Tech

Tech Review – Wacom Intous Pro

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Tech Review – Wacom Intous Pro

by Caleb Cleveland

Along with Wacom‘s rebranding of the Intuos line of digitizing tablets for enthusiasts or hobbyists (replacing their Bamboo line), they created the more up-market Intuos Pro line, intended for professional use. Judging from the mid-size tablet I’m reviewing, the Pros are all sturdy and sleek with a black matte finish, and can be set up for right or left-handed use. The active area of the tablet can be used either as a writing surface with the included stylus, or as a touchpad.

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Tech Review: ShoulderPod

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Tech Review: ShoulderPod

At each convention we attend I watch as the video recording devices get smaller and smaller, as more and more people realize that mobile video is here to stay. Well it just makes sense. There is just one problem, though, that the avid iPhone film maker faces; holding one’s iPhone sideways can lead to a little bit of a shaky shot, and there have been countless cases and add-ons that promise a sturdier shot. They generally lack what is the best part about shooting with an iPhone: being mobile.

While searching for a solution for this very problem I came across the ShoulderPod, and in all the pictures and descriptions it seemed someone had finally achieved the trifecta for the mobile film maker: mobility, sturdiness, and compatibility.

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Vintage E.T. Game Cartridges Found In New Mexico Landfill

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Vintage E.T. Game Cartridges Found In New Mexico Landfill

For a long time there was a urban legend swirling around the gaming community. This urban legend related to a game long forgotten by most, for the Atari 2600. Somewhere, it seemed, there was a stockpile of thousands of copies of one of the worst games ever made buried underground.

The game? E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, based on the Steven Spielberg film of the same name.

It seems the urban legend was based in fact. A Microsoft-backed documentary team has discovered a number of copies of the game buried in a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Just how many copies – certainly not thousands – is still unclear.

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PlayStation Now Beta for PlayStation 4 Starts Tomorrow

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PlayStation Now Beta for PlayStation 4 Starts Tomorrow

 

Earlier this afternoon, Sony announced that their long-awaited streaming service, PlayStation Now will be launching for the PlayStation 4 entertainment system tomorrow, May 20th. Emails with codes to access the PlayStation 4 version of the service will be going out  shortly.

 

The PlayStation 3 Beta has been extant for a short while, but this is the first time that the service will be available for PlayStation 4 users. There is no relevant information available for PS Vita users at this time.

 

If you have yet to register for the PlayStation Now Beta, you may do so here. Stay Tuned to Pixelated Geek for hands-on impressions with Sony’s brand new streaming service in the coming days!

Twitch.TV Reportedly to be acquired by YouTube in $1 Billion Deal (UPDATED)

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Twitch.TV Reportedly to be acquired by YouTube in $1 Billion Deal (UPDATED)

 

Earlier this evening, several sources, including Forbes and Variety, have reported that Google’s YouTube division will shortly be announcing a $1 Billion Dollar deal to acquire the gaming-centric streaming giant Twitch.TV.  The move, if confirmed, would come as something of a surprise to the public, as Google has to date displayed only the vaguest of interests in the mainstream gaming market – and even more so for Twitch.TV, having just landed the exclusive streaming rights to the ESA’s Electronic Entertainment Expo as well as the contract to stream the Interactive Entertainment events at the x-Games.

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Facebook acquires Oculus VR for $2 billion

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Facebook acquires Oculus VR for $2 billion

Only a week after displaying its newest tech on the GDC expo floor, Oculus VR has reached a “definitive” agreement with Facebook. The social giant will acquire the VR manufacturer for apprximately $2 billion in combined cash and Facebook stocks.

Both Facebook and Oculus VR have commented on the deal, Facebook in their official press release and Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey on Reddit. Luckey was optimistic in his post, reassuring fans:

In the end, I kept coming back to a question we always ask ourselves every day at Oculus: what’s best for the future of virtual reality? Partnering with Mark and the Facebook team is a unique and powerful opportunity. The partnership accelerates our vision, allows us to execute on some of our most creative ideas and take risks that were otherwise impossible. Most importantly, it means a better Oculus Rift with fewer compromises even faster than we anticipated.

Very little changes day-to-day at Oculus, although we’ll have substantially more resources to build the right team. If you want to come work on these hard problems in computer vision, graphics, input, and audio, please apply!

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Investors Call For Microsoft To Drop Xbox

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Investors Call For Microsoft To Drop Xbox

The CEO of Microsoft is being pressured by investors to drop the company’s Entertainment & Devices division, which produces the Xbox gaming system and the Surface tablet. While the Xbox business is several billion dollars in the red, investors are less concerned with the Xbox and more with the search engine Bing, which is currently making a loss. Investors argue that the company should focus on software and services only.

This latest development has been a long time coming. Entertainment & Devices was losing money until 2008, and while Microsoft has yet to release a detailed report of what is responsible, it’s now making profits (presumably thanks to the Xbox). However, the aforementioned profits have been negligible compared to Microsoft’s other divisions (see the graph below).

According to the Washington Post, even the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, thinks the Xbox should be sold to another company so that Microsoft can focus on its declining Windows business. And compounding this is the fact that current CEO Satya Nadella does not have a hardware background.

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Tech Review: Roccat Kone XTD – Mac OSX

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Tech Review: Roccat Kone XTD – Mac OSX

Gaming has finally made it’s way to the Mac, and between the App Store and Steam there is a rather large selection of games to choose from. What’s even nicer is to see developers starting to add the Mac support to their gaming peripherals.

Roccat has tossed their hat into the ring adding support for the Kone XTD. Having previously used the Kone+ on the PC, I was even more eager to see that type of support for my Mac. House does this mouse hold up? Is it the ultimate in gaming mice of the Mac OSX.

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Review: “Tales of Phantasia” for iOS

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Review: “Tales of Phantasia” for iOS

The classic RPG Tales of Phantasia has long been revered by those in the know. Released for the Super Famicom in 1995, it boasted incredible graphics, a not particularly original but still entertaining story, and an innovative real-time battle system. Sadly, the original version never made it to the U.S.. Over time it built a following. In 2003 readers of the renowned Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu crowned it as the best Namco game of all time. Finally a port for the Game Boy Advance saw an American release in 2006. The port received mixed reviews.

Now the game has found its way onto the App Store – for free, no less, and longtime fans – and many such as myself who’ve never played it – were quite excited. But as it turns out, there’s nothing free about this game.

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Fears of FCC Overreach Overblown and Misleading

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Fears of FCC Overreach Overblown and Misleading

This Tuesday, A District of Columbia court of appeals ruled against certain key elements of “net neutrality.” The court opinion takes a bit of reading, but can be summed up thusly:

That said, even though the Commission has general authority to regulate in this arena, it may not impose requirements that contravene express statutory mandates. Given that the Commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers, the Communications Act expressly prohibits the Commission from nonetheless regulating them as such.

Free speech and net neutrality advocates have criticized the decision as a concession to ISPs, and rightfully so. But Wired’s recent article on the subject by think-tank advocates Berin Szoka and Geoffrey Manne argues the real danger lies not in corporate restriction but a more sinister force yet: the tyrannical authority the decision grants to the FCC to regulate the contents of the Internet.

It shouldn’t be surprising, since both Szoka and Manne are leaders for think-tanks (TechFreedom and the International Center for Law and Economics, respectively) fiercely opposed to “inefficient” government regulation. While anyone who’s kept up with recent news knows concerns over government invasion of privacy and freedom of speech are real and pertinent, Manne and Szoka’s arguments rely on questionable, misleading anti-government fear-mongering and free-market evangelism.

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