RUST Assigns Characters Their Gender By Your SteamID

Rust is a popular open world survival game, with you foraging and hunting in order to survive and build a shelter to survive in a barren wilderness amongst friends and foes. With over 100,000 positive reviews and only around 22 thousand negative reviews, the game can be considered a success but with its latest update assigning character gender by random chance, not everyone is happy.

Listed amongst a slew of updates, one of the latest features introduced into the game is the inclusion of female models, meaning you may be hunted down by male or female characters alike. How do you pick the new option? You don’t.

Listing it as a “sore subject for a lot of people”, the studio behind RUST has included female characters and figured out a way to make it fair if someone is a male or female character. In order to figure this out, they use a very simple piece of information, your SteamID. That’s all there is to it, your SteamID helps the game figure out if your character should be male or female, no judgement or choice in the matter, your name is all that matters to the game.

While some may not be happy with the choice the change in models does nothing to the game directly, so there is no unfair bonus or not, it’s purely the look of your character that changes and with more changes coming it will no doubt be modeled and changed again and again while the game is being developed.

AutoDesk to End Perpetual License Sales on July 31st

Game developers, visual artists, interior designers and other professions have relied on AutoDesk software packages to create professional content since the dawn of computers. In particular, AutoCAD has been widely used by architects to draft out property plans and construct an accurate 3D model. It’s one of the most useful applications ever created and become the industry standard for computer aided design. Unfortunately, the company, Autodesk has decided to follow in Adobe’s footsteps and end perpetual license sales on July 31st. This means companies and creative individuals will have to pay a subscription to access the software. Autodesk announced these changes on their website and released a brief statement which reads:

“For Autodesk products worldwide, we are phasing out perpetual licenses of our software. Our current subscription offerings will continue to evolve with options that allow you to access multiple products and to share licenses as you do today with perpetual licensing.”

Here is the entire list of products affected by this change:

Autodesk Design & Creation Suites:

Autodesk® 3ds Max® Entertainment Creation Suite Standard
Autodesk® Building Design Suite Premium
Autodesk® Building Design Suite Standard
Autodesk® Building Design Suite Ultimate
Autodesk® Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate
Autodesk® Factory Design Suite Premium
Autodesk® Factory Design Suite Standard
Autodesk® Factory Design Suite Ultimate
Autodesk® Infrastructure Design Suite Premium
Autodesk® Infrastructure Design Suite Standard
Autodesk® Infrastructure Design Suite Ultimate
Autodesk® Maya Entertainment Creation Suite Standard
Autodesk® Plant Design Suite Premium
Autodesk® Plant Design Suite Standard
Autodesk® Plant Design Suite Ultimate
Autodesk® Product Design Suite Premium
Autodesk® Product Design Suite Ultimate

Individual products:

Autodesk® Alias® AutoStudio
Autodesk® Alias® Concept
Autodesk® Alias® Design
Autodesk® Alias® SpeedForm
Autodesk® Alias® Surface
Autodesk® AutoCAD® Raster Design (Final date to purchase is March 20, 2016)
Moldflow Adviser Standard/Premium/Ultimate
Moldflow Insight Standard/Premium/Ultimate
Moldflow Synergy
Nastran
Nastran in-CAD
Vault Office
Vault Workgroup
Vault Professional
VRED
VRED Design
VRED Professional
VRED Render Node
VRED Server
Autodesk® CFD
Autodesk® CFD Advanced
Autodesk® CFD Design Study Environment
Autodesk® CFD Motion
Autodesk® Infrastructure Map Server
Autodesk® Infrastructure Map Server 5 Activations
Autodesk® Moldflow Design
Autodesk® Simulation Mechanical
Autodesk® Studio Wall
Autodesk® TruComp
Autodesk® TruComposites
Autodesk® TruContour
Autodesk® TruMulti-Tool
Autodesk® TruLaser

Other Products with projected end of sale in 2017

Autodesk® Advanced Steel
Helius Composite
Robot Structural Analysis
VRED Presenter

This is a really disappointing move, and I’ve never been too keen on software companies allowing you to use their applications via a subscription model. Admittedly, it’s useful in some situations when people only require the tools for a limited period, and it’s much cheaper to buy a month’s access. However, there needs to be freedom to use either business models and not force companies to pay a hefty monthly fee.

PlayStation Employee Designs A DualShock 4 For Gamer Suffering From Cerebral Palsy

The incredibly detailed worlds and superb character interactions in video games provides a wonderful distraction from the harsh reality of modern life. Furthermore, unfortunate individuals with long-term health conditions find video games cathartic and allows them to engage in an activity they thoroughly enjoy each day. This is absolute fantastic and it’s so inspiring to see disabled gamers play their favourite titles. Sadly, many physical conditions makes inputting commands a rather challenging exercise but there’s some great work being done by the charity Special Effect to help those affected.

Recently, Peter Byrne, a PlayStation 4 owner suffering from Cerebral Palsy contacted PlayStation Support to explain the problems he faced using the Dual Shock 4 controller. After sending the initial message, Mr Byrne was given the e-mail address of an employee named, Ajmal Alex Nawabi. After exchanging a number of e-mails, Nawabi told Byrne that he couldn’t help resolve his control issues but would send a PlayStation goodie bag as a gesture of their appreciation. To Byrne’s complete shock, the bag contained a custom-made controller:

“I figure I share this story with everyone because it is too good not to share! When I use the PlayStation 4 controller my game constantly pauses because my left hand hits the touchpad which is frustrating for me. Around two weeks ago, I decided to message PlayStation support and they gave this email address and said tell them my issue and wait for a response.

A man by the name of Alex Nawabi from PlayStation messaged me and told me he was taking my matter personally and not on behalf of PlayStation. I explained to him my problem with a controller as well as my condition of cerebral palsy. I even had to give him a visual of what my left hand looked like gripping the controller.

After a series of back and forth emails. Mr. Nawabi told me he was ordering some parts to come up with a solution for me. He emailed he last week saying that he tried to come up with a solution but it didn’t work. However, he would send me a PlayStation goodie box anyway. I received that box today and inside was the modified controller especially made for me and this letter. I honestly got choked up reading the letter as I did not expect anything like this to happen.

Mr. Nawabi really cared about my situation and did this on his own time to make my experience better. I honestly can’t thank him enough for everything he did for me. Thank you Mr. Nawabi it really means a lot too me!”

Here we can see the letter addressed to Mr Byrne describing the process when designing a new controller for his disability:

This is such a heart warming story and restores my faith in humanity somewhat. I have to give credit to Sony for going the extra mile and helping the most vulnerable individuals in society. Disabled people through no fault of their own often live a lonely existence. As a result, video games are so important to keep them entertained and enjoying life. Well done Sony, and I hope Mr Byrne enjoys upcoming games including Uncharted 4.

You Can Now Download Steam Controllers Designs For Free

Companies are normally quite protective over their property and designs. This often leads to people creating modifications and designs that are often a little rough around the edges. If you are a fan of the Steam controller then you won’t have this problem as you can now download the Stream Controllers designs for free on Steam.

The Steam controller was released in October last year and provides support for select games and lets you customise it a little. The difference here though is that you can download the computer-aided design (CAD) files to help you in creating your own custom controllers.

People were modifying the controller way before these files were released, with a Reddit thread featuring some of the mods people have made (a thread that is sure to explode thanks to 3D printers and the CAD files).

With two variations of the battery door already created and shared by valve on the download page (both can store and carry your wireless receiver for you), the ideas will surely just keep coming as players change the shape and design to increase comfort and add more features.

What would you add to your favourite controller? A drinks holder or maybe you’d like to try out a different button layout? Can this be anything but a good move for gamers and the creators of the Steam Controller alike? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below

Choose Your Cabin Next Time You Go On A Cruise

Cruises are meant to be relaxing times, the natural motion of the ocean flowing against the bow of the ship as you enjoy the sun and sea. The problem is as with most things, there are a lot of things you can’t control when it comes to booking your cruise. Cruisedeckplans.com hope to give you a little more option in choosing your cabin.

Remember when you book cinema tickets, or some flight tickets and you get given the choice about where you sit, knowing if you are against the isle or wedged between two people who have booked but a single seat. Cruisedeckplans is looking to offer you just that for when you are cruising.

While they can’t offer you the ability to customise your own ship, they will let you view what your cabin will look like, and the surrounding area. Don’t like being above the kitchen or under the overhanging deck that will ruin your sunbathing on the balcony? You can now see all of those in a simple interactive service.

If that wasn’t enough, there are 2,800 videos of the cabins available, with over 98,000 pictures of the staterooms to help you decide on your dream experience. With the ability to get paid 50 cents for every stateroom picture that you submit after your holiday, a few holiday pictures could quickly pay back what you spent on that lobster dinner.

Imperia by Oswalds Reimagines Audio Speakers

The way audio is transmitted to the consumer has evolved over the past decade or so, from higher quality headphones, well, some brands more than others, to the diverse sound systems that have incorporated today’s modern MP3 players, Smartphone’s and also transformed the flat audio from paper-thin Televisions into a Cinema experience. Audio company OMA (Oswalds Mill Audio) have decided that modern speakers are just too rudimentary in their design and have therefore announced a product by the name of the “Imperia”.

Below is an image and also a summary of this eye-catching product.

  • The Imperia has a four-way horn system with a vertical array of conical horns covering 100 Hz to 20 kHz.
  • Two rear loaded subwoofer horns using a massive 21″ neodymium woofer handling 20 Hz-100 Hz.
  • A special OMA sub is 104db 1w/1m and is powered by its own solid state amplifier.
  • The system as a whole is extremely efficient at 105db 1w/1m and is entirely time aligned.
  • The 100hz and 300hz wooden conical horns are made from a choice of solid Pennsylvania Black Walnut, Cherry or Ash.
  • The Dimensions are H 86″ D 60″ (max depth at horn) W 41″ Base footprint 41″ x 41″

OMA have stated that they are the “only manufactures to use the straight-edged cone speaker design, this is due to the fact that such a design will not add to the sound wave deformity”

I know what you’re thinking, how much? Answer is too much when you consider this product is expected to retail for around $280,000 dollars (£191,744) The product is certainly unique and provides a new dimension to sound systems, but I think I will stick to my current audio setup for the time being until this design is available at a considerably cheaper price.

Lithium-Ion Battery With Heat Control Created

Lithium-ion batteries are used in everything, from your phone to handheld gaming devices. They are the basis for most portable powered devices but by design, they are typically quite old. While they’ve received their upgrades over time, lithium ion batteries have the same flaw a lot of technology has these days, overheating. Ever wondered why a phone or a hoverboard exploded? Fear not, Stanford researchers have come up with a new lithium-ion battery with heat controls!

The new design allows the lithium-ion battery to shut down when it gets too hot, then when it’s cool enough it will automatically restart. Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford state that not only can the device turn itself on and off repeatedly but it does so “without compromising performance”.

Typical a lithium-ion battery contains two core elements, two electrodes and a form of gel or liquid that carries charge between the two electrodes. People have tried to solve this problem before by adding a flame retardant to the gel used in some. When punctured or overcharged, a lithium-ion battery tends to rise in temperature and at around 150 degrees celsius they catch fire, eventually exploding.

The new battery, however, uses a tiny bit of nano-technology, by coating an electrode with a poly ethylene film with tiny nickel particles with spikes extruding from the plastic surface. When the battery heats up, the film expands meaning the spikes are pushed away from each other and the electric charge can’t be carried through the nickel elements. When it cools they retract and the charge can start to flow again.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Oculus Founder Discusses Adoption Challenges For VR Headsets

The potential of Virtual Reality is rather exciting and is tipped to be one of the biggest attractions of this week’s CES (Consumer Electronic Show 2016), this is also where the gang of eTeknix are currently stationed in Las Vegas and are ready to bring you the very latest news. VR and the accompanying headsets do bring its own challenges, from adoption to market interest; there are many things to consider, so much so that Palmer Luckey, who is the founder of Oculus VR has discussed such issues and it’s very interesting.

On the subject of Virtual reality headsets replacing smartphones, Palmer Luckey stated that “the technology required many years of further development before it could replace smartphone’s for mainstream users” Mr Luckey also stated that VR headsets would need to be more powerful, cheaper and also slim enough for it to be considered to be both a viable alternative and also an appealing product for a wider adoption.

Asked how long it would take before we would see a ubiquitous use of VR, Mr Luckey stated that it could be anything from “five years – ten years”. The price point is also crucial and analysis by “Touchstone Research” have found that US Internet consumers would be willing to spend the following amounts on a VR device. As you can see, 31% would be willing to spend between $200 – $399 dollars, but if you go to the other end of the spectrum then it conveys that 6% would not be happy to spend a single dollar.

Palmer Luckey also recognises that “the current headset design is “obviously not the ideal form factor” as it is too bulky and needs to be slimmer. Further details include the recent announcement by Oculus concerning the finalization that it will be taking pre – orders for the Rift on January 6,th 2016 and shipping would be in the first quarter of 2016.

It will be interesting to note how this product performs and also how quickly this new tech is adopted by the market.

Image courtesy of fastcompany

A Look At The World’s Largest Model Trainset Railroad

When I saw this story I was half expecting a slightly scaled up version of your standard railroad train set, it turns out I was wrong, and by wrong I mean really wrong as this train set boasts more than eight miles of track, lifelike scenery, 3,000 buildings and a 40-foot bridge.

The reports convey that Northlandz is the vision of “Bruce Williams Zaccagnino and his wife Jean” who began to develop the concept around 44 years ago, below are a selection of stats which really captivate this remarkable achievement.

  • The Railroad Layout is around 20 years old
  • It has over 100 trains
  • There are 500,000 tiny trees
  • 400 bridges
  • It is located in a 52,000sqft building in Flemington, New Jersey.

Now for the images, below is Bruce Williams Zaccagnino who is standing by this fantastic creation, as you can see, the detail is phenomenal and certainly captures the intended surroundings and then some, it reminds me of a real life open gaming world, so much so that Mr Zaccagnino is a “multi-award winning computer software game developer and publisher who has solitaire’s Journey and Perfect General accredited to his name, he also loved model trains as a kid“.

Below is another image of this amazing achievement, it really does look like a Hollywood film production stage.

Below is another image of what appears to be a large city, “Northlandz has been open to the public since 1997 and took some 16 years to build”. The detail would certainly make for an educational visit for budding film, game and TV production students who would like to pave a career in the creative industry.    

Below is the last selected image, it looks akin to a miniature version of the Truman Show and feels as if it is a world within a world, by all means check out the links above for a full set of images.

Oh, and below is a video which conveys this achievement.

The Wonders of Technology – Anti Earthquake Beds!

Natural disasters. We can be warned about some of them, such as Storms and Volcano’s erupting but sometimes that just isn’t enough. Earthquakes strike fast, and even with preparation, they can be deadly. Not to fear, a clever designer has created a range of beds designed to keep you safe should an earthquake ever happen while you are in bed.

In case you were wondering these are miracle saviours, the beds are designed as metal bunkers that would protect you while your building collapses, giving the rescue services enough time to find you while avoiding any harm from the fall or debris. If that wasn’t enough you even have a choice of how you want to spend those dark days, and how you even get out of bed and into the metal casket.

With several different ways to protect yourself, from magician like falling bottoms to a four-poster bed with a collapsing roof. Some designs even look a little less safe, such as the design where the roof is held up in the middle and drops down on either side, potentially cutting your limbs off before burying you in safety.

https://youtu.be/RI3pz5p6l24

While all these designs are nifty, the water, emergency rations, medical kit, fire extinguisher and gas masks go a long way to making these beds a mini-bunker for a short-term stay.

Beats Launches New Beats Pill+ Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

The brand Beats and its Pill lines have been somewhat a revelation since entering the market in 2012, from celebrity endorsements to a booming sales forecast, this form of portable wireless unit has certainly captured the imagination of consumers. Now, the company has announced a new incarnation of the successful Beats Pill series with hopes of expanding its base even further.

Today, (7th October 2015) Beats have introduced a new product by the name of the Pill+ speaker, below are the announced features within the press release.

Sound – The Beats Pill+ is slightly larger than the original Beats Pill speaker, allowing for a bigger and fuller sound. The stereo active 2-way crossover system creates an optimized sound field for dynamic range and clarity across all genres of music. Tweeter and woofer separation uses the same acoustic mechanics found in professional recording studios around the world.

Design – . Compact and durable enough to throw in your bag, the Beats Pill+ has implemented convenient button controls which are now at the top of the speaker.

Power management – The Beats Pill+ speaker has a 12-hour battery life to stay charged on the go. The lightning cable and power supply provide a quick full charge in just 3 hours. Keep track of your power levels with the fuel gauge so you always know how much battery is left and use the USB port to charge out.

Additionally, a new feature by the name of the “Beats Pill+ app for iOS and Android devices” takes full advantage of app functionally. The additional features include controlling two Bluetooth sources, allowing consumers the chance to play from two Pill Plus speakers and also the opportunity to sync two units together for dedicated left and right playback and also a dynamic experience.

These features may be “added value” in order to increase the price instead of being of use to many consumers. The product is priced at $229.95, but it remains to be seen concerning the RRP for other countries and the release date is expected to be around November 2015 for the US.

Thank you businesswire for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of wired

Wandering Around a Rendered USS Enterprise In Unreal Engine 4

Technology has provided a platform for many fan made creations which have risen to prominence over the years, from intricately detailed worlds in Minecraft to imaginative landscapes which have garnered a huge following. Star Trek is one such Sci Fi phenomenon which has certainly given rise to its fair share of individually constructed projects, well, a talented individual has taken his obsession for the famous Enterprise to a whole new creative level.

The project in question is by the name of “The Enterprise Construction Project” and is the brain child of an extremely creative 3D artist by the name of “Jason”. His target goal is to construct all 42 decks of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D in the Unreal Game Engine 4”  Below is the video which, as you can see is both lovingly and exquisitely rendered, so much so that the artist states the following,

Creating all of them will be a daunting task. I have compiled a large archive of reference from production drawings, set blueprints, official blueprints, and of course meticulous screen captures of the HD Blu-ray versions of the episodes.”

It’s astonishing to imagine the lengths which have been planned to obtain such an extensive reference list of materials with the aim of replicating the finer details.

https://youtu.be/uK9ijZeHWjI

Below is two screenshots of the level of detail which have been conveyed within this model, the luminosity of the planet/star and the fluid movement of the Asteroids capture the imagination of the viewer.

It is certainly impressive considering one person has achieved this level of detail, the textures and visual representations are immersive and according to the website, Jason’s main objective is to ” create the entirety of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D in the Unreal Game Engine. The Enterprise would serve first and foremost as a virtual museum. Every deck and room can be explored” Other potential phases include a “populated ship containing Federation citizens and Starfleet” and also “Different Planetary Systems.”

It’s a fascinating and fabulous project which has the potential for wider exposure within many outlets while keeping fans entertained.

Thank you roadtovr and enterprise3dproject for providing us with this information.

Tech Furniture With a Twist

If it sounds as if we have turned into popular but dull television show QVC, we haven’t, you won’t find any of the following sublime pieces of furniture on that or any other mass-produced channel. As tech is produced in greater volumes, there is one question which remains constant, what do you do with the eventual waste within a perpetual upgrading cycle? Well, according to the below items, you can achieve quite an array of dazzling re-imaginings of classic products.

So, what do we have first? Below is a table, but not just a standard run of the mill Ikea flat-packed piece, but a coffee table which has been constructed out of circuit boards.  This amazing item was the brain child of David Maloney of Glendale, Wisconsin. In 2009 he saved a series of circuit boards for a potential craft project which turned into a table. He achieved the design by building an internal structure to mount the boards before crafting the frame from Black Walnut wood; wow is my impression, I would love to own this.

Next up is a chair/stool, Chilean Designer Rodrigo Alonso created the N+EW (No More Electronic Waste) art product in 2007. He collected components which had been blended into bits before placing them into a mould. He then filled the gaps between them with an epoxy resin which permanently encased the waste in a translucent form that can be used as a stool. The top of the stool looks to be the earth at an angle, again, an amazing design which re-imagines the whole concept of electronic waste.

Next up is a round table with a difference, a clever individual by the name of Joe Grand of Grand Idea Studio in Portland, Oregon, created a table from a 26-inch diameter hard drive platter from a 1960s mainframe computer. Today an average standard consumer based hard drive can hold around 3TB of data with Laptops holding around 1TB as standard, this disk could hold a huge 9MB of storage, which is tiny compared to today. Hopefully, the round edge is not sharp.

Last piece of tech furniture porn arrives courtesy of a 1987 Apple Mac II in the form of a sofa, or 25 to be precise, each mac was worth a staggering $5,500 dollars each, so that’s 25 x 5,500 = $137500. Of course, this price doesn’t account for inflation or the dirt cheap a price which these computers can now be found for. It’s an eye-catching piece of furniture, but maybe not the most comfortable.

Thank you bradlands, thenewsisbroken, grandideastudio and ralonso for providing us with this information.

Bugatti Conveys Real-Life Gran Turismo Car

This is fantastic, I mean it really is, oh right, article, Bugatti are synonymous with 1,200 horsepower supercars which even left Jeremy Clarkson speechless for a bit, until he attempted to insure it using a popular company. These cars are one of the most desirable for the rich and famous and command seven-figure price tags. But what happens if you cross a Bugatti with Gran Turismo?

Apparently this which is conveyed below, wow is the word here, the luxury car manufacturer unveiled a fantasy video game car at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The difference is this car is not made from pixels and polygons, but a real drivable version. The Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo is a model of car that appears in the popular Gran Turismo video game series. The real-life version is fully drivable but wasn’t designed to comply with government safety regulations, but it does fully integrate with the latest racing regulations. Not really that helpful if you’re caught speeding at 240 miles an hour on a country lane, not that you should anyway.

This concept is powered by a turbocharged 16-cylinder engine which is capable of reaching top speeds in excess of 250 miles an hour, it’s a complex machine which Bugatti hope to offer a glimpse into the possibilities which exist within the new model which is currently being designed. Bugatti has so far sold 450 cars worldwide over the last decade, this does not sound like a respectable figure, but considering each supercar cost around the $1 million dollar mark, it’s forgivable.

It’s unlikely that I would be able to afford a car in my or the next 5 lifetimes, but it’s still noteworthy to keep up to date with the latest developments in automotive technology, especially if they look this fantastic.

Thank you cnn money for providing us with this information.

image courtesy of i.ytimg

Fantastic Individual Builds Football Stadiums out of Lego

This just looks fantastic! a creative and talented individual by the name of Chris Smith builds and sells Football Stadiums that have been built out of Lego.

The project in question goes by the name of Brickstand, below is a few images to convey his mini constructions, first up, Upton Park, which is home to long ball team West Ham, ok ok, Slaven Bilic has improved things after Sam Allardyce departed. The detail within the ground is quite something considering this is constructed out of Lego, even the club wording embedded within the seats has been incorporated. The price tag is £299.99 which sounds expensive, but it does come ready built and not just a box of bricks with instructions.

Next up Vicarage Road which is home to newly promoted Watford, I wonder how robust these models are? Just imagine spending £279.99 for the below stadium and then dropping it on the floor. The measurements are 50x50x15cm and is built-in parts which according to the site “is easy to store when not on display”

The last image arrives courtesy of “your going home in an ambulance” Millwall, this model has roughly 1500 bricks within it and measures 65x50x15cm. If you’re worried about shipping in the UK, then don’t as Chris Smith will deliver them to you himself, he does this because there is no adhesive within the bricks and it would be also difficult to trust Royal Mail with these stadiums.

Chris Smith aims to build all 92 grounds in the football league out of Lego, he must have Lego falling out in every direction in his house, by all means check out his website for a complete overview of his work, it’s certainly unique. Lego might be keeping an eye on how far this project will go, if it is successful in the long run then expect Football league kits to be marketed by the company in the near future, I wonder how Chris will feel if Lego make millions out of his concept?

Thank you brickstand for providing us with this information.

NASA Seals Six People In Dome To Simulate Mars With No Escape

The research and developments behind various space projects are astronomical in size and financial costs; the planning which is needed to achieve various missions is meticulous in its nature. The obsession with finding life on other plants is very much-needed with the aim of understanding if the human race will be able to exist once the Earth becomes uninhabitable.

Now, NASA has begun a new isolation project which aims to better analyse the effects of being in close proximity with one another. The six people who will be involved in this experiment are an astrobiologist, a physicist, a pilot, an architect, a journalist and a soil scientist. Sounds like the Big Bang theory, wonder if Sheldon will be there? Anyway, this might sound glamorous but there is one caveat, all six people will be concealed in a 36 by 20 foot dome which is located near a barren volcano in Hawaii, they will then need to stay there, together for a year.

Below is an image of the space capsule in question, it looks better than in sounds, sort of, the design certainly makes use of the space available.

There is one crumb of comfort however, NASA has tried this before and everyone seemed to be able to live together without any fights, murders or cannibalism attempts. This is certainly an opportunity to advance research in a way which will benefit science, I am not sure I would want to live with 5 other people in a small space for 1 year.

Thank you bbc for providing us with this information.

Beautiful Handheld Wooden Emulator Re imagines a Classic

The Raspberry Pi series has opened up a new frontier in the evolution of tech which has enabled a whole new generation of developers the option to efficiently and cost effectively power their creations. This device however, is quite simply a fabulous reimagining of the Game Boy Advance SP handheld console which was originally released in 2003.

The design has arrived courtesy of creative mind Love Hulten, who has designed his own take on Nintendo’s handheld and has coined the machine the PE358. Below is a selection of screenshots which conveys the vision.  As you can see, the console is very lightweight with dimensions being 8x8x4cm.  The material used is American solid walnut and the console also folds in half which mirrors the Game Boy Advance SP

The emulator device is powered by the familiar Raspberry Pi A+- and it is more than capable of playing the same GBA SP games.  But there is a slight problem with that, as you can see, there is no cartridge slot which means you will need to track down the ROMs for your favourite GBA SP games.

The detail within the below image are fantastic, the screen design reminds me of an old Black and White TV, it has that class which certainly beats the Game Boy Advance SP flimsy plastic design which I personally did not like when it was released.  It may have been ahead of its time, but I found the design to be horrible at the time, it certainly had its fans considering the SP sold 43.52 million units as of June 30th 2009.

This last image below conveys the look when it is folded in half, and there is a chance that you might be able to buy this creation, considering it might not be a one-off design like most of Love Hulten’s works. Either way, it’s a fantastic and imaginative design which will no doubt have its fans within many avenues.

Thank you gizmodo, lovehulten and wikipedia for providing us with this information.

Glass 3D Printing Technique Is Stunning

Recent years have seen the technique of 3D printing evolve from a niche concept to a mainstream phenomenon, which in turn has opened up a whole new horizon for product manufacturing. If you thought this was exciting, then be prepared to be blown away as a new development centres on glass 3D printing.

MIT’s Mediated Matter Group has unveiled a first of its kind optically transparent glass printing process which goes by the name of G3DP, If you are wondering, it stands for “Glass 3D Printing”. In order for this process to become a reality, an additive manufacturing platform is applied with dual heated chambers. The first or upper chamber is a “Kiln Cartridge,” which operates at an intense heat of 1900°F, while the lower chamber works with the aim of heating before cooling in order to soften the glass.

This technique is not creating glass but rather building layers upon layers with pre-existing materials. Below is a video to convey this process in action, as you can see, it is compelling, mind-blowing and quite relaxing to watch, the building up of an object looks similar to a lava lamp which used to be popular.

https://vimeo.com/mediatedmattergroup/glass

The consistency looks to be incredibly hot syrup which is drizzled onto a sugary treat, yep I know, perhaps a poor observation but I have included a screenshot below which kind of backs it up, sort of.

It’s intricate and opens up a whole new set of possibilities for everyday applications in the near future, for now, if your feeling stressed and would like a few moments to relax, then by all means watch the video, aside from the fact that it is pretty amazing to view, it might also soothe you.

Thank You to Gizmodo for providing us with this information.

Hitchhiking Robot Is Vandalised After Just Two Weeks in the US

You did indeed read this correctly, a hitchhiking robot which was created by a team of intelligent minds with the aim of experimenting with artificial intelligence and human interaction, has become unstuck after entering and travelling through the US.

Below is a full length image of Hitchbot, which sounds like a futuristic Will Smith dating movie, was vandalised in Philadelphia after having spent a little over two weeks visiting sites in Boston, Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead, and New York City.   Ironically all went well for the robot when it previously travelled through Canada; the US, on the other hand, was less kind.

The team behind this experiment has vowed to continue this innovative project and will also analyse the very nature of human and AI interaction, more details of any future plans will be detailed on the 5th August 2015.

The design of the robot may look slightly malevolent, but I do think this experiment has so far allowed for research to be undertaken within the effects of a machine has on the general public. The website for Hitchbot is written in first person as if the robot is narrating his story; this includes “Family” for the team which created it. As humans we have become accustomed to interacting with technology on a more human level, from Apple’s Siri to battle warzone robots which are being developed with the aim of “thinking” for themselves.

It will be thought-provoking moving forward when the day arrives for both calling a robot “Him or Her” rather than it and also how we interact with a non-human entity.

Thank You to both Hitchbot and Instagram account for providing us with this information.

Prison Architect v1.0 Launch Date Revealed

Prison Architect is a game that has had a very long and public development phase that is about to come to an end thanks to the announcement of Prison Architect version 1.0 and its launch this October.

The two main people behind this simple yet extremely fascinating game are Mark Morris as Producer and Chris Delay as Designer. Every month like clockwork they’ve released a new alpha version for the ones that bought one of the early access packs. The game has been on sale quite a few times already and this has been going on for a little over 35 months now. There have been exceptions due to “family addition”, where the fans had to wait an extra month for the next version as well as a new video each time.

And while the game is great, I have to admit that I’ve almost enjoyed the 50 minute long videos even more. Mark and Chris do a voice over the video where they show the new features and what else they’ve done, or as they describe it themselves: “Our audience expect a and ready, badly edited, long rambling discussions and bulls##t – and the occasional new feature.”

For now Alpha 35 is the newest version and this game has already come a long way from the very basic sandbox building game without many features and lots of bugs. It has become a very challenging game that can keep you occupied for hours and hours on end and I personally can highly recommend it, that is if you like building games.

Design and build your own prison, manage the finances and rehabilitation as well as all the prisoners needs, such as food, sleep, and hygiene. Deal with riots and catch escaping prisoners as well as gangs. Hire personal and create a beautiful place, or not. The choice is really yours, but you’re also the one that has to deal with what the prisoners do as a result of their treatment.

Prison Architect is truly a prime example on how early access should be handled. Create an almost working base and then continuously and regularly update with bug fixes and new features while you listen to your early backers and try to create the game that they really want. Well done guys, I for one can’t wait to get the “final” version to play.

Parts Of The UK Recreated In Minecraft By Geologists

For many years computer games have been viewed as mindless entertainment and have not received the recognition they have deserved, then games companies hit the mainstream with success stories which catapulted the genre and allowed increased revenue onto new heights. Now the games industry is being used as a tool for learning within surprising new quarters, with the news that hugely popular game Minecraft has been adapted by government backed-British Geological Survey.

By using the Ordnance topographic maps and the British Geological Surveys own data about what lies beneath the surface, this has allowed West Thurrock, York and Ingleborough to be re-created using this technique. To achieve even greater authenticity, the Geological Survey team used blocks which best resembled the ‘real’ geology. The factors which influenced this decision were based on colour, texture and hardness, for the three-dimensional models, they decided to use glass blocks which implemented the texture of their traditional geology map colours.

It’s fascinating and yes I do have a life, to view what for example, the city of York, images below looks like with Geology before the topography is overlaid onto the map. The team have also developed models which include the key map features above ground, such as roads and buildings, the player or explorer has the ability to roam the landscape.

The website also supplies full instructions of how to download and explore all three locations, yes it may not be GTA, but it will certainly attract new audiences to the work of these projects with the aim to garner interest in Geology for today’s tech world. This will not be headline grabbing and you probably won’t see many traditional news outlets covering this story, as the media would rather paint gamers as level 5 shooters in public places.

Thank You British Geological Survey for providing us with this fascinating information

Sega and Relic Want to Revive the Company of Heroes 2 With a New Expansion

It’s been a long time since I heard about any news regarding the Company of Heroes title. The hype around it suddenly died soon after it got released, though the expansions that came after it did try to keep it going. The latest one, Adrenaline Assault, also shifted the focus on the eastern World War II front, taking the focus off the Allied forces and placing the Red Army in the spotlight.

This time around, the focus will move to the Brits and their forces. The upcoming expansion will be called Company of Heroes 2: The British Forces and will introduce fifteen new unites and six commanders, along with eight new multiplayer maps. It will also be a standalone multiplayer expansion, which means you don’t need to have Company of Heroes 2 in order to play it.

In addition to the expansion, Relic and Sega is planning a big update for all Company of Heroes 2 titles too. The latter will feature an improved balance between all factions, improved animations and visual improvements to the majority of units. It’s nice to see they are still supporting the Company of Heroes 2 title, but will this move to attract more players actually work this time?

The expansion and update are said to arrive on the 3rd of September, having the expansion cost £9.99. Sega said it will also offer a 20% discount to players who already own any Company of Heroes title, but only for pre-order purchases.

Thank you Rock, Paper, Shotgun for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of SegaBits

Logitech Unveils Dramatic Brand Re-Design

Logitech has undergone a major visual overhaul and opting to use more bright colours to differentiate their products from the competition. Additionally, the company plans to launch the “Logi” range which looks set to appear on a wide range of new and unexpected categories. While, the official blog post gives no concrete information, I would predict this may be a new direction perhaps in fashion or something similar. Notice, the branding drops the “tech” portion so it would be fair to suggest this part of the company will not produce technology products. It seems Logitech are fully aware of the struggling nature of the PC peripheral market and trying to expand their product line to remain a competitive force.

Peter Curtis was hired recently and acts as Logitech’s first chief design officer. In a brief exchange with The Verge he stated Logitech would begin ,

“design as an ethos and a mentality.”

Curtis also went onto say,

“whether we as a company completely transition to Logi over the next two or three years is yet to be seen.”

I find this a very intriguing statement to make. Reading between the lines, it’s clear Logitech has no long-term plans to ditch the traditional peripheral sector but if their returns diminished further and the Logi brand was a success, it could be up for discussion. Considering they haven’t given a stern no to this possibly, it’s a cogent theory that Logitech could be restructuring in a revolutionary way.

How do you feel about Logitech’s new brand identity? Do you worry their focus on the PC will be neglected in the coming years?

Raspberry Pi Releases First Official Case

One of the most curious aspects about affordable mini-computer the Raspberry Pi was that it came sans case, inspiring a generation of computer-philes to develop their own homebrew cases – often out of LEGO – if they didn’t settle for a third-party case. Now, the creators of the microcomputer have announced that they have developed their own official case, and it’s looking very sleek.

Gordon Hollingworth, Director of Software for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, spoke about the process on the official Raspberry Pi blog:

Two and a half years ago, I found myself sitting in a car with Eben Upton about three days into my new job at Raspberry Pi. We discussed – among other things – everything we wanted to do with the Raspberry Pi hardware and with the products around the Pi.

One of the things we discussed was an official Raspberry Pi case. We thought that it would be great to create something affordable, but with the kind of real beauty and design that our products try to encompass.

So to this end we began the search for a design company who were capable of understanding our requirements and had their eyes firmly fixated on creating a product that achieved those aims.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation hired award-winning design firm Kinneir Dufort to create the case, honing ideas from the following three prototypes:

The final design, with its gentle curve and simple colour scheme, fits the Raspberry Pi, in both form and as a representation of its functionality, perfectly.

The Raspberry Pi blog does a marvellous job of outlining the design and build process for the case, so be sure to check it out. The official case is priced £6 ($9), and is available from the Raspberry Pi Swag Store website.

PowerColor Showcase Updated Fan Design @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – While at the PowerColor booth, we noticed something a little different about the fans that are used on the current line-up of graphics cards.

The new ‘DoubleBlades’ design is the same as a standard 5 fin fan, but with notched taken out of the inner fin to concentrate more airflow downwards. Due to the additional fin and notch taken out of the larger fin, this creates negative air pressure which is filled in quicker than a traditional fan design; thus creating a more powerful flow of air.

We look forward to taking a closer look at these fans during an upcoming review. We will keep you updated with the rest of the news and events from the rest of Computex 2015.