Archived News:

Sunday, Jul 28, 2019 World Nature Conservation Day

Microsoft Flight Simulator Insider Program Details

Microsoft Studios outlines a roadmap (perhaps a flight plan would be a better term) for Microsoft Flight Simulator (thanks DSOGaming). Or as an AVSIM member post they quote says, "Update to an update about an update." Word is they plan on kicking off the insider program for the next installment in the high flying series soon:
Within the next few weeks we’ll be providing the official release date for the Development Roadmap, in the meantime, we’d like to share a few of the deliverables from this plan:

  • August (Early/Mid) – Insider Program kickoff
    • First batch of content for the Insider Program members is being prepared for delivery:
      • Advanced preview of the Development Roadmap
      • “In-Sim” content – clips captured from build.
      • Preview Build Program – Detailed information on first build deliverable, Insider participation sign-up
  • August (Mid/Late) – Development Roadmap Release (v.2019.08/drr1)
    • Development beats through EOY 2019
      • Build Program Recruitment and Release timeline
      • SDK Update
      • 3rd Party Content Update
      • UGC Content Update
  • August (Late) – Build Program Kickoff
    • Preview Build Program – Detailed information on first preview build deliverable
    • Preview Build Program – Public Participation sign-up
    • Preview Build Program – Preview of next build details

Dota Underlords Splitting Ranked and Casual Play

A post from Valve on Steam outlines plans for an update to Dota Underlords that will split matchmaking up into separate casual and ranked queues:
Heads up. Some big changes are coming to ranked matchmaking in the next update.

We heard from many of you that you wanted a place where you could experiment with different strategies or just play more casually in general without worrying about risking your hard-earned rank. So we've made the ground-breaking design decision to have two ways of playing; Casual and Ranked. Let's break them down:

In Casual:

  • You will be matched against opponents of your same skill level.
  • You can queue up solo or with friends.
  • This is where you experiment with new builds, or complete those elusive challenges.
  • Daily Challenges and Achievements can be earned.

In Ranked:

  • You can only queue up solo, and your Rank (Enforcer I, Upstart III, etc) is used to find opponents.
  • New players will need to unlock ranked mode by playing 5 casual games. (Don't worry, accounts with at least one Multiplayer game will be grandfathered in.)
  • Daily Challenges and Achievements can be earned.

We also received a lot of feedback from players who were (rightly) confused trying to understand the relationship between rank promotions and demotions and their performance in the preceding match.

Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Top 10

Here's Valve's report on the 10 bestselling titles on Steam for last week. There's no way of telling where Wolfenstein: Youngblood would stand if both its listings were combined:

  1. Survivor Pass 4: Aftermath
  2. PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS
  3. Valve Index VR Kit
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. NieR:Automata
  6. Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition
  7. Wolfenstein: Youngblood
  8. Wolfenstein: Youngblood
  9. DOOM
  10. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

Hardware Reviews

  • ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 Super Dual EVO OC Graphics Card on Guru3D.
  • Antec Dark Avenger DA601 Mid-Tower Case on Nikk Tech.
  • MSI MEG X570 ACE (AMD X570) Motherboard on TweakTown.

Out of the Blue

We had a terrific time at the beach yesterday, and I scored a lot of points with the littles by doing a lot of swimming with them. I was quite the swimmer back in my summer camp days, but that was in the last millennium, so I was pleasantly surprised that this followed the riding a bike cliché, as I'm still quite at home in the water. My stamina is not what it was back in the day, but it seems unrealistic to expect it would be, considering when I was training to be a lifeguard we would swim 64 laps as a warm up to a training session. But I can work on that, which is great, as I've been looking for an enjoyable way to make up for the exercise I've been missing out on since I stopped walking Jedi a few miles a day. The soreness I'm experiencing today is a reminder that swimming is a far more complete workout than walking, so that's a win. This won't help me in the cold weather, as I can't abide pools, but I can swim under that bridge when I come to it.

R.I.P.: Russi Taylor, Voice of Minnie Mouse, Dead at 75.

Links: Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.
Stories: ‘Roman Biro’ – complete with joke – found at London building site.
Clown starts brawl on cruise ship, witnesses say. And here I thought I wouldn't like cruises.
Arkansas mom buys 1,500 pairs of shoes in closing Payless for kids in need.
Science: A sixth finger can prove extra handy. Thanks Max.
Rope-less elevator technology to offer new architectural and design capabilities.
Images: My cause is just, my will is strong, and my gun is very, very large (classic Doom cosplay & BFG).
Stunning image shows Planetary Society craft's solar sail unfurled against the backdrop of Earth.
Media: Heroes Ep 62 'Medivhal Times.'
Mario is a MONSTER.
Bear Steals Dumpster from Colorado Pot Shop.
Auctions: Incredible science fiction art auction.
Follow-ups: How Boeing Bean-Counters Courted the 737 MAX Disaster. Thanks JDreyer.
FAA Reportedly Delegated Oversight of Critical 737 Max Flight System to Boeing.
Do Lox and Other Smoked Fish Increase Cancer Risk? Thanks j.c.f.
The Funnies: FoxTrot.
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