HP Previews Three New Touchscreen Laptops

Hewlett-Packard (HP) previewed a number of exciting new products on the evening of Tuesday, August 27, most of which will be available in December of this year or January of next year. Unfortunately, there is a non-disclosure agreement in place until Thursday, September 20, for many of these products, so tune in on that day to find out more. For now, though, let’s take a look at three impressive new laptops offered by HP.

The HP Spectre TouchSmart Ultrabook is a sleek, stylish, 4.77 pound notebook with a 15.6-inch screen featuring edge-to-edge glass. It is a multitouch touchscreen device that also features a fully functioning keyboard and a full array of ports, including Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, and HDMI. It is also HP’s first notebook to feature Intel Thunderbolt technology, a new technology similar to FireWire, but not based on it. Also used by Apple, Intel Thunderbolt allows for high-speed connectivity and daisy chaining of multiple devices. The slightly smaller HP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 features a 14-inch multitouch HD display with a backlit keyboard and a subwoofer featuring Beats Audio. It delivers up to eight hours of battery life and, like the Spectre Ultrabook, is expected to be available in the United States in December, with a starting price of $1,399.

The HP ENVY x2 takes the touchscreen and keyboard synergy of these devices to a whole new level. The ENVY x2 is a tablet and a laptop at the same time, with a detachable 11.6-inch diagonal HD touch display featuring IPS technology. It has a sleek aluminum finish and an innovative hinge system with magnets that smoothly guide the tablet portion into place with the keyboard, which, when opened, wedges up from the table or other surface on which it rests, providing a more convenient angle for typing. The ENVY x2 features Beats Audio, NFC technology and an optional stylus, as well as two different types of cameras for its two different operational modes: an HD webcam on the front and an 8.0 megapixel camera on the back. It is also expected to be available in December.

With these and other devices previewed recently, HP continues to move in the direction of thinner, lighter laptops without sacrificing its many innovative features. Don’t forget to check back with us on September 20 to see what other exciting new products HP has in store.


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The Light from the TV Shows: A Chat with Gary Lockwood (“The Lieutenant,” “Star Trek”)

Your frame of reference to the name “Gary Lockwood” depends heavily on what genres of TV and movies you tend to favor. For instance, if you’re a sci-fi guy like myself, then your instant reaction to hearing his name is either to think of “2001: A Space Odyssey” or, if you’re really geeky (and – shocker! – I am), to his lone episode of the original “Star Trek” series, where he played Gary Mitchell, Jim Kirk’s Starfleet Academy pal who failed to remember that with great power comes great responsibility and suffered the consequences. That one-off “Trek” appearance was actually Lockwood’s second time working with Gene Roddenberry, however, the first time having taken place a few years earlier when Lockwood starred in the short-lived series “The Lieutenant,” which has just been released on DVD by Warner Archive. Lockwood took a few minutes to chat with Bullz-Eye about his work with Roddenberry on both series, and he also touched on occasions in his career when he crossed paths with the likes of Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart, and Elvis Presley.

Bullz-Eye: “The Lieutenant” wasn’t the last time you worked with Gene Roddenberry, but was it the first time you crossed paths with him?

Gary Lockwood: Yes, it was. They talked to me about doing this show, and Roddenberry was sitting there with the head of television at MGM, and that’s how I met him.

BE: That was your first time headlining a series, although, you’d at least had a little experience as a recurring character on “Follow the Sun.”

GL: Yeah, well, I was the third banana on “Follow the Sun,” but I ended up doing the most shows. It’s hard to talk about yourself, but…it’s not that difficult. [Laughs.] What I mean to say is that the audience ended up liking my character, so I did most of the episodes of the show.

BE: There’s a quote attributed to you about how being the star of a series is like being a jet pilot: you’ve got a lot of experts working behind the scenes to get the jet running, and then the pilot sits in the cockpit and makes it work.

GL: Yeah, at which point you either live or die. [Laughs.] You get the spoils, but you also get the losses. The reason I kind of make a joke about jet pilots is that you go to work and you don’t do anything, you just sit there in a chair and drink coffee and look at girls. And then they call you, and go over and fly in front of a camera for awhile, and then you sit down for awhile while everyone else does all the work. So I kind of thought it was a little bit like being a jet pilot.

BE: When you think back to the character of Lt. Bill Rice, what’s the first thing that leaps to mind?

GL: Well, I just played him. I mean, I was just an actor. Bill Rice is not somebody I would ever be or… [Trails off.] They did ask me once if I wanted to go to Annapolis, but I was a bit too much of a rogue for that kind of life. One of my best friends did go to Annapolis, but he resigned after about a year. He didn’t like the regiment. So it takes a certain kind of guy. It was very difficult for me to consider. I wouldn’t say I wanted to be like Bill Rice, but acting is all making believe, so you create a character and you just go there and play him. I think I’ve done that with every job I’ve ever had.

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Universal’s “Battleship” out on Blu-ray with extended Special Edition interactivity

Universal Studios’ early summer action blockbuster “Battleship” hit Blu-ray on August 28th, and critic and fans alike are well in for a treat. Director Peter Berg, of “Hancock” and “The Kingdom” fame, helms this action–adventure experience with industry-standard mind blowing effects, thrilling battles and an all star cast with Liam Neeson, Rihanna and the lovely Brooklyn Decker as Samantha Shane. This action epic follows a young naval officer and his heroic crew as they launch an all out military showdown against a superior alien force with amazing results.

Bullz-Eye was recently invited to an exclusive Blu-ray preview in San Francisco at the legendary special effects studio that makes it all happen in this film, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). Founded by George Lucas in 1975, ILM has set the standard for visual effects in film with a chain of classics including “Star Wars,” “E.T.,” “Indiana Jones” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” to name just a few. ILM has played a key role in seven of the top-10 world-wide box office hits of all time.

Upon arriving at the impressive ILM production campus on the former grounds of the U.S. Army Presidio complex near the Golden Gate Bridge, we were escorted to the preview screening of the Blu-ray release of “Battleship.” Here, in arguably the best screening room in the world for special effect films, we watched the film along with the new bonus features exclusive to the Blu-ray release. These included a remarkable “Visual Effects of Battleship” feature, featuring the ground breaking water simulation programs and the cutting edge motion capture effects where ILM pushes the boundaries to bring the aliens to life. The fascinating “behind the scenes” footage here is techie heaven!

Even more unique is the innovative Second Screen feature, which provides an interactive viewing experience that lets you control, interact with and explore “Battleship” with your networked tablet or computer, all in synchronization with the movie on the television screen . . . very cutting edge! With “flick view,” you can interact with the movie by moving content from your tablet to the television screen during the film and compare storyboards, animatics and other exciting content by “flicking” them from tablet to TV screen, by gesturing fingers upward on the tablet. Far out! The “Battleship” box set has more ways to store, collect, download and feature the film, including a Blu-ray disc, a DVD disc, a digital copy for downloading and the innovative UltraViolet version, where you can collect your movies on a “cloud” for instant streaming and downloading anywhere, any time on computers, tablets and smart phones.

After the screening, we were taken through the impressive production compound and grounds with its many iconic models and props of some of the greatest films of our era. You can see some of these props in the slideshow above. Members of the press were then treated to a green screen immersion of ourselves in the climatic “Battleship” deck scene, where an alien gets blown off the ship by main cannons on deck. It was wild! Here’s the clip they created with me in the scene and you can see the green screen setup in the first photo above.

Some of the individuals who brought this action-adventure film to life were members of the top special effect team with ILM. Grady Cofer and Pablo Helman acted as Visual Effects Supervisor and Second Unit Director, respectively. These two skilled craftsman have an amazing wealth of experience behind them, with epic sci-fi and action films to there credit including “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones,” “Star Trek,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Bourne Supremacy,” “Terminator 3,” “Men in Black,” “War of the Worlds,” “Titanic,” “Apollo 13” and more. During our time with them, they both described their personal influences and their approach to this film, as well as thoughtful tips on how budding graphics designers and visual programmers may break into this world of computer visual effects. We also spoke with Animation and Digital Supervisors Glen McIntosh and Willi Geiger. They described their breakthrough animation techniques for the fluid “water” effects, with blasts of water particles expelled onscreen with breathtaking realism.

The extra features in the Blu-ray set are absolutely worthy of a film with these incredible special effects. The Second Screen feature definitely stands out and the entire package will keep you entertained hour after hour.


Honest Trailers from Screen Junkies – Transformers

Apart from Megan Fox, was there anything you liked about “Transformers?” This spoof trailer is awesome.


Latinas Mas Bellas event in Costa Rica

We’ve had many great trips to Costa Rica, and we’re always struck by all of the beautiful women along with the incredible scenery. Our friends at PlayerXT have another incredible event coming up with a weekend of music, talent, Playboy models, and the most beautiful women in the world known as Latinas Mas Bellas. You can see some photos from their previous events in Costa Rica above. Our own Bullz-Eye photographer Paul Miller will be on hand to enjoy the festivities and to photograph and video tape the Mas Bella Latinas for a 2013 calendar. We’ll make sure he reports back on all the fun.

The long weekend starts on Thursday, September 6th with a Latina Musical and Talent Showcase in Pirates at the Fiesta Casino in Alajuela. The showcase will start at 9:00 PM on Thursday night, and will feature beautiful Costa Rican talent including Bullz-Eye.com Featured Model Angie Quesada, along with Stephanie Loayza, Esther Anaya, Betzy Montero, and the pulsating sounds of AWSMAC. The weekend will be hosted by actress, model, and television star, Myste Wright, who will be shooting segments of her television show “Myste Buzzed on Paradise” featuring several Costa Rica locations. Another Bullz-Eye.com model, Costa Rica supermodel Kimberly Chaves will assist Myste in the hosting chores.

On Friday, September 7th, there will be Playboy Casting Call from 1:00 PM to Midnight and a Latinas Mas Bellas Party at Club Vertigo. Playboy Model and Casting Director Shelly Riley will interviewing beautiful girls for consideration as Playmates, Cyber Girls, and Special Editions models. Shelly travels the world running casting calls looking for models to pose for Playboy, and the models selected at the casting will be photographed by Playboy Casting Photographer Eric Melendez on Saturday and Sunday by appointment and then models will be announced at the Latinas Mas Bellas Party at midnight at Club Vertigo. Aspiring Playboy Bunnies will gather underground at Vertigo Nightclub on Friday night and there will be a special VIP Section called the Bunny Hutch withing Club Vertigo. The weekend of music and beauty will be anchored by the beautiful and talented DJ Stephanie Loayza. Stephanie was born in Peru, and has been voted the Sexiest Latin DJ in the world, and she will be accompanied by violin virtuosa, Esther Anaya of Colombia. A classical trained concert violinist, Esther has taken her electric violin to the club scene with DJ Stephanie, and the two are getting rave reviews. The popular AWSMAC will finish out the night at Vertigo.

On Saturday, September 8th, the Fiesta Casino will host the Mas Bella Latinas Sexy Lingerie Fashion Show. Shirley of Hollywood has been in business for 65 years and is the largest manufacturer of women’s lingerie in the world. Shirley’s models are some of the top names in fashion. Priscilla Guevera is the representative of Shirley’s in Costa Rica and her company UNIK will be staging a sexy lingerie fashion show with Mas Bella Latinas and the finalists in the Playboy Casting Call on Saturday night in conjunction with a musical lineup at the Fiesta Casino in Alajuela.

Finally, on Sunday, September 9th, there will be a photo and video shoot of selected models at the Jaco Laguna Resort and Beach Club. The special event will include a BBQ and will be held at the Jaco Laguna Resort and Beach Club, and hosted by Dr. Jason and Lilly Giuliano, owner of the Secret Mansion, our favorite spot in Costa Rica, and the all new Jaco Laguna Resort. Chef Richard Lemon of Lemon Zest will concoct a special Costa Rican dish for the VIPs and models.

It’s going to be an incredible weekend, and anyone who joins in will be surrounded by beautiful Costa Rican models the entire time! For information on how to attend any portion of the weekend, please email Roy@MasBellaLatinas.com or call 702-560-3144.

All photos by Paul Miller