the traveler's resource guide to festivals & films
a FestivalTravelNetwork.com site
part of Insider Media llc.

Connect with us:
FacebookTwitterYouTubeRSS

Gadgets

Film Festival in a Box Game Debuts

 On September 26, 2010, IndieFlix will bring Film Festival in a Box to America’s biggest FFinBoxliving room: Times Square.

Film Festival in a Box is the new interactive movie game where friends watch, judge and rate real films, filmmakers and actors. The launch takes place on the mammoth JumboTron screen where players and passers-by will watch four light-hearted and romantic short films, vote on their favorite and be entered to win prizes including a 3-day 2- night stay in the private villa Casa Soleado in Cabo San Lucas and copies of the Film Festival in a Box game.

Film Festival in a Box creator and IndieFlix CEO Scilla Andreen said, "On September 26 we're bringing the game, and a whole lot of love, to the pedestrian mall at 47th Street with the intent to have fun, spark conversation, and awaken a new generation of audiences to the joy of independent film."

Flash mobs, schwag and more will mark the game's launch at the "Love in Times Square" event.

The new game featuring the works of indie film talents brings the fun of a film fest into players’ homes and parties: "meet 'n greets", Best Picture awards and all.

Players of the Film Festival in a Box game watch four short flicks on DVD, grouped by genre (such as Love, Comedy, Pottymouth, or Zombie) then discuss and debate. Players make their decisions then go online to IndieFlix.com where they join the buzz of the virtual film festival by voting for Best Picture, Best Performance and Best Original Story.

Actual filmmakers and crews can meet the Film Festival in a Box players right there online, making for a vibrant game experience with all the behind-the-scenes connectivity that's best about a truly great film festival.

IndieFlix is a multi-platform film distribution company founded in 2004 to help independent filmmakers take advantage of new media and connect with their audience. IndieFlix promises to build a fair and open market to empower filmmakers to be the engine of their achievement and audiences to be a vital part of a movie's success.

IndieFlix is launching the movie game to remind the world that independent film is more than just unique, visionary and honest but also a lot of fun.

The Film Festival in a Box game -- priced at $14.99 retail -- is available online at Drugstore.com and at independent retailers such as:

  • Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store in Brooklyn
  • Fred Segal (Zero Minus Plus) in Santa Monica
  • NuBe Green in Seattle

More details can be found at www.IndieFlix.com -- look for Love in Times Square to learn more.

Sega Previews Yakuza 4 at NYC Gaming Event

Gamers are a unique breed, aren't they?  After a long day of life's labors, they sequester themselves in Yakuza 4 Game Screen & Poster [photo: B. Balfour]a room and launch into a digital nirvana of their own making. Gamers are their generation's ultimate escapists. Retreating for hours into their own pixelated paradise, they've had fantasies of war, battle or driving a Ferrari on the moon.

I have been fascinated by this notion of tech-escapism, but that interest really peaked about a year ago when I read about what medical pros are calling "The Avatar Blues." This is a temporary depression felt by nerds when they left the theater after their first screening of Avatar in 3D. If you longed for the beauty and eye-popping wonder of Pandora's flora and fauna, than you are a plagued with this ailment.

Read more: Sega Previews Yakuza 4 at NYC...

How Does The HTC 10 Stack Up?

In the highly competitive field of smartphones, it’s hard for most companies to go up against juggernauts Apple and SamsungHTC’s latest phone, the HTC 10, the latest member of the HTC One family, is the all-new, completely reinvented (yet vaguely familiar déjà vu of the M7) smartphone. The HTC 10 highlights are its: its impressive hardware, battery life, fast performance, hi-res audio and customization.

HTC has always been strong in design and it shows in the aluminum unibody design with chamfered edges running around its backside giving it an athletic silhouette - a modern interpretation of a classic smartphone design.  The HTC 10 boasts a slightly bigger 5.2-inch screen than its antecedants, and is pixel dense with a 2560 x1440p Quad- HD resolution and covers 99.9% of the sRGB colour gamut. HTC states that the display is 30 per cent brighter and 50 per cent more responsive than on last year's model. It’s protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and has a fast fingerprint sensor/ home button.

The HTC 10's rear camera is now a 12-megapixel "Ultrapixel 2" shooter with laser autofocus and dual tone flash, and a 5MP optically-stablised f/1.8 selfie camera in the front. As well the camera shoots 4K video and features the world’s first stereo 24-bit Hi-Res audio recording, capturing 256 times more detail than standard recordings.

The dual front speakers seen on previous versions have been scrapped, with the "BoomSound Hi-Fi" speaker system as a replacement, a combination of one front-facing tweeter in the earpiece and a bottom-facing woofer (for lower frequency sounds), each with its own amp.  The results in a powerful bass, better clarity and more volume.  There are two settings for the speakers – theatre mode and music mode.  With Hi-Res audio certification, 24-bit sound processing, built-in DAC, and a headset amplifier, it’s like stereo-heaven for any discerning audiophile.

According to HTC, which said that the phone is tough - having been subjected to 168 hours of extreme temperature tests ranging from -20C to 60C, plus over 10,000 drop, bend, scratch and corrosion tests.

The smartphone uses Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 820 processor and packs a strong 4 GB of RAM. The default storage space reads 32 GB or 64 GB, but microSD support can be boosted up to 2 TB, via a memory expansion card. HTC 10's massive 3,000 mAh battery is touted to last for almost two days on normal usage and the included 30 enabled Rapid charger will charge the device up to 50% in 30 minutes. The HTC 10 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow topped with HTC's Sense UI.

One of the exciting new software features of the HTC 10 is the customizable home screen - Freestyle Layouts.  Getting rid of the usual grid layout on most smartphones, Freestyle allow you to customize the home screen theme by assigning and app shortcuts to different stickers, as well as hide app labels altogether and create a sleek theme with shortcuts hidden in plain sight. In addition, the new App Lock functionality makes your phone more secure, allowing users to unlock any app they choose. 

The HTC 10 comes in both an unlocked GSM, for use on carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile, and a CDMA version, for use on Verizon. It retails for $699.

Wither the Wearable Device - Back to The Future or Onward?

Can Apple do it? Though it sounds like a grand idea, the wearable wrist phone/device hasn’t been exactly burning up the cash registers… — oops, computer terminals — with sales of the Samsung smartwatch or other from Garmin and Misfit. It has been reported that sales have been tepid at best with the technology so far simply offering a smaller screen and limited options compared the smartphone or tablet.

With the Apple’s recent press event, CEO Tim Cook has announced the development of an iwatch. The hope is that Apple’s brilliance at rebranding and finessing ideas and devices will lead to something that justifies its wearability as a necessity not an annoyance.

Maybe it’s because millennials and the generation on have less experience wearing watches since the mechanical form are more of display of opulence rather than of practicality and the low price digital versions have been superseded by many other devices.

Okay so I am now dating myself forever by holding the image of a 1930s comic strip detective Dick Tracy with his arm up to his face talking into his wrist device. Tracy was a pretty crusty character and so was his creator Chester Gould yet this print creation envisioned a technology that is only now coming to fruition as Samsung and other companies jump into the space.

Years ago sci-fi author John Shirley envisioned a future rock band who wore their instruments — their bodies in effect played the music — and French film director Bertrand Tavernier released Death Watch, a near-future film starring Harvey Keitel as a man who has had his eyes replaced by micro cameras so he records and broadcast everything he sees and experience. The only downside — he really couldn’t sleep very well, to say the least.

That not withstanding, wearable devices step forward as one of those tech trends that will continue to evolve as we look to use our bodies as power sources, something to document and transform by collected data (temperature, blood pressure, salinity, speed, walking pace , etc.) and to be augmented with externally (google glasses) or directly through bionic devices that either replace or supplement limbs and organs.

The ultimate silicon/carbon interface is the development of nano-machines that are digest or injected into the body and provide life extension or physical enhancement that might create virtual super-people. Super soldiers, robo cops or terminators are neither far fetched or far off.

And not much further down the line on the horizon with be brain enhancing interfaces that will allow for virtual telepathy or levitation/telekinesis. With light bending fabrics even “invisibility” will be possible. There are even new technologies that allow for fabrics to be worn couple with micro cameras that screen images which create a real time camouflage.

What will a future CES or CE Week be like when these devices and tools fully come to market. That’s both a mind-blowing and scary thought. 

Newsletter Sign Up

Upcoming Events

No Calendar Events Found or Calendar not set to Public.

Tweets!