This week on WIRed, Some of the more architecturally scariest homes in horror, how to use that old floppy drive of the past with your computer of today through MAGIC & some DIY hacking, how “Syphon Filter” almost never happened, and you may or may not call it a comeback…but it won’t always guarantee WWE success. Read the rest of this entry
Black Mesa, the long-awaited (and also long-delayed) fan remake of the classic game Half-Life utilizing the Source engine is now available FOR FREE!! It is an amazing recreation of the original Half-Life game with updated graphics, sounds, and controls. Read the rest of this entry
Most of the kids of the 1980s (and before) will remember the good old days when computers had built-in keyboards, such as the Apple II (which I remember my elementary school having a full supply of, and for playing Oregon Trail), or the Commodore 64 (which my daycare had one). That’ type of form factor has been duplicated by computer case modders many times over the years, but [Preamp]‘s project is the first one that uses the popular Raspberry Pi budget computer. The Raspberry Pi is still popular and picking up momentum with a variety of DIY projects due to how open the hardware is to different operating systems. So if you’re looking for a way to build your own budget, old-school-style, computer-in-a-keyboard with a Raspberry Pi, the German blog [Preamp] shows you exactly how to do it, step-by-step. Read the rest of this entry
After some technical mishaps, this week’s abridged version of The PractitioNERD will be the first of many smaller, more frequent videos, as explained above. Read the rest of this entry
Despite a faulty camera, a day of lost work, and computer issues, here is the debut episode of “The PractitioNERD Show.” After a brief introduction to myself and the blog, I’ll discuss :
PLUS, the QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!
While you can buy any HDTV antenna from the plentiful options available at your local electronic and/or department store, you could always build your own. Here’s the kicker: this do-it-yourself project actually looks nice enough that you would want to hang it in a window, PLUS it’s powerful enough to pick up over-the-air HD channels in your area. The best thing about this option is, of all things, it’s really cheap to make.
Nowadays, most computers use a two-step process to cool the CPU (and/or GPU). First, a heat-exchanging thermal paste on the processor draws the heat away from it, then a combination of the heatsink and fans disperses the heat away from the processor. However, how do you feel about this more novel idea of combining those two steps into one? Should this piqué your interest, then you’ll be happy to hear about this spinning cooler that doesn’t just get the job done with fewer parts, but also provides something more valuable in terms of efficiency. Read the rest of this entry
How do you celebrate your own birthday on a blog? In the real world (or in real life, or IRL), there are cards, drinks, cakes, singing, laughing, and well-wishes from your friends and family (by the way, BIG THANKS to my friends and family for the birthday wishes). I also realize that I have already covered much of my childhood, adolescence, teenage years, college days, and professional experience in the 110+ blog entries I’ve made. I guess rather than find another way to wedge other personal stories and details into yet another blog entry, I’d do this:
PICTURES OF CAKES AND A SONG!!
In case you haven’t heard, there’s been a bit of an dispute recently concerning the name “iPad” over in the land where most of our expensive American electronics come from; in case you’re wondering, carefully lift your laptop over your head, and you’ll see it (it starts off with “Made In..”). If you guessed China, you are correct; but why is there a dispute about the name of the popular Apple device? Well, there’s a company called Proview that already has an existing trademark on the ”iPad” name; to be more clear, the name is stylized as “iPAD,” which stood for Internet Personal Access Device.
We have come to the end of the CES 2012 road, everyone. It’s time for my final news briefs about my 5 favorite products/stories introduced on the final day of the show. This is the 5th and last day of “The PractitioNERD” coverage of CES 2012, and here are my favorite stories from today’s CES coverage.
ESPN hosted a Top Rank Boxing event live from the CES show floor, which actually attracted a good crowd. To show off how the event could be broadcast in 3D, the crew was using a Sony HDC-P1 camera system with 3D rigs by the Pace Cameron Group, which were all sent through a Sony MVX-8000x production switcher. According to Engadget, the quality of the love 3D images were very impressive
….and visions of the Tiger Electronics “R-Zone” system dances in my head. Vuzix showed off a functional prototype for its Smart Glasses industrial class monocular display. In other words, it’s a special lens attached to a main display driver that projects a bright, 1.4mm holographic picture for one of your eyes. The origins of the glasses go back to them being part of a DARPA project that would let soldiers involved in air-to-surface operations to track jets, check ordinance, and mark targets. While the tag price for the military / industrial monocle $2500-3000, the consumer version (with the same bells and whistles) will cost only between $350-600. However either unit won’t be available until next year. Smart Glasses > R-Zone. Anything > R-Zone.
…and on the FORTH DAY (or third since Monday was technially Day 0), there were more announcements at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It’s time for some news briefs about my 5 favorite products/stories introduced today at the show. This is the 4th day of “The PractitioNERD” coverage of CES 2012, and here are my favorite stories from today’s CES coverage.
1) The Plextor’s PlexEasy backs up Pics/Phones/Tablets WITHOUT a computer
Pextor’s PlexEasy stand-alone DVD burner is making it’s way the the States after being announce in Europe a month ago. The drive can back up data to CDs/DVDs directly from a variety of sources — i.e., SD cards, cameras, smartphones, tablets, etc., all via USB. While it can be used without a PC, it can be connected to a PC to draw it’s power from any of the its USB ports. No price has been announced.
2) Sony shows off PSVita cloud saves and 3G functionality
Wow, MORE PSVita news? You’d think I wanted to buy one of these! Destructoid’s Dale North tried out the game “Warrior’s Lair,” a third-person action RPG due out in late this year for the Vita, which has cross-platform play with the PlayStation 3 (enabling the player continue playing from one system to another via cloud save support). North started playing the game on a Vita, paused the game, chose the cloud save option, and (after save confirmation) was able to continue where he left off on the Vita on the PS3 within 30 seconds. The “fast and flawless” operation of the AT&T 3G connection was used while North was playing “Unit 13,” a third-person action-shooter due out March 6th, and was able to play online with the 3G connection (along with viewing game messages, leaderboards, rankings, prompts, etc.).
3) How it feels to hold the Wii U controller
Destructoid’s Conrad Zimmerman commented that the controller for Nintendo’s upcoming console was “deceptively lightweight,” even with its internal battery. He also noted the great positioning and pressure/tension of the more-traditional controller inputs (analog sticks and face buttons). I’ll let his own words speak for itself:
4) Behold the Power of Razer’s Blade gaming laptop
Razer’s Blade gaming laptop may weigh only 7 pounds and is under 1″ thick, however it packs a heck of a punch in terms of its features: an Intel Core i7 processor, an NVIDIA GT655M, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The laptops’s stylish aluminum casing and beautiful 17″ LED display doesn’t hurt either. Another star feature of the laptop is the “Switchblade” interface, which is essentially a traditional trackpad on steroids (since it’s a full-fledged touchscreen with 10 easily-configurable dynamic buttons) with numerous possibilities of functionality. And how much would you pay for one, pry tell? TWO THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED NINETY-NINE US DOLLARS!!
5) Sharkfin Promises Custom-Fitted Earbuds For Just $5
What do I love the most about the included set of headphones that came with my Samsung Epic 4G phone? They are adjustable/customizable inner-earbud headphones that block out outside sounds and they don’t FALL OUT OF MY EARS (which is a problem I’ve ALWAYS had with earphones; they kept friggin’ falling out)!!! Before, finding these type of earbud headphones that would STAY IN MY EARS were expensive, but Sharkfin is intending to offer a set of grey and black soft-squishable material for $5.00 that when molded together are able to chemically react within 5 minutes (hmm, for $5, huh) to form a flexible shape of the wearer’s ears that will never loose that shape.
It is DAY THREE of the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, everyone!! You know what that means (if you’ve been reading this since Monday) right? It’s time for some news briefs about the products/stories introduced today at the show. This is the third day of “The PractitioNERD” coverage of CES 2012, and here are my favorite stories from today’s CES coverage.
1) Lenovo’s IdeaCentre Q180 HTPC hands-on
I love home theater PCs (HTPCs) and everything about them (see here), and Lenovo’s IdeaCentre Q180 is one of the smallest desktop PCs (at 22 mm-thick) and affordable (starting at $299). The Q180 comes with a Blu-ray drive (it even uses magnets to hold the Q180 to the Blu-ray drive and a USB adapter), and an N5902 keypad makes the IdeaCentre an HTPC that can be easily hidden. The Q180 is powered by a 2.13GHz Intel Atom dual-core CPU, features HDMI, USB 3.0, and VGA outputs, and supports full HD and 7.1 surround sound. Now I get a step closer to my cut the cable/satellite plan.
With the increased popularity of Near-Field Communication (NFC), there are still some concerns about security and privacy (due to personal information stored in NFC tags and mobile payment applications — like Google Wallet — could easily be compromised if your stuff goes missing, i.e., stealing). While most existing services like Google Wallet are focused on security, its not the case for every other service that uses NFC technology. NXP Semiconductors is working on a smart card that adds an extra barrier of entry/security, requiring you to draw gestures (i.e., signatures), patterns or enter PIN codes in order to unlock files on your computer. Hope you don’t mind waiting for 6 – 12 months…
4) Olympus looking to Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and others to solve its money problems?Poor, poor Olympus; after the recent and infamous $1.7 billion accounting scandal implicating its OWN management on the highest levels, leading to them suing their OWN executives AND president for fraud. Now it seems that they just cannot catch a break, as Reuters has reported that Olympus is in financial dire and might partner up with Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Fujifilm or Terumo Corp. to get some extra cash just to keep going.
5) GLASSES-FREE 3DHDTVs, ULTRA BOOKS, TABLETS, PHONES. You Know, The Usual at CES
I honestly could not find any particular item in this category that raises any interest to me, other than the sheer number of new items of these types of devices that are being shown at CES this year.
[Thank you Joystiq]
1) Analogix Slim Port Allows Video Out From Your Smartphone to the TV (via microUSB!!)
Thank you, o’ great mini device!! The Analogix Slim Port uses technology that allows mirroring the image on any smartphone and/or tablet screen onto a television via MicroUSB (negating the need for mircoHDMI or MHL ports on a device). What Analogix uses is a DisplayPort based-chip embedded in the jack part of the cable, allowing it to connect with HDMI, VGA, or even DVI. You can purchase one of these via Belkin and BizLink (since Analogix is selling this on an OEM basis) this summer between $20 and $30. This is a definite BUY for me!
2) Vizio’s 2012 HDTV lineup features 3D, Google TV and ultra-widescreen (Say Whaaat?!?)
Ultra-widescreen is ultra-loooooooonnnnnnnnggg. Has Vizio shown up on my list again (you guys **hands on waist**) Well, Vizio has introduced the new M3D series of 3D HDTVs in a 47- and 55-inch model, with both models featuring “VIA Plus,” which is Vizio’s own skin of Google TV (kind of like TouchWiz on Samsung Android phones). Vizio has also introduced up three 21:9 “CinemaWide” ridiculously ultra-widescreen WFHD (2560×1080) models, in sizes of 50-, 58- and 71-inches, all models including 3D and Yahoo! Widgets (with HDTVs without Google TV will still include Yahoo TV widgets). Currently, prices and ship dates for all the new TVs are still unknown.
3) Engadget’s Live Demo of Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2
Do you want to watch someone try to break some glass? Well, I do apologize you lil’ ne’er-do-wells, but that won’t be happening. Corning’s newest iteration of its Gorilla Glass series is about 20% stronger than its prior version. In fact, when the crew of Engadget attempted to break (or at least crack) it utilizing 120 lbs. of pressure, the glass wouldn’t even crack.
4) Introducing The Rocstor Amphibious Secure (and I Mean Secure) Hard Drive
Do you like having your portable external hard drive around, with all of your files, pictures, music and videos? Don’t like having that device just sitting on your desk all willy-nilly while someone else may attempt to access your files. Well, worry no more. Rocstor’s new Amphibious Secure hard drive offers real-time encryption with BOTH a Smart Card AND a keypad. The device uses a SATA HDD (up to 1TB) or SSD, connects via USB 2.0 or Firewire 800, and protects all stored data with AES-256 bit key strength with a FIPS 140-2 validated crypto module. For safety in the aspect of durability, the Amphibious is encased in aircraft grade aluminum alloy casing. Oooo, fancy!!
5) Gaikai & LG Partner Up to Make Smart TV Gaming Service
If you’ve never heard of OnLive, they are a subscription-based cloud gaming platform at allows members to play video games via its Microconsole, PC client software, and tablets (from many, MANY servers), without the need of physical media or even downloading the game. Now Gaikai, essentially a rival to OnLive (despite that it’s on-demand and without subscription fees), is attempting to get a jump into providing their own platform into as many living rooms as possible before OnLive does. To do so, they are teaming up with LG to create a line of Smart TVs that will integrate the Gaikai gaming service sometime this year.