To celebrate its 50th birthday, Seattle's Space Needle is launching a contest to send someone into space.
"The Space Needle was built when our country was in a global space race," Ron Sevart, CEO of the Space Needle said in a statement. "With space travel moving into the private sector, a new race has begun that focuses on the best of what the Space Needle has become–a symbol of the aspirations of today's world of technology and science. What better way than sending a person from our midst into space to mark our first 50 years and look into the exciting future that lies ahead."
The contest, dubbed Space Race 2012, kicks off Monday. Potential astronauts can enter online via the Space Needle Web site through November 30.
The image above is the result of a speed test using the HTC Thunderbolt on Verizon's 4G LTE network in Seattle. Techinically, Gear Live HQ is about a 20 minute drive north of Seattle, so even well outside the border of the metropolitan area, you still see speeds like this. Now, obviously Verizon isn't able to deliver this kind of speed everywhere that LTE is deployed, and as more devices are sold and the network gets more saturated, things will even out...but it shows the obvious potential that LTE has over other 4G technologies like WiMax. Now you can see why AT&T made the decision to buy T-Mobile. They have no way of competing with what Verizon is rolling out currently.
This morning AT&T announced that they’ve done a “substantial upgrade” of its 3G coverage in the Seattle area, having deployed additional wireless spectrum using the 850 MHz band. According to AT&T, the upgrade should mean that customers in Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Renton, Auburn, and King County should all have better 3G connectivity, performance, and the signal should be much stronger when indoors as well. The move should also increase overall network capacity, which AT&T is hoping will support subscriber growth.
Since Gear Live HQ is located smack-dab in the middle of the enhanced coverage area, we’ll be giving things a try, and we will let you know if the use of 850 MHz spectrum truly helps the dire situation that is AT&T coverage. Seattle iPhone 3GS and 3G users, give it your best!
Read More | AT&T News Room
Fans of the Monkey Island Adventure series are about to go bananas! Organizers of Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) have just annouced Ron Gilbert as the keynote speaker at this year’s sixth annual event to be held Sept. 4-6 in Seattle, Washington. The 20-year veteran game designer, programmer and producer, Ron Gilbert’s resume includes Maniac Mansion and the first two installments in the Monkey Island adventure series. In addition, his famous SCUMM scripting language granted him a spot in the Computer Game Hall of Fame. He is currently creative director at independent development studio Hothead Games in Vancouver, Canada.
Ten days ago, Verizon FiOS TV officially launched here in Washington state. I was actually invited to speak at the launch event that took place that day, alongside Verizon representatives, and local government officials. I was specifically chosen as a case study of just how good FiOS is, since I literally moved specifically because Comcast was way too slow for the things we expected out of our Internet connection here at Gear Live HQ. It was an event meant to talk up the advantages of FiOS over cable (specifically, Comcast, in this area). Obviously, with FiOS looming over their territory, Comcast went into damage control mode to combat Verizon’s claims that they were the best option for Internet and television services. We were sent both the FiOS press release and the Comcast press release, and we figured we would respond to the claims of each, point-by-point.
For some background, we’ve been Comcast customers for over six years, for both Internet and television services. When we moved for FiOS 15 months ago, Comcast was still our cable television provider. As of today, I am a FiOS customer for both Internet and television, and as of 10 days ago, am no longer a Comcast customer. Now, on with the comparisons.
Hey Seattle iPhone 3G line-waiters - Gear Live is gonna be in full effect at the Alderwood Mall Apple Store starting tonight at midnight. We are gonna be in line to make sure we get our hands on a white iPhone 3G, and we figured that instead of sitting around like a bunch of geeks who sit in line waiting for a cell phone launch (which we totally aren’t), we would have some fun. We will have a bunch of iPhone accessories available that we will be giving away, and we will have an early preview of Tap Tap Revenge to show off. We will do some one-on-one games in Tap Tap, and winners will get some cool gear.
We will also have our cameras with us as well so we can get all your opinions and thoughts on all things Apple for Bleeding Edge TV. So if you are in the area and plan on waiting in line for iPhone 3G to launch in the morning, hit up the Alderwood Mall location with us. We promise that our awesomeness won’t kill you.
EDIT: I am andruedwards on Twitter. I know a bunch of you are on that.
Our Verizon FiOS customer service nightmare: Why won’t they protect my private customer information?
Seeing as we’ve been experiencing a ton of customer service issues with our Verizon FiOS service for the past 8 months, we figured it was time to put out a warning to you guys. After all, we typically hear that the FiOS Internet service is remarkably amazing, and people have been dumping cable in droves when FiOS becomes available in their area. Hey, there is good reason to. Where we are at, right outside Seattle, our choices are slow DSL, Comcast at 8.0 down and 768k up, or FiOS with a max speed of 30.0 down and 15.0 up (which is the plan we are on.)
Now let’s be clear here, we love the FiOS service. It works fantastically, it has never gone down in the 8 months we’ve been using it, and it’s, well, fast.
So what is the problem? To put it bluntly, Verizon has shown that they don’t care - at all - about protecting their users private, confidential information. Now, why would we make a statement like that? Check it.
With E3 cancelled (or at least significantly altered and shrunken), and an uncertain new “E for All” expo taking its first baby steps, THE gaming convention for the hardcore is shaping up to be next year’s Penny Arcade Expo, and the organizers seem to know this…
This year, PAX will move from its humble roots in Bellevue, WA to the larger and significantly more prominent Washington Trade and Convention Center. The event will be held from August 26th-28th and expects to see about 30,000 gamers converging on the Center as one sweaty, black-T-shirted mass.
It should be interesting to see how many developers and publishers decide to exhibit this year, given that this is now THE major venues for gaming companies to meet with their consumers.
Read More | PennyArcadeExpo.com
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Here you go guys, the full, entire video that was sent to us by “Loki” - the Enigma Director - as part of Microsoft’s Vanishing Point game. Give it a watch, and see if you can pick out any clues that we may be missing. So far, we have shown you what Loki sent us - the Vista Media Center computer, and laid out all the Vanishing Point clues that we have so far in video. All that’s left for you to do is continue brainstorming, and continue watching for clues. Who knows, maybe you’ll win.
If you enjoyed this video, please Digg it.
Okay guys, something is definitely up at Microsoft as far as it pertains to the launch of Windows Vista. It looks like they are putting quite a bit of their marketing budget behind a very “outside the box” way of spreading the buzz - and we aren’t talking about full-page spreads in PC Magazine. Earlier today, DHL dropped off a ridiculously large box at the Gear Live headquarters in Seattle, WA. We opened it up, and found a brand new, Windows Vista-based Media Center PC. This particular one is made by Velocity Micro, and it’s loaded to the max.
Now, normally, this is nothing out of the ordinary, as we tend to get a multitude of deliveries each and every week that we review, unbox, and give our overall impressions on - but this was different, as a fairly cryptic note was included in the box that read: