NASA does a fly-by
After months of trying (and failing) to get the Orion Rocketship out of Earth’s orbit, NASA finally managed it last week. Since then, “Orion has been performing great so far,” says NASA’s Vehicle Integration Manager, Jim Geffre. “All of the systems are exceeding expectations from a performance standpoint.”
It’s going so well that NASA feels the time is nigh for a fly-by of the moon. See, the whole point of the Artemis 1 mission is to test Orion’s ability to safely carry humans to the Moon’s surface. To do that, it needs to actually get there. NASA expects Orion to reach the moon sometime today, 21 November.
Once there, the rocket will go through a series of four main engine burns. It’ll first take in the Apollo landing sites on approach. Then, the second engine burn will kick in, sending the ship into the moon’s orbit. The third engine burn starts the long journey back home. Come 11 December, we should see the end of the Artemis 1 mission, with Orion landing safely in the Pacific Ocean. Presumably, the final burn has a little something to do with that last bit coming off correctly.
Once returned, NASA can begin making plans for humanity’s first return to the lunar surface since 1972.
Google can’t handle the heat (allegedly)
When we say the words ‘app store’ your mind immediately jumps to Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store, right? Google wants to keep it that way, for the time being. Reports suggest that Google paid $360 million to deter Activision from building its own rival app store. The deal forms part of ‘Project Hug’ – a project encompassing 23 other agreements the search giant recently signed, according to Reuters.
Project Hug – now known as the ‘Apps and Games Velocity Program’ — is currently the centre of attention in a lawsuit between Google and Epic Games. Last year, Epic claimed that Google spent millions to keep big-name developers on its store. Epic’s complaints have recently been made public, giving us a bit more insight into Project Hug and the deals behind it.
According to the court documents, Epic alleges that Google made offers to Nintendo, Riot Games, and Ubisoft to stay on Google’s side. Epic claims Google paid Riot Games to “stop” the company from pursuing its own “in-house ‘app store’ efforts”. It feels that a similar deal took place between Google and Activision later on. “Epic’s allegations are nonsense,” Activision said. “Google never asked us, pressured us, or made us agree not to compete with Google Play.”
Google is obviously disputing the claims. “Programs like Project Hug provide incentives for developers to give benefits and early access to Google Play users when they release new or updated content; it does not prevent developers from creating competing app stores, as Epic falsely alleges,” it said while speaking to Engadget.
Whether Google really paid off developers to stop building their own app stores is still up in the air.
Overwatch 2 is finally playable (for everyone)
Just over a month after its release, players with prepaid cellphone numbers can finally play Overwatch 2. The original idea was to slow down the number of smurfs and cheaters entering the game by requiring new gamers to verify their accounts through SMS. The problem was: only post-paid cell numbers were allowed to sign up.
Now, Activision has removed the limitation entirely. Everyone can finally play, regardless of cellular contract status. But… players still need an actual phone number to verify their accounts. You can’t use VoIP, Wi-Fi, or internet phone services to verify your account.
Source: Activision Blizzard
Lego Pneumatic Engines exist, but you need to build it yourself
People are awesome. For the most part. We just don’t always get to see it in everyday media. Sometimes, however, these people can slip through the cracks – making accordions out of old computer hardware or building their own pneumatic engines out of Lego. Nico71 – who built his very own pneumatic engine out of Lego Technic bricks — is responsible for the latter.
You may be asking “why?”. Because… why not? Nico71 sells these designs online – both fully built and the blueprints for them. And it’s not just pneumatic engines Nico71 builds. He has everything from pneumatic tractors, to steam-powered bicycles. And afterward, Nico71 will probably implement the new engine into future builds.
If seeing this sparked an idea to build your own engine out of Lego, you can. Nico71 posted a YouTube video showing the build process and offers a more in-depth tutorial separately (which requires a small charge to access).