GNC #1208 Space Corps



Why is there a need to form a Space Corps as part of the US Air Force? Are we about to be invaded by Aliens? One could wonder what they are thinking we have NASA already. It’s great to be back in Hawaii, but I am a dealing with bad Jet Lag

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OnePlus 5 Lands



After months of speculation, a trickle of teasing and a bucketful of leaks, the OnePlus 5 has landed. Much as expected it’s a strong evolution of the brand, following on thematically from the 2, 3 and 3T with a 2017 design makeover.

Running through the main specs, it’s  a 5.5″ full HD 1920 x 1080 AMOLED screen with Gorilla Glass 5 powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octacore processor running at up to 2.45 GHz. There are two memory and storage configurations; one 6 GB RAM, 64 GB storage and one 8 GB RAM, 128 GB storage. The storage memory now uses UFS, which will give a significant speed boost over eMMC.

The OnePlus 5 is expected to have a 20% improvement in battery life over the 3T with a 3,300 mAh battery. Despite being only 7.25 mm thick, OnePlus have managed to retain the stereo audio jack and no-one needs to rush out and buy USB C or Bluetooth headphones. Phew.

The big news is the dual camera system developed in conjunction with Sony and DxO. A custom-made 16 MP sensor is supported by a 20 MP sensor with a telephoto lens which measures the distance between the OnePlus 5 and the subject of the photography. A large f/1.7 aperture allows for faster exposures and helps compensate for stuttering to improve image stabilisation. There’s even clever processing to eliminate noise from low-light photographs.

In a special portrait mode, the both sensors work together to create a focal separation between faces and backgrounds, while a custom software algorithm makes subjects clear and well-lit. This results in a the now well-know depth-of-field (bokeh) effect that blurs the backdrop while keeping the subject in focus. Even with strong backlighting, the OnePlus 5’s high dynamic range (HDR) reveals the subject clearly and avoids turning them into silhouettes.

The OnePlus 5 showcases our obsessive attention to detail and our focus on delivering the best user experience possible,” said OnePlus Founder and CEO Pete Lau. “We have applied this approach to all aspects of the OnePlus 5. For example, the dual camera provides some of the clearest photos on the smartphone market today and gives users more control to take stunning photos in all conditions.” I don’t think he’s kidding either, going by some of the images shown off in the launch video.

The fashionistas might be slightly disappointed as at launch there’s only two finishes, Midnight Black and Slate Gray. You can only choose the finish via spec too. For black, you need to splurge on the 8 GB / 128 GB version, whereas the gray finish comes with the cheaper 6 GB / 64 GB edition.

In welcome news, the increase in price has been nowhere near some of the rumours. The Midnight Black version (8 GB RAM / 128 GB storage) will sell for  US$ 539 / €559 / GB£ 499 / CA$ 719. The Slate Gray version (6 GB RAM / 64 GB storage) is US$ 479 /€499 / GB£ 449 / CA$ 649.  On sale via the OnePlus store.

The first shipments will begin on 21  June  though you’ll need a special code to get in on the first drop. The code’s in the launch video. General sales begin on 27 June. The OnePlus 5 will be available for direct purchase at one-day pop-up stores in New York on 20 June and in London, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Helsinki and Copenhagen on 21 June.

Overall, the OnePlus 5 looks to be a great new flagship phone. Can’t wait to get my hands on one.


Raid Battles are Coming to Pokémon GO



Niantic announced that they will be temporarily disabling all Gyms in order to enable an update that will add Raid Battles to Pokémon GO. The Raid Battle feature will be rolled out slowly over the next few weeks. It will start as a beta that will only be visible to a subset of players. Later, Niantic will enable more players to participate in Raid Battles at Gyms around the world.

All around the world, you’ll soon be able to participate in the new Raid Battle feature at Gyms. A Raid Battle is a cooperative gameplay experience that encourages you to work with other Trainers to defeat an extremely powerful Pokémon known as the Raid Boss. Before a Raid Battle begins, a large Egg will appear atop the Gym. When the countdown above the Egg reaches zero, the Raid Boss will be revealed.

Players will need a Raid Pass before they can battle the Raid Boss. Players can get one free Raid Pass per day by visiting a Gym. You can only hold one Raid Pass at a time. It will be possible to buy Premium Raid Passes form the in-game shop.

A Raid Battle can include yourself and up to 20 other Trainers who work together to defeat the Raid Boss. If you successfully defeat the Raid Boss within the five-minute time limit, you’ll have a chance to catch an extra powerful Pokémon of your own.

There will be Gym Badges that players can earn by interacting with the many Gyms around the world. The Gym Badges reflect your contribution to a Gym’s success. Players can level up their Badges by giving Berries to the Pokémon in the Gym. The Berries help increase a Pokémon’s motivation (and help it stay in the Gym for a longer period of time.)

Players can also level their Gym Badges by spinning the Gym’s Photo Disc. This means that players can get items from Gyms the same way they currently get items from PokéStops.


Kodak EKTRA Smartphone Now Available in U.S.



Kodak, a company that probably makes you think of cameras, has created the Kodak EKTRA smartphone. It is a photography-focused smartphone that recently became available for purchase in the United States at the price of $399.99.

The Kodak EKTRA is an open market unlocked GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) device, which means it is compatible and will work on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks in the United States. It is not CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) compatible, so it will NOT work with Sprint, Verizon, or US Cellular.

At the heart of the Kodak EKTRA smartphone is a 21-megapixel fast focus camera sensor with f2.0 aperture, and an industry leading 13-megapixel front-facing camera with Phase Detection Auto Focus PDAF and f2.2 aperture.

The custom-built camera app is controlled by an intuitive haptic touch, SLR-style Scene Selection Dial, where adjustments are made in real time via a range of settings including HDR, Landscape, Portrait, Macro, Sport, Night-time, Panorama, and Bokeh, alongside a Smart Auto mode which auto-selects the best conditions for your photographs. In Manual mode, more advanced users can adjust exposure, ISO, focus, white balance and shutter speed, with the results being visible on the screen as the changes are made.

The Kodak EKTRA Smartphone includes editing software from SNAPSEED, providing exceptional tools to edit images on the go without having to download any additional apps. This enables users to transform images for professional results similar to many popular desktop images editors. Sharing the results in real time is also easy with integrated social media apps and the Prints app is a simple way to select your best shots to be professionally printed.


DJI Delivers Spark Mini Drone to First Wave of Customers



DJI, the world leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, is delivering its exciting new Spark mini drone to the first wave of purchasers, with shipments arriving in stores and homes around the world.

Spark is a full-featured drone that fits in almost any bag, ready to launch within seconds to shoot 12-megapixel photos and 1080p videos stabilized with a two-axis mechanical gimbal. It packs an obstacle sensing system and automated flight modes into its soda can-sized body – and can launch from your palm and be controlled by hand gestures alone.

New Spark owners should immediately upgrade the firmware in their drones to take advantage of important new features based on early feedback. The new firmware provides more flexibility by recognizing the selfie gestures right after launching the aircraft from the palm when most of the pilot’s body appears in the frame. Selfies can still be taken from a longer distance after waving and sending Spark away several feet.

In addition, the firmware upgrade provides more ways to control Spark’s flight through the DJI GO 4 app on a mobile device. Based on feedback from early reviewers, the new firmware upgrade allows Spark pilots using mobile devices to smoothly adjust the maximum distance it will fly in some of the QuickShot intelligent flight modes – from 30 feet to 160 feet in Rocket mode, 200 feet in Dronie mode, and 250 feet in Helix mode.


12th Annual Podcast Awards



Nominations open on July 1st for the 12th Annual Podcast Awards, as the founder of the awards I am excited to see how the event progresses this year as we have updated the website, rules from top top to bottom.

With last years GoFundme campaign and registrations from last year our investment of $5000 to update the site has gone well. We have a lot more work to do but we will see where the budget is at the end of the process.

If you have not yet registered for the podcast awards you need to get registered now and have your audience prepared to nominate your show starting on July 1st.


GNC #1207 Bank Spying



Did you know that your bank is spying on you when you surf the web? In a shocking report banks arr tracking your every move and deciding before you ever land on their sites if they are going to loan you money or not. Plus all the news of the day and a bit of a schedule change.

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Samsung Introduced First HDR QLED Gaming Monitors



Samsung Electronics introduced the future of gaming with their new CHG90 and CHG70 curved monitors, which feature the powerful High Dynamic Range (HDR) picture enhancement technology typically reserved for televisions. When combined with the CHG90’s ultra-wide design and the CHG70’s quantum dot composition, this HDR integration produces a realistic, detailed picture that showcases games exactly as developers intended, and dramatically improves gameplay with crisper colors and sharper contrast.

The QLED quantum dot technology delivers a new metal core and supports both approximately 125 percent of the sRGB color spectrum and 95 percent of the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI-P3) motion picture standard to deliver an exceptionally wide color range.

Samsung’s CHG90 sets the new visual standard for gaming displays by projecting a 32:9 aspect ratio and 3,840×1,080 double full HD (DFHD) resolution across a 49-inch screen. The CHG90 literally extends the playing field for gamers, with its broad design surpassing industry standards while simultaneously representing the widest monitor in the company’s gaming portfolio. The monitor delivers stunning 1,800R curvature and an ultra-wide 178-degree viewing angle, maintaining content visibility from any location within a given space.

Available in 27- and 31.5-inch variations, the CHG70 integrates HDR and quantum dot technologies, with a 144Hz refresh rate further helping to bring out the best in gaming content. This combination offers gamers a viewing arena that is brighter (600nit peak brightness), clearer (2,560×1,440 WQHD resolution) and more luminous, and which brings the slightest visual nuances to the forefront in extremely light or dark environments.

The CHG90 and CHG70 arrive as the first Samsung gaming monitors to feature AMD’s new Radeon FreeSync 2 technology. This frontline functionality eliminates the stuttering and tearing that often disrupt gameplay to drive seamless frame transitions. Likewise, Radeon FreeSync 2 supports a wide color gamut to showcase HDR content with twice the perceivable brightness and color than that offered by the sRGB standards.

In a strategic partnership with EA studio DICE and Ghost Games, the CHG90 and CHG70 have undergone rigorous turning to ensure optimal HDR picture quality. Additionally, both monitors recently received HDR compatibility validation with Nvidia’s graphics cards, ensuring they can clearly showcase a wider range of HDR-based gaming titles and PC devices.


GNC #1206 Power Grid Concerns



We all have to admin someone hacking the Power Grid would be a bad thing, after all you would not be able to get this show, keep your fridge cold or charge those devices amongst other things. So I look at a serious power grid have and cover all the news of the day.

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Microsoft Premiers Xbox One X



Microsoft Corp. has unveiled the world’s most powerful console, Xbox One X (formerly code-named “Project Scorpio”), and its largest and most diverse games lineup in E3 history. Broadcast for the first time in 4K UHD on Mixer, Xbox showcased a record 42 games in its briefing, including 22 with console exclusivity from creators large and small. Coming to all Xbox One markets starting November 7, 2017, Xbox One X will retail for $499, 499 pounds, 499 euros, CA$599 and AU$649.1.

Xbox One X was designed to be the best console to create and play games on, putting the greatest graphic fidelity in the hands of the world’s bets game creators to create true 4K games. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer underscored that every game will play great across the Xbox One family, and Xbox One X also makes your existing library even better, with better textures, smoother frame rates, and faster load times.

Spencer announced that Xbox will expand Xbox One backward-compatibility library of nearly 400 popular Xbox 360 games to include original Xbox classics, starting with fan favorite Crimson Skies. Xbox also revealed that Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, Minecraft, Resident Evil 7, Final Fantasy 15, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, Rocket League, and dozens of other popular Xbox One games will receive free updates to take full advantage of the power of Xbox One X. A host of these titles will be enhanced to run in true 4K, and many will be available at Xbox One X launch.

With 40 percent more power than any other console, Xbox One X lets you experience immersive true 4K gaming when paired with a 4K display, such as Samsung’s flagship QLED TV. Xbox One X makes your existing library even better with better textures, smoother frame rates and faster load times, even on a 1080p TV.

Xbox One X also offers the ultimate 4K entertainment package with 4K Ultra HD for Blu-ray X and streamed content, HDR support for gaming and video, and Dolby Atmos support. Xbox One X will join the Xbox One family of devices and coexist alongside Xbox One and Xbox One S, and all Xbox One games and accessories are compatible.

Xbox One X Games Showcased at E3:

  • Anthem (Electronic Arts)
  • The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti (Console Launch Exclusive)
  • Ashen (Console Launch Exclusive)
  • Assassin’s Creed Origins (Ubisoft – World Premier)
  • Black Desert (Console Launch Exclusive)
  • Code Vein (Bandi Namco Entertainment America Inc. – World Premier)
  • Crackdown 3 (Xbox One and Windows 10 Exclusive)
  • Cuphead (Xbox One and Windows Exclusive)
  • The Darwin Project (Console Launch Exclusive)
  • Deep Rock Galactic (Console Launch Exclusive)
  • Dragon Ball Fighterz (Bandai Namco Entertainment American Inc. – World Premier)
  • Forza Motorsport 7 (Xbox One and Windows 10 Exclusive – World Premier)
  • The Last Night (Console Launch Exclusive)
  • Life is Strange: Before the Storm (Square-Enix – World Premier)
  • Metro Exodus (Deep Silver – World Premier)
  • Middle-Earth: Shadow of War – (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • Minecraft (Unification, Better Together Update, Super Duper Graphics Pack)
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps – (Xbox One and Windows 10 Exclusive – World Premier)
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – (Console Launch Exclusive)
  • Sea of Thieves (Xbox One and Windows 10 Exclusive)
  • State of Decay 2 (Xbox One and Windows 10 Exclusive)
  • Super Lucky’s Tale (Xbox One and Windows 10 Exclusive – World Premier)
  • Tacoma (Console Launch Exclusive)