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Very Rare Air Raid Atari Cartridge Found

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Back in 2010, I wrote a story about some very rare and very expensive video games. Thanks to that article, Tanner Sandlin of Austin, Texas, realized he had one of only a handful of known copies of the Atari game, Air Raid. Normally the cartridge sells for about $3000 online, but Sandlin had an ace up his sleeve: the game’s original box, which had never been seen before. The game and the box wound up selling for $31,600 on eBay.

If you think that's crazy, there's a good chance that Tanner's auction-price record is about to be shattered.

Recently, a man in California (we'll call him Lucky, as he would prefer to remain anonymous), was reading another article about rare Atari games. Naturally, Air Raid was mentioned, as was the $31,600 sale price. Lucky recalled that he'd been given a sample copy of the game by a sales rep back in the 1980s when Lucky was an assistant manager at a drug store that sold video games. Lucky took the game home, played it for a few minutes, but decided he didn't want to order it for the store's inventory. When he told the sales rep he could have the game back, the rep said not to bother because none of his other clients were all that interested, either. Lucky stuck his copy of Air Raid in an old Atari display case at home, where it sat virtually untouched for the next 30 years.

Upon reading the article, Lucky and his daughter scoured through his old collection and found they had the second known copy of Air Raid in the box. But unlike the copy that Tanner bought from a clearance bin at a discount store in the mid-1980s, Lucky’s Air Raid has never been in circulation, so the box is in near-perfect condition.

As Lucky and his daughter were taking photos of the box to send to Albert Yarusso, the owner of AtariAge.com (who personally examined Sandlin’s Air Raid box in 2010), they discovered something else tucked inside: the instruction manual. Before now, there was only speculation that a manual even existed, so this makes Lucky’s the only “CIB” (Complete In Box) copy of Air Raid ever found.

After verifying that the cartridge still worked, Lucky and his daughter put Air Raid up for sale on GameGavel.com, an auction site exclusively for video games. Will it break Sandlin’s $31,600 sale-price record? Watch the auction and find out!

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IKEA
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Design
IKEA’s New Augmented Reality App Lets You Test Out Virtual Furniture in Your Home
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IKEA

No matter how much measuring and research you do beforehand, buying a piece of furniture without knowing what it will look like in your home is always a gamble. With its new augmented reality app, IKEA hopes to take some of the guesswork out of the process. IKEA Place features more than 2000 items in the Swedish retailer's inventory, and visualizing them in the space where you live is as easy as tapping a button.

As WIRED reports, IKEA Place is among the first apps to take advantage of Apple's ARKit, an augmented reality platform that debuted as part of iOS 11. iPhone and iPad owners with the latest update can download IKEA's new app for free and start browsing through home goods right away.

To use the tool, you must first select the product you wish to test out, whether it's a loveseat, a kitchen table, or a dresser. Then, with the camera activated, you can point your device at whichever space you want the item to fill and watch it appear on the screen in front of you.

According to IKEA, the 3D models are scaled with 98 percent accuracy. Factors that are hard to analyze from photos online, like shadows, lighting, and textures, are also depicted as they would appear in real life. So if a sofa that looks great under the lights of a store looks drab in your living room, or if a desk that seems tiny online doesn't fit inside your office, the app will let you know. It's the closest you can get to seeing how a piece of furniture complements a room without lugging it through the doorway.

IKEA isn't the first company to improve interior design with computerized images. Several hardware stores and furniture outlets offer their own AR apps. Other services like Modsy let customers pay to create full virtual models of their homes before populating them with 3D furniture. Even IKEA had a basic AR app prior to this one, but it was glitchy and not always accurate. This newest iteration aims to provide a more seamless shopping experience. And with the latest iOS update placing a greater emphasis on AR, you can expect to see more apps using the technology in the near future.

[h/t WIRED]

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Alex Wong/Getty Images
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Art
The Library of Congress Wants Your Help Identifying World War I-Era Political Cartoons
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Alex Wong/Getty Images

The U.S. government’s official library wants your help. And it involves cartoons.

The Library of Congress just debuted its new digital innovation lab, an initiative that aims to improve upon its massive archives and use them in creative ways. Its first project is Beyond Words, a digitization effort designed to make the research library’s historical newspaper collection more search-friendly. It aims to classify and tag historical images from World War I-era newspapers, identifying political cartoons, comics, illustrations, and photos within old news archives. The images come from newspapers included in Chronicling America, the library’s existing newspaper digitization project.

The tasks involved in Beyond Words are simple, even if you know nothing about the illustrations involved going into it. The Library of Congress just needs people to help mark all the illustrations and cartoons in the scanned newspaper pages, a task that only involves drawing boxes to differentiate the image from the articles around it.

Then there’s transcription, involving typing in the title of the image, the caption, the author, and whether it’s an editorial cartoon, an illustration, a photo, a map, or a comic. The library also needs people to verify the work of others, since it’s a crowd-sourced effort—you just need to make sure the images have been transcribed consistently and accurately.

A pop-up window below an early 20th century newspaper illustration prompts the user to pick the most accurate caption.

Screenshot via labs.loc.gov

The data will eventually be available for download by researchers, and you can explore the already-transcribed images on the Beyond Words site. Everything is in the public domain, so you can remix and use it however you want.

With the new labs.loc.gov, “we are inviting explorers to help crack open digital discoveries and share the collections in new and innovative ways,” Carla Hayden, the library’s head, said in a press release.

Other government archives regularly look to ordinary people to help with the monstrous task of digitizing and categorizing their collections. The National Archives and Records Administration, for instance, has recently crowd-sourced data entry and transcription for vintage photos of life on Native American reservations and declassified government documents to help make their collections more accessible online.

Want to contribute to the Library of Congress’s latest effort? Visit labs.loc.gov.

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