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The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

In a bid to gain footprint into Cloud game streaming market, Facebook has acquired Spanish video gaming firm PlayGiga.

According to a CNBC report, the acquisition comes at a time when tech giants like Apple and Google have rolled out Cloud video game streaming services like Arcade and Stadia.


Microsoft has also previewed its xCloud game streaming service.

A Spanish business newspaper Cinco Dias claimed that Facebook acquired PlayGiga for about $78 million.

“We’re thrilled to welcome PlayGiga to the Facebook Gaming team,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying on Wednesday.


The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple’s App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

PlayGiga was founded in 2013.

“We are excited to announce that the PlayGiga team is moving on to something new. We are continuing our work in cloud gaming, now with a new mission. We want to thank all of our partners and customers for their support over the years,” the company wrote on its website.

Facebook acquired VR headset maker Oculus for $2 billion in 2014. The social networking giant has also launched Facebook Gaming — a live-stream service that allows users to share their gameplay.

Also Read: Infosys Launches Blockchain-powered Apps in 3 Verticals

The arrival of Cloud-based game streaming services like Apple Arcade, Google Stadia and the upcoming Microsoft XCloud is all set to change the way people play games, threatening the very survival of traditional gaming industry ruled by consoles like Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation.

Cloud-based gaming is the new livestreaming trend after music and video. One big advantage of cloud gaming over the traditional one is lower cost of setup which can be played on smartphones, tablets, PCs and even TV. (IANS)


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Milky Way galaxy as seen from Chitkul Valley

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has for the first time spotted signs of a planet transiting a star outside of the Milky Way galaxy, opening up a new avenue to search for exoplanets at greater distances than ever before.

The possible exoplanet -- or planets outside of our Solar System -- candidate is located in the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51), also called the Whirlpool Galaxy because of its distinctive profile, NASA said in a statement.

Astronomers have, so far, found all other known exoplanets and exoplanet candidates in the Milky Way galaxy, almost all of them less than about 3,000 light-years from Earth.

An exoplanet in M51 would be about 28 million light-years away, meaning it would be thousands of times farther away than those in the Milky Way, NASA said.

"We are trying to open up a whole new arena for finding other worlds by searching for planet candidates at X-ray wavelengths, a strategy that makes it possible to discover them in other galaxies," said Rosanne Di Stefano of the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard and Smithsonian (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the study.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The exoplanet candidate was spotted in a binary system called M51-ULS-1, located in M51. This binary system contains a black hole or neutron star orbiting a companion star with a mass about 20 times that of the Sun. The X-ray transit they found using Chandra data lasted about three hours, during which the X-ray emission decreased to zero.

Based on this and other information, the team estimates the exoplanet candidate in M51-ULS-1 would be roughly the size of Saturn and orbit the neutron star or black hole at about twice the distance of Saturn from the Sun.

The team looked for X-ray transits in three galaxies beyond the Milky Way galaxy, using both Chandra and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. Their search covered 55 systems in M51, 64 systems in Messier 101 (the "Pinwheel" galaxy), and 119 systems in Messier 104 (the "Sombrero" galaxy).

However, more data would be needed to verify the interpretation as an extragalactic exoplanet. One challenge is that the planet candidate's large orbit means it would not cross in front of its binary partner again for about 70 years, thwarting any attempts for a confirming observation for decades, NASA said.

Named in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the Chandra X-ray Observatory is the world's most powerful X-ray telescope. It has eight times greater resolution and is able to detect sources more than 20-times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope.

Known to the world as Chandra (which means "moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit), Chandrasekhar was widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the twentieth century. (IANS/JB)


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