AR We There Yet? Yes, VR

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AR We There Yet? Yes, VR
Number 2442
Broadcast Date MARCH 4, 2015
Episode Length 47:03
Hosts Tom Merritt
Guests Jon Strickland

Jonathan Strickland joins the show to give us some more insight on VR as we see new announcements from Sony’ Project Morpheus, Valve’s Vive and more.



Ars Technica reports Sony Worldwide Studios president Shu Yoshida announced that the Project Morpheus VR headset will come to consumers in the first half of 2016. Morpheus will have a 5.7-inch 1920 x 1080 OLED display with a 100-degree field of view and a 120 Hz refresh rate. The headset will also have 9 LED trackers for 360-degree tracking. Separately Sony announced it has sold 20 million PlayStation 4 units worldwide as of March 1, making it the fastest selling game console the company has ever made.
Ars Technica reports Nvidia announced the Shield game console, running Android TV on a Tegra X1 chip capable of handling 4K video. It can also access games from Nvidia’s GRID cloud-gaming service which should come out of beta in May. Users can choose a subscription tier at 720p 30 fps or 1080p 60fps and starting in June buy or rent additional games from the GRID store. Users with a GeForce-powered PC can also stream their entire Steam library to a Shield on the same network. Shield will be available in early May for $199 including one gamepad.
As the Verge tells it, in a surprise appearance at Epic Games’ GDC 2015 event, NVIDIA co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang announced the Titan X, Nvidia’s most powerful GPU to date. The GPU will contain 8 billion transistors and 12 GB of VRAM. Sites like Anandtech have speculated the GPU to be an enlarged Maxwell processor possibly featuring a 384-bit memory bus. Nvidia’s own GPU technology conference happens in two weeks and more details about Titan X are expected then.
Engadget reports on Valve’s announcement of a VR input System and Lighthouse, a room-scale tracking system that will work with Valve VR headsets like the Vive coming from HTC later this year. The system can integrate into TVs, monitors, headsets, input devices or mobile devices and will be made available freely to hardware manufacturers. Valve will make a developer version of their VR headset available this spring.
Polygon reports Valve will release Steam Link in November, for streaming games from computers running Steam at 1080p and 60 Hz. It will cost $50, the same price as the Steam controller. Steam Machines will also launch in November. Valve also introduced a successor to their Source game engine Source 2 for free. A special version will be compatible with the Vulkan 3D graphics API. No release date though.
The Verge reports Oculus Chief Technology officer John Carmack said that Oculus will go forward “as hard as we can” to sell the next version of the Samsung Gear VR. While Carmack couldn’t say the date he said they had one and pointed out Samsung has two big announcements per year. The next one of those would be an autumn announcement when a new Galaxy Note is usually unveiled. No word on the PC version of the Oculus.
CNET reports that Instagram is expanding the types of ads it shows, introducing a “carousel” that allows advertisers to post a sequence of photos and a link to a website. Instagram said the goal is to make it easier for users to interact with a brand. No word on actual Instagram users getting a carousel.
GigaOm reports a study from the Alliance for Affordable Internet shows that for more than two billion people, fixed-line broadband costs 40% of monthly income and mobile broadband 10%. The UN affordability target is 5% of monthly income. Almost 60% of global households are unconnected. Women and the rural poor have the hardest time affording Internet. Costa Rica, Colombia and Peru received top marks for having solid affordable infrastructure rollout plans. Policy areas that need attention include competition-friendly environments and good spectrum allocation.
Yesterday, Patrick and I were wondering if former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was using AOL or Yahoo for her personal email account that she used while in officer. Turns out she was much smarter than that. Engadget reports the former Secretary of State ran her own email server while in office. The Associated Press learned that Clinton used an email server registered to her home. It’s not clear where the server was or who ran it. If the server was in her house, she would have even had the Secret Service offering physical protection.
Mashable has a story up covering Uber’s acquisition of mapping start-up deCarta. deCarta focuses on location-based features, including mapping, local search and turn by turn navigation. 30 out of 40 deCarta employees will remain with Uber once the deal closes, including the CEO and President Kim Fennell. deCarta will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, but will still use its own name. The mapping software will be used internally according to Uber.

News From You

Singularity alert! Gizmodo reports that Jan Scheuermann, a 55-year-old quadriplegic woman with electrodes in her brain, has been able to fly an F-35 fighter jet using “nothing but her thoughts.” DARPA director Arati Prabhakar announced the breakthrough at the first Future of War conference and said, “Jan’s thinking about controlling the airplane directly. For someone who’s never flown—she’s not a pilot in real life—she’s flying that simulator directly from her neural signaling.”
Submitted by Ajax-Rex
Mashable has a report about a preview version of Google Contacts that merges Gmail and Google Plus contact info. The app automatically pulls info Google + profiles and adds contextual information like meetings or email exchanges. The new Google Contacts also has a redesigned tool to fix duplicate contact information and quickly merge multiple entries. Google will roll out the updated Contacts to Gmail users over the next few weeks.
Submitted by habichuelacondulce
The Verge has a report about Sling TV adding new channels to it’s $20 a month Internet TV service. AMC and IFC are coming to the basic plan. Sling also announced a new “Hollywood Extra Plan” That includes 4 movie channels from Epix, plus Sundance TV for $5 a month. Meanwhile the International Business Times says “sources familiar with their plan” say HBO will launch its Internet-only service, called HBO Now next month for $15 a month. Game of Thrones premieres April 12.
Submitted by Hurmoth
The Next Web reports that Maxis has shut down its Emeryville studio. EA said that the changes “do not impact our plans for The Sims” as it is “consolidating Maxis IP development” to other studios Maxis employees will be given “opportunities to explore other positions within the Maxis studios and throughout EA.
Submitted by Jonathan Strickland


Pick of the Day

I wanted to pass along a podcast that I have been listening to, The Star Wars Minute. As of this email, they are on minute 33 of Return of the Jedi and it is the second most entertaining podcast I listen to. The premise of the show is that the host break down each original trilogy, one minute at a time. As a bonus they also did a couple of shows of the infamous Holiday Special.
You can get the podcast at

I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I have.

Sent from a mobile device
Submitted by Matt



Preceded by:
"Pebble Steeling Time (or How I Learned to Spock 5’s)"
AR We There Yet? Yes, VR
Followed by:
"But I want HBO Now"