It’s that time of year again when we look back at some of the news stories we’ve covered in 2017 and update you on later developments. Turning to July, staff at the Large Hadron Collider discovered the first “double heavy particle”. Every particle is made up of a combination of six quarks that are each categorized either “light” or “heavy” and Xi-cc++ was the first with two heavies (and one light). Just when you’d got your head round that, researchers found a particle that had two specific heavy quarks known as charm quarks.
As for practical significance, the former finding may help tell us more about how particles stay together. The latter may tell us more about how particles form in the first place, with one theory being that the only explanation where the numbers add up is that the quarks were fused in the same reaction that ‘powers’ the Sun. Possibilities from further study could be finding new forms of atom, learning more about dark matter, or unleashing an explosion with ten times the power of the Sun. Thankfully the last of these is also the remotest possibility.
Blizzard announced a professional Overwatch league with the same arena shows and city franchise system as major sports. In September a 17-year-old signed for San Francisco’s NRG Esports and became the highest-paid player with a $150,000 base salary that is three times the league minimum. Pre-season games are now done and the first regular season games start next month.
Microsoft added MS Paint to its list of deprecated features that could be removed in future updates. After an outpouring of fond reminiscence, the company announced that once removed from the system, it would be added as an app in the Windows Store for free download.
In August YouTube announced its premium video service Red would make a Karate Kid sequel with Ralph Macchio and William Zabka reprising their roles. Cobra Kai looks at the an ageing LaRusso and Johnny coping with the death of Mr Miyagi and the closure of the titular dojo respectively. Filming is underway with Entertainment Week sharing the backstage photo shown above.
Nintendo announced it wouldn’t sell the SNES Mini in Quebec, citing local laws that say any video game that’s available in French somewhere in the world must be translated into Quebecois French when sold in the province. The following month it confirmed the console would be available in Quebec after all, but didn’t explain its change of heart. The government department responsible for enforcing the language laws had said that it didn’t ‘ban’ products pre-emptively and instead would only investigate a complaint if it received one about a product already on sale.
A listing on the Target website appeared to show a Bethesda game based on Game of Thrones. Target later said the product was not real and it appears the ‘page’ was simply a spoof URL from a prankster.