GeekOut Update

For the time being I will be limiting my updates to twitter.  Please follow me @thegeekout and on Facebook

I will be posting headlines and news to both of those several times a day.

At some point I hope to get the site back running, but there is a larger project in the works that involves it that I have to sort out first.

thanks for reading and being beautiful…

CES 2013 in Review

pebble-watch Its over and gone.  But are we the better for it?  The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show no longer is the place for the dramatic reveal of a gadget or gizmo that will change your life forever.

Since Apple, Google, Microsoft have all left to hold their own media gobbling events on their own terms, and E3 is where we will most likely finally get details on new gaming consoles from Sony and Microsoft in June – the modern day CES is more for the independent, little guys… That and TV makers.

Yes, TV’s.  That industry has a problem.  They’ve gotten just about everyone to buy a flat panel of some sort in the last five years, and now they need new customers.  So, they’ve ginned up all sorts of new features like 3D and smart apps that are supposed to make you want another, newer TV.  This year they added “Ultra HD” or “4K”, and even some new form factors but higher resolutions are only so good to the average consumer if the sets are affordable (which they are not yet) and if the content available is also at those some resolutions (which it pretty much isn’t).

What was interesting was the release of a few new handheld gaming devices.  The Razor’s Edge, a tablet running Windows 8 and brings full PC gaming experience to the tablet format along with some accessories to add to the experience.  Interesting idea and won “Best of CES” from different media outlets.  Nvidia also surprised people with the introduction of their own handheld device “Project Shield” which looks like an Xbox controller with a screen attached.

Smartwatches also were in high supply, with the near release of the long promised Pebble watch, which you connect via Bluetooth to your handheld device, the idea of not having to remove your phone from your pocket to do certain functions and get information is all the rage.  In fact, the idea of connection pretty much anything to your Android or iPhone is about as fever pitch as it can be.  From home security, to health monitoring, you can pretty much run your life from that phone of yours.

Sort thru the links below and get a sense of what happened.

The Wonderful “Homemade Toy Story”

1284In 2010, at the ages of 18 & 19, Jonason Pauley and Jesse Perrotta began to remake scenes from the classic Pixar movie, Toy Story with toys, action figures and real people.  But once they started, they couldn’t stop and now have ended up with a full remake of the 1995 movie that you must make time to watch.

Using a mix of stop-motion, real people, puppetry and other very clever means, the pair have done a full scene-by-scene recreation and have become an overnight online video sensation. (at the time of this posting 1.2 million views in two days!)

Really, you should watch this.  The scale of work and time put into this might make you head hurt and your heart melt.

Top Gun Gets BluRay/3D Release

topgun3d-artIt is the movie that pushed kids into flying fast.  It’s the movie that made some people feel a little gay.  Top Gun, the 80’s icon of Tom Cruisery is getting a remastering and full HD and 3D treatment.

Director Tony Scott, before his passing last year, oversaw the remastering process and promises to give new levels of clarity to the dogfight and ariel scenes.  It will be released with a 3d conversion, the quality of which, is yet to be determined.  The movie will also have a brief run at IMAX Digital screens nationwide, and then the disc hits stores on Feb 19th.  There is already a pre-order available on Amazon.

Here’s the promotional trailer.

Love/Hate – The New C7 Corvette is Here

2014-chevrolet-corvette-interior-in-red

At the Detroit auto show on Sunday evening the long awaited, and much rumored unveiling of the 2014 Corvette took place.  The model, the C7, will be available sometime in the third quarter of this year and is expected to start in the $50K range.

The biggest talking point, as always, is the design.  The new ‘Vette will certainly get the comment section trolls a-typin’ as it marries some visual components from several different cars, while retaining a very Corvette feel overall.  Oddly, the one new design element that has the most outcry are the taillights which are now more squared out and combined which is totally against traditional Vette tail ends, and it does make the car look a lot like several other Chevy products.

But the great news is performance.  The base model, referred again as the Sting Ray, provides specs that Chevy promises will outdo the current upgrade model of the Corvette, the Grand Sport.  “0-60 in under four seconds”, is the promise and if that is the case with a base model car, rather impressive.   And while it will take a visit in person versus just seeing it in pictures, the interior promises a quantum leap in quality – maybe the current car’s biggest  knock.

Here’s a bunch of links to sites that have seen and touched the car, although there are yet to be any test drives.

Let the debating begin.

 

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Stripper Falls to Death

Lauren-Block_20130108151004_640_480_20130109102207_640_480

It’s one of those deaths that are just simply tragic, but kinda so ridiculous, you laugh.

22-year-old Lauren Block, a stripper at Christie’s Caboret in Cleveland fell from a second story stage while performing a lap dance.  The man on the receiving end of the dance explained what he saw in the police report: “He stated that she grabbed the rail, as he was facing away from the balcony, and she tried to complete some sort of dance jump/dance move, and accidentally went head first over the rail,”

Block’s family has released a statement.  “We would like to thank the community for their outpouring of support and prayers for Lauren. She has passed away but is an organ donor, and we hope this will enable her to save many lives and live on through others.  We would like to express our gratitude to the staff at MetroHealth. They worked tirelessly to do all they could to save her life. We ask that the media respect our privacy during this difficult time. We know that she’s in God’s hands.

Witness reports include that she wasn’t moving after the fall and was rushed to the hospital with severe head injuries and initially listed in critical condition, but later died from her injuries.

Now you feel bad for laughing.

 

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Dreadlocks as a Weapon

celbdred Over in Portland, Oregon, Caleb Grotberg, 32, faces counts of second-degree kidnapping, second-degree attempted assault, fourth-degree assault, menacing and domestic violence.  Why?  Because his girlfriend is accusing him of assault and attempting to choke her out with his dreadlocks.

Monday morning Portland police responded to a domestic violence call and met up with Grothberg’s girlfriend who made the accusations.  After a brief neighborhood search, Grotberg was located and arrested.

Yep, that’s it.  But I believe the “choking someone with your own dreadlocks” is a IGTN first.  Congrats Caleb!

CES2013 Is Upon Us

There will be no big news from Apple, Microsoft or Google.  Nope, those guys don’t “attend” the Consumer Electronics Show any longer.  They all have decided there is far more value in launching products in their own big events.  In fact, even the seemingly sinking boat of Blackberry will hold their own event later this month with a hail-mary introduction of Blackberry 10 and new devices.

That doesn’t mean that CES will be a snooze.  In fact, because the biggest guys aren’t hogging up all the media attention what you’ll be hearing from Vegas will be all about different new tech, devices and ideas.

Probably the biggest thing you hear about is “Ultra HD” – The TV manufactures have succeeded in getting the vast majority of the public to throw away their tube sets for some sort of flat screen and now they need to sell a new generation of TVs.  So trying to make the images sharper, deeper, clearer is the goal.  So, you’re going to hear a lot about “4K” – the idea of a set with 3-4times the resolution of the set you have now.  The problem with that idea is that there is little to no actual content available in that resolution, so the sets have to up convert the content from your DVD, Blluray, Streaming service or whatever and when you do that, it’s not real 4K… Much of this is gimmicky marketing stuff.  There will be several new sets using the OLED technology which has a very high image quality, but had been limited to small screen sizes.  Now you’ll be able to get OLED in 45’+ sizes, but they will be expensive for a while.

There will also be lots of new wireless speakers.  Most will use bluetooth to connect to your handheld device, some will use Apple’s Airplay wireless system and others will create their own means to connect to your home wireless system.  There is even “Pure”, a company that wants you to put their speakers around your home, wirelessly connect them and via apps they you download can connect to their own Panadora/Spotify like music service.

There will be lots of new tech that will connect to your handheld devices to allow you to control everything from toys, to home automation to utility-type devices.  And there will be more and more watches that will connect to your handheld to allow you to keep that phone in your pocket or purse and transmit info from it to the watch, in the ultimate act of convenience (lazy) so you don’t have to look at the phone… The biggest of this is Pebble, a watch that crowd funded over $10m from Kickstarter.

And just when you thought you couldn’t handle yet another “celebrity” branded pair of headphones, Motorhead will be releasing their own ear speakers designed specifically for very. loud. rock. musik.

I will be updating here as I hear about cool things I think you need to know about.

 

Immortalize Your Likeness

As a gift to my wife for Christmas, maybe the gift I was most excited about getting her was a pair of replicas of “us”.

IMG_0389From the fun company, Mixeeme, I was able to walk thru their online setup to created a pair of figures that somewhat resemble us.  You go thru the steps of picking out your skin-color, hair, eyes, mouth, clothing and some other details (think avatar creation on Xbox live) and for $25 you end up with a little 3″ version of your creation.  Extra neat is that you can upload your own images that can appear on the shirts, or use text for messages.  You can even create an image for a face that can be uploaded and used on the head for a level of detail the preset options can’t provide.

But what might be the coolest aspect is that these are created on a commercial 3D printer.  Mixeeme works with the company Shapeways that takes your order and then makes your one-of-a-kind figure on a printer that creates it out of a material that feels a little like ceramic and plastic.  They don’t feel fragile, but I wouldn’t want to drop it either.

The customer service is outstanding.  As I was creating my figure I realized that the options for hair all ended up giving me far more hair than I really have.  I emailed them, asked for an option that was maybe more “receding”, traded some images of what was closer and they added it for me – at no extra cost.

It’s a wonderful gift.