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    Halo: Nightfall

    Released two days ago is the full-length trailer of the Halo: Nightfall which will be webseries to be released for the Microsoft XBox platform. Directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan and produced by Ridley Scott. Halo: Nightfall, which is a much bigger and more ambitious production when compared to Halo: Forward Unto Dawn, is set to premiere on November 11, 2014.

    The trailer gives us a better look at the characters of Nightfall as compared to the early teaser that was released last July. Halo: Nightfall is about Jameson Locke (Mike Colter) as he leads an Office of Naval Intelligence unit in the Outer Colony of Sedra to investigate terrorist activity in the area where they suspect that a biological weapon that affects humans only is being developed there.

    But as they go about their investigation, they come upon a fragment of the Halo ring world (the Halo ring world was previously destroyed by Master Chief in the first Halo) that went into orbit in proximity of a red giant star. This phenomenon causes the habitable side of the fragment extremely hot when it is facing the star giving them a small time frame of  16 hours to complete the mission. Ultimately, their mission becomes a battle for survival and they take the battle to the Covenant, the alliance of aliens hell-bent of wiping out humanity to stop the biological attack from happening.

    Halo: Nightfall prepares the way for Halo: 5 as the Nightfall series happen in between Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians. One can secure access to the Halo: Nightfall in Halo: The Master Chief Collection.


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    Beretta Intelligent Rail System

    In what is probably a very intelligent solution for the high-tech warrior, Beretta and T-Works are working on what they call an "Intelligent Rail System" Technology. This is a promising technology as this system will be able to power any weapons accessories mounted on it and even moves data from various accessories to help in effective shooting and situational awareness.

    The Intelligent Rail System distributes power from a battery pack that is located in the stock area. The battery pack uses standard AA batteries (which we would recommend to be Lithium L91 batteries as they last longer) which are readily available everywhere, especially at local stores. Any weapon device that requires power can draw the power from the battery pack once it's installed on the Intelligent Rail System.

    This feature enables weapons accessories designers to eliminate battery compartments such as illuminated optics, laser pointers and weapon lights. This leads to lighter and more compact accessories as batteries usually take up significant space in  the design. With a standard power source, the shooter doesn’t have to take several types and sizes of batteries, lessening the load.

    As for the data transfer component, an example is a rangefinder mounted up front can transfer the information to the optics at the back which will then be adjusted based on the information. With Wifi or Bluetooth connectivity it can retrieve or transmit information to other devices a soldier carries such as a Heads Up Display (HUD) which is now also nearing reality.

    Here is the video of the Intelligent Rail System at the SHOT Show 2014:

    For future soldier programs, this Intelligent Rail System is a good concept in terms of making the weapon part of the overall loadout of a warfighter in the future. Other concepts that we have seen such as computers, power supplies and communications have been designed without the weapon as part of the intelligent platform. With the Intelligent Rail System, the weapon becomes fully integrated.

    The Intelligent Rail System can also be implemented for Airsoft guns. With all the power requirements of the airsoft players, especially Milsimers, it would be very much handy to power up most of the accessories we mount on our airsoft guns. We just want a stripped down version as we have no use for the data feature for now. Perhaps the battery pack would have compartments for both AA Lithium and a Lipoly battery to power the AEG motor, that would surely eliminate the need for different types of batteries.


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    Challenge Bear Kickstarter

    Remember the Battle Bear that is made by recovering veterans supported by S.O. Tech? The Battle Bear is a project to help create a bond between the child and the deployed parent by sending the bear to the recipient with the photo of the deployed holding the bear with a matching uniform and unit patch. Now, they want the Battle Bear challenge you in helping the world become a better place.

    If you like the idea, better move quickly as time is running out.

    The Green Vets Los Angeles have launched the Challenge Bear on Kickstarter. With your help, you can help raise funds to have the Challenge Bear sent out to help challenge others in doing something good --- locally, nationally, and even globally. How does this work? Here’s a short description:

    When you give this bear to a young person, you give a challenge – both from yourself, and from the Veterans who crafted them.  This is more than a teddy bear, it’s a companion on your journey to make the world a better place.  This durable, belt or pack mountable bear is there to inspire you the whole way, and to join you in your celebratory photographs of your accomplishments.  These photos are the key to continuing the challenge, when you upload them to our Facebook page or the social media page of your choosing as you challenge your friends!

    If it sounds something like the Ice Bucket Challenge, it is indeed helping you move and show to the world with the Challenge Bear what you have been doing. Click here to see some of those who are already doing their part.

    Convinced that the project is worth your support? If you are, then you have to move quickly. With just less than a week to go, the project only has raised over US$4,000 of a target of US$12,000. Projects on Kickstarter get funded if and only if they achieve their target goals. This means that the Challenge Bear Project is in danger of not getting funded as it's still below the halfway mark of its target funding with just a few days remaining.

    Share the project to your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, YouTube or whatever social media you're active in. Don’t forget also to choose any of the options to fund it, including getting the limited edition Multicam Challenge Bear.

    Supporting the Challenge Bear, you hit three things: helping recovering veterans to have their own income, making someone happy with a Challenge Bear, and helping make the world a better place. Now that’s something to really feel good about.


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    CyPhy Works Extreme Access Pocket Flyer

    We've been writing mainly about drones that will take the in-game play footage or even selfies for you and your team mates. But today, I'll write about something that does a purpose of helping you win a game, if we talk about airsoft. But it is developed for purposes of special operations and first responder needs --- a drone that can go to areas where other flying drones cannot due to their bigger sizes and even some land-based drones due to problems posed by terrain and other obstacles.

    The solution from CyPhy Works is simple: build a pocketable flying drone. It makes sense right?

    The CyPhy Works Extreme Access Pocket Flyer is light at 80 grams and small enough that you can carry it in a pocket --- well more of the cargo pants pocket. For soldiers and responders, that wouldn't be a problem as they wear uniforms with big pockets that can easily take in the Extreme Access Pocket Flyer.

    Apart from the easy storage, the Pocket Flyer can fly longer than other small drones --- it can fly for two hours whilst others cannot even stay longer than 30 minutes. It can also transmit better quality images; send and receive commands faster and it cannot be jammed by wireless jammers. What gives?

    The answer is that the Pocket Flyer is tethered. Yes, it has an umbilical cord. It uses a microfilament through which it can draw power and communicate with its base station. The distance for the pocket flyer can only be as far as the length of the spool of microfilament which is 76 metres (250 feet). For small unit operations or responding rescuers, using the Pocket Flyer to check buildings, rooms, and some hard to reach places to find the enemy or get some real time intelligence, the length should be enough to give them information on what's immediately ahead of them.

    Control of the drone can be done via a mobile phone or a tablet so there's no need of another device to control it, and that means no additional weight to worry.

    The CyPhy Works Extreme Access Pocket Flyer is still in a prototype stage, but it has just got the interest of the U.S. Air Force as it was awarded a contract through the Rapid Innovation Fund to help improve search and rescue operations (Air Force PJs?). This means we'll probably find and even more capable pocket drone in the future if all things work out right for it.


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    Tito Velez and Jamie Pereira

    Perhaps many of us have been numbed by news of kids bringing their airsoft guns to school with intent to mischief that a good number of airsoft players have been advocating restricting access to airsoft guns only to adults. But of course, that will be up to the industry, community, and the ultimately, the politicians to decide. But in this case, it's not about the kids doing something wrong at school, it's more about a school overreacting to photos of kids holding airsoft guns at home.

    This is how airsofter, Tito Villar, explains the predicament that he and his girlfriend, Jamie Periera are in as posted on his Facebook Page:

    See this photo? Yea, well this photo got me and my gf suspended from our high school for 10 days. possible expulsion too. Today we were taken right before the Cross Country states meet. We were asked, “why would you post something like that?” when we tried saying something, they told us to be quiet and they separated us. I was sent to a room and my bag was searched, along with my clothes and locker. The school called the police and they had a cop speak to us without reading our rights and without our parents permission. We had no say in what happened and we never got a chance to defend ourselves. We are both out of school now, in a school that only allows 4½ days absent. Which means if they don't expel us, we pay for overpriced saturday school and winter school. I understand it was wrong to take a picture with guns but come on. My dad took the photos, in my house. The guns were pointed at the floor, on safety, mock mags in, and our fingers weren't on the trigger. We had a responsible adult and he isnt againts airsoft. He knows gun safety and he keeps my guns, i dont have them unless im out at the fields. Well the dance was friday, and it went perfectly fine. No fights or anything. Today is monday, and now were both defenseless. The school took away whatever rights we had about speech. Our parents didnt have a say either. In 10 days we will have to have a conference with the school board, they will decide if we get suspended or not. I think its bullshit that we get suspended over a photo taken at my house because it was “threatening”. If my school wanted to suspend everyone who posted a “threatening” photo, then i couldnt have a photo with a car because cars kill people. honestly i think its unfair and its not right. My school could care less if you post a picture of you smoking or getting drunk. but you post a photo of a gun and everyone loses their mind. So right now im trying to get this story out to people to try to show that the school is wrong and that it wasnt a threat to anyone. The school is Bristol-Plymouth Voc/Tech in Taunton, MA. Please help me out guys. Thanks.

    This smacks of school overreach. The photo is a light moment for Tito and Jamie and parents as they prepared for the school dance when they decided to have photos of them holding airsoft guns  inside their own home with an adult watching them. The photos were not taken inside a classroom, nor on school grounds, nor in a public place. In no way were the photos menacing nor threatening. It's not a business for a school to intrude into the affairs of a home unless it affects a student's health, behavior, or grades. The suspension of the Tito and Jamie are not even about this. It's just all about photos with airsoft guns which are not even real firearms.

    We understand the need of schools to be vigilant given that incidents of mass shootings in the USA happen in schools. We all need to be on the lookout to threats to children, wherever in the world and try to prevent these. We also know that some suspects in recent mass shootings posted threatening stuff on social media. But the photos of this very young couple don't even indicate they are planning to massacre students at a school dance, they were just being goofy.

    Every weekend, we see hundreds of kids playing airsoft at various airsoft fields. They all carry airsoft guns and wear military gear. They also have videos and photos of them in action, or posing with their guns. We see kids on YouTube doing their own airsoft reviews, showing their personal airsoft arsenal that their mom or dad bought for them. Would schools all over the U.S. suspend them and subject them to threats of expulsion? That's a lot of kids who would be out of school for playing a hobby they love and it promotes team work and honesty.

    The best thing for the school of Tito and Jamie to do is to have an open mind and undestand that there is no intention by the couple to do mischief. There is no solid case for suspension, much more of expulsion for the school.  If the school officials persist they will be dragged to court, wasting time and resources that could have been devoted to the kids' education.

    The airsoft community can lend its support to Tito and Jamie by emailing the school on what airsoft is all about or the local airsoft community, which includes teams, field owners, and airsoft retailers can have a dialogue with the school officials.  This issue is one big misunderstanding that led to an overreaction by school officials wary of students with guns given the recent Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting in Washington State. 

    Tito and Jamie should not have been suspended in the first place and now the issue is now in the news and social media. It is the last thing that the school would want if it approached this issue with an open mind rather than a drastic action that was not properly thought over.


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    Megabots

    Ever since I was a child, I always had a fascination over Mech Bots, those big bad (or good) robots that fight each other. Almost as tall as buildings, they carry with them an arsenal of swords, missiles, laser rifles, flame throwers, and whatever projectile they can lob at each other. I gobbled up Japanese Mecha, Transformers, Gundam, Voltron; played video games such as Mech Warrior and Titan Fall; and watched Real Steel and Pacific Rim.

    I wondered if big fighting robots will happen in my lifetime. It can be if Megabots will be able to raise its required funding on Kickstarter. They want to raise funds to the tune of US$1.8 Million to start the first the Fighting Robot Sports League.

    And the kick here is that these are not remote controlled robots. The robots will have human pilots inside and determine the outcome of any match between two piloted robots.  Now, that sounds really fun:

    The mad scientists at MegaBots, Inc. have been zealously working on the prototypes and final design of 15-foot-tall, 15,000-pound, walking humanoid combat robots with giant, modular pneumatic cannons for arms. A driver-and-gunner team pilot each MegaBot in a battle against other MegaBots, vehicles, and a variety of other defenses and obstacles in live-action combat – the likes of which the world has only dreamed of through video games and movies.

    MegaBots are covered in customizable, breakaway armor plating and fire large, paint-filled projectiles at each other at speeds topping 120 miles per hour. As projectiles hit their targets, armor plates shatter and explode, and computers tally critical hits to the robot’s limbs and torso. As more and more hits are taken, robots start to limp, joints start to seize, weapons start to jam, and after enough damage, limbs are completely blown off. The last MegaBot standing wins!

    There you go, a plan to have an arena full of fighting robots, each manned by a gunner and a pilot. Too bad they didn't choose airsoft weapons for the armaments, but we can live with paintballs if these will help in the entertainment value of the MegaBots.

    So far, the MegaBots idea has received pledges of over US$19,000 with 29 days to go. But I am curious if they tried to approach the U.S. Military, perhaps DARPA, for funding. US$1.8 million is a very small drop in the bucket of the military budget, and building and watching human-piloted robots fight in an arena can be provided some valuable lessons on further mechanizing warfare.

    If you belong to the 1%, then perhaps you can help the people of MegaBots by ordering one of the bots. One would cost US$999,999.99 or you can pay in four installments of US$249,999.99. But of course, if you have that money, you can hire a MegaBot team to be the pilot and gunner too. Still, it would be fun seated inside the robot's cockpit either as a gunner or a pilot.


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    Zombie Fortification Cabin

    Do you want to run away from all those pesky kids (and adults) knocking on your door, trick or treatin'? Or are you dreaming of something to really protect yourself, your family, and perhaps your airsoft team mates from the zombie hordes as they ravage the land in search of brains and warm human bodies? Not to worry, the Zombie Fortification Cabin, the world's first and only certified Zombie Proof Log Cabin, will be your sanctuary, home, and your fort.

    The fortified cabin is made by Tiger Log Cabins, based in Leeds, United Kingdom. The Zombie Fortification Cabin is described by the company as comprising of…

    …three sections, all of which are independent from each other with two lockable doors securing each building. This means for a zombie to breach the main large section they would have to somehow breach three very securely locked doors – which even your most advance lock picker would struggle to compromise. One of the smaller buildings is a garage with secure roller shutter doors – still large enough to secure a military vehicle or getaway car. The other building comes with a built in storage unit for food to help you last the duration of the apocalypse. There is also a great place to store any other weapons you require to keep the undead at bay. The third larger building at the back has two floors (containing a bedroom, a kitchen, a living room and even a gym) as well as an upper deck to give you a 360 degree vantage point with smart slots in the decking wall to allow you to shoot at intruders in the surrounding area. In the middle of the three buildings protected by walls around the outside and a mesh roof is a small garden to allow you some outdoor time and to plant and grow vegetables.

    Convinced that this is ultimate fort for you if you cannot afford to dig a big bunker deep inside mountains? Then you better shell out something close to a £100,000 with all the options included, which still excludes the weapons you need to keep the zombies from coming close to your perimeter. The basic price is £69,995.00 which comes with the following:

    • Log Cabin shell (inc doors, windows, stairs)
    • Barbed wire on roof
    • 3x Bunk Beds
    • 2x Chest of drawers
    • Weight machines
    • Lights
    • Fireplace
    • Sofa and cushions
    • Coffee table
    • Sound system turntables
    • Plasma TV
    • Xbox
    • Toilet, sink
    • Kitchen units with microwave

    As extra options which will go up to the hundred thousand quid mark if you tick off all the boxes:

    • Zombie Cabin Installation
    • Security Cameras
    • Riot Protection Outfit
    • Solar Panels

    As mentioned, no weapons are included such as the Water Bear Cannon or flame throwers since the company is based in the UK, a country with strict firearms laws. The only way to get the weapons is when there is an actual zombie infestation and the British government starts issuing weapons to everyone to protect their lives and families.

    The Zombie Fortification Cabin comes with a 10-year warranty which we don't know how the company will honour it when zombies overwhelm human civilization. But at least it's cold comfort that Tiger Log Cabins stand by their work. Even if the hordes don't arrive, dare airsoft players to come and try to breach it. Charge game fees if you want to recoup your investment.

    If you're extremely worried today that those trick or treaters are not really humans in ghastly costumes, but the undead after your brain, then better pick up the phone and order for the Zombie Fortification Cabin whilst there's time. Also, better stack up on the all the Walking Dead DVDs so there's something for you to watch whilst holed up inside the cabin.


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    HEL Shooter

    Ask ANY airsofter what they like most about our incredible sport, most of them will reply: “The level of reality”. It still is what makes us more manly than paintball players (nobody likes them anyway) and it keeps on attracting fresh players to the game.

    Call of Duty players want to experience the real life version; tactical­freaks want to sharpen their skills; military and law enforcement officers keep it as a way to stay fresh; and the average Joe who just wants to shoot at stuff.

    The demand for high reality levels has encouraged manufacturers from all over the globe to provide us with products that not only look like the real deal, they also have more and more of real-­stuff­-operating­-details built­-in. Just think about active bolt catches or ejectable shells.We have come to a point where the only thing that is missing for a real­life­feeling would be actual bullets when it comes down to hardware (unfortunately, respawning after being hit by a .45 seems to be a bit of a challenge).

    Now, it's up to organisers to take the games to the next level.

    Frankly, we have to admire the motivation of the numerous teams and organisations to keep on innovating and adjusting the gameplay for diehard airsofters.

    We have come a long way, from what seemed to be a “modified” version of paintball to massive events that we call Milsim with vehicles, props and eating MREs in a puddle of mud. But still, when it comes down to “realism”, there is always this missing link. When you screw something up, you go to respawn and try again. When a dude is down, 15 minutes later he is back in the game. It's the stuff that keeps a game going but automatically cuts down on the whole “real” part of the game.

    And out of nowhere, project HEL SHOOTER (HEL being short for “Het Echte Leven” or translated “The Real Life”) appeared claiming to change the whole airsoft experience and offering the most realistic feeling EVER in an airsoft field.

    A bold statement that had my attention, so some research had to be done...

    First of all, I have to make it clear that HEL SHOOTER is not yet active, they are still building the massive CQB area and providing it with all the gimmicks and gadgets we are all looking for. YES, it is a CQB experience. Buildings, rooms, doors, windows and a whole lot of stuff to use/collect/break while playing the game the way it should be played.

    HEL SHOOTER promises us hours of intense close quarter action like we have never seen before!

    Next up is the Big Chief, the mastermind behind HEL SHOOTER. Who the **** is this guy?

    Marc Pollen is the name, unexciting is his fame. The man has NO reputation or experience in the airsoft sector what so ever, so where does this guy come from and why is he starting such a massive project?

    Well, the reason that he has no reputation in the airsoft industry is the fact that he has been serving his country in Afghanistan and Iraq as an active member of “Korps Mariniers”, the Dutch Elite Forces. And in these elite forces, he was member of the NLMARSOF (Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Forces), the elite within the elite. The dude is such a badass that he can make a full working AK47 with nothing more than a spoon and a hardboiled egg.

    After his last tour of duty, he resigned with honor and decided to put his real life experience into a kickass airsoft project. So basically, the guy has no airsoft experience yet he has more experience than all of us together.

    The idea he had was ingenious in its simplicity.

    You simulate an actual intervention by special forces, where the purpose is not to go and catch a flag and shoot as many of the opponents as possible but rather to gather intel and try to complete the objective as based on the terrain.

    For this, the dudes from HEL SHOOTER will be working on a modular building system, comparable to a modern day SWAT kill house and they will employ dedicated actors. So during the game, shooting at anything that moves could end up with you losing the battle. You'll never know that the guy you blasted had some crucial information.

    HEL SHOOTER will be as much of a mental challenge as it will be a tactical challenge.

    Last but not least, there is the whole “visual” thing. HEL SHOOTER wants to appeal to a wide audience, from die­hard experienced airsofters to novice players who don’t have their own hardware yet.

    They have been working together with a professional creative team, setting up a complete series with kickass pictures and videos, pure eye candy and extremely inviting.

    HEL SHOOTER will be launching early 2015 in Den Haag ­ The Netherlands ­ and promises to be worth the trip. As soon as they are open for business, I will be landing there with my cameras to get a full review and write an experience diary.

    Give the guys website a website and support this awesome airsoft project on www.helshooter.com.

     

    Christophe “Lucid Mind”
    www.lucidmind.be


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    5 APCA Teaser

    In less than a month, the 5th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards Period will start. For a period of two months, from the 1st of December 2014 up to the 2nd of February 205, airsoft players from around the world will be nominating and then voting for the winners of the various categories. The Airsoft Players' Choice Awards is the biggest online airsoft event, recognising the best in the industry and those who have contributed to the growth of airsoft.

    For the 5th Awards Period, the following categories will be open for nomination and voting:

    • Best Airsoft Retailer for North America
    • Best Airsoft Retailer for Europe
    • Best Airsoft Retailer for Asia
    • Best Airsoft Magazine (Print or Digital)
    • Best English Language Airsoft News Website
    • Best Non-English Language Airsoft News Website
    • Best Airsoft Blog
    • Best Online Airsoft Community/Forum
    • Best Airsoft Video (Posted Online)
    • Best Airsoft Event (with over 500 players)
    • Best Airsoft Podcast or Video Channel
    • Best Tactical Gear Manufacturer
    • Best Eye/Face Protection Manufacturer
    • Best Airsoft Kaboom! Manufacturer (Grenades, Pyros)
    • Best Airsoft Pistol (regardless of power source)
    • Best Airsoft Gas Rifle
    • Best Airsoft Electric Airsoft Gun
    • Best Airsoft Gun Manufacturer
    • Best Airsoft Upgrade/Parts Maker
    • Special Airsoft Players’ Award
    • Special Popular Airsoft Award

    THE AWARDS PROCESS

    Nomination Period (01 December to 29 December 2014)

    Airsoft players worldwide get to nominate their favourites for the various categories for a period of almost one (1) month. They can either nominate in all categories or in categories they are familiar in.

    The top five nominees (or less, depending on the number of nominees), based on the number of nominations garnered, will then proceed to the Voting Period (Finals). The finalists per category will be announced one week after the Nomination Period closes.
    Nominees can be nominated in one or more categories, provided that they meet the criteria.

    Voting Period (05 January to 02 February 2015)

    The Voting Period allows the finalists to campaign that they get voted. They can post at their news section and forums; create vlog/blog, or a podcast; post Vote Badges at their websites; announce at social media sites to mobilise players to vote for them.

    Finalists who have garnered the most number of votes in the categories win an award in the categories where they are selected as finalists. Airsoft players who cast their votes are included in a raffle draw where they get to win various prizes.

    The winners will be announced one (1) week after the closing of the Voting Period. They will then be notified via email that they won. Airsoft players who won a raffle prize will also be informed via email.

    For both the Nomination and Voting Periods, all of these are cast at the Popular Airsoft’s Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards Page (playerschoice.popularairsoft.com).

    It's now time for you to make the list of nominees and from there vote for the best. There will be fantastic prizes that will await the lucky airsoft players who will nominate and vote in the Awards process.


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    Pit Viper

    With all the sleek-designed ballistic glasses that are in the market today, one company decided to buck the trend to stick with the 1990s. Pit Viper looks like a fun-loving company that started as garage business painting military surplus sunglasses and making them the wearer look like someone who has entered the WWE ready to do battle against the wrestling heroes of the 90s. Looking at their Facebook Page, they sure looked to be having so much fun with all their photos with people wearing their work.

    But they ran out of military surplus sunglasses used as based glasses for the Pit Viper Glasses that they decided to run to Kickstarter to start a fundraising (or "funraising?") campaign to have an upgraded version of the Pit Vipers and making their own rather than scrounging around for the now hard to find surplus sunglasses. The design upgraded they made were more of functionalities to make them fit to different face types but not compromising the 90s look that the Pit Viper glasses are famous for. According to them, the funds raised through crowdfunding on Kickstarter will go towards:

    • Creation of the Pit Viper production mold.
    • A first run of about 5,000 pairs (the minimum quantity required to produce them).
    • Some modest administrative cost (like rent for our warehouse).

    According to them, the Pit Vipers are Z87 Safety Rated (and thus great for airsoft use), 100% UV protection, adjustable, float resistant, and best of all, it is "Party Enhancing."  So after a day playing airsoft, you can still wear the Pit Viper as party wear to make the ladies (and guys) swoon over you.

    What we like the new Pit Viper Features are the adjustability for the temple, ear, and nose:

    • Turbo is a temple adjustment that will tilt the lenses to your liking and will give your Pit Vipers the face grip you need for the correct level of intensity. Need to turn it up? Go Full Turbo. Time for relaxing in a hot tub? Op-Turbo is the setting of choice. 
    • E-Spot, also known as Ear Piece Spot, is ideal for dialing in the perfect wrap around your ear holes. Never thought about how far back your ears are on your head? Neither have most people. But it matters. Get the right fit and decide how deep you want it in. 
    • The form fitting nose piece dubbed "The Nose Bender" will match your bridge and give you the comfort and performance you deserve. Nose Bender, it has a memory.

    There are several variants of the Pit Viper which are made to fit your taste, color preferences, or your party mood. For us, any would do, though we are digging "The Cosmos" variant.

    With about less than 3 days to go, it has already achieved its funding goal of US$30,000 on  Kickstarter and has hit almost 35k as of this writing. There are still slots for you to pledge your backing and still be one of the first to own one of these new and improved Pit Viper sunglasses.


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    Drift Stealth 2

    What we love about the Action Camera market now is that it's hot in terms of offerings. From big brands to the more specialised ones, there are more and more choices at different price points and features. There's almost a high-definition camera for almost any budget, but of course high definition is getting into higher resolutions such as 4K which commands an even higher price.

    Drift Innovations is one of the better known specialised brands in the action camera market. If reviewers make a comparative review of action camera offerings it's always these three brands they look into: GoPro, Contour, and Drift Innovations. In recent months, we saw product releases from GoPro with their Hero 4, and Contour which is again back in business with a rather underwhelming but affordable ROAM3. For Drift Innovations, they decided that they have to shrink their action camera even further.

    Enter the Drift Stealth 2. Previously, the smallest action camera from Drift Innovations was the Drift Ghost. Drift Stealth 2 is half the size of Drift Ghost and also the lightest, being 40% lighter than the Ghost, in the Drift Innovations family. But for those who are expecting it be going head to head against GoPro's newest Hero4, it won't and it's more at the level of Contour ROAM3 this time. To explain further, it records at 1080p at 30fps and 720p at 60fps which is the same as ROAM3 and the entry-level GoPro Hero. Both are nowhere near GoPro Hero4 Black, Silver, and White editions in terms of resolution.

    Apart from the resolution which we could have hoped to be at par with new offerings, there are features that would compensate with the frame rates and resolution. We specially like the Car DVR mode which Drift Innovations explains:

    When activated this mode will automatically turn the camera on when power is supplied via the USB port. The camera then records footage in continuous loops, called Car DVR Intervals. It will continue recording loop after loop until it fills the memory card. Once full the oldest loops will be deleted as the newest ones are saved. Car DVR loop intervals can be 1min, 3min, 5min, 10min or 15min intervals.

    The Car DVR mode allows you use the Drift Stealth 2 as a dash cam, eliminating the need for a separate dash cam when driving.

    The signature feature of Drift Innovations in their action cameras, which is the LCD screen where you can clearly see the modes (hard to read with GoPro in my experience) is also present on the Drift Stealth 2. Also, now you can record longer as Drift Stealth 2 can go for a full 3-hour recording, which means you may just run out of card memory before the battery runs out.

    To keep airsofters at ease, yes, it is weather resistant. Use it in mud, snow, dust, and rain, it will keep on going. Just make sure you keep the lenses clear to record what it sees.

    If you're in the market for an easy to use action camera and not bothered by lack of 4K resolution capability and still happy at 1080p HD, then Drift Stealth 2 may just fit the bill. For airsoft players conscious about the weight of the gear they bring, the reduced weight and smaller size of Drift Stealth 2 makes it an attractive action camera to use in the airsoft field.


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    Hardcore

    If you were able to watch the viral video by the Biting Elbows called "Bad Mother******", then you know what made that video such a hit. It was a badass and kickass MTV that was mainly done in the first person POV. Biting Elbows, a Russian Indie band, was inundated with lots of request to make another video using the same concept and technique, that rather than making another MTV, decided to make a full feature film. But before reading on further, watch the MTV first if you haven't watched it before:

    For FPS videogamers, this POV is very familiar as it puts the player as the main character in the game making it immersive. Biting Elbows does the production in real and it is indeed a very impressive to do a live action POV. A full length movie may be perhaps too much, but then it's something that we have to watch first before jumping into conclusions.

    The result: "Hardcore" in which Sharlto Copley of District 9 and Elysium stars and here's what the story is all about:

    HARDCORE is a modern, action Sci-Fi story about HENRY, a newly resurrected cyborg who must save his wife/creator ESTELLE (Haley Bennet) from the clutches of a psychotic tyrant with telekinetic powers, AKAN (Danila Kozlovsky), and his army of mercenaries. Fighting alongside Henry is JIMMY (Sharlto Copley), who is Henry's only hope to make it through the day. Hardcore takes place over the course of one day, in Moscow, Russia and it's all shot in the same style as BAD MOTHER****** to be released in cinemas worldwide.

    Here is the trailer:

    Impressed by the trailer? A lot of the production has already been made, where production was mainly done in Moscow. But don't worry it's 95% English as it is aimed at an international audience and perhaps may just be aimed for "Best Foreign Film" for the Academy Awards if it gets nominated. However, the movie needs to be finished. And thus, "Hardcore - The First Ever Action POV Feature Film"crowdfunding project was launched on Indiegogo.com.

    With most of the production done what they want now is to raise funds for post production, which they will need at least US$250,000 to clean up the editing, still have creative control, and be able to release it in a proper movie form.

    There are different perks when you pledge your support to  the post-production process. This range fron the "Hardcore" sticker at US$35 to Ushanka at US$200,  to a signed smashed GoPro HD Camera used in production at US$300; or to the Adventure Mask Rig which was used in the production to create the POV look for US$2,500.00.

    The Adventure Mask Rig is interesting, especially for airsoft players who do POV videos of airsoft games. This will be commercialised soon,  and they are now taking pre-orders at Adventure Mask.

    Is "Hardcore" a ground breaking movie that will create a trend of POV movies. Perhaps, and we'll expect a lot of these on YouTube and Vimeo. Will mainstream film makers accept this technique. We'll find out if "Hardcore" gets released, and with your help you can make it happen.


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    OnBeep Onyx

    Previously, we featured here the Beartooth, which is a case designed to turn smartphones into PTT comms or walkie talkies without even the need for a cellular site to make the smartphones communicate with each other in a short distance. Now, another device that can make team communication more efficient with smartphones.

    Called the OnBeep Onyx, this is a "communicator" device that will remind us of  the communicator used in Star Trek. It is a wearable device which upon press of the button one can send a voice message to anyone in the network. But unlike the more stylish Star Trek Communicator, Onyx is more of a hockey puck, which will remain that way until its maker, OnBeep, designs a smaller and fashionable version.

    How does it work? Onyx connects to iOS or Android devices via bluetooth and the user can create groups to communicate with. Thus, small teams whether proximate to each other or spread out over great geographical locations can communicate at a touch of a button without the need to whip out the mobile phone from their pockets. Prime examples are first responders who need to keep their hands free and Onyx being a wearable device is more convenient to use.

    This means that airsoft teams can also use Onyx without the need to purchase radios, and most people nowadays have smartphones. The only problem here is that Onyx will require cellular or wifi connections in order for it to work unlike the Beartooth which does not. Thus, for outdoor airsoft events, Onyx might not work properly if cellular coverage is patchy. If both Onyx and Beartooth can work together, then it will be a good PTT communications system that can be used for airsoft events.

    However, the price for Onyx might make you think twice or would rather put your money in cheaper FRS or PMR radios. An Onyx will set you back US$99.00 and for that price, you can already get a pair of cheap two-way radios. But if you have other purposes for the Onyx apart from using it for airsoft, such as for business, managing a team that needs to be always in constant touch, regardless of location, then the price must be a good deal.

    The OnBeep Onyx is on pre-order right now with a target release right before Christmas.


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    Objective Box

    Whilst we all look at airsoft guns, tactical gear, and accessories to put together for our loadout, others look into how to improve the game experience, which is what airsoft offers to players. For weekend airsoft skirmishes, some variety is needed to make it more exciting and exhilarating. The makers of Objective Box think they may have the device and app that can help game organisers make their customers come back for more.

    The developers of Objective Box, led by Tye Campbell, have been working on what is probably the first iOS device that can manage an airsot game from start to finish. Tye describes the Objective Box further, "Using different audio effects, the app signals game start, end, time remaining and coordinates an entire mission enhancing game play with ease. The Objective Box eliminates the need for people to act as game coordinators allowing the smallest group to be able to run a multitude of fully functional, coordinated missions and objectives. This app is so reliable that it can be used for full blown operations if desired."

    For US$9.99, the Objective Box can be downloaded from iTunes. If you don’t want to use your iPhone or iPad worrying it might be damaged in airsoft game, you can readily purchase an old iPod Touch which can run the iOS OS. Just put in a tough case  and off you start the game with the Objective Box app as it comes with three unique mission modes that can be customised for different scenarios: Timed Mission, Capture Mission and Rush Mission. The makers intend to release more mission modes in the future.

    That's only the app part of the Objective Box. They are also offering a playable objective that amplifies the audio from the app and the playable objective, will be the focus of the game. This also protect the device as it will be on the box itself and protected by the casing. You can either build your own as they provided a very helpful guide complete with videos or purchase a ready to go Objective Box for US$349.

    Interested in one or have suggestions on improving the Objective Box? It's best to visit them on their Facebook Page too to interact with the owners. Perhaps by exchanging ideas, the Objective Box apps and container can be improved further to provide different game scenarios and objectives.

    Videos of the Objective Box below:


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    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Exo Survival

    Admittedly, I haven’t played the game yet even if I got  the Day Zero Edition of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. I still could not find the time to sit down and go through the paces of both the Single Player Campaign and the Multiplayer. I want to try those exosuits and jetpacks to experience what makes COD: Advanced Warfare different from the previous titles of the Call of Duty Franchise.

    I wanted to write a review, but since time constraints may just make finish a review when most players have already moved on beyond the reviews from the usual critics and just bent on improving their stats. So I'd rather provide some resources on what's the real score about COD: Advanced Warfare amongst the critics.

    A good friend of ours, Danny Banks,  who is heavily into gaming is a bit blunt, "It's a shocker, it's just the same hooker in a new dress `n like all the rest mate. Only difference is you get a jumpsuit, that's it!" Well, that's a bit simplistic to get a general idea on what the game is about, and thus, we turn to the pros with links to their reviews right below this video:

    PC Gamer

    Call of Duty remains comparable to the carbonated corn syrup it partners with every year: it’s the Mountain Dew of shooters. I start drinking it and I’m not really sure I like it, but I just keep drinking and drinking until I’m all jittery and agitated. Then I can’t sleep, so screw it, I just drink some more and see if I won something under the cap.

    Kotaku

    Call of Duty has made some bad decisions.Handing the development reins to Sledgehammer Games was not one of those. Sure, we've still got a trite story sprinkled with stupid moments, but those stupid moments play out in spectacular fashion, powered by the convincing performances of some of the best virtual actors in the business (and Kevin Spacey). We're still shooting at each other for points/flags/dogtags/sport, but the way we're shooting at each other and what we're shooting with have been vastly upgraded.

    Advanced Warfare isn't a different Call of Duty game. It's a better one.

    Games Radar

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare excels in online multiplayer, with brand new mechanics and a complex, loot-filled progression system that hooks you in. But the surprises stop there. With a by-the-numbers campaign structure and unimaginative co-op mode, the competitive multiplayer mode stands as Advanced Warfare's strongest asset.


    The Guardian

    Advanced Warfare is the best that Call of Duty has been for years, a successful negotiation of that troublesome creative and commercial tension. And while the game has nothing substantial to say about the future of warfare, it nevertheless presents a grimly vivid vision of how humanity’s technological ascent will continue to enable the wealthy (both governments and private military companies fronted by Kevin Spacey lookalikes) to better kill and maim others in the pursuit or protection of power.

    IGN

    Simply throwing a robot suit onto Call of Duty could have been a lazy path to making Advanced Warfare seem different from what we’ve played before, but the way Sledgehammer has integrated its enhanced abilities and choices into every aspect of how we fight went above and beyond. By designing the levels in the campaign, co-op, and multiplayer to facilitate those new mechanics, Advanced Warfare is granted a weight and importance that changes how the fast-paced shooting action feels in all three modes. This is a Call of Duty game to its core, but one that rehashes as little as possible while still retaining its strengths.

    Stuff

    While Call Of Duty diehards will need a few games to adjust to the extra opportunities offered by the exoskeleton, we think it's a welcome breath of fresh air and adds an element of fun chaos to the traditional run, shoot, rinse and repeat gameplay we're used to seeing from the series.

    And of course, our favourite of all reviews comes from Team Coco:

    Now, if I can find time to play the game before Christmas Day arrives...


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    Soldier Drinking Water (DOD Photo)

    Water is important, that is a fact. An army won't go far without water and thus, it's very much one of the few things that a soldier should never forget. But carrying enough water for a mission is always a tricky business. Carry too much and it will be a heavy load and if you carry too little, then you put a mission in jeopardy as soldiers will become thirsty, get dehydrated, and performance will go down arising from heat-related issues.

    Now, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) have created an Android app that will help soldiers estimate the amount of water they need to carry.

    Called the Soldier Water Estimation Tool (SWET), this app takes into consideration the activity planned whether if it's a training or a combat mission, environmental conditions, clothing,  and how long the mission shall take. This takes off the problem of making paper-based estimation with a mobile phone app that simplifies things and can be easily carried along.

    According to the developers, the SWET app uses a biophysical and physiological sweat prediction model combined with simple user inputs such as activity, clothing and weather to return an estimated water requirement, which will be in liters per hour. It also has estimation tool for units called a “Mission Calculator” that estimates the total water requirements in liters, canteens or gallons for a given mission, depending on the type of mission, duration and the number of soldiers assigned for the mission.

    For the meantime this app is meant for military units, but there is a possibility that there will be a commercial version that sports drink makers can use for sports teams and for humanitarian organizations when responding to disasters. This means that for us airsoft players, we can also plan for our water requirements especially for long missions at airsoft milsim events. 


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    Meals Ready To Eat

    Yesterday, you have read about the SWET or the Soldier's Water Estimation Tool (SWET), which is an app designed to help calculate just the right amount of water to carry for any mission or activity. Now, we write about eliminating water to heat MREs (Meals Ready To Eat) and relying on the Air Activated Heater to provide soldiers warm MREs while out there in the field.

    Over the years, MREs heated with the  Flameless Ration Heaters which are water-activated exothermic chemical heaters. Soldiers fill up their the FRH polybag that is the heating container of the MREs to a certain level, then let the MRE heat up by placing it against a rock at a certain angle. In around 12 minutes, a hot meal is ready to be eaten. No need for a kitchen to prepare a hot meal.

    Now, a new technology will be used to heat the MREs. Called the Air Activated Heater, a soldier needs to peel a layer of the MRE which allows air to enter the outer areas of the MRE. Using Zinc, it uses its exothermic oxidation reaction to air to heat up food according to Army specification of increasing the temperature of an eight ounce water pouch from 40 °F to 140 °F (+100 °F) in less than 12 minutes. The heating or cooking time can be controlled by adjusting the heater and air configuration.

    (Air Activated Heater Concept from Natick Soldier RDEC. Click on the image for larger version)

    What is the implication of the Air Activate Heater? It's simple. Water is a valuable commodity in the field and it's hard to waste water as soldiers will always face hydration issues while performing at the optimum level necessary to accomplish a mission. Eliminate the need for water in certain areas, then you conserve water and also lessen the water load without compromising the water needs of the mission. It also eliminates a step in the process of heating the MRE, that of pouring water into the polybag that surrounds the MRE. Just peel and wait for your food to get warm.

    While this is intended as a technology for feeding troops, it is also seen to have commercial applications, such as licensing the technology to food technology companies that want to provide similar air activated heated food.  The food products can be intended for outdoors people, camping trips, and as food that can be dropped off in disaster areas where people need warm food and drinking water is scarce.


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    Chappie

    We all have a fascination with robots, perhaps dread and fear too. But in our popular culture, robots are now part of life, but we still haven't have a consensus on how robots will evolve as improvements in technology and artificial intelligence continue a constant speed. Robots are all around us now, from the UAVs up in the air, to those flat single-purpose vacuum cleaners at home.

    But what if robots now get artificial intelligence and the ability to have sense of touch? From the famous to the obscure sci-fi authors, these is very much a very relevant subject. Should they be allowed to evolve and be their own "person" such as in the Bicentennial Man? Or to be subordinate to humans and be governed by the "Three Laws of Robotics" as written and refined by Isaac Azimov?

    One famous director, Neill Blomkamp of District 9 and Elysium fame, will be the latest director to tackle robots in Chappie. My initial reaction when watching this trailer was that "Chappie" is like the reincarnation of "Number 5/Johnny 5" from the movie "Short Circuit"which was done in the 1980s. The 1980s had some of the best sci-fi movies, and robots (or androids or cyborgs) were very much at the centre of these movies such Short Circuit, Terminator, Blade Runner, DARYL, Aliens, RoboCop, and Batteries Not Included.

    For Blomkamp, his movies always show a grimy future world where high-tech and the dirty depths of human civilization come together just like in District 9 and Elysium. In the case of C", the South African director draws from his previous work Tetra Vaal in which a rabbit eared robot patrols the streets of Johannesburg and Chappie's design looks like the Briareos Hecatonchires of Appleseed, the Japanese Manga released in 2004. The story of Chappie is really like Number 5/Johnny 5, which gained humanlike intelligence after being struck by lightning. Chappie seems to be a rejected Police Robot that was upgraded with artificial intelligence and feelings by the genius Deon played by Dev Patel.

    Sharlto Copley (District 9, Elysium and Hardcore) is the voice of Chappie and provided the animatronics for the movements of the robot in the various scenes. Hugh Jackman plays Vincent, who is determined to take away  the gifts given to Chappie. Sigourney Weaver also plays a still unmentioned role in the movie. The trailer then shows how Chappie, whilst developing his own person, is pursued by the South African Police and Military for reasons that still needs to be revealed as more information about the movie is released. Here's a further description of the movie:

    Every child comes into the world full of promise, and none more so than Chappie: he is gifted, special, a prodigy. Like any child, Chappie will come under the influence of his surroundings – some good, some bad – and he will rely on his heart and soul to find his way in the world and become his own man. But there’s one thing that makes Chappie different from anyone else: he is a robot. The first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. His life, his story, will change the way the world looks at robots and humans forever.


    Chappie is seen to be released in Spring 2015. Just like the last two Blomkamp's movies, this one will generate great interested among movie goers.


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    DJI Inspire 1

    We’re back to drones again. Those shiny flying or moving creatures that take all those nice action videos of whatever personal or public events, airsoft events included. They are now taking a greater role in documenting our lives, especially the flying drones that come with four or more rotors. They are nice to look at, and even nicer to look at those awesome aerial footages of the airsoft action they take for us.

    Now, if these drones are nicer to look at too and that's what DJI, already famous for their Phantom quadcopter drones, did with their latest creation. The DJI Inspire 1 looks beautiful and hopefully, as its name says, should inspire its owner to take some cool footages of the action, wherever it is.

    DJI really went to great lengths in the design of the DJI Inspire 1 with the videographer in mind. Upon take off, the legs of the drone fold up which then allows the video camera that comes along with the drone, to have a 360-degree view of the surroundings with no drone landing legs getting in the way of a potentially great footage.

    Just looking at it in mid-air is like watching a bird of prey ready for the hunt, in this case for a great video scene of an airsoft milsim major firefight happening on the AO below.

    Now, mounted on the three-axis gimbal of the DJI Inspire 1 is a video camera that has a lens with a 94-degree field of view, can take 12 megapixel still images (with 7-shot burst mode) and 4K video at 30, 25 and 24fps. We could have wished for 60fps or better so we can do slo-mo in editing, but since we're just starting to grasp doing 4K, videos, the frame rates are already more than good enough to do some 4K video editing.

    Stabilising the camera, the DJI Inspire 1 uses Optical Flow Technology that allows it to stabilise without the need for a GPS signal. Using a wireless transmitter, called the Lightbridge which will set you back further in terms of costs, you can get realtime high definition 720p video from the drone to a distance of up to a mile to your mobile device.

    Just like the other high-end drones from DJI, the DJI Inspire 1 has dual controls operator controls. Two remotes are used with one being for the pilot for flight controls and the second one for the videographer. Two minds are always better --- one mind focused on piloting the drone and the other mind focused on the videos, then you have a good creative team for the aerial footages. Of course, you will have to purchase an extra remote that will set you back further.

    We are not sure if DJI Inspire 1 also has the waypoint features that were introduced with the DJI Phantom, allowing the drone to follow set waypoints as flight route. What we have heard is that if there will be future upgrades, it might include a "follow me" feature which is now being demanded by drone videographers.

    The DJI Inspire 1 is now on pre-order at the DJI shop with a target release date of 1 December 2014. The package with a single remote is £2,380 and for a dual remote it will cost £2,749.


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    Action Air Suomi 2014 Tomy Lindström

    Early this week, we got information that another Action Air/Airsoft Practical Shooting International Event has been sent for the 1st quarter of 2015 in Europe.  On the 1st of March 2015, the International Level 3 IPSC Action Air Finland Competition will be held in Nokia, Finland. This event is comprised of 12 stages, more than 200 rounds and full day of action. Pistol classes will be Open, Production and Standard with.  categories being General, Lady, Junior and Senior.

    According to Mika Vuolle, the Information Officer for the event, the Action Air Finland 2015 will be one of the few Level 3 Action air competitions in the world next year and that the organisers are expecting a very high class match with some of the best action air shooters in Europe and parts of Asia joining in this event.

    The organisers are aiming to push for the popularity of the sport and this is the second time that they will be holding a Level 3 Action Air Match. The previous match was highly successful and was held at the same venue last April 2014 with participants coming from Finland, Poland, Slovakia, Belgium and Hong Kong.

    "[The] Production class will be new thing this year and we are assuming that it will be very popular, bringing the Action Air to a new level of popularity. You can pick up your gear straight from the shop and that's it. It is ready for the race. It is cheap and pistols are equal, so this class will measure the [sic] shooting skills very effectively”, says match director Roy Juurijoki, who himself is among the very best Action Air shooters in Europe.

    Voulle mentioned that new IPSC rules concerning Action Air Production Class will be published by the beginning of next year.  According to him, the moost important rules are 15 rounds in the magazine and only minor alterations allowed on the original manufacturer's pistol. Accepted pistol models are limited to airsoft replicas of those models included in IPSC Production class pistol list.

    Interested Action Air shooters can contact organisers by visiting the Action Air Finland website or their Facebook Page.


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