Maker’s Dashboard

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Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 2.01.31 PMA. LED Matrix Tachometer Materials: Arduino + OBD-II TTL adapter + LED matrix Cost: $100 Monitor your engine’s RPM and improve your manual shifting precision with a breakout LED tachometer. B. Car Diagnostic Display Materials: Raspberry Pi + TFT shield + OBD-II Bluetooth adapter + Bluetooth 4.0 adapter Cost: $130 […]

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ZTE’s Nubia Z9 shows China can bring great smartphones to the US

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Here in the US, it’s been hard to get excited about smartphones from China. Huawei is one of the largest smartphone makers in the world and has plenty of interesting phones in its lineup, but it only sells mediocre low-end devices to American consumers. Xiaomi is often praised for its low-cost devices that rival the hardware from Samsung and Apple, but it doesn’t sell any phones in the US and there’s no indication when it ever might.

ZTE has often followed a similar approach as Huawei, focusing its efforts in the US on low-end, carrier-branded phones. But this year it has promised to bring the Nubia Z9 to our shores, a bonafide flagship smartphone. The Z9 checks off all of the features one might look for in a flagship Android smartphone…

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Stop saying ‘space is hard’

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On June 28th, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket meant to deliver supplies to the International Space Station exploded en route. It was the third cargo resupply mission to fail within the past year. In October 28th, 2014, Orbital Sciences’ uncrewed Antares rocket, bound for the station with supplies, exploded shortly after takeoff, and on April 28th, a Russian Progress spacecraft, also stocked with food and hardware, stopped communicating after being launched into space and started spinning wildly out of control.

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Jeremy Clarkson’s Top Gear ends not with a bang, but a whimper

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I have watched, and rewatched, every episode of Top Gear. I couldn’t help but tune in for the final one with the now-disbanded cast, especially knowing that it was clearly going to be unlike any other. Yesterday, BBC aired it — and it starts with a literal elephant in the room.

While the show has always been rife with controversy, this series has been particularly controversial. Series 22 — the last starring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, it would turn out — started with a trip to Patagonia where the trio made numerous references to the Falklands War, a deadly 1982 conflict with Great Britain. This stirred up enough anger with Argentinian locals that the entire crew was forced to flee to Chile in the middle of the…

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TC AppleCast 19: Apple Music Eve

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TC-applecast16-9 It’s the eve of Apple Music, which launches tomorrow, and all through the house, not a creature was withholding their content, not even a Taylor Swift. Also, Force Touch is basically a lock for iPhone 6/6 Plus S this fall, according to a new report from Bloomberg that says production on devices with the tech has begun. Apple Music arrives with iOS 8.4 at 8 AM PT tomorrow, and despite… Read More

PayPal makes changes to user agreement after robocall controversy

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PayPal is modifying its new user agreement (set to go into effect this week) to “clarify” some terms that initially angered both customers and US lawmakers. Earlier this month, it appeared the new agreement would give PayPal full freedom to pester customers with “autodialed or prerecorded calls and text messages” directed at phone numbers registered to their account — and even numbers “otherwise obtained” outside the account setup process. The major concern was that PayPal would use these communications for unwanted advertising and sales calls. Such a move would obviously anger customers, but it would also put the company at odds with the FCC, which has put a huge focus on combatting spam calls and texts in recent years.

Now, PayPal is…

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Uber Acquires Part Of Bing’s Mapping Assets, Will Absorb Around 100 Microsoft Employees

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Bing Uber will acquire assets from Microsoft Bing, including roughly 100 employees focused on the product’s image collection activities. In short, Uber is absorbing data-collection engineers from Microsoft to bolster its own mapping work. The companies confirmed the transaction with TechCrunch, but each declined to name the terms of the agreement. The excision of a slice of opex from Bing… Read More

Shazam Takes On Apple Music Connect With New Social Features Aimed At Musicians And Their Fans

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08_Shazam_Android_insitu_final Music discovery platform Shazam is today rolling out a new feature in partnership with over two dozen artists that will allow Shazam users to see which songs their favorite musicians are listening to on the service. The news comes just ahead of Apple Music’s worldwide debut tomorrow, which will introduce streaming music, radio and other features, including a social network… Read More

New Project: Toy Inventor’s Notebook: Footstep Sand Stampers

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sandal test 3@72Here’s a fun and easy project for summer: Hack a pair of flip-flops so they make designs in the sand as you walk. Just add a bit of Sugru to your sandals and start stamping! First, clean the bottom of your flip-flops thoroughly with some vinegar water to get rid […]

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PayPal Updates User Agreement Following Backlash Over Robocalls And FCC Complaints

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PayPal_HQ_Campus_Outdoor PayPal today announced it’s updating its User Agreement to clarify the language it uses to communicate to customers how the company is allowed to contact them. The company had recently come under fire from consumer advocacy groups who reported PayPal’s possible violations around robocalls to the FCC following media reports of a change to PayPal’s terms. In an update to the… Read More

Pinterest’s Tracy Chou To Talk Diversity At Disrupt SF 2015

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tracy-chou Diversity is a problem even Silicon Valley cannot solve — something Tracy Chou plainly highlighted in 2013 when she set up a database to help quantify the Valley’s diversity issue with the hopes of bringing to light just how few women engineers there are at top tech firms. Now, in 2015, companies inside and out of the Valley are striving to solve this issue and we’re… Read More

France Launches French Tech Ticket, A Startup Visa For Foreign Entrepreneurs

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photo-1428954376791-d9ae785dfb2d French Minister of State for the digital economy Axelle Lemaire announced last week a new entrepreneur visa package called the French Tech Ticket. With this package, foreign entrepreneurs could get a work visa, a $14,000-$28,000 grant (€12,500-€25,000) for each team member, free office space in an incubator in Paris as well as an English-speaking administrative advisor. Announced at La… Read More

Batman: Arkham Knight mod lets you play as Harley Quinn, Commissioner Gordon, Joker, and more

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A mod that unlocks 10 new characters in Batman: Arkham Knight‘s open-world Gotham is welcome good news for a PC port mired in bad news. Last week, the game launched with features missing or working improperly. Publisher Warner Bros. has suspended sales of the game on Steam, but those who already own the new Batman will be able to try this mod.

I wrote earlier today about my love for characters not named Batman in the Batman universe, and I look forward to playing as some of Arkham’s finest. Most of these characters have been playable in Batman games before, but they were limited to special stages or modes. This mod allows them to roam the world just like the caped crusader.

Here’s the full list of playable characters:

Red Hood
Harley…

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Terminator Genisys review: How far can nostalgia carry an ill-advised reboot?

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I have this cool idea for a reboot: in the near future, director James Cameron develops time displacement technology and goes back to 1991. There, after Terminator 2’s massive success, he wrests away the rights for the franchise and prevents the world from ever being subjected to the two miserable sequels that followed. It’d be like stopping John Connor, but everybody would thank you for it.

The latest film in the franchise, Terminator Genisys, has something similar on its mind. It’s a movie that completely ignores everything after Cameron left the series, framing itself as a love letter to his two films while also using them as a jumping off point for a new cast and completely retooled mythology. It’s also the second film this summer…

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Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2015 Will Launch On July 20

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RTMannounce Microsoft today announced that Visual Studio 2015 (VS 2015), the latest version of the company’s integrated development environment, will launch on July 20.
This latest version greatly emphasizes cross-platform development, with support for targeting Windows, iOS and Android, in part through its support for the Apache Cordova project and Xamarin’s app development platform. Read More

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