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How Time Travel Works

Page 1/7 - From millennium-skipping Victorians to phone booth-hopping teenagers, the term time travel often summons our most fantastic visions of what it means to move through the fourth dimension. But of course you don’t need a time machine or a fancy wormhole to jaunt through the years. As you’ve probably noticed, we’re all constantly engaged in the act of time travel. At its most basic level, time is the rate of change in the universe — and like it or not, we are constantly undergoing change. We age, the planets move around the sun, and things fall apart. We measure the passage of time in seconds, minutes, hours and years, but this doesn’t mean time flows at a constant rate. Just as the water in a river rushes or slows depending on the size of the channel, time flows at different rates in different places. In other words, time is relative. But what causes this fluctuation along our one-way trek from the cradle to the grave? It all comes down to the relationship between time and space. Human beings frolic about in the three spatial dimensions of length, width and depth. Time joins the party as that most crucial fourth dimension. Time can’t exist without space, and space can’t exist without time. The two exist as one: the space-time continuum. Any event that occurs in the universe has to involve both space and time. Discuss Time Travel in our forums   Page 2/7: Time Travel Into the Future If you want to advance through the years a little faster than the next person, you’ll need to exploit space-time. Global positioning satellites pull this off every day, accruing an extra third-of-a-billionth of a second daily. Time passes faster in orbit, because satellites are farther away from the mass of the Earth. Down here on the surface, the planet’s mass drags on time and slows it down in small measures. We call this effect gravitational time dilation. According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, gravity is a curve in space-time and astronomers regularly observe this phenomenon when they study light moving near a sufficiently massive object. Particularly large suns, for instance, can cause an otherwise straight beam of light to curve in what we call the gravitational lensing effect. What does this have to do with time? Remember: Any event that occurs in the universe has to involve both space and time. Gravity doesn’t just pull on space; it also pulls on time. You wouldn’t be able to notice minute changes in the flow of time, but a sufficiently massive object would make a huge difference — say, like the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A at the center of our galaxy. Here, the mass of 4 million suns exists as a single, infinitely dense point, known as a singularity [source: NASA]. Circle this black hole for a while (without falling in) and you’d experience time at half the Earth rate. In other words, you’d round out a five-year journey to discover an entire decade had passed on Earth [source: Davies]. Speed also plays a role in the rate at which we experience time. Time passes more slowly the closer you approach the unbreakable cosmic speed limit we call the speed of light. For instance, the hands of a clock in a speeding train move more slowly than those of a stationary clock. A human passenger wouldn’t feel the difference, but at the end of the trip the speeding clock would be slowed by billionths of a second. If such a train could attain 99.999 percent of light speed, only one year would pass onboard for every 223 years back at the train station [source: Davies]. In effect, this hypothetical commuter would have traveled into the future. But what about the past? Could the fastest starship imaginable turn back the clock?   Page 3/7: Time Travel Into the Past We’ve established that time travel into the future happens all the time. Scientists have proven it in experiments, and the idea is a fundamental aspect of Einstein’s theory of relativity. You’ll make it to the future; it’s just a question of how fast the trip will be. But what about travel into the past? A glance into the night sky should supply an answer. The Milky Way galaxy is roughly 100,000 light-years wide, so light from its more distant stars can take thousands upon thousands of years to reach Earth. Glimpse that light, and you’re essentially looking back in time. When astronomers measure the cosmic microwave background radiation, they stare back more than 10 billion years into a primordial cosmic age. But can we do better than this? There’s nothing in Einstein’s theory that precludes time travel into the past, but the very premise of pushing a button and going back to yesterday violates the law of causality, or cause and effect. One event happens in our universe, and it leads to yet another in an endless one-way string of events. In every instance, the cause occurs before the effect. Just try to imagine a different reality, say, in which a murder victim dies of his or her gunshot wound before being shot. It violates reality as we know it; thus, many scientists dismiss time travel into the past as an impossibility. Some scientists have proposed the idea of using faster-than-light travel to journey back in time. After all, if time slows as an object approaches the speed of light, then might exceeding that speed cause time to flow backward? Of course, as an object nears the speed of light, its relativistic mass increases until, at the speed of light, it becomes infinite. Accelerating an infinite mass any faster than that is impossible. Warp speed technology could theoretically cheat the universal speed limit by propelling a bubble of space-time across the universe, but even this would come with colossal, far-future energy costs. But what if time travel into the past and future depends less on speculative space propulsion technology and more on existing cosmic phenomena? Set a course for the black hole.   Page 4/7: Black Holes and Kerr Rings Circle a black hole long enough, and gravitational time dilation will take you into the future. But what would happen if you flew right into the maw of this cosmic titan? Most scientists agree the black hole would probably crush you, but one unique variety of black hole might not: the Kerr black hole or Kerr ring. In 1963, New Zealand mathematician Roy Kerr proposed the first realistic theory for a rotating black hole. The concept hinges on neutron stars, which are massive collapsed stars the size of Manhattan but with the mass of Earth’s sun [source: Kaku]. Kerr postulated that if dying stars collapsed into a rotating ring of neutron stars, their centrifugal force would prevent them from turning into a singularity. Since the black hole wouldn’t have a singularity, Kerr believed it would be safe to enter without fear of the infinite gravitational force at its center. If Kerr black holes exist, scientists speculate that we might pass through them and exit through a white hole. Think of this as the exhaust end of a black hole. Instead of pulling everything into its gravitational force, the white hole would push everything out and away from it — perhaps into another time or even another universe. Kerr black holes are purely theoretical, but if they do exist they offer the adventurous time traveler a one-way trip into the past or future. And while a tremendously advanced civilization might develop a means of calibrating such a method of time travel, there’s no telling where or when a “wild” Kerr black hole might leave you.   Page 5/7: Wormholes Theoretical Kerr black holes aren’t the only possible cosmic shortcut to the past or future. As made popular by everything from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” to “Donnie Darko,” there’s also the equally theoretical Einstein-Rosen bridge to consider. But of course you know this better as a wormhole. Einstein’s general theory of relativity allows for the existence of wormholes since it states that any mass curves space-time. To understand this curvature, think about two people holding a bedsheet up and stretching it tight. If one person were to place a baseball on the bedsheet, the weight of the baseball would roll to the middle of the sheet and cause the sheet to curve at that point. Now, if a marble were placed on the edge of the same bedsheet it would travel toward the baseball because of the curve. In this simplified example, space is depicted as a two-dimensional plane rather than a four-dimensional one. Imagine that this sheet is folded over, leaving a space between the top and bottom. Placing the baseball on the top side will cause a curvature to form. If an equal mass were placed on the bottom part of the sheet at a point that corresponds with the location of the baseball on the top, the second mass would eventually meet with the baseball. This is similar to how wormholes might develop. In space, masses that place pressure on different parts of the universe could combine eventually to create a kind of tunnel. This tunnel would, in theory, join two separate times and allow passage between them. Of course, it’s also possible that some unforeseen physical or quantum property prevents such a wormhole from occurring. And even if they do exist, they may be incredibly unstable. According to astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, wormholes may exist in quantum foam, the smallest environment in the universe. Here, tiny tunnels constantly blink in and out of existence, momentarily linking separate places and time like an ever-changing game of “Chutes and Ladders.” Wormholes such as these might prove too small and too brief for human time travel, but might we one day learn to capture, stabilize and enlarge them? Certainly, says Hawking, provided you’re prepared for some feedback. If we were to artificially prolong the life of a tunnel through folded space-time, a radiation feedback loop might occur, destroying the time tunnel in the same way audio feedback can wreck a speaker.   Page 6/7: Cosmic String We’ve blown through black holes and wormholes, but there’s yet another possible means of time traveling via theoretic cosmic phenomena. For this scheme, we turn to physicist J. Richard Gott, who introduced the idea of cosmic string back in 1991. As the name suggests, these are stringlike objects that some scientists believe were formed in the early universe. These strings may weave throughout the entire universe, thinner than an atom and under immense pressure. Naturally, this means they’d pack quite a gravitational pull on anything that passes near them, enabling objects attached to a cosmic string to travel at incredible speeds and benefit from time dilation. By pulling two cosmic strings close together or stretching one string close to a black hole, it might be possible to warp space-time enough to create what’s called a closed timelike curve. Using the gravity produced by the two cosmic strings (or the string and black hole), a spaceship theoretically could propel itself into the past. To do this, it would loop around the cosmic strings. Quantum strings are highly speculative, however. Gott himself said that in order to travel back in time even one year, it would take a loop of string that contained half the mass-energy of an entire galaxy. In other words, you’d have to split half the atoms in the galaxy to power your time machine. And, as with any time machine, you couldn’t go back farther than the point at which the time machine was created. Oh yes, and then there are the time paradoxes.   Page 7/7: Time Travel Paradoxes As we mentioned before, the concept of traveling into the past becomes a bit murky the second causality rears its head. Cause comes before effect, at least in this universe, which manages to muck up even the best-laid time traveling plans. For starters, if you traveled back in time 200 years, you’d emerge in a time before you were born. Think about that for a second. In the flow of time, the effect (you) would exist before the cause (your birth). To better understand what we’re dealing with here, consider the famous grandfather paradox. You’re a time-traveling assassin, and your target just happens to be your own grandfather. So you pop through the nearest wormhole and walk up to a spry 18-year-old version of your father’s father. You raise your laser blaster, but just what happens when you pull the trigger? Think about it. You haven’t been born yet. Neither has your father. If you kill your own grandfather in the past, he’ll never have a son. That son will never have you, and you’ll never happen to take that job as a time-traveling assassin. You wouldn’t exist to pull the trigger, thus negating the entire string of events. We call this an inconsistent causal loop. On the other hand, we have to consider the idea of a consistent causal loop. While equally thought-provoking, this theoretical model of time travel is paradox free. According to physicist Paul Davies, such a loop might play out like this: A math professor travels into the future and steals a groundbreaking math theorem. The professor then gives the theorem to a promising student. Then, that promising student grows up to be the very person from whom the professor stole the theorem to begin with. Then there’s the post-selected model of time travel, which involves distorted probability close to any paradoxical situation [source: Sanders]. What does this mean? Well, put yourself in the shoes of the time-traveling assassin again. This time travel model would make your grandfather virtually death proof. You can pull the trigger, but the laser will malfunction. Perhaps a bird will poop at just the right moment, but some quantum fluctuation will occur to prevent a paradoxical situation from taking place. But then there’s another possibility: The future or past you travel into might just be a parallel universe. Think of it as a separate sandbox: You can build or destroy all the castles you want in it, but it doesn’t affect your home sandbox in the slightest. So if the past you travel into exists in a separate timeline, killing your grandfather in cold blood is no big whoop. Of course, this might mean that every time jaunt would land you in a new parallel universe and you might never return to your original sandbox. Confused yet? Welcome to the world of time travel.  

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Is Time Travel Possible?

Traveling forwards in time is surprisingly easy. Einstein’s special theory of relativity, developed in 1905, shows that time passes at different rates for people who are moving relative to one another – although the effect only becomes large when you get close to the speed of light. If one were to leave Earth in a spacecraft traveling at an appreciable fraction of light-speed, turn around and come back, only a few years might have passed on board but many years could have gone by on Earth. This is known as the “twins paradox”, since a traveller undertaking such a journey would return to find herself much younger than her twin. There’s only one problem from anyone wishing to get a glimpse of the future – getting back. It would mean traveling faster than light – and that’s not possible. Discuss Time Travel in our forums But there may be an out to be found in general relativity, Einstein’s theory of gravity that unites space and time as “space-time”, which curves in the presence of mass. It allows for the possibility of wormholes – a kind of tunnel through space-time connecting otherwise very distant parts of the universe. If the “mouths” of the wormhole are moving relative to one another, then traversing the bridge between different points in space would also take a traveler to a different point in time to that in which she started. However it would still be impossible to go back further in time than the point at which the wormhole was created, limiting the options for travel somewhat – and possibly explaining why we haven’t encountered any visitors from the future. If any natural wormholes were formed in the Big Bang, it might be possible to travel to a limited number of points in the past and in the distant universe, but wouldn’t enable one to flit around the cosmos at will as the Doctor seems to do. More restrictively still, theoretical work by Kip Thorne of Caltech using a partial unification of general relativity with quantum physics suggested that any wormhole that allows time travel would collapse as soon as it formed. Thorne did, however, resolve an apparent issue that could arise due to by time travel (within the confines of general relativity). The “grandfather paradox” involves going back in time and accidentally killing one’s grandfather before one’s father is conceived – preventing one’s own birth, making it impossible to go back in time and kill one’s grandfather. Thorne found that for point masses traversing a wormhole, no initial conditions create this type of paradox.

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Space probe approaches mysterious celestial body

- This is what exploration is all about, says Nasa researcher Alan Stern, who is responsible for the project, to Business Insider. New Horizons will take several hundred photographs of Ultima Thule at the passage in order for the researchers to be able to study its geography and surface. When the nuclear-powered space probe began its journey in 2006, the mission was to study Pluto, 500 million miles from the earth. Nasa then did not know Ultima Thule's existence. Only in 2014 could the celestial body, located 160 million miles beyond Pluto, be documented via the Hubble telescope. Early history of the solar system After exploring Pluto in 2015, New Horizons has continued in the unknown. - If we knew what to expect, we would never have gone to Ultima Thule. It's an object we've never encountered before, says Alan Stern to Business Insider. Both Pluto and Ultima Thule are in the so-called Kuiper belt - which consists of millions of frozen objects in orbit around the sun beyond Neptune. It is a cold part on the edge of the solar system. According to the researchers, the Kuiper Belt hides secrets about the solar system's early history. It is hoped that Ultima Thule will reveal something about how planets such as the Earth were formed. Nasa describes Ultima Thule as a seed, or a building block, to a planet that has not developed further. Like a time capsule Alan Stern is similar to the celestial body at a 4.5 billion-year-old time capsule. - It's like when someone first opened and went into Pharaoh's tomb and discovered a 1,000-year-old culture. The difference is that this is about exploring the beginning of the solar system, he says to Business Insider. Nasas Voyager probes have traveled further into space, but a craft has never before visited a celestial body at this distance. Over the past three weeks, Nasa has made a risk assessment of New Horizon's route and recently announced that everything looks good. The flight starts on New Year's Eve and takes place at a distance of 350 kilometers from Ultima Thule. The first photographs are to be awaited on January 2.

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App Store created 164 new million-dollar publishers in 2018

he App Store has historically led Google Play in terms of developers’ ability to monetize their apps, including consumer spending on in-app purchases and subscriptions. Today, a new report from Sensor Tower offers new insight as to what that means for app publishers’ businesses: It found that the App Store produced more million-dollar apps in 2018 than Google Play. Nearly twice as many, in fact. According to the app store intelligence firm’s analysis, 164 publishers earned their first million dollars in net revenue on the U.S. App Store in 2018, which was nearly twice that of Google Play, where only 88 did. However, while the App Store outpaced Google Play in terms of the sheer number of new million-dollar apps, Google Play’s ability to mint million-dollar publishers is growing at a quicker pace. The firm found that the U.S. App Store had produced 143 million-dollar publishers in 2017, then grew by 15 percent to reach 164 this year. Meanwhile, Google Play saw 71 million-dollar publishers last year, and grew by 24 percent to reach 88 publishers in 2018. Naturally, a good chunk of the new million-dollar publishers were games, given that games contribute to the majority of app stores’ revenue. In 2018, 54 of the iOS App Store’s 164 publishers were games. In the lead was FoxNext Games’ Marvel Strike Force, which netted more than $15 million this year. However, the percentage of the new million-dollar publishers that were games actually declined by 10 percent this year, as other App Store categories grew. For instance, the Lifestyle category grew from 5 to 10 percent and the Health & Fitness category went from 6 to 12 percent, year-over-year. On Google Play, the majority (65 percent) of new million-dollar publishers were games, compared with just 33 percent on the iOS App Store. The social category, at 6 percent, trailed in second place. Both app stores having been growing over the course of the year, both in terms of downloads and consumer spending. Worldwide, the two stores combined hit 113 billion downloads in the year, and $76 billion in consumer spending, as of mid-December.   Source: Techcrunch

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Blizzard Creates Official Catalog Of Overwatch Pros Who Break The Rules

We know who’s been naughty now, thanks to Blizzard’s new website outing Overwatch pros for violating the Overwatch League’s rules and code of conduct. The Overwatch League’s “discipline tracker” is a public list of players who broke league rules, such as by boosting other people’s accounts or being toxic. Next to their infractions, Blizzard lists the punishment due to them. Today is the tracker’s first day online and, already, seven pros have received suspensions or fines before the next season has even started: The Overwatch League previously released single posts when a player had done something bad. Now, there’s an official catalogue of evil deeds! Blizzard’s post introducing the tracker reads: This isn’t totally outlandish for sports—both the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) detail participant suspensions for doping and the like. But in esports, which is still on its path toward mainstream legitimacy, Blizzard’s list seems ahead of its time. Gaming in front of a huge audience might be many pros’ first job. A lot of them were grinding out their skill rating in LAN cafes and their parents’ houses before they made it big. The responsibility to behave on par with their level of fame may be hard for pros to metabolize at first—but, hey, nothing like a little public shaming to put them in the mindset.   - Source: Kotaku via Cecilia D'Anastasio

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Microsoft signing up beta testers for Chromium Edge

Microsoft is changing the rendering engine of their Edge browser from EdgeHTML to Google’s Chromium, which is expected to bring a variety of benefits, including improved compatibility with websites, easier support for developers and support for Google’s Chrome plugins. Swapping the engine is going to require a lot of testing, however, and Microsoft is now signing up beta testers.  Thankfully this does not appear to be tied to the Windows Insider program, meaning you can keep your otherwise stable PC. See the signup form at Microsoft Edge Insider here.

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nasa NASA Astronauts Posters

So, it turns out that NASA takes group photos of their astronauts before they go on a mission. Some astronauts got tired of the regular photos and decided to make them into movie posters, and they are awesome. Take a look below and tell us which one you like best.

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Fortnite Creators sued for Floss Dance

The creators behind the popular game “Fortnite” have been sued because they used the so-called floss dance in the game. “Fortnite” has been sued by floss dance creator, 16-year-old Russell Horning, more famous as The Backpack Kid, who claims that the developer Epic Games have been guilty of copyright infringement when using the dance in Fortnite. The floss dance, alleged to have been invented by Russell Horning, has been a phenomenon primarily on the internet since 2016. Horning has also sued 2K Sports developers Interactive Two-Take Interactive. Even the actor Alfonso Ribeiro has sued the companies for using his so-called Carlton dance from the television series “Fresh Prince in Bel Air”. The same is true of the rapper 2 Milly whose dance Milly rock is used in “Fortnite”. Do they have a case? Epic has told multiple outlets it does not plan to comment publicly on the suits while they’re ongoing, but it seems unlikely that they will claim otherwise Instead, Epic may try to claim that the dances are not distinctive enough to be worthy of copyright protection. It is possible to copyright dance choreography, but the U.S. Copyright office specifically states that “commonplace movement and gestures” cannot be copyrighted. That includes specific short dances like “the YMCA,” because it’s just people making shapes with their arms. According to a legal expert who spoke to Variety, Epic may also claim that the dances in Fortnite are part of a larger procedure that goes beyond “doing the dance.”

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Overwatch patch notes v1.28: new Busan map, Hero Gallery filter, Earthshatter fixes

The latest version of Overwatch is taking shape on the PTR and available for testing. Highlights so far include a new map – Busan in South Korea – a new way to search for cosmetics in the Hero Gallery, and some long-awaited TLC for Reinhardt’s ult, Earthshatter. Changes elsewhere are pretty minor. Birgitte’s shield bash now knocks down and gets knocked down by other charging targets (such as Reinhardt), and you should find you’re able to more precisely tune the relative aim sensitivity while zoomed as snipers Ana and Widowmaker. Scintillating stuff. Naturally, there’s the customary cavalcade of bug fixes, though one is somewhat more significant than normal: the ‘fix’ to Roadhog’s damage calculation may, in practice, prove to be a nerf of some substance. Usual caveats apply: patch notes are subject to change, and what you see here is merely the state of the PTR as it currently stands. Not all of these changes will necessarily hit the live game, and many more may be added before the patch is applied. Read on for all the details.   OVERWATCH PATCH 1.28 RELEASE DATE There’s no official release date for patch 1.28, but PTR cycles tend to last two to three weeks and to end on Tuesdays or Thursdays – though the regularity with which Blizzard adhered to this rule of thumb in the game’s early days is fluctuating a little lately. September 5 or 12 would be a reasonable guess.   OVERWATCH PATCH 1.28 BUSAN Overwatch’s latest map is set in Busan in South Korea, home of star gamer and selfie-taking mech pilot D.Va, and you can play it right now on the PTR. It’s a Control map divided into three distinct locales: Sanctuary, Downtown, and MEKA Base. The Sanctuary is surrounded by an ancient temple, beautiful gardens, and historic architecture. Downtown is a bustling metropolitan zone, featuring a busy PC bang, flashy karaoke bar, and light rail station (watch out for the train). MEKA Base is a military district, home of the MEKA squad, South Korea’s frontline defence against the ‘gwishin’ variety of Omnics that plague the city. That means this is where D.Va lives, and you can check out her quarters. Busan was unveiled at Gamescom alongside a new animated short starring its most famous resident. Personally I think the Reinhardt short is still the peak, but none of these have disappointed.   OVERWATCH PATCH 1.28 HERO GALLERY FILTER On the PTR, the Hero Gallery has a new ‘Filter’ feature, which enables you to view all Overwatch’s cosmetics in a new, more easily navigable way. You can customise your search for cosmetics by category (including seasonal events, or whether they’re from the Overwatch League), rarity, and whether they are unlocked or yet to be collected.   OVERWATCH PATCH 1.28 HERO UPDATES ANA Biotic Rifle Increased the precision of the Relative Aim Sensitivity While Zoomed slider. This can be found under Options > Controls > Hero > Ana. BRIGITTE Shield Bash Now knocks down and gets knocked down by other charging targets (e.g Reinhardt and Doomfist). REINHARDT Earthshatter Will now consistently hit enemies near walls. Will no longer hit enemies that enter the damage cone after the ‘wave’ has passed that area. Will no longer damage enemies behind barriers blocking it, even if the barrier is later dropped or destroyed. Will always travel up inclines and around the payload. Developer Comments: “We’ve given Earthshatter a complete overhaul to combat inconsistencies with its performance. These changes will make Earthshatter’s behavior more predictable and effective.” WIDOWMAKER Widow’s Kiss Increased the precision of the Relative Aim Sensitivity While Zoomed slider. This can be found under Options > Controls > Hero > Widowmaker. OVERWATCH PATCH 1.28 GAME BROWSER AND CUSTOM GAMES FFA DEATHMATCH Mercy now begins matches with her Caduceus Blaster equipped. Blizzard World is now available to play in Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch. 1V1 MYSTERY HEROES Mercy now begins matches with her Caduceus Blaster equipped. OVERWATCH PATCH 1.28 BUG FIXES GENERAL Fixed a bug that prevented Torbjörn Armour Packs Created statistic from updating if the ability landed directly on a friendly target
Communication Wheel. [PC] Fixed a bug that caused a delay in selecting options on the Communication Wheel when cycling left using a mouse. BRIGITTE Fixed a bug that caused Brigitte’s Shield Bash movement to be interrupted when she hit Symmetra’s turrets. D.VA Fixed a bug that allowed D.Va to escape the map if she used Call Mech while standing on Mei’s Ice Wall. HANZO Fixed a bug that caused Dragonstrike Arrow size to be larger than his other arrows. MEI Fixed a bug that caused Mei’s Cryo-freeze to block the line of sight for Mei’s Blizzard. MERCY Fixed a bug that allowed Mercy to gain ultimate charge from using her damage beam on attacks that cannot be damage boosted. REAPER Fixed a bug that prevented Reaper’s Shadow Step from going on cooldown if he was interrupted. ROADHOG Fixed a bug that prevented Roadhog’s alternate fire now calculates falloff damage correctly. REINHARDT Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented Reinhardt’s Earthshatter from landing if he was launched into the air during its cast. SOMBRA Fixed a bug that prevented Sombra from destroying her Translocator if she was stunned or hacked. SYMMETRA Fixed a bug that prevented Sombra’s Hack from canceling Symmetra’s Photon Barrier placement. Fixed a bug that caused Symmetra’s teleport UI to persist after being eliminated. WIDOWMAKER Fixed a bug that caused Widowmaker’s scoped shots on hero placed objects to count against her Scoped Weapon Accuracy statistic. WRECKING BALL Fixed a bug that allowed Wrecking Ball’s Piledriver to deal damage twice if he slid off the environment during its duration. Fixed a bug that allowed Wrecking Ball’s primary fire to continue working if it was disabled in custom game.

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overwatch Overwatch loot boxes will no longer be sold for real money in Belgium, The Netherlands

The ability to purchase loot boxes for real money in Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm will soon be disabled in Belgium and The Netherlands. To comply with the Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC), Blizzard has announced it will no longer sell loot boxes for real money in the country for Overwatch or Heroes of the Storm. Players will still be able to purchase the crates using in-game currency earned through playtime. The BGC declared randomized loot boxes in games were to be considered gambling back in April. The government body specifically called out Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, FIFA 18, Overwatch, and Star Wars: Battlefront 2. In May, it recommended to the Belgian minister of justice publishers of games with loot boxes should be prosecuted. Blizzard said on the Overwatch forums it was “surprised” over loot boxes being equated with gambling, and it does not “share the same opinion.” In the end, it decided to “comply with their interpretation of Belgian law.” A date for when the changes will go into effect has not been provided, but will be “implemented shortly.”     The above text was taken from vg247.com

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Gaming events have to rethink security after Jacksonville

Multiple video game event organizers are being forced to rethink their security measures in the aftermath of the tragedy in Jacksonville, Florida. Formerly the realm of friendly, relaxed gatherings in social settings like bars and stores, competitive gaming may soon have to take a more proactive approach to protecting its players. Last Sunday, a man opened fire at a Madden tournament in the GLHF Gaming Bar in Jacksonville Landing. At the moment, police won’t speculate on the motive of the shooter. All we know is he was a tournament competitor who killed two fellow gamers and then himself. The event was one of the qualifiers for the Madden Classic event, hosted by game publisher Electronic Arts. CEO Andrew Wilson today announced the company would be putting its other Madden qualifiers on hold “while we run a comprehensive review of safety protocols for competitors and spectators.” He also assured players they would strive for security at all events going forward. Meanwhile, the organizers of the PAX West event, which takes place in Seattle this coming weekend, were questioned on Twitter about the efficacy of their own safety measures. As reported by PC Gamer, they responded that, while they wouldn’t reveal the extent of their security measures, they were working with local police to ensure attendees could move about without fear. The shooting in Jacksonville is especially shocking for how it strips the innocence and sense of safety from such an event. It was a Madden tournament, held inside a pizza joint. How many times have all of us attended similar events in perfect serenity, content in the knowledge that, even if the people weren’t familiar, our common interests were? But the pro gamers who attend these events are now saying that sense of community is no longer sufficient. Soon after the event, gamers and streamers began speaking out about the need for better security. Ronald Casey, one of the tournament players who shielded younger gamers with his body, told Fox 45 the Madden tourney had no security, and he was only thankful the killer hadn’t brought a bigger gun: Other esports teams are encouraging organizers to invest in security. Jason Lake, founder of the compLexity Gaming team, said in a series of tweets that the event was a “wake up call.” CompLexity gamer Drini Gjoka was at the event and among the wounded. And perhaps it was. Ben Spoont, owner of the Misfits Gaming organization, told the Wall Street Journal this has prompted the adoption of bag checks and metal detectors at any future tourneys he has a hand in. But he also added, “To actually feel a need to make sure someone doesn’t have a weapon, that’s not been a primary concern in the past.” Unfortunately, we can’t go back to that time of naivety — not if we want to keep our fellow gamers safe.       Above text taken from thenextweb.com

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Nearly 40% of American gamers play at work

A new survey, released last week, suggests a good chunk of gamers are spending time on their favorite hobby at work — meaning several of you reading this article are gaming when you shouldn’t be. The survey, compiled by Limelight Networks, was taken by over 3,000 gamers across six countries: the US, UK, France, Germany, South Korea, and Japan. The questions ranged from “How many hours do you spend playing video games per week?” to “Will you continue to play online games or make purchases from a gaming website that has previously experienced a security breach or been hacked?” Perhaps one of the most subversive questions was “How often do you play video games during work?” According to the findings, almost 40 percent of American gamers play at work at least once a month. Among gamers in all of the survey’s countries, almost 35 percent of respondents ages 18-25 have gamed at work. 8.6 percent responded they play games at work daily. That’s a lot of potential productivity lost. The survey leaves out one crucial bit of information: the games played while working. I’m sure we’ve all played the odd game of Solitaire or Candy Crush over a five-minute break without losing too much momentum, but several rounds of Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds is going to be a bit more disruptive. It’s hardly the first time researchers have suggested that games could be interfering with our work. Researchers who published last year with National Bureau of Economic Research suggested young men in particular could be working less than older ones because they’re spending so much time playing video games. There are a few other findings gamers will find relatable: Over 60 percent of gamers globally admit to losing sleep for games, and almost 40 have admitted to missing a meal. We’ve all been there. I also wonder if sleepy, hungry gamers are the ones gaming at work, which would probably mean even more time lost. Also, several respondents apparently said they’d quit their jobs if they thought they could make a living playing video games, but I would think that’d be a given. Anybody would love to make a living on their hobby, but it’s likely not as easy as it sounds. Source Thenextweb  

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