Byte is a wild new creative tool from the founder of Vine

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Dom Hofmann grew up in an earlier era of software development, and spent his youth cobbling together creative projects using the tools of the day. There was Visual Basic for beginner-level programming, Dreamweaver for web publishing, and Mario Paint on the Super Nintendo for drawing and making music. Tools like these encouraged a certain kind of aimless hacking, and Hofmann embraced it when he began making software of his own. The result was Vine, an app for recording looping, 6-second videos that he built with Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll. Twitter executives liked it so much they bought it for a reported $30 million before it even left beta.

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The One Smart Piano teaches you to play using an iPad

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Music lessons can get expensive, so a new piano is trying to offer them itself. A young company called The One is launching a campaign on Indiegogo this morning to bring its smart keyboards to the US. The first, The One Smart Piano, is an digital piano with 88 weighted keys; the other, The One Light Keyboard, is 61-key MIDI keyboard. Both keyboards integrate directly with an iPhone or an iPad — although the iPad’s large screen works best — to teach you songs and present music lessons through a free app. The app has specific music lessons, but it also allows you to play learning games and download sheet music, for free if it’s in the public domain or for about a dollar if it’s from a modern artist.

The app waits for you to play the right…

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The Where Are Ü Now video and the current cultural function of Justin Bieber

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Of all my high-rotation summer pop songs, Justin Bieber’s collaboration with Jack Ü (aka Skrillex and Diplo) is the one I am most conflicted about. There are three people in that musical triangle, and two elicit feelings ranging from conflicted discomfort to outright disgust, but the third happens to be joy personified, so somehow it balances out. I’ll ignore for now the rumors that Skrillex has little-to-nothing to do artistically with the Jack Ü project, especially because, at least in this song, I’m pretty sure I’m vibing more to whatever Diplo brought to the table. The song’s greatest asset, its melancholy little flute whine of a hook, is straight out of the 2005 Diplo Florida handbook, aka BACK WHEN HE HAD A SOUL. Somehow that…

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Watch a stunt driver break the record for fastest mile on two wheels

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For more than 20 years, the Goodwood Festival of Speed has served as one of the world’s biggest automotive celebrations. International motorheads come from all over the planet to race Lamborghinis, production cars, and even Formula One cars up a twisty course known as the “hill climb.” But it’s not all stopwatches and speedometers — plenty of awesomely weird stuff also happens every year at Goodwood.

Take this run made over the weekend by Terry Grant, seen above, for example. The stunt driver made the entire hill climb run — more than a mile long — on two wheels. More impressively, he completed it in a Guinness World Record-setting 2 minutes and 10 seconds, which — considering he had to balance the one-and-a-half-ton car the whole way…

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Supreme Court declines to hear Oracle v. Google case over software copyright

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The Supreme Court has declined to hear Oracle v. Google, sending the long-running case back to a lower court where Google will have to argue that it made fair use of Oracle’s copyrighted APIs. This has been a closely watched case, as the final decision could have a major impact on software development; a ruling in favor of Oracle, the Electronic Frontier Foundation says, could give certain tech firms “unprecedented and dangerous power” over developers by making it substantially more difficult for upstarts to create new software. That’ll be the case unless fair use laws turn out to protect the use of APIs.

The case centers on the code behind Android. Google built Android on top of a modified version of Java, the programming language…

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Supreme Court rules states can use controversial drug in executions

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In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol, which makes use of the controversial drug midazolam, is protected by the constitution. In the short term, this decision means executions in the four states that use the drug will proceed as normal. It also deals a blow to the growing movement against the death penalty.

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Dr. Dre’s The Chronic will be available digitally for the first time ever on Apple Music

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Taylor Swift’s 1989 won’t be the only reclusive album to find its first digital home on Apple Music: Dr. Dre’s game-changing 1992 LP The Chronic will be there, too. Apple Music’s launch tomorrow will also mark The Chronic‘s streaming debut, Rolling Stone reports. Now, this seems like it should be wrong. Sure, maybe Dre didn’t want his classic missive on Spotify or iTunes, but the album wasn’t even available on the rapper’s own Beats Music when it launched in 2014.

Apple Music’s library is bulking up

The most logical explanation for the exclusion would be that Dre doesn’t have the rights to The Chronic. But that’s also not true. In 2011, Dre won a lawsuit against his former label Death Row Records that gave him the digital rights to the…

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Google Maps will soon warn drivers when they approach rail crossings

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Federal transportation officials can’t quite explain why the number of US rail crossing accidents jumped by 9 percent last year, but they’ve recruited a powerful ally to keep that figure from climbing any higher: Google. According to The New York Times, today the Federal Railroad Administration plans to announce a new partnership with Google that will ensure drivers are alerted whenever they come up on a rail crossing. Google is using data from the Department of Transportation to identify every rail crossing in the United States and mark those location in Maps.

Maps will now be able to provide audio and visual cues when you’re in navigation mode and approach any crossing where a collision might be possible; 270 people died in such…

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Batman: Arkham Knight’s silliest paradox explained in one comic

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I wonder how much my enjoyment of Batman Arkham Knight stems from my relative dislike of Batman as a character. I’ve always preferred the villains of Gotham, and viewed Batman as a sounding board for their wild ideas. Batman Arkham Knight is my dream Batman story: Batman behaves less and less like Batman, and the weirdest villains are given more and more chances to be as silly, non-sensical, and extravagant. This isn’t the Nolan universe, and thank goodness.

This comic by Chris Furniss, one of my favorite comic strip artists, nails the game’s not-so-subtle goofiness. In one night, Batman is expected to save all of Gotham from Scarecrow’s chemical weapon attack, along with a few individual allies from direct harm, but we, as the hero,…

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Google Expands Its Educational Platform “Classroom” With A New API, Share Button For Websites

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google-classroom Google Classroom, the company’s educational initiative that launched last year to allow teachers and students to communicate and collaborate with each other using Google tools and services, has today received a number of new features, the most notable being a new Classroom API for admins, and a Classroom share button. The latter lets developers or schools simplify sharing content… Read More

Uber France Leaders Arrested For Running Illegal Taxi Company

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Uber Uber France CEO Thibaud Simphal and Uber Europe GM Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty were both taken into custody today in Paris. The news was first broken by the AFP. The police started investigating on Uber in November 2014 and raided Uber’s office in Paris in March 2015. The police charged the two executives with two different charges. First, according to them, Uber is running an illegal… Read More

Tim Wu accuses Google of degrading search results to favor its own products

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EU regulators are not the only ones to take issue with the way Google searches the web. Now a team of Yelp researchers has teamed up with Tim Wu, the US academic that popularized the concept of net neutrality, to detail how Google gives unfair priority to its own services when performing local searches, and the deleterious effects that practice has on the user’s access to useful information.

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Local Services Marketplace UrbanClap Gets $10M Series A To Expand Throughout India

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UrbanClap founders Abhiraj Bhal, Varun Khaitan, and Raghav Chandra UrbanClap, which claims to be India’s largest mobile-based services marketplace, wants to become even bigger. The New Delhi-based startup recently scored a Series A investment of $10 million from returning investors SAIF Partners and Accel Partners, which it will use to grow across the entire country, improve its app-based platform, and increase its company size from 100 employees to 500. Read More

Where Computer Science, Engineering, and Math Majors Want to Work

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shutterstock_244891273 If 17-year-old Google is at all worried that it’s losing its mojo, it should find some new data highly reassuring. According to a survey of 19,000 students across 340 universities around the world, Google is still their top choice when asked where they’d want to work. Their other top picks, in descending order: Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon. The survey was conducted by… Read More

Researchers Use Femtosecond Lasers To Display Touchable Images In The Air

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fairylights-1435259585093 A Japanese company called Aerial Burton has been using lasers to ionize air molecules in midair for a few years now, thereby creating bright pixels that float in space. Using the original system, however, you were essentially creating floating plasma which could burn you if you touched it. Now, however, the company has reduced the power necessary to generate the images by using femtosecond… Read More

New Project: Skill Builder: The Best Ways to Cut, Drill, and Glue PVC Pipe

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pvcPVC pipe is a versatile material that finds its way into all manner of projects. Whether you’re building furniture, making art, or even just plumbing your sink, here are a few techniques that will ensure that your project is a success. SECURING PVC Because PVC pipe is round, it tends to […]

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The post Skill Builder: The Best Ways to Cut, Drill, and Glue PVC Pipe appeared first on Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers.

SlashDB Can Turn Any Data Source Into A Website

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Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 11.05.31 AM Most programmers like two things: pizza and things that make their work easier. That’s why I was especially interested in SlashDB, a product that purports to turn any data source into accessible XML, JSON, or HTML. Created by programmer Victor Olex, the system allows you to connect almost any data to the web in a few seconds with a REST API.
“SlashDB is an automated web API for… Read More

When Facebook Grappled With The Ultimate Build Versus Buy Decision

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Data center with world in front of it to illustrate scale. A company like Facebook encounters that kind of choice constantly, but back in the 2009/2010 timeframe, it had an extraordinary one. It was growing faster than just about any company on the planet and was having issues keeping up with that scale. That’s when it decided it had to start designing its own hardware and building its own data centers to meet the company’s very… Read More

Apple Music Launches With iOS 8.4 At 8 AM PT On June 30

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Apple Music Exclusive Apple Music is coming tomorrow, and Apple Music Senior Director and former beats CEO Ian Rogers wants you to be ready, so he has revealed the specifics of when it’ll star rolling out. The official launch time for Apple Music is June 30 at 8 AM PT, per a Rogers’ blog post and Facebook event, at which time iOS 8.4 will be made available for users to update their devices. iOS 8.4… Read More

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