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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.

Oldassgeek

Oldassgeek

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

Oldassgeek

Oldassgeek

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

Oldassgeek

Oldassgeek

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.

Oldassgeek

Oldassgeek

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.

Oldassgeek

Oldassgeek

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.”

Oldassgeek

Oldassgeek

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

Oldassgeek

Oldassgeek

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