Posts tagged with "geeks"

Rita Azar Illustrates a Video Games Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Colin Kaepernick x Madden 21

by Justin Lyons

Colin Kaepernick is officially back in Madden.

For the first time since 2017, football fans and Colin Kaepernick fans will have the chance to use the ex-49ers quarterback in the signature football game from EA SPORTS.

The announcement came from EA SPORTS themselves, saying, “Colin Kaepernick is one of the top free agents in football and a starting-caliber quarterback. The team at EA SPORTS, along with millions of Madden NFL fans, want to see him back in our game.”

Though Kaepernick is not signed to a team in real life or in Madden, he is available to sign to any team in Franchise mode. He’s also available in Play Now mode.

His jersey is also available in The Yard, a mode new to Madden this year that allows users to express themselves creatively. His signature celebration, which is available upon scoring with Kaepernick, depicts the quarterback raising his fist in the air to signify Black Power.

Kaepernick has been rated 81 overall, which is good for the 15th best quarterback in the league, tied with Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

According to EA SPORTS, that number was determined using data-driven simulations. They did take into account the fact that Kaepernick has not played since 2016, but his mobility and big play ability earned him the 81 overall rating.

EA SPORTS also said players looking to have complete control over their Franchise mode can change his rating however they see fit, including bringing him up to 99 overall. Adjusting his stats to 99 overall would make his only company the likes of Aaron Donald, Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas, Stephon Gilmore and the only 99 rated quarterback in the game, Patrick Mahomes.

Kaepernick was among the first in professional sports to kneel during the American National Anthem in protest of police brutality. Kaepernick opted out of his contract after the 2016 season, and not one of the 32 NFL teams has made a move to acquire him.

Largely suspected of being a victim of blackballing, Kaepernick has since worked as an activist in the community, especially with children. He has led rights campaigns and camps and was the face of a Nike campaign in 2018 that carried the slogan “Believe in something. Even if means sacrificing everything.”

Roger Goodell encouraged teams to sign Kaepernick in a conversation on ESPN in June, just weeks after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.

The killing of George Floyd seemed to awaken large corporations throughout the United States, leading many to make statements, including the NFL.

Though criticized for not speaking out sooner, the NFL and Commissioner Goodell released a statement via Twitter on June 5 saying, “We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter.”

NFL teams cancelled practices and scrimmages in the past month after the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Action taken after these events could remove the stigma NFL owners appeared to have when it came to signing Kaepernick, and fans who believe in his message and talent would love to see him on the field again soon.

“The Mandalorian” – Season 2 Release Date

The Mandalorian” and Baby Yoda are on their way back to our homes.

The official Twitter account for the show announced Wednesday that the second season would premiere on Disney+ Oct. 30.

After premiering its first season in 2019, “The Mandalorian” became the most popular show to stream in the world. It stole the hearts of “Star Wars” fans who were hoping for something more grounded after the mixed reception of the new theatrical trilogy.

Since its release it has topped 60.5 million streams. Season one currently holds a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, both among critics and audience members. It also picked up 15 Primetime Emmy nominations, including ones for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for Giancarlo Esposito and Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance for Taika Waititi.

Those eagerly awaiting the second season can expect to see Giancarlo Esposito and the Darksaber after Baby Yoda and his mysterious gift. We’ll also be treated to Rosario Dawson as the classic “Clone Wars” character, Ahsoka Tano and Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett.

In April, Variety reported that “The Mandalorian” had already been renewed for a third season. The “Star Wars” fandom never rests, but without a theatrically released film on Disney’s release calendar right now, “The Mandalorian” will have to scratch that itch.

Marvel's Indigenous Voices

Marvel’s Indigenous Voices

Marvel announced a new, special series of variant covers written and drawn by the comic book industry’s biggest indigenous artists for MARVEL’S VOICES: INDIGENOUS VOICES #1.

One of the artists included in the project is Jeffrey Veregge, who recently finished an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

Veregge will provide the art for covers featuring characters like Black Panther, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Captain America, Hulk and Thor.

Veregge said his own people, the S’Klallam Tribe, have used an art style known as Formline to tell their stories for generations. He added that his style is an extension of the art he has seen used by Native artists from his region.

“As a lifelong comic fan, artist and Native American, I am truly honored to work with Marvel Comics today. Not only to create pieces that represent a voice for Indigenous People in honor of Native American Heritage month, but also for the opportunity to share the same storytelling spirit of my ancestors by sharing the tales of some of today’s heroes,” Veregge said.

These variant covers will be available in comic book shops in November, and you can see each and every one of them right here.

Rita Azar illustrates a video game article for 360 MAGAZINE

Video Games x Standardized Testing

Standardized testing in schools is one of the most hotly contested subjects in academics. Does it actually measure academic skills and learning progress? Is there a better, more definitive way to measure those skills? Is standardized testing punishing hard workers and high achievers who also happen to be anxiety-ridden or bad test-takers?

In an interview with CMRubinWorld, video gaming industry veteran and founder of Breakaway Games Doug Whatley said the next step for these pesky measuring sticks is in the video game world.

“We already have simulation games that are capable of being used as a standardized test, so I think there is real promise for many types of tests to be replaced by games,” Whatley said, adding that games are often better, more secure and more affordable tests.

Whatley also predicted that free-to-play games and large market games would close the gap between the two.

“Mobile apps will get bigger and AAA games will get smaller using multiple season type distribution,” he said.

Whatley used that premise to make five more predictions. First, he said video games will cover a wider variety of content. Next, he said phones will become more powerful, thus driving more gamers to mobile devices as a gaming platform. Third, he expects to see games use new media platforms like Zoom and Google Classroom. Fourth, he expects to see more distribution in rolled out packages, like the already popular DLC model, and finally, he anticipates student-created content to be judged and used by peers.

The pandemic has forced education to adapt on its feet, and it appears technology and video games will be beneficiaries of its modern adjustments and pivots.

The Leather City

By Armon Hayes

Superheroes are as custom as their outfits. Living in a world where versatility and luxury are never compromised, The Leather City is the destination where craftsmanship meets your leather desires.

Amazingly stitched pieces of premium quality are seamless when it comes to design. Rooted in heritage, The Leather City proudly represents over 22 years of leather goods at their most polished.

The pop culture partnership with the Canada-based company comes at a time when we all could tap into our inner “superhero”. From Black Panther to Deadpool, Superman to Batman and Captain Marvel to Nightwing, The Leather City’s superhero jackets let us embrace the spirit of our heroes at a time in which our world could use a few high-powered individuals battling for justice.

Building bridges in Africa and Dubai, the high fashion brand diversifies its efforts to further its commitment to heritage. The Leather City doesn’t just make jackets. These pieces are leather artwork lined and designed to cater to extraordinary lives, and the zipper closure jacket is premium to its smell and tailored fit.

The Leather City is following these superheroes with a goal to protect, though not against aliens, supervillains and evil gods. They are providing workers with items like gloves, masks, hand sanitizer and soap to counter the spread of COVID-19 and keep their customers safe.

Shades by Saint Owen

Marvel's EMPYRE #4 GETS SECOND PRINTING and is announced inside of 360 MAGAZINE.

EMPYRE #4 GETS SECOND PRINTING

The fourth issue of Marvel’s cosmic epic, EMPYRE, which pits the Kree/Skrull alliance against the Cotati, is getting a second printing after the first printing sold out.

Love prevails in the middle of an intergalactic war in this issue written by Al Ewing and Dan Slott with art by Valerio Schiti.

The first issue of EMPYRE was released in July, and second printings of the first three issues are already available, but the shocking fourth issue will hit comic shops for more fans to experience the story that Marvel said has reshaped the Marvel Universe forever.

The second printing of the fourth issue will also have a variant cover, which will be revealed by Marvel at a later date.

The story continues next week when the fifth issue hits shelves. Readers looking to catch up on EMPYRE can click right here to see every must-read issue in the run, all of which are available digitally and at local comic shops.

360 MAGAZINE, sara sandman, illustration, travel

Travel Smart – Gadgets to Make Any Trip a Breeze

Travel in the 21st century is a very different experience to what it was in years gone by, due in no small part to the most inescapable gadget of them all – our smartphones. These devices have removed a lot of the guesswork for travellers, as well as serving as all-round entertainment units for long journeys. Listen to an audiobook, play some games at real money casinos, or catch up on the news; some may argue that a smartphone is the only gadget you really need while travelling.

If you take that approach, then you’d be missing out. There are a ton of excellent and useful gadgets that should be included in any smart traveller’s suitcase or backpack. Here is our pick of the devices that can make any trip smooth, fun and hassle-free.

Noise-Cancelling Headphones

These can be a real life-saver in a variety of situations, especially during long flights or train journeys. They can help you sleep more easily, enhance the sound quality of the in-flight entertainment or simply act as a deterrent to any chatty strangers that you may not want to interact with. Two good choices are the Sennheiser PCX550 or Sony WH-1000XM3, both of which have the option to be wired or wireless. 

Portable Charger

That smartphone is just a hunk of useless metal and plastic if you can’t charge it, and when you are travelling you may not always be near an outlet. Portable chargers are the solution, and the type you choose may depend on the type of trip you are taking. For holidays to remote locations, hikes and camping trips, a solar-powered charger may be the answer. The Soluser portable charger is one of the best to be found, and it can provide up to 500 charges from full capacity. For regular portable chargers, Anker has cornered the market with its superior products. 

Personal WiFi Hotspot

Another must-have if you want or need to stay connected while you are away is a mobile hotspot. Save money on international data, and connect even if you are far from civilization. The network is also secure, which can’t be said for some public WiFi. Verizon have a good one, and the device from GlocalMe also receives high user reviews. Check if the country you are travelling to is included in the coverage before deciding which to buy.

Compression Packing Cubes

For the organised traveller who wants to make the best possible use of the space in their suitcase, these packing cubes are just the ticket. Simply place your stacked clothes in the cube, and the compression zip will dramatically reduce the size of the pile. These are also perfect for anyone who likes to travel with only carry-on luggage, as you can fit so much more into a small space. The Gonex range are great quality, and the sturdy zips can stand repeated usage. 

Waterproof Phone Case

Keep your phone safe and dry under any weather conditions, while still being able to use it. The case adds bulk to your phone, but at some point you’re sure to be grateful that you have it. LifeProof are generally regarded as producing the best and sturdiest cases, although they do come with a rather high price tag. Even so, you can drop your phone down a ravine, and as long as you’re able to retrieve it, a LifeProof case will probably keep it unscathed. 

Universal Travel Adapter 

You may have had a bad experience with some of the older, badly-made travel adapters that barely did the job they were supposed to do. Thankfully, modern universal adapters are of much higher quality. There are lots of smaller brands that make good products, so check out a couple of reviews, choose one that’s highly rated, and you won’t go wrong. 

Iron Man, Marvel, Disney, 360 MAGAZINE

MARVEL – INFINITE DESTINIES

The Infinity Stones have played a key role in some of the Marvel Universe’s most defining moments, and now they’ve returned in the hands of Marvel’s most popular new characters. The chase for the powerful Infinity Stones will play out in INFINITE DESTINIES, launching this summer!
 
In a series of eight annuals, each installment will pair Marvel’s biggest heroes like Captain America and Iron Man with some of Marvel’s newest heroes and villains including Star, Amulet, and more. These exciting new additions to the Marvel mythos may or may not possess one of the sought after stones — but the real question will be who will be holding them in the end, and what will it mean for the future of the Marvel Universe?
 
“We’ve had a wave of incredible new characters over the last few years, and INFINITE DESTINIES will shine a light on eight of them,”  Editor Nick Lowe said. “We’ll discover new aspects of these heroes and villains in adventures with our the most archetypal Marvel heroes.”
 
Writer Jed MacKay (Black Cat) and artist Ibraim Roberson (Old Man Logan) kick things off in IRON MAN ANNUAL #1. When Iron Man learns about the strange people who kidnapped and tortured Miles Morales, he HAS to look into it. What he finds out about the Assessor and especially Quantum will shock him…and you!
 
“The Infinity Stones have found new homes — as people!” Jed MacKay said. “INFINITE DESTINIES is the next chapter in the story of the Infinity Stones and the people they’ve bonded with — and the powers in the Marvel Universe who are taking interest in these powerful new players.”
 
Writer Gerry Duggan (Marauders, Cable) and artist Marco Castiello (Doom 2099) will then turn the focus on the fugitive known as Overtime in CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #1. After breaking out of death row when the Time Stone chose to bond with his soul, Overtime was gifted powers he barely understood. Now, thanks to Captain America… his time is up.
 
Each annual will also contain a chapter of “Super-Spy vs. Super-Spy,” a story following Nick Fury as the Agent of Nothing and Phil Coulson as the Agent of Mephisto — two brothers-in-arms who will face off and reunite for the first time since Coulson’s death.
 
The Infinity Stones and their abilities have always been shrouded in mystery, but one thing is for certain: where these stones go, trouble follows. Expect cataclysmic battles, shocking twists, and jaw dropping revelations about some of Marvel’s most promising new characters when INFINITE DESTINIES begins this June! Stay tuned for announcements about other INFINITE DESTINES annuals coming in July and August from Marvel’s top talent including Kelly Thompson (Captain Marvel) and Saladin Ahmed (Miles Morales: Spider-Man).”
 
For more information on the series, visit marvel.com. Be sure to check with your local comic book store for hours, availability, and pick up options for current releases. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com
.

tech, computers, illustration, 360 MAGAZINE

Can you trust what you see?

Deepfakes videos bring a new, misleading factor into 2020 elections 

A video on social media shows a high-ranking U.S. legislator declaring his support for an overwhelming tax increase. You react accordingly because the video looks like him and sounds like him, so certainly it has to be him.

Not necessarily.

The term “fake news” continues to take a much more literal turn as new technology is making it easier to manipulate the faces and audio in videos. The videos, called deepfakes, can then be posted online with little indication they are not the real thing.

Edward Delp, director of the Video and Imaging Processing Laboratory at Purdue University, says deepfakes are a growing danger with the next presidential election fast approaching.

“It’s possible that people are going to use fake videos to make fake news and insert these into a political election,” said Delp, the Charles William Harrison Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “There’s been some evidence of that in other elections throughout the world already.

He expects people will be creating deepfakes throughout this current election year, causing problems with what voters can believe was said by candidates.

He said deepfakes can be found wherever a user can post content online. That said, action by industry leaders like Facebook and Google speaks volumes about the severity of the issue at hand.

“One interesting trend is both Facebook and Google recently have announced they are both working on the deepfakes problem now and Google even has released a toolkit for manipulated images,” Delp said.

Delp and a doctoral student have previously worked for three years on video tampering as part of a larger research into media forensics. They’ve worked with sophisticated machine-learning techniques based on artificial intelligence and machine learning to create an algorithm that detects deepfakes.

Delp and his team’s algorithm has previously won a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contest. DARPA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense.

“By analyzing the video, the algorithm can see whether the face is consistent with the rest of the information in the video,” Delp said. “If it’s inconsistent, we detect these subtle inconsistencies. It can be as small as a few pixels; it can be coloring inconsistencies; it can be different types of distortion.”

Systems developed by Delp and his team are data driven and look for any anomalies, ranging from lack of blinking by the person to varying illumination within the deepfakes videos. Systems will continue to get better at detecting deepfakes as more examples to learn from emerge.

Deepfakes also can be used to fake pornography video and images, using the faces of celebrities or even children.

Delp said early deepfakes were easier to spot. The techniques couldn’t recreate eye movement well, resulting in videos of a person that didn’t blink. But advances have made the technology better and more available to people.

News organizations and social media sites have concerns about the future of deepfakes. Delp foresees both having tools like his algorithm in the future to determine what video footage is real and what is a deepfake.

“It’s an arms race,” he said. “Their technology is getting better and better, but I like to think that we’ll be able to keep up.”

Writer: Brian Huchel, 765-494-2084, bhuchel@purdue.edu

Source: Edward Delp, 765-494-1740, ace@ecn.purdue.edu

champion, unisex, armon hayes, 360 MAGAZINE, pac-man

Champion × Pac-Man

Champion® Athleticwear and Bandai Namco Entertainment are launching a limited-edition capsule collection, Champion X Pac-Man.
 
The brands have combined their most recognizable design elements for a unique aesthetic that reflects both Champion and Pac-Man’s signature styles across men’s and women’s crewnecks, hoodies, t-shirts, long sleeved shirts and joggers.  Principal silhouettes such as Reverse Weave® sweats will feature mixed logos and Pac-Man character designs. These new designs will be featured on gray, black, white and yellow product with pops of bold colors including red, royal blue and orange. 
 
Champion will be giving fans the opportunity to be the first to purchase and take home pieces from the collection with an ‘80’s themed event at the Champion Los Angeles store. There will be a large Pac-Man inflatable for selfies, Pac-Man cookies, live DJ spinning 80’s beats and in-store Pac-Man game tournament with winners receiving prizes. Giveaways with purchase will include Pac-Man stickers and USB drives.  And for guests that are looking to power-up like Pac-Man there will be a Japanese style hot dog bar with six sauces and seven toppings plus Moon Tea and Rose Lemonade, which will be served in keepsake glass bottles.
 
With Champion’s 100th anniversary in 2019 and Pac-Man commemorating its 40th anniversary in 2020, it’s the perfect time to come together for a celebratory partnership that brings nostalgic Pac-Man enthusiasts and younger brand fans together. Champion will be selling the collection exclusively at the brand’s six retail stores located in New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Las Vegas as well as on Champion.com.

WHEN:                       February 8th


                                   4pm – 7pm PST
WHERE:                   Champion Retail Store LA