Festival of Speed

Ryan and I enjoyed a trip to Festival of Speed (on the Thursday, so no one good was there). It was my allotted outing of July, I have since been confined to the house for essential DIY until Sept.

New York – Dec ’13

Well after a few months of “technical difficulties” I’m back and trying to catch up on my backlog of videos and trips from last year!

So, the wife and I went to New York City in December for a cheeky spot of xmas shopping and sightseeing – just before the polar vortex hit, but it was still bitterly cold! Whilst we were there we took in the Statue of Liberty and walked up the 377 stairs to the crown which was epic, and we went to USS Intrepid to see some awesome (snow covered) planes!

Vid of the Statue of Liberty Walk!

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Some photos!

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ToI 11-06-13: Apple, Xbox, PS4 & Star Wars.

Morning all and welcome back to Tales of Interest, it’s definitely been a while. I’ve got some good stuff for you today as yesterday seemed to be a very busy day in the Tech world with Apple, Microsoft and Sony having press conferences about new products.

 

¬†Let’s begin with Apple (solely for alphabetical / ocd reasons, not preference)

Mavericks

They announced that the new computer operating system (OS) will be called Mavericks (after the California big wave surfing spot) as they have used 10 names based on Cats (Lion, Mountain Lion etc) – I’m more thinking that if you can have 11 incremental updates to an OS surely it’s time to release a new one? Where is OS 11 (XI?)?

Key Features are:

Nothing major to write home about there, some of it has been standard on Windows since the dawn of time (in Tech years).

 

They also announced a new version of iOS (the iPhone / iPad operating system) which has mainly just had a facelift due to Johnny Ive taking over the design of the software, and it’s robbed some features from Android..like the quick access to some control panel settings.

ios7

They also updated the Macbook Airs with new hardware, and upped the battery life – 12 hours for the 13″ model, which is damn impressive, but no retina screen in them this year (thank god, or it would have been very expensive… a new laptop and a divorce lol)

 

Lastly, they also announced iTunes radio.. spotify for all your Apple devices effectively.

 

A rull roundup of all the Apple news, and more about the features – here.

 

 

On to Microsoft, which is technically an Xbox event but we’re going with company names today ūüėÄ

Xboxone

The actual Xbox one launch was a few weeks ago, so this was more of a software / gaming event, but they did announce pricing, and as usual.. the Brits get shafted! $499 or ¬£429 ($668)! (Yes, it’s more expensive than a PS4, but it comes with the Kinect camera, and you have to pay extra for the PS4 eye..so get off that high horse Playstation owners, especially with the other news..more in a min).

 

Xbox live will now use local currencies i.e. ¬£’s which is good news for you non-mathematical types! But, with the deals you can get on points you can get things for a lot cheaper – do you think they’ll discount a ¬£20 card to a tenner..nope me either. So swings and roundabouts.

 

They announced the next generation of Halo¬†(video in the article!) which looks very pretty.. lets hope it’s not the gaming equivalent of Paris Hilton, and there is some substance behind it.

chief

 

Sony – Technically a Playstation event, but it’s my site.

The big news was actually seeing the PS4 in the flesh, as at their launch event they didn’t show the hardware. Pic below from Engadget.com

ps4

 

They also announced their pricing, which as I mentioned earlier is slightly cheaper than the Xbox One, but it doesn’t include the PS4 Eye (Camera system). Again we get royally rogered… $399 or ¬£349 ($544!)

 

The other big news was that they will now charge users to play multiplayer games online (the same as Xbox live) it will be about $5 or probably ¬£10 a month given their dodgy conversions! So that’s another wind your neck in for the Playstation evangelists out there.

 

They will have lots of great games available.. including Destiny (a shoot em up buy the original developers of Halo) which looks amazing! There is a video in the link.

destiny

 

and saving the best till last.. Star Wars (which is Technically Disney.. but I do what I want!).

EA bought the rights to exclusively make games based on the Star Wars universe recently, and they canned all current games in development.. including the really promising “Star Wars: 1313”. But yesterday they announced they are developing a new Battlefront game! Using the same engine as Battlefield 3 (& 4?) so it will look amazing. Lets just hope it’s not Battlefield 3 with one team as stormtroopers and the other as rebels and everything else is the same ūüėČ – Video below ūüėČ

SWBF

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That’s it for a tech-tastic Tales of Interest.. until next time!

Hunters Lodge Ride

Another week, another ride! This time to Hunters Lodge, Wincanton. Myself and some of the Kawasaki Riders Club (KRC) people attended, as well as some members of the Short Way Round.

I was running late (due to a late house viewing – not my fault) and missed the group at the services, but managed to catch them up just before we got to Hunters.

Turned the camera off on the way home as I was annoying me too much, plus it was getting dark!.

Yes I know I’m looking down for the first half of the vid but it gets better after that!

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Happy Star Wars Day!

Happy Star Wars Day – May the 4th be with you!

As some of you may, or may not know.. I am a bit of a fan of Star Wars, so today we have some Star Wars themed randomness..

may-the-fourth-yoda

The BBC recently interviewed J.J. Abrams about his decision to direct the new Star Wars film, and he’s promoting his “other” franchise he has a film coming out for (the films / tv shows that shall not be named!).

The writer of the new Film is apparently having trouble.

Recently some new behind the scenes photos from The Empire Strikes Back (the best film) were released / found – Check them out here. One of my favourites is below, Leia has clearly just farted and Han’s face says it all.. I thought she smelt bad………. on the outside!

empire

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Iron Man 3 Review – Spoiler Free

Well, wifey and I nipped out for an Orange Wednesdays special last night to see Iron Man 3 in 2D, as we actively avoid 3D films. We recently watched 1 & 2  again, so it was all quite fresh in our minds.

From the moment the film starts the makers are keen to differentiate it from the previous two. Shane Black is at the helm this time round, who I think is best known for writing the Lethal Weapon films. This is only his second outing as a director which is a bold move from Marvel / Disney! The previous director was Jon Favreau (who also plays Happy, the driver / security man)  just so you know.

The tone of this¬†instalment¬†is completely different, it’s not as happy go lucky as the originals, and shows a bit of a darker side ¬†of Tony Stark. Although for some reason a kid sidekick (who I normally just hate) is involved for a bit, but some of the dialogue between them is excellent.

The story is pretty good, with some decent twists and turns, some more predictable than others as always.

The effects are amazing, they look great and not too computer generated imagery (CGI)-like. I think the studios are coming along with more realistic looking CGI now which is good. Although, as a comic book movie I expect lots of CGI, the same as I do from Sci-Fi – some of the films in the trailers do not look good because they are far too CGI heavy – Fast 6, and The Lone Ranger being the two I saw trailers for last night – but I digress.

iron-man-3-concept-art-2

The acting in Iron Man 3 is great – Robert Downey Jr. is brilliant as Tony Stark as always, Gwyneth Paltrow is excellent as Pepper Potts and gets a better part this time round – I liked how we got to see how Tony & Pepper’s relationship has evolved, Ben Kingsley – Genius..that is all, and Guy Pearce as Aldritch Killian is ¬†very good too. The rest of the cast backs up the main team effectively, and look out for Leckie from the Pacific (he has a shaved head now!). This is really difficult without spoilers!

Overall, it was an enjoyable film, but not as good as the first one (what sequels are..aside from Empire) but worth a watch. Iron Man and Marvel fans will be pretty pleased with it, I’m not sure everyone else will though.

I’d give it 7.5 /10

Roll on Star Trek, and Man of Steel…

JFKFC, Kite Photography & the new Xbox

Hello and welcome to another Tales of Interest – The post of random things I’ve found on the internet over the last week. This week is fairly light as I’m getting back into it (and I’m saving some bits for a a Star Wars special on May 4th ;)) but we have, Kite photography, JFKFC, Pixar, and Cats where balls should be!

 

jfkfc

 

Kite Aerial Photography РThis is amazing, really tempted to jack myself something up using my GoPro.. just need a kite!

 

Human Newtons Cradle РShark (the motorcycle helmet manufacturer) are so confident about the shock absorption capabilities of their latest helmets they decided to make a human newtons cradle to test it.. Quality!

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Sports Balls Replaced with Cats РIf your day needs brightening up, just take a look at this site.  Below is my favourite!

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New Xbox –¬†Microsoft announced today that they will reveal the new Xbox at 10 a.m. Pacific Time on May 21! They posted the following: “A New Generation Revealed. Be part of this historic online event, featuring a live stream, video, images, updates and more.” The event will stream live on Xbox Live and Xbox.com – Could be exciting! Rumour has it the new Xbox will be called the Xbox Infinity..

 

Pixar transformed their studios for Monsters University. I really like the fact that everyone at the company gets into the spirit of it!

mu

Silverstone 21-04-13

Silverstone

On 21st April, Kawasaki organised the World of Kawasaki event at Silverstone Circuit. They hired out the Stowe complex and put on a great day of activities!

Myself and some of the other bikers in the Kawasaki Riders Club from down South rode up together in a very sensible convoy Рthen when we arrived at Silverstone hit the Stowe circuit for some track action.. before heading onto the big boy International Circuit with the legend that is Maria Costello!

We had a great day, and the track was amazing – even though I am / was still breaking in my bike so didn’t ride too hard ūüėÄ (that is my excuse and I’m sticking to it!)

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