Super Mario Odyssey’s weird new controls are actually great

See the original posting on The Verge

Super Mario Odyssey is Nintendo’s biggest holiday release, and it’s a big shift for the series. I got to spend a few short minutes demoing the game at E3 earlier this year, and I walked away with similar impressions to those of my colleague Andrew Webster: Odyssey seemed hard and complicated, especially when it came to the unwieldy controls centered around Mario’s new sentient hat friend, Cappy. In the intervening months, every time I’ve seen anything new or exciting about Odyssey, there was always that lingering doubt in the back of my head — “What if things don’t get better?”

But a 10-minute-long demo isn’t indicative of a game as a whole. After getting to…

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Blizzard’s Overwatch league will finally debut in January

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After nearly a year of building up its ambitious e-sports league for the colorful shooter Overwatch, Blizzard has finally announced a start date for the competition. The Overwatch league’s debut season will start on January 10th and will last until June, with playoffs following in July. Meanwhile, teams will be getting an early start with a series of pre-season exhibition matches that start on December 6th.

Along with the start date, Blizzard also announced the final three teams that will be joining the e-sports circuit. They include a team in Philadelphia, owned by the same group behind the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, as well as teams in Dallas and Houston, operated by e-sports groups Team Envy and…

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ClearMetal gets $9M from Prelude Ventures and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors for its logistics platform

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Logistics and supply chain management is a notoriously outdated and labor-intensive process. ClearMetal uses artificial intelligence to help manufacturers and retailers climb out from underneath piles of spreadsheets. Today the San Francisco-based startup announced that it has raised $9 million in Series A funding led by Prelude Ventures and Innovation Endeavors, the venture capital firm… Read More

White Supremacist President Furious at Being Called a White Supremacist

See the original posting on Boing Boing

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Blind cat hugs phone when his favorite pianist is playing

See the original posting on Boing Boing

I’m convinced that there is nothing more heartwarming on the internet right now than this video of a blind cat hugging a phone.

In the video, an orange tabby named Namik is shown pulling a phone close and hugging it gently. Why? Because his favorite pianist is playing, that’s why.

The man playing is Sarper Duman of Istanbul, a cat rescuer who shares his music online for other animal lovers.

It seems a fan sent him the video, which Sarper then posted on his Instagram feed. Watch:


Watch Lara Croft in action in the first trailer for new Tomb Raider reboot

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Lara Croft is back. Nearly a decade and a half after the last adaptation of the classic video game Tomb Raider, Alicia Vikander is taking over the title role of the daring archeologist in Roar Uthaug’s upcoming reboot.

The film is based off of the gritty 2013 game, which featured an updated version of Lara Croft’s origins. The trailer shows that the film is following the same track, opening with Lara returning home (in a scene that’s reminiscent of Iron Fist’s return home, right down to the set), to discover that her father has died. Before his death, he left behind a video message: he discovered a tomb called the Mother of Death. She has to get to it before a mysterious organization called Trinity opens it, because the fate of the…

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Knitting ALUs (and Flipdots)

See the original posting on Hackaday

[Irene Posch] is big into knitted circuits. And while most of the textile circuits that we’ve seen are content with simply conducting enough juice to light an LED, [Irene]’s sights are set on knittable arithmetic logic units (ALUs). While we usually think of transistors as the fundamental building-blocks of logic circuits, [Irene] has developed what is essentially a knit relay. Be sure to watch the video after the break to see it in construction and in action.

The basic construction is a coil of conductive thread that forms an electromagnet, and a magnetic bead suspended on an axle so that …read more

New battery packs turn the Echo Dot and Google Home into portable speakers

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The accessory company Ninety7 is continuing its quest to untether smart speakers from wall outlets with the introduction of new battery packs designed for the Echo Dot and Google Home.

First up is the Dox, which will sell for $39.95 (but is launching on sale for $29.95) and adds a rechargeable battery to the Dot that’s supposed to let Amazon’s tiny speaker run on its own for 10 hours. The downside is that slipping the Dot into the Dox increases its size substantially — the whole thing is about double the height and almost half an inch thicker too. I’m also not entirely sure what you’d use this for, since the Dot isn’t exactly stellar as a music speaker, and you could buy a better Bluetooth speaker for $40.


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Apple admits to Apple Watch LTE problems just before it ships

See the original posting on The Verge

Apple’s new Series 3 smartwatch starts shipping this Friday, and the biggest feature change between last year’s model and this new Watch is that it has built-in cellular capabilities.

Except, that cell service isn’t entirely reliable.

While writing my review of the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE capabilities, I experienced notable connectivity issues. The new Watch appeared to try to connect to unknown WiFi networks instead of connecting to cellular, when I was out and about without my phone. (The issues are laid out in much more detail in the review.)

Within the first couple days of experiencing this, Apple replaced my first review unit with a second one, but that one proved to be problematic, too.

Eventually, the company issued an…

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9 cool AR apps you should download to try out iOS 11’s ARKit

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Since it was first announced at WWDC, Apple’s ARKit has been open to developers to get a feel for the new platform. Now that iOS 11 is finally here, ARKit is available for anyone with an iPhone 6S or later, the iPad Pro, and the latest 9.7-inch iPad. In the time between the announcement and its official release today, developers have used ARKit to create apps for big brands like The Food Network and AMC’s The Walking Dead, as well as for smaller, but no less important amusements like this demo that does nothing but visualize AR tea cups resting on top of a good dog.

Whether it’s existing apps that have added AR functionality with their updates, or fresh new apps introduced specifically for the platform, here are nine AR-ready iOS apps…

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Robot security guard maker Knightscope shows off new multi-terrain model

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Silicon Valley firm Knightscope is best known for its K5 security robot: an ovoid tower on wheels that — when it’s not knocking over toddlers or falling into fountains — patrols a few dozen of California’s parking lots and malls. But the company is now introducing two new model to its line-up: the K1 stationary bot and the K7 buggy, pictured above.

Knightscope has been teasing the K7 for a while now, but showed it off in person at a press event this week. The K7 is five feet high and nearly ten feet long, and is designed to patrol grass, gravel, sand, and other tricky terrain. It’s speed is currently limited to 3 mph, but it can go much faster.

Like the K5, it navigates autonomously and has a suite of sensors and cameras that relay…

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Ripio Credit Network launches, aiming to attack bank loan fees in emerging markets

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Ripio Credit (formerly BitPagos), the project that reached the finals at last year’s TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield in New York, is about to launch its new venture. The Ripio Credit Network (RCN) will be public in November and is designed to grow the product and platform outside Latin America, into the fast-emerging developing world.
Born in Argentina, the original idea was to widen… Read More

Cronk The Gonk Droid

See the original posting on Hackaday

The ‘Gonk’ droids from the Star Wars universe are easy to overlook, but serve the important function of mobile power generators. Here on Earth, [bithead942]’s life-size replica droid fulfills much the same purpose.

Cronk — functionally an oversized USB charging hub with a lot of bells and whistles — is remotely controlled by a modified Wii Nunchuck very controller similar to the one [bithead942] used to control his R2-D2. With the help of an Adafruit Audio FX Mini, an Adafruit Class D 20W amp, and two four-inch speakers, the droid can rattle off some sound effects as it blows off …read more

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