What do you get if you put the ‘Merc with a Mouth’ aka Deadpool, one of the few characters in the Marvel universe who can actually break the fourth wall and who literally just can’t shut up with one of the most stoic characters in the entire Star Wars universe (both the Reimagined and Expanded version) and who spoke an entire five lines in all three of the original movies?
Well, you get this: an epic rap battle between two of the most famous fictitious mercenaries in the history of fandom. It’s too amazing for words. Look – just watch it, alright?
According to the good chaps at online shopping store Rakuten, Malaysians are apparently some of the most generous chaps in the world when it comes to donating to the needy. Now, rather than chunk out for another stocking stuffer, you can do put your dosh to a more noble cause as they’ve tied up with UNICEF and opened up an Inspired Gifts online store where you can purchase essential survival, medical and educational kit that can go towards helping the needy. You can swing by the Rakuten web store and then directly buy a gift pack and other items that will go towards deserving children. For every Inspired Gift purchased, Rakuten will give a 5% rebate in the form of Rakuten Super Points back to customers.
There’s a whole list of essentials available for purchase ranging from mosquito nets to education kits and even Polio vaccines that, when purchased, go towards the needy. Prices start from RM49 for a pack of pencils and notebooks all the way up to a water hand pump at RM1,711.
Some of the more interesting kit available include a Early Child Development kit that comes with a host of educational toys for kids to develop their learning and language skills.
Once you’ve made a purchase, you can dedicate a rather cute Unicef Paper Doll Gift Card to someone dear to you to commemorate the purchase. The gifts are available online at Rakuten starting this month. Catch a video of what Rakuten’s Inspired Gifts programme is about below and swing by www.rakuten.com.my/shop/unicef to chip in for a good cause.
The adventures of a man with an inordinately huge sword and and an impossibly spiky hairdo in a steampunk world are being revisited again by Square Enix. In case the pop culture references got by you, Final Fantasy VII is enjoying a remake for the Playstation 4. They just released a trailer and it looks mighty impressive indeed.
Helming the project will be several of the original members including producer Yoshinori Kitase, director Tetsuya Nomura and scenario writer Kazushige Nojima. In the meantime, go ahead and ogle the screencaps and trailer that offers a ton of luscious detail.
While good things rarely come free, Epic Games has decided to buck the rule this time and has released, at least for the duration of the holiday season, their side scrolling action game Shadow Complex for the low low price of nought for the PC.
For the uninitiated, Shadow Complex is a post-modern side scrolling platformer made based on the Unreal engine. The game is a side scroller with you traversing across a 2.5D landscape replete with hapless grunts, boss battles and, of course, collectibles and a plethora of paths off the beaten track.
This should prove ideal to keep you distracted until Santa comes around. Give it a whirl here
If you’re still unconvinced you can catch a bit of the gameplay here. You’d best hurry though, the free offer lasts only for the holiday season.
The last part of Blizzard’s Starcraft II trilogy dubbed the Legacy of the Void has finally gone live for the PC. Featuring the Protoss, the standalone expansion wraps up the storyline for Starcraft II and features a single player campaign for the aforementioned race, co-op missions as well as a smattering of new units across the board for the other two races who’ve already had their own expansions released in the preceding few years. If you’re a fan of the game, you’ll be rather chuffed to know that they’ve also taken the wraps off some rather interesting Protoss merch .
The folks at ThinkGeek have unveiled a 7-inch high Protoss Pylon USB charger that you can use to juice up your devices via two USB ports, one of which has a 1 Amp and the other a 2.1 Amp output. No word on if it’ll charge energy shields or other Protoss hardware but it ought to reliably juice most conventional USB powered Earth-based tech in the market.
When charging, it’ll light up with the Protoss’ characteristic serene blue glow common to their military hardware though you can opt to switch it off if you deign to do so. The whole affair weights 170g and is officially licensed so you don’t have to worry about it being some dodgy piece of hardware that’ll spontaneously combust the moment you plug it in. Swing by the ThinkGeek link here to snag your very own Pylon.
If you’re working in an office, you’ll likely be familiar with some of the annoyances that go with it when it comes to ambient noise be it nattering colleagues, clacking keyboards or some oblivious janitor using the hoover even when you’re attempting to get work done. Plantronics’ latest business oriented headset the Voyager Focus UC aims to address all these annoyances with noise cancelling tech and quite a bit of comfort too.
The Voyager Focus UC has a mostly conventional design though it has several refinements to make it more comfier to use and more intuitive as well. The ‘UC’ stands for Unified Communication and the headphones have Class 1 Bluetooth to pair seamlessly via with up to eight compatible devices like your smartphone or tablet though it has a Bluetooth dongle if you aim to use it with a PC.
What makes it interesting is that the Voyager Focus UC packs Dynamic Mute Alert tech that mutes itself when the headphones were taken off and unmutes it when you put it back on. You’re also able to answer calls by wearing the headphones and it intelligently mutes any media you’re listening to when you make and take calls.
The boom mike lets you make calls and depending on orientation lets you wear it on your left or right ear as you see fit. The headband is aluminium though it’s suspended by means of an elastic headband on your head to avoid the usual feeling of donning a vice on your bonce while the swivelling leatherette padded headphones are cushioned for both comfort and passive noise insulation.
The Voyager Focus UC’s Active noise cancelling tech helps to mute external noises and the built-in battery offers up to 12 hours of talk time before needing a recharge via a micro USB port. It ships for RM1,518 along with a charging dock though it’s currently not sold in any retail stores as it’s intended for enterprise use. To find out more about the Voyager Focus UC you can swing by their official website here
While most smartphones these days lack water proofing, with only a select few like selected models of Sony’s Xperia range having the modest ability to survive for up to 30 minutes in a metre of water, tops, all of them unfortunately will sink like the Titanic and having the ability for your phone to keep working in the drink isn’t going to to much if you can’t recover it should you accidentally drop it in the deep or moving water. This new phone that’s just hit IndieGoGo for funding is not only water resistant, it floats too so that your blower doesn’t go off into the briny depths like a sub and surfaces more like a majestic well, er…whale.
The new floating smartphone, dubbed the Comet comes with a 4.7-inch Full HD AMOLED display, runs stock Android Marshmallow on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 2GHz processor, has 4GB RAM and has dual front and rear 16-MP camera that will feature optical image stabilisation. The built-in battery powering the phone clocks in at 2800mAh. Storage options run into either 32GB or 64GB variants though there’s no word on if there’ll be a microSD card expansion slot or dual SIM card slots.
One particular feature they’re keenly touting is end-to-end 256-bit AES milspec grade encryption so Big Brother or whatever sinister alphabet agency intent on keenly listening in can’t tune in to your nattering on the phone. The caveat here is that this encryption only works if the other side has another Comet phone too.
Prices for both variants run into about US$329 and US399 and according to their timeline it’ll, assuming it’s fully funded of course, be available to backers by April 2016. You can check out the campaign on IndieGoGo here
Further investigation reveals however that they originally started pitched the phone on Kickstarter to disastrous effect earlier in June which you can see here where they only managed to get 144 backers and a somewhat dismal US$25,304 out of a requested US$100,000. On Kickstarter, the phone has much of the same touted specs though with a design that has three fins popping out the back of the phone through some unknown means when it hits the water to get it to float. The jury is out on the Comet and more often than not, these crowdsourcing efforts fail but hey, if you have the cash and are keen on plunking down a few Benjamins for a phone that floats and has completely legitimate specs that would put a phone from any of the major vendors to shame you know where to go.
HTC’s recent exclusive event in New York unveiled their latest addition to the One family, the One A9. Its model designation indicates that it’s not related to the earlier M7, M8 or M9 series smartphones or its subvariants like the locally released One M9+ and E9+.
The One A9 externally also bears an aesthetic departure from the design of the One M-series smartphones. Dubbed ‘metalmorphics’, the new design comes in four different colours – Carbon Gray, Opal Silver, Topaz Gold and Deep Garnet. As per the usual drill, not all colours may necessarily be released in any given country.
On casual inspection, the A9 bears a slight similarity to the latest iPhone 6S’s design language with its curved edges and rounded design. It’s the same weight at 143g though it’s slightly larger all around.
Aesthetics aside, the One A9 has an interesting spec sheet that puts it somewhere between a middling to high-end midrange phone, depending on which subvariant you get. While the One M9+ and E9+ sported MediaTek’s Helios processors, the One A9 instead has gone back to a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octacore processor that pairs a 1.5GHz quadcore with a 1.2GHz quadcore processor running Android 6.0 Marshmallow with their HTC Sense user interface overlay.
The front display of the A9 comes with a 5-inch Full HD display sheathed in Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for survivability against scratches. Like the M9 series, the A9 has a home button that doubles as a multi-directional fingerprint sensor up front at the base of the phone to unlock it and for payment purposes though the latter feature is not featured in Malaysia.
In terms of memory and storage, the A9 comes in two possible alternate memory configurations depending on which market it’s destined for. One configuration has 32GB of onboard storage and 3GB RAM while the other has 16GB of built-in storage and a more modest 2GB RAM, marking it out as a midrange configuration. Both have microSD slots that can support, according to HTC, up to 2TB microSD cards though the largest you can score in the market is 128GB at the moment.
The rear camera on the A9 has a 13-MP sensor with a sapphire cover lens, an f/2.0 aperture with autofocus, a BSI sensor, and a first for HTC – optical image stabilisation. The front camera is HTC’s proven 4-MP UltraPixel snapper that has an f/2.0 aperture for selfies and good low light performance. Both rear and front cameras are capable of 1080P video recording. Additional features include Hyperlapse time lapse tool to speed up your videos up to 12 times faster to take those epic sunrise and sunset shots. Like earlier HTC phones, you can upload vignettes and snippets to their HTC Zoe service for sharing with friends and family.
Rather than a top and bottom grille design like that seen on the One M-series phones, the A9 instead opts for a subtler look like that seen on the earlier released Desire Eye with hidden front facing grilles that contain HTC’s front facing BoomSound speakers. This time around, the phone has been enhanced with a built-in DAC and Dolby Audio surround tech to allow for 24-bit, 192KHz quality audio playback.
The biggest downfall to any phone – battery life – has been addressed on the One A9 with a more proactive approach by turning off power hungry or unused apps to prolong the life of its 2,150mAh battery. On paper, it offers up to 18 days of standby time and up to 9 hours of Internet use on Wi-Fi. The battery is also able to support Quick Charge 2.0 and is also forward compatible with Quick Charge 3.0.
While no firm dates have been set, the One A9 is set to hit retailers the world over in November. More details when HTC Malaysia announces a local launch.To recap, here’s the One A9’s specifications below. You can also check it out at HTC’s website here There’s no word on local pricing as yet but it’s retailing for US$400 (RM1696.97) in the States for the 32GB/3GB RAM version and, oddly enough an eye watering £430 (RM2,800) for the lower end 16GB/2GB RAM version in the UK .
If you love vintage cameras and building things out of little blocks, rejoice as Nikon Japan has created something to indulge both your interests in the form of a special 1,000 piece Nanoblock set that, once constructed, resembles their first F SLR camera that rolled off the production lines back in April 1959 and saw production for some 14 years until they stopped making it in 1973.
It’s not exactly a 1:1 scale model as it measures in at about 84 x 148 x 75m but the Nanoblock model has loads of detail as you can see here compared to the original camera.
For the uninitiated, Nanoblocks are something akin to Lego blocks though rather than churning out playsets of popular franchises like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and the like, their line-up of building sets primarily consists of popular tourist attractions and cute animals (oddly enough, Pokemon too) and, as mentioned earlier, features much smaller bricks. A 2×2 flat Nanoblock stud is just 8mm x 8mm and 5mm high. Plus side: they don’t hurt as much when you accidentally stomp on them compared to Lego blocks. True story.
For now, the Nanoblock Nikon F is only available for sale at the Japanese Nikon Direct website for about ¥3980 or about MYR139 though you’ll expect scalpers will be having a field day with this.
Alas, it’s unavailable outside of Japan so you’ll have to ogle it from afar for now though it’ll likely be available on eBay or through specialty importers.
If you’ve been hankering to get your hands on Samsung’s Galaxy S6 or their unique looking S6 edge but weren’t too keen on the existing colours available- white, black and a blinged up gold – , you’ll be rather pleased to discover that they’ve made the signature colours, glimpsed earlier on this year at MWC in Barcelona now available for sale with the S6 now coming in an iridescent Blue Topaz and the S6 edge in a lustrously dark green and shiny Emerald Green.
The S6 only comes with a 32GB option locally for RM2,599 for all colours including the newly launched Blue Topaz while the S6 edge comes in 32GB and 64GB sizes for RM3,099 and RM3,599 in the new colour as well as the existing ones. To refresh your memory, both the S6 and S6 edge come with a 64-bit 2.1GHz Exynos 7420 processor, 3GB RAM and, as mentioned earlier 32GB of non expandable storage with the option of a 64GB variant for the S6 edge.
The screen for both is a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 pixels resolution and 577 ppi though the S6 edge has the addition of two edge displays, hence the name on each edge of the display to show notifications for easier reading. Both the S6 and S6 edge have a 16-MP camera capable of taking 4K video and the optical image stabilisation has so far made it one of the best cameras on offer this year. The front is a 5-Mp selfie camera with a software based Wide Selfie mode. Swing by Samsung’s Malaysian website here for more details.