SPORTS: Recent evolution of Hokie football

By Jacob Thompson, Ashley Vollrath, Rebecca Choate —

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In November 2015, Justin Fuente was named head coach of the Virginia Tech football team.

“I am looking forward to a bright future for our football program under the direction of Coach Fuente,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands, “He has demonstrated a commitment to excellence, integrity and the values that Hokies espouse.”

Previously the head coach for the University of Memphis, Fuente is regarded as one of the rising stars in college coaching.

Regardless, Fuente had big shoes to fill, as former head coach Frank Beamer was coaching with his alma mater since 1987. Beamer’s 280 wins and 23 straight bowls were something to marvel at.

How do the last two years of Beamer Ball compare to Fuente’s first two seasons with the Hokies? In this week’s sports podcast, we analyze how the football team has changed and how student life has evolved as a result.

SCI/TECH: SpaceX’s next steps

by Amber Miller, Stephen Newman, Ryan Dye–

launch-rocket-skyPhoto on

Space exploration leader SpaceX recently used a rocket to send a supply capsule to the International Space Station…for the second time.

The Block 4 Falcon 9 rocket was first launched into space in April of 2017. After detaching from the cargo it was carrying, it was guided down and landed on an un-manned SpaceX drone ship off the coast of Florida.

The rocket was then recovered, refurbished and sent into space again earlier this week. And just as the first time, it landed bullseye on the ship.

These rockets were only designed to be launched up to two times, but SpaceX will next launch the Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket, which according to Elon Musk can potentially be relaunched up to 100 times.

This breakthrough could dramatically cut the cost of space exploration and could lead to Musk’s ultimate goal of putting one million people on Mars in the next 40-100 years.

ARTS/CULTURE: Black Panther, diversity in Hollywood

by Catherine Irvin, Grayson Wimbish, Brendan Quinn–

Photo credit: junaidrao on / CC BY-NC-ND

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther dominated the box office during its premiere weekend. The film racked up $242 million domestically over President’s Day weekend, destroying prior expectations.

Along the way, Black Panther has taught Hollywood a lesson about diversity in blockbuster films. Despite premiering in February rather than the blockbuster-heavy summer months, the film enjoyed the fifth largest opening weekend in film history. It has dispelled the notion that films featuring African-American leads cannot travel overseas, grossing $169 million outside of North America.

Black Panther has added to the conversation around diversity in Hollywood; the entertainment sector has seen an influx of new voices driving the conversation. Audiences showed this weekend that they are prepared to support diversification on the silver screen.

SCI/TECH: iPhone X redefines technology

by Harvey Creasy, Mary Desmond, Alexis Johnson–

Photo credit: MarkGregory007 via / CC BY-NC-SA


Every fall, Silicon Valley tech giant Apple, Inc., unveils new products. This fall, the iPhone X [read: iPhone 10] was released — in addition to several other products. While the other new phones and computers were more customary updates to old devices, the iPhone X is entirely new. A larger screen, a glass back, and for the first time ever, no home button.

Many customers were just getting used to Apple’s 2013 home button, which integrated a fingerprint scanner. This allowed the phone’s owner to unlock it without entering a pass code. Without a button to scan fingerprints, how will iPhone X owners unlock their phones securely and with ease? Now, they’ll use their face.

The newest iPhone uses an infrared camera sensor to detect the owner’s unique facial features. This change will take more getting used to by Apple users, but the company is confident people will adjust.

A new iPhone X starts at $999 and comes in two colors — white and space gray.


LIFE/STYLE: Enjoying summer on a budget

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by Courtney Snukis, Carson Bartlett, Haven Lewis–

Attending college can be incredibly expensive and the demand of coursework often leave students with little time to get a job. According to a study from Ohio State University, 70 percent of students feel stressed about finances.

Additionally, the average debt for college students in the United States has increased. According to a report from the Institute for College Access and Success, the average borrower owes more than $30,000.

With mounting debt and inconsistent incomes, frugality is essential for college students during the summer. There are plenty of activities, indoor and outdoor, that can keep students entertained.

Low funds don’t have to mean no fun for college student during the summer, especially if you’re willing to take advantage of free events and low-cost activities.

SCI/TECH: Era of cyber warfare

Photo credit: dustball via / CC BY-NC

by Sidney Cook, Johnny Kraft, Richard Chumney–

For decades the threat of cyber warfare has been on display in movies and television. Now, well into the 21st century cyber warfare has become a disturbing reality of modern life.

After investigations into the high profile hacks of the Democratic National Committee and Sony Pictures Entertainment authorities determined the attacks were directed by foreign governments. Vladimir Putin and the Russian government, according to FBI officials, weaponized the information gathered from the hack of the DNC in an effort to disrupt the 2016 presidential election in the favor of Donald Trump. North Korea backed the hack of Sony to intimidate and embarrass the American corporation.

Experts believe Russia is likely to strike again. Putin’s government is expected to target U.S. communication and information technology infrastructure but not conduct attacks which could trigger a military response.

In the meantime government agencies and multibillion-dollar corporations will have to find ways to strengthen their digital infrastructure to prevent future attacks.

SCI/TECH: Nintendo goes viral with new console concept

by Luis Collazo, Katelin Frosell, Mina Sharif–

Nintendo took the gaming community by storm when it recently unveiled the revolutionary Nintendo Switch.

The Switch’s new hybrid console concept allows the gamer to play a game at home and then pick up the console and take it anywhere; never missing a step in the game. The portable version of the device has two detachable “Joy-Cons,” or controllers, allowing for multiplayer gameplay on the go.

Also new to Nintendo is the presence of third-party support. In its trailer, the Nintendo Switch hints at collaboration with third-party game creators by teasing the console’s compatibility with Skyrim and NBA 2K, which are games that have been exclusive to Xbox and Play Station in the past.

The News Feed’s Katelin, Mina and Luis talk about their thoughts on the Nintendo Switch in this podcast.