Why Only The Brave director Joseph Kosinski left science fiction

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When director Joseph Kosinski made his 2010 feature debut with Tron: Legacy, he was almost instantly heralded as an impressive visual stylist with impeccable attention to detail. He solidified that reputation with his follow-up, Oblivion, another science fiction tale — this time starring Tom Cruise — with impressive visual aspirations, even if it didn’t quite land from a narrative perspective. Along with other newcomers like Neill Blomkamp, Kosinski appeared to represent a new generation of science fiction filmmakers, ones whose commercial and visual effects backgrounds made them uniquely suited to a genre where the images often feel like the most important element of a story.

That’s what makes Kosinski’s latest film, Only the Brave,…

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Vote for the best Halloween candies, for science

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Remember last year? Remember the above figure (direct link), where all was laid out? This is how SCIENCE ranks your Halloween haul. Kit Kat and actual cash at the top, dental floss and anything whole wheat near the bottom.

Well, now it’s time for the 2017 Candy Ranking Games. Go and fill out this 10 minute survey into the best and worst Halloween candies. Do it for science. Do it to fight #fakenews. Go forth, go go!

Note that data will be collected for analysis until noon, PST, Oct 25th.  This year’s Candy Hierarchy will be published on October 27th.


You probably thought all we’d talk about this year is David S. Pumpkins and candy corn. Ask David S. Pumpkins to guest co-author, they said. He’s got a Wikipedia page and you don’t, they said. Just because that’s a year-old and only half-interesting reference, still, it’ll never get old and it’ll never die, they said, and by then they’ll forget you said something about candy corn in the first sentence. Because what the hell is going on with candy corn debates this year? How did 2017, of all years, become the one where candy corn blew up? It’s not a bell curve, it’s bi-modal, you know. People love it or hate it and never the twain shall meet. No twain meeting. You do know that don’t you? This comes up every year, obviously, given its importance, but wow, it’s all over the place this time. And then some dude told us they’re making Hershey bars with candy corn in them? What the dip-shit is that?

We don’t care, that’s what the dip-shit it is. We leave it up to you. That’s where we were headed with this. It’s up to you. Because David Ng and B.R. Cohen (that’s us) are again re-presenting the official universal survey about your candy favorites for The 2017 Candy Hierarchy.

If you want to spend your BoingBoing time reading about our vaunted methodology and sharp insights about survey logistics, if you feel like you need more debriefing on our statistical acumen and scientific ambitions, if you like talking about longitudinal studies and you’re not thinking of maps, go on ahead, read the back catalog. You’ll find that in just the past two years, we’ve tabulated 6000+ individual responses with over 600,000 preferences. But maybe you don’t care for numbers. Maybe you care only for the enormous skill the industry has for congealing sugar into bar, disc, dot, glob, cluster, dud, chip, wafer, cup, jack, cap, egg, or Donald Petersen. If you’re just here to define a candy hierarchy, that is, then have it. We give you the Fourth Annual Candy Hierarchy Survey. Go forth. Rank. We’ll be back next week to present this year’s hierarchy in full.

Sailor tattoos decoded

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Tall ship sailor-turned-cartoonist Lucy Bellwood‘s gorgeous “The Art of the Sailor” is an informative guide to the meaning of sailor tattoos. It first appeared in Vancouver Maritime Museum’s traveling exhibit, “Tattoos and Scrimshaw: the Art of the Sailor.”

It’s available as a signed and numbered letterpress print for $40:

Giclée art prints are available directly from the artist for $15 to $20.

This site has vintage photos of some of these tats (and others).


Previously: Buy a random permanent tattoo from this vending machine

Redesigning the TechCrunch app

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Over the last two years we have been working hard to improve the experience of TechCrunch products for our readers. Our tiny-but-mighty product team launched the brand new TechCrunch mobile app earlier this month and we couldn’t be more excited. It has been completely redesigned with the goal of giving you easy access to the news you care about most, no matter where you are. Read More

Pop Goes the Haunted Jack-in-the-Box

See the original posting on Hackaday

Is Halloween sneaking up on you, too?  It’s less than two weeks away, but there is still plenty of time to build something that will scare the pants off trick-or-treaters and party guests alike. This year, Hackaday regular [Sean Hodgins] hacked his favorite holiday by taking something that ships with a base level of scariness and making it autonomous. What could be more frightening than a haunted toy?

The (decades-old) jack-in-the-box mechanism is simple. Turning the crank operates a mechanical music box that plays the traditional “Pop Goes the Weasel”. When the music box hits the high note, a jutting …read more

Southeast Asia gaming and e-commerce firm Sea ends first day on NYSE up 8%

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Sea, the gaming and e-commerce company holding the first major U.S. IPO from a Southeast Asian tech firm, had a bumpy start to life on the NYSE after closing the day up around eight percent on its list price of $15. The company raised $884 million from its listing, but it could surpass $1 billion if all allotted shares are purchased by underwriters. The share — listed as… Read More

Look what came out of my USB charger !

See the original posting on Hackaday

Quick Charge, Qualcomm’s power delivery over USB technology, was introduced in 2013 and has evolved over several versions offering increasing levels of power transfer. The current version — QCv3.0 — offers 18 W power at voltage levels between 3.6 V to 20 V.  Moreover, connected devices can negotiate and request any voltage between these two limits in 200 mV steps. After some tinkering, [Vincent Deconinck] succeeded in turning a Quick Charge 3.0 charger into a variable voltage power supply.

His blog post is a great introduction and walk through of the Quick Charge ecosystem. [Vincent] was motivated after reading about  …read more

Finish Him: Kill All the WebDriver C# Code

See the original posting on DZone Python

Kill All WebDrivers

Most of my articles are about WebDriver. Today, I am going to write about a common problem that people usually hit. Have you experienced this? Your tests finish and then all of a sudden, the browser is still opened? The next time you try to clean the build folder, you cannot because the current driver’s EXE is still in use. Such a pity. From now on, your builds start failing. Many people complain about the flakiness of WebDriver, and this is one of the reasons. Here, I am going to propose to you a solution: As they say in Mortal Kombat, "Finish Him!" (kill all of the processes).

Test C# Code

Once again, I will use one of my favorite test pages: Bing. Below, you can find the page object that we will use in the tests.

One Chip, Sixteen Times The RAM

See the original posting on Hackaday

Have you ever upgraded your computer’s memory sixteen-fold, with a single chip? Tynemouth Software did for a classic Sinclair micro.

For owners of home computers in the early 1980s, one of the most important selling points was how much RAM their device would have. Sometimes though there just wasn’t much choice but to live with what you could afford, so buyers of Sinclair’s budget ZX81 computer had to put up with only 1 kiB of memory. The system bytes took up (by this writer’s memory) around 300 bytes, so user programs were left with only around 700 bytes for their …read more

Mozilla proposes combined WebXR standard for virtual and mixed reality in the browser

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Although we may disagree on the usefulness of VR and AR today, it’s hard to argue with the idea that it should be easier to develop for and deploy — especially on the web. That’s why Mozilla is working on a combined framework that gives developers standardized, well-documented tools with which to access the user’s chosen mixed reality platform. Read More

Take a look at the Gonzo Gizmo author’s favorite tools

See the original posting on Boing Boing

My guest on the Cool Tools Show podcast this week is Simon Quellen Field. Simon is a chemist and former Google software engineer and is the author of over a dozen books, including Gonzo Gizmos, Return of Gonzo Gizmos, Culinary Reactions, Why is Milk White, Elements Vault, Why There’s Antifreeze In Your Toothpaste, Electronics for Artists and, most recently, Boom!: The Chemistry and History of Explosives. He’s the author of the science toy website SciToys.com and several novels.

Subscribe to the Cool Tools Show on iTunes | RSS | Transcript | Download MP3 | See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page

Show notes:

Taylor Wharton LD10 Aluminum Liquid Dewar ($638)

“I’m often asked to demonstrate scientific toys and things at different science conventions, like the Google Science Fair … and one of the things that they love when I show off is all of these fun things that you can do with liquid nitrogen. And, of course, it lasts a lot longer if you keep it in a big Dewar. So, I’ve got this thing, it’s about 2 feet tall, about 10 inches in diameter, And holds 10 liters of liquid nitrogen, which I get locally from a place called Nitroderm. And we do all kinds of fun things with it. Put some liquid nitrogen in a bowl and squirt some whipped cream out of a spray can into it, freeze it really hard. Kids pop it into their mouth and crunch on it and fog comes out their nose like a dragon.”

Mastercool 90066-B Vacuum Pump ($130)

“I have a vacuum chamber, and this vacuum pump, this one does six cubic feet per minute, which is pretty good. It used to be that vacuum pumps were really expensive, but once the smog dealers needed them in order to take the Freon out of your air conditioner for environmental reasons, everybody needed one and they got cheap. But, with this vacuum pump, I can put some liquid nitrogen into a small thermos and put it in my vacuum chamber and start sucking the air and the nitrogen vapor out of that chamber. And after about a minute or so, you get solid nitrogen … and then you disconnect it and let the air rush in and in about 3 seconds, it’s liquid again.”

Tekpower TP3005T Variable Linear DC Power Supply ($80)

“It’s got a nice LCD display on it and you can set the current or the voltage to be constant. And what I use it for is electroforming. You take a solution of copper salts and a few other magic ingredients. Usually, it’s a proprietary mix, they don’t tell you exactly what’s in it. But you can start electroplating something and if you let it go, it will make a thicker plating … So, for example, suppose I took an egg. I could paint conductive paint in a pattern on the egg, like a filigree or a tree or whatever. And then I could submerge that in the plating bath and plate it for 20 minutes or so and get a thick enough copper plating that I can dissolve the egg away and now I can hold this filigreed Fabergé egg-like thing in my hand.”

Baofeng Ham Two-way Radio ($35)

“I picked this up recently, when I was going up to see the eclipse up in Oregon, and we knew that there would be so many people in these little towns that only had cell phone bandwidth for a tenth as many people as were going to be there and so, we wanted to stay in touch and be able to chat with other HAMs on the road about traffic conditions, which we also expected to be a nightmare. … And this little gadget … It’s got 128 memories that you can easily program with all of the repeaters for all of the HAM radio repeaters on the mountains and stuff and it just works … It does everything you want and it’s tiny. … It’s probably good for anywhere, 5 to 20 miles. But once you hit the repeater, now the repeaters are networked, so I can talk to people in Portland, Oregon or in San Diego.”

3D Printed Gear Serves Seven Months Hard Labor

See the original posting on Hackaday

Even the staunchest 3D printing supporter would have to concede that in general, the greatest strength of 3D printing is not in the production of final parts, but in prototyping. Sure you can make functional prints, as the pages of this site will attest; but few would argue that you wouldn’t be better off getting your design cut out of metal or injection molded if you planned on putting the part into service over the long term. Especially if the part was to be subjected to rough service in an industrial setting.

While that’s valid advice, it certainly isn’t the …read more

Nokia’s retro 3310 3G is coming to the US for $60 on October 29th

See the original posting on The Verge

The 3G version of Nokia’s resurrected 3310 was announced in September as theoretically working in the US, unlike the 2G version released earlier this year. But at the time HMD Global, which owns the rights to Nokia phones, didn’t say when (or even if) the 3310 3G would be coming to the US.

Now, we know the answer to both of those questions: the phone is available for preorder starting today at Best Buy for $59.99, with the phone set to release on October 29th. If you’re thinking about picking one up, be aware that it should work on AT&T and T-Mobile because both are GSM networks, but it won’t work with Verizon and Sprint’s CDMA ones.

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Elon Musk gets permission to begin Boring Co. digging in Maryland

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Elon Musk’s week is going pretty great thus far, between meeting the creators of Rick & Morty and now gaining permission to dig even more tunnels – besides the one he already got the OK to begin digging back closer to home in Hawthorne. The new tunnel will be a 10.3-mile one that undercuts a state-owned operation of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Maryland,and could… Read More

A Silent Voice shows why Kyoto Animation is one of the top animation studios

See the original posting on The Verge

Kyoto Animation’s work isn’t quite like anyone else’s. The style of its animation and storytelling separate the studio from the majority of other Japanese companies. It’s known for high production values compared to its contemporaries; Kyoto’s smooth, intricate animation is used for both subtle and spectacular sequences while having very stylized, but realistically detailed backgrounds.

Kyoto Animation (often abbreviated KyoAni) gets more distinctive results than most studios in part because unlike in much of the Japanese animation industry, its animators are salaried employees. Japanese animation studios typically hire most of their artists as freelancers and pay them a rate for each frame they produce. That incentives speed over…

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Disputed DNA analysis software’s code open for inspection after court order

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 If you’re going to convict or acquit based on evidence provided by a piece of software, you’d better be damn sure that software is reliable. One such program, a DNA analysis tool used in over a thousand cases, has been called unreliable by critics — and a federal judge has just ordered that its code be opened for all to see so we can find out one way or the other. Read More

Everything Worth Knowing about Lockwire

See the original posting on Hackaday

We were tipped off to an older video by [AgentJayZ] which demonstrates the proper use of lockwire also known as ‘safety wire.’ In high vibration operations like jet engines, street racers, machine guns, and that rickety old wheelchair you want to turn into a drift trike, a loose bolt can spell disaster. Nylon fails under heat and mechanical lock washers rely on friction which has its limits. Safety wire holds up under heat and resists loosening as long as the wire is intact.

Many of our readers will already be familiar with lockwire since it is hardly a cutting-edge technology …read more

Razer made a webcam with a selfie light for streamers

See the original posting on The Verge

Razer launched two new products today for streamers: the Razer Seiren X portable microphone and the Razer Kiyo webcam with a selfie light. These two products are Razer’s latest attempt to become the popular choice for microphones and webcams, which people normally don’t go to it for.

The Razer Kiyo webcam comes with an adjustable ring light with twelve white LEDs, which you can control to twelve levels of brightness. It has a four-megapixel camera that can record up to 1080p at 30 fps or 720p at 60 fps, and it’s compatible with popular streaming tools XSplit and Open Broadcaster Software. The Kiyo comes with a 1.5 meter braided cable terminating in a USB 2.0 connection. It’ll sell for $99.99.

The webcam looks good in theory, but it faces…

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