Cover of “Video killed the radio star” created entirely with a tablet

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Dan Baker:

Here’s my take on the Buggles’ 1979 hit, “Video Killed the Radio Star”, using NOTHING but the fantastic on-board sounds of GarageBand for iOS10: so unbelievably powerful… All vocal parts recorded using the internal mic, with lead vocal processed through the internal guitar amp simulator: the original 1979 vocal was played back through a VOX AC30 guitar amp to get that sound. Everything here mixed on the iPad as well, with lots of effects not fazing it in the slightest. “Alchemy” is an expensive sounding synth, also used on Logic Pro X, and the bass sound actually sounds like a Fender Precision.

Cobbles: steel mill mishaps where hot steel reels out like a nightmare light saber

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Spewing like massive tentacular light sabers, steel mill cobbles are unpredictable workplace mishaps that represent “extreme manufacturing danger.”

The temperature of molten steel is in excess of 1300°C (2500°F) and it goes without saying that those in the vicinity of strips of molten metal need to be extremely careful. This steel is heated to such temperatures to make it more manageable and allow strips to be gradually reduced in diameter to the required size … There are images aplenty of steel cobbles because while they are extremely dangerous they happen on a daily basis in many steel plants. Indeed when producing steel via this process you will regularly hear people quote the cobble rate which is in effect the rate of waste.

Some of these videos are weirdly beautiful; all of these are absolutely terrifying.

Here, a stern British man explains what’s happening:

Easier End-User Setup for ESP32 Projects

See the original posting on Hackaday

As hackers, we occasionally forget that not everyone is enamored with the same nerdy minutia that we are. Configuring hardware by changing some lines in the code and compiling a new firmware doesn’t sound like that big of a deal to those of us who’ve been around the block a few times, but might as well be ancient Sanskrit to the average person. As long as your projects are for personal use this isn’t really a concern, but what if you plan on distributing the code for a project or perhaps even selling finished products? Shipping it out with hard-coded …read more

Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo wants to keep you safe around the web

See the original posting on The Verge

DuckDuckGo is launching updated versions of its browser extension and mobile app, with the promise of keeping internet users safe from snooping “beyond the search box.”

The company’s flagship product, its privacy-focused search engine, will remain the same, but the revamped extension and app will offer new tools to help users keep their web-browsing as safe and private as possible. These include grade ratings for websites, factoring in their use of encryption and ad tracking networks, and offering summaries of their terms of service (with summaries provided by third-party Terms of Service Didn’t Read). The app and extension are available for Firefox, Safari, Chrome, iOS, and Android.

The ability to block ad tracking networks is…

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Serverless Golang API With AWS Lambda

See the original posting on DZone Python

AWS announced a few days ago that Go is now a supported language for AWS Lambda. This seemed like a great opportunity to get my hands dirty by creating a Go serverless application — and deploying it to Lambda.

The application uses a serverless Lambda function written in Go to discover new movies by genres — using the free TMDb API. To access the function, I’ll also walk you through how to create a simple front-end using Angular 5.

Acer announces $349 Chromebook Spin 11 with 360-degree hinge and USB-C

See the original posting on The Verge

Acer has announced a new Chromebook called the Spin 11, a convertible design with a 360-hinge and 11.6-inch touchscreen. If that sounds familiar, it’s probably because Acer and Google launched essentially the same thing a year ago for the education market. This model, however, will be available in regular retail channels.

The Chromebook Spin 11 has options for quad-core Pentium or Celeron processors, two USB-C 3.1 ports, Google Play support, and an 11.6-inch touchscreen at a resolution of only 1366 x 768 — though at least the panel is IPS. Acer claims up to 10 hours of battery life. The Spin 11 will go on sale in the US in March starting at $349.

Chromebook 11 C732

Acer is also announcing yet another standard…

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Shmoocon: Delightful Doppler Direction Finding With Software Defined Radio

See the original posting on Hackaday

When it comes to finding what direction a radio signal is coming from, the best and cheapest way to accomplish the task is usually a Yagi and getting dizzy. There are other methods, and at Shmoocon this last weekend, [Michael Ossmann] and [Schuyler St. Leger] demonstrated pseudo-doppler direction finding using cheap, off-the-shelf software defined radio hardware.

The hardware for this build is, of course, the HackRF, but this pseudo-doppler requires antenna switching. That means length-matched antennas, and switching antennas without interrupts or other CPU delays. This required an add-on board for the HackRF dubbed the Opera Cake. This board is …read more

Stepper Motor Robot Arm Has Smooth Moves

See the original posting on Hackaday

[Tobias Kuhn] had watched a YouTube video about a robot arm which used servo motors, and wanted to try making one himself. But he found it hard to get slow or smooth movements out of the servos. Even removing the microcontroller and trying to work with the servo’s driver-IC and potentiometer from an Arduino Nano didn’t get him satisfaction.

Then he found the very affordable 28BYJ-48 stepper motor. After some experimenting, he came up with a smooth moving robot arm with four steppers controlled from an Arduino Mega and A4988 stepper motor drivers. Rather than write a bunch of stepper  …read more

Running Programs On Paper

See the original posting on Hackaday

It’s a simple fact that most programs created for the personal computer involve the same methods of interaction, almost regardless of purpose. Word processors, graphics utilities, even games – the vast majority of interaction is performed through a keyboard and mouse. However, sometimes it can be fun to experiment with alternative technologies for users to interact with code – Paper Programs is an exciting way to do just that.

Paper Programs is a combination of a variety of existing technologies to create a way of interacting with code which is highly tangible. The setup consists of a projector, and a …read more

Facebook invented a new time unit called the ‘flick’ and it’s truly amazing

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 I was all set to dislike the “flick,” a time unit just recently invented by Facebook (technically the Oculus team), because I thought it was going to be something worthless like “the average time someone looks at a post.” In fact it’s a very clever way of dividing time that theoretically could make video and audio production much more harmonious. Read More

Tiny Programming Langauge in 25 Lines of Code

See the original posting on Hackaday

There are certain kinds of programs that fascinate certain kinds of software hackers. Maybe you are into number crunching, chess programs, operating systems, or artificial intelligence. However, on any significant machine, most of the time those activities will require some sort of language. Sure, we all have some processor we can write hex code for in our head, but you really want at least an assembler if not something sturdier. Writing languages can be addictive, but jumping right into a big system like gcc and trying to make changes is daunting for anyone. If you want a gentle introduction, check …read more

Amazon doesn’t care if you accidentally shoplift from its cashier-less store

See the original posting on The Verge

Amazon Go, the e-commerce giant’s new cashier-less grocery store in downtown Seattle, opened today to a mix of general curiosity and incredulity. How can a store function without cashiers? How do you pay, and how does the business know who’s buying what?

Amazon has done a sound job of explaining many of the particulars of its new concept store, one the company hopes brings more online customers into contact with its increasingly important offline presence. There are cameras and sensors, to detect when you’ve walked in and when items are removed from shelves, and there are check-in kiosks near the entrance for scanning your phone to register your presence via Amazon Prime. Regardless, Go will likely remain an alien concept for many.

And…

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BattleScar is a short animated ode to ‘70s punk, starring Rosario Dawson

See the original posting on The Verge

Welcome to Cheat Sheet, our brief breakdown-style reviews of festival films, VR previews, and other special event releases. This review comes from the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

The short virtual reality film BattleScar starts before you even put on the headset. In Sundance’s experimental New Frontier section, viewers enter a booth that’s been transformed into a teen girl’s bedroom, circa 1978. A mattress sits on the floor, littered with a leather jacket and high boots. One wall has PUNK slashed in straight black lines. Beneath that, in smaller script: was invented by girls. The design is clearly conveying defiance, but with 40 years of hindsight, the aesthetic is comfortingly familiar.

BattleScar is the start of a three-part series…

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Integral Memory’s new 512GB microSD card is the biggest microSD card yet

See the original posting on The Verge

There’s a new king of the microSD card: Integral Memory’s 512GB microSD card, which packs a record breaking full half-terabyte of storage into the diminutive card format. You definitely should try not to lose it.

The previous record holder — SanDisk’s now paltry 400GB card — is still a bit faster at 100MB/s, whereas Integral Memory’s new 512GB behemoth tops out at a maximum speed of 80MB/s. The new 512GB microSD card is also classified as an SDXC UHS-I U1 card (i.e., it has a minimum write speed of 10MB/s) and meets the V10 standard for video transfer rates, so it’s designed to capture full HD video off cameras.

No price was given, but it’s almost guaranteed to be expensive when in launches sometime in February.

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Google just broke Amazon’s workaround for YouTube on Fire TV

See the original posting on The Verge

Google and Amazon aren’t getting any closer to ending their bitter feud. In fact, today the user-hostile fight between them is only getting worse. YouTube has apparently blocked the Silk web browser on Fire TV from displaying the TV-optimized interface normally shown on large screens. As a result, trying to navigate YouTube and watch videos has become a usability nightmare on Amazon’s popular streaming products.

It’s now basically a desktop computer experience, requiring users to browse around with the Fire TV remote (not exactly simple), play a video, then click to maximize it to fill the screen. Firefox for Fire TV is blocked from showing the TV-optimized view, as well. The Verge has reached out to both Google and Amazon for comment.

T…

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The Bowers & Wilkins PX headphones offer big sound at a high price

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 The PX headphones are Bowers & Wilkins’ first noise-cancelling headphones. While Bowers & Wilkins is more known for its premium work with high-end speakers, its first foray into noise-cancelling headphones is a win. Overall the Bowers & Wilkins PX wireless headphones boast big sound and a sharp design, but they come at a high price compared to similar offerings by competitors. Read More

Android 8.1 can now display WiFi speeds before connecting

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Oreo was a bit of a lackluster update on first launch, but the mobile operating system is getting some nice new tricks as with 8.1’s updates. The new Speed Labels feature is one of the more compelling of the bunch, offering estimated network signals prior to logging on. Starting this week, users with 8.1 installed will see one of four qualifiers next to open WiFi networks: Very Fast,… Read More

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