Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Star Trek Beyond is the official third installment of the new film series

Star Trek Beyond / Star Trek 3 official movie poster - Justin Lin
This is either a space-travel sci-fi, or a multiethnic film noir

tl;dr: Star Trek Beyond is officially announced as the third installment of the new Star Trek reboot film series. The first two were directed by J.J. Abrams, and this one will be directed by Director Justin Lin. Much of the cast will remain the same, while the aliens will be new. Release date: mid 2016.

Trekkies, get out your pointed ears and work on those Vulcan salutes, because the new film reboot is kickin' it into gear once more. The official title of the work is "Star Trek Beyond," as confirmed by its director, Justin Lin.

Justin Lin will be replacing J.J. Abrams, who directed the first two movies in the reboot series, and he seems so excited to do Star Trek that he's chosen to go in an absolutely opposite direction from the original series.

That means you shouldn't expect nostalgic hark backs to Romulans and Klingons, because, according to Lin, "it's time to go further. It has been fun to focus on creating whole new worlds and species." Not sure yet whether that's a good or a bad thing, but at least we can rest assured that Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, and Simon Pegg will definitely be returning.

Release date is set for July 8, 2016 -- just two month before the series' 50th anniversary.

WikiLeaks Presents: The Euro Intercepts!

tl;dr: WikiLeaks just released new documents called The Euro Intercepts that clearly implicate the US's NSA and UK's GCHQ in espionage on French officials and businesses, reaching all the way up to President Fran├žois Hollande and even German Chancellor Angela Merkel.


Well done, NSA. Once again, you've managed to plop yourself down right in the middle of another broiling controversy that will almost certainly not help your reputation as degenerate peeping-toms.

WikiLeaks Euro Intercepts: NSA & GCHQ spying on France, Germany
Can't you just, like, chill out?
After that whole PRISM debacle, Obama promised the nation that the NSA would see strict reform, so that it might serve the betterment of the United States, instead of ceaselessly spying on its own citizens like we were some kind of enemy splinter cell.

Unfortunately, it appears that if the NSA isn't spying on us, then they need to spy on someone -- and that someone is Europe. Well, specifically, it's France and Germany, really, because it has been leaked that not only was the NSA involved, but it was collaborating with the GCHQ, which is basically the UK's NSA.

Oh snap!

Yeah, you can bet Germany is going to issue a sternly-worded press conference about it -- that oughta show us! Who knows how France is going to take it (inb4 surrender monkeys), but I can't imagine it will be not too enthusiastically.

Here we go again...

Monday, June 29, 2015

Microsoft sends off employees to AOL in austerity crunch

Microsoft lays off employees to power AOL search engine and video integration
MicroAol? Aolsoft? What do we call you now?!
Microsoft has laid off 1,200 employees, all of which are reported to have been offered jobs at AOL, the company whose web-search will now be powered by -- you guessed it -- Microsoft.

"Product focus." That's what Microsoft is calling it. Of course, we had a different name for it back in the day: "musical chairs." But let's give Big Ol' MS the benefit of the doubt, and assume that they truly are making this decision for the betterment of the company, and not the betterment of their wallets.

This is certainly not the first series of layoffs in recent times, this one striking just after Microsoft laid off workers following its purchase of a great deal of hardware assets from Nokia. It may also be worth mentioning that over a hundred of its data-collection engineers were also essentially sold to Uber, along with Microsoft assets, not more than 24 hours ago.

Microsoft employees, watch yo' backs!

Uber & Microsoft Bing make a trade

Uber maps improved by Microsoft Bing engineer buyout
An example of Uber maps in New York
It looks like Microsoft is shedding a bit of weight as the company pawns off a small portion of the Bing platform to the ever-infamous Uber service.

They are two companies that just don't seem like they'd have much common cloud (get it?) in the tech market, so you can imagine it comes as a bit of a surprise to see that they have come to such an incredible deal.

Microsoft, despite its reluctance to ever let go of their popular Bing search service, has chipped off a small piece and handed it over to Uber for a presumably sizable sum.That piece involves a few data-collection engineers from the Bing team, as well as some of its more secretive assets.

Naturally, the two companies have not disclosed the full details of the proceedings, but it seems like Uber is one step closer to completing its goal of being a well-rounded, totally self-reliant tech biz.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

SpaceX's Cargo Resupply Services 7 (CRS-7) Mission Blows Up

SpaceX CRS-7 Dragon Launch
SpaceX CRS-7 Dragon Launch; note the lucky shamrock
Welp, looks like we lost one, boys: a SpaceX resupply vessel to the Internation Space Station (ISS) recently exploded mid-flight, destroying all supplies on-board but harming no humans. The ISS will continue to function normally as supplies are stocked for several months.

Talk about a hard hit for Elon Musk and his SpaceX team. The failure of CRS-7, fully titled the "Cargo Resupply Services 7 Mission" comes at a time when backers were finally starting to eat out of the hands of the private sector space travel companies.

Losses include two HoloLens, a neat lab for studying the effect of space on human genes, and regular functionary supplies, though back-ups are ready thanks to good preparation and a little common sense: sometimes, high-velocity vehicles blow up.

You'll get 'em next time, SpaceX.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Apple Watch now to come with FaceTime and built-in camera!

The Apple Watch will be getting a sweet little addition to its newly-announced native SDK. The feature to be added? FaceTime, the ever-popular video calling app that has spread like wildfire across smartphones worldwide. While most smart watches and wearables are only really for notifications and simple info display, the Apple Watch will have a built-in camera that allows users to FaceTime.

This is revolutionary! Imagine just talking to a video monitor ON YOUR WRIST! It will be just like something out of a sci-fi show, with people activating comms on their wearables and instantly establishing a direct video connection. Wearables may be silly to look at, but that have advanced quite a bit in their short time here on Earth.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Holus 3D tabletop display, set for Q2 2016

Have you ever wanted to put on a 3D display from content on your computer? Just pull up the file and blow it up in three dimensions -- that's the goal of the Holus tabletop hologram device by H+ Technologies.

The device is a square platform that has a pyramid above it, made of translucent material, onto which the images may be projected from below. The angled viewing surface gives the hologram the illusion of having three dimensions, when in fact it is a two-dimensional projection.

Okay, so maybe it's not exactly the 3D hologram you were imagining -- but it's still pretty cool, right? Crowdfunding sources sure think so, depositing nearly double the $40K USD benchmark in just two hours of opening. Holus especially shows promise for game developers, who are eager to find fresh, immersive visuals for their products.

Expect the Holus to come out in mid 2016, for a retail price of around $850.