The Technosapiens are humanoid looking technological aliens. Readers can tell from page one that they are suppose to be the bad guys. The interesting thing about these aliens is that they are original characters for the Cyborg title.
The Google Cardboard is the Best Entry VR Headset for Under $100
Virtual reality is becoming a major force in the world of technology where almost all forms of entertainment are starting to integrate it. Some VR headsets are out now, and others are still in development and won’t be released anytime soon. For those who want to experience the new tech craze, the Google Cardboard is a fantastic entry point.
“Once you’ve bought or constructed your headset, you can download Google Cardboard apps to your iOS or Android phone, drop your device into the headset, and get playing,” reports Guy Cocker for Techradar.com.
The great thing about this product is that it is free depending on where you get it. In the long run, it won’t cost you any more than $85. There are some sturdier headsets that are around $30. However, if you want the cardboard version, you won’t pay any more than $15.
The only thing you will need is a cellphone and the apps. Even though the VR experience won’t be the greatest, users will be able to get a taste and graduate to the big boys on the market.
Can Pinterest’s New Initiative Really Tackle the Diversity Issue That Plagues the Tech Industry?
The lack of diversity in the tech industry has come front and center as Silicon Valley and new start-ups gain more notoriety. This elephant in the room becomes more noticeable as small companies grow and their pool of applicants remain the same.
The social media site, Pinterest, wants to change this by addressing their lack of diversity. The company’s leadership team invited the start-up, Paradigm, to launch the Inclusion Labs Initiative. The company will host an array of workshops and programs that will accumulate diverse workers and their humongous staff for a better working environment.
Paradigm CEO Joelle Emerson and Pinterest founder and CEO Ben Silbermann have come together to tackle this problem head on. Emerson’s company will conduct research and gather the appropriate data to see what needs to be addressed.
According to Martin Blanc of Bidnessetc.com, “The abolishment of the compulsory ‘white boarding’ interview process shows how Pinterest has received constructive criticism from the start-up firm which highlighted the issues that most women may face during interview processes in which they ‘underperform specifically’.”
For the past several months, the two companies have been working together. One of the new approaches Pinterest has tried was a Blacks in Tech event in the last week of July. Back in June, the company also hosted a Future Female Founders event in an attempt to grow the company’s network.
“Paradigm is training Pinterest managers on how to write unbiased performance reviews, and we are training promotion committee members to identify potential areas of bias in promotion decisions,” says Emerson.
The Inclusion Labs Initiative will launch this fall.
The Roots’ Questlove and Black Thought Discuss ‘Hamilton’ the Musical
Hamilton the American musical is based on the biography Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. It was conceived in 2013 by composer, rapper, actor and writer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also plays Alexander Hamilton in the play.
This play combines the historical accounts of founding father and abolitionist Hamilton with modern rap and hip-hop. The Roots’ Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter were recruited to produce the album for the Broadway production.
In an interview with BillBoard, Miranda, Questlove and Black Thought talked about what it was like to work and experience the play.
Questlove talks about the diverse cast and the lack of white actors in the play.
“The casting is a bold decision that works, that totally works. I went on a night when Lorne Michaels was in the audience and [playwright] Tracy Letts was there and I just kept looking at their faces, and they were so energetic and entertained by it. And I was like, ‘OK, so maybe this isn’t as controversial as I thought it would be.’ From a hip-hop head perspective, it was thumbs up. And then I was wondering: What will a history buff say? Who’s going to snark in The New Yorker and say, ‘You know, this is not at all an authentic portrayal’?”
Hamilton is not the first play Questlove composed music for. In fact, he co-composed the play Fela! in 2009. Hamilton is currently on Broadway.
6 Amazing DSLR Cameras for Photographers and Filmmakers That Won’t Break the Bank
For filmmakers and photographers on a budget, buying a new camera can be an expensive purchase and a financial setback. There are some great pieces of tech out there for decent prices. Here are a few DSLRs out there that are under $500.
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR
The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 is the most expensive camera on the list at $500. It may also be the best. The EOS Rebel will give filmmakers, videographers and journalists high-quality video at a reasonable price. It features special scene modes for shooting kids, food, by candlelight and creative filters, 3-inch touch panel LCD screen with 1,040,000 dots, movie Servo AF for continuous focus tracking of moving subjects and an 18-55mm STM lens.
Lenovo IdeaPad 100 One of the Best Budget Laptops Out There
For people looking for a cheap and affordable laptop under $500, Lenovo IdeaPad 100 may be the best option out there.
Priced at only $339 to $370, the IdeaPad comes with a 14- and 15-inch option screen. The laptop also comes in at 4. 2 pounds. It may be heavier than other ultrabooks, but it is quite light for its size.
There are standard features like a 3.0 USB, 2.0 USB, 4 -in- 1 SD Card, and HDMI ports. You also get Bluetooth, a webcam, a standard 30Whr battery and 500GB 5400rpm hard drive.
Unfortunately, a laptop like this may not be great with high-powered software like Photoshop, but it can still manage. The real reason to purchase a laptop like this is to write research papers and surf the Net. According to Slashgear writer Brittany Hillen, “The laptop features McAfee Central and LiveSafe, Lenovo Settings, OneKey Optimizer and Recovery, Lenovo SHAREit, Companion, and Reach. Nothing too bothersome, and it can all be useful depending on your needs.”
The ideal users for a laptop like this are busy college students on a budget and in need of a working laptop. You can get four hours of battery power, meaning that you can charge it for an hour or so and be on your way.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 100 is available now on Amazon.
5 Interesting Facts About Black Animation Pioneer Floyd Norman
Norman was born June 22, 1935 in Santa Barbara, Calif. This year, the animation pioneer celebrated his 80th birthday. He always had an interest in drawing and art, so for college, he attended the Pasadena based Art Center College of Design. Before getting into the animation industry, he worked with comics.
Carnegie Mellon to Form ‘Living Lab’ Through Google Initiative
A team led by Anind Dey at Carnegie Mellon University was awarded half a million dollars to turn the campus into a hot-spot where apps, sensors and user-developed tools could serve as a small part of Google’s Open Web of Things initiative.
In December, Google announced that its idea of the Internet of Things would allow people to connect everywhere. “Imagine a world in which access to networked technology defies the constraints of desktops, laptops or smartphones.”
According to Jeremy Hsu from IEEE.org, “the $500,000 awarded to the university coalition will help create an Internet of Things (IoT) platform called GloTTO that aims to create a complete interoperable system of IoT technologies. The platform would also allow researchers to figure out how to create a secure system that protects personal privacy in a sensor-filled environment.”
As good as this sounds, issues of privacy may be a concern for students on the campus. So the university will have a team working on keeping data safe.
“Dey sees the project as succeeding with massive amounts of cheap sensors to elevate ‘dumb’ objects on campus to sources of information,” reports Heidi Hoopes for Gizmag.com.
These dumb objects could be a trash can or a copying machine.
At the moment, other schools like Cornell, Stanford and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be helping Carnegie Mellon in the early stages of the work.
6 Black Actresses Besides Halle Berry Who Could Play X-Men’s Storm
The casting of X-Men’s Storm has been controversial from the very start. For over a decade, the African storm goddess has been played by Halle Berry to the displeasure of fans. During this year’s San Diego Comic Con, it was revealed that Berry wanted to do a solo Storm film, but fans were not as enthusiastic as she was. Around the time of the casting of the first X-Men film, Angela Bassett was rumored to have turned down the role, making way for Berry.
Issues of skin tone were the main problem. Debates over whether Storm is a light-skinned or dark-skinned woman have overshadowed the real issues — like is Storm important to the franchise or is Berry talented enough? The answer to these questions may well be no, but there are other Black actresses who could pull off the character if given a chance:
Harris has been in genre films since the beginning of her career. She has become famous for her roles as Selena from 28 Days Later (2005), Calypso from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and most recently she was Eve Moneypenny in Skyfall (2012) and the upcoming Spectre (2015). Harris manages to be strong and beautiful at the same time — a feature Storm possesses.
Sony Xperia Z3 Plus Is a Cool Addition to the Smartphone Market
Sony has been actively adding more new Android phones to an already crowded market. This year, Sony launched the Xperia Aqua M4 and the Xperia C4 earlier this year in India. The Sony Xperia Z3 Plus is an updated model of last year’s release.
It features 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage that has around 18GB of free space for music and apps, and there is a micro sd slot for more space. Because of the phone’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC, operation is smooth and fast.
According to writer Nimish Sawant for Firstpost.com, “Proprietary apps such as Album, Video, Whats New, Lifelog, PlayStation, Xperia Care, Sony Live are complemented with other known ones such as LinkedIn, Kobo Books, AVG Protection and game bundles.”
Compared to Xperia Z3, the Z3 Plus still has a heating issue that comes from large apps and games. The phone continues to heat up even after a year to upgrade. Sony will have to address this issue next time around. The phone makes up for that with long battery life and an awesome camera.
Even though heating up is an issue, the phone’s best feature is the camera. The back camera has a 20.7MP Exmor RS sensor and the front 1/5-inch Exmor R sensor that can capture high resolution either way you turn your phone. There is even a 25mm wide-angle lens.
The Xperia Z3 Plus isn’t a cheap buy, but it is worth its $500 to $700 price tag. The phone is available everywhere.