Wix Acquired DevianArt: Here’s What That Means

Wix users

Wix.com announced its $36 million-worth acquisition of DeviantArt in February this year.

By adding DeviantArt into its product arsenal, Wix hopes to expand its boundaries by offering its users a diverse range of tools which they will need to build and administer a fully functional website.

Here’s what the acquisition means for DevianArt.

DeviantArt’s Future With Wix

DevianArt is an online community of artists and designers. It has approximately 40 million registered users putting up some 325 million individual pieces of art work on the platform.

DeviantArt was founded in 2000. Since then, it has been capitalizing on receiving backing from companies like DivX, AutoDesk, and other interested third parties. So far, the company had received a whooping $13.5 million from the aforementioned companies, although the actual value was not stated at the time of its acquisition by Wix.

Wix stated that DeviantArt would continue to run its operation independently, although they would also use it to boost their business in a couple of ways.

Wix.com hopes to merge the functionality of DeviantArt’s website, particularly its web design tools, in a bid to help users expand their web presence. These tools are inclined toward design and e-commerce, among other features that are frequently needed by users to run a successful internet business, a need indicated by a number of Wix review writers.

The second thing that Wix said it would do is to expand the creative community and DeviantArt’s own repository in the Wix platform. This would give Wix users the freedom to use that creativity on their various site-building operations.

The Key To DeviantArt’s Success

Over its 16 years of existence, the site has managed to build a loyal community of creative designers who are highly engaged and always eager to produce stunning art pieces. The platform is full of talented individuals and is robust when it comes to artwork. 

DeviantArt was mainly successful because it was a platform established with the sole purpose of bringing out creativity in people. This passion could then be shared with the rest of the world. This passion and creativity merges well with the Wix platform in such a way that it can benefit the company and its users as a whole. However, with this combined effort to join the Wix community, the platform is set to take innovations to the next level. Wix also intends to make DeviantArt a better place for the creative community. The company wants to do this by developing apps for both desktop and mobile use.

The Financial Implications

DevianArt’s stock has been skyrocketing since this acquisition in February 2017. This Bull Run is mainly attributed to the company’s differentiated products and services, as well as the existence of a strong fundamental business model.

Following these updates, many analysts now believe that the company is poised to see an increased number of subscribers in both their free and paid services. Currently, the stock of the company is already displaying this expectation over both the near-term and long term future.

18 Pieces Of Star Wars Merchandise That Will Make You Whisper “WTF”

In 2015 alone, Star Wars merchandise grossed over $19.4 billion dollars. In fact, some snooty commentators have described Star Wars as less of a movie franchise and more of a toy franchise.

Whatever, Nerf Herders. But there’s no denying that the Star Wars franchise can levitate the cash right out of our wallets, and with that kind of consumer power, everyone is out to make a buck on one of the bigger brands in the galaxy. And with that comes a lot of weird stuff. Like, a lot of weird stuff.

I fell through a Death Star-shaped rabbit hole to find some of the most outlandish Star Wars merch for sale.

Star Wars Chopsticks

As far as this list goes, the chopsticks aren’t so weird. But you’d probably catch a few strange looks if you unsheathed these bad boys at your local sushi joint. They light up, too! As any discerning Star Wars geek knows, you can’t just pick up any old lightsaber. It has to be imbued with your force-sensitive energy — which is why Amazon offers these chopsticks in different colors to match your vibe.

“I Will Not Be Your Father” Condoms

I can’t speak on whether or not this will enhance your lightsaber. But the review section is a must-read.

Jabba The Hut Spice

There’s always been a little rivalry between Duneheads and Star Wars acolytes when it comes to just how much George Lucas was inspired by Frank Herbert. Who knows? Maybe the Kessel Run was adjacent to Arrakis.

At any rate, this is a first-class passive aggressive gift for the Dune fan in your life — or just a really weird gift for anyone who has no idea what in the hell you’re talking about.

Star Wars Taxidermy Mice

What to get the Star Wars fan who has everything? Probably not these creepy-weird taxidermied mice. I have so many questions, but I don’t think I want the answers.

Star Wars Light Up Nipple Pasties

These LED light-up nipple pasties are marketed as a versatile accessory. For the discerning dark side apprentice, they can be worn on top of clothes or on a bag. They come in an array of colors, although turning them off isn’t quite the user-friendly experience one would expect. According to the shop, to turn off your flashing nipple pasties, you’ll need to twist your nips.

Tea-Wok Tea Bag Holder

If you enjoy tea and Star Wars, you might be one of the large population of British people who identify as Jedis. In 2001, over 300,000 people wrote “Jedi” as their religion on a national census, causing one man, Daniel Jones, to start an official Church of Jediism. He even claimed religious persecution when he was kicked out of a local supermarket for refusing to take off his hood.

The supermarket responded in an official statement which read, “Jedis are very welcome to shop in our stores, although we would ask them to remove their hoods. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side, and we are only aware of the Emperor as one who never removed his hood.”

If you buy this tea bag holder, I hope you remember that story every time you use it.

Willy Warmer

Laugh if you will, but the “knitted protector” was often worn by Scandinavian men to protect their lightsabers from frostbite during arctic winters. On the Faroe Islands, they were also called kallvøttur, which translates to “man mitten.”

A Norwegian and Danish tradition involved a girl giving her suitor a “man mitten” to test his commitment to their relationship. If her boyfriend rejected the kallvøttur, it was decided that he wasn’t ready for marriage, and the relationship was over. So if you’re looking for a romantic gift for your bloke, try this Star Wars-inspired willy warmer.

Wookie Slippers

If you’re a bit of a Wookie in the mornings, these slippers are the perfect way to let everyone know that you should be left alone until you’ve had your coffee. They’re also a helpful distraction from overtly hairy legs.

Wampa Rug

What could be more romantic than relaxing by the fire, reclining on your Wampa rug, and drinking a glass of Pinot Noir? Add this handsome rug to your abode for a touch of Hoth-chic.

Slave Leia Perfume

Do you want to smell like you’re chained to a giant, obese slug? I mean, if you do, you can buy this from Amazon. From the box description:

“Chains cannot restrain your smoldering sensuality, even when the most despicable scum in the galaxy surround you. Whether you’re on a daring rescue mission or are being held captive by a nefarious slug/gangster, your regal bearing lets the world know that despite appearances, you’re no one’s servant. Fearless and inventive, Slave Leia Perfume includes floral top notes of white peach, lily, bergamot, heliotrope, and raspberry that dry down to a warm sultry mix of cashmere woods, musk, and night-blooming jasmine. Slave Leia Perfume: More powerful than a thermal detonator, yet more comfortable than a metal bikini!”

 

Star Wars Tiki Mugs

This limited-edition tiki set from ThinkGeek comes complete with six tiki glasses, featuring Wicket, a Jawa, C3PO, a Tusken Raider, a Tauntaun, and a Wampa. It’s 0.01% weird and 99.99% want.

Fallen AT-AT Lawn Ornament

When your overly-peppy neighbor asks you how you’re doing, you can just point solemnly at your AT-AT laying face-planted in your lawn and silently walk away.

Droid Bouquet

Because nothing says “I’m sorry” like a bouquet of nine R2 units.

“Hold on,” you might be thinking. “Why would my lady want nine R2-D2 units?” Flowers die, but a droid is forever. This droid bouquet comes with three of each R2 units, including R2-D2 (obvi), R2-Q5, and R2-D9.

Han Solo Yoga Pants

Cosplay can be every day with these Han Solo yoga pants. Nama-stay sharp, kid.

Yoda Themed Mankini

Unconventional speech patterns aren’t the only thing Yoda and Borat have in common, thanks to this “one of a kind” mankini available on Etsy.

Yoda mankini

Via Etsy

 

Lando Disguise

Hurry, this very effective Lando disguise won’t be on Ebay for long.

Sexy Wookie Sticker Set

Like big mutts and you cannot lie? Fly that freak flag high with these not-at-all questionable sexy Wookie stickers.

Space Slug Jack In The Box

If you don’t like clowns, but still want to scare the bejesus out of your kids, hand this over and yell “THIS IS NO CAVE!” when the Exogorth pops out of this jack-in-the-box.

Happy #StarWarsDay, everyone!

The Genius Behind Your Favorite Halloween House Is Back With An Epic Tribute To Alien

Real talk: the only selling point of “Prometheus” was the last 20 minutes, which looked like H.R. Giger imagined an episode of “Squidbillies”. Helmed by Ridley Scott, the film should have been a slamdunk. Alas, it was more of a slow exhale through the rectum rather than the white-knuckled thrill ride one expects of the “Alien” series — which is why I’m so stoked about the May release of “Alien: Covenant”.  

Early murmurs are promising the same high-octane, gore-splattered space odyssey from yesteryear, and it’s about bloody time. The fan community at large has been hotly anticipating the next installment of the franchise, because it’s just not “Alien” without our favorite phallus-headed space monster making an appearance.

Which brings us to #AlienDay, which a) was yesterday and b) comes from a date derived from the colonial moon featured in “Aliens”, LV-426. Ergo, 4/26.

 

You don’t hunt these eggs… They hunt you! 🌸😧🌸#AlienCovenant @AlienAnthology @20thCenturyFox #Sponsored

A post shared by Christine McConnell (@christinehmcconnell) on

For the uninitiated, that’s Halloween Queen Catherine McConnell, who you may recognize from various “best Halloween decor” listicles that crop up in October.

Source

Christine isn’t just insanely talented at upcycling homes into haunted wonderlands. She’s also a creepy cooking goddess, and her creations are to die for. Take, for instance, this hyper-realistic Facehugger. No, it’s not a prop from the set — it’s actually a cookie. A goddamn cookie.

“Alien” isn’t our only sci-fi favorite to get basted with Christina’s pastry brush; her latest Instagram offerings are a ghoulish delight. For instance, we have a whole Valentine’s Day menu set in the Upside Down from “Stranger Things”:

A 5-foot-tall Gothic castle for Christmas:


And she’s also a pin-up model, because why not?

I can only hope that Christine is a fan of “Twin Peaks”, which has the reboot of all reboots scheduled to come out in May. Follow her Instagram for more jaw-dropping baking feats, or buy her cookbook on Amazon! Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with the latest trailer from “Alien: Covenant” below. Remember: in space, no one can hear you scream, but the same can’t be said for your armchair.

Watch AyaBambi Distort Reality In This Unreal Face-Hacking Video

“Nice face. I’d like to wear it sometime.” No, it’s not a Valentine’s Day card from Buffalo Bill. But it might be an icebreaker in 2020.

If you’ve had a bad face day, you can usually keep up appearances on social media thanks to the magical filters of Snapchat and Instagram. If you’re having a really bad case of the fugs, you can just face-swap yourself with your favorite movie star and call it quits. That’s all well and good from the privacy and solitude of your own bed, but when it comes to heading out into the real world, the closest thing to a real-life filter was a good concealer.

But now, thanks to an innovative dream team from Tokyo, IRL Snapchat filters are real. Sort of.

From Haunted Rides To Kat Von D

Projection mapping at Disneyland, 1969

Projection mapping at Disneyland, 1969 | Source

The practice has moonlighted under a few aliases, including “spatial augmented reality” and gruesome-sounding “face-hacking.” But it’s commonly known as projection mapping. In short, the practice involves projecting an image onto a non-flat surface. The earliest adopter of projection mapping was none other than Disney, which first used projection mapping at the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland way back in 1969. It’s been used on-and-off since then with limited success. But the capabilities of projection mapping have always been pretty basic … up until now.

WOW labs, helmed by CGI-expert Nobumichi Asai, has been working on an advanced method of projection mapping for the last few years.

So, what is it?

Asai’s projection mapping uses specialized software to track a surface in motion, while a custom-built projector alters the image to adjust to the subject’s movements. The results are a seamless and high-definition projection that works in tandem with the face. For instance, say you wanted to project a zombie mask onto a model. If the model moved, the mask would move with them — without distorting or losing quality. It gives the appearance of a CGI effect in real life.

In 2015, Kat Von D used projection mapping software to promote her new collection of makeup at Sephora. The projection mapping used was 240 frames per second (fps).

The latest production from Asai uses a projector that uses 1,000 fps — the fastest in the world. The results speak for themselves:

WOW studios partnered with the University of Tokyo and TOKYO production studios to create the stunning performance video, which clocks in at just over a minute long.

In order to accommodate Asai’s CGI technology, the DynaFlash projector was custom-built by the Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory at the University of Tokyo. This 8-bit, 1000 fps projector uses state-of-the art technology to keep up with the movements of the human body. Check out this side-by-side comparison between a standard projector and the DynaFlash.

WOW, TOKYO, and the creators of DynaFlash collaborated with iconic dance duo, AyaBambi, to create this stunning video performance, which shows off the capabilities of face hacking software. It’s unreal.

 

The Uncertain Future Of Face Hacking

Morphing your face into something straight out of Samara Morgan’s home movie collection might be fun for now, but the possibilities of face hacking are electrifying.

As tech continues to get smaller and more portable, it’s easy to imagine projection mapping software being added to a wearable tech device. Magic Leap might fill up your local watering hole with mythical creatures, but face hacking could turn every habitué into Harrison Ford or Marilyn Monroe.

We’re already beginning to explore the ethical implications of “face borrowing.”

Rogue One presented us with Grand Moff Tarkin, even though actor Peter Cushing died in 1994. It also gave us a fresh-faced Carrie Fisher, although CGI isn’t advanced enough yet to defer the effects of “uncanny valley” — the tendency for the human eye to reject almost-human replicas.

But if we could switch up our faces as easily as we can change our Snapchat filters, will we have to license our own looks to stop copycats from borrowing our features? And is it okay to borrow someone’s face, especially if they’re dead?

Non-celebrities don’t often think about things like licensing your looks, but our faces are being collected every day through mediums like Snapchat and Facebook. In the user terms of Snapchat, it writes that is has:

“Worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to host, store, use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, create derivative works from, publicly perform, broadcast, distribute, syndicate, promote, exhibit, and publicly display” any content you upload to the app, “in any form and in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed)”

American property law dictates that your likeness can’t be used without your consent. But thanks to the murky ‘tap here’ terms and conditions of companies like Snapchat, you’ve probably already given your consent. Imagine your surprise if one day you walked into a bar, to find someone else wearing your face. Or — if you want to take the Black Mirror approach to it — the face of your dead relative.

Snapchat’s faceswap filter | Source

By sticking to shadowy constellations and embracing eerie distortions, AyaBambi’s performance avoids deep philosophical questions such as those, while providing a mesmerizing example of how projection mapping can be used. At the moment, the technology has both feet firmly planted in the art world. But it raises a myriad of interesting questions about what will happen when technology allows us to change our appearance with the ease of a Snapchat filter.

The Internet Can’t Decide If This Hoverbike Belongs In Star Wars Or Final Destination

It might not jam a comlink or come with a blaster cannon, but you can still live out your fantasies of cruising through the forest on a 74-Z speeder bike thanks to Russian start-up, Hoversurf.

Star Wars fans collectively experienced spasms of joy when a video featuring the first commercially manned hoverbike hit YouTube in mid-February. Since then, the video has garnered over a million views. The Scorpion-3 hoverbike is equipped with four drone propellers, powerful enough to blast both quadcopter and pilot to an altitude of 33 feet.

via GIPHY

This isn’t the first hoverbike to survive a maiden voyage with a human pilot. British hobbyist, Colin Furze, is still the first man to take to the skies on a hoverbike, which is even more remarkable considering he built said bike in his garage. A joy to behold, it was also a one-off and not geared towards the mass market.

Enter Hoversurf with the Scorpion-3, the first hoverbike available for sale — although it’ll set you back a staggering $150,000.

This jumbo-sized quadcopter is built for the adrenaline junkie, although thrill seekers may be disappointed to discover that the in-built safety system automatically regulates the height and speed of your ride.

Half-drone, half-motorbike, the Scorpion-3 can carry up to 266 pounds and reach speeds of 33 mph. With a maximum airtime of 27 minutes, it’s not going to take you on a cross-country tour, but it’s one hell of a way to make an entrance.

Not everybody is ready to throw their regular bike into the trash compactor just yet. “So this is what a human juicer looks like,” mused one user on Twitter, presumably after noticing the lack of propeller guards separating the human passenger from the rather deadly-looking propellers.

via GIPHY

Both The Verge and Mashable were having none of it.

“World’s first hoverbike looks cool as hell, but will probably kill you” announced the Verge. Mashable was more succinct: “Whatever you do, don’t fall off.”

Although Hoversurf may need to integrate more safety features before everyone is a convert, the Scorpion-3 is just one of many exciting new hovercraft prototypes that have cropped up recently.

JTARV

As the US military is wont to do, they’re already light-years ahead when it comes to hoverbike technology. The Army Research Laboratory unveiled a flying quadcopter in early January, known as a joint tactical aerial resupply vehicle, or JTARV for short.

The JTARV is longer, sleeker, and admittedly more of an aerial BAMF than any other hovercraft on the market. But Star Wars wasn’t so much the inspiration for the JTARV as…Amazon Prime?

Tim Vong, associate chief of ARL’s Protection Division likened the JTARV to “Amazon on the battlefield.”

“Anywhere on the battlefield, Soldiers can potentially get resupplied in less than 30 minutes,” he said.

The JTARV prototype is currently electric, but researchers are already exploring utilizing a hybrid propulsion system which would spearhead a faster and more powerful hoverbike, capable of carrying 800 pounds and travelling up to 125 miles.

“We’re also looking to integrate advanced intelligent navigation and mission planning. We’re looking to end up with a modular, stable platform that can be used for even more dynamic and challenging missions.” Vong told visitors from the Department of Defense.

EHang 184

So when can we expect to see a fleet of drones travelling across the skies? If you live in Dubai, it could be as soon as July.

The EHang 184 will be the world’s first autonomous air vehicle (AAV) used as an air taxi. Come July, Dubai expects to have its first fleet of AAV taxis taking flight across the city, and alleviating some of the city’s traffic woes in the process.

Much like calling for an Uber, you’ll use an app to request this egg-shaped quadcopter, which can accommodate one passenger and a small suitcase weighing up to 220 pounds. After you’ve strapped yourself in, you’ll simply enter your destination on a touch screen display and the EHang will self-pilot through the skies to your destination. It can stay in the air for 30 minutes and has a range of 31 miles.

If the concept of a self-driving car makes you wince, you’re unlikely to feel comforted by the idea of combining self-driving technology with heights. But EHang assures potential passengers that the aircraft is totally safe. According to their website, if the power system starts behaving abnormally, the EHang can still operate a normal flight plan. If anything malfunctions, the AAV will automatically land in the nearest available area.

BMW Lego Bike

Hoversurf put the first pilot on a hoverbike, but BMW and Lego are hot on their heels with their own hoverbike, that looks much safer than the Scorpion-3. Designed by students using Lego,

The concept impressed BMW enough to build a full-sized replica. Sadly, it’s still a concept, although from the video below, it looks like the slickest model of the lot.

When you look at emerging hoverbike technology, do you see:

  1. Your other Star Wars fantasy coming true
  2. A grim, painful way to die
  3. All of the above

Let us know in the comments! And if you liked this post, be sure to check out the time a water ski company and YouTube celebrity recreated the speeder-bike scene on a lake.

Header Image Courtesy of Hoversurf

Why Xiaomi is the next big thing in smartphones

Smartphone on black background

Is Xiaomi the next big thing in smartphones? Perhaps yes. This brand is probably the next major player in the ever-expanding market of smart phones. This can be seen in how the company has grown in leaps and bounds in its last four years of existence. Although Xiaomi entered the market with a risky concept —producing smartphones aided by Apple’s design, thus acquiring the title ‘’Apple of China’’ — this has since worked positively to favor the company.

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Three wrong ways to choose an awesome geeky gift

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Chinese robot reporter publishes its first ever article, journalists feel insecure

Robot reporter

Of all things in this tech dominated era, robots are definitely taking huge leaps as far as AI is concerned. They look like humans, behave like humans and ultimately are going to take over the control from us humans. As weird as that might sound, it is the future of robotics which is already making our jaws drop in one way or the other. Apparently, yet another chapter to the applications of robotics in professional arena has been added.
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This PC Desk packs loads of hardware for hungry gamers

PC Desk case mod

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This Resident Evil 7 themed PS4 gaming controller is draped in gore

Resident Evil 7 PS4 gaming controller_6

If there is one gaming title that you need to have in your collection, it is the Resident Evil 7: Biohazard game which is all set to release by the end of this month. The eagerly awaited Capcom survival horror title raises the bar for strategy gaming, and it has always lived up to the expectations of the gamers. To go with the Resident Evil 7 theme, Smartoys has come up with a freakin’ cool (yet ugly) PlayStation 4 controller.
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