Posts Tagged ‘World’
A new Lumia phone from Nokia, this year’s Google I/O and BlackBerry World — yep, it was a pretty hectic week for us, but also a good seven days for tech news. Even if Google didn’t have any truly new hardware for us, it’s started up its own on-demand music service, gave us more details on Google Glass, redesigned its Maps and, well, it was a very long keynote. Join us after the break for a numerical breakdown of that and the rest of the week’s big news.
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Born from a muddy CGI womb cradled amid Ghosts of Mars, 300, and a Sega CD cutscene from Sewer Shark, Riddick returns Vin Diesel to his role as a muscle-bound mole-man and drops him on a desolate, entirely Vin Diesel-colored planet. There, both bounty hunters and the even more dangerous native fauna threaten his existence, and Vin Diesel lifts his goggles real cool-like, like you can tell he’s imagining Yello’s “Oh Yeah” is playing.
Here’s the trailer. If you don’t remember the last couple Riddick movies, don’t worry about it. This doesn’t seem to rely too heavily on understanding that mythology. Just on understanding Vin Diesel’s groan language.
I’m hanging out in Atlanta right now, getting ready to speak at Digital Summit 2013 about things you’re probably not terribly interested in. Most importantly, I’m sitting at a bar and just ordered what looks to be a monster of a burger called the “Hot Mess” at a place called Park Bar near my hotel. Despite my disdain for online review sites, it was either this via Yelp or the hotel bar and, well, I find hotel bars depressing.
It’s also pretty clear that the only reason I ordered the Hot Mess is because my wife isn’t here to give me a hard time about it. No, I’m not a kept man, but I respect her knowledge of health and try to let her guide me most of the time. But when I’m on the road, I sometimes let all bets fall to the floor so that daddy can dig into a burger uninterrupted.
Filed under: Misc
HP’s business PCs have always been surprisingly pretty. Not that good looks are high on our list of criteria, mind you, but at the very least they make a strong impression. Now that companies have gotten more comfortable with tablets (and Windows 8 in particular) HP is selling the ElitePad 900, its first Win 8 tablet built for the enterprise. Like all those EliteBook laptops that came before it, it has a metal chassis that’s not only sleek, but meets the military’s MIL-Spec standards too. Otherwise, it has everything you’d expect from a business tablet: support for pen input, mobile broadband and security features like TPM. It’s also being sold alongside various accessories, including some cases that add further functionality besides just protection from scratches. With a starting price of $ 699 for the 32GB model, though, it’s a little more expensive than its competitors. Does that mean it’s a little bit better too?
Amazon let its world domination plans be known last month when it asked developers to start submitting apps to line its virtual displays in more countries. While China was notably absent from immediate expansion plans, Amazon launched its Appstore there during the weekend, opening the doors to one of the biggest mobile device markets. As Reuters notes, the Google Play store is available in China, but only serves up free material, whereas Amazon’s Appstore has a selection of both free and paid software available for users. While the company launched its e-book store and e-reader apps in China last December, devices are still waiting for their ticket over. Now, with the release of the Appstore, we suspect it’s only a matter of time before the Kindle and Fire ranges make fashionably late appearances.
The L’Uritonnoir is the brainchild of French design studio Faltazi. It consists of a bunch of metal urinals spiked into a hay bale. As the urinals are used, the nitrogen from all the pee reacts with the carbon in the hay, breaking down the bale and creating a usable compost fertilizer. Plus, with no urinal dividers, it makes a great opportunity to see how your pecker stacks up against other guy’s members. Or challenge the dude pissing across from you to a staring contest. SO MUCH FUN TO BE HAD.
Thunderbolt, you were a tech with near unlimited promise when first introduced, but what have you done with all that power? Since my first Thunderbolt-equipped Mac, I’ve essentially been using the ports as straight up Mini DisplayPort replacements, and using them exclusively for powering external screens. But now the Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock has arrived, and Thunderbolt finally makes sense. Pricey, $ 300 sense, mind you.
- 2 Thunderbolt ports, with daisy-chain capabilities to connect up to 5 additional Thunderbolt devices.
- Gigabit Ethernet port
- 3 USB 3.0 ports
- 1 FireWire 800 port
- 3.5mm headphone output and mic in ports
The Belkin Thunderbolt dock’s design is understated, and will fit with the rest of your black and aluminum standard Mac kit. It’s basically just a box with rounded edges, a cable management channel running through the middle underside of the device, and a row of ports at the back, but it works and it can tuck nicely under your MacBook if you’re using a desktop stand, or underneath the screen of your iMac. There’s even a pair of flashing indicators for network traffic on the Ethernet port, which makes me nostalgic for the days of desktop PC towers that told you everything you needed to know with just a series of blinking lights.
If anything it’s a little bulky, but considering everything it’s bringing to the table, that’s not really all that surprising. Note that this also requires an AC adapter to work, so you’ll have to clear up space on your office power bar.
Computer makers don’t tend to be looking for more ways to fit extra ports in their hardware designs, and the Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lines are perfect examples of where things are headed. As a result, I find myself with only two USB ports on an $ 1,800 computer, no Ethernet port, a single input for both mic and headphones, and no Firewire 800 for my legacy devices, like portable hard drives. The Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock fixes all those things.
The three USB 3.0 ports are possibly the best part of the arrangement, as they more than double to total load-out of USB ports on your average lightning-equipped MacBook Pro. Even with an iMac, you get 7 USB ports total instead of just three, turning it into a dream machine for someone like a video, design or audio professional who probably has tons of accessories they need to connect and/or switch out at any given time. The first time you don’t have to decide which crucial USB accessory to unplug in order to charge your iPhone, the Dock proves its worth.
The Thunderbolt daisy-chaining also means I can still attach my 27-inch iMac as an external monitor, though that means the chain ends there. But if I had a Thunderbolt drive with two ports, I can easily slot that in between the two, and still use the display as the terminal end of the chain. Finally, the return of Firewire 800 and the Ethernet provide some much-needed tools for using more old-school, but still very effective technologies, including the various Firewire 800 external drives I have sitting around.
All of these ports and additional bits worked flawlessly in my experience, and the headphone jack actually seems to operate as an external sound card to some degree, boosting volume levels and giving you more flexibility in terms of playback options.
If you ever feel like your Mac doesn’t have enough hardware input/output options, then the Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock is for you. It took long enough to get here, and it’s pretty expensive at $ 299 (plus the price of Thunderbolt cable, which ships separately). The Matrox DS1 is another option at $ 249, but it only has one Thunderbolt port and just one USB 3.0, though it adds both an HDMI and DVI-D output. For my money, the Belkin is the way to go, especially if you use your Mac as your main workstation.
My first computer was a Commodore VIC-20. It raged with 3.5K of RAM, a high-speed cassette deck, and built-in BASIC. I used to copy game programs string-by-string from the back of COMPUTE! magazine — tens of thousands of lines of code — and small errors were not an option. One syntax error and the program wouldn’t work. When I did make those errors, I’d go back, line by line, and check for differences. There was nothing — at the time — more annoying than seeing hours of code crash because of one bad POKE statement.
That digital fastidiousness has stuck with me since. I keep all my computers’ files in order, keep operating systems updated, backup constantly to a remote storage device and quickly go after a machine that’s behaving strangely. The net result, and I may be tempting fate, is that I have never had a computer completely fail in the thirty years I’ve been using them.
Filed under: Misc
It’s funny how things come back around. When I was growing up in the ’80s, music was looking back at the ’50s and ’60s and re-creating it into some of the best bands the world has seen. Paul Weller wouldn’t have become the songwriter he is had he not grown up on the Beatles. Likewise, Paul McCartney wouldn’t have become the genius that he is had he not been raised on Little Richard. And now, bands are looking back at the ’80s and re-doing that explosive era – with both good and bad results that I will not go into here lest I make new enemies.
Culture is cyclical, and we’re beginning to see that technology is bound to follow that same rinse-and-repeat formula.
Filed under: Misc