Friends Make Surprising Move With One Off Special

Friends are coming back to our screens. Sort of…

The cast is getting back together on their old TV network, NBC, to pay tribute to the veteran sitcom director James Burrows. Burrows has recently held his 1000th TV episode, he has helmed series such as Taxi and the Bob Newhart Show. He has directed 15 episodes of friends, one of which was the pilot episode.

While the special is about Burrows, the reunion of the cast of Friends — which launched in 1994 and ran for 10 seasons — is obviously the highlight. All six original cast members (Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer) are on board.

https://youtu.be/sLisEEwYZvw

The average friends episode took 5 hours to film, meaning that in total around 1180 hours were spent making the entire 10 seasons. That is a fair old time for a TV series! Hopefully, the two hour’s air time will be enough to please the immense amount of fans that loved the show. The news comes as a surprise, especially over the news on the 1st of may last year, which came from the shows co-creator Marta Kaufman telling us that there would be no chance of a reunion.

“There will never ever – it’s not to going to happen. They have to let it go,” she told E!’s Marc Malkin on the red carpet for the premiere of her new Netflix show, Grace and Frankie.

Well, that clearly has changed – for this short little get together anyway! The episode will be aired on the 21st of Feb.

Image courtesy of Tvline.com

ASUSTOR NAS Are First To Support Brand-New Kodi 15

While Kodi 16’s alpha is making headlines in some places for its upcoming features, Kodi 15 is the latest official and full version. ASUSTOR are the first NAS manufacturers to support Kodi 15 on their 50, 51, 61, 62, and 7 series NAS devices; All those with HDMI out.

Multimedia streaming and direct play is one of the main reasons many people invest in an NAS in the first place and as such it’s nice to see the manufacturers hurrying to get the best experience out to their users. As part of that, ASUSTOR will also release AiCast soon, a powerful and dedicated remote mobile app for Kodi. With AiCast users will be able to conveniently select media and control playback on Kodi from their local network or even remotely.

Kodi  15 brings some nice new features such as a chapter selection window for mkvs and other containers that support chapters, adaptive seeking where the time jumps will get larger the more you press the seek button, and the audio and subtitles can now be selected from a list rather than a spinner. The Language Add-Ons also got an overhaul and are no longer dependent upon release. The overall add-on manager has been reworked too, making it easier to find the add-ons that you’re actually looking for.

If you, like me, are the lucky owner of an ASUSTOR NAS that supports Kodi, then the update is a breeze. Just log in to your ADM control panel and head to your App Central to select the update. All done.

I’ve upgraded mine and it’s a great one. Now I’m looking forward to Kodi 16 getting out of tis alpha stage, so I can enjoy features such as non-linear stretching and the option to select “none” for preferred subtitles.

Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 TH is the First Thunderbolt 3 Certified Motherboard

Gigabyte proudly announced that they are bringing Thunderbolt 3 to the desktop PC by launching the GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH motherboard with support for the 6th Generation Intel Core processors, the first Intel Thunderbolt 3 certified of its kind.

The whole thing is powered by Intel’s own Thunderbolt controller and the Thunderbolt 3 protocol is available over two USB Type-C connectors on the back I/O of the GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH. The new protocol doubles up the bandwidth, allowing for up to 40Gbps per connection.

You can use that bandwidth to connect pretty much anything, as it natively supports both DisplayPort 1.2 and USB 3.1. When it comes to daisy-chaining devices, we get the same as on the Thunderbolt 2 connection: 6 per channel.  The available bandwidth is enough to drive two displays in 4K resolution at 60 FPS or one display in 5K resolution.

The Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 TH brings along all the other features you’ll want, such as Gigabit Ethernet, support for SLI and CrossFireX configuration, Ultra Durable PCIe one-piece metal shielded slots, and support for the latest NVMe protocols over the M.2 connector.

The GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH also features the long lifespan Durable Black solid capacitors that are rated for 10K hours and the exclusive GIGABYTE DualBIOS technology to protect your PC’s most crucial component.

Seagate Creates Highest Capacity 2.5″ 7mm HDD

The mechanical hard drive is far from dead despite the face solid state and hybrids drives march forward and intend to conquer the market. There are still a lot of improvements that can be done on the mechanical siblings and Seagate proved that again by creating the highest density 2.5-inch HDD in a slim 7mm package.

As an SSD user, you might be used to the 7mm drives, but most HDDs come in the larger form factors with a height of 9.5mm to 15mm. Seagate has achieved an impressive 1TB per 2.5-inch platter which in return allows them to release a new 2.5-inch 7mm HDD with 2TB capacity. That is quite impressive and will surely lead to higher versions with more capacity as well.

“In an industry first, our engineers have been able to boost areal density to 1 TB per platter in a 2.5-inch form factor, which will give OEMs the flexibility to design and build virtually any kind of mobile device they can envision, with plenty of storage to boot,” said Mark Re, Seagate’s chief technology officer. “Combining new mechanical firmware architectures, with state of the art heads, media and electronic design, this technology is a real game changer- providing four times more capacity than a 0.25 TB SSD at a substantially lower cost.”

The new drive technology is the first to incorporate recording-subsystem components-head, media, preamp, channel-to achieve even greater areal densities, well ahead of competitive offerings. Its advanced high-spatial efficiency mechanics delivers a lightweight drive, low acoustics, and strong mechanical robustness capable of new levels of drive stability even when subject to intense shock and vibrations.

The drive is also 25 percent lighter than the previous generation Seagate mobile hard drive products, smaller, and more efficient. Seagate is already working on an SSHD version of the drive as well. Both the HDD and the SSHD drives are surely something to look forward too.

First Zoolander 2 Trailer Released

We need to forget all about Star Wars for a while, even though it’s one of the most talked about movies recently. We need to forget about it for now because we’re talking Zoolander here, more specifically the 2nd part that is due to be released early next year. The first Zoolander movie came out back in 2001 and was quite successful with an opening weekend worth over $15 million USD. It has since become somewhat of a classic and people are excited about the new movie.

The first official trailer for Zoolander two has been released and it is as suspected not the ordinary trailer. Mr. Zoolander isn’t a normal person either. The teaser video is set in a science environment with a mechanical voice narrating the big bang theory. It sounds like Stephen Hawking, but we can’t be sure of that right now. It takes on a journey in the big bang theory from the bang itself and all the way into the human brain – and that is where Ben Stiller is making the Blue Steel face and everything is as it should be.

Will you be heading to a theater near you to watch the new Zoolander 2, or 2oolander, when it starts to play there February 2016? We definitely think that it’ll be worth it.

Thank You TheVerge for providing us with this information

First XCOM2 Gameplay Video Looks Amazing

When XCOM2 was announced it got cheers from everywhere. Not only is it a follow-up to the previous games that are highly idolized by a lot of people, it got some really cool announcements along with it during the presentation

XCOM2 will by a PC exclusive game and that is awesome. Not because I have anything against console gamers, but because it means that they don’t need to limit the game to those low specifications.

Being a PC game brings along a lot more benefits and one of them is the total modding ability. The creators want you to go nuts and won’t just allow you to create mods, it will also make all the tools available to do so.

The latest video released yesterday on the official 2K International YouTube channel now gives us a taste on actual gameplay in the new XCOM2 game. And yes, while a lot of this might be scripted to demonstrate different situations and functions, it looks awesome.

Awesome weapons, drones that can hack enemy equipment, giant snakes and monsters, XCOM2 brings it all. I really enjoyed watching this first gameplay and for one can’t wait for the game to be released this November. I’ll be getting a copy of this for sure.

Supergirl Pilot Episode Leaks Six Month Before Scheduled Air Time

It isn’t long ago that Game of Thrones had four episodes leak onto torrent sites ahead of the official air time and now it has hit another series. The first episode of CBS’s upcoming Supergirl series has appeared on torrent sites six month ahead of its scheduled air time.

It isn’t even a low-quality version camera version or something like that, but the full-HD version and without watermark. The fact that it comes without watermark suggests another source than early screeners as it was the case for the Game of Thrones leak.

With the way this has pilot has appeared, some people are suggesting that this was a deliberate leak in other to increase the hype around the show – a marketing stunt. We’ll probably never know why, but it’s out there now. Experts don’t expect it to have as severe an impact as the Game of Thrones leak had either, simply because the official air time is so long time away and people will want more than just one episode.

Those who stick to the law will have to do with the 6minute trailer released earlier this month while those who don’t take that part so series can watch the full first episode. I for one can easily wait, especially because I don’t want to wait 6 months between watching the pilot episode and the following second one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lm46-envrHo

Three Austrian Men Receive First Bionic Hands

Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man. The well-known quote spoken during the opening sequence of The Six Million Dollar Man is not science fiction anymore.

The world’s first bionic reconstructions have been performed on three Austrian men to help them regain their hand function. This technique enabled the newly amputated patients to control prosthetic hands using their minds and once again perform various tasks that most people take for granted.

These weren’t just crazy people having their arms replaced with bionic ones but rather victims of serious nerve damage. In order to be fitted for the prosthetic hands, the three men had to undergo preliminary surgical work where leg muscle was grafted into their arms to improve signal transmission. Once this was healed, sensors placed on the arm allowed the men to learn how activate the muscle after which a virtual hand was mounted to their arm.

The process took about nine months just for the cognitive training and all three men had their new bionic hands mounted and in use. Amazing. But getting a new hand is really that. You have to learn to use the new limb from scratch and it took several more month for the men to get full control of the new hands.

Prior to the new hands, the three men scored an average of 9 out of 100 points in the tests shown in the video below, with the new hand they increased this score to 65. Further, the men reported less pain and a higher quality of life after the operation. Science when it’s best.

Thanks to NewScientist for providing us with this information.

UK to Get Its First Dedicated eSports Arena

Gfinity is no stranger to eSports, hosting their first two offline events in 2013 and following up with arena matches in 2014 with over 4000 fans attending. It’s clear that there is a base for such events and as such Gfinity is going all out in 2015, creating the first dedicated eSports arena in the UK, which will be based in London.

The Gfinity Arena will be a hub of competitive gaming activity, live events and to deliver exclusive content while at the same time allowing you as a fan to attend and witness all this first hand. The new arena will have room for 600 game fanatics and spectators while offering the ‘comfiest seats found in eSports’.

Thanks to Gfinity for providing us with this information

Samsung First with 14nm FinFET Mass Production

It looks like Samsung beat TSMC to the punch by being the first to announce the mass production of their 14nm FinFET process technology.

The first chip to use this will be the Exynos 7 Octa, but the process will be expanded to other products throughout the year. The Exynos 7 Octa will most likely be used in the Samsung Galaxy S6 flagship and the SoC is composed of an ARM Cortex-A57 with the A53 and Mali-T760 GPU.

Samsung’s press release promises some great figures with 20% increased clock speed and a 35% decrease in power consumption.

Thanks to Samsung for providing us with this information

ASUSTOR First to Support Kodi on NAS

 

ASUSTOR announced that it has added Kodi to its NAS App lineup. Kodi is the newest generation of the award-winning media player and hub, XBMC, and ASUSTOR is the first to support Kodi on NAS devices.

Kodi, formally known as XBMC, features a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls, among many other useful features. It allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet and it uses the HEVC (H.265) codec for software transcoding.

All of ASUSTOR’s NAS devices from the 50, 51, and 70 series can now download and install Kodi from the Beta Apps section of ASUSTOR’s App Central.

Thanks to ASUSTOR for providing us with this information

Marvell Reveal Their Next-Gen SSD Controllers

Marvell has created the World’s First DRAM-less NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) SSD controller for mobile computing solutions. The new controller only measures 8x8mm and by that allows for SSDs as small as M.2 2230 (22 x 30 mm). On top of that they come with industry-leading NANDEdge low-density parity-check (LDPC) technology and support for triple-level cell (TLC) and 3D NAND. Marvell’s 88NV1140 and 88NV1120 enable small form factor SSD solutions with unparalleled performance for integration into low-z-height tablets, Chrome devices and the upcoming wave of new 2-in-1 hybrid and detachable mobile PC platforms.

The controller works with both SATA and PCIe SSDs with the same firmware, allowing for easier integration and maintenance. It’s also best-in-class on active power consumption and supports the newest PCIe L1.2 and DevSleep functions. In addition, Marvell’s NANDEdge LDPC technology can support 15/16nm TLC and 3D NAND, resulting in low enabling cost of TLC and 3D NAND. The NVMe design has passed in-house SSD validation and third-party operating system and platform compatibility testing.

Key features of Marvell’s new 88NV1140 and 88NV1120 include:

88NV1140 and 88NV1120 both share:

  • Powerful Dual core Cortex R5 CPU’s
  • Embedded SRAM with hardware accelerators to optimize IOPS performance
  • ONFI3 and Toggle2 NAND support
  • NANDEdge error-correction: 15nm TLC and 3D NAND support using LDPC technology to boost endurance and reliability
  • BGA SSD and M.2/2.5 slim form factor support with thermal optimization and small package size
  • 28nm low power CMOS process

88NV1140:

  • AHCI and NVMe support over PCIe Gen3x1
  • Fully hardware automated NVMe 1.1b support
  • Low power management (L1.2) design

88NV1120:

  • SATA 6Gb/s support
  • SATA DevSlp support

Thanks to Marvell for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of BusinessCheatSheet

4k Support and FPS Mode for GTA V on PC

According to a recently published hands-on account of GTA V, gaming website Computers and Video Games has ‘spilled the beans’ on upcoming 4K quality support, and an impressive first person mode for this very long-awaited release.

In their words, all next-gen consoles will feature a brand new first person mode and the PC edition will also see support for 4K resolutions. The first person support is said to support full car interiors and first person combat abilities – claimed as something much more complicated than “just a case of plonking a new camera within a character’s head, just because they could, but an extensive rework of the games movement, driving and targeting engines. There are thousands of new animations for gun reloading alone, not to mention the first-person views of parachuting, carjacking etc.”

FPS won’t be only the single player world too, Rockstar are said to give players the ability to utilize this new ability throughout the online sandbox mode that they have on offer. This will accompany the new multiplayer heist modes, 20 new animals (including cats!) and a soundtrack that extends into the hundreds.

Many people have highly criticized Rockstar’s delayed release of next-gen and PC editions of their game, often claiming that it’s a blatant money grab and/or marketing ploy. Inclusions of these new features and abilities show us however that they’re at least putting thought and effort into the belated response the higher-end market. Here’s hoping that the PC edition will be some form of saving grace, without seeing Rockstar go down the public pitchfork route that we’ve seen EA on of recent times (See: DLC).

If you’re looking for something else, you could compare this news to Ubisoft who has claimed that they “don’t care for resolution“. If you’re reading this Mr. Hutchinson, please ensure you sit “like 12 feet from the screen” when playing in your new, amazing, 4k resolution.

CVG have a full album of online shots, in the mean time here’s one to tickle your fancy.

Cover image courtesy of CVG

Inset image courtesy of Sports Keeda

LG Release Their First Processor – The NUCLUN

LG has just announced the release of their new eight-core processor, the “NUCLUN” – pronounced NOO-klun. It will debut on the scene in their new G3 Screen model and become available to the Korean domestic market only at this stage.

Featuring the ARM big LITTLE design architecture, the chip utilizes four 1,5GHz A15 cores on top of four 1.2GHz A7 cores. Paired together with the quad-core PowerVR G6430 graphics chip, it’s obvious that this setup is no beast in the processing power department. But the fact it’s only being released to the Korean domestic market means that they are most probably aiming at mass production pricing over performance specifications.

LG has claimed that it will be supportive of the LTE Cat.6 Specifications Network, which provides users with a minimum download speed of up to 225Mbps and shows positive performance direction by the company. The components will power the G3’s 5.9-inch 1080p IPS screen paired with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage with microSD card expansion possibilities.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a confirmation yet on pricing or plans if the phone will be released to the Western market – but if so, it’s certainly something that I want to try.

Image courtesy of NDTV