Tech/Games

Monday, August 1, 2016

Enjoy a Classic Pokéfilm at the Loft's Pokémon Party

Posted By on Mon, Aug 1, 2016 at 2:00 PM


While Pokémon Go hasn't even been out a month yet, the franchise has been around for years, together both the new app and the original games and movies have a large fan base. Tucson is no exception. 

It's hard to go almost anywhere without seeing someone with their head buried in their phone trying to find the nearest Pokémon. 

Tucson businesses have picked up on this offering specials for those playing or simply using their many poke stops and a few lures to their advantage. 

While you can go to parks round Tucson or even attend Reid Park Zoo's Pokémon Go Safari Nights every Saturday to hunt, you can also party with other Pokémon trainers at the Loft. 

On Wednesday, Aug. 3 the Loft Cinema (3233 E. Speedway Blvd.) is hosting a Pokémon party for all those with Pokémon fever. 

Serving as both a PokéStop and a gym, the Loft is hosting a Pokémon-themed Cosplay costume on stage and showing the classic 2002 Pokémon theatrical release, Pokémon Heroes: The Movie!

Regular admission prices apply. Tickets and more information can be found on the Loft website.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Dear Pokemon Go Trainers: Stop Looking for Pikachu Long Enough to Appreciate Where You Are

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 12:13 PM

Pokémon Go has exploded since its release last week, bringing millions to the streets to catch 'em all. 
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The game has become the top grossing app in the app store and caused some adventures: A few trainers have been mugged, one found a dead body and other gamers just can't believe how much they're exercising

On the UA campus many students (dare I say hundreds?) can be found roaming the mall and University Boulevard, staring into their phones and searching for Pokémon. The app, which layers gameplay onto the physical world, has become a cultural phenomenon.

That's all fine and good, but there are a few places everyone should agree to put away their Pokéballs—for instance, every memorial in existence. 

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has asked visitors to stop catching Pokémon on their premises, out of respect for the memorial. 
“Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism,” Andrew Hollinger, the museum’s communications director, told the Washington Post. “We are trying to find out if we can get the museum excluded from the game.” While the game has inadvertently caused many people to exercise as they hunt for eevee, pidgey and rattata, the game has also caused many people to forget their surroundings. 
Similar reports have come from the 9/11 Memorial and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

To all the trainers out there: The search for Pikachu may be important, but don't let it cause you to forget about the rest of the world.

In fact, take some time to explore the parts of Tucson you're following Pokémon to without your phone in hand.

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Creating an Army of Killer Robots Might Not Be Such a Hot Idea

Posted By on Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:15 AM

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Former Pentagon analyst and Army Ranger Paul Scharre has penned a report warning that creating "autonomous weapons"—or, in more common parlance, killer robots—has a lot of downsides, including the "potential for catastrophic accidents."

The New York Times sums it up:

A new report written by a former Pentagon official who helped establish United States policy on autonomous weapons argues that such weapons could be uncontrollable in real-world environments where they are subject to design failure as well as hacking, spoofing and manipulation by adversaries.

In recent years, low-cost sensors and new artificial intelligence technologies have made it increasingly practical to design weapons systems that make killing decisions without human intervention. The specter of so-called killer robots has touched off an international protest movement and a debate within the United Nations about limiting the development and deployment of such systems.
Did we learn nothing from Terminator? Robocop? Avengers: Age of Ultron? On the other hand, new robot overlords might be a better alternative than President Donald J. Trump.

Friday, February 12, 2016

TED Talk Day at the UA

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 4:15 PM

click image A Facebook promotional image for the TEDxUofA event held on the University of Arizona campus on Feb. 17, 2016. - INNOVATE UA
  • Innovate UA
  • A Facebook promotional image for the TEDxUofA event held on the University of Arizona campus on Feb. 17, 2016.

The Innovate UA program is hosting the first ever TEDxUofALive event, a live-cast of the 2016 TED conference in Vancouver, Canada this week.

The University of Arizona has been issued a licence to broadcast the live talks on Wednesday Feb. 17 across the UA campus.


"What I have noticed about campus, and our culture in general, is that innovation is heavily dominated by technology," said Justin Williams of Innovate UA. "What TED does that is really great, is it's intentionally multidisciplinary so it pulls from fields, in our case, what would be all across campus."

Speakers at the TED conference are separated into sessions. The whole day of events is free but seating is limited so be sure to reserve your spot at the sessions that interest you!

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Fun New App: Confessions of a Kitty Collecting Addict

Posted By on Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 4:00 PM

A screenshot of cartoon cats in the Japanese game app called Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector.  The app was created by Hit-Point Co., Ltd. - NATALIA NAVARRO
  • Natalia Navarro
  • A screenshot of cartoon cats in the Japanese game app called Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector. The app was created by Hit-Point Co., Ltd.

Whether you're a fan of cats or a general fan of adorable animations, I have a game for you.

Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector is a Japanese cat game that has been sweeping through our iPhones in the cutest and most relaxing way. The app, rated number 104 on the Apple App Store free top charts, has become a main focus for many blogs, as well as my own daily life.

Think you might enjoy putting out virtual food and toys and waiting for virtual cats to arrive in your virtual yard? I definitely do.

First, you have to set up your yard. Then tiny cats, all with a different preset names, interests, and personalities will begin to visit, leaving fish treats as a reward for your kindness. You can then use those fish treats to buy more goodies for them. If you are lucky (and generous), a rare and limited-edition cat may visit you.

I am not too embarrassed to say that I've spent days saving up for the highest quality animated food and cat accouterments. Only the best for my (digital) kitty cats!

But be warned: this could happen to you. If you need help succeeding in this a cat-eat-cat world, visit gameskinny.com.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

High-Tech Scouts: Data Mining the NCAA Field

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Ahead of the UA's game against Xavier in the Sweet 16 at 7:17 p.m. tonight, the UA News Service tells the story of Synergy Sports Technologies, which compiles extraordinarily precise highlight reels so that coaches can get a look at their opponents' strengths and weaknesses:

With Synergy's services, teams are able to go back and watch footage of any game, and they are supplied with a plethora of statistics both basic and advanced. Coaches have the potential to view what their team did in every possible situation.

Here's how specific it can get: If the UA coaching staff wants to examine all of the team’s possessions with less than 4 seconds on the shot clock, or any of T.J. McConnell’s steals, or all of the times the team scored off of an inbound pass, it’s no problem. For most people, that would mean hours of tedious video editing, but Synergy clients can have matching video clips in a matter of seconds.

"Synergy probably has the biggest database of college basketball video anywhere," Mossman said. "The way it works is: We grab the video via satellite or we have the teams upload it if the game isn't televised, and then we take that video and we cut it, edit it, record the stats and then — most importantly — catalog and index it in an organized and efficient way.

"Let's do a basic example. Take your point guard, T.J. McConnell. He's had 71 turnovers over the course of the season. So in our system, you can go in and go to his cumulative stats page. If you click on his turnovers, it will compile a list of every one of those turnovers linked immediately with the live video clips."

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Judging People by Their Internet Browser Just Got Harder: Microsoft Kills Internet Explorer

Posted By on Tue, Mar 17, 2015 at 5:00 PM

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I was going to write something following a eulogy theme, but I don't think anyone is sad to see this one go.

From the Verge:
While Microsoft has dropped hints that the Internet Explorer brand is going away, the software maker has now confirmed that it will use a new name for its upcoming browser successor, codenamed Project Spartan. Speaking at Microsoft Convergence yesterday, Microsoft's marketing chief Chris Capossela revealed that the company is currently working on a new name and brand. "We’re now researching what the new brand, or the new name, for our browser should be in Windows 10," said Capossela. "We’ll continue to have Internet Explorer, but we’ll also have a new browser called Project Spartan, which is codenamed Project Spartan. We have to name the thing."

Internet Explorer will still exist in some versions of Windows 10 mainly for enterprise compatibility, but the new Project Spartan will be named separately and will be the primary way for Windows 10 users to access the web. Microsoft has tried, unsuccessfully, to shake off the negative image of Internet Explorer over the past several years with a series of amusing campaigns mocking Internet Explorer 6. The ads didn't improve the situation, and Microsoft's former Internet Explorer chief left the company in December, signaling a new era for the browser.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Grijalva Calls on FCC to Preserve Net Neutrality

Posted By on Wed, May 14, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Congressman Raul Grijalva joined his fellow members of the Progressive Congressional Caucus today in calling for the FCC to establish rules that allow for net neutrality. The press release from Grijalva:

Ahead of tomorrow’s Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) meeting to propose new Internet speed and pricing policies, Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) sent FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler a letter today urging strong consumer protections that will prevent anti-competitive behavior that could impact consumer access to online content. The letter, co-signed by 34 House Democratic colleagues, calls on Wheeler to “adopt strong and enforceable open Internet rules that proactively protect Internet users from unfair practices, including the blockage of lawful traffic or discrimination among content providers[.]”

The letter supports Net Neutrality, which would preserve high-speed Internet service for the entire country and prevent Internet service providers (ISP) from enacting pricing schemes, where web companies would have to pay higher fees to gain access to an internet “fast lane.” Net Neutrality also prevents Internet service providers from favoring some sites over others at customers’ expense.

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@ The Gaslight Theatre Thu., June 9, 7-9 p.m., Tuesdays-Thursdays, 7-9 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, 8:30-10:30 p.m., Fridays-Sundays, 6-8 p.m., Sundays, 3-5 p.m., Sundays, 3-5 p.m., Sun., June 26, 12-2 p.m. and Sun., Aug. 28, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Continues through Aug. 13 7010 E. Broadway Blvd.

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