No spam in Tuesday's top tech stories:
Microsoft saying good-bye to Hotmail
It's not often we get a shakeup in the email world, but say hello to Microsoft's new free email account, Outlook.com. It'll eventually be replacing Hotmail, but you might want to grab your name now. There's a new, clean look and it ties in your social media contacts. It's not too far off from what you may be used to already in Gmail, as you'll be able to tell from CNET's full overview of the features.
The Mars Science Laboratory rover, called Curiosity, will land on the red planet overnight Sunday to search for the building blocks of life and test if anything could live on Mars. Some say this $2.5 billion mission could be the most important event in the history of planetary exploration.
There's a new way to tag on Twitter. Using the dollar sign before a ticker (such as $FB) will create a cashtag. When clicked, it takes you to the search result of the financials for that company. It's a concept that's already been used by Stocktwits, but that service does more than simply link to a search results page.
And today's show ends with a look at how EA Sports scans the faces of real players for its video games. A demonstration was held in New York's Grand Central Station as the Tottenham Hotspur players were scanned for FIFA Soccer 13.
Players sit still for a couple of minutes as 18 cameras capture images of every angle of their face. In the case of a game like FIFA, players give a neutral expression to create a base model. The computers will later animate those faces with different expressions. (Because there are so many players in a game, it would be a daunting task to capture every unique emotion and expression for every player. But they have the technology to do it.)
The photos will stay with the players for the life of their career, according to Nigel Nunn, the digital imaging lead for The Capture Lab. If players change hair, EA can make an update without needing a new photo.
The Capture Lab team has been traveling the globe to get as many teams as possible for EA's suite of games, but the work is far from over. Not every team will have this capture technology by the time FIFA 13 comes out in September, but more will make the cut for the next version.
Nunn said FIFA was the first to adopt this head-scanning technology, and other sports followed. "FIFA is cutting edge, they're always willing to try the next best thing. They're usually the first to invest in new technology."