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Jeff Bezos slides $10 billion across the table to fight Climate Change

By Jak Connor | Business, Financial & Legal | Feb 18, 2020 03:47 am CST

Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos has announced via his personal Instagram account the is launching a new fund to battle climate change - the Bezos Earth Fund.

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Bezos took to his Instagram to announce what is called the Bezos Earth Fund, and this fund will be dedicated to fighting the effects of climate change. Bezos says that he wants to work alongside others that are fighting climate change, and to kick things off for the Bezos Earth Fund, he will be donating $10 billion that will go towards grants that will be issued out this summer.

Bezos says that the Bezos Earth Fund will fund scientists "scientists, activists, NGOs - any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world". He also says that to save the Earth it will require collective action from "big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals." It should also be noted that the Bezos Earth Fund is separate from Amazon's own initiatives and that the $10 billion came from Bezos' personal account.

Ubisoft is developing a 'AAA VR Game' on one of its 'greatest IPs'

By Jak Connor | Gaming | Feb 18, 2020 03:11 am CST

A new job listing by Ubisoft has highlighted that its game development studio is currently building a team for a new unannounced VR project situated around one of Ubisoft's greatest IP's.

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According to the new job listing, Ubisoft is currently looking for applications for a "Narrative Designer - VR [Unannounced Project]". This person would be working on cutting-edge VR technology on what is described as "one of Ubisoft's greatest IP's." The listing also states that this new title will be developed across multiple studios and that the Narrative Designer will have to create a consistent and believable narrative structure throughout all of the dynamics of the game.

It has been known for quite some time that Ubisoft is slowly moving towards VR titles, but this is the first bit of news we have gotten in regards to those titles being on "one of Ubisoft's greatest IP's". According to The Information, Facebook has signed deals for exclusive VR games with Ubisoft on their IP's; Assassin's Creed and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell. While this hasn't been confirmed officially yet, this job listing could be for either of those titles. Until Ubisoft officially announces something, it's all speculation, all we know for sure is that their VR titles will be on "one of Ubisoft's greatest IP's".

Clean electricity can be generated 'out of thin air' with this device

By Jak Connor | Energy | Feb 18, 2020 02:35 am CST

Researchers and scientists have managed to create a new device that can generate electricity straight out of thin air.

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Nature has reported that scientists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) have developed a new device that uses a natural protein to generate electricity from moisture in the air. Jun Yao, the electrical engineer, and mircobiologist who created the device has called it "Air-gen", or more specifically, an air-powered generator.

The new device connects electrodes to protein nanowires in a specific way that an electrical current is created from the water vapor that is naturally occurring the atmosphere. Yao says, "We are literally making electricity out of thin air. The Air-gen generates clean energy 24/7." The current model of the air-gen is able to generate power in environments that have low water vapor present in them, such as the Sahara Desert. It also is non-polluting, renewable and low-cost. If you are interested in learning more about this new invention, check out this link here.

Amazon LOTR TV show writer asks public to stop sending audition tapes

By Jak Connor | TV, Movies & Home Theatre | Feb 18, 2020 02:08 am CST

Amazon is working hard of their Lord of the Rings TV show, and with writing and production getting fully underway, the public are asking for roles in the massive show.

A writer for Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV show, Glenise Mullins, has taken to her personal Twitter account to ask the public to stop sending in audition videos. She says, "I have nothing to do with the casting of Lord of the Rings on Prime." She also states, "Please stop sending me audition tapes. I'm sure they're great and I trust you're super talented. And I really do understand your passion, but again... I'm not involved in the casting."

It also doesn't seem Mullins is alone in receiving a lot of the public audition videos. Fellow Lord of the Rings writer, Gennifer Hutchison posted onto Mullins' thread saying, "Yeeeaaaahhhhhh", suggesting she was also experiencing the same thing. Just yesterday, I reported about a stunt actress that got injured will filming the Lord of the Rings TV show, check out that story here. The cast has been revealed for Amazon's show, and if you haven't seen it check it out here.

Tesla owner who died in horrific car crash was playing mobile games

By Jak Connor | Technology in Vehicles | Feb 18, 2020 01:38 am CST

There has recently been quite a lot of controversy surrounding Tesla's Autopilot feature, and a new level of hostility and division arose after Walter Huang's death on March 23rd, 2018.

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Huang's vehicle experienced an Autopilot glitch that caused it to get lanes mixed up as it approached a left exit on US Highway 101. The vehicle was traveling at 70 miles per hour, but since then, new information has surfaced in multiple new documents released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The documents confirm that Huang experienced this same glitch in this very same spot, multiple times before his death. What isn't confirmed is that if Huang told Tesla about this issue.

The documents state that on the last two times Huang drove over the same spot on highway 101 he noticed the glitch and grabbed the wheel to correct it. This evidence was gathered from the SD card that is inside every Model X (Huang's vehicle). A friend of Huang, Hans Ting, also asked Huang in a private message on March 19th how his vehicle was doing, a screenshot has been provided below. Huang's family claims that Huang notified Tesla of this Autopilot issue and said that Huang visited Tesla in regard to it.

Continue reading 'Tesla owner who died in horrific car crash was playing mobile games' (full post)

Coronavirus forces Hubei's 58 million people into indefinite lockdown

By Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Feb 18, 2020 01:35 am CST

It was only a few days ago that the World Health Organization (WHO) deemed the coronavirus outbreak "public enemy number 1". Now, we are hearing reports that 58 million people are facing severe lockdown.

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According to a new report by News.com.au, 58 million people have been forced into lockdown in the central Chinese province of Hubei. Hubei is located around 2.5hrs away from the city of Wuhan, and according to this new report, each of Hubei's 200,000 rural communities will be sealed shut and their entrances guarded. Only one member from each family is allowed to leave the house every three days to buy living essentials such as food and water supplies.

All roads in Hubei have been closed down, with the exception of police vans and ambulances. Businesses will also stay closed, with the exception of chemists, hotels, supermarkets, and medical services. Hubei accounts for over 80% of the confirmed coronavirus cases, as well as 96% of the deaths in China. According to the regulators who spoke in the South China Morning Post, "In principle, every villager should stay at home. If he really needs to step outside, he has to wear a mask and keep a minimum 1.5 metres from other people."

Continue reading 'Coronavirus forces Hubei's 58 million people into indefinite lockdown' (full post)

UK slaps down $1.6 billion for world's fastest weather supercomputer

By Jak Connor | Super Computing | Feb 18, 2020 01:06 am CST

UK's weather service called the Met Office has announced that it will be spending a whopping 1.2 billion pounds (USD$1.6 billion) on the world's fastest weather supercomputer.

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According to the announcement, the Met Office will be purchasing the world's most powerful weather supercomputer that is estimated to be ten times the cost of their current one called Cray XC40. The new weather supercomputer will also have upgraded accuracy that blows UK's current forecaster out of the water. The new supercomputer will create a "digital twin" of our atmosphere with data and be able to create forcasts for area's that are just down to 1,000 meters (62 miles) in diameter.

This is impressive when compared to the current systems 10km forecast diameter. The report also states that the new weather supercomputer will go into service in 2022, and at the time of installation it will already be six times more powerful than the current Cray XC40. Power level jumps won't stop there, as in five years time the new supercomputer will get an upgrade bumping it up in performance by a further three times. This means that by the time the new supercomputer is at full power it will be nearly 20 times more powerful than the UK's current machine.

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Netflix Diablo TV show is anime-style, Overwatch TV show is a cartoon

By Jak Connor | TV, Movies & Home Theatre | Feb 18, 2020 12:33 am CST

Back in late September in 2018, BOOM! Studios Co-founder and writer Andrew Cosby was reportedly in final talks about a possible Diablo TV show, and now we can basically confirm it.

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According to the Linkedln profile of Nick van Dyk, co-president of Activision Blizzard Studios, both Diablo and Overwatch will be getting TV shows. Dyk's description of his current position at Activision says, "Executive producer of Diablo, a TV adaptation of Blizzard Entertainment's IP, rendered in anime style. The show is currently in pre-production for distribution worldwide through Netflix."

The important things to note out of that sentence is that Diablo's TV show will be for Netflix, and is "anime style". This makes me think that the Diablo show will look a lot like Netflix's already popular Castlevania TV show. Moving on to Overwatch now, here's what Dyk says, "With my creative partner, developed and sold an animated series based Blizzard's Overwatch franchise."

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Analyst: Samsung Galaxy S20 sales expected to hit 32 million in 2020

By Anthony Garreffa | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Feb 17, 2020 11:49 pm CST

Samsung has the most upgrades inside of a Galaxy series yet with its new Galaxy S20 family of smartphones, but Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo isn't happy enough with that -- saying that he expects Samsung to sell around 32 million units in 2020.

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Kuo adds that there's "a lack of significant innovation in user experience" for Samsung's new Galaxy S20 family of smartphones, which really knocked me off my feet to read. I feel like there is more innovation in this one series jump from the Galaxy S10 to the Galaxy S20 than many generations of iPhones.

The sales estimates of 32 million units is lower than the 36-38 million units that Samsung sold with the Galaxy S10 models, with Kuo underlining the "lack of significant innovation" for that. Another dent in the Galaxy S20 sales is reportedly going to come from the price cuts in Samsung's current-gen Galaxy S10 family of smartphones, which is still very competitive.

DisplayMate rates Galaxy S20 Ultra the best smartphone display EVER

By Anthony Garreffa | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Feb 17, 2020 11:13 pm CST

Now that Samsung's new Galaxy S20 family of smartphones have been revealed, the folks at DisplayMate have got their grubby mits on it for some display testing. Their findings? The flagship Galaxy S20 Ultra has the best smartphone display ever made.

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Samsung gets massive praise for the OLED display stealing the show on the flagship Galaxy S20 Ultra, with the 6.9-inch OLED display and its native 3200 x 1440 resolution panel rocking 510 PPI and a gloriously smooth 120Hz refresh rate. DisplayMate said the Galaxy S20 Ultra broke 12 test records, smashing highest peak brightness, highest contrast ratio, and lowest screen reflectance.

DisplayMate saw throughout its testing of the Galaxy S20 Ultra setting a new record for Very High Absolute Color Accuracy, Very High Contrast Accuracy and Intensity Scale Accuracy, Peak Luminance that is Independent of the on-screen Image Content, Color Accuracy and Intensity Scales that are Independent of the Image Content, Natural DCI-P3 Screen Mode, Natural sRGB Screen Mode, and High Brightness Mode.

Continue reading 'DisplayMate rates Galaxy S20 Ultra the best smartphone display EVER' (full post)