Sure, you’ve been able to change the background on your PS Vita since day one, but swapping out the system’s application icons wasn’t exactly an option. Until now, that is. With the latest update to Sony’s handheld, the custom themes that the catch-up king promised last month will soon be available. With software version 3.30 comes not only different icons for system settings and the like, but also new background music too, should still have that turned on. Aside from Uncharted and Tearaway interface skins, the PlayStation Blog notes that not-game tie-in appearance packs themed around the four seasons and arts-and-crafts will be available too. Much like the trophy-rarity ratings coming to the portable with the patch (something the PlayStation 4 has had since launch), this is likely an appreciated gesture. However, we know there’s probably at least a few amongst the PS4’s 10 million owners who’d like to see their console look a little less blue sooner rather than later.
One day we will make a How It’s Made infinite GIF loop of how to make an infinite GIF loop of a How It’s Made program to start a chain reaction that will destroy the space-time fabric. Until then, enjoy Sploid’s How It’s Made Infinite GIF series.
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Since the launch of the Signature Touch, Vertu CEO Max Pogliani promised that "technology will be more a merging factor and not a differentiation point" for his phones. That’s literally the case with the new mid-tier Aster launched today: This titanium Android device is every bit identical to its flagship sibling device internally, just wrapped within a more contemporary and unisex design. We’re looking at a 4.7-inch 1080p display, a 5.1-inch 117 carat sapphire screen, a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 chipset, a 13-megapixel Hasselblad-certified main camera with twin LED flash, a 2.1-megapixel front-facing imager, 64GB of internal storage, a 2,275mAh battery, front stereo speakers, NFC, Qi wireless charging and great LTE compatibility (though no love for China, for some reason). With the specs out of the way, let’s look at why this swanky phone starts from $6,900 or £4,200.
While the Aster is technically the successor of the Constellation, the former avoided the path of screen enlargement (from the Ti’s 3.7-inch screen to the Constellation’s 4.3-inch) while managing to bring back the iconic V-pillow. By keeping the same 4.7-inch screen size on both the Signature Touch and the Aster, Vertu could risk losing appeal to a wider audience, especially in China where phablets are the norm. But Pogliani opted for a more sensible strategy.
"Vertu is not here to follow general mass market mobile trends."
"Vertu is not here to follow general mass market mobile trends; our technology is leading edge but it doesn’t have to be bleeding edge. The same goes for the physical design of Vertu products. The nature of our customers and of our products mean that we have to develop what is right for them, not follow generic broader industry design themes that may be more fleeting than those of the luxury market.
"Many of our customers desire and appreciate compact size Vertu products that comfortably fit the inside the pocket of a well-tailored suit or in an expensive clutch bag."
The CEO added that this also has nothing to do with the cost of sapphire, and he even said it’s possible that his company might offer larger screen sizes in the future.
Much like the other Vertu handsets, the Aster is offered with a range of skins and colors. The base price gets you calf leather in black, pink or blue, while £5,600/$9,100 gets you shiny snake skin in black or orange (the latter is this author’s favorite), and you can max out at £5,900/$9,700 — a "little" below the Signature Touch’s £6,750/$10,300 base price — for ostrich skin in brown or purple. This is pretty much why the Aster comes in at 11.2mm thick, which is just a tad more than the Signature Touch’s.
Going back to the point about differentiation, the Aster is more affordable because it comes with a shorter "Classic Concierge" subscription — just six months instead of a year and no dedicated agent. This may tempt those who doubt they will make full use of Vertu’s signature service; and they can always renew their subscription afterwards. There’s also the Vertu Certainty package that offers six months of iPass WiFi hotspots around the world, 12 months of Silent Circle communication encryption and 12 months of Kaspersky mobile security subscription. Vertu Life, a curation service that offers exclusive access to events and venues, will continue to last for 18 months — a figure based on usage statistics within Vertu’s global customer base, according to Pogliani.
"Concierge and services continues to be of significant importance to Vertu and they are a key part of our brand DNA," the exec added. "We are continually developing this aspect of our business and new partnerships with the likes of Bentley indicate the level of our vision and ambition."
On top of that, Vertu is also entering the e-commerce space. The English company will be gradually rolling out its Vertu Digital service between now and early next year, by which point folks around the world will be able to directly order personalized devices online, though they can also collect their new phones at a boutique — we think the latter is more fun, if there’s one nearby. But of course, this alone still won’t win the majority of us over — we’re waiting for that more affordable Vertu device that Pogliani is working on.
David Fincher is one of the best directors in Hollywood and if you disagree, you need new eyeballs. Tony Zhou of Every Frame a Painting shows how it’s not what Fincher does in his movies that make him special, but what he doesn’t do. Fincher’s talent and skills are incredible but it’s his restraint that sets him apart.
Every Frame a Painting reveals how Fincher doesn’t like using handheld cameras or unnecessary close ups or unmotivated camera moves and yet still manages to create beautiful visual films, even when it’s just two people talking in a scene. It’s a wonderful dive in the craft of one of the best directors today. I guess this means I have to go watch Gone Girl now.
You can see more deeply interesting takes on movies and filmmaking here. And support Every Frame a Painting here.
An anonymous reader writes with news about a government plan to build a Tier IV data center in an earthquake prone district of Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Ministry of Information is considering the establishment of a Tier 4 data centre in Kaliakair, in the Gazipur region, an ambitious build which would constitute the fifth largest data centre in the world, if completed. And if it survives – the site planned for the project is prone to earthquakes. Earthquake activity in the environs is discouraging, with one nearby earthquake seven months ago in Ranir Bazar (3.8), and no less than ten within the same tectonic zone over the last three years, the largest of which measured 4.5 on the Richter scale.
the eric conspiracy writes "Lack of sea ice in the Arctic has forced record numbers of walrus to come ashore in Alaska. The walrus, looking for a place to rest have come ashore in Point Lay Alaska. The walrus normally rest on floating ice. "We are witnessing a slow-motion catastrophe in the Arctic," Lou Leonard, vice president for climate change at the World Wildlife Fund, said in a statement that was reported by CNN. "As this ice dwindles, the Arctic will experience some of the most dramatic changes our generation has ever witnessed. This loss will impact the annual migration of wildlife through the region, threaten the long-term health of walrus and polar bear populations, and change the lives of those who rely on the Arctic ecosystem for their way of life."