Microsoft 365 for small and medium businesses is now generally available

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Microsoft 365 lets businesses subscribe to a bundle with Office 365, Windows 10 and the company’s mobile device management tools. The early focus for this program was enterprises, but a few months ago, the company also launched a preview version of Microsoft 365 for small and medium businesses. Today, Microsoft 365 Business is coming out of beta and is now generally available to… Read More

IBM Cloud Private brings cloud native computing to your data center

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 As companies search for ways to modernize their technology stacks, they struggle with managing the legacy software (and hardware) inside their own data centers. IBM introduced a new private cloud product today that is supposed to ease the transition to cloud computing and containerization and place those legacy applications in a more modern IT management context. IBM Cloud Private wants to… Read More

Sony just announced a new Aibo robot dog

See the original posting on The Verge

As rumored, AIBO is back. After more than a decade away, Sony has decided to resurrect its iconic robot pet brand with a brand new model simply called “Aibo” (model number ERS-1000).

Sony claims the new Aibo “can form an emotional bond with members of the household while providing them with love, affection, and the joy of nurturing and raising a companion.” It uses ultra-compact actuators that allow its body to move along 22 axes, and its eyes use two OLED panels to show a range of expressions. Battery life is rated at around two hours, with a three-hour recharge time.

Sony says Aibo’s behavior is adaptable, with the dog seeking out owners, learning what makes them happy, and gradually growing accustomed…

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[Ben Krasnow] Hacks E-Paper For Fastest Refresh Rate

See the original posting on Hackaday

[Ben Krasnow] is known for his clear explanations alongside awesome hardware, being one of only a few hackers who owns an electron microscope. This time he’s explaining how E-paper works while modifying the firmware of a 4.2 inch E-paper module to get a higher refresh rate. As for the awesome hardware, he also analyses the signals going to the E-paper using an ultra-fancy loaner oscilloscope.

After starting out with a demo of the firmware in action before and after his modification, he explains how the E-paper works. The display is made up of many isolated chambers, each containing charged particles …read more

Slack is still down and it’s past 5 o’clock, so go home (Update: It’s back)

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Slack has been down for just over an hour, according to its official status page — which itself was down when I first checked a few minutes after the widely-used productivity tool bit it for us. At this point the end of the workday is pretty much shot, so you can go home. I would but I work from home so I have to sit here. Read More

I feel like I know these computer-generated celebrities already

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 If there’s one thing this Earth of ours is short on, it’s celebrities. I mean, if there were enough, why would they keep making them? We need the help of our computer friends. Luckily they are obliging. An AI that in its existence has only known the faces of celebs (how I envy it!) was tasked with making up new ones by the dozen. The results are… well, you should see for… Read More

Making Braille Signs out of PCBs

See the original posting on Hackaday

[jg] recently passed some damaged Braille signs and took on the challenge of repairing them. Informed by his recent work on PCB lapel pins, [jg] immediately thought of using circuit boards for this project. He’d noticed that round solder pads made for uniform hills of solder, and this reminded him of the bumps in Braille.

He began by reading up on the standards of the Braille Authority of North America, which stipulates a dot height of 0.6mm. He loaded up the PharmaBraille font system and laid it out the dots in photoshop, then and imported it into KiCad and laid …read more

The Cary42 is a gorgeous wooden arcade box for the extremely wealthy

See the original posting on The Verge

We’ve covered Swedish designer Love Hultén’s magnificent retro gaming machines plenty of times before on The Verge, and his latest effort — the Cary42 two-player arcade console / attaché case — continues his work of merging handmade wooden hardware with retro gaming.

The Cary42 is best described as a larger, upgraded version of Hultén’s original R-Kaid-R console, that doubles the controls to allow two players to enjoy classic games together. It features a 12-inch LCD display, stereo speakers, a 12V DC Power supply, and 16GB of storage preinstalled with 100 games (but its expandable over USB, so you can add as many emulated games as you can fit.)

The default version of the Cary42 is made out of solid American walnut, and…

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

See the original posting on The Verge

November is nearly upon us, and when this whole “dress up as scary monsters” business is over, it will be time for a new month of movies and television shows from your streaming service of choice. (That’s assuming you’ve already watched all of Stranger Things season 2. If you haven’t, you should probably just do that right now before the internet ruins every single secret about the show.)

Usually, we try to tease out an overarching theme every month with these roundups, but there really isn’t one this time around. Netflix, as usual, is leaning heavily into original programming. Its new series Alias Grace, based on the Margaret Atwood novel of the same name, is coming on November 3rd, with the second season of Lady Dynamite arriving a…

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Samsung is teaming up with WeWork for its own version of Apple’s Genius Bar

See the original posting on The Verge

If you break an iPhone, your next step is simple: you schedule an appointment at a Genius Bar and hope that someone can fix it. If you’ve got a Samsung phone, though, things are a little harder, but Samsung is looking to change that with a new pilot program. The company is teaming up with WeWork to provide “care centers,” as reported by Fast Co Design.

The idea is two-fold: first, you have a central place to come and get help with your Samsung products, and second (this is where WeWork comes in) you’ll have a place to get some work done while you’re waiting for your phone or laptop to get repaired. As Mick McConnell, Samsung’s VP of design, puts it, “Service is a hassle. I know I’m going to have to take time out of my day to do it,” so…

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NASA engineers create a parachuting pumpkin for their annual Halloween contest

See the original posting on The Verge

It’s that time of year again when NASA scientists compete to make the most creative, the most technologically challenging, and the most impressive pumpkin display of them all. This year, pumpkins spun, floated, and sailed like ships in the seventh annual (unofficial) pumpkin carving contest at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The rules of the pumpkin carving contest are simple, says Pete Waydo, deputy section manager of spacecraft mechanical engineering at JPL and a judge of the contest. Contestants can pick up their pumpkins a week before the competition and start assembling their displays, but only on the day of the contest can they actually work on their pumpkins — in just one hour. Other than that, Waydo says, “There are no rules.”

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Creative-focused app PicsArt hits 100M MAUs, attracting brands tired of trolls

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 You would think that social networks are more or less “done” now. What would be the point of another in a world filled with so many options? But in fact, there remains a niche which has been growing steadily in the creative corners of the Internet. PicsArt has been building growing since it was started in 2011. It’s now announced new growth figures which have hit 100… Read More

Signal escapes the confines of the browser with a standalone desktop app

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 If you’re an active Signal user (and why aren’t you?) you likely already know about the desktop app — or what passes for one. It’s actually Chrome App, requiring Google’s browser to function. Well, that nightmare is over, as Signal has released a standalone app with no troubling dependencies on billion-dollar companies. Read More

Fast Pair is Android’s answer to Apple’s effortless AirPods pairing

See the original posting on The Verge

Apple users are quickly growing accustomed to effortless wireless pairing between the iPhone (or Mac computers) and AirPods, but Google has been working on something that should remove at least some frustration from connecting Bluetooth gadgets to Android phones. Some speakers and headphones let you speed up the pairing process with NFC, which is pretty convenient, but now devices running Android 6.0 and above will get yet another, even better option: Fast Pair.

This new approach uses Bluetooth Low Energy and your Android phone’s location to automatically discover Bluetooth accessories in close proximity and then automatically connect with a tap. It even shows a picture of the product you’re using. Sound familiar?

When…

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Watch: Video about competitive gravedigging

See the original posting on Boing Boing

“The Best Gravediggers in the World” is a short documentary about competitive gravedigging:

In the industrial town of Tren?ín, Slovakia, a small family-run funeral home has taken their gravedigging contest international. Here, teams of gravediggers from throughout Europe descend with shovels and hoes to see who can create the best eternal resting places, in the least amount of time.

Homebuilt Laser Engraver Using Salvaged Parts

See the original posting on Hackaday

Now that anyone can go online and get a fairly decent 3D printer for around $200, they’ve officially fallen out of the “Elite Hacker” arsenal and are now normal, if perhaps highly specialized, tools. That’s great for the 3D printing community as a whole, but what about those who want to be on the fringe of technology? Telling people you have a 3D printer at home doesn’t get that wide-eyed response like it used to. What’s a “l33t” hacker to do?

Enter the laser engraver/cutter: it’s like a 3D printer, but easier to build and has a higher capacity for …read more

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is coming to Xbox One on December 12th

See the original posting on The Verge

Microsoft became the official publisher of the popular survival shooter PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) earlier this year. While the promise has always been a 2017 release on the Xbox, Microsoft is revealing today that PUBG will be available on December 12th, through the Xbox Game Preview program. That does mean this, like the PC version, won’t be a final edition of the game, but in an industry where a lot of games arrive before they’re really finished it shouldn’t matter.

PUBG is a competitive shooter where 100 people parachute into a map and loot cities and towns for weapons, armor, and other in-game items. It’s then a fight to the finish, Hunger Games-style, while the map shrinks around players forcing them into battles. The game…

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Stranger Things season 2’s meme is Jim Hopper dancing to everything

See the original posting on The Verge

In season 1 of Stranger Things, we had #Justice4Barb. This season, we’ve got… dancing Hopper. Stranger Things season 2 got its first meme this week, as a Twitter account called @hopperdancingto started posting videos of Sheriff Jim Hopper dancing to K-pop, the Stranger Things theme song, the Bag Raiders, and Michael Jackson.

The meme really took off when David Harbour, who plays Hopper, tweeted his fervent approval of the account. Now, 17,000 people are following Hopper Dancing To.

It’s too bad the scene is so dimly lit that Hopper and…

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Stripe Atlas adds a tool to set up stock issues for founding teams as it builds its business services

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Stripe Atlas was launched by payments company Stripe last year to help small businesses set themselves up as a legal, incorporated business entity in the U.S. Now with “thousands” of entrepreneurs from 125+ countries using Atlas, Stripe is expanding it with a new feature as it hones its focus on being a platform for startup services. Companies that are signed up to Atlas (which… Read More

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