For Adam's first incognito costume of the year, he teams up with propmaker Darrell Maloney (aka Broken Nerd) to become two of the Knights of Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens! Without much reference material, Adam and Darrell relish the opportunity to bring these mysterious characters to life in cosplay.
Fabricator Kayte Sabicer shows us how to make plastic models and miniatures look like they've rusted with age, using real chemical patinas. The transformation happens before our eyes and the results look awesome!
I was SO inspired and moved by the amazing costumes, excellent questions, inclusive community and camaraderie at Silicon Valley Comic Con 2018, our first con of the year. Here are some photos from my day.
With the design of the Xbox One X, Microsoft paid a lot of attention to the delicate balance of processing power and power consumption in its latest game console. One of the more interesting in Scorpio's technical design is the Hovis Method, a hardware design process that customizes the amount of power needed for each individual One X console. Now that the console has been out for a few months, I've had time to test multiple units and see the results of Microsoft's engineering efforts.
When CPUs and GPUs are manufactured, it's impossible to get a yield of 100%. No process for making silicon parts is infallible. For companies like Intel, AMD, and Nvidia they've adapted their product lines to accommodate for the imperfect manufacturing process. Processors are organized, or "binned", based on how much of the CPU is actually usable. For example, AMD's Ryzen 5 1600 has 6 usable CPU cores, but it's actually an 8-core chip with two of those cores deactivated. AMD didn't specifically design and manufacture a 6-core CPU. Instead they took 8-core chips that couldn't reach required clock frequencies, maintain certain voltage levels, and/or operate within desired temperatures and "binned" them for a lower tier computer product. Even then, not all of the same parts are made equal. You'll often hear the term "silicon lottery" in the overclocking community. This refers to the imperfections in the manufacturing process. An Intel Core i7 8700K with fewer imperfections needs less voltage to overclock to a certain frequency than another 8700K with more imperfections, even though on paper they're the same.
The processors put into video game consoles are subject to the same imperfections as desktop and laptop processors. However, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo typically make their consoles to a single, one size fits all specification and the hardware isn't as flexible as a desktop computer. One of these specifications is power consumption. Measure the power draw of any original Xbox One console and you'll get the same value. The Xbox One X bucks this trend though, and Microsoft's implementation of the Hovis Method means that different One X consoles can consume significantly different amounts of power. The variance in power draw also has implications for how the cooling system performs.
Rather than have a single power profile for all consoles manufactured, which would result in some generating excess heat by taking more power than components require, each Scorpio Engine processor has a custom power profile programmed onto the motherboard it's paired with in the factory. This process is referred to as the Hovis Method, named after Xbox engineer Bill Hovis. This means that Microsoft is able to net better yields of chips as opposed to a standard building process. Every system is highly power efficient, and the processors that require just a little more extra juice are now usable. For the consumer, this means that any two Xbox One X consoles quite literally aren't the same. Yes, they will all of course hit the same clock frequencies, data speeds, and everything else needed to run games identically. Some consoles however will draw more power than others, including my own.
We're not convinced that 360-degree video shooting makes sense for people watching content on their phones, but the latest update for the Insta360 One camera has us giving it another chance. Their new stabilization algorithm is impressive, and subject tracking in the app makes this a viable alternative to a mechanical gimbal.
Some of the most popular keyboard switches are tactile like the Cherry MX Browns and Clears. That means there's a "bump" as you press the key, but no clicking mechanism. As you dig deeper into the custom keyboard community, you'll come across tactile switches with varying properties like Zealios and the Input Club Hako series. Some of these are pretty tactile, but new Box Royal switch from Novelkeys and Kailh is probably the most tactile switch I've ever used. It might not be for everyone, but it's fascinating nonetheless.
On the outside, the Box Royal looks like similar Kailh-manufactured switches we've seen recently. The stem has a square shape with a standard Cherry-style cross in the middle. Thus, it'll work with all Cherry-compatible keycaps. The opening in the housing makes it compatible with in-switch LEDs as well as SMD LEDs on the circuit board. The stem color is dark purple, rather like Zealios.
Inside, the Royal has the usual Box assembly protecting the metal contacts. When the stem moves down, it presses a plastic nub that actually moves the contacts inside the Box portion. See below for what the switch looks like disassembled. The shape of the internal stem and the spring weight give the Royal its unique properties.
As you press a Box Royal, the force required to get over the tactile bump is extremely high—65 grams. That's right up there with the MX Clear, but the tactile bump is less round on the Box Royal. It sort of "steps down" through several smaller bumps before the spring force ramps back up as you get closer to the bottom of the switch. However, it bottoms out at just 55g. That's lighter than the tactile peak.
We test and review the new HTC Vive Pro virtual reality headset! Two years after the release of the original Vive, HTC has upgraded the display, ergonomics, and camera system of their flagship HMD. We discuss how adding 70% more pixels affects gaming and other VR experiences, and who should get this headset. Plus, a bonus game review as we gush over Wipeout on PSVR!