TECH2

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Dec 23, 2014 0 comments
It’s been a while since I last talked about Star Citizen, and there have been many, many interesting changes and improvements, not least the Arena Commander, version 1.0.

The addition of several newly flyable ships and variants is cool, but it’s the ongoing changes and tweaks to the flight model that are most impressive.

So here’s a look at SC now, and where it’s headed…

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Dec 19, 2014 0 comments
There is technology to track your activity, track your diet, track your work, track your email, track your sleep, track your social life, and just about anything else you want to quantify. But there aren’t many gadgets that teach you something, and even fewer that teach you how to relax. Last year in my New Year roundup, I mentioned the development of a new meditation headband, Muse, that promised to evaluate your brain activity and coach you into a meditative state. Well, it’s finally available, and I just had to try it. Does Muse help you achieve nirvana?
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Dec 12, 2014 0 comments
Tolkien fans, fantasy nerds, and Jackson completists will be out in droves December 17th to witness the final chapter of the Hobbit series: The Battle of the Five Armies. Closing out Bilbo’s story as well as setting up Frodo’s Lord of the Rings is no easy task, and Peter Jackson manages to capture every moment of the battles described in Tolkien’s tome, and then some.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Dec 07, 2014 0 comments
Once upon a time, space sims were huge. Freespace, X-Wing (and it’s offshoots), Wing Commander, and others dominated store shelves and playtime, the genre has shrunk to a tiny fraction of what it was. While there are some popular titles (Star Citizen being notable), there aren’t that many options.

Fewer still are the options for real-time combat with large ships. Independence War is largely forgotten, but most space combat sims these days focus either on fighter-sized craft, or the slow tactical-style combat of Eve.

Fractured Space is sort of a 3rd person shooter, but with huge capital ships. It’s currently on Steam Early Access, so I had a look.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 29, 2014 0 comments
A few weeks ago I wrote about the experience of playing Alien: Isolation on the Oculus Rift. It is, without a doubt, incredible.

However, it is a bit of a hassle, and as awesome as the Rift is, it’s still pre-production and lacks the sort of seamlessness I hope to find in the final product.

So I switched over and started playing Alien on my regular gaming rig: A 102-inch screen and 5.1 surround system. So this is about the game. Because it’s worth talking about.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Nov 21, 2014 0 comments
I am not a luddite. I love buttons that make things happen. I love touch screens, I love customization, I love the newest thing. So it would only seem natural that I would love the newest addition to the Parrot family, the Zik 2.0 headphones. They are a tinkerer’s headphone. Touchpad earcups, customizable sound, active noise cancellation, Bluetooth… if there’s a headphone feature available, the Zik 2.0 have it. And yet, despite all of these wonderful features, I can’t recommend them. And it breaks my heart.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 14, 2014 3 comments

As I wrote about a few weeks ago, I bought one of the Development Kits for the Oculus Rift VR headset. It was a bit of a hassle to get running (and still is), but when you do… damn.

One of the standout games that currently works (more or less) with the Rift, is the new Alien Isolation, a sort of survival/horror/action game set in the Alien universe.

My advice to anyone trying this combo: wear diapers.

Here’s why.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Nov 07, 2014 0 comments
In-ear custom monitors are generally considered the gold standard for performers and audio professionals. And it makes sense; monitors are one of the only pieces of equipment that are made just for your anatomy and nobody else’s. The process of going from fitting to final product has remained largely unchanged for years: a painstaking, labor-intensive process.

Ultimate Ears is working on streamlining their workflow with the addition of 3D scanning, editing and printing. It’s working: what used to take three weeks, now can be done in one. But monitors at Ultimate Ears  still take a shocking amount of craftsmanship and skill to make, and I got to take a tour of their facility in southern California to see just how it’s all done. Wanna see? Check this out!
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 02, 2014 3 comments
The Oculus Rift is the first virtual reality headset that actually works. Every person I’ve met that’s tried it experienced something between impressed shock and mind-blown awe. Since I first tried an early prototype two years ago it has improved dramatically.

Loving both the idea and the, ahem, reality of it, I bought one… sort of. Called a Development Kit, you can get one now too if you want. It’s not the final product, but it works.

So here’s my experience with a Rift at home.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Oct 17, 2014 0 comments
At the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, the west coast edition of the Luxury Tech Show was filled with gold phones, automated homes, and personal drones. Here’s a roundup of some of the more unusual offerings on display.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Oct 11, 2014 0 comments
Electrostatic speakers might not be the most obvious drivers to use in a Bluetooth speaker, but that’s exactly what BenQ has done with the eVolo.

Wait… BenQ? That BenQ?

Yep, that BenQ. All the info after the jump.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Oct 03, 2014 0 comments
This week, at a massive loft space in NYC, the people of Bose constructed a temporary museum of sorts: an impressive array of both consumer technology and fascinating prototypes, chronicling the company’s history. Bose is celebrating its50th anniversary, an accomplishment for any company, but especially in technology, a field where so many businesses launch with great fanfare only to sink into obscurity. Built on the shoulders of engineer, MIT professor, inventor, and entrepreneur Dr. Amar Bose, the Bose corporation began with a single product, the pod-looking Bose 2201. The 2201 screams 1960s design aesthetic. With its burlap-esque fabric and wooden housing, it’s fun to imagine what stereophiles thought of this unique and bizarre design in a sea of rectangle and square speakers.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Sep 25, 2014 0 comments
After attending the phenomenal David Bowie exhibit at the Chicago MCA last week, I’m finding myself acutely aware of how much I miss regular access to art. As a college student studying music, and even as a high schooler fortunate enough to attend fantastic humanities classes, every day had some form of exposure to artistic endeavors. But once out of school, if we want to experience art, we have to seek it out. While we have plenty of access to media, one could argue that art is a bit tougher to come by. Of course, there are galleries to visit, which is wonderful and needs to be preserved, but unlike school, art no longer comes to you.

A few artists have come together to try to change all that. They took two things New Yorkers have encounters with daily: technology and advertisements, and created an innovative augmented reality art space...the NY subway station.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Sep 19, 2014 0 comments
Bowers&Wilkins have become known for their innovative takes on aesthetic design. (Remember the Zeppelin?) Sometimes weird, and often wonderful, B&W have a love-it-or-hate-it style that is distinctly their own. No exception is the C5: in-ear headphones with a bullet-like shape and a unique stabilizing loop that have been recently revamped and released this week. The C5 Series 2 have a few deviations from the originals, while still keeping a similar form factor. I sat down to compare version one to Series 2 to get a better sense of what’s new.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Sep 06, 2014 1 comments

Are there repetitive things you do with your phone? Of course there are. Maybe you always turn on Pandora when you get in your car. Maybe you turn off your screen lock password when you’re home. Maybe you turn your phone on vibrate when you get to work.

What if your phone did this, and a whole lot more, automatically? What if it responded to any command you said. What if it read you your incoming texts while you were driving, and auto-replied that you were in the car?

This is the promise of the incredibly powerful app, Tasker.

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