In a Magic the Gathering unboxing video, when opening an alpha starter pack, the author is stunned by a Black Lotus.
A year ago, Microsoft was crucified in the press for the PR fiasco of the Xbox One, with rival Sony winning thunderous applause for its PS4 by simply maintaining the status quo. But after doing a
360 180 on its hated policies, Redmond is attempting to close the gap with the most valuable package deal since The Orange Box.
A remarkable feat of engineering, Halo: The Master Chief Collection will feature on a single disc the complete HD-remastered campaigns of Halos 1-4 alongside Ridley Scott's Nightfall, the Halo 5 beta, and the holy grail of Xbox gaming: every last one of the series' 100+ multiplayer maps in a single unified matchmaking system incorporating the original engines, gameplay mechanics, and idiosyncrasies of each.
Ten years after Halo 2 (and four years after MS shut the taps), IGN suspects a plan by 343 to rekindle (and data-mine) Bungie's magic for an uncertain Halo 5, while Eurogamer welcomes the return of what it calls online FPS's peak. [More reaction: NeoGAF - Ars Technica - Reddit]
Bungie, meanwhile, stood with Sony to showcase its upcoming Destiny, the vaunted space epic that will beta this summer before facing its revamped forerunners later this year. More E3 coverage: Microsoft (5min) - Sony (5min) - Nintendo (airing noon EST) - SW: Battlefront - AC: Unity - MGS5: The Phantom Pain - Evolve - No Man's Sky - The Order: 1886 - Sunset Overdrive - Grim Fandango - Bloodborne - Arkham Knight - Scalebound - Mortal Kombat X - The Division - LittleBigPlanet 3 - Inside - Uncharted 4 - Crackdown
A few months ago there was a list of links to classic video game emulators posted. Very recently, I'm pleased to report, those links all came true. The Internet Archive bespoke upon aforementioned consoles, computers, and mileposts on our way to the tech utopia of today, (seriously, where's my flying car?) and they asked us to do something: Imagine every computer that ever existed, literally, in your browser. And it was so. I have absolutely no affiliation with jscott, btw. Thought I should disclose that.
"ET TU, chimp? The leader of a wild chimpanzee troupe was recently attacked by four of his underlings, who banded together to beat him to death. It's unusual for chimps to kill their alpha male – and this event gives rare insight into group structure in our closest relatives."
An early alpha build of the genre changing game Half-Life has been leaked on to the internet. The alpha represents the state of the game about a year before its release, and Youtube user MarphitimusBlackimus has uploaded footage of: multiplayer, a technology demonstration, and a playthrough of a very rough single player mode. A bit more information about the leak here.
Ye cannae change the laws of physics. Or can you? (Single link Economist article)
A couple decades after the first appearance of Steam Men in the 19th century, and a few years after the word "robot" was coined, one Professor Harry May from London toured around the US with Alpha the robot. The one ton mechanical man was built from a combination of modern inventions that granted Alpha certain skills, from product model and vocal promoter of the automatic electric toaster, to gunslinger. The problem with giving Alpha a gun was that the robot revolted (PDF, via), shooting his master and creator in 1932. After this incident, Alpha became Mary Ann (via), complete with new hair, a dress, and a soprano voice.
The Alpha Course has been a widely popular - and controversial - initiative by the Church of England to get people more interested in the Church. In 2000, the Jewish journalist Jon Ronson attended a course to see what was going on.
Last night Joss Whedon received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism at Harvard, taking the opportunity to talk about religion and education (somewhat rough video), as well as taking questions about Dollhouse, his probably-soon-to-be-cancelled not-all-to-be-shown show. I wonder how these guys are doing.
Yahoo! Australia introduces a new search engine that uses OpenSearch and pretty little AJAX tricks to integrate results from Flickr, Wikpedia, YouTube (and so on). You can customize the layout, and even add your own search sources. It’s called Alpha, it’s currently in Beta, and aims to get through the rest of the Greek alphabet by June. (Via podlob.)
Earth Album is primarily a Google Maps/Flickr mashup with lots of lovely photos. They also offer a YouTube mashup (focused on local music). Both are somewhat hard to use, because it's difficult to see where you're clicking. Fortunately, they also have Earth Album USA and Earth Album Japan.
"Who's afraid of evolutionary biology?" (I've linked Bede before, but this piece bears a much more important message to Christians who feel it their biblical duty to get hot and bothered over evolution and origin-of-life issues.) Also see a Christian response to "Young Earth" apologetics, and the Young Earth Argument Index, both from "Old Earth" Creationists who disagree with 6-Day biblical literalism. (Note that Old Earthers may still be Intelligent Design advocates. Heaping spoonsful of salt all around.) If that's still too "Christian" for you, Talk.Origins has a summary of other Genesis interpretations.
ALPHA and ATRAP are two collaborations of physicists racing to trap and study antihydrogen. To the winner most likely goes a Nobel Prize. The proposed comparison of hydrogen to antihydrogen promises to give an extremely senstive test of CPT invarience. Why do we care? Thats a whole Noether matter...