ZX Spectrum replica bluetooth keyboard

Sinclair ZX Spectrum and tape deckLoad “”

Press play on tape.

Elite Systems Ltd. of Lichfield, UK, have announced a kickstarter project to create the ultimate geeky addition to the home computer setup or tablet of any self-respecting retro-gamer.  A bluetooth ZX Spectrum replica keyboard.

The keyboard will work with most smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs, and is a perfect replica of the legendary rubber-keyed 48k Sinclair ZX Spectrum home computer.

ZX Spectrum Bluetooth keyboard mockupWhether you’re looking for the authentic experience of 1980′s button-mashing while playing Daley Thompson’s Decathlon, or are pining for the days of Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy, Chuckie Egg, Skool Daze, Paperboy and Horace Goes Skiing, or even if you’re just looking for a bluetooth keyboard that’s a bit different and geeky, for your everyday tasks like answering emails and surfing the web, this is the keyboard for you.

When the 8-year production of the original 8-bit 48k Sinclair ZX Spectrum ceased in 1990, over 5 million units had been sold worldwide.  Over 10,000 games were made for the platform.

With 16 days to go, the kickstarter project is two thirds of the way towards their goal.

Bluetooth-zx-spectrum-kickstarter-project

Bluetooth ZX Spectrum

GOTO 10

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50 years of Doctor Who

Doctor Who 50th anniversary special: Day of the DoctorToday is the day!  The day of The Doctor.

Doctor Who fans worldwide are united in their excitement, for in only a few short hours, the 50th anniversary special episode of one of the world’s favourite ever sci-fi TV shows will air simultaneously in 90 countries.

The BBC, crew and cast (for the most part) are being notoriously tight-lipped about the plot, although the Radio Times listing for the episode indicates that events will take place in modern day London, Elizabethan England, and out in space, and that “all of reality is at stake – and the Doctor’s own dangerous past comes back to haunt him.”

Cast members include Doctors David Tennant, Matt Smith and John Hurt, (and possibly also Tom Baker, although he isn’t mentioned in the listings), companions Billie Piper and Jenna Coleman, while Jemma Redgrave reprises her role as UNIT’s head of scientific research, Kate Stewart, and Gavin & Stacey’s Joanna Page appears as Queen Elizabeth I, and Watson & Oliver’s Ingrid Oliver as Osgood (who incidentally has been seen sporting Tom Baker’s Doctor’s scarf).

We at Something Geeky can’t wait for tonight.  Are you excited?  Tell us now on Facebook or Twitter.

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And while you’re waiting for 7:50pm (GMT) to come around, why not check out our official Doctor Who merchandise, and other time travel related designs?

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Ender’s Game

Ender's Game 1

Today, the long-anticipated movie adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s 1985 sci-fi novel Ender’s Game, was released in the US amidst a haze of controversy.

Since the original release of the novel, Card has received many offers to make the book and its counterparts in the Ender series into a movie or series of movies, but until the late 90′s he rejected all approaches, due to fears of the movie failing to convey the themes of the novels, specifically the large amounts of plot that occurs within the mind of the titular character.

In the fourteen years inbetween decided to start writing a screenplay in earnest, and the start of the eventual movie shoot, Card rewrote the screenplay several times, but what should have been the amongst the most highly-awaited sci-fi movies of the year has been tarnished by comments from the author that have stirred objections from certain groups.

These objections relate to the fact that Orson Scott Card is openly against gay marriage and has spoken publicly of this.

In 2004, he said, “So if “my friends” insist on calling what they do “marriage”, they are not turning their relationship into what my wife and I have created, because no court has the power to change what their relationship actually is.”

“Instead they are attempting to strike a death blow against the well-earned protected status of our, and every other, real marriage.”

“They steal from me what I treasure most, and gain for themselves nothing at all. They won’t be married. They’ll just be playing dress-up in their parents’ clothes.”

And then in 2008 he stated, “Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down.”

Unsurprisingly, these comments have led to a backlash from the gay community, some of whom have threatened to boycott the movie and are campaigning that others do the same.

Ender's Game 2

If you visit the Geeks Out protest website skipendersgame.com you will be greeted by the headline, ”Ender’s Game author Orson Scott Card is more than an ‘opponent’ of marriage equality. As a writer, he has spread degrading lies about LGBT people, calling us sexual deviants and criminals. As an activist, he sat on the board of the National Organization for Marriage and campaigned against our civil rights. Now he’s a producer on the Ender’s Game movie. Do not let your box-office dollars fuel his anti-gay agenda. SKIP ENDER’S GAME.”

They acknowledge that Card’s personal views are in no way reflected in the movie or the novel series, but beseech that the reader spend their money on something else rather than seeing the movie, as they believe that Card will receive more money if more people go to see the movie, a point that has been disputed (some will say, conveniently) by the studio, who claim that Card received a flat payment for use of his screenplay, and that he will not be receiving “back end” “points” payments based on box office takings, home media sales or rental fees, and that despite being given a producer credit, Card had no creative input on the production of the movie.

Lionsgate Films, and various cast and crew members have since renounced Card’s personal views, with Harrison Ford stating in an interview that “There is nothing in the film or the book addressing [Card's] current dispositions, or prejudices”, and Lionsgate publicising that they plan to stage a benefit for the gay community, though again this has been met with disdaining voices who claim that this is nothing more than an empty marketing gesture, one that would not have happened organically without the controversy threatening to overshadow the release of the movie.

Enders Game 3

Controversy aside, initial reviews of the movie itself have been mixed at best.

While some have praised Ben Kingsley’s convincing New Zealand accent and Maori face-tattoos, many have described Harrison Ford’s performance as wooden, the plot as being derivative of The Last Starfighter and Harry Potter meets Full Metal Jacket, the CGI as being “unconvincing”, and the final sequence as being transparent sequel-bait, typical of many modern mainstream big budget teen adventure movies.

In The Wall Street Journal, reviewer Joe Morgenstern said “Not only does “Ender’s Game” have many scenes in zero gravity, but this zero-sum fiasco has zero drama, zero suspense, zero humor, zero charm and zero appeal.”

On AZCentral.com, reviewer Kerry Lengel says “Character development, dramatic tension and emotional resonance all get short shrift in the checklist exposition by writer-director Gavin Hood.”

All in all, it sounds like this movie may be a bit of a disappointment, to fans of the novels and movie aficianados alike, but for those that are still considering going to see the movie, here’s a trailer for it…

Have you seen Ender’s Game yet?  What are your thoughts?

Tell us NOW on our Twitter and Facebook pages:

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Man Forgets About Bitcoin Account, Becomes Millionaire

Bitcoins

A Norwegian man has discovered he is a millionaire (in Norwegian kroner) after reactivating a long-forgotten Bitcoin account.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, Bitcoin is a digital peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that can be generated by anyone with a computer, an internet connection and the correct software, in a process known as “mining”.

Mining Bitcoins involves your computer receiving large amounts of data from the internet, using your computer’s graphics card (a very powerful information processor) to perform calculations, and then sending the newly-processed information back to the internet.

It is a highly resource-intensive process that uses a lot of internet bandwidth, but with the right equipment can be highly lucrative.  The processes performed by a mining computer are the very processes required to make the currency work – the verification process of each transaction.

In addition to mining, it is possible to buy and sell Bitcoins with “real” money.

Kristoffer Koch - Bitcoin millionaire

Kristoffer Koch bought 150 kroner (£17.25p GBP / $27 USD) worth of Bitcoins in 2009 while researching encryption for a thesis.  At the time, the digital currency was in its infancy, and not long afterwards, Koch forgot all about it.

Years later, following recent media coverage of the online currency, he suddenly remembered his account, and eventually also his login details.

Once successfully logged in, he was shocked to discover that due to the huge increase in the value of the currency, his 5000 Bitcoins were now worth 5 million kroner (£574,000 GBP / $920,000 USD).

Bitcoins aren’t just for trading for real money.  Many items in the real world can be bought with Bitcoins.  You can buy t-shirts, hoodies and other clothing and accessories on this very website using the cryptocurrency.

bitcoin millionaire t-shirt

Elsewhere, there are pubs in London that accept Bitcoin, and there is even a Bitcoin ATM in Canada, from which you can buy and sell Bitcoins for real money.

Koch has since traded in 1000 of his Bitcoins, and bought a plush apartment in Toyen, a prestigious area in the Norwegian capital, Oslo.

Maybe someone should tell him he needs one of our Bitcoin Millionaire t-shirts?

We have a wealth of other Bitcoin t-shirts, hoodies and other apparel and accessories available.

To see our full range, click here… Bitcoin t-shirts

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The Lost Doctor Who Episodes: Announcement Imminent? Or not.

patrick troughton doctor who

This week, a number of media outlets have been reporting the discovery of a cache of once-lost Doctor Who episodes, thought to be from the mid-to-late 60′s Patrick Troughton incarnation of The Doctor.

In total, over 100 episodes of the iconic British Sci-Fi show have been lost, destroyed, or have degraded irreparably because of the volatile nature of the original tape-based storage media.

william hartnell doctor who

These lost episodes were from the first two incarnations of The Doctor, in which the titular role was played by William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton.

While many reports in the tabloid media have claimed that the newly discovered cache contained over 100 episodes, these claims remain unsubstantiated, and in fact a spokesperson for BBC Worldwide has said, “There are always rumours about missing Doctor Who episodes, but we can’t confirm any new finds at this stage.”

Nevertheless, BBC Worldwide has announced a press conference on Thursday, in which an announcement about the rediscovered episodes is expected.

On the website of Deborah Watling, former companion of the second Doctor played by Partick Troughton, a recent blog post states that “Deborah, along with Frazer Hines, will be helping the BBC to launch the newly found Dr.Who episodes this Thurs (10/10/13), betwwen…” [sic] “…3.30pm and 7.00pm approx.”

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Jurassic Park 4 release date revealed!

Jurassic Park 4: Jurassic WorldDino-geeks everywhere will be glad to hear that the long awaited fourth movie in the Jurassic Park saga, Jurassic World, will hit the cinemas on June 12th 2015.

The movie franchise began in 1993 with the release of the original Jurassic Park movie.  Jurassic Park: The Lost World followed in 1997, with Jurassic Park III arriving in 2001.

Speilberg produced and directed the first two movies, which unlike the third movie were directly based upon Michael Crichton’s novels Jurassic Park and The Lost World.

Scenes from each of the two novels made it into the third movie, Jurassic Park III, such as the scene in the pterosaur aviary, although Crichton never wrote a third novel in the series.

Speilberg will act as Executive Producer for Jurassic World, the same role he held for the third installment of the franchise.

Colin Trevorrow, director of Safety Not Guaranteed will fill the director’s chair.

2015 is shaping up to be a big year for lucrative movie franchises, with the intended releases of Star Wars Ep. VII: A New Generation Of Consumers arriving alongside Batman And Superman Go To White Castle, and the thirty-seventh installment of the Avengers franchise, Avengers: Age Of Whut Now?

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Geek Of The Week! #2

Geek of the Week #2 - Paddy JordanWhen we crowned our first ever Geek Of The Week, we had no idea it would take so long to find someone else deserving of the award.

Just as we were giving up hope, out of the blue we received an email telling us that one of our Stargate designs was incorrect, and supplying us with a web link to back up his claim.

He didn’t even want anything in return, and in fact he bought the t-shirt anyway, despite knowing it was incorrect, because he liked the design.  He just thought we should know.

Sceptically, we followed the link, to none other than Richard Dean “MacGyver” Anderson’s personal website!

He was right.  Our design wasn’t exactly what we thought it was.

And so, Paddy Jordan in Devon, UK, for out-geeking Something Geeky, (which is a rare, reward-worthy feat), we hereby dub thee our second ever Geek Of The Week!

Paddy is pictured above, in his free Limited Edition Geek Of The Week t-shirt… one of only two in existence!

Congratulations, Paddy, and thanks for setting us straight!

Stay geeky!

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Ben Affleck is the new Batman

Ben Affleck as Batman

Ben Affleck has been named the new Batman for the forthcoming Superman vs Batman movie.

Affleck replaces Christian Bale as the caped crusader, after Warner Bros failed to entice Bale back to the role he left after The Dark Knight Rises.

There had been reports that Bale had been offered $50m to star in the sequel to Man Of Steel, despite Bale’s prior insistence that he would not ever be returning to the role.

The rumour was traced to a comment from a source at Legendary Pictures, which partnered Warner Bros on Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.

The source said “Why would Christian Bale walk away from what is certainly going to be either the first or second highest grossing movie in the history of cinema?  He could probably make fifty million dollars for being in the movie 20 minutes.”

Robert Downey Jr in Iron ManThe use of the word “probably” in the comment seems to indicate that Bale was offered a similar profit share deal to the one received by Robert Downey Jr for The Avengers, which saw him receive a reported $50m due to the box office success of the Joss Whedon movie.

Regarding the appointment of Affleck, Warner Bros’ Greg Silverman has been quoted as saying “We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduring popular superheroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some.  His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he and Zack [Snyder, director] will bring new dimension to the duality of his character.”

Man Of SteelZack Snyder discussed the appointment with movie website Deadline Hollywood, “Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman.  He has the acting chops to create a layerred portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in Billionaire Bruce Wayne.  I can’t wait to work with him.”

Long-time friend of Affleck’s, writer-director Kevin Smith tweeted “Do you know what this means? It means that I’ve seen Batman naked!!!”

better batman than ben affleck

Others on Twitter have been less enthused by the appointment, with the hashtag #BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck trending with Tweeters’ photographs of people and even animals in Batman costumes, such as this guinea pig, tweeted by @misssqueakums.

The new movie is expected to begin production next year, and has a planned release date of July 17th, 2015.

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The Tooth And Nothing But The Tooth: John Lennon To Be Cloned?

 

John Lennon

A dentist in Canada hopes to clone John Lennon using DNA from a rotten tooth extracted from the former Beatle in the mid 1960s.

Lennon gave the yellow-brown cavitied tooth to his Weybridge housekeeper, Dot Jartlett as a gift, suggesting that she give it to her daughter as a memento.

Dave Lister, Red Dwarf

“Hang on a minute, that’s a bit of a funny prezzie.  What’s wrong with a couple of hundred pairs of socks and some aftershave?”  Dave Lister, Red Dwarf.

The tooth was later sold at auction for £19,000 (over $30,000 USD) in 2011, to Canadian dentist, Michael Zuk, who is now hopeful that he can fully sequence John Lennon’s DNA from the discoloured molar.

Zuk has been quoted as saying “Many Beatles fans remember where they were when they heard John Lennon was shot. I hope they also live to hear the day he was given another chance.”

Those hoping to catch a comeback tour in the near future may be disappointed, though; an actual real live clone is still likely to be some way off.

Zuk continued “With researchers working on ways to clone mammoths, the same technology certainly could make human cloning a reality.”

John Lennon's rotten tooth

If Lennon’s DNA can indeed be harvested from the tooth, it will still need to be converted from tissue cells into stem cells, before the possibility of growing a new reborn Beatle can even be entertained.

Zuk remains hopeful, adding ”To say I had a small part in bringing back one of rock’s greatest stars would be mind-blowing,”

Of course, as anyone with a basic understanding of science will tell you, the DNA does not necessarily make the man.

Even if a successful clone is grown, it won’t have the memories or life experiences of the original John Lennon, and so anyone expecting new classic albums or a Beatles reunion are likely to be left disappointed.

Some may say Zuk is a dreamer, but he’s not the only one.

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SpaceX Grasshopper Rocket Test Success. Watch the video here!

a grasshopper rocket launch test

This week, SpaceX, the commercial space exploration technologies company headed by Paypal founder Elon Musk, performed a successful divert test of its “Grasshopper” reusable VTVL launch vehicle.

Farscape's Scorpius - another "grasshopper"

The Grasshopper has been built to test technologies that will be incorporated into the Reusable Falcon 9 and Reusable Falcon Heavy rockets, which will require vertical landings of their first-stage booster assemblies.

In this latest test, the launch vehicle flew to an altitude of 250m, hovered, performed a 100m lateral manoeuvre and then landed in the centre of the launch pad.

A press release on the SpaceX website revealed that the test “demonstrated the vehicle’s ability to perform more aggressive steering manoeuvres than have been attempted in previous flights.  Diverts like this are an important part of the trajectory in order to land the rocket precisely back at the launch site after reentering from space at hypersonic velocity.”

VTVL is the abbreviation used in rocket engineering to refer to Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing, whereas in the aviation industry the more familiar abbreviation VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) is used to describe the same function in aircraft.

 

Last year, SpaceX made the headlines when it won the contract to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). The company was founded in 2002 and currently employs over 3000 people.

This test was the sixth test of the Grasshopper vehicle at the SpaceX testing facility in McGregor, Texas.

 

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