Netgear’s Arlo home security system is a lot like Nest Cam, except the cameras are waterproof and can run off battery power, so you really can stick them anywhere. If that sounds like something you’re looking for, Walmart will sell you a two-camera starter kit for $239 today, the best price we’ve seen.
Geyser eruptions at Yellowstone National Park are moments of rarefied beauty; spectacular reminders that we live on a geologically-dynamic planet. A recent eruption was also a reminder that we’ve turned said planet into a dumpster.
On Sept. 15, Ear Spring—a typically quiescent thermal pool on Geyser Hill in Yellowstone’s Upper Geyser Basin—shot hot water and rocks up to 30 feet into the air. But that isn’t all the spring coughed up. A subsequent survey of the landscape around the vent revealed a “strange assortment” of “foreign objects,” including a surprisingly large collection of coins.
A pencil, a plastic cup, and a couple of tin cans that look like they went down with the Titanic were also found at the scene. So was a Pyrex funnel, three cigarette butts, and an “ear-shaped plastic piece” according to a meticulously-labeled photo the National Park Service (NPS) released with a Facebook post detailing the world’s saddest new collection of geologic memorabilia.
The NPS said that some of the garbage is “clearly historic.”
Ear Spring is located near some of Yellowstone’s most cherished hydrothermal features, including the frequently-eruptive cone geyser Old Faithful. According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, witnesses saw smaller outbursts as recently as 2004, but 1957 is the last time the spring has seen an eruption of this size. Since the event, the USGS has noticed other changes in hydrothermal activity on Geyser Hill, including the formation of a new hydrothermal feature under a boardwalk near Sponge Geyser.
Mike Poland, Scientist-in-Charge at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, told Earther that these sorts of changes are “not abnormal at all” for Yellowstone’s geyser fields, and the recent activity is garnering attention mainly because it’s occurring in places with high foot-traffic. None of the hydrothermal outbursts are in any way indicative of changes in Yellowstone volcano, whose magmatic plumbing system lies several kilometers underground. As usual, an eruption isn’t imminent.
Concord University volcanologist Janine Krippner, who has heard a lot of strange news about volcanoes, told Earther that a hot spring or volcanic system belching up trash was a new one for her. She added that it “makes sense” if people are leaving their garbage around geothermal areas.
In response to questions on Facebook, the NPS said the most likely scenario is that the garbage pieces “fell, blew, or were thrown” directly into Ear Spring, rather than traveling there from some other part of the geyser basin. The trash is being inventoried and some artifacts—like a baby’s pacifier that may date back to the 1930s—could end up in the park’s historical archives.
In the meantime, Yellowstone’s caretakers have a salient message for anyone planning a trip to see a hot spring: This isn’t some damn wishing well.
“Foreign objects can damage hot springs and geysers,” NPS wrote. “The next time Ear Spring erupts we hope it’s nothing but natural rocks and water.”
According to a third quarter letter to investors (via CNBC), David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital has today sold its last bit of Apple shares due to fears of its Chinese relationships in light of recent U.S. tariffs.
The post Greenlight Capital sells last bit of Apple stock as it fears debilitating relationship with China appeared first on 9to5Mac.
Amazon’s MMO has gone from being a rumor to being a screenshot repository to showing off (leaked) footage in mere weeks. If only all games could be so speedy.
That news, plus Surviving Mars and Total War: Warhammer II unveil expansions, Mike Morhaime departs Blizzard after 27 years, Gameumentary puts out an hour-long documentary on Divinity developer Larian, and…yeah, more Telltale layoffs.
This is gaming news for October 1 to 5.
This week I don’t have free games for you per se—although Shadow Warrior 2 is still available through Saturday morning. Humble’s also running its most appealing bundle in ages though, the “Humble Overwhelmingly Positive Bundle 2.” The $1 bundle is fine, with Wuppo, Simulacra, and Subsurface Circular. Beating the average is where it gets interesting though, adding Nuclear Throne, Momodora: Reverie Under Moonlight, Lisa, and Frictional’s fantastic Soma. And for $15? You’ll unlock Zachtronics’s excellent alchemy-themed puzzle game Opus Magnum as well. Pretty great deal.
Pornhub continues to be a repository for weird gaming videos that The Man might not want you to see. This week it played host to the first leaked footage of Amazon’s MMO New World, which YouTube channel Less Than Epic then yanked and re-uploaded to a more work-safe video host. You can check out the nine minutes or so below. So far it looks pretty generic-MMO, but obviously this is an unauthorized and barely curated look at a game still early in development. (Via Reddit )
Life on Mars
Surviving Mars ($30 on Humble) has spent much of the last six months fixing problems, patching bugs, and generally reworking vast swathes of the experience. Like any Paradox game it was bound to receive DLC though, and we got our first look at Space Race this week. The debut expansion will add a competitive mode to the game, making it so other colonies are competing to establish a presence on Mars at the same time. Also new and more space-efficient dome shapes, it looks like.
I assumed I missed a few Total War: Warhammer II ($60 on Humble) expansions by now. Over a year since release and there’s only been one faction added, the Tomb Kings. That’s a much slower pace than the original Total War: Warhammer—by this point in its life cycle, we were already getting ready for a sequel.
With no third game on the horizon yet though, fans will be excited to hear Creative Assembly’s adding another faction to Warhammer II next month, the Vampire Coast a.k.a. undead pirates. Check out the announcement trailer (featuring a 100-foot tall crab) below. You can preorder the Curse of the Vampire Coast expansion for $19 on Humble.
End of an era
It seems like a tumultuous time at Blizzard, with a lot of the old-guard having left or been shuffled around in the last few years. This week marks the biggest departure though, as co-founder and president Mike Morhaime announced he’s stepping down from the role. J. Allen Brack will be taking over as president, and presumably hosting next month’s BlizzCon in Anaheim. Meanwhile Morhaime will be slipping into an unspecified “advisor” role.
I doubt we’ll see much of a day-to-day change, but it’s an interesting shake-up especially as the lines between Activision and Blizzard/Battle.net blur.
Darksiders III ($60 on Humble) is just over a month away from release, believe it or not. That means it’s time for the trailer cycle to take over, starting with this look at Fury’s unique “Hollows.” There are four, each bequeathing Fury a different fighting style. Catch a glimpse of the first, Force Hollow, below.
Larian, we hardly knew ye
Video game documentaries are increasingly popular these days, but few have so much to say about a company I know so little about as this week’s Gameumentary doc about Larian, developer of the Divinity series. I highly recommend it, if you’re curious about the long, long road to Divinity: Original Sin and some semblance of stability.
And lastly, what’s unfortunately becoming a weekly feature of this roundup: Telltale news. Coming up on two weeks since the Telltale layoffs, word started spreading late on Thursday about more layoffs. Apparently the 25-person shadow crew that was left behind to finish up Netflix’s Minecraft: Story Mode port is now somewhat less than 25 people, as Telltale laid off yet another team this week. We’ll see what next week brings.