Magic for Liars blends magic school with a murder mystery

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Magic school clashes with a murder mystery in Magic for Liars, the debut novel from Sarah Gailey, best known for their American Hippo short stories — but with one key twist.

That’s because while the school and the murder may be magical, Ivy Gamble, the investigator hired to solve the case, is completely ordinary. Unable to sling a spell or cast a charm, she’s a far more relatable character than most other magical detectives that dot the literary landscape.

Spoilers for the book ahead.


When we first meet Ivy, she’s eking out a living in Oakland tracking down cheating husbands, dodging muggers on her doorstep, and drinking her way through the local bar scene. Then she’s offered the chance to solve a…

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Aggretsuko’s second season introduces meddling moms and psychotic colleagues

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Netflix’s Aggretsuko was a surprise breakout hit last year, considering it was a Sanrio property that got unexpectedly real about sexism in the workplace and millennial anxieties. The second season is streaming now, and it’s as hilarious and painfully relatable as ever.

While the first season introduced us to Retsuko, the 25-year-old red panda who deals with the stress of her power-tripping boss through death metal karaoke, season 2 finds her settling into her job and being given the responsibility of training a new co-worker — who turns out to be more than she can handle.

One of Aggretsuko’s many strengths comes from its character design and the stylized animation that delightfully serve as the joke itself. Facial expressions and…

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7 new trailers you should watch this week

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Sometimes it’s nice when a film just gets your mind racing with ideas, even if what’s happening on screen isn’t necessarily the most flooring thing. That’s how I felt watching a couple of films over the past week, Funny Ha Ha and Mutual Appreciation, a pair of the earliest (and only, really) mumblecore movies.

There’s a lot I like about both films, but there’s a lot about them that’s just… kind of boring, pretty much by nature of the type of films they are. People talk, stutter, um and uh. Plots are nonexistent, goals are aimless. I love the vibe, but it’s easy to just tune out and let your mind wander as conversations awkwardly stumble on.

At the same time, that’s also what’s wonderful about them. There’s a very unique feeling of…

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Original Content podcast: ‘Black Mirror’ returns with one of its strongest seasons

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Less than six months after releasing the disappointing interactive experiment “Bandersnatch,” Netflix’s science fiction anthology series “Black Mirror” is back with three traditionally-structured episodes. On the latest installment of the Original Content podcast, we weigh in with our thoughts on the new season. We didn’t entirely agree on which episodes were strongest, but we agreed […]

Google’s loud Home Max speaker is $40 off for Verge readers

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Google’s Home Max is the biggest, most powerful smart speaker that it makes. This weekend, Daily Steals is offering readers of The Verge an exclusive deal that takes $40 off of its $299.99 price. The cheapest price is $259.99 right now, though it’s not the only retailer discounting this speaker. Google Store, Best Buy, and B&H Photo, to name a few, are selling it for $269.99.

If you choose to purchase a Google Home Max through Daily Steals, you’ll get a brand-new unit that comes with a one-year warranty. Both the “chalk” and “charcoal” color variants are available, so take your pick. Just be sure to enter the code VERGEMAX at checkout.

No matter where you buy from online this weekend, your shipment won’t arrive before Father’s Day….

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Python Passes C++ on TIOBE Index, Predicted To Pass C and Java

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Python reached another new all-time high on the TIOBE index, now representing 8.5% of the results for the search query +”<language> programming” on the top 25 search engines. Python overtook C++ this month for the #3 spot, now placing behind only Java (#1) and C (#2).

That’s prompted TIOBE to make a bold prediction:

If Python can keep this pace, it will probably replace C and Java in 3 to 4 years time, thus becoming the most popular programming language of the world.

The main reason for this is that software engineering is booming. It attracts lots of newcomers to the field. Java’s way of programming is too verbose for beginners. In order to fully understand and run a simple program such as “hello world” in Java you need to have knowledge of classes, static methods and packages. In C this is a bit easier, but then you will be hit in the face with explicit memory management. In Python this is just a one-liner. Enough said.

InfoWorld reports:

Also on the rise in the June Tiobe index, Apple’s Swift language is ranked 11th, with a rating of 1.419 percent. Swift was ranked 15th at this time last year and 18th last month, while its predecessor Objective-C language ranked 12th this month with a rating of 1.391. Tiobe expects Objective-C to drop out of the top 20 within two years.

InfoWorld also notes that Python is already #1 in the Pypl index, which analyes how often language tutorials are searched for on Google. On that list, Python is followed by Java, JavaScript, C#, PHP, and then C/C++.

Python was also TIOBE’s fastest-rising language in 2018 — though in 2017 that honor went to C, and in 2015 to Java…

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

10 deals too good to miss out on from TVs to CBD gummies

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Who needs a holiday sale? Sometimes there’s no better time than the thick of summer to find deals. We should know – we’ve found ten deep discounts on some must-have items. Whether you’re searching for CBD edibles, exercise gear, chargers or other tech, take a look. But don’t look long – these prices aren’t likely to last.

LG B8 Series 55″ OLED 4K HDR TV

Once you’ve watched on 4K, it’s hard to watch anything else. This smart TV is compatible with all the major HDR formats, and with Dolby Atmos® capability, it sounds as good as it looks. It’s also pre-loaded with Google Assistant technology that you can use to not just control your TV but other smart home devices. Originally priced at $2299.99, the LG B8 Series 55″ OLED 4K HDR TV is now 45% off at $1249.99.

AirDock 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Station

Say goodbye to that mass of charging cables on your counter. This sleek station can charge your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods wirelessly and simultaneously and looks great doing it. Pick up the AirDock 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Station for $34.99, a full 65% off the list price.

Sous Vide Power Precision Cooker

Get your food just right every time with this simple gadget. It controls and circulates the temperature in any kitchen pot to evenly cook a variety of proteins, the same way high-end restaurants have been doing it for years. Grab the Sous Vide Power Precision Cooker for $39.99, an 80% discount off the original price. Read the rest

Ask Slashdot: Should All OSs Ship With a Programming Language Built In?

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dryriver writes: If anybody remembers the good old Commodore 64, one thing stood out about this once popular 8-bit computer — as soon as you turned it on, you could type in BASIC (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) and run it. You didn’t have to install a programming language, an IDE and all that jazz. You could simply start punching code in, and the C64 would execute it. Now that we live in a time where coding is even more important and bankable than it was back in the 1980s, shouldn’t operating systems like Windows 10 or Android also come with precisely this kind of feature? An easy-to-learn programming language like the old BASIC that greets you right after you boot up the computer, and gives you unfettered access to all of the computer’s hardware and capabilities, just like was possible on the C64 decades ago? Everybody talks about “getting more people to learn coding” these days. Well, why not go the old C64 route and have modern OSs boot you straight into a usable, yet powerful, coding environment? Why shouldn’t my Android phone or tablet come out of its box with a CLI BASIC prompt I can type code into right after I buy it from a store?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Watch the first full trailer for Veronica Mars season 4

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Hulu has released a full trailer for its upcoming revival of the cult-classic mystery series, Veronica Mars, picking up the lives of the characters since we last saw them in the 2014 movie. In it, we see that the show’s heroine Veronica is back home in Neptune, California, dealing with a new threat to the city.

This new season picks up nearly a decade after the show’s original three seasons. Veronica is back home and as cynical and witty as ever, and this new trailer shows off a bit of what to expect: Veronica returned home after being away for years, and is working as a private detective alongside her father. After a series of bombings devastate the town during spring break, they’re pulled in by one of the victim’s families to find out…

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Hot Wheels goes digital with smart tracks and NFC cars, exclusively at Apple Stores

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Mattel is introducing Hot Wheels id, which lets kids race their NFC-enabled Hot Wheels on its Smart Track, and scan their collections into a free iOS app. In the app, which acts as a virtual garage, kids can track speed and laps via infrared sensors in the Hot Wheels Race Portal, which scans in your cars and connects to classic Hot Wheels tracks. It sounds great for kids who are into obsessively tracking details, and using cold, hard, data to back up claims on whose car is faster.

Companies have tried to find ways to keep classic brands alive by bolting on digital components, but sometimes in ways that felt too forced. Anki Drive, another toy that launched as an Apple exclusive, was a smartphone-controlled racing game with a similar…

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Pee-wee’s Jurassic Adventure

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The real menace in “Jurassic Park” wasn’t a T-Rex or any other dinosaur. Turns out it was Pee-wee Herman! Enjoy Pixel Riot’s meticulously rotoscoped mashup of “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” and “Jurassic Park,” aka “Pee-wee’s Jurassic Adventure.Absolute genius!

They write:

I wanted to see what would happen if I spliced Pee Wee into Jurassic Park. I think it works pretty well! I replaced almost 100% of the audio. I’ll never rotoscope someone on a bike ever again…

(Pee-wee Herman) Read the rest

Samsung Galaxy Fit now available in the US

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Samsung’s newest activity tracker, the Galaxy Fit, is now available through Samsung’s website for $99.99. The device comes in two colors, black or silver, and features a 0.95-inch AMOLED display; a 120mAh battery; 2MB of RAM; 32MB of storage; and pairs with phones over Bluetooth. It’s water resistant, too, and tracks heart rate.

While Samsung has focused on its smartwatches recently, the idea behind the Fit is to bring more robust tracking to the minimal fitness band. The Fit can track up to 90 exercises, including six that it can automatically detect, like walking, running, elliptical, cycling, rowing, and dynamic workouts. It’ll also track sleep and other heath goals through Samsung’s Health app and should last up to a week on a single…

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Sega does the retro console right with the fantastic Genesis Mini

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Retro consoles are bittersweet little gadgets. They pack a ton of nostalgia, must-have-it miniature console design, and properly licensed software into a mostly affordable package that will, inevitably, mostly go unused sitting on your shelf. That’s because they are often cumbersome to play, and as gadgets teetering close to the edge of becoming cash grabs, they’re not really designed to be more robust than the emulator solution a teenager could hack together on a cheap laptop.

The Sega Genesis Mini, on the other hand, is a great example of how a company can do its best to avoid those pitfalls. Sega brought the device, slated to start shipping in September for $79.99, to E3 this year, and I got to have some hands-on time with it at the…

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