Gaming & Tech – Our Top Nerdy Picks for the Week of 5/20/2012
What Did You Think?
Ubisoft has once again out done themselves with the May 22nd 2012 release of the much awaited Tom Clancy’s New Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. Staying true to the Ghost Recon franchise, this game utilizes the Ubisoft in-house YETI game engine which has been specifically tweaked and supped up for this game to allow for a perfect blend of HDR rendering lighting and anti-aliasing, creating for beautifully smooth graphics. You know, the stuff that really matters like phenomenal graphics.
While the game play is typical of the Ghost Recon games, there is a perfect blend of combat, life, death, and of course, strategic planning to waste away the hours. Whether you are utilizing your cross cam HUD, opting for optical camouflage to stealthily gain ground on your target, or making use of the over 2500 animations available to be the bad-ass you know you are, you can be assured that the 12 different single player campaign missions will be just as exhilarating as the co-op, gunsmith, guerilla, or multi-player-10 map mode. Definitely a plethora of choices to keep you chugging Monsters until your kidneys fail and the eviction notice is hung on the door. Still undecided if dropping $60 is worth it or not? Just spend a few hours watching all of the YouTube videos everyone will be posting and you’ll be frothing at the mouth in no time.
I’m going with the census on this one and giving it an 8.5/10.
Website of the Week goes to:
How have I never been to this site? Seriously, the name says it all. It took me only about 60 seconds to spend our entire life’s savings…mentally of course. Who wouldn’t want a Super Mario Question Block Lamp that when punched makes the nostalgic 8-bit sound, or a Hans Solo Carbonite desk. I mean come on; you would definitely get a raise when this bad boy is delivered to the office. And your mid-summers night barbeque would not be complete without your very own Lego head propane tank to make your pad the best on the block!
Invention of the Week goes to:
Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit (FAAST)
As an epic lover of MMORPG’s, when I saw this video of someone playing World of Warcraft with a hacked Kinect, I was instantly engulfed with a warm gooey feeling of excitement mixed with thrusting pings of jealousy.
Ingenious fellows at the University of Southern California have developed a hack which allows you to control your character and HUD with full body amalgamation eliminating a need for a mouse and keyboard, while permitting a user to key body movements to keyboard controls much like macro keyboards.
If you are a die-hard WoW fan and have access to a Kinect, you are in luck! Visit http://people.ict.usc.edu/~suma/faast to get your own download of FAAST absolutely free and be all the rage as you show your guildies up with your l337 skillz…and possibly shed a few pounds you have gained in the many years of your gaming career.
Gadget of the Week goes to:
Self-Driving Google Car
If you didn’t hear about the Google self-driving car this week, boy are you in store for a real treat! According to the New York Times, Google utilized 7 test cars that have driven 1,000 miles without any human interaction over 140,000 miles with minimal interactions resulting in only 1 accident, incidentally enough, was no fault of the cars at all when it was hit from behind while stopped at a red light.
The Google car is equipped with an array of cameras and a laser sensor which rapidly spins atop the car, much like a Furuno receiver used on boats to pinpoint GPS and objects in the environment.
Google claims the artificial intelligence reacts much quicker than a human can while able to maintain a 360 degree view of its surrounding, all without ever getting distracted, falling asleep behind the wheel, under the influence, or medical issues. Ultimately having access to a product like this could save thousands of lives every year. Approximately 40,000 people die each year in car related accidents.
Though Google says they don’t have any plans to start producing these ultra-hybrid Prius’s anytime soon, I think it will happen sooner then we all think
Gadget “Coming Soon” goes to:
Asus Zenbook Prime Ultrabook
I have done some serious research on this notebook and I must admit that the Asus name threw me off at first, but after digging under the hood, this Ultrabook is a must have. The Zenbook Prime is available in 3 wafer thin models (0.35”), weighing in under 3 lbs., offers a 4gb memory and between 128gb-500gb SSD/HDD storage, and 11 or 13 inch optional HD 1080p display, with a possible 1920 x 1080 pixel output, the highest of the Ultrabooks currently on the market, meaning a richer resolution from a higher pixel count, sharper images, giving a user the feeling of having a much larger screen resulting in less time scrolling around.
The Zenbook Prime (not to be confused with the current Zenbook) won’t lag behind when it comes to graphics either. Though not as graphically fast as HP’s Sleekbook, Prime users can upgrade to an Nvidia GeForce graphic card boosting this notebooks performance for both gamers and entertainment purposes.
One of the neatest perks of this Ultrabook is the ambient light sensing keyboard that automatically adjusts the keyboards brightness to its surroundings. Though I don’t typically has this issue on my notebooks as I don’t share well with others, the Prime prides itself for its 172 degree glare-free viewing angle allowing for more people to crowd around and view the screen without suffering to a loss of display from viewing from the sides.
Coming in at just around $1000, the Zenbook Prime will be a notable competitor when up against the MacBook Air and other Ultrabooks currently on the market. Will you be finding this under the Christmas tree this year?
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