Bring Deep Learning Algorithms To Your Security Cameras

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AI is quickly revolutionizing the security camera industry. Several manufacturers sell cameras which use deep learning to detect cars, people, and other events. These smart cameras are generally expensive though, compared to their “dumb” counterparts. [Martin] was able to bring these detection features to a standard camera with a Raspberry Pi, and a bit of ingenuity.

[Martin’s] goal was to capture events of interest, such as a person on screen, or a car in the driveway. The data for the events would then be published to an MQTT topic, along with some metadata such as confidence level. OpenCV is generally …read more

Look Upon Eyepot, And Weep For Mercy

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Hope you weren’t looking forward to a night of sleep untroubled by nightmares. Doing his part to make sure  Lovecraftian mechanized horrors have lease in your subconscious, [Paul-Louis Ageneau] has recently unleashed the horror that is Eyepot upon an unsuspecting world. This Cycloptic four legged robotic teapot takes inspiration from an enemy in the game Alice: Madness Returns, and seems to exist for no reason other than to creep people out.

Even if you aren’t physically manifesting nightmares, there’s plenty to learn from this project. [Paul-Louis Ageneau] has done a fantastic job of documenting the build, from the OpenSCAD-designed …read more

Excellent dimmable LED candelabra bulbs

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I like my lightbulbs to be very warm. Early LED bulbs had a harsh whitish blue color that made every room look like a 7-Eleven at 3am. These amber glow Emotionlite LED dimmable bulbs (6-pack for $20) are the opposite of LED bulbs of yore. I got them for our dining room chandelier and everyone in the household agrees they are splendid. And they work perfectly with the existing old dimmer switch – no annoying buzz.

Neon Lamps Make For The Coolest Of Nixie Clocks

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Revisiting old projects is always fun and this Nixie Clock by [pa3fwm] is just a classic. Instead of using transistors or microcontrollers, it uses neon lamps to clock and drive the Nixie Displays. The neon lamps themselves are the logic elements. Seriously, this masterpiece just oozes geekiness.

Inspired by the book “Electronic Counting Circuits” by J.B. Dance(ZIP), published in 1967, we covered the initial build a few years back. The fundamental concept of operation is similar to that of Neon Ring Counters. [Luc Small] has a write-up explaining the construction of such a device and some math associated with it. …read more

Facebook Messenger adds administrator privileges for group chats

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Amid criticism over the way it handles customer information, Facebook made changes to the way users can join group chats in Messenger. The company said Wednesday it now requires people trying to get into a group chat to be approved by an admin.

Facebook says this will be useful for large group chats where all the members may not be connected. Admin abilities can also be adjusted between users. Group chats support up to 250 members. Users can be invited with a new sharable link, the company says.

“Anyone in a group chat can create a custom invite link and share it with someone they’d like to join the conversation,” Facebook wrote in its press release. “People who tap the link will either be added to the group automatically if approvals…

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World Cup referees will use Hublot’s new Wear OS watch to check for goals

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Hublot is the official timekeeping sponsor of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, so, of course, it has developed a special edition watch for the football tournament.

The Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia runs Wear OS (Android Wear got a rebrand, if you didn’t hear), and has the same Intel Atom Z34XX processor that powers 2017’s Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45. (Hublot and Tag Heuer are both owned by the LVMH conglomerate.)

The Big Bang Referee has a 35.4mm watchface, 400 x 400 AMOLED screen, Bluetooth 4.1, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and “around one day” of battery life from its 410mAh battery.

What makes the watch special, in addition to its limited run of 2,018 pieces and roughly $5,200 price tag, is the wide assortment of World Cup-themed software…

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Sharp’s full-screen phones look increasingly less special

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Sharp launched the Aquos S3 Mini in China today, a budget smartphone with average specs and an edge-to-edge screen design that looks surprisingly commonplace.

This is essentially the same design Sharp has been using for years. A few months ago, this design stood out for its narrow bezels and a screen that took up almost the entire front face of the device. But Sharp hasn’t changed much about its design in the past couple years. Meanwhile, a parade of new smartphones have adopted this very look. And so what until recently was a standout design now ends up looking… average.

The Aquos S3 mini has a 5.5-inch curved glass display with (gasp) a notch and a somewhat measly 87.5 percent screen-to-body ratio with a slightly higher than 1080p…

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Everyone Needs A Personal Supercomputer

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When you think of supercomputers, visions of big boxes and blinkenlights filling server rooms immediately appear. Since the 90s or thereabouts, these supercomputers have been clusters of computers, all working together on a single problem. For the last twenty years, people have been building their own ‘supercomputers’ in their homes, and now we have cheap ARM single board computers to play with. What does this mean? Personal supercomputers. That’s what [Jason] is building for his entry to the Hackaday Prize.

The goal of [Jason]’s project isn’t to break into the Top 500, and it’s doubtful it’ll be more powerful than …read more

A realistic robot fish could help scientists spy on secretive sea life

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It looks like a fish, moves like a fish, but it’s definitely a robot. It’s name is SoFi (short for soft robotic fish), and according to its creators at MIT’s computer science and AI lab CSAIL, it’s the most versatile bot of its kind. And with its built-in cameras, scientists should be able to use SoFi to get close to the ocean’s inhabitants without spooking them — hopefully giving us greater insight into the lives of under-observed sea creatures.

SoFi is not the first robot fish designed for scientific use, but it does bring together a number of different innovations that give it a unique advantage.

For a start, its housing is made from molded and 3D printed plastics, meaning it’s cheap…

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Google Maps for iOS now tells you how long restaurant wait times are

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Google Maps for iOS has introduced a new feature in version 4.47 that shows the average waiting time for over a million restaurants at different parts of the day, as reported by Engadget.

When looking up a restaurant, Google Maps will now show by hour how busy a restaurant usually is, and the average wait time to get seated. This could be helpful in instances where restaurants don’t take reservations, or if you’re looking to make spur-of-the-moment plans.

In addition, the new update also includes more information when traveling by public transit, letting you know which entrance you need to go into. That feature is currently available in New York, Hong Kong, Taipei, Paris, Los Angeles, Delhi, Moscow, Singapore, Madrid, Barcelona, Kiev,…

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Puzzle maker creates fully functional chocolate Rubik’s cube

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Puzzle maker Tony Fisher, who was in the 2017 edition of Guinness Book of World Records for creating the world’s largest Rubik’s cube, may have just created the world’s most scrumptious Rubik’s cube as well. Here he makes a fully functional Rubik’s cube out of chocolate.

Fisher also made a Rubik’s cube out of ice, as well as cheese (but this one he refers to as “crap”).

Making Pictures Worth 1000 Words in Python

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In a previous post, I showed how you could upload images into a Discord server from Python; leveraging the popular chat platform to simplify things like remote monitoring and push notifications on mobile devices. As an example, I showed an automatically generated image containing the statistics for my Battlefield 1 platoon which gets pushed to member’s devices on a weekly basis.

The generation of that image was outside the scope of the original post, but I think it’s a technique worth discussing on its own. After all, they say that a picture is worth 1000 words. So that means a …read more

Siri will read hidden lock screen notifications from third-party apps to anyone

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If you’ve got an iPhone or iPad, Apple’s Siri voice assistant will read out your lock screen notifications for apps even when you’ve turned off previews for the content inside them — and without making sure it’s you. This doesn’t work for iMessages and SMS texts; Siri always requests that you unlock your device before reading aloud what’s in those messages. But for other apps such as third-party email apps, Facebook Messenger, Slack, and many more, Siri will just spout off details about the notification without checking that it’s the right person asking to hear them.

Mac Magazine uncovered the unfortunate oversight, and 9to5Mac also reported on it. The problem is reportedly still present in beta versions of iOS 11.3. It’s not…

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You can now link to hashtags and other users in your Instagram bio

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Instagram is making a minor, albeit useful change to user bios today: whenever you mention another account or hashtag in your profile, it’ll display an actual link that other users can tap through. So, for example, I’ve got @verge listed in my profile. Before this change, it was just regular text and not a proper link. But Instagram has gotten around to changing that.

And if you have a beloved hashtag, you can also put that in your bio, and it will link out to recently uploaded photos that have the same hashtag in their description or comments. Instagram added the ability to follow hashtags in your main feed — right alongside posts from the people you follow — back in December.

But if you want to include a real link to a URL outside…

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