Dating apps attach themselves to the Pokémon craze

See the original posting on TechCrunch

slide_img03 Pokémon may be the perfect dating app: you’re out in the real world, have an immediate way to start a conversation with an attractive stranger and, clearly, the two of you already share a common interest. These facts have not been lost on the makers of actual dating applications, however. A good handful of matchmaking services have now tied themselves to the Pokémon craze in an effort… Read More

Happy Sysadmin Day, Ken!

See the original posting on Boing Boing

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It’s Sysadmin Day, when we recognize the tireless, selfless, talented administrators who toil in obscurity and keep every part of our world running: for Boing Boing, that’s Mr Ken Snider, an extraordinarily skilled, patient, and upstanding fellow who has kept Boing Boing running for more than a decade, through thick and thin, and is our best hope and first line of defense against everything that the internet and its many ravening hordes of badness and entropy throw at us. Happy SA Day, Ken — you’re the very, very best.

Map of the world divided into 7 regions, one for each billion inhabitants

See the original posting on Boing Boing

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I spotted this map on Twitter, showing the world divided into seven regions each of 1 billion people. The source appears to be National Geographic but it’s not clear.

CoiMgZEUsAIcvcGThis map is even more amazing, though rather crafty when you think about it: there are purportedly as many people in the red area as in the blue area.

If virtual reality fails, blame spiders

See the original posting on The Verge

When historians look back decades from now, they may wonder what killed virtual reality in the ‘10s. The technology was finally cheap and sophisticated. Billions of dollars were poured into funding hardware and software. Even skeptics were slowly being won over. But then they will find this Reddit thread, and it will all make sense.

The answer is spiders.

If you’re arachnophobic, you may want to close this tab.

Early this morning, Reddit user Jhzanto went to r/Vive for some much-needed advice. “I had the headset on and I see a blob move in front of the right eye,” they wrote. “I take the headset off and see it’s a spider. It ran into the cracks just above the left eye. I can’t get it out!!!”

How big is this…

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There’s a flat version of the Galaxy Note 7 floating around the web

See the original posting on The Verge

At this point it’s clear that Samsung is fond of curved displays on its Galaxy smartphones, and the upcoming Galaxy Note 7 is expected to receive a dual-edge display when its announced next week. But a new video floating around Wiebo shows what appears to be a working version of a Galaxy Note 7 with a flat display. The video shows the apparent prototype working with the S Pen, Samsung’s home screen and setting apps, and even the rumored Iris scanner interface.

The specs on the device line up with the previous rumors — a 5.7-inch quad HD display, 12MP camera, and a Samsung Exynos 8890 are present — although it features 4GB of RAM instead of the rumored 6GB. Given the length and quality of the video it’s unlikely the device is a fake,…

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Lobster, the marketplace for user-generated content, integrates with DropBox

See the original posting on TechCrunch

SONY DSC Lobster, the platform that lets brands and publishers license user-generated content from social sites like Instagram and Youtube, has today announced integration with Dropbox. Plus, the platform has builtout tools that will make it easier for brands and publishers to find the perfect picture. Lobster, in short, does all the heavy lifting when it comes to licensing user-generated content.… Read More

Everything coming to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Now in August

See the original posting on The Verge

The availability of movies and TV shows on streaming services is a veritable merry-go-round these days, with so many titles coming and going that it’s hard to keep things straight. So this month, I’m going to take more of a simplified approach.

On August 12th, the first part of Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down is debuting on Netflix. It doesn’t matter whether you liked The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge!, or Strictly Ballroom; this is a show that you will simply need to watch. It’s partially because The Get Down is one of the most expensive television shows ever produced. It’s also because the show’s production struggles have already become legendary. But mostly it’s because of that awe-inspiring trailer.

(When you’re done with that, you’ll…

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PlayStation VR play area requirements detailed, seated play recommended

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 14:  Attendees participate in VR virtual reality demos during E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo 2016 at Los Angeles Convention Center on June 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/WireImage) PlaySTation VR is set to arrive on October 13, but a new official pamphlet being distributed by the company (via Polygon) sheds some light on what players can expect in terms of space requirements and gameplay style. The document shows that the idea space is about 6′ x 10′ big, with the player seated roughly in the middle, facing the PlayStation Camera at the long end. HTC… Read More

Nao’s peculiar voice is what makes her debut album For All We Know stand out

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The first thing you notice about Nao’s music is her voice. There’s a hint of helium in her tone, and it lends otherwise straightforward line readings a bit of strange delight: they’re hollow, buoyant, on the edge of slipping away. It’s an effect that makes love songs just a little bit more effervescent; when she’s working with edgier, more aggressive arrangements, she balances them out. And when that natural lightness is missing, you notice it’s absent — “Adore You,” a lovestruck highlight on her debut LP For All We Know, is remarkable in part because its vocal treatment is so conventional.

That voice is her ace in the hole, and it’s one she needs given the density of talent in her chosen genre. Nao is a young British person making…

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The official Magikarp music video is an anthem for lovable losers

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Magikarp is the most useless of all pokémon — that’s not me talking, that’s science. It can do almost nothing aside from flop around like, well, a fish out of water. But its seemingly hopeless existence somehow makes it even more endearing, and this new official music video really drives that point home. Called “I Love Magikarp,” the song features a Japanese child singing about just how weak Magikarp is. Here’s the chorus:

Weak pokémon, Magikarp

The weakest thing in the world

Weak pokémon, Magikarp

So weak that it’s actually shocking

It’s not quite as catchy as Slowpoke’s reggae song, but it does really get at the heart of what makes Magikarp such a great pokémon. It’s weak and useless, but you’ll love it anyways. And if you’re…

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First Click: Nintendo’s NX should be the Netflix of video games

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Nintendo’s NX console got a whole lot less mysterious this week after a detailed report from Eurogamer — later corroborated by IGN and Kotaku — blew the lid off the concept. In short, it’s said to be a tablet-style device powered by Nvidia mobile hardware; it has detachable controllers, and can be hooked up to a TV for living-room play.

But what’s less clear is how Nintendo expects to go about selling games to people following the abject failure of the Wii U, which similarly attempted to blend portable and big-screen play. Even though the Wii U featured some of Nintendo’s best ever games, like Super Mario 3D World and Splatoon, the company’s console strategy felt a little retro.

I have an idea that I don’t expect Nintendo to use, but…

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Python 3: An Intro to asyncio

See the original posting on DZone Python

The asyncio module was added to Python in version 3.4 as a provisional package. What that means is that it is possible that asyncio receives backwards incompatible changes or could even be removed in a future release of Python. According to the documentation asyncio “provides infrastructure for writing single-threaded concurrent code using coroutines, multiplexing I/O access over sockets and other resources, running network clients and servers, and other related primitives“. This chapter is not meant to cover everything you can do with asyncio, however you will learn how to use the module and why it is useful.

If you need something like asyncio in an older version of Python, then you might want to take a look at Twisted or gevent.

You can buy a sentry robot for your home

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A company called iPatrol has released a sentry robot called Riley that will cruise around your home on tank tracks with an HD camera, but without the requisite weapons to deter intruders (unless the intruder is a small animal). The tiny robot features a 5MP camera with night vision and motion detection, and can alert you and send a notification to the corresponding app on your phone if motion is detected.

The $229 robot comes with a microphone and speakers built in, allowing you to yell at intruders (or more likely your pet on the couch) thanks to the HD live-streaming capabilities. Riley also comes with a dock for charging, and the tank treads can be swapped out for different colors — because let’s be honest, this is a…

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LG Display invests $1.7 billion to produce flexible OLED phone screens

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LG Display will spend around $1.7 billion to build a new production line for making flexible OLED smartphone screens. Flexible smartphone screens, which go into phones like the curved Galaxy S7 Edge, are becoming increasingly popular, and they seem likely to become a dominant style in a few years. The investment is meant to let LG become a leader in this display tech — it may have buyers lined up already, or LG could be planning to use the displays itself.

The production line will be installed at the same OLED display factory that LG announced plans to build, for around $8.9 billion, last November. It’s been speculated that the plant will be used to make screens for future iPhones, as Apple is expected to switch from LCD displays to…

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UberCentral lets businesses arrange Uber rides for their customers

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Uber has launched a new service called UberCentral that lets business request door-to-door rides for their clients / customers. The people going in the backseat don’t need an Uber account at all; they don’t even need the app installed. Instead, this is meant to position Uber as an indispensable convenience for any number of business that frequently transport customers to and fro. And like the rapidly expanding UberEats, it’s yet another offering built on top of Uber’s core business.

You’ve got your obvious examples like hotels and car dealerships or repair shops, sure, but the company also sees UberCentral as a useful tool for senior centers and high-brow retailers. UberCentral runs on Android / iOS tablets, and can also be accessed…

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Get ready for a new dinosaur novel from Michael Crichton

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When Michael Crichton passed away in 2008, he left behind a massive collection of papers: outlines, notes, and several incomplete novels. In the years since his death, Crichton’s widow Sherri has been combing through those files, and recently discovered a new manuscript called Dragon Teeth, which is now set to be published by HarperCollins in 2017.

The new novel returns to a topic for which Crichton is most famous: dinosaurs. The novel follows the intense rivalry between two prominent, real-life paleontologists, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh as they try and out-discover one another in 1878. The book takes place in the American West from the perspective of a fictional apprentice, William Johnson, as he makes monumental…

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WhatsApp isn’t fully deleting its ‘deleted’ chats

See the original posting on The Verge

WhatsApp retains and stores chat logs even after those chats have been deleted, according to a post today by iOS researcher Jonathan Zdziarski. Examining disk images taken from the most recent version of the app, Zdziarski found that the software retains and stores a forensic trace of the chat logs even after the chats have been deleted, creating a potential treasure trove of information for anyone with physical access to the device. The same data could also be recoverable through any remote backup systems in place.

In most cases, the data is marked as deleted by the app itself — but because it has not been overwritten, it is still recoverable through forensic tools. Zdziarski attributed the problem to the SQLite library used in coding…

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