Getting Data Off Proprietary Glucometers Gets a Little Easier

See the original posting on Hackaday

Glucometers (which measure glucose levels in blood) are medical devices familiar to diabetics, and notorious for being proprietary. Gentoo Linux developer [Flameeyes] has some good news about his open source tool to read and export data from a growing variety of glucometers. For [Flameeyes], the process started four years ago when he needed to send his glucometer readings to his doctor and ended up writing his own tool. Previously it was for Linux only, but now has Windows support.

Glucometers use a variety of different data interfaces, and even similar glucometers from the same manufacturer can use different protocols. Getting …read more

Snapchat’s newest feature is also its biggest privacy threat

See the original posting on The Verge

Earlier this week, Snapchat introduced Snap Map, an opt-in function that allows you to share your location with your friends on a map. Snapchat’s introduction video to Snap Map, seen above, focuses on sharing the location of posted Snaps to Our Story, which is public, and could be useful for, say, seeing a collection of Snaps posted from a particular event.

But what Snapchat doesn’t tell you in the video, or in the app, is that if you aren’t careful, Snap Map will broadcast your exact location to anyone on your friends list every time you open the app.

When you update Snapchat and get to the Snap Map walkthrough, as seen below, only three screens need to be clicked through to complete it. Though it mentions sharing your location, what…

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Canada: Trump shows us what happens when “good” politicians demand surveillance powers

See the original posting on Boing Boing

The CBC asked me to write an editorial for their package about Canadian identity and politics, timed with the 150th anniversary of the founding of the settler state on indigenous lands. They’ve assigned several writers to expand on themes in the Canadian national anthem, and my line was “We stand on guard for thee.”
(more…)

This man has visited Disneyland 2,000 days in a row

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Jeff Reitz of Huntington Beach, California has visited Disneyland 2,000 days in a row and he has no plans to stop. Why? It makes him happy. From ABC7:

Reitz, an Air Force veteran, credits the parks with giving him something to look forward to each day, noting that he enjoys hearing the music as he enters, interacting with the friendly park cast members, and watching the park guests having a good time. He also enjoys the shows and attractions, including one of his favorites, the Matterhorn Bobsleds adventure.

(via NextDraft)

Teaching STEAM With Fidget Spinners

See the original posting on Hackaday

A huge focus of the maker revolution has been a focus on STEAM education, or rather an education in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. We’ve seen innumerable kits and tools designed to introduce children to STEAM apps, ranging from electronic Lego blocks to robotics kits built around interlocking plastic bricks. These are just a passing fad, but finally, we have what looks like a winner: a STEAM education fidget spinner.

Fidget spinners have spun into our hearts like a shuriken over the last few months, and [MakerStorage]’s latest project taps into the popularity of fidget spinners to put an …read more

A Minority Report Arduino-Based Hand Controller

See the original posting on Hackaday

Movies love to show technology they can’t really build yet. Even in 2001: A Space Oddessy (released in 1968), for example, the computer screens were actually projected film.  The tablet they used to watch the news looks like something you could pick up at Best Buy this afternoon. [CircuitDigest] saw Iron Man and that inspired him to see if he could control his PC through gestures as they do on that film and so many others (including Minority Report). Although he calls it “virtual reality,” we think of VR as being visually immersed and this is really just the glove, …read more

Go Small, Get Big: The Hack that Revolutionized Bioscience

See the original posting on Hackaday

Few people outside the field know just how big bioscience can get. The public tends to think of fields like physics and astronomy, with their huge particle accelerators and massive telescopes, as the natural expressions of big science. But for decades, biology has been getting bigger, especially in the pharmaceutical industry. Specialized labs built around the automation equipment that enables modern pharmaceutical research would dazzle even the most jaded CERN physicist, with fleets of robot arms moving labware around in an attempt to find the Next Big Drug.

I’ve written before on big biology and how to get more visibility …read more

Simple Electric Bike Conversion from 3D-Printed Parts

See the original posting on Hackaday

Challenge: Perform an electric conversion on a bicycle. Problem: No significant metal working skills or equipment. Solution: 3D print everything needed to electrify the bike.

At least that’s the approach that [Tom Stanton] took to his electric bike build. Having caught the electric locomotion bug on a recent longboard build, [Tom] undertook the upgrade of a cheap “fixie,” or fixed-gear bike. His delta printer was big enough for the motor mount and weather-resistant ESC enclosure, but he needed to print the drive pulley in four quadrants that were later glued together. We can’t say we hold much faith in the …read more

Catastrophic Forgetting: Learning’s Effect on Machine Minds

See the original posting on Hackaday

What if every time you learned something new, you forgot a little of what you knew before? That sort of overwriting doesn’t happen in the human brain, but it does in artificial neural networks. It’s appropriately called catastrophic forgetting. So why are neural networks so successful despite this? How does this affect the future of things like self-driving cars? Just what limit does this put on what neural networks will be able to do, and what’s being done about it?

The way a neural network stores knowledge is by setting the values of weights (the lines in between the neurons …read more

Autonomous Transatlantic Seafaring

See the original posting on Hackaday

[Andy Osusky]’s project submission for the Hackaday Prize is to build an autonomous sailboat to cross the Atlantic Ocean. [Andy]’s boat will conform to the Microtransat Challenge – a transatlantic race for autonomous boats. In order to stick to the rules of the challenge, [Andy]’s boat can only have a maximum length of 2.5 meters, and it has to hit the target point across the ocean within 25 kilometers.

The main framework of the boat is built from aluminum on top of a surfboard, with a heavy keel to keep it balanced. Because of the lightweight construction, the boat can’t …read more

Getting Data Off Proprietary Glucometers Gets a Little Easier

See the original posting on Hackaday

Glucometers (which measure glucose levels in blood) are medical devices familiar to diabetics, and notorious for being proprietary. Gentoo Linux developer [Flameeyes] has some good news about his open source tool to read and export data from a growing variety of glucometers. For [Flameeyes], the process started four years ago when he needed to send his glucometer readings to his doctor and ended up writing his own tool. Previously it was for Linux only, but now has Windows support.

Glucometers use a variety of different data interfaces, and even similar glucometers from the same manufacturer can use different protocols. Getting …read more

SpaceX successfully launches and lands a used rocket for the second time

See the original posting on The Verge

SpaceX has successfully launched and landed a recycled Falcon 9 rocket for the second time. The rocket’s first stage — the 14-story-tall core that houses the fuel and the rocket’s main engines — touched down on one of the company’s autonomous drone ships in the Atlantic Ocean shortly after taking off from a launchpad at nearby Cape Canaveral, Florida. It’s the 12th time SpaceX has successfully landed one of these rocket stages, and the seventh time it’s performed the feat at sea.

This particular rocket previously flew in January, when it was used to put 10 satellites into orbit for communications company Iridium. The rocket then landed on a drone ship in the Pacific Ocean. SpaceX retrieved the rocket and spent the next few months…

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Autonomous Transatlantic Seafaring

See the original posting on Hackaday

[Andy Osusky]’s project submission for the Hackaday Prize is to build an autonomous sailboat to cross the Atlantic Ocean. [Andy]’s boat will conform to the Microtransat Challenge – a transatlantic race for autonomous boats. In order to stick to the rules of the challenge, [Andy]’s boat can only have a maximum length of 2.5 meters, and it has to hit the target point across the ocean within 25 kilometers.

The main framework of the boat is built from aluminum on top of a surfboard, with a heavy keel to keep it balanced. Because of the lightweight construction, the boat can’t …read more

HTC’s next Edge Sense features for the U11 still seem very gimmicky

See the original posting on The Verge

HTC today released a video of some new features coming to Edge Sense, the headlining, squeeze-your-phone-to-do-something feature of its U11 smartphone. The examples shown include Google Maps (which automatically zooms in when you squeeze), Google Photos (same thing), Calendar (change to a different view with a squeeze), and the ability to end calls by — you guessed it — squeezing the phone.

I don’t know about you, but my response to every single one of these new functions was “okay, but why wouldn’t I just do this the regular way?” I can understand the convenience part if you’re stuck using the U11 with a single hand, but so far the best thing about Edge Sense is using it as a shortcut button for your favorite apps. Or to turn on the…

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Samsung’s Galaxy Note8 will reportedly be the company’s most expensive smartphone yet

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Samsung is preparing to launch its most expensive smartphone yet this September, VentureBeat reports. Notably, this launch timeline for the Galaxy Note8 places it in the path of when the new iPhones will likely be revealed. The phone will retail for €999 according to the report, a number which will likely translate to around $900 stateside considering past pricing differentials.… Read More

Catastrophic Forgetting: Learning’s Effect on Machine Minds

See the original posting on Hackaday

What if every time you learned something new, you forgot a little of what you knew before? That sort of overwriting doesn’t happen in the human brain, but it does in artificial neural networks. It’s appropriately called catastrophic forgetting. So why are neural networks so successful despite this? How does this affect the future of things like self-driving cars? Just what limit does this put on what neural networks will be able to do, and what’s being done about it?

The way a neural network stores knowledge is by setting the values of weights (the lines in between the neurons …read more

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered is coming to PS4 next week

See the original posting on The Verge

The enhanced version of Call of Duty 4 is now a standalone title — at least on PS4. Today Activision announced that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered will be available on Sony’s console on June 27th for $39.99. The game — which features the same story campaign and multiplayer maps as the 2007 original, but with updated visuals — was previously available bundled with special editions of last year’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. As of now, however, there’s no word on when the remastered version will be available to purchase on either PC or Xbox One. The publisher says that there will be “other platforms to follow” the PS4 launch. The next major Call of Duty game, meanwhile, takes the series back to World War II, and will be…

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Desktop museum for sale contains dinosaur bones, “space gems,” and sliver of Steve Jobs’ turtleneck

See the original posting on Boing Boing

The Mini Museum is a small, self-contained cabinet of curiosity in a lucite box. This third edition contains such wonders as a Spinosaurus bone, rotor from a WWII Enigma machine, sliver of one of Pelé’s soccer balls, and a tiny swatch from Steve Jobs’ turtleneck. It’s $300 (or $129 for a smaller collection). Maybe the next edition will come with Madonna’s pap smear! Creator Hans Fex writes:

In 1977, my father was a research scientist and a Director at the National Institutes of Health. Growing up, we had a subscription to every great science magazine – and living near Washington DC we visited the Smithsonian museums and saw dinosaur bones, meteorites, and rockets almost every weekend. My father kept an amazing collection of artifacts at his lab and also at home.

After a trip to Malta, he returned with some artifacts which he embedded into epoxy resin. I had never seen this done before and it was beautiful.

Then, all at once, I saw it… A grand collection within a manageable space that I could share with others.

(via Uncrate)

Diamond Yoda pendant to be auctioned

See the original posting on Boing Boing

This Yoda pendant listed by Heritage Auctions “features full-cut yellow and near colorless diamonds weighing a total of approximately 9.00 carats, set in 14k gold.” The estimated value is $2,500 – $3,500. will a lucky Boing Boing reader place the winning bid?

An avatar for all time, Yoda, the wise can be with you always. Instantly recognized as one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars narrative, this custom made pendant is whimsical and fun. It can be worn on a cord or chain or easily modified by a jeweler to wear as a brooch. Appropriately, Yoda is covered with diamonds, an ancient gemstone that can take billions of years to form. His robe is made of white and yellow diamonds totaling approximately 9.00cttw. A single round brilliant cut diamond held in Yoda’s outstretched hand has a known carat weight of 0.46ct.

Could this single diamond represent a kyber crystal? Or symbolize the Force? To quote Yoda, “Long ago in forgotten times, when the Sith and Jedi fought for control of the galaxy, weapons there were, of unimaginable power. Always at their heart, a kyber crystal was.” Gem quality diamonds are cut to exact proportions to accentuate their ability to reflect light. The dispersion of white light into spectral colors is diamonds’ primary gemological characteristic. Since Yoda lost his light saber in his legendary duel with Darth Sidious, and the lightsaber reflects the Force of the Jedi who holds it, a diamond is the perfect replacement.

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