Will a $200 Oculus Rift stand-alone system push VR into the mainstream?

Hail a Yandex?

It’s Thursday, July 13th, and just when you thought Uber might be headed for the exits, boom, they headfake and take a crazy shot. According to a press release from the ride sharing icon, Uber will be partnering with Yandex Taxi, better known as the “Uber of Russia.”

Uber will also incorporate its Uber Rides and Uber Eats services into the deal, which will seem them operate in Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Kazakhstan, as well as expansion into Armenia and Georgia, two countries where Uber has been trying to plant the flag for a while. Travis Kalanick is still out as CEO, but with Arianna Huffington among others on the board of directors, it would seem Uber’s expansion plans are moving full speed ahead.

Virtual tipping point?

We love us some virtual reality fun here at Digital Trends, but we also recognize that we’re in the early days of the tech, and a new announcement from Facebook shows just how fast VR tech could mature. After dropping the price of a complete Oculus Rift headset-and-Touch-handset system to just $400, Bloomberg says Facebook-slash-Oculus is now looking to produce a $200 VR headset next year – and it’ll be a standalone, wireless setup.

That’s right, no spendy gaming PC or equally spendy high-end smartphone required. No less than Mark Zuckerberg actually predicted the device last year, and industry analysts think such a device – if it can meet expectations – could change the VR industry in the same way the iPhone changed the cell phone business. Bloomberg says VR is still essentially a tiny industry just waiting for the right moment – and the much needed “killer app” – to blow up.

Is the new Oculus headset going to be the “game changer?” We’ll see, but it’s safe to say that at some point, someone is going to crack this VR thing wide open, and whoever gets there first won’t be able to count the money fast enough. Stay tuned.

We don’t mind being snakebit at all

As they say, it’s been a good run! Or, at least, a fast one. Today marks the end of the line for the Dodge Viper, the V-10 powered overkill car that first hit the streets in 1992.

Dodge says the doors will close on the Viper plant on August 31st, although you’ll still be able to buy one until they’re all sold. The Viper is still listed on the Dodge website, with prices ranging from $90,000 for the bargain version to $121,000 for a winged ACR variant. Dodge says the car makes 645 horsepower and 600 pound feet of torque, so if you’re all about that big-time power and speed, better get in line right quick to get one, as all the used ones are about to double in price.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.