Briefly: Doctor Who Christmas Special, Plutonium Beach Volleyball, PS4 Microtransactions

Brief news items of note for Lifehacker readers including: fresh details on Doctor Who's 2013 Christmas special, the volleyball court deep inside Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is the next console generation a rip-off?

  • The ABC has confirmed that the traditional Doctor Who Christmas special will air on December 26 at 7.30pm on ABC1. Entitled The Time Of The Doctor, the episode will revolve around a congregation of the universe's most deadly species who are drawn to a mysterious message, including the Doctor. It will also feature the regeneration of Matt Smith into the twelfth Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi. You can find out more about the episode at the Doctor Who TV website.
  • The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken action against AGL South Australia for engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct. ACCC has accused the energy company of making false claims to consumers about the level of discount savings that could be obtained under its energy plans. “AGL SA increased the rates charged to consumers under energy plans and, despite representing that the discounts would continue, the level of discounts that consumers had signed up to was eroded,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement. You can find out more at the ACCC website.
  • When they're not handling the most dangerous substances known to man, scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory apparently like to unwind with a bit of beach volleyball. The court, which was unearthed on Google Maps, can be found smack dab in the middle of the hyper-secure nuclear research facility. We wonder if the location gives their tans an extra sexy glow.
  • The Prelude — AKA the biggest ship in the world — is heading to Western Australia. The South Korean behemoth is longer than the Empire State Building and just embarked on its maiden voyage this morning. It will serve as Shell’s floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility at an off-shore natural gas field near Broome. Click here to see the how the 544,000 tonne ship was constructed.
  • Have you ever wondered how chopsticks were invented? Click here. Now you know!
  • The new generation of video game consoles might be steeper than the initial price tag indicates. Polyphony Digital has revealed how much 'micro-transactions' will cost in the hotly anticipated Gran Turismo 6 and the results are pretty eye-watering. Buying a single car in the game can cost you as much as $210 in real life dollars. Head over to Kotaku for more information.

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