usually finds its way on the blacklist, this is a real success. It’s a known fact that copyright holders are not in the habit of giving up on a fight, especially when there is still a chance to build a good case against their target. However, asking for ISP-level restrictions won’t help them achieve much for now, which means that they’ll be forced to find alternative solutions and soon.

AMD Acknowledges Crimson Editions Fan Issues and Releases Patch Today

AMD was quite proud when they released the new Crimson Edition software and it was a great success for the biggest part. The new interface was welcomed by most users where others ran into some trouble. The issue is in regards to the graphics cards fan, a vital component on your graphics card. There are two separate issues in regards to the fan speed where one will let the graphic card spin up to 100% at all times, even when idle, and the other one holds the fan speed at 30%, again at all times. AMD acknowledged this issue over the weekend and promised to release a fix today.

“We’re aware of isolated reports of low fan states following the installation of Radeon Software ‘Crimson Edition’ on select Radeon GPUs. Our engineering teams have identified and addressed this issue, and we intend to release a hotfix on amd.com this coming Monday, November 30th.”

So it looks like the problem has been found, but it could be too late for some users. While the 100% fan speed isn’t as serious as it is annoying, the 30% speed can become problematic. A few users have reported their GPU dying and named this as the reason. It seems logic, if you tax your GPU for full load for an extended period of time, it will get very hot. And if it isn’t cooled properly because the fan doesn’t spin up, then we got a problem. But whether these reports are people that actually had this happen or if they’re just opportunistic in order to try and get a new graphics card that they killed themselves is something that is up to everyone’s own speculation.

Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg Invest in Clean Energy Technology

New ideas for saving the environment come from the founders of Facebook and Microsoft who are teaming up to solve climate change. Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, along with Bill Gates, have announced today that they have launched the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. The main goal is to invest in zero-carbon energy technology around the world. Some of the most prolific names in technology, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, and Masayoshi Son are also included in the team.

At the U.S Climate Control Conference event, which is taking place in Paris this week, Gates and U.S President Barack Obama are expected to unveil a new initiative called Mission Innovation. Over the next five years, this organization will work with governments to double public investment in energy research. Nineteen countries have already joined Mission Innovation, and according to the Washington Post, by 2020 these countries will increase their annual spending on clean-energy research and development to $20 billion.

The Coalition and Mission Innovation are separate programs, but they will work together in countries that desire the reduction of carbon emissions. With a flexible attitude toward investments and making Series A funding a priority (electricity generation, transportation, industrial use, energy system efficiency), we could definitely be expecting positive comebacks from the Breakthrough Energy Coalition.

The Newest Release for the Nintendo Famicom – A Chiptune Album

The Nintendo Famicom (also known as the NES to those of us in the west), is a classic console from the almost distant age of 1983, packed with games that have soundtracks that are loved and remixed to this day. Game soundtracks are as popular as ever, some even garnering releases on physical media such as vinyl. Developer RIKI has gone one step further, choosing a Famicom cartridge as the media to release their new chiptune album, 8BIT MUSIC POWER.

8 BIT MUSIC POWER is more than just a music album too. Each one of the 12 original tracks features an accompanying video in charming pixellated Famicom style. These graphics are created by Hiroshi Ono, famous for working on Pac Man, Galaga, Dig Dug and more. If you’re concerned about the quality of music that these graphics are to accompany, the project’s music include entries by popular Japanese video game and anime composers, such as Yuriko Keino (Xevious, Dig Dug), Keishi Yonao (YU-NO) and Hiroaki Sano (Lyrical Nanoha).

For those of you looking to get your hands on this throwback piece, unfortunately, it is currently only planned to have a limited release in Japan. It will be available for ¥3,800 on the Amazon Japan site from January 31st, with a limited run of “several thousand copies” available. If you wish to import, an adapter will be needed to play on American and European NES systems, but there is still hope for a NES release of the cartridge. Already western fans and retailers have surprised the manufacturer, Columbus Circle with requests for a western release, so it may just be possible…

Could projects like this among creative fans of classic consoles see a resurgence of music and homebrew games for the now-dated hardware? I certainly hope so, as even with the current age of HD graphics and sound, pixellated sprites and chiptunes still have a special place in many of our hearts.

Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 TH (LGA 1151) Motherboard Review

Introduction


Intel’s latest Skylake architecture is built on the 14nm manufacturing process and designed to replace the previous generation, Haswell Refresh CPUs. However, the Core i7-6700K is currently a poor value proposition throughout Europe and costs upwards of £350. While the Z170 motherboards are an affordable proposition, some consumers are still waiting for CPU price cuts before considering making the switch. Furthermore, the i7-6700K is priced incredibly close to the X99-based Core i7 5820K which contains 6 cores and provides enhanced performance in multi-threaded workstation tasks.

Eventually, Skylake K-series CPUs should fall to reasonable pricing around the £250 mark and increase the sales of Z170 motherboards. The latest motherboard to arrive at eTeknix headquarters is the Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 TH which supports 3-way SLI, Turbo B-Clock Tuning IC, SATA Express, USB 3.1 Type-C and 40 Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 capable of powering dual 4K displays at 60Hz. Gigabyte’s engineering team has developed a feature-rich motherboard which utilizes the fastest connectivity options on the market. As a result, I expect it to perform remarkably well in every benchmark.

Packing and Accessories

The Z170X-UD5 TH is bundled in a visually appealing black and gold box which clearly displays the unit’s Thunderbolt 3 functionality.

On the rear, Gigabyte focused on the huge connectivity options and impressive speeds which come from Thunderbolt 3, and Intel’s USB 3.1 controller.

In terms of accessories, the motherboard comes with a user’s manual, installation guide, I/O shield, SLI bridge and driver disk.

Gigabyte also includes a G Connector to easily conect front panel headers, SATA cables and Rear I/O dust covers. These covers should prolong the rear connector’s lifespan as dust build-up can cause damage over time.

You Can Now Play as Vin Diesel in Fallout 4

Fallout 4 is receiving an incredible amount of attention from the PC modding community, and we’ve already told you about some of the most important mods. However, Fallout 4’s mod-friendly design is not the only thing that makes it noteworthy, as its character creation system is incredibly complex and allows users to create characters that resemble some of the world’s most famous people; all it takes is a bit of creativity. For example, some players have recently shared save games that included main characters resembling Heisenberg from Breaking Bad or Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead.

The latest famous actor to join the fold is none other than Vin Diesel, whose Fallout 4 avatar was put together by a user named “Madhur.” If you want to start off your game as Diesel, all you have to do is download the save file right here and place it into “My Documents\My Games\Fallout4\Saves”. The save starts off right before you need to leave for the Vault, which means that you’re not losing anything important story-wise. Below you will find a series of screenshots as well as a gameplay video for this particular Fallout 4 avatar. If you do try it out, let us know what you think about Madhur’s work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt21f4U5628

Jeremy Clarkson Reveals New Amazon 30-Minutes Delivery Drone

The last we heard from Amazon regarding their drones, they were still using a model that looked like a slightly enlarged version of a regular consumer drone. Their latest reveal though is nothing like what you’d find in a hobby store.

The new craft, as pictured above, would carry the package inside the fuselage (the body of the craft) rather than beneath the drone. The drone takes off vertically similar to a helicopter before flying straight towards your house. With an impressive range of 15 miles, the drone looks to be the first of a generation of more powerful drones, built for a range of environments; soon the Amazon drone army will be flying through the air delivering anything you need within the hour.

With sensors designed to search for and evaluate possible landing environments, the drone lands, releases your product and then takes back off. Of course, it doesn’t just appear and fly off, with a notification on your Amazon app you’re alerted so you can watch the device drop off your product and be ready to pick it up.

With development centers in the U.S, U.K and Israel you could soon see the drones flying once they receive approval. If that didn’t spark your interest then check out the video below, with none other than Jeremy Clarkson, explaining the details in his usual unique style.

Logitech G502 Proteus Core Tunable Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Logitech have a long history in the peripheral business, having created some of the most popular desktop and gaming mice around. With that in mind, we’re very happy to see their latest mouse, the G502 Proteus Core in the eTeknix office, as it comes equipped with some pretty awesome features that should make it a lot of fun to test.

The G502 Proteus comes equipped with a high-end 12,000 DPI sensor, which Logitech claim is the most accurate sensor on the market, a claim I won’t be taking lightly in our testing. An accurate sensor is obviously something we all want in our mice, be that for gaming or otherwise, how well it tracks can be the difference between catching that all important headshot or defeat.

A fast built-in 32-bit microcontroller, a (hopefully) super accurate sensor, weight tuning system, and so much more on offer with this mouse, the G502 is certainly ticking a lot of boxes.

Features

  • Most accurate sensor on the market
  • 32-bit microcontroller
  • 3 on-board profiles
  • 1 millisecond report rate
  • Primary buttons rated to 20 million clicks
  • Mechanical microswitches
  • Improved keyplate design for better click feeling and performance
  • Braided cable with hook and loop cable tie
  • Sleep mode disabled
  • 3 DPI indicator LEDs
  • Rubber grips
  • Magnetic weight-cavity door

The new sensor promises great performance, but to ensure you can get the best out of it, it can be tuned to your surface of choice.

“Wood, Laminate, Steel, Mouse Pad, all surfaces have different properties. Proteus Core makes sure that no matter where or what you game on, your mouse is optimized.”

If tuning the sensor isn’t enough, there’s also a weight tuning system to allow you to tweak the balance and overall feel of the mouse.

“Proteus Core allows you to change the weight, balance, and enables you to adapt to wherever you choose to play. Customize it to the way you game and make it yours!”

The box shows a cool picture of the mouse, as well as some of the tuning weights.

Around the back, a quick breakdown of some of the features of the G502, such as the programmable buttons and surface tunable sensor.

In the box, you’ll find a small plastic box with the Logitech logo on it.

It’s a handy little storage box that houses five 3.6g weights.

Super Mario Bros. Anniversary Watch Costs $18,950

A lot of people are fans of Nintendo and their flagship character, Mario. And while the Super Mario Bros. franchise is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary since the original game released in Japan on the 13th of September 1985, luxury watch maker, Romain Jerome are showing their appreciation with a limited edition watch dedicated to the portly plumber himself. But with a price tag of $18950, Mario fans will have to consider just how much they love Mario enough to put him on their wrists.

Romain Jerome are no strangers to producing classic game themed watches, with Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Tetris watches already under their belts. They also put a lot of effort into properly replicating the pixellated style of the old games, making use of a 3 layering technique to accurately recreate the figure of Mario, as well as a mushroom, bush and cloud, all rendered brightly coloured using enamel. The watch isn’t quite fancy enough to add motion to the figures, but they are an impressive recreation nonetheless. The ensemble is all wrapped in a 45mm case of black titanium, with large lugs allowing the strap to move comfortably.

For those of you undeterred by the price of this retro-gaming timepiece, you’d better hurry, only 85 watches will be produced. You’d better move fast if you really want Mario on your wrist.

Credit to Romain Jerome

Cooltek Unveils Skall ATX Mid-Tower Chassis

Featuring a very intriguing price/performance ratio, the new Skall ATX mid-tower PC chassis was recently unveiled by Cooltek, and it might represent a perfect choice for those of you who are looking to build a simple-looking yet undeniably modern PC. The case comes in three different versions, each featuring a pair of 120 mm LED-fans behind the front cover. The main difference between the versions is based on the fans’ LED colours, which are either red, green or blue. Furthermore, a special mesh feature inserted in the lower front part of the case makes sure that these fans are always visible.

Designed to accommodate high-end hardware, the Skall boasts fully modular HDD-cages, two multi-step fan controls, tool-free installation of 3.5-inch hard drives and optical controls, as well as extensive cable management. The mesh inlay located at the back of the case can be removed easily in order to allow the user to install fans or water cooling radiators. As far as connectivity is concerned, this product includes HD audio ports, two USB 2.0 connectors as well as two USB 3.0 connectors. And since we mentioned water cooling, we should also tell you that this chassis comes with a special mounting frame that can hold 280 mm radiators, 360 mm radiators or small AIO cooling solutions.

The Skall ATX mid-tower PC case by Cooltek is set to become available starting December, and it will cost  €84.99.

The Next Apple iPhone Might Not Have a Headphone Jack

Even though Apple doesn’t do much to change the overall design of its iPhone with every new version, there is a trend to manufacture slimmer smartphones, as these simply look more elegant and more contemporary. However, it’s not exactly easy to make a slim phone, as the manufacturer usually needs to drop certain features in order to achieve this goal. Recent rumors suggest that Apple’s next iPhone might come without a 3.5mm headphone jack, which means that it would be about 1mm slimmer when compared to the iPhone 6s. Moreover, the device would benefit from a series of Lightning features, including app launching and headphone-based DACs.

However, considering the fact that the new iPhone will most likely launch next year in September, plenty of things could change until that time. Moreover, it’s also worth noting that there are not exactly a lot of companies out there that are manufacturing Lightning-based headphones, which means that Apple would need to find a way to ensure a steady supply of headphones for its customers. Still, this wouldn’t be the first gadget to give up on conventional headphone jacks, as there are already a few devices out there that offer USB sound exclusively. In any case, before we jump to conclusions, it’s best to wait for Apple to release more details on its next iPhone.

ShiftWear – Shoes With Built-in Displays That Change as You Walk!

So that collection of shoes you own? Those red, black, white, blue trainers? What if you only needed one pair? What if you could change your colour and style of your shoes as you walked? ShiftWear is an IndieGoGo project from David Coelho and it looks like you could quickly pass on the local shoe store.

With flexible HD screens, the concept is an ingenious one, being able to customise your footwear through an app, adding everything from a picture of your friends and family to lightning that sparks with every footstep.

30 days of battery life combined with walk to charge technology means that instead of plugging in your shoes you can just walk to see your art come to life, with a store to not only download and add images to your shoes but also to upload your own, sharing your artwork on canvases all around the world while people walk.

At $150 (£99.79 approximately) for the starting pair and another $50 (around £33) for shipping, you could be putting a lot of money into a single set of shoes. With them being machine washable and Kevlar fiber coated soles, they are built to last and with the screens you would never have to wear the same shoes twice.

If you have $1000 spare you can even get the limited edition ShiftWear, with a screen that covers the entire trainer. Who feels like a little artist today?

Amazon Fire Can Talk to Your Home and Listen to You

It would seem Amazon keep expanding on their technology, from the Kindle to the Echo, they produce more and more technologies that we now feel we need, that we never even considered before. The next one has a simple and nice name, Alexa, and she’s looking forward to helping you get your house straight.

Alexa is available on Amazon Fire devices running version 5 (and Fire TV Sticks running Fire OS 5.0.3) and higher. Alexa is a system designed to allow you to voice control your connected home systems.

From playing your prime music stations to playing your music collection, even your audible books. You can even re-order items, so remember that pet food and supplements you order? Why not re-order more in a single sentence?

You can even use Alexa to create your shopping lists, check your calendar or toggle your home devices.

Imagine sitting down to watch a movie and realising the lights are a little too bright, one sentence later the lights have dimmed to that of a cinema and with another sentence, your movie begins and you enjoy your popcorn in comfort having never left your seat.

At £79.99 for the TV box or £34.99 for the Fire TV Stick, you could soon be streaming all your favourite videos and streaming services without ever having to leave your chair. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Have You Played These Star Wars Games?

The tales of love, war and pain have echoed for generations, both through the fans of the star wars series and even the world as a whole (we all know the “I am your father line”). Most movies these days get a video game tie-in. something which runs alongside or expands on the movie experience. Star Wars is one of the few series in the world that I can name where the fans have created something beyond the movies, from a religion to an entire universe filled with lore and legends. So why not enjoy some of the less well-known games that expand on this?


 

Lego Star Wars

If you are a fan of the series and have enjoyed the Lego games so far, why not try reliving all six films in Lego Star Wars – The Complete Saga. On sale for 70% off, you can experience everything from the invasion of Naboo to the battle on the moon of Endor. There’s something about Lego versions of classics movies that really makes them stand out and they all the better in split-screen co-op.


 

Star Wars – Republic Commando

The prequel trilogy brought us not only more story and characters, but also a whole new war. While not given much development in the films, the series that have come since have tried to expand on the Clones and given them more than “one size fits all” story lines. Republic Commando looks to do this by telling the tale of a squad of commando, who will infiltrate, dominate and destroy the federation and any that stand against them. With advanced AI and squad dynamics, it’s worth checking out, at only £2.09 till the 1st, why not?


 

Star Wars – Galactic Battlegrounds

We’ve seen the Empire fight the Rebels, we’ve seen the Trade Federation and the Confederate take on the Republic. So why not mix it up a little and have them fight with or against everyone else? Using the same game engine (and game mechanics) that made Age of Empires last for generations, Galactic Battlegrounds lets you fight those battles you didn’t even know you wanted to fight. Not a fan of Jar Jar Binks? See who wins in a Wookie vs Gungan all out battle, why not have the people of Naboo go against the Empire or maybe even see if the Republic could have fought off the Empire?

With the Star Wars Collection on sale from £75 to £17.47 till the first of December, it may be worth expanding on your Star Wars universe ready for the Force Awakens on the 17th.

New Augmented Reality App Lets You See Radio Waves

In the modern era, radio waves are everywhere, from crisscrossing Wi-Fi signals, cellular signals, GPS, Bluetooth and many others. Yet we often aren’t aware of them, with human perception limited only to the visible light spectrum of electromagnetic waves. However the new augmented reality app, Architecture of Radio, seeks to give us a glimpse into the invisible world of data around us. When you point a device running the app in a direction or move it around, it creates a view of spherical waves emanating from radio wave sources, overlapping and crossing over each other, like waves in the sea.

The app works by compiling data about radio wave sources from public databases, including 7 million cell towers, 19 million Wi-Fi routers and a number of satellites. Access to this data allows the app to provide the user with a display of the signals in their area. Unfortunately, this relegates the app to more of an artistic curiosity than a truly useful application, as the app does not gather data in real-time from nearby devices, meaning that potential uses of such an application, such as testing ranges on wireless hardware are nonexistent. However, the app is still technically impressive, as collating and visualizing the volume of data stored in its source databases is no simple feat.

The app is to be featured as a piece at the ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe in Germany, by its designer Richard Vijgen. However for those who want a little bit of invisible art for themselves, the app can be downloaded now on iOS, with a version for Android in the works.

Image credit to Architecture of Radio

ISP’s in Germany Can be Ordered to Block Piracy Websites

ISP’s are the ones responsible for giving the public access to the world wide web and everything that you can find on it. The problem with the public having access to everything is that sometimes they give access to things which they shouldn’t, a game or a movie or sometimes just designs for things which haven’t even been created. Piracy online is the concept that you either host or copy something that you don’t own, have the rights to use or the permission to run. Germany has had enough though and its supreme court has said that maybe you shouldn’t be able to access that material online.

In a recent ruling, the supreme court has ruled that ISP’s can be required to block sites if they meet two conditions first. The first condition is that the person requesting the block must have explored alternative options, this can be anything from contacting the person that uploaded the material to contacting the site that hosts the material.

The second option is that the site can only be blocked if “on balance” they are deemed to have more illegal than legal content, this means that if someone uploads one bad file to your system the chance that your system will be blocked is small.

More and more countries are making moves like this, from tracking down illegal uploaders to blocking off people’s access to the materials, where do you stand on this question. Should we be given free reign of the internet and the people who are illegally uploading materials targeted or should the people who download and use the materials illegally be acceptable targets for legal action as well?

New Evidence Shows Just Cause 3 Loading Times Take Over Three Minutes on PS4

Earlier on today, information emerged regarding Just Cause 3’s long load times and poor frame-rate on the PlayStation 4. At the time, we didn’t know any specifics about how long the load times actually were and had some skepticism about the original source’s claims. However, Chris Harding from TheGamesCabin has released a video providing first-hand evidence of the game’s atrocious load times. Unbelievably, after dying it takes more than three, yes THREE, minutes to reload the world. During the analysis, Harding said:

“We do now have a quick upload of the game’s load screens. As you can see in the video below, once Rico breaks free from his mortal coil, the loading screens make out-stay their welcome by quite a bit. It’s roughly three-and-a-half minutes of loading screens. Ouch, but at least you can go and make a cup of tea while you wait for Rico to get his groove back on.”

This has to be a new record and makes the NEO GEO CD suddenly look more appealing. Just Pause 3, I mean Just Cause 3 shouldn’t be taking anywhere near the 3 minute mark to simply re-load the game’s environment. Furthermore, I’ve heard first hand reports that this isn’t an isolated incident and some users have also seen 3 minute load times. On the other hand, it seems quite random as certain load times are quick while others are in excess of 2-3 minutes. Avalanche Studios is a PC developer and I expect that version to be given priority. Although, the game’s performance doesn’t fill me with confidence despite the studio’s impeccable history.

Fractal Design Kelvin T12 Expandable Pre-Filled CPU Water Cooler Review

Introduction


Fractal Design has won virtually countless awards over the years, many of them from us here at eTeknix. Their chassis products are some of the best made, best looking and best performing in the industry, and they continued that success with their power supplies, and more recently, their coolers. Their latest cooler, the Kelvin T12 looks set to take the AIO market by storm, not only is it perfectly suitable for AIO plug-and-play deployment, but it’s also expandable, much like a custom loop cooler.

The Kelvin T12 is certainly well equipped, with a thick-style 120mm radiator, high-quality Fractal Design branded fans, extensive socket support, a high-quality pump and much more.

General Specifications

  • Block/pump assembly measurements: 69*69*40 mm
  • Tubing Measurements: 320mm long, 11mm outer and 8mm inner diameter
  • Fitted with anti-kink coils for worry-free installation
  • Kelvin T12 Radiator Measurements: 46*132*163 mm
  • Thread class for fill port and all tube fittings: G 1/4″
  • Supported sockets: Intel: 775,1150,1155,1156,1366,2011,2011-v3; AMD: AM2,AM2+,AM3,AM3+,FM1,FM2,FM2+
  • Fans included: 2 pcs
  • Fractal Design Zero Thermal Paste ; 1 g syringe, sufficient for multiple mountings
  • Colors Available: Black
  • Net weight – Base unit only, not including mounting or fans: 1.1 kg
  • Net weight – Dynamic GP-12 PWM fan, per fan: 159 g
  • Net weight – Total excluding packaging and manual. Includes fans, mounting kit for all platforms, cooling paste (including packaging for the cooling paste) and adapter cable: 1.7 kg
  • Package dimensions – W x H x D: 350*250*151 mm
  • Package weight: 2.4 kg

Fan Specification

  • Fractal Design Dynamic GP-12 PWM fan
  • 500 – 2000 RPM
  • PWM control
  • Max air flow: 87.6 CFM
  • Max pressure: 2.30 mm H2O
  • Acoustical noise: 32.2 dB(A)
  • DC 12V, 0.20A

Pump Specification

  • Ceramic bearing
  • 2400 RPM
  • Voltage control
  • Maximum water flow: 72 l/h
  • Maximum pressure: 1.0 m H2O
  • Acoustical noise: 25.0 dB(A)
  • DC 12V, 0.27A

The packaging is the usual theme for Fractal and has a nice image of the cooler on the front of the box.

Around the back and the sides of the box, there are plenty of details on the main specifications and features, which we’ll take a closer look at in a moment.

In the box, you’ll find the user guide, a fan adaptor cable and Y-splitter, some high-quality thermal paste, as well as the Intel and AMD mounting brackets.

The fans are both Fractal Design’s own Dynamic GP-12 PWM fans; a very high-quality set of fans that should provide us with great airflow and low noise.

This may be an expandable unit, but it comes pre-built and pre-filled as an AIO unit. I wouldn’t normally look at a solution like this if I wanted a custom loop, but it’s certainly nice to have the option to expand it should you feel the need. The thick radiator looks great and its chunky design looks and feels durable. There’s a large copper base to the pump, which will provide excellent coverage to your CPU of choice.

The radiator is nice and thick, which will help it handle higher cooling loads. Along the base of the built-in reservoir, there’s a small stopper cap that can be removed to top up the coolant levels.

On the other end, we’ve got two G 1/4″ fittings, which are widely compatible with other cooling products, pipes, radiators, etc. The pipes themselves are very flexible and come with a coil that looks great, but also helps with overall durability and prevents kinks.

The pump is nice and compact and quite minimalist in terms of design; the gloss finish on the top is going to look great in any system.

The pump also features the same G 1/4″ fittings, meaning you’ve got more points you can expand the loop from and to.

You don’t have to look hard here to see that the build quality and finish on this cooler are exceptional, it looks stunning and everything looks premium-grade for every angle.