Girl on the Third Floor is a skin-crawling horror movie about home improvement

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Welcome to Cheat Sheet, our breakdown-style reviews of festival films, VR previews, and other special-event releases. This review comes from the 2019 SXSW Interactive Festival.

It’s hard finding new ways to haunt a house. And Girl on the Third Floor, a horror film that premiered at 2019’s SXSW Interactive Festival, doesn’t make a point of trying. It hits the classic beats of the genre, largely established by Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House: a protagonist with a troubled past moves into a grand but dilapidated old home with a dark secret, then finds a malevolent force dredging up his personal demons.

Instead of trying to push narrative limits, Girl on the Third Floor uses predictability to generate suspense. It draws the…

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Transportation weekly: Nuro dreams of autonomous lattes, what is a metamaterial, Volvo takes the wheel

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Welcome back to Transportation Weekly; I’m your host Kirsten Korosec, senior transportation reporter at TechCrunch. We love the reader feedback. Keep it coming. Never heard of TechCrunch’s Transportation Weekly? Read the first edition here.  As I’ve written before, consider this a soft launch. Follow me on Twitter @kirstenkorosec to ensure you see it each week. […]

Microsoft’s new Chromium Edge browser leaked online

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Microsoft’s upcoming Chromium-powered Edge browser has leaked online. Download links for the browser have been posted to file sharing sites and popular beta sharing forums. The leaked version appears to be an early copy of what Microsoft is expected to release in public preview soon.

Microsoft’s new version of Edge is built on Chromium, and early builds include Chrome extension support, syncing of favorites, and some custom tweaks to the user interface. The Verge got an exclusive early look at the browser recently, and it performs well on Windows 10. Some features are missing from what you might expect from Edge, though.

Microsoft hasn’t included its set aside tabs feature yet, and the inking with a stylus feature hasn’t been…

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Test your animal knowledge with these challenges on Twitter

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Name the bird, spot the lizard, and ID the bear correctly, and win bragging rights in the wild world of animal identification challenges on Twitter. Fail, and find out why from the experts. It’s a fun way to learn about the natural world from behind a computer, and we rounded up a few of our favorites so you can play along, too.

#TrickyBirdID

Tricky Bird ID is a bird identification challenge run by Jason Ward (@JasonWardNY), the community relations and outreach coordinator for the National Audubon Society and host of the web series Birds of North America. He started Tricky Bird ID to break down the basics of bird identification. On an ideal week, he posts a photo of a bird on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 8PM ET. He tries to use…

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Kickstart your mad science with this Raspberry Pi boot camp

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If you’re into tech at all, you should definitely consider unleashing your inner tinkerer on a Raspberry Pi board. If you’re intimidated, don’t be. It’s a statistical probability that people half your age have created cooler things than you can imagine with the versatile kit. Not sure where to start? The Complete Raspberry Pi 3B+ Starter Kit & Course Bundle is a good bet.

Put together with the curious newbie in mind, this package includes the essentials: A Raspberry Pi 3B+ board, plus TF card and 37 sensor modules. What you do with it from there is virtually limitless, but the three online courses give you some good jumping off points. The first lesson lets you build a retro gaming system from scratch, and from there you can explore how your kit can interact with Amazon Alexa to voice-control nearly anything in your house.

It’s a ton of hacks for STEM’s new favorite resource, currently on sale for nearly 70% off the list price. Pick up the Complete Raspberry Pi 3B+ Starter Kit & Course Bundle for $139.99 today. Read the rest

San Francisco! Come see me and Richard Kadrey in Berkeley on Monday with my new book RADICALIZED! Next up: Portland/Ft Vancouver, Seattle & Anaheim!

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I’ve had a fabulous weekend at Chicago’s C2E2 festival as part of my Radicalized book-tour, and now I’m heading to San Francisco for an appearance on Monday night at Berkeley Arts & Letters at 7:30PM with Richard Kadrey. Then it’s on to The Revolutionary Reads series at Ft Vancouver (outside of Portland, OR), and then the Seattle Public Library and finally a weekend of events at Wondercon in Anaheim. Come on out! (Image: Nikola Danaylov, CC-BY-SA)

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A New Jersey high school adapted Alien for its spring play

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Like something out of Rushmore or Bob’s Burgers, a group of highly-motivated students and teachers in New Jersey staged an elaborate play based on Ridley Scott’s classic science fiction film Alien earlier this week as spotted by The AV Club. It’s not your typical high school spring play.

North Bergen High School’s drama club staged the play on the 19th and 22nd this past week, and one of the school’s students posted some details about the production on Reddit. They noted that it follows the plot of the film, “with a few scenes added to kill time for scene changes,” (which apparently included the Xenomorph walking amongst the members of the audience). The school put together a trailer for the production earlier this month.

What’s…

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Want more Love, Death + Robots? Read these 17 short stories online

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Last week, Netflix released its 18-episode animated anthology Love, Death + Robots, a decidedly NSFW series that adapted a number of short stories from well-known science fiction authors. It’s clear from watching the series that there’s a nearly endless supply of source material out there for another season, if Netflix green-lights one. While we wait to see whether that happens, we’ve rounded up some recommendations for a good season 2, and we’ve got 17 recommendations that you can read online now (along with a couple of deep cuts that you’ll have to hunt for.)

Love, Death + Robots’ episodes are often heavy on the violence and body horror. One story in that range is Charlie Jane Anders’ “Don’t Press Charges and I won’t Sue,” which was…

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The damage of defaults

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Apple popped out a new pair of AirPods this week. The design looks exactly like the old pair of AirPods. Which means I’m never going to use them because Apple’s bulbous earbuds don’t fit my ears. Think square peg, round hole. The only way I could rock AirPods would be to walk around with hands […]

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