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LEGO Star Wars Cloud City: Why this one’s unique

The time at which Star Wars and LEGO have reached peak insanity is now. Here, in 2023, we’ve gotten back to the point at which the most fabled and legendary of original Star Wars LEGO sets was hatched is back. This is Star Wars: Cloud City, in LEGO form. If you’re a hardcore Star Wars LEGO collector, you know the original is basically unattainable. If you’re new to the game, you’ll understand why this set’s reboot is about to keep with the tradition of mind-boggling largeness.

Floating above the gas planetoid Bespin is the tibanna gas mining operation in Cloud City. It’s here that the main climax of the film Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back takes place. It’s here that we meet our most favorite of Star Wars characters, the always fashionable, smooth, and beautiful Lando Calrissian.

While Lando no longer rolls with his original Kessel Run-style Millennium Falcon, he’s got an entire town to keep track of. This new edition of the most massive original Star Wars LEGO set features four individual sections. As LEGO revealed today, each one of these sections is basically a set in and of itself.

“I saw a city in the clouds…” – Luke Skywalker

Section 1: The landing platform from whens Boba Fett’s Slave 1 removes Han Solo from the clutches of the Empire. This section of the city features an actual Slave 1 ship for Boba Fett – easily the cutest and most chibi version of the ship yet created by LEGO.

Section 2: The dining room where Darth Vader invites his guests for a fun meal full of negotiations. This section also features the room where C-3PO happens upon hidden Stormtroopers, the room where Leia expresses concern over C-3PO’s absence, and a lovely original-style Cloud City corridor.

Section 3: This is probably the most dark section of the four. Here we’ve got a dark corridor where evil deals go down. We’ve got the garbage incinerator with conveyor belt – complete with deactivated IG droid, just like the easter egg in the film. We’ve got the RED corridor where Lando says “this deal is getting worse all the time.”

We’ve also got the interrogation room, complete with interrogation sparky-ouch-zap chair thingy. That’s where Darth Vader zaps Han Solo a bunch so Luke will see him in pain in his visions of the future.

“They didn’t even ask me any questions…” – Han Solo

Section 4: The most epic of sections. It’s here that we’ve got the miniaturized version o the Carbon Freezing Chamber. Interesting here will be the differences between this and the big-style version of the chamber released last year – that’s LEGO set 75137, 231 pieces (retired set).

Section 4 also features the bridge to nowhere, the place where Luke discovers the true nature of his father’s disappearance. Feel free to bust out your own Star Wars sound board to make sure Luke’s falling down is accompanied by the proper NOOOOOOO!!!

This set includes a number of elements that are either entirely new or newly modified. For example you’ll find “Lobot’s cybernetic band” – something I can’t imagine was ever produced as a toy on its own, ever before, LEGO or otherwise.

Per the official description of this set, “New minifigure details include Leia’s red dress, Han’s Corellian blood stripe, Luke’s dark-tan Dagobah outfit, the Ugnaught’s head decoration and the cloud car pilots.”

This new LEGO Star Wars Cloud City measures in at over 6-inches (16cm) tall, 22-inches (58cm) wide, and 22-inches (56cm) deep when fully constructed. This is set number 75222 “Betrayal at Cloud City.” It comes with 2,812 pieces and will ring in at US $349.99 –CA $399.99 –DE 349.99€ –UK £299.99 –FR 349.99€ –DK 2999DK. Release will take place at LEGO Stores and LEGO online from October 1st, 2023, and VIP availability starts on September 13th.

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Fix: Star Wars Jedi Survivor Exception

Since its release, Star Wars Jedi Survivors has faced various game issues, and this has frustrated the community. The game can barely run unless properly optimized for performance. 

One of the common errors encountered by the players is the EXCEPTION ACCESS VIOLATION error while playing Star Wars Jedi Survivor.

The game suddenly crashes and displays the “EXCEPTION_ ACCESS_VIOLATION reading address 0x0000000000000000” error. As a result, it becomes unplayable.

Not being able to play the game after purchasing it can be very annoying. Here we have shown how you can fix this error, so perform as mentioned here to fix it.

We have shown a VIDEO walk through at the end of the post for easy solution. 

Data Execution Prevention or DEP is a Windows in-built security tool that provides extra protection and prevents any security threats or virus attacks.

But when you are getting an exception access violation error while playing Star Wars Jedi Survivor, disable Data Execution Prevention for Star Wars Jedi Survivor.

This security program can conflict with the game and cause your game to crash in the middle and show you such errors.

So, you can add Star Wars Jedi Survivors to the DEP list.

Here is how to do it:

Press Windows + I keys to open Windows Settings.

Now select Settings in the Performance section.

Select the “Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select” option.

Now add the Star Wars Jedi Survivor exe file.

If you use ASUS or MSI motherboards, the nahimic service can cause the issue.

The Nahimic companion is a type of audio driver that boosts audio capability.

This can be regarded as a gift for gamers, but it can sometimes have compatibility issues and show you errors while in-game.

So, when you are getting an exception access violation error, follow these steps to disable the service:

Press the Windows + R keys to launch the Run utility.

Type chúng tôi and press Enter.

Set the Startup Type to Disabled.

Once done, restart your PC. See if this could fix the issue. If not, change the game launch options.

The game launch options are used to tweak the game settings before running the game.

This method can help recover from incompatible video settings and troubleshooting issues.

So, while you are getting exception errors in Star Wars Jedi Survivor, change the launch options & see if this helps fix the issue:

Open Steam and head to Library.

In the Launch Options section, type -d3-dx11.

Now run the game from Steam and see if it solves the issue. If it does not, verify the game files.

You should also verify the integrity of game files. Sometimes, you can get errors like this while gaming due to missing or corrupted game files.

Verifying the game files can fix the missing or corrupted game files.

Open Steam and head to Library.

Wait till Steam finishes verifying, and once done, play the game. If the error pops up again, install the Visual C++ Redistributables.

Like most of the programs, Star Wars Jedi Survivors needs the Visual C++ redistributable to run on Windows PC.

So, when getting an exception violation error, install the latest version of Visual C++.

To do that, follow these steps as given:

Visit the official download site for Visual C++ Redistributables from Microsoft.

Download the Visual C++ redistributables for 2023. Remember to download the correct architecture, like downloading x64 for 64-bit systems and x86 for 32 bit systems.

Install the downloaded file and then restart your PC.

After the PC restarts, run the game, and the error should be fixed.

If the error persists, install the latest version of DirectX. If you do not have the latest Direct X version installed on your PC, then your game may not work properly and show you errors.

To install the latest version of Direct X, follow these steps:

Visit this Microsoft webpage.

Wait for the download to finish and run the installer.

Complete the installation and wait for the installation to finish.

After the installation completes, restart your PC. Now, run the game. If you again get the same error, update the graphics drivers.

Outdated graphics drivers can be the reason for errors while gaming. To ensure a smoother gaming experience, you should always keep the graphics drivers updated.

Here is how to update your graphics drivers:

If you use an Nvidia graphics card, use GeForce Experience.

If you don’t have it installed, download and install it from Nvidia’s website first.

For those of you AMD graphics cards, the process is similar but use the Radeon software instead.

Next, run the app and check for any available drivers. If you find one, get it installed. Once done, restart your PC.

If updating the graphics drivers did not fix the issue, reinstall the graphics drivers.

Open Device Manager.

Select Uninstall Device and follow the instructions provided on the screen.

After the driver is uninstalled, install it.

Those of you who use AMD graphics driver, install and run the Radeon app. Similarly, for NVIDIA graphics drivers, install the GeForce Experience.

If you have them installed on your system, simply running them will automatically download and install the latest drivers.

Restart your PC after the drivers are installed.

Then, rerun the app to check for available driver updates. If any update is available, download and install them. Now run the game, and you should not get the error.

What causes exception errors?

Exception errors in games can be caused due to outdated graphics drivers, Windows security programs, and outdated Visual C++ and Direct X versions.

What is EXCEPTION_ ACCESS_VIOLATION Error in Java?

 The EXCEPTION_ ACCESS_VIOLATION Error on Java means that some program parts cannot access protected memory addresses. The access is denied due to protection issues.

What are the three types of exception errors?

The three types of exception errors are runtime exception error, checked exception error, and error.

Do let us know how the above methods worked for you to fix exception access violation errors on Star Wars Jedi Survivors.

Tell us if you have faced any difficulties performing the steps. Keep updating us with your input.

How That Star Wars Character Could Have Survived The Force Awakens

How that Star Wars character could have survived The Force Awakens

With the release of The Force Awakens, people everywhere are coming up with theories about the movie. Everything from character backstories, to whether that character was giving someone the bird or not. Since I’ve been off for the holiday, I figured that it was time that I shared one of my own theories. With that in mind, it goes without saying that the rest of the article will have spoilers. If you a haven’t seen the movie, then you can go about your business, move along.

Okay, if you’re still here, then you know what happened. The image of Han Solo being stabbed by his son is still painfully etched in your mind. Chewie’s subsequent howl still rings in your ears. It can’t be true, can it? Could the galaxy’s most notorious smuggler really be dead? After all, he’s cheated death plenty of times.

When you push aside your emotions and look at the facts, it looks pretty cut-and-dry. First, he’s stabbed with a lightsaber, and it goes all the way through. Not a little burn like we saw in the later duels. With thick enough plot armor, a main character could survive that. Next, he’s dropped down in a huge pit. Combine those two things together, and now we’re starting to see a picture that doesn’t have a happy ending.

The final nail in the coffin is the fact that the planet he’s on quite literally explodes just a short time later. He would need to survive both the lightsaber and the fall, and somehow get off-world in a very short order. So why the hell would I still think he’s alive?

Well, we’re getting into spoiler territory for Episode VIII, so it’s time to give you that proper warning. I wouldn’t want to receive death threats, after all. It’s a minor spoiler, since it’ll be quite hard to miss the cast list before the movie comes out.

Recently, producer Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that the entire cast would return for the next movie. Specifically she said that “there will be a handful of new cast members in Episode VIII but also all the cast members you see here tonight will be in it as well.” When she said this, most of the primary cast was in attendance, including none other than Harrison Ford.

It’s possible that she misspoke, but I don’t think she would have said that, had she not meant it. I think if she had simply said “most of the cast members” instead of “all,” it would have been a safe statement.

So from here, we’re going to assume that Harrison Ford is in the next movie. That gives us three options. One, he’s going to appear in some minor flashbacks. This is possible, and most will say that it is the most probable of the three. Second, he could return as a force ghost. That’s completely absurd, and I’m not even going to justify it. The third option is that he has somehow survived being stabbed, falling, and being on an exploding planet.

So let’s take some time to think about other characters who very obviously should have died, and yet didn’t. First, is Luke. He shouldn’t have survived getting his hand chopped off, and falling on Cloud City. Depending on where Han was stabbed, it’s possible that it was no worse than having your hand chopped off. And he, too, fell a very long way, and was no worse for wear because of it. He was then saved only a few minutes later by Leia and Lando.

The next is Darth Maul. Now I know what you’re going to say, but The Clone Wars is still canon. And that means Darth Maul survived his fight on Naboo. The man was literally chopped in half. That’s way worse than some pesky stab wound. And he also fell down a shaft whose bottom could not be seen. He then survived amid garbage and junk, living off of nothing but rodents. He also made it off-world, being delivered to Lotho Minor with the rest of the garbage.

So we’ve established that characters in Star Wars can survive both serious lightsaber injuries, as well as very long falls into (what appears to be) nothing. So why should Han Solo be any different?

Now onto my theory. When we last see Han, he’s free falling into a large, open shaft of sorts. Since Luke fell in a similar way, it’s not far-fetched to think that he could be just as lucky, and be swept up into some sort of ventilation shaft. After all, this base has to be producing massive amounts of heat, since they’re absorbing the power of a nearby star. That much power would need a serious cooling system. And the open design of the chamber they’re in makes me think that it was an area that needed a lot of heat dissipation, anyway.

For the sake of this theory, let’s assume that Han did get sucked into some sort of air duct. Now, it’s hard to say how far he would be blown, before he was able to get his bearings. But regardless, he would need to get out of the ducts, and would take the first exit that he could find. After all, he’s injured, and he knows that the planet is (hopefully) about to blow. And he’d probably tell himself that he’d gotten out of worse scrapes than this.

Now this particular part of the station seemed rather remote, in comparison to other areas that we were able to see. So it would be logical to think that this area is self-sufficient, in terms of manpower. Instead of shipping troops back to another area every night, they likely had some sort of barracks right there. And if they’re sleeping in this part of the station, they have to eat as well.

So Han drops out of the ventilation shaft at the first possible place. Naturally, it’s another place that needs to be kept cool, the kitchen. Thankfully, the entire base is in an uproar, due to the attack, so no one is going to be cooking or eating. For the moment, he’s alone. Now he’s a smuggler who has spent his entire life defying the odds and surviving. He knows that in his condition, he’s not going to be able to find his way to a ship. Hell, he wouldn’t be able to fight past a single stormtrooper, with no weapon and a serious injury.

At this point, finding a ship is out. So he would do the next best thing. Simply survive. Normally, hiding isn’t how he would choose to go out, but he’s got a family to think about, even if it’s a pretty broken one. So he looks around, thinking about where he could ride out the sort of explosion that he’s expecting. And as he’s looking around, he knows there’s really only one option.

Han Solo musters up the last of his strength as he hears the distant rumble of an explosion. He crawls over and reaches up to grab a handle. Once he’s pulled it, and the door swings open, he quickly grabs and pulls everything out that he can.

When he’s certain that there’s enough room to fit, he climbs in, and shuts the door of the refrigerator behind him. As the station explodes, the refrigerator is hurled away from the station, and Han is left unharmed, if a bit bruised. Because as we all know, you can survive any explosion, as long as you’re in a fridge.

Why Fabien Cousteau Wants To Build An Underwater City

July 1963 Cover

In the July 1963 issue of Popular Science, we detailed the work of Jacques Cousteau, an oceanographer who was building the Conshelf II — an underwater habitat where he would set a world record living under the sea for 30 days. At the time,Cousteau predicted that “within 50 years a new breed of humans—Homo aquaticus, the Water Man—will live under water without an air supply.”

Although artificial gills never made it out to sea, Cousteau’s dream of living underwater is not dead. Recently, at a summit in New York City, Fabien Cousteau (grandson of Jacques) announced his intentions to build a city under the sea. “I’m here to help pioneer the next underwater cities, which will be completely self-sustaining, to tend a network of information and data gathering.”

“I’m here to help pioneer the next underwater cities, which will be completely self-sustaining.”

Fabien Cousteau recently broke his grandfather’s record, living 31 days in the world’s only undersea laboratory, Aquarius, in the Florida Keys. He says the stay gave him “the luxury of time to explore our planet’s final frontier.”

Swimming down from the surface limits the time a diver can spend deep underwater. The high pressure of all that water forces extra gas to dissolve in the diver’s bloodstream, and if the diver resurfaces too quickly, nitrogen can bubble out of the blood, leading to decompression sickness or even death. So every time the diver swims to the surface to eat, sleep, or get a new oxygen tank, she needs to set aside several hours to decompress slowly. But because Cousteau and his team were living underwater, there were no pressure differences to deal with, and they could pop outside anytime and swim around for five to twelve hours at a time.

During his life aquatic, Cousteau says he was able to understand underwater ecosystems as never before, while gathering data and observing endangered species (like the goliath grouper, which can weigh up to 800 pounds). “In the 31 days that we were down below, we gathered data related to climate change, acidification, pollution, and overuse of natural resources, which will be used in 12 scientific papers,” he says.

To date, scientists have explored less than five percent of the oceans, and Cousteau thinks that only by being ‘immersed’ in the ocean—living there full-time—can we begin to understand it.

His 31-day stint in Aquarius has also given him some ideas as to how to make underwater living easier on humans.

“Aquarius is an antique,” Cousteau told Popular Science. The lab was built in the 1960s. It was only intended for week-long missions, and it relies heavily on supplies from the surface. “My dream, which I hope will come to fruition down the road, is to build a real-life Atlantis, where it’s completely self-sustaining, with little or no support from the surface.”

To start, Cousteau envisions a colony that generates its own oxygen and scrubs its own carbon dioxide. Unlike Aquarius, which pumps down air from the surface, the underwater city could manufacture its own air—perhaps by using electrolysis to free oxygen from water molecules. Carbon dioxide would also need to be removed from the system. For that, scientists are developing chemicals and materials that would bind to CO2 and pull it out of the air. “These are two essential points that, until now, have been tackled by space but not underwater,” Cousteau says.

Secondly, the underwater city could harness energy from the ocean around it, through wave energy, splitting water into hydrogen gas, or putting temperature gradients to work in thermoelectric devices.

But then there’s the food issue. During his stay on Aquarius, Cousteau survived almost entirely on freeze-dried astronaut food, which he found distasteful after a while. “Honestly, space food sucks,” says Cousteau. “And on top of that, you lose your sense of taste, so eating really becomes an unpleasant experience.” Instead of relying on imported food, he wants to see underwater colonies that grow their own food—perhaps by farming algae and other plants.

Such a colony would not only help us study oceans better, says Cousteau, but may also pave the way for fully functional space habitats.

Cousteau’s vision is still a concept, with no plans (that we know of) to begin construction anytime soon. But dreams like this help us imagine a brighter future with healthier oceans and new frontiers to explore. That’s exciting. And, who knows, maybe in the next 50 years, Homo aquaticus could finally come into being … minus the freaky gills.

Correction (11/4/2014 11:30am ET): An earlier version of this article suggested that decompression sickness occurs when oxygen leaves the blood too quickly. It’s actually caused by nitrogen leaving the blood too quickly.

This New Lego Set Brings Classic Super Mario Games Into The Real World

Lego’s augmented reality efforts have been sporadic in recent years. Its Playgrounds iOS app debuted at the end of 2023 and brought app-based digital functions to some physical brick sets. Its Hidden Side collections add AR elements to dedicated sets, but it doesn’t feel particularly focused. It’s a mix of STEM coding activities, VR games, and augmented reality building tech all mashed together.

Lego’s latest offering, however, is a collaboration with the mighty Nintendo to create a Mario-themed set. Rather than cramming lots of different functions and play patterns into the toys, it takes a focused approach. Kids use Lego bricks to build custom courses for an adorable plastic Mario to traverse. There’s no app-based video game. The figures aren’t a controller. The app is simply a companion and it’s much better off for it.

The game doesn’t work like a typical Super Mario video game. Risk of dying by falling down a pit or having an ill-fated encounter with an enemy takes a back seat to the fun that comes from the level-building process. The Mario figure doesn’t rely on a smartphone camera to observe its position or movements as with other app-based toys. Instead, Mario has a color sensor on the bottom that can recognize what kind of brick he’s standing on. There are seven kinds of action blocks that the figure can read, including land, water, and even enemies like the adorable Goombas.

The three-inch Mario’s eyes, mouth, and stomach all utilize LCD displays that can combine for more than 100 different reactions. A built-in speaker pumps out familiar sound effects from the franchise. The set has everything you’d want from a true collaboration rather than a slapdash toy branded with some licensed intellectual property.

Put Mario on a red piece that represents lava and fire appears on his chest display. Put him on top of a Goomba and a coin appears on the front of his overalls and you get that familiar coin sound.

The three-inch Mario figure gives feedback in real time. Lego

An accelerometer inside Mario also keeps track of his movements. Put him on a cloud piece and wave him around and he’ll look and sound happy. Put him on a spinning platform and he’ll earn coins. Spin him in the opposite direction on the same platform and he’ll earn a coin bonus. Even though the player builds the course, Nintendo and Lego have hidden Easter eggs to let people discover and encourage more exploration.

Most of the interaction happens with the figure itself, but the Super Mario app contains essential elements such as the directions for building the levels. It also keeps track of any expansion sets that you buy and archives the direction videos for them for later reference.

Once you build a course, the app will allow you to take a photo of it and archive it so you can recreate it or share it with other Mario Lego players.

The real play, however, happens with the bricks themselves. You’re not controlling an app with the physical Mario pieces like with so many app-based toys. The app keeps track of your play and your creations, but actual play doesn’t involve looking at a screen once you’re up and running.

Nintendo is planning a number of expansion packs for the Mario world, but everyone needs the $60 starter kit before growing a collection. It will likely enjoy at least some success because most things Mario have a built-in audience. But, Nintendo and Lego have really made a great decision in avoiding the compulsion to do too much. Keep it simple and jump on Goombas. It’s worked for decades.

This Quick Terminal Command Lets You Add Half Star Ratings In Itunes

If you’re a Mac OS X user who listens to music in iTunes, you may often add ratings to your songs. With iTunes, you can add a rating from 1 to 5 stars, but only whole stars – no half stars. If you have some songs that are in between (ie. 3 1/2 stars), why should you be forced to give a 1/2 star more or less than what it deserves?

The short answer is that you shouldn’t be forced at all to do that, and you no longer have to be thanks to this quick tip from Mac Tricks & Tips. They’ve shared a single-line terminal command which you can use to add this functionality to iTunes, and it’s really quick and easy to use.

defaults

write

com.apple.iTunes allow-half-stars

-bool

true

If you have iTunes open, you can now restart it, or open it if not open.

You should now be able to select a star rating and drag to the right or left to add a half star.

Charnita Fance

Charnita has been a Freelance Writer & Professional Blogger since 2008. As an early adopter she loves trying out new apps and services. As a Windows, Mac, Linux and iOS user, she has a great love for bleeding edge technology. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

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