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Mark Austin

Mark Austin

Former Digital Trends Contributor

Mark’s first encounter with high-tech was a TRS-80. He spent 20 years working for Nintendo and Xbox as a writer and corporate shill. He sucks at shooters and much prefers playing relaxing city builders and management sims.


Going, going, gone! A rare Ferrari 250 GTO sells for more than $48 million

A rare original Ferrari GTO, one of only 36 ever made and one of the most sought-after collector cars in the world, has been sold for $48 million at a Sotheby's auction in Monerey, California. The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti, chassis no. 3413 GT, was the third one ever built.

Behold the dreaded dragon-sharks in the full trailer for final Sharknado movie

It's time for Sharknado to finally jump the shark, as SyFy has announced that the upcoming sixth entry in the cult franchise will be the last. The finale premiering August 19 is sure to be a star-studded time-traveling adventure with Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassie Scerbo, and Vivica A. Fox.

Kepler space telescope’s last gasp is next week

The Kepler telescope is running on empty, and there's no way to fill up the tank. The mission engineers' last priority is retrieving the months of data stored onboard the spacecraft.
Ford Eagle Squadron Mustang GT

Ford will auction off this Mustang inspired by RAF fighters from WWII

A one-of-a-kind 700-horsepower high-performance Ford Mustang with a livery scheme inspired by American pilots who flew for the RAF during World War II will be auctioned off. Ford has donated 11 vehicles to the EAA over the past 20 years, resulting in more than $3 million raised for the charity.

A huge meteorite just splashed into the ocean, and scientists want to find it

A two-ton rock from the depths of space just plunged into the Pacific Ocean, and researchers want to find it. Fortunately, an oceanic research vessel is nearby, and it’s ready to deploy its high-tech to aid in the search. The Nautilus contains sophisticated sensors and two remote-controlled submarines that can scour the seafloor for fragments.

Microsoft relaunches the classic mouse that changed gaming forever

Fifteen years after its last iteration, Microsoft is relaunching the classic mouse that many gamers grew up with playing Age of Empires or Starcraft. A clever Rube Goldgerg video accompanies the announcement, The new Intellimouse maintains the ergonomic focus, quick responsiveness, and sparse simplicity of the original from 1996.
hayabusa 2 sample asteroid ryugu jaxa landing artists conception

Japanese space probe to begin exploring asteroid Ryugu

After more than three years and hundreds of millions of miles, the Japanese space probe Hayabusa 2 has arrived at its destination. Scientists plan to drop several landers onto the tiny asteroid, and even blast a hole in it. The probe will then retrieve samples of Ryugu and return them to Earth in 2020.
asteroid day asteroid hitting earth

Avoiding armageddon: U.S. reveals plans to counter killer asteroids

Although the possibility of such an event is very small, a new report outlines some of the steps that government agencies can take to prepare for the possibility of an apocalyptic collision with an asteroid or comet. The possibilities range from crashing spacecraft into approaching objects to detonating bombs.

MIT researchers develop a robot system controlled by brainwaves

What if you could watch a robot work and, with a simple hand movement, stop it before it made a mistake? That’s the promise of new research from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Using EEG and EMG scanners, scientists connected a robot to a human with no training required.

MTV wants to reboot the ‘90s with ‘Aeon Flux,’ ‘Daria,’ and ‘Made’

The newly launched MTV Studios is wasting no time developing original programming for both cable broadcasts and subscription video on demand, drawing on hundreds of shows in the Viacom vault over the last 30 years. A live-action Aeon Flux and a new Daria animated series are just two of the offerings in the works.

Astronauts install hi-def docking cameras for Crew Dragon, Starliner capsules

In preparation for the commercial crewed modules that will arrive at the International Space Station soon, astronauts took a lengthy spacewalk to install some crucial equipment to the docking module. The extra-vehicular activity moved commander Drew Feustel to third on the list of all-time spacewalkers.
Death Cab for Cutie

Death Cab for Cutie’s new single ‘Gold Rush’ takes on the rise of Amazon

The Seattle band Death Cab for Cutie has a new album on the way in August, and the first single Gold Rush ponders some of the downsides of luring a tech giant like Amazon to the city and the neighborhoods you've grown to love.

Oprah joins Apple with a multiyear original programming deal

Apple has landed one of the most influential figures in all media, signing a wide-ranging deal with Oprah Winfrey. Few details were announced, but it means Apple is upping the ante in original streaming programming with a big push meant to compete with established streaming content rivals like Amazon and Netflix.

‘Lucifer’ lives: Fourth season coming to Netflix

Netflix has shown some sympathy for the devil, picking up the fan-favorite crime drama Lucifer at the last possible moment for a fourth season after a months-long social media campaign. The show was cancelled by Fox and several streaming providers, including Amazon, showed interest in the series.

At Stephen Hawking’s memorial, his message of peace was beamed into the cosmos

As Stephen Hawking's ashes were buried in the famous Westminster Abbey between the graves of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin, a composition featuring a message of hope from the renowned scientist was being broadcast to a black hole thousands of light years away.
red dead redemption

‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ pre-order bonuses and special editions revealed

Rockstar has outlined pre-order bonuses and multiple limited editions for Red Dead Redemption 2. Those who pre-order will receive a fan favorite horse and a survival kit along with some cash for use in GTA Online. The pricier editions are pretty cool, and there's even a collector's box...sans game.
Alexa listening indicator.

Xbox One may soon welcome Alexa and Google Assistant

A leaked Xbox One screenshot from an upcoming build suggests that Cortana may soon have some company, with voice commands utilizing Alexa and Google Assistant devices added to the console's expanding repertoire. No official announcement has been made, but such a move has been rumored for many months.
Making of Evolve screenshot Whos Hunting Who 0007

‘Evolve’ is pulling the plug on its dedicated servers in September

Initially launched with much hype and fanfare, the asymmetrical shooter Evolve never found its niche. Now after limping along with no support and a free-to-play version the past two years, the four-on-one blaster Evolve will finally be laid to rest, as 2K Games announced it will shut down the dedicated servers for the game.

Take a VR journey to an exoplanet with NASA’s new ‘Travel Bureau’

Humans won't visit alien planets beyond our solar system for many decades, but NASA has provided the next best thing -- an interactive VR visualization of what you might see if you were standing on the surface of a faraway exoplanet, complete with some retro travel posters.

Robot submarine discovers the ‘holy grail’ — a shipwreck with billions in gold

After being lost during a fierce naval battle 300 years ago, the location of the San José -- and the billions in treasure it carried -- has been a mystery to maritime historians and treasure hunters alike, until a high-tech robot submarine discovered the wreckage.

A miniature chemistry lab is headed to Mars to search for signs of life

The upcoming ExoMars mission, scheduled for launch in 2020, will include an entire chemistry lab shrunk down to the size of a toaster oven. The sophisticated spectrometer will analyze samples from below the Martian surface to search for organic molecules which could indicate there was once life on the red planet..
Star Wars

‘Solo’ includes a shout-out to one of the worst Star Wars games ever made

If you grew up with PlayStation, you may have recognized the obscure martial art practiced by Qi'ra in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Teräs Käsi or "steel hands" was introduced in the Star Wars novel Shadows of the Empire and showcased in a low-rated 1997 fighting game.

Shelby will roll out 10 new limited-edition ’67 Mustang GT500 Super Snakes

One of the most recognizable muscle cars ever made, the 1967 Mustang GT500 Super Snake with a 427-inch engine and 550 horsepower, will get a new lease on life with an extremely limited run from Shelby American and a price tag of a quarter million dollars.
moon, weirdest space missions, strange space missions, outer space

China is creating a ‘magpie bridge’ to the far side of the moon

China's latest lunar rover will land on the far side of the moon, and that presents some communication challenges. A high-tech relay satellite with a name from Chinese folklore will not only support the rover but search for clues about the origin of the universe.

Paradox’s new strategy sim ‘Age of Wonders: Planetfall’ sounds epic

Strategy game publisher Paradox announced an epic new game from well-known fantasy game developer Triumph Studios at the PDXCON in Sweden. Age of Wonders: Planetfall will let you build a new civilizartion from the ruins of a cosmic dark age in the new 4x turn-based strategy game.
far cry 5 system pc specs 4k sli crossfire

‘Far Cry 5’ boosts Ubisoft’s yearly sales above the $2 billion mark

With its fiscal year coming to a close, Ubisoft only needed a week of sales for Far Cry 5 to bump its annual sales above the $2 billion mark. The open-world shooter more than doubled the first-week haul of its predecessor, with strong sales for The Division and Assassin's Creed: Origins also finishing out the quarter.

NASA’s planet-hunting satellite sends back its first image — and it’s amazing

A routine calibration camera test on NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite mission has produced a stunning image, capturing more than 200,000 stars in the southern sky. Future images will provide even more details as we search for signs of alien life.

Epic Games reveals when ‘Fortnite’ will finally come to Android

The biggest game of the year is about to get a whole lot bigger. After a mobile release on iOS back in March that raked in tens of millions of dollars, Epic Games announced the upcoming availability for Android gamers. Battle Royale is free to play and it's quickly taking the world by storm.

Director Ron Howard is hoping to make a sequel to ‘Willow’

One of prolific director Ron Howard's earliest films was a collaboration with George Lucas for an epic fantasy adventure, and now he says he'd like to return to the world created in Willow more than three decades ago. Our only question is, what took you so long?
Mars helicopter

NASA will send a tiny drone helicopter to fly through the Martian skies

NASA has revealed that the Mars 2020 mission will include a remote-control "marscopter" along with the rover. The small chopper will deploy on the surface of the red planet for several test flights. If the tests of the tiny dual-rotor helicopter are successful, it will be the first atmospheric flight on another planet.

Twitch adds a new 24/7 streaming sports channel called Stadium

When you think of Twitch, you don't normally think of traditional sports like football and basketball. The company hopes to change that with a new channel called Stadium, delivering 24/7 events, highlights, and commentary on sports. Twitch will also be broadcasting Thursday night NFL games free during the 2018 season.
Destiny 2

Cryptic ‘Destiny 2’ puzzle sends players on a real-life scavenger hunt

A coded message hidden inside the latest expansion for Destiny 2 sent the community into a frenzy last week, as they tried to decipher it and figure out what it meant. The real-life treasure of a mystical spear and a cache of gold coins was finally discovered atop a mountain, where it had been hidden by the developers.
stephen king

‘Castle Rock’ release date revealed in Hulu’s unsettling new trailer

Hulu has announced the premiere date for the first episodes of Castle Rock, the horror anthology series produced by Stephen King and J.J. Abrams. The new trailer also reveals the unsettling darkness that pervades the town and its inhabitants, and includes some references to characters from previous King novels.

World Video Game Hall of Fame welcomes John Madden and Lara Croft

The inductees for the 2018 World Video Game Hall of Fame have been revealed, and they include a boisterous sportscaster, a daring archaeologist, a blue-haired adventurer, and even a historic relic from the '60s. Every year The Strong museum honors games whose reach has extended beyond the realm of gamng and into pop culture.