Analyzing B450 for AMD Ryzen: A Quick Look at 25+ Motherboards

See the original posting on Anandtech

One of the secondary stories from Computex was that AMD and its partners were set to launch a new generation of mid-range chipsets and motherboards with the new lower-power version of the chipset. The B450 chipset is the direct successor to B350, with lower power and features such as Precision Boost 2, XFR2, and StoreMI support. The planned release of 28 motherboard models is sure to add variety to the market and we take a quick look at all the boards ahead of the launch from vendors such as MSI, ASRock, ASUS, and GIGABYTE.

Amazon has Reasons not to let that negative review go up

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Amazon reviews are bought and paid for, and the company has a significant, algorithm-led effort to weed out sellers and scammers who abuse the system. But Amazon itself also rigs the UI to make it hard to leave negative reviews — at least when it comes to the “Amazon’s Choice” picks Stephen Eggers didn’t like.

After spending ~5 to ~10 minutes filling it out I get this message.

This item is only eligble for Amazon Verified Purchase Reviews.

What a waste of my time! I bought the thing, Amazon knows this, so what is this about “Amazon Verified Purchase reviews”

Note that I only got this message AFTER trying to leave a 2 star review. What would have happend if I had left a more positive review? Would that be allowed?

My favorite ‘dark pattern’ at Amazon was how you couldn’t navigate away from the checkout page: the Amazon logo was unlinked and the rest of the usual layout was absent. They changed this recently to make the logo clickable, but they still aren’t letting you leave that page without a fight, and there’s only one place they wan’t you to go back to:

You can hear the smile in someone’s voice even when you can’t

See the original posting on Boing Boing

We often unconsciously mirror the behavior of people we interact with. This can include mirroring posture, gestures, and voice patterns. A recent paper in Current Biology reports that we can mirror a smile based on speech alone, and even do so without actually detecting the smile.

The researchers applied a signal processing technique for altering recorded speech under a neutral mouth position to what it would have sounded like had the speaker been smiling. They played 60 such recordings (some manipulated, some not) to 35 subjects, and asked them to judge whether the speaker was smiling. The researchers also measured the responses of two subject muscle groups while listening, the zygomatic (smiling) muscles and the corrugator (frowning) muscles.

When the subjects correctly reported neutral expression or smiling in the speech, both of their muscle groups accurately mirrored the speech while listening (e.g., for smiling speakers, zygomatic tensing and corrugator relaxing). Interestingly, even when the subjects were wrong, their zygomatic muscles still mirrored correctly. This was not true for the corrugators, which instead reflected the subjects’ report.

Our mirroring capabilities go well beyond what we see, or even perceive.

Add-On Board Brings Xbox 360 Controllers to N64

See the original posting on Hackaday

Many of the games released on the Nintendo 64 have aged remarkably well, in fact a number of them are still considered must-play experiences to this day. But the years have not been so kind to the system’s signature controller. While the N64 arguably defined the console first person shooter (FPS) genre with games like “Goldeneye” and “Perfect Dark”, a modern gamer trying to play these classics with the preposterous combination of analog and digital inputs offered by the N64 controller is unlikely to get very far.

Of course, you could play N64 games in an emulator …read more

Kids interview Macklemore

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Children should conduct all interviews from this point forward because they get into it. They aren’t afraid to ask the real questions.

Case in point: The HiHo Kids all got 20 minutes to grill Macklemore on anything they wanted. It starts with a bang when a young girl asks, “Is it hard to be a rapper with your kind of skin tone?” Unfazed, the rap star answers with a smirk, “What are you trying to say?”

Macklemore keeps it pretty real with the kids, except for maybe a couple times, like when he said that weird thing about the “sexiest animal hunters.”

Surprisingly, some of the kids didn’t recognize Macklemore. But this one did and he’s a big fan (as you’ll see if you watch to the end):

My Best Practices for Deploying a Web Application in Alibaba Cloud

See the original posting on DZone Python

Through this article, I want to share the best practices I use when deploying some web applications on the cloud. I work as a freelancer and recently one of my clients asked me to setup SuiteCRM for his small organization. Since I frequently write tutorials for Alibaba Cloud, I recommended the client use the same cloud platform. For nearly a 100 users and at least 30 concurrent users, here’s the configuration I recommended.

  1. ECS instance of 2 vCPUs and 4GB RAM to install Nginx with PHP-FPM.
  2. ApsaraDB for RDS instance for MySQL with 1GB core, 1 GB RAM, and 10 GB storage.
  3. Direct Mail for sending emails.

The steps I followed are very simple and can be adopted for nearly all PHP-based applications.

Building the Terminator’s Arm

See the original posting on Hackaday

The Cyberdyne Systems Series 800 Terminator is a highly capable robot that happens to look an awful lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger. It boasts an advanced metallic endoskeleton, which has been the inspiration for many DIY prop builds over the years. [KenToonz] has decided to take on just such a project and invites viewers along for the ride. (YouTube, embedded below.)

The project is a particularly interesting one, as it involves the recreation of a robotic imitation of a human hand and arm. Thankfully, due to the hard work of dedicated individuals, blueprints of the original movie item are available online. …read more

Vintage Silvertone Cabinet Gets Bluetooth Treatment

See the original posting on Hackaday

This Bluetooth speaker is full of delightful surprises. The outer shell is an antique radio cabinet, but its practically empty interior is a combination of Dead Bug circuitry and modern BT receiver.

[PJ Allen] found the BT receiver on Groupon and decided to whip up amplifier and threshold detector circuits using only parts he already had in order to make this vintage-looking Bluetooth speaker. The cabinet is from a Silvertone Model 1955 circa 1936. Don’t worry, no antiques were harmed in the making of this hack, the cabinet was empty when he bought it.

The amplifiers, one per speaker, began …read more

What Is JSX? [Snippet]

See the original posting on DZone Python

JSX stands for JavaScript XML. It is used with React to describe what the UI should look like. JSX produces React “elements” in a familiar and easy manner. React doesn’t require using JSX, but you can find it helpful as a visual aid when working with UI inside the JavaScript code. It also allows React to show more useful error and warning messages. If you want to create a React element without JSX you need to write something like this:

var temp = React.createElement( ‘h1’,  null,  ‘test’ );

By using JSX, the above code is reduced to the following:

A Crystal Oscillator For A Stable Bench Reference

See the original posting on Hackaday

[Paul] likes a precise oscillator. His recent video shows a crystal oscillator with a “watch crystal” and a CMOS counter, the CD4060. Using such a circuit can produce very stable frequencies and since the 32.768 kHz crystal is a power of 2, you get nice divisions out of the counter.

We’ve seen the same trick done with decade counters (like the 4518B) to divide by 10 instead of powers of two to make frequency standards. A 1 MHz crystal can easily generate 100 kHz, 10 kHz, etc.

[Paul] mentions the clock is a Schmitt trigger input (he said output, but …read more

Doug Grindstaff, ‘Star Trek’ Sound Effects Maestro, Dies At 87

See the original posting on Slashdot

Doug Grindstaff, a five-time Emmy Award winner behind Star Trek’s Tribble coos, communicator beeps, and Enterprise bridge door whooshes, has died at 87. The Hollywood Reporter looks back at Grindstaff’s contributions to the Star Trek universe: [Grindstaff] received 14 Emmy nominations in all — including one for Star Trek in 1967 — and won for his editing on The Immortal in 1970, Medical Story in 1976, Police Story in 1978, Power in 1980 and Max Headroom in 1987. Working with Jack Finlay and Joseph Sorokin, Grindstaff created the background sounds and effects used on NBC’s Star Trek. These sounds included red alert klaxons, the whoosh of Enterprise bridge doors opening/closing, heartbeats, boatswain whistles, sickbay scanners and communicator beeps and the acoustics that invoked phasers striking deflector shields and transporter materialization (and dematerialization).

In a 2016 interview for the Audible Range blog, Grindstaff noted that Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry “wanted to paint the whole show [with sound] like you were painting a picture. “And he wanted sounds everywhere. One time I asked him, ‘Don’t you think we’re getting too cartoony?’ Because I felt it should be a little more dignified, but he wanted sound for everything. For example, I worked on one scene where [Dr. McCoy] is giving someone a shot. Gene says, ‘Doug, I’m missing one thing. The doctor injects him and I don’t hear the shot.’ I said, ‘You wouldn’t hear a shot, Gene.’ He said, ‘No, no, this is Star Trek, we want a sound for it.’ “So I turned around to the mixing panel and said, ‘Do you guys have an air compressor?’ And they did. I fired up the air compressor, squirted it for a long enough period by the mic, went upstairs, played with it a little bit and then put it in the show. And Gene loved it. So, that’s how Gene was. He didn’t miss nothing!” Grindstaff said he created Tribble coos by manipulating the sound of a dove.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Review of a $100 counterfeit iPhone X

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Motherboard reviewed a “device that looks just like an iPhone but is actually an Android that has been reskinned from top-to-bottom to seem as close to an iPhone as is possible… the phone is also loaded with backdoors and malicious apps.”

Once I started trying some of Apple’s more recent and advanced features, though, things started going off the rails. Siri’s graphical interface has been recreated, but it doesn’t really work. My favorite thing about the phone is its “Face ID” system. I clicked over to Face ID in the settings menu, clicked “Add a Face ID,” and was hilariously bounced over to the camera, which did manage to draw a green box around my face. It said “Face Added,” and closed. I was then able to unlock the phone with my face. So was literally anyone else who put their face in front of the phone.

Clicking around further betrayed the phone’s actual software: the keyboard is clearly an Android keyboard; when the reskinned App Store crashed, I got a popup notifying me that the “Google Play Store” had malfunctioned. The “Weather” app is just Yahoo! Weather. The Health App is a third party thing that asked me to click cartoon avatars selecting whether I was a “boy or girl.” The “Podcasts” app just opens YouTube. Apple Maps opens Google Maps.

Light Painting Animations Directly From Blender

See the original posting on Hackaday

Light painting: there’s something that never gets old about waving lights around in a long exposure photo. Whilst most light paintings are single shots, some artists painstakingly create frame-by-frame animations. This is pretty hard to do when moving a light around by hand: it’s mostly guesswork, as it’s difficult to see the results of your efforts until after the photo has been taken. But what if you could make the patterns really precise? What if you could model them in 3D?

[Josh Sheldon] has done just that, by creating a process which allows animations formed in Blender to be traced …read more

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