Review: Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order

"I have had it with these motherfucking Sith on this motherfucking train!" --GPS1138, Video Game Enthusiast

Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order is the best Star Wars game I've played since Knights of the Old Republic, which is one of the best video games of all time.

I did not want to buy Fallen Order. I figured that much like all the other bullshit EA opportunities to rake in cash from Star Wars fans, this game would probably suck. The trailers tempted me but the game's protagonist was yet another whiny appearing young white male with resting Sith face.

Day one and two reviews were so strong I found myself watching others play on Twitch and quickly realized I wanted to play through this adventure myself. I bought the game.

Meet Cal Kestis, a young man who was formerly a Jedi Padawan. Having survived Order 66, Cal starts the game with all the cringe-inducing drama and angst of a Star Wars Jedi trainee. Cal is trying to keep his force powers hidden but must use them to save a pal, thus ensuring the Inquisitors immediately arrive and he must run.

BD-1 rapidly becomes Cal's droid pal and is the most useful and fun droid in a Star Wars game yet. I feel obligated to say BD BD BD often. Cere, Greez and number of other characters aid you on your mission to do what most every single non-Skywalker Star Wars story has seemed to invovle for ages: Jedi babies.

THERE WAS A LASAT JEDI MASTER! Read the rest

Exec who oversaw Google's failed babykiller projects and cozied up to Saudis quits after employee uprising

Diane Greene was the CEO of Google's cloud business, and it was she who tried to convince Googlers to back her bid to sell AI services to the Pentagon's drone program, as a warmup for bidding on JEDI, the $10B Pentagon infrastructure project. Read the rest

Victory! Google will not bid on $10B Pentagon cloud computing contract

When Google's engineering staff staged an uprising over the company's "Project Maven" to supply AI tools for the Pentagon's secretive drone-based killing program, many observed that the project was just a prelude to bidding on JEDI, the Pentagon's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud, a $10B project to supply cloud services to the entire US military. Read the rest

Australians asked not to list their religion as Jedi

Spoilsports within the Atheist Foundation of Australia have asked its citizens to stop listing their religion as "Jedi" on census forms because it is making the country seem more religious than it actually is.

"Unfortunately I think the Jedi joke is a bit old," the group's president Kylie Sturgess tells Newsbeat. "I've put it down myself in the past, and now we're calling on people to take the census a bit more seriously."

According to Wikipedia, "The 2006 census recorded 58,053 Jedi [in Australia] In the 2011 census, the numbers listing their faith as Jedi had picked up from the 2006 census to 65,000."

In neighboring New Zealand more people identify as Jedi (1.5%) than Buddhist (1.2%) or Hindu (also 1.2%). Read the rest

Watch the new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

In celebration of Star Wars Celebration, Lucasfilm released this thrilling teaser trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in theaters December 16.

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Hang the Jedi

The knighthood of Star Wars is neither Galactic nor an Order.

WATCH: Lightsaber Academy trains Jedi young and old

If you happen to be in Singapore and want to learn how to wield a lightsaber like a Jedi master, check out this fun video by The Saber Authority. Read the rest

Zapping the brain into "expert" mode

The "flow state" is how neuroscience researchers describe that zone you can get into when you're doing something that you've become highly skilled at. It's a zen-like place in your brain — that state where you lose track of time doing something that you enjoy doing for its own sake, and where the job of doing the task seems to become something you don't even have to think about. You just do it, and you do it right.

The catch, of course, is that usually it takes a lot of heavy work to get to the point where the flow can take over. This is where Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours of practice comes into play. But, over the years, scientists have learned that there are some ways around that 10,000-hour rule. Some people just seem to pick up on the flow easier than others, for instance.

If your brain isn't just naturally inclined toward the flow, though, there is the option of zapping it into line. This is called transcranial direct current stimulation—basically running a very small electric current through specific parts of the brain. In some studies, and for some tasks, it's been shown to induce a feeling very much like a flow state, and possibly make it easier for people to get to a high level of skill faster. Last spring, Pesco wrote about some of the research that's being conducted on this intriguing but still-not-proven technique. Recently, New Scientist reporter Sally Adee tried it out, and saw a significant short-term improvement in her ability to spot and hit targets in a video shooter game. Read the rest