There’s more to battle royale games than Fortnite and PUBG

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Fortnite is the biggest game on the planet right now. It’s played by more than 125 million people, including a host of celebrities, and it dominates services like Twitch. While Fortnite and its predecessor PUBG popularized the battle royale genre — where groups of 100 fight until only one player remains — that kind of success leads to plenty of imitators. Even blockbuster shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield are getting in on the action.

Amid this deluge, it can be tough to separate what’s actually cool from the games that are simply following a fad. There are a number of other experiences doing interesting things in this space. And since many of them also happen to be free, they’re worth checking out to see what else is possible…

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X-Men: Grand Design 12 – One Fateful Day

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Ed Piskor‘s offering an annotated page-by-page look at the first part of X-Men: Grand Design, his epic retelling of how Marvel comics’ pantheon of heroes came to be. Catch up here. — Eds.

Director’s commentary…

This post concludes our director’s commentary feature for X-Men: Grand Design. Putting actual words to many of the creative choices that went into making these strips has proven really valuable to my process personally, and it’s inspired an artillery of questions that I have in regards to the way my favorite cartoonists operate.

Lots of seemingly random cartooning influences have affected me while putting this page together but I realize that a common thread they all share is that they were covered in the ‘80s documentary, Comic Book Confidential. I’ve gone on at length about the effect this film had on me but I’ll leave it up to you to google that if you’re curious. I guess another common thread these cartoonists possess is that they’re just some of the best the medium has to offer.

The mud on Xavier’s boots is a detail that Jack Davis would incorporate in his EC war books. The third panel is a riff on a Jaime Hernandez back cover to a fairly recent issue of Love and rockets. The stark red and black panel 4 is inspired by an iconic Jaime Hernandez front cover to an older issue of Love and Rockets. In panel 5 the first image of the helmeted Cain Mariko looks like a Harvey Kurtzman soldier from his Two-Fisted Tales series from EC comics in the 1950s. That giant hand in the second to last panel is unapologetically Jack Kirby-inspired. Frank Miller and his mentor Will Eisner would often use an all-black panel to create a beat or pause in the action.

If there’s anything to learn from the commentaries that I’ve been posting these past 12 weeks, it’s that I steal from the best. In comics it’s often called “swiping”. In Hip Hop it’s called “sampling”. I’m like a DJ, my comics collection acts my records, and the books I make are my albums.

The first X-Men Grand Design collection is now available for purchase on Amazon! Stay tuned for another strip this time next week.

You can pre-order X-Men: Grand Design, Second Genesis on Amazon today.

The secret RPG history of an enabler of America’s border child kidnapping policy

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When Bryant Durrell was in college, he played D&D with an amazing Dungeon Master, Eric, who was obsessed with the moral dimension of the game, constructing thoughtful, elaborate campaigns to get the players to reflect on the nature of good and evil — the players jokingly called the setting Eric created “Catholic World.”

Louis Vuitton Windows CE pocket computer on eBay

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Louis Vuitton’s Windows CE gadget was a misstep. Pocket PCs were unpopular gadgets of questionable utility even in their day: obsolete in a heartbeat and now draped with the comical stink of Microsoft at its nadir. It hardly speaks to the timeless quality a luxury brand wants to conjure, even as a promotional stocking stuffer.

As an artifact, though, what an oddity! I’d get it for sheer ironic magnitude – with a WiFi CF Card [Amazon] you should be able to get it online – but it’s listed for $680, OBO and a Jornada 728 would be a better choice.

Perhaps Louis Vuitton should make a branded case for the Gemini PDA, a far classier (and more functional) expression of the ultra-mobile PC concept.

An Arduino Powered Tank Built To Pull Planes

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Surely our readers are well aware of all the downsides of owning an airplane. Certainly the cost of fuel is a big one. Birds are a problem, probably. That bill from the traveling propeller sharpener is a killer too…right? Alright fine, we admit it, nobody here at Hackaday owns an airplane. But probably neither do most of you; so don’t look so smug, pal.

But if you did own a plane, or at least work at a small airport, you’d know that moving the things around on the ground is kind of a hassle. Smaller planes can be pulled by …read more

Amazon made a special version of Alexa for hotels with Echo speakers in their rooms

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Amazon is today introducing Alexa for Hospitality, a special version of the company’s voice assistant that will be distributed on an invitation basis to hotels, vacation rental spaces, and other locations starting today.

The Alexa experience will be customized and tailored to each individual hospitality location, so guests will be able to do things like order room service, request a housekeeping visit, or adjust room controls (thermostat, blinds, lights, etc.) using an Echo in their room. They can also ask location-specific questions such as what time the hotel pool closes or where the fitness center is.

Marriott International plans to integrate Alexa for Hospitality at select Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis Hotels…

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Alexa is coming to Spain and Italy later this year

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Amazon launched its Echo devices in France earlier this month, and it’s now planning to bring Alexa and Echo products to Spain and Italy later this year. The Echo range of devices will be available, alongside Sonos and Bose Alexa-enabled products. Amazon is allowing developers to get early access to test their Alexa skills in both Spanish and Italian, in preparation for the product launches.

Alexa’s launch in Spanish will be a significant step for the digital assistant, as it’s one of the most popular languages in the world. Alexa is currently available in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Japan, India, Ireland, Canada, and France. Amazon isn’t saying exactly when Alexa will be available in Spain or Italy, but the company is…

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Nvidia uses AI to create convincing slow-mo video by filling in extra frames

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Creating slow motion footage is all about capturing a large number of frames per second. If you don’t record enough, then as soon as you slow down your video it becomes choppy and unwatchable. Unless, that is, you use artificial intelligence to imagine the extra frames.

New research from chip designer Nvidia does exactly that, using deep learning to turn 30 frames-per-second video into gorgeous, 240 frames-per-second slow-motion. Essentially, the AI system looks at two different frames and then creates intermediary footage by tracking the movement of objects from one frame to the next. It’s not the same as actually imagining footage like a human brain does, but it produces accurate (though not perfect) results.

The process will need…

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Adobe is integrating PDF services directly into Microsoft Office 365

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Microsoft and Adobe are extending their close partnership this week with the integration of Adobe PDF services into Office 365. Adobe’s PDF services will be available from the ribbon inside web versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Office 365 commercial users will be able to convert documents into PDFs all while preserving font choices, formatting, layouts, and password protection.

The PDF integration follows news of Microsoft’s plans to redesign its Office web apps to be more modern and a lot faster to use. Microsoft is starting to test a simplified ribbon for and its Office desktop apps, and Office on the web will now include avatars for comments and dedicated colors for participants who are also viewing and editing the…

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Eclipse’s RAP Push Session Revisited

See the original posting on DZone Python

A few years ago, I wrote an article on Eclipse’s RAP Push Session mechanism. To review, the Remote Application Platform team faced the problem that a full-fledged Rich Client application comes with its conundrums when this needs to be implemented with HTTP and JavaScript. A regular rich client can respond to any event that it receives, while HTTP always starts with an event that is spawned in the client itself. Usually, this problem is tackled by polling the event source, and generating a UI event when the event source changes. The Push Session mechanism provided such a mechanism in Eclipse RAP but needed a bit of boilerplate code to make it work. My previous post addressed this issue.

I’ve been using the proposed mechanism for a few years, without too much ado, but there were a few developments which made me reconsider the solution I wrote about. The main ones are:

Oppo’s Find X ditches the notch for pop-up cameras

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If there’s a singular trend to point to for phones in 2018, it’s the effort to cram as much screen into a device as possible. Oppo’s new Find X, which is being officially announced in Paris today, combines a number of trendy design ideas, plus some even newer tricks, to fit an extremely large 6.4-inch display into a phone that you can still hold in one hand. The Find X’s design is so space efficient that Oppo claims it has a screen to body ratio of 92.25 percent. And it does this without utilizing a notch, which should make at least some people happy.

The most interesting aspect of the Find X’s design is its camera system, which is completely hidden when the phone is off or the camera app is closed. When you turn the Find X on and open…

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Tables are Turned as Robots Assemble IKEA Furniture

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Hackaday pages are rife with examples of robots being built with furniture parts. In this example, the tables are turned and robots are the masters of IKEA pieces. We are not silly enough to assume that these robots unfolded the instructions, looked at one another, scratched their CPUs, and began assembling. Of course, the procedure was preordained by the programmers, but the way they mate the pegs into the ends of the cross-members is a very human thing to do. It reminds us of finding a phone charging socket in the dark. This kind of behavior is due to force …read more

Hybrid Lab Power Supply From Broken Audio Amp

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The lab power supply is an essential part of any respectable electronics workbench. However, the cost of buying a unit that has all the features required can be eye-wateringly high for such a seemingly simple device. [The Post Apocalyptic Inventor] has showed us how to build a quality bench power supply from the guts of an old audio amplifier.

We’ve covered our fair share of DIY power supplies here at Hackaday, and despite this one being a year old, it goes the extra mile for a number of reasons. Firstly, many of the expensive and key components are salvaged from …read more

Fun With Python

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“My favorite language for maintainability is Python. It has simple, clean syntax, object encapsulation, good library support, and optional named parameters.” – Bram Cohen

The company I’m working for started a project as a start-up last year. In the beginning, there was a discussion on what programming language to choose so that we could easily have an MVP (Minimum Valuable Product) in the shortest time possible, but also to learn something new while working on this project. The most common programming language used in the company is Java, thus we had to answer a question: do we want to continue with Java or try something else? We chose the second option. But what exactly does this “something else” mean?

First of all, the project is a web application, therefore we had to look first for a web framework and after that for a language that would be compatible with that framework. It didn’t take us too much time to find out the best option, so we opted for the Django web framework. As you might know, Django is a web framework written in Python, so the choice of the programming language was obvious – it’s Python. That’s how my journey with Python started.

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