. To say that the MMX 300 Premium Multimedia Headset is excellent is obvious, because it was originally developed as a headset for private aviation. So it is got that working for it already.
Yes, this is designed for online gamers specifically for FPS games, I believe. It advertises as being a way to hear opponents around you, which I have to admit would come in handy for a game where you don’t want to be surrounded.
Then there is the microphone which has some cool flexible thing on it. Apparently, this is made for taking out some background noise like computer fans.
All in all, it is a pretty good gaming headphone designed for fragging, which is exactly what you want. One thing that is interesting is how light it is, and you should be able to get it for $349 on the Beyerdynamic site
When it comes to tech, there is a lot of rumors that go around, and I will have to say that Pepsi creating its own brand of smartphone isn’t the strangest. There is some interesting rumors saying that the Pepsi P1 smartphone will be announced in Beijing on October 20th.
If this is true, then the Pepsi P1 will feature a 5.5 inch screen with 1080 x 1920 FHD resolution. On the inside is a MediaTek MT6592 with true octa-core CPU and ARM Mali-450 MP4 GPU. Also inside is 16 GB of native storage with 2 GB of RAM. The camera is a 13 Megapixel rear and a 5 Megapixel front, and this is an Android phone with 5.1 installed.
It is expected that the Pepsi P1 will be costing about $205, and it will have the soda logo on it.
Lately, I’ve been told by people at home that I get a little mean-spirited when I get critical. So when I see a film that I don’t really like, I can really get terrible about my criticisms about it. In the case of CHAPPiE, I’m going to say that I am going to give it thumbs down, but I am going to swear that I am going to say good things about what I believe this film was trying to do.
I’ve going to have to start by talking about director Neill Blomkamp. This man did one of the best speculative films of all time with District 9, and I haven’t got around to writing about that one yet (I probably should). He then did the film Elysium, which I didn’t give a good review to. You can read that review here
, and I mentioned that I thought the film had some good ideas but poor implementation.
CHAPPiE (note the small i in title, like Apple, but not at the beginning) starts with two people talking about something, and then cuts to events in the story that occurred 18 months ago. At first I thought that Neil Blomkamp was imitating the style of District 9 with documentary format, but unfortunately, it comes off as a last-minute edit.
The film then uses a lot of news footage to show that this film takes place in the future, but not very far in the future. In fact, Anderson Cooper shows up in this footage, looking not very aged. The world is set up showing that the city of Johannesburg is implementing a program with robot cops. This robotic police force has its own artificial intelligence, and it would appear that only this South African city has them. I can understand why it was chosen to take place in the near future, as films that take place further in the future have to really build a more fantastic futuristic world.
I think Blomkamp was going to a believably factor, like it wouldn’t take long for this story to actually happen in reality. The robots looked real enough, that is for sure. The issue is that I can’t imagine a society who develops intelligent robots only using it as a police force. You think there would be a lot fast-food workers or butlers, but the film never shows what feels like an obvious logical result of intelligent robots dumped in a near future culture.
The actually story beings on a routine bust, a robot is put out of commission with a rocket launcher. One of the creators of the robots, Deon, decides to try out a program that will make robots more sentient. So when Deon finds this robot’s injured form, he installs the program in him.
Now, the film takes a lot of unexpected plot twists, and some of them are not well-managed. Part of it is the amount of characters running around in the film. That routine bust that I mentioned before had two criminals who are played by characters of a rock ban named Die Antwoord. These crooks had their plans busted, and they realize that the robot-cops have an off-switch somewhere.
These crooks then kidnap Deon, but instead of giving the criminals the off switch, he turns on a robot with lifelike qualities. These criminals then decide that they don’t want the off switch, but rather realize that the robot can be trained to commit and not stop crimes.
This is essentially the premise, and it is a mix of a lot of other films about robots. After all, it starts with robots being cops, which was done in Robocop. Then the Robot gets life like qualities, which was done in Short Circuit. Then the robot is put in a place where he must use guns, but refuses, which feels straight out of The Iron Giant. There are also elements of the movie I, Robot with an automaton learning to be human in a world where robots are the new servants.
I’m not about to criticize CHAPPiE for using ideas from other films. The issue is can this film, take it in a new direction, and I will say that it does. It is an unpredictable direction, but I’m not certain that it is a decent direction. This film has the scenes where the robot is learning about the human race with the usual fish-out-of-water scenes. The difference is that he is being raised by criminals, and I’ve never really seen that before.
This film goes out of its way to make certain that this story, which is usually targeted at a juvenile audience, is as adult as possible. Chappie the robot learns to talk and he swears as much as a gangster. I’ve decided not to spoil the ending, but I will have to say that the tagline that you see on the poster: “Humanity’s Last Hope Isn’t Human” is only somewhat valid. This tagline makes it sound like Chappie saves the world, but this just isn’t the case.
I will spoil it and say the ending involves a battle between Chappie and a big robot. I figure that is pretty obvious as the beginning of this film shows a giant robot, and it is essentially a tease of what is to come. This robot was made by Hugh Jackman’s character, who seems like he is not worth the price they paid for him. The issue isn’t that Hugh isn’t acting well, but his character is like the one Vincent D’Onofrio played in Jurassic World. That is, he wants to use a new weapon, and he’s hoping some seriously bad situations will give him the chance to use this new technology of warfare. I felt that any actor could have done this job, and there is a scene where he threatens Deon with a gun that feels too forced.
This is the issue with certain ideas. They have to be tried out, and sometimes, in the end, they just don’t work. One of the things that I fear might happen to Neil Blomkamp is that he will be remembered like people are talking about M. Night Shyamalan. That is, everyone remembers how great the first film is (The Sixth Sense), and then the director can only produce material of a lesser quality after that. I’ve heard that Blomkamp is preparing a film for the Alien franchise, which takes place after Aliens, possibly rebooting the series so Alien 3 never happened. Even though a film like that will make a lot of money, it is something that could really fail.
, but it isn’t made for things that you don’t like. It is actually made for situations where someone posts that their aunt dies or something, and you don’t look like a sadist for clicking “Like” on that.
There is a possibility that Facebook could have options that you see in the image like the usual Thumbs Up, Love (stronger than Like), Haha (when you’re into or in on the joke), Yay (when you really exuberantly like this), Wow (sign of being impressed), Sad (when you agree with the subscriber’s sadness, maybe), and Angry (when you are angry with the subscriber’s outrage).
I believe that this will be tested on Facebook users in Ireland and Spain, and if it works there, I’m sure this will be headed to every Facebook user. That’s like billions, right? So this means that there will be many kinds of new Likes happening soon.
A while ago, I received an email for a Steam Code for a game called Skyhill. I receive a lot of Steam Codes per month, and I have reviewed a lot of games.
I found myself liking this game, and the reason why I like it is because I wasn’t certain what it was about. The game begins when a man checks into a hotel, and he is told that his room is safe from infection and…wait. Okay, there really is no explanation for this, but it drew me in. I had to wonder what happened to the world so hotels are open, but the world is infected. To make matters worse, a nuclear bomb goes off. Well, it looks like a nuclear bomb, but the mushroom cloud is emerald green! What the heck, man?
From there, there the game goes into something that isn’t really a point and click. The player is a guy that is on the 100th story who must presumably must go down all 100 stories. On each floor are two rooms, one on each side, and you can explore them to find some stuff. There are a lot of interesting papers, and I’m really hoping to find all one hundred of them because I honestly want to know what is going on.
In some of these rooms, there are these horrifically mutated beings. You can fight them if you have a weapon, and what is funny is that you can choose what part of the monster to attack, and that can result in greater damage but you can still miss.
Now, this game has certain health that you need to keep in the black, as well as some Stamina as well. For this, you can find items like food, and you can combine the food to create better sustainable food. You can build some interesting things that will help open up doors and I think there are other puzzles to solve, but this game is really one big puzzle, actually.
I’m glad to report that Skyhill is available on the Steam Store
It has been a while since I have reviewed a Masimo product, and part of that is because the company makes a lot of high-quality medical products that aren’t available for typical, non-medical consumer use. Similar to the iSpO2 Pulse Oximeter
, the MightySat Fingertip Pulse Oximeter is made for those that want medical fitness information on hand.
Yes, there are people who want this information, and Dotsie Bausch and Stig Severinsen recommend it. If you haven’t heard of these two, the former is an Olympic Silver Medalist, and the latter is a PhD Freediver that holds a Guinness Book of World Records holder for longest underwater breath hold at 22 minutes. Yeah, that is pretty impressive.
So what does the MightySat offer for the typical consumer? Well, it is a very cool device that you stick your finger into, and you can get at least four different measurements including: 1) SpO2, Oxygen saturation of arterial blood 2) Pulse Rate, measured in beats per minute (BPM) 3) Perfusion Index indicates arterial pulse signal strength and 4) Pleth Variability Index, a measure of the dynamic changes in PI that occur during the respiratory cycle.
As someone who has tried it out, I can attest that it works out of the box. Now, you can purchase a MightySat that will work without Bluetooth ($249), but there is a Bluetooth Compatible LLE ($299) and a version with Bluetooth LE & PVI ($399). There is a free Masimo Health App that will work with most versions of the MightySat. So if you are looking to purchase this, check out the information on the Masimo site
describes it as “the Apple smart cover you know and love”, but for your iPhone case.
The Soft Case is about 2mm thin, so it will not take up a lot of real estate on the iPhone. It will give protection from drops, and the added color with choices of red, blue, or black give the iPhone 6/6S a sense of style as well.
If this is something that you want, you can head on over to the FUZ Designs site
I think that that best term that I can use to describe the Kolibree toothbrush is “gamification”. That is, that if there is a way to do something, someone has to make a way to put points on it so you can keep doing this. I suppose that one of the most mundane things in the world is brushing your teeth, so why not have a method of making you do something. The Kolibree allows you to make a game out of brushing your teeth.
This vibrating toothbrush uses sonic vibrating technology, and it has motion tracking with 3D sensors. The sensors are there to pair with an application that syncs with Bluetooth to a tablet or smartphone.
The purpose is to work with the gamified apps so you can monitor your teeth brushing. There is an application for adults and a cute game for kids. You can even share your results with your dentist, and I’m curious to see if dentists are recommending this Kolibree brush.
The cool thing about the Kolibree has a stand that is good for wireless charging. You just plug the stand in, and put the toothbrush on a peg and it will work for you.
All in all, the Kolibree is a toothbrush made for the information age, and why shouldn’t it exist? In the age of IOT (The Internet of Things) there is a lot to like about this.
You can purchase the Kolibree toothbrush for about $199.99 on the Kolibree site
I have a little rule that I don’t always keep. If a film is based on a book, I will try to read the book before I see the movie. I did this for several films that I have seen, and Divergent is a film that I saw a day or so after I finished the book.
The biggest issue that I have with Divergent is it seems part of a genre among young adult fiction that has grown immensely popular for some reason or another. That would be dystopian teen fiction, and I just couldn’t help comparing this work to The Hunger Games.
The two works are similar, as the action centers around a teenage girl protagonist who is about to become a major figure in a worldwide revolution. In the case of the main character Tris Prior, she isn’t about to face a Hunger Games, but something just like it.
The film begins with a voiceover explaining how the world in Divergent works. Apparently, this world is broken off into factions, and each of these factions are groups that behave in a certain way and play a role in their society.
For example, Amity are farmers who value friendship. Erudites value knowledge and do a lot of smart jobs. Candor is honest and are lawayers, maybe? Abnegation are selfless and do governmental things. Then there are the Dauntless, staunch militant people who defend the city.
Precisely what they defend the city from isn’t revealed, at least not in this book or film, and probably is more detailed in the sequels. Presumably, there was probably a great war of some kind, and this city of Chicago was the only one left, and the only way to survive was to deliberately cut society into these parts. There is a serious Brave New World vibe from this odd caste system, but at least in this work, humans pick which faction they want.
The book begins differently, with a lot of showing and not telling. Tris has grown up in an Abnegation house, and it is time for her to officially choose her faction. She has to take a test that will “help” her choose, but the final decision is still hers and hers alone.
Now, it is this test that I have a problem with. Since Divergent takes place in a future world, it is understandable that they have more advanced technology. This society has the ability to download dream-like scenarios into your brain, but most of the tech seems to be exactly what we have now, but with a post-apocalyptic twist. I don’t really see these two types of tech working together.
I have no idea how or why these factions developed, but you apparently have to be one of them. If not, you will be factionless, which is essentially being homeless. I’m guessing that the big metaphorical statement of this work is that teenagers feel like they have to conform to some clique, and this will affect them for the rest of their lives. There are the jocks, the nerds, etc.
From here, it seems that Tris experiences what happens in these dystopian teen books. That is, the main character works really hard and becomes the best. It happened to Katniss Everdeen, and it happens to Tris. There are spoilers ahead, so I’ll just go ahead and put a jump here.
Since we are getting into the holiday season since we started the month of October, it is time to think about gift ideas. I’m thinking anything by OGIO for a young or old active professional is good, and the Active and Ascent Packs would be a great big gift under the tree.
I’ll go ahead and start with the Apollo. It is a laptop backpack with a “streamlined” design for 15-inch laptops and a pocket made for tablets. Yes, it is made for the tech age and it has two stretch accessory pockets in the roomy main compartment for all the extras like chargers or even non-tech items like notebooks and textbooks. By the way, there is a side bottle pocket as well as an EVA molded top Tech pocket made for even more fragile stuff.
As for the Ascent, this thing looks like it could be used hiking through the mountains or some day-to-day activities. Like the Apollo, it also has a padded laptop compartment made for a 15-inch laptop with a a front organizer for the tablet. Also included is a hard-shelled Tech Vault on top, and the side water pocket.
It seems like these backpacks are a lot alike. However, if you want more information and have found your gift for yourself or someone else, find them on the OGIO site here for the Apollo Pack