Imaginary Worlds is the slick, deep-dive podcast sci-fi and fantasy fans need to hear

See the original posting on The Verge

There are a ton of podcasts out there, but finding the right one can be difficult. In our new column Pod Hunters, we cover what we’ve been listening to that we can’t stop thinking about.

A couple of months ago, the members of my science fiction writer’s group were talking about podcasts, and one suggested a show that we had to listen to: Imaginary Worlds. After discovering and listening to an episode, she went and binge-listened to the entire run up to that point, sucked in by its deep dives into science fiction and fantasy culture.

Imaginary Worlds is a podcast that takes a deep dive into the world of science fiction and fantasy — both the people who create them and the fictional universes they design. Creator Eric Molinsky covers a…

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The case for using the iPhone X without a case

See the original posting on The Verge

The iPhone X, the most expensive smartphone Apple has ever made, is undeniably an aesthetic marvel, from the chrome-colored rounded corners and the reflective glass rear cover to the elliptical vertical camera module. Regardless of your thoughts on the pesky notch, the phone itself also feels fantastic to hold in your hand. It has certain weighted feel to it unlike past models, giving the gadget the feel of a high-class set of poker chips or an exuberant business card made of excessively heavy stock.

The screen, stretching out to all four corners of the bezel-less display, comes to life in a way so equally pleasant and eye-popping that you can understand why user experience designers likely spent weeks, if not months, on that one,…

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Threat Meter Gauges Risk of Creeper-Assisted Suicide

See the original posting on Hackaday

If you’ve played even just a few minutes of Minecraft, you know what a creeper is. For those not familiar with the wildly popular sandbox game, a creeper is a monster that creeps along silently until it’s close to a player, whereupon it self-destructs by exploding. Sometimes it kills the player outright, and other times the explosion blows them into lava or off a cliff, or off a cliff and then into lava. Creepers have no friends.

But now there’s a way to avoid creeper attacks, or at least get a little heads up that these green nasties are lurking …read more

3D printing company New Matter is shutting down this month

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Perhaps 2014 wasn’t the ideal time to get into the 3D printing game. After years of hype, the even the biggest names have been struggling to stay afloat. Pasadena startup New Matter is joining the growing list of companies who’ve unsuccessfully made a go at it, announcing that it will be closing up shop by the end of the month. It’s not for lacking of trying — and… Read More

Wireless earbuds are too wireless for me

See the original posting on The Verge

I usually listen to music using a cheap pair of HTC headphones, for a variety of reasons that I’ve discussed before. But recently, I’ve been trying out a few pairs of Bluetooth earbuds as my full-time headphones, part of my duties as a Circuit Breaker writer, and I’ve come to the realization that Bluetooth headphones make me incredibly anxious.

The reason is simple. With a wired pair of headphones, there’s a physical tether linking my phone to my ears. So long as there’s music flowing through the cables, I can be safe and secure knowing that my phone is three feet away on the other end, right where I expect it to be. That cord serves as a link, a safety net that makes sure that the most important electronic device I carry around is still…

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This French baker cruises around delivering fresh-baked goods to boaters

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Here’s a guy who’s found his niche market.

Out of a humble panga, there is a French baker who goes boat to boat selling his fresh-baked wares to those docked (primarily gringos) in Jalisco, Mexico’s Barra de Navidad marina and lagoon area.

Chef Emeric Fiegen opened up shop, with his wife Christine, in this small laidback beach town over 15 years ago after a stint in Montreal. Early each morning, Chef Emeric still personally delivers his many breads, baguettes, croissants, pies, and quiches by boat. Not surprisingly, his pastries sell out by the time he’s done making his rounds.

My friends Andrea and Nick are currently on an epic cruising adventure with their teen daughter Pari, and were lucky to sample the breakfast pastries while anchored in Barra de Navidad. Andrea told me that they’ve never come across a delivery service like this before on any of their many boating trips.

Here’s a look at the menu. Keep in mind that those prices are in pesos and that it’s currently about 18.50 pesos to the dollar:

Landlubbers, fear not, the French Bakery (aka El Horno Francés) has an onshore eatery for you in town.

photos by Andrea Cook

News of the Times Flashback: Pearl Harbor Attacked; FDR Doesn’t Know Who Did It

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FOLLOW @RubenBolling on the Twitters and a Face Book.

JOIN Tom the Dancing Bug’s subscription club, the Proud & Mighty INNER HIVE, for exclusive early access to comics, extra comics, and much more.

GET Ruben Bolling’s new hit book series for kids, The EMU Club Adventures. (“Filled with wild twists and funny dialogue” -Publishers Weekly) Book One here. Book Two here.

More Tom the Dancing Bug comics on Boing Boing!
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Get a great deal on Trainz, the world’s leading train simulator

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Trains may not be the most popular means of conveyance nowadays, but chances are you grew up playing with toy trains or building a model set to wrap around the Christmas tree. In either case, it’s safe to say that locomotives have long carried a unique sense of awe and scale, especially when they’re hundreds of cars long and roaring across the countryside. Trainz: A New Era lets you experience this feeling again with a 21st-century spin, and its Platinum Edition Bundle is on sale for $19.99 in the Boing Boing Store.

Trainz is a train simulator that brings famous locomotives to life as they travel across historical and modern routes in mind-blowing realism and with a powerful graphics engine. You can create your own routes with in-game editing tools and combine your efforts with other players to build and operate a working rail line. Plus, this edition includes 16 additional routes, three bonus trainsets, and a host of other downloadable content.

The Trainz: A New Era Platinum Edition Bundle is on sale today for $19.99.

TrackRobot Sports Welded Steel, Not Plastic

See the original posting on Hackaday

Don’t let the knee-high size of [Hrastovc]’s creation fool you. TrackRobot weighs in at a monstrous 60 kg (130 lbs) of steel, motors, and battery. It sports two 48V motors in a body and frame made from pieces of finger-jointed sheet steel, and can reach speeds of up to four meters per second with a runtime of up to an hour. The project’s link has more pictures as well as DXF files of the pieces used for the body.

Currently TrackRobot is remote-controlled, but one goal is to turn it into a semi-autonomous snow plow. You can see TrackRobot going …read more

Mini Lathe Makes Tiny Hydraulic Cylinders for RC Snow Plow

See the original posting on Hackaday

You can get pretty much any part you need online these days, but some specialty parts are a little hard to come by. So if your needs are esoteric, like tiny hydraulic cylinders for RC snow plows, you might just have to roll your own.

To be honest, we never really knew that realistic working hydraulics on such a small scale were a thing, but [tintek33]’s video below opened our eyes to a new world of miniature mechanicals. You’d think a linear actuator would be a fine stand-in for the hydraulic ram on a tiny snow plow for an RC …read more

Repairs You Can Print: Nintendo DS Lite With New Battery And Case

See the original posting on Hackaday

The problem with hanging on to old consumer products is that the original batteries no longer hold a charge. To make matters worse, replacement batteries ordered online have likely been sitting on a warehouse shelf for years and are no better. [Larry G] faced this issue with his old Nintendo DS Lite. Luckily he remembered a hack from his youth where a friend’s Dad had duct-taped a massive alkaline D-cell battery pack to the back of a Gameboy to give it a longer life. And so [Larry] gave new life to his Nintendo DS Lite by designing and 3D printing …read more

CSS Columns

See the original posting on DZone Python

The text breaking option has not been the most popular text option ever since the advent of magazine layout. Just like in print design, there are columns in web design too. The best and clearest way to use it is the column option in CSS.

It is boring, content and design-wise, for text content to be extended over the full web page, so this is rare to see.

AI Listens to Radio

See the original posting on Hackaday

We’ve seen plenty of examples of neural networks listening to speech, reading characters, or identifying images. KickView had a different idea. They wanted to learn to recognize radio signals. Not just any radio signals, but Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) waveforms.

OFDM is a modulation method used by WiFi, cable systems, and many other systems. In particular, they look at an 802.11g signal with a bandwidth of 20 MHz. The question is given a receiver for 802.11g, how can you reliably detect that an 802.11ac signal — up to 160 MHz — is using your channel? To demonstrate the technique …read more

Engineering against all odds, or how NYC’s subway will get wireless in the tunnels

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Never ask a wireless engineer working on the NYC subway system “What can go wrong?” Flooding, ice, brake dust, and power outages relentlessly attack the network components. Rats — many, many rats — can eat power and fiber optic cables and bring down the whole system. Humans are no different, as their curiosity or malice strikes a blow against wireless hardware… Read More

Repairs You Can Print: A Turn Signal Switch For A Chevy Corvair

See the original posting on Hackaday

Running a classic car is often an easier prospect than a more recent model, as the mechanical parts have a tendency towards commonality between models, simplicity, and maintenance using basic tools. However assuming some level of parts availability for your model it is not usually the running gear that causes headaches. Instead, it is the smaller and less durable parts, the little plastic pieces that formed vital components but have not been manufactured for decades. These are the parts for which the advent of accessible 3D printing has been a revelation, suddenly the owner of a wreck need only to …read more

Amazon owns my Echo, I’m just feeding it

See the original posting on The Verge

It’s no secret that voice assistants are a Trojan Horse. You “buy” a voice assistant like an Echo Dot or a Google Home, and you plug it in and give it your Wi-Fi password. But you don’t “own” it like you own a computer. The software is controlled entirely by Amazon or Google or some other company.

So, I bought a Trojan Horse in December as a little self-gift for Christmas: an Echo Dot.

Amazon’s audiobooks

On the evening I set up my Echo Dot, the first thing I wanted to do was listen to an audiobook. Being an Audible junkie makes the Echo an easy fit into my life. Saying, “Alexa, play an audiobook” will simply resume whatever book I was last listening to on my phone.

I have a lot of books in my library that have only a chapter or two…

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Truly wireless earbuds haven’t caught up to AirPods yet, but at least the cases are cool

See the original posting on The Verge

AirPods are the best truly wireless earbuds available because they nail the essentials like ease of use, reliability, and battery life. There are alternatives that definitely sound better from Bose, B&O Play, and other. But they often cost more and all of them experience occasional audio dropouts. Unfortunately, I’m one of the sorry souls whose ears just aren’t a match for the AirPods — and I’m a nerd who likes having both an iPhone and Android phone around — so I’ve been searching for the best non-Apple option.

But some 14 months after AirPods shipped, there’s still no clear cut competitor that’s truly better at the important stuff. They all lack the magic sauce that is Apple’s W1 chip, which improves pairing, range, and battery life…

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The Nano S is a 360 camera built for social media

See the original posting on The Verge

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been testing out the Nano S 360-degree camera from Insta360. It’s a cute little camera that clicks into your iPhone’s Lightning port and takes 360-degree photos and videos. The camera itself is very compact and can easily be held in the palm of your hand or slipped into your pocket.

I’m fairly new to 360 cameras. I generally shoot using my Canon 7D DSLR or Fujifilm X-T10, and this is an entirely new experience altogether. Instead of concentrating on framing a particular shot, you can just click the shutter button and worry about framing later, so it’s good if you’re on the go and don’t want to think too much. The most engaging experience the camera offers is that it places you in the center of your…

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RightEye’s portable eye-tracking test catches concussions and reading problems in five minutes

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but physiologically speaking, they’re windows to the brain. RightEye is a startup that looks through that window to detect common but often subtle vision issues resulting from concussions and other brain troubles. Its quick, portable eye-tracking station can tell in minutes whether you should see a doctor — or look into becoming a pro… Read More

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