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Bitcoin futures trading begins on Cboe exchange in Chicago

BBC Business News - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 23:55
Trading in futures contracts is a step towards legitimising the digital currency, its supporters say.
Categories: Business

Bitcoin futures trading begins on Cboe exchange in Chicago

BBC Business News Feed - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 23:55
Trading in futures contracts is a step towards legitimising the digital currency, its supporters say.
Categories: Business

Sirius XM faces celebrity backlash after Steve Bannon rejoins radio show

CNN News Feed - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 23:51
Steve Bannon's return to a radio hosting gig is kicking up some celebrity backlash.
Categories: Money

Lord Kerslake resigns as King's College Hospital Trust chair

BBC Health News Feed - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 23:46
The House of Lord peer says the government is unrealistic about the challenges facing the NHS.
Categories: Health

McLaren's 'most extreme' road car costs $1 million

CNN News Feed - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 21:44
McLaren says its new supercar wasn't built with "usability" in mind -- and the company isn't sorry about it.
Categories: Money

An Out-Of-Nowhere Character Action Surprise

Game Informer News Feed - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 21:41

You would be forgiven for not knowing about Lost Soul Aside before this preview. When I saw the extremely long lines in front of the two-TV demo station at PlayStation Experience, I was similarly confused, and turned my head to try and figure out what I was looking at. We posted about some gameplay footage last night, but we finally got hands on time with the game.

Made by a single developer in mainland Asia by the name of Yang Bing, Lost Soul Aside looks and plays way better than it has any right to. A first look at the game belies its development resources, with graphics that rival a lot of large publisher-backed games on the PlayStation 4. There are obvious shortcuts, like the demo being contained to a small, geometrically simple cave, but the graphics and art invoke Final Fantasy XV more than anyone could expect of an indie title.

The virtues of Lost Soul Aside are not necessarily centered around its graphics, however, as much as they are how the game feels to play. It is a character action game through and through, with immediate controls that simultaneously feel smooth as butter and urgently reactive to you. Dodging is set to a button combination of Square and X, which I initially thought was one button too many at first, but it allowed me to dodge between quick frames of hammering the attack button on a monster's face.

The demo allowed use of three different weapons, a broadsword, a double-ended spear, and one-handed sword. All three were interchangeable using the shoulder buttons and could be mixed and matched during combos. The broadsword, a blunted blade that glowed a gnarly purple, was the strongest of the three but slow to the point of inviting enemy attacks. By contrast, the spear is lightning fast, punishing button mashers by locking them into combos that might not stun enemies. It does, however, have the fantastic quirk of blocking enemy projectiles while backdashing by spinning rapidly. The regular short sword is a mix between the two and I found it to be my preferred weapon.

The demo was not extensive, though given the small staff on the game, that is not unexpected. It is a playground to test combos against enemies that can and will kill you given the chance. There is no level structure or any progression beyond defeating waves of monsters until the boss appears.

The boss of the demo is a behemoth-like monster that might feel safer at home in Dark Souls than anything else. This analogy even extends to his moveset, which is made up of large swipes and wind-ups that give you ample time to dodge as long as you're paying attention. When the boss' HP, which is invisible, is drained halfway, the quadruped stands up on his hind legs and engages you with his own sword moves. I didn't last beyond this form, but its influences are clear.

Dodging is governed by a bar that depletes one visual notch with every dodge. It refills incredibly quickly so long as you aren't attacking, but that can be a difficult thing to balance in the heat of the moment. The dodging feels good, but the window is not so wide that you can simply assume dodging will save you from an attack. It has to be timed and timed well.

While it is unlikely it will ever live up to this comparison, Lost Soul Aside felt to me like a strange combination of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and Bloodborne. A lot of how well it can meet those lofty standards is still left unanswered, but Lost Soul Aside is absolutely one of the most surprising games at the show, and I can only hope it fulfills its promise.

The producer at China Hero Project has told us they are not yet sure if the game will be coming to the west but they are hoping to muster enough enthusiasm to bring it.

Categories: Games

Exploring An Ancient Culture's Mythology

Game Informer News Feed - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 21:26

Video games can be powerful in many ways, and some developers are building virtual worlds that do more than just entertain. Some, like Assassin's Creed: Origins' upcoming Discovery Mode, educate us about Ancient Egypt without the threat of enemies. Others, like the platformer Never Alone, hope to preserve the culture of the Alaskan Iñupiaq people by thematically reflecting their mythology and history.

Mulaka, from developer Lienzo, has a similar goal. Based off the indigenous culture and mythology of the Tarahumara tribe, Mulaka is an action adventure game that has players exploring the stunning sights of Northwestern Mexico. You play as a shaman, who is on a dangerous journey, attempting to stop powerful gods from the destroying the world. You can shape shift into several animals, including bears and birds, all while defeating massive enemies.

You can view the most recent trailer that was shown off at this year's PSX by watching the video below.

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The team at Lienzo researched the tribe meticulously, and worked with both anthropologists and members of a Tarahumara community, to ensure their representation is accurate. Mulaka releases for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC early next year.

Categories: Games

BBC Business News Feed: A political Fed

Business Now Mag - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 20:30
As Jerome Powell prepares to take over the Federal Reserve, is the era of central bank independence ending?
Categories: Business

A political Fed

BBC Business News - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 20:30
As Jerome Powell prepares to take over the Federal Reserve, is the era of central bank independence ending?
Categories: Business

A political Fed

BBC Business News Feed - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 20:30
As Jerome Powell prepares to take over the Federal Reserve, is the era of central bank independence ending?
Categories: Business

A Viral Video Shows A Polar Bear Succumbing To Climate Change....We Are Too

Forbes News Feed - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 19:54
The shocking, viral image of a starving polar bear should remind us that daily "kitchen table" issues closer to home are also vulnerability
Categories: Business

Packs A Pollo-Powered Punch

Game Informer News Feed - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 19:52

When Guacamelee released in 2013, the 2D Metroidvania dazzled with its fantastic combat and colorful artstyle. Guacamelee 2, which was announced at Sony’s Paris Games Week event, follows in the same footsteps as its predecessor while turning up the volume on all its features.

The original Guacamelee wore its influences on its sleeves, to the point where characters were getting weapon upgrades from Chozo statues, which were named the legally distinct Chorizo statues instead. It makes sense, then, that Guacamelee 2 so closely hews to what the original game was. You are interacting with the game in the exact same manner, through tough platforming challenges and melee fighting, but the game feels comfortable in its similarity.

While the original game supported two-player local co-op, the sequel doubles that number with four distinct characters, including the first game's protagonist Juan. This might be a scenario where less is more, as the screen gets chaotic with sprites flying all over the place with four players, but the option is there for those who want it. Multiplayer is again local-only, as Drinkbox explained that online multiplayer requires resources that would have to be pulled away from other parts of the project.

The demo we played has the protagonists chasing after one of the game's new cadre of villains, a lonely masked magician with an army of chickens and a strong desire to be best friends with the lead villain. You meet him a few times from a distance as he barks orders at chickens and generally chews the scenery with equal self-imposed drama to the first game's bad guys.

Each area of the game has a different environmental quirk it focuses on, with the demo area popping up traps from the ground if you stop on certain spots for a long enough time. The roll out of these traps is smartly designed, positioning them as things that should be avoided at first and eventually as things that can be utilized for your benefit. Luring enemies onto the traps hurts them and, crucially, also blocks attacks that are otherwise unavoidable.

The demo area also had small hooks floating in the air, which function similarly to the jumping off points from 2015's Ori and the Blind Forest. Jumping to one and hitting Triangle shoots you off in the angle you jumped at, which is of course used as a mechanism for increasingly more difficult platforming challenges. 

In the original Guacamelee, dimension switching was used for puzzle solving and platforming challenges and the idea was brought back in this demo with a new twist. Now, scrolling quarters of the screen will switch dimensions, which means you can be hitting an enemy and they will suddenly become incorporeal during your combo. In some rooms, the alternate dimension erases the platform you are standing on or is actually just a lava dimension, which forces speed and urgency on to you.

About halfway through the demo, we met with the Chicken Pope, papal poultry that grants you the ability to transform into a chicken once again. Unlike the first game, however, the chicken has full combat abilities and can hold their own in a fight, as well as their own unique abilities beyond just being small. Additionally, grabbing a temporary power up enlarged the chickens to monstrous sizes, like a Mega Mushroom in New Super Mario Bros., and let us stomp around and destroy enemies in a pollo-driven rage.

The demo ended with a boss fight with the masked magician, which incorporated everything you learned so far in the level leading up to him. His boss room contained two traps, spike towers that shoot up if you stand on their floor placement too long, which are key in blocking some of the boss' attacks and hitting him when he's up in the air. He would occasionally take breaks to shoot chickens at you in bullet hell-style patterns that you could glide and jump around in your chicken form.

Guacamelee 2's demo was fun and comforting and certainly does not reinvent the wheel. It does not need to, however, as the game remains fairly unique in its genre blending and still feels as good to play as ever.

Guacamelee 2 is scheduled to release in 2018 on the PlayStation 4.

Categories: Games

BBC Business News Feed: Brexit: David Davis wants 'Canada plus plus plus' trade deal

Business Now Mag - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 19:11
The Brexit secretary says he wants a tariff-free trade deal, as Labour suggests paying for market access.
Categories: Business

Qatar buys 24 Eurofighter Typhoon jets in £6bn deal

BBC Business News - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 18:17
The move will help safeguard thousands of jobs at BAE Systems, mainly at Warton in Lancashire.
Categories: Business

Qatar buys 24 Eurofighter Typhoon jets in £6bn deal

BBC Business News Feed - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 18:17
The move will help safeguard thousands of jobs at BAE Systems, mainly at Warton in Lancashire.
Categories: Business

BBC Business News Feed: Qatar buys 24 Eurofighter Typhoon jets in £6bn deal

Business Now Mag - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 18:17
The move will help safeguard thousands of jobs at BAE Systems, mainly at Warton in Lancashire.
Categories: Business

Twas The Night Before Bitcoin Futures

Forbes News Feed - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 17:44
The long awaited Bitcoin Futures launch tonight. My expectation is for underwhelming volume and better selling (the GBTC premium to NAV caught my eye). And I do take liberties with a famous seasonal poem - to hopefully make you smile while waiting for those first trades.
Categories: Business

New step for Bitcoin's wild ride: Futures trading

CNN News Feed - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 17:43
For more than four decades, the Chicago Board Options Exchange has allowed investors to place their bets on commodities from corn to steel.
Categories: Money

Viagra Plant Gives Irish Town Free 'Love Fumes,' Residents Say

Travel and Leisure - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 17:22
<p>There’s something in the air in Ringaskiddy, Ireland.</p><p>Residents near the tiny village of Cork, where Pfizer’s erectile dysfunction drug Viagra is manufactured, recently said they get a unique kind of contact high from the fumes.</p><p>“One whiff and you’re stiff,” <a href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/irelands-viagra-village-of-ringaskiddy-laughs-off-stiff-british-competition-c3nc27wlp" target="_blank">one resident told the Times</a>. “We’ve been getting the love fumes for years now for free,” chimed in another.</p><p>Despite the locals’ accounts, Pfizer laughed off the rumors in <a href="http://fortune.com/2017/12/08/ireland-viagra-love-fumes/" target="_blank">a statement provided to Fortune</a>, saying, “Pfizer manufacturing facilities operate to high environmental standards and are regulated and licensed by health authorities and environmental agencies which have strict protocols to ensure that emissions from manufacturing sites have no effect on human health or the environment.”</p><p>Locals still aren’t convinced. One speculated <a href="http://irishpost.co.uk/irish-villagers-complain-viagra-plant-fumes-men-dogs-walking-around-hard-ons/" target="_blank">to the Irish Post</a> that the drug had found its way into the water supply, saying even village dogs “walk around in a state of sexual excitement.”</p><p>The pharmaceutical company recently announced plans to sell its flagship product over-the-counter in the U.K., and to introduce <a href="http://fortune.com/2017/12/06/viagra-generic-pfizer-price/" target="_blank">a significantly cheaper generic version</a> to the U.S. market.</p>
Categories: Travel

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