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22 Apr 2014 | Leave a Comment

After 5yrs of chasing artefacts around the globe, agents Pete Lattimer, Myka Bering, Claudia Donovan, Steve Jinks and Artie Nielsen all prepare to hand back the keys to Warehouse 13, as it returns for a 6 episode 5th and final season on SyFy UK tonight at 9pm!

The ‘X-Files meets Ghostbusters’ drama was thankfully given a shortened final season to sort out plot lines, and bring everything to a (hopefully) satisfactory conclusion.

Above is a sneak peek at tonights episode!

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17 Apr 2014 | Leave a Comment

The second season of the Netflix original series ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, is premiering with all 13 episodes at once, on Friday the 6th of June 2014, and I’m really looking forward to it!

The highly-anticipated second season of Netflix’s ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK goes back behind bars for another sentence with the fearless, funny and unforgettable inmates of Litchfield prison. The series’ ensemble includes Taylor Schilling, Jason Biggs, Laura Prepon, Kate Mugrew, Danielle Brooks, Uzo Aduba, Natasha Lyonne, Taryn Manning, Laverne Cox, Michael Harney, Samira Wiley, Yael Stone and more. Lorraine Toussaint joins the cast in season two as Yvonne “Vee” Parker.

Recognised by AFI as one of the Top 10 Programs of the Year and recently recognised with a Peabody Award, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK is from Lionsgate Television, executive produced by Jenji Kohan and based on Piper Kerman’s best-selling book of the same name.

See the cast describe season 2 in 3 words…

Follow @OITNB and  http://facebook.com/OITNB for more information on the series in the weeks to come.

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16 Apr 2014 | Leave a Comment

‘We’re all the boss’ s a campaign by giffgaff that reinvents the meaning of the word ‘boss’, so that it will no longer apply to one individual. In this series they show how people work together can make things better, much like how giffgaff works. The series sees different collaborations with Astroid Boys, Trinity Warriors, a group of Coasteerers, Cardiff University Gaming Society and others in several different projects, you can find out more about their stories over at giffgaff.com/alltheboss

Filmed in loads of different communities all over the UK, the campaign focuses on people who are making things happen, making big decisions, bringing their ideas to life and being their own boss. This is anyone from Marcus who set up his own clothing label, to John, a member of a group of coasteers. Check it out.

This is a sponsored post.

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14 Apr 2014 | 13 Comments

SOE Landmark

SOE Landmark

As you saw if you read the site yesterday, our current online obsession is Sony Online’s ‘Landmark‘. A massive multiplayer crafting game, where you and your friends can build anything you want.

Are you into building games? Do you love Minecraft, but wish there was a bit more control than just placing pixelated cubes? Then this competition is for you!

We’re giving away 4 unrestricted Closed Beta keys to Landmark, meaning you can get in game right now, and help develop it’s future direction! All you have to do to be in with a chance to win, is one (or both) of the following:

1. Retweet the following:
Win a Beta Key for SOE’s Landmark. Tweet @Geektown why you should win! http://wp.me/p10pHL-3R9

2. Leave a comment on this post saying you want to win and tell me why I should pick you to win a Beta key!

If you do win, and would like to come join us, you’ll find Geektown right next to the main hub on Satisfaction (EU) server > Arch. You can come use our crafting stations to help get you started. :)

Competition now closed – Winners have been email/tweeted, so check your emails/twitter accounts!

 

The competition closes on 18th April 2014 and is open to UK RESIDENTS ONLY aged 16 or over.
There will be 4 winners picked from entries on geektown.co.uk and Twitter.
By entering you are agreeing to the rules of this competition. Full rules can be read here.

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13 Apr 2014 | Leave a Comment

A few days ago, Geektown had the pleasure of visiting The Gadget Show Live 2014 at the NEC in Birmingham. As with last year there where a number of interesting items on display, some practical, some just for fun. Here are the top 6 gadgets we saw at the show:

6. E-Bikes (Electric Bikes)

E-Bikes

E-Bikes

Last year you couldn’t move for 3D printers at the show. This year’s darlings appears to be the humble bike, but with a twist. There were a number of bike accessories and some foldable bikes, but the one that really caught my eye were the E-Bikes. The show had a big track set up so you could try out a number of battery operated electric bikes, which are essentially normal pedal bikes, but with a battery which can either assist you with your peddling, or take over completely.

It’s a slightly odd, but not unpleasant experience. On full battery power, it’s like free wheeling down a hill, but on the flat. Using it in assist mode is like having someone pushing you from behind. Like having some giant parent pushing you along, like they did when you learned to ride in the first place. The bikes are obviously a bit more expensive that your run-of-the-mill pedal bike, but they tend to get used a lot more, due to the fact the rider doesn’t have to worry about going out somewhere and not having the energy to pedal home again!

Electronic Bikes on Amazon

5. SunnyCam (Hands Free Video Camera)

I actually first saw the SunnyCam at ComicCon a few weeks back, when one of the photographers was wearing a pair of them to record footage (and if your reading this SunnyCam people, send a pair to Sleepy Hollow star Nicole Beharie as she was after a pair!) Put simply, they’re glasses with a HD video camera in them. No need for additional mounts, or things strapped to the side of your head. Just pop on the glasses and click the record button.  They record 720p HD video on to a 16Mb SD card which slots into the arm of the glasses. All the controls are easily accessible via buttons on the top of the arm, and you get 3hrs recording time from a charge. They actually look pretty stylish too!

SunnyCam website

4. OneWheel (Electric Skateboard)

OneWheel is the world first self-balancing electric skateboard. Taking inspiration from Back To The Future 2′s hover board, they wanted to build an easy to use ride that felt like you were floating across the ground. What they came up with was a board which, although it doesn’t actually hover, still looks awesome and performs beautifully. The main wheel is like a mini F1 tyre, and you control the board by a switch under your front foot. They’re in the process of building the product right now, and are taking preorders on their website. Interestingly, they assumed it would just be used as a fun cool toy, but some of the business guys that are backing them have said they want them for the commute to work!

OneWheel Website

Technology Will Save Us

Technology Will Save Us

3. Technology Will Save Us (DIY electronics kits)

Technology Will Save Us create as sell these great little DIY electronics kits. From simple circuits that click together, to more advanced kits that require a bit of soldering, they’re wonderful ways to introduce kids to electronics and programming. Whether it’s creating speakers, musical instruments, or simple hand-held games, it’s a brilliantly put together, inspirational product that totally deserves a place on this list.

Technology Will Save Us Website 

2. Tactus Smootch & VitriFender (Phone Covers)

As any regular reader of this site will know, we love phone accessories at Geektown, and the folk at Tactus had 2 which really caught my eye.

First up is the VitriFender screen cover. Pfhh… screen covers a screen cover you say? Not in this case… VitriFender is a piece of 0.4mm tempered glass, with a surface hardness of 8~9H. That means it’s 3 times stronger than your standard PET film. As I walked up to the stand, the sales guys was happily dropping 1 inch diameter ball bearings onto the screen from a fairly decent height without a mark being made on the phone. They even say you can take a knife to it and it won’t scratch!

The 2nd item is the Smootch. Made from ‘plubba’ (i swear i’m not making that up!), it’s a pliable rubber that has micro suction technology, allowing you to ‘stick’ your phone or pad to a smooth surface. At the show they had a number of them just ‘stuck’ to a plexiglass wall of the stand. You could take it off, and the cover itself is not sticky at all. Then just place it back to the wall, and it stays there. It’s like witchcraft!

Tactus Website

1. 1stFone/OwnFone (Phone)

1stFone

1stFone

For me, this ingenious little device was the star of the show. It’s an easy to use, well built, small phone. Just the size of a credit card, about 0.5cm thick, and very light, you can have it pre-programmed with up to 12 numbers. No text, no apps. Just a phone that make voice calls to the people listed on it.

If you want to give a phone to your young child so you can call them, and they can call you, but don’t want them to have internet access or be able to run up huge bills, then you can give them a 1stFone, and it will only let them call the people programmed into it. Or if you have an elderly relative that struggles with technology, then an OwnFone will let them have a set of numbers they can call at the push of a button. You can even design the front to have photo buttons rather than names, or even have the letters in Braille for blind users. All the numbers are stored in a cloud, so if you need to change a number, just call them up, and they’ll change it there and then. If you need to change the names, you can get your phone re-printed (they’re 3D printed) for £10 with the new names or photos on them.

1stFone Photos

1stFone Photos

Prices for the phone start at a very reasonable £40, and kids (or big kids) can pick and chose from a number of colourful designs. You can even upload your own images to customise the cover. Contracts start at £7.50 a month, and also come on pay-as-you-go. It should in theory also be safer from theft. Apart from the fact it doesn’t really look like a phone, what would be the point of someone stealing a phone that can only call preset numbers?

A genius, simple, easy to use product, with a wide range of uses.

1stFone/OwnFone Website

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13 Apr 2014 | Leave a Comment

Must… stop… building… must… write… article… Sony Entertainment Online’s latest online game ‘Landmark‘ recently made the move from Alpha to Closed Beta. For those of you unfamiliar with Landmark, it’s a huge open world game, where you can build anything you can imagine… And that means you can spend a lot of time in this game, tweaking and perfecting your creations. It say it’s somewhat addictive would be an understatement!

What is Landmark?

Building in Landmark

Building in Landmark

Landmark is a massive online sandbox where individuals, or groups can build anything they like. It’s about taking your pick & axe, heading out into the world, hacking down trees, mining for minerals, and using them to build something cool… And people have really were building some incredible stuff, from simple houses to huge statues, to castles, to aeroplanes! It’s amazing the amount of control some pretty simple tools can give you!

We’re at the start of Closed Beta, so there’s still a lot of features to add in – water, caves/underground, & combat to name a few key things, but those will come in time. What we do have are lots of destructible environments which you can mine/chop to get different minerals, gems and wood. You start out your Landmark adventure at a travel ‘hub’. This allows you to travel between the various islands in the game (more on them later), and also has a couple of basic crafting stations. You have a basic pick and axe, which means you can head out into the world, to start mining and chopping straight away. All you need to do is find a copper vein, or tree and get to work! Once you have a few basic raw materials, you can come back to the hub and craft the all important ‘Claim Flag’.

Staking your claim!

As much fun as destroying things can be, what you really need is a place to call home. This is called a ‘Claim’, and gives you an area where you can build permanent structures. You make a ‘Claim’ by crafting a Claim Flag at the hub crafting station, then running out into the world to find an unclaimed bit of land. If you’re struggling with this, you can switch on a ‘view claimable land’ option in the settings menu, which will highlight where in the world you can and can’t build. Once you find a open spot you like, you just have to ‘right click’ your flag to stab it into the ground and screaming ‘CLAIMED!’… (okay, that last bit is optional…), and your now a proud land owner! Claims have an upkeep of 300 copper (which is the most common resource) per day per Claim. You can currently only pay for 5 days at a time, but i suspect this’ll get altered as the game moves to Live. It’s a case of not wanting to have prime real estate sat doing nothing, and more importantly giving Beta testers a reason to login more frequently. It’s not really a huge hardship, as you can get around 300 copper out of a single copper vein, so it’ll only take 10 mins of mining to come up with a weeks worth of fees. It’s possible to chain a few claims together by crafting additional ‘Claim Flags’, and attaching them to the side of the main Claim, but for that, you need to make yourself some crafting stations.

Let Building Commence

Crafting stations in Landmark

Crafting stations in Landmark

Now you have your claim, you can start building whatever you like with the raw materials you’ve already mined. At this point, that’s mainly going to be wood, stone, some metals, and dirt. It’s enough for you to build some basic structures, but to get the more advanced building tools, better picks/axes, things to help you mine faster, and ‘props’ (which are pre-made items, like chairs, tables or lamps you can use as extra decoration), you need to build your own crafting stations. This is done by getting some basic raw material and crafting at the free crafting station at the Hub, or finding a friendly claim nearby that has the option to allow visitors to use their crafting stations turned on. Once you have your own crafting station, you can place it on your Claim, and get to work on gathering more advanced materials to improve your building options and tools.

Finding Advanced Materials

Not all materials are available on your current island. To get the higher level stuff, you’ll need to use the Hub to jump between locations. Each island has a different look and some unique building material referred to as ‘biomes’. For instance, Desert Biomes, as you’d probably expect, have lots of sand and unique tree types, where as Tundra Biomes have their own unique trees, plus lots of ice and snow. Currently the islands are split into tiers 1-4 and all the mineable material is on the surface. So the lower level materials such as copper and iron are in lower tiers, whilst higher level materials like obsidian and diamonds are in higher tiers. This will eventually be switched so all tiers will be be layered in single Biomes, so you’ll have to dig down to get to the higher tiers, rather than it all being on the surface.

The Tools of the Trade

Geektown Castle

Geektown Castle

I’ve been playing the game since Alpha, and have had some great fun just trying out the building tools, and seeing what I could create. This is where Landmark is way ahead of any other ‘building’ game. Rather than just stacking blocks on top of each other, Landmark gives you a variety of simple geometric shapes to build with. Cubes of various sizes, a variety of corners/triangles, and spheres in a range of sizes. You start with the basic ‘Add‘ ‘Delete‘ and ‘Heal‘ tools (the latter reverting whatever you’ve done to the landscape back to its original state). You can do a lot, even with just these, however you can also craft additional tools:

  • Select – which allows you to select/copy/paste areas
  • Smooth – which smooths out your shapes the more you use it)
  • Line – which… draws lines… and finally
  • Paint – which allows you to ‘paint’ an existing area with a new material

As I mentioned earlier, the game is still in Closed Beta, the the stuff you can build even now is quite incredible. Just take a look at the official player showcase forum, and you’ll see some astonishing work. As I implied at the start of the post, I’m spending an awful lot of time in Landmark, just enjoying the chance to build and rebuild anything I can think of. What’s nice about being in the Closed Beta is the developers are watching how player use tools and props, and are developing the game around player feedback. There’s a lovely community spirit to the game, and the forums. There’s also a lot features to come. I’m looking forward to the day they add in water and underground features like caves and caverns. There’s also some basic combat incoming, although that’s really not the focus of the game. The other feature I’d love to see is an equivalent to Minecraft’s redstone system, to allow the ability to create electrics, but I suspect that may be a way off.

Personally, for my build I decided I wanted to stay reasonably traditional, but rather than build one massive structure, I wanted to build a town… A Geektown if you like… There’s a video above, and screenshots below, but if you want to take a look in game, it’s on Satisfaction (EU) server > Arch, just next to the Hub. Everyone is welcome in Geektown, and the crafting stations are open to all. And if you see my toon (Tathor) wandering around, give me a /wave. :)