Posts Tagged ‘video-games’
For someone who never set out to write about science, Mary Roach has certainly proven herself up to the task. More specifically, Roach has become something of an expert at exploring weird, uncomfortable, sometimes taboo questions — from how quickly a cadaver decays to how paraplegics can achieve orgasm — and doing it with an unmistakable combination of candor and comedy. Her new book, Gulp , takes readers through the alimentary canal to explore the science of human digestion. Along the way, Roach samples rancid olive oil and whale skin, shoves her hand inside a living cow’s stomach, and follows a human fecal transplant (it’s exactly what it sounds like) from donation to insertion
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Science writer Mary Roach: ‘everything I learn is pretty shocking and weird’
What if Zelda was a heroine, rather than a damsel in distress? That’s the idea behind Clockwork Empire — a conceptual Zelda sequel from Dresden Codak author Aaron Diaz. Set 2,000 years after Twilight Princess , the game would see Zelda assume the role of protagonist, tasked with rescuing Prince Link. Diaz says the idea was inspired by Anita Sarkeesian’s “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games” web series, though he notes that the changes would go far beyond gender.
Believe it or not, we’re coming up on the 20th anniversary of the massive critical and box-office bomb that was the Super Mario Bros. movie adaptation. Released May 28, 1993, the movie had the unfortunate timing to come out just two weeks ahead of another, much better cinematic adaptation involving dinosaurs that you may remember: Jurassic Park . Yet when it comes to evaluating each movie’s place in Hollywood history, Super Mario Bros
New York City was a very different place twenty years ago. Recalling 1993 surfaces memories of early-nineties New York City by turning every Manhattan pay phone into an audio time capsule. The campaign lets anyone dial 1-(855)-FOR-1993 from a pay phone to listen to a memory specific to the local area. There’s a map that locates all of Manhattan’s pay phones over on the project website, and a select few recordings are also available online. Recalling 1993 was created by Manhattan-based marketing firm Droga5 in collaboration with the New Museum to promote NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star , a new exhibition that showcases art made in New York City over the course of the year.
Microsoft appears to be mulling over plans to dump its IPTV business. Bloomberg reports that Ericsson is in talks with the software maker to buy up its IPTV software, known as Media Room, that is used to power services like AT&T’s U-verse . Microsoft is expected to continue its focus on TV apps and services on its Xbox game console. Despite not being a household name, Microsoft’s Media Room technology powers 22 million set-top boxes in 21 countries, and recent estimates suggest that Microsoft controls a quarter of the global IPTV middleware market.
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Microsoft reportedly looking to dump IPTV business in favor of Xbox
“For everything it has to say, for all the questions it asks — many of which have no easy answers — BioShock Infinite ‘s big thoughts and complicated narrative don’t obscure the brilliant action game that carries those messages through.” Polygon ‘s 10/10 review of Bioshock Infinite detailed how the game walks the delicate line between storytelling and action, and creative director Ken Levine has expanded on these themes and more in an interview with Gears of War: Judgement writer Tom Bissell . Continue reading…
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‘Bioshock Infinite’ creative director Ken Levine talks about how to build a world
Should Congress be allowed to telecommute? Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) thinks so, and he introduced a resolution last week to try to make it happen. If he has his way, lawmakers would be able to use videoconferencing and other technologies to attend hearings, debate, and vote on legislation from their district offices, without having to constantly fly back and forth to and from DC.
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Republican lawmaker wants to let Congress telecommute
We all know the feeling. You’re sleepless in the sad hours of the night or stumbling around early on a hazy weekend morning in need of something to read, and that pile of unread books just isn’t cutting it. Why not take a break from the fire hose of Twitter and RSS and check out our weekly roundup of essential writing from around the web about technology, culture, media, and the future?
A 30-year study of birds and roadkill may have given us a look into how animals respond to man-made changes in the environment. According to a study published last week in Current Biology , an area in southwestern Nebraska has seen a marked drop in cliff swallows found as roadkill. At the same time, the average wing length in the group decreased, with one exception: birds who were found dead on the roadside had a wingspan that was “significantly larger than in the population at large.” One plausible explanation? In areas with roads, cliff swallows tend to nest in overpasses, bridges, or culverts, putting them at risk of death. But those with shorter wings can manage a more vertical takeoff, getting them out of the way of incoming..
Good news for fans of old video games — accessories maker Hyperkin is unveiling a retro console that will play almost any cartridge you can throw at it, reports Slashdot . Named the Retron 5 for its five slots, the machine will handle the same trio of NES, SNES, and Genesis cartridges as its predecessor, the Retron 3 , as well as Famicom and Game Boy Advance games — not to mention Mega Drive, Super Famicom, Game Boy Color, and original Game Boy titles. HDMI out means you’ll get a clear, digital signal to your HDTV, and Hyperkin says that it will upscale your games to 720p. There are a bunch of built-in niceties, like the ability to save and resume at any point in the game, overclocking to speed through slow parts, and a PS3-like..
As scientists design new ways of testing the mental aptitude of animals, they’re finding that many species are smarter than previously thought. The Wall Street Journal recently examined the trend, pointing out that tests sometimes need just slight alterations before they’re ideally suited for a given animal. One example is self awareness in elephants: some prior studies indicated the creatures couldn’t recognize their own reflection in a mirror, but newer attempts suggest Increasing the size of that reflective surface leads to more promising results. Other studies provide at least some evidence that animals care about the well-being of their own species.
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How science is slowly tearing down Aristotle’s ladder of nature
Bloomberg is reporting that Blackstone Group has submitted a preliminary offer to buy Dell. Citing a “person familiar with the matter,” the publication says the bid commits Blackstone to hold takeover discussions with the Texas computer giant. Company founder Michael Dell is currently attempting to gain shareholder approval for a deal that would see him take Dell off the market and back into private hands . Michael Dell’s $24.4 billion privatization plan involves a large personal investment, as well as cash from equity firms and a $2 billion Microsoft loan. Since the deal was made public, detractors have said that the $24.4 billion valuation of the company is too low, and major investors have signalled their intent to vote against the..
Welcome to The Verge: Weekender edition. Each week, we’ll bring you important articles from the previous weeks’ original reports, features and reviews on The Verge. Think of it as a collection of a few of our favorite pieces from the week gone by, which you may have missed, or which you might want to read again. Continue reading…
With the Galaxy S4′s launch on the horizon, Samsung may be prepping another phone — this one a successor to the Galaxy S III mini. Leaked images posted at SamMobile appear to show a phone with the same design language as the Galaxy S4 but a smaller form factor, just as the original mini was a copy of the Galaxy S III. Its model number is shown as GT-I9190, compared to the S III mini’s GT-I8190. SamMobile says the device has a 4.3-inch screen, compared to the 5-inch screen of the Galaxy S4 or the 4-inch screen of the S III mini. 4.3 inches was once enough for Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S II, and there’s still obviously demand for phones with smaller screens than the S4
The BBC has confirmed that it will broadcast six short films exclusively on iPlayer over the next two years, becoming the latest media outlet to debut original content on its online video streaming service. The BBC says that the dramas will feature “up and coming talent” that is linked to the BBC Three brand, providing UK license-fee payers with the opportunity to watch content in their own time or on the move. Continue reading…
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BBC to debut six iPlayer-exclusive short films
As non-traditional messaging services like Google Voice, iMessage, and WhatsApp continue to displace lucrative SMS services, carriers are looking for ways to hold on to what they have. Today, Verizon is announcing an update that brings its Verizon Messages (formerly VZ Messages ) SMS service cross-platform, letting you send and receive SMS messages from your computer’s browser as well as your iPad or Android device — phone or tablet. Messages that you send are stored on Verizon’s cloud service for 90 days unless you delete them, and can be saved permanently on an SD card if you want to keep them around longer. Can be set to send an automated reply when you’re busy Verizon Messages can also be set to send an automated reply when…
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Verizon takes on SMS challengers with cross-platform Messages service
Apple announced it was deprecating the Unique Device Identifier back in August of 2011, and over 18 months later the company will formally start rejecting apps that continue to use it. In a brief post on Apple’s Developer website , the company states that it won’t accept apps that use UDIDs as of May 1st, and encourages developers to use two other options to provide similar functionality should they need it. UDIDs, which identify a specific phone or piece of hardware, fell out of favor as Cupertino became more focused on privacy concerns. Some app developers had used UDIDs to track users, as the identifier is permanent and users were unable to block its transmission
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Apple to finally stop accepting apps that use outdated UDID device identifier on May 1st
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Sandy Hook arcade practices healing through gaming
Arcades may be disappearing across the country , but In the aftermath of last December’s horrific events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown residents have come together in support of a new arcade for the community. It’s hoped that the arcade will help the town heal; co-founders and longtime Newtown residents Andrew Clure and Scott Cicciari tell Polygon they set up the center to “promote one of the core values in Newtown — family.” The Sandy Hook Arcade Center will feature video games alongside traditional favorites like pinball and air hockey. It’s been funded so far by the community, local businesses, and also from donors across the country that contributed via the arcade’s website . The center is being run as a non-profit, and..
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Newtown residents opening non-profit Sandy Hook Arcade Center
Welcome to The Verge: Weekender edition. Each week, we’ll bring you important articles from the previous weeks’ original reports , features and reviews on The Verge . Think of it as a collection of a few of our favorite pieces from the week gone by, which you may have missed, or which you might want to read again. Continue reading…
There may be disagreement over why and exactly when doomsday will strike , but a number of individuals around the world are preparing as the end of the Mayan calendar approaches. Some don’t believe the date of December 21st, 2012 necessarily marks the end of days, but have taken steps to sustain themselves in the event of world wars, natural disasters, or other catastrophes. Others — concerned that tomorrow really will bring the end of the world as we know it — have prepared bunkers , and one Chinese man even spent his life savings to construct a 70-by-50-foot ark in anticipation of a major world flood.
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People around the world prepare for the impending apocalypse
Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions — all on a sesame seed bun. Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions — all on a sesame seed bun. Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions — all on a sesame seed bun. Stories of the day: Tim Cook admits Apple ‘fell short’ on iOS 6 Maps, suggests third-party alternatives Apple highlights third-party Maps alternatives in App Store Neil Young reveals Pono music player, promises ‘the best sound anyone can get’ Facebook gives Gifts another shot, guarantees no ugly sweaters in the wrong size Missed yesterday’s news?
The 1980s saw video games and personal computing become part of growing up for more and more people, but not everyone was comfortable with the change. A demo reel for Wired In , a documentary TV show about technology that never got off the ground, showcases the often fraught relationship adults had with tools and media they were just coming to understand, as well as the timeless fear that technology is taking over modern life. It’s not clear how much is scripted, but it’s a fascinating little time capsule from 30 years ago.
When Nintendo showed off its “TVii” app yesterday, one of the more perplexing features was a series of concentric dials controlling volume, source, and playback. It’s entirely possible that the dials work well, even if we didn’t get to try them. But more than anything, the mystery meat interface evokes the kind of future that’s seen in movies and video games past and present. Looking over the rest of Nintendo’s Wii U line, it’s easy to see it as a similar negotiation between the current state of gaming and the new systems Nintendo hopes to add.
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Nintendo branches out, but can the Wii U capture the future?
Adam Saltsman has run a full marathon. That’s 42,000 meters. In Canabalt , the 2009 endless runner that brought Saltsman to independent game design prominence, such a distance is considered an impressive achievement that would eclipse all the current scores on the game’s leaderboard. The furthest Saltsman has run in his own game
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How running a marathon inspired ‘Canabalt’s’ creator