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Take on all Pokemon

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A Pokken Tournament kicks off on 18 March for Wii U players. It gives them the chance to go head-to head, playing as their favourite Pokemon character. Players will also have the option to battle it out in the newly developed Ferrum region and their winnings can be used for character upgrades.

Pokémon players wanting to be the very best will need to conquer the new region of Ferrum, take on all-comers in a variety of game modes including single-player and multiplayer battles, and defeat  powerful Pokémon such as Shadow Mewtwo when Pokkén Tournament launches for Wii U on 18 March.

Developed with Tekken franchise developers BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Pokkén Tournament brings versus fighting action to the world of Pokémon for the very first time, along with a roster of fan-favourite Pokémon to play as. For the first time ever prepare to do battle in the region of Ferrum, a new region introduced in Pokkén Tournament that is the stage for a battle style unique to this region, where Pokémon and their Battle Trainers compete to see who is the strongest in the Ferrum League.

The Ferrum League is the new single-player game mode exclusive to the Wii U version of Pokkén Tournament. As players win their way through the league, new Pokémon will be unlocked to be used as Support Pokémon and the number of selectable stages will also increase. Players can also go head to head as two players can take on each other in local or online multiplayer. In Local Battles, one player will use the Wii U GamePad while the other uses a Pokkén Tournament-compatible controller.

Online Battles consist of Rank or Friendly Matches. In Rank Matches, players will take on the world and rise through the global rankings based on the points collected from their wins. Friendly Matches allow quick battles with others, even friends who have exchanged VS codes or Nintendo Network IDs. Pokkén Tournament also features a LAN Battle mode that allows players to connect two Wii U consoles together to experience local head-to-head action at a full 60 frames per second on separate TVs. In this mode each player can use any compatible controller.

For the first time players will be able to play with the powerful Shadow Mewtwo, a Pokémon shrouded in mystery and possessing overwhelming strength. As players win their way through the Ferrum League, Shadow Mewtwo will suddenly appear, and only successful players will finally bring the secrets of this mysterious Pokémon to light. Fans who purchase a first-run version of the game at retail will receive a limited edition Shadow Mewtwo amiibo card that immediately unlocks the character in the game after tapping it to the Wii U GamePad.

By winning through the Ferrum League players will earn Poké Gold (PG), which can be spent on customising their Battle Trainer. By going to the My Town section of the game, players can use their hard-earned PG to purchase and equip new customisation items such as hair styles, outfits and accessories. Pokkén Tournament is also compatible with all amiibo accessories to unlock in-game items.

Pokkén Tournament also features a deep Practice Mode that will allow players to practice battling as much as they like without worrying about time limits or HP. In addition to the open practice of Free Training, the Combo Dojo will introduce powerful combos for each Pokémon and let players try them out. With a playable cast of Pokémon and dozens of additional support Pokémon to unlock, there are hundreds of combos to learn and take into battle.

With the new Ferrum League, a variety of multiplayer options, new battle and support Pokémon, and the mysteries of Shadow Mewtwo finally revealed, there is plenty to excite Pokémon and versus fighting game fans alike on 18th March when  Pokkén Tournament launches for Wii U.

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Kenya tool to help companies prepare for emergencies

After its team members survived last week’s Nairobi terror attack, Ushahidi decided to release a new preparedness tool for free, writes its CEO, NAT MANNING

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On Tuesday I woke up a bit before 7am in Berkeley, California where I live. I made some coffee and went over to my computer to start my work day. I checked my Slack and the news and quickly found out that there was an ongoing terrorist attack at 14 Riverside Complex in Nairobi, Kenya. The Ushahidi office is in Nairobi and about a third of our team is based there (the rest of us are spread across 10 other countries).

As I read the news, my heart plummeted, and I immediately asked the question, “is everyone on my team okay?”

Five years ago Al-Shabaab committed a similar attack at the Westgate Mall. We spent several tense hours figuring out if any of our team had been in the mall, and verifying that everyone was safe. We found out that one of our team member’s family was caught up in the attack. Luckily they made it out.

At Ushahidi we make software for crisis response, including tools to map disasters and election violence, and yet we felt helpless in the face of this attack. In the days following the Westgate attack, our team huddled and thought about what we could build that would help our team — and other teams — if we found ourselves in a similar situation to this attack again. We identified that when we first learned of the attack, nearly everyone at Ushahidi had spent that first precious few hours trying to answer the basic questions, “Is everyone okay?”, and if not, “Who needs help?” 

People had ad-hoc used multiple channels such as WhatsApp, called, emailed, or texted. We had done this for each person at Ushahidi (their job), in our families, and important people in our community. Our process was unorganised, inefficient, repetitive, and frustrating.

And from this problem we created TenFour, a check in tool that makes it easier for teams to reach one another during times of crisis. It is a simple application that lets people send a message to their team via SMS, Slack, Voice, email, and in-app, and get a response. It also works for educational institutions, companies with distributed staff, as well as part of neighbourhood networks like neighbourhood watches.

This week when I woke up to the news of the attack at Riverside, I immediately opened up the TenFour app.

Click here to read how Nat quickly confirmed the safety of his team.

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Kia multi-collision airbags

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The world’s first multi-collision airbag system has been unveiled by Hyundai Motor Group subsidiary KIA Motors, with the aim of improving airbag performance in multi-collision accidents.

Multi-collision accidents are those in which the primary impact is followed by collisions with secondary objects, such as other vehicles, trees, or electrical posts, which occur in three out of every 10 accidents. Current airbag systems do not offer secondary protection when the initial impact is insufficient to cause them to deploy. 

However, the multi-collision airbag system allows airbags to deploy effectively upon a secondary impact, by calibrating the status of the vehicle and the occupants.

The new technology detects occupants’ positions in the cabin following an initial collision. When occupants are forced into unusual positions, the effectiveness of existing safety technology may be compromised. Multi-collision airbag systems are designed to deploy even faster when initial safety systems may not be effective, providing additional safety when drivers and passengers are most vulnerable. By recalibrating the collision intensity required for deployment, the airbag system responds more promptly during the secondary impact, thereby improving the safety of multi-collision vehicle occupants.

“By improving airbag performance in multi-collision scenarios, we expect to significantly improve the safety of our drivers and passengers,” said Taesoo Chi, head of the Hyundai Motor Group’s Chassis Technology Centre. “We will continue our research on more diverse crash situations as part of our commitment to producing even safer vehicles that protect occupants and prevent injuries.”

According to statistics by the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS), an office of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in USA, about 30% of 56,000 vehicle accidents from 2000 to 2012 in the North American region involved multi-collisions. The leading type of multi-collision accidents involved cars crossing over the centre line (30.8%), followed by collisions caused by a sudden stop at highway tollgates (13.5%), highway median strip collisions (8.0%), and sideswiping and collision with trees and electric poles (4.0%). 

These multi-collision scenarios were analysed in multilateral ways to improve airbag performance and precision in secondary collisions. Once commercialised, the system will be implemented in future new KIA vehicles. 

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