Be a dapper zapper with the ZapCane

See the original posting on Boing Boing

The ZapCane comes complete with a flashlight, and a 1MM volt stun gun. It also supports you, as you walk.

I was looking at canes, like you do when you have a bad back, and thinking “Maybe it is finally time for a sword cane?” or something along those lines. Then I saw the ZapCane.

Complete with a handy flashlight in a fairly useless location to help you with the walking. The true charm of the ZapCane is its 1MM volt stun gun. The entire bottom extension of the cane becomes a highly unpleasant electrified surface.

Why would someone need a ZapCane? In some really rough urban spots, people with impaired mobility may find it necessary to fend off attackers! Maybe you could use the ZapCane as a silly way to try and fend off a bear, before the bear eats your fucking face off.

I am a huge fan of the fritz handle. It is the most comfortable for actually walking. Also notable, this cane is size adjustable without cutting.

ZAP ZAPCANE Cane – 1 Millionv Stun Gun Walking Cane with Flashlight & Carrying Case via Amazon

Load Cells Tell You to Lay Off the Donuts

See the original posting on Hackaday

Our old algebra teacher used to say, “You have to take what you know and use it to get what you don’t know.” That saying always reminds of us sensors that convert physical quantities into things our microcontrollers can measure. Sometimes the key to a project is knowing what kind of sensor will read the physical properties of the system you are interested in. If that physical property is weight, you can use what is known as a load cell. [DegrawSt] uses four 50 kg load cells to create a bathroom scale using an Arduino.

Load cells typically contain strain …read more

Huawei’s Mate 10 Lite will come with four cameras

See the original posting on The Verge

One of the last flagship phone lineups scheduled for release this fall has just leaked. No, not that one. I’m talking about Huawei, which we now know is readying to unveil three new Mate smartphones on October 16th, according to VentureBeat’s Evan Blass: the Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, and Mate 10 Lite. And while we’ve known about the first two for a few weeks, new information about the $455 Mate 10 Lite shows Huawei is angling for a new kind of advantage in mobile photography by using four cameras on the phone.

Yes, both the back and front of the phone will employ a dual-camera setup, according to Blass. But they’ll be a little different from what we’ve come to expect with dual cameras. Both the front and back will have a main camera (a…

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The Apple TV 4K will eventually support Dolby Atmos

See the original posting on The Verge

The reviews are out for the new Apple TV 4K, and while the box is priced as a luxury product, it doesn’t yet support the highest-quality AV standards. The new Apple TV, as The Verge‘s editor-in-chief Nilay Patel reports, isn’t yet compatible with the Dolby Atmos surround sound format, a must-have for modern home theater setups. Apple confirmed to The Verge, however, that it’ll eventually support Atmos, although it didn’t provide a timeline.

You should read Nilay’s full review because he explains the joys of Atmos and the letdown that is Apple neglecting to support it at launch. What’s particularly befuddling about the company’s omission is that Atmos is supported by other, cheaper set-top boxes. The cheapest Roku players support it, as…

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iOS 11: How to get the most out of the new Control Center

See the original posting on The Verge

One of the biggest changes in iOS 11 for most users is the new Control Center, which Apple has completely overhauled with a new design that puts everything from the old, multi-pane system in one central location.But the biggest addition might be the fact that after years of waiting, Apple is finally letting users customize parts of Control Center.

Confused by the new design? Crippled by choice with all the options? To help out, we’ve put together some of the best ways to make the most of the new Control Center.


The basics

First things first, you’ll want to get to know your way around the Control Center. There’s basically two halves to the new menu. The top part contains wireless connectivity settings, music controls, volume and…

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MGM just launched a dedicated streaming service for Stargate fans

See the original posting on The Verge

At San Diego Comic-Con this summer, MGM dropped a big announcement: it was bringing back the long-running Stargate franchise with a new show: Stargate Origins, a 10-episode prequel web series. Along with that news, it also announced a new website called Stargate Command, which will become the de facto online home for fans of the franchise. That site launched yesterday, and it’s a dedicated streaming service for all things Stargate.

Huge back catalogs of content have helped bring streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu enormous levels of success. But while there are major streaming platforms out there, there is also a multitude of ones that target a specific audience, such as Comic Con HQ. Disney has also announced a streaming…

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Can Damon Lindelof successfully adapt Alan Moore’s Watchmen?

See the original posting on The Verge

Alan Moore’s Watchmen is a step closer to being adapted once more, this time by Lost and The Leftovers creator Damon Lindelof at the helm. HBO has given the project a pilot order and ordered additional scripts, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Yesterday, Lindelof posted an image to Instagram that depicted a trophy given to one of the heroes, Hollis Mason, when he retired from crime fighting in the comics.

In June, THR revealed that the network had put the show into development with Lindelof. It’s the second try for HBO, which began discussing a Watchmen series with Zack Snyder in 2015, who directed the 2009 film adaptation. Lindelof is developing the show from scratch, according to Variety.

Written by Moore and illustrated by Dave…

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This AR app solves Sudoku puzzles using your iPhone’s camera

See the original posting on The Verge

Now that iOS 11 is available to download, there are plenty of new AR apps to explore, including ones that let you place Ikea furniture or add random GIFs to your surroundings. If brain games are more your thing, there’s one app that solves (or ruins) Sudoku problems when you’re stuck. Through Apple’s ARKit, the app figures out the answer to a puzzle. All a user has to do is point the camera at a printed Sudoku grid and the phone can automatically fill out the blank squares.

Called Magic Sudoku, the app takes advantage of iOS 11’s capabilities, and it’s most useful for those stumped by a particularly hard puzzle. At the moment the app solves the whole puzzle, though there’s more features to come — perhaps a hint option that solves a…

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A 4K Roku streaming stick will reportedly be released this fall

See the original posting on The Verge

Roku will finally release a competitor to the Chromecast Ultra later this fall, according to a report from Zatz Not Funny. The new 4K Roku Streaming Stick+ will retain the actual stick design, according to the site, which has leaked numerous Roku and Amazon Fire TV announcements ahead of time over the recent years.

Photo: Zatz Not Funny

Roku will also reportedly release a new version of its remote as well, which features a slight redesign with new power and voice control buttons, and possibly more control over your TV via HDMI-CEC.

With Apple already selling a new version of its Apple TV and Amazon expected to update its line of Fire TV products, it’s only a matter of time before Roku throws its hat in the ring and…

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Pinterest opens up more than 5,000 interests for advertiser targeting through its Taste Graph

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Pinterest builds itself around visual discovery — the idea that you can come to the site or app, see something you like, and immediately dive down a rabbit hole. The company has built an extensive suite of tools internally to figure out which rabbit hole to divert users to, and now it’s opening up some of that knowledge to advertisers. Pinterest said today that it’s… Read More

Nvidia Shield TV gets a new, lower price ahead of Apple TV 4K launch

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Nvidia’s Shield TV, an Android TV-based device that’s currently the best option available for 4K streaming fans, is getting a price drop with a new package that leaves out the included video game controller. Bundled with just the remote, the 16GB Shield TV is now $179 – $20 cheaper than the Shield TV bundle that also includes the joypad, and in line with the pricing of the… Read More

Watch FlashPants, an over-the-top ’80s tribute cover band

See the original posting on Boing Boing

If you’re looking for an over-the-top ’80s “party dance band” with all the bells and whistles (and little red track short-shorts), FlashPants is the one for you. I just learned of them from their explosive, perfect-score appearance on The Gong Show, but seems they’ve been doing their thing for a while now. They claim to be the “most booked band in California,” playing at over 200 gigs a year.

For their win on The Gong Show, they took home a check for $2000.17 and a glorious trophy:

Previously: Watch this Jewish surf band rock the new ‘Gong Show’

Ba-de-ya, the 21st of September will always be special to songwriter Allee Willis

See the original posting on Boing Boing

“Do you remember… the 21st night of September?”

This September 21st, and every September 21st, will never be forgotten by my dear friend-in-kitsch, Allee Willis.

If you aren’t aware, Allee co-wrote the song “September” for Earth, Wind, & Fire. When it quickly climbed to the top of the charts at its release, it forever changed the course of her life for the better.

A few years ago, she shared a funny story about the song’s “Ba-de-ya” lyrics with NPR:

The story of the song begins in 1978. Allee Willis was a struggling songwriter in LA — until the night she got a call from Maurice White, the leader of Earth, Wind & Fire. White offered her the chance of a lifetime: to co-write the band’s next album. Willis arrived at the studio the next day hoping it wasn’t some kind of cosmic joke.

“As I open the door, they had just written the intro to ‘September.’ And I just thought, ‘Dear God, let this be what they want me to write!’ Cause it was obviously the happiest-sounding song in the world,” Willis says.

Using a progression composed by Earth, Wind & Fire guitarist Al McKay, White and Willis wrote the song over the course of a month, conjuring images of clear skies and dancing under the stars. Willis says she likes songs that tell stories, and that at a certain point, she feared the lyrics to “September” were starting to sound simplistic. One nonsense phrase bugged her in particular.

“The, kind of, go-to phrase that Maurice used in every song he wrote was ‘ba-dee-ya,’ ” she says. “So right from the beginning he was singing, ‘Ba-dee-ya, say, do you remember / Ba-dee-ya, dancing in September.’ And I said, ‘We are going to change ‘ba-dee-ya’ to real words, right?’ ”

Wrong. Willis says that at the final vocal session she got desperate and begged White to rewrite the part.

“And finally, when it was so obvious that he was not going to do it, I just said, ‘What the f- – – does ‘ba-dee-ya’ mean?’ And he essentially said, ‘Who the f- – – cares?'” she says. “I learned my greatest lesson ever in songwriting from him, which was never let the lyric get in the way of the groove.”

Allee is easily one of the coolest people on the planet, a true living legend. I urge you to read this 2015 Washington Post feature on her titled, “Allee Willis is the most interesting woman you’ve never heard of.” Trust me, she is!

And, by the way, if you’re in the Detroit area next week, Allee’s hosting a free party at the Detroit Institute of Arts to celebrate the video release of her new song. It’s called “The D” and it’s a tribute to her hometown of Detroit. She spent several years and several thousands of dollars rounding up over 5,000 Detroiters — the most people in history on a record — to sing “The D.”

Njalla touts a reliable way to privately own domains: let it own them for you

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Domain privacy is an annoying and complicated thing. U.S. registrar-based whois anonymity crumbles with a court order or even just a legal nastygram. Obfuscating your whois is usually against the terms of service. Many top-level domains require a real, contactable, legal entity — you! — to be there in black and white. Njalla offers to solve the problem by registering and owning the domain on your behalf.

We care about your right to privacy. We believe it’s an important piece of democracy that we have the right to be anonymous.

Njalla was started because we couldn’t find a domain name service that we ourselves wanted to use. Our goals are to be caring about privacy, simple and flexible.

When you buy a domain in our system, we’re actually purchasing it for ourselves. We will be the actual owners of the domain, it’s not an ownership by proxy as found with all other providers. However, you will still have the full control over the domain name. You can either use our information, our nameservers or you can go with your custom data.

If you ever want to move the domain from our system, we’ll of course give you the domain without any additional costs.

I guess it comes down to whether you trust registrars and TLD operators less than you trust an EU-based startup. Has anyone got any experience or expertise to share?

53% off Cable Organizer Electronics Accessories Travel Bag – Deal Alert

See the original posting on JavaWorld

Do you have a ball of tangled up wires and adapters somewhere in the bottom of your bag? This Universal Electronics Accessories Travel Organizer provides a flexible organization solution for your electronics and computer accessories. It helps make you better organized with all the small items and gadgets.  Made of durable and weather-resistant nylon with well padded semi-flexible covers.  It’s compact size of  8.8“ x W 6.1″allows it to easily stored in you laptop bag or backpack.  This travel organizers typical list price of $18.99 has been reduced 53% to just $9. See this deal on Amazon.

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Nvidia’s Shield TV now sells for $179 to compete with the Apple TV 4K

See the original posting on The Verge

The 4K version of the Apple TV comes out tomorrow. So to get a jump on prospective buyers, Nvidia is making an announcement about its own 4K streaming box today: it’s introducing a new configuration of the Shield TV that will sell for $179, the same price as Apple’s latest streaming box.

This isn’t a huge change for the Shield TV. The streaming box currently sells for $200 and includes a remote and a game controller, since the device is also meant to be used to play games. The new configuration of the Shield TV includes the same amount of storage, 16GB, but it won’t come bundled with a game controller — just a remote.

That means Nvidia is squarely targeting the streaming crowd here. It’s not a bad idea for a device that supports 4K HDR,…

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