Apple just won regulatory approval for two mystery iPads in Eastern Europe

See the original posting on The Verge

The Eurasian Economic Commission approved two mysterious devices for Apple this week, which could be new, yet unseen iPads, as spotted by the French outlet Consomac. It’s the first time the EEC, which executes business decisions for the Eurasian Union, has approved Apple’s devices, so it’s unclear what devices those model numbers indicate.

Apple is also going to bring several iPad and iPhone devices into Eastern European countries and Russia, with the legislators’ approval. These iPad and iPhone models have “CC” and “AA” prefixes in front of their numbers, which is unusual.

We know very little about the two mystery iPads and what we can piece together is just speculation. In January, a developer found references to an “iPad_Modern” in…

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Google’s Reply app is woefully bland — exactly the way it should be

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Last week, Google’s Area 120 division announced that it’s building a new app that would add Smart Reply features to a number of popular messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger, Slack, and Hangouts. This week, Android Police surfaced an APK so you can download and try Reply on Android devices right now. Note, however, that it’s just a beta, so try it at your own risk.

In my initial testing, the app does work as promised, though it is a little less contextual than Gmail’s version of the feature. When you set up the app, you can add different modes such as “Vacation responder” or “Urgent sound” so the app can detect tones from incoming messages and know how to respond to them. Based on your phone accelerometer, Reply can also tell if…

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Google tries to make Android more enterprise-friendly with new recommendation program

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 With so many Android devices out there to choose from, it’s not always easy to find one that’s enterprise-friendly. To help alleviate that problem, Google announced the Android Enterprise Recommended program today. As the name implies, it’s designed to point enterprise IT departments at devices that Google has deemed to be enterprise-ready. Read More

Gabi gets $9.5M to help car and home owners find better insurance once it’s available

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 If you own a car or home, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is finding the right insurance plan that’ll cover everything you need and save you some money — but those plans are always changing, and consumers are getting stuck footing a bill they don’t necessarily need, according to Hanno Fichter. That’s why he started Gabi, which gives car and home owners a… Read More

A Gentle and Practical Introduction to Progressive Web Apps

See the original posting on DZone Python

Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) have increasingly become an important topic for web developers. If you’ve ever spent any time looking into the subject, it can be… a bit overwhelming. What I hope to do in this article, and the ones that follow is to gently, and slowly, introduce you to the basics of PWAs, what they mean to me, and give you practical advice on how you can start building PWAs today. In the final installment, I’ll share a simple but complete PWA that you can use as a starting off point for your own applications. I’ll also share plenty of resources along the way that can help you learn more.

PWAs are new to me as well, so please let me know in the comments if you think I’ve made a mistake, or perhaps when you simply have an alternative take on the subject matter. Remember that the end goal of all of this discussion is a "Better Web" for your users. A theme you will see me repeat throughout this series is to take baby steps. You don’t need to convert your site over to a "complete PWA" overnight. Every small step you make in improving your app is a good thing. Never forget that!

Friday Hack Chat: Trusting The Autorouter

See the original posting on Hackaday

Ah, the autorouter. Inside every PCB design tool, there’s a function called the ‘autorouter’. This function, when used correctly, is able to automagically lay traces between pads, producing a perfect board in under a minute. The trouble is, no one uses it. We have been told not to trust the autorouters and we hear a lot of other dire warnings about it. The autorouter never works. The autorouter will put traces everywhere. The autorouter doesn’t consider floorplanning, and sometimes you’re going to get traces that go right through the edge of your board. Is avoiding the autorouter sound advice?

For …read more

Nest’s indoor security camera now has Google Assistant built in

See the original posting on The Verge

Smart home company Nest today announced that a promised Google Assistant update for its Cam IQ security camera has now arrived, which brings Google’s voice-based artificial intelligence platform to the indoor version of the camera.

Nest originally promised Google Assistant for the Cam IQ back in September, when it launched the outdoor version of the camera alongside a new video doorbell and home security system. It appears Nest missed the deadline, but the company says it’s now ready to deliver the over-the-air update starting today. (It should be noted that the outdoor version of the Nest Cam IQ is not getting the update.)

In addition to the Google…

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Sheets of scars and giant lip plates: behind the scenes with Black Panther’s makeup designer

See the original posting on The Verge

Fans of genre film have probably seen Joel Harlow’s work, even if they didn’t realize it at the time. The longtime makeup designer and MorphologyFX founder got his start on horror films in the 1980s, including two of the Toxic Avenger films, and went on to multiple Oscar nominations (for The Lone Ranger and Star Trek Beyond) and one win (for 2009’s Star Trek). He’s worked with Johnny Depp on films from the Pirates of the Caribbean series to Alice In Wonderland to Tusk, and on superhero movies from 2000’s X-Men to Green Lantern to Logan. His work includes designing prosthetics and props — as he explained to The Verge in a 2017 interview about his extensive work on Logan, Morphology FX is an all-in-one effects shop that operates onsite at…

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One of Nest’s cameras can now double as a Google Assistant

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 After Google announced earlier this month that it was going to wrap Nest back into Google’s hardware operation, everyone figured we’d see a bit more overlap between the two. Sure enough, just two weeks later: the Nest Cam IQ Indoor is getting support for Google Assistant. Nest says the app update that lets users toggle Google Assistant functionality should hit sometime today. The… Read More

Nest rolls out a $5 cloud recording plan for its cameras

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Just a quick bit of news for those with Nest cams around the house: a new, cheaper Nest Aware (read: the cloud recording service that also gives the camera a bit more smarts) plan is on the way. Nest has long offered two plans: a $10/month plan that lets you store the last 10 days of video history, and a $30/month plan that gave you 30 days of video history. This new plan will cost $5 per… Read More

Qualcomm shares details on its vision for the near-future of mobile VR

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Qualcomm is ready to show off more about what its Snapdragon 845 system architecture can do for the future of VR. Even as headsets based on the Snapdragon 835 reference design — like Lenovo’s positionally tracked Daydream headset — are just gearing up for their stateside release, we’re already looking to what the future of VR  that isn’t tethered to something… Read More

3D printed body parts for transplant

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Anthony Atala, director of Wake Forest University’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, is developing techniques to 3D print human organs for transplant using an individual’s own cells as the “ink.” That way, the transplanted organ won’t trigger the patient’s immune system to reject it as a foreign body. From National Geographic:

(For example,) to create an ear, the printer lays down a pliable, porous scaffold made of hydrogel, a kind of polymer. The scaffold is covered with skin cells and cartilage cells, which grow and fill in the ear-shaped form. The hydrogel eventually biodegrades; after about six months the ear is composed entirely of human cells.

3D Printed Skateboard Mount for Bikes

See the original posting on Hackaday

[Matt Obal] had a problem. The local skatepark was too far to skateboard, but close enough to bike. Carrying a skateboard on a bicycle is a rather awkward (and unsafe) maneuver. [Matt’s] answer to the problem is Truck Stop, a bicycle mounted skateboard carrier he developed and is manufacturing himself.

[Matt’s] work on Truck Stop began about a year ago, with his purchase of a 3D printer. He designed a seat back mounted device that secures the skateboard by wedging between the truck and the board itself. The design is printed in PLA and is hollow. Truck Stop’s strength comes …read more

Netflix’s Lost in Space reboot begins streaming on April 13th

See the original posting on The Verge

Netflix has released the first look at its upcoming reboot of the classic science fiction TV series Lost in Space, which will debut on the service on April 13th.

The company announced the revival in 2016. The show will keep the premise of the original 1965 show: the Robinson family heads into space to establish a new colony but lands on a different world after an accident. The trailer suggests an updated but retro look for the tech and gear, as various members of the Robinson family board their ship in their space suits, accompanied by narration about the adaptability of humanity. The context suggests that Earth isn’t a safe place to live anymore, prompting the efforts to establish a new colony.

There are plenty of nods to the original…

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This is the tech that NFL players are excited about in 2018

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 With the NFL season now over, players finally have time to focus on their passions and side projects, which can be anything from an externship on Capital Hill to angel investing in startups. Some of these activities are facilitated through the NFL Player’s Association, which actually runs a tech accelerator designed to trade player licensing rights for equity. The accelerator is called… Read More

Comedian Jena Friedman jests: ‘treat Nazis like we treat women’

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https://youtu.be/xy2bh1L5_pI

Comedian Jena Friedman killed it in her recent standup set on Conan. I somehow missed this a couple of weeks ago when it came out. Glad it landed in my feed today.

If you liked this, she’s got a new special on Adult Swim called “Soft Focus with Jena Friedman” that’s hilarious too. Her segment with Gilberto Valle (the “Cannibal Cop“) is simultaneously subversive and awkward. Win-win!

The King of Machine Tools

See the original posting on Hackaday

The lathe is known as the King of Machine Tools for a reason. There are very few things that you can’t make with one. In fact, people love to utter the old saw that the lathe is the only machine tool that can make itself. While catchy, I think that’s a bit disingenuous. It’s more accurate to say that there are parts in all machine tools that (arguably) only a lathe can make. In that sense, the lathe is the most “fundamental” machine tool. Before you harbor dreams of self-replication, however, know that most of an early lathe would be …read more

SIM cards could soon be built into processors to save even more space

See the original posting on The Verge

Every millimeter of space matters when you’re trying to build increasingly complex electronics into increasingly tiny packages, and the relatively spacious SIM card has long been an area of frustration for hardware manufacturers. Now, the chip design company ARM may have an answer: an integrated component called an iSIM that’s built into the same chip as the processor.

ARM says the iSIM will take up a “fraction of a millimeter squared,” whereas the current SIM standard — Nano SIMs — are about 12.3 x 8.8mm in size, not including the hardware usually needed to house them. Not only will that save space, but ARM says it’ll more importantly save on costs, too: instead of paying “tens of cents” per card, manufacturers will be paying…

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