Ford Is Using Microsoft’s HoloLens To Design Cars In Augmented Reality

See the original posting on Slashdot

Ford is using Microsoft’s HoloLens headset to let designers quickly model out changes to cars, trucks, and SUVs in augmented reality. This allows designers to see the changes on top of an existing physical vehicle, instead of the traditional clay model approach to car design. The Verge reports: Ford is still using clay models, but the HoloLens can be used to augment additional 3D models without having to build every single design prototype with clay. It’s one of the more interesting ways we’ve seen businesses use Microsoft’s HoloLens, and it’s something customers will never see. Microsoft is planning to hold a Windows Mixed Reality launch event on October 3rd in San Francisco. We’re not expecting to hear about a HoloLens successor, but we should get a better idea of what apps and games we’ll see coming for Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Spray Paint Goes DIY Virtual with a Vive Tracker

See the original posting on Hackaday

Here is a virtual spray painting project with a new and DIY twist to it. [Adam Amaral]’s project is an experiment in using the Vive Tracker, which was released earlier this year. [Adam] demonstrates how to interface some simple hardware and 3D printed parts to the Tracker’s GPIO pins, using it as a custom peripheral that is fully tracked and interactive in the Vive’s VR environment. He details not only the custom spray can controller, but also how to handle the device on the software side in the Unreal engine. The 3D printed “spray can controller” even rattles when shaken! …read more

Bose made a speaker for your neck

See the original posting on The Verge

Imagine an airplane neck pillow, but instead of a cushioned place to rest your head, it’s a speaker that wraps around you. Bose made that thing, and it’s called the SoundWear Companion Wearable Speaker. The device pairs over Bluetooth to your phone, meaning it can take calls and work like any other Bluetooth speaker, except for the fact that you’re wearing it. It can also be controlled through the company’s companion iOS / Android app.

Bose says the idea behind this gadget is that you might want music on without blocking out the rest of the world. It’s also supposed to be convenient because it’s on your body.

LG created a similar device last year, called the LG Tone Studio, although its version includes earbuds to take a public…

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Tesla is getting rid of the cheapest Model S

See the original posting on The Verge

Tesla will stop making the rear-wheel drive Model S 75 after this coming Sunday, September 24th, as was first reported earlier today by Electrek. The car, which starts at $69,500 and is currently the cheapest Model S available, will be on the company’s website through the weekend. It will also sell out the rest of the inventory around the country, and then it will be gone.

At that point, the dual-motor Model S 75D will become the cheapest Model S at $74,500. That also means every Model S and Model X will come with dual motors — one on each axle — and the only rear-wheel drive car Tesla will sell will be the entry-level versions of the Model 3.

Tesla often toys with the pricing of its cars, and has culled the cheapest tier of the Model…

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Netflix adds HDR support for iPhone X and iPad Pro

See the original posting on The Verge

Netflix already streams HDR video on the new Apple TV 4K, so it only makes sense for the company to add support for Apple’s HDR-ready iOS devices as well. The latest update for Netflix’s app does just that, so you’ll be able to watch movies and TV shows with high dynamic range on the iPad Pro (10.5-inch and 2017 12.9-inch) and the upcoming iPhone X.

If you’re unsure of what content is available in HDR, the easiest way to find something to watch is to just search for “HDR” right in Netflix. The selection consists entirely of Netflix’s original shows, documentaries, and movies.

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Apple Watch’s new heart rate features won’t work on the original Watch model

See the original posting on The Verge

Apple’s new Apple Watch software, WatchOS 4, includes several updates to the health and fitness tracking features of the Watch, the most interesting of which are new heart rate monitoring features. With the new software, the Watch will show resting heart rate, walking heart rate, and recovery rate, and flag abnormal spikes even when wearers aren’t working out.

But it turns out that not all Apple Watch users will experience those. As pointed out both in 9to5Mac’s WatchOS 4 writeup and by users on Twitter earlier today, the new heart rate monitoring features are limited to Series 1, Series 2, and brand-new Series 3 smartwatches. The original Apple Watch, the very first one that launched in 2015, won’t support the new heart rate features…

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Microsoft confirms plans for a new flagship store in Regent Street opposite Apple

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Shopping may be turning into an increasingly virtual experience, with people buying goods online  and through apps, but there is no denying the power of a physical in-store experience — a lesson that Microsoft takes to heart. Today the company announced that it would be opening a new flagship store in London in Regent Street near Oxford Circus — just a stone’s (or an… Read More

I interviewed my sister for the Cool Tools podcast. Here are 4 of her favorite tools

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On the Cool Tools Show podcast, Kevin Kelly and I interviewed my sister, Wendy, about some of her favorite tools.

Our guest this week is Wendy Frauenfelder. Wendy likes to cook, fix things, pretend to be a bartender, and do therapy dog work. She also is fascinated with wild yeast and slow food.

Subscribe to the Cool Tools Show on iTunes | RSS | Transcript | Download MP3 | See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page

Show notes:


Stanley 66-358 Stanley Stubby Ratcheting MultiBit Screwdriver ($10)

“I always keep a screwdriver in the kitchen, just so that I don’t have to go to the garage if I something inside the house that I need to work on. So this is my new screwdriver inside the house, and there’s a couple things I like. First, it’s small. It’s like four-and-a-half inches long, and so it fits in a junk drawer really easily. The second thing I really like about it is it’s a ratcheting screwdriver. So, if you’re fixing a knob on a cabinet or something you don’t have to spin it around in your hand, you can just kind of ratchet it in, which I love. But you can also make it just a steady, regular kind of screwdriver. Then the third thing that I love about it is you unscrew the cap on the top of the screwdriver and inside are five other tips. So you’ve got three Phillips head and three regular screwdriver tips, and they vary from pretty tiny to large and fat, and they’re right there in the cap, so you can grab your screwdriver without knowing what kind of screw you’ve gotta work on, and you’ll have the right tip.”


24 oz Mason Drinking Jar & Stainless Steel Straw ($10.50)

“It’s actually a Ball jar, not a mason jar, and then it’s got the regular kind of screw-on lid, but whoever made this took the little flat part of the lid on top and put a rivet in it and made a hole so you can stick a straw in there. It is actually pretty waterproof. I wouldn’t say you should leave it upside down in your car, but I’ll usually put a smoothie in here, and every once in a while I’ll shake it to just kind of mix up the liquid again, and it’s doesn’t come out at all. So, it’s that waterproof. … A lot of times these will come with a metal straw, and I don’t like that because, since I drink a smoothie out of it, I’m afraid I’m never really getting that clean, so I found some straws on Amazon that fit to the bottom. It had to be an extra-long straw. It fits to the bottom of the jar, and it’s got a little bend in it, and then I just toss it when I’m done. … I just feel like glass gets really clean. And you don’t have to worry about BPAs.”


GFDesign Drinking Spoon Straws ($10.50)

“I was looking at cocktail items, and this caught my eye … We started using it when I was making mojitos, and you gotta stir up a mojito, because you’ve got some granulated sugar in the bottom of it when you muddle the mint leaves. So you stir it up with this thing, and then I’m thinking, ‘This is great, because then you just leave it in there, and you sip through it.’ And if your sugar didn’t all dissolve, you can still start drinking your mojito and kind of stir it as you go along.”


Buy me a pie!

“I am kind of like a connoisseur of grocery shopping list apps. [This app] is actually organized by store, so I have a Whole Foods list, a Target list, and a Costco list, basically, and I can open whichever one I want, and then I can add items to whichever one I want. You can have the same item in different lists. You can have as many lists as you want if you buy the paid version. I think the free version you’re limited to maybe two or three. …What I really like about it is that you can color-code these items by grocery store area or by aisle. So everything that’s veggie is green and fruit’s green, and meat is under the red category, and cold foods are blue and frozen foods are gray. So that way, as you’re going through your list, you go to produce and you just see all the produce that you need to get is all in one section.”

We have hired an editor to edit the Cool Tools podcast. It costs us $300 a month. So far, Cool Tools listeners have pledged $277 a month to the podcast. Please consider supporting us on Patreon. We have nice rewards for people who contribute! – MF

The Good Place is my favorite torture playthrough of The Sims

See the original posting on The Verge

Spoilers for season 1 finale of The Good Place.

When The Good Place premiered last fall, it arrived in the form of a sort of spiritual My Fair Lady. Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) is dead and has ascended to the show’s equivalent of Heaven, aka The Good Place. But Eleanor’s placement is a clerical error, and the existence she lived back on Earth was hardly worthy of a paradisiacal afterlife. With the help of her assigned soulmate, former moral ethics professor Chidi (William Jackson Harper), garbage human Eleanor begins learning how to be a better person.

At least, that was the redemption-style show viewers thought they were watching. Following a killer twist in the finale, the show has dumped its “how to be good” angle and is…

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Check out this medical device powered by a Game Boy Advance

See the original posting on The Verge

A Twitter user found himself perplexed today when he opened an older electrocardiogram measurement instrument and found the components belonged to a Game Boy Advance.

The instrument is made by German company Medical Imaging Electronics and uses a wave produced by the ECG to electronically control a separate recording or imaging apparatus. At first look, it seems like any standard medical device. When opened, it’s revealed that the device’s screen and electronic parts belong to a Game Boy Advance, deconstructed and embedded inside. The Verge has contacted Medical Imaging Electronics for comment.

A medical device with a Game Boy inside might seem…

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Apple will bring back iPhone’s 3D Touch multitasking gesture in future iOS 11 update

See the original posting on The Verge

Apple executive Craig Federighi has apparently confirmed that a popular 3D Touch gesture for the iPhone that was removed in iOS 11.0 will be returning in an upcoming software update. The gesture was a quick way of getting to the multitasking screen, and required just a firm press on the left edge of the screen and a flick right to bring up the app switcher.

According to an email published by MacRumors, Federighi said that Apple had to temporarily pull the useful shortcut “due to a technical constraint.” Apparently the company has now managed to overcome that issue and restore it, with Federighi promising “we will be bringing it back in an upcoming iOS 11.x update.”

At least for now, the only way of bringing up the app switcher in iOS…

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Another Day, Another Air Gap Breached

See the original posting on Hackaday

What high-tech, ultra-secure data center would be complete without dozens of video cameras directed both inward and outward? After all, the best informatic security means nothing without physical security. But those eyes in the sky can actually serve as a vector for attack, if this air-gap bridging exploit using networked security cameras is any indication.

It seems like the Cyber Security Lab at Ben-Gurion University is the place where air gaps go to die. They’ve knocked off an impressive array of air gap bridging hacks, like modulating power supply fans and hard drive activity indicators. The current work centers on …read more

What are the real risks we humans could face from a rogue AI superintelligence?

See the original posting on Boing Boing

To hear a wide-ranging interview about the real-world risks we humans could face from a rogue superintelligence, hit play, below. My guest is author and documentary filmmaker James Barrat. Barrat’s 2014 book Our Final Invention was the gateway drug that ushered me into the narcotic realm of contemplating super AI risk. So it’s on first-hand authority that I urge you to jump in – the water’s great!

This is the seventh episode of my podcast series (co-hosted by Tom Merritt), which launched here on Boing Boing last month. The series goes deep into the science, tech, and sociological issues explored in my novel After On – but no familiarity with the novel is necessary to listen to it.

The danger of artificial consciousness has a noble pedigree in science fiction. In most minds, its wellspring is 2001: A Space Odyssey, which features HAL 9000 – an onboard computer that decides to kill off its passengers before they can disconnect it (spoiler: HAL’s rookie season ends – rather abruptly – with a 1-1 record).

James’s interest in this subject was piqued when he interviewed 2001’s author, Arthur C. Clarke, back in the pertinent year of 2001. Clarke’s concerns about superintelligence went beyond the confines of fiction. And he expressed them cogently enough to freak James out to this day.

Among James’s worries is that Hollywood has inoculated many of us from taking super AIs seriously by depicting them so preposterously. “Imagine if the Centers for Disease Control issued a serious warning about vampires,” he notes. “It’d take time for the guffawing to stop, and the wooden stakes to come out. Maybe we’re in that period right now with AI, and only an accident or a near-death experience will jar us awake.”

James and I discuss the “vampire problem” and many other issues in our interview. If you’re looking to cut back on the long, unproductive hours you currently waste on sleep, you should definitely give it a listen.

You can subscribe to the podcast within any podcast app. Simply use your app’s search function (type in “After On”) to find and subscribe. To subscribe via your computer on iTunes, just click here, then click the blue “View on iTunes” button (on the left side of the page), then click “Subscribe” (in a similar location) in the iTunes window. Or follow the feed

German artists stage a quirky performance for passing trains

See the original posting on Boing Boing

When I was a kid growing up back East, my parents would bring me to a place called Edaville Railroad. It’s a theme park now but, back then, the main attraction was a train that went through a track in cranberry bogs. During the holidays, they turned those bogs into a sort of winter wonderland with bright lights and festive sculptures. Passengers were the audience, and the decorated bogs became a kind of “stage.”

I remember it being a lot of fun.

Well, for three days in late August, a group of artists in Germany took this idea to a whole new and incredibly impressive level. I love this so much!

Over 500 volunteers and residents in the “Bewegtes Land” art project entertained passengers with a super fun and quirky art performance, all happening along the train’s nearly 19-mile route.

Watch the video to see how they surprised their moving audience along the way.

The route went from Jena to Naumburg, a quiet area in the Saale valley’s countryside not known for tourists.

All I have to say is that someone really needs to do a U.S. version of this. Pretty please.


What an eight-year-old Neanderthal boy can tell us about how our extinct relatives developed

See the original posting on The Verge

A Neanderthal boy of around eight who died almost 50,000 years ago still has things to tell us: mainly that our extinct human relatives grew up at a pace similar to our own. Knowing that can give us clues to Neanderthal social structure, as well as how our hominid cousins raised their children.

The surprisingly well-preserved specimen, dubbed El Sidrón J1, was found in a Spanish cave of the same name in the 1990s, along with a dozen other family members. His bones — at least the ones we’ve found — are a mix of baby and adult teeth, several vertebrae, ribs, finger bones, leg bones, and parts of his skull. At about eight years of age, when the child died of unknown causes, his body had grown at a similar rate to the body of an…

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Friend Request is the goofiest internet horror story I’ve ever seen

See the original posting on The Verge

This fall, The Verge is making a choice. The choice is fear! We’ve decided to embrace the season by taking in as many new horror movies as possible and reporting back on which ones are worth your time. We’re calling this series Hold My Hand, as we look at films you might want to watch with a supportive viewing partner. Get comfortable, put the kettle on, check the closet for ghosts, then find a hand to squeeze until the bones pop.

The most interesting thing about any teen movie is what it assumes about the world teenagers live in. Friend Request, a new horror film from German director Simon Verhoeven, assumes that they use Facebook.

Not only do they use it, they’re addicted to it, in the words of their professors and parents. Their…

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Timelapse of Lego’s largest kit construction

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Lego’s new Star Wars Millennium Falcon set is the largest model kit the company has ever sold. It contains 7,500 pieces and retails from for $800. It’s sold out for now though, but you can get one from a scalper on Amazon for $1,800. Or you can watch Benjamin Große’s video above of him building the kit, 20 hours compressed to less than two minutes.

First ever “Sand Hostel” pops up on Australia’s Gold Coast

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Low-budget as well as adventurous travelers just got to spend a few sandy nights at the world’s first sand hostel on Australia’s Gold Coast.

The three-day event featured a hostel designed by Mad Max: Fury Road production designer Jon Dowding, according to Architectural Digest. And rooms started at only $7.50 per night. Unfortunately, bookings for the pop-up hostel on Kurrawa Beach ended Thursday.

Sand Hostel required approximately 53,000 pounds of sand used by sand sculptor Dennis Massoud during the 21 days of construction. Ceilings made of rafters and woven bamboo paneling were used to keep the structure stable for the tourism promotional effort.

For more photos click here.

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