Tumblr Announces Answer Time

Tumblr Answer TimeTumblr has announced a new feature that has recently been added. It is called Answer Time. It might be Tumblr’s attempt to compete with Reddit’s AMA (Ask Me Anything) as well as other social media platforms that involve a famous person answering questions from the general public. In May, President Obama did a question and answer session about climate change on Twitter.

In order to participate in Answer Time, you need to have a Tumblr account. Tumblr will give people plenty of notice whenever an interesting ask box has opened. Five of them are being highlighted right now. In short, Answer Time enables users of Tumblr to ask questions to famous people who also have a Tumblr account. Tumblr says that Answer Time will include musicians, artists, actors, politicians, and internet personalities.

There are five upcoming Answer Time events planned. Users of Tumblr can ask any of the featured famous people a question right now, and that person might answer it during his or her scheduled Answer Time.

The band Fall Out Boy will be answering questions on June 8. Vic Mensa (rap artist) will answer questions on June 9. Molly McAleer (author and co-founder of HelloGiggles) will answer questions on June 11. Cecile Richards (President of Planned Parenthood Federation) will answer questions on June 12. David Karp (founder and CEO of Tumblr) will answer questions on June 16.

World Video Game Hall of Fame Includes 6 Games

The Strong National Museum of Play logoThe Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame recognizes individual video games of all types. They have selected 6 video games as the first class of inductees to the World Video Game Hall of Fame. These games are on permanent view in the National Museum of Play’s eGameRevolution exhibit.

The video games that were selected had to fit the selection criteria.
Icon-Status: The game is widely recognized and remembered.
Longevity: The game is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over time.
Geographical Reach: The game meets the first two criteria across international boundaries.
Influence: The game has exerted significant influence on the design and development of other games or on other forms of entertainment, or on popular culture and society in general.

The last criteria seems to be the most important one. A game can be inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame on the basis of that criteria alone (even if it has not met the other three criteria).

The official list of the first class of inductees to the World Video Game Hall of Fame are: Pong, Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, Tetris, Doom, and World of Warcraft. They are the 2015 class of inductees. Nominations for the 2016 class of inductees are being considered now. You can nominate a video game by filling out a form on the website of The Strong at the National Museum of Play.

GNC #1037 No Phone for You

I want to Welcome Harry’s back as a Sponsor and you can get yourself an awesome shave by using my promo code on their website.. See the Show notes for details.. I talk tonight about consequences of distracted driving and what a judge has handed down in Lansing Michigan. I also discuss what happens when you delete browser history and the feds come knocking.. Send your comments to geeknews @ gmail.com

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Acer Presents Award Winning Products at Computex

Acer logoAcer has won a number of awards at the ongoing Computex conference in Taipei. Acer’s Revo One RL85 Mini PC has won the Best Choice of the Year award and Best Choice Gold award in the Computer & System category. This product was also recognized for the Red Dot and Computex d&i design award.

Acer’s S277HK monitor won a Best Choice award in the Touch & Display category along with Acer’s Chromebook 11, which earned an accolade in the Cloud Computing category.

The Revo One RL85 Mini PC is a desktop computer that sports a sleek and stylish design. Engineered as an entertainment center, the Revo One has a lot of features but fits into a small form factor, thanks to the thin design and high capacity of its Samsung Spinpoint M9T hard drive. The Revo One also supports up to 6TB of storage and can accommodate up to two 4K displays as well as 7.1 channel audio output.

The 27-inch Acer S277HK monitor is ideal for a premium A/V experience. It features 4K2K Ultra HD (3840×2160) visuals on a frameless screen, a super-fast HDMI 2.0 connection and speakers with DTS sound. Placed side by side, two S277HK monitors offer a nearly seamless viewing experience with their frameless screens. Leveraging IPS technology, the S277HK’s screen delivers exceptional color saturation and stability with 178-degree wide vertical and horizontal viewing angles. The Acer S277HK was designed with beauty in mind, from the sleek aluminum bezel, asymmetric metallic stand and glossy white back panel to the dynamically styled speakers and vents.

The Acer Chromebook 11 features fast connectivity and long-lasting battery life that extends from day to night on a single charge. The Chromebook 11 is great for students, families, and anyone on a budget. It’s also a good option as a secondary device, especially for anyone who uses a lot of the services offered by Google.

No information yet on pricing and availability for these new products from Acer.

GameStop Set to Acquire ThinkGeek

GameStop logoThinkGeek is an extremely popular online purveyor of all things geeky. Recently, it appeared that Geeknet Inc., (ThinkGeek’s parent company) was going to be acquired by Hot Topic. Things have changed, and it turns out that GameStop is now set to acquire Geeknet, Inc. There are those who are breathing a sigh of relief because they weren’t so keen on Hot Topic.

GameStop posted a press release that states that Geeknet has terminated its agreement with Hot Topic. The press release says that GameStop and Geeknet, Inc., “have entered into a definitive agreement under which GameStop will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Geeknet’s common stock for $20.00 per share in cash.”

The press release goes on to say that this transaction has been approved by the board of directors of both companies. It also says: “The transaction has a total equity value of approximately $140 million, including $37 million of cash and cash equivalents as of March 31, 2015.”

What happened to the potential sale of Geeknet, Inc., to Hot Topic? Geeknet, Inc., has posted the same press release as GameStop did. Either one explains a bit more about the situation.

Geeknet also announced that it had terminated its previously announced merger with Hot Topic, Inc. (“Hot Topic”). Following discussion with both GameStop and Hot Topic, the Board of Directors of Geeknet determined that the GameStop transaction represented a superior proposal. Geeknet will pay Hot Topic a termination fee pursuant to the Hot Topic agreement, for which GameStop has agreed to reimburse Geeknet.

Engadget reported that Hot Topic was offering Geeknet $17.50 per share. It is easy to see why a company like Geeknet would want to take the offer from “the highest bidder”, so to speak.

In short, GameStop will acquire Geeknet, (parent company of ThinkGeek and ThinkGeek Solutions). Right now, one can only speculate about what changes will come as a result. I’ve been a long time fan of ThinkGeek and have made several purchases from it. Now might be a good time to use up my remaining Geek Points… just in case.

Logitech Harmony takes control of your Sony PlayStation 4

Logitech LogoThe Harmony line of universal remotes, now owned by Logitech, has been seeing a lot of activity lately in terms of updates and improvements. The remote can control more and more devices all the time, including Amazon Fire TV and even home automation products like Philips Hue light bulbs.

One thing lacking was your Sony game console, a feature cutomers were apparently asking for. That lacks no longer as today Logitech announces that Harmony can now be used with the PS4.

This will allow customers to navigate the menus, as well as control blu-ray discs and apps like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Instant and more.

There is one thing missing, as Logitech points out — “One thing we do need to mention is, unfortunately, this update does not allow you to power your PlayStation on directly—Sony does not permit any remote other than their game controller to power on the game console”. It’s a minor drawback, but the company promises that once your system is on then it’s in Harmony’s control.

This will all work over Bluetooth, so there are no worries if your console is behind a cabinet door or something like that. No official word is being given about the roll out of this update, but it would seem it’s immediate or at least imminent.

LEGO Worlds Now Available on Steam

LEGO Worlds logoIt has been said that Minecraft is similar to LEGO. People use small bricks (either physical or the pixilated kind) to build structures and landscapes. That comparison just got a bit more apt with the release of LEGO Worlds. It’s now available on Steam as an Early Access Game.

Steam is offering Early Access right now to the LEGO Worlds game. In some ways, this feels like a beta test. Players can access some of the game now, but it is not complete. The developers plan to add more features as time goes on. They will evaluate a “release candidate” sometime in early 2016 and are seeking feedback from the community about different aspects of the game.

The current Early Access version of the game includes the following features: procedurally generated worlds, terraforming and building tools, discoveries and unlocks, ridable creatures and vehicles, and a day/night cycle.

Players will be able to freely manipulate and dynamically populate LEGO models. There is a brick-by-brick editor tool that players can use as well as some prefabricated LEGO structures. Players can modify the terrain by using a multi-tool. It will be possible to get into the game and play with virtual LEGO sets that match the real-life versions. These sets will be taken from both Classic and current LEGO themes.

The LEGO website has some further information. They note that LEGO Worlds is safe for children to play, but that some of the other content on Steam might not be. As such, they encourage parents to view the parental controls on Steam before granting their children Early Access to LEGO Worlds.

OnePlus One Flash Sales

OnePlus LogoIf you’ve been thinking about picking up a new high-end smartphone, then you might want to take a look at the flash sales this week for the OnePlus One. For one week only, sales will start at 02:00 and 12:00 GMT on alternate days, offering the One at US$249 or GB£179 for the 16 GB version. The 64 GB model is $299 / £219. This is great value for a smartphone with a 5.5″ full HD screen driven by 2.5 GHz quad core CPU.

OnePlus OneThe OnePlus One is my current smartphone which I purchased myself to replace my Nexus 4. I love it – it’s fast with a great screen, loads of storage (as I have the 64 GB version) and excellent battery life. Here’s the full flash sale schedule.

June 1 – 12:00 GMT (8 am EST)
June 2 – 2:00 GMT (10 pm EST -1 day)
June 3 – 12:00 GMT (8 am EST)
June 4 – 2:00 GMT (10 pm EST -1 day)
June 5 – 12:00 GMT (8 am EST)
June 6 – 2:00 GMT (10 pm EST -1 day)
June 7 – 12:00 GMT (8 am EST)

Asus Debuts ZenPad S 8.0 at Computex

Asus logoComputex 2015 is in full swing in Taipei and new product announcements are coming fast and furious. One of those products is a new tablet by Asus called the ZenPad S 8.0. This 8-inch ZenPad boasts some impressive features. Including:

  • Intel 64-bit Atom Z3580 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • PowerVR 6430 GPU
  • 3.4 times the browser performance of some competitors and 2.2 times the GPU performance
  • Optional stylus (this is where the ZenPad gets the “S” in its name)
  • Metallic finish with “diamond cut edges”
  • 6mm (0.25 inches) thick
  • Weighs 298 grams (10.5 ounces)
  • Screen is a 2K (2,048×1,536-pixel) IPS panel, offering 324 pixels per inch

This new ZenPad could be seen as a strong competitor to Apple’s iPad Mini, as the two devices are pretty similar in terms of overall size and spec. Also, the ZenPad comes with many of Asus’s proprietary enhancements, including TruVivid and Tru2Life (known collectively as VisualMaster), both of which are designed to increase screen clarity, contrast and brightness. The TruVivid technology actually alters the traditional screen manufacturing process to eliminate the “air gap” between the touch panel and the LCD ZenPad models, increasing optical transparency.

ZenPad S 8.0 also comes with optional accessories like the Clutch “fashion” cover as well as a Power Cover that offers an additional 15 hours of battery life.

ZenPad tablets will offer both 4G LTE and Wi-Fi only versions. Availability of these will differ from region to region. Full pricing and release dates haven’t yet been announced.

GNC #1036 New Speed 300/20

I talk about the Insider program and set some goals so you all know where we are headed. I also talk about the new blazing 300mb down and 20mb upload speeds I was able to activate just prior too the show.

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