Illumina – The Google of DNA

We have all used Google and other search engines to find everything from that news article we told our friends about the other day to the cute cat video that we just can’t stop watching. We use search engines because they let us find and pick up things more easily, so why not use something similar for our genetic sequences?

San Diego-based biotech company Illumina Machines uses the Illumina for just that. The Illumina is a DNA sequencing machine that has so far generated as much 90% of all our data regarding the DNA sequence to date. That doesn’t mean they plan to stop though as they are about to move into a new venture with another company that focuses on liquid cancer biopsy’s, Grail. With less than a hundredth of the world’s population having their genetic sequence mapped, the idea is that increasing the mapping and detail that these scans are done we can detect, pick up and analyse illness and irregularities in our very building blocks.

Eric Endicott, the director of global relations at Illumina, stated that “we are at a tipping point genomics, where a broad community of scientists and researchers continue to translate the potential of the genome from science to discoveries and applications”.

Would you want a map of your genome done? From the looks of it, Illumina is keen to go from theory to practice by letting everyone get their genetic sequences mapped, even letting companies use it in the field to help detect illnesses and high-risk patients before they are struck by the symptoms.

Facebook Is Mapping the World With AI

These days having a social media presence is up there alongside having a driving license or passport, for everything from seeing your friends get new jobs and houses to checking out potential employers (or being checked out by a potential employer). Facebook is keen to do a lot in the new year, and its made its first step by mapping where people live using AI.

The social network has been mapping the world using artificial intelligence, scaning satellite images and using it to identify where human-built structures are. While an impressive sight, the tool is designed to be useful as well, with the hopes that it could help them deploy their internet streaming drones.

Facebook though isn’t just ending it there, with hopes that it could be used for everything from “socio-economic research” to “risk assessment for natural disasters”.

The results of the scans are shown below, showing just how accurate the AI is at picking out what a human being would struggle to spot from an image.

In their blog post, Facebook stated that they have now analyzed 20 countries with a total of 21.6 million square kilometers. The total size of these images is a whopping 350TB of data,

If this wasn’t enough, Facebook announced they will be releasing the data to the general public later this year, meaning that everyone from you and me to Universities and Governments can use it to help with anything from figuring out a nice quiet neighborhood for a party to a nicely populated town to retire in.

DriveClub Update Brings The Race To Scotland

DriveClub looks to be an amazing racing game, with everything from a McLaren 650S throttling down the road to Suzuki bikes coming in a future DLC. The game looks to have something for everyone, and with companies like Nissan mistaking gameplay for real-life, the graphics are jaw dropping. That said a game is not made by graphics alone and initial reviews saw DriveClub lacking with missing or broken features following a delay. Let’s hope the latest update brings more people into the fold for the game.

The latest update for DriveClub features a new map, based in an old Scottish Town (unsurprisingly called Scotland’s Old Town) is available in three variants to give you a bit of choice.

If the extra map wasn’t enough there is a break from the arcade tradition of the game with the addition of the hardcore mode. Meant to bring a more challenging experience, selecting this option gives you breaks that lock and your tires will scream out if you try to perform some of the more ambitious driving moves.

With an update like this the game now has two feelings, but with players often wanting to seek out new ways to drive faster, is a game mode that makes them slow down a good option? With the new game mode sharing the same leaderboard as the normal mode, you’ll find it a challenge to get your times anywhere near high enough to get near the top.

Cloud Imperium Games Developer Recreates Fallout Vault in CryEngine

Robert Stephens of Cloud Imperium Games fame, has been working on his own little Fallout project, recreating the games iconic vault door in the graphics powerhouse that is CryEngine.

Obviously this isn’t going to be a full game, far from it, especially given the issues with licencing and copyright. However, it’s great to see and imagine what parts of a fallout game would like if the focus was set on graphics and let’s be honest, CryEngine is one of the most visually capable engines around, so it’s a great match for this little project.

“As a huge fallout fan I wanted to create my own homage to the game series by recreating the iconic vault entrance. I wanted to create an interior that looked functional and well used, with the intention of eventually animating many of the assets (including the door mechanism) to tell the story of the vault in more detail. One of the biggest challenges with this project was to put my own spin on the design of the interior while still maintaining the iconic fallout style, this was important to me as I didn’t just want to recreate the vault entrance exactly as seen in the games.”

Robert created the map using Substance Painter for all the baking and texturing, then CryEngine to render the screenshots.

Half Life 2’s City 17 Apartment Looks Amazing in Unreal Engine 4

Over the past few months, we’ve seen a huge array of gaming mascots and other projects emerge in fan-created Unreal Engine 4 demos. Some of them looked out of place, while others illustrate the unbelievable potential of this particular engine. One pertinent example comes from Polycount member, ‘PogoP’, who shared a number of stunning screenshots of the infamous City 17 Apartment from Half Life 2 remastered in Unreal Engine 4.

Today, ‘PogoP’ announced the City 17 Apartment map will be publicly available once complete and said:

“Just so you know, I do plan to release this scene online for people to play around with. I’m not going to release it just yet, as I would really like to get it working with Oculus Rift before I do.. So you can run around with virtual reality. Not entirely sure if its going to work, but I’ll give it a good go!”

The re-worked art assets and lighting model makes for a fantastic and almost eerie appearance. I love how the visual style has been updated without losing the iconic Half Life 2 look. In an ideal world, Valve could spend a great deal of their resources making a re-worked version and finally release Half Life 3. Sadly, I don’t think this is a priority for them given the financial success of Steam.

Despite this depressing note, it’s possible for fans to recreate Half Life 2 using Unreal Engine 4 with the right talent. Black Mesa is an extremely high quality mod and even became accredited by Valve. As a result, it’s theoretically possible, a similar situation could occur in the future.

Do you think there will ever be a Half Life 3?

Thank you Dark Side of Gaming for providing us with this information.

Navigate The Complex World Economy Within Harvard’s Interactive Map

If I were to ask you to quantify the world’s economic activity and the regions which experience the biggest growth, you might say, I am not sure and what are you doing in my kitchen! But there might be an easier way thanks to Harvard University’s Owen Cornec who has devised a web-based map which allows the user to explore Earth’s economic relationships through 3D “confetti.”

Below are two screenshots of the map in action, when you first land on the Interactive Map page, it asks you to either experience a tour of the website or if you wish to skip this you can jump straight to the start to “visualize over 15 trillion dollars worth of trade”.  If you click the “Visualize”  button, you will receive the following screenshot of lots and lots of multi coloured dots being dropped onto the globe, each dot represents $100 million dollars worth of exports.   You can also view the globe by clicking on the virtual earth or you can “Select a country” to specifically view information relating to trade. 

The below screenshot is the “map view” by clicking this link you will see a flat map which might make it easier to see more data in one place, either option has the ability to utilize a “Full Screen” feature. At the bottom of the page, there is a colour coded key which illustrates trade within sectors that include Metals and also transportation along with other commodities.

This map adds a new dimension to the world’s trade while being immersive and thought-provoking, the colour scheme looks to be a giant firework party, but it’s certainly worth taking a minute to view the range of features and options available within this educational yet fun website.

Thank you harvard for providing us with this information.

The Unofficial GTA V Map is Awesome!

The stock map on GTA V is functional enough for most of us, but if you’re out there looking for many of the games secrets, collectables and more. For those who are looking for a little more detail, you’ll want to check out Tspoon’s unofficial interactive GTA V map of Los Santos. It was recently updated to allow the addition of tracking collectibles, adding personal notes and more.

The app is already available through Google Play and the App Store, but you can also access it online in your browser, giving you plenty of ways to use it. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone found a way to mod it into the PC version of the game in the near future.

If you register for the app, you can track your progress of collectibles and more. There’s over 50 categories already available already, showing you the locations of shops, cinemas, easter eggs and a whole lot more, so it’s certainly worth checking out.

If you’re looking to 100% your game, you’ll want the app and no doubt there will be a lot more cool updates to it in the future, so it’ll be worth checking back for new secrets as they’re discovered in the game.

Thank you VG247 for providing us with this information.

Check Out a Real-Time Map of Objects in Earth’s Orbit

Like the average computer desk, space is laced with debris. For every crumb lodged in your keyboard, one thousand times as many particles are currently in orbit around the Earth. With the wonderful 3D-visualised map stuffin.space, you can now watch the myriad or objects hurtling around our planet in real time.

The site uses live satellite data from Space Track, the US Department of Defense’s website designed to promote space flight safety and “protection of the space environment”. The site monitors space junk traffic in orbit around the planet, tracking all objects bigger than a tennis ball, excluding secret military satellites, sadly.

Though this data, stuffin.space tracks around 150,000 unique objects currently in orbit around the Earth and can show their position, movement, and trajectory in real time. Every object has its own identifier, so if you know the name of the object you’d wish to follow, simply type its name into the search box and the screen will zero in on it.

The beautiful visualisation suite was developed by 18-year-old James Yoder, a programmer and alumnus of FIRST Robotics, the lauded high school robotics competition. Yoder was driven by a desire to learn how to render 3D graphics and code using the JavaScript API, WebGL.

“Using those orbital parameters, stuffin.space uses a propagation model to predict the location of every satellite in real time, with an accuracy of within a few kilometers, and displays the data using a WebGL visualization with an accurate view of the Earth’s rotation and sunlight angle,” Yoder told Gizmodo.

Yoder will be studying electrical engineering at the University of Texas this Autumn.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information.

You Can Now Use Your Hyundai Car Features From Your Apple Watch

Hyundai is keeping up with the times and trying to make your car interaction experiences more impressive than ever. Earlier this year, it launched the Android counterpart, allowing users to interact with their Hyundai cars from Android devices. Now the company has shifted its focus on the latest gadget on the market, namely the Apple Watch.

Hyundai launched the Blue Link car platform on the App Store, offering all features previously showcased in the Android version. Therefore, you can start and stop the engine with just a tap, remotely lock the car’s doors and even find your car on the map. The latter are just a few examples of what the Blue Link app allows you to do, but the best part of it is the Siri integration, where you are able to interact with your car through voice commands.

Hyundai’s Blue Link app for iOS is said to be compatible with all of its cars that have the Blue Link feature. However, the approach is not that uncommon. BMW has a similar app called BMW Remote App that lets you pretty much do the same things Hyundai’s app does, while Volkswagen and Porsche apps are also available for you to make the most out of your driving experience.

The question here is, will you as a driver prefer to interact with your car from your watch or through voice commands, or do you prefer to just keep your keys in your pocket as usual?

Thank you TheVerge for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of RushLane

Uber Accquires Bing Mapping Assets and 100 Engineers from Microsoft

Car-hailing firm Uber is making big strides into the mapping market, acquiring mapping data as well as about 100 image-collection engineers from Microsoft. Uber has been looking to making their mobile app better, mainly in the area of better maps to bring drivers and riders together. While companies transferring data and technology isn’t something new, the movement of about 100 engineers is rare.

With such a large movement of engineers, it looks like Uber actually may have acquired a Bing mapping division or some part of it at least. What is most surprising though isn’t that Uber wanted the data and engineers, but that Microsoft was willing to part with them. Microsoft has spent a lot of money trying to build up their Bing search and mapping platforms and divesting itself of this many experienced engineers is not a sign of confidence.

both Uber and Microsoft are facing tough times ahead of them. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke about making tough choices in the near future and getting out of fringe markets not core to the business. Uber is also facing push back to its business model, mainly from taxi organizations and just had two senior officers arrested in France. It will be interesting to see both firms move on from this technology and personnel transfer.

Thank you Tech Crunch for providing us with this information.

Uber Wants to Put You in the Driver Seat with Its New Game

Have you ever wondered how to increase your sales and promote your service? Uber might have the right answer to it and yes, it is a game! The popular transport company now has a driving game called UberDrive available on the Apple AppStore that puts you in the driver’s seat of their cabs.

Uber wants to promote its service and get its clients more engaged with the company’s driver-partners that ever before. The UberDrive title lets you experience their daily life as one of their independent cab drivers in a fun and rewarding way.

According to Uber’s Newsroom article, players need to help riders reach their destination as quickly and safely as possible. However, the game is not designed as monotonous as it sounds.

Players will be able to earn achievements and unlock parts of the city as the progress through the game. Score points will also unlock various cars and new areas, while activities such as identifying landmarks and tapping on intersection points will increase your score.

In addition to the above, Uber added some educational elements such as fun facts about landmarks and a trivia mode where riders can quiz players to get destination points on the map.

Uber has launched the UberDrive worldwide with only San Francisco as a playable map. However, Uber stated that San Fancisco is the “initial” map, indicating that more areas are likely to come in the future. For now, users can download the game from here.

Halo 5: Guardians Will Come with Some Special Goodies

Halo fans are already looking forward to Halo 5: Guardians announcement at the Electronic Entertainment Expo where 343 Industries will most likely hype things up before the title gets released, but more juicy details about what fans should expect from it comes even before the event.

Up until now, a lot of details were focusing mostly on the title’s single-player feature. But I know you guys are equally interested in what Halo 5 has to offer in terms of multiplayer too. Well, here it is.

The title will come with more than 20 maps at launch, which is a great number compared to other multiplayer first person shooters. However, the developer is going to throw in another 15 maps as free downloadable content by July 2016.

Also, your friends will be able to pitch in and help you through the campaign in co-op mode even if they don’t have Xbox Live Gold membership subscriptions. This is really great news since most multiplayer titles for Microsoft’s Xbox console requires the latter subscription to play multiplayer games.

Unfortunately, if you want to play the standard versus mode, you will still require the Gold subscription. Even so, when looking at other big-name companies’ marketing strategies, I think 343 Industries still make a better deal. So are you ready for the big reveal next week at E3?

Thank you TechSpot for providing us with this information

Mods Bring Old City to Grand Theft Auto V

It might be an exciting day for GTA V players because another awesome mod is out. A Grand Theft Auto V modder NTAuthority has figured out a method of adding custom maps to the game using a client called “FiveM, a multiplayer modification for GTA V. This  map modification is not yet ready for the public release but modders are already working on transforming the old GTA mods and locales for the platform of GTA V. NTAuthority has posted his own map which shares the assets used in its ancient predecessor Grand Theft Auto : London. The map consists of the low textured objects and yes, it does not suit the surrounding, but it is just a proof of concept.

After Character animations, weapons, scripts, and vehicle handling modifications, it is time for modders to conquer the summit of Maps. This POC makes it possible to enjoy the custom-made maps in the world of Grand Theft Auto V. At this speed of modding, that day is not far away when Niko’s Cousin, Roman Bellic (From GTA IV) to ask Michael (From GTA V) to go for bowling in the streets of Liberty City.

This is a significant breakthrough for the modding community of the franchise. It might take a while for the mod to get ready for public use.

Thank you GTAForums and Kotaku for providing us with this information.

Track the Movements of Your Facebook Friends With This Creepy Chrome Extension

A coder has created an extension for the Google Chrome browser that can track the location and movement of your Facebook friends. Using location data from the Facebook Messenger mobile app, Marauders Map plots every place that a Facebook user has been (with their phone, that is) onto a map.

The extension’s developer, Aran Khanna, explains the mechanics in a post he wrote on Medium:

“As you may know, when you send a message from the Messenger app there is an option to send your location with it. What I realized was that almost every other message in my chats had a location attached to it, so I decided to have some fun with this data. I wrote a Chrome extension for the Facebook Messenger page (https://www.facebook.com/messages/) that scrapes all this location data and plots it on a map. You can get this extension here and play around with it on your message data.”

For anyone concerned about breach of privacy, Khanna reminds readers that his extension only uses data that Facebook collects anyway, saying:

“What you should keep in mind is that the mobile app for Facebook Messenger defaults to sending a location with all messages.”

While digging through Facebook’s location data, Khanna discovered that the latitude and longitude coordinates stored are within six decimal places of precision, meaning that location of a Facebook user can be determined with a high degree of accuracy.

The Marauders Map Chrome extension can be downloaded here, and anyone who is curious enough to dig through the code, it can be found open-source on GitHub.

Thank you TechSpot for providing us with this information.

Drones Are Now Able to Learn Flight Paths and Fly on Their Own

Researcher José Martínez Carranza from the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics in Mexico developed a new way for drones to operate on their own and use much cheaper tech to navigate, like accelerometers, gyroscopes and camcorders.

This was made possible with an algorithm that drops GPS support in favour of visual feedback. The drones can view the terrain similar to how we see it on Google Maps and orient themselves using the above mentioned technology. If you’ve played games that have unmanned aerial vehicles which you can send by clicking on a map, then you know how this drone can operate in real-life too.

Of course there are more factors to take into account other than the 2D spatial positioning. This is where the accelerometers and gyroscopes come in, helping the drone to properly position itself into the right direction and readjust in case of harsh wind conditions or other external factors that might affect the drone’s orientation. However, the project is still at its early stages, so don’t expect the drones to do loops or move like jet fighters.

Martínez said that he wants to add support for wearable devices for people to control the drones and aid in a variety of situations where drones are most suitable, such as surveillance, exploration of properties and other areas.

Thank you Phys.org for providing us with this information

Euro Truck Sim 2 Scandinavia Map Released

The release of the much-anticipated Scandinavia map expansion DLC for Euro Truck Simulator 2 is finally here. The DLC is available on Steam to download and on other major retailers.

Scs Software, the creators of the wonderful game published the following:

This Euro Truck Simulator 2 Scandinavia add-on is the most exciting expansion pack for the incomparable Euro Truck Simulator 2 so far. Featuring Sweden, Norway and Denmark, you’ll have access to mile upon mile across these three beautiful Nordic countries. Fifteen new ports and ferry locations also allow you to board ferries directly and to discover 25 Scandinavian cities like Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo, Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen, Copenhagen, Aalborg and Esbjerg. 

Reflecting how ferries are an integral part of Scandinavian transportation, SCS Software has painstakingly simulated the ships and Nordic ferry locations you’d see in real life today.  Many of the ports in this pack are the same size as entire cities depicted in mainland Europe elsewhere within the game. The sea transportation network also allows the player to use alternate connections between locations in Scandinavia and other territories of the map with direct routes to the United Kingdom and Poland. 

Features:

·         New trailer models including semi-trailers for transporting livestock

·         Introducing the Mercedes Benz Actro 2014 cab

·         New industries to service with 80 new cargo types which include foodstuffs, machinery, construction plus deliveries to Volvo and Scania dealerships across Europe

·         Updates to the core Euro Truck Simulator 2 game

·         Brand new rims and tyres upgrades

Sounds pretty good! let us know what you think in the comments below

Thank you to Scs Software for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Scs Software

Witcher 3, GTA V, Skyrim & Far Cry 4 Map Size Comparison

CDProjektRED has already proven it has what it takes to make an epic RPG. The original Witcher game was a little clunky, but it set the wheels in motion for the RPG masterpiece that was The Witcher 2, one of the best games of the last generation and when it launched, it was a titan in terms of graphical performance too. Now we have The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt on the horizon and we’re preparing for the ultimate Witcher experience as well as what is expected to be one of the biggest and best RPGs of all time. The only question is, exactly how big is the world of The Witcher 3?

To put it simply, the game is freaking massive. For those that need numbers, 1 “massive” is around 136km2, but that only accounts for the Novegrad, No Man’s Land and Skellige Islands, there are 4-6 more regions beyond that of unknown size, but we do know that they’re also on a grand scale.

Even with this little bit of information, we can work out that The Witcher 3 is at least 3.7 times the size of the 36 km2 GTA San Andreas map, it’s 1.5 times bigger than the 81 km2 of GTA V, 3.3 times the 41 km2 of Read Dead Redemption, 3 times bigger than Far Cry 4’s 46 km2, three and a half times bigger than Skyrims modest 39 km2!

Put simply, we only have conservative estimates of the map size, but with some areas still to be detailed, the estimate is only going to go one way; up!

Thank you GamingBolt for providing us with this information.

Android Tablet Delivers Air-Strike in Just Four Minutes

Up until now, American Joint Terminal Attack Controllers have been faced with calling in airstrikes using radios and paper maps. During that time, they required to coordinate and monitor positions of inbound aircrews to avoid friendly fire, while also being in the middle of a firefight. Now, thanks to DARPA and their new Android tablet, it takes less time to do that.

DARPA’s Persistent Close Air Support works by having it run on the tablet named Kinetic Integrated Low-cost SoftWare Integrated Tactical Combat Handheld, or KILSWITCH for short. The tech was used before in tactical and navigational applications, but this is the first time the military integrated it into air support.

The PCAS is also integrated directly into a plane’s tactical system and acts as well as the older radio-map method did, but in only four minutes. It has been designed to give real-time situational awareness data sharing between ground forces and overhead aircraft.

The system relies on live satellite, intelligence, and surveillance feeds to ensure that both parties are aware of each other up until the bombing commences. This would also allow the military to use fewer smart munitions. DARPA has tested the new tech in TALON REACH, an US Marine Corps infantry/aviation training exercise held in New Mexico.

“I am very pleased with the successful PCAS demonstration that we had during TALON REACH,” Lt. Gen. Jon M. Davis, the Marine Corps’ deputy commandant for aviation, said in a statement. “I have emphasized to my team that we will network every one of our aircraft.”

With more and more technological advancements, it seems that the modern battlefield is drastically changing its façade. It seems that the latest involves bombing in less time than it takes for a pizza to arrive at your doorstep.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Startphones May Be Able to Predict When the next Earthquake Will Be

The common smartphone can do more than track movement, personal health or geographical position. The gadgets nowadays can also warn users of potential earthquakes thanks to advancements in GPS technology.

A team of researchers from the United States reveal how a crowdsourced early warning system can look like. They say that the smartphones are currently able to predict any earthquake with a magnitude of 7 of above. U.S. Geological Survey study leader in California, Sarah Minson, explained how the accelerometer data can be used along with GPS readings to give accurate real-time map activity.

“The GPS on a smartphone is shockingly good. If you take your phone and move it six inches to the right, it knows with surprising accuracy that it moved six inches to the right — and that is exactly what we want to know when studying earthquakes,” Minson stated.

While the idea is unique, it does have its limitations. Smartphones are not scientific instruments and can only act as warning systems, but even so, they may prove to even save lives one day. Minson stated that a special app is required to help record the data.

“The cost is essentially zero, especially since people buy new phones every two years or so to have the latest-and-greatest model,” Minson added.

The researchers have taken data from the 2011 earthquake in Tōhoku, Japan, to test the warning system out. Also, in order to avoid false alarms, the system is said to look for similar movement in different handsets at once.

The study was published in the Science Advances journal, but more research needs to be done before you can have your smartphones yelling at you in case they detect an earthquake.

Thank you Digital Trends for providing us with this information

Every UFO Sighting Since 1933 Can be Viewed on an Interactive Map

Sightings of possible UFO activity has been increasing common the past century. However, even with their increase in number, they still remain an intriguing mystery. The last sighting of a UFO that went viral on the Internet was in California, where a high-speed UFO passes through a town. Also, the video can be viewed in 4K.

(This might also make you wonder if UFOs should get a ticket for speeding)

All these UFO sightings can even lead to crazy conspiracy theories, but nonetheless, everyone is free to believe in what they like. Regardless of what everyone’s belief is, people continue to see these sightings and thanks to conspiracy buffs and alien hunters, someone managed to put all recorded sightings together in an interactive map, leading to sightings since 1933.

The map was made by Christian Pearson, an MBA candidate, using data from the National UFO Reporting Centre. The sightings appear as a flashing dot on the map, along with an appropriate colour stating for how long the sighting took place.

“It was a fun way of conveying the point that beautiful data visualisation can provide deep insights,” Mr Pearson told City Lab.

Also, Pearson appears to discredit the myth that sightings tend to happen more often in secluded rural places, showing that heavy clusters of sightings have been reported in major urban cities rather than quiet rural towns.

“The map clearly shows large clusters of reporting in urban areas,” Mr Pearson said.

You can view and interact with the UFO sightings map in question below:

Thank you News.com.au for providing us with this information.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Comes with Over 200 Hours of Gameplay

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is already known as a massive and ambitious project, having the same characteristics lead to it being delayed several times now. But how can we imagine the immensity of the game world in real-world time? Well, the answer seems to come from the title’s developers, having them state that its size can be measured in well over 200 hours of gameplay.

“Hard to say,” said developer Damien Monnier on Twitter in response to a fan’s question about just how long the game might last. “If you do everything, I’d say 200+ hours.”

The title is undoubtedly coming with a lot of content, but as with any other title that is yet to be released, the numbers should be taken with a pinch of salt. A lot of developers made claim of their title’s world size in recent years, but some of them really didn’t turn out as described.

A good example of a massive game world that eventually amounts to nothing more than simple, boring side-quests and endless hours of roaming around is Dragon Age: Inquisition. Whether The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have a more Skyrim approach, we just have to wait and see.

Thank you Gamingbolt for providing us with this information

DARPA Developing Superior GPS Replacement

Anyone who’s tried to negotiate their way cross-country with only a satnav for guidance knows that GPS signal can be temperamental. It seems that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) must have also struggled with a ten-hour road trip from Bournemouth to Loch Lomond, as it is developing a “radical” new technology to replace global positioning systems.

DARPA has written a new paper on the matter, in which it states its aim to create a system that goes beyond satellite tracking and signal strength. Or, as DARPA puts it, “The need to be able to operate effectively in areas where GPS is inaccessible, unreliable or potentially denied by adversaries, has created a demand for alternative precision timing and navigation capabilities.”

As part of the endeavour, DARPA is also developing self-calibrating gyroscopes, accelerometers, and tracking clocks that don’t depend on wireless signal. The system is projected to be self-contained, housing all the data you need to track your position within the device. In addition, DARPA wants to track local “signals of opportunity”, like television, radio, and even meteorological conditions, such as lightning, to help location tracking.

DARPA is, of course, focusing on military implementation but, as with all good tech, the new location system is sure to bleed through to the consumer market.

Source: Engadget

Xbox One and 360 Get Free Titanfall DLC

If you have and Xbox One or 360 and Titanfall, then you might be happy to hear that the new DLC for the title is currently free on Microsoft’s console. The DLC includes three separate map packs: the IMC Rising, Frontier’s Edge and Expedition packs.

Respawn Entertainment, Titanfalls developer, might have made the DLCs free on the store due to the fact that today is the title’s one year anniversary, having it released on March 11 last year. Users can download the packs separately or get the Season Pass through the Xbox Games Store at $0.00, though the Season Pass is reported to be free only for the Xbox One console.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information

Halo Mod for Arma 3 Looks Amazing!

A Halo mod for Arma 3 released by Foehammer Studios has just been released under the name of The Eridanus Insurrection. Its description tells us that the mod focuses on the civil war between the UNSC (United Nations Space Command) and the Insurrectionists, who are various groups of rebel factions within the human colonies.

The mod is said to add a multitude of factions, wider variety of weaponry and vehicles and a custom-made terrain for users to play on when the final version is released. Currently, the mod is at its 0.1 alpha stage and can be downloaded from here.

Halo fans should know that the mod will not include Covenants or Master Chief himself. Still, the idea itself seems promising!

Thank you DSOGaming for providing us with this information

LoL Update Sees New Map Introduced

Many months ago I was introduced to a jaw-dropping statistic. According to their own data, Riot Games will see a minimum of 4 million users logged in to their League of Legends client at any one time, worldwide. This really helped put into perspective how big games were really becoming globally. This is coupled with the tens of thousands of concurrent users that League of Legends pro streamers receives every day, alongside hundreds of thousands of viewers for each world series tournament game.

On November the 13th, Riot Games released one of their biggest updates yet – seeing the new update to Summoners Rift head into BETA.

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that League of Legends is a massively successful project and here to stay. Commonly known as ‘League’ by its regulars, this update sees the games mainly played map fully updated with improved graphics, clutter minimization and it will mesh more with current game styling. So far it’s sounding like a very VALVE-eque CS:GO update in all honesty – you know, those updates they do after the 100th Reddit thread about map release clutter being unbearable. Riot has announced alongside this update that for the next “several weeks” you can earn yourself limited red and blue icons by winning a match on either respective starting side of your game.

There are other game-modes and maps besides Summoners Rift including their popular ARAM (All Random, All Mid) level – however updates for this version have not yet been announced to the public.

This update is said to come alongside more anti-cheating methods implemented by Riot, combating a various range of third-party plugins devised to give one or multiple players an unfair game advantage aka filthy hackers.

If you wish to try out the Beta of this new map, you’re going to have to queue with bots or in ‘team builder mode’ until it goes live on public matchmaking.

Image courtesy of onGamers

Most Illegally Download Games In Each U.S. State Revealed

Ever wondered what games the people of New York like to download the most? Or perhaps you lose sleep over not know if the residents of Texas are more likely to download Skyrim than they are The Sim 3. OK it isn’t likely that these things have bothered you, not unless you work at one of the governments anti-piracy organisations.

The team over at Movoto decided to do some research on BitTorrent to find out what games are being downloaded the most on a per-state basis and the results are actually quite surprising. Obviously this years biggest releases dominate the chart quite a bit, with Watch Dogs taking up a lot of spots, as well as a few classics such as Garry’s Mod making its way into the list despite its age.

Not content with just “which state downloaded the most of X” the team at Movoto also took into consideration the varying populations of each state, calculating the rate of pirates per 10,000 people in each state. Although even the worst looking states such as Nevada and Washington only have a game piracy rate of less than 1 person per 10,000, whilst TV show piracy is more in the region of 4.3 per 10k.

 Thank you Venturebeat for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Venturebeat.

Google Street Car Crashes Going Backwards on One-Way Street

The Google Street View Car has been involved in an accident after it was travelling the wrong way down a one-way street, which is kind of ironic given that this car is supposed to be helping others to navigate roads, when its drivers seem at a loss for how to drive themselves.

the Google car suffered significant damage to its front end and the other car was totalled. The Google car, a 2010 Subaru Legacy was being driven by 28yr old Alexander Spurr, who said he attempted a U-turn, but accidentally came out onto an adjacent road. At this point they struck the side of the other vehicle, with the victims car also suggesting to local police that the Google Car must have run a red light for the collision to happen.

Police estimated that around $1500 in damages was done to the Google Car, while around $2000 in damages was done to the Mazda they hit.

The driver of the Mazda, a 22 year old construction worker received treatment at a local hospital for bruised ribs and whiplash after a catscan and X-Ray and I fully suspect he’ll be taking Google for everything he can.

Thank you TheSmokingGun for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TheSmokingGun.