Google’s major developer conference, Google I/O, went down this week. Was it a bit of a letdown? Probably. Did cool stuff still come out of the event? Eh? Maybe? We discuss these topics and more this week on the TC Gadgets podcast. In fact, we even had Frederic Lardinois join as a guest, along with John Biggs, Matt Burns, Jordan Crook (that’s me!), Romain Dillet, and Darrell Etherington as Bob McKenzie.
We invite you to enjoy our weekly podcasts every Friday at 3pm Eastern and noon Pacific.
Intro Music by Rick Barr.
Microsoft previously promised Surface Pro availability in the UK this month, but it’s revealing an exact date and pricing today. Brits will be able to purchase Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablet on May 23rd, priced at £719 for the 64GB model and £799 for the 128GB version. The usual Surface accessories will also be available, including the Touch and Type Covers.
Expansion to other European markets will take place on May 30th, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Other international markets like Australia, Hong Kong, and New Zealand, will see Surface Pro availability by the end of May too.
Question by Geenaluz: What is your perspective in the future about televisions? The Good or the bad.
Answer by amp9C1 v2.0I would like to see CRT’s stick around for awhile, but by the end of the decade I wouldn’t doubt if all CRT production stopped. If/when Funai pulls the plug, that’ll be just about it. Mitsubishi called it quits way back in ’01, Philips/Magnavox has caved into Funai along with Sylvania and Emerson, Lucky-Goldstar/Zenith (LG) has called it quits, Sony has called it quits, Samsung has given up with its SlimFit CRT’s except in the Middle East and a few other places, Toshiba has given up, RCA seems to be phasing them out, Sanyo’s given up, Sharp gave up about two years ago, brands keep consolidating…
I would really like to see mass-production of SED or FED televisions. It’ll probably kill off the CRT for good, and probably accelerate the death of the plasma, and probably drag down LCD/LED as well. I’m a little more skeptical about OLED though. And DLP/LCoS projection will be gone sooner or later.
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Now that the PS2′s started taking steps toward retirement with Sony ceasing its production in Japan, it seems GameStop doesn’t plan to continue letting the console under its roof for long. According to a leaked in-store display posted to Reddit by eGORapTure, the gaming retailer will longer accept the over 12-year old system for trade-ins as of June 1st. Our friends at Joystiq contacted multiple stores confirm the news to confirm the news and many said the policy is indeed set to go into affect. Unsurprisingly, PS2-related accessories and titles will also be unwelcome when the date rolls around. We’ve reached out to GameStop’s corporate representatives for comment and will let you know what we hear back. For now, you can find the full picture of the display after the break and more info at the via and source links. Hey, gotta make room for those PS4 boxes — whatever they end looking like — somehow, right?
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Google recently announced Provo, UT and Austin, TX are on its list of Fiber expansions, and now it’s added another region near Kansas City. The city council of Shawnee, KS has voted to bring in the 1Gbps internet / TV combo, although Google isn’t ready to put a timetable on the rollout yet. We’re sure passed over Kansas City-area residents are happy to see Google Fiber has expanded its footprint a couple of times, but the rest of us are just as envious as ever.
It’s no secret that Portal co-creator Kim Swift has been developing an Ouya-exclusive game, but details regarding it had been kept under wraps until today. Dubbed Soul Fjord, the Airtight Games-developed title fuses Norse mythology with ’70s Funk and Soul, and charges its main character Magnus Jones with climbing the World Tree to demand an invitation to Ragnarok, “the party that will end the world.” Gameplay hasn’t been shown quite yet, but the experience is described as a dungeon-crawler with rhythm-based combat that’ll see players battle their way through randomly generated areas. Do the hustle past the break to catch the game’s first trailer and a developer video diary.
Filed under: Gaming
One of the hacks at Disrupt NY’s Hackathon this year employed hardware startup Leap Motion’s new 3D gesture controller, which unfortunately just ran into a delay. Leap Motion’s issues aside, this project, the combined effort of Chao Huang, Cedrich Pinson and Jorge Martinez, brings a Facebook Home-style experience to the desktop.
With “Leap in Time,” Leap Motion is used to navigate through a Facebook timeline via hand gestures that are intended to be as natural and intuitive as possible. You swipe left and right to go through photos and posts, and there’s inertia built-in to make it feel even more immersive. Then there’s a motion to pause and focus on a particular piece of content, with a palm outward gesture, and you can simply make a thumbs up to like a post.
Working with the Leap Motion was fairly simple, the team said, but does seem to experience difficulty with some environment issues like changing lighting conditions. It’s also crucial to maker sure that the Leap Motion app you’re building is cued to pay attention to certain things at certain times and to ignore specific motions in different settings. You have to cue the app to not pay attention to sideways hand waving when you want it to be able to recognize the thumbs up, for instance.
The hack was surprisingly smooth given that it was built in fewer than 24 hours, and Huang said there’s plenty more they could do given more time, but they wanted to focus on what they considered the core Facebook experience. The project is also reminiscent of a recent concept design making the rounds of a Facebook Home app for Windows 8.
Leap in Time is a simple enough implementation of Leap Motion, but it does act as a pretty solid example of how gesture control might actually work well for navigating apps and software that we use every day. I know that Leap Motion is eager to get as much software as possible into Airspace, the app store for the controller, but this team said they weren’t sure whether they’d actually pursue this any further.
Full source code at: https://bitbucket.org/poglad/pychip8/src Guy Carpenter ported Adafruit’s SSD1306 OLED display driver code into Python and made it run on…Related Posts: