The Torch Top 5 4/11-2013

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1) Music legend Lou Reed passed away

Velvet Underground founder and music legend Lou Reed passed away on Sunday, October 27th. Reed had three decades of a successful solo career, even though most of his earlier work never reached commercial success. The singles released both from Velvet Underground and in his solo career didn’t sell well, but still topped the charts. Reed is also known as the man who invented the Ostrich Guitar Tuning, where every string on the guitar is tuned to the same note instead of the regular tuning.

He died at the age of 71 after complications from a liver transplant.

2) Command & Conquer free-2-play cancelled

Command & Conquer Generals 2 have been cancelled by the publisher, Electronic Arts. With this announcement they also announced that the developing studio, Bioware Victory, which is a subsidiary of major developing studio Bioware, will also be closed down.

EA stated bad response from alpha testers as a result and they felt that the free-2-play model might not have been the best way to promote the game.  They have promised to refund everyone who made transactions during the alpha tests.

Fans of the series believe the backlash was due to the game holding true to its roots as a real-time strategy instead of the currently popular Multiplayer Battle Arena style seen in games like League of Legends or DOTA 2. Series fans felt that their voices got suppressed by the many more voices of those who never played the earlier games.

3) Harry Potter failed to make top-50 of the half-century list

The Scottish Book Trust has compiled a list of the 50 most popular books by Scottish authors from the past 50 years. The books included were all voted on by the readers, but one of the highest-profile authors missed by just a few votes. Edinburgh-based author J.K. Rowling’s books about the boy wizard have sold better than any books published in Scotland, yet the readers didn’t feel they were good enough for the list.

4) A year since Second Life made headlines

With the end of October, it marks one year since Second Life last made it to any of the major news sources. According to their own news watch, the last article posted about Second Life was in October 2012.

Ironically enough, that article was about how the community can get more attention for Second Life, thereby helping it to reach a mainstream audience.

5) Crowd-funded team develops futuristic transport

Hyperloop is a new transportation system designed to take you across vast distances in a very short time. It consists of a network of tubes that you travel through in a capsule, very much like those you see in futuristic cartoons. The Hyperloop promises to deliver you to your destination at an average speed just shy of 600 miles per hour, or just over 960 kilometres per hour. This is the same speed as a passenger plane, without the need for take-off or landing to slow it down.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. has resorted to the crowd-funding site JumpStartFund for funding and has set an impressive timeline, promising to deliver a working prototype by the end of 2014. If all goes well, construction of a coast-to-coast network across the USA will begin in early 2015.

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