Best of TechRadar 2013: our favourite features and wisest words of the year

All our best words from the last 12 months

Meet Pacific Rim's giant monsters

Pacific Rim

And the man who brought the Kaiju and Jaegers to life

A creature towers above a miniature landscape, its upper body stretching beyond wispy clouds. There is commotion underneath, created by the threat of being trampled, but the creature is oblivious. Its eyes trained on something else in the distance, its arms up ready for battle. This could describe any of the many fantastic battle scenes in Pacific Rim, director Guillermo del Toro's monster bash which heads to Blu-ray in the UK November 11, but it's actually a description of The Colossus, a 19th Century painting by Goya. Continue reading...

Gravity

How Dolby Atmos brought gravitas to Gravity

"This film is basically silent, right? Because there's nothing in it." That might seem like a strange thing for a sound designer to say. It might seem like a strange thing for the sound designer of runaway action hit, Gravity, to say. It definitely seems a strange thing for a sound designer to say about a film that is pretty much made for Dolby Atmos. But sound doesn't travel in space so how do you handle space-sound in an action film that sells itself on its intergalactic realism? Continue reading...

Panasonic's plasma TV exit is the end of a brilliant era

Panasonic's plasma TV exit is the end of a brilliant era

Plasma tech has run its course - the futire is 4K and OLED

It's been, in all honesty, the most protracted screen demise since Julius Caesar exited Carry on Cleo protesting "Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me." But now Panasonic has finally, officially, unequivocally announced it's getting out of the plasma game for good. The Corporation will shutter its only operational facility, the Amagasaki P4 factory in Osaka, in March 2014. Sibling facilities in Amagasaki and Ibaraki have already been mothballed. Unsustainable losses are the simple reason for the brand's decision.Continue reading...

Xbox One and PS4: the verdict

Xbox One and PS4: two boring black boxes with a lot of promise

Two amazing console, no reasons to buy either of them

How is it possible for two competing products to be so similar and yet so different? Both the PS4 and Xbox One run the same AMD CPU and very similar graphics hardware. They've both moved over to x86, they both rock the same half-matte, half-gloss finish. Neither are good looking, though the Xbox One is particularly ugly. They both run FIFA 14 and Call of Doody, both respond to voice commands and they even smell similarly musky out of the box. And yet, they're so different it's almost unreal. So should you go out and buy one, and if so, which one should you go for? Continue reading...

Oculus Rift creator: Xbox One and PS4 are far too limited

Oculus Rift creator: Xbox One and PS4 are far too limited for what we're planning

Motion man planning for much bigger things

We're sat opposite Palmer Luckey, 21-year-old inventor of the Oculus Rift. There's so much we want to ask him but right now he's too busy explaining his plans to build the ultimate Pokemon team. "Charizard's actually competitive again now that you have mega Charizard Y because his ability brings the sun out, so he's a great sweeper." Seeing him geek out with so much passion, we've never been more glad that this is the person who controls the fate of Oculus Rift. Continue reading...

Is the internet bringing us together or keeping us apart?

Beckham

Is there any satisfaction to be had from a digital book signing?

If ever there were a phrase that summed up the point to which the internet has brought us, it is "digital book signing". "It's a world first and I always like to try new things," says David Beckham awkwardly at his digital signing which has been set up through his Facebook page. He mentions the technology amid compliments on his hair, invitations to Brazil, discussion of his favourite goals, his family, his tattoos and the photos that make up his book.Continue reading...

The technology of the Tumbler how Britain made the Dark Knight mobile

How Britain made the Dark Knight mobile

"The brief we got [to create the Batmobile Tumbler] was for a vehicle that could do 60mph; we thought we'd give them a little bit more than that so we boosted it to 100mph, as we obviously wanted it to do some amazing things." There's very little that doesn't sound incredible when talking to John Holmes, senior special effects technician on the team involved in creating the most recent iteration of the Batmobile. The Tumbler is one of the most iconic designs in cinematic history – no mean feat when it was replacing the original 'kitsch' Batmobile. Continue reading...