Asimov’s Foundation series to be adapted by HBO soon


Jonathan Nolan, co-writer of Interstellar alongside Christopher Nolan is turning one of Isaac Asimov’s most famous works (at least to sci-fi fans), the Foundation series into a cable TV series under HBO.

According to his interview with Indiewire, he gave a very frank and direct tease here:

Well, I fucking love the “Foundation” novels by Isaac Asimov — they’re certainly not well-known, but that’s a set of books I think everyone would benefit from reading. That’s a set of books where the influence they have is just fucking massive; they have many imitators and many have been inspired by them, but go back and read those, and there are some ideas in those that’ll set your fucking hair on fire.

The premise of the Foundation stories is about mathematician Hari Seldon, who develops a branch of mathematics called psychohistory that uses the laws of mass action to forecast the future accurately, but only on a large scale. The original Foundation books started of as a trilogy with three books; Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation. Later on, two sequels; Foundation’s Edge and Foundation and Earth, as well as two prequels; Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation, were also added.

It isn’t known if Nolan will adapt the series starting from the prequels or start it directly from the original trilogy of books. Stay tuned though as we’ll update as more info comes in.

Via Indiewire

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HTC rumoured to launch the One M9 at MWC 2015

HTC One M9 New

With the success of their ultra sleek HTC One M8, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Taiwanese company ramp up their game to take on Apple’s latest iPhone 6. And that seems to be the case in this particular rumour.

We do know that HTC would definitely be coming up with a new flagship but what exactly would it be like? According to the rumour mill, the upcoming One M9 model is set for a Mobile World Congress 2015 launch and it seems it’ll be coming with some pretty impressive specs. It’s supposed to be kitted out with a 5.2 inch display with 2K resolution (1440 x 2560), the latest Snapdragon 805 CPU and 3GB RAM.

Of course, innards aside, we would expect some body improvements and it is said that the One M9 might be as thin as the Apple iPhone 6 at around 7.1mm and will continue using the metallic casing as previous HTC One models. In fact, HTC designer Hasan Kaymak has posted an image of what appears to be the phone bezel as well, though it is mentioned that it is a concept.

What’s more, it is said that the model might be offering up to 128GB storage and of course Android 5.0 Lollipop, which means it might support 64 bit software and sports a larger battery than M8. There’s also supposed to be  a souped up camera on its back and higher IP certification rating with more robust water resistance capabilites too.

Of course, it is still

Via: IB Times

Image Hasan Kaymak

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Starcraft II is back with Legacy of the Void

During BlizzCon last weekend, the world got its first glimpse of the latest and final part of the  Starcraft 2 trilogy  – Legacy of the Void.

Aside from a new single player campaign focused on the enigmatic Protoss, Starcraft 2 – Legacy of the Void has boosted the multiplayer gameplay with a cooperative mode called Archon Mode and there are now new multiplayer battles known as Allied Commanders. And what exactly is Allied commanders? It is a co-op gameplay mode that is objective based that allows players to assume the role of the heroes in the Starcraft universe.  Archon mode is also similar, but the difference is two players share one base and an army, while taking on another opposing duo team.

Check out the tweaks and upgrades that Blizzard has in store for upcoming units of each for the races:




The last part of Starcraft II – Heart of the Swarm was last released in March 2013 and with the release of Legacy of the VoidStarcraft II will finally be completed. As for a release date Blizzard has yet to announce it but you can sign up for public beta access here

Via Blizzard

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You’ve got to give director Christopher Nolan credit for having the chops to pull this one off; hard edged cinematic science fiction with a little sci-fi thrown in. Unlike with the likes of The Prestige or Inception, the narrative here is fairly straight forward. Then again, the is Christopher Nolan, so are some narrative gymnastics to be expected, just not how you’d expect it.

A new human eye-like rifle scope for US Special Forces?

US Spec Ops operator testing the RAZAR
US Spec Ops operator testing the RAZAR
US Spec Ops operator testing the RAZAR

The United States of America Special Forces  are testing a new sniper rifle scope that functions exactly like a human eye, developed by Sandia National Laboratories.

Until now, the conventional sniper scope needs readjustment and refocusing, which is tricky with a moving target or when trying to acquire a following target. Undeniably, the conventional sniper scope has allowed remarkable long range kills (up to 1.8 km), however, the US Special Forces wanted a natural, easier-to-use sniper scope.

Normal long range rifle sniper scopes adjust the focal point by sliding one or more lenses back and forth like a normal telescope, but the new scope called RAZAR (Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles) works like human eyes. The optics can deform to change the degree of curvature — fatter or thinner on-the-fly just like how our eyes pull the eye lens to focus vision over distances.

According to Sandia Labs:

The U.S. Military requested a compact zoom riflescope, capable of rapidly toggling between magnification at the push of a button without changing the grip on the weapon or losing sight picture. The Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles (RAZAR) filled this request. RAZAR can zoom in milliseconds and perform 10,000 actuations on two AA batteries. The weight, power, and speed requirements for mechanical zoom make them prohibitive. RAZAR allows target engagement at diverse ranges and provides several distinct advantages including speed and high resolution at varying distances.

This allows rapid, more naturalistic function with better clarity than normal digital zooms. So far, the engineers have admitted that the major weakness of the design is when it runs out of battery power. The focal point will remain stuck until a new fresh battery charges the scope again.

Sandia hopes one day this technology will apply to more peaceful enterprises like binoculars or long range sports camera for example.

Via Sandia Labs & Sandia Labs 2
Image ©  Sandia Labs

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Anime promoting tourism in Israel?

The Israeli Foreign Service, in their efforts to boost Japanese tourism to Israel has done something unexpected — producing seven episodes of anime on YouTube called “Israel Daisuki!” or “Israel Like!” According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, less than 10,000 Japanese tourists visited the country this year.

Shalom-Chan and Israel

Complete with a cute parrot mascot wearing a Star of David on its head called Shalom-Chan, the series chronicles the adventures of two female Japanese tourists who also happen to be siblings (Saki & Noriko), starting from the Ben-Gurion airport in Israel. At first, the sisters thought the nation was nothing more than a patch of desert, but slowly realise that the country is modern, safe and bountiful with the finest wine. There is a scene where the two sisters enjoy an Israeli version of sushi.

The series is meant to introduce facts about Israel to Japan, according to the Ministry. Shalom-Chan who carries an olive branch, is working hard to promote peace as Israeli’s goodwill ambassador, according to the mascot’s official biography site. The mascot provides facts about the country from population to perception of Israel in Japan.

Back in June 2014, the Israeli Embassy at Japan held a competition for a mascot and Shalom-Chan was selected in the end to represent this effort.

Manganimation was hired to produce the videos. The reactions to the effort in Japan are mixed, some are angry and bitter due to the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian issue; while others are waiting for next episode of the Youtube videos.

Images Ynetnews

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Absolute Duo matches sword and shield in new anime series

Key Visual Absolute Duo
Key visual of the series
Key visual of the series

At the MF Bunko Summer School Festival in July this year, 8bit announced that the upcoming anime adaptation of the Absolute Zero by Takumi Hiiragiboshi is coming next year. So far, there are six volumes of the light novel published in Japan and a manga by Shinchiro Nariie serialised in Media Factory’s Monthly Comic Alive since April 2013, compiled into one tankubon. The anime series is titled Absolute Duo.

Director Atsushi Nakayama (Love Suicide, Traumeister) will be helming the project with scripting by Takamitsu Kouno (Minami-Ke series). Keiichi Sano (Genshiken, Bungaku Shoujo) will be the character designer whereas Nori Tanaka as chief animation director.

The cast are: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Sword Art Online II, No Game No Life), Nozomi Yamamoto (Akatsuki no Yona, Girls und Panzer), Ayaka Suwa (Nozo X Kimi, Trinity Seven), Ayaka Imamura (Akame ga Kill!) and Haruka Yamazaki (Hataraku Maou-Sama, Kokoro Connect).

The synopsis is pretty straightforward — it talks about Tooru Kokonoe who’s on a quest to seek revenge.  His journey takes him to a school where pupils are taught to manifest weapons with their own soul. The main character’s soul weapon manifestation is a shield, much to his chagrin, and because of that he is forced to partner with a silver-haired girl for fights.

Via otakumo

Image via Haruhichan

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Fancy an origami smartphone?

The prototype in action
The prototype in action

SEL Japan has shown off a prototype device that could possibly transform the consumer electronics industry one day. Well maybe. recently at .

What exactly is it? Well, the product in question is an 8.7 inch Full HD flexible panel with 1080p resolution and 254ppi being shown at Yokohama Display Innovation 2014. So it’s a flexible display, that’s not new right? Well here’s what this panel can do that the other flexible ones can’t. It can be folded like an origami piece over 100,000 times and at a radius of 2-3 mm. And all of this can be done without affecting the viewing experience of the panel. That’s not all, it also includes a touchscreen with a thickness of 100 microns and uses an OLED with colour filters setup. The plastic margins you see in the photo are for highlighting the folding feature at the expo, while this particular prototype can be folded up to three times.

SEL is a Japanese outfit that was started in the 80s and specializes in research, development and licensing the technologies. This isn’t the only thing they have. They are also showcasing a 1058ppi 2.8 inch AMOLED display, 13 inch 8K AMOLED display and transparent display bezel at Yokohama.

This development pushes bendable and flexible displays even further and we might, sooner or later, be really headed towards a truly paperless society. Of course aside from flexible readers, there even more potential uses for such a flexible display. Let’s hope we’ll be seeing actual working products using this tech soon.

Source: PhoneArena

Images by Oled-Display

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WhatsApp now shows if your messages have been read

whatsapp read message

Damnit WhatsApp. Now we won’t be able to pretend we never got those messages we never wanted to reply to.

Yep, you read that right. If those of you went into a rage when Facebook book added in the message “read” feature in their messaging system, you’re not going to like this. Whatsapp has now implemented their new feature that shows whether a message has been read or not. Yep it sucks if you’re the type that likes to pretend that you “never got the message”. How does it work? Basically if the message has been read, the tick marks next to the message will turn blue.

In case you’re a bit confused, previously Whatsapp could never show if someone has read a message or not. It could only show if the message was delivered and received (not read) by the other party via a double tick indicator. The only way you could guess if they have read was by the last time the were online, which wasn’t so accurate much either. Well now, Whatsapp has taken the guess work out of it.


Not surprising that it’s been implemented considering that Facebook messenger already has the feature and they do own Whatsapp anyway. Other messenger apps, BBM chief among them, have already implemented this feature and Whatsapp is the only one, until today that is, that had not implemented such a feature in. Don’t worry, no manual updates are needed as Whatsapp has pushed it in on the air so you should have it now. As of our last test, it was working fine though the feature doesn’t really show when you’re in group messages.

Looks like many of you will have to be VERY careful about whether you should read those Whatsapp messages now since the old ” I didn’t read you message ” excuse isn’t going to fly no more.

Source: 9to5maac

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There’s a surprising new key visual for Aldnoah Zero Season 2

Princess of Vers Allusia
Princess of Vers

Aldnoah Zero was one of the best anime in 2014 and had a twist ending that leaft many fans enraged and shocked beyond belief.

Well be prepared for more shocks as Yaraon has released this photo showing the Princess who is giving a press conference on a wheel chair in a new key visual for upcoming Season Two. Those of you who still remember the ending of Season One will find this is interesting since she was brutally gunned down by the villain at the climax. The narrator did emphasize that her body was never found after the raid in the end. So this might does make Season 2 even more interesting indeed.

The new key visual was shown at Shinjuku Station’s East exit. Questions have been raised if she is a clone, a Martian holographic disguise or truly Princess Assyelum Vers paralyzed. We’ll just have to wait to find out.

Source: Yaraon Blog

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