Weekly Nerd News – November 18


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:

NASA is launching a new Mars exploration program today. The spacecraft is called MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) and as such, its first mission will concentrate on collecting information about the planet’s atmosphere. MAVEN’s objectives in its missions include determining the composition of Mars’ upper atmosphere, how fast Mars is losing what’s left of its atmosphere, and the atmosphere’s history. It launches from Cape Canaveral today at 1:28 p.m. ET for a 20-month mission.

Sony has announced that one million Playstation 4 systems were sold in the first 24 hours of its launch. That number reflects North American numbers only, as they won’t be available in the rest of the world until late November and not in Japan until February.

In other new console news, the Xbox One has come under fire again very soon before its release. That’s because Microsoft has revealed that a one-day patch will be required to use basic apps and play games on it. In other words, users will have to use the patch to download an update to the console and won’t be able to play it straight out of the box. However, DVDs and Blu-rays should play right away. The patch should take about 15 to 20 minutes to download and the console will be available November 22.

Warner Bros. and game studio Imangi Studios are bringing popular game Temple Run to the big screen. David Heyman (Gravity, Harry Potter) will produce the movie if the deal goes through. If you haven’t played it, the game follows an Indiana Jones-like plot, with an explorer having just stolen an idol from a temple and running away from bad guys with it as fast as he can. It’s probably a safe bet to guess the movie will be out sometime in 2016.

The 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who is almost upon us! To celebrate, the BBC is rolling out new features ahead of its arrival. First is a mini-episode called The Night of the Doctor, which answers some previously-raised questions and centers around a surprise character. Second is a trailer for An Adventure in Space and Time, which airs November 22, a day before the 50th’s special. It chronicles the early days of the show and stars David Bradley as William Hartnell, the first Doctor. Both videos can be watched here.

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