Thứ Ba, 19 tháng 4, 2016

Virtual Desktop for VR

I can trace my computing history along a path of display milestones. The 10-inch VGA monitor that came with my Packard Bell desktop in the ’90s was a huge leap forward from the low-res Apple II displays I used in school. Then there was the 20-inch Sony Trinitron flat CRT that I brought to college with my first custom-built desktop, which served as my dorm entertainment center for years. These days, I rock two 24-inch 1080p LCDs at home, and I’m eyeing an ultra-wide screen upgrade at some point. After spending several hours with Virtual Desktop, a $15 app developed by Guy Godin for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive that brings the full Windows experience to VR, it seems like we’re close to yet another display revolution.

Imagine having your entire Windows desktop projected on a movie theater screen while sitting in the best seat in the house, and you’ll have some idea of what Virtual Desktop offers. Instead of a darkened theater, though, the display floats atop your choice of backgrounds (I really enjoy the detailed space environments). It brings to mind fantastical interfaces from science fiction — in particular, the trippy augmented reality setup from the gameHeavy Rain.

There’s a definite “wow” factor to Virtual Desktop. After installing and running the app, I just slipped on my Rift headset and was presented with an impressive recreation of my Windows setup. Once you’re in virtual view, you can resize the size and distance of the desktop, from the equivalent of sitting six feet away from a 60-inch display, to having it tower before you as if it were on a enormous IMAX screen. I found it most comfortable to have the virtual screen completely fill up my field of vision, even though that also involved occasionally moving my head around to focus on specific things.

SteamVR’s “desktop theater mode” on the HTC Vive also lets you use Windows in VR, but in my testing it was hard to actually read text and use Windows as you normally would. It’s mainly meant for playing non-VR games and movies in your headset. In comparison, I had no trouble going through my email, browsing the web and reading long articles with Virtual Desktop. It was so comfortable, in fact, that I was able to use it for hours on end.

Virtual Desktop is particularly impressive when it comes to watching videos, since you can freely make the screen larger for a more cinematic experience. Of course, you won’t get the full resolution of 1080p HD videos, since both the Rift and Vive are limited by their displays, which only offer a resolution of 1280 x 1080 pixels per eye. Videos still looked sharp and clear in full-screen mode though. And after being underwhelmed by the virtual theater apps on both the Rift and Vive, which seem more focused on reminding you that you’re in a VR environment than actually making videos look good, I was surprised to find I actually enjoyed watching things with Virtual Desktop.

There’s also support for viewing 360-degree videos and photos with the app, which is useful for quickly jumping into an immersive clip from YouTube. This is one area that the app needs to improve on, though. To plug in a video, you need to copy a URL to your clipboard and insert that into Virtual Desktop’s settings app. It’ll then proceed to download the video and play it instantly. You can also open up 360-degree videos already on your computer, but it’s far more likely you’ll be grabbing content from YouTube and other sites.

The big problem with the app? You still have to rely on your keyboard and mouse to navigate Windows, which will definitely be an issue if you don’t touch-type well. Remember, you can’t easily see what’s going on in front of you. Virtual Desktop shows why something like the Vive’s webcam, which lets you quickly view the outside world, is essential for all VR headsets. I did most of my testing with the Oculus Rift, so I was forced to either type very carefully, or remove the headset if I needed to hit a specific key. (Function keys, in particular, are hard to touch-type.)

I was able to write several lengthy emails while wearing the Rift, but it always took a few seconds for my fingers to readjust to the key positions after taking my hands away. That ended up being a bigger issue for entering web addresses or numbers of any kind, since those involve hitting keys that aren’t in my normal touch-typing range. (My slim wireless keyboard doesn’t have a number pad, though that probably would make my life easier.) Mousing around Windows in Virtual Desktop was fine, and the app also made something mundane like photo editing feel like a revelatory experience. Cropping and recoloring a giant image felt akin to working on a giant Jackson Pollock-esque canvas.

I won’t be giving up my dual monitor setup anytime soon, but I was surprised by how well my workflow transferred to Virtual Desktop. I could see creative types preferring it to a restrictive monitor setup, especially for things like video and audio editing, where you normally have dozens of tracks to juggle at one. Just like the first batch of VR hardware, the app feels like a sign of things to come. It won’t be too long until we can just slip on a pair of glasses to have a full desktop environment emerge from our smartphones.

Virtual Desktop for VR - #Gaming, #Gear, #HandsOn, #PersonalComputing, #Personalcomputing, #VirtualDesktop, #Virtualrealiiy, #VR -

Braven XXL Review

When it comes to sound quality, bigger is almost always better. Bigger size allows for more and bigger drivers, which can produce more and bigger bass and treble. Braven took on the challenge of making a large speaker that’s portable with its $350 Braven XXL.

Fortunately, Braven’s supersized speaker sounds very good. And with its rechargeable battery, tough build and water resistance, the XXL could be the ultimate party speaker — if you’re strong enough to lift it.


The XXL stretches the definition of a portable Bluetooth speaker. At 20.25 x 9.5 x 8.25 inches, the XXL could fit several 8.9 x 3.3-inch UE Megaboom speakers inside. It’s not just big though — it’s also really heavy. Weighing in at 18 pounds, it could substitute for a dumbbell during arm curls. By comparison, the $300 Fugoo Style XL weighs 4 pounds, 2 ounces, and the $300 Megaboom is just 2 pounds.

Credit: BravenIn order to help you lug this speaker around, the XXL has a handle integrated into the top, and comes with a shoulder strap. While those are necessary additions for a speaker this size, I still found the thing awkward to move from room to room. Hiking with it would be out of the question, but I could see myself using it for car camping.

Serious Durability

With its hard, black shell and silver grills on the front and back, the XXL could have been a prop in Batman v Superman, and it looks tough enough to withstand a punch from the Man of Steel. With an IPX5 rating, it can handle being sprayed with jets of water — a rainstorm is no problem — but it shouldn’t be submerged in a pool. The Fugoo XL has an IPX 67 rating, which means it can be dunked underwater

The XXL has the best bass performance of any portable speaker I’ve tried.

Controls and Features

On the right side of the XXL, you’ll find the power button along with a play/pause button and volume controls. You can also adjust the bass and treble levels with these buttons. Like most larger speakers, the bass opens up at higher volumes, so you may want to boost the low end when listening at lower volume.

Under a protective cover on the left side, you’ll find a DC power port for charging the battery, an auxiliary input for wired connections and a microphone jack that turns the XXL into a portable PA system — a neat trick I haven’t seen on other Bluetooth speakers. You can also use the USB port to charge your mobile devices.


The XXL has the best bass performance of any portable speaker I’ve tested, and it delivers crisp treble tones, too. It doesn’t sound better than a nonportable wireless speaker like the $300 Sonos Play:3, but it leaves most other speakers with batteries in the dust.

The XXL doubles as a portable PA system, a neat trick I haven’t seen on other Bluetooth speakers.

The thumping bass on Kanye West’s “Famous” vibrated my table with much greater force than Fugoo’s XL. The XXL also shines with distinct treble tones, whether heard through Miles Davis’ trumpet on “Summertime” or Lindsey Buckingham’s fingerpicked guitar on Fleetwood Mac’s “Never Going Back Again.”

This speaker also handles vocals well — Rihanna’s voice sounded full and rich on Kanye’s “Famous” — though the XXL’s midrange isn’t superior to the Fugoo’s. That results in a bit of brash sound on songs such as the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night.”

The XXL’s volume is as outsized as the speaker itself. It peaked at 95 decibels in my testing, though it started to distort above 90 dB. It also spreads sound widely, which makes it a welcome guest at big parties.


The XXL paired without problem with iOS and Android devices. It has a wireless range of 33 feet, which is average. I found that the connection remained strong at more than 25 feet.

The XXL it looks tough enough to withstand a punch from the Man of Steel.

Braven doesn’t offer an app for additional features. The few adjustments you can make — bass and treble — are controlled on the speaker.

Battery Life

The thing that separates the XXL from other larger speakers is its battery. Units like the Sonos Play:3 are tethered to a power cord, but the XXL can play without being plugged in for up to 14 hours on a full charge. I listened for about 10 hours and still had about a quarter of the battery life left. By comparison, the Fugoo XL offers 35 hours of battery life, and the Megaboom goes for at least 20 hours.

Bottom Line

The Braven XXL is an intriguing mix of sound quality, power and portability. Thanks to this speaker’s rechargeable battery and ruggedness, you can kick out the jams without being near an electrical outlet. It’s loud enough to fill a large room or be heard over the splashing of a pool party.

But it is neither very portable nor the best-sounding wireless speaker you can get for the money. The Fugoo XL doesn’t sound as good but is easier to move and much more rugged. Sonos’ Play:3 delivers better overall sound, but can’t be taken on the road. However, if you crave superior audio at your parties and have the muscle to move this speaker around, the Braven XXL may be the best match you’ll find.

Braven XXL Review - #BluetoothSpeaker, #Braven, #BravenXXL, #BravenXXLReview, #IPX67, #PortableBluetoothSpeaker, #Review -

W Korea May 2016 : Bella Hadid by Terry Richardson

May 2016 AP0126581

May 2016

May 2016 AP0126582

May 2016

W Korea May 2016 : Bella Hadid by Terry Richardson - #BellaHadid, #TerryRichardson, #WKorea - Celezz

Huawei P9 Leica camera made by Sunny Optical Technology

A key feature of the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus is their dual-camera setup, featuring Leica-certified optics. Recent information regarding the two cameras reveal they are made by Sunny Optical Technology of China, which is a camera manufacturer authorized by Leica.

This is the first time the Germany-based Leica is cooperating with a Chinese OEM. If this first endeavor proves successful, it’s quite possible to see more Leica camera tech in future smartphones.

In our Huawei P9 review we concluded that the phone has one of the best camera setups on the market. The dynamic range is high and colors are spot on with more than enough resolved detail.

Source | Via

Huawei P9 Leica camera made by Sunny Optical Technology - #HuaweiP9, #HuaweiP9Leica, #LeicaCamera, #SunnyOpticalTechnology -

MicFlip Reversible microUSB cable review

The dawn of the microUSB may be upon us, but it still has a few years before it’s properly phased out. While the USB Type-C allows reversible plugs, it’s yet to become the most popular, let alone the only standard.

Many new smartphones, among other gadgets, available today on the market still prefer the microUSB plugs either to maintain backwards compatibility or simply because it’s a smaller plug. Just look at the Galaxy S7 series.

And we all know the inconvenience of trying to plug a microUSB cable the wrong way. Best case scenario – it’s annoying. Worst case – you can irreversibly damage the port.

MicFlip has a solution for this problem – a reversible microUSB cable.

It does exactly what the name suggests – the 2m cable has a regular USB 2.0 plug on one of its sides to plug into computers or charger plugs. And the other side ends with a specially designed symmetric microUSB plug that goes in either way.

First, and most important, it works. You can plug the cable into most of the microUSB ports on various mobile devices hassle-free, and you don’t need to watch if the correct side is up. Inside the small microUSB head, the pins are placed on both side of a small board while the exterior shell has its four corners sliced to fit in any microUSB port.

Second, it’s as easy and convenient as it looks like. The cable is made of high-quality materials, and it can work with virtually any charger plug, including fast/rapid chargers, and any Mac, PC, TV, and console.

There is a catch, though. We had issues with quite a few Samsung and HTC smartphones in our office – the cable just didn’t want to go in.

It’s because of the pins, which are placed on both sides and makes it really hard to insert the cable in particular devices. The solution turned out to be quite simple – just push it hard into any device that seems not to be taking it. It will eventually go in, and the pins will retract a bit.

After the first tough insertion we had no problem putting the MicFlip into any device.

MicFlip is for those who are tired of always being careful with their cables. Especially if you have broken a port already. Some may consider the MicFlip cable to be solving a non-existing problem while others will find it a blessing.

MicFlip Reversible microUSB cable review - #MicFlip, #MicroUSBCable, #MicroUSBCableReview, #ReversibleMicroUSBCable, #Review -