By: Kent B. - MSTv Contributor
"A box in every home in America!"
This was a semi-quote made by Jim Carry in the movie, "Batman Forever;" as he was eluding to a media box that brought you into your shows.
The box shown left, called MXQ, won't do that. However, with what it can do, don't be too surprised if you find yourself becoming a video zombie from its use. Quite honestly, there is almost nothing you cannot see, or find regarding movies, sports or television shows, when using this box
Its called "the MXQ media box" and its just one of many peripherals available which allow you to stream your favorite TV shows, News, sports, movies and even international shows, right to your television. For those not familiar with it or what it can do, just think of the Amazon Firestick, XBox Playstation 4 and other devices that make your TV "smart." But with this item's usage, think of your television as now being as super-steroid smart.
General usage of the box allows you to stream the standard stuff like Netflix, Hulu, Youtube and even torrent-based streaming apps like Showbox. But, what makes this box so special is that it allows you to access the free, open source media operating system software app, Kodi: a true window to your world.
Kodi itself, allows you to stream free and open-source media; freeing you to play and view most streaming media, such as videos, music, podcasts, and videos from the internet, as well as all common digital media files from local and network stored files. Simply put, if you could pull it up or see it on a computer, you could now see it on your television.
However, Kodi is just the "operating system," in a sense, which mainly streams "open-source" and open-domain content. The MXQ and most media boxes are "jail-broken" or modified to operate third-party applications (or "builds"), making them more powerful and accessible to additional content. There are several different modified applications out there; far many to name here, however, since Kodi allows open-sourcing of their software, the jail-broken apps range from the brilliant to the pathetic in what they offer.
We tested two build versions on the box called, "the Beast" and "Spinz TV." Assuredly, their names were very accurate descriptions of what they could do.
The app accessed several jail-broken options and additional content to include: new and old theatrical movie releases, current and past television shows, music, games and also international news, sports and programming. All this was available to us at startup, plus additional stuff we hadn't even discovered -- yet.
We only managed to play around with these hack build apps, and we found no significant problems with it. (you must have good wi-fi, or plug-in directly via Ethernet) Overall content availability was astounding and the software updates itself constantly. Its sole handicap is that reception of your local television stations, isn't possible. But, a simple, quick-fix with an HD antenna overcomes that issue nicely.
While some would consider this technology a vast open access piracy, others would say a freedom of entertainment information should be absolute; especially, in the form of online content. Much like prior open-sourced photos and music, once its out there, its out there. And probably much like the outcome to stop music piracy played out, not much can be done. Or to state it simply for the times, "looking for that hot song these days? Download it from Youtube!"
And while Kodi's programmers themselves do not condone piracy, but they also state, "We always say we don't care what our users do with the software, and we stand by that position. But we sure do hate it when companies destroy the name of our software in order to make a profit."
Nicely said from game-changing media creators, who respect the hustle to keep information free and available to all. Perhaps we can learn from Napster's folly earlier, this time, and think about cutting the cable -- for a box!"
By: Gere Iverson - MSTv contributor
To start, if you can tear yourselves from the image at left, we can begin.
For over 50 years, Doctor Who has been a unique and enjoyable show - for individual reasons- for millions worldwide. However, since its inception, its never been known for its great special effects, nor a Shakespeare level of writing depth.
However, besides being known for producing some of the most engrossing and high-camp adventures untold fans continue to love, its also known for the several beautiful female companions (or handsome males. can't leave anyone out.) who've accompanied our Time Lord hero in his universal jaunts.
Over the decades, several million male (and female) Doctor Who fans out there, may have discovered their first crush in one of the Doctor's companions. For me and my friend Chris, it was the 4th & 5th Doctor companion, Tegan Jovanka - a cute, opinionated and sexy ball of energy the Doctor could never fully control. Yet for others, it might have been perennial favorites Sarah Jane Smith, Rose Tyler or our pin-up girl above, Peri Brown.
So along these lines we began to wonder, "what's fandom's top 5 list of female Doctor Who companions?" And more importantly, which ones would you marry, date or just put in the friend zone? (And yes ladies, we guys do that too.)
Now, while their have been a couple dozen female companions over the last 50 years of the show, we'll leave it to you to figure out your favourites, and how they rank.
The rules are simple as you must rank each companion in one of three categories:
1) Marry. Besides being hot, what are the qualities about the companion that make them seem worth settling down with?
2) Dating only. Are you that superficial? Are they? No matter, what makes them not worthy of closing the deal?
3) Friends only. What is it about this companion that turns you off? Are they arrogant, annoying (we're looking at you, Mel!) or are you just vapid and think they're not hot enough?
Originally posted by Vulture.com
Keith Uhlich,Vulture Mon, Feb 1 6:00 PM PST
A full moon brings out all the crazies, as proven by the opening sequence of the latest X-Files. There is the familiar pair of huffing stoners. There is the scaly monster with a seemingly murderous taste for human flesh. And behind the scenes, there is Darin Morgan one of the series' finest writers, returning after a long hiatus to give us the sublime, and aptly named, "Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster."
The episode fully exhibits the alternately sardonic and melancholic perspective that Morgan cultivated in such peak X-Files installments as "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" and "Jose Chung's From Outer Space." (To say nothing of his two astonishing, thematically dense writing-directing efforts — "Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense" and "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me" — on creator Chris Carter's sister series Millennium.) This is the first time Morgan has directed one of his scripts for The X-Files, and his loping, leisurely rhythms pair beautifully with this tale of a beast who discovers, quite accidentally, how absurd it is to be human.
The ludicrousness of life is exactly what FBI special agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) is pondering right before this strange case crosses his desk. He's looking through old case files in his basement office, distraught at how mistaken his paranormal-leaning perspective tended to be. "It's amazing going through these archives with fresh, if not wiser eyes," Mulder says to his amused partner, Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), who openly wonders if he's been taking his medication. An exasperated Mulder then invokes the writer Charles Fort, who researched unexplained phenomena and, at the end of his life, wondered whether his work had been worth it or a complete waste of time.
"I'm a middle-aged man, Scully," Mulder says. "Is this really how I want to spend the rest of my days? Chasing after monsters?" A half-smiling Scully eyes him silently, then says, "We've been given another case, Mulder. It has a monster in it." No surprise, Mulder's inner child can't help but come gleefully alive. The agents are soon in the Oregon woods, investigating the case of a man-eating, blood-squirting, red-eyed lizard-monster.
Except that's totally not what's going on, despite many claims from a rogues' gallery of witnesses. The piecemeal clues are preposterous: Does the creature have three eyes or only one? Does it really — per a transgender prostitute (D.J. "Shangela" Pierce) at the local truck stop — wear tighty-whities? What about the Peeping Tom motel owner (Alex Diakun) who swears he saw the monster in human form? Or how about the vaguely Transylvanian psychiatrist (Richard Newman) who says he's been treating the monster for various emotional ailments? "Not everything can be reduced to psychology," Mulder says to this quack headshrinker. "That's what you think," the doc replies.
How true that sentiment is: In one of the episode's funniest and most incisive scenes, Mulder paces back and forth in front of Scully, talking out multiple theories about the case, as well as what he expects her rebuttals will be. She can't get a word in edgewise, but still seems elated by her partner's pathetic and comical display. "Yeah, this is how I like my Mulder," she says. This is their relationship in a nutshell — two people forever arguing, but all the more alive because of it. "So you're agreeing with me?" a confused Mulder finally asks. "No!" Scully shouts. "You're bat-crap crazy!"
Perhaps not so crazy, though, as the story Mulder finally gets when he approaches the lizard-monster in the local cemetery. It turns out he's not a man who turns into a monster. In a classic Darin Morgan twist, he's a monster who turns into a man. In human form, the creature assumes the hilarious nom de guerre Guy Mann, and he's played — with a brilliant mix of exasperation and desperation — by Flight of the Conchords co-star Rhys Darby. An entire act is dedicated to Mann's gut-busting and mortifying story. It plays like a companion piece to a sequence in Morgan's Millennium episode, "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me," in which an office drone goes depressively about his day until life's little annoyances drive him to kill himself. (It's really funny, I swear.)
Since Mann isn't actually human, his emotional displeasure is more instinctual than anything else. He knows what people are supposed to do: Cover up their naked bodies, find jobs so they can pay their mortgages, keep pets to counter their loneliness. But because Mann is still a lizard at heart, he finds human behavior to be ridiculous at best and barbaric at worst. "Life's hopeless," he says. "A few fleeting moments of happiness surrounded by crushing loss and grief." This is Morgan at his finest, exploring the senselessness of existence with a potent mix of playfulness and pathos. (Again: It's really funny, I swear.)
By: Gere Iverson - MSTv Contributor
The Fox network is bringing back sci-fi and fan favorite series, "The X-Files" for a four-episode mini-series in 2016. The new mini-series takes up where the show ended in 2002; placing partners Fox Mulder and Dana Scully back into the weird and unusual world they traveled for 10 seasons.
And despite this news creating a fervor that's reaching a boiling status, series creator, Chris Carter has been hesitant to release too much info, and give the building suspense away.
But, Chris Carter loves his fans.. So he and Fox produced a little "love note" to tide the fans over till January 24th.
Team X-Files have released a new 21-minute featurette which teases the 6-part event well. In it, we won't be dwelling too much on what has gone before. We learn more about how Carter built his existing creation to transition into the progressed 21th century; and in effect, build on the show's established mythology and biggest story arcs.
The four new episodes will mark a return to the show's signature "monster of the week" style. This format will give the team something they can cleanly solve, but build into a greater story arc towards the finale. This style was a big strength for the show in its heyday, pleasing fans so much that Carter decided to bring it back.
While the short gives fans some great highlights for memories, it reveals much of the path for the new mini-series. The featurette gives sizable plot details, spoilers and a significant "twist" in the mythology Carter created 22 years ago -- all in an effort to reboot this phenom, birthed way back in 1993.
So if you're a purist, don't click the link below and just wait for 24-01-2016. But, if you're a fan like myself, who was hooked from the episode "Squeeze," seeing this short won't spoil anything - just enhance it.
Either way, "the truth is out there - waiting." You just have to choose your best way of pursuing it.
Originally published by: PCWorld.com
Those faux-hoverboards that look like Segways with the handlebars cut off have gotten all the attention lately, what with the exploding batteries and viral videos of riders wiping out. But hoverboards that actually hover do exist—they’re just...really expensive.
Case in point, take a look at the Arcaboard, a hoverboard from aeronautics company Arca Space Corporation.
On other words, no, you won’t be able to kickflip it.
All those fans require quite a bit of power, though, so the Arcaboard only gets three to six minutes of hover time. The battery normally takes upwards of six hours to charge, but the Arca offers an optional recharging dock that the company says will recharge the board in only 35 minutes.
It sounds ridiculously cool, but odds are you won’t be able to afford one: The Arcaboard costs $19,900 and the dock costs $4500. Maybe in a few years, actual hoverboards will be the must-have Christmas present, but for now, the Arcaboard makes for cool proofs of concept.
By: Gere Iverson - MSTv contribuitor
We're sure you've all seen the new trailers for the upcoming "Superman V Batman," "Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Ant-Man" and the "Fantastic Four" reboot films. If not, stop being lazy, click the links and hit up Youtube now..
Ok, you're back.
Now, I'm sure most of us are having literal joy-gasms every week from the heroes on our television screens. Plus, the very idea of even more of the spandex clad set hitting our friendly neigbhourhood multiplex cinemas regularly, have made millions of movie-goers very happy. And, of course billions of dollars for the heroes parent/production companies.
So, it seems that everyone is winning from the "DC V Marvel" (with Dark Horse and Image sneaking in drive-by's for good measure) visual media feud. But, what company has the upper hand? And more importantly, which one is doing a better job?
Well, let's go back about 55 years to the beginnings of this "feud." At the time, DC was in full swing with "rebooting" their original golden age heroes to much success. Marvel, on the other hand, had given up the ghost with their old heroes and were mainly doing monster, romance and western comics.
Then as now, both companies had the comic game mainly on lock in a very friendly rivalry. But, who could have imagined that this friendly rivalry could become a friendly war from just a simple game of golf in 1961?
Most know the story of how the publishers of DC and Marvel, were playing golf in 1961. The DC boss, either Jack Liebowitz or Irwin Donenfeld, bragged about the success of their revived superhero line and new team, the Justice League of America. (first shot) In response, (or retaliation) the Marvel boss, Martin Goodman urged the now legendary Stan Lee, to create his version of a team of superheroes; or simply, the Fantastic Four. (second shot)
More and more readers liked this new and different comic high, from Marvel, now on the street. So, ole Stan got even weirder and wilder, with more incentive to follow up using the same formula, just more tailored to fit different buyers. Then he just completely cut loose and boom -- the Marvel universe is born and the comic war flat out began.
Reproduced partially from: BBC WorldNews
Apple seems to have done it again and come up with something you didn't know you wanted - or needed.
It says the Apple Watch is "the most personal device" it's ever made.
Yet after years in development, Apple must be confident its watch will live up to the company's catchphrase and "just work". But sometimes things "just don't" according to a few common problems Apple users wish the company would fix first.
Generally the iWatch and iPhone might be able to do everything you want them to and more, but only if they have enough power. Dropping to 20% battery life can strike fear into the calmest of people and send otherwise rational adults into a frenzy looking for the nearest plug socket.
Closing apps you're not using, turning off location services and dimming your screen can help make your battery last a bit longer in both devices.
Lorna Heatley pleaded on Twitter to "stop the updates taking up so much storage space! #byebyepictures."
The latest major update to Apple's operating system, iOS 8, required up to 5.8GB of space; something which for most users dreaded. But as Apple phones and tablets get more powerful, improved software updates will keep on coming too.
Its easier to just think of this as a 21st century Silicon valley protection racket, where you'll never stop paying - one way or the other. Example: If you've shelled out for the 128GB iPhone 6 you'll be fine. (For now.) But, if you're still clinging to your well looked-after iPhone 4, open your wallets now because you will need "new protection" very soon.
Apple's revolutionary MagSafe power cable connector has saved many a laptop from serious damage. However, these lifesavers are hardly inexpensive, or sturdy.
The new Macbook unveiled alongside the Apple Watch has just one port for charging, video output and data transfer.
How durable will the new USB-C port prove when stepped on or accidentally smacked out by an errant hand, foot or everyday item? We're sure, you the consumer, will have something to say about it before having to buy a replacement. Or, standing in line to complain at the Apple store.
Reproduced from: BBC Newsbeat
Nestle, the biggest food company in the world, says it is planning to build a Star Trek-style machine which produces "food at the press of a button".
The firm has begun a large scientific operation to provide food individually tailored to a person's needs.
At Nestle's health institute (NIHS), more than 100 scientists are working on a number of projects.
They are trying to discover links between dietary deficiencies and serious illnesses like cancer.
A proportion of the population is deficient in one or more essential vitamin or mineral.
While not seen as a major issue by some, iodine along with vitamin D are seen as two key areas where action is needed.
Nestle says the solution to the problem is not through pills but with tailored foods that could be created in a machine for individuals.
"Out comes your food at the press of a button," NIHS chief Dr. Emmanuel Baetge told Bloomberg.
"If we do this right, it can be the next microwave in your kitchen."
NIHS already has a nutrition department making nutritional products for conditions like Alzheimer's and genetic disorders with a budget of $11bn (£6.5bn).
The project, codenamed Iron Man, is seen more as a short-term way to find out what is missing in diets and provide supplements to help.
The company says it is around 5-10 years away and could resemble the replicator that made meals on starships like the Enterprise in Star Trek.
"In future, these tools will help to better define the specific nutrient needs of people with different diets and lifestyles around the world," said NIHS researcher Serge Rezzi.
"In the past, food was just food. We're going in a new direction."
Reproduced from: Associated Press
For the most part, it’s illegal business as usual in the latest edition of “Grand Theft Auto V." (Rockstar Games, for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, $59.99)
There are vehicles to swipe, schemes to plan and banks to rob. Unlike previous installments in the wildly successful — and violent — M-rated series, “GTA V” centers not just on one but three criminal protagonists: former partners Michael and Trevor, and their new protege, Franklin.
Nearly a decade after their last heist went terribly wrong, middle-aged Michael is living comfortably bored in witness protection in a ritzy Los Santos mansion, while the unhinged Trevor is dealing meth and smuggling guns on the outskirts of town in Blaine County. Meanwhile, Franklin is hustling on the streets as a repo man for an unsavory car dealership owner.
The three men and their double- and triple-crossing ventures are ingeniously interwoven in both the narrative and gameplay of “GTA V,” which allows players to almost seamlessly switch among Michael, Trevor and Franklin throughout the proceedings. With the tap of a few buttons, “GTA V” briskly sweeps across Los Santos from one anti-hero to another.
During missions involving all three dudes, the flip-flopping is key to avoid getting wasted by the Los Santo Police. For instance, one particularly high-pressured holdup of an armored car involves swapping between Michael and Franklin blasting at waves of cops on the ground, and Trevor picking them off with a sniper rifle from a rooftop.
It’s not so much a gimmick as it is a flawless innovation on the established “GTA” formula.
Besides the usual felonious shenanigans, there are leisurely diversions spread across Los Santos, including customizing rides, investing in the stock market, racing jet skis, watching TV, surfing spoof sites online, playing tennis and patronizing strip clubs.
With an obsessive attention to detail, the city of Los Santos — last visited in 2004’s “GTA: San Andreas” — and its outlying areas feel more alive than any virtual world I’ve ever visited. Rockstar Games has masterfully crafted a stunning make-believe take on modern Southern California that rivals the dragon-infested realm from “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.”
However, this Los Santos is not a perfect clone of L.A.
The urban areas don’t feel quite dense enough when compared with Liberty City from 2008’s “GTA IV.” And the rendition of Beverly Hills is basically across the street from downtown. Also, a few tired L.A. cliché s — plastic surgery, seeking fame — are referenced so frequently the game almost veers into goofy “Saint’s Row” territory.
Fortunately, any shortcomings with “GTA V” feel about as important as a random stranger crossing the street in Los Santos. Rockstar Games has created such a fascinating place for Michael, Trevor and Franklin to explore and wreak havoc, I think you’ll want to visit for more than a weekend. I know I do.
Reproduced from: BBCNewbeat
Sony has suggested its focus on independent developers will give customers a choice of cheaper games on the PlayStation 4.
Sony says they are committed to independent game developers.
However, Sony's primary rival Microsoft has announced a new programming platform designed to attract independent developers.
Microsoft recently said they planned to make it easier for smaller companies to publish titles for their new console, XBox One.
These actions comes on the criticism of the past that both companies focused only on big budget games.
"These changes open up avenues for a whole new stream of talent that allows brand new games and exciting new experiences to come to our platforms, " said Fergal Gara Managing director, PlayStation UK and Ireland.
Both companies have been giving more details about their consoles at the GamesCom conference in Germany.
"We've listened to game developers," said Gara. "We've tried to create a platform that serves their needs. So being quick, easy and economical to develop for is hugely important."
After being criticised for its attitude to independent developers, Microsoft too is making it easier for gamers to build and publish Xbox One games.
They announced a new indie development model at GamesCom.
UK Marketing director of Xbox, Harvey Eagle, said: "The way it will work is that you become a registered developer, you submit a game information form and you ship your game, it's that simple."
"We've got a long history of working with indie developers over the years on [XBox] 360 and titles like Minecraft have been a huge smash which comes from that community."
Sony announced the PS4 would go on sale on 29 November. There is no release date yet for the Xbox One but it's due to go on sale before Christmas.
They also revealed that they had taken more than one million pre-orders for the new PlayStation.
The PS4 is priced at $399, about $50 cheaper than the XBox One at $450. Games for the consoles are priced at around $60.
Fergal Gara claims Sony's commitment to independent developers will help make gaming more affordable.
"We will have the enormous blockbusters," he said. "Great examples will be Kill Zone: Shadow Fall or Watch Dogs for example on release.
"But there are also free-to-play models such as the Little Big Planet hub that we announced and the indie titles fill a great gap in between for me.
"So it's not just about £40, 50, 60 or nothing - it's about free-to-play, right up to those blockbuster experiences."