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Industry & Technology

Original Command & Conquer devs will remaster series’ first games in one package

Ars Technica - November 14, 2018 - 8:07pm

Enlarge / No gameplay yet—just familiar logos (which we slapped onto a sweet, fiery explosion). (credit: EA / Getty)

After soft-announcing a new Command & Conquer project last month, EA has taken the wraps off a plan that will (hopefully) satisfy that '90s real-time strategy series' biggest fans. Production has officially begun on a full remaster of the first two Command & Conquer RTS games—the 1995 original and the 1996 sequel Red Alert—with all the games' expansion packs included as part of the complete package.

What's more, development is being spearheaded by Petroglyph Games, a studio formed from the ashes of original C&C development studio Westwood.

"This is getting the band back together," Petroglyph Audio Director Frank Klepacki said in an announcement video on Wednesday. "This is how it should be. We were all there from the inception of it."

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VW wants to build enough EVs to blot out the sun - Roadshow - News - November 14, 2018 - 7:51pm
It will retool its factories in Emden and Hanover to build EVs starting in the 2020s.

HPE flack: We've got an Azure stack flash rack. What's with these techies wanting technical details?

The Register - November 14, 2018 - 7:35pm
All-flash, Arista top-of-rack switching and... single tier

HPE has finally coughed some details on those all-flash server configs it said it would provide for its Azure Stack rack last week.…

$1B made for charities on Facebook, reminding us the web's not all bad - CNET - News - November 14, 2018 - 7:30pm
More than 20 million people have donated money via the social network.

German Detective Pikachu trailer sounds hilariously different - CNET - News - November 14, 2018 - 7:21pm
Pika pika! One of these trailers is not like the others.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite mobile game gets trailer, opens for signups - CNET - News - November 14, 2018 - 7:16pm
Soon you will be able to prove your witchcraft and wizardry chops with a game from the creators of Pokemon Go.

HRE's 3D-printed titanium wheels are basically witchcraft - Roadshow - News - November 14, 2018 - 6:55pm
Thankfully they're just conceptual, because there's no way to keep that wheel clean.

Take a look at how HRE made its 3D-printed titanium wheels - Roadshow - News - November 14, 2018 - 6:48pm
Now imagine how long it'll take to clean them.

Microsoft to acquire chatbot startup as it pushes for 'responsible AI' - CNET - News - November 14, 2018 - 6:42pm
XOXCO is the creator of Slack bot Howdy and Botkit on GitHub.

Put 5 smart USB charging ports on your desk for $6 - CNET - News - November 14, 2018 - 6:19pm
A killer price on a must-have accessory. Plus: an unparalleled sale on one of my favorite game series and a free Instant Pot cookbook.

FCC kicks off 5G spectrum auction to help make hype reality - CNET - News - November 14, 2018 - 6:16pm
Better get dibs on it fast, carriers.

Harry Potter coding kit brings its magic to Apple stores - CNET - News - November 14, 2018 - 6:08pm
The kit is $100 and lets you use a wand.

Ahh, summer—ramlibacter season

Ars Technica - November 14, 2018 - 6:07pm

Enlarge / Even mundane activities can allow microbes to catch a ride on the wind. (credit: Christopher Griner)

Your gut isn’t the only place that harbors a community of microbes. There are also microbiomes coating your skin and most household, industrial, and commercial surfaces. There's even a community hanging out in the lower atmosphere. Scientists in Spain have monitored this airborne microbiome by taking rain and snow samples every two weeks for seven years at a site in the central Pyrenees. The samples were then run through a DNA sequencer to reveal the airborne microbiome. They found that the bacteria, archaea, protists, and fungi all varied predictably by season.

In the wintertime, microbes frequently had marine origins, coming primarily from the Atlantic, although these were mixed in with bugs from forest and other terrestrial sources. Overall, the winter atmospheric microbiome was the most diverse, and that diversity included the highest levels of pathogens in any season.

In the summer, the microbiome was more regional, coming from the Mediterranean as well as fresh water, cropland, and cities. There was more pollution in the summer; the scientists monitored atmospheric levels of chemicals, including nitrates and sulphates, in addition to microbes. One of the most abundant and recurring taxa over the seven summers was Ramlibacter, related to a bacterium first isolated in 2011 from meteorite fragments buried in the sands near Tatouine, in Tunisia. It is specifically adapted to live in hot, dry, desert climes, so the researchers suggested that it could be used as a forensic signature for “summertime in Europe—African dust in the air.”

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Ralph Breaks the Internet review: Dial up the sweet side of the web - CNET - News - November 14, 2018 - 6:00pm
The Wreck-It Ralph sequel is a hilarious story about friendship that just happens to take place online.

Uber Rewards wants to take the wind out of Lyft's sails - Roadshow - News - November 14, 2018 - 5:49pm
Unlike Lyft, Uber's program has different tiers and perks associated with them.

Sprint will deliver your new phone to the closest Walgreens - CNET - News - November 14, 2018 - 5:43pm
So you can pick up your toothpaste, your prescription and your new phone all in one go.

2020 Kia Soul teases boxy good looks, will break cover in LA - Roadshow - News - November 14, 2018 - 5:37pm
Expect more of the same, which in this case is a very good thing.

Six critical systems, four months to Brexit – and no completed testing

The Register - November 14, 2018 - 5:34pm
Defra concedes end-to-end testing can throw up challenges as MPs shout into the void

The UK's food and farming department has yet to test six critical IT systems ahead of Brexit and may have to rely on manual workarounds or "unsophisticated" tech, MPs have warned.…

Galaxy mergers hide ravenous supermassive black holes

Ars Technica - November 14, 2018 - 5:33pm

Enlarge / When galaxies collide. (credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team)

Black holes are… um, black. The point of a black hole is that the force of gravity is strong enough to prevent light from escaping its grasp. But the matter that is being sucked into a black hole is not at all happy about its fate. The matter gets hot and bothered and starts to glow very brightly before it reaches the black hole. This produces what are called luminous accreting black holes.

Most black holes are proud of themselves, sucking down matter right before our very eyes. But others are shy and seem to hide their antisocial behavior, raising questions about whether they were actually there. It turns out that these murderous monsters are hiding behind the gas clouds created by galaxy collisions. It took a serious amount of detective work to penetrate the fog.

Introducing the eyewitnesses

Astronomers have long recognized that not everything in the Universe happens slowly. Sure, our Sun will be stable for billions of years, but when things start to go wrong, they go downhill quickly (use your remaining eight minutes wisely). Likewise, when something big gets sucked into a black hole, it sends a last desperate SOS in the form of a bright X-ray flash.

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