Samsung’s Bixby assistant is now available for Galaxy S8 owners worldwide

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant is now global after it expanded into over 200 countries today.
Bixby is Samsung’s answer to Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and other virtual assistants. It got off to a bumpy start when it didn’t ship with the launch of the Galaxy S6, Samsung’s top-of-the-range device for this year, in March. Samsung rolled out a… Read More

UK’s Prodigy Finance raises $240M to crowdfund students from emerging markets

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 UK fintech startup Prodigy Finance has raised a whopping $240 million funding round, certainly one of the largest by a UK company this year. The company provides loans to international students from emerging markets, enabling them to study at business schools in the US, the UK and Europe.
The fundraise includes a $40 million Series C equity round led by London’s Index Ventures, with… Read More

Self-Playing Violin: Eighth Wonder Of The World

See the original posting on Hackaday

[Martin], of the YouTube channel [WinterGatan], recently uploaded a video tour of the Phonoliszt Violina, an orchestrion, or a machine that plays music that sounds as though an orchestra is playing. The interesting thing about this one is that it plays the violin. At the time of its construction, people weren’t even certain such a thing would be possible and so when [Ludwig Hupfeld] first built one around 1910, it was considered the eighth wonder of the world.

The particular one shown in the video is at the Speelklok Museum in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The bow is a rotating cylinder …read more

Verizon’s good unlimited data plan is now three bad unlimited plans

See the original posting on The Verge

Well, now we know why Verizon Wireless was “testing” reduced Netflix streaming speeds last month. Today the biggest US carrier announced that its existing unlimited data plan is being divided into three new options: Go Unlimited (starting at $75 for a single line), Beyond Unlimited ($85 for first line), and Business Unlimited. Unlike the relatively straightforward unlimited plan that Verizon surprised customers with in February, these new monthly plans are chock-full of fine print and caveats. And in a move sure to anger net neutrality advocates, the regular “Go Unlimited” plan throttles all smartphone video streaming to 480p / DVD-quality. The new plans go into effect beginning tomorrow, August 23rd, so this change is happening fast….

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Microsoft announces Age of Empires IV

See the original posting on The Verge

It’s been a while, Age of Empires.

More than a decade after Age of Empires III was released, publisher Microsoft Studios has announced that Age of Empires IV is in development and coming to PC. There’s no release window for the game; just the launch trailer above, filled with concept art of historical battles. But even that will be enough to get fans of the series excited.

The first Age of Empires came out in 1997 as a real-time strategy game developed by the now-defunct Ensemble Studios. Players had to guide their troops through the Stone Age to the Classical period, with a follow up in 1999, Age of Empires II, taking the action to the Middle Ages. Age of Empires III was released in 2005, focusing on the colonial period, and adding a…

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Pre-owned jewelry marketplace TrueFacet now sells brand-new bling

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Since launching in 2014, TrueFacet has emerged as the go-to place for fans of high-end jewelry and watches to find quality pre-owned merchandise for sale online. Now, after establishing itself as a trusted source for some of the most popular jewelry brands, those companies have turned to TrueFacet to help sell their goods directly to consumers. Read More

Google code hints at headphones that run Google Assistant

See the original posting on The Verge

Is Google making a pair of headphones with its virtual assistant built-in? That seems to be what snippets of code in the latest version of the Google app (7.10) suggest. 9to5Google has sifted through the evidence and found a number of references in the app’s APK to a mystery product, codenamed “Bisto.” One line of code seems to spell out what Bisto could be: “Your headphones have the Google Assistant. Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. It’s your own personal Google, always ready to help.”

Of course, just because these lines of code appear in the Google app, it doesn’t mean that the company will actually release a pair of Assistant-equipped headphones. But it’s interesting to speculate. The code dug up by 9to5Google also mentions the…

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Getting Started With Cucumber.js on Node.js

See the original posting on DZone Python

Cucumber.js

Cucumber.js is a Node.js library used for automation. Cucumber.js helps to test our site’s features using pure JavaScript and the Selenium WebDriver. So there is no longer the burden of installing jars and formatting the response and all sorts of time-consuming tasks like we used to do when writing automation scripts in Java using the Eclipse IDE. I am not comparing the power of Java with Node.js, but every language has its advantages and different learning curves. So, for getting a quick automation script working and impressing your colleagues, or for adding onto your resume for impressing your employer, let’s start coding and explore it.

Pre-Requisites: 

Before getting started, you should be well aware of Node.js async antipatterns and promises. We will be using Node.js 6.9.4 and a module named selenium-cucumber-js which is a clean package that comes with the selenium driver for Node.js, as well as a reporting mechanism by default. Wow! That’s awesome, right?

Laser Etching PCBs

See the original posting on Hackaday

A while ago, [Marco] mounted a powerful laser diode to a CNC machine in an attempt to etch copper clad board and create a few PCBs. The results weren’t that great, but the technique was promising. In a new experiment, [Marco] purchased a very cheap laser engraver kit from China, and now this technique looks like it might be a winner.

[Marco] sourced his laser engraver from Banggood, and it’s pretty much exactly what you would expect for a CNC machine that costs under $200. The frame is aluminum extrusion, the motors are off-the-shelf steppers, the electronics are just Pololu-like …read more

The SNES Classic has a great trick for beating difficult Nintendo games

See the original posting on The Verge

The SNES Classic Edition, launching on September 29th for $79.99, does exactly what you expect it to do. You plug in power and HDMI, flip down a weird little flap covering the controller ports, plug in the controllers, and start playing Star Fox, F-Zero, or Donkey Kong Country.

Nintendo has also learned from the shortcomings of its predecessor, the NES Classic. Mainly, the company has promised to make “significantly more” of the damn things this time around — though whether “significantly more” is the same thing as “enough” is anyone’s guess.

Then there’s the controllers, which are great. The D-pad, in particular, feels super nice — whereas on modern controllers it’s too often an afterthought. The SNES Classic also has slightly longer…

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A Detailed Guide for 3D Printing Enclosures

See the original posting on Hackaday

We’ve all have projects that are done, but not complete. They work, but they’re just a few PCBs wired together precariously on our desks. But fear not! A true maker’s blog has gifted us with a detailed step-by-step guide on how to make a project enclosure.

Having purchased an MP Select Mini 3D Printer, there was little to do but find something practical to print. What better than an enclosure for a recently finished Time/Date/Temperature display Arduino based device?

The enclosure in this guide, while quite nice, isn’t the main attraction here. The real feature is the incredibly detailed instructions …read more

Electric Longboard with All-New Everything

See the original posting on Hackaday

We love [lolomolo]’s Open Source electric longboard project. Why? Because he completely re-engineered everything while working on the project all through college. He tackled each challenge, be it electronic or mechanical as it came, and ended up making everything himself.

The 48″ x 13″ deck is a rather unique construction utilizing carbon fiber and Baltic birch. In testing the deck, [lolomol] found the deflection was less than an inch with 500 lbs. on the other end. He modified the Caliber II trucks to add four 2250W Turnigy Aerodrive brushless outrunners driving the wheels with the help of belts. The motors …read more

HP’s first Omen X gaming laptop includes easy access to upgrade parts

See the original posting on The Verge

HP returned to the gaming world earlier this year with a new line of Omen products. While we’ve seen HP produce some cheaper gaming laptops and a high-end glowing desktop cube so far, we’ve been waiting for a high-end Omen laptop for enthusiasts. At Gamescom today, HP is launching the Omen X laptop, and it’s pretty much what you’d expect from a high-end gaming laptop.

HP has opted for a 17-inch 4K display for the top model, or a 120Hz 1080p display for those who want more performance instead of a higher resolution. Both configurations are Nvidia G-Sync enabled, and you can pick models with up to an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (factory overclocked) inside. You can connect two external displays, and there’s even support for overclocking both…

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Electric Longboard with All-New Everything

See the original posting on Hackaday

We love [lolomolo]’s Open Source electric longboard project. Why? Because he completely re-engineered everything while working on the project all through college. He tackled each challenge, be it electronic or mechanical as it came, and ended up making everything himself.

The 48″ x 13″ deck is a rather unique construction utilizing carbon fiber and Baltic birch. In testing the deck, [lolomol] found the deflection was less than an inch with 500 lbs. on the other end. He modified the Caliber II trucks to add four 2250W Turnigy Aerodrive brushless outrunners driving the wheels with the help of belts. The motors …read more

A Detailed Guide for 3D Printing Enclosures

See the original posting on Hackaday

We’ve all have projects that are done, but not complete. They work, but they’re just a few PCBs wired together precariously on our desks. But fear not! A true maker’s blog has gifted us with a detailed step-by-step guide on how to make a project enclosure.

Having purchased an MP Select Mini 3D Printer, there was little to do but find something practical to print. What better than an enclosure for a recently finished Time/Date/Temperature display Arduino based device?

The enclosure in this guide, while quite nice, isn’t the main attraction here. The real feature is the incredibly detailed instructions …read more

Monoprice Mini Delta Review

See the original posting on Hackaday

For the last year or so, Monoprice has been teasing their follow-up to the fantastic $200 MP Select Mini. This is the $150 mini delta printer. We got a look at it last January at CES, it was on display at the Bay Area Maker Faire last May. Now there’s one on the Hackaday review desk.

Over the last few years, 3D printing has settled down into what most of us expected way back in 2010. No, not everyone wants, or arguably needs, a 3D printer on their desks. This is a far cry from the hype of a few …read more

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