It's happened to all of us: you queue up a print job, your old desk printer starts up and it unceremoniously jams halfway through. It's easy enough to resume a botched print job when you're dealing with paper, but what do you do when you're printing in 3D? A small team of MIT students may have an answer: a depth sensing scanner cobbled together from a laser and a simple webcam.
What's the internet's most popular game-streaming service worth? About $1 billion, if VentureBeat sources have their story straight. Earlier this year, Variety and the Wall Street Journal reported that Google was in talks to acquire Twitch, but conceded that the two companies were only just starting negotiations. Now, sources familiar with the deal say an agreement has been reached, though its unclear when the reported acquisition will be officially announced. Naturally, there are some concerns that a Google acquisition of Twitch would stifle competition for rival services, but the tried and true platform could certainly bolster Mountain View's own streaming efforts. If nothing else, perhaps the deal will validate emerging market shared gameplay in the eyes of its doubters.
Apple's set-top hobby has come a long way since its major refresh in 2010, thanks largely to a variety of services bringing different content to the platform. When it comes to gaming, however, the Apple TV isn't exactly a powerhouse, despite being able to support it through AirPlay features -- something similar to what Real Racing has done in the past. Another developer that's made use of this particular second-screen kind of experience is Rolocule Games, and it just announced a new free title (with in-app purchases) dubbed Dance Party.
With the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft tried yet again to build a tablet that can replace your laptop, but critics found it fell just shy of that goal. Engadget's own Dana Wollman said that despite being "easier than ever to use as a tablet," the Surface still has some "serious usability flaws," including a keyboard that "offers a subpar typing experience and a frustrating trackpad." CNET liked the keyboard, but says that the Pro 3 "still doesn't fit perfectly on the lap" and that it's "more successful as a tablet than a laptop replacement." But despite these issues, there's still plenty to like about the Surface Pro 3, as evidenced by the readers who added the Pro 3 to their have list and wrote a user review recounting their experiences.
When a broadcaster logs off for dinner or puts down the controller for some shut-eye, Twitch now lets them keep the game streaming going with its new Host Mode. The function keeps a channel's chat up and running, but embeds a video of the action from another user's session or event while the host takes a breather, or a nap, or goes outside. Viewing stats are still compiled for the original broadcaster and the option can be triggered with a simple chat command. For now though, Host Mode is only available via the web interface.
It seems as if this week is a good one to get stuff on the cheap or even for free. First, Marvel announced a promo yesterday which gave access to its Unlimited comics service for 99 cents, and now EA has quietly revealed that it's giving away copies of The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection. You'll need to have Origin, EA's software distribution platform, installed on your machine to take advantage of this deal, but it's as easy as entering a code for old and new users alike. Just don't expect EA to keep supporting the classic game after you install it, since the publisher brought closure to that a few days ago. The Windows download on Origin will be available until July 31st at 1:00AM ET, which means there's plenty of time to let it all sink in and cancel whatever you had planned for the weekend.
If you have access to a 3D printer, you can now output your own space-exploring fleet thanks to NASA. The space agency has posted a library of files for printing a number of space probes, asteroids and Mars' Gale Crater. For the curious, Mars Odyssey, Kepler, Voyager and Cassini are all amongst the 21 available options. The entire lot has been scaled down to figurine size to accommodate the abilities of a number of printers, but the minute details aren't likely translate entirely. The repository also includes other 3D models, textures and visualizations for further three-dimensional experimentation. Those looking to get started need only consult the source link down below. As for me, I'm consulting these folks at MIT about an ice cream satellite.
[Photo credit: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images]
Quantum computing -- it's a term we're hearing more and more, as companies such as D-Wave build their own early versions of super-machines. Microsoft, naturally, is investing considerable resources in the field as well; its Station Q research lab in Santa Barbara brings together experts studying topological quantum computing, with the goal of making a vastly more powerful successor to the classical computer. We've covered some quantum computing milestones in the past, and while you might have a basic grasp on the difference between qubits and bits, Microsoft's Quantum Computing 101 video -- published below -- is a well-done explainer, putting the implications of this research in human terms. For a deeper dive, check out this long read on Station Q, detailing the researchers' complex and thoroughly interesting work.
While you might be able to don an Oculus Rift to pilot a Pacific Rim jaeger, Comic-Con isn't as accepting of another piece of (not so) popular headgear. As TechHive reports, event organizers have begun mirroring actions taken by some US and UK movie theaters in outright banning Google Glass from screenings. On its official website, Comic-Con states that Glass is held in the same regard as smartphones and video cameras, noting that attendees "cannot wear Google Glasses during footage viewing in any program room." If you're a trendy Explorer who has a prescription Glass, let's hope you've brought a backup pair of specs because you're getting no special treatment.
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