Weekly Nerd News: January 13


by Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)

Have you fallen behind on your nerd news? Don’t worry; we’re here to help! Here are a few stories to bring up at the water cooler this week:


Steven Moffat has confirmed series eight of Doctor Who will air as one complete run. Previously, seasons had been split over two years, premiering in one year and wrapping up in another. The new series starring new Doctor Peter Capaldi is expected to come back in August 2014. In a related story, series 9 will reportedly follow the same pattern, premiering in 2015.


Two Star Wars fan favorites will soon be guest starring on The Big Bang Theory. James Earl Jones and Carrie Fisher will be playing themselves and will cross paths with Sheldon in the upcoming episode. No word yet on when it will air.


San Diego Comic-Con has made some big changes to their badge policy this year. Four-day passes will no longer be sold; instead fans will have to buy individual day passes. Preview night will also be an available option to those who purchase passes for all four days – Thursday (preview day), Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Fans will then have the option of consolidating those badges into a four-day pass on site. Tickets will first go on sale to those who attended last year, then open up to everyone else who wants to try. But don’t forget, you must have secured a Member ID to attempt to purchase a ticket. Got all that?


Ground has officially been broken for the new Avatar-inspired Land at Disney World. It will be housed in Animal Kingdom and kick off the biggest expansion in the park since it opened. In the new land, guests will actually get to experience Pandora when they fly with banshees, explore mountains that float, and interact with plants that glow at night. Check out a video of the ceremony – including concept art of the land – here!


Stan Lee is set to make a guest appearance on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. Lee is said to have a “big role” in the episode that will likely air February 4. This will not be his first foray into acting – he makes cameos in all the Marvel movies, usually with a small speaking role. But before Agents of SHIELD, he will be making his animated acting debut in the movie Stan Lee’s Mighty 7 in which he mentors a group of superheroes while writing about them in a comic book. It premieres February 1 on the Hub network.


Marvel is looking to re-launch its Ultimate universe with characters like Miles Morales, the Future Foundation, and the All-New Ultimates getting an upgrade. Marvel’s editor-in-chief says they will essentially be tearing down the existing universe to make it better, making redemption and sacrifice key points in the new series. It all goes down in April, when the Cataclysm miniseries ends.


Also happening in April? Peter Parker is being resurrected! He will be coming back in the new “Amazing Spider-Man” comic series, which coincidentally launches right before The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hits theaters in May. In the meantime, readers will just have to see what happens to the dark, mean Doc Ock who is trapped inside Peter Parker’s body before the real Parker comes back.


Nintendo announced 3DS game sales had huge numbers in America last year, with its numbers rising 45% over 2012. But the bigger news is that the system has sold more than 11.5 million units to date. This is thanks in part to the launch of the 2DS and continued strong sales on the 3DS XL. It was also revealed that the 3DS was the best-selling game device in the UK in 2013, beating out the PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.


The Consumer Electronics Show was last week and with it came a lot of news. Firstly, Google announced a partnership with Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and chip manufacturer Nvidia to bring Android to cars. Called the Open Automotive Alliance, the operating system will allow users to create apps for in-car use, all from their infotainment system. It is rumored to be the precursor for future functions like driverless travel. The OAA is supposed to be in cars as early as this year.


Razer also brought a new product to the CES in the form of their experimental modular PC, Project Christine. It is designed to make updating and customizing PCs easier, featuring compartments in which users can plug various components like graphics cards, hard drives, or Blu-ray players. The bottom unit of the system’s tower would be a cooling mechanism. The company hopes this will revolutionize the PC and gaming industries alike.

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