The Nintendo Switch: Can Nintendo Win Over Gamers Once Again?

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Nintendo has officially announced that their newest console, the Switch, will be released worldwide on March 3rd and will sell for $299.99 in the U.S.  With its release drawing near, many are wondering whether the Switch will be able to capture gamers' hearts (and wallets) as the Nintendo Wii has since 2006 or whether the Switch will suffer the same fate as Nintendo's previous generation console from 2012, the Wii U.  Hopeful Nintendo fans see an opportunity for Nintendo to regain its former glory in the home video game console market, but others are concerned that the Switch will be a flop.

One of the major factors in a console's commercial success is the game titles -- especially the titles exclusive to the console -- that are set to release with it.  According to, the Switch only has five games confirmed for release with the console on March 3rd: 1-2-Switch, Just Dance 2017, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Skylanders: Imaginators, and Super Bomberman.  Six more games are set for a spring release: Arms, Has-Been Heroes, I Am Setsuna, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Puyo Puyo Tetris, and Snipperclips, Cut It Out Together.  More games are rumored to come later 2017.

With a measly 6 games at launch and a short list of games to follow, the Switch has valid concerns; however, some might say that the small group of games is a strategic move rather than an unfortunate shortcoming.  The Wii U, which was heavily outsold by its competitors, launched with 23 games, and some see the Switch's launch titles as a concise, focused group of high-quality games compared to the Wii U's more scattered library.  Nintendo has heavily pushed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as the premiere title of the launch, and it may be enough to drive initial sales of the console.  Only time will tell.

Even if opening sales for the Switch don't break any records, that won't necessarily mean failure for Nintendo.  Console sales are a long-term battle, and their marketing strategies, price changes, and certainly their game releases will have a major impact on the extended success or failure of the platform.  Regardless of one's gaming preferences, it's an exciting time to watch as Nintendo takes a bold step into the market with an original product.  Will you be purchasing a Switch this year?

Transform your boring ol' laptop into one with touchscreen capabilities

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Do you want to have a laptop with touchscreen capabilities but don't want to upgrade from your current laptop? Or is there a computer out there that you are planning on purchasing that has everything you need - except a touchscreen? Well, look no further. Winner of the Innovations Award at Consumer Electronics Showcase 2017, AirBar is a device that brings touchscreen technology to any laptop.

Design and Technology
As you can see in the picture, AirBar is a small bar that sits right under your laptop's screen. It comes in three different sizes: 13.3-, 14- and 15.6-inch. You'll need to make sure you get the correct size for your laptop, because any variance in size means that it will be less accurate translating your gestures to the screen. A cord protrudes from the right side of the AirBar and plugs into your USB port. It comes with two magnets that you attach to your laptop directly under the screen, and then just connects to those. When you need to shut your laptop, simply remove the AirBar. And don't worry about forgetting it's there and attempting to shut your laptop - it will detect your hand at the top of the screen about to close it and emit warning beeps. 

So how does it work? Using Neonode's zForce AIR technology, the sleek bar simply projects an invisible light field onto your screen that enables it to respond to you "touching" the screen. It allows you to interact with Windows 8 and 10's gesture system. It is also coming soon to Macs, so fret not. And, because it uses a light field and responds to any "disturbance" to that field, you're not limited to using just your bare finger tips to interact with the technology.

Not everyone needs a touchscreen. But, if you're one of those people and don't have the means to switch over to a touchscreen laptop currently, then AirBar is a fantastic option. It doesn't have all the capabilities or precision that a built in touch screen would have - it can only respond to two points of touch. But, for only $69, it gets you most of what you would want in a touchscreen: navigation, pinch-to-scroll zooming, and scrolling. 

You can read more about it on its website here, and read reviews and purchase it on Amazon

Flying Cars

Posted Posted by Ellie Waters in Comments 0 comments

Have you ever fantasized about a a flying car while watching "Back to the Future" or "Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang"? Flying cars have been a reality for several years, but has yet to be accepted as a practical solution to everyday travel.

            While self-operating vehicles are still far off you can still own a flying car.  PAL-V ONE, TERRAFUGIA TRANSITION, THE MAVERICK LSA, and EROMOBILE 3.0, are just some of the models of today’s functioning, flying cars. TERRAFUGIA TRANSITION will even put you in line to receive one of their flying cars with a deposit. PAL-V ONE drives like a sports car and has an easy transition to gyroplane. The MAVRICK costs only $94,000 and does not require a piloting license. Lastly my favorite, the EROMOBILE 3.0, manufactured by EROMOBILE SRO in Czechoslovakia, is just a beautiful mode of transportation.

Flying cars are considered extravagant and expensive, but Uber wants to change that. Uber plans to partner with companies to push the program forward. In the program they mention an automated driving system in order to make this more affordable. This program has yet to be perfected in cars, let alone flight. However, they ensure us that the technology is on the way, just not in the immediate future. 

Additional sources:

Donate to charity while buying on Amazon

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With Christmas only two weeks away, many of us are looking to spread some cheer with gifts to our friends and family. If you happen to be using Amazon as your go to gift-buying destination, you'll be happy to know your purchases can also contribute to charities!

A program through Amazon known as Amazon Smile will donate .5% of the purchase price on eligible products to a charity of your choosing. This program is active year-round, and doesn't require anything of you, other than purchasing your products through the Amazon Smile website

Many charities can be selected, including the Red Cross, the ASPCA, or the Nature Conservancy

So if you're shopping around this holiday season, consider purchasing through Amazon Smile to give to charity at no cost to you!

More for more information, visit Amazon

Sonic, your pellet ice monopoly has come to an end

Posted Posted by Mack Peters in Comments 0 comments

I can admit, with the temperature dropping I'm sure the last thing on everyone's mind is "man, I could sure use some of that wonderful, easily chewable ice that few restaurant chains offer and I just can't seem to get at home". But for those of us ice-chewers, the craving can only really be satisfied if you commit to buying a bag from a chain or being forced to drink something from that place.
Oh the sweet, sweet, non-teeth-threatening allure of pellet ice

But the days of having to leave the home for pellet ice are over! Introducing the Firstbuild Opal Nugget Ice!

Look at all that ice

For a measly $500 dollars (traditional at-home pellet ice making machines evidently can have multi-thousand dollar price tags) you can get this handy machine that can churn out about 1 pound of ice per hour. It comes in at about 17 inches high, 10.5 inches wide and 15.5 inches deep. Similar in size to a small mini fridge, this ice queen is hefty, weighing around 44 pounds. But with its rectangular shape and rounded off corners, it is certainly aesthetically pleasing and will blend in with the rest of your usual suspects taking up your counter space. The front tray allows you to view ice production as it happens, and it can be hang at an angle (as seen above) for easy access or can come all the way out to offer ice to all of your friends. You can even link the machine to your phone or tablet (using Bluetooth) and control it via the mobile app. You can tell the machine to start and stop making ice, dim or brighten its LED ring, and make a regular schedule for ice to be made.

There are some downsides however. It's a loud machine, much like other icemakers. Although you won't have to worry about hearing large chunks of ice clanking around in this box, the pumps, vibrating compressor, and fan can emit quite a bit of sound. Also the water tank does not have a direct line, so you need to manually refill the water reservoir. Also, the water reservoir sits further back in the machine, which can make it hard to fill without spilling. The ice does not stay frozen either. Once it is created, the ice will eventually melt with the water returning to the reservoir, so if left unattended you could miss out on an entire ice cycle. This can also be somewhat gross, reusing the same old stagnant water over and over again.

Really, though, if you love pellet ice that much, these downsides aren't really an issue. Instead of putting the icemaker on your counter, put it in the pantry or a soundproof room. No direct water line? I'm sure you can MacGyver your way into fashioning some kind of easy-fill system. Doesn't stay frozen? Is that really even an issue? Not likely any of that ice is going to be sitting in there!

So if you're looking for an expensive gift to please your ice-chewing significant other, consider the Firstbuild Opal Nugget Ice machine. For more information, check out this CNET review, which says everything I just said but in a much more eloquent fashion.

COMPLAINTS HERE: Pipeline Feedback for a Better Tomorrow

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Are you still struggling with New Pipeline? Can you not find a page that was easily accessible from Old Pipeline? Are you simply dreading the disappearance of Old Pipeline? Well, dread no more because DormNet is here to help.

  Recently, I have received various comments and seen posts on social media from friends about problems with Pipeline. We here at DormNet understand your plight, and we sincerely want to help. The reason behind creating New Pipeline was to provide a better experience for students, but it is still a work in progress. The beauty of it all is that students are able to provide feedback, and the designers of the site take everything said into consideration and are actively updating it to the students' needs and suggestions. Unfortunately for us, we are the guinea pigs, but that's okay! We simply have the opportunity to improve a service for students in the years to come. 

How can you help?

  The creators of Pipeline are not as numerous as the student body, and they do not see everything we may see. Therefore, they can't know that a problem exists unless we tell them. So, instead of talking about it with each other, let's fix the problem. For example, the other day, a friend let me know that Pipeline wasn't working for him, and consequently, we discovered that there was a campus-wide problem with the site. The developers were able to fix the problem, and everything returned to normal. 

  Furthermore, we here at DormNet are here to be your voice, the middleman between the student body and the Technology department. If you contact us with problems with multiple login attempt problems, weird formatting issues on Pipeline, or you can't find something using the search bar, we can send in the problem, and most likely it will be an easy fix. We want to help!

  If you want to contact us directly, you can email us your suggestions at, or you can go to the following link to the feedback form for New Pipeline:

Leukemia vs.Nature’s “Weapon of Mass Destruction”

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Leukemia and other cancers are at the forefront of many peoples' minds due to such a high prevalence in modern life. It is especially at the minds of patients, caregivers, and doctors. One such case is that of Layla Richards

Layla Richards with her parents, Lisa Foley and Ashleigh Richards, and her sister, Reya PA
     Layla was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, the most common form of childhood leukaemia, at 14 weeks old. Leukemia is cancer of the blood.She went through several rounds of chemotherapy and had a bone morrow transplant, but weeks later her cancer had returned. Her mother Lisa Foley said, “We didn’t want to accept palliative care and so we asked the doctors to try anything for our daughter, even if it hadn’t been tried before.”

     Her doctor from Great Ormond Street in London was soon calling Cellectis, a biotechnology company in east Manhattan. Cellectis uses a gene-editing method called TALENs to create T cells, or white blood cells that are made specifically to fight leukemia cells. The hospital had a vial of these cells inside of their freezer, however they were only made for quality-control testing and had only been tested on mice.

     Cellectis began development of this treatment in 2011 when it was discovered that you could alter the DNA of T-cells (a specific white blood cell) and point it at the cells that are altered by leukemia. This has other applications, but the difficult part lies in pointing the T-cells at the right target. If done wrong, then the T-cells could target the working cells of the patients body.

     Layla was announced as being cured of her cancer, and although some cancer experts are hesitant to attribute the victory to the technology used to modify T-cells, evidence does point that way. Hopefully in the future we will see more advances in immune engineering that lead to curing further diseases.

Based off of an article from MIT Technology Review: Immune Engineering.
For more on Layla's case see the article: Layla Richards: One-year-old girl becomes world's first person to receive therapy to cure 'incurable' cancer