Amelia Foxtrot is an olde tyme-y DJ who spins on antique phonographs

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There are old-school DJs and then there’s DJ Amelia Foxtrot of Austin Phonograph Co. in Texas. Her turntables are antique hand-cranked phonographs and her records are scratchy-sounding 78s.

Of course, I was immediately charmed all of this. I reached out to her and she shared:

I’ve been doing phonograph DJ work for 7 years. I started in 2012 because I wanted to buy a phonograph. Being an entrepreneur at heart, I thought if I created a business DJing with it, my hobby would fund itself. And I got to buy two!

She mostly plays private events like seances (!), weddings, and fancy birthday parties. Though, on March 24, you can catch her at the Jazz Age Sunday Social in Dallas.

Amelia also co-owns and runs Sweet Ritual, a popular dairy-free ice cream shop in Austin. Additionally, she teaches Cool School for budding vegan ice cream parlor owners.

photo by Sam Ortega

Thanks, Maggie! Read the rest

This password manager maximizes security on every website

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Use a single password for every website, and you’re compromising your security. Use a different one each time, and you’re bound to lose track of them. The solution? RoboForm Everywhere, a catch-all tool that will not only manage the passwords on every site you visit but generate better ones.

As a simple password database, it’s comprehensive enough for even the most forgetful online citizen. It saves and protects log-in data from any site with AES 256-bit encryption, and can even encrypt text notes for offline or WiFi passwords, all searchable and easily organized. You can import from all major password managers or a basic CSV, and choose a trusted friend to share your info with in case of emergency. But RoboForm will also generate random passwords and audit them for safety, making sure you’ve got the most airtight log-ins on every site – all of which can be set to auto-fill with a click.

Right now, a 5-year individual subscription to Roboform Everywhere is 33% off the list price at $29.99. Read the rest

“Happy Furry Monsters” and other Sesame Street parody mashup songs

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Sesame Street is turning 50 years in November. As part of the yearlong celebration, they’ve posted this fun compilation of well-known musicians parodying their own songs over the years. (I’m actually ok with not being able toget REM’s “Happy Furry Monsters” out of my head because it’s adorable.)

A YouTube commenter listed all the musical artists with their Sesame Street-ed song:

* 1973 – Stevie Wonder | Superstition (0:00)
* 1978 – Paul Simon | Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard (5:09)
* 1979 – Ray Charles | I Got a Song (1:40)
* 1984 – James Taylor | That Grouchy Face (3:41)
* 1988 – Smokey Robinson | U Really Got a Hold on Me (4:02)
* 1988 – Billy Joel | Just the Way You Are (0:38)
* 1988 – Marlee Matlin | Just the Way You Are (0:38)
* 1996 – Melissa Etheridge | Like the Way U Does (4:15)
* 1996 – Spin Doctors | Two Princes (1:15)
* 1998 – Tony Bennett | Slimey to the Moon (2:48)
* 1999 – REM | Furry Happy Monsters (1:24)
* 2000 – Hootie & the Blowfish | Hold My Hand (2:01)
* 2000 – The Goo Goo Dolls | Pride (1:05)
* 2002 – Dixie Chicks – No Letter Better Than B (2:20)
* 2003 – Sheryl Crow | I Soaks Up the Sun (1:48)
* 2004 – Norah Jones | Don’t Know Y (0:18)
* 2005 – Andrea Bocelli | Time to Say Goodnight (2:27)
* 2007 – James Blunt | My Triangle (5:00)
* 2008 – Feist | 1234 (3:00)
* 2009 – Jason Mraz | Outdoors (4:47)
* 2011 – Elvis Costello | (A Monster Went and) Ate My Red Two (3:27)
* 2012 – Train | Five By (3:11)
* 2015 – One Direction | What Makes “U” Useful (4:31)
* 2015 – Macklemore | Grouch Thrift Shop (3:53)

Just try and tell me that didn’t make you smile, even a little. Read the rest

Samsung’s foldable phone is called the Fold and will cost $1980

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After tax, you’re clear of two grand. Behold the Galaxy Fold:

Samsung is using a new 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display that allows the phone itself to have a tablet-sized screen that can be folded to fit into a pocket. The main display is QXGA+ resolution (4.2:3), and when it’s folded, a smaller 4.6-inch HD+ (12:9) display is used for the phone mode. Samsung is using 512GB of Universal Flash Storage 3.0 (eUFS) for fast speeds, alongside a Qualcomm 7nm octa-core processor and 12GB of RAM. Samsung has even built two batteries for its Galaxy Fold, that are separated by the fold but combined in the Android operating system to represent a total of 4,380 mAh.

I suspect the charm will wear off quickly and leave us with a middle-of-the road phone that turns into a middle-of-the-road tablet, but I’m delighted Samsung is making something completely, unambiguously new. Sony used to do this sort of thing, then abandon it; maybe things will be different now. Read the rest

As sports company abandons support for “smart” basketball, Nike pushes a software update that bricks its self-tying shoes

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Wilson X was the sports manufacturer’s entry into the market for smart basketballs, but maintaining the app that made sense of the telemetry from your sensor-equipped roundball was expensive and stupid and so the Wilson X app is no more, and the “B” in “B-ball” stands for “bricked.”

But wait, there’s more! If you shelled out $350 for Nike’s self-tying shoes, you got burned this week when Nike updated its shoe-tying app leaving it unable to pair with the shoes’ “advanced power-lacing system” and thus the shoes no longer lace themselves and dynamically adjust their tensioning in response to your movement.

The shoes? Also bricks.

The ball still bounces, and you can still tie your own shoes, of course, but the sensor packages and their accompanying control infrastructure are gone.

“app wont pair with left shoe,” reads one such review from Feb. 17. “paired with sneakers right after unboxing then completely crashed after last update.”

Others encountered a similar problem.

“the app has less functionality than the iOS app, and the first software update for the shoe threw an error while updating, bricking the right shoe,” reads another. “needs serious work.”

Nike just bricked its self-lacing shoes by accident [Jack Morse/Mashable]

(via Four Short Links)

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Like an Irish Spring

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This soap commercial is more creepy than I remembered.

This AM I was marveling at how I only use Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castille Soap and have for almost 20 years. Before Dr. Bronner’s I was brand loyal to Irish Spring.

I still occasionally enjoy reading a bit of the Chick-esque marketing on a Dr. B’s bottle but today in the shower I was wondering if the Irish Spring ads were the forgotten treasure trove of weird I remembered them to be.

Yup. Read the rest

This door-frame chin-up bar has really improved my physique

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Six months ago I could not do a single chin-up. I got this chin-up bar and went to work. Perseverance developed body strength, and my vanity has pumped up a notch!

I read something that said an average guy in my weight range should be able to do 10-12 chin-ups. There is a chin-up bar at a park I walk my dogs past, and I found I could not even manage one. I was doing 30+ push-ups and set after set of core abdominal exercises on the floor, but chin-ups were out of my range.

I also learned that my ‘frozen’ right shoulder hurt so badly I couldn’t maintain more than 1-2 seconds hanging on the bar with my hands facing out, as for pull-ups. Just trying a pull-up may be laughable for others, I was wincing with pain.

I got a chin-up bar and installed it in the doorway of my home office. I can not walk in or out of my workspace without seeing the bar. This encourages me to use it.

About a week of hanging on the bar and trying to get that first chin-up paid off. A pull-up seemed impossible. I watched some Youtube videos for technique. Strength was my problem, screw form.

Another week went by and I was able to do 3 chin-ups and maybe kind pulled off a second set of two. My daughter, a USA Gymnastics Level-4 competitor started using chin-up competitions with me to get out of chores.

A month into this project I was able to do 2 sets of 10 chin-ups but still could not pull off a single pull-up. Read the rest

Watch: Diver rescues a little fish trapped in a plastic bag and it’s very satisfying

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Over 100,000 marine animals die every year after getting trapped in plastic, but this little fish got lucky. A diver in Phuket, Thailand found the creature trapped in a plastic bag and, after a bit of gentle shaking and maneuvering, was able to free set it free. It might just be a tiny fish, but I was sitting on the edge of my seat watching this video. Read the rest

This mini-printer makes memos anywhere with zero ink refills

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Just a reminder: Print isn’t dead. And now that printers are becoming as portable as cell phones, it might be around for quite some time. Enter the MEMOBIRD Mobile Thermal Printer, a mini-printer that is versatile, portable – and most importantly, never needs a refill on ink or toner.

Measuring just a few inches around, the MEMOBIRD can go anywhere and is compatible with pretty much any device. From your laptop, phone, desktop or tablet you can send reminders, grocery lists, memes for the office wall or keepsake photos – even stickers, with the right paper. It can receive through WiFi or through Bluetooth, making it equally perfect for families on the go or tech-phobic grandparents. And since it prints with heat on thermal paper, there’s no need for those messy (and expensive) ink cartridge refills.

Pick up the MEMOBIRD Mobile Thermal Printer for $59.99, a full 25% off the list price of $79.99. Read the rest

Singapore Airlines says seatback cameras are “disabled”

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While on a Singapore Airlines flight, Vitaly Kamluk, noticed a camera in the seatback media system. He took photos and posted them on Twitter:

Here’s Singapore Airlines response to Kamluk’s tweet:

Hi there, thank you for reaching out to us. We would like to share that some of our newer inflight entertainment systems provided by the original equipment manufacturers do have a camera embedded in the hardware… We have no plans to enable or develop any features using the cameras.

It’s not a bad idea to cover the camera with post-it note, anyway.

Image: Twitter Read the rest

Yes, get a high-end vacuum cleaner

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Angela Lashbrook has followed the online recommendations for vacuum cleaners and found them wanting. The high-end brands that never get consideration in roundups of vacs are much better at sucking your carpet clean of filth.

A simple task like cleaning my kitchen or vacuuming my rugs may seem small and relatively unimportant. But research shows that feeling control over elements of one’s life can help reduce stress, so is it any wonder that our generation is so attracted to the concept of home improvement? The capability to transform a chaotic environment into an orderly one can take my anxiety from a nine to a five or four; having a vacuum I don’t have to fight makes my pursuit of tidiness and eventual mental peace closer to effortless.

This is, of course, why you don’t see a professional cleaners or hotel mails hauling around a $100 Hoover Linx or whatever piece of crap Wirecutter recommends, but you do see them with models like the Miele Compact C2 [Amazon link] she recommends. It’s currently $400 for the hard-floor model and $600 for the pet-hair model. Oof!

When my Dyson broke I needed a cheap vac in a hurry, checked craigslist, and ended up with a barely-used Sebo X1 for less than a hundred dollars. It was and is a complete revelation: just whipping it around that first golden day filled its bag with stuff the supposedly premium Dyson couldn’t even sniff. It’s a discontinued model, but the current equivalent is about a grand new so, haha, you cheapskates should probably just get a Miele. Read the rest

Vintage CGI

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r/vintageCGI is my new favorite subreddit. Embedded above is a collection of the rendered scenes from 1983 laserdisc game Star Rider, reputed to have cost Williams $50m in development, production and marketing costs. Below, Ronald Peterson’s 1988 image demonstrating a ray-tracing package.

Here’s the Compleat Angler:

And here is DISK.GIF:

Finally, I made DISK.GIF.JPG for you. With luck WordPress’s CDN will make it even worse. You’re welcome.

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Magic Lantern: a feature-rich replacement operating system for Canon EOS cameras

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Magic Lantern is a replacement OS for your Canon EOS camera that you load via a SD card; in addition to a suite of video-recording tools, Magic Lantern allows fine-grained gain adjustments, selection of input sources, wind filters, audio monitoring, and better tools for everything from white-balance to exposure presets to overlays to help with exposure and other settings. The source is available for inspection and modification, of course. (via Four Short Links)

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A malicious USB cable with its own wifi rig

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MG has built a proof-of-concept malicious USB cable with a tiny wifi radio hidden inside of it, able to wirelessly exfilatrate stolen; he calls it the O. MG, and while the prototype cost him $4k and took 300 hours, he’s working with a team on a small production run for other security researchers to play with. (via Four Short Links)

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