Let the god games begin: 22cans’ Godus beta available on Steam Early Access September 13th (update: iOS and Android release dates)
22CANS GODUS BETA LAUNCHING FOR PC AND MAC ON STEAM EARLY ACCESS 13th SEPTEMBER
The first public release of 22cans' and Peter Molyneux's reinvention of the god game genre
Guildford, 30th August 2013
Anyone can be a god starting September 13th with the Beta release of GODUS from 22cans. The game will be downloadable through Steam Early Access for PC Windows and Mac for $19.99 / £14.99 / €18.99.
GODUS empowers you in the role of a god, allowing you to sculpt every inch of a beautiful world that you look down upon, on which a population of followers settle and multiply. As you mould every aspect of your unique utopia, a civilization will blossom across your land and offer you their belief. The more followers that believe in you, the more powerful you will become.
Whilst you are free to lose yourself in this tranquil experience, other gods reign outside of the ever-expanding reach of your influence. If you so wish, you may challenge other gods and their civilizations to epic multiplayer battles that involve hundreds of followers fighting in your name whilst you cast devastating god powers from the skies above. As you conquer more lands, your powers will grow allowing you to nurture the advancement of your own followers.
In announcing the impending availability of GODUS through Steam Early Access, Peter Molyneux, 22cans Creative Director said "I am proud and delighted that the beta version GODUS will be available for download on 13th September 2013. For a long time I've been excited with how the game is evolving, I already feel there is nothing in the world like GODUS. This is the type of game I have dreamt of making since first getting into the industry; having people play the beta and give us valuable feedback while doing so, makes that dream a reality."
Consider this headline: "Researcher controls colleague's motions in 1st human brain-to-brain interface."
University of Washington nerds put an electrode-speckled cap on Rajesh Rao and attached it to a computer that was connected to the internet. They then put Andrea Stocco in another room on the other side of the University of Washington campus, plopped another electrode cap on him and connected that to a computer.
Then -- you might want to sit down -- Rao played a video game, but instead of hitting a keyboard to control the game, he thought about doing so and sent a signal to Stocco over the internet. Stocco wasn't watching the game, but he was still able to beat it as his brain cap received Rao's digital signals. The signals, he said, felt like nervous ticks.
Stocco then said this: "The internet was a way to connect computers, and now it can be a way to connect brains. We want to take the knowledge of a brain and transmit it directly from brain to brain."
I'll pause for a moment while you wrap your head around that one. Perhaps you're not as impressed by this as I am, but if I understood what these guys at the University of Washington did, humans have essentially designed the first brain-to-brain internet modem.
Sure, all they did was get one guy to make another guy twitch his finger and hit a space bar, but I'm pretty sure the first experiments with computer modems were just a couple people saying, "Hi. A/S/L?" to one another at 50 baud.
You may be thinking, "Big deal. So we can make other people twitch their fingers. Maybe this'll be useful for medical research and prosthetic technology, but I'm not sure where this could really go." You'd be right if they were only experimenting with the motor cortex, but one of the researchers told Reddit that the TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) machine can also be used to stimulate sight or sound by positioning it on different areas of the scalp. In short, this adds multidimensionality to the experiment. It adds a possible language. It adds logic and a future.
The resolution -- if I may call it that -- of the technology is very low at this stage. Imagine the very first Pong game compared to where we're at with immersive 3D polygons. And we're not even at Pong yet, but we're at that stage when Nolan Bushnell told Allan Alcorn, "We could make Pong."
You can be sure that these researchers will explore other senses and other humans, and will quickly learn how to accelerate this "human modem" technology to do all sorts of amazing things -- things we can only now begin to conjure. At least I hope so.
With that said, here are three possibilities I came up with. Just for fun.
A totally different ending to Airplane!
I'm being a bit silly in my example here, but remember in Airplane! when the guy in the airport was telling the girl in the plane how to land? Well, imagine if there was a TMS machine in planes, and remote pilots could direct virtually anyone to operate the plane. Of course, all of this could be moot with remote-control technology anyway, but it's fun to think of the ways humans could remotely control others.
As researchers nail down other senses and add some resolution, you can bet that we'll ultimately be able to "play back" senses and actions, because before they reach the target, the signals are converted into digits. These digits can -- and will -- be recorded and packaged into little virtual vacations. Cyberpunk is here!
Want to learn the best knife techniques from top chefs around the world? Build muscle memory as they plug into an entire classroom of students and literally guide them through the perfect julienne. Trying to gain confidence as a mountain biker on those technical descents? Let Steve Smith plug into you over a wireless connection as he guides you down that hill that's been turning you into a kitten. Come out the other side knowing that you've conquered the hill!
Clearly I've taken this technology a bit too far, but it's fun to imagine what we can do with such a groundbreaking discovery. Here's to hoping they get the support and funding they deserve. I, for one, welcome the brain modem.
Joshua Fruhlinger is the former Editorial Director for Engadget and current contributor to both Engadget and the Wall Street Journal. You can find him on Twitter at @fruhlinger.
Earlier today, several top designers at HTC were arrested in Taipei under suspicion of fraudulent expense claims, as well as stealing trade secrets ahead of leaving the company to run a new mobile design firm in both Taiwan and mainland China. Five people were interrogated, with the most notable ones being Vice President of Product Design Thomas Chien (pictured above), RD director Wu Chien Hung and design team senior manager Justin Huang (who also personally sketched out the One's design). Chien and Wu are taken into custody, whereas the others were released on bail (see video after the break). Their offices were also raided yesterday as part of the investigation.
Reports say HTC chairwoman Cher Wang personally filed a complaint to Taiwan's Investigation Bureau, which has since learned that Chien, Wu and Huang planned to set up a new design company (which is already registered under the Chinese name "Xiaoyu") aimed at the mainland Chinese market, and that they would resign after claiming their mid-year bonuses yesterday. The real beef HTC has here is that it apparently caught Chien secretly downloading files related to the upcoming Sense 6.0 UI design, and then shared them with external contacts via e-mail. The Investigation Bureau refused to comment on whether Sense 6.0 is related to the One Max due later this year.
The trio is also accused of making false commission fee claims for the One's aluminum chassis design. While the design was done in-house, the three men used an external design firm to invoice HTC for over US$334,000 worth of commission fee between May and July, and then they split the money between themselves.
We reached out to HTC for a statement on this matter, but the spokesperson didn't have much to provide at this moment:
"The matter is under investigation by relevant authorities. We therefore refrain from further comments."
Update: HTC got touch with us again, stating the following:
"The company expects employees to observe and practice the highest levels of integrity and ethics. Protecting the company's proprietary and intellectual properties, privacy and security is a core fundamental responsibility of every employee. The company does not condone any violation. As this matter is currently under investigation by the relevant authorities, we therefore refrain from further comments."
When Motorola announced it's first flagship since becoming part of Google's empire, it was to mixed response. But, if evleaks is right, as is often the case, then a forthcoming $100 price-drop could suddenly change a few minds. Currently, the customizable phone, that listens to your every word, will set you back $199 on your network of choice, so a drop to $100 on contract -- reportedly just in time for Christmas -- could see this rise up the gift lists. Oh, and those wooden covers? Our leaker claims will come with a $50 price tag, for those that want the natural look this winter.
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Think 150Mbps LTE-Advanced data is quick? KDDI could offer far more bandwidth next year. Nikkei claims that the Japanese carrier plans to upgrade its cellular network to 220 Mbps data as soon as summer 2014. Service would reportedly launch with an Android smartphone, and rely on new wireless technology; it's not clear whether this entails a faster LTE-A variant or something new. KDDI hasn't confirmed the rumor, so we wouldn't consider moving to Japan just yet. If there's any truth to the claims, however, even NTT DoCoMo's upgraded LTE could soon feel downright pokey.
[Image credit: TAKA@P.P.R.S, Flickr]
Unlike babies that wail when they're born, the three new members of Alcatel's One Touch family have silently slipped into the company's website. The two handsets, the Idol S and the Idol Mini, follow the original trio revealed at CES this year, sharing similar elements despite the difference in size. Both run Android 4.2, can read microSD cards up to 32GB in capacity and support quad-band GSM, as well as some UMTS (3G) bands, depending on the model.
Idol S, the larger of the two weighs 110 grams, has a 4.7-inch 1,280 x 720-pixel screen and DC-HSPA data connectivity. It's powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, has 4GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel rear / 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. On the other hand, the Idol Mini has a smaller 4.3-inch 854 x 480-pixel display, weighs 96 grams and comes with HSPA+. It's equipped with up to 8GB of internal storage, 512MB of RAM and a 5-megapixel rear / VGA front camera.
Unlike the first two, the third new Alcatel device is a tablet -- the 9-mm-thin One Touch Evo 8 HD with 4G LTE that's powered by a 1.6GHz dual core ARM Cortex-A9 processor. It only has 4GB of internal storage, but it supports cards up to 64GB in capacity. Despite revealing detailed specs, the company has yet to announce the devices' pricing and availability, but we'll keep our eyes peeled for the news.
As IFA starts to slowly edge its way over the horizon, the product teasers start to rain. We've already seen hints from Sony, an outright admission from Samsung, and speculation from HTC. The latest tidbit, comes via ASUS's Facebook, which suggests it plans to show a new tablet at the event. What can we say about it? Well, odds on it's another Transformer Pad, running Android, and if you're into numerology (and consistency), Tegra 4 inside. Coincidentally, an unknown ASUS tablet (pictured after the break) with model number K00C popped up at the FCC last week, revealing little more than the usual WiFi and Bluetooth radios, and a display somewhere around 10-inches. Though the description of it as a Transformer Pad could indicate that whatever its exact configuration, it's arrival in the US won't be that far out.
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