A year after troublesome launch, ‘SimCity’ finally gets an offline mode | The Verge

Update 10, available today, brings a single player mode to the game. Instead of the always-online multiplayer experience that the title launched with, players will be able to nurture their own cities without worrying about neighbors damaging their metropolis — or troublesome servers meddling with their gameplay.

Only took a year to release the version of SimCity we all actually wanted.

Amazing scans of sea beasts and scaly creatures

From the Smithsonian’s collection, the Biodiversity Heritage Library posted the contents of “Histoire naturelle de Lacépède : comprenant les cétacés, les quadrupèdes ovipares, les serpents et les poissons”, first published in 1976 (more info here). There are 24 incredible illustrations, including this handsome depiction of “le dauphin vulgaire” (you can navigate between prints below, or click through for the full set):

I highly recommend looking at all of these, if you have a few minutes (the snake section is particularly neat). 

h/t flubby!

Qatar World Cup 2022 investigation: former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner and family paid millions

When Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup, everyone pretty much agreed that they had bought it illicitly. Qatar is utterly unsuitable for a massive outdoor sports tournament, and utter corruption is more or less how FIFA rolls. As The Telegraph discovered… yep:

Jack Warner, the former vice-president of Fifa, appears to have been personally paid $1.2 million (£720,000) from a company controlled by a former Qatari football official shortly after the decision to award the country the tournament.

Deadspin‘s analysis notes Warner’s history of suspicious circumstances:

Warner, the former president of CONCACAF, is no stranger to controversy. In 2011, the Trinidadian was accused of demanding cash and gifts from England’s FA in exchange for his 2018 World Cup vote. Later that year, Warner was caught on tape urging Caribbean Football Union members to accept envelopes full of money to back Mohamed Bin Hammam’s bid for FIFA president.

Bin Hammam was banned for life; Warner stepped down, putting him beyond the reach of any FIFA punishment. But the FBI is said to be investigating the Caribbean-based fraud (payments for which, according to the Telegraph, were routed through American banks). “It’s shaping up to be a major case,” one U.S. official told Reuters.

The FBI is investigating, while the relevant parties in the United States are surely quietly sending emails with subjects like “you know, our reliable, well-maintained, fully-functional infrastructure is available in 2022…”