The Testicuzzi!

This little device is designed for a gentleman’s intimate area. The balls to be specific. As the name would imply, it’s a jacuzzi for your nuts. It’s called the Testicuzzi. A Hot Tub for your nuts is the way the guys from Testicuzzi call it.

It comes in a two different of colours too! Black or White. Also, you can even get a gift set which comes complete with bath bombs and essential oils: Cedar Wood for your wood. (Furthermore, there’s a 24 Karat gold version one too worth $10K if you so fancy)

While, it may look like a gag gift, but you can actually use this one!

What is the Testicuzzi exactly?

This is how they describe it on their site:

Testicuzzi is a personal hot tub for your testicles. Testicle health is very important. Making sure your testicles are happy is even more important. The Testicuzzi ( testicle hot tub) is a great way to show your testicles that they are loved. Measuring 3.5 inches wide, 3.5 inches tall and 5 inches from front to back, the Testicuzzi is ergonomically designed for the greatest testicle comfort. This hot tub for your testicles is battery powered and produces and wonderful, gently bubbling massage. Water is added by the user of the Testicuzzi and is pre-heated by the user to the desired temperature. Some like it hot. Some like it cold. It’s really a matter of what testicle hot tub experience you are in the mood for. 

So, how do you use it?

Using the Testicuzzi is quite simple. Once you have received your Testicuzzi simply heat some water to the desired temperature for your testicle bath, and fill the Testicuzzi to the desired level. Flip the switch and get those bubble going. Dip your testicles into the bath and let them soak up the pleasure for however long you desire. Also, The soothing bubbles from your new testicle hot tub will have you relaxing in just moments. There is nothing like the soothing releif you feel from a nice soak of the family jewels. It is unlike anything else you’ve experienced. Some have called the feeling of the Testicuzzi as “Magical!”, “Out of this world!”, “Refreshing!”……

 

(Testicuzzi)

Consequently, we know you want to, so purchase one by clicking here!

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Jackpotting = Free Cash!? Malware + Hackers

Malware called “Cutlet Maker” is designed to make ATM’s eject all of the money inside them according to a law enforcement official. Thi is called Jackpotting.

“Ho-ho-ho! Let’s make some cutlets today!”

Curlet Maker’s control panel reads the above. It shows cartoon images of a chef and a cheering piece of meat. This means in Russian, a cut of meat. However it also can bean a bundle of cash.

Jackpotting

A joint investigation between our friends over at Motherboard and the German broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) looking into “jackpotting”

A spate of attacks on ATM’s in Germany in 2017 saw thieves make off with more than 1M Euros.

Jackpotting is where cybercriminals use malware or hardware to trick ATM’s into ejecting all of the money inside of them. No need to use a credit card either. They’ll install the malware onto an ATM by prying open a panel and loading it on using a USB stick and USB port.

Although a European non profit said that Jackpotting attacks have decreased, multiple sources tell Motherboard that attacks in other parts of the world have gone up. Such as the US, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Impacting both the banks and ATM manufacturers.

“The U.S. is quite popular,” a source familiar with ATM attacks told Motherboard.

(Motherboard and BR granted multiple sources, including law enforcement officials, anonymity to speak more candidly about sensitive hacking incidents.)

Showing off…

During an annual Black Hat cybersecurity conference in 2010. Late researcher even demonstrated live on stage his own strain of ATM malware. His malware displayed JACKPOT on the ATM as it threw out the cash in a steady stream.

Christoph Hebbecker, a prosecuting attorney for the German state of North Rhine-Westphaila told Motherboard that his office is investigating 10 incidents between February and November 2017. Hackers stole 1.4M Euros, Hebbecker said. He continued that because of the similar nature of all the attacks. He believes that they could be linked to the same criminal gang.

Multiple sources told Motherboard that the attacks in 2017 impacted Santander; two sources said they specifically involved the Wincor 2000xe model of ATM, made by the ATM manufacturer Diebold Nixdorf.

A Santander spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Motherboard,

“Protecting our customers’ information and the integrity of our physical network is at the core of what we do. Our experts are involved at every stage of product development and operations to protect customers and the bank from fraud and cyber threats. This focus on protecting our data and operations prevents us from commenting on specific security issues.”

Furthermore, officials in Berlin, said they had seen at least 36 jackpotting cases since Spring 2018. With 1000’s of Euro’s stolen. Across Germany over the past several years 82 attacks have occured, according to police spokespeople. While not all of them were successful cash outs.

Aging ATM’s

ATM Jackpotting isn’t limited just to a single bank or ATM manufacturer. “You will see this across all vendors; this is not dedicated towards a specific machine, nor towards a specific brand, and definitely not a region,” Redecker said.

A reason for the security issue is that ATM’s, for many of them, are aged Windows computers.

“These are very old, slow machines,” the source familiar with ATM attacks informed Motherboard.

While many ATM manufacturers have made improvements to their devices, it doesn’t mean that all ATM’s will be up to the same standard, Redecker from Diebold Nixdorf stressed.

Furthermore responsibility on securing access to the ATM’s is the banks responsibility too.

“In order to execute a jackpotting attack, you have to have access to the internal components of the ATM. So, preventing that first physical attack on the ATM goes a long way toward preventing the jackpotting attack,” David N. Tente, executive director of USA, Canada & Americas at the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA), said in an email to Motherboard.

Redecker said he’s been witnessing Jackpotting attacks across the globe since 2012. Germany suffered it’s first Jackpotting in Berlin in 2014.

Cheap Software

In 2017, around the same time as the attacks, researchers at Kaspersky, a cybersecurity firm. published research showing Cutlet Maker for sale on hacking forums. It seemed like anyone with the money could buy the software and try Jackpotting for themselves.

“The bad guys are selling these developments [malware] to just anybody….That has enabled smaller outfits or enterprising criminals to start targeting ATMs..Potentially this can affect any country in the world,” David Sancho, senior threat researcher at cybersecurity firm Trend Micro, and who works with Europol on jackpotting research, said to Motherboard.

Motherboard spoke to one cybercriminal claiming to sell the Cutlet Maker malware.

“Yes I’m selling. It costs $1000,” they wrote in an email, adding that they can offer support on how to use the tool as well. The seller provided screenshots of an instruction manual in Russian and English, which steps potential users through how to empty an ATM. Sections of the manual include how to check how many banknotes are inside the ATM, and installing the malware itself.

The European Association for Secure Transactions (EAST), a non-profit that tracks financial fraud, said jackpotting attacks decreased 43 percent over the previous year, in a report published this month. But it’s worth stressing that EAST’s report only covers Europe.

“It happens in parts of the world where they don’t have to tell anybody about it,” the source familiar with ATM attacks added. “It’s increasing, but, again, the biggest problem we’ve got is that nobody wants to report this.”

Heading to the US?

Such a lower barrier of entry into ATM malware, you could argue as being the reason as to why there’s a rise in Jackpotting attacks. While in January of 2018, the secret service began warning financial institutions of potential Jackpotting attacks in the US.
Although those used a different piece of ATM malware called Ploutus.D.

“Globally, our 2019 survey indicates that jackpotting attacks are increasing,” Tente from ATMIA wrote in an email to Motherboard.

As the source familiar with ATM attacks said, “There are attacks happening, but a lot of the time it’s not publicized.”

(VICE)F

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Electric Cars aren’t new!

Electric cars are not new!

That’s right I said it. Electric cars aren’t a new phenomena. In 1899 90% of New York City’s taxi cabs were electric vehicles. These cabs were built by the Electric Carriage and Wagon Company of Philadelphia.

Furthermore, in 1899 and 1900 electric cars outside all other types of cars. This includes gas and steam powered ones! The Baker Torpedo, an 1902 electric vehicle became the first car to have an aerodynamic body which enclosed the driver and the platform.

The Baker Torpedo also reached 80mph in a speed test too! (However it did kill two spectators) On a second test it reached speeds of 120mph.

Going further back electric cars got their start in the early 1800’s. While early efforts were just ‘proof of concepts’ as they had limited speed and non rechargeable batteries. So you can go from A to B, but not back again unfortunately.

Fast forward to 1842 and two inventors separately invented electric cars which had rechargeable batteries, and they were practical! American Thomas Davenport and Scotsman Robert Davidson were their names. Improvements were eventually made by various other inventors. They improved the charge capacity and improved the electric motors.

Popularity

The popularity of electric cars really propelled in 1880, when Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb. The lightbulb increased the distribution of electricity and providing the infrastructure needed for the electric car to be viable for the public.

Even then there were advantages for the electric car over gas and steam. Electric cars had no vibrations like their gas and steam counterparts. They were also very quiet. They also didn’t smoke or backfire as often. Furthermore they could go right away when you get in the car. Which is a huge advantage as gas powered cars needed to be cranked by hand. Which is not only dangerous but very difficult!

Furthermore steam powered cars took up to 45mins on a cold day to get going! Electric cars also didn’t need to have gear changes. Which isn’t that difficuly nowadays but back then it was very hard!

Only advantages gas cars had over their electric cousins was that they had larger tanks and they could fill up quicker. While at the time there really wasn’t that many well developed roads to drive on. So most people drove in the city. Rarely going that far.

Popular electric cars

The following cars were popular in the early 1900’s:

  • Columbia Runabout, which could go 40 miles on a single charge and run at average speeds of 15 mph (which wasn’t that bad at the time).
  • 1914 Detroit Electric car, which had a range of 80 miles on a single charge and was the favorite car of none other than Clara Ford (Henry Ford’s wife; he bought the car for her despite the fact that at the time his company was presently breaking the balls of the electric car industry).
  • Another great one was the American Morrison electric car which was capable of ranges of 182 miles on a single charge!  It was also capable of 14 mph, which again isn’t notable by today’s standards, but that 182 mile range certainly is.

Cost

Cost for a basic model of an electric car in the early 1900’s was around $1K. More lavish models were $3K.

Then came Henry Ford.

In 1915 Henry Ford was able to offer cars for $500 (in todays money $10,000). His hugely innovative assembly line construction was the main reason for offering his cars so cheaply compared to the electric vehicles. Making his cars very affordable to the average person.

By this time, electric cars had actually risen in price to $1700.

Another nail in the coffin was crude oil, crude oil was discovered in Texas and Oklahoma. This again, made costs lower. Gas became lower in price. Plus Charles Kettering invented the electric starter. This eliminated the need for cars to be cranked by hand. Roads then began expanding. Which made gas powered cars more attractive as they could travel further distances. Not only that gas cars were also becoming a lot faster then their electric counterparts.

Death

So, by 1935, the electric car was officially dead. It did make a comeback in the 1960’s but this was unsuccessful. To date all attempts to make a commercially successful EV failed.

However, the Tesla Model S, is looking to change that. It has a range of 250-300miles. Can seat 7 and be charged in 45 minutes. Electric cars such as the Model S are also said to save owners anywhere between $10K – $15K over the lifespan of a car in gas. Maintenance cost is also lower.

The Nissan Leaf is also attractive at 100mile range and 30minutes to charge. May look small range but it is very cheap at around $30K. Which is a lot cheaper than a Tesla! May be good for consumers or a run around car!

While the electric car seemed to be ahead of it’s time in the 18oo’s, we have made huge improvements over the years and we may well see an electric car takeover in the next 10 years.

(todayifoundout)

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Exoskeleton

Exoskeleton helps man walk again!

 

Technology is amazing. A paralysed man has been able to move all of his limbs for the very first time in 4 years. All thanks to a mind controlled exoskeleton suit French researchers are reporting.

Thibault, 40, said that his first steps felt like “the first man on the moon”. While his movements, are far from perfect, the robo-suit can only be used in the lab. While researchers are saying that this could one day improve patients quality of life.

Thibault had surgery to place two implants on his brain. Which cover part of the brain that control movement. A total of 64 electrodes on each implant read brain activity and beam instructions to a computer nearby. Software on the computer then reads the brainwaves and sends the instructions back to the exoskeleton. The exoskeleton isn’t light, Thibault has to be strapped into the exoskeleton to use it. All he has to do is think “walk” and it will set off a chain of movements in the suit to move his leges forward. He can even control each of the arms too!

Ease of use

Thibault fell from 15M at a nightclub 4years ago, this left him paralysed. He spent the following 2 years after the accident in hopsital. However, in 2017 he took part in an exoskeleton trial with Clinatec and the University of Grenoble.

At first he used the brain implatns to control a virtual character in a computer game. Before moving on to walking in the suit.

“It was like [being the] first man on the Moon. I didn’t walk for two years. I forgot what it is to stand, I forgot I was taller than a lot of people in the room.

It took a lot longer to learn how to control the arms.

“It was very difficult because it is a combination of multiple muscles and movements. This is the most impressive thing I do with the exoskeleton.”

The exoskeleton

The exoskeleton weighs 65kg and is very sophisticated, however it won’t completely restore function just yet. Yet it displays an advance on similar approaches which allows people to control a single limb with thoughts.

Thibault needs to be strapped in and attached to a ceiling harness. This minimises the risk of him falling over. Therefore while amazing, the device needs a lot of work before can be used outside the lab.

“This is far from autonomous walking,” Prof Alim-Louis Benabid, the president of the Clinatec executive board, told BBC News.

“He does not have the quick and precise movements not to fall, nobody on earth does this.”

Thibault was successful 71% of the time where he needed to use the exoskeleton to move his upper and lower arms and rotate his wrists to touch specific targets.

“We have solved the problem and shown the principle is correct. This is proof we can extend the mobility of patients in an exoskeleton….This is in [the] direction of giving better quality of life.”

Prof Benabid, who developed deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease, speaking to the BBC.

What next?

French scientists say they’ll continue to refine the tech, at the moment they’re limited by the amount of data that they can read from the brain. Send to a computer, interpret that data and then send it back to the exoskeleton.

The amount of time they have is very miniscule. They’ve got 350 milliseconds to go from thought, to movement. Otherwise operating the system becomes difficult to control.

The good news is that out of the 64 electrodes available on each implant to the researchers, they’re only using 32. This means that there is a lot of potential to read the brain in much more detail. Using more powerful computers and sophisticated AI to interpret the data from the brain.

While it’s not possible to move fingers with the exoskeleton, they hope to advance it to such a stage they can move and pick up objects. While he has already used the implant to control a wheelchair.

Dangers

Transhumanism is ways of using exoskeletons to enhance human abilities. This includes military applications.

Professor Benabid told the BBC his thoughts on this:

“We are absolutely not going in the direction of these extreme and stupid applications..

Our job is to repair the injured patients who have lost function.”

The Experts…

Professor Tom Shakespeare from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine was very complimentary of the technology. Stating that the study presents a “welcome and exciting advance”.

While also stating that the tech may be a while off before becoming a viable alternative:

“A danger of hype always exists in this field. Cost constraints mean that hi-tech options are never going to be available to most people in the world with spinal cord injury.”

Tom Shakespeare also said that only 15% of people with disabilites have a wheelchair or other assistive devices.

Details of the exoskeleton have been published in The Lancet Neurology journal.

 

 

 

(BBC)

 

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Black Friday, a wonderful customer experience

Us Brits are predicted to have spent a whopping £5.6Billion combined on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year. With the average spend also predicted to be £251.20 each. Why the shift in behaviour? The digital era. Shoppers are now preferring speed and convenience rather than going into a brick and mortar store.

92% of those surveyed by PwC claim that they will have bought at least 1 item over the internet between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This number includes 56% of all customers who intend to do all their shopping on the net!

Black Friday Human Interaction

Despite this HUGE increase in online shopping. The PwC survey discovered that 75% of consumers desire human interaction as part of the digital journey. Therefore more retailers are investing in assisted intelligence solutions.  Which therefore will create a seamless brand experience in order to compete in such a competitive online environment, this is according to Sameer Parvez, Head of Retail & Ecommerce at Teleperformance:

With sales predicted to be 800 per cent more than a regular Monday, it is imperative retailers have a digital customer experience in place that integrates chatbots with their existing customer interaction channels, alleviating pressure from customer service agents. The demand for chat services is significant, with over 50 per cent of consumers preferring this method of instant communication.

As more and more consumers go online, companies that adopt an omni-channel customer engagement strategy can retain an average 89% of their customers, deepening the relationship between the brand and the consumer.”

In order to stay relevant to consumers who now expect 24 hour communication, retailers must respond to this need and boost their digital online experience by considering a High-Tech, High-Touch approach. This gives shoppers the option to speak to a customer service advisor as well as round-the-clock online chat services.

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Philips Hue Play HDMI SYNC Box

 

 

WHAT'S IN THE BOX?! Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync

WHAT'S IN THE BOX? Philips UK & Ireland Hue Play HDMI SYNC!

Posted by How To Kill an Hour on Friday, 29 November 2019

 

We have checked out the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, a really cool piece of kit that syncs what you can see on screen, either on a game, movie or tv show with the various lights that Hue provides! You can also sync your music with it! How cool is that!?

IMMERSION!

With this fancy piece of kit, (trust us it’s amazing! We love it!) you are able to sync Philips Hue Lights with the Sync Box and it will mimic the lights that are on screen on to the wall behind the television. Furthermore you’re able to attach up to 4 HDMI devices, so you could attach a SKY/Virgin Box, a Game Console or an Apple TV (For Music/Games/Tv) all at once! Though only one device can be used at any one time.

Ease of use

The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync does require the Hue Bridge and Hue Colour lights to work, but once you got those it’s good to go! Plus it’s super easy to set up, we set ours up in 5mins! Even personalise your experience with the Sync Box App!

Things such as explosions were mimicked on the wall behind us. Even the intensity of said explosions were mimicked on the wall behind our TV. That certainly adds to the immersion of the content that we’re viewing. It felt like we were ‘there’!

However, if you aren’t too keen on the intense nature that may occur (all dependent on what you see on screen of course) you can select a subtle mode from within the Sync Box App to tone down the lights.

The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is available now for $229.99 €249.95 (UK price TBC).

It will be released in the UK in January 2020

More information about the product can be found here!

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Top 10 Virtual Turkeys – Thanksgiving 2019

 

Thanksgiving is TODAY! Thanksgiving is known for Turkey and we thought we would share a piece from another tech outlet inside.com, who have run down the Top 10 Virtual Turkeys of yesteryear. What is that I hear you ask? Well it’s pieces of tech that have flunked over the years, otherwise known as a Turkey!

Enjoy!

This piece originally appeared in a newsletter from inside.com [InsideAR Nov.27th 2019] and was written by Alice Bonasio

Alice Bonasio is a journalist and consultant obsessed with the immersive technology space, including AR/VR/MR/XR and any other acronyms that fit into the realities spectrum. Over the past 15 years, Alice has advised a wide range of start-ups and corporations on digital transformation and communication strategy and is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Tech Trends. She also regularly contributes to publications such as Quartz, Fast Company, Wired, Playboy, The Next Web, Ars Technica, VRScout and many others. 

Top 10 Virtual Turkeys – Thanksgiving 2019

10.

The Nintendo Virtual Boy is widely considered one of the company’s greatest failures. Yet it has also become a cult object!  Learning a bit more about it also provides us with useful context on how the company has approached its latest (and much better received) efforts with the Nintendo Labo VR.   So while the console itself has been a failure. It was also ahead of its time in many respects. With the technology developed by Nintendo has since been incorporated into many of its products to this day. And should you come across one at a garage sale somewhere, snap it up quickly! As fewer than 800,000 units were made worldwide, making it a valuable collector’s item.

Dissecting the Turkey

The Virtual Boy was is a 32-bit table-top video game console touted as the first of its kind to offer stereoscopic 3D graphics. That promised to totally immerse the players in their own private universe. Content fell well short of expectations, however, with only 22 games ever being released for the system. (A problem arguably still plaguing VR today) At the time of its release in 1995, Nintendo of America projected hardware sales of 1.5 million units and software sales numbering 2.5 million by the end of the year. Nintendo had shipped 350,000 units of the Virtual Boy by December 1995. Around three and a half months after its North American release. Panned by critics and plagued by health and safety concerns, sales fell well short of expectations and production ceased by early 1996.

The Virtual Boy created an illusion of depth through the effect known as parallax. In a manner similar to using a head-mounted display, the user looks into an eyepiece made of neoprene on the front of the machine. Then an eyeglass-style projector allows viewing of the monochromatic (in this case, red) image. Nintendo claimed that a color display would have made the system too expensive and resulted in “jumpy” images. So the company opted for a monochrome display.

9. 

Morton Heilig was known as the father of virtual reality, and for good reason. His Sensorama machine, which he patented in 1962, is one of the earliest examples of multimodal technology. Heilig was a multimedia creator in a time when the term hadn’t yet been invented. His concept of multi-sensory theater-like experiences was laid out in his 1955 paper The Cinema of the Future. Where he talks about being inspired by the concept of  “feelies”. Movies enhanced with sensory elements. Imagined in Aldous Huxley’s seminal Science Fiction tale Brave New World.

It’s probably fair to say that Heilig was ahead of his time. As he never did get funding to take his design into commercial production, so eventually abandoned it. Heilig died in 1997, yet his website – which bizarrely still says it’s “under construction” lists the Sensorama machine for sale to a serious collector or museum. The reported price tag on this piece of VR history is $1.5 million.

Dissecting the Turkey

He went on to build the Sensorama prototype to showcase that concept in practice. To experience a two-minute immersive experience, the user would insert a token, straddle a bucket seat, grasp a pair of handles, and place their eyes on viewing holes (safe in the knowledge that the clever design even incorporated UV lights that sterilized the equipment after each use) surrounded by vents.

There were five films to choose from, all shot by Heilig himself using a 3D camera he also invented and built from scratch, which filmed side-by-side 35mm simultaneously, had capacity for two 400 ft magazines, and yet was small enough to be used as a hand-held device. Intriguing titles included Belly Dancer, Dune Buggy, and, I’m a Coca-Cola Bottle. In Motorcycle, the simulation took you for a ride through New York as you felt the wind on your face, heard the noises of the city, and even smelt the food in the snack shops and the exhaust from the bus in front of you.

8.

It seems strange to call something that happened just five years ago a “throwback,” but if tech time works like dog-years, in the immersive space things can move so fast it can feel more like fly-years. So as I cast my mind back when I first unwrapped my Samsung Gear VR and plugged what now seems like a very old and clunky phone on its front, it seems like another world from the sleek experience I can get from an Oculus quest for not that much more money.

This is why we’ve seen such a sharp fall in demand for mobile VR. Which finally caused Samsung to drop support for the Gear VR on its latest Samsung Galaxy models. Although it held on as long as it could.  Yet the fact we seem to be moving on from mobile VR shouldn’t make us overlook the contribution that the format. The Samsung Gear VR in particular – have had on the ecosystem. Although far from perfect, the price point and accessibility they offered bridged the gap between the ultra-basic cardboard introductions to the medium and the full-blown setups required by the HTC VIVE and Oculus Rift. There are still not many VR devices out there that can claim to have been sold out on the day of their release.

Dissecting the Turkey

The Samsung Gear VR was developed as a collaboration between Samsung and Oculus. Although the Samsung Gear VR consumer edition was released in November 2015. Samsung had obtained a patent in 2005 detailing the use of a mobile phone as the display for an HMD. However, mobile phone technology at the time limited the degree of quality and performance possible. Samsung continued to research VR and HMD internally.

When in use, a compatible Samsung Galaxy device acts as the headset’s display and processor. While the Gear VR unit itself acts as the controller, which contains the field of view. As well as a custom Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for rotational tracking, which connects to the smartphone via USB-C or micro-USB. The Gear VR headset also includes a touchpad and back button on the side, as well as a proximity sensor to detect when the headset is on.

7.

Thirty-three years ago the National Film Board of Canada commissioned a production called Transitions to be showcased at the country’s Expo 86 in Vancouver, the first-ever IMAX presentation using polarized glasses.  It was also the first full-color 3D IMAX film.  In an article published in The Province newspaper in June 1986, film critic Michael Walsh described how the experience was sure to be “every small child’s single most treasured memory of Expo 86”

So perhaps when we look at the past five years or so since this latest wave of enthusiasm for immersive technologies has started. It is useful to ponder on how long the technology has been enthusing people for

The difference now is that they no longer need an IMAX setup to do so. Although a portmanteau of random special effects would probably not be enough to keep audiences interested for long nowadays. Walsh’s experience also demonstrates how engaging content is key to getting people to embrace it.

Dissecting the Turkey

From a fixed position, McNabb’s camera puts dressed lumber, a gymnast and that wonderful teddy bear within our apparent reach.  Parallel tracking shots follow voyageur canoes along a wilderness river and a historic steam locomotive across the country. When McNabb tracks forward, the audience drives down a rural road behind a vintage automobile. Trots around a track just inches ahead of a harness racehorse and, briefly, sits astride a speeding motorcycle.”

 

 

 

6.

The Forte VFX1 Headset was the most advanced, complex and expensive consumer VR system. That appeared on the market during the mid-1990s VR craze. It was released in 1995 and cost about $599. It comprised a helmet, a handheld controller, and an ISA interface board. For those keen on indulging in some retro gaming, you can still occasionally find operational headsets for sale. One sold on eBay recently for $240! There is a surprising amount of content available for it, including classic games such as Duke Nukem 3D.

Dissecting the Turkey

The helmet – which in looks and functionality comes pretty close to what was portrayed in the 1992 classic “Lawnmower Man”. Featured Two Degrees of Freedom (2DOF). Head tracking with internal sensors for pitch (70 degrees). Roll (70 degrees), and yaw (360 degrees) in addition to stereoscopic 3D and stereo audio.

It even had cool features which we see in modern VR headsets. Such as a “smart visor” that could be opened to allow the user to look at the outside world. Without taking off the whole thing.  The visuals, which by all accounts were very impressive for the time. Were delivered by dual 0.7″ 263 x 230 LCD displays capable of 256 colors. Optics comprised dual lenses with adjustable focus and interpupillary distance, with a 45-degree diagonal Field of View (FOV).  The helmet also included built-in stereo speakers and a condenser microphone.

A hand-held controller called the Cyberpuck offered three buttons and internal sensors for pitch and roll.  Audio, video, and tracking information was transmitted via the VIP Board. A 16-bit ISA card that received video input from the video card’s 26-pin VESA feature connector. Making this complex setup work was not for the faint-hearted though. As it required a lot of calibrating and setup with good old MS-DOS. For starters, the system’s “VIP” card needed to be installed into an ISA slot of the host PC. This worked together with the PC’s video-card connected via VESA bus to provide stereoscopic imagery on both screens of the HMD.

5.

After Nintendo Labo announced the release of its VR software system, which includes a cardboard headset brings to mind some of the similar formats that populated our childhood experiences, such as the View-Master. Though the View-Master wasn’t technically considered virtual or augmented reality. The 3-D stereoscope film reels of everything from planets in the solar system to movements of dinosaurs captured my attention with each flick of the plastic lever.

Dissecting the Turkey

Originally created in 1939, the View-Master quickly became popular for looking at high-quality images of tourist destinations. Shortly after the advent of color photographs. After going through a few iterations and discoveries of practical uses. The View-Master ultimately became visual entertainment for children.

As a way to stay modern with the times. View-Master traded in its iconic film reel for and SDK to create the View-Master Virtual Reality Viewer. Though View-Master is doing what it must to continue providing visual stimulation to children. I will never forget how important the View-Master was to my childhood.

4.

As far as I’m concerned, 2016 was a pretty good year for VR. People were starting to get really excited about the technology and some significant advances were being made, and I wrote my first article about VR Porn for Playboy. But it was also the end of an era. As Disney announced that it would be closing down its pioneering Indoor Interactive Theme Park, DisneyQuest. It was a relatively early proof of concept as to the appetite for location-based VR entertainment. Something that companies like The VOID are now reviving in a big way.

Not only that, but DisneyQuest was also the launchpad for many prominent careers in the immersive field. As those who worked for the company are still shaping the industry ecosystem. Case-in-point being Avi Bar-Zeev, who after working for them in the 90s moved to Microsoft and then Apple. Where he was rumored to be involved in the development of their AR glasses.

Dissecting the Turkey

Originally opened in 1998, the Orlando five-story indoor interactive theme park cost an estimated $90 million. Boasting (for the time) cutting edge computer graphics and HMDs.

Multi-sensory rides such as “Aladdin’s Magic Carpet” and “Ride the Comix” proved really popular for years. But by the end of the ’90s it was suffering from a lack of investment. Before finally closing its doors permanently and making way for a new attraction on July 3, 2017.

 

3. 

Most people associate Morton Heilig with the iconic Sensorama machine. Yet he invented something even before then. Eight years before the Sword of Damocles which is widely credited with being the first-ever VR headset. Yet in 1960 Heilig patented yet another pioneering VR invention: The Telesphere Mask, which to me looks much like an aluminum version of the Gear VR. And in a very real way, it actually was. The only real difference is that instead of connecting to a yet-to-be-invented smartphone. It linked to miniaturized TV tubes.

Heilig describes it in the patent filing as  “a telescopic television apparatus for individual use where the spectator is given a complete sensation of reality, i.e. moving three-dimensional images which may be in color, with 100% peripheral vision, binaural sound, scents, and air breezes.”

Dissecting the Turkey

The amazing device was (unlike the Sword of Damocles) light enough to wear on your head. With adjustable ear and eye fixings. Like Sensorama, the mask proved a commercial failure way ahead of its time. Even as the second coming of VR dawned in 2016. It remained an obscure footnote in the history of immersive tech. Morton’s widow, Marianne Heilig, repeatedly tried to donate the historic piece to a museum that would display it. But was flatly rejected by places such as the Hollywood Museum even when she offered it for free.

In an interview for Tech Radar back in 2016 she said the whole thing made her feel very sad and demoralized:  “I’ve almost given up on this whole thing, but I’m not just going to give it away after a lifetime of struggle. I’m still working just to pay interest on the debt because I refuse to go bankrupt,” she told Holly Brockwell at the time

2. 

While 3D cinema is still a thing, especially in Asia. Major manufacturers such as Samsung have pulled 3D TV from their offering. Signaling the demise of the once-promising format. Given the fact that a lot of the companies involved in developing these 3D display technologies, are also involved in making AR/VR headsets. We are also likely to see some of the key innovations “recycled” into new products.

It is difficult to envisage a future where we are still buying giant screens to put into our homes for much longer. However, when displays are already emerging that allow for high-resolution immersive content to be consumed anytime, anywhere.

Dissecting the Turkey 

The buzz around 3D TV hit its peak around 2010. With companies hailing its immersive powers as the future of entertainment. The fact that all that investment has turned into one massive flop. Certainly fuels arguments for VR naysayers who are keen to draw parallels between the two.

There are certainly some lessons to be learned around the fact that no matter how cool a technology might be. If it doesn’t hit a sweet spot between practicality, price, and compelling content. It won’t snare consumers! Certainly not in the numbers needed to make it “the next big thing.”

However, the straight-up comparison is rather unfair if we look at the broader spectrum of immersive technology! (i.e. XR and Spatial Computing rather than narrower AR/VR applications) as opposed to 3D TV’s very narrow utility scope.

1.

Back in the early 90s, Sega attempted to get into VR. In a very similar way in which Sony has done with the PSVR. Building peripheral virtual reality hardware for its most popular console. But things did not go well for the gaming giant. The Sega Genesis VR headset was a gigantic flop that never even got a proper release.

Given that this all happened 26 years ago! (Don’t know about you. But as someone who can still clearly remember losing myself in those Mega Drive games. That makes me feel old). It does put into perspective just how far things have advanced over the past few years. There’s no doubt that for anybody who bothers to look into the history of VR. That it’s a slow burner with plenty of pitfalls that will trip even the mightiest companies.

Dissecting the Turkey

So what went so terribly wrong? In 1991 Sega began development on a home VR headset, the Virtua VR, which was later rebranded as Sega VR. The company introduced the headset  – with its rather sleek (in a retro sort of way). Wrap-around-glasses design – at the 1993 Consumer Electronics Show. With an announced target price of $200. It got broadly covered in the press. Becoming one of the most eagerly anticipated holiday product releases of the year.

Yet when it came to testing the device in action. There were severe problems with it causing widespread motion sickness. Something that the VR industry has been working hard to address even to this day. In the end, it seems to have been a classic case of PR panic! That caused the company to simply cut its losses and pull the plug on the release of the Sega VR. Some of the technology developed was eventually repurposed onto the company’s arcade machines. But it certainly steered clear of the consumer VR market since.

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One Plus helps tackle sleeplessness!

Sleepless nights zzzz

Ever take your phone to bed with you? Leave it on the bedside table? However, do you also find yourself having sleepless nights? Well almost a 1/4 of the population in the UK has trouble nodding off. The reason? Spending too much time on their phone at bedtime. With 86% of millenials reporting that they have sleepless nights due to staying up too late on their phones. The dreaded blue light is the culprit as it is suspected to reduce sleep hormone melatonin and One Plus are helping to tackle this issue!

So why…..

Smartphone manufacturer OnePlus has found that nearly 1 in 4 UK adults (23%) have experienced sleepless nights. Due to being on their phone before bed.

This is backed up by wider studies by a University of Harvard Study, claiming that the main suspect is the blue light emitted from displays of digital devices. Therefore preventing the body producing melatonin, the main hormone for sleeping, naturally.

86% of millennials report sleeplessness from staying up on their phones. Which is the largest affected age group. Nearly 1 in 6 (15%) of this 18-34 age group are on their phones between 11pm and 3am.

Furthermore, the older you are the less likely you are to be affected. A quarter of 35-44 year olds experienced trouble sleeping, 17% of 45-54 year olds and just 9% of over 55’s.

What else…

The bedroom (38%) is 2nd to the living room (47%) as being the most common place we use our phones. A quarter of us use the special screen mode to restrict blue light emissions, whilst 29% of adults have never used the feature. Londoners (51%) are the most likely to be on their phones in bed. While the Welsh come in second at 43% and the North East in 3rd at 42%.

 

 “While these results are not surprising, it is eye-opening to read that taking a phone to bed is causing sleepless nights for so many.

We know that blue light inhibits sleep because the short wavelength stimulates sensors in the eyes to send signals to your brain’s internal clock, tricking it into thinking it’s daytime. Blue light is beneficial in daylight hours as it boosts mood, reaction times and concentration but in the evening, the recommendation is to avoid screen time for an hour before bedtime to help increase melatonin levels.

For those who struggle to not use digital devices in the evening, it’s important to look for technology that is helping to restrict blue light and we would encourage the need for tech companies to more mindful of this issue and work to find a solution” Lisa Artis, head of The Sleep Council

One Plus tackling the issue….

One Plus commissioned the research as they are pledging to tackle the blue light phenomenon. New models all feature technology to help tackle or limit the blue light. Such as the E3 display panel which reduces the blue light by 42%. While Dark Mode ensures low-light conditions, which make it easier on your eyes. Furthermore Zen mode from One Plus keeps distractions at bay for 60 minutes!

“Technology should be there to improve life, not get in the way of it, or for that matter, a good night’s sleep.  

 Which is why OnePlus is dedicated to helping people focus on what matters to them. It’s led us to continue to invest in industry leading screen technology, which has allowed us to bring a 90 Hz display with key features like the E3 panel, Dark Mode and Zen Mode, keeping distractions at bay by disabling access for up to 60 minutes”. Kate Parkyn, Head of EU Strategy & UK Marketing at OnePlus 

 

 

Source: OnePoll survey of 2,000 respondents in UK.

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Seagate Game Drive PS4 – MORE GAMING FOR YOU!

 

Ever needed more space for your games? Have an ever expanding library of great games? Well Seagate have recently released a brand new external hard drive to solve those problems. The Seagate Game Drive for PS4 will boosted storage and offer game portability for all of your favourite games!

Seagate Game Drive just works!

The Seagate Game Drive comes in a 2TB capacity and will enhance your PS4 gaming capability! Furthermore it is as simple as plug and play! The Game Drive is officially licensed by Sony Interactive Entertainment and offers graphical branding. Which consequently mimic and complement the PS4 console design!

 

“Games can average 40GB per title, so even the highest-capacity internal console hard drives available can be maximized quickly…Seagate’s new Game Drive for PS4 offers a storage upgrade so users can keep saved content while expanding their ability to download new games and add-ons.”Jeff Fochtman, vice president of marketing for Seagate. 

 

The Seagate Game Drive will be instantly recognised by the PS4 and will install in less than 3mins. How quick and easy is that!

It is compact and efficient and better yet, it doesn’t need a power cord. Helping to improve portability if you ever wanted to take your games to a friends house.

Instant portable access for up to 50 games (We’re looking at you Read Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 100gb+ installs!) and add ons for both PS4 and PS4 Pro.

The new 2TB capacity Game Drive for PS4™ consoles is available for £79.99 by clicking here!

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The NEW Ford Mustang Mach-E

 

The New Mustang – Hands on / 8 Great things about it!

We got an exclusive hands on with the Ford Mustang Mach – E at it's launch event in LA.Here are 8 great things about the vehicle that is the spear head of the future of Ford's and Mustangs EV Adventure!

Posted by How To Kill an Hour on Sunday, 17 November 2019

We recently went to LA with Ford to check out the all new Mustang Mach-E and it is fantastic! It comes with two battery pack sizes, three power outputs, the Mach-E can come in either rear-wheel drive or a all-wheel drive and the first edition series will be available in limited numbers and will be unique! Furthermore there will be two optional technology packs and comes in eight different exterior launch colours. Plus not only that, but an all high-performance GT version will also be available at a later date! While the All-New Mustang Mach-E will only be available to purchase online at the Ford online marketplace.

First Edition…what is it?

The first edition versions will be fully equipped with all options and have the following features (they’re pretty cool!)

  • AWD
  • 337 PS
  • 99 kWh battery
  • Available in three exterior colours including one exclusive First Edition colour (Grabber Blue Metallic)
  • Body styling kit with body-colour detailing
  • Unique First Edition scuff plates
  • SENSICO seat covers with red or blue stitching (depending on exterior colour)
  • Full-length panorama roof
  • Technology Pack +

Specifications

Powertrain, Performance, and Key Dimensions

MACH-E

AWD

First Edition

Drive

RWD

AWD

AWD

Battery pack size* (kWh)

75 99

75 99

99

Power (kW/PS)

190/258 210/285

190/258 248/337

248/337

Torque (Nm)

415

582

582

Vehicle range (km) WLTP estimated

450 600

420 540

540

Acceleration 0-100 km/h (seconds)

<8

<7

<7

Top Speed (km/h)

180

Kerb weight (kg)

1993 2111 2086 2218 2218+

Length (mm)

4712

Width (mm)

1881

Height (mm)

1597

*Battery packs come with an 8-year/160,000 km warranty.

Exterior Colours Availability

  • Absolute Black
  • Iconic Silver
  • Rapid Red
  • Star White
  • Infinite Blue
  • Space White
  • Carbonised Grey
  • Grabber Blue Metallic (exclusive for First Edition)

Note: Exclusive First Edition vehicles will only be available in three colours: Rapid Red, Carbonised Grey, and Grabber Blue (exclusive for First Edition). After all First Edition vehicles have been sold, Grabber Blue Metallic will no longer be available. Grabber Blue Metallic First Editions come with exclusive blue interior stitching, and Rapid Red and Carbonized Grey come with red interior stitching.

Ford Mach-E Technology

As you’d expect the Ford Mach-E comes equipped with a TON of tech…customers can choose between the following two optional technology packs:

Technology Pack

10-speaker B&O Sound System
Hands-free tailgate
Traffic Sign Recognition
Advanced Active Park Assist with 360° Camera  Active Drive Assist with Lane Centring

Technology Pack +

(this includes Technology Pack content plus these additional features):

Eight-way power memory front seats with advanced memory (standard on AWD)
Perforated SENSICO premium feel comfort seats with coloured stitching
Power-foldable door mirrors with puddle lights (standard on AWD)
Full-length panorama roof

New Technologies

The All-New Mustang Mach-E will be available with the following new technologies:

  • 15.5-inch touchscreen and 10.2-inch Full Digital Cluster –New to the segment these technologies will provide a premium HMI experience
  • One-pedal drive –One-pedal drive accelerates the vehicle and utilises regenerative charging to slow the vehicle to a standstill if required
  • Front Trunk –Offering 100 litres of stowage space, it is waterproof and fully washable similar to the new Ford Puma MegaBox
  • Phone as a Key –The user’s mobile phone replaces a conventional key fob, enabling drivers to unlock the car as they approach the vehicle without any action required
  • Key fob-free entry and ignition –A key-pad in the B-pillar allows the car to be unlocked using a personalised code. With a different personalised code entered on the HMI screen, the vehicle can even be started
  • Passenger doors can be opened using a push button. This will unlock the vehicle, inform the customer about the status through a green lit lock sign on the B-pillar, and will enable the customer to pull the door open.
  • Over-the-air updates –Software updates can be received over-the-air and vehicle data can be transmitted to the cloud (within the boundaries of local data protection regulations)

    Advanced Connectivity Features

  • FordPass Connect
  • Ford SYNC 4 with Connected Navigation and Natural Voice Control
  • Stolen Vehicle Alert/Tracking/Immobilisation
  • Local Hazard Information
  • AppLink Remote Control
  • Wireless integration of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Smart Home Integration (Alexa) – Smart devices that are connected to Amazon Alexa can be controlled from within the vehicle

Driver Assistance Technologies

A suite of advanced driver assistance technologies will be available on the All-New Mustang Mach-E:

  • Active Park Assist 2 with 360° Camera
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane Centring
  • Auto High Beam
  • Blind Spot Information System
  • Cross Traffic Alert With Active Braking
  • Driver Alert
  • Evasive Steering Assist
  • Glare-free high beam
  • Intelligent Speed Limiter
  • Lane-Keeping System
  • Post-Collision Braking
  • Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection
  • Rear-view camera
  • Reverse Brake Assist
  • Reverse Park Aid

Additional Features

  • Hands-free tailgate
  • Wireless charging pad

Features highlights by series

MACH-E

 AWD

(features additional to rear-wheel drive)

First

Edition

(features additional to AWD)

18-inch alloy wheels

19-inch alloy wheels

19-inch alloy wheels

LED Mustang-inspired signature taillights

Adaptive LED Mustang- inspired signature headlights with glare-free high beam

Full-length panorama roof

10.2-inch Full Digital Cluster & 15.5-inch touchscreen

Eight-way power memory front seats

Hands-free tailgate

Phone as a Key

Contrast-coloured heated power-foldable door mirrors with puddle lights

10-speaker B&O Sound System

Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go

Red brake callipers

Exclusive exterior colour options

Up to 150 kW DC high power charging

Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive

Active Park Assist 2 with 360° Camera

Ford Mach-E Charging

Charging is a vital part of electric vehicles and the Ford Mustang Mach-E gives you everything you need to get up and running again. It will come with a Ford Home Charge Cable for AC charging at home, on holiday or even when visiting friends. By supplying you with a 2.3kW home socket cable.

You will also have a Public Charge Cable which will give access to public charge points with power up to 11kW. Furthermore it can be charged via high-power DC charges at a maximum of 150kW.

  • AC Home Charging
    A home socket can be used to charge the vehicle using the Ford Home Charge Cable. You will also be given several adapters to use other power sockets such as a blue camping socket.
  • Ford Connected Wallbox Charging
    If you order a Ford Connected Wallbox you’ll be able to charge your car with up to 11 kW which will help to reduce charge times. Better yet it’s incredible safe as the Ford Connected Wallbox has integrated fault protection and a variety of smart features.
  • DC Charging
    The Mach-E can be charged up to 130kW for the 75kWh battery pack and up to 150kW for the 99 kWh battery back. Why’s this important? Well you can add up to 93km with just 10mins of charge time. Also, you can charge your car up to 80% in 38mins approx with the 75kWh battery pack and 45mins for the 99kWh battery pack.

Ford are also founding members and shareholders in the IONITY consortium. They aim to build 400 high power charging stations in key European locations by the end of 2020. Helping to significantly reduce charge times for all electric vehicles!

Ford Mach-E and Mobile Apps

Ford have partnered up with NewMotion and by using connectivity with the FordPass Connect on-board modem, the FordPass app will highlight to their drivers public stations in Europe. You can see where they are, initiate and pay for charging services right within the app.

Furthermore drivers can monitor their vehicles charge status remotely. Furthermore by using the FordPass Power My Trip feature, you are able to plan a trip whilst considering the current charge state. If the vehicle requires charging you will be given charging points along the way which make it the most efficient trip for you as possible. Not only that the app will also highlight points of interest to help make the most of the time you have whilst it’s charging!

Ford customers in Europe can push pre-planned routes from their phone to their vehicle over the air. Driving itineraries created elsewhere can be seamlessly downloaded to the vehicles sat nav. This means drivers can get in and set off on their chosen route!

Ford Mach-E Tech Specs Rundown….

 

Ford Mustang Mach-E Behind The Scenes!

An exclusive look at Ford #MustangMachE Launch Behind The Scenes!

Posted by How To Kill an Hour on Sunday, 17 November 2019

FAQ’s From Ford

How much will it cost?

GERMANY: Prices will start from €46.900 for the RWD version, going up to €66.800 for the First Edition

UK: Prices will start from GBP 40.270 for the RWD version, going up to GBP 58.000 for the First Edition

NORWAY: Prices will start from NOR 412.000 for the RWD version, going up to NOR 589.000 for the First Edition

FRANCE: Prices will start from €48.990 for the RWD version, going up to €69.500 for the First Edition

NETHERLANDS: Prices will start from €48.425 for the RWD version, going up to €69.440 for the First Edition

[Note: Mach-E GT pricing not available until later]

When will it be in European dealerships?

It will be in selected European markets in the autumn next year. It will also be sold in North America and China.

When does the pre-ordering start?

The pre-ordering for European customers will start with the reveal event on November 18th for our priority markets Norway, Germany, UK, France, Netherlands and Switzerland.

Can people buy this car on the internet only – without going via a Ford dealer?

Mustang Mach-E is being sold using a new online purchasing process. Customers can choose to do this at home, or to go to a Ford dealer and run through the online process with dealer assistance. Delivery of the car will happen via a Ford dealership.

What version will be available – will you do AWD and FWD?

Customers can choose between AWD and RWD versions. No FWD.

The car looks big – what are the dimensions and the weight?

The car is 471 cm long, 188 cm wide, and the height is 160 cm. weight is between 1993 kg and 2218 kg, depending on battery size and whether it’s AWD or RWD.

Will it be sold in all markets across Europe?

Yes, eventually. We have identified our top markets as Norway, Germany and UK as they have the highest demand. The other priority markets are France, Netherlands, and Switzerland. These are the markets with the largest existing customer acceptance for all-electric vehicles. Other European markets will follow soon after.

Will it be built off an existing or new platform?

The vehicle is built off an all-new all-electric architecture.

How many versions will you be offering customers, and will they all be available at launch?

Ford will offer six different models in Europe: RWD (two battery sizes, early 2021), AWD (two battery sizes, late 2020), First Edition (late 2020) and GT (2021).

Are there any differences between the US and European version of Mustang Mach-E?

Visually and technically the cars are identical. There are some minor differences due to legal requirements and in the marketing packages offered. Specifically:

  • Headlamp technology for Europe is different (includes glare free auto high beam), but this isnot visible. Indicators are also fitted to meet European requirements.
  • The Mach-E badges are different, as the “4” in Mach-E4 X is not used for Europeanvehicles. Instead European vehicle will get an AWD badge on the liftgate.
  • The US offers wheels with aero shields, which Europe doesn’t offer. Non-aero shield wheeldesigns are otherwise identical.
  • US offers a black coloured roof, which Europe doesn’t offer on base and AWD.
  • The US will offer a light interior and a black interior on Base and Premium. Europe onlyoffers the light headliner on Base (including a-pillar, rest of pillars is black) and black interioron AWD and First Edition.
  • The package tray is standard in Europe, in the US it’s optional.
  • US vehicles will contain satellite radio, European versions will have DAB+.

What is the targeted maximum range in Europe?

We are targeting a range of up to 600 km (370 miles) under WLTP for Europe.

The New Ford Mustang Mach-E

We recently attended the launch of the new Ford Mach-E. Here is some more info about it!

Posted by How To Kill an Hour on Sunday, 17 November 2019

 

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