Today, Alphabets X moonshot division (formerly known as Google X) unveiled the Everyday Robot project, whose goal is to develop a general-purpose learning robot. The idea is that its robots could use cameras and complex machine learning algorithms to see and learn from the world around them without needing to be coded for every individual movement.
The team is testing robots that can help out in workplace environments, though right now, these early robots are focused on learning how to sort trash. Heres what one of them looks like it reminds me of a very tall, one-armed Wall-E (ironic, given what the robots are tasked to do):
Heres a GIF of a robot actually sorting a recyclable can from a compost pile to a…
Paying for things is all too easy online these days, and that’s why managing your money has gotten so hard. We’ve all done it: You sign up for a streaming subscription or gym membership, blow past the free trial date, and it becomes a part of your monthly expenses. Some of us juggle so many accounts, we may not even notice.
That’s just one example of modern information overload bleeding into actual financial consequences. And as much as money management apps try to help, too often they’re just one more account we have to deal with.
There are exceptions, however. Truebill is one notable example. It does all the things you come to expect from a money managing app, like tracking your spending, making a budget, and checking multiple bank accounts. Plus, with 256-bit SSL encryption, the security is rock-solid.
But, it also takes a more active role in your financial health, not just by showing you the drains on your income but plugging them up. Got a subscription you forgot you were paying for? Truebill will highlight it, and cancel it on your behalf. Got a cell service that’s gouging you? Truebill will negotiate a lower rate for you. It really takes the petty stuff off your plate and allows you to focus on hitting those savings goals.
Michael Gardi says, “There were probably millions of CARDIACs (CARDboard Illustrative Aid to Computation) distributed to high schools and colleges in the late 60s and early 70s. Heck even my little high school in Northern Ontario got a bunch of them. But they are all but impossible to find now, so here is the next best thing.”
The CARDIAC Instructable presented here is not a computer, it’s a device to help you understand how a computer works. You the user will:
decode instructions by sliding panels up and down,
move the program counter “lady bug” from one memory location to the next,
perform the duties of an arithmetic logic unit (ALU),
read inputs from one sliding strip,
and write output results to another (with a pencil).
Along the way you will you will learn the internal workings of a typical Von Neumann architecture computer. Some fairly sophisticated programs can be executed (by you manually remember) on the CARDIAC. Stacks, subroutines, recursion, and bootstrapping for example can all be demonstrated.
Deploying smart home technology is one of the more appealing promises of voice control systems like Alexa. Its tempting (and maybe inevitable) to fall down a rabbit hole of complexity when youre setting up a smart home because there are so many options and possibilities. If youre just starting out, it might be a good idea to keep it simple for your first step into creating a smart home. For example, lets begin by installing a single light bulb that you can ask Alexa to turn on and off.
There are many brands of smart light bulbs, and as a result, setup procedures may differ from brand to brand. I picked a Philips Hue bulb because theyre easily available, quick to set up, and well supported.
Automatic doors and gates are great, except when they fail, which seems to be about every three days in our experience. [MAD WHEEL] had just such a failure, with a plastic gear being the culprit. Rather than buy a new drive unit, they set about casting a replacement in metal. …read more
If youre excited about the first new Half-Life game in 12 years and youre seriously thinking about a VR headset, you should know that it may not be your only expense. In fact, some people who already use headsets may need to shell out extra cash. Thats because, as Ben Kuchera at our sister site Polygon notes, the minimum system requirements for Half-Life: Alyx are higher than what VR has traditionally asked for.
While the VR minspec has stayed relatively stable ever since the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive first appeared on the scene in 2016 a fast dual-core CPU, Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX480 or better, and 8GB of RAM Alyx now demands a quad-coreCore i5 chip or better, a GTX 1060 or better with 6GB of video RAM, and 12GB of system…
Google today launched a nice new Assistant feature called My Storytime that lets parents simulate reading to their kids when one parent is away from home. A parent will be able to record themselves reading chapters of stories, and the other parent (or babysitter) can ask Google Nest to read those recordings to the kids.
Google says that, once the feature is set up, the person at home just has to say Hey Google, talk to My Storytime to their Google Nest, and they will be able to pick the recording of the chapter they want to listen to with their children.
Recording a story takes a bit of initial setup, but its pretty easy to do. Visit the My Storytime website, log into your Google account…
If Samsungs Galaxy S10 or Note 10 phones and some truly wireless earbuds are on your holiday shopping list for this year, there are some pretty incredible deals happening right now ahead of Black Friday.
At several retailers, Samsung has marked down the unlocked Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus to the lowest prices yet, with free Galaxy Buds headphones included along with six months of Spotify Premium. The S10 lineup of phones is cheaper, too, matching their lowest prices since Prime Day 2019. If you missed out on that deal, these phones also include free Galaxy Buds. The S10E is cheaper, too, but unfortunately, that device is omitted from the free Galaxy Buds promotion.
Starting with the Note 10, there are several configurations and…
Rear receiver v10 features a fiberglass patch heat welded to the rear of the receiver (just smushed into it with a soldering iron but heat welding sounds cool), as well as a 45 degree print angle (other receivers were upright). I’m hoping these updates will get the rear receiver over 250 rounds. The v11 rear receiver will remove the top rear trunnion pin hole (that’s where the cracks were starting for the rear receivers that failed), and reinforce the printed rear trunnion support to take up the slack. v11 will be tested without fiberglass reinforcement as well, just to establish a baseline.
Settlers of Catan is an iconic, 24-year-old board game in which players compete to establish colonies on a fictional island called Catan (the game board). Its easy to learn, deeply strategic, and now, it looks like its coming to AR. As TechCrunchreported, it seems like work has begun on a new version of the classic game, called Catan: World Explorers. It would, as the games site put it, [transform] the entire Earth into a game board. (Which, in this case, probably doesnt mean the return of colonialism?) And yes, Niantic the company behind Pokémon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, two popular augmented reality games is involved.
While Niantic has been tight-lipped about the whole thing, it did confirm to The…
Only you can make the Imp Bottle lie on its side. When spectators try, they will discover that the bottle stubbornly refuses to stay down. This trick has driven many people insane throughout the years. The secret is a tiny imp inside the bottle that is loyal to you alone. It requires no feeding or care.
The Imp Bottle is on Amazon with free Prime shipping.
Okay, lets acknowledge this: the Half-Life series was mechanically and narratively transformative for the first-person shooter genre and gaming as a whole. Many among us loved the first two games, are still bitter about the loss of Half-Life 3, and are tentatively optimistic about the upcoming Half-Life: Alyx, the first full-length game in the series since 2004. But now that weve gotten those plaudits out of the way, lets talk about Half-Lifes other glorious afterlife: the fan works.
Half-Life 2 was extraordinarily extensible. Its modding system was an accessible way to learn game design, and the popular Garrys Mod let people pose and move characters to make videos and comics. Half-Life was moddable as well, and over time, fans have…
I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but here’s the truth: Not all readers are created equal. At least, that’s how things look from a user acquisition perspective, where publishers running ad campaigns to reach new readers might end up bringing in a whole bunch of random visitors who are unlikely to ever return their […]
Its not as bad as it sounds, though. While the camera covers the entire tiny room, leaving occupants no place to hide, it doesnt come with a microphone. The lack of audio coverage is designed to avoid copyright infringement complaints for music that could be heard from the in-room TV, but guarantees that no one will hear you talking to yourself or others, snoring, or making other embarrassing sounds.
Today, Valve finally unveiled Half-Life: Alyx, its first full-fledged VR game and, more importantly, the developers long-awaited return to the Half-Life series. The game will be out in March 2020, and it marks the first new Half-Life title since Episode 2 in 2007. And according to Valve, we might not have to wait another decade to see the series continue but that depends on the success of Alyx.
Its probably no surprise that many people at Valve have been wanting to get back to the Half-Life universe for a long time, and this experience has only reinforced that, Valves David Speyrer tells The Verge. In the process of creating Half-Life: Alyx,…
Half-Life is back. After more than a decade, Valve is returning to the iconic sci-fi universe with a brand-new VR game called Half-Life: Alyx. The new experience takes place before the events of Half-Life 2, and it marks not only the long-awaited continuation of the story, but also the developers first full-fledged VR title to date. Itll be out in March 2020, and Valve says the game will be compatible with all PC-based VR headsets. In the meantime, you can keep up with all of the latest developments right here.
Microsoft had been planning to launch its new Surface Earbuds later this year, but the company is now delaying the wireless earbuds to spring 2020. Product-making is about the relentless pursuit to get all the details right, which takes time sometimes more than we planned on, explains Microsofts chief product officer, Panos Panay, in a tweet today. To ensure we deliver the best possible experience for you, our fans & customers, Surface Earbuds will now launch worldwide in spring 2020.
Panay hasnt revealed exactly why Microsoft is delaying the Surface Earbuds, but its clear testing or manufacturing didnt go to plan for a December launch. Microsoft is now planning to release the Surface Earbuds in the spring in both grey and a…
Asynchronous programming, or async for short, is a feature of many modern languages that allows a program to juggle multiple operations without waiting or getting hung up on any one of them. Its a smart way to efficiently handle tasks like network or file I/O, where most of the programs time is spent waiting for a task to finish.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk will take the stage on November 21st to unveil the Cybertruck, Teslas all-electric pickup truck and the automakers sixth vehicle since its founding in 2003. Unless you are one of the lucky few who scored an invite to the exclusive event, chances are, youre like us: stuck at home, wondering how to watch the party. Well, weve got you covered.
Like past Tesla events, a live stream is likely to be available on Teslas website. The companys press division has yet to confirm exact details, so be sure to check back here throughout the day as we update this post with more information. There doesnt seem to be an alternative official stream at this point.
The event is scheduled to begin at 8PM PT / 11PM ET, though it…