Numarul 3, 3 iulie 2019

What are the best VR games?

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome games


Why you should make useless things

Simone Luna Louise Söderlund Giertz,

In this joyful, heartfelt talk featuring demos of her wonderfully wacky creations, Simone Giertz shares her craft: making useless robots. Her inventions -- designed to chop vegetables, cut hair, apply lipstick and more -- rarely (if ever) succeed, and that's the point. "The true beauty of making useless things [is] this acknowledgment that you don't always know what the best answer is," Giertz says. "It turns off that voice in your head that tells you that you know exactly how the world works. Maybe a toothbrush helmet isn't the answer, but at least you're asking the question."

She’s created classics such as the Breakfast Machine that pours more milk on the floor than the cereal, a Chopping Machine that appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and a Popcorn Machine that she built with Adam Savage from Mythbusters.

I never set out to become a role model and I’m still figuring it all out. I mean it’s not like somebody sends you a agreement you have to sign and a guide book on how to be a good role model. But hopefully people can pick and choose the parts they like and ignore the bad stuff.

Queen of Shitty Robots, Breaker of Transistors, Mistress of Malfunction, Mother of Terrible Inventions
My family calls me Pim.

I'm really good at building really bad things. I spend my productive hours running a YouTubechannel about shitty robots, hosting Tested, and figuring out how to attach stuff to stuff.

Come hang out with me over on Patreon! It's where I post unpublished content, have live hangouts and occasionally send out stuff you probably won't need but that might make you happy.

Brain-Computer Interface Is “Coming Soon”
Elon Musk, an IFLScience Article

Three years ago, Elon Musk set up a company, Neuralink, with the ambitious goal of creating a brain-computer interface. This ultra-high bandwidth connection is seen by the Tesla CEO as the only solution to counter what he believes to be an existential threat to humanity. Musk was asked for an update on Twitter and provided a two-word reply: “Coming soon.”

However, there's obviously a lot of room for interpretation when it comes to the word “soon”. Everything Neuralink has been working on is under wraps and the company's website is currently just a list of job positions. The goal of the technology is also very unclear, with potential applications ranging from connecting our brains to the Internet to using artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance our cognitive abilities.

The latter idea has been discussed by Musk several times. He believes that AI's capabilities in the near future will mean humanity gets left behind. His solution sees the merging of machines and human consciousness so that humanity has an equal footing with whatever AI we might develop in the future.

"Coming soon"

Unknowns and uncertainties don't just come from Musk's company but exist in the field in general. There will be questions about both safety and security, but also ethical discussions on how we should use these technologies.

Augmenting humans with technology is not a new fad (reading glasses, anyone?), but the miniaturization of silicon chips, improvements in computing, and new materials have dramatically improved such technologies. We can control devices, and even communicate, just using our minds. The tech is predominantly used to help disabled people overcome the many barriers that continue to exist in society, but it's also used by groups of transhumanists who want to go beyond what humans can achieve.

We need to remember that the technology that underpins it all is far from ready. Reading brain signals in detail still requires surgery and the assistive technology used for brain communication is still extremely slow compared to traditional means of communication. There is a lot of research into technology and the brain with some major projects receiving investments such as the BRAIN Initiative in the US and the Human Brain Project in Europe. We might not be completely clueless about how to link computers to our bodies, but on the road to merging with AI, we've still got a very long way to go.

So, who will live and who will die?
GoT, IFLScience

First up, some of the characters most likely to come to a sticky end before Game of Thrones' final credits roll include Bronn (sorry), whose survival rate is a pitiful 6 percent, Sansa (27 percent), and her brother Bran, aka the Three-Eyed Raven (42 percent).

Warning: Possible spoilers ahead.

Meanwhile, those with the greatest chances of survival (according to the app) are Daenerys (99 percent), Tyrion (97 percent), and Jaime Lannister (96 percent). Jon Snow, having already died once, also has some pretty good survival odds at 88 percent.

According to the algorithm, women have a higher survival rate than men (89 percent versus 78 percent) and nobles are less likely to die than peasants (82 percent survival versus 75 percent).

This Is Who Will Be Left Standing At The End Of "Game Of Thrones", According To Science

Other factors that can boost your chances of not dying include marriage (decreases "predicted likelihood of death on average" by 56 percent) and being a main character (decreases "predicted likelihood of death on average" by 16 percent).


The results also suggest that it is better to be a Lannister (decreases "predicted likelihood of death on average" by 45 percent) than a Targaryen (decreases "predicted likelihood of death on average" by 42 percent) or a Stark (decreases "predicted likelihood of death on average" by 38 percent).

This is not the first time people have used science to predict the complex and often unpredictable (Red Wedding much?) life-and-death storylines in Game of Thrones.

Last December, a team of researchers at Macquarie University tried to figure out who will survive the series' conclusion – discovering that one in seven main characters die in the first hour of being introduced.

We have to admit, some of these survival odds seem a little optimistic given the showrunner's penchant for death and destruction, especially if stories of the cast blubbering at the final script read are anything to go by.

Still, you can find out how your favorite character fares here.

What are the best VR games?

Virtual reality gaming is getting more accessible as PC requirements become more affordable and more titles with solid VR support become available. If you're looking to hop on board the still-new and exciting VR train, you'll want to check out our list of all the must-have titles, no matter what VR platform you've chosen. The Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR or HTC Vive continue to offer enthralling AAA experiences like Doom, Skyrim and Tetris Effect, while the affordable Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR have fun titles that you can play anywhere. And with new headsets like the Oculus Quest, HTC Vive Cosmos and nowNintendo's Labo VRand Oculus Rift S on the way, you can expect even more great VR games in 2019.Here are the best virtual reality games to play right now.



Named after a real-world phenomenon where players’ brains are so engrossed that images of the iconic falling Tetrimino blocks (i.e. the Tetris playing pieces) linger in their vision, thoughts, and even dreams, TETRIS® EFFECT amplifies this magical feeling of total immersion by surrounding you with fantastic, fully three-dimensional worlds that react and evolve based on how you play. Music, backgrounds, sounds, special effects—everything, down to the Tetris pieces themselves, pulse, dance, shimmer, and explode in perfect sync with how you’re playing.

Star Trek™: Bridge Crew

Playable in both VR and non-VR, will immerse you in the Star Trek universe. The game puts you and your friends in the heart of the U.S.S. Aegis. Your mission: explore a largely uncharted sector of space known as The Trench, in hopes of locating a suitable new home world for the decimated Vulcan populace. The Klingon Empire is also active in the region, and their purpose is a threat to the Federation’s plans. In Star Trek™: Bridge Crew, you’ll need more than just individual skill to overcome the challenges; communication, trust, and close crew coordination are the keys to victory.