Mozilla proposes combined WebXR standard for virtual and mixed reality in the browser

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Although we may disagree on the usefulness of VR and AR today, it’s hard to argue with the idea that it should be easier to develop for and deploy — especially on the web. That’s why Mozilla is working on a combined framework that gives developers standardized, well-documented tools with which to access the user’s chosen mixed reality platform. Read More

Take a look at the Gonzo Gizmo author’s favorite tools

See the original posting on Boing Boing

My guest on the Cool Tools Show podcast this week is Simon Quellen Field. Simon is a chemist and former Google software engineer and is the author of over a dozen books, including Gonzo Gizmos, Return of Gonzo Gizmos, Culinary Reactions, Why is Milk White, Elements Vault, Why There’s Antifreeze In Your Toothpaste, Electronics for Artists and, most recently, Boom!: The Chemistry and History of Explosives. He’s the author of the science toy website SciToys.com and several novels.

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Show notes:



Taylor Wharton LD10 Aluminum Liquid Dewar ($638)

“I’m often asked to demonstrate scientific toys and things at different science conventions, like the Google Science Fair … and one of the things that they love when I show off is all of these fun things that you can do with liquid nitrogen. And, of course, it lasts a lot longer if you keep it in a big Dewar. So, I’ve got this thing, it’s about 2 feet tall, about 10 inches in diameter, And holds 10 liters of liquid nitrogen, which I get locally from a place called Nitroderm. And we do all kinds of fun things with it. Put some liquid nitrogen in a bowl and squirt some whipped cream out of a spray can into it, freeze it really hard. Kids pop it into their mouth and crunch on it and fog comes out their nose like a dragon.”



Mastercool 90066-B Vacuum Pump ($130)

“I have a vacuum chamber, and this vacuum pump, this one does six cubic feet per minute, which is pretty good. It used to be that vacuum pumps were really expensive, but once the smog dealers needed them in order to take the Freon out of your air conditioner for environmental reasons, everybody needed one and they got cheap. But, with this vacuum pump, I can put some liquid nitrogen into a small thermos and put it in my vacuum chamber and start sucking the air and the nitrogen vapor out of that chamber. And after about a minute or so, you get solid nitrogen … and then you disconnect it and let the air rush in and in about 3 seconds, it’s liquid again.”



Tekpower TP3005T Variable Linear DC Power Supply ($80)

“It’s got a nice LCD display on it and you can set the current or the voltage to be constant. And what I use it for is electroforming. You take a solution of copper salts and a few other magic ingredients. Usually, it’s a proprietary mix, they don’t tell you exactly what’s in it. But you can start electroplating something and if you let it go, it will make a thicker plating … So, for example, suppose I took an egg. I could paint conductive paint in a pattern on the egg, like a filigree or a tree or whatever. And then I could submerge that in the plating bath and plate it for 20 minutes or so and get a thick enough copper plating that I can dissolve the egg away and now I can hold this filigreed Fabergé egg-like thing in my hand.”



Baofeng Ham Two-way Radio ($35)

“I picked this up recently, when I was going up to see the eclipse up in Oregon, and we knew that there would be so many people in these little towns that only had cell phone bandwidth for a tenth as many people as were going to be there and so, we wanted to stay in touch and be able to chat with other HAMs on the road about traffic conditions, which we also expected to be a nightmare. … And this little gadget … It’s got 128 memories that you can easily program with all of the repeaters for all of the HAM radio repeaters on the mountains and stuff and it just works … It does everything you want and it’s tiny. … It’s probably good for anywhere, 5 to 20 miles. But once you hit the repeater, now the repeaters are networked, so I can talk to people in Portland, Oregon or in San Diego.”

3D Printed Gear Serves Seven Months Hard Labor

See the original posting on Hackaday

Even the staunchest 3D printing supporter would have to concede that in general, the greatest strength of 3D printing is not in the production of final parts, but in prototyping. Sure you can make functional prints, as the pages of this site will attest; but few would argue that you wouldn’t be better off getting your design cut out of metal or injection molded if you planned on putting the part into service over the long term. Especially if the part was to be subjected to rough service in an industrial setting.

While that’s valid advice, it certainly isn’t the …read more

Nokia’s retro 3310 3G is coming to the US for $60 on October 29th

See the original posting on The Verge

The 3G version of Nokia’s resurrected 3310 was announced in September as theoretically working in the US, unlike the 2G version released earlier this year. But at the time HMD Global, which owns the rights to Nokia phones, didn’t say when (or even if) the 3310 3G would be coming to the US.

Now, we know the answer to both of those questions: the phone is available for preorder starting today at Best Buy for $59.99, with the phone set to release on October 29th. If you’re thinking about picking one up, be aware that it should work on AT&T and T-Mobile because both are GSM networks, but it won’t work with Verizon and Sprint’s CDMA ones.

Continue reading…

Elon Musk gets permission to begin Boring Co. digging in Maryland

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Elon Musk’s week is going pretty great thus far, between meeting the creators of Rick & Morty and now gaining permission to dig even more tunnels – besides the one he already got the OK to begin digging back closer to home in Hawthorne. The new tunnel will be a 10.3-mile one that undercuts a state-owned operation of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Maryland,and could… Read More

A Silent Voice shows why Kyoto Animation is one of the top animation studios

See the original posting on The Verge

Kyoto Animation’s work isn’t quite like anyone else’s. The style of its animation and storytelling separate the studio from the majority of other Japanese companies. It’s known for high production values compared to its contemporaries; Kyoto’s smooth, intricate animation is used for both subtle and spectacular sequences while having very stylized, but realistically detailed backgrounds.

Kyoto Animation (often abbreviated KyoAni) gets more distinctive results than most studios in part because unlike in much of the Japanese animation industry, its animators are salaried employees. Japanese animation studios typically hire most of their artists as freelancers and pay them a rate for each frame they produce. That incentives speed over…

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Disputed DNA analysis software’s code open for inspection after court order

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 If you’re going to convict or acquit based on evidence provided by a piece of software, you’d better be damn sure that software is reliable. One such program, a DNA analysis tool used in over a thousand cases, has been called unreliable by critics — and a federal judge has just ordered that its code be opened for all to see so we can find out one way or the other. Read More

Everything Worth Knowing about Lockwire

See the original posting on Hackaday

We were tipped off to an older video by [AgentJayZ] which demonstrates the proper use of lockwire also known as ‘safety wire.’ In high vibration operations like jet engines, street racers, machine guns, and that rickety old wheelchair you want to turn into a drift trike, a loose bolt can spell disaster. Nylon fails under heat and mechanical lock washers rely on friction which has its limits. Safety wire holds up under heat and resists loosening as long as the wire is intact.

Many of our readers will already be familiar with lockwire since it is hardly a cutting-edge technology …read more

Razer made a webcam with a selfie light for streamers

See the original posting on The Verge

Razer launched two new products today for streamers: the Razer Seiren X portable microphone and the Razer Kiyo webcam with a selfie light. These two products are Razer’s latest attempt to become the popular choice for microphones and webcams, which people normally don’t go to it for.

The Razer Kiyo webcam comes with an adjustable ring light with twelve white LEDs, which you can control to twelve levels of brightness. It has a four-megapixel camera that can record up to 1080p at 30 fps or 720p at 60 fps, and it’s compatible with popular streaming tools XSplit and Open Broadcaster Software. The Kiyo comes with a 1.5 meter braided cable terminating in a USB 2.0 connection. It’ll sell for $99.99.

The webcam looks good in theory, but it faces…

Continue reading…

Twitch unveils a suite of new tools to help creators grow their channels and make money

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Amazon-owned video game streaming site Twitch today announced a number of new features for streamers aimed at helping their grow their online communities and generate revenue from their online channels. Notably, the company will soon debut several features that will allow video creators to better track their path towards achieving either Affiliate or Partner status – a designation… Read More

A motion detecting light for your mailbox

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Last year I bought this mailbox light. You stick it inside your mailbox (it’s got peel-off sticky tape). Two sensors – light and motion – sense what’s happening. If they sense darkness and no motion (door closed) nothing happens. If they sense light and motion (opening the box in the day) nothing happens. If they sense darkness and motion (opening the box at night) the light goes on for a couple of minutes, allowing you to see the mail.

It runs on 3 AAA batteries, which last months. When it is time to change the batteries, just pull on the case to release it from the magnetic back cover (which is attached to the mailbox with the sticky tape).

At 2 for $15 (give one to a friend or install in a cabinet) this is worthwhile convenience.

Hackaday Prize Entry: Two Leg Robot

See the original posting on Hackaday

If you’re working on your own bipedal robot, you don’t have to start from the ground up anymore. [Ted Huntington]’s Two Leg Robot project aims to be an Open Source platform that’ll give any future humanoid-robot builders a leg up.

While we’ve seen quite a few small two-legged walkers, making a pair of legs for something human-sized is a totally different endeavor. [Ted]’s legs are chock-full of sensors, and there’s a lot of software that processes all of the data. That’s full kinematics and sensor info going back and forth from 3D model to hardware. Very cool. And to top …read more

Cable Bots, Arise! Domination of the Universe is at Hand

See the original posting on Hackaday

Most CNC robots people see involve belts and rails, gantries, lead screws, linear bearings, and so forth. Those components need a rigid chassis to support them and to keep them from wobbling during fabrication and adding imperfections to the design. As a result, the scale is necessarily small — hobbyist bots max out at cabinet-sized, for the most part. Their rigid axes are often laid out at Cartesian right angles.

One of the exceptions to this common configuration is the delta robot. Deltas might be the flashiest of CNC robots, moving the end effector on three arms that move to …read more

YouTube Red greenlights a Tinder-themed romantic comedy series called Swipe Right

See the original posting on The Verge

YouTube Red just greenlit a scripted comedy series about Tinder, Deadline reports. Swipe Right, written by and starring Carly Craig (Role Models), is about a mother and her two daughters navigating app-based dating in different ways.

Swipe Right is inspired by Craig’s real life, according to Deadline. She plays a woman who, frustrated with still being single on her 35th birthday, decides to go on dates with all of her 252 Tinder matches. Her younger sister is bored of being married and wants to start looking for romantic alternatives, while her recently widowed mother also decides to try online dating.

YouTube Red has greenlit several other scripted series recently, including an e-sports comedy from Dan Harmon and a drama series…

Continue reading…

Sneaker and streetwear reseller Stadium Goods just launched their first app

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Stadium Goods, the online (and brick and mortar) marketplace for highly sought after sneakers and streetwear, is launching its first app. Live today to coincide with the startup’s two year anniversary, the first iteration of the app is basically just a mobile marketplace. But Stadium Goods plans to eventually build out this functionality and take advantage of location services and… Read More

Analyzing Z370 for Intel’s 8th Generation Coffee Lake: A Quick Look at 50+ Motherboards

See the original posting on Anandtech

The launch of Intel’s new 8th Generation ‘Coffee Lake’ processors for desktops is going to be an interesting one. On one side it redefines Intel’s main product stack and its terminology (in a good way), but the motherboard side is going to get somewhat confusing. The new CPUs are using the LGA1151 socket, as found on the previous generation, but it uses the socket differently, making the motherboards and CPUs incompatible with each other. To get around this issue previously, Intel introduces a new name to help with the separation, but no such luck here. The new platform and socket will be supported by the 300-series chipset, with Z370 being the first member of that product family. In this overview, we perform a visual inspection and analysis on 50+ motherboards from the main motherboards manufacturers.

New gamblers who see a short video about slot-machine psychology don’t get tricked

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Video slot machines pull a lot of tricks to make it hard to tell how fair the game is; one of them is to ring up “wins” that are actually losses (you put in $1 and get $0.75 back, say), with a lot of fanfare and hoo-rah. These tricks are calculated to hook players into the game by stimulating their reward centers with intermittent stimulus, a powerfully addictive combination.
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