The oldest corner of the metaverse and how the EV battery works

Today’s headlines treat the metaverse as a vaguely unconstructed dream. But if it is defined as a network of virtual worlds in which we can live, its oldest corner has been operating for 25 years.

It’s a medieval fantasy kingdom created for the online role-playing game Ultima Online.

It was the first game to simulate an entire world: a large, dynamic world where players can interact with almost anything, from fruit on a tree to books on a shelf.

Ultima Online has experienced a quarter century of market competition, economic turmoil and political strife. So what can this game and its players tell us about future virtual world creation? Read full story.

—John-Clark Levin

How do EV batteries actually work?

The battery that propels the electric vehicle has quickly become the most important and costly component of a new generation of cars and trucks.

The majority of electric vehicles run on lithium-ion batteries, which are also found in smartphones. They can hold high voltages and special charges, making them an efficient, dense form of energy storage.

But while they are expected to continue to dominate electric vehicles for the foreseeable future, battery developers are working towards lighter, cheaper and more efficient alternatives. Read full story.

—Patrick Sisson

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