The Best Stereo Valve Amp In The World

See the original posting on Hackaday

There are few greater follies in the world of electronics than that of an electronic engineering student who has just discovered the world of hi-fi audio. I was once that electronic engineering student and here follows a tale of one of my follies. One that incidentally taught me a lot about my craft, and I am thankful to say at least did not cost me much money.

It must have been some time in the winter of 1991/92, and being immersed in student radio and sound-and-light I was party to an intense hi-fi arms race among the similarly afflicted. Some …read more

Google Home can now make phone calls in the US and Canada

See the original posting on The Verge

Google is rolling out a long-awaited feature for its Google Home smart speaker today: voice calling. The company just announced that Home users in the US and Canada will very soon be able to call people in their contacts and local businesses using their voice and the signature “OK Google” command. That makes it more flexible than what Amazon is doing with Alexa / Echo-to-Echo calls and messaging. But you can’t call another Google Home from yours or answer calls with it; only outgoing calls work right now.

Voice calling is completely free so long as the call recipient is in the US or Canada. It works over Wi-Fi, so it doesn’t use your smartphone plan minutes. In fact, Google Home’s hands-free calling is separate from your smartphone…

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Riverdale might pick up a monster from Reddit for season 2

See the original posting on The Verge

The CW’s spring hit Riverdale, a very loose adaptation of the classic Archie comics, was popular enough to justify a season 2 premiere date this October. A neon-tinted Twin Peaks-lite, the show captured a huge young audience drawn in by the return of Disney Channel’s Cole Sprouse; a hip, eclectic soundtrack; and the endless possible romantic pairings carried over from the comics.

The teens of the internet were clearly in the forefront of the writers’ minds during the first season: they swapped romantic partners around like a game of musical chairs, gave Sprouse half a dozen GIF-able monologues, and borrowed liberally from the lingo of fandom bloggers and fan fiction writers on Tumblr and Archive of Our Own.

It’s no surprise that writers…

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The Defenders amplifies Marvel’s Netflix ideology, warts and all

See the original posting on The Verge

It’s hard to pinpoint what, exactly, The Defenders stand for. Good and justice in the world, obviously, since they’re superheroes. And then… what else? If past Marvel shows like Jessica Jones are an instrument, delicately tuned for individual stories about the complications of vigilantism, the new Netflix crossover series The Defenders is a blunt object swinging into a car window.

The Defenders unites the protagonists of Netflix’s Marvel shows Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil, and Iron Fist. It picks up after the end of the latter series, with Danny Rand still hunting down members of the deadly organization known as the Hand. His findings lead him to believe the Hand is preoccupied with New York City, also home to the rest of the…

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How to make phone calls with Google Home

See the original posting on The Verge

Google’s smart speaker can now pull double duty as a phone for voice calls. The company just confirmed that it’s rolling out Google Home’s calling feature in the US and Canada beginning today. Users can dial anyone in their contacts and local businesses for free — so long as the call recipient is in one of those two countries. The calling feature was first announced back in May.

In turning its speaker into a phone, Google is taking another step to challenge Amazon and its Echo devices, which introduced calling and messaging features earlier this year. But the two companies take a significantly different approach in how the feature actually works and who you’re able to communicate with.

How to call someone with your Google Home speaker

To…

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You can now make free phone calls with your Google Home

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Remember back in May, when Google announced plans to let people make free phone calls through the Google Home? That feature is rolling out starting today (alas, only for folks in U.S./Canada). Say something like, “OK Google, call the nearest sandwich shop,” and it’ll connect the dots and help you get your grub. Or, if you give Google Home access to your contacts, you can… Read More

Apple could guide you around your city using augmented reality

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 ARKit is one of the biggest changes in iOS 11. Under the hood, Apple is about to transform the iPhone into a very capable augmented reality device. Felix Lapalme? has been looking at assets in the Maps app package to find out if the company is going to leverage augmented reality for turn-by-turn directions. On July 22nd, he dug around a beta version of iOS 11 and found this mysterious 3D… Read More

Google brings Q&As to Google Maps

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Google is launching a new feature for Google Maps for Android and mobile search today: question and answers. I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise when I tell you that this feature allows you to ask questions about a place and answer other users’ inquiries and indeed, it’s that straightforward. Starting now, when you find a place in Google Maps, for example, you can… Read More

Best Practices for JavaScript Library Versioning

See the original posting on DZone Python

I spend most of my time on this blog talking about Clojure, but in real life, I work on a lot of projects written in a lot of languages. Lately, much of my time has been spent writing and maintaining React-based front-ends in JavaScript.

As far as I can tell, no language has solved the problem of dependency management. Some libraries are better than others, but upgrading dependencies is always an uncomfortable experience. That being said, I’ve never experienced more pain doing so than in JavaScript’s ecosystem.

Google Docs adds a ton of new editing features, including suggestions from your phone

See the original posting on The Verge

Google is updating Docs, Sheets, and Slides today with a bunch of really handy new editing features — some of which are overdue, and others that are smart new improvements.

On the overdue side, we have the ability to add suggestions to a document from a phone or tablet. Until now, the suggestion mode has only been available on the desktop, which has been pretty annoying if you’ve ever wanted to make edits on the go. You can now enter into that mode by going to the “…” menu inside any of the three productivity apps. Google is also adding the ability to accept or reject all changes at once.

The other big changes are around version history. You can now name specific versions of documents,…

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Intel announces its next-generation Ice Lake chips unexpectedly early

See the original posting on The Verge

Intel may be preparing to announce its upcoming eighth-generation processors on August 21st, but the company is already looking to the future with an uncharacteristically early announcement of what seems to be its ninth-generation Ice Lake chips, as reported by AnandTech.

I say “seems to be,” because things are a little confusing this time around. Currently, Intel’s processors are the Kaby Lake models, which use Intel’s second-generation 14nm lithography process. (The company calls it 14nm+.) The upcoming Coffee Lake architecture, which is assumed to be the eighth generation of Intel Core chips, is expected to use the third generation of the 14nm process, or 14nm++. And while Cannon Lake hasn’t formally been announced yet, it’s said to…

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Google updates Docs, Sheets and Slides with new collaboration features

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 G Suite, Google’s set of online productivity tools, is getting a major update today that adds a number of new features to Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. Most of these updates focus around collaboration, but the service is also getting support for Google Cloud Search and the company is adding new templates and add-ons from partners like LegalZoom, Docusign, LucidChart and others. Back in… Read More

Pinterest users can now pinch-to-zoom on photos in the app

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Pinterest is adding a new feature today that allows users to pinch a photo to zoom in and out on various Pins, matching a feature that’s available on a lot of other services. As the company becomes increasingly focused on mobile and discovery centered around photos, users will start expecting the kinds of behaviors that exist on other services to exist on Pinterest. Read More

Announcing the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017 agenda

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 General admission tickets are now available. We would love to see you at the show. ICOs and cryptocurrency are rapidly changing venture capital and we are bringing some of the top minds and companies to the stage to talk about how it all affects startups. Naval Ravikant and Vitalik Buterin will chat about Ethereum’s quest to balance decentralization and usability the right way. This is… Read More

Amazon will pay more developers who make popular Alexa skills

See the original posting on The Verge

Amazon says it will now pay developers who make Alexa skills with the highest engagements in the US, UK, and Germany. Alexa skills are feature commands you can say to Amazon’s digital assistant such as, “Alexa, ask Fitbit how I’m doing today,” or “Alexa, I’m bored,” which in turn launches the corresponding voice-activated app.

Developers began getting paid for Alexa skills in the games, trivia, and accessories category in May. Amazon has now expanded payment to include those developing skills in education and reference, food and drink, health and fitness, lifestyle, music, audio, and productivity. Developers can’t charge for skills, and so far there’s no indication of how they’re paid. Amazon says payment depends on the amount of…

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Dating app Hinge is rewarding successful couples with ‘milestone’ gifts

See the original posting on The Verge

If you’ve successfully navigated the hellscape that is modern app-driven dating (in this case, specifically the Hinge plane), the company has a reward in store for you. Hinge is running a weeklong online promotion in which couples who met on the app can redeem their love for a physical gift.

The reward system is measured through “milestones” like becoming exclusive, moving in, or getting married. Each monumental moment has a corresponding present, such as a pillow, a bottle of wine, or one of those vibrators recently involved in a class action lawsuit. Couples can choose one gift — first-come first-serve! — and they must fill out a form and share their stories in order to qualify.

Of course, tracking your first sleepover or when you met…

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VR social network AltspaceVR is back from the dead

See the original posting on The Verge

Virtual reality social network AltspaceVR is staying online, after abruptly announcing its shutdown late last month. Despite a sudden drop in funding, the platform now says it’s “deep in discussions” with unspecified parties who “want to guarantee that our virtual oasis stays open.” A small crew of people is keeping the site running with bare-bones support, and community members stepped in to help manage it during the shutdown process. “We are so thankful that you, our hosts, and our community have made what AltspaceVR is today — a place worth saving,” reads a letter sent to users last night.

AltspaceVR said in July that investors were too apprehensive about VR to keep funding the 35,000-strong community, and when a deal for its next…

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Microsoft launches Azure Event Grid, a fully managed event routing service

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Microsoft announced a new product in its Azure line-up in preview today that will make it easier for developers to build event-based applications. The Azure Event Grid makes events (like uploading a picture or video, clicking a button, updating a database, etc.) first-class Azure objects. Event Grid complements Azure Functions and Azure Logic Apps, Microsoft’s existing serverless offerings. Read More

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