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Comic for November 17, 2018

Dilbert - November 18, 2018 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

Sunset Overdrive review: Ride the rails to kaboom-town (finally on PCs, too)

Ars Technica - 2 hours 1 min ago

Throw traps, shoot guns, grind rails: that's the Sunset Overdrive way.

Update: There's no shortage of new games this 2018 holiday season, but we wanted to bring a surprise gem to your attention: 2014's Sunset Overdrive, a high-octane, parkour-driven visual stunner. With seemingly zero fanfare, a PC version arrived yesterday for Windows PCs (Steam, Windows Store). Nearly everything about the original games still applies to this PC version, so enjoy our original review (which first ran on October 29, 2014) below. The piece appears largely unchanged, but we have added some PC-specific thoughts (finally, Sunset in 60fps!) and a gallery from the new edition near the end.

Keep moving, keep moving, keep moving. If I stay still, the monsters attack. If I stop sliding down rails, bouncing off of car hoods, or rappelling over zip lines, everything falls apart—the music in my head stops playing; the electricity stops surging through my dodge-rolls; the fire stops spewing from my duct-taped battle-axe.

Welcome to Sunset City, a sunny, dilapidated corpse of a not-so-futuristic riverside metropolis. The place used to be overrun by selfie-snapping hipsters until they chugged a brand-new energy drink that turned them into crazed mutants (we mean literally, as opposed to the figurative craze of a caffeine high). Somehow, "you" (by way of a relatively robust character creator, which happens to sport the dumbest hairstyles known to man) avoided taking a sip, and now you must survive and escape the madness alongside the few remaining human survivors.

Read 20 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Enigmatic ridges on Pluto may be the remains of vanished nitrogen glaciers

Ars Technica - 2 hours 8 min ago

Enlarge / Washboard terrain fills the basins in the right of this image. (credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)

As we've gathered more details about the other planets of the Solar System, we've largely managed to explain the geography we've found by drawing analogies to things we're familiar with from Earth. Glaciers and wind-driven erosion produce similar results both here and on Mars, for instance. But further out in the Solar System, the materials involved in the geology change—water ice becomes as hard as rock, and methane and nitrogen freeze—which raises the prospect of some entirely unfamiliar processes.

This week, scientists proposed that some weird terrain found on Pluto could be the product of large fields of nitrogen ice sublimating off into the atmosphere. While this explanation could account for some properties of Pluto's geography, it doesn't explain why the process resulted in a series of parallel ridges.

On the washboard

The strange terrain lies to the northwest of Sputnik Planitia, the heart-shaped plane that dominates the side of Pluto we have the best images of. Called "washboard" or "fluted," the area consists of large numbers of roughly parallel ridges with roughly a kilometer or two separating them. Aside from their appearance and general orientation, these ridges don't seem to have a lot in common. They're discontiguous and don't fill the entire region. They run down slopes and spread across valley floors—in some cases a single ridge will run down a slope and then flatten out. And in several cases, they create a starburst-like pattern on along the walls of craters.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments


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