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LEGO Worlds on the way

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LEGO Worlds – a galaxy of imaginative worlds made entirely of digital LEGO bricks where players can explore, discover and create together,” – will launch next month for PlayStation4, Xbox One and Steam.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games and The LEGO Group have announced that Lego Worlds, “a galaxy of imaginative worlds made entirely of digital Lego bricks where players can explore, discover and create together,” will commercially launch on 21 February 2017 for PlayStation4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and STEAM.  Developed by TT Games and published by Warner Bros, LEGO Worlds has been in STEAM Early Access since last year, allowing players to provide feedback for continual improvements leading up to its official launch.

“In LEGO Worlds, players will go on an exciting journey to become a Master Builder, in an open-world made completely of LEGO-built environments,” said Jonathan Smith, Head of Production, TT Games. “Whether customising characters, exploring in vehicles, building structures, or discovering an expansive range of items, characters and creatures throughout the worlds, there’s the freedom to create anything imaginable.”

“LEGO Worlds expands our LEGO videogame franchise with a new experience that embodies all the fun of physical LEGO brick building,” said David Haddad, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “TT Games has created an expansive, digital universe that combines unlimited creativity with the LEGO humor that fans love.”

“LEGO Worlds brings the very essence of LEGO play – building – to the digital world, more than ever before,” said Niels Jørgensen, Vice President, Digital Games for The LEGO Group. “We are excited to bring our physical and digital play models closer together and know it will resonate with our core audience – and engage new ones. We believe LEGO Worlds has the potential to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through its experience of open-ended creative play.”

In LEGO Worlds, players uncover hidden treasures in environments that range from fun to the fantastical, where worlds come to life with a dizzying variety of vehicles and creatures – from cowboys riding giraffes to vampires scaring Yetis, to steamrollers, racing cars and colossal digging machines. Gamers can embark on a quest to become a Master Builder by helping other LEGO characters along the way – find a sword for a king, protect a farmer from a zombie invasion, or build a home for a caveman. Environments and creations are brought to life in any way fans can imagine, either by building brick by brick, placing down enormous prebuilt LEGO structures, or by using wondrous tools that let you paint and shape the landscape. LEGO Worlds’ online multiplayer functionality allows players to explore each other’s worlds together, create together, and engage in cooperative and competitive play experiences that players can build themselves.

A separate LEGO Agents DLC pack, featuring new characters, vehicles, weapons and more from the Agents range of play materials, will be available first on PlayStation 4 and exclusive for 90 days.

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YouTube Music announces Smart Downloads, SA playlists

The service has introduced Smart Downloads which takes allowing users to store and play hundreds of tunes offline, automatically.

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The latest updates from YouTube Music, for subscribers of its Music Premium and Premium services, include a new feature that allows users to switch seamlessly between a song and its music video for an uninterrupted experience.

It has also introduced Smart Downloads which takes the work out of downloading music, allowing users to store and play hundreds of tunes offline, automatically. YouTube Music has also announced new playlists for South Africa. 

The updates all reflect features that are popular on the global leader in music streaming, Spotify, and that have been key to its growth.

YouTube said in a statement on Friday: “Imagine listening to a new track by your favourite artist in the YouTube Music app and having the ability to seamlessly switch over to watch the music video – no pauses, no interruptions, just a simple tap that keeps the music flowing. This standout new feature from YouTube Music allows YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium subscribers to make a seamless transition between a song and its music video for uninterrupted listening and/or watching. Whether you’re in the mood for listening or watching (or a little of both)… it’s all here – no app switching required.”

With Smart Downloads, YouTube Music automatically saves music at night, when connected to Wi-Fi, helping subscribers to use less mobile data, enjoy a smoother updating experience and save up to 500 songs offline using Liked Songs playlist as well as other playlists and albums. 


Previously, music lovers could use the Offline Mixtape feature to download up to 100 songs, specifically chosen for them based on what they listened to most on the platform. Now, with Smart Downloads, they select the number of songs they would like automatically downloaded by toggling their YouTube Music Settings. This means YouTube Music Premium subscribers with Smart Downloads enabled on their mobile devices can now access hundreds of tracks regardless of connectivity. 

This feature is currently available on Android, with plans to bring it to iOS in the future.

Click here to read more about YouTube Music playlists, and find out what is inside them.

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Make cars, not waste

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Jaguar Land Rover is trialling an innovative recycling process which converts plastic waste into a new premium grade material that could feature on future vehicles. 

It’s estimated that the amount of waste plastic is predicted to exceed 12 million tonnes globally by 2050*. Today, not all of this plastic can be recycled for use in automotive applications – especially in vehicle parts that are required to meet the most exacting safety and quality standards.

Working in conjunction with chemical company, BASF, Jaguar Land Rover is part of a pilot project called ChemCycling that upcycles domestic waste plastic, otherwise destined for landfill or incinerators, into a new high-quality material. 

The waste plastic is transformed to pyrolysis oil using a thermochemical process. This secondary raw material is then fed into BASF’s production chain as a replacement for fossil resources; ultimately producing a new premium grade that replicates the high quality and performance of ‘virgin’ plastics. Importantly, it can be tempered and coloured making it the ideal sustainable solution for designing the next-generation dashboards and exterior-surfaces in Jaguar and Land Rover models.

Jaguar Land Rover and BASF are currently testing the pilot phase material in a Jaguar I-PACE prototype front-end carrier overmoulding to verify it meets the same stringent safety requirements of the existing original part.

Pending the outcome of the trials and progression in taking chemical recycling to market readiness, adoption of the new premium material would mean Jaguar Land Rover could use domestically derived recycled plastic content throughout its cars without any compromise to quality or safety performance**. 

Chris Brown, Senior Sustainability Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Plastics are vital to car manufacturing and have proven benefits during their use phase, however, plastic waste remains a major global challenge. Solving this issue requires innovation and joined-up thinking between regulators, manufacturers and suppliers.

“At Jaguar Land Rover, we are proactively increasing recycled content in our products, removing single-use plastics across our operations and reducing excess waste across the product lifecycle. The collaboration with BASF is just one way in which we are advancing our commitment to operating in a circular economy.”

This is the latest example of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to addressing the challenge of waste plastic. The company has collaborated with Kvadrat to offer customers alternative seat options that are both luxurious and sustainable. The high-quality material, available initially on the Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque, combines a durable wool blend with a technical suedecloth that is made from 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle. 

Jaguar Land Rover has already met its 2020 target for Zero Waste to Landfill for UK operations. This includes the removal of 1.3 million m2 – equal to 187 football pitches – of plastic from its manufacturing lineside and replacing 14 million single use plastic items in business operations. 

Together, these efforts are driving towards Jaguar Land Rover’s vision for Destination Zero; an ambition to make societies safer and healthier, and the environment cleaner. Delivered through relentless innovation to adapt its products and services to the rapidly-changing world, the company’s focus is on achieving a future of zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion.

Editor’s notes:

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/7/e1700782.full

** All Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles tested have achieved a Euro NCAP 5* rating.

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