It looks like the Google Play store will soon sell audiobooks

See the original posting on The Verge

If you listen to audiobooks, chances are that you’ve probably purchased it from Audible. Now, it looks as though Google will begin selling audiobooks trough its Google Play store. 9to5Google is reporting that the company has begun advertising audiobooks, and that a user’s first audiobook purchase will be 50 percent off.

The hub isn’t currently accessible, and 9to5Google says that there’s no indication of when the store will go live. But it seems that the company is laying the groundwork for an audiobook store. Android Police found references to Audiobooks in an APK teardown of the Google Play app back in November, and The Android Soul conducted an APK teardown of the latest update to the Google Play Books app, and found code for several…

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Self-destructing thumb drives with smoke loads, glowing elements, tiny explosives

See the original posting on Boing Boing

MG’s Mr Self Destruct project takes the USB Killer to new levels, combining a $1.50 system-on-a-chip with a variety of payloads: smoke bombs, “sound grenades,” and little explosives, cleverly choreographed with keystroke emulation, allowing the poisoned drive to first cause the connected computer to foreground a browser and load a web-page that plays an appropriate animation (a jack-in-the-box that plays “Pop Goes the Weasel” with the drive’s explosive detonating for the climax).


Nintendo Switch Gets Making with Labo

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Over the years, Nintendo has had little trouble printing money with their various gaming systems. While they’ve had the odd misstep here and there since the original Nintendo Entertainment System was released in 1983, overall business has been good. But even for the company that essentially brought home video games to the mainstream, this last year has been pretty huge. The release of the Nintendo Switch has rocketed the Japanese gaming giant back into the limelight in a way they haven’t enjoyed in a number of years, and now they’re looking to keep that momentum going into 2018 with a …read more

SE Ranking helps keep your website at the top of search rankings

See the original posting on Boing Boing

The web may be a big place, but space is certainly limited when it comes to securing a spot on that first page of a Google search. That’s why investing in your site’s SEO is critical for staying relevant and ensuring the appropriate audience finds you. Thankfully, doing so just got a bit easier with SE Ranking, and now you can sign up for a personal plan for $49.99.

SE Ranking delivers all the standard SEO tools, like keyword position tracking and competitor research, while also loading in unique features like page changes monitoring and SEO ROI forecasts. You can audit as many pages as you need while receiving actionable recommendations on the go. Plus, you can discover what keywords your competitors are using in their ads to give you an edge online.

You can net a lifetime personal plan of SE Ranking for $49.99 in the Boing Boing Store.

Tricked-out Barbecue Will Make You Do a Spit Take

See the original posting on Hackaday

[Strn] and his friends love to barbecue no matter what it’s like outside. But something always seems to interrupt the fun: either it’s time to get up and turn the meat, or the music stops because somebody’s phone ran out of juice, or darkness falls and there aren’t enough flashlights or charged-up phones. He had the idea to build the Swiss Army knife of barbecues, a portable powerhouse that solves all of these problems and more (translated).

Most importantly, the E-Mangal rotates the skewers for even cooking. It does this with a 3D-printed worm gear system driven by the heater …read more

Microsoft Gets Hacker Friendly

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You don’t often hear hackers say a lot of good things about Microsoft. Sure, you might use Windows, especially if you have one of those embarrassing day jobs. But at night in a hacker’s secret lab, you are likely to find something that looks more like Unix, even if it has a penguin, a piece of fruit, or even a green robot on the label. But we’ll give Microsoft credit. Their new MakeCode site will be a great boon for educators, students, and anyone who wants to learn how to code. What’s more is they are joined by a lot …read more

Roll Your Own Raspberry Pi OS

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Writing an operating system is no small task, but like everything else it is easier than it used to be. [JSandler] has a tutorial on how to create a simple operating system for the Raspberry Pi. One thing that makes it easier is the development environment used. QEMU emulates a Raspberry Pi so you can do the development on a desktop PC and test in the virtual environment. When you are ready, you can set up a bootable SD card and try your work on a real device.

The operating system isn’t very complex, but it does boot, organize memory, …read more

Webhooks vs. Serverless: I Like Webhooks

See the original posting on DZone Python

The serverless vs webhooks debate has been discussed in developer communities for a couple years now. It usually comes up as the answer to this question: “How do we add more functionality to our platform faster?” Since everyone wants to build features faster, it comes up a lot.

In a perfect world, you’d be able to hire 100,000 engineers, split them into teams of four (with no managers!), and have each team own a feature: spec it out, build it, iterate on it with user feedback, and do it all in perfect harmony with every other team.

Getting to Know an 18th Century Hacker

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Here at Hackaday we tend to stay pretty close to the bleeding edge in tech, not by any conscious effort, but simply because that’s what most hackers are interested in. Sure we see the occasional vintage computer rebuild, or reverse engineering of some component that was put into service before most of us were born; but on the whole you’re way more likely to see projects involving the latest and greatest microcontroller to hit AliExpress than ones involving the once ubiquitous vacuum tube.

But occasionally it’s nice to take a step back from the latest and greatest, to really look …read more

Nintendo’s Newest Switch Accessories Are DIY Cardboard Toys

See the original posting on Slashdot

sqorbit writes: Nintendo has announced a new experience for its popular Switch game console, called Nintendo Labo. Nintendo Labo lets you interact with the Switch and its Joy-Con controllers by building things with cardboard. Launching on April 20th, Labo will allow you to build things such as a piano and a fishing pole out of cardboard pieces that, once attached to the Switch, provide the user new ways to interact with the device. Nintendo of America’s President, Reggie Fils-Aime, states that “Labo is unlike anything we’ve done before.” Nintendo has a history of non-traditional ideas in gaming, sometimes working and sometimes not. Cardboard cuts may attract non-traditional gamers back to the Nintendo platform. While Microsoft and Sony appear to be focused on 4K, graphics and computing power, Nintendo appears focused on producing “fun” gaming experiences, regardless of how cheesy or technologically outdated they me be. Would you buy a Nintendo Labo kit for $69.99 or $79.99? “The ‘Variety Kit’ features five different games and Toy-Con — including the RC car, fishing, and piano — for $69.99,” The Verge notes. “The ‘Robot Kit,’ meanwhile, will be sold separately for $79.99.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

A Modern Take on the Crystal Radio

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We’ll admit that [3DSage] has a pretty standard design for a crystal radio. What we liked, though, was the 3D printed chassis with solderless connections. Of course, the working pieces aren’t 3D printed — you need an earphone, a diode, and some wire too. You can see the build and the finished product in the video below.

Winding the coil is going to take awhile, and the tuning is done with the coil and capacitance built into the tuning arrangement so you won’t have to find a variable capacitor for this build. There is a picture of the radio using …read more

User succumbs to a seizure in virtual reality while other players can only watch

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While playing around in VRChat, an online virtual community, YouTuber Rogue Shadow VR noticed a player who appeared to be in trouble. His character — a red and black robot — was writhing on the floor and gasping in what appeared to be an epileptic seizure.

In the original video, spotted by Motherboard, Rogue Shadow VR explains that because the player had full body tracking, those in the online room were suddenly bystanders to his real-life dilemma. “There was no way we could tell at first, because all we see is this character he’s playing as,” Rogue Shadow VR says. VRChat is a strange platform to begin with, one where players can appear as any avatar they make, from pokémon and Rick & Morty characters to imagery from problematic memes….

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Is this Canon camera the next hot vlogging rig?

See the original posting on The Verge

If you had the chance to ask your favorite vlogger what they want in a camera, you’ll probably get a laundry list of feature requests. It should have the ability to record 4K video in a variety of framerates. It should be small and unobtrusive, so it can be carried around at arms length for hours at a time. It needs a display that flips around so they can see their framing when they are asking for their audience to smash that like button. And importantly, it needs an external microphone input so they can record clean, crisp audio to the same device they are filming with.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there aren’t really any cameras that fully fit this description. Even Sony’s super popular RX100 lineup lacks the microphone input that larger…

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Build a Sandblasting Rig for $6

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Let’s get something out of the way: yes, this assumes you already own or have access to a compressor. So if you do, and know what you’re getting into, why not build a cheap sandblasting rig? That’s what [adamf135] did after seeing someone do it on YouTube. He seriously doubted it would work, but the results are pretty impressive.

This one doesn’t require much more than an empty 20oz bottle, a cheap air gun/nozzle, and an adapter. The hardest part of this hack seems to be cutting a groove in the nozzle for the blasting material without severing it …read more

In the age of algorithms, would you hire a personal shopper to do your music discovery for you?

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Deb Oh wants to make you a playlist — a very expensive and pretty good one, based on a winding questionnaire and her encyclopedic knowledge of the near-limitless options for songs you haven’t yet heard.

For $125, she’ll pick out 10 songs you might like, and send them to you with notes explaining why her choices are right for your musical history, your personality, your frame of mind, and your phase of life. Her boutique service Debop launched last year, and she’s advertised solely by word of mouth, because three or four clients per month are pretty much all that she can handle.

It’s bananas, frankly. When I first read the price tag on her website, I said out loud, “It’s bananas.” To be fair, Oh will say this as well. “From a business…

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Wolves in the Walls is a virtual friendship wrapped in a detective story

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What does it mean to befriend a fictional character? How should you be able to interact with them, and how should they respond to you? And can virtual reality help the process, by immersing you in their world?

These are a few of the questions nascent VR studio Fable began asking when developing Wolves in the Walls, an experience premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. Wolves in the Walls adapts Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s eponymous children’s book, where a girl named Lucy becomes convinced there are wolves in her house’s walls. (Spoiler: there are.) In the first of three short episodes, she paces her attic looking for evidence that might convince her family. Her world is colorful and a little cartoonish, with moments that are even…

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Gboard just made it too easy to post insane GIF selfies

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Gboard, Google’s iOS and Android keyboard app, has quietly updated its design by moving its GIF-making button up next to the word suggestion bar. The GIF-making feature has been around since last September, but it was hidden behind the emoji button on the bottom.

With its shiny new placement, the button allows for GIFs to be recorded from the front and back camera, and it lets you record in two modes: “Loop,” which is basically a Boomerang you can record for three seconds, and “Fast-Forward,” which lets you record up to one minute and speeds up the result. When you’re done recording, you can copy and paste the GIF into your message, and send it off to your friends.

Recording and making your own GIFs isn’t new — you can…

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