The Essential Phone now costs $499, $200 less than the original price

See the original posting on The Verge

Essential is slashing the price of its eponymous phone, down to $499 at its website. That’s a $200 price cut from the original $699 price, less than two months after it began shipping to customers. There is really no other way to read the move except as a signal that it wasn’t selling well at $699 — especially given that the only US carrier stores it’s available in have “Sprint” above the door. It certainly doesn’t help that it now has to face the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL head-to-head.

Of course, that’s not how Essential sees it, saying that the price drop is there in lieu of “a massive TV campaign to capture your attention,” which is hard not to see as a wry Google and Apple dig. “We think making it easier for people to get their hands on…

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Oliver Cabell raises $1.2 million to slip into the shoe business

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Oliver Cabell, a Minneapolis-based startup selling bags and other accessories, has raised $1.2 million to slip into the shoe business. The company’s high end canvas and leather bags caused a bit of a stir around TechCrunch’s offices a few years ago (we were too busy using the bags to review them) — and now the company’s ready to try on footwear to see how the new… Read More

Essential Phone gets a $200 price drop, existing customers get credit

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Essential has an offer that’s honestly very hard to refuse: The price of the Essential Phone (PH-1, going by technical model number), is now $200 cheaper, so $499 off-contract and unlocked. That’s an amazing price for their debut smartphone, which remains my favorite in terms of straight up industrial design (and it has one of the best color-tuned displays in devices right now in… Read More

Apparently Fruit Flies Like a Raspberry Pi

See the original posting on Hackaday

Groucho Marx famously said, “Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.” As insulting as it is, researchers often use fruit flies for research because they have similar behavior and genetics to humans. For example, the flies exhibit signs of anxiety, stress, and many common diseases. Researchers at Imperial College London built an inexpensive and customizable research platform for fruit flies — the ethoscope — that uses a 3D printed enclosure and a Raspberry Pi to study our winged counterparts. You can see a video about the ethoscope, below.

By using a camera, the Pi can watch …read more

Take a look at Apple’s first ‘Town Square,’ its most beautiful retail store yet

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 This weekend, Apple took the wraps off of its first “Town Square” retail store in Chicago.
The location marks Apple’s 497th retail store. The new space replaces the company’s flagship North Michigan Ave store which opened in 2003. TechCrunch took a tour with Apple’s senior VP of retail, Angela Ahrendts, and saw the ins and outs of the company’s latest… Read More

You can — but shouldn’t — play Tetris right on the dash of this Russian truck

See the original posting on The Verge

I love Russian automotive culture. When their not using stripped-down Soviet-era cars as curling stones, they’re doing something equally ridiculous like embedding Tetris in the operating systems of their vans.

Tetris, the quintessential Russian video game, is apparently — and inexplicably — included as an Easter Egg in some models of the GAZelle Next vans. To play, you need to perform the automotive version of the Konami Code, which is to say click the odometer and clutch a specific number of times while revving the engine. That makes the game appear on the screen behind the steering wheel. Here’s a closer look:

And props to Jalopnik for going the extra mile and translating the narration on this video:

1) Turn the ignition on 2) Start…

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Hazardous Dollhouse Teaches Fire Safety

See the original posting on Hackaday

Fire safety is drilled into us from a young age. And for good reason, too, because fire hazards are everywhere in the average home. Even a small fire can turn devastatingly dangerous in a matter of minutes. But how do you get kids to really pay attention to scary (and often boring) adult concepts? You can teach a kid to stop, drop, and roll until you’re blue in the face and still might not drive home the importance of fire prevention. Subjects like this call for child-sized visual aids that ignite imaginations.

That’s exactly what firefighters in Pozna?, Poland did …read more

Why do people keep giving Magic Leap money?

See the original posting on The Verge

Magic Leap, an augmented reality company that has never shipped or even shown a product, has just gotten a $502 million investment on top of its nearly $1.4 billion in existing funding. The round is led by Singapore holding company Temasek, and includes major existing investors like Google, Alibaba, and J.P. Morgan Investment Management. It adds to the mystique around the secretive company, which has been on the verge of unveiling a pair of compact augmented reality glasses since at least 2015. Two years later, its main output is still flowery paeans to its own greatness.

Investors have proven more than willing to throw money at overblown tech startups, like Theranos and Juicero. But Magic Leap still seems like a potentially viable…

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The iBeamBLOCK is a projector, tablet, and external battery rolled into one

See the original posting on Boing Boing


This innovative, ultra-portable display system combines a tablet, an HD projector, and a 13200mAh power bank, and it’s currently being offered in the Boing Boing Store.

Projectors allow you to instantly turn any dimly-lit room into a movie theater or presentation space. But ensuring device connectivity usually means maintaining a collection of video dongles. To simplify the whole process, the iBeamBLOCK hands over media playback duties to an integrated tablet. Despite it’s small size, the tablet section is actually a full Windows 10 PC that’s capable of playing anything a normal desktop can. It wirelessly streams video straight to the projector, so you can sit back and browse media without worrying about cable clutter. Additionally, it works with other PCs over HDMI, and includes a host of options for hooking up external storage: USB, MicroUSB, MicroSD Card, and WiFi.

The battery section of the iBeamBLOCK provides up to 2 hours of playback time on a single charge, making it perfect for outdoor movies or unexpected power outages. You can pick up this modular video projector here for $699.

Making the Best Plywood for Laser Cut Puzzles

See the original posting on Hackaday

Plywood laser-cuts fairly well but has drawbacks when used in serious production runs, as [Marie] explains in a blog post about a quest for the ultimate laser-cutting plywood. One of the things [Nervous System] makes and sells is generative jigsaw puzzles, and they shared their experience with the challenges in producing them. The biggest issue was the wood itself. They ended up getting a custom plywood made to fit their exact needs, a process that turned out neither as complex nor as unusual as it may sound.

Plywood is great because it’s readily available, but there are some drawbacks that …read more

This DIY Nintendo Switch can play the retro games the real one can’t

See the original posting on The Verge

The Nintendo Switch is great for a lot of things, but when it comes to playing retro games, you’re better off looking at something like the SNES Classic than Nintendo’s current-generation console.

Or, if you’re like Tim Lindquist, a hardware modder / electrical engineering student at Iowa State University, you build your own Switch-esque console, which through the power of open-source emulation software, can not only play retro Nintendo games, but basically any retro title you can imagine, via Hackaday.

Image: Tim Lindquist (YouTube)

Lindquist’s device — cleverly called the “Nintimdo RP” — goes beyond being a simple Raspberry Pi emulator, though. Rather, like the actual Switch itself, its a full-fledged portable…

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The Web Clock You Can Control Over a LAN

See the original posting on Hackaday

Not every project is meant to solve a new problem. Some projects can be an extension of an existing solution just to flex the geek muscles. One such project by [limbo] is the Web Clock 2.0 which is an internet-connected clock.

Yes, it uses a WEMOS D1 mini which is equipped with an ESP-12F (ESP8266) and yes, it uses an LCD with an I2C module to interface the two. The system works by connecting to the Google servers to get GMT and then offsets it to calculate the local time. It also has the hourly nagging chime to let you …read more

Chemotransfer for DIY PCBs

See the original posting on Hackaday

Making PCBs with the toner transfer method has been around since you could buy your traces at Radio Shack. There are a million techniques for removing copper from sheets of fiberglass, from milling to using resist pens, to the ubiquitous laser printer toner transfer. Here’s a technique we haven’t seen before. [Darko Volk] is calling this ‘chemotransfer’. It’s mostly a laser printer toner transfer process, but the toner is transferred from paper to copper with the help of a special mix of solvents.

This chemotransfer process is almost identical to the usual process of making a toner transfer PCB. First, …read more

FruitNanny: The Raspberry Pi Baby Monitor For Geeks

See the original posting on Hackaday

Having a child is perhaps the greatest “hack” a human can perform. There’s no soldering iron, no Arduino (we hope), but in the end, you’ve managed to help create the most complex piece of machinery in the known galaxy. The joys of having a child are of course not lost on the geekier of our citizens, for they wonder the same things that all new parents do: how do we make sure the baby is comfortable, how many IR LEDs do we need to see her in the dark, and of course the age old question, should we do this …read more

Easy JavaScript, Part 1: Learn the "let" Statement

See the original posting on DZone Python

Using the let statement, you can create Block-scoped local variables in JavaScript. The let  statement was introduced in the ECMAScript 6 standard of JavaScript.

Before you go ahead and learn about let, I recommend you to check out Infragistics jQuery-based library Ignite UI, which helps you write and run web applications faster. You can use the Ignite UI for JavaScript library to help quickly solve complex LOB requirements in HTML5, jQuery, Angular, React, or ASP.NET MVC. (You can download a free trial of Ignite UI here.)

Making Music with the Wind

See the original posting on Hackaday

[Niklas Roy] built a windmill-powered music box for his backyard, and it was so awesome all the neighbors wanted to take a picture of it. Someone even liked it so much that he stole [Niklas]’s windmill in the middle of the night. (We kind of don’t blame them, it’s a gorgeously clean build.)

In the past few weeks [Niklas] has been mass-producing 20 windmills for the KIKK Festival 2017 to be held in November in Namur, Belgium. The windmills will operate in a cluster, and all play “Für Elise” when the wind blows. However, each one is driven independently and …read more

Reading 16 Rotary Encoders at the Same Time

See the original posting on Hackaday

We’re digging these daisy-chainable encoders built by [fattore.saimon]. Each module consists of a rotary encoder attached to a PCB with a PIC16F15386 on the back. As we’ve covered in the past, the Microchip released their feature-rich PIC16 microprocessor just this year, and it’s great to see them start to crop up in projects. With 4 address jumpers on the back of each PCB, [fattore.saimon] is able to connect up to 16 of the encoders on the bus. The modules also have male and female plugs so he can connect them physically as well, to simplify wiring. Each module also has …read more

These Twenty Projects Won $1000 In The Hackaday Prize

See the original posting on Hackaday

For the last several months, we’ve been hosting the greatest hardware competition on Earth. This is the Hackaday Prize, and we’ve just wrapped up the last of our five hardware challenges. For the Anything Goes challenge in this year’s Hackaday Prize, we’re asking hardware hackers to build the best, the coolest thing. No, it doesn’t matter what it is. We’re looking for technical skill and awesome applications. There are no limits here.

We just wrapped up the Anything Goes challenge last week, and now it’s time to announce the winners. These are the best, the coolest projects the Hackaday …read more

OmniHub tries to fix the MacBook Pro’s port shortage with magnets and modules

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 My five-year-old MacBook Pro finally gave up the ghost. After traveling the world and surviving several CESes, it was time to finally lay the thing to rest. I had some misgivings about replacing the old workhorse with one of the new models, not the least of which was the company’s fairly unpopular decision to ditch all existing ports for a quartet of ThunderBolt 3 ports. Read More

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