Rochester, Buffalo: My band The Delorean Sisters plays your cities this weekend

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Hey upstate NY state folks: My band The Delorean Sisters is in your neck of the woods, tonight and tomorrow!

We’re a country-Americana band — our first album was a fun concept project, where we took 80s synthpop hits by acts like Depeche Mode and Eurythmics and transformed ’em into country/bluegrass, with three-part country harmonies and banjo. (This worked surprisingly well, since wow — 80s synthpop has some of saddest damn lyrics I’ve ever heard. It’s basically already hurtin’ country music.) Our second album from this spring is an EP of originals‘, in the same vein of Americana. ‘Tis all on Spotify, or Bandcamp if you’re looking for glisteningly DRM-free MP3s or vinyl.

Tonight, Fri. Aug. 23 we’re in Rochester, playing at Abilene Bar & Lounge at 9 pm; tomorrow night, Sat. Aug. 24 at 8 pm we’re in Buffalo, playing Sportsmen’s. Come on out and hassle me!

(In the photo, that’s our three singers, Gary, Lizzie and Diane, with our bass player Danny — I’m hiding behind Diane, on electric.) Read the rest

The “One HTML Page Challenge”, a great example of view-source culture

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Behold the “One HTML Page Challenge” — to build a one-page site using just the code in a single html file: “Practice your skills with no assistance from libraries, no separation of files, and no assistance of a modern framework.”

There are a just few entries so far, but they’re pretty cool — like this one that creates a slowly-growing ant colony in ASCII, or this racing game, or this quiz to see if you can identify the correct name of a color.

I dig the constraints here — all code in one file, no outside code libraries — because it really honors “view source” culture.

When I was interviewing developers for my latest book Coders, all the ones who grew up during the late 90s and early 00s web talked about how powerful view-source was in teaching themselves to code and make stuff online.

But web development these days has grown byzantine in its complexity; if newbie is trying to learn, view-source is liable to just cough up a slurry of incomprehensible, minified javascript. It closes off the easy onramps that existed back in the earlier days of the web.

So, projects like this one-page challenge are awesome, because the whole goal is to encourage the writing of web-site code that’s more legible and tractable. If you view-source any of the entries, some might be a little complex for newbies, but if you spend enough time walking it through, you can figure out what’s going on. Read the rest

Dataviz of burger-satisfaction rankings

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The market-research firm Market Force Information surveyed 7,600 people to find out which burger chains the liked the most and least, ranking them by eight attributes, like “food quality”, “speed service” and “staff friendliness”.

Over at Flowing Data, Nathan Yau took that info and charted it out in a superb dataviz:

What’s interesting here isn’t just the burger info. What’s fun is noticing how beautifully Yau’s dataviz here takes eight tables of data — hard to look at, hard to spot patterns in (you can see the original tables here) — and transforms it into something that tells a story at a glance: The customer approval for chains like In-N-Out and Whatabuger are pretty well-rounded, while people seem to have only one big thing they like about chains like Steak ‘N Shake (value for the money) or Jack in the Box (speed of service.)

Yau’s stuff is always good, but this one is a particularly nice object-lesson in the value of well-done data visualization. Read the rest

Why The Most Dangerous Game is this weekend’s best streaming bet

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RKO Radio Pictures Inc./Photofes

There are so many streaming options available these days, and so many conflicting recommendations, that it’s hard to see through all the crap you could be watching. Each Friday, The Verge’s Cut the Crap column simplifies the choice by sorting through the overwhelming multitude of movies and TV shows on subscription services, and recommending a single perfect thing to watch this weekend.

What to watch

The Most Dangerous Game, a 1932 movie adaptation of Richard Connell’s short story of the same name. Joel McCrea plays Bob Rainsford, a big-game hunter who gets shipwrecked on a private South American island belonging to a fellow sportsman, the Russian Count Zaroff (Leslie Banks). When Rainsford meets Zaroff’s guests, he becomes smitten with…

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Julien Rivoire’s 3D concepts imagine modern-day versions of retro tech

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A little while ago, programmer Foone Turing shared a concept image of a portable WinAmp player that sparked intense reactions on Twitter, like, “I’ve never needed anything more in my life,” and fittingly, “it really whips the llama’s ass.” Seeing WinAmp’s skeuomorphic design translated into a physical object — one that could be folded up into a business card-sized MP3 player, no less — was nothing short of mind-blowing.

The concept was designed by Julien Rivoire, a France-based art director and 3D artist who makes everything from imagined retro tech gadgets to soothing, looping animations that provide a visual oasis from your Instagram feed. A self-taught artist, his clients include Louis Vuitton, Nike, and Fool’s Gold Records. We caught…

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Viral black and white Roku’d TV now available as glow-in-the-dark enamel pin

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Remember the guy who rigged up his first-gen Roku to an old black-and-white TV to watch The Twilight Zone? Well, that “guy” is my artist pal Josh Ellingson and he’s taking his viral moment to the next level. He’s created glow-in-the-dark enamel pins of his Roku-enabled 1975 General Electric model 12XB9104V TV. That’s cool on its own but he’s also made a pack of stick-on screen decals that make it look like a vintage show or movie is playing. The pin shown in the photo above depicts the Moon landing but there are others, like the Nosferatu below. He’s made the pins available on Indiegogo for $10 each, or two for $18, which includes the sticker pack. As of this writing, the campaign is 931% funded.

(RED) Read the rest

Six Python Tips for Beginners

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Python is one of the easiest programming languages to learn. The syntax is close to English. Beginners generally encounter only a few surprises, such as forced indentation and the use of  self in methods.

At some point, everyone starts reading, copying, and editing other people’s code. That’s where the confusion starts.

Telling Lies is a complex, tense mystery that you unravel yourself

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In 2015, developer Sam Barlow broke away from his work on games like Silent Hill: Homecoming to release a live-action whodunnit called Her Story. It was an instant hit, praised for its true crime flair and atypical gameplay, where players unravel the story at their own pace by searching terms on a fictional police database. Four years later, Barlow has released a spiritual successor to his breakout success with Telling Lies.

Telling Lies follows the lives of four characters — played by actors Logan Marshall-Green, Kerry Bishé, Alexandra Shipp, and Angela Sarafyan — whose stories are told exclusively through recorded conversations. Much like Her Story, players search a database of video clips by casting a net of keywords and seeing what…

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The Google Home Mini’s mute switch makes privacy deliberate

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In today’s digital age, it sometimes feels like hardware has taken a back seat to the software that drives our devices. Button of the Month is a monthly look at what some of those buttons and switches are like on devices old and new, and it aims to appreciate how we interact with our devices on a physical, tactile level.

Smart home devices can make people uneasy, what with the “constantly listening to you” and the massive breach of privacy whereby paid human contractors turned out to be listening to recordings from Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook services without users knowing it. But I still use a Google Home Mini, and part of that is because of the physical microphone mute switch on the back that gives a kind of peace of…

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Vergecast: Galaxy Note 10 Plus review, Apple fall lineup rumors, and green bubble GIFs

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

We’ve reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus, and this week on The Vergecast, we go in way deeper on DeX, the cameras, and more. There’s an official name for Android Q: it’s just Android 10. This week also saw Mark Gurman’s traditional rumor drop of everything to expect at Apple’s upcoming iPhone event. It’s a lot, and it’s all fodder for Nilay Patel, Dieter Bohn, and Paul Miller to talk about.

Promises we can make to you about this episode: there’s no alliteration of a thousand Q words, no discussion of Bixby actually being a secret dog butler, and no way for you to opt out of any privacy clauses by leaving a rating and a review on Apple Podcasts for this show. (But if you did the last thing anyway, we’d appreciate it.)

On top of all…

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Fairyland donkeys react to classical music

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Children’s Fairyland, the mid-century theme park for little kids in Oakland, California, posted this video of their resident donkeys reacting to classical music that is too cute not to share.


Donkeys get a kick out of classical music! We were testing out our PA system and Gideon and Chiquita got into it. As Brett, our staff mechanic, notes, “It’s like a real-life Fantasia!”

When they aren’t digging classical music (or doing whatever donkeys do), they can be found grazing on grass in the big field when the park is closed:

Previously on BB: Children’s Fairyland, the mid-century storybook theme park that inspired Walt Disney and where Frank Oz got his start Read the rest

This Linux computer plus router is the size of a ring box

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If there’s one thing that stayed consistent through the last decade or so of tech industry turmoil, it’s the love affair between techies and Linux. There’s just a ton you can do with the OS, and its open-source format means you can customize your rig from the ground up.

Apparently not content with that level of devotion, the good folks at VoCore have gone and made a tiny Linux computer that is impossibly cute, on top of its multiple applications.

The VoCore2 Mini Linux Computer packs a wireless router and 16M of onboard storage into a cube about the size of a coin. Just hook it up to any display monitor through a standard USB2.0 port, and you’re ready to put it to work. With 128MB of DDR2 memory and an MT7628AN MIPS processor, it’s equally useful as a streaming station, VPN gateway, data storage – you name it.

The standard VoCore2 package comes with an Ultimate Dock that takes MicroSD cards for $42.99 – a full 14% off the list price. For those who want to get cracking right out of the box, there’s a VoCore2 Mini Linux Computer Bundle for $69 (a 13% discount), including an 800 X 480 screen just perfect for the tiny powerhouse. Read the rest

USB half-golfball with one USB port

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There’s an unlimited wealth of useless USB gadgetry to be acquired, obviously, but something about the USB half-golfball with one USB port [Amazon] posted to Twitter by @foone (whose epic threads about subjects such as “possibly cursed USB adapters” are easily the best thing on Twitter right now) captures the very essence of the genre. I immediately bought one, as it’s the perfect gift for an older boomer-age male relative who has never in their life played golf.

Tell me about your conspiculously pointless, low-effort USB gifts in the comments! No prizes for Cuecats. Read the rest

Bees added to Minecraft, finally

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My “bee”-obsessed young son will not be delighted to see the addition of bees to Minecraft, as he is still too young to have played Minecraft or, indeed, to have become cognizant of the difference between bees and other winged insects.

We’re buzzing with excitement!

• Bees are cute, fuzzy, neutral mobs
• Don’t hurt them, they don’t want to hurt you
• If a bee does sting you, it will leave its stinger in you and eventually die, dropping nothing 🙁
• Bees love pretty flowers and spend their lives gathering pollen from them
• After gathering pollen, bees fly back to their home nest
• Bees help you by growing crops while carrying pollen back to the nest
• Bees can be bred using flowers
• Bees like sharing the location of their favorite flowers with other bees
• If a bee can’t find nectar, after a while it will return home for a bit
• If a bee doesn’t have a home nest, it will wander around until it finds one it can use
• Bees don’t like the rain and they sleep at night. They will go back to the nest in these cases

In keeping with Minecraft’s rougueish leanings, there’s an entire ecology of honey production to go with it. Can’t wait! Read the rest

Facebook is tightening its grip on Instagram

See the original posting on The Verge

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

When Instagram first hit the news this week, it was over a hoax. A host of celebrities had posted to their timelines a battered image declaring that Instagram would soon make our deleted photos and messages public, and use them against us in court, unless we created a post to the contrary. It wasn’t true, of course, but it seemed true enough to some of our biggest stars — such as Beyoncé’s mother, and the man responsible for our nation’s nuclear arsenal.

The digital content industry debunked the copypasta, celebrities posted sheepish apologies (or didn’t), and we all resumed waiting for the next dumb thing to come along and briefly preoccupy us between stories about the burning rainforest in the Amazon and the president’s effort to buy…

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Summer flash sale ends tonight: 2-for-1 Disrupt Berlin 2019 passes

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Summer’s fading fast, but our 2-for-1 summer flash sale on Innovator, Founder or Investor passes to Disrupt Berlin 2019 is fading even faster. Today’s the final day you can get 2-for-1 tickets to join us in Berlin for two jam-packed days of startup goodness and opportunity. Why not do it for the lowest price? Our 2-for-1 summer flash […]

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