Tag: Gaming

The Morning After: Weekend Edition

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Welcome to the weekend. We'll recap this week's news highlights, plus big stories from Friday like Project Loon-distributed internet going live in Puerto Rico.


Reconnect.Project Loon's LTE balloons are floating over Puerto Rico

Former Google X Lab (and now Alphabet X innovation lab) resident Project Loon is getting its first use in the US, as it's partnering with AT&T to provide service in Puerto Rico. As part of the restoration efforts, the high-flying balloons are launching from Nevada and floating over the island, all in hopes of beaming LTE to areas still without service a month after Hurricane Maria.


The first Cortana speaker sounds amazing.Harman Kardon Invoke review

The good news about this $199 smart speaker is that it sounds great, and Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant is a natural addition. The bad news is that as a latecomer to the game, it has fewer music service integrations, and right now, Cortana isn't as capable as competitors like Amazon's Alexa.


You say replicant, we say repli-can.Bad Password: Apps and gadgets for the 'Blade Runner' future we didn't ask for

This week, Violet Blue explains how technology can help make the best of our dystopian present -- at least until Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling show up to fix things.


Watch the movie first.Designing the technology of 'Blade Runner 2049'

Of course, if you prefer the distraction of a fictional Blade Runner universe, we have a few treats for you too. Take a walk with Territory Studios to find out how it established "the UI of a broken future" in Blade Runner 2049 -- but mind the spoilers.


So long, wobbly fulcrum hinge. Hello, 15-inch beauty.Surface Book 2 hands-on

The Surface Book 2 sounds like it may fix all of the issues we had with the original model (as well as last year's refresh). It has a stronger hinge, so no more screen-wobble as you're typing, and it's (predictably) more powerful than before. Microsoft also added a 15-inch model, making the Surface Book 2 even more of a competitor to Apple's MacBook Pro line.


Define "partisan."Does social media threaten the illusion of news neutrality?

As reporters become Twitter celebrities, newsrooms begin to adapt.

But wait, there's more...

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Razer’s new webcam and microphone are made for streamers

Razer is known as a gaming laptop, mouse and keyboard maker, but it actually offers a wide variety of products, like Xbox controllers, power banks, and even an upcoming phone. Razer also makes webcams like the Stargazer, which is built for streaming video games. Now Razer is upping its streaming game with two new "streamer certified" peripherals, a webcam with a built-in ring light called Kiyo as well as a USB condenser mic named Seiren X.

The $100 Kiyo's built-in light has 12 levels of brightness to help light your face for those important picture-in-picture streams on Twitch. It also outputs high-def video at 720p with 60 frames per second (FPS) or 1080p at 30 FPS. The Seiren X also retails at $100 and comes with a removable desk stand so you can set it up anywhere you're streaming from. It connects via USB and has 25mm condenser capsules and a tighter recording angle that's optimized for streaming, according to the company.

"Streaming has become an integral part of the gaming community," said Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan in a statement. "We took a hard look at what streamers really needed, and engineered products to support those specific use cases. The result are products that produce professional quality streams while remaining accessible to beginner users."

Ring lights aren't anything new, of course. I had one that you could slide onto Apple's old standalone iSight camera years ago. Still, the Kiyo could be attractive to someone who has a darker room and needs to stream a better image. There are plenty of microphones to choose from, but if you're using other Razer gear, the affordable Seiren X might entice you, too.

Via: The Verge

Source: Razer


Nintendo Switch now supports wireless USB headphones

Turns out Nintendo rolled out another pretty useful feature with Switch OS version 4.0.0 but curiously kept it a secret. Some Reddit users have discovered that the update comes with support for USB devices, even wireless USB headsets like Sony's Gold Wireless headset for PlayStation and PC. You simply have to plug the device's dongle into the Switch dock, and you'll notice a new volume slider for it. The feature supports a variety of other USB headphones, so you're not limited to the PS Gold. However, it only works when the Switch is docked.

One possible workaround to make it work on handheld mode is to plug the receiver into a USB-C adapter -- it's not an elegant solution, but it's a solution nonetheless. In addition to USB support, Switch version 4.0.0 has other sweet features to offer. It also gives you a way to record 30 seconds of play and, best of all, the ability to transfer saved games and user profiles to another system.

Source: Reddit, Neogaf


Warriors, Cavaliers owners buy into ‘League of Legends’ series

As eSports has grown into the arena-filling behemoth it is today, traditional sports has been clamouring for a stake. Talent has been snapped up, tournaments established, and multi-million dollar investments made. The trend looks set to continue with news that two of the NBA's biggest rivals are jumping on the competitive gaming bandwagon. ESPN is reporting that the Cleveland Cavaliers have nabbed a spot in the North American League of Legends Championship (LCS).

They join the Golden State Warriors, whose owner Joe Lacob (along with son Kirk) splurged $13 million on an LCS franchise last week. That's the asking price for a new spot in the championship, whereas existing teams must fork out $10 million. And, if the latest reports are to be believed, FlyQuest (the team backed by Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wes Edens) will be shelling out that sum for a permanent place in the LCS next year.

It may sound like the NBA is taking over, but it's left room for others to squeeze into. On Thursday, the New York Yankees acquired a stake in Echo Fox, the eSports franchise owned by NBA alum Rick Fox. The deal forms part of a bigger partnership with Vision eSports, giving the Yankees a stake in an "ecosystem" of eSports properties, including a stats company and a content production outfit. On the flip side, the investment should help toward Echo Fox's franchise fee too.

Source: ESPN (1), (2), New York Yankees (Twitter)


The Morning After: Friday, October 20th 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Good morning! Lyft got a big boost from Alphabet, and we're ready to help you find a great phone for cheap, or figure out if you need a GoPro Hero 6.


Panos Panay explains what he learned from the first Surface Book.The Surface Book 2's secret weapon is ceramic

Now that the Surface Book 2 has been revealed, we can dig into how and why it has certain changes from the first model. According to Microsoft's VP of devices Panos Panay, "We redesigned the connection mechanism, we went to ceramics, we lightened the whole product," in the name of stability. Another issue is reliability, after some of the glitches owners experienced last time. Now, Panay tells us that dealing with those issues created a closer connection with Intel, and a better understanding of how they're straining the CPU, GPU and hinge components.


You could have an iPhone X or four of these.The best phones under $250

High-end flagship phones are tantalizing, but what about mobile devices for those of us on a budget? If you're willing to give up features like OLED screens and super-sized storage, there are some deals to be had that will still run all of your favorite apps without a problem. Cherlynn Low explains why you should give choices like the Moto G5S Plus, Nokia 6 and others another look.


It's what's inside that counts.GoPro Hero 6 review

According to James Trew, the Hero 6 is an upgrade in important ways. As he puts it, "Voice control and other auxiliary features are nice, but it's good ol' photography that really matters, and there's enough improvement here that I think it warrants the upgrade." The only question remaining is if it's worth the extra $100, but you should check out some sample pictures before making a final decision.


Play the post-'RotJ' timeline from the Empire's perspective.'Star Wars Battlefront II' turns the Empire into an unlikely protagonist

We spent 90 minutes in Iden Versio's Imperial Squad boots, to find out what this sequel has to offer in its single-player campaign.


For everyone, even the haters and the losers.'The Daily Show' library of Trump's tweets opens in Chicago today

Back in June, we covered The Daily Show's presidential Twitter library in New York. After all, the frequency at which our Commander in Chief takes to Twitter is surely to become a part of his legacy. The library is now moving to Chicago, and you can see it this weekend only. It's free and open to the public from 10 AM to 10 PM CT through Sunday. The library is in the Burlington Room at Chicago's Union Station.

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‘Pokemon Go’ hopes new monsters will get you outside this fall

While Pokémon Go may have lost some of its shine due to a number of problems like poorly run public events and a divisive invitation-only special battle system, the mobile game still has a decent fanbase. The developers have been adding new live events and contests to maintain interest, like an AR photography contest, legendary monsters, and Adventure Week. It's Halloween time, though, and Pokémon Go might entice you back into the game with its new seasonal additions. You'll see more Ghost-type Pokémon in the wild, especially those from the Hoenn region found in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald like Sableye and Banette.

The event lasts from October 20th at 8 PM BST to November 2nd at 9 PM BST. You'll see an increased number of spooky Pokémon, including Gastly, Cubone, Misdreavus and Houndour. The developer promises even more Pokémon from Ruby and Sapphire as early as December. Not only that, but Pikachu will be out and about in costume, just begging you to catch him. Players will double their candy rewards for catching, hatching and transferring Pokémon during the event, and your special buddy will get candy twice as fast as usual. The in-game shop will have Raid passes and Super Incubators in special boxes, while players will get to purchase Mimikyu's Disguise Hat for their avatar.

Source: Pokémon Go


‘Aztez’: The bloody indie brawler that should’ve been big

Imagine: It's 2012 and Matthew Wegner is sitting at his desk in the back of a one-bedroom apartment in Tempe, Arizona, pounding away at a keyboard. It's night but thick black drapes are pulled over the window; the room is suffused with dim yellow light, casting sickly shadows over the papers tacked to the walls. Most of them are emblazoned with the name Aztez, depicting bloody battles among ancient Aztec warriors. Wegner's fingers fall still as he closes a line of code and reviews his work. His computer hums, hot.

A ball of blinding white light suddenly explodes in the middle of the room, shooting sparks to the ceiling and singeing the carpet -- Wegner jumps up and stares, wide-eyed, at the intrusion. As the glare fades, a familiar shape emerges. Wegner is looking at himself: a little older, a little more weathered, but definitely himself.

"Don't do Aztez!" the second Wegner says, frantic. "I'm you from five years in the future. Trust me, stop working on this game. It doesn't go well."

The original Wegner finds his voice. "But everyone says it's going to be great! We already have a lot of buzz."

"It's a trap. Quit Aztez. Now!" The light returns and swiftly envelops the second Wegner before popping out of existence entirely. His final words reverberate around the tiny, smoking room. Wegner blinks and shakes away his shock. He pulls out his chair and sits down. Moments later, his fingers are flying over the keyboard again, coding combat combos into Aztez.

"If, five years ago, future-me were to teleport into the room and be like, 'I'm Matthew from the future -- Aztez, just get off of it, don't do it,' I'd probably still finish it," Wegner says, back in the real world.

"Yeah, I would too," his partner, Ben Ruiz, agrees. Ruiz and Wegner are the founding (and only) members of Team Colorblind, an independent game-development studio based in the Phoenix area. Their first game, Aztez, hit Steam in August after seven years of work and five years of positive public attention. It's a stylish brawler with deep strategy elements set in the ancient Aztec empire, featuring black-and-white environments splattered with bright red blood.

During development, Ruiz and Wegner rode a rising wave of love for indie games, as consumers discovered the depth of experiences available outside of the big-budget, DLC-obsessed, AAA marketplace. They rode that indie wave until it crashed. It's difficult to say exactly when, because they didn't feel the impact -- they were trapped in a development bubble, building a game that the media, their friends and fellow developers all said would perform wonderfully once it was out in the wild.

At least, that's what they said five years ago.

The video game industry evolves rapidly, constantly adopting new technologies and taking advantage of fresh distribution methods. As Team Colorblind continued to work, the indie market lost its new-toy sheen and became an established, overcrowded haven for anyone with GameMaker and an idea.

"If I was paying attention to Steam, maybe I wouldn't be so blindsided by what happened, but I'm also not necessarily sure what I would've done differently," Ruiz says. "If I'd have known like, oh, it's a saturated market now -- what the fuck do you do?"

After seven years, Aztez emerged from its development bubble -- and it bombed. This time around, Ruiz and Wegner definitely felt the impact.

"Fucking madness," Ruiz says.

The method

Ruiz chose Aztez's release date extremely carefully. He knew they didn't want to launch during the holiday season, which is generally dominated by the AAA money machine, so he looked at the summer. He scoured the charts of upcoming Steam releases, searching for a day without any big-name games. August 1st looked good. He locked it in.

"There were 40 other games that launched on August 1st," Wegner says. One of those games was Slime Rancher, an adorable first-person title that had generated a rabid fanbase while it was still in Early Access. Another was Tacoma, the new game from the team behind indie darling Gone Home. Neither of these had shown up on the new-release charts Ruiz had studied.

"If I would've seen Slime Rancher, I would've been like fuck it, we're going to wait a month," Ruiz says. "Because there's no reason to compete with that."

Slime Rancher didn't single-handedly destroy Aztez's chances at success. However, with 39 other new games also hitting Steam that day, it was difficult for any title to truly stand out. Even an eye-catching brawler with a notable amount of name recognition.

This is a different world than the one Ruiz and Wegner operated in when they started working on Aztez in 2010. Back then, Steam was a curated space, where employees worked directly with developers to approve their games and get them on the store. A handful of titles went live every week and indie developers lucky enough to secure a Steam deal could generally bank on that release to see them through the fiscal year. Getting on Steam was like hitting the jackpot.

That changed in 2012. Indie games were all the rage, development tools were becoming increasingly accessible, and there were hundreds of new titles ready to be distributed every day. Steam set up Greenlight, a system where players themselves approved indie games for the store, and Early Access, where developers could publish games-in-progress for community feedback, allowing them to feed the hype beast from day one.

Meanwhile, Ruiz and Wegner continued working on Aztez, heads down, not paying much attention to the wider marketplace as it tilted around them. They had five years to go. Today, Greenlight is dead, but the Early Access model has spread to other platforms, including consoles.

"It's almost like in the last five years, everyone was on Steam, and then it refractured and the consoles got markets back again," Ruiz says. "Five years ago everyone was on Steam because new consoles would come out and they were like $1,000, right? So, it's just this sin wave apparently, because it's like oh yeah, that's what happened with the previous generation, too."

This tug-of-war between Steam and consoles continues today. Right now, it feels like there's more opportunity for indie games to succeed on the PlayStation 4 or Switch ("They don't say Xbox One. I don't think anyone owns those," Ruiz adds) than Steam. However, PS4 has been the reigning indie hub for a few years and its dominance might be coming to an end. Managerial shakeups have recently altered the company's approach to smaller studios -- Sony is losing the indie market and the Switch alone can't support this ecosystem on behalf of all three major consoles. The momentum is poised to shift back toward Steam any time now, but the platform still has to deal with its oversaturation problem.

"I think we came out on the bad part of that rollercoaster, because you know, there's a billion indie games that come out on Steam every single day," Ruiz says.

Ruiz and Wegner aren't making any money on Aztez and they've started picking up contract work again to pay the bills.

Back in 2010, they worked on the game exclusively on nights and weekends, but they managed to secure some investors early on and Ruiz has been building Aztez full-time since then. Wegner continued doing contract work and focused on the game in his spare time -- over the past year, however, Wegner was full-time on Aztez as well.

Colorblind has to repay its investors before they see a cent out of Aztez. So far, they've sold roughly 2,000 copies of the game across Steam and other, smaller distributors. It sells for $20 when it's not on sale.

"We have no money coming to us until we pay that back," Wegner says. "Which is super frustrating, because if you sell two copies a day on Steam, you're making $1,000 a month after Steam's cut. If you sell 10 copies a day you're making $5,000 a month."

All of that cash -- real and potential -- is being funneled to Aztez's investors for now.

"It'll make money eventually," Wegner says. "Funny thing is like, I'm 37, and I'll be probably in my 40s, like, oh, Aztez made me some money, that's cool."

"Oh no," Ruiz laments.

"Then I'll put it towards my medical class for being a 40 year old."

"I'm 33," Ruiz says. "I might be in my 40s when Aztez makes some money."

Ruiz and Wegner did a lot of things right when it comes to savvy indie distribution -- Ruiz sent out press releases, published YouTube videos and got some high-profile streamers to play Aztez -- but they were a few years behind the market. They launched on Steam when consoles might have been a better move.

Now, they're working on PS4, Xbox One and Switch versions of the game. Aztez is actually running on all of those platforms, but it probably won't launch until early next year, after the holiday rush.

By that time, it's hard to say where the market's energy will be. Aztez could easily miss out on the current console bubble, too. For instance, plenty of players today are excited about indie games on the Switch, but there's no telling how long that interest will last.

"Maybe by the time we launch on Switch, you know, in whatever January, February, we will also be amongst the crowd again," Ruiz says.

Ruiz and Wegner know all it takes is one good day to set Aztez on the path of financial solvency, and they know the console releases could be major. They're also painfully aware all of their plans could fail spectacularly. It's a tense waiting game.

"We're in the part of the metaphor where, like, we hit the other car or the boundary, and flew out the windshield, and our faces and arms just ate street," Ruiz says. "I kind of feel like we're still in the street. So intellectually it's like OK, we're alive, I know we'll be alive, this isn't going to kill us. ... I know we're going to be okay, but everything blows right now. Just blood everywhere, like oh, dang it."

Ruiz and Wegner may be disappointed, bleeding and sore -- but they're not defeated.

"Some day, there could be the spark that becomes the fire, and all of the sudden it gets into the right hands, and then the conversation starts and then it's like oh, fuck," Ruiz says. "We sold 10,000 units today and we did the next day, and then all of a sudden we're a normal, successful game developer. That could happen at any time. But the fact that that is the nature of the universe is just torture. Because every day it doesn't happen. And you know it's not going to happen. ... Once the consoles are done I'm going to be relieved to let that fall out of my brain. But as long as that's in the future I can't abandon it, I can't abandon the idea that like, oh, it might turn around."


‘Star Wars Battlefront II’ turns the Empire into an unlikely protagonist

Star Wars: Battlefront did a lot of things right, but it was criticized for not having a lot of depth, primarily due to the utter lack of a story-driven single player campaign. That's a shame, because the Star Wars universe is rich enough that fans are genuinely interested in stories that go far beyond what's presented in the main film series. Fortunately, for Star Wars: Battlefront II, EA developer Motive was tasked with making a compelling story mode. Having completed a 90-minute playthrough of the game's prologue and first two chapters, it's safe to say that Battlefront II should have something to lure Star Wars fans who aren't necessarily interested in multiplayer adventures.

As we learned back at E3, the Battlefront II campaign centers around the Imperial forces and "Inferno Squad "Commander Iden Versio. In a lot of ways, the campaign feels like 2016's Rogue One in that it shines a light on parts of the Star Wars world we haven't seen -- but it seeks to tie them into the larger narrative that we know from the films. In this case, Versio is leading her Imperial Squad on a mission on Endor when suddenly, the Death Star explodes. Yup, the game is picking up at the end of Return of the Jedi, showing things from the perspective of an Imperial army suddenly thrust into disarray, with their leader dead and most advanced weapons destroyed (again).

The missions themselves don't do a ton to hint at where the story will go. The prologue and first chapter focus on Versio's escape from the clutches of the Rebels and her team's escape from Endor, while the second chapter is largely focused on space combat in Versio's TIE Fighter. From a pure gameplay perspective, it's a good start that introduces what I presume will be the game's core components.

For starters, I got to pilot Versio's droid in a stealth mission sneaking around Rebels as I tried to free her from prison. After that was the expected combo of stealth and blaster battles as I escaped Endor. The game lets you switch between first and third person while controlling Versio; being able to go into first-person mode definitely helped when I was dealing with a slew of enemies. Finally, the TIE Fighter sequences introduced the game's space dogfights, something that was definitely fun but also a bit frustrating, as I kept piloting my TIE Fighter into other ships or large space debris, earning me an instant death.

The more traditional ground-based combat segments were easier for me to handle, and they also quickly showed off the various ways you can customize Versio to suit your play style. Naturally, she can carry several different weapons that can be found around the levels, including balanced blasters, faster automatic weapons and long-range sniper-style guns. But Versio also has a handful of special weapon slots that that let her equip more powerful items, like a shotgun-style blaster that quickly takes down opposing soldiers. There's also a tool that aids with stealth missions by revealing the positions of all enemies within a limited range so you can see who's coming and what areas you might want to avoid.

To keep things balanced, you can't use these special skills indefinitely -- they all have cool-down timers to keep you from being too powerful. But in just a few chapters of play I already had more skills than I could equip at one time, which added a nice bit of flexibility to the game; it feels like it'll allow players to approach the game in entirely different ways.

Overall, the game played well and felt polished -- but that's table stakes for a major studio like EA. The bigger question is, how will this work as an entry into the Star Wars universe? Specifically, I was wondering how much interest players would have taking the side of the Empire when basically all of the major pieces of the Star Wars story are from the perspective of the Rebels. Playing the "bad guys" could be fun, but how satisfying would that story be in the end?

"I think Star Wars fans are generally hungry for new characters and new stories," Motive Game Director Mark Thompson told me after I had finished my playthrough. He thinks that hunger will give them the freedom to pull of a story where you play an elite member of the Empire. "It's a new perspective on the galaxy," he added. "What was it like to be a trooper in the Empire when everything went wrong, when the Death Star exploded, when Palpatine died, when Vader was dead. What does the Empire even look like after that?"

That's a good question, and a final cutscene that we saw made me even more intrigued about where the story would go. Some seeds of doubt about how long Versio would stay loyal to the Empire were definitely sewn, though I haven't seen enough to make more than a vague guess about where the story is headed.

And for those who crave more direct ties into the Star Wars universe they know from the films, Thompson notes that Versio won't be the only playable character in the campaign. "You do actually play as the iconic characters," he said. "There are chapters in the campaign where you get to play as people like Luke Skywalker." I didn't get so far as to confirm that you get to play as Skywalker himself, but there's a strong implication that you'll get to meet and play as familiar characters from the original trilogy -- something that would fill in the scant bits of info we know about Luke, Leia, Han and the rest of the crew between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

But Motive isn't interested in just letting you replay notable scenes with classic characters. If those familiar faces are being used in the game, it'll be in entirely new situations; conversely, with new characters like Versio, Motive felt comfortable showing events we've already seen, because it's from an entirely new perspective. "We can take Luke Skywalker somewhere you've never seen him before, doing things you haven't seen him do," Thompson said. "Whereas, with Iden, we can take her unfamiliar perspective to a familiar event or location like Endor and do something that's new and different."

Even after just 90 minutes of play, Battlefront II feels like a new direction for a Star Wars story. It's hard to miss the fact that the goal is to gun down Rebels, the same troops you're rooting for when watching the Death Star blow up at the end of Return of the Jedi. Smooth and varied gameplay are obviously key to making Battlefront II a success, but a new, intriguing window into the Star Wars universe is what will really make the game stand out for legions of fans. At the very least, it should help you get your fix in the weeks before The Last Jedi hits theaters.


The Morning After: Thursday, October 19th 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Are you ready for the WWE of giant robot fighting? Don't worry, we weren't either. Anyway, it's Thursday, which means it's time to make a plan for cleaning up dead satellites.


Chainsaws aren't against the rules, FYI.USA vs. Japan giant robot battle was a slow, brilliant mess

On Tuesday, Team USA's mechs scrapped it out with Japan's Kuratas in an abandoned steel mill for the world to watch. There could only be one victor, and it proved to be -- well, click here if you'd like to watch without a spoiler.


What's eating that Lexus?Take a peek at Apple's Project Titan self-driving setup

Voyage co-founder MacCallister Higgins tweeted a brief video of what is apparently one of Apple's self-driving test vehicles. The Lexus SUV sported a roof rack full of sensors and possibly more. What it lacks in looks, it may make up for in function, however, since a self-contained unit would be easier to remove during these early stages of testing.


Good news, bad news.Nintendo Switch update adds video capture and profile transfers

Before the Switch gets its big Mario platformer in a couple of weeks, Nintendo is pushing a software update that adds some notable new features. With the 4.0.0 update, it's capable of saving 30 seconds of video at the press of a button. Also, users can finally transfer profiles (including saved games) from one Switch to another; although it only supports complete profile moves, so there's no solution for backups (yet). Oh, and the Switch is now ready for pre-orders and pre-downloading from the eShop, so you can start playing Super Mario Odyssey right away when it launches.


It's in the cloud.Adobe remakes Lightroom CC as a hybrid app and 1TB cloud service

To be clear -- because Adobe's new naming system is pretty darn confusing -- Lightroom CC is both a storage app and a service. The new version for PC and Mac has a simplified interface with streamlined sliders, presets and quick-adjustment tools, and some of the features in the old version of Lightroom CC are missing.


Catch me if you can.Samsung leapfrogs Intel again with eight-nanometer chips

The smaller chips will be perfect for "mobile, cryptocurrency and network/server" applications.


It can power up to 20,000 homes.The world's first floating wind farm powers up in Scotland

The turbines of Hywind Scotland stand 253-meters tall in total (around 830 feet), with 78 meters (256 feet) of that bobbing beneath the surface, tethered to the seabed by chains weighing 1,200 tons. Within the next year or so, operators plan to install a huge 1MWh Batwind storage battery to better manage the site's output.

But wait, there's more...

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Nintendo Switch update adds video capture and profile transfers

Nintendo's convertible Switch console has a new software update available, and owners will likely want to grab version 4.0.0 of its OS right away. Finally, Switch owners can transfer their saved games and user profiles to another system and in "select games" it also has video capture. At launch, that list includes The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, and Splatoon 2.

In a world full of Twitch streams and YouTube Let's Plays that should be well received. Just like before, gamers can press the capture button to take a screenshot, but after the update, they can press and hold it to record the last 30 seconds of play in their album, ready for sharing to Facebook or Twitter.

The ability to transfer data is bittersweet, however, since it doesn't appear to support backups. As described in Nintendo's FAQ, you'll need both systems to transfer data from one to another, and the only option available moves all profile data including saves and eShop purchases from one system to the next.

Other new features include profile icons with characters from Super Mario Odyssey (just ahead of its release on October 27th) and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as well as the option to pre-order and pre-download games in Nintendo's eShop on the Switch (again, just in time for Super Mario Odyssey). The News Feed has a new look, and if you're in a group of local users it can easily update everyone's system software to the latest version.

Source: Nintendo, Nintendo Support