Tag Archives | Beta

…RYZ wants to customize your kicks?


RYZ is trying to be the Threadless of the shoe world, and looks to be doing a pretty good job at it so far.

Like the other user generated content companies, you can design a shoe, vote on shoe designs buy the winners, and discuss shoes with other shoe lovers in the community.

Right now it’s still in beta, so there aren’t a lot of shoes in the store just yet, but what’s there shows promise, and it’s definitely got a nice little vibe going. Plus, rocking custom kicks is sure to score you some instant street cred, so pick up a pair and support the artists.


…Microsoft tested Photosynth on the Obama Inauguration?

Microsoft Photosynth Inauguration

Microsoft has been testing their Photosynth software for some time now, but with so many people snapping away with their cameras during the Inauguration, now’s probably the perfect time to see what getting ‘synthy’ is all about.

The goal of Photosynth is to take a bunch of photos and create an experience that has the cinematic quality of a movie, the control of a video game, and the mind-blowing detail of the real world. Photosynth was the result of two independent breakthroughs: The ability to reconstruct a scene or object from a bunch of flat photographs, and the technology to bring that experience to virtually anyone over the Internet:

It works by examining images for similarities to each other and using that information to estimate the shape of the subject and the vantage point each photo was taken from. With this information, Photosynth then recreates the space and uses it as a canvas to display and navigate through the photos. Here’s a little video on the history and inspiration behind Photosynth:

It’s probably one of those ‘see it to believe it’ technologies, so head on over to Photosynth’s special Inauguration page and check out the different Synths that were created during the event.

[Microsoft Photosynth – Inauguration]

[Via: FlowingData]

…It’s TGI Friday: Spelunky?


Spelunky is a fantastic indie game from Derek Yu that puts you in charge of a spelunking adventurer that must make his way through an always varied cave to collect treasure, fend off spiders, and save damsels in distress that will reward your efforts with a health-restoring kiss if you can survive.

According to Derek, the levels are procedurally-generated, so that each time you play, the levels, items, monsters and so forth are all new and in different places than they were before. In addition, all the terrain is destructible, and there are quite a few ways in which the various game elements can interact with one another, so you’re always guaranteed a unique experience, and plenty of re-playability.

It’s not quite ready for a full release just yet, but it’s free, so you’re really not risking anything to download the beta (PC only) and give it a try.

Just don’t blame me if Spelunky takes up a good part of your otherwise productive weekend!


[Via: Wired: Blog – Game|Life]

…It’s Things Thursday: TCHO?


TCHO is a very interesting chocolate company. Founded by a Space Shuttle technologist turned chocolate maker and a grizzled industry veteran who set up chocolate factories for 40 years from Costa Rica to Germany, TCHO takes a decidedly tech approach to the chocolate making process.

As such, they released a ‘beta’ version of their chocolate over a year ago, and have encouraged their customers to help develop the products through limited run, “beta editions” of the chocolate ever since.

TCHO Flavor Wheel

The enthusiastic ‘beta testers’ quickly moved their way through 1026 iterations of the chocolate, and after a solid year of very hard work, “Chocolatey”, “Fruity”, “Nutty” and “Citrus” flavors have all arrived and are ready for a “gold master” release, including new packaging and a finalized formula.

TCHO’s chocolate formula might have just graduated out of beta, but their factory certainly has not, as it’s been designed to produce more than 4,000 metric tons of chocolate per year, which makes them one of only a dozen other major chocolate manufacturers in the US.

In addition, TCHO has a social mission as well, and intends to move beyond just Fair Trade, and actually help farmers by transferring knowledge of how to grow and ferment better beans so that they can escape commodity production and become premium producers.

“In the end, there’s only one way to truly understand this story. Just put it in your mouth.”


…Mirror’s Edge 2D is amazing?

Mirror's Edge 2D

By now you’ve probably heard of Mirror’s Edge, the free running/parkour game that is soon to debut for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

However, if you’d like to get in on the action a little early, then check out Mirror’s Edge 2D from Borne Games.

Made by the same people that created the Fancy Pants Adventure, Mirror’s Edge 2D is a free flowing Flash game that closely mirrors the gameplay style of Mirror’s Edge, only in 2D.

The goal is to run, jump, climb and slide your way through the level in a quick but creative way, collecting points and other goodies along the way.

Right now the game is still only in Beta, so you only get one level, and there still might be the occasional bug or two, but there’s definitely promise here, and it’s still fun to play as is, so head on over and give free running a chance.

[Borne Games – Mirror’s Edge 2D Beta]