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Comic for July 09, 2020

Dilbert - July 10, 2020 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

Valve secrets spill over—including Half-Life 3—in new Steam documentary app

Ars Technica - 1 hour 37 min ago

The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx is now live on Steam as a $10 download, and it's a phenomenal look at the underbelly of Valve video game development, told with a wealth of inside access and a host of multimedia goodies.

The project, as led by journalist Geoff Keighley, is a years-in-the-making look at Valve's journey to release a new Half-Life game, complete with stories about other attempts that never got off the ground. Separated into 12 "chapters," the app is predominately driven by Keighley's text, full of interviews and quotes, and every page comes with embedded image galleries and pictures to drive each point home.

Get ready for a Borealis-load of Valve secrets

The app's biggest dirt is arguably its confirmation of exactly what started and stopped within Valve on the way to getting Half-Life: Alyx out the door this March. That includes information on Half-Life 3—and it is a much firmer account of Valve's history than what IGN reported earlier this year.

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120,000-year-old necklace tells of the origin of string

Ars Technica - 2 hours 14 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Oz Rittner)

People living on the Israeli coast 120,000 years ago strung ocher-painted seashells on flax string, according to a recent study in which archaeologists examined microscopic traces of wear inside naturally occurring holes in the shells. That may shed some light on when people first invented string—which hints at the invention of things like clothes, fishing nets, and maybe even seafaring.

Seashells by the seashore

Picking up seashells has been a human habit for almost as long as there have been humans. Archaeologists found clam shells mingled with other artifacts in Israel’s Misliya Cave, buried in sediment layers dating from 240,000 to 160,000 years ago. The shells clearly weren’t the remains of Paleolithic seafood dinners; their battered condition meant they’d washed ashore after their former occupants had died.

For some reason, ancient people picked them up and took them home.

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