Asteroid Mining, SpiderRoboMan, robo swarms and Deep Sea Fakes?

Hello TechBandits! We’ve got some solar system highs and ocean trench lows and a whole lot of fun stuff in between!

Us humans are getting another giant leap closer to asteroid mining!

On Tuesday October 20th 6:12pm EDT OSIRix Rex is going to do a touch and go (TAG) sample grab from the surface of the asteroid 101955! If you want to watch NASA’s coverage live, you will be able to tune at https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive Nasa Live

https://www.cnet.com/news/nasa-osiris-rex-will-land-on-asteroid-bennu-tuesday-this-is-

Why am I so excited about asteroid mining? Well, let’s find out… with the always amazing kurzgesagt!

This reminded me of Nordea’s expose on child labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Amnesty International’s coverage of this natural resource rich country which is also one of the poorest!? There are whole communities, kids included, working in terrible mining conditions, hand-picking the cobalt and other rare earth minerals, from toxic, life threatening environments, so that we can get our new cell phones, electic cars and laptops etc… WARNING…this is some disturbing stuff!

Who would buy materials mined like this!? Well, it looks like we all do!

Who is buying Child Labour Tech materials?

It’s a really startlingly awful result of our technology-centric existence. How do you think we could fix this?

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/01/child-labour-behind-smart-phone-and-electric-car-batteries/

It all makes Asteroid mining look far more attractive, no? Here’s a bit of background about the Asteroid Bennu:

And an idea of just how hard it is for NASA to make this happen!

I should point out, that we have done this before…but is there ever too much asteroid landings? And look how cool it was!

https://www.cnet.com/news/japans-hayabusa2-spacecraft-successfully-lands-on-asteroid-ryugu/

So if we can land on asteroids, why is it that we haven’t explored more of our own oceans… we’re trying, but it turns out we’re under a lot of pressure certainly when we recently broke the deepest solo dive record of 10,928 meters… which is deeper than Everest is tall!

Record-breaking Mariana Trench dive | What the Future

Underwater crafts like “The Limiting Factor” are a great way for us to learn about our own oceans, but autonomous robo-subs are capable of doing much more than the human piloted ones! Here are new approaches we’re taking to exploring some more spacey oceans… like, on other planets!

Cool fact: The pitch black, ocean areas deeper than 6,000 meteres are named after the Ancient Greek god of the Underworld Hades, and called the Hadal Zone!

When we last visited Marnineland, we were shocked to realize how wrong it has been to keep all these magnificent creatures trapped in tiny pools and forced to intereact with hordes of tourists. We came away thinking it was completely wrong! To fix that, and rapidly declining attendance, marine parks are trying out some incredibly life-like robots!

They are already doing stunts for Spiderman!

And if they can do spiders, then how about ants, man?

And if you’re making tiny robots, you want them to be able to work together… even if it’s just for the most incredible light shows!

See you all Monday at 4pm EDT!

Making Big Money in Esports… it’s more than just gaming!

Welcome back Bandits! I trust you all had a wonderful long Canadian Thanksgiving weekend… and everyone else should obviously move here as we have the best holidazes! ūüėČ

Today we’ll delve into the world of professional E-sports!

Popcorn Racoon

I’m not sure about how legit the numbers are on this website, but Wow! Take a look at the earnings on some of these gamers!

https://www.esportsearnings.com/players

EsportsEarnings.com

But I’ve done a little digging… ’cause, you know, who doesn’t dream of being a professional gamer for a living…especially such a crazy great living in fact?

Esports Arena

It used to be (that’s how you sound old, say things like “used to be”) you could only earn a living as a professional gamer if you were in that tiny portion of the top 0.001 percent of players in the world. But now, it seems that there’s more than just gaming in the gaming industry. Did you know that there are professional in-game camera operators as well as the live event camera folks?

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/video-games/do-esports-have-camera-operators-sort-they-get-yelled-more-n1236201

Let’s hope that women are better represented in this field than they are in the film and television industry… this Guardian article about Oscar nominated Cinematographer Rachel Morrison was an eye-opener to me!

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/jan/25/woman-cameraman-snubbed-mudbound-rachel-morrison-nominated-oscar

‘Ever heard of a woman cameraman?’: why female cinematographers get overlooked

BTW… she didn’t win the Oscar, but she WAS the first woman ever (!?) to be nominated for one in Cinematography! Any ideas on why do you think this is the case?

Back to gaming (Squirrel!) we’re seeing all sorts of esports related job titles; everything from coaches, consultants, trainers, to nutritionists, physical therapists, designers, editors, programmers, commentators, hosts, broadcasting techs, visual effects, as well as musicians, account managers, business development executives, digital marketers and there are certainly even more! The esports industry has reached a level of popularity (and profitability) where it’s employing people with a wide range of different skills, talents and knowledge.

Esports is Hiring

There’s even a whole conference about behind the scenes of Esports:

Esports – Behind the Scenes

Want to see for yourself what jobs are out there and what they’re offering? There’s an amazing job site just for people in esports if you want to have a look:

https://hitmarker.net/

What kind of job would you want to have in the esports industry? Are there any that surprised you to find on there? Are there any parts of gaming that interest you as much as the gaming itself? Are there any jobs that might not exists yet that you could bring to the industry?

How I got a job in Esports

Gaming News Time!

Final updates to final updates for Terraria?

Re-Logic had originally said that Terraria was done with the last update… but it seems they couldn’t leave their Journey just yet. They’ve released another “final” update to the popular game… but this time it’s for real…maybe?

https://www.pcgamer.com/terrarias-actual-final-update-is-out-today/

Genshin Impact made over 100 million dollars in the two weeks since it launched… and that covers everything they spent on making the game. I guess that means we’ll be seeing even more microtransactions based games in our future? We didn’t get a chance to dive into the whole gambling/microtransactions gaming strategy last week, but it looks like we’re sure to be revisiting this contentious egaming topic soon enough!

https://www.pcgamer.com/grossing-over-dollar100m-genshin-impact-recoups-development-costs-in-two-weeks/

Phasmophobia Scares up Top Steam Seller…

Not for the faint of heart…or in my case the motion sick… Phasmophobia is a huge hit and even heralded as the “best ghost hunter game ever”! Do you think this is just about Halloween? Why is it so popular? Do you dare to play? How about making it through the trailer!? We should check in with the prince of terror, IronhamTV about this, as he’s been streaming it with friends this week!

https://www.pcgamer.com/indie-ghost-hunter-phasmophobia-is-a-steam-top-seller/

Have a great day and we’ll see you all 4pm EDT Wednesday after school!

https://www.twitch.tv/ironhamtv

Caves, chemistry, gambling on Addictive content and Arresting Canadian Bowser?

Hello GameBandits!

It’s been FAR FAR too long since last we had a good game geek-out session!

Virtual Hug Bandit

Why don’t I start with the News!

Minecraft Caves & Cliffs

Minecraft digs deep for its next update…Caves and cliffs!

Minecraft just had another huge live stream detailing all the latest and greatest game related news…and there’s lots to unpack in here!:

Minecraft Live 2020

Along with glow squids and Minecraft joining Super Smash Brothers I was very happy to see a new map called “Good Trouble: Social Justice Movements Around the World” in the announcement! This upcoming map will be based on the teachings of US Congressman John Lewis.

Young UAE residents use Minecraft to help design the future of their city and earn their home a Child-Friendly City designation from UNICEF. Credit: UN-Habitat

There’s also an incredibly exciting initiative called Block by Block which is a very cool collaboration with UN Habitat that allows community members to redesign their neighborhoods in Minecraft. Is there anything we could…or should be working towards with something like this…keeping in mind we’re still dealing with a pandemic? Maybe some fundraising? What about Toronto areas that might need this kind of attention?

For those of you too busy to enjoy the entire event… here’s the recap!

https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/article/minecraft-live-the-recap

Canadian Bowser Console Hacker Arrested!

TeamXecuter

Team Xecuter is a console hacking and modding group that sells kits for switch which allow you to customize your console in ways never intended…including adding pirated games…well, now the owners, including one Canadian (whose real name is Bowser!) have been arrested for their adventures!

Should we be allowed to modify consoles we own? Isn’t that what we do with or PCs? Why would companies like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft not want us to have free access to the technology we paid for?

Fall Guys Season 2!

Already!? Looks like Season 2 of Fall Guys starts next week. Is the game still on the GameBandits radar? Is this going to be another huge hit? Does anyone still care? There is a lot of competition out there for gamers eyeballs… thumbs? Is Fall Guys going to stand the test of time?

https://www.pcgamer.com/fall-guys-season-2-begins-next-week/

Genshin Impact Hits Hard!

https://www.gameinformer.com/review/genshin-impact/genshin-impact-review-into-the-great-wide

Genshin Impact is getting rave reviews. But this so-called Waifu (wife) of the Wild game has got people raving about micro transactions and gambling addiction thanks to loot boxes.  But isn’t it just a great way to get games for “free”? It certainly makes a ton of money for the gaming industry:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2019/01/23/video-game-accessories-in-game-purchases-and-subscriptions-drove-industry-growth-in-2018/#12a150583d24

Come to think of it Bratlett and I buy a lot of trading card booster packs…

…is this the same thing? Could our UnlistedLeaf style excitement over finding those shimmering rares be the signs of gambling addiction!?

UnlistedLeaf

And what is the problem with gambling? Why is it such a big deal!? What makes it so addictive? What do we need to be careful about when it comes to addictive behaviour…both on and offline?

Here’s a very thorough look at the chemistry of addiction from the always inspiring Hank Green!

The Chemistry of Addiction

Though it doesn‚Äôt get into video games, Scientific American has a great article about gambling addiction…I guess I better keep an eye on my Magic The Gathering booster pack purchasing!?

SIMS 4 is getting a festive update!

In what looks to be a reaction to public pressure against AE’s lack of diverse representation options in the game EA has chosen Hispanic Heritage Month to release a new Latin American inspired series of updates.

https://simscommunity.info/2020/10/05/the-sims-4-latin-america-inspired-free-content-update-preview/

Look forward to talking about this all with you Wednesday night!

Billions and Billions of Dollars?!

Helllloooooo Game Bandits,

I’m back from filming and ready to try out a new time-slot for our Banditry.
4:30pm EDT https://www.twitch.tv/ironhamtv

Monster Deals!?

I had better start with the ginormous Game Breaking News, right?! 
Microsoft has just spent a staggering 7.5 BILLION DOLLARS!!!!! to buy Zenimax Media and all of their gaming ventures… which means Microsoft now owns The Elder Scrolls, Fallout and Doom… including Playstation 5 exclusives… Deathloop, Starfield & GhostWire: Tokyo!

  
I don’t know about you, but I get a little nervous when giant companies start swallowing up all the indies… but to be fair Microsoft has done a great job with Minecraft… and the seemingly insane 2.5 billion they paid for it way back in 2014 BECAUSE OF A TWEET!? … actually looking at that now, it seems to me like they might have been a steal of a deal!?

Wouldn’t you just love to have a company show up and make you a star, overnight and hand you a few billion dollars?  Someone who could bring in sponsorships and appearance fees, for you?!  Well, you may want to think twice before you start signing your life away…I was shocked to read this recent Wired article which includes all kinds of tales about gaming Influencer Management from hell!

https://www.wired.com/story/streaming-video-game-star-management-industry/

This reminded me of a really shocking video by one of IronHam and my favourite YouTubers GameTheory

Wherever there are desperate people hoping to “make it” there are even more people ready to take advantage of them.  I’ve personally dealt with these kind of scammers in the film industry!  I’ve always found that the more of the hard work you do yourself the better the result.  I’ve yet to find anyone (except maybe Jane) who cares as much about what I do and how I do it as me…it just makes sense.  Do you know of any other Streamers of Youtubers who go ripped off? How did it happen? What kind of scams are out there? How do you protect yourself from them? Are managers and agents really evil?

Of course, before you have to consider these things, you’ll need to do the work… I’m a huge fan of AlphaGamer and his tips and insights (including real world numbers for earnings!) into the world of being a successful YouTuber and Streamer. If you hope to succeed online then I highly recommend you watch his videos and take his advice!

SQUIRREL!

We were talking about Myst the other day… a classic classy mystery and puzzle game from the early days of PC gaming…

Original Myst

well… it’s about to get remade for VR! Here’s the trailer!

VR Myst

If you want to know more about the genesis of this amazing game then check out this Brief History of Myst…I had no idea about this little family operation Cyan turned global sensation!:

A Brief History of Myst

Which got my thinking about how much video game graphics have changed over the years… here’s a really nice walkthrough detailing the history of computer graphics:

A Brief History of Graphics

And finally I have new news source for Video Game News thanks to a new STEAM update… it seems the centre of all gaming is now the news

 https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/22/21451134/steam-news-hub-gaming-curator-system-free

See you all at 4:30 EDT!

Contagious Curiosity -> Inspired Learning

thetechbandits.com

Fluorescent Boogers!!!?

Hello Bandits!¬† Today we’re learning about fluorescent¬†boogers (if you don’t like it, blame Jane, she thought it was funny!)… wait what!?

Ren & Stimpy

I’m running late this morning, so let’s start at noon today…but is that 12 am or 12 pm?!¬† I ended up having to look it up!¬†

Noon?!

https://www.npl.co.uk/resources/q-a/is-midnight-12am-or-12pm
Sounds like I’m not the only one confused, so let’s go with the 24 hour clock!¬†12:00 EDT

https://www.twitch.tv/ironhamtv

Me Hulk


Thanks to my recent return to filming, I’ve had 3 covid tests getting right up my nose in the past two weeks.¬† As well as making my eyes water, they got¬†me wondering how exactly these tests work.¬†

COVID Testing

How do COVID tests detect the virus?¬† Turns out it’s all about the DNA!
PBS covers this quite well and goes on to address some of the issues with everyone and their dog needing to get tested right now and as fast as possible!BEWARE!  It starts with some very long swabs going up noses!

Nova: How Coronavirus Tests Work

And if you want a slightly deeper dive into this stuff…

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/breaking-down-two-tests-could-help-contain-covid19-pandemic-180974604/

This is a Smithsonian Magazine has a piece that actually includes a step-by-step tutorial for technicians doing the test!


Turns out, this kind of DNA based testing is also an incredible tool for helping modern detectives to solve crimes, new and old!

Here’s a goofy little video that touches on the basics:

Oxford: DNA Fingerprinting


And here’s a fantastic video that really gets into how it all comes together to solve crimes!

Fuse School: DNA Fingerprinting

My friend Josiah Zayner runs and amazing company called The Odin that gives classes on biohacking and sells all the tools needed to do this kind of thing and a lot more. 

Josiah Zayner – The-odin.com

The amazing Canadian Charity Let’s Talk Science has a number of cool DNA projects and information about this amazing technology including DNA extraction!

Let’s Talk Science’s DNA Extraction

and DNA barcoding!

Let’s Talk Science’s DNA Barcoding

And my personal favourite the Food Detectives! It’s an eye-opening Let’s Talk Science project that shows us how to uncover food fraud… are sellers selling the food that they say they are!?

Let’s Talk Science’s: Do you know what’s on your plate?

https://letstalkscience.ca/educational-resources/stem-in-context/do-you-know-whats-on-your-plate

Agarose Gel Electrophoresis …that we can do!

See you all at noon!

Cheers,

D!

A few things we talked about during the stream that you might be interested in…

Open Source Faceswapping program that you can play with: https://faceswap.dev/

Goldenwolf, our lady in London UK mentioned https://www.muchamore.com/killer-t-test a book she liked in reference to our discussion on biotech, DNA and genetic engineering and another that touches on the subject of Quantum computing which we chatted briefly about… the idea that instead of having ones and zeroes we could have one zeroes and both for computing purposes…along with something called quantum entanglement which could possibly solve our long distance space communications issues, like the telegraph did back in the 1800s!?: https://www.harpercollins.com/products/the-thousandth-floor-katharine-mcgee?variant=32208030498850

DNA and gentic engineering also got us talking about the possibility of tiny mouse sized Wooly Mammoths!

Here are a couple of articles from LiveScience.com that got me thinking more about the science behind this silliness!

https://www.livescience.com/64998-mammoth-cells-inserted-in-mouse-eggs.html

https://www.livescience.com/59679-mammoth-resurrection-challenges.html.

Game Changing Pandemic summer

Greetings GameBandits!

11am EDT

https://www.twitch.tv/ironhamtv

I have to admit, I AM missing my gaming buddy…just a little!?

Grade Eight Gamer

Ironham just started back to school so he won’t be able to join us for our 11am timeslot… and he’s not alone apparently! Schools have begun to grind back into action, some IRL, other just keeping things virtual. I’m thinking of trying out our TechBandits and GameBandits streams as a after-school thangs… around 3:30 or 4pm moving forward?

Polar Bear Slide

How are you all feeling about school? Is it better going back after all this time away? Do you prefer the home based schooling, or are you a in-person scholar all the way? I’d love to hear how it’s going and how you’re feeling about going or being back!

Talk to the paw

Fall Guys just landed at the top of the summer gaming heap!

Fall Guys – Ultimate Knockout

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/07/how-fall-guys-became-this-summers-mega-hit-video-game.html
But as with any new game… it doesn’t take long for the¬†cheaters to start running amok!Sounds like the plan is to add “Easy Anti-Cheat” which is the same system used by Fortnite!

I will not cheat…

https://www.pcgamer.com/fall-guys-adding-anti-cheat-in-the-next-couple-of-weeks/
I always¬†love to find out how companies that make games like these got started… these folks were in business from¬†university!¬† Check out their website to read their history and take a look at the kind of jobs they have available…you never know!

MediaTonicGames.com

 https://www.mediatonicgames.com/

Among Us

Another game racing up the charts is space based, team mystery game “Among Us”… they just had a record breaking 1.5 million players on their servers at the same time!

https://www.pcgamer.com/multiplayer-space-mystery-among-us-hits-15-million-simultaneous-players/

For those of you not familiar with the game and for those who want to laugh knowingly…here’s Among Us in a Nutshell!

Among Us in a Nutshell

https://youtu.be/D97bOXJRZxA

This is a big deal for a little company of three people with a very short history of games including Henry Stickmin … how could you plan for sudden success like this!?¬†

InnerSloth

http://innersloth.com/

Marshmello Fortnite in-game Concert

Fortnite… might not have been the biggest game of the summer…but it’s about to become the¬† biggest concert venue on the planet!

https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/8/21423004/fortnite-party-royale-concert-series-dominic-fike

Did you watch any of the concerts or movie trailers they’ve presented in-game so far? Do you like this idea? Have a look at what they’ve done thus far, I gotta say, Baz I were blown away!

Marshmello Event
Travis Scott Fortnite Event

And for those of you thinking of going Console… and not saving for the latest and greatest NVIDA GPUs here’s what we know so far about the upcoming PS5 and XBox Series X!

Playstation Vs Xbox

https://www.gamespot.com/articles/xbox-series-x-vs-ps5-next-gen-console-side-by-side/1100-6470431/

Gamespot Compares the Competition

Neuralink’s Smart Pigs, DIY Arduino glasses…and lock picking, there’s an app for that!?

I think the biggest news of this week has to be Elon Musk’s new Neuralink demonstration!

This may be somewhat familiar to you as we’ve already played with this kind of tech with our Brain Computer Interface… you remember that spikey 3-d printed skull-cap that we used to capture electrical signals from your heads?

Well, Elon’s new company is planning on using robots to surgically implant much more sensitive sensors right into people’s heads…though for this demonstration they used some very happy pigs…

Including Gertrude, who had no intention of doing what she was told to… even when the richest men in the world was¬†telling her to do it!

The Neuralink is a tiny looney-sized chip with over 1000 spikes…or sensors, a fraction of a human hair in width.¬† You can even have multiple neuralinks¬†imbedded¬†too.¬†

Not only can the¬†neuralink directly read the signals coming from your brain… it can write signals to your¬†brain as well!¬†¬†What do you think?¬† Would you sign up to have a robotic surgeon insert 1000 sensor¬†spikes into your head? How could, should or shouldn’t we be using this new “brainy” tech? I’ve got to say, I’m really excited about¬†how this technology could help people with disabilities and all kinds of brain related issues…not to mention unlock the secrets of how our brains actually work!

Speaking of unlocking… I believe¬†I’ve shown you how locks work (and even how to pick them) before?¬† Well, here’s a great video on how locks and lock picking works just to remind you…

The thing about traditional lock picking is that you need to have unrestricted access to the lock.¬† Nobody be around while you’re trying to pick it.¬† And even¬† if you do succeed in picking the lock, it’s a one¬†time deal… the next time you want to get in, you have to pick it all over again!?
So get this!¬† A new paper from¬†the National University of Singapore¬† demonstrates how locks could be picked just by recording the sound of the key being inserted…and and some seriously cool math!


https://www.comp.nus.edu.sg/~junhan/papers/SpiKey_HotMobile20_CamReady.pdf

Now… how about some inventive inspiration? A 16 year old from Arizona just announced his new smart glasses…a working prototype that people are already saying are¬†better than Google Glass!

The whole thing was created by using open source software, an Arduino and a transparent¬†screen… all of which you can buy online!

https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/a33459934/16-year-old-mars-kapadia-built-smart-ar-glasses

What do you want to build… or invent!?  What’s the first thing you’d need to do to actually make it reality?!

It’s On! It’s Off! It’s On again! Banditry Ho!

Bandits of Earth!
My filming dates have changed, yet again, so I’m free for Banditry…
11am EDTFriday Aug 28th

https://www.twitch.tv/ironhamtv

I didn’t get much warning to do a proper email but I tried…here’s an Raccoon riding a crocodile!

HT_raccoon_alligator_jt_150614_16x9_992.jpg
Travelling Bandit Style!

I’m going to FINALLY! unbox and open my new multi colour 3d Printer.  That should keep me busy… well, that and the new Streaming deck:

blackmagic_design_swatemminibpriso_atem_mini_pro_iso_1596192628_1581059.jpg
Black Magic ATEM Mini Pro ISOhttps://www.blackmagicdesign.com/ca/media/release/20200730-02
PrusaMulti.jpg
https://www.prusa3d.com/
Multi Filament Prusa 3d Printer

….but while I do that…
You all need to seriously consider what we can do with this Haddington Dynamics Robotic arm… or their custom robotics labs.  If we come up with something really good then we may get to actually build one of these beasts…I’m talking to the big brains behind their operations every week now!

Dexter.gif
https://www.hdrobotic.com/
Haddington Dynamics Dexter Arm

https://www.hdrobotic.com

And how about some robotic inspirations?
A drone from Japan that catches drones!?

japan-police-drone-505325508.jpg
Sky drone battle!

India’s giant traffic cop robot!

GettyImages-465166064.jpg
Traffic Robot in India

Or DOGO, the¬†deadly robot that’s packing a¬†9mm Glock pistol that it¬†can fire up to five times every two seconds.¬† If you aren‚Äôt looking to kill,¬†the Dogo can also carry pepper spray or a dazzling light module to cause temporary blindness… what could go wrong!?

israel-robot.jpg
http://www.glrobotics.com/ DOGO “anti-terro” robot!?

Here’s the great¬†WIRED.COM¬†(which I’ve now subscribed to as they have so many great articles for TechBandits inspiration)¬†

https://www.wired.com/2016/07/11-police-robots-patrolling-around-world/

Here’s my personal favourite… cooking robots…because, you know, Food!

https://www.moley.com/

See you all at 11am EDT!
Cheers,
D!

Dexter robo-arm dreaming and scheming,Asteroid Mining and Dog Brained MRIs ?

Good Morning Tech Bandits!

Raccoon Dentistry

It’s a good day to talk robots, no? I think every day is a good day to talk robots but that might just be me…as I was doing just that last night, when I was chatting with my friends at Haddington Dynamics(HD).

HD make this incredible 3d printed and open source (meaning everyone has access to how it’s made and programmed) robotic arm called Dexter. They also engineer owner customizable robotic factories that use their software and robotics to automate all kinds of things. So, let’s meet Dexter!

Dexter HDI

And this kind of blew my mind with possibilities… here’s Dexter taking the human movements from one arm and reduces them by 100 times so it can actually work with tiny electronics that our shakey human hands couldn’t handle!

The whole point of Dexter is that it can be customized and programmed easily to automate things for people. Robots are perfect for doing dumb repetitive or dangerous jobs that might be bad for humans. Since I’m lucky enough to be talking to them directly, I thought it would be cool if us Bandits came up with our own ideas for things we’d want robotic arms like this to do for us.

Because I’m a film and TV VFX nerd …I immediately started thinking about how robotics like this could be used to control cameras and lights on film sets. Up until now it’s been crazy expensive to have computer controlled cameras on film sets. And yet that’s what’s need to do any kind of cloning or complex, or moving slow motion stuff. They all rely on a perfectly repeated camera move so that multiple shots can be combined into one.

So what do you think? If we can come up with some really cool ideas about what we could do with robotic arms like this, we might even get a chance to actually try them out?!

Speaking of thinking… one of our fabulous patrons sent me this article… I think it’s because our new mutt princess Huzzah! is so good at doing what I tell her? (and yes, that is sarcasm):

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/dog-brains-reveal-how-much-human-language-they-actually-understand

I thought this was kind of cool… and not just the idea of a dog that could sit still long enough to get an MRI!

Good Dog
Yep that’s a pug alright!

We can actually see how the dog’s brains are reacting to the toys and treats they are getting along with the different sounds and words. Here’s BBC’s video on the process.

BBC’s news piece on Dog MRIs

Which begs the next question…should I see if I can stick our Brain Computer Interface to Huzzah’s! muppet princess head and wave pizza at her?

Live Banditry Updates

As per usual we veered a little off course… but that’s what I love…especially when all that veering takes us into space! Bratlett surprised me a little by jumping in with his own research…I guess this whole TechBandits thing might actually work! ;-). He had watched the latest Kurzgesagt ‚Äď In a Nutshell video on Asteroid Mining… and he’s not wrong, the whole process sounds fracking amazing!

And then he confessed to actually enjoying another of their videos about the oceans:

If you’re not subscribed to Kurzgesagt, then I suggest you do now… before your kid, your parent or your teacher, starts knowing more than you do!

Gamers get Schooled!?

Hello again, Game Bandits!

Get ready for Gaming chatter!!!

What have you got gaming-wise to cover this week?

I’m hoping Ironham, Bagofchips and LordChunky can walk us through the crazy AFK Roblox playing they’ve been up to and the keystroke generators they’ve been using to buff their characters while they sleep!?

Looks like GGiraffezz is putting his new microphone to good use in his latest Minecraft videos…using Filmora9… curious to know what he thinks of that software for game videos!

Kitchen Banditry

First up for our London Ladies and their Sims.! Some interesting news about EA responding to the call for better skin tone and hair options. Gamers want the Sims franchise to better reflect diversity and representation of people of color within the game.

Sims Skintones letting down people of colour?

There was an original update back in Feb 2018 to add “additional” skin tones and hair styles…

https://simsvip.com/2018/02/07/sims-4-gurus-respond-players-feel-underrepresented-game/

But it sounds like there were problems and the update hasn’t been well received. This has lead to a more recent response about the problems that EA will be addressing as they move forward:

https://simsvip.com/2020/08/11/the-sims-4-simgurulyndsay-addresses-skin-tone-representation/

How important do you think representation is within gaming. Why do you think it matters? What’s the underlying problem that you see with EA failing to deliver on a patch like this?

Dr. Pixel

Next up I want to try out this game I saw on the CBC.

https://quarantriviagame.com/

Dr Pixel was written by university of Waterloo student Ridhi Patel, who has designed this trivia game to help battle COVID-19 misinformation and fake news about the global pandemic.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/dr-pixel-quarantrivia-misinformation-game-ridhi-patel-1.5687044

It’s a great idea… But is it a good game? As “real” gamers, does this appeal to you, Bandits? Would you play it in school or for fun?

Minecraft Education Edition

I don’t know of any games, other than Minecraft, that I would call successful at being educational games that I would play. Have you used any great “educational games”, services or servers? I really like online tutorials on YouTube as well as LinkedIn Learning and Khan Academy…how about you? Which worked for you? Have any failed miserably? What did you like… or not like about them? Do you have any educational games or services you like and would recommend? How about something for Minecraft or Roblox perhaps?

Extra Credits is one of my favourite YouTube Channels and they’ve got a lot to say about Education and gaming… from the gamers perspective. They see a lot of “Top Down” design the game and force kids to play it approaches that don’t work… here’s a couple of great ExtraCredit takes on Educational Video Games:

Games in Education
Gamifying Education

Then I suddenly realized that one of the most iconic “simulator” games has just launched… Microsoft Flight Simulator… is this an educational game, do you think? Could simulators become more game-like?

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/microsoft-flight-simulator-standard/9nxn8gf8n9ht?activetab=pivot:overviewtab

Flight Simulator Returns!
MSFS Before you buy guide!

Which brings me to my friends at LevelEx! These folks are making games… for Doctors! Want to do a little surgery? Download their apps and have a go? I am really excited about the potential of this “virtual” or “simulation” based education.

https://www.levelex.com/

Heart Surgery Anyone?
Find a flat surface and practice intubating a virtual patient using AR on your iphone!

What do you think? Slap on a pair of Augmented Reality glasses and learn while you’re doing it? Hope you’ve got a few grand! Microsoft’s Hololense 2 costs $3,500.00!

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/hololens/

Education and Hololense2

It doesn’t sound like I’m the only one excited about this edu-gaming stuff… The United Nations Environment Program has started a new initiative call Playing4ThePlanet that gets gamers and game companies working together to inform and save the planet!

Playing4ThePlanet.org

See you all at 11am EDT!

Cheers,

D!