Canadian transit agency teases amazing new transportation technology: the bus

See the original posting on The Verge

Last week, one of Toronto’s regional public transit services teased a radical, futuristic mode of transportation on Twitter. In a dramatic video full of lightning strikes and movie trailer music, GO Transit asked viewers to imagine this scenario: you hop in a vehicle, slide into a comfortable seat, and text or browse cat memes until you arrive at your destination. Best of all, you never even need to input where you’re going. The vehicle just gets you there.

And then pow! Another lightning strike! Surprise! It’s a bus!

The cheeky video…

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Death Generator lets you put custom text in all the classic video games

See the original posting on The Verge

There exist a lot of meme generators on the internet, but few are better organized or authentically made than the Death Generator. Created by programmer Foone Turing, the open-source tool first began as a generator for death screens from Sierra games, starting with Police Quest 2 in 2017. Turing gets most of his screenshots by actually playing through the games, and he’s now up to dozens of classic titles and newer games alike, from SimCity 2000 to Animal Crossing: Wild World.

“The inspiration was just seeing a bunch of screenshots going around, of games like PQ2 and vague memories of a Something Awful Photoshop post where they made fake SimCity 2000 advisor messages,” Turing told The Verge. “These games have very distinctive dialog…

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9 new trailers you should watch this week

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I saw Marry Poppins, last year’s designated family-friendly, non-controversial, just-accept it holiday film, over the holidays, without particularly high hopes. It was more entertaining than I expected, but I also feel compelled to say that I don’t think the Mary Poppins mythology makes any sense.

A friend explained it to me as a mythology designed to follow children’s logic, which is to say that it legitimately doesn’t make sense and anything can happen. Which does somewhat make sense within the film, which talks sometimes about how it’s important to be childlike and imaginative. But also, that never had any effect on the plot… it was just kind of there. And so it really just doesn’t make sense.

Anyway, I’m now done overthinking Mary…

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Discounted Ring home security tech, and DJI’s Mavic 2 Pro for $150 off are this week’s best deals

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The week is wrapping up, and there were a whole lot of good deals that came to the surface. From discounted Ring doorbells and DJI drones to Samsung Galaxy S10 preorder bonuses, there’s a lot to cover.

Amazon’s weeklong sale of its Ring home security products is coming to an end tonight at 2:59AM ET / 11:59PM PT, so it’s your last chance to get in on some decent deals on the Ring Video Doorbell 2, the Ring Floodlight Camera, and more.

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This all-in-one charger handles any device — wireless or USB

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Looking to de-clutter your kitchen counter? Start with those multiple, tangled charging cables for your multiple, power-hungry devices. There’s a workhorse solution for all those power needs, and it’s just as just as well suited to travel as home use: The Scout Wireless 5000mAh Charger.

Compact and sleek at nine ounces, it doesn’t look like the swiss army knife of chargers. But sure enough, the sides of the Scout hold a Lightning cable, micro-USB, USB-A and USB-C – enough variety of plug-ins to cover not only your iPhone, Android, tablet, and AirPods but also your camera and even compatible drones. What’s more, there’s a fold-out AC plug in the back. Just plug the Scout into any wall outlet, and it can charge itself while also supplying a pass-through charge for your devices. Take it on the go, and it can also juice up any Qi-enabled gadget wirelessly and quickly. With built-in sensors that protect against overcharging and short-circuits, it’s the charger you’ll want around no matter where you are, or what tech you’re packing.

Right now, the Scout Wireless 5000mAh Charger is $39.99, a full 50% off the MSRP. Read the rest

Verizon trials Stitch Fix-like mystery box service to sell gadgets

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Verizon has launched a mystery box service that delivers gadgets to customers’ homes, lets them try the gadgets for two weeks, and then charges them for what they choose not to return. The service, called Tech Pack, was announced today through emails sent out to select customers. Verizon is limiting how many people can sign up to start and expects to run out of slots by the end of the weekend.

The service works like Stitch Fix or any number of other mystery box delivery services. When signing up, you take a short quiz about what kind of things you like, and Verizon uses that information to choose which gadgets it’ll send you. Verizon will mail out a box of three tech products every so often, and you can keep or return as many as you’d…

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Samsung Galaxy Watch Active vs. Apple Watch Series 4: rival wearables compared

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Samsung officially announced several new wearables this week, but it’s the Galaxy Watch Active, the company’s newest smartwatch, that stands out from the pack. While the hardware may not be as premium as the Apple Watch 4, it’s still in direct competition to the watchOS wearable, and will be immediately attractive to users who want a smartwatch that works with their Android phone.

If you’re looking for your first smartwatch, or are interested in how these smartwatches compare, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve looked at the two in terms of sizing, specs, and software. And don’t forget pricing, because that’s also important when shopping for a new wearable.

Do you want your smartwatch to work on a cellular network? Go Apple.

The Apple…

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Linus Torvalds on Why ARM Won’t Win the Server Space

See the original posting on Slashdot

Linus Torvalds: I can pretty much guarantee that as long as everybody does cross-development, the platform won’t be all that stable. Or successful. Some people think that “the cloud” means that the instruction set doesn’t matter. Develop at home, deploy in the cloud. That’s bullshit. If you develop on x86, then you’re going to want to deploy on x86, because you’ll be able to run what you test “at home” (and by “at home” I don’t mean literally in your home, but in your work environment). Which means that you’ll happily pay a bit more for x86 cloud hosting, simply because it matches what you can test on your own local setup, and the errors you get will translate better. This is true even if what you mostly do is something ostensibly cross-platform like just run perl scripts or whatever. Simply because you’ll want to have as similar an environment as possible.

Which in turn means that cloud providers will end up making more money from their x86 side, which means that they’ll prioritize it, and any ARM offerings will be secondary and probably relegated to the mindless dregs (maybe front-end, maybe just static html, that kind of stuff). Guys, do you really not understand why x86 took over the server market? It wasn’t just all price. It was literally this “develop at home” issue. Thousands of small companies ended up having random small internal workloads where it was easy to just get a random whitebox PC and run some silly small thing on it yourself. Then as the workload expanded, it became a “real server”. And then once that thing expanded, suddenly it made a whole lot of sense to let somebody else manage the hardware and hosting, and the cloud took over. Do you really not understand? This isn’t rocket science. This isn’t some made up story. This is literally what happened, and what killed all the RISC vendors, and made x86 be the undisputed king of the hill of servers, to the point where everybody else is just a rounding error. Something that sounded entirely fictional a couple of decades ago. Without a development platform, ARM in the server space is never going to make it. Trying to sell a 64-bit “hyperscaling” model is idiotic, when you don’t have customers and you don’t have workloads because you never sold the small cheap box that got the whole market started in the first place.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is an early adopter’s dream gadget

See the original posting on The Verge

Yesterday, responsible tech journalists across the web did an important job: they warned readers that it might be a little bit premature to spend $1,980 on a completely unproven, entirely new category of phone-computer.

That’s justified. Nobody gets it right on the first try. And there are already keen hints, if you know where to look, that Samsung’s Galaxy Fold may not have gotten it right.

But can we step back for a moment and appreciate that next month, you’ll be able to buy the kind of phone that could only have previously existed in a science fiction film?

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