Roku announces Element Ultra HD 4K smart TV



The new generation of tiny set-top boxes have opened up a whole new world of entertainment in people’s living rooms, or whatever room has a TV. There are several models on the market, but Roku is perhaps the best known.

Recently Roku opened up its platform to TV manufacturers allowing them to create their smart TVs based off of it.

Now Roku is announcing a brand new TV that will be hitting the market very shortly. “Element will first offer a 50-inch screen size featuring 4K Ultra HD picture quality enhanced with HDR for lifelike clarity and contrast technology enabling deeper blacks and brighter whites. And as with all Roku TVs, the new Element Roku TVs will run the Roku® OS which gives customers access to 500,000 movies and TV episodes through 5,000+ streaming channels”.

The TV will automatically be upgraded to Roku 8.0 when it’s released later this year. The new version will contain an upgraded guide that integrates Roku offerings plus over-the-air channels. The TV will hit Wal-Mart on Cyber Monday, November 27th. Pricing has not been announced.


Aliens in 20? #1241



NASA says we will find Aliens in the next 20 years. I would be happy with just having software updated from Adobe that does not break everything I have. It simply drives me crazy that they can break something so bad from release to release. Got myself in a jam this go around with Premier. May be time to go back to final cut (shudder)

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Beyerdynamic’s Aventho Wireless is a CES 2018 Innovation Award Honoree



Beyerdynamic has over 90 years of experience in developing audio electronics. They stand for innovative audio products with the highest sound quality and pioneering technology. Beyerdynamic has been named as a CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree for its Aventho wireless headphones.

For the Aventho wireless, beyerdynamic uses Bluetooth 4.2 protocol with the aptX HD codec from Qualcomm. This way, the best possible sound is guaranteed, even without wires. Additionally, beyerdynamic is working together with Mimi Hearing Technologies to allow for a truly personalized sound experience.

Mimi’s sound personalization technology makes it possible to create a personal hearing profile. This profile is based on the soundcheck in the “Make it yours” (MIY) app and then uploaded directly to the Aventho wireless.

This new high-end model also offers innovative operation: the right side serves as a touch gesture control pad. All functions can be activated using simple touches and gestures: next track, louder, take a call, hang up, lower volume, pause… it’s never been so easy to control your headphones, smartphone and music player app.

Via the MIY app, the sensitivity of the touch control can be adjusted to suit your individual preferences. There is also a tracking option within the app to gan an insight into your listening habits and measure duration and intensity of your daily listening. Further customization options will be made available via updates.

The CES 2018 Innovation Awards nomination comes with many benefits. The Aventho wireless will be displayed proudly with the rest of the Honorees in the Innovation Showcase at CES 2018. Beginning January 9, 2018, the Aventho wireless will be on display in the Innovation Awards Showcase within the Venetian Ballroom at CES Tech West.


OnePlus 5T Drops In NY



OnePlus has officially unveiled its latest flagship, the OnePlus 5T at a live event in Brooklyn, New York. In a change from the usual on-line reveal, the OnePlus team were live on stage to give an insight into their relationship with users, the benefits of OxygenOS and developing the 5T before the big reveal.

As expected, the 5T sports a large 6″ AMOLED screen with an 18:9 aspect ratio, face unlock and a secondary low-light camera. Compared with the OnePlus 5, the internals are largely unchanged – Snapdragon 835 and a choice of 6GB  RAM / 64GB storage or 8GB RAM / 128GB storage – and it still has a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Hurrah!

The new AMOLED screen is 1080 by 2160 giving 401 ppi. It’s a 6″ screen but the exterior dimensions (156 x 75 x 7.3 mm) of the 5T are only millimetres bigger than the 5 and its 5.5″ screen (154 x 74 x 7.25 mm). This has been achieved by moving the fingerprint sensor to the back which gives more real estate over for the display without needing to increase the phone’s size. Sadly, it’s the end of the line for the capacitive buttons.

While the fingerprint sensor will unlock the phone in under 0.2 seconds, new to the OnePlus range is the face unlock feature, which uses 100 identifiers to ensure that it’s really the right person holding the phone before it unlocks. Hard to say how it will stack up against another flagship phone.

Disappointingly the 5T will ship with Android 7 (Nougat), though Oreo is expected to arrive on both the 5 and 5T in early 2018.

However, the 5T isn’t without software tweaks. A new feature called “Parallel Apps” clones certain apps, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Skype, so that each copy can be run with a different profile, without needing to logout and then login as a different user. Think of being able to have personal and business versions of the apps. That’s pretty neat.

On the camera front, the OnePlus 5T has a high resolution dual camera system, with a 16 megapixel main camera supported by a 20 megapixel secondary camera for enhanced low-light performance and beautiful portraits.

Battery and power are unchanged from the 5, with a capacity of 3300 mAh and Dash charging, which will charge the phone in half an hour. In further good news, OnePlus have retained the alert slider.

The 5T will be available from the OnePlus on-line store from 21 November for US$499 / EUR 499 / GB£449. No invites required these days. In the UK, O2 will be hosting pop-up events in Oxford Street London, Westfield Stratford and Manchester Arndale and, for the first time, one in Castle Lane, Belfast (Yay!) from 2 pm on Friday.


Marvel Heroes Will be Shutting Down



Marvel Heroes, a video game where players battled as their favorite Marvel Super Heroes, will be shutting down. Kotaku appears to be the first to report that Disney (who owns Marvel) has ended its relationship with Gazillion Entertainment (who created Marvel Heroes).

Kotaku posted information from an email written by a Marvel representative. The unnamed representative wrote:

“We regret to inform our Marvel Heroes fans that we have ended our relationship with Gazillion Entertainment, and that the Marvel Heroes games will be shut down. We would like to sincerely thank the players who joined the Marvel Heroes community, and will provide any further updates as they become available.”

Gazillion Entertainment later posted a news article on the Marvel Heroes website:

We’re sad to inform our players and the entire Marvel Heroes family that Marvel Heroes Omega will be shutting down.

The Marvel Heroes servers will stay on until Dec 31, 2017, and we’ll be removing real money purchases as soon as possible. Players will be able to play the game entirely for free once this sunset period commences. We will share the exact date things go completely free as soon as we can…

The official statement from Gazillion Entertainment was also posted in a tweet on the Marvel Heroes Twitter account. The replies are filled with players who are expressing their disappointment about Marvel Heroes shutting down. Many of them are demanding to be reimbursed for the money they spent on the game.


Niantic is Creating Harry Potter: Wizards Unite



Niantic, maker of Ingress and Pokémon GO, have announced that they are working on a brand new game. It is called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Niantic has revealed very little about the game, other than it will be using Niantic’s AR gaming platform.

We’re incredibly excited to announce this next step in the evolution of AR mobile entertainment. With Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, players that have been dreaming of becoming real life Wizards will finally get the chance to experience J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. Players will learn spells, explore their real world neighborhoods and cities to discover & fight legendary beasts and to team up with others to take down powerful enemies.

Niantic has partnered with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and WB Games San Francisco’s development team to bring Harry Potter: Wizards Unite to life. The game will leverage the full stack of the Niantic Platform while also providing an opportunity to pioneer all new technology and gameplay mechanics.

In a follow up blog post, Niantic attempts to reassure Pokémon GO players that their game is not being abandoned. Niantic makes it clear that they, and their partners at The Pokémon Company “are 100% committed to creating an ever-evolving and growing game that deepens players’ connections to Pokémon GO.”

Perhaps to emphasize that point, Niantic says that their Ingress, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Pokémon GO development teams are all hiring. There is a link in their blog post that lead to more specific details about that.


EA has Acquired Respawn Entertainment



Electronic Arts (EA) announced an agreement to acquire Respawn Entertainment, a leading independent game development studio and creators of AAA shooter and action games including critically-acclaimed Titanfall franchise.

EA states that Respawn brings to EA the proven leadership and studio talent behind Titanfall and Titanfall 2, two of the most highly-rated shooter titles in the last five years. The acquisition builds on a successful publishing partnership between Respawn and EA, with multiple projects currently in development – a new title in the Titanfall franchise, a game set in the Star Wars universe, and a VR gaming experience.

Respawn will join EA’s Worldwide Studios organization, a global creative collective of leading game development studios.

CEO of Respawn Entertainment, Vince Zampella, posted a letter on the Respawn website that provides some information about the acquisition.

While it wasn’t necessary, going with EA made a lot of sense. With Titanfall and Star Wars, EA has been a great development partner that supports us and doesn’t interfere with our process for making games or studio culture. EA will provide more resources, access to new technologies, and expertise that we can tap into to that will help us make better games, and Respawn will retain the same creative freedom and culture we’ve always had. We’ve been talking closely with the leadership with EA and we share their values and vision for the future of being a developer-focused company that puts the players first.

He goes on to say that he will still be running things at Respawn, and that he will also be part of the studio leadership team at EA. He states that there will be no layoffs or major organization changes with Respawn, and that all games currently in development are continuing as planned.


Studio Upgrade Round 1 #1240



I spend some time tonight talking about the Studio upgrades hopefully in enough detail tha the listening audience will not get bored. May be a good excuse to watch the show this round. Plus all the tech news of the day. Lots of deals popping up in the spece so be sure to look through the show notes lots of deals to save money on items you may already be planning on getting,

You have heard me talk about proximity beacons. I know now how to do it with minimal investment! This course that I endorse and have used successfully is the gateway to deploying proximity beacons for Android.

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Catalyst Case for AirPods Named CES Innovation Awards Honoree



Catalyst, the award-winning manufacturer of the world’s most protective and stylish waterproof cases and accessories for electronic devices, announced it has been recognized as a CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree for the design and development of the Catalyst case for AirPods.

The Catalyst Case for AirPods was selected as an honoree in the Portable Media players and Accessories product category, scoring highly across all judging criteria and was featured at CES Unveiled in New York. The award winning product was entered in this prestigious program and judged by a panel of independent industrial designers, engineers, and members of the trade media to honor outstanding design and engineering in cutting edge consumer electronics products across 28 categories.

This is the second CES Innovation Award for Catalyst. The Catalyst case for Apple Watch Series 1 was named a 2016 CES Innovation Award Honoree.

AirPods are an amazing technology but are slippery, easy to drop and easily lost. Catalyst created the first of its kind, Catalyst case for AirPods: a premium protective case that is a stylish, essential everyday accessory.

Made of a sort premium silicone, the case is waterproof to 3.3ft. (1m) and drop proof to 4ft (1.2m). It’s slim, minimalist and designed so users have convenient access to the charge port. The included carabiner allows the case to be easily attached to a belt loop, bag or backpack so that you can always find your AirPods and they are easily accessible.

Catalyst case for AirPods can be purchased for US $24.99.


Alexa and its Echo product line come to Japan



If you have not used an Amazon Echo, better known by the moniker of Alexa, then you’re missing out on countless cool things. Listen to music, find out when your favorite sports team plays next, check the weather, satisfy your curiosity by asking a trivia questions, you name it and Alexa can probably do it.

But, the Amazon line isn’t available everywhere, it has some geographical restrictions. One more place in this great big world has now made the list for availability of both the Alexa app and its associated devices.

That newest location takes the setup on a trip to the far east as the whole product line is debuting in Japan.

“Tens of millions of customers already love Alexa and we’re thrilled to introduce her to our customers in Japan today, with an all-new experience designed from the ground up for Japanese customers, including a new Japanese voice, local knowledge, and over 250 skills from Japanese developers”, says Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President, Amazon Alexa. “We’re also excited to expand the Alexa Skills Kit and the Alexa Voice Service, so developers and hardware makers around the world can create Alexa experiences for our Japanese customers”.

The Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Plus are all available now just waiting for your voice to bring them to life.