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PlatinumGames will make live service games to help diversify revenues

By Derek Strickland | Gaming | Feb 28, 2020 at 07:15 am CST

In a bid to diversify its revenues and prop itself up for long-term earnings potential, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and NieR: Automata developer PlatinumGames will open a new Tokyo-based studio to work on live service games.

PlatinumGames will make live service games to help diversify revenues | TweakTown.com

The third announcement in PlatinumGame's Platinum 4 reveals is a big one, albeit not as exciting as Kamiya's new Project GG game. The studio will open a new branch in Tokyo, Japan in April 2020 that's centered on sustainability rather than new and catalog game sales.

PlatinumGames plans to use online-driven live games as a consistent source of income via monetization to better diversify its earnings. This is a natural evolution for any developer-publisher in today's gaming landscape and will offer an opportunity to tap Japan's rich vein of live gaming revenues, which will be re-invested in new wholly-owned IPs. Tencent's major investment helped spark this evolution of PlatinumGames.

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Reddit CEO says TikTok is 'spyware', 'parasitic' and 'terrifying'

By Jak Connor | Apps | Feb 28, 2020 at 04:20 am CST

Since it's recent explosion into the app world, TikTok has been a subject of controversy as many people have claimed the app is spyware. Now, Reddit's CEO has spoken out about what he thinks about the app.

Reddit CEO says TikTok is 'spyware', 'parasitic' and 'terrifying' | TweakTown.com

Reddit CEO, Steve Huffman was sitting down with some former Facebook executives at a conference in San Francisco. Huffman was then asked if small Silicon Valley startup companies could learn something from the recent explosion in popularity surrounding TikTok. Huffman's response was rather bleak, and straight to the point, "Maybe I'm going to regret this, but I can't even get to that level of thinking with them."

He continued, "Because I look at that app as so fundamentally parasitic, that it's always listening, the fingerprinting technology they use is truly terrifying, and I could not bring myself to install an app like that on my phone. I actively tell people, 'Don't install that spyware on your phone". This isn't the first time TikTok has been linked to spyware, as the United States government banned the use of the app on any government-issued phone under "security threat".

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Biggest explosion in the Universe since the Big Bang detected

By Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Feb 28, 2020 at 03:45 am CST

Astronomers have just detected the biggest explosion in the Universe ever recorded. The only explosion that comes close to this explosion is the Big Bang.

Biggest explosion in the Universe since the Big Bang detected | TweakTown.com

In a distant galaxy, about 390 million light-years away from Earth called the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster, astronomers detected what is now recorded as the biggest explosion in the Universe since the original Big Bang. This explosion came from a supermassive black hole and released five times more energy than the last biggest explosion ever recorded. According to Professor Melanie Johnston-Hollitt, from the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, "We've seen outbursts in the centres of galaxies before but this one is really, really massive."

Astronomers also don't know why the explosion was so big, Johnston-Hollitt states, "And we don't know why it's so big. But it happened very slowly-like an explosion in slow motion that took place over hundreds of millions of years." Researchers estimated how large the explosion was and found that it happened to tear a hole in the galaxy cluster that's so large that fifteen Milky Way's can be placed in a row there.

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A 2nd US company is making a coronavirus vaccine, human testing soon

By Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Feb 28, 2020 at 03:10 am CST

It was only a few days ago that a US biotech company announced that its vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19) is ready for human testing.

A 2nd US company is making a coronavirus vaccine, human testing soon | TweakTown.com

Now, a second US company called Novavax has announced the very same thing. Novavax is stationed in Maryland and has said that it has made leaps and bounds in developing its own version of a vaccine for COVID-19. According to Stanley C. Erck, CEO of Novavax, the reason for the company to be able to quickly be able to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 is because of their previous experience with coronaviruses such as MERS and SARS.

Here's what Erck said, "Our previous experience working with other coronaviruses, including both MERS and SARS, allowed us to mobilize quickly against COVID-19 and successfully complete the critical preliminary steps to engineer viable vaccine candidates. Now that the protein has been expressed stably in our baculovirus system, we aim to identify the optimal candidate and scale up production of sufficient vaccine for preliminary clinical trials. We are now well-positioned to advance the COVID-19 vaccine candidate to Phase I clinical testing in May or June."

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China's rover stuck its probe in the Moon, revealing vital information

By Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Feb 28, 2020 at 02:31 am CST

China has had a lunar lander stationed on the dark side of the Moon since 2019, and since it's been there, it has relayed back some interesting information. Now, the lander has relayed back some new information about the Moon's surface.

China's rover stuck its probe in the Moon, revealing vital information | TweakTown.com

In a new paper published in Science Advances, China's lander called Yutu 2 has performed some new experiments on the Moon's surface using the rover's ground-penetrating radar tools. Yutu 2 used its radar to examine the Moon's surface and found that the top layer, which mostly consists of pale, dusty soil, sprinkled in with some rock that stretches down beneath the surface for about 39 feet.

After that layer is the second layer, which consists of much larger grains of soil and much more larger stones and rocks, this layer continues down beneath the Moon for about 40 feet. The final layer of the Moon stretches another 50 feet below the second layer and consists of even larger stones, but surprisingly has a mixture of both large and fine grains of soil. Unfortunately, the instrument that was used to measure these layers reached its maximum capabilities at this layer, so we don't know what's beneath it.

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Elon Musk will bring a SpaceX Starship manufacturing plant to LA

By Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Feb 28, 2020 at 02:07 am CST

Elon Musk and his private rocket company SpaceX has gotten the thumbs up to build a manufacturing plant in Los Angeles for its deep-space Starship.

Elon Musk will bring a SpaceX Starship manufacturing plant to LA | TweakTown.com

The Los Angeles City Council and L.A. Board of Harbor Commissioners granted a 10-year permit for SpaceX to build its manufacturing plant just last week. According to Reuters, the council votes to whether or not SpaceX should be granted the permit were a unanimous decision of 12-0 -- clearly, they want SpaceX there. Councilman Joe Buscaino, whose district includes the port, said, "It's crazy that here we are in 2020 preparing ourselves to send people to Mars, and it's going to happen in our backyard. We are becoming a spaceport."

If you are wondering whether SpaceX will be launching rockets from the L.A. port, that, unfortunately, won't be the case. This plant is purely for the manufacturing of parts, as all aerospace vehicles will be transported elsewhere for testing. If you don't know what Starship is, it's SpaceX's largest rocket standing over 387 feet, or 118 meters tall. Starship is designed to carry a large number of passengers to Mars, and Elon Musk plans on initiating test flights for the craft later this year.

New AI-powered patch predicts heart failure days before it happens

By Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Feb 28, 2020 at 01:35 am CST

Scientists have created a new AI-powered device that has the potential of saving hundreds, if not thousands of lives.

New AI-powered patch predicts heart failure days before it happens | TweakTown.com

This new device, which doesn't have a name at the moment, is a patch that uses AI to monitor patients' heart rate. The device checks the patient's heart rhythm, breathing cycles, quality of their sleep, posture, and overall physical activity. The device then collates all this data and feeds it back into a smartphone app via Bluetooth. From here, the AI takes over to create a summarised baseline specific for every patient.

Once this baseline is created, the device will continue to monitor the patient and observe any deterioration of their condition. Scientists and researchers from the University of Utah Health and VA Salt Lake City Health Care System attached the device to 100 patients who have previously suffered from heart failure. Out of the 100 patients, the average age was around 68, and over the three months of monitoring, the device was able to successfully predict heart failure days before at a rate of 80%.

Raspberry Pi 4: 40x CPU perf, 8x memory, 4x pixels, and only $35

By Jak Connor | Computer Systems | Feb 28, 2020 at 01:09 am CST

Over the years, Raspberry Pi's has only gotten better and better, but this year could very well be the best year yet.

Back in June last year, we saw the launch of the Raspberry Pi 4, which sported massive upgrades when comparing it to the first model of Raspberry Pi, which released back in 2012. Now, in celebration of the Raspberry Pi's eighth birthday, they are dropping the prices of the Raspberry Pi 2GB of RAM variant.

According to the blog post, due to the drop in RAM prices, Raspberry is now able to bring down the cost of the Raspberry Pi 4 with 2GB of RAM to just $35 from $45, which is the same price as the original Raspberry Pi when it launched. When comparing the Pi 4 to the original Pi from 2012, it has 40x the CPU performance, 8x the memory, 10x the I/O bandwidth, can support 4x the number of pixels on screen as well as dual screens, and finally, has dual-band wireless networking.

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This gum-sized microcomputer can code all of your musical instruments

By Jak Connor | Computer Systems | Feb 28, 2020 at 12:36 am CST

Introducing Daisy, the tiny microcomputer that sports all of the necessary equipment for coding your musical instruments.

This gum-sized microcomputer can code all of your musical instruments 02 | TweakTown.com

The company behind this little device is Electrosmith, and according to their announcement, Daisy comes with the following features. Two channels of line-level audio, MIDI connectivity, an in-built micro USB port, 64MB of SDRAM, and latency under 1ms. It doesn't stop there though; Daisy also comes with programming languages such as C++, Arduino, Max/MSP, and Pure Data.

At the moment, Daisy is available on Kickstarter and comes in at the cost of $29, which I think is a damn good price considering all the features that come with it. If you are interested in checking out the other things that Daisy can do, head on over to the Kickstarter page here. On a side note, Electrosmith also believes that Daisy would be a great addition to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) research and education. Quite a nifty little device Electrosmith, fantastic work!

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Facebook cancels its F8 developer conference because of coronavirus

By Anthony Garreffa | Trade Shows | Feb 27, 2020 at 11:35 pm CST

Facebook has just announced that its F8 developer conference has been canceled, all because of the current coronavirus -- or COVID-19 outbreak.

Facebook cancels its F8 developer conference because of coronavirus | TweakTown.com

It's not the first conference and it surely won't be the last, with Mobile World Congress (MWC) being canceled at the last minute over coronavirus. The upcoming Game Developers Conference (GDC) is most likely going to be axed with major players like Microsoft, Sony, Unity, and others pulling out of the event -- and now Facebook's F8 devleoper conference.

The social networking giant announced that it canceled the event on Thursday, which was scheduled to take palce at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California between May 5-6, 2020. Facebook's Director of Developer Platforms & Programs, Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, explained that they tried working around keeping the in-person contact there, but it couldn't happen with it being such a big event with people flying in from all corners of the globe.

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