Don’t Miss: Obduction let Cyan experiment with VR in a non-Myst universe

Don’t Miss: Obduction let Cyan experiment with VR in a non-Myst universe

After more than 20 years of games set in the Myst universe, Obduction, out today, is a chance for Cyan to finally work again with a clean slate.

It’s a new adventure within a new world and a new set of technological constraints — most notably, the constraints associated with developing for both virtual reality headsets and traditional flatscreen monitors. Most excitingly for Cyan co-founder Rand Miller, it’s a new opportunity to drop players in a world they don’t comprehend — a world that’s strange and mysterious and waiting to be explored.

Aside from a few small puzzlers, Obduction is the first game Cyan has made outside of the Myst universe since Spelunx and the Caves of Mr Seudo in 1991 — a quirky HyperCard playground that predates Myst by two years. Miller calls it “refreshing” to “not have to look at those same walls for a period of time” and to take a break from dealing with the baggage of 20 years of decisions (from Myst, its sequels, and its Uru spinoff series).

We caught up with Miller recently and quizzed him about world building, puzzle crafting, and designing for VR.

Miller explains that Cyan saved a lot of headaches by planning for VR in Obduction from the beginning, but the process of designing for both traditional screens and VR headsets has still been a challenge. Their approach has been to design the whole game around the constraints of both modes.

Vertical changes in position, for instance, are disorienting and uncomfortable in virtual reality, so Obduction doesn’t have ladders and wherever there’s a change of plane — say, a small drop off that players would normally just jump down — they’ve created a ramp that the player must walk along.

They also co-opted the first-person point-and-click navigation system that Cyan’s older games used. Players can walk around freely if they like, but for traditionalists or people susceptible to motion sickness in VR Obduction offers node-based movement. This significantly changes the experience, but not necessarily for the worse. “In some ways, node-based is a little more satisfying because you go down fewer bunny trails,” says Miller. 

“So for somebody who’s a novice and somebody who is not interested in exploring all the nooks and crannies, they get to just the good parts. We’re not gonna put a node down this little crevice — this little seam in this rock wall — if there’s not anything there you can interact with. But in free roam you can go up there and explore that little crevice in the wall and appreciate the aesthetics.”

The bulk of Obduction players will not be in VR, so the team has been careful not to get too far ahead of the curve — to offer a good virtual reality experience, but not to invest resources into features that will benefit VR players only. That said, even just designing the game for both types of screen has highlighted VR’s strengths in Miller’s mind. 

He argues that VR makes game worlds feel more alive, and he’s excited by the potential for VR in exploration-heavy games. “When you put somebody in the world in VR they are much more likely to spend time looking around at everything,” he says. “It’s almost like even like the texture on the rocks on the wall or the details in a door are suddenly more alive because they have depth and scale. It seems like it is a thing there that you can move sideways and see the angles of. And somehow that’s really satisfying. It slows you down.”


 


“In the flatscreen you come up to a door and click it, and it jiggles and it’s locked, then you walk away,” he continues. “But in VR you click the door, it jiggles, and you look at the door and you notice ‘oh, the paint’s chipping off of this’ and ‘oh look at that, it’s got inset carvings in here.’ And ‘oh, that window I can kind of see through if I move back and forth.’ ‘Oh! There’s something way behind that window. I can tell how far it is back there.'”

This is the dream he and his brother Robyn have been chasing for nearly 30 years. Everything they’ve done can be traced back to their first interactive world: the 1988 exploratory HyperCard adventure The Manhole. Miller argues that Myst and now Obduction simply expanded the concepts from The Manhole. Exploration in VR especially just builds on those first steps on a black-and-white Macintosh. The new technology merely offers a more sophisticated way “to paint your presence in a space,” says Miller.

Your eyes, ears, and the touch receptors in your skin all constantly refresh your inner model of the world around you, and Miller thinks VR taps into that. “It builds on those very natural senses to construct the world in your head,” he says. “And boy, it’s convincing.”

Myst was a product of its time. Its journals full of character narratives, background lore, and tiny embedded live-action videos were a response to technological constraints — books were a great pretext for the postage stamp-sized QuickTime videos that advanced the plot, and they allowed the world to hold more detail and depth than would be possible through the series of still screens that players navigated through.

Miller has relished the opportunity to tackle world building and storytelling without Myst‘s crutch of journals. “You want the environment to tell some of that story, and you want the devices and some of the notes and some of the signs and some of the disarray, and some of the order, to all contribute to that story in some way,” he says, further noting that even a locked door can tell a story.

“That’s not done frivolously,” says Miller, who emphasizes the importance of purpose.

“Game worlds follow gameplay,” he adds. The world should fit the mechanics. In a first-person shooter, for instance, some things can just be there to look cool or to push the player in the direction of the next gunfight, and only level geometry (like walls and crouching cover) really matters. “Not every locked door is necessarily going to be opened in that kind of game,” he continues. “Not every journal needs to be relevant.”

But when story and puzzles become more central to the mechanics, so too must the world be filled with more relevant and less throwaway material. In Obduction‘s case, the challenge is to balance an environment that wants to be explored with a story that the player needs to unravel and puzzles that provide friction between player and world. And to craft a world that feels like a real place, and as such is teeming with mystery.

“People liked Myst because it felt like you were plopped into the middle of a story with no idea what was going on,” Miller says. “And the sequels to Myst, by their very nature, could not feel that way. You knew what was going on now. You had already played Myst; it wasn’t like you could ever land on that dock again and completely not know where and what everything was.”

Miller has not shied away from the fact that some of Myst‘s puzzles were horrible, and he fully expects to field similar criticism on Obduction. But he says Cyan has tried to design all Obduction puzzles according to a simple principle: players should blame themselves for not getting it sooner. If their reaction is instead “ugh, that was silly. There was no connection. There was nothing there that hinted,” he explains, that means Cyan failed.

No puzzle solution should be arbitrary. In practice, however, Miller explains that sometimes things just get lost in translation. 

He gives an example that they caught in testing where players had to activate a steam-powered generator. Miller and designer Richard Watson put all the appropriate breadcrumbs in place to show players what they needed to do: connect the water source, turn on the hose, then turn on the heat source to boil the water and power the generator.

It seemed so obvious. So easy. “The first person through it goes ‘oh, this is a motor, and if we get this motor started by turning the fire on, it can pump the water out of that pond over there,'” Miller continues. “It was completely backwards of what it was supposed to be. And it never, ever occurred to us that anyone would look at it that way.”

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Baan Nonthaburi / Plan Architect

Baan Nonthaburi / Plan Architect

Baan Nonthaburi / Plan Architect

Baan Nonthaburi / Plan Architect, © Chitsanupong Ploythanachot

© Chitsanupong Ploythanachot


© Chitsanupong Ploythanachot


© Chitsanupong Ploythanachot


© Chitsanupong Ploythanachot


© Chitsanupong Ploythanachot






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  • Architects

  • Location

    Nonthaburi, Mueang Nonthaburi District, Nonthaburi, Thailand

  • Category

  • Design Team

    Wara Jithpratuck, Jittinun Jithpratuck

  • Area

    384.0 m2

  • Project Year

    2018

  • Photographs

  • Manufacturers

    Loading…


© Chitsanupong Ploythanachot

© Chitsanupong Ploythanachot

Text description provided by the architects. This pavilion is an extended part form existing house. Its main function is sport facilities which consist of swimming pool, fitness, sauna, bathroom, outdoor shower, service area and parking.


© Chitsanupong Ploythanachot

© Chitsanupong Ploythanachot

The layout of this building is designed to link with the old houses center court. The main pool deck is aligned with the existing courtyard with the fitness room at the end of the deck. While the left functions are set on another axis at the edge of the site not only to maximize panoramic private view from the deck, but also blend functional space with nature around. Another courtyard behind the fitness room separates between water closet zone and service zone and also makes fitness surrounded by view. Besides Thailand tropical weather, the main pool deck require big roof to protect it from rain and sun. The columns are installed as least as possible along with the glass wall dividing space to remain panoramic view for the deck.


Plan

Plan


Section A - B

Section A – B

The main material, lath, blends the nature to the house by let the natural light get through the space dimly. The eaves is also translucent and allow natural light get through lath ceiling creating transition space itself.


© Chitsanupong Ploythanachot

© Chitsanupong Ploythanachot

The outstanding characteristic shows the simplicity of the building blending nature, existing surrounding together with the architecture.


© Chitsanupong Ploythanachot

© Chitsanupong Ploythanachot

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Project location

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.

Cite: “Baan Nonthaburi / Plan Architect” 20 Jun 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed .

想阅读文章的中文版本吗?

© Chitsanupong Ploythanachot

Baan Nonthaburi住宅扩建 / Plan Architect


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One step closer to graphene-based topological insulator

In 2005, condensed matter physicists Charles Kane and Eugene Mele considered the fate of graphene at low temperatures. Their work led to the discovery of a new state of matter dubbed a “topological insulator,” which would usher in a new era of materials science.

“A topological insulator is a material that is an insulator in its interior but is highly conducting on its surface,” said UC Santa Barbara assistant physics professor Andrea Young. In two-dimensions, an ideal topological insulator would have “ballistic” conductance at its edges, Young explained, meaning that electrons traveling through the region would encounter zero resistance.

Ironically, while Kane and Mele’s work would lead to the discovery of topological insulating behavior in a wide variety of materials, their original prediction — of a topological insulator in graphene — has remained unrealized.

At the heart of the trouble is spin-orbit coupling — a weak effect in which the spin of the electron interacts with its orbital motion aroun the nucleus. Critical to all topological insulators, spin-orbit coupling is exceptionally weak in graphene, so that any topological insulating behavior is drowned out by other effects arising from the surface on which the graphene is supported.

“The weak spin-orbit coupling in graphene is a great pity,” said postdoctoral researcher Joshua Island, because in practice things haven’t really worked out that well for topological insulators in two dimensions. “The two dimensional topological insulators known to date are disordered and not very easy to work with,” Island said. The conductance at the edges tends to diminish rapidly with the distance the electrons travel, suggesting it is far from ballistic. Realizing a topological insulator in graphene, an otherwise highly perfect two dimensional material, could provide a basis for low-dissipation ballistic electrical circuits or form the material substrate for topologically protected quantum bits.

Now, in work published in the journal Nature, Island, Young and their collaborators have found a way to turn graphene into a topological insulator (TI). “The goal of the project was to increase or enhance the spin-orbit coupling in graphene,” lead author Island said, adding that attempts have been made over the years with limited success. “A way to do this is to put a material that has a very large spin-orbit coupling in close proximity with the graphene. The hope was that by doing that your graphene electrons will take on this property of the underlying material,” he explained.

The material of choice? After studying several possibilities, the researchers settled on a transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD), consisting of the transition metal tungsten and the chalcogen selenium. Similar to graphene, tungsten diselenide comes in two-dimensional monolayers, bound together by van der Waals forces, which are relatively weak and distance-dependent interactions between atoms or molecules. Unlike graphene, however, the heavier atoms of the TMD lead to stronger spin-orbit coupling. The resulting device feature’s graphene’s ballistic electron conductance imbued with the strong spin-orbit coupling from the nearby TMD layer.

“We did see a very clear enhancement of that spin-orbit coupling,” Island said.

“By adding spin-orbit coupling of just the right type, Joshua was able to find that this in fact leads to a new phase which is almost topologically insulating,” Young said. In the original idea, he explained, the topological insulator consisted of a monolayer of graphene with a strong spin-orbit coupling.

“We had to use a trick only available in graphene multilayers to create the right type of spin-orbit coupling,” Young explained about their experiment, which used a graphene bilayer. “And so you get something that approximates two topological insulators stacked on top of each other.” Functionally, however, Island’s device performs as well as other known 2D topological insulators — the all-important edge states propagate for at least several microns, much longer than in other known TI materials.

Furthermore, according to Young, this work is one step closer to building an actual topological insulator with graphene. “Theoretical work has since shown that a graphene trilayer, fabricated in the same way, would lead to a true topological insulator.”

Most importantly, the devices realized by Island and Young can be easily tuned between a topological insulating phase and a regular insulator, which does not have conducting edge states.

“You can route these perfect conductors around wherever you want,” he said, “And that’s something nobody’s been able to do with other materials.”

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This is the most poetic way to block your phone’s distracting notifications

This is the most poetic way to block your phone’s distracting notifications

After staring at a screen all day, the last thing I want to do is look at my phone. But inevitably, the texts and notifications roll in, and it’s easy to get sucked into more screen time.

Now, the U.K.-based design studio Cohda has designed a small, bowl-size zen garden for your home—but instead of raking sand to help still your mind, you’re supposed to bury your phone underneath grains of conductive microspheres, which stop all electromagnetic signals from getting out. It’s like putting your phone on airplane mode by covering it up with sand.

[Photo: Cohda]

The bowl, named Komoru (which means “to seclude oneself” in Japanese), uses the properties of the Faraday cage, an enclosure that’s designed to block electromagnetic fields, to render your phone mute. Key to Komoru’s design are the conductive beads themselves. Traditional Faraday cages require that an electronic device be completely surrounded by a solid or mesh surface to work, but the designers at Cohda realized that small beads could do the same job. The challenge was: How should they be designed so they don’t scratch the outside of a phone and won’t get stuck inside a charging port or headphone jack? The designers ended up using a coating of non-magnetic nickel on the beads, which is a softer material than the metals typically used in smartphones. To determine the right size, they tested different radii with a variety of ports from different smartphones to ensure that the final beads won’t find their way inside.

[Photo: Cohda]

Of course, there are far easier ways to prevent being distracted by a phone. Putting it in airplane mode or do-not-disturb mode are two of the simplest if you have a hard time just leaving your phone in the other room. Still, Komoru’s typology of the zen garden has a certain poetry to it. Plus, it could easily replace that bowl by the front door that you might use to keep your phone and keys.

[Photo: Cohda]

Komoru is part of the digital well-being movement, which provides tools to help people manage the amount of time they spend on their phones. It has come under fire of late for taking aim at the wrong problem: For one, it’s a convenient way for tech companies to put the onus on users to ignore alluring interfaces, rather than those companies just building healthier products. Plus, as University of Pennsylvania postdoctoral researcher Arunas L. Radzvilavicius recently pointed out, using our phones and social media to communicate isn’t an addiction that individuals have to break—it’s a strong social norm that’s incredibly difficult for a single person to reject. Even if you try not to look at Instagram, you can’t stop people from posting pictures you might be interested in or from sending you messages.

[Photo: Cohda]

But neither companies nor social norms are going to change significantly overnight, so many of us have to find our own workarounds–and surprise, there are plenty of companies that are happy to help. One coffee shop blocks all signals so that people focus on the people around them. Several companies sell “dumbphones,” which strip the phone down to the bare essentials. Then there’s Yondr, a service that is helping to make concerts and schools phone-free by literally locking up users’ devices. Maybe a beautifully designed Faraday cage can provide that extra bit of mindfulness you need to spend less time with your screen.

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Minecraft ‘Bedrock 1.12.0’ patch: Realm permissions, bug fixes, and more

Minecraft ‘Bedrock 1.12.0’ patch: Realm permissions, bug fixes, and more

What you need to know

  • Minecraft is an incredibly popular building game.
  • It keeps on getting new features to allow for easier building.
  • Today, the game new features for Realm owners and content creators.
  • Minecraft is part of Xbox Game Pass which you can get through Best Buy.

Minecraft has been getting few features for many years now, and that’s one of the main reasons why it’s played by over 90 million players each month. Today, Minecraft got a massive patch which addresses permission settings for Realm owners, brings numerous bug fixes, and changes the way creators can access certain commands. You can take a look at the patch notes below. They have been edited for clarity.

Changes

  • Increased the frequency and volume of the ambient mob sounds made during raids, to make them easier to locate.
  • Added new Wandering Trader sounds.
  • Updated the main menu splash text.
  • Updated the default main menu panorama from Aquatic to Village & Pillage.
  • The Store button on the main menu has been renamed to Marketplace.
  • Realm owners can now set relevant permissions for players invited to their Realm.
  • Default settings can be set for all new members entering a Realm
  • The owner can set permissions for an invited player to either visitor, member, or operator.
  • When resetting a world, or uploading a new world, already set permissions stay in place.

Fixes

  • Fixed several crashes that could occur during gameplay.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when launching the game on some Windows 10 devices.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when certain interactive blocks are loading in when joining a Realm.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when switching players on Xbox One.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when engaging in a fight with an Elder Guardian in an Ocean Monument.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when loading the game.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when throwing an Egg or Snowball.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when trading with a Villager.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when throwing a trident with Loyalty enchantment
  • Fixed a crash that could occur on Nintendo Switch when the game was saving or loading.
  • Fixed a crash on Nintendo Switch that could occur when suspending and resuming the game.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when exiting the game.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when signing into Xbox Live.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when choosing a skin on launch of the game.
  • Fixed a Marketplace issue that could result in the game getting stuck or crashing when loading in items.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when the game was checking for previously downloaded content.
  • Made further performance improvements when opening inventory screens.
  • Made several performance improvements related to various interface screens and interactions.
  • Significantly reduced bandwidth usage by allowing the client to reuse chunks it has already seen.
  • Improved chunk loading performance in multiplayer.
  • Improved performance around new villages and villager job sites.
  • Several other performance improvements, including some related to mob pathfinding.
  • Frosted ice blocks no longer drops performance while they’re melting.
  • Endermen teleporting particles no longer cause consistent performance drops, especially during boss fights.
  • Reduced the amount of memory required to load textures.
  • Cached resource packs no longer decrease performance on Nintendo Switch.
  • Removed an unnecessary Xbox Live sign-in notification.
  • Fixed an issue where consuming the last item in a stack to unlock an achievement could cause the achievement not to unlock.
  • The Haggler achievement once again unlocks when requirements are met.
  • The Zombie Doctor achievement now unlocks when curing a zombie villager.
  • Marketplace resource packs are now immediately applied after downloading in the world edit menu.
  • Player permissions now apply correctly when more than one operator tries to adjust them.
  • Made improvements to roaming skins, which should apply correctly after reloading or reinstalling the game and signing in.
  • Custom skins are now applied correctly without needing to restart the game to see them.
  • Skins equipped from the Recent section are once again applied when selected.
  • World settings now sync correctly between different Xbox One devices.
  • Resource packs are now applied correctly after downloading through the world or global settings.
  • Newly purchased Realms are now always visible after finalizing the purchase.
  • Fixed an issue that would show an error message when attempting to renew a Realm subscription on Xbox One.
  • Fixed several related issues with End Gateway portals. These should now teleport the player to the correct safe location when used.
  • Villager trading now properly takes away items from the second slot, when applicable.
  • Only players who fought in a raid now receive the Hero of the Village effect in Realms.
  • The Bad Omen effect is now only received when killing an Illager Captain, not when dealing non-fatal damage with a bow or potion.
  • Players no longer see through the world when clipping into blocks after leaving a boat.
  • You can now interact with blocks while holding a charged crossbow on touch devices.
  • Players no longer clip through walls when transitioning from swimming to standing in water.
  • Players that are being healed can now still be knocked back by TNT.
  • Arrows that are shot into blocks keep their position when reloading the world.
  • Area of Effect clouds no longer try to spawn excessive numbers of particles when time of day is changed.
  • Corrected the position of leads on Wolves.
  • Tamed cats no longer slide around while sitting.
  • Fixed the missing Taiga Zombie Villager skin.
  • Fixed a fighting texture issue on some Villager skins.
  • Dyed leather horse armor color no longer affects other horse armor.
  • Vindicators can now path correctly over carpet during raids.
  • The Wither no longer plays its spawning animation when reloading a world.
  • Mobs will no longer path-find over Brewing Stands.
  • Added a sound to indicate when a villager does not want to trade.
  • Illager Captains now drop banners correctly even if the world is reloaded.
  • Mobs will now spawn on double slabs.
  • Fixed the sitting model for cats that were previously tamed ocelots.
  • Fixed missing zombie villager sounds.
  • Certain zombie villagers now have the correct name in death messages instead of a placeholder name.
  • Mobs no longer get stuck when pathfinding on ladders.
  • Evokers no longer move too fast when moving towards villages in raids.
  • Mobs no longer spawn inside leaves during raids.
  • Villagers that are actively trading with players will no longer run and hide when the raid bell rings.
  • Clerics now correctly pathfind to their job sites.
  • Tamed tuxedo cats now use the proper texture.
  • Stray cats can no longer claim beds in villages for worlds converted from version 1.10.
  • The Ghast spinning model in monster spawners is now the correct size.
  • Fixed wandering trader podzol and coral trades.
  • Fletchers now trade sixteen arrows instead of five.
  • Changed the cost of butcher’s cooked rabbit trade.
  • Leatherworker’s saddle trade is lowered from ten to six emeralds.
  • Removed the sand trade from the wandering trader and adjusted the cost of a diamond hoe from tool smith villagers.
  • Iron Golems no longer run to the world center after their village is destroyed.
  • Villagers without professions now follow regular schedules and will actually sleep, which they deeply need.
  • Fixed the creeper model in some Marketplace maps.
  • Converting a normal Pillager to a Captain with tag commands now displays the banner correctly.
  • Fixed various scenarios where certain blocks couldn’t be placed until the game was restarted.
  • Frosted ice blocks can now be broken.
  • Fixed Sea Grass texture brightness.
  • Bamboo leaves are now lighter.
  • Flowing lava once again turns into cobblestone when hit by water.
  • Red sandstone stairs now have correct textures on all sides.
  • Players no longer lose villager job site locations if they replace a job site block that is tied to an experienced villager.
  • Village job site blocks now have consistent sound volume levels when used by players.
  • Scaffolding can no longer be placed on Conduit blocks.
  • The Bell now swings towards a player when it is hit.
  • Note Block particles now correctly correspond to the notes played.
  • The grindstone now correctly combines and repairs two damaged items.
  • Farmland now has the correct side and bottom textures.
  • Smokers now have the correct bottom texture.
  • Fixed door and trapdoor textures.
  • Cocoa beans now break and drop when pushed by pistons.
  • Slabs and other non-solid blocks once again prevent grass from growing on dirt.
  • Flowing water is no longer left behind after flowing over string.
  • Bells now ring when hit with splash and lingering potions.
  • Composter growth particles now appear in the correct location.
  • Blocks can once again be placed on unlit Redstone Ore.
  • Fixed animated textures for flowing lava and water on several texture packs.
  • Efficiency pickaxes now break packed ice at a faster rate.
  • Dropped items no longer prevent minecarts from being placed on rails.
  • Empty glass bottles now stack correctly when removed from brewing stands.
  • Banner patterns can no longer be lost or duplicated when switching them in a loom with a full inventory.
  • Using Pick Block on sweet berry bushes now gives the player the correct item.
  • Bone meal is now consumed correctly when used on grass.
  • Cactus blocks of different growth stages can be smelted into green dye again.
  • Stripped birch wood is no longer used to craft acacia planks when playing on Realms.
  • Shields no longer appear too bright in item frames.
  • Updated the Illager Banner texture.
  • Barrels now appear in the proper place of the creative inventory.
  • Correct colors of wool are now displayed as a material required to create colored banners in the recipe book.
  • The player’s arm is no longer displaced in first person view after eating food.
  • Tinted spawn eggs are now properly scaled in item frames.
  • Fixed a bug on dedicated servers and Realms which could cause the wrong block types to generate in the world.
  • Tweaked the number of job sites that generate in villages.
  • Updated the glass texture for locked maps in the Cartography Table UI.
  • Adjusted the Cartography Table screen to fit Android screens when using Classic Interface.
  • Pressing the Y button on controller on the Cartography output slot now only crafts the correct amount.
  • Added controller tooltips for the Lectern screen.
  • The villager trading screen no longer opens and closes if the player is standing too far away.
  • Items that are split between slots in the villager trading screen still count as a total trade amount.
  • The How to Play button on the Cartography Table now directs to the proper screen.
  • Killing a wandering trader’s llama can no longer display their inventory screen.
  • The screen reader prompt no longer appears every time network settings are adjusted on Nintendo Switch.
  • The Always Day toggle now correctly animates and shows the correct setting.
  • Dates appear again next to player earned achievements in the Achievements menu.
  • The Invite to Game button is no longer enabled on Featured Servers.
  • Going back to the Play screen or Settings screen will now properly select the previously selected tab when Text to Speech is enabled.
  • The Wheel Turning button is now only shown once in the Minecraft VR settings.
  • Made improvements to the patch notes to make sure the correct ones show up after an update.
  • The Marketplace search screen now displays the proper pack icons.
  • The New tag will be properly removed from a Marketplace collection once it has been viewed.
  • Fixed Marketplace sale items not showing the discount percentage.
  • Further improvements to performance when using selectors with commands.
  • Removed tile prefix in the /give command.
  • Made item names more consistent by removing tile from the beginning of some of them.
  • Blocks and entities that aren’t available in the Creative inventory no longer require the minecraft namespace when used as parameters in commands.
  • After fishing_hook is killed by command, players can now cast the hook again without having to cast twice.
  • Killing a rideable entity no longer respawns its rider when killed in the same tick.
  • The testforblock command now works reliably with items renamed in the language files.
  • The Behavior Pack template once again contains the spawn_rules folder.
  • Removing a timer component and adding a new one should no longer have the new timer inherit the old timer’s time value.
  • Custom underwater mobs can now spawn naturally.
  • Custom entities now correctly re-evaluate current target validity.
  • getBlocks now returns a 3D array of block objects.
  • Fixed a scripting issue that could cause the player to float.
  • ScriptAttackComponent and ScriptCollisionBoxComponent now correctly retrieve updated data.
  • Pick Block now works correctly on non-vanilla entities that have been added using add-ons.
  • Functions ran on a game loop now use an origin which has Game Master permissions, not Owner permissions.
  • Added a new constructor parameter to the ServerCommandOrigin so that the Function Manager can create an instance with upgraded permissions.
  • Player Position is now reported for the player feet like other mobs.
  • Collision Box and Attack components report the correct data now.
  • Updated templates for 1.12.0 with new resources, behaviors, documentation, and example packs can be downloaded from aka.ms/MinecraftAddons.
  • Created a screen to view content log errors for Behavior and Resource Packs.
  • The log screen can be opened using Ctrl + H after enabling in Profile Settings.
  • Enabled content logging for creators on Bedrock Dedicated Server to debug pack errors.
  • Mob events can now be toggled using the new /mobevent command.
  • Particle emitters can now trigger slash commands, actor events, and MoLang expressions.
  • Added the ability to play single animations at any time, overriding an entity’s current state-based animation.
  • Animations and particles can be spawned without being linked to entities using animation timelines.
  • Sound effects can now be triggered by animation events.
  • Added auto-complete to the Command Input field for command blocks.
  • A delay can be added to the command block using the new field, measured in Redstone ticks.
  • Allows custom crafting recipes for shaped crafting, shapeless crafting, and furnaces using Behavior Packs.
  • Recipe JSON files have been added to the Behavior Pack template.
  • New simple items can be added to the game using Behavior Packs.
  • Currently, only a subset of components has been exposed, with more being added in future updates to allow more complex behaviors.
  • Some items, such as food, are now data-driven and their JSON files have been added to the Behavior Pack template.
  • New “simple” blocks can be added to the game using Behavior Packs.
  • Currently, only a subset of components has been exposed, with more being added in future updates to allow more complex behaviors.
  • New data-driven articles.
  • New data-driven Animations
  • Script engine updates.
  • New block events and two new APIs have been included to query for blocks.
  • Basic inventory events have been exposed to the Script Engine.
  • Allows executing commands with a callback when the command is executed without using events.
  • Data is contained in objects passed to callbacks under the data field.
  • Custom events need to be registered before being triggered.

Be sure to check out these changes if you play Minecraft. The game is currently available through Xbox Game Pass. You can either pay $10 a month for Xbox Game Pass, or pick up Xbox Game Pass Ultimate which bundles Xbox Game Pass for consoles, Xbox Game Pass for PC, and Xbox Live Gold into one package.

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Anders Ruhwald Transforms Detroit Apartment into Sinister Abode Ravaged by Fire

Anders Ruhwald Transforms Detroit Apartment into Sinister Abode Ravaged by Fire

anders ruhwald detroit art week unit installation

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Danish artist Anders Ruhwald turned an abandoned Detroit apartment building into a public art installation that pays homage to the historic establishment. Entitled Unit 1: 3583 Dubois, the immersive work is comprised of a series of unlighted hallways and eight rooms that have been transformed into dark spaces with ceramic sculptures made by Ruhwald. Throughout the 7,000-square-foot installation, the artist used repurposed materials he found in the building and surrounding community such as lead shingles, charred wood, and molten glass to evoke a domestic abode completely ravaged by a fire.

Unit 1: 3583 Dubois is on view starting July 18 where the artist will host 30-minute visits. The work is part of the second edition of Detroit Art Week running from July 17-21. Visit Anders Ruhwald’s website for further details.

In other immersive installations, teamLab returns to Mifuneyama Rakuen Park for a new large-scale presentation.

Unit 1: 3583 Dubois


3583 Dubois St


Detroit, MI 48207

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Iran responds to Trump’s crackdowns with promise to increase nuclear enrichment

Iran responds to Trump’s crackdowns with promise to increase nuclear enrichment

Iran has said it will exceed the uranium stockpile limit set by the 2015 nuclear deal in 10 days, making it possible for the country to enrich as much as 20% and bringing it closer to having weapons-grade material.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, speaking to reporters at the Arak heavy water nuclear reactor, said Monday the increase in enrichment would be “based on the country’s needs.”

According to Kamalvandi, the country needs 5% enrichment for its power plant in Bushehr, which exceeds the 3.67% allowed but the deal, and 20% enrichment for research at a reactor in Tehran.

The move is seen as a retaliation to the Trump administration’s crackdowns on Iran, and could, in fact, be used by the U.S. president and the hardliners in his inner circle — including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton — as reason to justify military action against Iran.

Iran is likely well aware of this possibility.

“That’s the reason why they’ve avoided doing it [increasing their uranium enrichment] for a while,” said Richard Nephew, former director for Iran on the National Security Staff under President Barack Obama.

“But, I think they’ve concluded that they’re going to get the harms anyway so there is no functional difference between JCPOA compliance and noncompliance insofar as their consequences are concerned,” he added, answering questions via email.

This is the latest escalation in tensions between Iran and the United States. On Thursday, the United States blamed Iran for an attack on two ships in the Gulf of Oman almost immediately after they happened, with Pompeo accusing Iran of trying to disrupt global oil markets by attacking ships in its regional waters.

Iran categorically denies any involvement. U.S. allies, meanwhile, have been urging calm, as concerns grow over the potential of conflict sparking in the tense region.

The U.N. Secretary General has called for an independent investigation into the incident. The operator of one of the ships seems to dispute U.S. accounts of the attack, and has not blamed Iran for the incident.

Iran is ‘signaling,’ not building a bomb

Reuters reported on Sunday that Helga Schmid, secretary general of European Union external action service, was in Tehran last week, and said that the E.U. remains focused on “delivering on its primary goal … to ensure that Iran does not acquire material or equipment to develop a nuclear weapon.”

Iran maintains that its nuclear program is a peaceful one, aimed at the country’s energy needs, and will, for the time being, allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to continue inspecting its facilities. The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency has repeatedly stated Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal.

Nephew, who is currently a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, told ThinkProgress that he doesn’t believe that Iran intends to build a nuclear weapon.

“No, this is signaling and building up chits for a negotiation,” he said.

“If they were trying to go to weapons, they would be doing things in a different way — such as starting right now to build the centrifuge cascades they need for that. This is about scaring people into cooperating and reminding us that they’re here,” he added.

Even if Iran wanted to build a bomb, it would take the country about a year to produce enough fissile material for a single nuclear weapon.

“While any violation of the deal is concerning, breaching the limit on low-enriched uranium does not pose a near-term proliferation risk,” the Washington-based Arms Control Association said in a statement Monday.

Relations unravelling fast

The relationship between Tehran and Washington has been in tatters since President Donald Trump in May 2018 pulled the United States out of the nuclear agreement made between Iran, the United States, France, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

Under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran was offered sanctions relief in exchange for curbing its enrichment activity. But citing a number of issues unrelated to Iran’s nuclear program (such as Iran’s participation in Syria’s civil war), Trump left the deal, imposed sanctions on Iran, and has sent U.S. carriers and bombers to the region.

Trump has on more than one occasion noted that he’s ready to hold talks with Iran, an invitation Iran has said it would not accept while the crippling sanctions effectively barr it from most global trade remain in place.

On May 8, exactly one year after Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the country would stop complying with some of the JCPOA’s clauses within 60 days, putting European partners on notice to come up with a solution that brings back sanctions relief.

Rouhani said Iran would halt the sale of excess stockpiles of enriched uranium and heavy water from its nuclear reactors — actions that are not in direct violation of the 2015 deal, but certainly test the limits of how the agreement’s provisions are interpreted.

Aside from the United States, all the other partners in the JCPOA want to keep the deal alive, but Trump has threatened them with secondary sanctions.

Still, the European partners are working on a financial instrument called In Support Of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) — a new non-dollar trading back channel aimed at avoiding U.S. sanctions.

But Rouhani on Monday told France’s new ambassador to Tehran that the state of affairs is untenable.

“The current situation is very critical and France and the other parties to the JCPOA still have a very limited opportunity to play their historic role for saving the deal,” he said, according to quotes provided by his official website. “There is no doubt that the collapse of the JCPOA will not be beneficial for Iran, France, the region and the world.”

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Surrey RCMP raise Pride flag for first time ever to cheers and jeers – Global News

Surrey RCMP raise Pride flag for first time ever to cheers and jeers – Global News


By


Online Journalist  Global News

For the first time ever, the Pride flag is hanging at the Surrey RCMP.

Members of the Surrey RCMP detachment raised the flag Monday to mark Pride month, while dozens of angry protesters and LGBTQ2 supporters gathered outside.

A/Commr MacDonald addresses the crowd during the Pride Flag presentation today in support of our LGBTQ2+ officers, citizens and youth and in honour of #Pride. pic.twitter.com/tKUIL9FDE7

— Surrey RCMP (@SurreyRCMP) June 24, 2019

Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald, officer in charge of the Surrey RCMP, said police acknowledged protesters and recognized it was important to have all voices heard on the matter. But he said raising the flag was about the RCMP’s commitment to “embrace inclusivity and diversity in the RCMP.”


READ MORE:
‘No room for discrimination’ says Education Minister, school groups, amid dueling SOGI protests

Martin Rooney, founder and president of Surrey Pride, lauded the force for raising the flag, which he said was done at the request of officers within the detachment.

WATCH: Neighbours support display of pride









He said police have had a good relationship with the LGBTQ2 community since the city’s inaugural Pride event 20 years ago when officers acted on reports of a planned attack on the event.

“They rotated their officers throughout the day and right until two or three o’clock in the morning to make sure nothing happened, that all of us were safe and our volunteers got out of the venue really safely, so I really, really appreciate the relationships Surrey Pride has had with the RCMP.”

The ceremony was met by a vocal crowd of protesters, led by Kari Simpson with the group Culture Guard, who argued that the Pride flag is a divisive political and ideological symbol that has no place on a government building.


READ MORE:
Anti-SOGI 123 rally draws crowd of about 20 to Richmond city hall

“What we are seeing across Canada is special rights being given to one particular group and a group that obviously doesn’t want to be respectful of other groups. So we’re saying here enough is enough, the RCMP is probably the tipping point here,” she said.

WATCH: Vancouver Pride week kicks off with flag raising






“When an organization that is supposed to be politically neutral starts to give special rights in promotion of one person’s political agenda, one group’s political agenda, that’s an overstepping of boundaries in Canada.”

Simpson has been an active opponent of the province’s SOGI-123 resource package, which is designed to help teachers and school administrators reduce discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in their curriculum and facilities.


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Simpson said she spoke for the “silent majority” who oppose the current “era of LGBT extremism,” under which “men can use women’s washrooms now if they use wigs,” a reference to the rights of transgender women to use facilities that correspond to their gender identity.

Discrimination against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity is expressly prohibited under Canadian federal law and the B.C. human rights code.

WATCH: Battle over venue for pride celebration in White Rock






Protester Mary McNichols said she was there because of the SOGI-123 school program, which she said was curtailing parents’ rights.

“They’re introducing a program introducing material that’s really inappropriate for children. They’re sexualizing children at too young an age,” she argued.

READ MORE: B.C. neighbourhood draped in rainbows after city ‘accidentally’ removes Pride flag

But Brad Dirks, the parent of a transgender teen, said Simpson and McNichols were promoting “misinformation and lies.”

“It’s once a year [at Pride] that we get to show that there is a lot of work to still be done,” he said.

“There is lots of hate and there is a big movement here that’s trying to shame kids like mine and families like ours and it’s not right.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Are floating cities just playthings of Silicon Valley billionaires?

Are floating cities just playthings of Silicon Valley billionaires?

By nathalie mezza-garcia3 minute Read

By end of the century, rising seas will flood more than 500 coastal cities, affecting 1.5 billion people worldwide. Some estimates predict surging sea level rise of two meters (6.5 feet) by 2100.

Countries like Kiribati, a nation of low-lying coral atolls in the Pacific, will likely disappear entirely. This is why Kiribati is among the countries to have explored the possibility of artificial islands replacing natural ones.

It may sound counterintuitive, but floating architecture provides two big advantages. First, it creates “land” that moves with the waves and thus is resilient in the face of flooding. Second, it allows cities to expand their pressurized coastal urban spaces.

Floting Pavilion, a conference space in Rotterdam. [Photo: Xavier Testelin/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images]

Floating islands have been popularized by The Seasteading Institute, which advocates for “seasteads”—politically autonomous human settlements in international waters. The institute was founded by the libertarian Patri Friedman and controversial Facebook investor Peter Thiel. Consequently, some scholars have criticized floating islands as the playthings of Silicon Valley billionaires trying to escape taxes.

But perhaps there is another side to offshore housing. As I have looked at in my PhD, floating architecture can also be a green and sustainable technology to help adapt to climate change. No wonder the United Nations is currently building a floating office space for its Global Center on Adaptation, in Rotterdam.

Another example is the Floating Island Project in French Polynesia, the focus of my research over the past three years. It was intended to be a village with special regulations floating in a lagoon, however the project lost government support after protests during the Polynesian presidential elections of 2018.

There are good reasons to be cautious about the idea that floating architecture can help communities adapt to sea level rise. The first high-tech iterations may indeed be too costly and complicated for many areas affected by sea level rise, but the growth in solar and floating home technologies point to prices reducing with time.

Amphibious architecture vs. reclaimed land

One of the key advantages of floating architecture is its sustainability compared to land reclamation, which can displace natural sediments and harm the marine ecosystem, since it usually means dumping sand on the seabed, annihilating corals and plankton at the bottom of the food chain.

In contrast, floating buildings can create artificial reefs, providing food and shelter for marine life. Reclaimed lands are also more vulnerable to earthquakes—a prime example is Mexico City, which was built over a lake.

How it works

People have been living on human-made islands for hundreds of years. Examples include Nueva Venecia in Colombia⁠, the Uros in Lake Titikaka, Peru, or the nomads of Bajau Laut in Malaysia.

Kompong Luong floating village, Cambodia. [Photo: Satoshi Takahashi/LightRocket/Getty Images]

Future floating cities are particularly intriguing because they represent an infrastructural blank slate. In theory, they do not need to connect to land infrastructure and can operate self-sufficiently, in a closed loop with their own solar panels and desalination plants.

Floating buildings will be of two types: Some are semi-submersible, and have foundations on the seabed, like oil rigs. Others are pontoons, such as the floating homes in Ijburg, Amsterdam, which fully float on the water surface and are kept stable by mooring systems.

Very large floating structures can typically withstand rough seas better than boats, making them more comfortable for longer periods. The preferred material for building the floating platforms is concrete. Shaped in the right way, it can keep communities afloat. For buildings, materials are up to individual taste and affordability.

Floating technologies

The sheer amount of existing floating infrastructure points to the eventual emergence of floating cities. We already have floating solar farms, wind farms, runways, bridges, container docks, nuclear plants, farms, stages, restaurants, hotels, storage facilities, student houses, and homes. There is even a floating prison and floating surf pools.

So I have no doubt that floating cities are possible and will become a reality at some point this century. The biggest challenges will be legal and political—not technological.

In my research I have explored property ownership in floating cities. Legal frameworks are crucial because floating cities mean private buildings over oceans, which are transboundary commons. Will homeowners own the plot of water too? Will they instead own their homes, but claim temporary ownership of the space, as in trailer parks? And, if buildings are public, should we grant oceans legal personhood to ensure higher environmental protection?

There is no final answer to these questions, as each city will be unique and complex in its own way, and offshore living is only just starting.


Nathalie Mezza-Garcia is a PhD candidate working on floating cities and Special Economic SeaZones at the University of Warwick. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The Conversation

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Minerva School / Sweco Architects

Minerva School / Sweco Architects

Minerva School / Sweco Architects

Minerva School / Sweco Architects, © Felix Gerlach

© Felix Gerlach


© Felix Gerlach


© Felix Gerlach


© Felix Gerlach


© Felix Gerlach






+ 16



  • Architects

  • Location

    Glaciärgatan 2, 907 27 Umeå, Sweden

  • Category

  • Lead Architects

    Bo Jonsson & Anna Lundberg

  • Area

    6700.0 m2

  • Project Year

    2016

  • Photographs

  • Manufacturers

    Loading…


© Felix Gerlach

© Felix Gerlach

Text description provided by the architects. Minerva Gymnasium is located directly adjacent to the Campus in Umeå. The school is a college preparatory high school for 800 students and has partnered with the University of Umeå. The architectural vision has been developed based on the conditions of the site. Contact with nature is accentuated by durable materials and solutions in the form of raw and neat materials, such as heat-treated wood and stainless steel. The school’s design provides order through a hierarchical structure with social public spaces on the ground floor and school activities on the 2nd and 3rd floor.


© Felix Gerlach

© Felix Gerlach


Floor Plan

Floor Plan


© Felix Gerlach

© Felix Gerlach

Each volume has its own identity through form and material. Hidden continuous stairwells bind the different functions of the school. Classrooms and administrative spaces are reached from the core of the school volume, which also holds group rooms and workspaces for all occasions. The interior is pervaded by an open classic minimalist design. Through sight lines and large glass surfaces, the building is perceived as light and transparent. Transparency is enhanced through environmental lighting inside as well as outside.


© Felix Gerlach

© Felix Gerlach


Elevations

Elevations


© Felix Gerlach

© Felix Gerlach

The school’s volumes rest on the transparent foundation containing the auditorium, café, and restaurant. The landscape architecture connects the school environment with nature and reinforces the connection with the building: hard, clean surfaces near the building, through soft rolling functional surfaces on the disguised façade, into the natural landscape. The different shapes and designs of the terraces give a varied experience of the landscape. The school is certified Environmental Building Silver.


© Felix Gerlach

© Felix Gerlach

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Project location

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.

Cite: “Minerva School / Sweco Architects” 25 Jun 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed .

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