Post Office Delivery Trucks Keep Catching on Fire – VICE

Post Office Delivery Trucks Keep Catching on Fire: by Aaron Gordon for VICE

About 8 months ago, I got a handwritten letter through the mail on a blank piece of paper with one sentence: “File a FOIA with USPS for LLV truck fires.” 4,000 pages of documents later, here’s the story

Aaron Gordon via Twitter

This is some Deep Throat style reporting.

In 125 cases, the trucks were so thoroughly destroyed that the investigators were unable to identify a probable fire cause. Of the remaining 282 fires where investigators could identify a likely cause, the only pattern was that there was no pattern.

The fires occurred in hot and cold climates, at the beginning and ends of shifts, in the battery compartments, dashboards, and fuel pumps, and in vehicles that had both been recently maintained and were overdue for a check-up. They occurred on rural routes and city streets all over the country.

Although one engineering report found occasional lax maintenance practices that may have resulted in an increase in the number of fires, the most likely explanation for the fires is that the trucks are simply too old and are deteriorating on the road.

Besides being crazy, this story caught my attention because I personally know a mailperson. Ironic that the initial tip was sent using the USPS. It seems like it could have burst into flames before Gordon could have even read it.

How Ghost of Tsushima teamed with Akira Kurosawa estate for cinematic mode – EW

How Ghost of Tsushima teamed with Akira Kurosawa estate for cinematic mode by Nick Romano for EW

‘What would be awesome would be if we could call it Kurosawa Mode.’ In order to do that, we felt that we needed to reach out to the estate and see if that’s something they’d be interested in. We sent a short video showing what it generally looks like, what it feels like.”

It’s not just a black-and-white filter, Connell clarifies. “We actually did some research on the curves that may have existed on that kind of film that [Kurosawa] might’ve used.”

I am actually surprised it is actually called “Kurosawa Mode.” It is dope that the mode is more than a black and white filter too. The wind is amped up (which makes me wonder how the “Guiding Wind” will act in Kurosawa Mode) and the sound is tweaked to sound like an old TV from the 1950s. This mode is going to look fantastic on my 4K OLED TV.

Now I just need to finally watch Seven Samurai before next Friday…

The Last of Us Part II Photo Mode Pointers – Petri Levälahti

The Last of Us 2 photo mode tips & tricks thread:

Let’s start with a simple portrait. This particular room/spot has a nice, soft, bloomy light. Finding good lights & shadows make about 95% of your shot. This thread can hopefully help you with the remaining 5%.

Petri Levälahti via Twitter

Levälahti takes dope video game screenshots. I initially mistook their work for that of Dead End Thrills. Artists like this make me forget that these shots are from video games, which showcases just how fantastic and talented the studio artists, animators, modelers, and everyone involved is at their jobs.

Ellie brought up a good point in the previous tweet: idle animations. These are animations your character does over time when you don’t control her. This game has tons of good ones. Observe your allies as well!

09/20

Idle animations are to thank for the screenshot at the top of this post.

Noir filter at 100% is almost a cheat code for decent shots. I mostly use it at 40-60% for a more desaturated look. I sometimes use other filters, but very rarely.

10/20

I have been fiddling with photo mode during my second play-through. I’ve linked some screenshots I’ve taken below, which contain some spoilers.

Noir mode is a cheat code.

Part II: The Last of Us

Welcome to Part II of Chasing the Stick: The History of Naughty Dog during the PS4 Era.

I decided to break-up the six parts of my history into individual episodes as I decided to break-up the six parts of my history into individual episodes as well, for more choice for you, the listener. This episode discusses how Naughty Dog managed developing for two console generations, as well as how much of an impact The Last of Us had for the studio. I hope you enjoy.

Continue reading “Part II: The Last of Us”

Horizon Zero Dawn Coming to PC on August 7

Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition for PC – PC Features Trailer

Announced back in March, Horizon Zero Dawn is finally making the transition to PC on August 7. It will be available on both Steam and the Epic Games Store for $49.99. It sports the typical PC features/settings like unlocked frame rates and ultra-wide resolutions. It’s exciting to finally be able to see what the Decima engine will be fully capable of on PC, alongside the imminent release of Death Stranding for PC.

I’m curious how many of these features will make their way to Horizon Forbidden West on PS5…and how much better the sequel will look. This will be a great move to get a wider audience jazzed for the sequel on PS5. Could certainly help move units early on.

Analogue Nt mini Noir Delayed to November 2020

Nt mini Noir’s ship date has been delayed and will ship in November 2020. Due to the current state of global affairs and sudden supply chain challenges. Any questions about your order or to cancel for a full refund you can do so at any time at http://support.analogue.co. We apologize for this inconvenience.

The Nt mini Noir was originally scheduled to ship sometime this month. This final run was supposed to be just a slightly redesigned of Analogue’s NES FPGA console and sold for $500. The Analogue DAC was delayed back in April, but Analogue said that the Nt mini Noir was still on time. To soften the blow of the four month delay, Analogue announced new features in the Nt mini Noir:

  • New FPGA, Scaler, and UI
  • A perfected NES cartridge slot, designed in house by Analogue
  • Dual, simultaneous HDMI & analog output
    • Full Analogue DAC support (dual analog output)
  • NES Core 100% rewritten
  • All known game bugs fixed
  • Composite video optimized
  • Microphone input is mic input +a headphone output
  • Controller passthrough mode added
  • Cart slot voltage options added
  • FDS channel redone
  • N163 channel redone

The coolest feature to me is the dual analog support via the DAC. I dig my own DAC and being able to capture/stream and play on an analog screen will be a welcome feature to those that want it.

This also most assuredly means that the highly coveted Analogue Pocket will not release in 2020 as originally planned, although Analogue has been mum on the system since February 2020.

PS5 and Xbox Series X Games Appear to Cost $70

NBA 2K21 Current-Gen Release Date Revealed Alongside Special Kobe Bryant Mamba Forever Edition by Adam Bankhurst for IGN

Furthermore, the standard PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions of NBA 2K21 will cost $69.99 USD, a $10 increase over the current-generation platforms and that makes NBA 2K21 the first next-gen game to commit to that price point.

Games can cost millions to make, so an increase in price was bound to happen eventually. For games of a massive scale, like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I’d be comfortable with paying $70, but I do realize that a $10 jump can be a lot for some people. Even huge blockbuster titles like The Last of Us Part II are worth $70, in my opinion. Sport games are a harder pitch for me, but I don’t play those games; that doesn’t belittle their worth or cost to develop.

Some recent releases have also been cheaper than the typical $60 price point. Spongebob: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated is a $30 game; Star Wars Squadrons (a brand new Star Wars game!), is releasing at $40. I’m curious how wide the range will be during next-gen: Will Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales be $40 just like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was (a game it is compared to in scope) or will it be $50 or $60?

Both Sony and Microsoft need to reveal the price points for their new consoles. It is getting closer and closer to the Holiday season when these systems are expected to launch. How long will they keep consumers in the dark? How long will publishers stay mum on their own pricing plans?

If 2K is any indicator, not long.

The Comeback of Fun in Visual Design – Apply Pixels

The Comeback of Fun in Visual Design: by Michael Flarup for Apply Pixels via MacStories

What Apple is essentially saying here is that “judicious expressiveness” is allowed. A lifelike rendering style is encouraged.

A designer’s perspective on the macOS Big Sur app icons has given me new insight to the potential impact behind the shift. I was not a fan at first blush. I’m still not sold on all the changes, but I do have a better appreciation for them. Definitely worth a read.

With this approach Apple is legalising a visual design expressiveness that we haven’t seen from them in almost a decade. It’s like a ban has been lifted on fun. This will severely loosen the grip of minimalistic visual design and raise the bar for pixel pushers everywhere. Your glyph on a colored background is about to get some serious visual competition.