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Mobile ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ games for China market look impressive

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Chinese game giant Tencent announced in November that it would be bringing a version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to mobile devices in China. It seemed like an impossible task given the game’s less-than-ideal performance on PC and Xbox One, but two separate games are now in their testing stage on the Chinese iOS and Android stores, and the footage we’ve seen has us hopeful they come to other regions. The first of the two offerings is called PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield (some have translated it as “Thrilling Battlefield”), and it’s designed to emulate the basic structure of the original PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

You are dropped onto a giant map filled with 99 other players all looking to be the last one standing, and you can fully customize your character with many of the same tools available on the other versions. It includes first-person mode and third-person mode, and without the virtual buttons on the screen, it’s quite difficult to tell it apart from the PC version. Frankly, the framerate in the mobile game often looks better than it does on Xbox One X.

The other game is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds: Army Attack, and it’s a little bit different. In addition to containing naval battles, it has snappier combat that feels like it was designed with the platform in mind. Kills come quickly, and large hit markers help you to determine if you’re doing damage.

Like its sibling game, it runs at a buttery-smooth framerate on the iPhone X. So, which of the two has taken off in China? Actually, both of them have.

Industry analyst Daniel Ahmad revealed that the two games had 75 million players preregister, and they are currently first and second on the Chinese iOS download charts. Given the original PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds‘ popularity on both PC and Xbox One, the latter of which already has 4 million players in just a few months, it appears the two mobile titles are certain t be a hit overseas. We’re hoping Tencent expands its vision for a global launch, as well as a version on the Nintendo Switch.

All we want is to eat a chicken dinner with the power of the Joy-Con controllers.

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The biggest, tallest, longest, and most impressive bridges in the world

You likely use them every day, but have you ever stopped to consider how incredible bridges are? They’re massive spans of concrete, metal, and wires that weigh thousands of tons yet remain standing — even during destructive and violent natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. Bridges are also key to the way we move and serve as an important tool for many commuters.

Despite this, how often do you read a piece extolling the greatness of bridges, or hear an ode to their wonders? Not often enough, by our measure. Let’s correct that, shall we?

Here’s a quick sampling of the biggest bridges out there.

Longest suspension bridge — Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

Location Year completed Length Architect Japan 1998 2.4 miles Satoshi Kashima

Suspension bridges are, arguably, the most interesting type of bridges. Think about it: A giant structure of wires and pylons manipulating tension and compression to allow for a single span of heavy material to be suspended in air, thus letting it bridge wide chasms and bodies of water. The Golden Gate Bridge is perhaps the most iconic example of this bridge style, but it’s Akashi Kaikyo Bridge — aka the Pearl Bridge — that holds the title for the world’s longest suspension bridge.

This 2.4-mile-long bridge reaches across the Akashi Strait, connecting the city of Kobe on the Honshu mainland with Awaji Island. Since 1998, the bridge has carried six lanes of traffic and approximately 23,000 cars a day between the two towns. The impressive central span ranks as the longest in the world at 1.24-miles long.

Longest cross-sea bridge — Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge

Location Year completed Length Architect China 2017 31 miles ARUP

China has long cemented itself as one of the leading countries when it comes to bridge building — and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will only further the country’s reputation.

Although China’s Jiaozhou Bay Bridge is currently the longest cross-sea bridge in the world, Hong Kong’s forthcoming marvel will be twice as long when it opens in late-2017. Authorities see the new bridge as a vital connection between Hong Kong and more economically-depressed portions of southern China. Travel time between Hong Kong and Zhuhai or Macau will be slashed to about 40 minutes upon completion, which is significantly less than the current 4.5-hour trek.

The hope is that Macau and Zhuhai will benefit from speedy access to Hong Kong’s shipping ports, and strengthen Hong Kong’s position as the economic heart of the region. Although it will be the longest cross-sea bridge, it actually consists of two sections and three artificial islands. Connecting the two sections is a 1.7-mile tunnel closer to the Hong Kong side, which gives enough space for large shipping vessels to pass through.

Not everything has gone according to plan, however. Construction began in 2009, but ongoing issues with land reclamation has caused major delays. Construction on the bridge ended in late-2016, however, paving the bridge might take up to a year.

There’s also the cost: At completion, the bridge will have set the Chinese government back some US£10 billion.

Longest continuous bridge over water — Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

Location Year completed Length Architect Louisiana, United States 1956 23.87 miles Louisiana Bridge Company

While the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge currently holds the record for the longest over water in aggregate, this entry holds the record for the longest continuous span over water. This distinction was the result of some controversy regarding the two bridges. Prior to the opening of the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in 2011, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway — a 23.87-mile-long, low-level trestle bridge bisecting Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana — had held the record for longest bridge over water for decades.

After the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge snagged the record, those behind the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway ascertained that their bridge represented a longer continuous span over water. This turned out to be the case, and thus the two distinct records were created to give props to both structures.

Tallest bridge — Millau Viaduct

Location Year completed Length Architect Aveyron, France 2004 1.53 miles Norman Foster, Michel Virlogeux

We’ve given a lot of attention to bridges with impressive lengths, but that isn’t the only measure that makes a bridge noteworthy. The tallest bridge in the world — meaning the height of the structure’s tallest point — is the Millau Viaduct, located in Aveyron, France.

The Millau Viaduct is a stayed-cable bridge that stretches 1.5 miles across the Tarn River Valley, offering 1,125 peak feet of clearance below its eight spans and carrying four lanes of traffic since it opened in 2004. The iconic structure has become a fixture of France’s countryside ever since, and is routinely heralded as one of the greatest feats of modern engineering. Both the bridge’s iconic look and the impressive engineering behind it are the result of the viaduct’s cable-stayed design, which uses massive pylons to hold thick steel cables that bear the weight of the structure’s spans.

Highest bridge — Duge Bridge

Location Year completed Length Architect Guizhou, China 2016 4,400 feet Peng Yundong

Tallest is one thing, but highest is another.

By highest we mean the length between the bridge’s span and the lowest point of ground beneath it. That record belongs to the Duge bridge (also known as Beipanjiang Bridge Duge) in Guizhou, China. While the cable-stayed bridge itself is only 4,400 feet long, it connects two sides of a deep valley, with the span floating a daunting 1,854 feet above ground at the deepest point.

That’s about 400 feet taller than the Empire State Building. That the record for the world’s highest bridge belongs to one in China’s Guizhou Province is no surprise; The region has more of the world’s highest bridges than every other country on earth combined. It is expected that by 2020, there will be more than 250 bridges at heights greater than 330 feet in the province. While that might seem like a lot, all those bridges serve an important an necessary function.

Before serious bridge construction began in the Guizouh, travelling through its mountainous and ravine-filled countryside was difficult, with most transportation taking place on small, two-lane roads.

Bonus bridge — India’s Living Root Bridges

In the Indian state of Meghalaya, in the northeastern part of the country, there is a remarkable practice of training fig trees to grow into bridges. The caretakers slowly but surely manipulate the tree roots as they grow, pushing them along and weaving them into walkways and river crossings. The process can take up to 15 years, but once complete, the bridges are usable for between 500 and 600 years.

As the trees grow, the bridges become sturdier thanks to the strengthening and thickening of the roots. The bridges also have to particularly useful attribute of being self-renewing, especially given they don’t require the same sort of upkeep as man-made structures. Plus, they just look cool.

Bonus bridge — Lucky Knot Bridge

Location Year completed Length Architect Changsha, China 2016 600 feet NEXT Architects

Another cool pedestrian bridge comes from China-based NEXT Architects.

These designers got their inspiration from the Mobius ring — which is essentially a ring that twists — and knotting, a form of Chinese folk art that utilizes knots to create decorative shapes. The bridge passes about 78 feet over a river, and spans more than 600 feet in length. Three pedestrian lanes slink up and down across its spine, connecting two parks on opposite sides of a river.

Bonus bridge — Eshima Ohashi Bridge

Location Year completed Length Architect Chugoku, Japan 2004 5,577 feet NEXT Architects

You’ll feel like you’re about to get on a roller coaster while gazing at Japan’s Eshima Ohashi Bridge, but it’s more of an optical illusion than anything else.

The Inception-evoking structure quickly became an internet sensation upon its completion in 2004, namely because a slew of viral images made the bridge’s grades look steeper than they actually are.

In reality, the grades on either side are about 5.1 and 6.1 percent, and those who have traveled over the bridge say it’s no different than driving over a hill.

Still, the actual grades don’t make the pictures any less terrifying.

Editors’ Recommendations

AMD sees impressive Ryzen sales, promises Spectre-proof chips and ramps up graphics card production

Things continue to go well[1] at AMD, as shown in the company’s latest financial results, with the firm also talking about cranking up the supply of graphics cards in the face of the current shortage, as well as baking in solutions for Spectre[2] into Zen 2 chips.

The headline figure for Q4 (2017) revenue was $ 1.48 billion (around £1.05 billion, AU$ 1.85 billion), up 24% year-on-year, with computing and graphics (CPUs and GPUs) raking in $ 985 million (around £695 million, AU$ 1.2 billion), up a mighty 60% on the previous year. Impressive indeed.

Ryzen is still selling well and driving a lot of this success, although there was a very slight blip in terms of average selling prices (ASPs) remaining flat and the same as the last quarter (although still up year-on-year) – that was due to sales of Ryzen 3 CPUs. The latter are going well, but these are cheaper models, so they’re something of a headwind for that ASP.

AMD doesn’t produce separate figures for GPUs, lumping them together with processors in the computing and graphics division, but there have been question marks over how Vega is performing. These mainly revolve around flaky supply of the cards, particularly in the face of the current mining mania (with cryptocurrency miners buying up[3] many powerful and even mid-range cards of late).

Graphic details

Dr. Lisa Su, AMD’s chief executive, noted the latter issue, and made a point of saying that the firm is busy ramping up GPU production, which will definitely be music to gamers’ ears.

Su further explained that the problem in producing more graphics cards is actually down to the memory side of things, with GDDR5 and HBM shortages being the primary bottleneck right now. It’s good to hear that the situation is apparently changing, though, and hopefully sooner rather than later. Graphics card prices are getting pretty ridiculous right now.

Another hot topic of the moment – the huge Spectre flaw which affects a whole gamut of processors including AMD’s – was also addressed, with Su stating that AMD will be baking in protection with the forthcoming Zen 2 processors.

Zen 2, which uses an improved 7nm process, is apparently now just past the design phase, but actual CPUs won’t be available until next year (according to what AMD has previously said).

On the other hand, Intel is claiming that it will have Spectre (and Meltdown – which only pertains to Intel’s chips) defenses baked into its processors[4] later this year. In that respect, Intel appears to be ahead of the game, although the current status of patching[5] for the chip giant is wobbly to say the least[6].

Via Tom’s Hardware[7]

References

  1. ^ continue to go well (www.techradar.com)
  2. ^ solutions for Spectre (www.techradar.com)
  3. ^ cryptocurrency miners buying up (www.techradar.com)
  4. ^ defenses baked into its processors (www.techradar.com)
  5. ^ current status of patching (www.techradar.com)
  6. ^ wobbly to say the least (www.techradar.com)
  7. ^ Tom’s Hardware (www.tomshardware.co.uk)
  8. ^ best graphics cards (www.techradar.com)

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