The Humble Nindie Bundle Features Two Important Firsts

Humble Nindie BundleHumble Bundles are awesome because they give people a way to pick up some great games for a low price and, at the same time, allow them to support a charity. The current Humble Bundle is called the Humble Nindie Bundle and it features not one, but two, “firsts”.

The Humble Nindie Bundle is presented by Nintendo eShop. This Humble Bundle is named after Nintendo’s initiative to support independent developers. This is the first time that Nintendo has made its games available for sale through Humble Bundle. It is also the first time Humble Bundle has put console games up for sale.

The games in the Humble Nindie Bundle are for either the 3DS or Wii U (and some are for both). The three games offered in the “pay what you want” category are: Guacamelee! Woah Dave! And Mighty Switch Force!

Pay $10 or more and you can unlock two more games: Stealth Inc 2 and SteamWorld Dig. There is also a category of games that unlock if you pay more than the average of $9.20. Three of those games have been revealed: The Fall, OlliOlli and Moon Chronicles. More games will be revealed later.

The charity that will benefit from this Humble Bunde is Code.org It is a non-profit that is dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color.

Vox Media Acquires Recode.net

Recode Logo The New York Times reported that Re/code is being acquired by Vox Media. It was an all-stock deal and the financial terms have not been disclosed. The deal would give Re/code access to a wider audience than it currently has.

Re/code was founded by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg. Both of them will be joining Vox Media. Re/code is going to continue to publish news on recode.net. Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher wrote a note at Re/code that gives some further information. It starts with:

We are thrilled to announce that Re/code’s parent company, Revere Digital, is being wholly acquired by the highly respected digital-native media company Vox Media. This is the next big step in our mission to bring you quality tech journalism, because our work will now be amplified and enhanced by Vox Media’s deep and broad skill set.

The note goes on to say that Re/code will collaborate with Vox Media’s current successful tech news site, The Verge. It acknowledges that there will be occasional overlap, and states that Re/code is focused on the business of tech while The Verge is focused on covering tech from a lifestyle perspective.

The New York Times reported that Re/code had 44 full-time employees and three contract employees. Those employees were expected to join Vox. The New York Times says that Vox would not elaborate on potential staffing changes.

Biomethane Bus sets new Land Speed Record

Reading Buses logoWe don’t usually think of buses as being speedy things. And usually, we don’t actually want them to be going too fast. But a new type of bus, dubbed “Bus Hound” in England, has set a new land speed record for vehicles of its type. What’s even more surprising about this is that the bus is powered by biomethane made from cow manure.

While on a test track, Bus Hound reached a top speed of 76.785 miles per hour, earning it the accolade of fastest bus on Earth. Normally, these types of buses aren’t capable of exceeding 56 miles per hour. But Reading Buses, the company responsible for Bus Hound, made some adjustments to the vehicle in order to give it the 20+ extra mph needed to eclipse the previous record.

Bus Hound is painted with black and white spots, similar to the dairy cows that are responsible for most of the UK’s milk production. This paint scheme is also indicative of the bus’s biomethane system which is powered by fuel that’s created when special bacteria digest cow manure inside a bioreactor. The fuel is then compressed, liquefied, and stored in tanks on Bus Hound’s roof. Biomethane works in a combustion engine in a way similar to natural gas. The fuel is considered to be a green alternative to gasoline because it requires no extraction of fossil fuels from the ground and it also keeps the methane that would’ve happened naturally thru manure decay to enter the atmosphere.

No word yet as to just what Bus Hound smells like when it’s causing by at 56 miles per hour, however.

Gigaom.com Acquired by Knowingly Corp

Knowingly Corp logoKnowingly Corp, an internet startup that is based in Austin, has announced that it acquired a portion of the assets of Gigaom.com. Those assets include the website gigaom.com and the content library.

Gigaom was founded in 2006 by Om Malik as a technology blog. It grew to become one of the industry’s respected sources for tech-related news, events, and research. Knowingly was founded by Byron Reese in 2014. Knowingly offers a number of websites and services. One of them is Correctica, a tool that catches errors in documents and websites that spell checkers miss.

Knowingly plans to relaunch the Gigaom site on August 15, 2015.

GNC #1034 Plugging Ourselves In!

If your a geek you have at least once in your lifetime wished your could just plugin and integrate with the net. With our mobile phones in our hands we can just about do that, but what about becoming a Cyborg? I talk about this and more serious topics like Memorial day and all the tech news I could dig up. Please support our new sponsor as well Casper.

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GNC #1033 Title II Ramifications

We are starting to see some of the Title II Ramifications, I talk about some industry observations and the FCC discussion on ISP customer privacy. I also address a listeners concern in tonight’s show. Please support our new sponsor as well Casper.

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Booq Taipan Shock Backpack Review

booq LogoThe Booq Taipan Shock is a lightweight laptop backpack for devices with screens up to 16″, designed to store the laptop safely in a padded section, placing all the accoutrements of mobile life in other pockets and compartments. As can be seen in the photos, it’s a relatively big backpack at 46 × 33 × 21 cm giving it a large internal volume for plenty of gear. The outer material is 1680D triweave water-repellent polyester closed with YKK zips and all the stitching is neatly finished and taped over on the inside. The specs say it weighs just under a kilo.

Booq Taipan Shock back

Booq Taipan Shock strap sideThe dedicated laptop section is closest to the back side of the Shock and has padding on all sides with a flash of red material. The Shock easily took a chunky HP ProBook with a 15.6″ screen and a more svelte 13″ Lenovo Yoga looked almost lost inside the padded laptop pocket.

Booq Taipan Shock laptop pocket

In the main section, there’s a selection of zipped pockets, netted areas, pen-holders and slots for paper pads. There’s plenty of room for books and lunchboxes too.

Inside the Taipan Shock

Booq Taipan Shock Removable KeyringThe Taipan Shock has loads of neat features. To start with all the zips are YKK’s water-repellent versions, so once closed up the bag will keep gear dry in a rain shower. As the zips are covered with a layer of material, they look neat and tidy, with none of the zip teeth showing. For convenience, one of the side pockets has a detachable keyring, and while the arm straps can be adjusted for fit, any extra webbing can be neatly wrapped and retain with velcro to stop it flapping around. Finally on the rear of the backpack, there’s a pocket that’s just the right size for an ereader or 7″ tablet, which is handy for easy access.

Booq TagsThe Taipan Shock looks very smart in grey but for a bit of brightness a few coloured leather pull-tabs are included which can be swapped in. It’s a neat touch.

Finally, the Booq Taipan Shock comes with Terralinq, a service designed to reunite lost bags with owners. By pairing a serial number on the backpack with the purchaser, the Shock can be returned should it be found.

Overall, the Booq Taipan Shock is a well-made backpack that has plenty of pockets and space for safely toting larger laptops. The Taipan Shock is vailable from Amazon.co.uk with an RRP of £80.

Thanks to Booq for the loan of the Taipan Shock.

Robot Underpants: 05.20.15 (203) “The Scoble Episode”

Baron Mat “Langley” Luschek, “Starman” Michael Gaines and Eric Rice welcome Robert Scoble to the show for this all tech-talk episode! We discuss the future of virtual reality vs augmented reality, 360 video coming to Facebook(?), Dubai, Maker Faire and more!

It was a fantastic show, but thanks to Google/YouTube jacking up the video from the Hangout, this is all you get.

Divoom Airbeat-10 Bluetooth Speaker Review

Divoom LogoIt’s rare that products sent for review offer any great surprises: usually gadgets arriving on my desk meet my expectations in terms of build, functionality and price. However, occasionally a device delivers more than expected and I’m pleased to say that this is one such occasion. The Divoom Airbeat-10 punches well above its weight with loudness and clarity that belies its diminutive size. Sorry if this ruined the review but let’s take a look anyway.

The Divoom Airbeat-10 is portable Bluetooth speaker with speakerphone. It’s splashproof and comes with a suction cup and bike mount, though Airboot is just as happy to sit on the table or hang from a hook. A USB to micro-USB cable is included for charging and a 3.5 mm stereo lead comes in the box for devices without Bluetooth.

Airbeat-10 Contents

The Airbeat-10 is about 9 cm along the sides and around 4.5 cm tall. Covered in a soft touch rubber, it’s available in four colours; black, white, red and blue. An LED on the top lights up to show Bluetooth and charging activity, on the side there are four buttons for power, phone functions and volume up/down, along with a covered port for USB charging and 3.5 mm aux in. On the back of the Airbeat is a standard camera screw mount which is used for the suction cup and bike attachment but can be used with other camera accessories such as a GorillaPod. The Airbeat 10 weighs in at 155 g, meaning that it’s not hollow plastic.

Airbeat-10 Buttons

Pairing is straightforward. Turn the Airbeat-10 on, search from the Bluetooth settings on the phone or tablet and pair up. Easy-peasy and time to make some noise.

And this is where the Airbeat-10 delivered well beyond my expectation – it produced rich and surprisingly loud sound for such a small device. Certainly it’s not audiophile hi-fi and it’s not stereo but for a pocket-sized portable device the Airbeat-10 is very good indeed. Music comes across well through the range with little of the tinniness normally associated with small lightweight devices and good amount of lower end bass.

Airbeat Speaker with SuckerI had the Airbeat on my desk for the review period and it was great to have it handy for a quick listen for both music and podcasts. It’s portability and wireless connectivity meant that I could move it round my desk as I needed space. Battery life is a claimed six hours and that seems about right – I found that I needed to charge the Airbeat-10 once or twice a week depending on usage.

The Airbeat-10 is splashproof as well and with the suction mount, it’s ideal for use in the shower. I whacked it onto the tiles with the sucker, started the radio app before stepping in and listened to the morning news in the shower without getting my smartphone wet. Excellent.

There are three minor issues that I found with the Airbeat. First, when using it as a speakerphone, the microphone on the side needed to be pointing at the speaker otherwise the caller on the other end of the line didn’t hear too well. The second was that sometimes “silence detection” seemed to be overly aggressive and between music tracks or between people talking in podcasts, the Airbeat would go silent (presumably to save power) but then there would be a small pop as the sound restarted and the first half-second of speech or music would be lost. Adjusting the volume upwards on the smartphone or tablet usually helped. Finally, the soft touch rubber coating was a bit of a fluff magnet!

These niggles aside, I was impressed by the Divoom Airbeat-10. Although small, the quality of the sound and volume is better than anything I’ve heard at this size, and the portability and wireless connectivity make it the perfect casual speaker whether in the office, in the shower or out-and-about. At this time of year, I’d recommend it to the music Festival crowd and later in the year I’d be suggesting it as a great stocking-filler.

The Divoom Airbeat-10 is available from retailers worldwide with an RRP of £29.99 in the UK.

Thanks to Divoom for the Airbeat-10 for review.

GNC #1032 Hacking a Plane Mid-Air?

Tonight a little experiment with the show notes feedback appreciated if you notice. Two full weeks of activities here wit my oldest sons graduation party, graduation and family flying in.. Plan on putting shows out on schedule at the point. I will see how the news is on Memorial day. Enjoy tonight’s show as I digg into Hacking a Plane and all the tech news. Please also note our new sponsor. Casper.

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