3D audio in headphones that envelops you like a surround sound home theater is an elusive thing. The market is dominated by products for gamers, who play content that’s mixed for surround sound, and who want to hear the crunch of opponents in the bushes behind them as it’s a matter of life and death (in a game at least). Also they don’t want to wake the neighbors at 3AM. There are plenty of 3D-ready “surround sound” headphones out there, but the new Mobius headphones from Audeze are probably the most sophisticated to date, incorporating not only 3D audio processing but also head-tracking to create an experience you just can’t get from any competitor products. Until now, if you’d heard of Audeze, it was probably in the the context of some absurd audiophile product. The company got its start a decade ago producing very expensive, very large headphones with planar magnetic drivers. The headphones that sit on your desk probably use dynamic … [Read more...] about Audeze Wants to Change How You Think About Gaming Headphones and 3D Audio
Open source virtual reality
In 1969, Joni Mitchell burst into tears. “They walked on the moon,” she said in In Her Own Words, “and I cried.” Mitchell recalls crying at a bulldozer tearing down trees in its path, crying at the site of their sad stumps. But even though Mitchell admitted that she “was a basket case,” she refused medical intervention and medication. Instead, she sought relief in a inward kind of self-examination. In some respect the experience was typical of Mitchell’s adult relationship with medicine—an acknowledgment that something was wrong, but a belief that psychiatric care was unnecessary. Pain seems to have defined much of Mitchell’s life—from a childhood bout of polio, to severe depression, to a 2010 self-diagnosis of a condition called Morgellons. By Mitchell’s description, Morgellons is a hellish disease—in constant agony, the singer was unable to wear clothes, to leave her home, to sleep, to eat, to maintain … [Read more...] about Real Delusions of an Unreal Disease: A History of Morgellons
My PC can do a lot of things. It can play video games at high resolutions and snappy frame rates. It can run the latest virtual reality software, transporting me to fantastical virtual worlds. It cannot, however, reliably sleep through the night. I built my current gaming PC in 2014. I love it to death, but ever since I first turned it on, it has suffered from sporadic insomnia. Things will be fine for a while, then I’ll wake up one morning to find it turned on, purring away and slowly sucking power from the wall. I’ll spend some time Googling, reading, and trying to determine the problem. I’ll try toggling some setting or other, and eventually I’ll figure out how to make it stay asleep. All will be well for a while, but eventually, inevitably, it will begin waking up again. Every time that happens, I marvel at what a stupid problem it is. This is a basic thing for an operating system to keep getting wrong. Given the number of my colleagues who describe similar … [Read more...] about The Endless Quest To Make My Windows PC Stay Asleep Overnight
Every year, BarSK in Melbourne holds a special event. It’s a game jam that runs for over half a day, from the morning to just past midnight. And when the clock hits 12.30am, something special happens. Everything that everyone has worked on, images, assets, source code: it all gets deleted, never to return. This story originally appeared on Kotaku Australia. Welcome to DELETE. I’ve spent the past few hours slowly killing someone. Just beyond my growing horror, there are over a dozen people yelling at each other about how to enter a mysterious place called The eCheese Zone. Next to me, a deceptively cheerful horse sculpture holds within its mouth a growing collection of the most private confessions from anyone who is brave enough to offer themselves to it. Three-dimensional penises blast away at each other in augmented reality and a virtual recreation of this very room is graffitied with confronting concepts that will continue to have personal ramifications long after … [Read more...] about A Game Exhibition Where Everything Is Destroyed
As digital technology continues to seep into every aspect of our analog lives, it seems it was only a matter of time before it started to replace our plain old visual experiences with something a little more tantalizing. Head-mounted displays, or HMDs, are an almost ancient piece of tech which have begun to see a reboot in the past few years as computers get more powerful, and the games inside them more visually spectacular by the day. In this article, we’re going to cut through the noise and give you the basics of the HMD revolution. We’ll cover the terms you need to know, the history of where they came from, and how far the technology might be taking us next. So if boring old regular reality just isn’t enough anymore, maybe it’s time to take a dip into the world of the virtual and see where you end up on the other side. Seeing Things Differently: a (Brief) History of HMDs Back in the 1960’s, a cinematographer named Morton Heilig had a crazy idea: what if … [Read more...] about Head Mounted Displays: What’s the Difference between Augmented and Virtual Reality?
The Windows 10 Creators Update—codenamed Redstone 2—will begin rolling out on April 11, 2017. Like other updates to Windows 10, it’s free, and includes a host of new features. It will be rolled out slowly like the Anniversary Update, so it will be a few months before Microsoft offers it to everyone. RELATED ARTICLEHow to Get Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update Now You can, however, upgrade to the Creators Update right now using an official tool from Microsoft. Not sure if you should rush to update? Here’s all the stuff you’ll find within. This post was originally written after Microsoft’s big October 26, 2016 event, but has since been updated with features from the final release. 3D for Everyone RELATED ARTICLEShould You Use the Windows 10 Insider Previews? Microsoft is making a big bet on 3D creativity with the Creators update. This is the company that bought Minecraft, after all. A new Paint 3D … [Read more...] about What’s New in Windows 10’s Creators Update
Of all the longstanding, beloved subgenres of romance novel, among my personal favorites and also perhaps the most specific is the Regency, set around the same time as Jane Austen. Like Austen, the setting has been occupied by everyone from feminists to conservative evangelicals. Author Cat Sebastian uses the setting to write queer romance that she refers to as “Marxist tracts with boning.” In an interview, Sebastian told me that she wants “to populate history with every possible variety of queer person—which is totally my goal as a writer and a human.” Thus far, beginning with her first book, The Soldier’s Scoundrel, her characters have been gay and bisexual men; the upcoming Unmasked by the Marquess will include a nonbinary character. She’s billed it as “sort of a queer Frederica,” which points to one of the things that’s so fascinating about Sebastian’s work. Frederica is a beloved novel by Georgette Heyer, the … [Read more...] about A Chat With Cat Sebastian About Writing Queer Characters in Historical Romance