Technology

SpaceX SES-10 Launch

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket on March 30 successfully carrying the SES-10 satellite to space. It was a typical launch, using the Falcon 9 FT booster. The only difference, and it’s a big one, is that this particular Falcon 9 was already used. That’s right. As you may know, SpaceX has been landing and saving their Falcon 9 boosters for a while now, but this is the first time one has been reused. Not only did the payload get to GTO successfully, but the booster landed again on SpaceX’s barge drone ship, Of Course I Still Love You. This marks a huge step in rocket reusability. Typical launches cost around $62 million. Musk estimated that around 70% of that cost was in the booster, and about 1% of the booster’s cost is the fuel. Eventually, the customer would only need to pay of the upper stage and the fuel,…


App Unwrap: Twitch

For anyone who hasn’t heard of Twitch, it is a live streaming service for video games and talk shows. It lets content creators reach out on a live platform playing games and talking to viewers rather than making videos and uploading them to something like YouTube. Anyone trying to start a channel can also go to Twitch and gain popularity by streaming popular games. When streamers get popular enough to attract a lot of viewers, they can set up ways for their fans to donate. Some people even use Twitch as their job, often streaming all day long and attracting a lot of donations throughout the day. Anyone who wants to follow a channel closely can pledge $5 (separate from donations) to subscribe to the channel and receive notifications whenever that person starts to stream. Twitch is a really great program because you can interact with your favorite gamers live as…


Tech Review: GTX 1080 Ti

On February 28, 2017, the company Nvidia released its new flagship graphics card1, the GTX 1080 Ti, which gives a 35% performance improvement compared to Nvidia’s GTX 1080 graphics card. The GTX 1080 Ti also has just edged out Nvidia’s former most powerful GPU, the Titan XP, by a few Megahertz2 in processing power. The 1080 Ti also has two power connectors compared to the GTX 1080’s one, which means more power, which equals better performance. The 1080 Ti is the largest improvement in performance compared to any regular vs. Ti. Here are some comparisons between the 1080 and the 1080 Ti in various games. The numbers on the right show the performance gain between the 1080 and 1080 Ti. These test were run at 4K4 resolution. The GTX 1080 Ti also has the same amount of CUDA cores as the Titan XP coming in at 3584 cuda cores. To…


App Unwrap: Amaziograph

Amaziograph is a drawing app available on the App Store for $0.99. It lets you control the basics of your digital pen like selecting color, thickness, opacity, and clarity. What separates Amaziograph from other drawing apps is the focus on symmetry. It lets you select multiple templates for drawing. Each template allows you to repeat a design over multiple sections of the drawing. This results in a cool effect where a simple design is repeated in a cool way. The app is paid, but in my opinion  it is well worth 99¢. I love the app for fidgeting and mindless doodling. You can edit the section sizes for each preset in the settings. There isn’t much else to say about the app; it is very simple and user-friendly. It doesn’t have many advanced options so experienced artists may want to look at another app. Amaziograph is not a normal drawing…


Zenkaikon 2017 Preview

Hey everybody, Luke here with Jacob, and we will be previewing Zenkaikon! Zenkaikon is a convention for manga, anime, comics, sci-fi, and games. Find more at https://zenkaikon.com. Registration, Location, and Dates The 11th annual Zenkaikon will be held from April 28-30 at the Lancaster County Convention Center. Sadly, the times of the convention are TBD. Remember to sign up by April 17. To come all 3 days will be $60, Saturday and Sunday only will be $50, and just Sunday will be $25. Events At Zenkaikon, there is a variety of events to participate in. Read more at https://zenkaikon.com/events. AMV (Anime music video) Create and submit your AMV by March 26. AMVs are projects in which you take a popular song and add anime clips to the beat. Rules and requirements are on the website. Cosplay A fan favorite, cosplay is a popular trend that features dressing up as your…


AMD Ryzen

By: Riley Roche, Elijah Lee, and Jackson Sheffler You may have heard of the company Intel. Intel produces computer parts and are one of the largest manufacturing for CPU processors in the world. Recently a company named AMD have released a new processor called AMD Ryzen 7 series which include the 1700 ($329), the 1700X ($399) and the 1800X ($499). AMD, in the past, has only been used for budget computers but now AMD could overtake intel in the medium to high priced processors. Today we will be discussing AMD’s approach and how they are starting to distance themselves from there regularly “budget” CPU’s. The Ryzen lineup contains three new processors, the 1700, 1700X and 1800X. All three processors outperform the latest Intel lineup. They all pack 8 cores/16 threads, and are all overclockable. Let’s start with the 1700. The 1700 costs $329, in line with the high-end mainstream processors…


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Blocked

Social media, messaging and emails have become essential pieces of many people’s lives. These platforms, however, are more menacing and dangerous than some people know. One text message can be taken out of context and twisted, a post can be turned into a threat, a private email can be forwarded. Sometimes, though, a person may not make the right decision by sending an email, text, etc. in the first place, and in the end the issue that follows can actually be traced back to them and not the instigator. This is something extremely relevant to us as middle schoolers, because a large portion of our social lives is controlled through a form of social media (for most of us, at least). I recently heard a great solution to this issue of compulsive posting. A teacher spoke to me today about how she manages things. She said that she writes what…


Video Game Facts: The Madden Curse!

The Madden Games. Who doesn’t know Madden? This popular football game first released in 1988 with John Madden as Electronic Art’s (EA) “cover player” to sell more games, and John Madden’s Football was an instant success. But did you know when EA replaced John Madden with other players, that Madden cursed the series? So, for those who do not believe in curses at first (such as myself), here is some evidence about how Madden will be cursed forever! It all began in 1998, where Garrison Hearst was racking up points for the San Francisco 49ers. EA liked this player, and when they offered Hearst to lead the Madden series, he agreed. Almost immediately after the offer was accepted, Hearst broke his ankle and could barely play at all that season. But maybe it was just one time, right? Wrong. When Madden NFL 2000 was close to releasing, EA thought of…


App Unwrap: Swift Playgrounds

Today we are going to highlight an App(le)* that teaches you Swift for free, called Swift Playgrounds. Swift is the coding language that Apple uses to make many of their apps and operating systems, including Playgrounds itself. A coding language is a special type of language that computers understand. Different coding languages do different things. For example, HTML and CSS can create websites, while JavaScript and C Sharp are primarily used for making video games, and so on. This is the home screen. It shows all of the “playgrounds” that you have. A “Playground” is basically an area to experiment with code. I have downloaded many from the store, but we’ll get to that later. Click on the + to create a new blank playground, or click on one that you already worked on to open it. If you don’t know how to code using Swift, no problem! The “Learn…


App Unwrap: Procreate

Many people are making the switch to digital art. It’s lighter, costs less overall, and a new interesting medium. Most people will know Adobe Photoshop, the lead program in digital art. Other less known programs include Paint tool Sai, a iOS app, and other professional programs. At first, the idea of a well made drawing iOS app will shock most digital artists. iPads and iPhones aren’t exactly rebound for their artistic capabilities, however the iOS app Procreate  is an accessible, cheap, intuitive, and easy to use. Procreate is an extremely well made and capable drawing app. Unlike sketchbook express and other drawing apps, it has professional grade tools for a low low price. You are able to create up to thirty three layers, there are tons of textures and “supplies”, selection and transformation tools, a useful color wheel palette (plus the ability to create your own palettes) a video recording…


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