Gaming & Tech – Our Top Nerdy Picks for the Week Ending 6/02/2012
What Did You Think?
Crytek, the development company that brought you the CryEngine , and BeamNG, a startup company that specializes in soft-body physics has been working on the ultimate soft-body physics simulation to create the most realistic collisions and body damage to virtually any type of vehicle out there. Though Crytek hasn’t released any information on an expected launch, BeamNG gave us a tantalizing taste of what we have to look forward too.
Website of the Week Goes To:
If you have ever 2001: A Space Odyssey, you probably are familiar with the part where the computer HAL tells Dave, “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” I had a similar conversation with my Original “fatty” Playstation 3 this week. It went somewhere along the lines of:
PS3: (flashing red lights…a few beeps)
Me: Oh Come on PS3, we just got you outta the shop. Seriously?? Again??
PS3: I’m sorry Kym. But I can’t do that.
Me: I promise, if you just start up I’ll keep you cooler and stop working you like a Google server.
PS3: I know you were planning to disconnect me…
Me: Where the heck did you get that idea?
PS3: I heard you talking about the R2D2 Xbox.
Me: You know that is only because I love R2D2. I would never replace you. Look, even the PS3 slim has to live in the basement. I love your backwards capabilities and being able to play PS1 games like Spyro. I’d never replace you.
PS3: I know I’ve made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.
And that is when I found ifixit .com. This website is the fix all guide for everything gadgety. They provide users with free manuals and repair videos as well as a plethora of “Toolkits” you can purchase so you can fix whatever gadget might be acting like HAL. I already know what is wrong with my fatbox3. It’s old, and it overheats easily which loosens the solder and renders it unable to make electrical connections. I just got it fixed for around $100 for the same issue, so when this happened again this week, I was determined to fix it myself. Ifixit showed me all I needed was a hot blow dryer (check) and some thermal paste; I highly recommend Artic Silver (less $10) and an hour to waste giving my system a spa treatment. Obviously this is just a temporary fix, but I have gotten 6 wonderful years out of my fatboy3, and I’d like to get another 6.
If you happen to use this site to spruce up any of your gadgets, drop me a line and let me know how well it worked for you!
Invention of the Week Goes To:
Last week I featured the FAAST hands free software hack that utilized the Kinect, so to stick with the controller-free genre as it’s becoming more readily accessible and less complex, this week I bring to you the Leap Motion gesture control system. For only $70 you can pre-order the Leap Motion with an expected ship date around the New Year (2013). The Leap Motion is more sensitive than a touchscreen, more accurate than any mouse, and supposedly just as reliable as a keyboard. The leap is a very small box about the size of a flash drive and 200 times more accurate than other comparable gadgets and is able to distinguish between every object it interacts with tracking movements down to 1/100th of a millimeter with ease, and did I mention it can all be captured in 3D?
It is as simple as plugging it into a USB port, installing some software, calibrating it, and seriously within minutes, you too can feel like Tom Cruise did in Minority report grabbing around thin air and swiping here and there and looking bad-ass.
Unlike the Kinect, the Leap Motion captures complex gestures and was designed with the thought that the world is our clay just waiting to be molded. With an open and encouraged development kit, the Leap Motion is just the tip of the ice berg. Is the Leap Motion a product you think you would add to your gadget library in the near future?
Gadget of the Week Goes To:
Kogan Agora Branded 10” Tablet Computer
Kogan, an Australian company that sells gizmos and gadgets, recently released their own claim to fame Kogan Agora branded 10” tablet computer supported by the Android platform Ice Cream Sandwich for less than $200. You have the choice of an 8 or 16 gb 1gb RAM 1.2GHz Cortez A8 tablet which includes 802.11b/g/n wi-fi capabilities, HDMI outputs, 1 USB port, Micro SD card slot expansion to 32GB, front and rear cameras, 8 hour battery life, 1024 x 768 resolution Capacative Touchscreen and all backed behind a 12 month warranty.
While I did visit the Kogan website to check out this stellar deal, it appears they have received so much media attention this week that they have sold out of both 8 & 16gb models for the time being. But for the price, why would you not pick these up for stocking stuffers this year?
Gadget “Coming Soon” Goes To:
This week’s gadget that is coming soon is technically a gadget that will never come. I’m talking about the first-gen iPad prototype that just sold on eBay for $10,200. Yes, you read that correctly. The worst part, it’s not even a fully functioning iPad as all Apple prototypes are deactivated once they are no longer of any use. However, this iPad slipped through the cracks somehow, runs Switchboard, the Apple testing software, and comes complete with a second dock connector. So what can the new owner of this $10,200 iPad do with his new investment? Absolutely nothing as the touchscreen doesn’t work as far as input goes rendering this hunk of plastic a very expensive paper weight.
Source: See It On eBay
That’s it for this week! We’d love to hear your thoughts on Geeky Gadgets that rock your socks!
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