Slow-motion shooter Superhot is getting VR and motion controls

See the original posting on The Verge

It took two years, but hyper-stylized first-person shooter Superhot is officially coming to virtual reality. In a blog post, Superhot’s developers have said they were “working super close with the guys at Oculus” to adapt the game to the Oculus Rift VR headset, where it’s set to appear as an exclusive title later this year. On Reddit, team member Szymon Krukowski said that the game would use the Oculus Touch motion controllers, and that it would be available as a free add-on for the game.

Released earlier this year, Superhot’s premise is that time moves only when the player does — you’re put in firefights where the solution is not a twitchy trigger finger, but a careful eye on the trajectory of bullets and enemies. And a virtual reality…

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Airbnb opens up a complaint center for neighbors to report problem guests

See the original posting on The Verge

Airbnb is beloved by many travelers for providing low-cost lodging in neighborhoods around the world — and is hated by many neighbors for creating disturbances next door. In a move toward improving its standing in some of those neighborhoods, Airbnb today announced Airbnb Neighbors — a place for people who live near Airbnb listings to report noise and other disturbances caused by guests.

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Periscope introduces real-time comment moderation

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 2.57.40 PM Live-streaming app Periscope is rolling out a new experiment with real-time comment moderation, the company announced today. While its parent company Twitter has struggled over the years with spam and abuse – without much success, let’s be honest – Periscope is aiming to go a different route with the introduction of a community-policed system where users can report and… Read More

Robots date, mate, and procreate 3D printed offspring in ‘Robot Baby’ project

See the original posting on TechCrunch

robot-baby-BGW-1 Researchers in the Netherlands claim to have created the world’s first “robots that procreate.” What does that mean exactly? Well, child, when two robots’ fitness evaluation algorithms come to a successful conclusion, something beautiful happens. You’ll know when you’re older — or if you scroll down. “This breakthrough is a significant first step… Read More

Facebook spares humans by fighting offensive photos with AI

See the original posting on TechCrunch

t2-terminator1 Facebook’s artificial intelligence systems now report more offensive photos than humans do, marking a major milestone in the social network’s battle against abuse, the company tells me. AI could quarantine obscene content before it ever hurts the psyches of real people. Facebook’s success in ads has fueled investments into the science of AI and machine vision that could give… Read More

Fun with FriXion pens

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frixion

Last year my friends and I formed a club for (as Cory puts it) “people who aren’t good at magic tricks.” (Actually, Cory, John Edgar Park, and I are the only ones in the group who aren’t good at magic tricks. The others are pretty accomplished magicians and passed the audition to become members of the Magic Castle.)

At our last meeting Michael Borys introduced me to the FriXion pen. It’s an erasable pen made by Pilot. It comes with a small eraser, but you can buy a large eraser, which is a smooth brick of plastic. When you rub a mark made with the pen, the friction creates heat to erase the mark. The cool thing (or bug, depending on your use case) is that the writing will vanish instantly when you apply heat. It’s a heat-activated disappearing ink. I read that if you apply ice to the erased writing, the writing will reappear (it will be faded, however).

Amazon sells a 3-pack of the FrXion pen for $4, and a 4-pack of erasers for $6.

Instagram Announces New Business Tools: Contact Option, Deeper Analytics

See the original posting on Slashdot

Instagram on Tuesday announced it is adding more features for the business users. The platform, which has over 200,000 advertisers, is debuting three new features including business profiles. Businesses will also get a “contact” button on their profiles which they can use to interact with the customers via call, text, or email. Instagram is also giving businesses access to deeper analytics — even if the post isn’t an advertisement.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google wins retrial over its use of Java in Android

See the original posting on JavaWorld

A jury in San Francisco on Thursday cleared Google of copyright infringement in a case brought by Oracle over Google’s use of Java in Android.

The jury of eight women and two men took three days of deliberation to reach its verdict. Oracle was seeking up to $9 billion in damages, making it a huge victory for Google and its legal team.

“Your work is done,” Judge William Alsup told the jury after the verdict was read.

Oracle’s lawyers sat stoney faced after the verdict was read, but shortly afterward the company said it would continue the battle.

“We believe there are numerous grounds for appeal and we plan to bring this case back to the Federal Circuit on appeal,” Oracle General Counsel Dorian Daley said in a written statement, referring to the U.S. appeals court in Washington, D.C.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Pepperoni spices up iOS and Android app dev

See the original posting on JavaWorld

Mobile developers can get a slice of assistance from Pepperoni, which provides a blueprint for cross-platform app-building.

Also characterized as an app starter kit, Pepperoni works with Facebook’s React Native JavaScript framework, to build apps for iOS and Android. Its core is an implementation of the Redux state container for JavaScript, enhanced with libraries like Immutable and redux-loop. On top of this, developers are building a modular app skeleton with capabilities like API communication, local data caching, and app navigation.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Microservice architecture is agile software architecture

See the original posting on JavaWorld

Since the term “microservices” hit the software industry like a bolt of lightning in 2014, technical professionals of all stripes have been analyzing this new architectural style from their own frames of reference. Having lived through the rise and fall of service-oriented architecture, I had the same reaction as many others: How does microservice architecture differ from SOA? The more I learned about the case studies that led to the creation of the term “microservices,” the more I recognized that this question would not capture the essence of this new software movement.

The first thing to recognize about the microservice movement is that it has been empirically defined. Microservice architecture emerged from a common set of patterns evident in companies like Amazon, Netflix, SoundCloud, and Gilt (now part of HBC Digital). Applications at these companies that were monolithic evolved over time into decomposed services that communicated via RESTful APIs and other network-based messaging protocols.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Overwatch and the new wave of friendly online shooters

See the original posting on The Verge

There’s a new multiplayer-only shooter out, and I’m really having a lot of fun with it. Just a few years ago that’s not something you would have heard me say. The genre has historically not been very welcoming to newcomers; the result of entrenched players who are simply way better than you are, and often toxic communities that aren’t very pleasant to be around. No one enjoys repeatedly dying while someone laughs at you the whole time, slowly building up enough experience for a half-decent scope or zoom option.

But thanks to games like the recently launched Overwatch, that mentality is changing. Some developers are now treating online shooters as experiences that can cater to more than just the hardcore; experiences that can be fun for…

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Squeeze your phone to annoy your dog

See the original posting on The Verge

Researchers at the University of Michigan are taking a cue from Apple to create a pressure sensitive phone. Their software, ForcePhone, relies on a device’s built-in microphone and speaker. With this software installed, the phone’s speaker constantly emits a sound at a frequency of 18 kHz. This is inaudible to human ears, but not dogs’. Poor dogs. Whenever a user squeezes the phone or presses down on it, the tone of that sounds changes and the microphone recognizes it. It then translates that change into a command.

The researchers believe their work could allow cheaper phones to be pressure-sensitive because they wouldn’t require extra sensors. Maybe someday soon we’ll be giving our phones hand hugs.

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Atari now makes smart home products

See the original posting on The Verge

Someday soon, you may be able to buy a network-connected dog collar made by Atari.

Atari announced today that it’s partnering with Sigfox to get into the Internet of Things business. Together, they intend to create connected home, pet, lifestyle, and safety products. Work on the new products will begin sometime this year; there’s no date yet for when they’ll begin to roll out or exactly what products we might see.

While it may sound strange to hear that Atari, the classic video game company, is now making smart home products, it’s not quite as weird as it sounds. That’s because Atari isn’t necessarily going to be all that involved in the development of these new devices. Instead, Atari is going to be the brand name under which Sigfox…

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Energysquare is a wireless phone charging pad that doesn’t use induction

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 8.25.03 PM Meet Energysquare, a thin charging pad made so that you don’t have to plug in your phone charger ever again. Energysquare doesn’t rely on induction like most wireless chargers out there. Instead, Energysquare uses a conductive surface as well as a sticker on the back of your phone. The company is currently doing a Kickstarter campaign. Read More

Vaccine could prevent Alzheimer’s plaque from building up

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Image: Alvin Gogineni, Genentech

Researchers are starting to think that Alzheimer’s disease could be caused by microbial infections that cause plaque to form in the brain. This opens the possibility for a vaccination against Alzheimer’s.

Support for the immune defence idea comes from work by Jacobus Jansen of Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Using MRI brain scans, his team has found that people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease have more permeable blood-brain barriers, suggesting that they may have developed the disease because their brains were more vulnerable to attack. “The microbe hypothesis seems plausible,” says Jansen.

If infectious agents are kicking off the formation of plaques, then vaccines could head them off. “You could vaccinate against those pathogens, and potentially prevent this problem arising later in life,” says Moir.

If many microbes are involved, immunising against them all will be hard, says Jansen. “But if the frequency of certain pathogens is quite high, there might be a possibility.”

In the meantime, don’t get a brain infection.

Nab the AtmosRX Combo Vaporizer Bundle – now 73% off

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Vaping continues to become increasingly popular, meaning there is a growing selection of premium vaping products on the market. Here’s one that should get your attention: the AtmosRX Combo Vaporizer Bundle

This top-notch bundle includes the Rx Dry Herb Vaporizer, plus a bundle of accessories and flavors. Grab it now: it’s currently 73% off in the Boing Boing Store.

The Atmos Rx, which has garnered strong positive reviews, is a pen-style vaporizer that burns both waxes and herbs, offering a variety of options not often found in a portable pen.

The durable, compact Rx’s ample ceramic heating chamber fires up within 10 seconds and produces huge vapor clouds, allowing you to customize your vaping experience.

In case you’re already a fan of e-liquids, no worries: you’ll also get an e-liquid adapter for your Rx and two e-liquid flavors to try as well.

Find out why everyone’s jumping on the vaping train with the AtmosRx Combo Vaporizer Bundle, now just $59.99, while the deal lasts.

Beautiful Birds – Fly from A to Z with dozens of feathered friends

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tumblr_o5c6hzAdNz1t3i99fo1_1280

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Beautiful Birds

by Jean Roussen (author) and Emmanuel Walker (illustrator)

Flying Eye Books

2015, 56 pages, 8.9 x 12.2 x 0.4 inches

$17 Buy a copy on Amazon

In Beautiful Birds, author Jean Roussen and illustrator Emmanuel Walker fly through the alphabet with dozens of feathered friends. It begins, of course, with “A is for albatross, the admiral of the skies,” and progresses all the way to “Z is for zos-ter-o-pi-dae…” with details about all kinds of avians in between. The writing brims with clever rhymes and colorful words (ogling orbs, polychrome quills) making it delightful to read out loud. If I had to guess, I’d say Roussen is a fan of E.B. White’s idea that “children are game for anything… They love words that give them a hard time, provided they are in a context that absorbs their attention.”

Walker’s vibrant illustrations give kids all the context they need. His graphic, full-bleed drawings feel like those of mid-century masters Saul Bass and Charlie Harper. As an added bonus, the book’s design is also gorgeous. It’s bound in a neon salmon linen, with patterned endpapers to match. The neon color can be found on almost every page in varying doses, giving the optical effect of spying a ruffle of feathers in the wild.

– Sara Distin at Tinybob

Microsoft, Facebook, YouTube and Others Agree To Remove Hate Speech Across the EU

See the original posting on Slashdot

Tech giants in conjunction with European Union are taking a stand to fight hate speech. Microsoft, Twitter, YouTube, Google, and Facebook have launched “code of conduct” aimed at fighting racism and xenophobia across Europe. The companies aren’t legally obligated, but have agreed to “public commitments” to review the “majority of valid notifications for removal of illegal hate speech” in less than 24 hours, and make it easier for law enforcement in Europe to notify the firms directly. From a TechCrunch report: Tech companies will have to find the right balance between freedom of expression and hateful content. Based on the code of conduct, they’ll have dedicated teams reviewing flagged items (poor employees who will have to review awful things every day). Tech companies will also educate their users and tell them that it’s forbidden to post hateful content. They’ll cooperate with each other to share best practice. They’ll encourage flagging of hateful content and they’ll promote counter speech against hateful rhetoric. It’s good to see that this issue got escalated and the European Commission was able to come up with a code of conduct quite quickly. Instead of making tech companies deal with every single European country, they can agree on rules for the EU as a whole.”The recent terror attacks have reminded us of the urgent need to address illegal online hate speech,” Vera Jourova, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, wrote in the European Commission press release. “Social media is unfortunately one of the tools that terrorist groups use to radicalise young people and racist use to spread violence and hatred. This agreement is an important step forward to ensure that the internet remains a place of free and democratic expression, where European values and laws are respected.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Ask Slashdot: Would You Recommend Updating To Windows 10?

See the original posting on Slashdot

Plenty of users are skeptical about upgrading to Windows 10. While they understand that Microsoft’s newest desktop operating system comes with a range of interesting features, they are paranoid about the repeated update fiascos that have spoiled the experience for many users. Reader Quantus347 writes: Whenever I think of Windows 10 these days I, like so many others out there, immediately feel a swell of rage over the heavy-handed way the “upgrade” has been forced on me and so many others. I had to downgrade one of my computers that installed windows 10 over a weekend I was away, and as a result, I have been fending off the update ever since. I find myself wondering if Windows 10 is actually that bad. With the end of the “free” upgrade period quickly coming to an end, my fiscally conservative side is starting to overwhelm my fear and distrust of all things new, and I’m wondering if it’s time to take the leap. I’ve been burned too many times for being an early adopter of something that proved to be an underdeveloped product, but Windows 10 has been around for long enough that I’m wondering if it might have it’s kinks worked out. So I ask you, Slashdot, what are your experiences with Windows 10 itself, aside from the auto-upgrade nonsense? How does it measure up to its predecessors, and is it a worthwhile OS in its own right?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sirin Labs’ Solarin is today’s most ridiculous $16,000 Android phone

See the original posting on The Verge

How much do you value your privacy? Sirin Labs is a new company making its debut in London today that stakes its future on very wealthy people believing their privacy and security to be priceless. Its launch product is the Solarin, a 5.5-inch Android smartphone accompanied by a series of bombastic claims about being the very best. It should be the very best, given that it costs £9,500 before taxes, but in my time trying it out today, I was left with the unhappy impression of an expensive imposter.

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