Light Start — Martian selfies, Fortnite on Android, Nokia weirdness, and Boring gaming


NASA’s Curiosity rover takes one heck of a 360° selfie

No matter how good your Instagram game is, you don’t have a selfie of yourself on Mars (yet). But NASA’s Curiosity rover does. Several, in fact, but its latest — taken on 9 August — is a 360-degree view of the planet from the little vehicle’s vantage point at Vera Rubin Ridge. You can click the link below to see what the whole thing looks like, in a video clip that will let you pan around the martian landscape. The image is important because it shows a whole lot of colour variation — Mars is a little more than just the red planet, even if it looks a browny-red these days because of a long-running dust storm. Just think, one day humans might wind up taking one of these images themselves — probably with a silly facial expression thrown in.

Source: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Fortnite has topped more than 15 million downloads on Android since launch

Fortnite is a bona fine phenomenon, sucking in more players and making more money than any free-to-play game has any right to. And since it has made its jump over to the Android ecosystem (though without the assistance of Google’s Play Store), Fortnite has managed to pick up more than 15 million downloads — which works out to about 5 million a week, since that data’s from a 21-day period. There are at least a few more downloads due, Epic Games has said that more than 23 million folks signed up for the Android beta. There are around 8 million people left who still want to get some play-time. And, honestly, that’s probably just the start. There have been more than 100 million Fortnite downloads on iOS, so we can expect similar(ish) numbers for Android as the beta goes wider.

Source: Ars Technica

Apparent Nokia handset opts for five rear camera sensors, because what’s the point of subtlety?

Okay, there are phone leaks and then there are phone leaks. Usually we can count on companies to be predictable but if this is one of Nokia’s upcoming handsets (and reports indicate that it just might be), then we’re finally looking at something really unusual. Not that Nokia isn’t known for doing unusual things with its smartphone cameras but this… this is something else entirely. Thought to be released under either the Nokia 9 or Nokia 10 name, this five-camera setup could help the company stand out in a crowded field. It’s not out of the realm of possibility, either. Huawei’s already got a three-camera setup, adding another two just gives users a whole lot more options. Not everyone would be able to use a five-lens setup as intended, though. We’ll be keeping an eye on this one — if Nokia’s got something original coming, we want you to be the first to know.

Source: via Gizmodo

Elon Musk’s Boring Company is using Xbox One controllers to control its machines now

Elon Musk’s Boring Company is being odd again. It’s not flamethrowers this time though, nor is it anything plant-related. Instead, Musk’s company is showing off how it has co-opted gaming tech in order to control some of their machines. This Xbox One controller, suitably wired, can be seen giving instructions to a large piece of heavy machinery in a tweet over the weekend (hit the link below to go straight to it). Honestly, we’re not surprised to see Microsoft’s controller being used in this manner — game controllers in general make for pretty good human interface devices since that’s what they were designed to do. Using one to reposition heavy equipment or, say, fly a drone, makes an awful lot of sense.

Source: Boring Company (Twitter) via Eurogamer


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