Fusfoo Five: Tech (Beasts of Balance, Snapchat News, Faux Leather)


We all know it’s important to stay in the loop of what’s going on around the world. With digital technology, the days of relying on your printed newspaper delivery to stay informed are long over. Thanks to a new partnership between NBC and Snapchat, you can stay in the loop with global news, while still following your friends’ shenanigans.

Snapchat is creating it's first daily news show entitled Stay Tuned. The show’s focus will include everything from reality television to politics. Sean Mills, Snap Inc.’s head of original content, is confident that Snapchat’s mostly millennial user base “is not an audience that is disengaged. We saw our election stories get over 35 million views in 24 hours.”

This isn’t NBC’s first dabble with today’s king of social media. NBC Universal invested approximately $500 million in the company before it was publicly offered. This is NBC’s first attempt to bring traditional newscasts to the trendy world of Snapchat. Snapchat hopes it's news segments will solidify their ongoing attempt to be the go-to app in the smart phone world.  

Read more here.

Faux Leather

Animal clothing has been a sensitive subject for animal rights activists across the globe and leather has become a source of controversy in the clothing community. Luckily, a company may have stumbled upon a solution that makes everyone happy, bio-fabricated leather.

We can thank start-up company Modern Meadow for the ingenuity. They claim the “leather” is grown by a living organism and then adapted to develop “tunable” materials. Due to modifying cells and artificial tanning, bio-fabricated leather usually takes about two weeks to grow.

As optimistic as the technology seems, engineers are still uncertain when full-scale production would reach a sustainable level. Modern Meadow engineers are confident that brands and designers will have a high demand for their product when it hits the market for commercial use.

Learn more at Modern Meadows website.

The Best Thing Since Jenga

Charles Darwin said, “It’s not the strongest of species that survive, but the most adaptable.” In today’s day and age, traditions run the risk of fading away if they don’t adapt to modern trends. (If you don’t believe me, just ask Blockbuster.) The classic 20th century game Jenga is getting a Darwin-worthy makeover with the launch of Beasts of Balance.

Sensible Object is remixing Jenga as a digitally upgraded game with animal shaped blocks and they are hoping to break the app store with their new Battle Mode. The premise of Beasts of Balance is to stack 24 plastic animals on a base equipped with a weight sensor. The weight sensor helps indicate when an object is being stacked. The base platform connects to the Beasts of Balance app, which digitally mirrors every action.

Beasts of Balance does its part to distinguish itself from traditional Jenga. What makes the game interesting is that you care for the animals you’ve created by stacking your animal blocks and competing users can even steal animals. Let’s hope users don't stack up more than they can handle.

Check out Beast of Balance here.

A Star is Born

Modern pop culture has grown accustomed to stars and their strange behavior. In the scientific community, however, a strange acting star is provoking attention for all the right reasons. Scientists at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico noticed something unconventional about the Ross 128 star. Their signals indicated that the small red star was pulsing in the middle of outer space.

Astro-biologist Abel Mendez believes the signal could be the result of solar flares or emissions from a nearby object. Some scientists believe the source of the pulsing stems from a miscellaneous satellite. Scientists have confirmed none of the explanations as the actual cause of Ross 128’s pulsing. Even the most common explanations raise their fare share of questions. Type II solar flares typically happen at lower frequencies and there aren’t many objects in Ross 128’s field of view.

Mendez still puts extra terrestrial life at the bottom of the explanation list, but says he has a “Pina Colada ready to celebrate if the signals result to be astronomical in nature.”

Read more here.

Nintendo Switches it Up

One thing Nintendo has done more consistently than other game console is create portable products to take on-the-go. From the Gameboy to the 3DS, Nintendo has prided themselves in making products easy to have on you at all times. They took their game to the next level when they released the Nintendo Switch, allowing players to switch from playing at home to on-the-go with the click of a button. Not content on stopping there, Nintendo figured that it’d be even better to bring the Switch straight to your smart phone.

The new project is called “Nintendo Switch Online.” The companion to the Nintendo Switch is available for iOS and Android users. It may have taken a few months, but Nintendo delivered on their promise to use multiplayer mode and online social gaming features with a smart phone app. The update comes just in time for Nintendo’s release of Splatoon 2.

With the online app, gamers can create groups to play with friends online. With bluetooth headphones, gamers will also be able to voice chat with peers while playing multiplayer mode. 

As of now, the online features are entirely free. But Nintendo is planning to charge users $20 per year to access the multiplayer mode and download their favorite classic games.

Learn more here.

The Creative Team at Fusfoo! 

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