Linux Adds CH341 GPIO

See the original posting on Hackaday

There was a time when USB to serial hardware meant one company: FTDI. But today there are quite a few to choose from and one of the most common ones is the WCH CH341. There’s been support for these chips in Linux for a while, but only for use as a communication port. The device actually has RS232, I2C, SPI, and 8 general purpose I/O (GPIO) pins. [ZooBaB] took an out-of-tree driver that exposes the GPIO, and got it working with some frightening-looking CH341 boards.

He had to make a slight mod to the driver to get six GPIOs in …read more

Moog is bringing back a modular synth from 1969 for $35,000

See the original posting on The Verge

Moog announced last week that it is bringing back one of its iconic synthesizers — the IIIp — for a limited reissue for $35,000. The company says only 40 units will be handcrafted, and each one will feature the original’s documentation, art, and circuit board files. In total, each IIIp will have 37 modules including ten 901-Series audio oscillators, the 984 4-channel Matrix Mixer, and the 905 Spring Reverb.

Originally released in the late 1960s, the Moog Synthesizer IIIp was the company’s first portable system, coming in roadworthy flight cases, and was used by artists like Isao Tomita and George Harrison. They were discontinued in 1973 but are still coveted, not only because of their limitless ability to be reconfigured, but for the…

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Vintage Sewing Machine to Computerized Embroidery Machine

See the original posting on Hackaday

It is February of 2018. Do you remember what you were doing in December of 2012? If you’re [juppiter], you were starting your CNC Embroidery Machine which would not be completed for more than half of a decade. Results speak for themselves, but this may be the last time we see a first-generation Raspberry Pi without calling it retro.

The heart of the build is a vintage Borletti sewing machine, and if you like machinery porn, you’re going to enjoy the video after the break. The brains of the machine are an Arduino UNO filled with GRBL goodness and the …read more

The new Blu Vivo X has four cameras and costs $249 for a limited time

See the original posting on The Verge

Today, budget Android phone maker Blu announced its latest flagship handset, the Blu Vivo X. The device’s standout feature is that it has not two or even three, but four cameras. The Blu Vivo X continues the trend of lower-end phones featuring four cameras, with a dual front-facing one for taking selfies and a more powerful dual rear-facing system for standard mobile photography. Blu explains the logic in the press release: “When it comes to cameras, two is better than one, and four is better than two.”

The phone has a six-inch screen with an 18:9 aspect ratio and a 1440 x 720 resolution. The front of the phone is made of curved Gorilla Glass, with a 20-megapixel camera and a 8-megapixel camera to help create a bokeh, or blurred…

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Tap is the wearable keyboard nobody asked for

See the original posting on The Verge

A couple years ago, I got to test out the (potential) future of text input. It was called the “Tap Strap,” and it was a weird foam prototype that slid up over my fingers and allowed me to painstakingly input text through taps and combo taps.

Well, now it’s shipping. It’s just called Tap now, and it looks a bit more comfortable: a series of loosely connected rings, instead of a foam block. It’s $149.99, it connects to your phone or computer over Bluetooth, it has eight hours of battery life, and it also works as a mouse now.

But what the hell is it?

Tap has sensors for each of your five fingers. When you tap them on a relatively solid surface (I used a table, but in the launch video people are typing on the chest of a significant other,…

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Bill Gates attempts to guess the prices of everyday grocery items

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Microsoft founder Bill Gates admittedly hasn’t been in a supermarket in a long time, so when Ellen put him up to estimating the prices of some pretty typical grocery store items, he was hilariously lost. Particularly watch the look of pity Ellen gives at the 1:12 mark when the billionaire guesses that a container of Tide Pods is only four dollars.

With a lot of help from the audience, Bill was able to get the price right (within a dollar) of three items. Because of his “win,” that audience will return for Ellen’s popular “12 Days of Giveaways” segment.

(reddit)

Black Panther’s Killmonger is the MCU’s Magneto

See the original posting on The Verge

Bryan Singer’s 2000 X-Men movie marks the beginning of the modern era of superhero blockbusters. But the film doesn’t open with the titular team. The first scene depicts a young Erik Lehnsherr losing his parents at Auschwitz, showing the pain and firsthand experience with the very worst of humanity that led him to become Magneto, the supervillain who has most shaped the X-Men universe. Other villains come and go, but Magneto helped found the X-Men, and as he alternately works alongside or against them, his presence and his decisions are key to defining who they are and what they fight for.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has had some worthy villains, like Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston) and Vulture (Michael Keaton), but until now, it…

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Twitch will reward Overwatch League viewers with exclusive in-game items

See the original posting on The Verge

Just ahead of the Overwatch League’s debut season, Blizzard and Twitch announced a multiyear deal that would see every match of e-sports league broadcast on the streaming service. Now, the two companies are revealing a series of features designed to further enhance the viewing experience and offer bonuses to those who watch on Twitch.

For fans who “cheer” in Twitch chat (cheering involves using animated chat emotes purchased with real money) during matches, they’ll have a chance to earn in-game items like rare character skins and exclusive new emotes. Viewers will also have a chance to earn “league tokens” — a form of virtual currency in Overwatch exclusively used to buy in-game league jerseys — simply by watching matches through to the…

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Apple just won regulatory approval for two mystery iPads in Eastern Europe

See the original posting on The Verge

The Eurasian Economic Commission approved two mysterious devices for Apple this week, which could be new, yet unseen iPads, as spotted by the French outlet Consomac. It’s the first time the EEC, which executes business decisions for the Eurasian Union, has approved Apple’s devices, so it’s unclear what devices those model numbers indicate.

Apple is also going to bring several iPad and iPhone devices into Eastern European countries and Russia, with the legislators’ approval. These iPad and iPhone models have “CC” and “AA” prefixes in front of their numbers, which is unusual.

We know very little about the two mystery iPads and what we can piece together is just speculation. In January, a developer found references to an “iPad_Modern” in…

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Google’s Reply app is woefully bland — exactly the way it should be

See the original posting on The Verge

Last week, Google’s Area 120 division announced that it’s building a new app that would add Smart Reply features to a number of popular messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger, Slack, and Hangouts. This week, Android Police surfaced an APK so you can download and try Reply on Android devices right now. Note, however, that it’s just a beta, so try it at your own risk.

In my initial testing, the app does work as promised, though it is a little less contextual than Gmail’s version of the feature. When you set up the app, you can add different modes such as “Vacation responder” or “Urgent sound” so the app can detect tones from incoming messages and know how to respond to them. Based on your phone accelerometer, Reply can also tell if…

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Google tries to make Android more enterprise-friendly with new recommendation program

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 With so many Android devices out there to choose from, it’s not always easy to find one that’s enterprise-friendly. To help alleviate that problem, Google announced the Android Enterprise Recommended program today. As the name implies, it’s designed to point enterprise IT departments at devices that Google has deemed to be enterprise-ready. Read More

Gabi gets $9.5M to help car and home owners find better insurance once it’s available

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 If you own a car or home, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is finding the right insurance plan that’ll cover everything you need and save you some money — but those plans are always changing, and consumers are getting stuck footing a bill they don’t necessarily need, according to Hanno Fichter. That’s why he started Gabi, which gives car and home owners a… Read More

A Gentle and Practical Introduction to Progressive Web Apps

See the original posting on DZone Python

Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) have increasingly become an important topic for web developers. If you’ve ever spent any time looking into the subject, it can be… a bit overwhelming. What I hope to do in this article, and the ones that follow is to gently, and slowly, introduce you to the basics of PWAs, what they mean to me, and give you practical advice on how you can start building PWAs today. In the final installment, I’ll share a simple but complete PWA that you can use as a starting off point for your own applications. I’ll also share plenty of resources along the way that can help you learn more.

PWAs are new to me as well, so please let me know in the comments if you think I’ve made a mistake, or perhaps when you simply have an alternative take on the subject matter. Remember that the end goal of all of this discussion is a "Better Web" for your users. A theme you will see me repeat throughout this series is to take baby steps. You don’t need to convert your site over to a "complete PWA" overnight. Every small step you make in improving your app is a good thing. Never forget that!

Friday Hack Chat: Trusting The Autorouter

See the original posting on Hackaday

Ah, the autorouter. Inside every PCB design tool, there’s a function called the ‘autorouter’. This function, when used correctly, is able to automagically lay traces between pads, producing a perfect board in under a minute. The trouble is, no one uses it. We have been told not to trust the autorouters and we hear a lot of other dire warnings about it. The autorouter never works. The autorouter will put traces everywhere. The autorouter doesn’t consider floorplanning, and sometimes you’re going to get traces that go right through the edge of your board. Is avoiding the autorouter sound advice?

For …read more

Nest’s indoor security camera now has Google Assistant built in

See the original posting on The Verge

Smart home company Nest today announced that a promised Google Assistant update for its Cam IQ security camera has now arrived, which brings Google’s voice-based artificial intelligence platform to the indoor version of the camera.

Nest originally promised Google Assistant for the Cam IQ back in September, when it launched the outdoor version of the camera alongside a new video doorbell and home security system. It appears Nest missed the deadline, but the company says it’s now ready to deliver the over-the-air update starting today. (It should be noted that the outdoor version of the Nest Cam IQ is not getting the update.)

In addition to the Google…

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Sheets of scars and giant lip plates: behind the scenes with Black Panther’s makeup designer

See the original posting on The Verge

Fans of genre film have probably seen Joel Harlow’s work, even if they didn’t realize it at the time. The longtime makeup designer and MorphologyFX founder got his start on horror films in the 1980s, including two of the Toxic Avenger films, and went on to multiple Oscar nominations (for The Lone Ranger and Star Trek Beyond) and one win (for 2009’s Star Trek). He’s worked with Johnny Depp on films from the Pirates of the Caribbean series to Alice In Wonderland to Tusk, and on superhero movies from 2000’s X-Men to Green Lantern to Logan. His work includes designing prosthetics and props — as he explained to The Verge in a 2017 interview about his extensive work on Logan, Morphology FX is an all-in-one effects shop that operates onsite at…

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One of Nest’s cameras can now double as a Google Assistant

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 After Google announced earlier this month that it was going to wrap Nest back into Google’s hardware operation, everyone figured we’d see a bit more overlap between the two. Sure enough, just two weeks later: the Nest Cam IQ Indoor is getting support for Google Assistant. Nest says the app update that lets users toggle Google Assistant functionality should hit sometime today. The… Read More

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