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Friday Morning (6 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 5-April-2013  00:54:05 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The big news of the day would have to be that Disney are shutting down LucasArts. Ironically, many of the games for which LucasArts is best remembered for are not Star Wars games. Its genre-defining '90s adventure games created by Ron Gilbert and DoubleFine's Tim Schafer like The Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, and Grim Fandango are all still celebrated by fans to this day. That said, there were good Star Wars games over the years, including the X-Wing series, Jedi Knight/Dark Forces series, Knights of the Old Republic, Rogue Squadron, Battlefront, and others. The future of these franchises is obviously now probably dim. More here and here, discussion in this thread.

The mobile phone is 40 years old. On April 3rd, 1973, Motorola engineer Marty Cooper placed the first public call from a cellphone. In midtown Manhattan, Cooper called Joel Engel — head of rival research department Bell Labs — saying "Joel, this is Marty. I'm calling you from a cell phone, a real handheld portable cell phone." The call was placed on a Motorola DynaTAC 8000x, which weighed 2.5 pounds, a far cry from today's 4-ounce handsets.

The world's biggest tunnel boring machine is being assembled in Seattle. Known affectionately as Bertha, this tunnel boring machine has the widest diameter of any boring machine ever built; 57.5 feet. It's being used to dig a highway tunnel under downtown Seattle and it just arrived there today after being shipped from Japan. And you thought your job was boring!

Meanwhile in SimCity, EA are offering free DLC, which are ads. Sometimes these in-game advertising campaigns can get pretty creative: At one point, Everquest II players were able to order Pizza Hut pizza and have it delivered to their door, all without ever leaving the game. But it’s rare for an in-game advertisement to actually have a direct impact on gameplay in a game. “Happiness” is one of the many factors that players have to manage as mayors of their virtual metropolis in SimCity. Now, use of the Nissan Leaf product results directly in a smoother gameplay experience. Use Nissan, win at SimCity.

Three more sites are weighing into the "micro stutter" graphics issue: Guru3D, OCClub and Vortez. Measuring FPS is done by counting the number of frames rendered within a second. Obviously, we are not quick enough to do this ourselves so we commonly will use some form of benchmarking tool, FRAPS for example. This tool will then be used over a length of time for example 60 seconds. Each second's total frame count is then averaged over the 60 second period to give us our average FPS measurement. What the frames per second method of measurement will not show us though is what is commonly referred to as 'micro stutter'.

We haven't heard much about bitcoins for a while but a recent spike in value has got everyone talking again - and here's an interesting article to get you up to speed. For anybody who’s ever suffered the incompetence of a bank, or bristled at the fees involved in just spending money, either domestically or abroad – that is to say, for all of us – the promise of bitcoin is the holy grail of payments. Especially since, to all intents and purposes, bitcoins are invisible to law enforcement and the taxman.

AirQ sent in these views of the Space Shuttle flight decks. That is a lot of knobs.

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.