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Posts Tagged ‘epic’

Noctua NH-U12S Review

Noctua NH-U12S Review

Manufacturer: Noctua
UK price (as reviewed):
£47.99
US price (as reviewed): $69.99

When all-in-one coolers started hitting the cooling scene a few years ago, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the end of the road for premium air coolers. Noctua is one of the most established and recognised brands out there in the enthusiast scene, but even we have to admit that value hasn’t always been one of the company’s strong points. In the face of a growing number of super-cheap and capable coolers such as Deepcool’s GAMMAXX S40, you might think paying more than £30 for a CPU cooler isn’t worth it considering how well the latter performs for just £20.

*Noctua NH-U12S Review Noctua NH-U12S Review *Noctua NH-U12S Review Noctua NH-U12S Review
At £47.99, the NH-U12S isn’t even a humongous air cooler and you get a much smaller bit of kit than it’s larger sibling, the NH-D14, which retails for just £10 more. However, the NH-U12S isn’t about raw cooling. With a maximum rated noise of just over 22db(A) and even less using the included low noise adaptor, this is a cooler for those where noise reduction is just as important as a chilly CPU.

*Noctua NH-U12S Review Noctua NH-U12S Review *Noctua NH-U12S Review Noctua NH-U12S Review
Part of the reason for the NF-F12′s high price is the NF-F12 PWM Focused Flow 120mm fan included in the box. This retails for £17 on its own – one of the most expensive fans on the market. There’s a whole raft of technical blurb in this fan’s specifications but the long and short of it boils down to Noctua claiming it produces a better quality noise by utilising many of these swanky features such as a focused flow frame, varying angular distance and vortec-control notches, plus better airflow and cooling.

The heatsink itself is up to Noctua’s usual standards, however, if you haven’t seen one of the Austria-designed cooler’s in person before, that’s essentially the same as saying build quality is epic. Crammed into this diminutive cooler, which measures just 158mm tall and 125mm wide, are five heatpipes built into a compact array of aluminium fins, plus a copper contact plate that sports a nickel plating.

*Noctua NH-U12S Review Noctua NH-U12S Review *Noctua NH-U12S Review Noctua NH-U12S Review
Even the packing is a labour of love, with everything packed into premium-feeling cardboard boxes that are all exactly the right size to take up precisely 100 per cent of the outer box. It’s not often we feel compelled to make this sort of comment but it’s totally justified here. As such, with everything labelled for each socket, despite the above average amount of mounting components, installation is fairly painless.

The fan clips are second only to SilverStone’s latest coolers such as the AR01 , in terms of ease of use – no spindly, awkward things here, which is just as well as you need to fit the single 120mm fan after you’ve mounted the cooler to the motherboard.

*Noctua NH-U12S Review Noctua NH-U12S Review *Noctua NH-U12S Review Noctua NH-U12S Review
Also included are all the fittings needed to mount a second fan, including the brown antivibration corner pads plus a low noise adaptor that can drop the maximum rpm from 1,500 to 1,200, slotting in between the 3-pin power feed and the standard PWM fan cable. Everything you need is included in the box, including an extra-long screwdriver to reach the mounting screws.

*Noctua NH-U12S Review Noctua NH-U12S Review *Noctua NH-U12S Review Noctua NH-U12S Review

Specifications

  • Compatibility Intel: LGA775 and LGA1366 (with optional NM-I3 kit) LGA115x, LGA2011; AMD: AM3(+), AM2(+), FM2(+), FM1
  • Size (with fan) (mm) 125 x 71 x 158 (W x D x H)
  • Fan(s) 1 x 120mm, 300-1,500RPM
  • Stated Noisemax 22.4dB(A)

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/bit-tech/hardware/~3/f6X5KuGdDGo/1


Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GamingRipplesWeb/~3/pbuxrgz6koQ/

Unreal Engine to get Linux, SteamOS support

Unreal Engine to get Linux, SteamOS support

Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4.1, now available for just $19 a month and five per cent royalties, is to receive preliminary Linux support.


Epic Games’ Mike Fricker has confirmed that his company’s next Unreal Engine update, version 4.1, will include Linux support – including full compatibility with Valve’s prototype SteamOS distribution and Steam Machine platforms.

Following rival Crytek’s announcement that the next release of CryEngine will include support for Linux, Epic’s popular Unreal Engine becomes yet another big name offering support for developers looking to target the open-source operating system. This sudden explosion of interest, after years of neglect, can be attributed directly to Valve’s SteamOS distribution, a customised version of Debian Linux with integrated support for the Steam digital distribution platform.

Folks have been asking about our early Linux efforts and support for Valve’s SteamOS and Steam Machines,‘ wrote Fricker in a blog post late last night. ‘We have good news for you! The 4.1 source code has initial support for running and packaging games for Linux and SteamOS. We love Linux!

Fricker has not yet detailed how ‘initial’ the support truly is, although there is a warning that it will require the developer to compile the engine from source rather than using pre-compiled binaries, but regardless of the state of Linux compatibility when Unreal Engine 4.1 launches it’s a clear indicator that it will be included in the engine going forward – and will only improve over time.

Additional new features of Unreal Engine 4.1 include additional templates, improved user experience through new assistants and layout functions, an undo history window, the ability to jump directly to connections in graphs, an experimental translation editor, and numerous bug fixes.

Epic is also giving all Unreal Engine subscribers – who pay $19 plus five per cent of their revenue to use the engine – access to the assets used in the Elemental demonstration first released in 2012. If you’ve forgotten what that looks like, there’s a reminder embedded below.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/bit-tech/news/~3/ZaokphLqxOo/1


Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GamingRipplesWeb/~3/Rd1w35r3TUA/

Unreal Engine 4 subscription model announced by Epic

Unreal Engine 4 subscription model announced by Epic

Epic Games announced the engine’s subscription model during its GDC press conference.


Epic Games has released its Unreal Engine 4 on a subscription bases for developers.

Previously only available to be licensed for millions of dollars, the popular engine will be accessible for $19 a month with a flat 5% royalty fee payable on any game sales on products powered by the engine.

The subscription will grant access to the full C++ source code which will be downloadable from GitHub and developers will be able to create games for PC, Mac, iOS and Android systems. Console support has not been included in the initial release but may come later depending on the deals Epic can strike with Microsoft and Sony.

The move aims to bring Unreal Engine to a much wider audience whereas before it was only viable to the largest triple-A developers and publishers.

‘We’re rethinking our whole business in how we make Unreal Engine available to individuals and to teams,’ said Epic Games co-founder and chief executive Tim Sweeney talking at GDC. ‘This is a bold new step for Epic, but we think it’s an appropriate one given the new size of the games industry. It’s grown into a very open one, where absolutely anyone can develop a game and ship it.’

Developers are not required to sign up for any fixed term for the subscription and are welcome to drop in and out. A cancelled subscription will mean developers can still access the development tools but just won’t receive any of the updates from Epic.

Epic warns that Unreal Engine 4 requires a significantly powerful desktop computer, and is also still rough round the edges. Anyone expecting a more polished product is asked to ‘check back in 6 months’.

Check out the Unreal Engine 4 in action below.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/bit-tech/news/~3/FW29RDb4EwQ/1


Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GamingRipplesWeb/~3/A1or9qsDMt4/

How to issue your own emotional Bitcoin

Now who might deserve that? And why?


(Credit:
GoodFor)

Traditional forms of currency just aren’t current any more.

They’re made of stupid, old-fashioned things like paper and metal.

Everyone knows that real value can only be online, virtual and, at best, semi-sincere.

So along comes the iOS app called GoodFor, which allows you to create your own personalized, meaningful and even entirely insincere IOUs, good for as long as you decide they’re good.

This emotional Bitcoin is the brainchild of Satoshi Nakamoto, who, I understand, worked on some very secret and emotional projects at many institutions such as the US Postal Service and Starbucks.

I’m sorry, I don’t have that quite right. The GoodFor app was created by coupon company SnipSnap, which, for all I know, invented Bitcoin.

The SnipSnappers happened upon this idea when they realized that with their ordinary coupon app, people were trying to create their own versions.

So now you can use your creative skills to promise your lover four minutes of nuzzling every second Tuesday, or your dad the
car keys for two hours every Thursday.

You can spend minutes choosing your backgrounds and borders before offering your religious guru the password to your Playboy video subscription for precisely 12 hours every month.

You can even send your ex an IOU for all the years you wasted her time with your Meccano set.

Yes, it’s totally and utterly silly. But so are emoticons. And so is life.

The GoodFor app at least allows you to spice up your promises and hopefully encourages you to keep them, instead of what you usually do — flush them down the drainpipe of your self-involvement.

Moreover, it gives the recipients a chance to have an artistic record of just what a good-for-nothing you turned out to be.

I can imagine that in future divorce settlement negotiations, lawyers will project GoodFor IOUs on large screens, in order to help prove that something was, indeed, promised and not delivered.

Exhibit 73: A depiction of hearts and flowers and the caption: Good For One Expression Of Affection Every 48 Hours. Was fulfilled only twice. In 16 years.

Here, then, is your challenge: show that you can create a work of art and keep the promise within it.

It’s easier sent than done.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/XzPR9GIJ4-k/

3D-printed corset wraps model in revisionist Eden

3D printed fashion
(Credit:
Lori Grunin/CNET)

Multimaterial is going to be the next big thing in 3D printing, allowing for multiple colours and materials in a single print session. And 3D-printing company Stratasys is right in the vanguard with its Objet500 Connex3, unveiled in January.

The printer has three nozzles, which makes it possible to print in three materials at the same time — or three different colours, cyan, magenta and yellow, for an entire rainbow of colour options.

What could you do with such a printer? Well, the potential options are amazing. But perhaps an artist is the best person to showcase just how beautiful 3D printing can be. Michaella Janse van Vuuren, a South African artist, designer, and engineer, has used the Objet500 Connex3 to create a range of fashion accessories in a collection she calls the Garden of Eden — a subverted version of the biblical myth in which, she says, the woman is free and powerful.

“This is the first time that I’m using a 3D printing technology that truly allows me to make something so close to an end product,” van Vuuren said in a Stratasys statement. “The ability to combine rigid and flexible materials in one piece is something that is so rare, and introducing color into the process inspires us creatives to think in a whole new way.”

3D-printed shoes
(Credit:
Stratasys)

The collection consists of some truly gorgeous pieces: a stained-glass-inspired corset based on the Tree of Knowledge, made of three different rubbery materials in clear, solid black, and pink-hued plastic, fitted using body-scanning technology; several pairs of shoes based on the serpent, with the snake forming the heel from rigid material and a more flexible upper; a serpent belt from multihued rubber material; and fish bracelets made from both rigid and flexible materials.

“Depicting the water features in the Garden of Eden, the Fish in Lilies bracelet explores rigid mechanical solutions to bend the bracelet around the wrist while the Fish in Coral piece experiments with different material properties to create a more rubbery part,” van Vuuren explained.

Van Vuuren has not mentioned whether she will be selling the collection on her Web site, or whether it is an art piece not meant for consumer release, but Garden of Eden is only the beginning — not only for van Vuuren, but for an entire new generation of 3D-printed design.

3D-printed shoes
(Credit:
Lori Grunin/CNET)

“I have only scratched the surface of the possibilities with the Objet500 Connex3 3D Printer,” concluded van Vuuren. “Not only does this technology replace traditional methods of fashion manufacturing, it enables one to manufacture in a completely new way. The ability to include different material properties and beautiful jewel-like colours in a single print run is absolutely ground-breaking. Like paint on a canvas, this 3D printer is a powerful tool for engineering and creative expression — I cannot wait to see the objects that this technology will enable.”

(Source: CNET Australia)

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/w9WDHGE2zXo/

Our doom will come sci-fi-style, NASA-funded study says

We’ve all seen movies depicting a dystopian future. Usually they envision a small group of elites living in sleekly designed homes wearing clean gray clothes, sipping pure water, and enjoying generally dust-free living while the rest of us schlubs reside in cardboard boxes beneath bridges. Now, a NASA-funded study is saying the collapse of civilization as we know it might not be all that different from what happens in movies like “Blade Runner,” “Elysium,” and “The Hunger Games.”

The study, sponsored by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and first reported on in The Guardian, examined five key factors that led to the collapse of civilizations such the Roman Empire and Han Dynasty: population, climate, water, agriculture, and energy. It found that civilizations collapse when these factors coalesce in such a way that natural resources are stretched at the same time the gap between the rich (termed “Elites” in the study) and the poor (dubbed “Commoners”) increases. Sound familiar?

In arriving at these conclusions, the study authors, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, applied something known as the HANDY (Human and Nature Dynamics) model of analysis. It was derived from previous predator-prey mathematical models invented in the early 20th century and assigns nature the role of prey and humans the role of predator. It then goes one step further, assigning Elites a wolf-like role. “We have also added a different dimension of predation whereby Elites “prey” on the production of wealth by Commoners,” the paper says.

The report details just how this type of predation can lead an empire to collapse. “Even using an optimal depletion rate and starting with a very small number of Elites, the solution appears to be on a sustainable path for quite a long time, then Elites grow and consume too much, resulting in a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society,” it says. According to one model run during the research, there is a total collapse of society just 125 years after the Elites reach their maximum size.

So the end will come, according to the study, not from running out of resources but from greed, pure and simple. Hear that, 1 Percent?

Actually, they probably didn’t hear that. The report, which was penned in 2012, but recently accepted into the peer-reviewed scientific journal Ecological Economics, points out that the Elites are typically blissfully unaware of society’s eminent demise. It says that “historical collapses were allowed to occur by elites who appear to be oblivious to the catastrophic trajectory (most clearly apparent in the Roman and Mayan cases).”

As in every good sci-fi flick, all hope is not lost. The study authors say that “collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion.”

Ah, so that’s all it will take. A sudden change of heart among the elites to distribute their wealth amongst the rest of us, and people to stop using natural resources like free lives in a video game. Better start hoarding bottled water and batteries now.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/t9R_0ZxX140/

‘Game of Thrones’ math: How many dragons could a dire wolf eat?

Definitely cooler than a condor, Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons would nonetheless taste pretty good to a dire wolf.


(Credit:
Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET)

Possible spoilers ahead if you’re not through with the third season: With the fourth season of “Game of Thrones” imminent, there are a lot of questions in the air (especially if, like me, you haven’t read the books). Will the khaleesi finally make it to Westeros to capture the Iron Throne? Will the Starks in the diaspora ever find each other again? Will winter ever actually come? And will someone finally beat the royal stuffing out of Joffrey?

But I’ve been giving thought to a particularly pesky question that I’m sure hordes of fans are dying to know. (OK, probably not, but it’s certainly a question that’s crossed my random-factoid-focused science brain). It began when I started thinking about what would happen if Robb Stark ever met up with Daenerys Targaryen (which of course, can never happen now with Robb being all dead and whatnot). While some might think my ponderings might have turned to the beautiful offspring that surely would have resulted if those two ever got together, I had a much different question in mind: How many Targaryen dragons could a Stark dire wolf eat per year if it got its fangs on them? To find out, I embarked on some very scientific research.


dire wolf

Robb Stark with his dire wolf Grey Wind. Looks hungry, doesn’t it?


(Credit:
Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET )

To begin my investigation, I grabbed the screenshot you see to the right from a YouTube clip featuring Robb Stark. In this particular scene, he’s got his dire wolf, Grey Wind, next to him in an effort to scare the piss out of Jaime Lannister. (If you ask me, it worked. But I digress.) Robb Stark is played by actor Richard Madden, who, I found out thanks to a quick Google search, is 5 feet 11 inches tall.

To determine the actor’s approximate inseam height, I reached out to Max Berlinger, a men’s fashion writer for Esquire magazine. “Honestly, I have no way to gauge this. I wish I could be more helpful, but this is a puzzle,” Berlinger said. However, he did say that if he had to make a guess — and a guess only — he’d put it at 32 inches, which is pretty standard for a man of Madden’s size. Because I am the same height as Madden (and share a certain rugged set of good looks as him, but I again I digress), and have a 32-inch inseam, I went with that. Science at its best.

So if Robb Stark’s inseam is 32 inches and the wolf is standing a little more than a foot above that, let’s put Grey Wind’s height at 46 inches.

Next up was a question for Rolf Peterson, a research professor at Michigan Technological University who has studied wolf-prey relationships at Isle Royale National Park for more than 40 years. He told me that if we’re assuming a dire wolf is approximately 150 percent bigger than a regular wolf (which it would be at the height we’ve estimated), he would approximate its food needs at 25 deer per year. The average weight of a white-tailed deer, according to the Adirondack Ecological Center, is 203 pounds.

OK, now to convert deer to dragons.

To do so, I looked to the bird kingdom. I know I could have used something more reptilian, but considering that dragons have to be able to fly, I thought a bird was a better analogy. Plus, birds are relatives of dinosaurs and all that, so there you go. (See, very scientific). I went with the Andean condor, one of the largest flying birds in the world. I could have chosen the wandering albatross (also a big bird), but the condor just looks a little more badass, it can live up to 100 years, and likes cliffs. All dragon-like qualities if you ask me. Plus, it’s a heavy sucker — the adults weigh up to 33 pounds, according to National Geographic.

So let’s say that at the end of the third season, the khaleesi’s dragons are about the size of a full-grown condor, with 10-foot wingspans. It kind of looks right based on the above screen grab from the epic scene in which the khaleesi unleashes her beast (and her completely captivating knowledge of Valyrian).

That would mean there are about 6 dragons to one deer. If a dire wolf eats 25 deer per year, that results in an annual adolescent dragon dietary need of 150, or almost three of the flying lizards per week. I’m not sure which variety the wolves would prefer, but I’d go for the red ones as I tend to like spicy food. Of course, there’s the question of a dire wolf even catching a dragon (and the fact that the Targaryen dragons are going to get just a little bit bigger), but I’ll leave those investigations to a researcher wiser than me.

Now that that’s settled, you can pay tribute by leaving your undying thanks for solving such a critical and nagging riddle related to “Game of Thrones” in the comments below. I promise not to get a Joffrey-like swelled head.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/SuuoThCxu1U/

How many of the khaleesi’s dragons could a dire wolf eat?

Definitely cooler than a condor, Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons would nonetheless taste pretty good to a dire wolf.


(Credit:
Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET)

Possible spoilers ahead if you’re not through with the third season: With the fourth season of “Game of Thrones” imminent, there are a lot of questions in the air (especially if, like me, you haven’t read the books). Will the khaleesi finally make it to Westeros to capture the Iron Throne? Will the Starks in the diaspora ever find each other again? Will winter ever actually come? And will someone finally beat the royal stuffing out of Joffrey?

But I’ve been giving thought to a particularly pesky question that I’m sure hordes of fans are dying to know. (OK, probably not, but it’s certainly a question that’s crossed my random-factoid-focused science brain). It began when I started thinking about what would happen if Robb Stark ever met up with Daenerys Targaryen (which of course, can never happen now with Robb being all dead and whatnot). While some might think my ponderings might have turned to the beautiful offspring that surely would have resulted if those two ever got together, I had a much different question in mind: How many Targaryen dragons could a Stark dire wolf eat per year if it got its fangs on them? To find out, I embarked on some very scientific research.

dire wolf

Robb Stark with his dire wolf Grey Wind. Looks hungry, doesn’t it?


(Credit:
Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET)

To begin my investigation, I grabbed the screenshot you see to the right from a YouTube clip featuring Robb Stark. In this particular scene, he’s got his dire wolf, Grey Wind, next to him in an effort to scare the piss out of Jaime Lannister. (If you ask me, it worked. But I digress.) Robb Stark is played by actor Richard Madden, who, I found out thanks to a quick Google search, is 5 feet 11 inches tall.

To determine the actor’s approximate inseam height, I reached out to Max Berlinger, a men’s fashion writer for Esquire magazine. “Honestly, I have no way to gauge this. I wish I could be more helpful, but this is a puzzle,” Berlinger said. However, he did say that if he had to make a guess — and a guess only — he’d put it at 32 inches, which is pretty standard for a man of Madden’s size. Because I am the same height as Madden (and share a certain rugged set of good looks as him, but I again I digress), and have a 32-inch inseam, I went with that. Science at its best.

So if Robb Stark’s inseam is 32 inches and the wolf is standing about a foot above that, let’s put Grey Wind’s height at 46 inches.

Next up was a question for Rolf Peterson, a research professor at Michigan Technological University who has studied wolf-prey relationships at Isle Royale National Park for more than 40 years. He told me that if we’re assuming a dire wolf is approximately 150 percent bigger than a regular wolf (which it would be at the height we’ve estimated), he would approximate its food needs at 25 deer per year. The average weight of a white-tailed deer, according to the Adirondack Ecological Center, is 203 pounds.

OK, now to convert deer to dragons.

To do so, I looked to the bird kingdom. I know I could have used something more reptilian, but considering that dragons have to be able to fly, I thought a bird was a better analogy. Plus, birds are relatives of dinosaurs and all that, so there you go. (See, very scientific). I went with the Andean condor, one of the largest flying birds in the world. I could have chosen the wandering albatross (also a big bird), but the condor just looks a little more badass, it can live up to 100 years, and likes cliffs. All dragon-like qualities if you ask me. Plus, it’s a heavy sucker — the adults weigh up to 33 pounds, according to National Geographic.

So let’s say that at the end of the third season, the khaleesi’s dragons are about the size of a full-grown condor, with 10-foot wingspans. It kind of looks right based on the above screen grab from the epic scene in which the khaleesi unleashes her beast (and her completely captivating knowledge of Valyrian).

That would mean there are about 7 dragons to one deer. If a dire wolf eats 25 deer per year, that results in an annual adolescent dragon dietary need of 175, or about three and a quarter of the flying lizards per week. I’m not sure which variety the wolves would prefer, but I’d go for the red ones as I tend to like spicy food. Of course, there’s the question of a dire wolf even catching a dragon (and the fact that the Targaryen dragons are going to get just a little bit bigger), but I’ll leave those investigations to a researcher wiser than me.

Now that that’s settled, you can pay tribute by leaving your undying thanks for solving such a critical and nagging riddle related to “Game of Thrones” in the comments below. I promise not to get a Joffrey-like swelled head.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/biTlYHaY-2g/

The Web at 25: How it won the White House — and won me back

On assignment.


(Credit:
Johanna DeBiase)

This week I’ve been celebrating 25 years of the Web by retracing my own life, lived largely online, from the Web’s early years to the dot-com boom and bust to the slow emergence of Web 2.0, which I largely missed while in self-imposed digital exile in Alaska. In the final installment today I look at how I came back to the Web just in time for things to get really good.

Look through my author’s profile here at CNET and you might notice that I’m a bit obsessed with following the latest developments in the mobile world, from even the most hopeful iPhone rumors to torture-testing ruggedized Android phones. But back in January of 2007 when the first iPhone was introduced, arguably kicking off the global smartphone craze and eventually helping to push the mobile Web into the mainstream, I missed it completely.

I was focused on being a new father at the time, and although I was back living in the contiguous United States after a stint in a fly-in village in the Alaskan bush where even landline calls came with a 3-second satellite delay, I still had not yet fully re-immersed myself in digital life.

The events of the prior seven years — from being part of the dot-com bust to witnessing firsthand the impacts of climate change in Alaska and touring the mind-boggling nation that is modern China — had all led me to believe that my skills as a journalist might be better used covering issues like energy, the environment, and the politics that drive these for a national radio audience rather than tracking every movement of the hottest startups.

My time in the wilderness had turned me from the hardest-core digital devotee into someone more like my grandmother, a remarkably well-informed octogenarian who has still never touched a keyboard to this day, at least to my knowledge.

But here’s one of the secrets to life that I finally learned the day my now-6-year-old daughter was born: time is our only truly finite resource (although Google and people like Ray Kurzweil seem to be working to change that). Yes, I know it sounds like a ridiculous headline from Thought Catalog, but when faced with the desire to use my time more efficiently so I could spend more of it with my new family, the prospect of reporting on our highly repetitive and inefficient political processes began to feel increasingly corrosive for my soul.

Don’t get me wrong, we could probably use more people scouring the political beat, but it was during the presidential campaign in 2008 that I began to realize I was just over it. Ironically, after covering politics helped draw me away from a career on the Web, it was the unprecedented use of the Web — particularly the social Web — during that campaign that drew me back online.

Tumblr-dry my soul
It wasn’t until August 2008 that Facebook reached 100 million global users (yes, just one-twelfth of its current user count), and the Obama campaign in particular bombarded many of those users with advertising on the social network that encouraged more than 3 million to sign up as supporters of the candidate on Facebook. On election day, 5.4 million people clicked the “I Voted” button on Facebook’s Election ’08 page.

Using this social presence, combined with the campaign’s own social network and an aggressive email and texting campaign, Obama raised half a billion dollars for the campaign on the Web alone. By comparison, the amount of contributions to all candidates from all sources in the 2004 campaign was just $880 million, according to figures from the Federal Election Commission. Arguably, the Web had won the White House for the first time ever.

In 25 years the Web has gone from being ignored to practically winning the White House.


(Credit:

PresidentObama
)

Blogs also played an unprecedented role in that campaign, both the influential partisan sites like DailyKos and HotAir, and official blogs of the candidates that encouraged participation and posting by supporters. I had kept an eye on the blogosphere over the years, even from rural Alaska, and became completely enamored with Tumblr in early 2008, finding it to be a perfect tool to let off steam with a bit of outright mockery of the political system I was becoming increasingly frustrated with covering.

After a six-year absence, I had created yet another in a long line of half-assed Web sites to my name to share my disorganized thoughts with the world. I was back, baby!

My Tumblr was tiny but grew surprisingly quickly by satirizing the hot political stories of the day, and helped bring me fully back to working on the Web with a gig as an editor at AOL in 2009. Something about working for the company that first introduced me to the Web in the mid-’90s and even helped me score my first kiss had the poetic feel of an Elton John song. But as it turns out, the AOL of this century is much different than the one that nurtured me in my youth and I only lasted there for about nine months. But no biggie, as the folks I met through AOL were and continue to be awesome, and it eventually led me here to Crave, where once again, after a nearly decade-long hiatus, I finally felt at home on the Web again.

So that’s my story of love, loss, exile, and homecoming on the Web, spanning almost its entire 25-year history — from an awkward adolescence through the bubble that burst in our faces to the epic quest for meaning amid the chaos of worlds both physical and digital that leads us to today, and a mature Web that isn’t quite perfect, but is pretty damn cool.

#HappyBirthdayAndManyMore


(Credit:
Johanna DeBiase)

But in wrapping this up it also seems only natural to ask what’s next for the Web. I don’t actually think my opinion on that is particularly valuable, but fortunately we did ask the guy who dreamed the whole thing up 25 years ago.

What does strike me, though, is that my first exposure to a computer came at age 8, to online services about four years later, and finally to the Web at age 15. Almost two decades after that, it is the central interface for my life, following important daily face-to-face time with the two redheads I share an abode with, of course.

The smallest of those redheads, my daughter, could perform basic operations on a
tablet at age 2, followed a few years later by surfing certain Web sites on a Netbook. Today she already does homework and pretty major science and craft projects on the Web. By the time she’s my age, with the growth of the Internet of Things and of her digital skills, I have to wonder if she might really be living life on the Web, in a more literal way.

I just hope she takes time out to see the Arctic along the way — the Northern Lights are way more spectacular in person than on YouTube.

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Angry Birds becoming turn-based RPG

Angry Birds becoming turn-based RPG

Angry Birds Epic will soft launch in Canada, Australia and New Zealand before hitting the rest of the world.


Angry Birds developer Rovio has revealed that its next game in the franchise will be a turn based RPG.

Titled Angry Birds Epic, it will soft launch in Canada, Australia and New Zealand later this week with a roll out to other territories at a later date.

Although it’s not describing the initial launch as an alpha or early access build, Rovio states that the game will be refined before launching globally. Initially targeting iOS, the final version will also be available for Android and Windows Phone 8 systems.

The notoriously successful bird-flinging game will be transformed into an RPG featuring a crafting system, a challenging endgame mode and a focus on narrative. Resources for the crafting system will either be picked up in the game or bought from a store through an in-app purchase system.

Rovio released a teaser trailer revealing a vague notion of the theme for Epic last week.

The Angry Birds series has spread its wings to cover several different themes and genres including a cart racer in the form of Angry Birds Go, spin off Bad Piggies and a very successful licensing deal with Star Wars.

An estimated 12 million copies of Angry Birds have been downloaded from the Apple App Store alone with the series now on practically every system imaginable. Angry Birds Star Wars was even one of the Playstation 4′s launch titles.

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