Samsung planning an Iron Man Galaxy S6

Iron Man Galaxy S6Well, should I be surprised at this headline? I’m thinking no. Still, it is good to see that Samsung Mobile’s marketing chief Lee Young-hee confirmed that the Samsung S6 and the S6 Edge are going to be out with an Iron Man edition.

So far, all we see is packaging here. I don’t see what the phone looks like, but I wouldn’t put it past it to have some hot-rod red on that with some gold thrown in on there. Avengers: The Age of Ultron has been in the theaters for the last two weeks, and this really should have been out by then.

Then again, I think people will always have a soft spot in their hearts for Iron Man. So, will the other Avengers be getting phones of their own? Why not? Shoot, some phones look like the Black Widow’s costume.

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Speculative Fiction Saturday: Left Behind (2014), you know, the Nicolas Cage one

left_behindOkay, I’m surprised that it took me so long to review this movie considering I reviewed the Kirk Cameron Left Behind one a while ago. I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to doing this, but I will tell you that this film is bad, so bad. And since I love doing good reviews of bad movies, I should have jumped on this one.

Since I did this on my last review, I won’t bother mentioned that they are based on books written by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. I remember watching the original 2000 movie and wondering why I didn’t see their names on the credits. I found out later that the authors were upset at the original version of this film, thinking it would have a much bigger budget. As a result, they went out of their way to make certain that there names were not there. For this Nicolas Cage version, their names are there, and they should not be.

This film is very unfaithful to the books, but it has the initial concept of the first book right. That is, the Rapture takes place. Like the first film, both the Christian people and the kids vanish in an event that I still don’t really believe in. In fact, when the Rapture takes place, it happens to the brother of Chloe Steele (Cassi Thomson) who vanishes in a hug, with his clothes being…do I need to say it? Even though this is the film’s most dramatic moments, it is so flippin’ funny. You can see this film’s first problem, especially in a scene in the shopping mall where kid’s clothes are falling from the next level. Why?

But who cares about that, this film has Nicolas Cage, and who doesn’t like him? Cage plays Rayford Steele, who isn’t the main character in the book, but it feels like this adaptation was made so he could be. In fact, the main character of the book, Buck Williams (Chad Michael Murray) is reduced to a side role.

Rayford is piloting an airplane when he realizes that people are disappeared. From here, the film ceases to be Left Behind like it should be and becomes Airplane III: The Rapture. Only Airplane I and Airplane II were funny because they were trying to be, but Left Behind is funny because it is supposed to be taken so, so seriously. I mean, it’s about the end of the world, but don’t worry, because the Antichrist doesn’t even show up. Instead, Nicolas Cage has to somehow land a plane full of people.

This is really what the film is about, and it has been done before, back in the 1970’s. Just like the scene with the falling clothes, some of the complications of this film don’t make any sense. In one scene, Chloe walks home only to have a School Bus almost hit her, and this is like half and hour after the Rapture happens. I could understand if that happened directly after the Rapture, but the time factor is just too long. Also, as Rayford’s plane is flying, it nearly hits another plane. Did everyone get Raptured on this plane? Shouldn’t we have shown that, or did we not want to focus on people who might get killed in an airplane crash because we’re trying to focus on those that won’t get killed in an airplane crash.

There are also scenes where I jokingly guessed how they would end, and they actually did them. For example, in a scene where Rayford is checking his pilot’s clothes for evidence of why he vanished, I said: “what’s he looking for a card that says John 3:16?” I was wrong, because Rayford finds John 3:16 written on this guy’s watch. I am serious as much as I was joking. At least we get to see Rayford Nicolas Cage the hell out of his vanished co-pilot’s wallet.

Well, needless to say, the plane gets landed, which ends this film on a much more positive note that it needs. It was very clear that this film would have had a sequel if it was a hit, but there is no way that Nicolas Cage, who is in everything, would agree to be in more of these films. So as I said in my last Left Behind review, this project was doomed from the start.

Fox is making a Minority Report series, and I am not pleased

Okay, I seem to recall that with my review of Minority Report, I declared it one of my favorite movies. Ever since I have declared that, I can’t seem to believe that I said that. Yeah, there are a lot of flicks out there, but this one works on a lot of levels. Yet this isn’t a review on Minority Report, the 2002 Tom Cruise movie, this is a a review of the Minority Report TV show…preview.

I can think of several things wrong with it. First of all, the show does not follow Tom Cruise’s character Jon Anderton. Instead, it focuses on a former pre-cog who is getting visions of the future.

Second, it doesn’t look like the Minority Report movie. Man, the movie was cool with the cobalt blue and whited out imagery. This show looks like…Almost Human. Oh yeah, that was a cool show Fox had, and they pulled the plug on it. I knew it was too good to last, and is the Minority Report TV show looks like its using its leftover sets.

I’m not going to support this one, nope. Maybe I should watch it first. Yeah, I guess I shouldn’t judge. You know what show I’m really looking forward to, The Muppets.

The WeMo Insight Switch from Belkin

WeMoI had a chance to review a Belkin product a while ago with the WeMo LED Lighting Set, and I have just had a chance to review the WeMo Insight Switch. As you can see, it is a literal plug-in that you just plug in to an outlet.

From there, you can just plug in an appliance and monitor it from anywhere with the help of a customized application. You can turn devices on or off, program customized notifications and change the device status, provided your tablet or smartphone is getting some bars. It is good for space heaters, TVs, washers, dryers, and anything else you can plug in.

There is a lot of versatility with this particular device as it will show you a laundry cycle, and it will even monitor your energy usage. If you want to reduce your electric bill, turn off the device from a distance. By the way, this WeMo collection is modular with other WeMo products.

If you want to try this out, feel free to head on over to the Belkin site and lay down $59.99 for it.

My Review of the V.360, a 360 Degree Camera

V.360I’m going to be honest with you and say that I have been wanting to review the V.360 from VSN Mobil for a long time. In fact, I may have received it before CES 2015, and I was hoping to take it with me there. My plan was to film events with it, and then do a lot of videos that you could watch by dragging around a 2D video so you can view an event from all angles.

This would be my first time that I have actually done a hands-on review one of these things. I first saw something like it at CES 2013 with the Geonaute 360 camera, and it never surfaced. Now there were two similar cameras at CES 2015 that I had a chance to see.

When I first had a chance to try it, it told me to download and app. This was a few months ago, and I couldn’t get the app to work with the lantern-shaped camera that you see in the image. Last week, I was going to see something cool and wanted it on 360 degrees, so I deleted the app that I had and downloaded it again.

From there, I had to charge the camera and have it sync with my smartphone. There were times when I tried to sync the camera and it didn’t work, but when it worked, you can see the results here on a beta site known as Littlstar. Yeah, I couldn’t figure out how to embed the video in HTML so you can see it here like I do when I normally do YouTube or other videos.

Just to let you know, I did a video of Palouse Falls. I even got a shot of someone asking me about the V.360 camera. That was a bonus. What wasn’t a bonus is that I should have tilted the camera down so you can see the drop where I was. Yeah, that wasn’t smart, but the only way I could see the footage was a weird ring-shaped window on my smartphone. I couldn’t figure out how to do 360 degrees on my touchscreen without that weird ring-window.

You might notice that there is some weird fog on the video as well, and this is because I think the glass got fogged up. The video is at 6480 x 1080 HD, and it is possible to get some still shots in 8 Megapixels. The V.360 can do videos with time lapse options as well as a surveillance mode. Other features include Bluetooth 4.0 with an included remote control, WiFi for syncing with the camera, USB 3.0 charging, and a slot for a micro SD Card capable of 128 GB.

You should be able to purchase the V.360 on the VSN Mobil site for about $449. That might be a lot, but honestly, I think that 360 degree cameras are the wave of the future as we enter the realm of the Oculus Rift.

Mobee Technology, Part 2: Magic Feet, Magic Case 2800, and the Power Bar

MagicFeetMain-2Well, this is our second round for reviewing Mobee technology, and I am pleased to review two other items that have their “Magic” label on them. The last one doesn’t have a “Magic” but it still does something good.

I will start with the Magic Feet, and it is designed to charge both the Apple Magic Mouse and the Wireless Keyboard (or Apple Magic Trackpad) simultaneously. It has an interesting design with a shape that I am having a hard time describing. Basically, you slide in the Wireless keyboard or Magic Trackpad, and it will charge it so you don’t have to worry about running out of AA batteries. Now it takes 10 hours for a full charge, but that is good for about 10 days.

In addition to the charging capability, the Magic Feet has four USB port in case you need them. As someone who constantly runs out of USB ports, I know that I need them. All in all, the Magic feet is one handy device for Apple owners, and it can be purchased on the Mobee site for about $149.90.

mobee Magic Case 2800The next item is the Magic Case 2800. This case surrounds the iPhone 6, and it is good for 2 full charges for Apple’s smartphone, and it is compatible with the other Mobee products like the Magic Feet and Magic Charger.

If you need some extra power for the road, just power the battery/case up via USB, and when your iPhone gets low, push and hold the button on the back for about 3 seconds.

Sure, there are other products like this, and a case like this usually costs. This particular one is available on the Mobee site for about $79.90, but only in black.

mobee power barOkay, the last product is called the Power Bar, and I don’t think that is a good name, as there is a product that you can eat that isn’t a rechargeable USB Battery Pack for your Apple Wireless Keyboard or Apple Magic Trackpad.

This is what this is, and at first look at the Mobee site, I thought it was the Magic Bar. That is a different product, but it seems kind of similar. To use the Power Bar, you remove the two AA batteries from the Apple Wireless Keyboard or Apple Magic Trackpad. Then insert the Power Bar in the Apple device, then connect the USB cable to any USB port. If you ever need a charge, just connect the USB cable.

I can’t find the Power Bar on the Mobee site, but it is on Amazon for about $29.90.

Nintendo working on a Theme Park with Universal Studios

Nintendo Theme ParkIn case you don’t know, Nintendo is very picky about how much it lends out its intellectual property. Yes, the eighties had the Nintendo cereal system, but you might notice that there was not a Legend of Zelda movie after Super Mario Brothers was released.

I have to admire Nintendo for that, but the company has inked an deal with Universal studios to have a theme park based on Nintendo properties. You know, this is really interesting, as I have recently heard a review of Universal’s theme park from “Some Jerk with a Camera” (he’s on Channel Awesome with the Nostalgia Critic) saying that Universal has no rides devoted to its intellectual property since they closed down the Back to the Future ride. Not only that, they replaced the Back to the Future ride with the Simpsons ride, which is Fox property.

Okay, so if Universal wants to make exhibits based on Nintendo properties, then it should bring a real life Mario Kart. Come on, why would you not do that? With turtle shells that you can fire and lots of speed? Oh man, please make that a reality Universal.

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Mobee Technology, Part 1: Magic Hub, Magic Charger, and Smart Cable

MobeeI’ve got to love Mobee Technology products, and I had a chance to try out several of them, which leads to a two-part posting. I’ll star with the Magic Hub, which is essentially an additional USB charging port for the iMac.

As you can see, you can stick it on the back of iMac by unplugging the original power cord from the iMac, then insert the Magic Hub into the hole on the neck of the iMac. Then you have to screw in the Magic Hub, and plug in the original power cord. Then you have to connect a provided USB 3.0 cable from the Mobee Magic Hub to the iMac. Personally, I think that last step should be optional because if the cord is in the Magic Hub, shouldn’t there be power?

Well, at least you get an additional three USB ports to your iMac, and it will charge devices when it is off. There is also 2.1 Amps power output form each USB port. Sound like something that you want? Get it for about $49.90 on the Mobee site.

mobee magic chargerAll right, so let’s talk about the Magic Charger. This is a product designed to work with another Apple Accessory, the famed Magic Mouse. The Magic Charger comes with a battery pack that will fit with the Magic Mouse, and a pad for inductive charging capability.

If you aren’t familiar with inductive charging, it is when you lay something on a pad and forget about it while it charges. I always think Powermat, and this Magic Charger would be a mini-powermat. The cool part is you can use this miniature pad to charge the Magic Juice.

If you like this, you can get it on the Mobee site for about $49.90, and you have the option of purchasing an extra battery pack for about $29.90.

MobeeOkay, now the last product is the Smart Cable, which is…a USB to Micro USB cable. Uh, yeah, we have seen that before. Sure most of us get that with our Android phone, but there are some things that might not come with yours.

For example, it is very flat, which makes it very good for not tangling. Oh, and it is made of recyclable materials. Also, you can use it for charging smart phones, Bluetooth speakers, and power banks.

So, it is a Smart Cable. I honestly don’t know what else that I can say about it, really. If you want it, head to the Mobee site and pay $14.90 for it.

Void Changes VR Games, and Samsung Gear VR

If you haven’t heard of Void before, then I guarantee that you will want to hear more about it. The Void is a virtual reality experience like no other, and I’m not certain who can top it.

Designed by Ken Bretschneider, it is essentially a virtual gaming center with 60 x 60 foot rooms, allowing people to play while fully immersed in another world. On the surface, these rooms are just covered with foam, but thanks to the power of a VR headset, you can explore the inside of a spaceship or face a dragon.

The Void has a team of 30 developing this technology, and they want to have a headset with a curved screen with 160 to 180 degrees of viewing, not to mention body-tracking systems and gloves that players can wear.

You should be able to visit the Void in Salt Lake City as soon as the summer of 2016. After that, it is just a matter of coming up with new VR experiences every three months, and it really shows that the holodeck is really just around the corner.

In other news, it would appear that the Gear VR for the Galaxy S6 is now officially on sale, with a limited rollout at Best Buy for about $199. I wonder if the Void can use this tech to help them?

Speculative Fiction Saturday: Avengers, The Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of UltronOkay, so I have another Marvel movie to review, and this time, I’m not going to give this one a negative review. It isn’t as bad as The Amazing Spider-man 2, but not as good as Guardians of the Galaxy.

The problem with these Marvel movies is there is a lot at stake. Now that they are in the Cinematic Universe, almost every character in the Avengers has a movie of their own, and each one is based in Source material that is decades-old. Director Joss Whedon, who did a terrific job on the first Avengers movie as well as almost everything else that he touches, really had a tough job making a sequel.

I’m going to start out by explaining the film’s flaws, which means that I have to bring up elements of the plot and a few spoilers. The film begins with an action-packed scene that Whedon wanted to be reminiscent of a James Bond movie. You know, with an action scene that barely ties in with the plot? In this case, it does propel the plot, which is my biggest complaint.

You see, the Avengers are invading the castle of Baron Strucker, a big man at HYDRA (a big enemy group established in the Captain America films). The whole reason why they are there is to get the staff of Loki, and I have no idea how that prop from the first film ended up there. While Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, is attempting to retrieve the staff, but has a hex put on him by the Scarlet Witch. I’ll explain more about this character later, but needless to say, Tony suddenly has a huge fear of an alien invasion even greater than the first movie.

When the Avengers get back to their headquarters, which looks very impressive, Tony is suddenly obsessed with creating Artificial Intelligence greater than that of his own AI program Jarvis. This results in Ultron, who I will have to say is created far too quickly in this film. This is my biggest complaint of this film, was that Ultron was created too easily. I’m not certain how you could have done this if you wanted Ultron early in the film, but maybe they could have developed it throughout some of the other Marvel movies like second Captain America and Thor movies. Heck, the seeds of this could easily been planned in the third and awful Iron Man movie.

Personally, this quick development was the film’s major flaw, but I have heard that the original version of this film was much longer and drew out this storyline to its proper length. I would have to say that another major flaw was the film is actually too awesome. Avengers: Age of Ultron is what audiences want, which is a huge film that has riveting action, and it delivers. In fact, it does its job so well, that I kind of had a headache after it was over. I did watch it in 3-D, so I think this was just a sensory overload. Perhaps we are living in an age where you have to pack so much awesomeness in your film just to bring in audiences.

However, Whedon did a terrific job mixing story with action. There is a plot establishing an odd relationship with the Black Widow and the Hulk. It works. Hawkeye is more flushed out in this film, and it is revealed that he has a family. That works. Ultron is a villain that works. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are villains at the beginning and then betray Ultron for reasons that work. Vision is introduced, and he works, so well.

The film has a lot of interesting “holes” in it. Thor leaves in this film to do I’m not certain, and I think it has something to do with the third Thor movie and the Avengers sequels. I believe that the fates of Captain America and Iron Man will show up in the third Captain America movie.

Clearly, Age of Ultron is the future of films with more big-budget awesomeness and attachment to a cinematic universe franchise. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future these will be the only films that we show in the theaters, with everything else coming straight to Netflix and other digital formats.