Five OS X tools for your analogue life

I often wish I had certain utilities in my daily life which I have in my computer operating system. Tragic, isn’t it. But go with me for a minute, if you want your neighbours to look like Scarlett Johansson and your food to fly into view like some quartz composed magic that is.

1. The find function – A classic, every time you lose your keys, your wallet or the chuffing TV remote, you wish there was a find function in your living room. I can see it now. This is your Wallet, These are your unwashed dinner plates, this is your porn stash. That would be pretty damn awesome. Maybe as GPS chips become smaller and more accurate, we can start planting them in everything we ship out of China, and plot their locations via some sort of mobile phone interface. You’re fucked when you lose your phone like.

2. Disk Utility - Typically every Friday morning during University term time, and quite often Sundays too, I wish I could forgo the sense of confusion and then anger caused by my inability to think properly. I’d like to either roll back to my pre-alcohol stained brain, or just run defrag and get everything unjumbled again. Repair permissions could do the same job, but everyone knows that doesn’t really work.

3. Single User Mode - You work with idiots, you live with idiots, you commute with idiots. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just snap your fingers and have them all disappear? Not permanently of course, just until you have things sorted out, and you’ve covered your co-workers cubicle in post-it notes and/or newspaper.

4. Show input source name – Picture the scene. Your in an early meeting, you got wankered last night, you feel sweaty and you have bad breath, and the co-worker across the table is uttering words you don’t even recognise. You’re in a pickle, at least if you knew the language they were speaking you could just reply with a random selection of “yes”, “no” and “dunno”. Fuck it, go the whole hog and get VoiceOver to do it for you and go grab some sleep by using your jacket as a pillow on the toilet seat in the disabled loo (more floor space, lesser used: It’s an obvious choice).

5. Uno – Only really applicable to the budding Adolfs amongst you, Uno in your analogue life would allow you to make everyone look the same. Blonde hair, check. Blue Eyes, check, no nasty mail.app type lozenges. Check. You’d have to get everyone to write their names on their heads so you could tell who was who, but this has to be preferable to genocide – and maybe you could even have a ‘make everyone look like Scarlett Johansson option.

Top 5 Action Games

World of Tanks

world-of-tanks

Hopping into a tank and taking the controls is a dream many boys and men have. So, it goes without saying that World of Tanks gives just those kinds of players the opportunity to live their dreams. This free-to-play, action-packed title will challenge players to use their strategy and fight alongside their friends in realistic tank combat. Featuring many tanks, including some of the most iconic tanks ever to see battle, players can try out different tactics and upgrades. The more experience gained, the more players can improve their tanks and make them true machines of war.

League of Legends

League of Legends

Enter the realm of MOBA-style gaming with this free-to-play title. League of Legends will give players the opportunity to choose from over one hundred different heroes and take them into battle. The goal is to outwit and out maneuver your opponent with your hero by mastering the unique skills of the character and their abilities.

Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes

Warhammer Online- Wrath of Heroes

The Warhammer universe comes alive once again in this free-to-play, action-packed game. Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes will pit players against one another in fast-paced combat as three teams try to capture objectives on a variety of maps. With many different heroes to choose from, players will be able to find a character that fits their playing style, whether it is charging head-long into battle or launching fierce attacks from the rear. Continue reading “Top 5 Action Games”

3D Televisions

A lot of people question the potential success of 3D televisions. A big factor is having to wear 3D glasses at home, a particular issue for those already with normal glasses who can find them uncomfortable.

Saying that TVs not requiring glasses for 3D are on the horizon.

There’s always someone who doesn’t quite understand the attraction of a new technology though, people questioned the point of cassette tapes and later CDs and DVDs but through clever marketing and genuine steps forward they succeeded.With some of the names now producing 3D TVs it seems that they should be a success to some extent, whether they will be overtaken by Holograms before real mass market success is another matter.

3DTV

The early adopters are already buying 3DTVs and there is a buzz about them despite the lack of 3D content, Sky broadcasting in the UK though seem keen to make it a success having launched 3D broadcasting in October 2010. Sky had great success making High Definition programming Mass Market but take up of High Definition is still growing while the early adopters of it seem to already be ready for the next big thing.

Samsung, Panasonic, LG, Sony and Toshiba have all got 3D TV offerings on the market now, currently they all rely on 3D glasses but Toshiba recently put on show the first 3D TV which doesn’t need glasses soon to go on sale in Japan, the problem now though?the need to sit in an optimum spot.

It seems 3DTV is still in development then, could buying a glasses dependent set or a optimum position dependent set now be a mistake if a best of both worlds set is on its way? It seems that those who have invested in 3D cameras could have made an expensive mistake as well with Samsung’s inclusion of tri def software to automatically change standard pictures into 3D images, Film Studios having invested in 3D cameras and other technology doubt the quality of these up-scaled pictures but what seems obvious is that new versions of 3D TVs and other related technology will develop for some time and it may well be that 3D gaming will be the next step. Continue reading “3D Televisions”

3D Televisions Deals

Most 3D televisions can be switched between 3D and normal viewing, which means you do not need two televisions, one for normal viewing and one for 3D. You will need to wear special glasses when you are watching the television to see the 3D effect. Without the glasses it does not work and in fact is not good to watch.

It is worth looking out for good 3D TV deals as with the regularly introduction of new 3D models, there are always some around.

I recently saw one deal for two pairs of glasses and a blu-ray 3D DVD player for only a few hundred pounds more than the cost of a normal television of that size. It can also be worth negotiating, if there are no deals or discounts see whether they will give some extra pairs of glasses for free or something like that. Many retailers are anxious to make sales and so it is worth taking advantage of this.

It is possible that as 3D television becomes more popular, the prices may go down.

However, if you are upgrading your television it is worth thinking about because this trend may take off quickly and you may not be able to afford to upgrade your television again so soon.

It is worth going in to a shop which sells 3D TVs and asking for a demonstration.

They will be happy to let you try out a pair of the glasses and put a film on for you to have a look at. If you have not seen many films in 3D or are not sure how you feel about watching 3D television then this is a good way to find out.

LG 50PZ850T 3D TV Review

LG’s 50PZ850T is one of the first of LG’s 3D TVs to incorporate two latest developments, active 3D and PenTouch.

So before delving deeper in the rest of this model’s features, we’d better start with an explanation of what these two new offerings from LG are.

LG Active 3D

LG only uses active 3D on it’s plasma models for a simple reason. LG’s plasmas aren’t able to produce sufficient brightness to balance the effects of their passive 3D filters.

LG PenTouch

As it sounds, you get a pen and you touch it on the screen. Why would you want to do that then? Well as this model can access the internet, you can use it as a mouse directly on the screen. If you are in the habit of viewing your photos on your TV, you can sweep through them with a swish of the pen. How practical is it? Well, sitting directly in front of a 50 inch plasma screen isn’t exactly how I want to access the internet. Just as well then that this model has ‘Protective Skin Glass’, which as well as boosting picture clarity also protects the screen.

LG 50PZ850T 3D TV

Back to the TV!

As with all LG Plasma 3D TVs, this model is endorsed by THX (THX is the next generation surround sound system company) as well as the Imaging Science Foundation (The Imaging Science Foundation helps to improve the quality of electronic imaging.).

Why should you care? Well these endorsements are only handed out to a very television models that you are able to tweak the colour management controls. That means you can set up your TV to perfectly meet your own colour tastes.

The 50PZ850T marks a design change for LG, with a much slimmer screen frame along with a new reflective metal finish.

The design of the 50PZ850T has to class as a significant feature, meanwhile. For as well as boasting one of LG’s impressively slender ‘Razor Frame’ bezels, it enjoys a shiny metallic finish that’s quite new for LG and gives the set a pleasingly distinctive and gently opulent appearance.

On the screen, picture quality is about standard, nothing to shout home about. Blacks are deep and comparable to the better LCD screens, and contrast performance is very good, with clear details in both shadow and bright areas. Continue reading “LG 50PZ850T 3D TV Review”

LG 3D TVs

Like most other manufacturers they offer active shutter based 3D TV where the glasses used control what each eye sees by opening and closing and also have a Cinema 3D option.

LG’s Cinema 3D TVs unlike other 3D TVs uses the same technology that you will find in a cinema. This uses a polarised method, which makes the technology a lot cheaper, especially the cost of the glasses.

There are other advantages from this polarised method, including the fact that you can sit where you want in relation to your TV, at least to the same extent that you can with a 2D TV.

You also don’t have to worry about the risk of interference to the glasses as with Active Shutter glasses that have to communicate with the TV set via infra-red. This can stop working where batteries are going flat, if you sit too far away, if there is to much light in a room and if you turn your head away from the TV.

LG 3D TVs

Many people also prefer the feel of the much lighter polarized glasses, which you can use with your head on its side as well if you want to lie down to watch TV.

In contrast to LG’s active shutter TVs though, they generally come with two pairs of glasses. The glasses cost around £100 each, the polarised glasses a couple of pounds.

LG have tried to take slices at either ends of the market and even within their active shutter range they have had a bigger range than most other manufacturers with both fully featured TVs and those with simpler features at a lower cost. Continue reading “LG 3D TVs”

Panasonic 3D TVs

Panasonic Plasma 3D TVs

Panasonic along with Samsung is one of only two manufacturers to go down the Plasma route for their 3D TVs which are generally accepted as being better quality with less blue, higher definition and no panning, this is due to the way Plasma works allowing more data to be processed and refreshed more quickly.

Many people worry about the reliability of Plasma TVs and the risk of burn-in and pixel failure:this is no longer a major problem though but most manufacturers have kept to the safer LCD option.

Problem Plasmas

Panasonics early 3D plasma TVs were known for problems with the edges of images blurring, a problem they are working on, likewise Panasonic’s glasses have problems with high levels of ambient light interfering with them receiving infra red signals.

Despite using plasma that should cut down on blurring and panning problems some reviews have complained that Panasonic’s 3D TVs do struggle displaying motion sequences, jerky display and panning of backgrounds have often been reported: pointing to a problem with the chipsets that Panasonic use.

Panasonic 3D TVs

Panasonic too fast in to the 3D market?

It may seem that Panasonic heading into the 3D market as quickly as it did may have meant that it didn’t quite get everything right and they are struggling to go back and fix problems. For their next generation on Viera 3D TVs it may be a matter of back to the drawing board for them. Panasonic are still seen as being a premium brand but with many cheaper brands actually producing 3D TVs that are as good or better, Panasonic risk damaging their brand if they don’t keep up with the likes of Samsung’s LCDs and Plasmas and Sony’s LCDs. Continue reading “Panasonic 3D TVs”

Philips 3d TVs

It should be no surprise then that now when they finally launched a 3D TV it was something a bit special: a Cinemascope 3D TV with a 21:9 aspect ratio, the same as you get in a cinema, meaning you no longer have to compromise between black-bars or cropping;regular 16:9 widescreen 3D TVs were launched at about the same time though.

Best First Generation Glasses Free 3D TV

One place where Philips do aim to lead the way is with auto 3D that won’t require glasses. Although they may not be first to market their system, they may be the best of the first generation. Other positive features include how far you can sit from a screen and how an acute an angle you can be at for 3D to still work.

As you would expect from Philips all of their 3D TVs benefit from exceptional sound quality and the 2D picture quality is similarly top quality.

Philips 3d TVs
 
Active Shutter 3D

Like all but LG, Philips’ first 3D TVs feature active shutter systems to trick the mind into thinking it is watching a continuous image when in-fact the picture is flickering so each eye is in turn seeing different images.

Clearer Contrasts

Philips LED pro system gives the LCD screens a boost and makes light and dark clearer, this has proven to be vital for good quality 3D picture quality as a lot of light is lost going through the tinted 3D glasses and screens can otherwise be difficult to see with bright ambient light. Not everyone watches movies in the dark and for 3D to be truly successful it will need to be something people use on a regular basis whatever they are watching, not just films. Continue reading “Philips 3d TVs”

Samsung 3d TVs

Samsung – Plasma to LCD

Samsung now sell mainly LCD TVs having overcome the initial issues relating to the rate at which an LCD screen could refresh.
Crosstalk occurs when the TV doesn’t refresh quick enough to keep up with the refresh rate of the glasses that is needed to fool the brain. If you put the refreshrate too low though there will be a visible flickering on pictures; some of Samsung’s early LCD TVS did have this problem where viewers would be aware of a flickering as the active shutter technology worked.

LCD 3D Advantages over Plasma 3D

LCD TVs have a couple of advantages over Plasma though. For starters the fact that a LED boost can be added making pictures brighter: which was a problem for early 3D TVs where much of the light was lost by the time it got to the viewers eyes.

With a brighter TV you can watch 3D TV with the lights up in your room rather than having to do it in complete darkness: as long as the lightdoesn’t interfere with the signal going between the glasses and the TV that is.

Samsung 3d TVs

LCD TVs are also generally accepted by buyers as being better quality than plasma and longer lasting, this hasn’t been the case for some time but it is still a generally held misconception.

Glassless 3D TV – Auto 3D

Samsung like others is working on a glassesless 3D TV (known as Auto 3D), this should see people take it up who aren’t happy to have to wear glasses currently or at least put off by the idea. Continue reading “Samsung 3d TVs”

Sharp 3d TVs

Sharp are looking to bring out the first 3D tablet device that wont require glasses using the same technology as they use in the screens that they provide for making the Nintendo 3D-DS handheld consoles. This development may stand them in good stead for Auto 3D TV development.

Sharp’s pre auto 3D TVs in their Aquos range have become known for great picture quality and a good 2D upscaler. The upscaling means that a 3D TV suddenly has access to a huge amount of 3D content by converting 2D content on the fly; this isn’t as good as content filmed in 3D but it is seen as vital to increase the uptake of 3D TV: which will otherwise be limited on the amount of content available for some time.

One thing that Sharp have been pushing in their TVs is a four colour technology that they call Quatron:this exists with 3D TVs as well though.With printing four colour CMYK is a standard now rather than three colour RGB that most TVs are based on: Sharp takes the same step with TVs to give a better depth of colour.

Sharp 3d TVs

All of Sharps TVs are based on LCD and have an Aquos LED backlighting system to give a brighter picture, meaning that you can view 3D TV even in a bright Room: the design of their 3D glasses also helps keep out unwanted background light. Unfortunately some reviewers have found that the shiny texture of Sharp’s screens may cause problems with reflections that can make 3D content through tinted glasses especially difficult to view; also the reflection may be visible more to one eye than the other ruining the 3D effect. Continue reading “Sharp 3d TVs”