DJI Mavic Pro and Phantom 4 Pro (CES 2017)

The drone section of CES 2017 was one of the coolest areas of the show and DJI was king of the drones (as opposed to DaKingInDaNorf). The company showed off its latest and greatest, including the Mavic Pro and Phantom 4 Pro. Since my brother is a freelance drone photographer in addition to being a fine musician, I checked out the latest DJI models on his behalf…and also because drones are pretty cool.

The DJI Mavic Pro was especially fascinating. In addition to being a full-featured drone, it’s foldable. It can break down to 83 x 83 x 198 centimeters, making it perfect for travel. Here’s the official press blurb, along with some photos I snapped.

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Ariana Grande to Appear in Final Fantasy Brave Exvius

Pop star Ariana Grande has teamed up with Square Enix for a special appearance in Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. In addition to appearing in the game during a mid-January event, the diminutive superstar with a larger-than-life voice has cut a remix of her song “Touch It” for the game. For those of you unfamiliar with Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, it’s a free-to-play RPG for Android and iOS devices. It uses a simple interface and old-school turn-based mechanics, similar to Brave Frontier.

Fans of Ariana Grande are surely familiar with her predilection for wearing bunny ears. On her Instagram account, she showed off some pixel art from her appearance in Final Fantasy Brave Exvius in all her bunny-eared glory. Check out the short video she posted below.

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Bonnie Ross DICE 2017 Interview (AIAS)

Here’s a chat I had with Bonnie Ross, corporate vice president at Microsoft and head of 343 Industries. The piece was for the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences to promote Bonnie Ross’ upcoming talk at DICE 2017. She’ll be heading up a session called “Stewards of a Sci-Fi Universe.” The talk will cover how game creators and their communities can work together to preserve cherished sci-fi properties.

As Bonnie Ross is a huge fan of Star Trek, I was curious to hear her thoughts on how to work with longtime fans of a franchise that have…strong feelings about new takes on the property. While I love the new Star Trek movies, I know many longtime fans that loathe them. Here’s what she had to say.

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Bartesian is the Keurig of Alcoholic Beverages (CES 2017)

Bartesian is an upcoming home appliance that aims to bring extreme ease-of-use to mixology. In many ways, it’s like the alcoholic-beverage equivalent of the popular Keurig coffeemaker. The base unit has four reservoirs that hold the liquors of your choice, while pods are inserted into the machine to make a tasty mixed cocktail. Forget about shaking, stirring, measuring the proper amounts, etc. Bartesian will make the drink you desire in seconds. It’s frickin’ genius!

The Bartesian hardware is quite handsome. It reminds me of several exotic coffeemakers that I’ve spied. It’s sure to spruce up the looks of any kitchen or wet bar it’s in. While the appliance looks great, the real magic is with the pods.

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Vaping Diaries #383: Are 21700 Batteries in Vaping’s Future

18650 batteries have been the go-to vaping battery for years, but will they be supplanted by 21700 batteries in the near future? The production of 21700 batteries is booming and poised to become tremendous. Samsung already uses the battery size for electric bicycles and is rumored to be using them in future BMW automobiles. Panasonic and Tesla will produce millions of 21700 batteries for the upcoming Model 3 car (Tesla is calling them 2170 batteries). With two major players in the battery market going large with 21700 batteries, will the other majors — LG and Sony — follow suit?

There are several reasons a move from 18650 batteries to 21700 batteries is desirable. The form factors aren’t too different and the performance gains are substantial. The cell itself would be roughly 10-percent larger, while the energy capacity would be 35-percent greater.

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Coffee Talk #671: The Best of 2016

Another year is in the books! Thanks so much for making RPad.TV a part of your 2016. To celebrate and reflect on the year that was, let’s take a look back at some of the best things of 2016. Naturally, when I mean “best,” I really mean “favorite.” (The idea of a movie or a record being “best” is…stupid.) Below is a “Best of 2016” list of my favorite movie, vaping gear, album, WWE Superstar, and more. I’d love to hear about your favorite anything and everything of 2016. Please share your personal highlights in the comments section. Now let’s do this!

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Second Thoughts on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Yesterday, I caught Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for the second time. My first viewing was in IMAX 3D. The second time around it was in 2D Sony 4K. Naturally, I have additional random thoughts on the movie, as well as some points I forgot to make in my first story. Below are more musings on this fine film, directed by Gareth Edwards and conceived by the wonderful Gary Whitta. You may turn on your spoiler shields when ready.

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