Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis. I have a crazy passion for #music, #celebrity #news & #fashion! I'm always out and about on Twitter.

Hacker Threatens to Release New Episodes of ‘Orange Is the New Black’

JoJo Whilden/Netflix

The hacker who claims to have stolen the upcoming season is demanding that the video-streaming service pay an unspecified ransom to prevent him from leaking the episodes.

A hacker claims to have stolen the upcoming season of Netflix’s hit series Orange Is the New Black and is demanding that the video-streaming service pay an unspecified ransom to prevent all the new episodes from being prematurely released online.

The hacker, operating under the name The Dark Overlord, has already purportedly uploaded the first episode…

One of the Earliest Industrial Spies Was a French Missionary Stationed in China

A brush-painted porcelain pot, made in Jingdezhen in the mid-1700s.
A brush-painted porcelain pot, made in Jingdezhen in the mid-1700s.

Plenty of today’s technological arms races involve an element of industrial espionage. An executive from Uber has been accused of stealing autonomous car-related data from his old employer, Google. Just this month, the same company was accused of using hidden tracking software to keep tabs on their chief ride-hailing rival, Lyft. And China is trying to partner with the European Union on a suite of new moon bases partly because they can’t work on scientific projects with the United States, thanks to laws meant to prevent secret-stealing.

But intellectual property theft hasn’t always involved elaborate software programs and moonshots. Back in the 17th century, all it took to steal trade secrets was a Jesuit missionary with an eye for detail who was fluent in Chinese and willing to spend a lot of time in a ceramics factory.

When Francois Xavier d’Entrecolles joined the priesthood in 1682, he probably didn’t plan to become the world’s first industrial spy. As the historian Robert Finlay writes in The Pilgrim Art: Cultures of Porcelain in World History, d’Entrecolles was a skilled translator with “a passion for the curious and unusual, along with a gift for sifting and marshaling information.” Known for his friendliness and wisdom, he was sent to China in 1698, along with nine other missionaries.

The 17th-century Jesuit missionary Jacques Marquette, pictured preaching to and learning from Native Americans on the Mississippi river.
The 17th-century Jesuit missionary Jacques Marquette, pictured preaching to and learning from Native Americans on the Mississippi river.

As Finlay explains, Jesuits at the time saw their missionary work as a kind of back-and-forth—as they spread the teachings of Christianity and Western science to other countries, they gathered valuable local knowledge in return. Priests came back from their missions with everything from technological plans to bags of malaria-curing cinchona bark. Carl Linnaeus developed his system of classification with the help of Chinese plant samples that were sent to him by a Jesuit missionary.

Although many of these were lucky discoveries, d’Entrecolles’s experience was slightly different. When he set out from France, he did so with a particular assignment. At the time, much of Europe was seized with a mania for imported porcelain— in the words of the English journalist and author Daniel Defoe, everyone who could afford to was “piling china up on the tops of cabinets, escritoires and every chimney-piece, to the tops of the ceilings… till it became a grievance.”

Virtually all of this valuable material came from the Chinese city of Jingdezhen, where it had first been invented, and which roared all day and night with fires from the kilns. Although Europeans guessed at how the people of Jingdezhen made this “white gold,” they were pretty far off. (One account diagnosed it as an eggshell-and-fish-scale mixture that was shaped into plates and vases, and then left underground for a century to cure.) Attempts to reverse-engineer the process had likewise been unsuccessful….

The Largest Centaur in the Solar System Has Rings

An artist's impression Chariklo and its rings.
An artist’s impression Chariklo and its rings.

The most famous rings in the solar system encircle Saturn, Uranus, and Jupiter, but they’re not the only planetary jewelry. Chariklo may be small by comparison—in cross-section it’s about the size of Sri Lanka—but the minor planet, known as a “centaur,” has two little rings of its own. Those rings also just so happen to be the perfect size for learning more about how ring systems form. A team of scientists from Japan has developed the first complete simulation of a ring system, and their model shows Chariklo’s rings may be short-lived.

Chariklo orbits the sun between Saturn and Uranus, and just like those of its neighbors, its opaque rings are made up of tiny chunks of ice and rocky debris. Modeling the complex interactions between particles in the huge rings…

Excited Electron – They Have The Power To Change Our Lives

Excited electron by Andropov

The fact that an electron has the power to lighten any mood is not lost on scientists, and because electrons have a negative elementary electric charge they work like a double negative and turn negative attitudes into positive ones! What, you say they don’t work that way? Do you also deny that electrons are an essential component of magnetism, and…

Science Fiction

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Correa-Martians_vs._Thunder_Child.jpg

For the writer of fantastic stories to help the reader to play the game properly, he must help him in every possible unobtrusive way to domesticate the impossible hypothesis. He must trick him into an unwary concession to some plausible assumption and get on with his story while the illusion holds. And that is where there was a certain slight novelty in my stories when first they appeared….

Team Liquid’s Steve Arhancet tells us how to run an esports team

Steve Arhancet, also know by his alias LiQuiD112, has seen esports grow from its infancy over the past decade. A former professional gamer, he is now co-CEO and co-owner of Team Liquid, one of the most successful esports teams in the industry.

Esports is expected to grow from $696 million in 2017 to nearly $1.5 billion by 2020, according to market researcher Newzoo. And Arhancet is positioning Team Liquid to be one of the leaders.

In September, 2016, Team Liquid was bought by Axiomatic, a company owned by Golden State Warriors owner Peter Guber and former AOL executive Ted Leonsis. Arhancet is co-owner and co-CEO of Team Liquid with Victor “Nazgul” Goossens. All told, the team has more than 60 athletes playing games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Halo, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, League of Legends, StarCraft II, Super Smash Bros., Street Fighter, and Overwatch.

We talked with Arhancet about Team Liquid’s rise and how to run an esports team. Here’s an edited transcript of our interview.

Above: Newzoo says esports revenue could hit $1.5 billion by 2020.

Image Credit: Newzoo

GamesBeat: Do you have some history you can fill us in on as far as Team Liquid?

Steve Arhancet: Team Liquid is an esports organization. We started about 10 years ago. It was founded by Victor Goossens. He’s based in the Netherlands. It was born out of a need for creating a community around StarCraft, which was one of the most popular esports of its time. It continued to grow from there.

I’d been running a League of Legends team and a Counter-Strike team. I merged those teams and the contracts I had with the LCS and the leagues we operated with into Victor’s brand and some of the other players he had. That was a few years ago. Since then we’ve continued to add teams and players. We now have two facilities – one in the Netherlands, where we boot camp and have office space, and another 20,000 square feet in Santa Monica where we house and train our athletes. We have 60 athletes and about 20 full-time staff, plus a number of other contractors.

We’ve consistently produced results in pretty much every major esport. We’re the third largest streaming network on Twitch. In July of last year we decided to do a strategic partnership with Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Wizards and the Capitals, as well as Peter Guber, the owner of the Golden State Warriors, and a number of other influential strategic partnerships with Magic Johnson, Steve Case, and executives from the Warriors. Since then we’ve been adding value to Team Liquid in a number of ways. That’s helped us stay one of the most competitive esports teams in the western world.

Above: Team Liquid coach with players.

Image Credit: Team Liquid

GamesBeat: Have you tallied up how much prize money your teams have won over the years?

Arhancet: I do not know that number off the top of my head, but I imagine it’s pretty significant. Most recently our DOTA team did pretty well last year, and the money there is significant. Our CS team last year did phenomenally well. At the CS: GO majors we were the most sought-after sticker in the game, with the highest prize value. I’d have to go research the exact number, though. In the millions, certainly.

GamesBeat: I would guess that’s only part of the revenue that comes in, right? You have other ways of making money.

Arhancet: Most people I speak with think esports teams just make money off their tournament winnings, and yes, that’s not the case. It’s actually a low percentage of our total revenue as a team. The first is the revenue we generate from the leagues we participate in. Just like the 49ers participate in the NFL, or the Warriors in the NBA, we participate in the various leagues represented by the games we’re in – League of Legends, DOTA, CS, Smash, Street Fighter, and so on.

What’s complicated—if we’re contracted with 10 different leagues, each of those leagues has varying types of contracts that share in the media rights and sponsorships generated at the league level. The NFL sells the rights for games to be broadcast on television, as well as digitally, and the revenue from that contract gets shared with teams and players. The same is true of our sports.

Then, after that, it’s partnerships we have with companies that do advertising on our jerseys, or through digital media, social media campaigns around our teams and players. We produce a ton of content – video, graphics – that features those products and services. We also distribute that through the streaming communities like Twitch. Between all of that, those partnerships and marketing activations make up a substantial portion of our revenue. After that comes prize money, in-game items – people buying Team Liquid stickers or skins for characters – as well as physical merchandise like hats and T-shirts.

That all makes up esports team revenue. One of the main reasons why things have blown up—the thinking is that the contracts teams have with leagues they participate in will yield, one day, the kind of revenue that you expect from other professional sports. It’s like beachfront property. A certain number of teams can get in each league. It’s hard for a league to add teams after they franchise.

Above: Multiple revenue streams will generate a total of $696 million for esports in 2017.

Image Credit: Newzoo

GamesBeat: What are some of your observations from being at this for more than 10 years? How has it grown, and what level of maturity do you think it’s at?

Arhancet: Esports has come a long way. I remember anxiously waiting to go to the computer lab when I was a kid so I could play Oregon Trail. The days of early video games. After that, signing up for Blockbuster events, where I’d go to the video store and try to get high scores so I could get to regionals and play in these competitions that were run by MLG. During that whole time, it was a kind of underground-ish ecosystem. A lot of people played video games, but you didn’t yet have a lot of people watching other people play video games.

What ended up happening was video games went from being mostly single player to multiplayer. They started being played online. The cost of bandwidth went down and the technology in games advanced. That yielded fun competitive multiplayer games that could be played online, and also broadcast online for other people to see in HD. When you had the convergence of all those things, you…

Team Liquid’s Steve Arhancet tells us how to run an esports team

Steve Arhancet, also know by his alias LiQuiD112, has seen esports grow from its infancy over the past decade. A former professional gamer, he is now co-CEO and co-owner of Team Liquid, one of the most successful esports teams in the industry.

Esports is expected to grow from $696 million in 2017 to nearly $1.5 billion by 2020, according to market researcher Newzoo. And Arhancet is positioning Team Liquid to be one of the leaders.

In September, 2016, Team Liquid was bought by Axiomatic, a company owned by Golden State Warriors owner Peter Guber and former AOL executive Ted Leonsis. Arhancet is co-owner and co-CEO of Team Liquid with Victor “Nazgul” Goossens. All told, the team has more than 60 athletes playing games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Halo, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, League of Legends, StarCraft II, Super Smash Bros., Street Fighter, and Overwatch.

We talked with Arhancet about Team Liquid’s rise and how to run an esports team. Here’s an edited transcript of our interview.

Above: Newzoo says esports revenue could hit $1.5 billion by 2020.

Image Credit: Newzoo

GamesBeat: Do you have some history you can fill us in on as far as Team Liquid?

Steve Arhancet: Team Liquid is an esports organization. We started about 10 years ago. It was founded by Victor Goossens. He’s based in the Netherlands. It was born out of a need for creating a community around StarCraft, which was one of the most popular esports of its time. It continued to grow from there.

I’d been running a League of Legends team and a Counter-Strike team. I merged those teams and the contracts I had with the LCS and the leagues we operated with into Victor’s brand and some of the other players he had. That was a few years ago. Since then we’ve continued to add teams and players. We now have two facilities – one in the Netherlands, where we boot camp and have office space, and another 20,000 square feet in Santa Monica where we house and train our athletes. We have 60 athletes and about 20 full-time staff, plus a number of other contractors.

We’ve consistently produced results in pretty much every major esport. We’re the third largest streaming network on Twitch. In July of last year we decided to do a strategic partnership with Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Wizards and the Capitals, as well as Peter Guber, the owner of the Golden State Warriors, and a number of other influential strategic partnerships with Magic Johnson, Steve Case, and executives from the Warriors. Since then we’ve been adding value to Team Liquid in a number of ways. That’s helped us stay one of the most competitive esports teams in the western world.

Above: Team Liquid coach with players.

Image Credit: Team Liquid

GamesBeat: Have you tallied up how much prize money your teams have won over the years?

Arhancet: I do not know that number off the top of my head, but I imagine it’s pretty significant. Most recently our DOTA team did pretty well last year, and the money there is significant. Our CS team last year did phenomenally well. At the CS: GO majors we were the most sought-after sticker in the game, with the highest prize value. I’d have to go research the exact number, though. In the millions, certainly.

GamesBeat: I would guess that’s only part of the revenue that comes in, right? You have other ways of making money.

Arhancet: Most people I speak with think esports teams just make money off their tournament winnings, and yes, that’s not the case. It’s actually a low percentage of our total revenue as a team. The first is the revenue we generate from the leagues we participate in. Just like the 49ers participate in the NFL, or the Warriors in the NBA, we participate in the various leagues represented by the games we’re in – League of Legends, DOTA, CS, Smash, Street Fighter, and so on.

What’s complicated—if we’re contracted with 10 different leagues, each of those leagues has varying types of contracts that share in the media rights and sponsorships generated at the league level. The NFL sells the rights for games to be broadcast on television, as well as digitally, and the revenue from that contract gets shared with teams and players. The same is true of our sports.

Then, after that, it’s partnerships we have with companies that do advertising on our jerseys, or through digital media, social media campaigns around our teams and players. We produce a ton of content – video, graphics – that features those products and services. We also distribute that through the streaming communities like Twitch. Between all of that, those partnerships and marketing activations make up a substantial portion of our revenue. After that comes prize money, in-game items – people buying Team Liquid stickers or skins for characters – as well as physical merchandise like hats and T-shirts.

That all makes up esports team revenue. One of the main reasons why things have blown up—the thinking is that the contracts teams have with leagues they participate in will yield, one day, the kind of revenue that you expect from other professional sports. It’s like beachfront property. A certain number of teams can get in each league. It’s hard for a league to add teams after they franchise.

Above: Multiple revenue streams will generate a total of $696 million for esports in 2017.

Image Credit: Newzoo

GamesBeat: What are some of your observations from being at this for more than 10 years? How has it grown, and what level of maturity do you think it’s at?

Arhancet: Esports has come a long way. I remember anxiously waiting to go to the computer lab when I was a kid so I could play Oregon Trail. The days of early video games. After that, signing up for Blockbuster events, where I’d go to the video store and try to get high scores so I could get to regionals and play in these competitions that were run by MLG. During that whole time, it was a kind of underground-ish ecosystem. A lot of people played video games, but you didn’t yet have a lot of people watching other people play video games.

What ended up happening was video games went from being mostly single player to multiplayer. They started being played online. The cost of bandwidth went down and the technology in games advanced. That yielded fun competitive multiplayer games that could be played online, and also broadcast online for other people to see in HD. When you had the convergence of all those things, you…

Manual LCD Makes Information Display Tedious, Educational

The HD44780 is one of the first chips we learned about as a kid, and chances are good you’ve used one in your project at some point, and almost certain that you’ve interacted with one in your life. The character LCD is ubiquitous, easy to interface, and very robust. They come in sizes from 8 x 1 to 20 x 4 and even larger, but they almost all have the same pinout, and there are libraries in many embedded environments for…

Filament Friday: “Silk Like” Filament Gives Glossy Prints

So far over the corse of Filament Fridays, we’ve talked about filaments with better sustainability, different textures, and even flexibility. This week’s selection is all about looks. Silk Like from Beaver3D produces prints with such a high luster it will surely turn the heads of anyone you show them to.

Beaver3D was a company I was unaware of until I stopped by the Maker Box booth recently at the Midwest RepRap Fest (MRRF). Maker Box is a great way to get started in dabbling with cool alternative filaments. Each month, Maker Box will send you a box with 4 filament samples in your desired filament size from different great manufacturers. Looking around some of the samples from past boxes in their booth, the Silk Like instantly caught my eye and I purchased a sample from them to try out.

The Dapper Deity printed on a Prusa i3 Mk2 at .2MM layer heights.

Since Silk Like is based on biopolymers like PLA, printing with…

Microsoft releases new Windows 10 preview with My People features

Microsoft today released a new Windows 10 preview for PCs, ahead of its May 2 event next week. The main addition is My People, a feature the company originally talked about in October 2016 when announcing the Creators Update, but ultimately delayed to later this year.

Windows 10 is a service, meaning it was built in a very different way from its predecessors so it can be regularly updated with not just fixes but new features, too. Microsoft has released many such updates, including three major ones: November Update, Anniversary Update, and Creators Update.

The goal of My People is to “bring the people you care about most to the center of your experience.” To try the new feature, open the Windows Store and make sure you have the latest updates for Skype, Mail, and People apps. Then click on the People icon in the taskbar and follow the setup instructions.

Microsoft is highlighting three My People features in this build: Pin people to the taskbar (up to three for now), view multiple communication apps together and filtered to each person on the taskbar, and choose your chat app. This is still very early days, but My People is based on your contacts from the aforementioned three apps.

Not specific to this build, but Windows Insider should know that Microsoft is improving Windows 10 Mail and Calendar for Gmail users. In short, features such as Focused Inbox, travel reservations, and package deliveries that were previously only available to Outlook.com and Office 365 email address are coming to Google accounts.

The desktop build includes the following bug fixes and improvements:

  • Fixed an issue where night light could get stuck in a disabled state.
  • Updated Start to use the improved XAML scrollbar style.
  • Fixed an issue from recent flights where dragging an app from Start’s All apps list into the tile grid would result in Start crashing.
  • Fixed an issue for those using Windows in Japanese, where on first login after an upgrade certain apps would unexpectedly appear at the bottom of the Start’s All apps list for an hour or until being launched, instead…