The Crystal Maze is Coming Back!

Do you remember back to when times were good? No impending doom or missile attacks or bomb threats, just sat down around a TV and watching a random group of people humiliate themselves while you sit at home and gloat that you could have done it better. Yes, I am talking about that old gem (pun intended) that is The Crystal Maze. I used to sit at home on a Sunday afternoon watching re-runs while removing the similar fake crystal curtain pole ends to pretend with.

The show was all about conquering the crystal maze with as many crystals (and contestants) as possible. The more crystals equalled more time and more people meant a higher chance of catching golden tickets in the final round. To get to the final round, a small team had to take on multiple challenges based in four different sections of “The Crystal Maze”. Each section would be similar to the others, but with a dissimilar theme; including Industrial, Aztec, Futuristic and Medieval.

The show finally came to and end in 1995 when the show wasn’t renewed for further seasons and the set remained unused and finally dismantled in 1999. That’s until some die hard fans took it upon themselves to start an IndieGoGo campaign to bring the show back to life. The trio launched the campaign in hopes to get just £500,000, but the public saw this and donated a huge £933,000 to make sure this happens.

Why such a big threshold? Well it’s not for a TV show, this time you can purchase a £50 ticket and run amock in the authentic remade set with Richard O’Brien narrating in certain spots and he may even be your host. It is being rebuilt in a secret part of London which is “easily accessible” according to the FAQ, let’s hope it doesn’t stay secret for much longer.

This is probably something a portion of our readers won’t actually know what we’re on about with this, so for those who are interested here is a video of the first episode, enjoy!

https://youtu.be/TrDUdOgpNsI

Don’t Trust the Internet

From time to time we like to keep things mellow here at eTeknix. We bring you the latest news from around the world, so let’s take a seat and let the internet entertain us. This time, in the form of never trusting photoshop users on the internet. Photoshop is a powerful image editing tool from Adobe; its main use is to edit images in ways that would otherwise be impossible to achieve by a camera alone.

Intagrammer Sid Frisjes loves to take ridiculously bad photos while on holiday and leaving them with the hashtag “#Nailedit”. On a recent trip to Paris, Frisjes took another standard photo of trying to touch the top of the Eiffel Tower yet failing once again. Someone then borrowed the image and put it on the dubious 4Chan forums asking for help off some professional photoshoppers to move his finger to the top; you already know the result. Here are just a samples of the amazingly edited images, you can really tell many hours of effort went into these.

Oh internet, how you amuse us so. Do you have an internet folly you’d like to share? Why not go across to our forums and let us in on your secrets.

Thank you to Mashable for providing this information.

“The 7th Guest” 20th Anniversary Edition for Android

Trilobyte Games have teamed up with MojoTouch to launch a 20th Anniversary Edition of the classic “The 7th Guest”.

“Replete with a new, HD touch-screen interface that upscales the game beautifully to high definition, new maps, new animations and icons, and a host of other new features, the “20th Anniversary Edition” of our classic video game is available now at the Google Play or Amazon AppStore. Download the title here.”

The original game was dubbed the best game of 1994 by user polls. It was one of the first games designed for CDROM and the first to utilise full-rendered 3D animation and navigation.

“The original game features:
– Groundbreaking use of full-motion video and dialogue recorded by live actors in a terrifying virtual environment
– Bizarre, mind-bending puzzles to solve
– 22 stunningly rendered, devilishly surprising, 3-D rooms in a fully explorable haunted mansion

‘20th Anniversary Edition’ features:
* Totally new game play controls that were built from the ground up for touch-screens
* Hotspot based – no more pixel hunting
* All-new slick icons and animations
* Completely new map which can be accessed directly while playing
* Completely new game menus and save/load system
* Much improved voice acting audio quality and all new, optional subtitles
* Four music options: remastered music score; original score in Midi, General Midi or Adlib
* 27 Achievements to earn and share with your friends

‘20th Anniversary Edition’ list of extras:
* ‘The Making of’ featurette
* 19 Delete Scenes and 33 Delete Audio Parts
* Full soundtrack: 36 Tracks
* ‘The 7th Guest’ Novel (157 pages)
* The Original Script, ‘The Stauf Files’ document, and Original Game Manual
* Optional retro settings: play with original graphics, original music & the original controls”

The game has just launched on Google Play and Amazon AppStore for the price of $3.99USD, $5.99 (US) will be charged in the future. Will you buy this piece of nostalgia? did you own a copy of the original? Let us know on our forums and in the comments.

Take a Psychedelic Trip With The Simpsons in Pixel Art

Pixel Art is becoming increasingly popular these days. We’re always seeing music videos, entire movies and nostalgic video games created in this unique style. Paul Robertson, creator of the Scott Pilgrim video game and Ivan Dixon have created this masterful reimagining of The Simpsons intro in psychedelic pixel art.

It comes with everything you know and love from the classic Simpsons intro, but with even more, including a spectacular ending. I don’t know about you, but I think an entire episode made in this style wouldn’t be such a crazy idea. If not that, a Simpsons video game like this would look just as good too.

Source: The Verge

Apple Reportedly Declined to Show ‘The Interview’ on iTunes

In Sony Pictures’ hunt to find a place to show ‘The Interview’, they reportedly asked Apple, who supposedly declined the offer.

According to The New York Times, Sony apparently asked the White House to help them get it on iTunes, but Apple was having none of it, “at least not on a speedy timetable”.

“It remained unclear, however, whether any on-demand service would take “The Interview.” According to people briefed on the matter, Sony had in recent days asked the White House for help in lining up a single technology partner — Apple, which operates iTunes — but the tech company was not interested, at least not on a speedy time table. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.”

We reported yesterday on the news that the movie will now see its original Christmas Day release, showing at a handful of cinemas, but it’s still unclear as to how everybody will be able to see it.

Source: The New York Times Via MacRumors

 

Story Develops – iPhone TLC and MLC Memory Tests

Yesterday we reported on initial tests of Apple’s TLC and MLC memory capabilities. This was due to the news being released that Apple had disabled all TLC memory in various iPhone models due to a high failure rate – without any warning to consumers or word of a replacement.

Through these findings, we were able to determine that TLC is a much faster ‘burst’ option of flash memory. Greatly out performing MLC in the beginning to middle of a ‘zero fill’ test on a 64GB iPhone 6, but falling off majorly toward the end. The conclusion of this information is that TLC memory is good for opening applications quicker and processing small amounts of data, whereas MLC will provide you a steady rate of transfer or speed no matter what the task. If you’re looking to run multiple applications at once – MLC is for you.

New data has come to light thanks to ‘Gforgames’ reporting on further findings where the TLC results are quite interesting. This goes to prove that you shouldn’t always judge a product just one method of testing – look into it further before making a choice. A random fill test was completed, seeing random amounts of data poured into the same iPhone models as reported on yesterday, this time the results were significantly in MLC’s favor – seeing a steady upwards curve in transfer speed, whereas TLC stayed consistent for the most part, with a slight decline toward the higher sized transfer files.

Following these results, they also reported that while these transfers were happening, memory usage of each device was quite interesting. Below you will see a MLC operational phone pouring most of it’s resources into the data transfer (left image). This is comparable to the TLC alternative which you can see has over 200mb of inactive memory sitting idle (right image).

We will continue to report on these findings as the story develops.

Images courtesy of Chiphell

Dota2 Makes the Front Page of The New York Times

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – eSports is becoming mainstream. Whether you agree with video games being classified as a ‘real sport’ or not, there is no denying that through recent developments in the eSports scene, it’s becoming something very big and very real.

We reported recently of Valve’s Dota 2 international tournament being aired on ESPN which was only fitting given it’s massive 10 million dollar prize purse. But now eSports has reached another pinnacle – Dota 2 finds its way to the front page of the New York Times.

The story reported covers the rise of eSports and marks the beginning of a series detailing how computer games are being developed into a serious spectator sport.

Alongside Twitch.tv being recently purchased by Amazon for $970 million, ESPN airing The International finals on cable television and the amazing numbers that video game sales are generating today, we’re extremely keen to see where eSports is headed next.

Do you classify eSports as a real sport? What would change your view?

Image courtesy of Premium Times

ESPN to Air 10 Million USD Dota 2 Gaming Tournament

As released today, Valve has announced ESPN will be showing live coverage of their 10 million dollar electronic sports tournament, simply labeled ‘The International’.

The International has been run yearly since 2011, with Valve pitting 1.6 million dollars of funded prize pool in recent times. To help increase this incentive, Valve pitched it to their Dota2 community for further support. For $10 USD, any player can purchase a ‘compendium‘ which delivers $2.50 into the prize pool directly and also give the user a bunch of in-game items, skins and benefits. Doing the math, this means roughly 8.4 million was raised directly from the communities donation, with a ton more going directly to the game manufacturer.

Currently, the International has just finished its playoff stages and has come up with a final eight teams all fighting for the trophy. As according the Valves press release, ESPN are now set get in on the action:

“Valve today announced that coverage of The International Dota 2 Championships will be presented in collaboration with ESPN on its live multi-screen sports network, ESPN3. In addition, an exclusive show previewing the final match will be presented on ESPN2 on Sunday at 8:30 pm Pacific. Live access to ESPN2 is also available on digital platforms via WatchESPN.” Steampowered

Valves Erik Johnson commented on the partnership:

“From the success of the Compendium to the collaboration with ESPN, this year’s International really demonstrates how much competitive gaming has grown to rival traditional sports. We believe the teams have also pushed to a new level of play this year and will further demonstrate the incredible advances made across this tournament since it first began three short years ago.” Steampowered

This is huge news for the eSports community, whom are always pushing for their favorite pastime (or in some cases, occupation) to be pushed into the mainstream-media spotlight. Another positive note is that this years 10 million dollar prize pool is a massive jump to that of 2013, which grossed only 2.8 million in comparison. This may be just the push that eSports needs to make its way into more homes.

Wondering how this 10 million dollar prize pool matches up with ‘regular’ sporting events? Thanks to Tournament.com we’ve had it laid out easily for us.

For those who don’t have the ability to watch on ESPN, Twitch.tv will be running multiple online streams of the finals.

Is there anything else valve have up their sleeve? We’re waiting with twitching anticipation for any further announcements.

Image courtesy of Gosu Gamers

Asus Unveil Their Z87 Lineup – Including Never Seen Before Models

With Haswell on a close horizon and Intel still holding the fort under close guard with regards to their 4th Generation chips, we’ve been seeing the lid slowly lift from each of the motherboard vendors on what their new boards will have to offer. Asus is next in line to show off some of their new boards from their Series , TUF (The Ultimate Force) and ROG (Republic of Gamers) lines and at each level they are offering up the best they can in terms of performance, user experiences, stability and upgrade paths.

Jackie Hsu, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Worldwide Sales commented “ASUS possesses the best research and development expertise, and as always we are confident that we offer our customers the finest quality with these new motherboards. We’re including a variety of media-praised exclusive features with each model, and are proud to announce that we have the most comprehensive Z87 motherboard launch line-up, all available simultaneously”

On the bottom end of Asus’ new line-up is a completely re-branded set of Series boards. The most notable part of this re-brand is the drop of the blue and black colour scheme that we have come to know with Asus entry level boards – the new colour scheme is based around a two tone yellow/gold, but thankfully this is not a shiny gold which would be rather displeasing to the eye. Whilst there are a number of boards in the Series range, looking at both ends of the range, Asus have covered all the grounds when it comes to compatibility – something which we have seen previously on their Z77 boards of a similar level. Between this board is a number of models that make a transition from a board for more mainstream builds, offering all the Z87 features. These include the Z87-C, Z87-PRO, Z87-PLUS and the Z87I-Delux (a mini ITX offering).

Top top end of the Series range see native PCI fully replaced with PCIe amongst other subtle changes. All the new series boards will see the integration of Dual Intelligent Processors 4 with 4-way optimisation, DIGI+ Power Control, Fan Xpert 2 amongst other now offerings from Intel.

Moving up one stage and on to the TUF line of boards, this line only see some subtle changes with a full ATX board that in some respects looks very similar to the previous generation Z77 board. This is all because of the thermal armour that is laid across the PCB to keep the board as cool as possible and keep dust away from all empty slots with a series of Dust Defender plugs that fill empty ports. On the back of the PCB we see a new Fortifier metal plate that reinforces the PCB to prevent it warping whist in use and an airflow boosting valve design around the CPU power areas.

Making a fresh appearance to the TUF line-up is one of Asus’ many new boards. The Gryphon is a mATX version of the Sabertooth and like its bigger brother, it features all the same top quality components and features as well as the extended expected lifetime from its higher temperature tolerance. What is missing though is the thermal armour, however Asus will be supplying this separately and the two piece kit can be quickly mounted to the Gryphon’s PCB.

Top top of the new Z87 range is Asus’ top end ROG boards. These boards for a number of generations now have been renowned for their top end performance and overclocking abilities. New to the ROG line of boards and sitting mi-range is the HERO. This new board’s purpose is to offer mainstream the gamers the stepping stone into the ROG brand, but at a price point that is far more manageable compared to the flagship Maximus IV Extreme. As well as these two boards, Asus will also be launching an updated Maximus IV Gene and all these boards will feature Supreme FX audio as well as a new on-screen ‘Sonic-Radar’ that works as a viual overlay to any game to indicate the direction a proximity of a gun fire for example in a visual format.

The flagship Extreme board see a new overclocking tool, that unlike the previous generations OC-key is set to be far more user friendly and intuitive to use and alongside this in the Extreme box, users with find a 5.25″ drive bay adaptor to allow the OC Panel to operate as a fan control panel from the front of a case.