Tag Archives: ‘fault’

Leicester helicopter crash caused by mechanical fault

Investigators say the helicopter involved in a crash that killed the owner of English soccer team Leicester and four other people lost control because of a mechanical fault.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch says the mechanism linking the pilot's pedals with the tail rotor blades became disconnected, resulting in the helicopter making an uncontrollable right turn before it spun and crashed.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the Thai retail entrepreneur who owned Leicester, was among those killed when his aircraft crashed and burst in flames outside the King Power Stadium following a Premier League game on Oct. 27.

The AAIB provided its update on Thursday after a detailed examination of the helicopter's control system. It will continue to investigate.

Footage of the incident appears to show that sections of the tail rotor may have fallen off in mid-air.

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CBC | Soccer News

Brexit showdown puts Britain's fault lines on full, irate display

It's taken nearly three years, but the Brexit debate in Britain is finally exiting the realm of the theoretical.

After Sunday's historic European Union vote, the divorce document on the table is now live, and Brexit looms on the horizon.

Now that it is better defined — well beyond Prime Minister Theresa May's "Brexit means Brexit" — all that's left is the approval of both the EU and British Parliaments.

But as it gears up for a showdown, the latter is set to light up with disapproval, making the often-splintered group of 27 EU countries seem utterly cohesive by comparison.

From the start of her premiership, just after the U.K. voted to leave the EU, May promised to heal Britain's Brexit-inflicted rifts. Instead, her deal brings them all to life. The debate in Parliament is set to put the many fault lines on full, irate display.

Even in draft form, the deal May brought home from arduous negotiations in Brussels unleashed acrimony from — and within — all sides of the House. As the deal took shape, waves of her own cabinet ministers quit. More than a few Tory MPs even threatened to oust her.

Despite May's dire warnings — it's this deal or chaos — few beyond May's loyalists say they favour the agreement. By most counts, the British Parliament is now almost certain to vote it down. Even the foreign minister says the arithmetic is "looking challenging."

Ask MPs why they oppose it, however, or how they should proceed from a no vote, and they scatter in all directions. There's not even agreement on the parliamentary procedure for the coming debate.

Former British High Commissioner Anthony Cary discusses what's next for Brexit:

Anthony Cary discusses the fight now facing British Prime Minister Theresa May after the EU approved the U.K.'s Brexit deal. 5:12

But they will have their raucous debate followed by a "meaningful vote." May is even eager to debate Labour Jeremy Corbyn.

But even as the numbers bode badly for her, the prime minister seemed to acknowledge that the scorekeeping only begins now.

Sunday marked "the culmination of our exit negotiations with the EU, but it also marks the start of a crucial national debate in our country over the next few weeks," she said.

The British people, she added, "don't want to spend any more time arguing about Brexit. They want a good deal done that fulfils the vote and allows us to come together again as a country."

'We are divided'

That will be difficult when there isn't even agreement on whether what's on the table is better than what Britain has now. The deal has served only to harden positions, like the main Brexit fault lines that run deep through both major parties.

It's threatened to bring down the voting alliance May cobbled together with a unionist Northern Ireland party, thereby threatening the government itself.

It's played up the stark differences on Brexit and beyond within the Labour Party. There's even division in May's own Conservative Party on whether she could or should survive long enough as prime minister to see any deal through.

There are divisions among Remainers over major parts of the deal, over whether there should be a second vote. Brexiteers disagree too, even those belonging to the same party. Their many divisions play out among citizens too.

Meanwhile, older conflicts over Northern Ireland, Scotland's independence and migration all bubbled over again, splitting the citizenry and apportioning the blame.

Divisions on a myriad of issues have risen to the surface amid the latest Brexit developments. (Hannah McKay/Reuters)

Stirring some of those older debates can't be blamed entirely on May or her deal. Her predecessor David Cameron's decision to try to heal the fault lines in his own party over the EU unleashed a whole host of others. The owners of the outlandish arguments made during the Brexit campaign starting in April 2016 also bear responsibility.

The country has yet to recover. And the Conservatives themselves are clearly nowhere near healed.

"We are divided," Tory MP Anna Soubry says of the country. It is, she says, the government's "biggest failing."

Calls for another referendum

Soubry, a Remainer, wants to build on the dislike for the deal on all sides to cobble together some semblance of a national consensus against it.

The way to address that, says Soubry, is through a second referendum. Make the question simple again — Yes or No on the deal as it stands now.

The call for a people's vote has grown louder in recent days as many struggled to imagine how the country avoids chaos of a deal rejected by Parliament, and how to get past the divisions.

Calls for a second referendum have grown louder in recent days. (Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Associated Press)

At a Foreign Press Association press conference, Soubry joined Labour MP Chuka Umunna to press their case.

In a sign of the intra-party splintering over the deal, Soubry joked about whether she truly represents the Conservative party. When asked whom he represented, Umunna dryly says "Streatham," — his constituency.

They both represent a growing number of people who believe the country is headed for danger.

"I'm very worried about my country," said Umunna in an interview.

That's why it's "absolutely right" Soubry told CBC News, "to go back to the people for that final say on what we now see the reality of Brexit to be."

Faced with a choice between the existing deal and the status quo, she said "most people will see the reality and they will choose remain."

Pollsters say there may be a basis for consensus; both Remainers and Leavers dislike this particular deal. May, however, has repeatedly rejected the idea of a second vote. The country may still be forced into one if Parliament puts a stop to her plan.

For now, she said she is committed to seeing it through. Inside the Commons and out, she will "make the case for this deal with all my heart and I look forward to that campaign."

The debate will be had. Since the 2016 campaign, the opinions and grievances around Brexit have multiplied. May now presides over a full-throated airing of every one of them.

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CBC | World News

Fallout 76 Also Won’t Have Cross-Play and It’s Sony’s Fault

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Bethesda’s Fallout 76 is the latest casualty of Sony’s refusal to open its platform and allow players from every platform to play together on a common set of servers. This situation, of course, is nothing new — Sony has been blocking cross-play this entire generation and offering up mealy-mouthed excuses about its reasons since 2013. What’s different is that now, publishers are finally and straightforwardly laying the blame directly where it ought to be, as opposed to “technical difficulties.”

Last week, Bethesda’s Todd Howard was open and honest about the problem with Fallout 76 SEEAMAZON_ET_82 See Amazon ET commerce and its causes. “You cannot do cross-play in 76,” Howard told GameStar.de in an interview. “We’d really love that but right now we can’t… Sony is not as helpful as everyone would like.”

As battle cries go, “Sony is not as helpful as anyone would like,” does not sound like an authoritative and ringing declaration that immediately betokens the collapse of a lock-in empire. But the momentum in this fight does not favor Sony and it’s possible that gamers may similarly shift their own positions over time. The greatest danger for Sony isn’t what could happen today, but what might happen to it in the next console generation.

Twelve or 13 years ago, Sony was riding high off the PlayStation 2 and viewed itself as having no serious competitor in next-generation gaming. “The next generation doesn’t start until we say it does,” Sony’s Kazuo Hirai, now chairman of Sony Corporation, told the world at E3 2006. Sony’s Ken Kutaragi also remarked at the time that he wanted the average consumer to look at the PS3’s $ 600 price tag and think “I will work more hours to buy one.”

Fortunes can shift towards *or* away from companies in the console wars.

Instead, the world looked at the PS3 and mostly went “nah.” While the two consoles eventually wound up in relatively the same place in terms of total unit sales, the PS3’s sales figures were crushed by the Xbox 360’s early in its life cycle. To-date, the PS4 has turned the tables on the Xbox One, outselling it by a greater-than 2:1 margin. The lesson here is simple: While loyalty absolutely plays a part in overall product sales, gamers also re-evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of platforms with each successive product shift. Sony led the PS2 generation by a huge margin, lost huge amounts of money on the PS3 as a whole (the console lost so much money in the early years, it never recouped its initial losses even if the business unit was profitable on a yearly basis later), then took the lead again with the PS4. And if they stick to their guns on the cross-play issue, they could risk that position again, possibly not with the PS4, but definitely with the PS5 and especially if every Xbox, PC, Nintendo, and microconsole gamer is used to playing together while Sony sits, defiantly on the outside looking in.

The account lock-in issue that prevents people with Fortnite accounts from playing on other platforms if they’ve ever played on the PS4 is emphatically gamer-unfriendly, and there is some evidence that Sony is aware that its own position is increasingly untenable. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, Shawn Layden, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America and chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios, said: “We’re hearing it. We’re looking at a lot of the possibilities. You can imagine that the circumstances around that affect a lot more than just one game. I’m confident we’ll get to a solution which will be understood and accepted by our gaming community, while at the same time supporting our business.”

That’s not a promise Sony will figure out the need to provide this service. But it’s closer than anything we’ve gotten yet.

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ExtremeTechGaming – ExtremeTech

EA Remains Committed to Microtransactions, and That’s Partially Our Fault

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Game publisher Electronic Arts took it on the chin late last year when fans vehemently objected to the use of microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II. The backlash was so bad EA temporarily removed paid purchases from the game in order to retool the system, but gamers and even lawmakers are concerned about how these paid features are implemented across the industry. EA has reaffirmed its commitment to microtransactions, though. In its recent investment call, CEO Andrew Wilson said microtransactions aren’t going anywhere. As irksome as that might be, it’s kind of our fault.

According to Wilson, EA believes that “live services that include optional digital monetization, when done right, provide a very important element of choice that can extend and enhance the experience in our games.” Battlefront II would apparently be an example of doing “live services” wrong. Fans cried foul when Battlefront II launched with paid loot boxes that contained gameplay-changing items. The alternative was to grind for dozens of hours just to unlock a single hero character.

Wilson called Battlefront II a “learning opportunity,” so perhaps we can expect less aggressive microtransactions in the future. However, EA has no reason to drop microtransactions. In fact, it would probably be sued by investors if it tried. According to the company’s latest financial reports, so-called “live services” account for most of its income. With total revenue of $ 1.23 billion in the last quarter, a whopping $ 787 million of that comes from live services. Only $ 260 million came from full game sales. EA might not mind so much that sales of Battlefront II have been slow when it knows most of the revenue will come from heavy players once microtransactions are back.

Many of us express a profound dislike of microtransactions, but it’s a big business for EA. Game publishers and developers will stop integrating paid items in games when we stop buying them, and that doesn’t seem likely to happen. EA’s fiscal results show a substantial 39 percent increase in live services revenue compared with this quarter last year. Not only are gamers still dropping money on microtransactions, they’re doing it substantially more than they were before the Battlefront II dust-up.

EA plans to add microtransactions back into Battlefront II in the coming months, but it’s not clear how they’ll be changed. Some lawmakers have expressed concern that loot boxes are a little too much like gambling. EA could be keen to avoid that comparison going forward. That last thing EA wants is regulations slapped on its microtransaction cash cow.

Now read: The Best Free PC Games

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ExtremeTechGaming – ExtremeTech