Cruises are meant to be relaxing times, the natural motion of the ocean flowing against the bow of the ship as you enjoy the sun and sea. The problem is as with most things, there are a lot of things you can’t control when it comes to booking your cruise. Cruisedeckplans.com hope to give you a little more option in choosing your cabin.
Remember when you book cinema tickets, or some flight tickets and you get given the choice about where you sit, knowing if you are against the isle or wedged between two people who have booked but a single seat. Cruisedeckplans is looking to offer you just that for when you are cruising.
While they can’t offer you the ability to customise your own ship, they will let you view what your cabin will look like, and the surrounding area. Don’t like being above the kitchen or under the overhanging deck that will ruin your sunbathing on the balcony? You can now see all of those in a simple interactive service.
If that wasn’t enough, there are 2,800 videos of the cabins available, with over 98,000 pictures of the staterooms to help you decide on your dream experience. With the ability to get paid 50 cents for every stateroom picture that you submit after your holiday, a few holiday pictures could quickly pay back what you spent on that lobster dinner.
We’ve all seen that wonderful thing you are interested in online. From the holiday sales offering you everything from the perfect night out dress to that new makeup, the worst part of any online purchase is when you open it and find that it doesn’t quite look like you thought it would; Cake AR is looking to change just that.
They’ve already released the tool on their lipstick and eye shadow pages and don’t worry no downloads involved. The tool forgoes uploading an image like conventional try before you buy systems and uses your webcam to map the new you in real time (with a bit of lag for good measure). If you move slowly the product’s changes will even follow you around, meaning that you can see the new lipstick and eyeshadows from different angles without having to send it back because it was a “bad purchase”.
With tools like this coming out more and more regularly, it may be sooner rather than later that you can buy clothes and accessories online without worrying about the money you could have wasted. With the ability to design your own cars, build your own house tools and now viewing your makeup before you buy don’t you just love online shopping.
We first speculated, then we got the confirmation but had to wait for a little while before we could place our pre-orders on the final Oculus Rift. Yesterday was the big day and the pre-order queue was opened up to the public. At the same time, we also got the pricing that so far had been down to speculations and vague statements. However, the price tag of $600 did confuse quite a few people as we’ve previously heard of a price that should be in the “ballpark of $350”. That is quite a bit of difference and Palmer Luckey, the Oculus boss and founder, took it on to answer the confusion in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA).
Luckey apologized for the misleading information and went on to explain how it came to be. At the time where the statement was made, quite a few people believed that the $1500 estimated price floating around was for just the headset, but it was actually for a VR ready PC system. And compared to $1500, $600 is more in the ballpark of $350, hence the confusion.
“I handled the messaging poorly,” Luckey said. “As an explanation, not an excuse: during that time, many outlets were repeating the ‘Rift is $1500!’ line, and I was frustrated by how many people thought that was the price of the headset itself. My answer was ill-prepared, and mentally, I was contrasting $349 with $1500, not our internal estimate that hovered close to $599 – that is why I said it was in roughly the same ballpark.”
Luckey went on to explain the costs. It looks like they aren’t making much if any profit from this first consumer version of the Oculus Rift. It is being sold at cost. This is great for both the consumer and the technology itself, we need it to stick and stay around. It’s time for a shift in our virtual experiences.
When compared to the DK1 and DK2, the final Oculus Rift uses hardware that’s a lot more advanced and made just for this headset rather than off-the-shelf parts. If it had been released with DK2 hardware, the price would still have been $400 or more. With all this in mind, I think the consumers will be happy that Oculus didn’t take any shortcuts but opted for the best possible hardware right away.
“DK1 and DK2 cost a lot less – they used mostly off the shelf components. They also had significantly fewer features (back of head tracking, headphones, mic, removal facial interfaces, etc.) For Rift, we’re using largely custom VR technology (eg. custom displays designed for VR) to push the experience well beyond DK2 to the Crescent Bay level.”
Considering that most people don’t have any trouble throwing $600 after a new fancy smartphone or TV, it’s not that bad at all. I do however think that I might hold back a little myself and wait for a price around the $450 before I join the world of virtual reality.
At the Oculus Connect Conference Luckey was asked about if the release price for the oculus rift would come in at around the same as the developer kits that are currently being sold. Priced at 350$ (around £230) it is not a small price, but not a huge one. This was however before this little gem,
“You know, I’m going to be perfectly honest with you. We’re roughly in that ballpark…” said Luckey, “but it’s going to cost more than that. And the reason for that is that we’ve added a lot of technology to this thing beyond what existed in the DK1 and DK2 days.”
Meaning that the rough ballpark of £230 could go out the window very quickly, with it later being stressed that a lower price point wasn’t of concern to the development team and they were instead more focused on making sure the quality wasn’t compromised.
Are you interested in the Oculus Rift? Do you own one or have you got a development kit? What are your thoughts on it?
Artificial assistants have become quite the popular thing since Siri was released for iPhone devices with rival programs such as Cortana and the Google now could get some competition.
Facebook is launching its virtual assistant of its own called Moneypenny and it’s a feature that lives within the social networks Messenger app and it will allow you to ask real people for help with stuff, but exactly what? The information sources say research and shopping, and sadly that is all the information given. the information is quite scarce and no release date has been given.
It seems that rather than being a virtual assistant similar to Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa or Google Now, MoneyPenny is apparently powered by humans quite similar to a concierge system, this service is currently being tested within Facebook’s Messenger app, which has recently been broken away from the core Facebook social network’s experience to create a separate messaging system and a secondary platform that can be used without a Facebook account
It will be very interesting to see an artificial assistant that isn’t tied to a phone or device but rather Facebook messenger itself, as this would mean that any device that can use this app would be able to use this service, giving it a broader user base
Do you think Facebook needs a virtual assistant?
Thank you engadget for providing us with this information
TteSports products have been a popular choice with gamers around the world for many years now, the companies unrelenting focus and dedication to the gaming scene has seen them produce some of the best performing and some of the most competitively priced peripherals on the market today and hopefully, we’ll be seeing a repeat of that again today. I have in my hands the new TteSports Shock 3D Gaming Headset, which comes with all the usual bells and whistles you would associate with a gaming headset. There’s virtual 7.1 surround, customizable EQ, built-in volume controls, a fold away auto-muting microphone and more; all of which should appeal to both casual at home gamers and the eSports community alike.
The SHOCK 3D 7.1 headset offers users true in-game immersion via enhanced 3D virtualized surround sound. Giving users one of the best spec’d headsets on the market. The 3D 7.1 virtualized surround sound technology is the first on the market to offer a 360° feel that most traditional 5.1/7.1 headsets can’t. 4 EQ settings offer a way to fine tune the sound for any game. The microphone automatically mutes when it’s pivoted up. LED accents further add to the gaming atmosphere of the headset.
Check out the official product trailer below!
The Shock 3D 7.1 is powered via USB, features a pair of high-quality 40mm drivers and an omni-directional microphone.
The packaging is nicely designed, with a good photo of the headset on the front, as well as a peak-window to show off the actual design. A few of the major features are detailed on the front of the box, but let’s get it out of the packaging and take a closer look ourselves.
In the box, you will find a hard-wired headset, a protective carry pouch and a small collection of documentation.
The cable is 2 meters long and comes with a good quality black braiding, a custom molded and gold-plated USB connector; all of which should help improve the lifespan of the components.
The headset its self is really nicely design. the black and red theme may not be to everyone’s taste, but there’s no doubt that it has been designed to appeal to a gaming audience.
The left ear cup is fitted with a fold up/down microphone boom, as well as an infinite turn volume dial, the 3D sound button and the EQ control button; everything you need is within easy reach.
The microphone is straightforward enough, just fold it down when you need to use it. The centre part of the boom is a flexible rubber, which helps you adjust it, but also helps prevent it from snapping should you catch it on something. When you want to mute the microphone, just flick it back up out-of-the-way and you’ll be able to speak in private again.
The right ear cup is the same design as the left, albeit without the extra control buttons.
Both ear cups can be rotated inwards, this is great for transporting the headset as it’s easier to store, but it’s also help provide a better fit over your ears or around your neck between games.
There’s a durable metal slider on each side of the headset, allowing you to tailor the fit even further.
A three-section memory foam padding provides extra comfort for long gaming sessions and also helps prevent the headset from slipping off your head in the heat of battle.
The matte finish headband looks nice enough, with a small Tt logo in the top centre.
There’s no doubt that this is a great looking headset, although if I could make on adjustment, it would be that the volume dial plastics look a little cheap and could be improved upon.
The mesh on the back of the drivers looks nice, but there’s a hidden Tt dragon logo behind them, which lights up and responds to the audio being played; we’ll take a look at that shortly.
The drivers have a thick layer of padding that fits snugly over your ears, helping block out external noise and helping you stay focused on your game. The soft leather covering is super comfortable, but could leave you a little uncomfortable if you’re playing in a hot environment.
The included carry bag is nice, as it’ll help keep your headset free of scratches when you’re transporting it.
The Oculus Rift is here, the final product for all us consumers. And it looks great. Not only does it look a lot slimmer and lighter than the developers kit, it also comes with that promise. It’s easy to hold with one hand, so you should be able to endure long gaming sessions with it on without extra stress on your head and neck.
It comes with a built-in headset, but you can remove it in case you want to use your own. It also looks to have an in-headset app or storefront, but that might be from another system. The view of it was very brief.
The have worked long on both the hardware and software, and it looks like it has paid off. This could be the beginning of virtual reality for the mainstream.
The two screens are OLED and provide a wide field of view. That comes combined with the a refined tracking system that works in conjunction with the external sensor that you place on your desk.
The Oculus can also accommodate normal glasses, something many users requested.
It’s no secret that VR gaming is taking off in a big way, with Oculus, Vive and many others all pushing their new hardware in one form or another. However, one major issue still holds a lot of gamers back when it comes to VR; hardware requirements. If you’re eager to find out just how VR-capable your rig is, you’ll want to benchmark it, which is where benchmarking specialists Futuremark come in.
VRMark has just been announced by Futuremark, which will use a combination of software and hardware to measure VR system performance, testing aspects such as latency and accuracy. While the benchmark is still in development, Futuremark are aiming to release the tool this year, so there’s no doubt we can expect a sneaky video of it in action in the not too distant future.
“There are already more than a dozen different head-mounted displays for VR at various stages of completion. Analysts forecast that VR will reach 10.8 million users by the end of 2016. But delivering a great VR experience relies on overcoming significant performance challenges,” said Jukka Mäkinen, Managing Director at Futuremark. “With VRMark, we’re aiming to help everyone, from industry engineers and press reviewers to the end user at home, discover the best performing VR technology.”
“UL believes that the blossoming VR industry will greatly benefit from a dedicated VR benchmark developed by a neutral 3rd party,” said Sajeev Jesudas, President, Consumer Business Unit at UL. “VRMark is the first component of a comprehensive VR offering from UL that will also include the development of new standards and certification programs to protect the health, safety and well-being of VR users.”
I’m really looking forward to testing this new benchmark out, and its great news for consumers, especially if it helps identify hardware that it suitable for VR gaming.
No, we aren’t going to see Arnie stroll into the Facebook offices and cause some Martian havoc; although I would love a new Facebook status emoji ‘I’ll be back’ with an audio clip of Arnie’s voice.
This particular event is based on Hawaiian based company ‘Total Recall Technologies’ attempting to sue Oculus Rift and its founder Palmer Luckey; saying that Luckey use confidential information which he learned from the company back in 2011.
“….its two partners, Ron Igra and Thomas Seidl, developed and patented a method to take video of a real-world scene and display it in a head-mounted display using an “ultra-wide field of view.” Seidl met Luckey in 2010 in connection with his work on developing head-mounted displays, and contacted him in 2011 to build a prototype for TRT.
Over the course of 2011, Seidl allegedly gave Luckey the specifications he wanted for the head-mounted display and paid for the parts. Luckey signed a non-disclosure agreement on August 1, 2011, and shipped a completed device to TRT on August 23, 2011. “Throughout the latter half of 2011 and into 2012, Seidl provided confidential feedback and information to Luckey in order to improve the design of the head-mounted display”
We all know the back story of Oculus, Luckey posted the Kickstarter campaign in 2012 and gained the backing of thousands to deliver two dev kits and is currently promoting a third, dubbed Crescent Bay. Facebook purchased the company in 2014 for a cool $2 billion and is set to launch a consumer version on the VR kit in spring 2016.
What do you think the outcome of this lawsuit would be? Let us know in the comments.
Please, keyboard warriors, I know the first paragraph has massive continuity errors; just leave it be.
Thank you to ArsTechnica for providing us with this information.
Virtual Reality is very much on its way, there’s no denying it. From the likes of the ‘founder’ of VR that we know today, the Oculus Rift; many other manufacturers have jumped on board to soak up some of the hyper. We know that HTC and Valve are working on a collaboration for a headset and today we are learning that Sony’s Project Morpheus is becoming a reality.
Sony has posted eight job listings for senior animators, level designers and a few other necessary roles to create a functional VR team here in the UK who will be focusing on producing VR games. “Based in the North West of England, we aim to build a small but highly experienced team who want to build great games to showcase this exciting new immersive technology,” the advertisement states. As reported by Eurogamer, the North West Studio will likely be located in Manchester, fortunately where some former Evolution staff are based.
The Evolution team, who are responsible for maintaining the Sony exclusive racing service, was cut down in staff numbers due to a number of layoffs. At the time Sony stated they wanted to relocate those members throughout the Worldwide Studios network. Reports state that the Evo studios were already working on VR games; with the new VR studio setup, those games could be finished.
Something that we’ve learnt with VR over the past few weeks and months is that VR requires an average FPS of 90 to aid in the prevention of nausea. We all know consoles tend to only push around 60FPS, so will current generation consoles be powerful enough to provide the ‘sweet spot’ for VR?
What are your thoughts on Sony officially joining the VR race? If you think you have what it takes to join the team, why not take a look at the Sony vacancy pages.
Thank you to Eurogamer for providing us with this information.
The most talked and hyped Virtual Reality (VR) headset has now been given a shipment date. Oculus has confirmed that pre-orders will open later this year and will begin shipping in early 2016.
The model that consumers will be able to buy will be based on the newest Cresent Bay prototype with enhanced “presence, immersion and comfort.” It will also feature and improved tracking system that takes advantage of both seated and standing users with updated ergonomics and a tweaked design. The company will share more details regarding pricing, hardware, software, input and unannounced featured games in the near future, starting with technical specifications next week.
“Speaking at a panel during SXSW in March, Oculus founder Palmer Luckeyexplained that the tentative launch of the Oculus Rift in late 2015 was made them before they “made a lot of changes to [Oculus’] roadmap.” The vague release window was also mirrored by Facebook CFO Dave Wehner during Facebook’s Q1 2015 earnings call.”
I can’t wait for this to be released, I’ve tried on a set at every show I’ve been to and loved every second of it; next year can’t come quick enough. Are you looking forward to the VR generation? Let us know in the comments.
Thank you to IGN for providing us with this information.
Ozone is one of the most popular gaming brands on the market, having a great product range that has proven successful with both gamers at home and the eSports community. From high-end mechanical gaming keyboards, to pro gaming mice, they’ve got something for every gamer. Now we have their brand new Blast Ocelot gaming headset, which was designed with the help of eSports legend Carlos “ocelote” Rodriguez!
“When you can close your eyes in an fps shooter, and know exactly where every opponent is, then you know something is finally well done. Needless to say about listening to music or watching a film with them, mind-blowing. Blast Oceloteworld is one of the products I’m most excited about. Because I know everybody will love them.“ – Carlos “ocelote” Rodríguez.
As you can see from the spec list, the headset comes equipped with 7.1 Virtual Surround, which is provided via the built-in USB soundcard and desktop software. There’s a pair of powerful stereo drivers, a good quality microphone, a 3m long cable and built-in LED lighting effect.
In the box you’ll find everything you need to get you started, in fact, you’ll really only find one thing, as all major components are hard-wired to the headset.
The headset is USB powered, so no mobile support unfortunately. It comes with a hard-wired in-line controller which gives you command over the volume controls and the master audio mute.
The headset is really nicely designed, with a mixture of soft matte finish blacks, chrome highlights and a few hints of orange; it manages to look cool, without being too over the top.
Each ear cup is mounted on a small pivot, which allows a few degrees of adjustment in each direction. This will provide you with a snug fit over your ears, although it does mean the ear cups are quite thick and will look bulky on your head.
The ear cups have been treated to a comfortable leather coated padding, although the interior is a little smaller than most headsets, those with ears like Martin Clunes may want to look elsewhere.
The microphone is fitted to the headset, but does come with a nice fold-to-mute function; just push it up and it’ll be muted, bring it down and it’ll be live again. There’s a small LED strip at the front that changes from white to red when the microphone is muted.
The headset has a flexible midsection, which should help prevent it from snapping if you snag it on something.
The top of the headset has an OZONE logo, which looks pretty nice I guess, but I think the headset would look smarter without it.
The headband is well padded and should provide a comfortable fit, even after a long gaming session.
The headset feels soft thanks to the padding, but it’s also very robust thanks to a metal strip that runs through it. The sides of the headset, as with virtually any headset on the market, can be adjusted to provide a better fit.
Overall a very nice looking headset, with durable construction and comfortable padding.
GDC had its fair share of announcements in the virtual reality sphere, having Oculus talking more about its focus on mobile VR. However, while they were keen on talking about that, Valve was keen on showing people its development stages of the SteamVR through a prototype timeline.
Some of Valve’s SteamVR prototype really do seem a bit ‘over the edge’, however they all tell the story of SteamVR and how it was shaped into what it is today.
Thank you PCGamesN for providing us with this information
Whether you are an Assassin’s Creed fan who wanted to experience something similar to the Animus or just want a truly unique adventure like you have never seen or experienced before, HoloBridge apparently is willing to help you out. The company is said to take full advantage of VR-glasses similar to the Oculus or Samsung Gear VR, and gadgets, like Cyberith or Virtuix Omni.
In the heart of vibrating Shoreditch you will find a cool place to meet up with your friends and try the latest technological developments in VR. We will offer the most exciting content to make your visit a breathtaking journey. Just book your ticket online, come to us and enjoy.
HoloBridge is the idea of German entrepreneur, Andreas Lohaus, who is said to be passionate about the emerging virtual revolution. His first encounter with VR devices was back in 2012, being one of the first backers of VR-devices, including Oculus Rift. After receiving and testing his first VR dev kit, he knew “this will be huge!” and has actively been connected to the VR scene in his hometown, Cologne, Germany.
While the HoloBridge team is said to start off with 10 VR Glasses and 2 Treadmills, they are also awaiting more feedback on which content and technologies would people like to see and toy around with.
More details about the project can be found on Indiegogo, where people can contribute a minimum of £5 towards the project’s budget (having the HoloBridge team send a special personalised Tweet to people who decide to contribute). Should you feel like spending more, the £199 perk will get your name and signature perpetuated on one of the VR Glasses showcased at HoloBridge. On top of that, the perk will also let you use the same device for free for the first 20 slots booked.
Turtle Beach are one of the leading names in the gaming audio market. They’ve got one of the most recognisable brand names in gaming and they’ve built themselves a great reputation for providing gamers with a wide range of headsets that cover virtually all budgets and formats. The headset I have at my disposal today is targeted at the mid-market, with a very reasonable price tag of around £79.99. This isn’t so expensive that it’s into the premium grade, but still more than enough money that you’re going to be expecting a great range of features and solid performance.
The Z60 is designed to work with PC, as well as mobile platforms and comes equipped with a great range of features that should provide us with some impressive audio, or at least I’m hoping it does! The Z60 is the first headset on PC to utilize 7.1 channel DTS Headphone:X Surround Sound and it pushes this new virtual surround technology through a pair of powerful 60mm drivers.
The Z60 comes equipped with a detachable boom microphone, a USB controller with built-in soundcard for plug-and-play compatibility with desktop PC/MAC and a hard wired 3.5mm cable on the headset for plug-and-play mobile use.
The USB in-line controller is really nicely designed. Not only is this the DTS Headphone soundcard, but it features all the controls you could ever need in a compact unit. The game and chat audio are on separate control dials and there’s a dedicated microphone must switch on the side.
One of the cooler features, which I’m really looking forward to testing, would be the mode switch, which allows you to tailor the surround mix for different kinds of media, such as movies, music and gaming.
The microphone is fully detachable and has an adjustable boom to help you find the optimal speaking position. I really like detachable microphones as it’s not often I need one and it bugs me when it’s in front of your face and not being used.
The headset itself has a sleek and somewhat understated look. There’s a nice mixture of soft matte finish plastics and some glossy back covers on each of the drivers.
The headset is trimmed with a little bit of red detailing to help keep it looking a little bit interesting. There’s a thick foam padding on each ear cup and a very comfortable feeling fabric coating that will be very welcome during those long gaming sessions.
The headband is thick and durable to help keep the headset in place, but it’s also very light weight so that it doesn’t become bothersome during extended use.
The interior of each ear cup is big enough that the headset will fit over-the-ear. Combine this with the thick padding and the closed back design and you should find it very easy to get lost in the game world and block out virtually all external noise.
The side extenders lock firmly at each position and there’s a good range to each side; perfect for a wide range of head sizes.
Each ear cup can be rotated to lay flat, which is a lot more comfortable when you’re wearing the headset around your neck between games.
Overall, a very nice looking headset that avoids much of the garish flair we often see on gaming headsets. It feels durable, lightweight and initial impressions are that it’s very comfortable.
Turtle Beach are one of the hottest and biggest gaming brands around, time and time again they’ve delivered great quality headsets for a range of budgets and a wide range of formats. Their new Ear Force Recon 320 is a mid-budget headset, so it’s not completely over the top with features, but it does still promise high-end performance and build quality; not that I would expect anything else from a well-known brand such as this.
The Recon 320 may not be the most expensive headset that Turtle Beach produce, but it still packs plenty of features. It supports the latest Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound virtual processing, a pair of powerful 50mm drivers, customisable backplates, an in-line controller, detachable microphone boom and more, so I’m really looking forward to putting it through its paces to see what it can do!
The headset comes equipped with a USB connection for PC, but also a detachable 3.5mm cable that makes it perfect for mobile use, or for use with just about any device in the world with a headphone socket. Just keep in mind that the Dolby Surround features only work via the USB connection and that the headset will run in stereo mode via the 3.5mm cable.
The microphone is pretty standard, but features a flexible/positional boom and can be easily removed from the headset when not in use; perfect for those who want to use the headset as headphones.
The in-line controller is nice and compact, but has a volume dial on the side, as well as a master microphone mute switch that’ll prove handy while playing online.
The headset has a somewhat minimalist style. There’s some matte finish plastics for the bulk of the headset, but the backplates on the drivers are glossy. The back plates are held in place with magnets and can be easily removed to allow you to customize them with your own design; you can also purchase pre-customised plates directly from Turtle Beach.
Each ear cup is quite deep, this allows plenty of room for all that thick padding, as well as those large 50mm drivers; so we should get a good level of bass performance from this headset.
There’s a pair of sockets on the left ear-cup, one for the microphone, the other for the mobile/PC cable.
The headband is lightweight, yet still quite strong. There’s some really nice quality padding on both ear cups and on the headband. The headband padding may not look like much, but the headset is surprising lightweight, so comfort really shouldn’t be an issue, even after a long gaming session.
The headband can be easily adjusted to suit your personal fit.
While both ear cups can be rotated inwards so you can wear it around your neck between games, but there’s also a few degree of pivot to provide a better fit over your ears.
Overall, it’s a really cool looking headset. It has a bright red trim that some may find a little garish, but I think a welcome contrast to the dull grey plastics and I can see this design proving quite popular with gamers in general.
This one almost slipped through my net with all the news going around after CES in Vegas, but it is a big one. QNAP has partnered with AMD to create the TVS-x63 Golden Cloud Turbo vNAS series, including the TVS-863+ with built-in 10Gb Ethernet. The rest of the series is ready for 10Gb Ethernet, but come born without.
Using a 64-bit AMD Embedded G-Series quad-core 2.4GHz processor with support for up to 16GB RAM, these NAS devices promise great performance. Speed isn’t everything, and the TVS-x63 also come with a highly efficient hardware encryption, SSD cache acceleration, and advanced AMD Radeon graphics for the ‘other side of these NAS devices’.
“QNAP is renowned for providing comprehensive cutting-edge NAS solutions with high-quality features for users, and we feel very honored to cooperate with QNAP to release the new TVS-x63+ series NAS, powered by AMD embedded solutions,” said Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD Embedded Solutions. “The AMD Embedded G-Series SoC provides high performance while being energy efficient and meets the requirements of a NAS designed to deliver 24/7 continuous and reliable services.”
The new series comes as 4, 6 and 8 bay solutions with varying amount of memory between 4GB and 8GB, but all support up to 16GB total RAM. The drives connect through SATA 3 ports and network is covered by dual Gigabit ports. As previously mentioned they are all 10GbE capable, but only the TVS-863+ has it built in.
“The TVS-x63+ series is solidly built with a state-of-the-art design and topped off with a stylish gold finish for added distinction. The Turbo vNAS with AMD quad-core processor performs outstandingly in file transfer efficiency, business and multimedia applications, and more, while brining 10GbE capabilities for budget-conscious organizations and professionals,” said Y.T. Lee, vice president of QNAP.
The other side of these NAS devices is the QvPC Technology. Users can use the TVS-x63+ series as a PC by plugging in a keyboard, mouse, and HDMI monitor to directly access data stored on the NAS, run multiple applications on Windows, Linux, UNIX, and Android-based VMs, surf the web with multilingual keyboard input, watch 1080p videos with up to 7.1 channel audio with XBMC, and much more.
The previous paragraph contained a lie, well at least not the full truth. The TVS-x63+ series also supports 4K Ultra HD output for use with the QvPC Technology, thanks to the AMD Radeon Graphics. You can connect the NAS to a 4K UHD monitor too and enjoy those extra pixels.
The TVS-x63+ series includes more anticipated features for a better audio-visual experience, including hardware-accelerated transcoding, offline transcoding and dual HDMI outputs that allows users to connect to two monitors or TVs for simultaneous playback.
TVS-863+: 8-bay tower model, 8GB RAM, one pre-installed 1-port 10GbE PCI-E NIC
AMD Embedded G-Series quad-core 2.4 GHz processor, DDR3L-1600 SO-DIMM RAM (expandable to 16GB); 2.5”/3.5” SATA 6Gbps HDD/SSD, hard drives hot-swappable; 5 x USB 3.0; 2 x Gigabit LAN ports; 2 x HDMI (mirrored display); LCD panel.
The best of all is, the new QNAP TVS-x63+ series Golden Turbo vNAS will be available later this month at most retailers. If all this shouldn’t be enough, you can expand with the two QNAP expansion enclosures UX-800P and UX-500P to increase the total storage capacity to 192TB.
Thanks to QNAP for providing us with this information
Corsair recently rebranded many of their gaming peripherals to the new “Corsair Gaming” moniker. While a simple rename doesn’t mean much, the new branding was immediately followed by a wave of new devices from Corsair. These range from the new RGB equipped keyboards and mice to their new H-series headsets. Today we’ll be taking a look at the new H1500 headset, a USB gaming headset that promises virtual Dolby 7.1 audio and powerful 50mm drivers.
The H1500 has been designed with PC gaming in mind, it’s got everything you could need for home or competitive gaming. It features powerful drivers to help you get lost in your favourite digital environment, backed up with surround sound support for extra immersion. There’s also a high quality folding microphone for team chat and an in-line controller to help you keep the most important controls within easy reach. Of course, a desktop headset needs to be more versatile than just gaming, so I’ll be expecting good all-round audio performance from the new H1500 in movies, music and gaming alike.
As you can see from the specifications we’ve got a pair of 50mm 32 Ohm drivers, a three meter long cable, a standard USB connection and a unidirectional noise-cancelling microphone.
Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz
Impedance: 32 Ohms @ 1kHz
Dynamic Range: 95dB (A-weighted)
Cable Length: 3m
USB power consumption: 250mW
Connector: USB Type A
Type: Unidirectional noise-cancelling condenser with adjustable, rotating boom
Impedance: 2.2k Ohms
Frequency Response: 100Hz to 10kHz
Sensitivity: -44dB (+/-3dB)
The packaging is nicely designed and features a large window to give you a nice clear view of the headset.
Around the back you’ll find a quick run down of all the major features and specifications (see above).
In the box you’ll find the headset, which comes hard-wired and ready to use.
Technical Illusions, the group of people who ran a successful Kickstarter for the castAR Augmented Reality glasses, have started delivering the finished product to their backers.
The device, which managed to raise $1 million on Kickstarter, features projectors, a camera and active shutter glasses that allow you to play hologram-style games projected more or less on to any surface. Think of it like the AR systems you’ve already seen in mobile apps, or like the AR games included with devices like the Nintendo 3DS, but instead of seeing the AR images on a screen, you see them before your eyes in the glasses.
It’s for this reason that the creators of the glasses, ex-Valve employees Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, call them “the most versatile AR and VR system”, alluding to the fact that by combing the AR functionality with the glasses, they also becomes a pretty cool Virtual Reality device as well.
There’s no date for when they’ll be available to everyone, but you can pre-order now at the Technical Illusions website.
When you think of Gigabyte, you likely think of their graphics cards or motherboards, but they’ve also been creating some very impressive, award winning peripherals over the years; a trend they look to continue with their new Force H gaming headsets.
The Force H headsets have been designed with the high-end consumer in mind, as Gigabyte aim to offer premium quality for music lovers and audio-savvy gamers alike. The H series offers up five new headsets, each packed with a unique design, high quality components, and a promise of high-end performance.
Each Force H headset has been designed with a different audio technology, making each one uniquely suitable to different consumer requirements. The H7 and H5 are the flagship models in the range, offering true 5.1 and virtual 7.1 respectively. The H3 and H3X feature a pair of powerful 50mm neodymium drivers with inclined chambers that are said to offer ” crisp in-game details with explosive bass and incredible positional audio to hardcore gamers”. Finally we have the H1, which comes with wireless Bluetooth technology, making it ideal for wireless desktop usage as well as mobile gaming.
All of the headsets are really nicely designed and feature a retractable uni-directional microphone. The H7 and H5 feature in-line controllers and the H1 has on-board controls. The H3X will be the first to hit the market this October, the H7 and H5 will follow shortly afterwards and the H1 will ship in October. No details on price just yet, but we expect Gigabyte to reveal this information shortly.
Thank you Gigabyte for providing us with this information.
It is no secret that Grand Theft Auto V is a gaming sensation, it may be full of controversy, but its free-roaming, crime loving game world has proven a popular choice for gamers for many years now. Yet it seems there are some people out there who are simply not happy with what the game has to offer, so they break the code and mod the game, once again reminding us why we can’t have nice things.
In a very disturbing new trend, GTAV gamers are being virtually raped, that’s not a typo. The virtual rapists are using modified game code that allows them do to things that were not otherwise intended for the game. This includes making their character a pantless man, locking their player to the back of another and have even added new thrusting animations to complete this disturbing addition to the game.
Now part of me is actually impressed that they were able to re-code the console version of the game in this way, or to this extent, another part of me is amazed this even worked in an online multiplayer environment, while the sensible part of me understands that this kind of behaviour isn’t acceptable and could otherwise ruin the gaming experience for a lot of people.
People are filming their “rape” exploits and uploading them to YouTube. What’s worse for the victims is that the attacker cannot be killed, and you’re left stuck in animation loops doing strip dances… as if this hack couldn’t have gotten any weirder.
The videos below are NSFW and depict scenes of virtual rape, offensive language, etc.
I don’t know about any of you, but when I was younger Lego was a big part of my childhood and even today I still act like a bit of a kid when it comes to playing around with it, however back then we had to imagine the rest of the world where our models would run. Technology though has come on a long way since those days and a few years ago we saw the introduction of Mindstorms and then a lot more recently PC and console games which took the Lego concept into the next world.
There has however been a large gap between the Lego we build by hand and the games we play on the screen, but this is all about to change as Lego come out with their latest mastermind – Lego Fusion.
In short Fusion is a game that is run on an iOS or Android powered tablet which involves the building of physical Lego that we can touch with our hands to progress through the game.
To merge the real and virtual worlds together, users will have an app installed on their tablet which builds the virtual world and as they progress through the game they have to build buildings and other models on a special VR base plate which the app can read through the camera and after ‘reading’ the model, the building, car, tower or other model is then built by virtual workers, replicating the real model brick for brick (including all those odd colours that we like to include)
Fusion will be coming out initially with four different kits; Town Master, Battle Towers, Create & Race and Resort Builder. The first three kits will be hitting the shelves in a couple of months time for around $35 in the states, with Resort Builder coming a little later in September. A UK launch date is not quite decided as of yet, but I certainly imagine it will be out before Christmas with Lego potentially looking to have Fusion as this years ‘must have’.
Although I personally wouldn’t get this sort of kit – instead preferring to stick to the physical models and the Technics line of projects, I’m certain this will appeal to the younger generation a lot more, where console and mobile gaming is more popular than building models.
There were many questions on how can the Bitcoin be taxed, having more and more countries coming up with different ways on how the cryptocurrency could be treated. While countries such as Germany do not consider Bitcoin a legal tender and cannot be considered as taxable income, Canada was pro-taxing Bitcoin incomes.
“At the moment, we’re studying Bitcoin and we have no plan to issue a regulation on it,” a spokesperson for the Bank of Indonesia told the Jakarta Globe in December.
Law Library of Congress has surveyed 40 jurisdictions and the European Union to see what laws have been implemented for the Bitcoin all around the world. They found that China has declared it illegal to use Bitcoin as a currency, while Brazil has successfully adopted and made regulations for it, having been adopted under Law No. 12,865. And while the U.S. is the place where most Bitcoin makers and users are, the New York State Department of Financial Services are said to be in talks to consider Bitcoin-specific regulations.
While we see most countries accepting or letting Bitcoin have its way for the moment ( and of course China that bans just about anything that looks democratic ), the U.S. might be preparing something to take a bite out of every profit made through Bitcoin, especially having more and more companies starting to accept cryptocurrency payments.
Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
All oldies but goldies games have been made possible to play on modern computers with the help of emulators, and they are part of gaming history too. The Internet Archive, a non-profit organization with the purpose of building a freely accessible internet library, is now taking it a step further by adding web versions of classic 70’s and 80’s video games to its collection. It will mark an expansion of its Historical Software Collection and will come in the way of the Console Living Room beta, which lets users play hundreds of classic titles from the Atari 2600, Atari 7800, ColecoVision, Astrocade, and Magnavox Odyssey.
Technical issues are still present with the emulation, so you might have to wait a bit more until roaming around this virtual archive. Not only is there still gaps in the game collection, the audio is reportedly not working as of yet. Some are criticizing the free-to-play Console Living Room beta, and rightfully so, as it does not appear to be on par with existing emulators. Having said that, it is still early and it likely won’t be long before the folks over at the Internet Archive have this thing complete and running smoothly.
There are several games available for each of the above mentioned systems despite the technicality faults, and for those of you willing to give it a try, you can head over to the Console Living Room page.
Magasins Généraux Pantin from Paris has been a place for most street artists from all over the capital and beyond. Originally an embodiment of French industry, the building closed at the turn of the century, only to be reimagined as “Graffiti Général,” a five-floor monument to graffiti. The building is now scheduled for refurbishment, although the artwork done so far inside the building will not quite be lost just yet.
There been an effort to preserve the works of art that lie within, although the demolition and construction of a new office building is imminent. However, the newly entitled tenant, namely an agency named BETC, has created a 3D model of the building, and incorporated over 5,200 high-resolution photos of the art that covers it.
It can be viewed from a website set up by BETC, where you can walk a virtual road full of graffiti artwork, just like you do with street view in Google Maps. There’s also a graffiti mode where you can add you own piece to the building’s walls. It’s an interesting concept, that you can “preserve” something tangible with a purely digital copy. For those interested in viewing this modern virtual gallery, BETC’s website can be found at the following address.
Today we take a look at a brand that is somewhat new to us here at eTeknix. While yes we have heard of Attitude One, we’ve even seen their products at various trade shows and online, but we’ve never had the chance to get hands on with their products and try them for our selves and the Tunguska Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound Headset is hopefully just the first product of their range that we will be taking a look at.
I’ve heard good things about A1 from industry types and general consumers too, this got our attention and it’s great to see a new name in the office. While I can’t say I’m bored with the offerings from the other big names in the industry, it certainly never hurts to have more options available to you, especially from a consumer perspective.
As always, we will be looking for a good level of design, build quality, performance and value from this headset and with a price tag of around £60the Tunguska are certainly set to be competitive and if the performance matches the feature list, then we could in for a real treat here, so let’s get straight to the good stuff and see just what this headset has to offer.
As you can see, the A1 Tunguska come in a brightly designed box, you can’t miss a bright orange box among the crowd and this would definitely stand out at retail. There are a few features labeled on the box such as the noise cancelling microphone, 3 meter cable, USB connectivity and the virtual 7.1 drivers (stereo speakers with software produced surround effects).
The box folds out to give us a proper look at the headset and first impressions are good, although I think the white and blue clashes with the orange a little (actually, that orange clashes with everything).
Around the back we have more feature details such as the “unique 4 piece padded headset and comfortable ear cushions”, “high-sensitivity mic and mic mute” and the “high-quality 40mm drivers with neodymium magnets and membranes”. Overall a fairly standard but well equipped feature set, so let’s get them out of the box and take a closer look.
First thing out of the box was an easy to read user manual that guides you through general setup, as well as a mini CD-Rom with the standard driver software, although with included drivers I would always recommend you check the manufacturer’s website for the latest drivers first, it’s still nice to see some included as most companies no longer include any drivers at all.
The headset we have today is finished in matt black, gloss white and neon blue, a very stylish colour scheme that makes me think of the film Tron, I like that movie, so I’ll take that as a good thing.
The headset features a really bold, durable design that really stands out thanks to a mixture of chunky panels and soft edges that seem to blend retro and futuristic styles into one, it’s not going to be to everyone’s taste but I think they look great.
The headband features plenty of soft padding that provides good fit and long term comfort.
The ear cups are covered in a soft leather-like material with a soft cloth backing, enough to keep a firm fitting over your ears but not so much that you cut off all air flow.
The chunky microphone is surprisingly light weight but it isn’t removable, however it can be folded upwards out of the way or adjusted up and down to find the best speaking position.
Moving away from the main headset we have a small inline controller which features 7 small LED lights in the center, volume control button and master mutes for the microphone and headphones. It’s fairly small but it feels well made, although I fear the cable joins could be better reinforced here as this is a common point for wear and tear damage on headsets.
The cable is braided and this should aid with its life span, plus it also looks good and is generally harder to snag or tangle than grippy rubber cables.
Hook up the headset to your computer and the two pairs of lines one each ear cup light up in an electric blue that compliments the blue trim, it’s a fairly subtle lighting effect but an effectively cool looking one.
Setup & Installation
Setup was as easy as plug and play, windows detected the audio device straight away as the headset has its own internal sound card. Installation of the driver CD took a few minutes and a restart but nothing more than a couple of simple clicks to get through. The software was really comprehensive and offers plenty of features to tweak and tune the audio to your liking.
Since this is a virtual surround headset there is only one driver in each ear cup, so software steps in to do the processing magic and create the effect of multiple speakers. You can choose from stereo, quadraphonic, 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound (shown as 2, 4, 6 & 8 channel). Then below that we have the Virtual 7.1 mix enable, output modes (system) and on the right you have the ability to adjust distance, volume and rotation of any of the channel speakers, this is a feature I wasn’t expecting and being able to tweak this was fantastic for fine tuning the sound scape.
There are a few more tabs that cover general system volume levels and voice effects, but the most interesting is the EQ page which allows for full customisation of DSP effects and EQ. There are multiple presets and each can be tweaked and saved to a profile. Unfortunately though you cannot save master profiles for the software for each job so between movies, gaming and day to day tasks you would need to come into the software and adjust things manually to your liking for each application.
I was eager to test out the multi channel sound on this headset so rather than jump straight into a gaming environment I started with a few movies. I chose the blu-rays of The Hobbit and Transformers 2 since I know one has a rich musical score and some interesting soundscapes while the other has some thumping low end bass noises that can often distort weak drivers. First impressions were pretty good with the stereo mode enabled, the drivers are loud and powerful, but there was a definite slope in the EQ that left the mids feeling fuzzy and the bass feeling a little low, but by no means disappointing.
Enabling the 7.1 (8 channel mode) with the virtual surround made a big impact, but it came at the cost of overall max volume. I tweaked in the speaker distances to increase their volume, applied the large room DSP and decided that the Classic EQ was the best pre-set. Suddenly the headset went from being a “good” headset, to an absolutely fantastic one. Bass was thick, deep and distortion free with a room filling distance that you rarely get on a headset, the mid tones warmed up nicely and had lost their rough edge and the high tones became clearer and more pleasant. I think that the drivers are not very well balanced out of the box but my EQ tinkering knocked some sense into them and the sound became fantastic for watching movies after I had made my adjustments.
Of course you may like different settings, but that’s the joy of this headset, it’s very customisable, at least to a certain extent. Push the high tones more than a little and they sound awful, same goes for the mid tones, you will benefit better from reducing the frequencies around the one you want to raise and increasing your volume, either way, great results can be found, it just takes some tinkering.
Gaming performance was on par with movies and while the effects have little to offer to games like League of Legends, fans of Skyrim and Battlefield will love the wide soundscapes, thick bass notes and clear dialogue. The noise canceling microphone is good too and while it’s nothing incredible I rarely find anything remarkable about microphone testing these days, it’s on par with the competition and sounds loud and clear, which is pretty much all you could want from a microphone.
Music playback was the real winner for me and while this benefitted from switching to stereo mode, you could still have fun with the EQ and there are a few tracks in my collection that few headphones get right, So You Die by Bloodbath is a real bone shaker that often sounds wobbly in weaker drivers, the acoustic warmth of All About Eve by Steve Vai is easily lost on many sets also but that really wasn’t the case here (although it’s worth pointing out the YouTube links I’ve provided here will not do them justice either, they’re just to give you an impression of the sound I was testing), so long as I kept the Classic EQ mode enabled, most of the other presets made powerful changes but often with negative effects to the range.
Overall I think it’s safe to say that I really like this headset, It’s full of little imperfections but it makes up for them in some really big ways and the overall sound quality is more than enough to make me part with my hard earned cash to buy a pair.
The overall appearance of this headset is of a cheaper product trying to look like a more expensive product, the design is chunky, features a lot of shiny plastics and some flashy lights, but I think A1 got the balance right and while there is a slightly cheaper look and feel to the headset, it does maintain a coolness that is often lost in this price range. They’re pretty well made too and while I fear they may smash with a few hard knocks and bumps, there are few headsets out there that wouldn’t.
Sound quality is impressive although you should really get stuck into the EQ and get things in line first. While I would argue that this is mostly personal preference, there really is a lot of extra performance and quality to be found through some simple EQ and DSP tweaks that benefit all listening scenarios. I did complain that you can’t set different profiles to tab between for music, movies, gaming etc but I found that once I had the optimum dialed in, I didn’t want to change anything other than between stereo and virtual 7.1 anyway.
It’s not all perfect though and as I said, build quality isn’t as heavy duty as the looks, the in-line controller leaves a lot to be desired although it does provide the basics and the stock audio performance is a little hollow at times.
eTeknix says: “The Tunguska is a reasonably priced mid-range headset and it packs an impressive feature set that makes it competitive in a crowded market. It’s a little unrefined in some areas but its an impressive product overall. I think this shows great promise for Attitude One and the Tunguska 7.1 is a great product for this price range.”
Powerful EQ and DSP settings
Virtual Surround actually works
Good quality microphone
Cheap in-line controller
Some freqencies sound rough without EQ adjustments
Razer Surround is a state-of-the-art audio engine that provides 7.1 virtual surround sound with any stereo headphones. The current generation of virtual surround technology often provides in accurate listening experiences because individuals perceive sound differently based on their distinct ear sizes and shapes. As such, virtual surround sound traditionally falls short compared to discrete surround sound set ups.
With the patent-pending Razer Surround audio engine, users have the option to calibrate their personal surround sound settings through a series of listening tests to match their preferences, giving them far superior positional sound over traditional virtual solutions. Razer Surround gives gamers a truly individualized 7.1 surround sound and attuned 3D audio experience, allowing them to acoustically pinpoint exact locations of opponents in game, providing “the unfair advantage” in gameplay.
Razer Surround is available as a complementary software add-on, integrated within Razer’s Synapse 2.0 application, offering virtual 7.1 surround sound and storing individual audio signatures in the cloud.These settings can be accessed any time and will automatically update new systems to previous calibrated settings.
In recognition of the support that the gaming community gives Razer, and in solidarity with its trade partners in gaming, Razer has waived the US$19.99 price for Razer Surround through December 2013, so that people who sign-up during this period will get a free copy of the program.During this time frame, users will also have the option to make a donation of any amount to Child’sPlay (www.childsplaycharity.org) after their download start. Everyone signing-up from Jan. 1,2014,onward, will pay the full price of $19.99.
Calibrate to your individual preferences
Pre-configured calibrations for all Razer Audio products
Bass boost – For a thundering bass
Sound normalization – Reduce loudness variation
Voice clarity – For crystal clear incoming voice communication
Voice level – Adjust the level of incoming voice communication
Custom & 11 pre-set equalizer settings
Works with any stereo headset/headphones
While the donations to Child’s Play are purely voluntary and users can choose to download Razer Surround for free, Razer hopes that through this initiative users can together with Razer help children in hospitals around the world enjoy games like we do.
Child’s Play’s stated mission is “… to improve the lives of children in hospitals around the world through the kindness and generosity of the video game industry and the power of play.” As of the date of this release, the philanthropy had raised more than US$5 million in contributions.
“With the individual calibration of Razer Surround, we’re setting a new standard in 7.1 virtual surround sound,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder, CEO and creative director. “We’re a big believer of giving back to our fans and the gaming community, and making Razer Surround available free with a donation to Child’sPlay in 2013 is a testament of our commitment to giving back to current and future gamers of the world.”