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Jurassic World Evolution 2 review – the closest we’re going to get to a real Jurassic Park | Games

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Like its hulking, tourist-gulping attractions, Jurassic World Evolution 2 has both a silly name and DNA that has been stitched together from several different animals to create something improbably beautiful. A bridge between the spiritually bereft Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and the forthcoming Jurassic World: Dominion, this could so easily have been another cash-grab movie tie-in. Instead it’s a beautiful game predominantly about finding the wonder in the creatures you’re looking after (or chasing around in Jeeps). And where John Hammond failed, this is a park experience I can thoroughly endorse, even if people do get eaten with distressing regularity.

Thanks to the events of the most recent film, in which a plot device dressed as an eight-year-old girl causes dinosaurs to be released into the wild, there has never been a better time to open one’s own Jurassic Park. All of the busy work from the first film (finding a mosquito trapped in amber, sucking out its prehistoric meal of dino blood, and hoping like a kid with a new pack of trading cards that it’s not one you’ve already got) can be dispensed with. Instead we have the faintly Metal Gear Solid V experience of sneaking up on confused dinosaurs, hitting them with a tranquilliser dart and then watching a cargo chopper swoop down and snatch them up and away to begin a happier life in the paddock you’ve just built for them. Later you’ll recruit scientists, who can be sent on longer-range kidnappings to return rarer species.

With the help of series heroes Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) and Owen Grady (someone who certainly knows who Chris Pratt is), you must make sure the dinosaurs are happy, which you do by covering their paddocks in the right kind of shrubs, keeping their doctor’s appointments regular and not accidentally airdropping them into pens with things that want to eat them. The more (and more exotic) dinosaurs you collect, the more visitors will be drawn to marvel at the park’s exhibits, eat in the park’s restaurants, and then be eaten by the park’s exhibits.

Honestly, though, zooming in on the odd moment of violence and chaos misses the point of JWE2. If this game were a scene from the films, it would not be the soldiers getting picked off and torn apart by raptors in the long grass, nor the final battle with the Indominus Rex from Jurassic World. Rather, it would be Sam Neill’s Dr Alan Grant leaning his whole body against the heaving side of the sickly triceratops, while Laura Dern’s Dr Ellie Sattler examines its tongue and talks to a park ranger about its diet of potentially poisonous herbs. Dr Grant grins like a child, pressed up so close against such a wondrously recreated creature. That’s the feeling you get playing JWE2.

Selecting a dinosaur zooms the camera in from the top-down, god’s-eye-view to track it as it plods around its enclosure, grazing, drinking from a watering hole or occasionally battling a member of the pack for dominance. Each dinosaur comes with a multimillion year history including detailed accounts of what it ate and where it lived. Even though you’re sat in your living room, Frontier Developments’ magic is in transporting us – through lifelike animations, through snuffling grunts, through the soppy look in a stegosaurus’s eyes – to where we all wanted to be in 1993: standing in a real Jurassic Park, watching these impossibly majestic creatures.

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Chinese could hack data for future quantum decryption, report warns | Hacking

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Chinese hackers could target heavily encrypted datasets such as weapon designs or details of undercover intelligence officers with a view to unlocking them at a later date when quantum computing makes decryption possible, a report warns.

Analysts at Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting firm, say Chinese hackers could also steal pharmaceutical, chemical and material science research that can be processed by quantum computers – machines capable of crunching through numbers at unprecedented speed.

In a report titled “Chinese threats in the quantum era”, the consultancy says encrypted data could be stolen by “Chinese threat groups”. It says quantum-assisted decryption will arrive faster than quantum-assisted encryption, giving hackers an edge.

“Encrypted data with intelligence longevity, like biometric markers, covert intelligence officer and source identities, social security numbers, and weapons’ designs, may be increasingly stolen under the expectation that they can eventually be decrypted,” the report says. It says “state-aligned cyber threat actors” will start to steal or intercept previously unusable encrypted data.

However, it adds there is a “very small” likelihood that quantum computing could break the latest encryption methods before 2030. The analysts say quantum computing’s advantages over classical computing – the computing used in everything from laptops to mobile phones – are at least a decade away.

“Although quantum computers’ current abilities are more demonstrative than immediately useful, their trajectory suggests that in the coming decades quantum computers will likely revolutionize numerous industries – from pharmaceuticals to materials science – and eventually undermine all popular current public-key encryption methods,” the report says.

Quantum computing is viewed as an exciting development. For example, experts say it could predict accurately what a complex molecule might do and thus pave the way for new drugs and materials.

China is already a strong player in the field, and Booz Allen Hamilton says it expected the country to surpass Europe and the US – where IBM recently made the most powerful quantum processor – in quantum-related research and development.

“Chinese threat groups will likely soon collect encrypted data with long-term utility, expecting to eventually decrypt it with quantum computers,” the report says. “By the end of the 2020s, Chinese threat groups will likely collect data that enables quantum simulators to discover new economically valuable materials, pharmaceuticals and chemicals.”

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UK Space Agency asks kids to make a logo for first launches • The Register

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Good news for those in the UK with primary school-aged kids and wondering what to do when the next bout of home-schooling hits: design a logo for the first UK satellite launches.

2022 could be a big year for launching satellites from Blighty’s shores as the first launchers gear up for a historic blast-off. Assuming the facilities have been built and all the necessary consents given and boxes ticked.

There are currently seven possible spaceport sites across the UK, from Cornwall in England through Llanbedr in Wales and up to the Western Isles in Scotland. Cash has been lobbed Cornwall’s way to support a horizontal launch by Virgin Orbit from Spaceport Cornwall and more toward Scotland for Orbex’s ambitions to launch vertically from Sutherland.

Should all the approvals happen and construction be completed, there is every chance the UK might host its first launch at some point in 2022.

Hence the need for a logo and thus a competition aimed at inspiring kids to consider a career in the space industry. And, of course, it is all worthy stuff: “Logo designs,” intoned the UK Space Agency, “should reflect how data from small satellites can help inform solutions to climate change as well as generate a source of pride in the UK’s space ambitions.”

What, we wondered, could possibly go wrong?

We put this question to Rob Manuel, one of those behind web stalwart b3ta.com. B3ta has a long history of (among other things) image challenges, the results of which tend to pop up, often unattributed, in timelines around the world. Now heading into its third decade, the site continues to push out a weekly Friday newsletter to email subscribers.

In terms of how to engage participants, Manuel said: “If anyone asks me, and they rarely do, I encourage competitions to be as open as possible – publish the results as they’re coming in. Try and create a buzz that something is happening rather than everything going in the bin.”

“As for things going wrong,” he went on, “well, there’s always an element who’ll want to subvert it.”

The competition is open to children aged 4-11 and will run until 11 March 2022. There are two age categories (4-7 and 7-11) over 12 regions in the UK. Designs can be drawn, painted, or created on a computer and either submitted on the logoliftoff.org.uk site or via post. Some basic questions also need to be answered, and children can work on their own or in a team of up to four.

We asked the UK Space Agency if it would take Manuel’s advice and post entries ahead of the competition close. We will update should it respond. ®

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Video analytics platform RugbySmarts named ‘most investable’ at SportX

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The Galway tech start-up was one of two winners at the sport-focused pre-accelerator programme.

A start-up developing real-time video analytics for sports has been named ‘most investable’ at SportX, a new pre-accelerator in Ireland for founders with sports and wellness business ideas.

RugbySmarts took the title at the inaugural SportX showcase last week, securing a cash prize.

The Galway-based start-up aims to automate and simplify sports analytics using AI,  machine learning and computer vision, helping coaches to improve player and team performance with a platform that could also be transferred to other sports.

RugbySmarts was founded last year by CTO William Johnstone, who has previously worked with Connacht Rugby, and CEO Yvonne Comer, who is a former Ireland international rugby player.

Meanwhile, the award of ‘best impact on sport’ was given to TrojanTrack. This start-up, founded in 2021 by Dublin-based Stephen O’Dwyer, is looking to combine quantitative biomechanical analysis with deep neural network tech in the equine industry.

The aim is to gain feedback on a horse’s injury or gait imbalance without using invasive technology, such as motion-tracking software that requires markers to be attached to the animal’s skin.

‘Next-gen sports-tech entrepreneurs’

SportX was launched earlier this year by advisory firm Resolve Partners, Sport Ireland and ArcLabs – the research and innovation centre at Waterford Institute of Technology.

The aim of the pre-accelerator programme was to build on tech and business ideas for the sport and wellness industries, giving founders access to academic, clinical and commercial resources.

The six-week programme involved workshops and engagement with advisers, entrepreneurs, subject experts and investors. Participants also had the opportunity to pitch to the US-based Techstars Sports Accelerator.

At the SportX showcase last week, nine teams had five minutes each to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges.

The two winners were selected by the panel, which featured Gary Leyden of the ArcLabs Fund 1 GP, Sport Ireland’s Benny Cullen and Niall McEvoy of Enterprise Ireland.

At the launch of SportX earlier this year, Leyden said the goal of the programme was to find “the next generation of sports-tech entrepreneurs who can leverage the amazing enterprise and sports-related supports within the south-east of Ireland”.

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