This Week in the Universe rounds up some of the best and most interesting stories from around the web you may have missed this week.
Loads of science stuff in the news this week, lets start with a call for more science. Prof Brian Cox suggests increased funding for scientific research would be a good idea.
Brian Cox: Science cash hike ‘a wise gamble’
“Let’s say you decide to double the science budget – the worse that can happen is you add £5bn onto the deficit – a drop in the ocean. The best that can happen is, by doing that, you make this country the best place in the world to do science and engineering and on the basis of that almost half of our economy is transformed.”
From what isn’t and what should be happening to something that is. By crating the shortest ever laser pulse scientists hope to be able to view electrons “orbiting” their atoms for the first time.
Shortest-Ever Laser Pulses Can Image Electrons Orbiting Atoms
“A team of scientists has smashed the record for the shortest-ever laser pulse, producing one that lasts just 67 billionths of a billionth of a second—which is short enough to use it to image individual electrons orbiting the nuclei of atoms.”
Now lately it has all been about Curiosity, and it is not hard to see why, a new rover on another planet. Curiosity is not the only man made probe out in our solar system however. The probe Dawn is now moving on from it’s 18 months studding the asteroid Vesta.
Dawn probe leaves Asteroid Vesta
“The spacecraft’s ion engine is now pushing it on to an even bigger target in the belt of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter – the dwarf planet Ceres.”
One final science bit before on with the rest, this time Quantum Teleportation which, while not quite as cool as it sounds, does have some profound implications.
“Physicists at the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences have achieved quantum teleportation over a record distance of 143 km. The experiment is a major step towards satellite-based quantum communication.”
One that was slightly to late in falling for my Augmented Edition last week but none the less survives a mention.
‘Pre-bionic’ eye implanted in blind patient
“…all of a sudden, I could see a little flash …it was amazing. Every time there was stimulation there was a different shape that appeared in front of my eye.”
When was the last time you went out to play a game? I don’t mean to a friends house either. I must say I can’t remember myself, I mean there were some arcade machines in the Students Union when I was doing my degree but other then that…
Games in public spaces – are betting shops the best we can do?
“We haven’t yet paid much attention to what play can do for our minds, bodies, creativity and relationships. My belief is, when we do, we’ll end up as enthusiastic and literate about the things that we play as we are about the things we eat. But we have a long way to go to become really literate about play. Games are generally regarded as both too trivial to take seriously and too complex to really understand. It’s still a badge of honour with many of the culture professionals I meet to state they have never played a video game.”
Have you been wondering where the single player games of yesteryear have gone? The epic adventure stories? Well it is true we do still have some (Skyrim and The Witcher being prime examples) too many games seem to be cutting back on or doing away with single player, hell even Mass Effect 3, up until that point a single player game, threw multiplayer into the mix. Frank Gibeau, EA studio president told us why, as if it was something to be proud of.
EA boss boasts: ‘I have not green lit one game to be developed as a singleplayer experience’
“EA studio president Frank Gibeau has been talking about the publisher’s efforts to push every new release online at the Cloud Gaming USA conference covered by Supperannuation. Mandatory multiplayer modes, online profiles and cross-platform projects have been an important part of that push.”
Ubisoft have (and about time) gone and changed their mind about their “always on” DRM policy. This interview over at Rock, paper, Shotgun makes for interesting reading, even if most of the answers are a bit (OK a lot) evasive…
Interview: Ubisoft On DRM, Piracy And PC Games
“For a couple of years we have been petitioning Ubisoft for an interview with those involved in their DRM decisions. We’re very pleased to report that this has finally happened, as we spoke to Stephanie Perotti, Ubi’s worldwide director for online games, accompanied by corporate communications manager, Michael Burk. Perotti is involved in all online technologies at Ubisoft, and works with many different studios and teams, with DRM part of her remit. We asked about the evidence for the various figures that have been quoted in the past, whether they have any proof for the efficacy of their extreme DRM, and whether Ubisoft has any regrets with how the matter has been handled in the last few years. And we also learn the rather enormous news that Ubi have abandoned always-on DRM, and will now only use one-time activation for all their PC games.”
The reign of Gary’s Mod and it’s embarrassingly bad stop motion videos all over YouTube is coming to an end! Video this week was made in Source Filmmaker, smooth animation found throughout.
Have a good week!