A night in Richard Branson's state-of-the-art Virgin Hotel

Richard Branson knows how to make a first impression. The first thing I saw when I arrived at Virgin's debut hotel was a statuesque blonde in a bright-red trench coat stepping out of a matching-hued Tesla, with a photographer documenting the whole ordeal. The photographer was there for glamour shots, naturally, and the Model S serves as the hotel's house car that'll drop guests off anywhere within a 2-mile radius. However, it wasn't in service just yet. Virgin bills the hotel as "brilliant," and to see just how smart it actually was, I spent a night in the premiere Chicago location. Given that the inn is run by the same company that wants to make us all space tourists with Virgin Galactic, I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised by anything during my stay -- least of all, an electric sports sedan waiting out front.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

IRL Fuji 50-140

Fujifilm may still be a relatively niche player in the mirrorless camera field, but that's not stopping the company from putting out some serious lenses to go along with its well-regarded X-series cameras. With the $1,600 XF50-140mm zoom, Fuji's hoping to provide a professional-level, weather-sealed telephoto zoom that can compete with the legendary 70-200mm lenses from companies like Nikon and Canon. I spent a month with the lens to see how close the company came.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Visitors to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, will soon have a chance to see those items Neil Armstrong kept from the Apollo 11 moon landing. This week's news about Armstrong's memorabilia got us thinking: What are some the other notable bits of tech NASA used to document space exploration? Well, the full list is a bit daunting, as the agency has been hard at work for decades. However, we've compiled a collection of the highlights, from the first US spacecraft to transmit close-up photographs of the moon's surface to X-ray telescopes used to capture cosmic explosions. We even tossed in a selfie for good measure.

0 Comments

With a little help from Google, Mattel took its iconic View-Master into the 21st century. That said, this isn't the first time the stereoscopic sightseer has welcomed change. In fact, since being born in 1939, there have been many iterations of the View-Master and its popular content reels. This includes models that weren't designed to be toys, like a model that was used during World War II as a training tool.

0 Comments

This is no DSLR. It's not even a bridge camera. This is actually Olympus' recently announced Air lens camera, tricked out to a (some would say excessive) degree. While the accessories on show here were only for internal testing, we admit we'd like to do some external testing with it. Alongside the DSLR-esque handle and controls (the Air camera handles any micro four-thirds lens), what you see on top is Olympus' eagle-eye viewfinder that projects a laser bullseye that will hover between you and your long-range target of choice. That also explains the telephoto lens which is attached to what was, originally, a petite camera upgrade for your smartphone. Naturally some extra framework is necessary simply to support all that attached glass. Check its ridiculous backside -- where your smartphone would sit -- right after the break.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

This week -- tomorrow -- Nintendo is re-releasing its polarizing Nintendo 64 third-person action game, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. But today -- at 3PM ET! -- we're streaming the game and hosting a rousing discussion. No "expansion pak" required! Though we'd love to show you the re-release for Nintendo 3DS, there's simply no way for us to stream from our handheld game systems. As such, today we're streaming the original Nintendo 64 game. No, we don't have a magical Nintendo 64 with HDMI-out, but we do have a Wii U, which has a Wii built into it, which has Virtual Console. All that to say this: we're streaming the Wii re-release of Nintendo 64 game The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. The future! We're in it!

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

SONY DSC

Back in 2013, I got to try out the Korus system of speakers, the V600 and the V400, and was impressed by their ease of use and audio quality. The one thing that was lacking was portability; even though the V600 can use six D-cell batteries and comes with a handle, I'm not exactly going to stroll around town with it on my shoulder. Enter the M20, a small speaker that not only hooks into the Korus system via SKAA, but can also connect to other devices via Bluetooth, squaring it against the glut of portable Bluetooth speakers already on the market.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

We're back! Like clockwork, every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon you can expect Joystiq X Engadget streams on Twitch, and today is no different. I'm jumping into Darkest Dungeon, a game only available on Steam's Early Access program right now -- I'm told it's both excellent and scary as hell. Given that, I'm going in completely blind and learning as I go. Won't you join my expedition into the mouth of madness? I sure hope you will! The pre-show kicks off just ahead of our official 3PM ET start time -- head blow for the stream and comments, or head to our Twitch page right now and follow along so you know when we're streaming any time of the week!

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Samsung's NX1 camera looks like a DSLR, but does it perform like one?

While companies like Sony and Fujifilm continue to stuff serious camera guts into smaller and smaller mirrorless bodies, Samsung's aiming to ape both the function and the form of modern "prosumer" DSLR's with its $1,500 NX1. With a rapid-fire 15 fps burst mode and 4K video support, the company's flagship interchangeable lens camera certainly boasts some high-end specs. I spent a month with Samsung's latest to see if it can match or even exceed the DSLRs it appears to emulate.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Nexus 6 vs Moto X

Moto X or Nexus 6? It's a question that has bugged many fans of "pure" Android (including myself) for a few months, and it's not hard to see why. Although both Motorola smartphones are sleekly designed and pack some clever software tricks, they couldn't be more different in some areas. The Moto X is a mid-size, mid-priced device with the "good enough" hardware to match, but it's wonderful to hold and touts features even its bigger sibling lacks. The Nexus 6, meanwhile, is an all-out flagship for those who refuse to compromise on specs or software updates, even if it means carrying a massive beast of a handset. So which one deserves a place in your pocket? I spent a few weeks with each to find out, and the answer might surprise you.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments