Click Your Heels Thrice, Hail a Cab Home

See the original posting on Hackaday

If Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz were to wake up in 2017, with her magic Ruby Slippers on her feet, she’d probably believe she had woken up in a magical world. But modern folks will need a little more magic to impress them. Like Clicking your heels thrice to get home with these Uber ruby slippers. [Hannah Joshua] was tasked by her employer to build a quirky maker project. She got an idea when a friend complained about having trouble hailing a cab at the end of a hard day at work.

[Hannah] started with ruby colored slippers with …read more

Images hidden in Pokémon Go suggest new Pokémon might appear around Halloween

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 If you’re still poking around Pokémon Go, there’s a good chance you’ve caught most of what’s available by now. Good news! It seems Niantic is getting really, really close to adding Gen 3 (or “Hoenn”) Pokémon to the game. Some of them, at least. Our friends at The Silph Road (a community of Go players who connect the game’s many invisible dots,… Read More

WeChat begins censoring users ahead of China’s National Party Congress

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Expect to see plenty of censorship news coming out of China over the next week.
The country’s National Congress is a hugely influential political summit that takes place every five years and includes the selection of central party leadership. It is also a time when Chinese censors are on high alert, particularly when it comes to online media.
The next summit, the 19th, takes place on… Read More

Android Oreo Helps Google’s Pixel 2 Smartphones Outperform Other Android Flagships

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MojoKid highlights Hot Hardware’s review of Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones: Google officially launched it’s Pixel 2 phones today, taking the wraps off third-party reviews. Designed by Google but manufactured by HTC (Pixel 2) and LG (Pixel 2 XL), the two new handsets also boast Google’s latest Android 8.0 operating system, aka Oreo, an exclusive to Google Pixel and certain Nexus devices currently. And in some ways, this is also a big advantage. Though they are based on the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor as many other Android devices, Google’s new Pixel 2s manage to outpace similarly configured smartphones in certain benchmarks by significant margins (Basemark, PCMark and 3DMark). They also boot dramatically faster than any other Android handset on the market, in as little as 10 seconds. Camera performance is also excellent, with both the 5-inch Pixel 2 and 6-inch Pixel 2 XL sporting identical electronics, save for their displays and chassis sizes. Another notable feature built into Android Oreo is Google Now Playing, an always-listening, Shazam-like service (if you enable it) that displays song titles on the lock screen if it picks up on music playing in the room you’re in. Processing is done right on the Pixel 2 and it doesn’t need network connectivity. Another Pixel 2 Oreo-based trick is Google Lens, a machine vision system that Google notes “can recognize places like landmarks and buildings, artwork that you’d find in a museum, media covers such as books, movies, music albums, and video games…” The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are available now on Verizon or unlocked via the Google Store starting at $649 and $849 respectively for 64GB storage versions, with a $100 up-charge for 128GB variants.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Facebook Live now has a built-in screen-sharing function

See the original posting on The Verge

Today, Facebook added the ability to directly share your screen on Facebook Live, as spotted by The Next Web. Previously, third-party software was needed to do the same thing.

As shown in the below tweet, the option now appears on the right-hand side under “FaceTime Camera” with a button marked “Share Screen.”

If you click on “Share Screen” a prompt will follow asking to install the Facebook Screen Sharing extension to your browser. The Next Web says the option was available in Chrome, but not in Firefox. Then, when you do share your screen, you’ll be able to…

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EA shuts down Dead Space studio Visceral, but its Star Wars game is still alive

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EA has announced that it’s shutting down Visceral Games, the studio best known for developing the Dead Space series of games and Battlefield Hardline. Visceral was in the middle of work on an upcoming Star Wars title, which EA says will live on in some form, with EA Worldwide Studios and EA Vancouver taking over development.

According to EA executive vice president Patrick Söderlund, Visceral’s take on the Star Wars title would have been a “story-based, linear adventure game,” which the company has decided needed to be shifted toward a “broader experience.”

EA isn’t elaborating too much on what the reimagined title will look like, but the brief description it gave about rebuilding…

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Google is testing out adding third-party accounts to Gmail on iOS

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Google is testing out the ability to add third-party email services to the Gmail app on iOS. If enabled, it would put the app directly in competition with Apple’s own default Mail app, along with other third-party email apps like Spark and Edison Mail.

Google has offered the option to add third-party accounts on Android phones for a while, which made sense, given that Gmail is the default (and sometimes, only) email app preinstalled on many Android devices. But offering the ability to support other email accounts could indicate a shift in how Google views its iOS app — not only as the best place for accessing Gmail accounts, but as the best email app on the platform, period.

Apple restricts users from changing the default app for…

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WhatsApp now lets you share your location in real time

See the original posting on The Verge

WhatsApp announced today that you’ll be able to share your location in real time with friends on your contact list, a popular feature borrowed from its parent company Facebook. The feature, called Live Location, should be available starting today and is coming to both the iOS and Android versions of WhatsApp. Facebook officially rolled out temporary location sharing in Messenger back in May, having experimented with the idea in different formats within Messenger and the main Facebook app for years.

To use Live Location, you open a chat with a person or group. Under “Location” in the attach button, tap “Share Live Location.” You can set a timer for how long you want to share your location, and everyone you’ve chosen to send your location…

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Spare RPi? You Have a Currency Trading Platform

See the original posting on Hackaday

While Bitcoin and other altcoins are all the rage these days, there is still a lot of activity in the traditional currency exchanges. Believe it or not, there’s money to be made there as well, although it rarely makes fanciful news stories like cryptocurrency has been. Traditional currency trading can be done similar to picking stocks, but if you’d rather automate your particular trading algorithm you can set up a Raspberry Pi to make money by trading money.

This particular project by [dmitry] trades currency on the Forex exchange using an already-existing currency trading software package called MetaTrader. This isn’t …read more

Razer Blade Stealth updated with quad-core eighth-gen processors

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It may feel like it was just yesterday when Razer updated its Blade Stealth laptop (it was actually in June), but the company is back with another refresh to the high-end configuration of the 13.3-inch laptop, adding one of Intel’s latest eighth-gen quad-core i7 processors.

The new processor is the Intel i7-8550U, clocked at 1.8 GHz, which can be boosted to 4.0 GHz. Otherwise, the new Stealth is pretty much the same as the updated model from June. It’s got the same 3200 x 1800, 13.3-inch display, 16GB of RAM, and color choices of the classic black and the more professional gunmetal gray option introduced earlier this year.

To go along with the updated Blade Stealth,…

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With the return of fall comes the return of a fantastic pop culture mystery

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What does fall mean to you?

Perhaps that it’s time to talk about death without it being weird? Perhaps it’s thinking of a topical-and-clever-but-cool-and-comfortable-and-cheap-and-flattering Halloween costume? Or washing your sweaters over and over, even though nothing makes them stop smelling like basement? Time to pull your Bon Iver-heavy playlists out of storage and think your saddest thoughts? Maybe “fall” to you means artificial pumpkin spice and apple flavors, and if so, that’s fine. Maybe “fall” is just a little pit stop before you get to the good stuff: the snow and twinkly lights stuff. Maybe the meaning of “fall” is inarticulable for you, but you know it makes you feel a little wild and possessed. Maybe you’re a witch? Cool!


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Magic Leap confirms $502 million Series D round

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 Mixed reality slash augmented reality startup Magic Leap announced today that it raised a $502 million Series D round led by Temasek with participation from EDBI, Grupo Globo, Janus Henderson, Alibaba Group, Fidelity Management and others. Just last week, a Delaware filing confirmed that Magic Leap authorized up to $1 billion in new shares. “We’re excited to welcome Temasek and… Read More

This computer case looks like it has a tiny dancing girl inside it

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Hatsune Miku is a virtual idol created by a music software company. Thanks to a liberal user license, people can create apps and videos starring the turquoise-haired performer. Here’s a guy who made a PC case that looks like Miku chan is living inside it.

From Brian Ashcraft at Kotaku:

Virtual idol Hatsune Miku appears to be dancing inside this modded PC case, which was recently shown in Osaka.

Amazing, no?

Created do-it-yourself PC get together, the case mod is outfitted with a clear LCD panel, giving the appearance that Miku is dancing. This case mod was on display earlier this summer in Tokyo.

Buy Steve McQueen’s auto racing suit from Le Mans

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You will never be as cool as Steve McQueen, but for around $500,000, you could win the actual Hinchman race suit and Bell helmet he sported in Le Mans, the classic 1971 auto racing film. It’s up for bid at Sotheby’s on December 6 as part of the New York – Icons auction. Of course you’ll still need to save your pennies for the blue #20 Gulf-Porsche 917K that last sold at auction for $14 million.

(via Uncrate)

Hackaday Prize Entry: Playing With USB Power Delivery

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USB Power Delivery is the technology that’s able to pump 100 Watts down a USB cable. It’s been around for half a decade now, but only in the last few years have devices and power supplies supporting USB PD shown up on the market. This is a really interesting technology, and we can’t wait to see the outcome of people messing around with five amps flowing through a cable they picked up at the dollar store, but where are the DIY solutions to futz around with USB PD?

For his Hackaday Prize entry, [Clayton] is doing just that. He’s built …read more

Amazon patents a drone that delivers a charge to power up EVs on the go

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 A recent Amazon patent could be an answer to range anxiety, albeit one that sounds a bit more sci-fi than practical solution at the moment: the newly granted patent (via Roadshow) describes a drone that could carry a battery charge for electric cars, and deliver them to any cars out on the road that need them while in route, providing enough juice to get to a proper charging station.… Read More

What a Transparent Day: A new musical compilation of psych nuggets is upon us

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When the original Nuggets collection came out in 1972 on Elektra Records….it was a BIG thing. Collecting some of the greatest garage and psych recordings from the 60s, the record took a period of music that was only, at most, seven years old and celebrated it as if it were straight from Tut’s tomb (with a third eye hovering above) holding it up as a pantheon of one of recorded sound’s greatest (drippiest?) evolutionary eras.

Found within the grooves were not songs from the mega bands of the time, like the Rolling Stones, The Beatles, or The Jimi Hendrix Experience, but instead bands that emerged from the garage…bands with no-hits, regional hits and the occasional national hit. Bands with names like The Chocolate Watchband, The Blues Magoos and The Magic Mushrooms. Dig it, man? Bands that were making music that realized, musically and lyrically, the free, rebellious, acid visions that bled from the streets and the clubs of both the big cities and the small rural lands across America. Nuggets made the music accessible, influencing the tastes of the next generation of music freaks (and influencing musicians as well).

With the success of Nuggets came more volumes. A box set. Another box set featuring European Nuggets. All releases killer. ll presenting the drooling enthusiast with wonderful psychedelic sounds excavated from oblivion. And there were other great compilation series adding to the conversation: Pebbles (VOLUME 3!), Back From The Grave, Acid Visions, Psychedelic Pstones, anon. With each release, a feeling of amazement that there was still quality music to be mined from a relatively brief era.

Flash forward to this past Summer….the 50th anniversary of the Summer Of Love. Celebrations of flower power everywhere and with them, a slew of music reissues and compilations. None of them very good, most mere embarrassing marketing ploys (the Monkees comp, which does not even include their psychedelic masterpiece Porpoise Song, needs to be avoided).

Which makes it that much more amazing that the Summer saw the release of yet another volume of Nuggets, one that continues the genius of the past volumes. Transparent Days: West Coast Nuggets (Rhino Records) was compiled by friend and musicologist premier Alec Palao. It is hard to believe Palao pulled off what is another four sides of amazing nuggets from the 60s, many that have been completely lost in time. And in classic Nuggets fashion, it features both bands unknown and bands that have become celebrated over the years by the now-playing crowd.

For this set, Palao plays archeologist with the Warner Brothers “family of catalogs” including Valiant Records, Reprise, Autumn, Elektra and York Records. He breaks his compilation up into four thematic sides: Folk Rock, Garage Punk, Pop-Psych, and Psychedelia, providing thoroughly researched liner notes that properly frame each side and each song. The comp comes in a strange-yet compelling gatefold package with a dada-esque cover, sleek clear vinyl and a pull-out Acid Test-inspired poster showcasing the editorial content.

Like the best Nuggets releases, it is hard not to mention so many stand-out tracks. So let’s take a few. The title track comes from the enigmatic ensemble The West Coast Pop Art Experimental band. It is a wistful groovy little number, opening the record by asking the listener “Tell me what to do. Tell me how high to go.” OK—let’s go really high. Let’s go high with the Peanut Butter Conspiracy and their build-up groover “Time Is After You” where the beat-poetic driving chorus is followed by a mysterious sound…of someone taking a hit? No. no way….not here. But then the lyrics start blending into each other… things begin to change… maybe there is something to this wacky tabbacky they were espousing back then.

There is the sing-song jingle-jangle of the Dover’s “I Could Be Happy” and the also catchy “Bye Bye Bye” by the Tikis, featuring harmonies by Harper’s Bizarre vocalist and future Van Halen producer Ted Templeman. The Association, one of the most well-known bands of the era present here, breaks its squeaky clean image with a dark, journeying number wonderfully titled “Pandora’s Golden Heebie Jeebies”: “And I will see the sparrow/That need no longer fly/And all that will be left for me to do/Is die.” Yes, even popsters can ride a bummer.

The Garage Punk side blasts off with the sizzle guitar driven you-really-got-me-now feel of “Make It Easy” by the Collectors followed by the For-Your-Love vibed “I’ll Sell My Soul” by the Mohave Dessert’s sun-warped Allies. Oh yeah. The side also features an instant garage rock classic, Art Guy’s “Where You Gonna Go.” Fuzz. Fuzz everywhere. Fuzz all over “She’s My Baby” from The Mojo Men, fuzz taking hostage The Ballroom’s cover of “Baby Please Don’t Go,” which ends in a cacophony of amped-up nonsense.

Are you getting the picture? The compilation is filled to the brim.

The psychedelic side is the e-ticket ride however, starting out with the driving “Come Alive” from the collector-scum-bag embraced “Things to Come.” It is followed by The Glass House’s haunted “House of Glass,” driving rhythms and organ that reminds us that there is “No need to hide/in a house of glass/Love can be seen/ And it’s such a gas.” The Bonniwell Music Machine (really the same The Music Machine that had the hit with “Talk Talk”) Captain Beefhearts its way through the barrage that is “The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly” followed by the Electric Prunes rarity “Shadows,” in its original Mono splendor, featuring the growls of James Lowe and the heavy electric guitar sounds of Ken Williams, together defining the band and in some ways the sound of whole era. The instrumental liquidation of The Ceyleib People’s Changes paves the way for the often forgot fragile epic “Your Mind and We Belong Together” from Los Angeles’ favorite sons Love, finishing the side and the comp.

There is no denying that this Nuggets is very much like the final Game Of Thrones novel that we did not even know to look forward to. It is thoroughly satisfying. And while we live in an age where musicologists rule and new lost collections of bygone day recordings are commonplace in the racks of your local record store, there is something extra special about a new Nuggets compilation, one that courageously continues the mind bending tradition, started so many years ago, of saluting the lysergic laminations of a tripping period of time that was like no other.

Transparent Days: West Coast Nuggets (Amazon)

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