It's understandable if having a homicidal alien stab you in the chest isn't your cup of tea, so, thankfully, there are more than a few examples of virtual reality that aren't nearly as gruesome. Take The Shoebox Diorama, for example. It's a series of interactive illustrations for the Oculus Rift, each with a different theme; the latest is about sitting atop a tower of chairs, called The Great Gottlieb. As Kill Screen notes, developer Daniel Ernst describes its premise thusly: this mountain of seats was built by the greatest circus acrobat who ever lived because he wanted a little peace of mind. While seated you can even reach out and grab for a star in the 3D sky, like the kid up above is doing. Sounds pretty tranquil, no? To complete the effect, a recent installation was erected (there's a video of it embedded below), where players sat atop a real stack of chairs and had a fan blowing at the back of their head.

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Denon AVR-X5200W reciever with Dolby Atmos

If you're wondering just when you can envelop yourself in Dolby Atmos sound at home, Denon is more than happy to tell you. The home theater firm says it will launch two Atmos-equipped AV receivers, the X4100W and X5200W, in the US this October. Neither will be cheap, as the bleeding-edge tech implies. For $1,399, the X4100W delivers Dolby's all-encompassing audio in up to a 7.1.2-channel setup (seven regular speakers, one subwoofer, two overhead); splurge on the $1,999 X5200W and you can add two extra speakers to the mix, whether they're on the ground or the ceiling. Either will bring the media support you'd expect for that kind of outlay, including 4K video processing and media sharing over AirPlay or DLNA. That's a lot of cash to shell out to add an extra dimension to your surround sound, but Denon is undoubtedly targeting very high-end living room setups -- if you didn't flinch at buying an expensive 4K TV, these receivers are for you.

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Cable Modem

If you're like me, you've paid for a certain speed from you internet provider only to get a fraction of the promised bandwidth. The FCC is reminding those who control access to the interwebs to be honest and forthcoming with their advertised data with the Open Internet Transparency Rule. The decree requires providers to give you every bit of data on their broadband services needed to make "informed choices." It also requires the disclosures to be "accurate and truthful," covering network management (handling congestion, etc.), performance, terms of service, plan descriptions, pricing and fees. You know, to eliminate surprises down the road. Of course, spilling data on expected and actual speed figures are part of the lot as well. And the Commission urges you to keep a watchful eye on your service, reporting any discrepancies with advertised numbers. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's full statement on the matter awaits after the break.

[Photo credit: Sh4rp_i/Flickr]

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If you've every wanted to try X-Men-style telepathic brainwave amplification, Cerebro isn't real (yet) -- but the Oculus Rift is a damn good surrogate. 20th Century Fox will let you step into Charles Xavier's mind and don the futuristic headgear (the Rift, that is) at Comic-Con in San Diego, starting tonight. Each participant will be immersed in a three minute, panoramic VR presentation on a quest to find nudest of all mutants, Mystique, with the best reactions recorded on a GoPro for Facebook posterity. On top of the VR experience, Fox is offering a limited-edition, thousand-run of X-Men: The Cerebro Collection in a replica Cerebro helmet on pre-order for $80, or $90 with X-Men: Days of Future Past. The latter will also be up for pre-order at $23 alone and both will arrive October 14th, with the Digital HD version set to come on September 23rd.

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When you start chugging a series, it's hard to stop, even for trips to the bathroom, or going to work, or catching up on sleep. It's a problem that Netflix loves to exploit, only giving you a few seconds before offering up the next episode of whatever series you're currently immersed in. For some reason, however, this post-play feature didn't work on the Apple TV, until it suddenly did a few days ago, without warning. The Roku-rival has even popped up on Netflix's list of supported devices, so never again will you have the option of stopping House of Cards after a single episode. Well, unless you disable it, of course.

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There were so many TVs on display back at CES, that you'd be forgiven if they all blended together. So allow us to give you a recap: The Samsung UN105S9W was, in the company's own words, the "world's first, largest and most curved 105-inch curved UHD TV." Well then! Sounds like an expensive piece of kit, huh? You have no idea. Sammy just put its flagship TV up for pre-order and it's kind of a doozy. The whole thing costs $120,000 -- also known as a mortgage. For the money, you get 5,120 x 2,160 resolution on an unusually large screen, with an unusually wide aspect ratio of 21:9. Additionally, you'll receive a visit from one of Samsung's "Field Engineers" to walk you through all the features, if that's any consolation. It's also a Smart TV, with all the usual built-in apps, and the ability to separate the screen into four quadrants for watching live TV and surfing the web at once. Honestly, though, we'd be offended if a TV this expensive didn't do that. You can pre-order now if you like, but let's be real: Most of you are probably saving $120,000 for your future child's college tuition.

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"If I had a hole in New Mexico, maybe that one [the Project Runway game] would have made it there."

Todd Shallbetter, Atari's chief operating officer, is just joking of course. He's referencing the company's infamous 1983 move to bury countless amounts of unsold gaming hardware and E.T. game cartridges under a slab of cement in the desert. Shallbetter doesn't deny his company's rocky legacy. On the contrary, he embraces it, using its failures as a counterpoint for a new version of Atari he's helping to build. To push the company past the €31.7 million (about $42 million) in revenues it earned in the 2011-2012 fiscal year (PDF), Shallbetter is targeting markets that most companies would rather ignore; markets that represent hundreds of billions of dollars. Atari is going after gays and gamblers.

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Earns Comast

Even as cable giant Comcast tries to get bigger by absorbing Time Warner Cable, its own revenue grew in the last quarter to $16.8 billion, up 3.5 percent from last year, and net income hit $1.99 billion. The most important number for a subscription business though is how many customers it has, and through a traditionally slow quarter, it managed to slow the loss of total "customer relationships" to 25,000 from 66,000 for the same period last year -- although my friend Ryan Block recently found out how difficult ending that relationship can be. More of the customers that remain are picking up internet and phone services, as it has over 21 million high speed internet subscribers alone. You can check out the numbers yourself right here, I'll be tuning in for the earnings call in a few minutes to find out if it has any new response to the recent customer service controversy, net neutrality and its battle with Netflix, or an update on the $45 billion TWC acquisition.

[Image credit: Associated Press]

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While a bunch of the hype surrounding the Destiny beta is how great developer Bungie's latest shooter looks running on the PlayStation 4, gamers on last-gen hardware have been playing through the weekend too. Based on the video that Digital Foundry put together (embedded below), the PlayStation 3 version expectedly doesn't stack up next to its current-gen counterpart, but it doesn't look terrible, either. If I were to describe it in one word, it'd be "softer." The tech-centric outlet notes that while the levels themselves remain the same the overall shape and size, set dressing like foliage and rocks are less dense (and in some cases, completely missing), and lighting is less complex as well. Most impactful, possibly, is the PS3 game's native resolution. While the PS4 version runs at a native 1920x1080, or 1080p, Destiny on Sony's previous console is running at 1024x624 (sub-720p) -- roughly 30 percent the total pixel count of its current-gen cousin.

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Yup, it's summer. In case the weather wasn't a tipoff, you can tell from Syfy's slew of made for TV movies hitting the screen, including this week's shocker Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark. The headlining monsters were already made for previous movies, so maybe this time the filmmakers used their budget on good actors, a decent script or better special effe...on second thought probably not, but if you're curious you can watch the whole thing right now on Netflix. While we're still checking out other shows in the genre like Extant and The Strain, there are other options. ESPN has a documentary on cycling great Greg LeMond airing Tuesday night, while CBS Sports is bringing highlights from a huge sports tournament you've probably never heard of: The Commonwealth Games. The Roots drummer/bandleader Questlove is producing a new show on VH1 called Soundclash that mixes up different bands on one stage -- we'll give it one shot as the first episode on Wednesday features Fall Out Boy, T.I. and London Grammar. Check after the break for a list of what's new this week plus a few trailers, and drop a note in the comments if you see any highlights we've missed.

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It looks like that (pending 2 years for existing customers) price hike hasn't greatly affected Netflix's popularity, as it announced today that it has 50 million customers altogether. About 36 million of them are in the US, and Netflix specified that's about to launch in more European countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg) in September. Its profit also more than doubled this quarter, up to $71 million from about $30 million in the same period last year. The only real change mentioned for customers is that it's about to start distributing in-store gift cards this fall, so you can give the gift of Netflix or join without having to pay online with a credit card. The company's focus of course is how it's building up a library of exclusive content, and it says Orange is the New Black quickly became the most watched series in every Netflix territory when season two launched. Upcoming shows include Sense8 from the Wachowskis and the Daredevil series it's making with Marvel, and it's cast a number of big names for those shows already like Vincent D'Onofrio, Naveen Andrews and Rosario Dawson -- now that Netflix scored 31 Emmy nominations this year they clearly have a tough act to follow. The company's earnings chat will start in a few minutes, check after the break to watch it live and see a few more notes about its current status.

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First, the good news: At its Television Critics Awards, Fox just announced the details of its plan to put every episode of The Simpsons online for streaming (also, Louie and Fargo have been renewed). Simpsons World will launch in October and let fans browse episodes, create their own playlists, search for/share clips and more. Before that, the FXX cable channel will run "the longest TV marathon in history" by airing the full 25-season / 552 episode run (just for reference, the first HD episode is S20E10, from 2009) in one shot, 24 hours a day, plus The Simpsons Movie, from August 21st until September 1st. The bad news? To access more than just clips, you'll need a subscription with a participating cable provider. Simpsons World will live both on the web, and through the FXNow app on iOS, Android, Xbox and other smart TV platforms. From those in attendance, like Max Follmer of Brief, the app sounds very well put together, and will let fans do things like follow along with the script as it was originally written and immediately share quotes.

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Chromecast

It's easy for someone in your home to interrupt your Chromecast stream and play something of their own, but you can always retake control... right? Well, don't count on it. Analyst Dan Petro has built the Rickmote Controller, a proof-of-concept device that hijacks Google's media stick to play everyone's favorite Rick Astley video (and theoretically, any media) on loop. The Raspberry Pi-based box simply floods the Chromecast with WiFi disconnection requests, kicking the adapter into its setup mode; after that, it's easy for the Rickmote to make its own connection and deliver non-stop '80s pop.

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Verizon-Downtown Manhattan Restoration

Before Google Fiber, Verizon FiOS was the speedy internet service everyone wanted in their neighborhood. The arrival of 1Gbps connections, a slowed rollout, and an ongoing battle with Netflix that's slowing streams to a crawl has slightly dulled the cachet, but it's still one of the fastest providers out there. Now it's getting even faster, but Verizon isn't boosting download speeds again -- those will stay the same as customers get matching upload speeds on every plan. On the fastest tier (previously 500Mbps down / 100Mbps up), speeds will increase by 5x to 500Mbps, and most customers will see their speeds double. New customers can get the symmetrical speeds right away, and they'll roll out to existing customers throughout the fall. To go immediately to the front of that list FiOS subscribers can sign up for the MyRewards+ customer loyalty program, which is free, and pretty much just requires inputting your birthdate.

[Image credit: Mark Von Holden/AP Images for Verizon]

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