Gallery: Disorienting audiovisual show prepares you for teleportation

Daydrea V.02 Insanitus—Nonotak Studio

This disorientating audiovisual installation has been created by the Nonotak Studio for the Insanitus Festival 2013 in Kaunas, Lithuania. Daydream V.2 generates space distortions that look like teleportation beams and encourage the viewer to be more aware of their passive state.

“This installation is aimed at establishing a physical connection between the virtual space and the real space, blurring the limits and submerging the audience into a short detachment from reality. Lights generate abstract spaces while sounds define the echoes of virtual spaces. Daydream is an invitation to contemplation,” says the Studio about the project.

Watch the video above to see the full effect of Daydream, and click through the gallery for more images.

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via Ars Technica

Off Siberia’s Arctic coast, the seafloor belches methane

Omulyakhskaya and Khromskaya Bays on Siberia’s Arctic coast.

If you can’t find the hole in a leaky bike tire, one thing you can do is stick it underwater. The line of rising bubbles will lead you right to the damaged patch of rubber. You can use a similar trick if you’re trying to work out how methane is being released from thawing permafrost—you just have to look in the shallow Arctic waters off the Siberian coast.

The continental shelf here is broad, and much of it was exposed during the last ice age when sea levels were about 130 meters (nearly 430 feet) lower. As a result, the area was permafrost before it was inundated over 5,000 years ago. The Arctic Ocean is cold, to be sure, but it’s not frozen solid. That means it’s warmer than the frigid air temperatures on land, and the inundated permafrost has slowly been thawing—very slowly.

Within and below that thick layer of permafrost, there’s organic matter and methane. Some of that methane—particularly the deeper stuff—is in the form of methane hydrates, which are made of molecular cages of ice that hold onto methane. As the permafrost melts, the frozen organic matter can start to rot, generating carbon dioxide and methane. If the thaw were to reach down to the depths where methane hydrates are present, they could release their molecular prisoners too.

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Ars’ resident racer takes a second look at Forza Motorsport 5

After months of waiting, a little time with some prerelease builds, and a slight panic over whether I’d actually get an Xbox One before January, last Friday saw the nice UPS man drop off the new console and a copy of Forza Motorsport 5. You may have already read our review of the game last week, but I’m Ars Technica’s resident racer, so Gaming Editor Kyle Orland asked me to share my thoughts on Turn 10’s latest racing opus.

In doing so, I’ve gone back to look at the glowing review I gave the previous installment, Forza Motorsport 4, just over two years ago. I was blown away by the previous game, unhesitatingly crowning it the king of the console racers. But that was then and this is now, and we’re looking at a completely new console and a somewhat different marketplace mindset. Has Turn 10 managed to keep its crown, or are the hordes of Internet forum haters right to give the game a bad reception?

In short, FM5 is not as good as FM4 was at launch, but the previous game wasn’t perfect on day one either. And no, FM5 is not as bad as GT5 was when it came out. There are several reasons why, and I think they’re unfortunately indicative of a number of trends affecting the industry. We may have to start getting used to them.

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via Ars Technica

Chairs Technica: Where your favorite Ars writers park their rears

It’s an oft-overlooked fact that we at Ars have no actual central office out of which we work. Although we do have space set aside at the Condé Nast building in New York, it’s rare that we actually are in a position to use it. Instead, each of us works out of our respective homes scattered across the USA. We did a short gallery last year showing what our home offices look like (spoiler alert: lots of Macs), but we didn’t focus much on that all-important bit of office kit: the chair.

People like us who spend most of the day writing have an extremely close relationship with their office chairs. We spend eight, 10, or 12 hours every day (and sometimes even more!) sprawled in the things, and a good chair can make the difference between a productive workspace and crippling boneitis. You’d think that we’d all have high-quality crazy space chairs—and some of us actually do—but like any other group, we’re actually pretty diverse in our seating choices. In fact, a couple of us don’t use chairs at all.

The pedestrian

Senior IT reporter Jon Brodkin starts us out with his thoroughly average and only half-functional Office Max special: “This chair is pretty comfortable, but there’s nothing special about it. I bought it years before I started working at home, at Office Max or Office Depot, and I think I paid somewhere between $50 and $75 for it. The only problem is that it doesn’t always stay up at its full height, so I have to hit the lever a few times a week to raise it back up again. I don’t know why Lee wants a picture of it, but he’s a bit off in the head and he lives in Texas so I usually avoid asking too many questions.”

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Western Digital Black² 120GB+1TB review: SSD en HDD in één

25 november introduceerde Western Digital de Black², een combinatie van een SSD en harde schijf in één 2,5″ apparaat. Ah, een SSHD horen we je denken. Nee, we hebben uitdrukkelijk niet van doen met een caching-oplossing. De Black² combineert een los te benaderen 120GB SSD met een 1TB harde schijf. Het product is daarmee op zijn minst in potentie zeer interessant voor laptops waar slechts één drive in ingebouwd kan worden.

De Black² is uitgevoerd in…

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