When the hackspace where this is being written created their textile room, a member who had previously been known only for her other work unexpectedly revealed herself to be a weaver, and offered the loan of a table-top loom. When set up, it provided an introduction to the art of weaving for the members of all different interests and backgrounds, and many of them have been found laying down a few lines of weft. It’s a simple yet compelling piece of making which captivates even people who might never have considered themselves interested in textiles.
Theres a new smart outlet on Kickstarter, and its modular. Smart outlets are a nice way to make your home automated without adding too much clutter, but they’re usually tied to a specific function or product. That means as soon as theyre outmoded, or if you want the smart outlet to have another use, youre stuck buying and installing another one. Swidgets modular setup is a smart, simple idea that theoretically solves this, making smart outlets future-proof.
The Swidget is made of two components: the outlet itself and the swappable inserts, which can be controlled via the Swidget app. Beyond the app, the company also has plans to make the Swidget compatible with Google Home, Nest, IFTTT, and Stringify.
Ever since the first Legendary Pokémon (read: ultra strong, ultra rare Pokémon that require groups of 10-20 players to capture) appeared in Pokémon Go shortly after the upset that was Go Fest, one thing has remained unclear: were the Legendaries here to stay? Niantic had multiple in-game events/bonuses running in parallel with scheduled ending times, and no one seemed to know if these… Read More
Motorola has announced a new flagship smartphone that will be available on every major U.S. carrier. Some of the noteworthy specifications include a nearly indestructible screen and dual rear-facing camera sensors. The Verge reports: The Moto Z2 Force is the closest thing to a flagship phone that Motorola has released this year, and it’s got all the hardware specs to show for it: inside is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. It runs Android 7.1 with a promised upgrade to Android O to come. That’s all standard fare for an expensive 2017 smartphone, and the Z2 Force is certainly expensive at around $720. It’s priced even higher on some carriers like AT&T ($810). This version is much thinner than last year’s phone, but that sleek design comes with a significant sacrifice in battery capacity; the Z2 Force has a 2,730mAh battery compared to the 3,500mAh battery in the old Moto Z Force. Between this and the Moto Z2 Play, Motorola sure does seem obsessed with slimming things down lately, and what are we gaining? Oh, there’s no headphone jack on this thing either. Be prepared to go wireless or live the dongle life.
The latest version of Google Chrome (version 60, if youre counting) is now available for Windows, Linux, and Mac but the most interesting update for Mac is the addition of Touch Bar support for the newest models of MacBooks, as spotted by 9to5Mac. Chrome 60 now allows Touch Bar users to customize Chrome shortcuts by adding, removing, or rearranging buttons as they please.
You can find this setting by making sure your Chrome version is updated, then heading to View > Customize Touch Bar from the Menu bar. Of course, you can combine laptop controls, such as brightness and volume settings, with the Chrome shortcuts and stack them as you feel comfortable.
Blue Apron announced several changes at the executive level today, including co-founder Matthew Wadiak stepping down from the COO role to become a senior advisor. Wadiak’s changing role comes after a painful IPO for the meal kit delivery service, which first had to reduce its original IPO price and has since seen a significant drop in its share price. Read More
USB-C has long been touted as the universal standard that will save us all, a single port that can charge your phone, your laptop, your tablet, your Bluetooth speaker, and even your Nintendo console, all through a single common port.
Sadly, the future of charging isnt quite that simple, with different voltage requirements, specifications for data transfer and power, and more all making it vastly more complicated to ensure that when you plug something into a USB-C port it will actually work the way you want it to.
With that in mind, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group which counts Apple, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, and others among its members just announced another USB-C specification: USB 3.2. It…
There is one catch, though: ThinkGeek isnt selling the mini retro console as a standalone item for the usual retail price of $59.99. Rather, theres a choice of six bundles ranging from $139.99 (which gets you the console, three canvas art prints, a Zelda jigsaw puzzle, and a Piranha Plant puppet) to $219.99 (for a bundle that includes a wearable Mega Man helmet, arm cannon, and mug). Still, even…
When Atsushi Hashimoto was a kid, he loved role-playing games. Hed settle in front of the television for hours, controller in hand, lost in quests full of magical spells and powerful evils. He was particularly enamored with the works of Squaresoft, now known as Square Enix, the developer behind 16-bit classics like Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger. As he grew older, classic-style Japanese RPGs largely went out of fashion, replaced by a combination of big-budget action games and smaller mobile titles. But Hashimoto never forgot about the games that helped define his relationship with the medium. In 2014 he had the chance to bring them back as the director at Square Enixs Tokyo RPG Factory studio.
Android users will no longer be able to blame emoji for misunderstood texts. Developers working on updating their apps for the upcoming Android O release can now build in support for “emoji compatibility,” which will prevent emoji from showing up as blank boxes when a user isn’t running the most current version of Android with updated characters. They’ll instead display the emoji through the support library. Google published a piece on how people can incorporate this feature into their apps. Although developers will ultimately choose whether they want to include this feature, it’ll likely be beneficial for them, especially if they plan to use new emoji inside their app.
It isn’t clear whether emoji compatibility is coming to Google’s own…
If you want a NES Classic Edition (and you should) but don’t want to pay hundreds on eBay (and you shouldn’t), you’re in luck. ThinkGeek has a few in stock that its parent company, GameStop, mysteriously didn’t sell back when everyone was trying to buy them. They’re on sale right now, and will probably run out within an hour. Read More
Scaling a relational database isnt easy. Scaling a relational database out to multiple replicas and regions over a network while maintaining strong consistency, without sacrificing performance, is really hard.
Let me explain
In the traditional approach to creating web servers, for each incoming request or connection the server spawns a new thread of execution or even forks a new process to handle the request and send a response. Conceptually, this makes perfect sense, but in practice it incurs a great deal of overhead.
Serverless computing may be the hottest thing in cloud computing today, but what, exactly, is it? In this two-part article you’ll get started with serverless computing–from what it is, to why it’s considered disruptive to traditional cloud computing, and how you might find yourself using it in Java-based programming. Following the overview, you’ll get a tutorial introduction to AWS Lambda, which is considered by many the premiere Java-based solution for serverless computing today. In Part 1, you’ll use AWS Lambda to build your first serverless function in Java. In Part 2, you’ll integrate your Lambda functions with DynamoDB, then use the AWS SDK to invoke Lambda functions in a Java application.
Sometimes you run into a few problems when developing your own hardware, and to solve these problems you have to build your own tools. This is exactly how [KC Lee]’s USB Packet Snooper was created. It’s a small device that allows for capturing and analyzing Full Speed USB traffic to debug one of [KC]’s other Hackaday Prize entries.
[KC] is building an HID Multimedia Dial for this year’s Hackaday Prize. It’s kind of like the Microsoft Surface Dial or the ubiquitous Griffin PowerMate that has been on the market for the better part of two decades. This multimedia dial is …read more
Tito Hamze gives an in-depth review of the Sling Studio, a multi-camera production studio that turns your existing cameras wireless and makes your phones into cameras with the ability to control everything from an iPad as a switcher. It’s the most portable multi-cam setup I’ve ever used — and it’s awesome! Read More
In the mid-1970s, if you had your own computer, you probably built it. If you had a lot of money and considerable building skill, you could make an Altair 8800 for about $395 — better than the $650 to have it built. However, cheaper alternatives were not far behind.
In 1976, Popular Electronics published plans for a computer called the COSMAC Elf which you could build for under $100, and much less if you had a good junk box. The design was simple enough that you could build it on a piece of perf board or using wire wrap. We …read more
Netflix announced today that Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and Futurama, will be developing a medieval animated adult fantasy called Disenchantment. Its scheduled to beginstreaming on Netflix in 2018.
The seriess protagonist is a young, hard-drinking princess named Bean (Broad Citys Abbi Jacobson), and her two male companions are a feisty elf named Elfo (Nat Faxon) and a demon named Luci (Eric Andre). While both The Simpsons and Futuramahave dynamic, fleshed-out female characters, this is Groenings first series with a clear female lead.
Rough Draft Studios, the studio that does the art for Futurama, will animate Disenchantment. From the few details Netflix is offering, its easy to imagine a sort of epic-fantasy…
Motorola just formally announced the newest addition to its collection of Moto Mod add-ons, a 360-degree camera that magnetically attaches to the back of any of the Moto Z series of devices.
I had a few minutes to try out the new Mod, and it more or less works pretty much as advertised. The white back case isnt much thicker than Motorolas other wireless charging add-ons except for the giant, two-sided camera that sticks out of the top. The module is probably a little bit too big to casually keep attached to your phone as a day-to-day option, but the modular nature of the Moto Mod system makes it super simple to detach it when youre not using it.
Once attached, the phone automatically recognized the Mod, with the…