Friday, August 25, 2017
The word “incredible” gets thrown around a lot, but virtual reality actually earns that praise: you literally won’t believe how well it works until you see it for yourself. The software side of things has been slow to catch up to the potential of VR headsets, but the technology itself is mindblowing because of the way it lets us interact with virtual worlds like we’re actually there – something that’d only been dreamed of until the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive came out earlier this year. It’s fantastic that Sony’s PlayStation VR headset will allow many more people to have these groundbreaking experiences by lowering the financial barrier to entry, with only a few compromises.
Though the PLAYSTATION VR PS4 is advertised at only $399.99, that price is misleading because it’s mostly useless without the $59.99 PlayStation Camera, which is sold separately. Additionally, many of the launch games either require or make use of one or two motion-tracked PlayStation Move controllers, which must also be purchased separately for between $20 and $30 each. Bundles (like the one on which this review is based) are available with the full set for $499.99, which is still a major price advantage. The HTC Vive, which includes its two Lighthouse sensors and motion controllers, costs $799.99; the Oculus Rift is $599.99 and comes with one sensor and an Xbox One controller (and its wireless dongle), but Oculus will soon release its Touch controllers for an as-yet-unannounced price that is speculated to be in the range of $200. So, combined with the fact that it hooks up to a $299.99 PlayStation 4 instead of a gaming PC that would cost you $700 or more, the PlayStation VR is by far the cheapest option for good-quality VR with motion control.
Cheaper almost always comes with a “you get what you pay for” caveat, and the PlayStation VR is no exception. But the impact of those differences is less than I’d expected when it comes to what happens when you put the headset on. One of the most important parts of a VR headset is the screen, and having used the higher-resolution Oculus Rift and HTC Vive (which both use two screens for a combined resolution of 2160x1200), I’m impressed at the quality of the PlayStation VR’s 1920x1080 image, which is split down the middle to display a different point of view for each eye. While the resolution is noticeably lower, the “screen door effect,” caused by the faint lines that separate the pixels on a display when you view it up close, is minimal. In-game text is very readable (though it must be larger than on other headsets to be legible). There’s also little or none of the visible radial lens pattern or streaking light effects I observed on the other two headsets.
No matter which headset you choose you’ll see virtual worlds through what looks like SCUBA goggles. The field of view on the PlayStation VR is slightly lower than its competitors (meaning the goggles look thicker) but in the same ballpark; the differences between the three are minor enough that unless you’re directly comparing one after another you’re unlikely to notice.
One of the big questions going in was whether the PlayStation 4 had enough horsepower to run games at the 90-frames-per-second rate that VR demands in order to minimize nausea. So far it has kept up admirably, with no significant frame rate dips in any of the games I’ve tried. That’s in both high-detail games like Batman: Arkham VR or EVE Valkyrie and low-detail ones like Tumble VR or Job Simulator. Again, it will never look as good as a Rift or a Vive on a gaming PC, which are capable of producing sharper and more detailed images, but the PlayStation VR does the job adequately. And with several people in the IGN office playing games on it over the past week, none has reported any unusual problems with nausea.
The other crucial part of a VR setup like this one is the motion tracking, and here is where I felt the pinch most. Relative to the Vive and its two sensors placed in opposite corners of your play area, the PlayStation VR’s reliance on its single camera is a significant weakness. It does work reasonably well thanks to the depth-sensing capabilities of its two lenses, but its field of view is narrow enough that I frequently bumped up against its limits with the Move controllers. With the recommended six feet of distance between me and the camera, I find I have to frequently adjust the angle to cover me when switching between a standing experience like Batman: Arkham VR and a sitting one like SuperHyperCube.
Sunday, June 4, 2017
It’s only real weakness was a rather cheesy design for securing it with a Python-type cable (but we feel no matter what you do, a thief who really wanted something strapped to a tree is going to get it).
Battery life was good, and we have little doubt that it would have been better had we used the suggested lithium batteries.
The fact that every modem needs it’s own data account with Verizon means that it could get rather costly if you added very many of these units to your field-scouting arsenal, as well. (Just something to keep in mind).
The real question to us is this: would we buy another one of these units? (We aren’t given these units, we buy them with our own cold-hard cash). And the answer is a resounding YES! These units revolutionize the way you scout using trail cameras. And we believe the wireless design is the future of trail cameras. I plan on picking up at least a couple more for next season. They keep you from scaring animals because you don’t have to barge in periodically to pull memory cards. And, perhaps most important, they let you hunt what is currently happening instead of what has happened! This means you can sneak in and hunt stands that are hot right at that very minute! A HUGE advantage for sure and one that we have taken advantage of ourselves.
The Test:The MOULTRIE MOBILE WIRELESS FIELD MODEM MV1 is used to connect to a suitable Moultrie camera so that images from the camera can be transmitted electronically to be viewed on a desktop computer or mobile device.
The camera takes the picture and, presto, the picture is pretty much immediately visible on the device!
But does Moultrie wireless modem work?
That is the question.
Pros:The Moultrie Mobile Wireless Field Modem is small and lightweight at 18 ¾ ounces or 1.17 pounds (with a full set of 8-AA batteries according to my digital kitchen scale) (easy to transport)
The modem measures: 3.5 x 5.5 x 1 ¾ inches (roughly)
A free Application is available for Android and Apple devices. The app. Lets you do everything you can on your desktop computer as far as seeing photos and controlling your camera goes.
The wireless modem appears to be well made and was reliably weatherproof in 12-weeks of field use. (I used the wireless modem in a variety of weather conditions, from 90-degrees Fahrenheit down to -10 zero, along with heavy rains and snowy conditions)
Despite the camera I choose to run with the wireless modem needing a firmware upgrade, it was still a very straightforward and easy setup. Moultrie states that you must make sure the camera you choose to use with the modem has the necessary updates — so this step is critical!
The unit did better than I expected with battery life.
The modem didn’t chew through them that bad at all, despite me not even using the recommended Energizer or lithium batteries.
I used Duracell batteries initially because that is what I had. I replaced the Duracell Quantum batteries when they were only down to about 60% just because I was in the area and didn’t then and didn’t know when I would be in the area again or how fast they would go down from there.
I replaced those batteries with Rayovac High-Energy. Again, because those is what I happened to have with me.
I didn’t expect much from these batteries, to be honest. However, they did very well and accounted for a solid 6-weeks of performance and more than 2,000 photos in some very cold and nasty Iowa winter weather conditions (several days below zero). The Duracell Quantum batteries did well too and lasted 6-7 weeks and accounted for about 1500 photos (the weather during this period was mostly mild and in the 45-90 degree Fahrenheit range).
How much better would this unit have done in a less extreme environment and with the recommended lithium batteries?
The modem was easy to hang on a tree with the included nylon strap. Although the plastic strap-clasp left something to be desired, at least upon first glance, it actually worked well and was easy to use. The strap had plenty of length and according to my trusty tape measure should go around a 23” diameter tree with about 1” inch to spare.
The wireless modem does have holes along the side for which one could use a locking cable in some effort to secure it to a tree from theft. However, the unit, like all units on the market that I am aware of, is made of plastic. Even a stupid and/or lazy thief would not have much problem stealing such a unit, if he/she wanted to.
The Moultrie wireless modem connected fast to the Verizon 3G data network that it must use. (The Moultrie wireless modem must run on Verizon and uses no other carrier at the moment)
In my area, Verizon works pretty well. But, you need to check the coverage map to see if Verizon has good coverage in your area. Moultrie suggests having at least three bars of strength showing on the unit itself for good results with the Moultrie wireless modem.
The Moultrie wireless modem is separate from the camera itself. Although not a feature in any way of product quality or build, this could be a handy and cost-saving feature if you happen to already have at least one Moultrie camera that is 2015 or newer. (Note: “A” series cameras have limited functionality with the Moultrie Mobile system according to company data).
Also, whenever the modem decides to quit working, someday, who knows when, it should be cheaper to replace just the modem than a competitors unit that may have the camera and modem combined as one, such as the Covert Special Ops Code Black or Spartan HD Go Cam (I have zero experience with either of these).
Of course, the camera would quit working some time too. But with a combined unit, one would need to replace the whole thing — meaning both the camera and the modem, if either one would go out.
Cons:I didn’t really find any problems with using the Moultrie wireless modem. Moultrie acknowledged that they did have some problems with their website but they fixed that issue right away.
The holes to run a “Python” or similar cable locking device around the wireless modem are plastic – easy for someone to steal this unit if they really wanted to. (This is not unlike most every other unit I have seen though)
The Moultrie wireless modem is mass produced in China. Is this good or bad?
And every other unit – but those from Buckeye – are as well….
Friday, March 24, 2017
Rolex watches are made with utmost care, taking into account every small detail. Such attention to quality is why Rolex has been successful in receiving the chronometer certified status for every watch it sells. In order to retain the perfection of these watches as accurate timekeeping devices, proper servicing is required at an interval of at least 5 years. However, in the case of watches meant for divers such as the Rolex Submariner and the Sea-Dweller, it is advisable to take the watch to the Rolex Service Center every 18 months to test its waterproof status.
In the case of pre owned Rolex watches, apart from accuracy in functionality, the appearance of the watch is also given prime importance. As a result, every pre-owned Rolex, which we sell, goes through a thorough refurbishment process to correct its cosmetic features as well as its performance.
A Complete Overhauling of Your Rolex at the Rolex Service Center
Rolex Service Centers are authorized centers for servicing Rolex watches. They undertake a thorough overhauling process that starts with Visual Identification Inspection and ends at Quality Control. The servicing is undertaken only after a proper diagnosis of the watch is done for its appearance and performance. Let us take a closer look at the steps taken in the overhauling process:
1. Visual Identification Inspection: It is a standard procedure for every Rolex Service Center to undertake the Visual Identification Inspection with the twin objective to trace any stolen Rolex and to identify any counterfeit watch part. In either case, the watch will be confiscated by the Service Center. In addition, if after market accessories have been fitted to your Rolex, they are replaced with genuine Rolex parts while servicing in order to ensure the quality of the performance. During the inspection, the watch's reference and serial numbers are recorded as well.
2. Thorough Diagnosis of Your Rolex: The diagnosis is done by an expert technician to identify any error related to the appearance or operation of your Rolex. The technician makes a list of all defects in order to correct them in the later stages of the process when the servicing starts. A visual diagnosis immediately is followed by a testing for the timekeeping functionality. During this period, the watch is tested for accuracy, photo-mechanically in four (sometimes five) different positions for 24 hours. This extensive examination provides a clear picture in regards to the operational accuracy of your Rolex watch.
3. Servicing of the Movement and Other Crucial Rolex Parts: Servicing starts with the complete disassembling of the movement so that every intricate part can be cleaned thoroughly. Since the movement may contain lubricants that have hardened, a special solution is used which helps to change this state. The special solution also helps in dissolving any dirt particles that might have accumulated inside the movement. During this stage, all worn out parts and seals, including the winding crown and the case tube, are replaced with genuine Rolex parts.
4. Cleaning and Polishing: The Oyster case and the bracelet are cleaned and hand-polished. The bracelet also receives repairs for any worn out part, disjoint links, or other defects. To maintain the same standards that Rolex follows while making these watches, the Rolex Service Center cleans and polishes the watch using advanced ultrasonic technology.
5. Series of Quality Control Tests: Once your Rolex receives a thorough cleaning, polishing and servicing, it has to pass a series of rigorous quality tests such as pressure proof test and the timekeeping test. The pressure proof test is conducted on the Oyster case without the movement inside. A special tank, called a "Mariotte" meter and equipped with high tech electronics, is used for this test. Inside the tank, a vacuum air-pressure is created to test the watch at its guaranteed depth. A similar test is also conducted during the making of Rolex watches at their premises. As a direct consequence, once you service your Rolex at a Rolex Service Center, you can be assured of receiving the same quality in your watch as a brand new Rolex exhibits. After the watch passes the pressure proof test, it is installed with the movement, re-lubricated and tested for accuracy in timekeeping. If it shows any minor deviations, a special Rolex device called the "Microstella Tool" is used to make micro adjustments to correct those deviations. Once this test is also cleared, the watch is prepared for a final pressure proof test in the Mariotte meter vacuum tank.
6. Final Quality Check by an Expert: Before handing over the watch to the customer, an expert technician makes a final quality inspection to ensure that the watch is free of every possible error, both in appearance and in operation.
Every Rolex Service Center charges overhauling or servicing fees from the customer if the servicing of the watch does not fall in the warranty period. Once the servicing is done and the payment received, they issue a one-year warranty on the serviced Rolex. This warranty is accepted at every Rolex Service Center located across the globe. It is not recommended to go for the complete overhaul every time you take your watch to a service center. Often, the condition of your watch only requires partial servicing in the form of replacement of crystal, stem, crown or dial refinishing.
Refurbishment of Rolex Watches by Pre-Wwned Rolex Dealers
Renowned pre-owned Rolex dealers also undertake a complete overhaul before offering any such watch for sale. They try to restore used Rolex watches to original Rolex specifications to ensure that they look, feel, and perform no less than a brand new Rolex. For example, you will find no blemish, moisture, scratch mark or dust inside or outside our watches. Apart from cleaning, lubricating and polishing the pre-owned Rolex watches from both inside and out, a brand new parabolic sapphire crystal is fitted to them to make them scratch resistant. A team of Rolex certified watchmakers oversee the cosmetic and operational features of these used Rolex watches and suggest modifications or replacements as needed.
In the process of refurbishment, no alterations are made to the core Rolex components; namely the case, the caseback, around 150 small parts in the movement, the winding stem and the dial. If you want, however, they offer numerous options in the external cosmetic features such as bezel, bracelets, lugs, and dial surface by fitting them with high quality diamonds. For instance, you may get a custom diamond paved dial or a bezel embedded with round cut diamonds or custom diamond lugs. Whatever you want your watch to be, we will do our best to make that vision into a reality.
Monday, March 6, 2017
A Framework to Measure Real Business ImpactIt’s safe to say that in 2015, the vast majority of businesses are creating content for marketing (B2C 77%, B2B 86%) 2015 CMI/MarketingProfs.
But to what end?
Content can create impact for a business in many ways, including boosting reputation, increasing revenue, improving operational efficiencies or growing the value of the brand.
Unfortunately, most companies are chasing ROI instead of planning for measuring the full spectrum of value content can deliver for a business.
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Content and Influencer Marketing is A Powerful Way to Grow Your Business
A never ending stream of high quality content simply isn’t sustainable for most organizations. But what if Marketers could tap into a rich source of content optimized for engagement, sharing and action?
This is the promise of co-created content and participation marketing. Not limited to influencers, participation marketing is to partner with others to create content that the community they are a part of would find useful. These co-creation partners might be existing customers, industry influentials, other connected businesses and individuals or even prospective customers.
"A brandividual is popular. An influencer is effective at creating popularity."
Sunday, February 26, 2017
A More Human Approach to Business Marketing
Answering any question about what’s next in B2B marketing must involve the increasing attention on buyers as people vs. simply “business to business”. The human element of business marketing has attracted a lot of play in the B2B marketing conversation and rightly so.
While there are many changes and trends to consider to stay ahead in the B2B marketing game (paid, earned, owned and shared media for example) the thing that unites departments, tactics and technologies is common ground and common goals. By viewing B2B marketing from the buyer’s perspective,