Taylor Swift’s new app, The Swift Life, is out now

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 In the midst of an reputational makeover, Taylor Swift is debuting a brand new app called The Swift Life.
The app is a dedicated social network for Swift’s fans, letting them communicate with each other as well as get exclusive pictures, video, news and more direct from T-Swift herself.
And they can communicate with Swift, too. Using an ‘extremely rare and valuable Taymoji&#8217… Read More

Chromecast is back on Amazon

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Amazon will once again allow sales of Apple TV and Google Chromecast on its site, after banning them two years ago in an effort to promote its own Fire TV hardware to online shoppers. The addition of Apple TV is not surprising – Amazon and Apple came to an agreement earlier this year that included the launch of the Amazon Prime Video app for Apple TV, and the return of the Apple TV to… Read More

Kickstarter for artbook of Viktor Kalvachev, one of comicdom’s best illustrators

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Viktor Kalvachev is one of the most exciting figures in comics today. I love his art, which reminds me of the great paperback book illustrators of the 1960s. He’s the creator of Blue Estate, a hardboiled crime series that takes place in modern day Los Angeles. It’s got a sleazy action hero actor with a passing resemblance to Steven Seagal, the Russian Mafia, the Italian Mafia, a geeky fanboy private eye in his 40s, a B-movie actress, drugs, alcohol, strippers, hookers, and seedy establishments. It’s dirty and gritty and a lot of fun, in an LA Confidential way.

Viktor now has a Kickstarter for an art book called Inspire: The Art of Viktor Kalvachev, which I just learned about and backed immediately.

Here are some exclusive sample pages from the book:

Here’s a recent interview with Viktor:

Viktor was born in Bulgaria and now lives in France. He is known for being a “visual storyteller”, and his career has taken him across the globe. In this interview he talks with Bobby about his new exciting book “Inspire” which is up on Kickstarter, and his journey within the art world. Although Viktor isn’t an artist full-time, he shares his decisions that have taken him along the career path that he has today, and some incredible advice on his process.

Support his Kickstarter here.

What is bias in machine learning, when does it matter, and what can we do about it?

See the original posting on Boing Boing


“The Trouble with Bias,” Kate Crawford’s (previously) keynote at the 2017 Neural Information Processing Systems is a brilliant tour through different ways of thinking about what bias is, and when we should worry about it, specifically in the context of machine learning systems and algorithmic decision making — the best part is at the end, where she describes what we should do about this stuff, and where to get started. (via 4 Short Links)

Using Gmail with OAUTH2 in Linux and on an ESP8266

See the original posting on Hackaday

One of the tasks I dread is configuring a web server to send email correctly via Gmail. The simplest way of sending emails is SMTP, and there are a number of scripts out there that provide a simple method to send mail that way with a minimum of configuration. There’s even PHP mail(), although it’s less than reliable.

Out of the box, Gmail requires OAUTH2 for authentication and to share user data, which has the major advantage of not requiring that you store your username and password in the application that requires access to your account. While they have …read more

The music videos from 2017 that we most need you to watch

See the original posting on The Verge

Welcome to a very special installment of the beloved Verge column One Video, with Kaitlyn and Lizzie. Every week of 2017 — or, technically, since February 3rd, when we had the idea — we’ve been sifting through the slew of music videos that hits the web and selecting the one (or occasionally two, or occasionally zero) that we absolutely need you to watch. Now the year is over, so we’re looking back at dozens of weeks of our own picks, and scraping the sides of the pan for whatever we may have missed along the way. It’s the season of reflection, so we’re complimenting ourselves on a sifting job well done, and we’re making plans to get better in the New Year.

As you know, here at One Video, we’ve never cared much about “good,” best, or…

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Friday Hack Chat: Eagle One Year Later

See the original posting on Hackaday

Way back in June of 2016, Autodesk acquired Cadsoft, and with it EagleCAD, the popular PCB design software. There were plans for some features that should have been in Eagle two decades ago, and right now Autodesk is rolling out an impressive list of features that include UX improvements, integration with MCAD and Fusion360, and push and shove routing.

Six months into the new age of Eagle, Autodesk announced they would be changing their licensing models to a subscription service. Where you could pay less than $100 once and hold onto version 6.0 forever, now you’re required to pay $15 …read more

Google now offers discounted tours and activities for bundling vacation packages

See the original posting on The Verge

Google’s updating its flight and hotel booking feature with suggestions on whether itineraries are a deal. The company says it will start using machine learning to evaluate flight and hotel prices compared to past bookings to let consumers know if it’s best to book now or wait. Sites like Kayak or Skyscanner currently offer similar features.

New to Google Trips is also the ability to track hotel prices by email. Previously, Google only allowed you to opt into tracking flight prices. The service will also begin selling tour and activity tickets to round out a trip package, offering discounts for bundling flights, hotels, and activities together in one booking. To book, however, you’ll be taken to a third-party vendor like Expedia or…

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Google adds price tracking and deals to Google Flights, Google Trips and hotel search

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Google today is expanding its booking features for travelers using Google services including Trips, Flights and hotel search, with a focus on helping people find better rates. For example, Google can now tell you the best time to buy an airline ticket or see when room rates are higher, among other things. These price-tracking features are similar to those that some other travel services,… Read More

Assembla’s new iOS app lets developers manage their repos on the go

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Software development isn’t exactly something that naturally lends itself to mobile. Who, after all, wants to code on a virtual keyboard and a small screen. But you don’t need to be bound to a desktop or laptop to manage your code or to compare the latest revisions of a file while you’re on the go. It’s maybe no surprise then that Assembla, a cloud-based enterprise… Read More

A new version of Mixer, Microsoft’s Twitch rival, hits iOS and Android

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Microsoft today is officially launching a new version of its Mixer mobile gameplay streaming app, its Twitch rival. The app, which is initially available on Android with iOS arriving soon, was first introduced into beta testing this fall, with a focus on improvements to its overall user experience, content discovery, performance and personalization features. For example, the beta build… Read More

Snap releases Lens Studio, a tool for creating your own AR effects

See the original posting on The Verge

Snap’s second official app is a tool that lets you design and build augmented reality lenses for Snapchat. The company today announced Lens Studio, a design app for Mac and Windows desktop computers. The app, which resembles the internal tools Snap uses to build lenses in Snapchat, can be downloaded here. (The link was not immediately live this morning.) A flood of new AR objects inside Snapchat could be a creative boon for the app, where 70 million users a day interact with lenses.

“This has been an amazing year for AR as a technology,” says Eitan Pilipski, who leads Snap’s camera platform team. “We’re really excited to take this tool, and make it as simple as possible for any creator out there to have a presence on Snapchat.”

The move…

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Canary’s home cameras can now detect people and send more useful notifications

See the original posting on The Verge

Both the Canary and Canary Flex home security cameras are being updated with a new, AI-driven feature today: person detection. Now, users will receive notifications that specify when a person has been seen by either of the devices. That’s certainly more useful than the standard “activity detected” alert, which can be triggered by pets or other movements in the home.

Person detection is available to both free and subscription customers, and Canary claims that none of its major competitors include this feature for free. (That bit of generosity can also be read as another attempt by Canary to charm its free-tier users after the company had to back away from planned changes that angered them.)

But person detection isn’t (yet) smart enough…

Continue reading…

Snapchat launches augmented reality developer platform Lens Studio

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Snapchat is finally opening up so outside developers can help it offer infinite augmented reality experiences beyond those it designs in-house. Today Snap launches the Lens Studio AR developer tool for desktops so anyone can create World Lenses that place interactive, imaginary 3D objects in your photos and videos. But brands, news publishers, and developers will have to promote their own… Read More

Instacart promotes Sarah Mastrorocco to new position of VP of Business Development

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Instacart is going through some growing pains right now, with Amazon buying Whole Foods this summer and target picking up Alabama-based Shipt in the last week. But growing pains come for a reason — the on-demand grocery delivery platform is getting bigger, just recently signing a deal with the third-largest grocery retailer in North America, Albertsons. Primary credit for that goes to… Read More

CamSoda rolls our WebRTC for truly portable cam activities

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 They say the adult industry usually leads the way with new technology and CamSoda [NSFW LINK], a NSFW cam site, is no exception. The site, which connects models in various states of undress with viewers in similar states of undress, is now supporting WebRTC transmission thereby allowing cammers and viewers alike to stream via mobile phone. The mission is simple: CamSoda wants to let… Read More

Truly Terrible Dimensioned Drawings

See the original posting on Hackaday

I’m in the planning stages of a side project for Hackaday right now. It’s nothing too impressive, but this is a project that will involve a lot of electromechanical parts. This project is going to need a lot of panel mount 1/8″ jacks and sockets, vertical mount DIN 5 connectors, pots, switches, and other carefully crafted bits of metal. Mouser and Digikey are great for nearly every other type of electrical component, but when it comes to these sorts of electromechanical components, your best move is usually to look at AliExpress or DealExtreme, finding something close to what you need, …read more

The Zombie Rises Again: Drone Registration Is Back

See the original posting on Hackaday

It’s a trope of horror movies that demonic foes always return. No sooner has the bad guy been dissolved in a withering hail of holy water in the denoeument of the first movie, than some foolish child in a white dress at the start of the next is queuing up to re-animate it with a careless drop of blood or something. If parents in later installments of popular movie franchises would only keep an eye on their darn kids, it would save everybody a whole lot of time!

The relevant passage can be found in section 1092(d) of the National …read more

90 Seconds on The Verge: The End

See the original posting on The Verge

“I hope they are watching. They’ll see. This is my gift. My curse. And for a moment, I thought we were in trouble. I do wish we could chat longer, but… I’m having an old friend for dinner. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Now we are free. I will see you again, but not yet. Not yet. And like that… poof… they’re gone. Good night, and good luck.” (Final production notes)

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