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JUST for Geeks

Atari Returns to Game Consoles

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Atari Returns to Game Consoles

Here's for unexpected comebacks-- following the E3 2017 tease of a "brand new Atari product," the once iconic games company reveals the Ataribox, a console featuring a look reminiscent of classic Atari hardware.

Described in an announcement newsletter to fans as "a new product that stays true to our heritage while appealing to both old and new fans of Atari," little is actually known about the Ataribox. As mentioned earlier, the design is inspired by old Atari machines and complete with wood paneling, ribbed lines and raised back. It will come in either wood or black/red finishes.

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The Camera-Equipped Smart Wallet

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The Camera-Equipped Smart Wallet

The Volterman adds a high-tech security twist to the regular wallet-- the "smart" wallet features GPS and 3G connectivity, as well as a RFID protection and a camera allowing it snap pictures of would-be thieves.

The wallet essentially packs the internals of a somewhat dated smartphone, only without the screen. Users can pair it with their phones via Bluetooth 5.0, providing an alarm in case the wallet is lost. The GPS helps in the finding of said wallet, while 3G connectivity turns it into a wifi hotspot.

The aforementioned camera is an optional extra. It switches on when the camera is in lost mode, and snaps and sends photos of anyone who opens the wallet. Powering it are 512MB of RAM and a battery one can also use to charge other mobile devices.

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Steve Jobs Turtleneck Makes a Comeback

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Steve Jobs Turtleneck Makes a Comeback

Apple aficionados rejoice-- the black turtleneck that made the uniform of the late Steve Jobs is making a comeback of sorts as Issey Miyake, the company behind garment, announces a new version.

The original black turtleneck was officially retired on 2011, after the death of Jobs. As such the company insists the new turtleneck, designed by Miyake protégé Yusuke Takahashi, is a different model. Dubbed the "Semi-Dull T," it features a trimmer silhouette with higher shoulders, and is made from 60% polyester and 40% cotton. That said it ultimately looks like, well, a black turtleneck.

Steve Jobs' iconic turtleneck and jeans look actually has an interesting backstory. As Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson puts it, he was inspired to create an Apple uniform after visiting Sony in the 1980s, where every employee (from the lowliest factory worker to co-founder Akio Morita) wore the same outfit, a blue-and-white work jacket.

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Nintendo Follows NES Classic With SNES

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Nintendo Follows NES Classic With SNES

After the runaways success that was the NES Classic Nintendo presents a 16-bit sequel-- the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System, a palm-size version of the legendary games machine.

Released in Europe back in 1992 (nearly 2 years after it first hit the Japanese market), the SNES is considered as the home of some the greatest games of all time. These include classics such as Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Mario Kart, Super Metroid and F-Zero. The miniature rerelease has all those titles built-in, together with the likes of Final Fantasy III, EarthBound and Street Fighter II.

In total the SNES Classic contains 21 games, one of which was actually never released-- Star Fox 2, the sequel to Star Fox (aka Starwing in Europe), a shoot 'em up one can also find in the machine. Like the NES Classic, the SNES Classic connects to modern TVs via HDMI, a USB cable provides power and a pair of wired controllers is included.

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A Stealth Startup for Better VR?

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A Stealth Startup for Better VR?

Finnish startup Varjo emerges from stealth mode to present what it claims is a superior VR and AR headset-- "20/20," a headset with supposedly "human eye resolution" of over 70 megapixels per eye.

In comparison, the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive push around 1.2MP per eye. In addition, the headset supposedly mimics how human vision works, with smaller, high-density displays filling the centre of the field of view surrounded by lower-resolution displays at the left and right edges. Eye tracking and software calculate the spot the wearer is focusing on, ensuring the eye is focused on the high-resolution display.

Prototype versions of the headset currently have a high-resolution microdisplay (similar to the OLED microdisplays found in professional broadcast cameras) mounted on top, which in turn is reflected inside the headset via mirror. The eye tracking is not in place as yet, but Varjo promises it will eventually allow for an ultra-clear viewing.

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The "Smallest, Smartest and Simplest" DJI Spark Drone

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The

Chinese drone maker DJI announces what it claims is its "smallest, smartest and simplest" drone yet-- the Spark, a palm-sized quadcopter featuring gesture-based control.

The miniature drone weighs 300g, and carries enough battery power to fly for 16 minutes. It can also shoot HD video and 12MP photos, has a 2-axis gimbal camera sabiliser, 3D sensing camera, GPS/Glonass and on-board software to mitigate shake and shutter roll. That said, what makes it really interesting is the aforementioned gesture control, allowing users to end the drone overhead and take a photo without need for a controller or app.

“Controlling a camera drone with hand movements alone is a major step towards making aerial technology an intuitive part of everyone’s daily life, from work and adventure to moments with friends and family,” the company says. “Spark’s revolutionary new interface lets you effortlessly extend your point of view to the air, making it easier than ever to capture and share the world from new perspectives.”

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The Acer Windows Mixed Reality VR Headset

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The Acer Windows Mixed Reality VR Headset

The 2017 Microsoft Build conference sees Acer announce a Windows Mixed Reality VR headset-- one available on the holiday season in a bundle including the new Microsoft motion controllers.

Also unveiled at the conference, the Microsoft motion controllers are reminiscent to the upcoming Touch controllers designed for the Oculus headset. The Microsoft controllers are wireless, and like the Touch controllers feature multiple buttons and triggers allowing users to "grasp" items within a virtual space.

However, unlike the Touch controllers, the Microsoft take on the accessories does not require an external sensors or markers-- instead, the controllers use vertically-placed glowing ring in conjunction with sensors built into the headset.

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Amazon Shows Things With Echo Show

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Amazon Shows Things With Echo Show

Amazon confirms the existence of a long rumoured touchscreen-equipped Echo device-- the Echo Show, a connected home hub featuring a 7-inch touchscreen together with voice recognition capability.

“Echo Show brings you everything you love about Alexa, and now she can show you things," the online retailer turned cloud giant-slash-hardware maker says. "Watch video flash briefings and YouTube, see music lyrics, security cameras, photos, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, and more. All hands-free—just ask.”

Another feature found in the Echo show is a camera, allowing for video calls, and Alexa skills are included for integration with smart home devices. This includes baby monitors from Ring and Arlo, Philips Hue smart lights, and thermostats from the likes of ecobee and WeMo.

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Hover Camera Passport Drone Zooms to Apple Stores

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Hover Camera Passport Drone Zooms to Apple Stores

Apple retail outlets get a new drone option in the shape of the Hover Camera Passport-- an ultra-portable number able to follow users around and take hands-free photos.

Developed by Zero Zero Robots, the Hover Camera Passport is a foldable drone built from carbon fibre material. It weighs just 242g and carries a 13MP camera with 4K video support and the ability to capture 360-degree panoramic video. Battery life clocks at around 10 minutes per charge, and the makers promise the Passport is very easy to use, with artificial intelligence allowing anyone to operate both indoors and outdoors.

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