Solar Impulse Landing Hawaii (Live)

Geek News Central will be on hand and streaming the live the Landing of the Solar Impulse 2 Landing in Honolulu estimated to happen at 6am HST or 9am PST.  I will bring the stream alive at 8:30am PST.  There is an official stream at SolarImpulse.com

Please follow @geeknews on Twitter and my Facebook page for Updates leading up to the live landing.

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Leading Ladies 2 is the Current Humble Weekly Bundle

Leading Ladies 2 Humble BundleThe Humble Bundle provides people who love to play video games with an excellent offer. Pay what you want. Decide how much of the money you spend goes to the game developers and how much goes to a charity. The current Humble Weekly Bundle is called Leading Ladies 2. It features games that have prominent female characters in them. At the time I am writing this blog, this Humble Bundle has 4 days left.

Pay what you want to get the first three games in the Bundle. Triune 2: Complete Story is a game of action, puzzles, and platforming. One of the playable characters is Zoya the Thief.

Lumino City is sequel to Lume. It begins where the first game left off. Lumi needs to explore the city in order to find out more about her Grandad. The game involves exploring, and players must figure out puzzling mechanisms.

Hack ‘n’ Slash is a puzzle action game that is about “hacking” (reprograming object properties, global variables, and creature behaviors in the game). The game is currently in early access.

Pay more than the average of $4.27 and you unlock two more games. A City Sleeps is an action game driven by an experimental hip hop / electronic soundtrack. The main character is a woman named Poe who uses ghost familiars to interact with the world.

The Marvellous Miss Take features Miss Sophia Take. Players must reclaim sculptures and paintings. The game involves stealth and distraction and combines a puzzle game with an action game.

Pay $12.00 or more, and you get two additional games. Gravity Ghost is a gravity hopper where players run, jump and orbit their way through a galaxy. There’s no killing, no dying, and no way to fail.

Sunset features the character Angela Burnes, and players discover her thoughts as they play the game. She is a US citizen at the end of the 1960’s who was inspired by the Black Power and civil rights movements. It is an adventure game.

As always, you get to choose how much of what you spend goes towards the developers and how much goes to a charity. This time, the charity is Girls Make Games. It is an educational company based in San Jose, California. They provide girls with access to knowledge thorough their games and programs, including their Girls Make Games summer camps and workshops.

GNC #1043 No More IPV4 Addresses

Solar Impulse is landing at approxiamentally 6am HST and I will be at the airport streaming live. I encourage you to watch both my coverage and that of SolarImpulse.com. Tonight show was recorded early to prepare the gear I will need for tomorrow mornings landing. It should be a huge press event and we will be leaving at 4am to cover it. Lots of tech tonight in a very very hot studio, it finally has happened their are no more IPV4 addresses.

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Celebrating 10 Years of Godaddy as Podcast Sponsor!

godaddyIn June of 2005 I received a call from GoDaddy saying we want to sponsor Geek News Central, that was a monumental day as only 1-2 podcast had established any type of podcast sponsorship’s by then. July 2015 marks the completion of 10 full years of GoDaddy being a sponsor of Geek News Central. Almost everything I have done in the Podcasting space from that day forward was largely made possible by GoDaddy.

I know if their was a Guinness Book of World Records entry for the longest / continuous running Podcast Sponsor GoDaddy and I would own that record outright. No other podcast in the history of the Podcasting space has had the same sponsor for 10 years.

I  tell my audience that GoDaddy keeps the lights on and my family fed, and they truly do. But let me also say that over the years I have had to continue to deliver new customers to GoDaddy for this relationship to have gotten this far. While their have been highs and lows from a new customer acquisitions basis we have always delivered great deals to my audience and at the same time met the ROI objectives of the company.

I know 10’s of thousands of customers use GoDaddy today because they have supported this show, they have shared our promo codes, and found great value in the product offers. I have had no less than 4 separate sponsor coordinators over the years, and each has been magnificent. This relationship has been unique, in that I have had direct access to the entire GoDaddy team providing feedback that has improved their customer service and product offerings. My audience has even asked for specific features to be added to their services which have found their way into the production line.

Some of most exciting campaigns have been helping launch new product offerings like the recent Website Builder launch which is a incredible product for business owners. GoDaddy’s Website Builder makes it easy for almost any business to meet their online goals. Most importantly I use the entire GoDaddy product line on a daily basis, and truly believe in the product that I promote to my audience. Recent marketing changes at GoDaddy has gone a long way to making the ladies that listen to my show take a closer look at their products and services.

I encourage you to look at the full line of GoDaddy product offerings as we start on our 10+ year of having GoDaddy as our primary sponsor. Please check out all of the available offers on our dedicated GoDaddy Promo Codes page.

Most importantly Thank you to the GoDaddy team for the long relationship and I look forward to many years of continued success.

GNC #1042 Solar Impulse Hawaii Bound

The Solar Impulse Aircraft took off just about 1 day ago and is no on it’s way to Hawaii which if all goes well I will be at the airport when it lands. I have been invited by the team to their press release and to interview the pilot. We will see what kind of craziness happens once they land in Hawaii on the 4th of July.

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Instagram Gets Revamped Explore & Search Features

Lainstagram1st week Instagram released a major update to its mobile apps, most notably including a revamped “Explore” page and streamlined search functionality. The Explore tab will bring up trending topics and hashtags in real-time. Users will also find curated photo collections, such as Ancient Ruins, Glimmeinstagram7ring Islands, and Extreme Athletes.

In addition, search will now bring up the most relevant posts for a search term, rather thaninstagram6 displaying all posts with that tag. This will make it easier to find the most relevant, interesting content without having to comb through dozens of irrelevant images.

 

 

Instagram 7.0 is available now for iOS and Android. The update is currently only available for US users, with an international release coming soon.

GNC #1041 The Breach Gets Bigger

I cannot help but talk about the new revelations on the OPM Breach. I talk about that and share with you all of the tech news of the day. To include some remarkable space stories and even a deep dive into a space shuttle trainer.

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Creative Sound Blaster Roar Review

Creative LogoWhile everyone’s eyes have been on drones, portable Bluetooth speakers have been the sleeper hit of the past few years. From low-fi to hi-fi and prices to match, there’s a speaker for everyone. On review here is Creative’s Sound Blaster Roar, a compact portable Bluetooth wireless speaker with NFC, though this description sells it short by a long way. Let’s take a look.

To start with, the SoundBlaster Roar is about the size of four DVD boxes stacked on top of each other, though it’s a bit narrower (57 x 202 x 115 mm). It’s no lightweight either with a bit of mass (1.1 kg), which is reassuring when it comes speakers. There’s metal mesh on four sides and a swathe of controls, slots and sockets on the fifth with soft touch rubber which spills over onto the top. The design itself won a Red Dot Award in 2014.

Creative Roar

Some of the controls are self-evident such as the power button and volume controls, but it’s not immediately apparent why there are buttons for record, play and pause. Even more surprising and concerning is the switch marked “ARM”, which fortunately is in the off position for now.

The Roar is much more than a Bluetooth wireless speaker. It’s a hands-free speaker phone, a USB digital sound card, an MP3 player, an audio recorder, microSD card reader, a battery pack and a siren. It’s quite the box of tricks with versatility to take it from the office to the party.

Powering up the Roar plays a satisfying little jingle – it’s on and ready to rock. Starting with the basics and playing music from a smartphone, it’s straightforward to pair the Roar, with a choice of two techniques. Pair via the normal Bluetooth passcode or else swipe the NFC hotspot on the Roar to automatically set the pairing, assuming your device has NFC.

With the pairing done, it’s time to play some music. Given Creative’s long history in audio, it’s not unsurprising that the Roar sounds good. For it’s size, it’s very good indeed which rich sound that’s far bigger than the box itself. To achieve this presence, the Roar houses five speakers in the unit’s body, with sets of speakers tuned to deliver in the bass, mid and high frequency ranges. For extra volume, the ROAR button will turn it up to eleven, through it needs to be plugged into the mains to get maximum volume output.

The Roar is a portable speaker and as a necessity there’s a built-in battery that according the specs gives eight hours of playback. I’m not going to disagree with that – it’s in the right space. The Roar can be recharged either from a supplied power brick or via micro-USB through a port on the rear. There’s a full size USB port too for recharging other devices such as smartphones and tablets from the Roar. Battery status is shown by three round green LEDs on the top.

That’s the main presentation out of the way and if that’s all that’s needed from a portable wireless speaker, the Roar delivers well and is worthy of closer inspection.

Creative Roar

But it’s so much more. As the speaker pairs with smartphones via Bluetooth, it’s not entirely unexpected that Roar doubles up as a speakerphone. In use, call quality was good and echo was minimal, and unlike most speakerphones, the audio from the phone call can be recorded to the inserted microSD card. Potentially a useful feature, but check the legality of recording conversations in the relevant jurisdiction.

The Roar works as a USB audio device too, and installation is largely limited to plugging a USB cable between the PC and Roar. Windows auto-loads the drivers and a few seconds later, the Roar is good to go to play music (and other sounds) from the PC. In this mode, the Roar is powered by the PC and the battery charges up as well. The Roar complements music streaming services such as Spotify or Google Music.

Next up, the Creative Roar can work as a standalone music speaker. Load up a microSD card with mp3s and pop it into the Roar. There are simple controls for play, next track, previous track, repeat and shuffle.

Finally, returning to the ARM button, the Roar has a siren feature. Arm the unit with the switch at the top and press the Alarm button to get a whoop-whoop siren to get everyone’s attention. What more could you want?

Overall this a portable wireless speaker that is crammed full of features and the Roar is everything you need for music on the go, in the office or at home. It’s a great sounding wireless Bluetooth speaker, speakerphone, call recorder, MP3 player, USB digital sound card, battery pack and personal alarm in a portable package costing GB£129. There’s nothing to quibble about here, though I’d really like to see it in yellow. Available now from good retailers and direct from Creative’s store.

Thanks to Creative for the loan of the Roar.

3 Queens Launched Mobile Game at E3

Creeping With the CrudashiansThere’s been a ton of news that came out of E3, especially from the bigger, well known, companies. So, you might have missed hearing about a fun mobile game that was created by a small company called 3 Queens. It is an all-woman owned gaming development and publishing company that is based in South Carolina.

The first mobile game from 3 Queens is called Creeping with the Crudashians. It is intended to be a parody of “America’s reality TV royal family” – the Kardashians (and their show, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”. ) The game is also a critique of celebrity vanity in general.

Creeping with the Crudashians is a Match 3 game that is available for both iOS and Android users. Give 3 Queens your email, and get on their list, if you want to know exactly when the game launches. I’ve subscribed, in part because I like to support women who are in the gaming industry, and also because I’m so very tired of all the “news” about whatever the Kardashians are doing. I think I’m really going to enjoy this game!

The game includes characters that resemble the Kardashians. There’s Cym, Crusty, Crassy, Crawly, Crewelina, and more. The concept of the game is to poke fun at the major milestones and events of the Crudashians based on their career timeline. To win a level, players must match tiles to increase their fame, break sex tapes, etc., with an overall goal to gain the ever elusive talent.

The in-game currencies are Fame, and Talent. The game does allow for micro-transactions. You can purchase Fame, but you can’t buy Talent. Fame, however, is abundant in the game and the default reward for anything a player does. The official public launch of Creeping with the Crudashians is this July. It will be available on both the iTunes and Play! stores.

Previous to creating this game, the 3 Queens (Cara Florence, Nicole Young, and Maureen Coffey-Edri) created an app called WeConsent2 It is an affirmative consent application “designed to protect you and your partner before passion”.

Ford Announces First Apps Compatible with AppLink for SYNC 3

Ford LogoFord was the first to bring voice control to in-vehicle apps when AppLink launched for the first generation of SYNC in 2010. The voice control, of course, makes it safer for drivers to select apps while they are driving. Now, Ford is announcing the first smartphone apps to be compatible with AppLink for SYNC 3.

The integration of voice control to in-vehicle apps has been improved with SYNC 3, delivering an experience that is faster, more responsive, and user friendly. AppLink discovers compatible apps on your smartphone and projects their information, including unique graphics and branding on the touch screen display in your vehicle. There are three apps that Ford is highlighting that are compatible with AppLink.

The first one is Spotify, which delivers over 30 million songs at the touch of a button and the sound of your voice. In Ford and Lincoln models equipped with SYNC 3, users can control the Spotify App running on their Apple or Android smartphones from the driver’s seat using voice control. Using Ford AppLink, Spotify Premium, and Free subscribers can choose their playlists synced across any device, toggle shuffle, save tracks to their music collection, and much more, all hands-free. Users also have access to playlist, album artwork, and track information in rich full color display on the SYNC 3 touch screen.

Pandora is also being highlighted. With Pandora on SYNC 3, great music discovery is effortless and personalized. Pandora’s team of over 30 music analysts examines 400 attributes in each song to find the perfect track for you and your journey. Customize your stations even further by thumbing up and thumbing down directly from the dashboard of your Ford vehicle.

The third app being highlighted is Glympse, the pioneer in time-based, temporary location sharing. Users can simply share their current location and estimated time of arrival. Using SYNC 3’s touchscreen interface, drivers can easily send, add time or expire an existing Glympse, and receive a push notification when a sent Glympse has been viewed, which keeps the driver’s eyes on the road.

The all-new SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system debuts this summer in North America on the 2016 Ford Escape and Fiesta. Pandora, Spotify, and Glympse are among the first apps to take advantage of the new capabilities of SYNC 3; additional AppLink-enabled apps will continue to roll out as SYNC 3 becomes available this summer.