How to overcome your fear of public speaking

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Even when your audience is small enough to fit inside a conference room, presentations can be absolutely nerve-wracking. If you get physically nauseous at the sight of a podium, check out this public speaking course in the Boing Boing Store.

With this 16-hour workshop, you’ll discover a wealth of strategies to build engaging speeches and exude confidence. Aside from refining your body language and delivery, you’ll learn how to appropriately tailor your talks and identify with everyone who’s watching. It includes several exercises that you can practice ahead of time to focus your brain, as well as some handy PowerPoint slide templates.

Whether you’re a nervous lecturer, or just have a job that involves frequent client pitch meetings, the Complete Presentation and Public Speaking Course will help you feel more comfortable. You can get lifetime access to this professional training for $15 from the Boing Boing Store.

A smartphone-shaped fidget-gadget to soothe your instinctive need for stimulus

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Viennese artist Klemens Schillinger created these “Substitute Phones” as fidget toys with kinetic worry-beads that you can stroke and fondle when your conditioned reflex to reach for a distraction rectangle kicks in; the beads are set in channels that allow you to replicate smart-phone gestures like unlock, swipe right, and pinch-zoom. (via Red Ferret)
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Bake: hand-pies with three-dimensional decorations

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVPp5FtQN8E&feature=youtu.be

Carbohydrate whisperer Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin (AKA @thePieous) (previously), author of Pies Are Awesome Vol 1 “Pie-Modding”: How to Epic-Up Store Bought Pies and Be the Hero of the Party” writes “I’ve come up with a way of making hand pies in silicone molds that solves the big problems associated with making pies this way – primarily lack of control over the finish and texture. I make a double layer of dough with egg in between the layers, then do a partial bake in the mold juuuuuust long enough for it to retain its shape outside, and then add a very thin layer of extra decorations and complete the bake.”

Elegant Ruby: Code Quality Automated

See the original posting on DZone Python

Have you ever found yourself staring at photos of someone’s dog, cat, or kids, only to grind through a smile that’s not authentic? It’s a universal fact that we all think the things we do and produce are wonderful. The code we write is so witty! We’re like the fable of Jupiter and the Monkey; it doesn’t even matter if others scoff, we believe our creation is beautiful.

So how do we get objective with such a curse?! In what way can we protect ourselves from such bias? We could always ask our fellow developers, but is that effective? As fun as it sounds, even if you did, there’s no guarantee that they wouldn’t apply their own bias until your code reached some kind of median between the both of you.

Paper developer FiftyThree launches its stylish slideshow app Paste on iOS

See the original posting on The Verge

Developer FiftyThree is best known for Paper, one of the most iconic drawing apps for the iPad since it was released in 2012. But earlier this year, the company quietly released its second major application: Paste, an incredibly nice-looking slideshow app for the web with deep integration into Slack that looked to redesign the humble slide deck for a modern, team-based, collaborative work environment. And now, Paste is finally making its way to the platform people know FiftyThree for best: the iPad and iPhone.

In many ways, Paste has always felt like it should have an iOS app. The entire app is built around a simple UI for editing slides meant to let users focus on content instead of fiddling with…

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Google Home can now handle two commands at once

See the original posting on The Verge

Google Home devices can now process and complete two commands at once. As first reported by CNET and independently confirmed by The Verge, Google Home users can ask their device to do multiple things. So, for example, you could say, “Hey, Google, turn on the TV, and what’s the weather?” Your TV would turn on, and Google will tell you the weather, too.

You can mix and match these commands by asking for traffic, controlling any of your connected gadgets, or telling the device to play music. These commands don’t have to be predefined in the Google Home app as a specific routine. You also cannot ask for three things. The device will tell you it can’t handle all three and then seems to pick one command at random to execute.

Amazon rolled out a…

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How long has it been since a new Drake meme?

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Drake went to a Toronto Raptors game last night at the Air Canada Centre, wore a brown hoodie, and drank a can of pink grapefruit Perrier. I absolutely can’t think of anything less interesting. Can you?

Ah, but Drake knows how to make up for boring circumstances by acting like a total spaz for no reason. Thank goodness. The newest Drake meme is a short video, posted to Instagram by the Raptors’ social media manager, of Drake pouring his Perrier into a cup. Something about the process is distressing to him, and he panics, then calms himself down a little bit, then panics again, then freaks way out, then puts the can down on the floor, then half-grins, then settles into his resting facial expression, which is “sheepish.” I’m guessing he…

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Alexa can now control Hulu, NBC, and more on the Fire TV

See the original posting on The Verge

Today, Amazon and its partners updated multiple apps in the US, including Bravo, Hulu, and NBC, so that users can control playback with voice commands. You can use the Alexa Voice Remote, an Echo device, or the Fire TV remote app to search, play, pause, rewind, or fast-forward through content from these providers. You can also change the channel. CBS All Access, Showtime, and PlayStation Vue also recently received this functionality.

So, for example, you could say, “Alexa, watch The Handmaid’s Tale,” or “Alexa, play The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Other less-specific program commands include, “Alexa, fast-forward five minutes,” or “Alexa, play from the beginning.” Clearly Amazon is working toward a voice-controlled future built around…

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New Destiny 2 Alexa skills let you ask Ghost to do stuff in-game

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Destiny 2 fans will know that you get your own virtual assistant of source in the game world – Ghost, who sort of floats around and guides you. The new Alexa skill for Destiny 2 allows you to ask Ghost to do a number of things for you, including provide guidance about your in-game mission, calling backup, equipping different armour and weapon sets and providing lore and fictional… Read More

Microsoft Edge browser now available for all Android and iOS users

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Microsoft unveiled a beta version of its Edge web browser last month for iOS and Android. Testers had to sign-up to get special access to the new browser, but Microsoft is making both the Android and iOS versions generally available today. Microsoft Edge for mobile is mainly useful if you tend to resume a lot of browsing from a phone to a Windows 10 PC.

Microsoft has integrated its “continue on PC” functionality directly into Edge for iOS and Android, so you can ping a site over to your PC if it’s just not loading properly on mobile or you want to continue with a mouse and keyboard. Edge also includes access to favorites, history, reading list, and ebooks. Sadly, Microsoft still hasn’t added tab syncing to Edge for mobile, so you can’t…

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Fancy it up with this silver spork

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Inspired by my friend Veek, I now carry a titanium spork in my purse. Now, when I’m eating out and plastic flatware is the only option, I don’t have to use it. Don’t judge, it doubles as a tiny rake and/or an emergency backscratcher.

Today, for some reason, I sat here wondering if sterling silver sporks exist. They do! In fact, Mark posted about one back in 2010 that was cast from a plastic Taco Bell spork. Brilliant, but it doesn’t seem to be for sale.

However, I did find one for sale on Etsy. Jewelry designer Matthew White of Brooklyn makes solid silver sporks for $120 each.

He writes:

This is a solid sterling silver spork. This spork is cast from a plastic spork so it had the feel and look of plastic silverware with the strength, longevity, class of silver. The dichotomy of wealth within this piece we be a wonderful addition and conversation starter at any dinner party.

It’s getting fancy up in here.

LA Peeps: Don’t miss Allee Willis’ campy ‘Love N’ Latkes’ show

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Heads up! The reigning Queen of Kitsch, Allee Willis, is hosting three live Christmas/Hanukkah mashup “party performance” shows in Studio City later this week.

She writes:

It is with great pleasure that I announce my craziest in-the-best-sense-of-the-word nuts live show yet! For 3 big nights – Nov. 30-Dec. 2 – the party rages on at Allee Willis’ Love ’N Latkes Chanukah Christmas Shopping (and Singing and Comedy) Extravaganza Show! An ALL NEW “one-woman + Andrae” party performance featuring hit songs (I was just nominated for the Songwriters Hall of Fame so you know they’re great hits!), sing-alongs, the least appropriate stories a songwriter could tell, and, oh yeah, not just an auction of supreme flea finds but the greatest early holiday gift shopping in the whole wide Kitsch world!!

That’s right! For the first time ever, I’ll be opening the vaults and auctioning off treasures from my own world-renowned personal Kitsch, Pop, and Soul collection!

Tickets to all three shows (Thursday 11/30, Friday 12/1, and Saturday 12/2) are available now. Her shows always sell out so, if you’re thinking of going, grab tickets now.

Woodworker carves a ‘Christmas Story’ leg lamp based on his own leg

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YouTuber craftsman Paul Jackman fashioned his own “major award” a la A Christmas Story, a “manly” leg lamp based on his own leg’s measurements. It’s really quite impressive.

He writes:

This leg is an exact full scale model of my own leg. The leg and base are made from maple butcher block scraps from previous projects. The lamp shade is welded from scrap lengths of rebar and wrapped in pleather attached using paracord that looks like Carolina’s boot laces. The boot is attached using a threaded brass lamp rod through the entire leg with a nut on both ends. There are also a couple of screws into the toe of the boot/foot.

By the way, if you’re not super crafty like Mr. Jackman and want a leg lamp for your very own, the A Christmas Story House & Museum in Cleveland, Ohio has full-sized replicas of the original for sale. The downside? It won’t be shaped like your own leg.

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Testing Your Frontend Code: Part IV (Integration Testing)

See the original posting on DZone Python

A while ago, a friend of mine, who is just beginning to explore the wonderful world of frontend development, asked me how to start testing her application. Over the phone. I told her that, obviously, I can’t do it over the phone as there is so much to learn about this subject. I promised to send her links to guide her along the way.

And so I sat down at my computer and googled the subject. I found lots of links, which I sent her, but was dissatisfied with the depth of what they were discussing. I could not find a comprehensive guide — from the point of view of a frontend newbie — to testing frontend applications. I could not find a guide that discusses both the theory and the practice and is oriented towards testing frontend applications.

Essential continues to update its camera with new portrait mode and image improvements

See the original posting on The Verge

Essential has rolled out yet another update to its camera app that adds new features and promises to help alleviate some of the photo issues seen with the Essential Phone. Notably, the update brings a new background-blurring portrait mode like those found on the Pixel 2 and iPhone X, among others. It also fixes some stability issues while improving image quality by reducing JPEG compression and adding exposure compensation to more camera modes.

The camera is seen as the Essential Phone’s weakest feature and the Achilles Heel of the bezel-less device. The company had previously rolled out app and firmware updates to address the camera’s shortcomings. We gave the phone an 8 out of 10 in our review while noting the disappointing camera…

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Final round of Disrupt Berlin hackathon & spectator tickets now available plus sponsor prizes

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 The countdown for the Berlin TechCrunch Disrupt Hack is getting lower, with only 2 days to go! We’ve released the last batch of hacker tickets to get yours now so you can join the fun! If you’re not a hacker but want to see the fun 60 second pitches on Sunday, you can also get your spectator tickets now! We will be your hosts for the event; Marily Nika and Claire Donoghue. Like… Read More

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