Snapchat bought the AR location intellectual property of startup Drop

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Snap Map is Snapchat’s plan to tie together its online content with ways to augment your offline reality, and its got the patent to back it up. Augmented reality location startup Drop tells TechCrunch that Snap Inc acquired its intellectual property in 2015 including its “Location-based messaging” patent. In 2013, Drop developed an app that would let you post photos or text to… Read More

Google is finally rolling out a Bluetooth update for Home

See the original posting on The Verge

Google announced that it would be updating its Google Home virtual assistant / speaker with Bluetooth audio support at I/O earlier this year, and now that update has begun to roll out to Home owners, as noted by Android Police.

Once you’ve updated your Home, you’ll be able to use it as a Bluetooth speaker — something that Amazon’s Echo has already been capable of for a while, although Google’s own home speaker has supported the company’s Chromecast Audio standard since launch. The new addition of Bluetooth, however, should greatly widen the number of compatible devices that will work with Home for music streaming, as well as allow it to be used as a speaker even without Wi-Fi.

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LG might be working on a mini G6

See the original posting on The Verge

LG released its newest flagship, the G6, in April this year. Now, it seems the company might be considering, or at least considered at one point, releasing a mini version of that device. TechnoBuffalo reports that its team viewed an internal document that depicts a 5.4-inch device with an 18:9 aspect ratio. That’s the same unique ratio LG introduced with the G6.

The document didn’t mention any specs, and it’s dated to last year. This could mean LG canceled its plans to manufacture this device, although TechnoBuffalo thinks the phone could still happen. In actuality, a 5.4-inch device isn’t much smaller than the G6’s current 5.7-inch display. I wouldn’t expect LG to release a smaller G6, but hey, you never know.

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Binary Capital’s investors just accepted Jonathan Teo’s resignation

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Earlier this week, following the resignations of Binary Capital cofounder Justin Caldbeck and a more recent addition to the team, Matt Mazzeo, Binary cofounder Jonathan Teo offered to resign his position as well.
Late yesterday, the firm’s limited partners —  include WeatherGage, Legacy Venture, UNC, and UCLA — accepted Teo’s resignation.
According to sources, the… Read More

US denies visas to Afghanistan’s all-girl robotics team

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Six teenage girls from Afghanistan planned to come to the US to compete in the First Global Challenge robotics competition this month, but those plans were canceled after they were denied visas to enter the country. Forbes reports that the girls traveled 500 miles to Kabul for their visa interviews, and that their robot’s supplies were held in customs for months.

This kit, which the competition organizers issued to every participating team, included different components, like brackets, extrusions, fastening hardware, hardware adaptors, bearings, wheels of different sizes, gears, pulleys, motors, servos, and sprockets. The State Department feared ISIS might try to use these parts on the battlefield, which is why they delayed sending them…

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Hackaday Prize Entry: Gaming Done Tiny with Keymu

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The world’s tiniest Game Boy Color, introduced at the 2016 Hackaday SuperConference, is a work of art. This microscopic game console inspired [c.invent] to create how own gaming handheld. His Keymu project on describes an open source, keychain-sized gaming handheld that its builder claims is really the world’s tiniest. How did he make it smaller? It’s a miniature Game Boy Advance SP, and it folds up in a handy clamshell case.

While he’s a Pi fan, [c.invent] felt the Pi Zero was too big and clunky for what he had in mind–a keychain-sized handheld. Only the Intel Edison was …read more

Palmer Luckey backs VR project to make exclusive Oculus games run on the HTC Vive

See the original posting on The Verge

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey confirmed yesterday that he’s donating money to a virtual reality project focused on letting the HTC Vive headset play games exclusive to the Oculus Rift. The project, called Revive, is currently live on crowdfunding site Patreon with a note thanking Luckey for his contribution.

Although the note now confirms the $2,000 pledge (it apparently did not originally contain the exact figure), Waypoint confirmed the donation with Luckey himself. There appeared at first to be a slight discrepancy in the numbers: the project has only $2,005 per month from 64 backers. That suggested Luckey’s donation could have been a one-time pledge and not a recurring one. But Luckey confirmed on Twitter today that he is in fact…

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Sprint is getting sued for sabotaging RadioShack’s comeback

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RadioShack is going down swinging. With nearly all of its stores now out of business, the retailer’s creditors have sued Sprint and are accusing the wireless carrier of backstabbing RadioShack and destroying any hope of a great American comeback story. The creditors are seeking $500 million in damages, according to Reuters, and are alleging that Sprint used a co-branding partnership formed between the two companies in 2015 to its own selfish benefit — and to RadioShack’s eventual doom.

That was back when RadioShack had freshly emerged from bankruptcy and was oddly hopeful that adding Sprint (by then the fourth largest US carrier) to its stores could somehow help turn things around and hold off the hand of fate. In this case, that’s the…

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Syfy’s space opera Killjoys returns tonight — here’s why you should watch

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A couple of years ago, Syfy went back to its roots when it greenlit three new television shows: The Expanse, Dark Matter, and Killjoys. All three shows follow the crew of a spaceship in some sector of space, and they all harken back to the days when episodes of Andromeda, Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, or Stargate were easily accessible in broadcast or syndication.

The Expanse wrapped its second season in April; Dark Matter returned in June; and on Friday, June 30th, Killjoys is beginning its third season. Its trailer promised plenty more bounty-hunter-in-space action, as well as cyborgs, green goo, and more one-liners. Here’s why the show’s worth checking out.

Some minor spoilers for seasons 1 and 2 ahead.

What’s this show about?


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Tintri up slightly after lowering IPO price

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Enterprise cloud company Tintri was supposed to debut on the public markets yesterday with an IPO price between $10.50 to $12.50, but then pushed things back a day and lowered its price to $7. Shares were up about 3.5% midday Friday, trading at roughly $7.25 per share. In what seems to be a tough week for tech IPOs, cooking kit delivery service Blue Apron also significantly lowered its price… Read More

Harver raises $8.1M to replace the tedious trawl though résumés with an AI

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 The problem of dealing with CVs during the hiring process is a perennial one. There are a number of approaches and there are various assessment companies and recruitment companies providing human services to do so. But it’s tought to get around the fact that having to read a lot of CVs is often just pure grunt work. Imagine instead if you could apply machine-learning and a platform… Read More

This company analyzed 100 million headlines to find out which ones were the most effective

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Buzzsumo analyzed 100 million article headlines on Facebook and tracked how well they did in terms of shares.

In our sample the most powerful three word phrase used in a headline (by some margin) was:

“Will make you … “

This phrase “will make you” gained more than twice the number of Facebook engagements as the second most popular headline trigram. This was a surprise. When we started out looking for top trigrams, this one wasn’t even on our list.

So why does this particular trigram or three word phrase work so well? One of the interesting things is that it is a linking phrase. It doesn’t start or end a headline, rather it makes explicit the linkage between the content and the potential impact on the reader.

This headline format sets out why the reader should care about the content. It also promises that the content will have a direct impact on the reader, often an emotional reaction. The headline is clear and to the point which makes it elegant and effective.

Typical headlines include:

  • 24 Pictures That Will Make You Feel Better About The World
  • What This Airline Did for Its Passengers Will Make You Tear Up – So Heartwarming
  • 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person
  • “Who Wore It Better?” Pics That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud
  • 13 Travel Tips That Will Make You Feel Smart

Patricia Arquette tweets cryptic warning to Trump about “gossip on the streets”

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Actress Patricia Arquette reacted to Trump’s childish “bleeding badly from a face-lift” tweet yesterday with a cautionary tweet of her own: “Remove this tweet. There is a lot of gossip about you on the streets that hasn’t been in the press-yet.”

According to The Wrap:

Arquette didn’t elaborate on what gossip she was referring to, beyond saying that it is something other than the “pee tape” that Twitter users have been semi-jokingly speculating about for months.

And Arquette didn’t stop there:

The question is, is this just an empty Trumpian James-Comey-better-hope-that-there-are-no-tapes kind of threat? If not, then out with it already.

Image: Tina Franklin

This Way to the Ingress: Keeping Stuff Dry and Clean with IP and NEMA

See the original posting on Hackaday

When designing a piece of hardware that has even the faintest chance of being exposed to the elements, it’s best to repeat this mantra: water finds a way. No matter how much you try to shield a project from rain, splashing, or even just humid air, if you haven’t taken precautions to seal your enclosure, I’ll bet you find evidence of water when you open it up. Water always wins, and while that might not be a death knell for your project, it’s probably not going to help. And water isn’t the only problem that outdoor or rough-service installations face. …read more

The iPhone turns 10 and Petya is on the loose

See the original posting on The Verge

Did you know it was the iPhone’s 10th anniversary on Thursday? The Vergecast knows. Nilay, Dieter, and Paul talk about what the iPhone means to them, to the industry, and to the entire universe. With just a slight tangent to talk about Orbs for Kings.

Better yet, Nilay interviewed Verge reporter Russell Brandom about the Petya ransomware. It’s a segment Russell calls “CyberTalk,” but Nilay wants to call it “Brandom Security with Russell Brandom.” Please vote in the comments.

1:00 – The iPhone turns 10

21:56 – iPhone or smartphones: which had the bigger impact?

31:50 – Petya ransomware in “Brandom Security with Russell Brandom” / “CyberTalk”

47:15 – Amazon Echo Show Review

55:31 – iOS 11 preview

66:00 – ARKit

72:30 – Paul’s weekly…

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How to replace yourself with a very small shell script

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Data scientist Hillary Mason (previously) talks through her astoundingly useful collection of small shell scripts that automate all the choresome parts of her daily communications: processes that remind people when they owe her an email; that remind her when she accidentally drops her end of an exchange; that alert her when a likely important email arrives (freeing her up from having to check and check her email to make sure that nothing urgent is going on). It’s a hilarious and enlightening talk that offers a glimpse into the kinds of functionality that users can provide for themselves when they run their own infrastructure and aren’t at the mercy of giant webmail companies. (via Clive Thompson)

Disney to stop auctioning off women

See the original posting on Boing Boing

After decades of running a mock slave market inside Pirates of the Carribean, Disney has finally decided that Pirates selling women is not a good example for the kids.

The scene also contains many elements which the fans no doubt love, but which are at odds with modern sensibilities. This is beyond a “Politically Correct” issue, it’s an issue about what Disney feels it may be inadvertently teaching its youngest guests when they see images of women being sexualized and sold at auction.

Years ago, Disney took their first step at taming their pirates’ lusty desires when they changed the “chase” scene so instead of aggressively pursuing wenches (it was essentially a rape story), they were chasing after plates of food. One desire replaced with another – lust for gluttony.

It’s the derogatory sexual nature of those two scenes which are problematic for modern Disney and to today’s guests. Theme park rides don’t have an MPAA rating in the way movies do. Pirates is the most tame of attractions and suitable for riders of all ages. Therefore, there is a need to make sure the subject matter is appropriate for those ages as well.

It’s a catch 22 for Disney as the fans are likely to be outraged, at least at first. But not acting also continues to perpetuate themes which are unacceptable for many of today’s guests. Disney has clearly decided they need to act on the moral issue over sentimentality.

Here’s some additional information we were able to obtain about this breaking news. Disney Imagineering bigwigs Marty Sklar and Kathy Mangum weigh in on the alterations:

“To me, the Imagineers are simply reflecting what Walt started the day Disneyland opened – making changes that create exciting new experiences for our guests. I can’t think of a single attraction that has not been enhanced and improved, some over and over again. Change is a ‘tradition’ at Disneyland that today’s Imagineers practice – they learned it from their mentors, many of them Walt’s original team of storytellers and designers – the Disney Legends.” – Marty Sklar, Imagineer Legend. Marty continues, “Pirates of the Caribbean has always represented great Disney Park storytelling; it has set the standard for the theme park industry for half a century! But it’s a story you can continue to add fun to, with great characters in new ‘performances.’ That’s what the Imagineers have done with this new auction scene – it’s like a theatre show with a new act.”

Kathy Mangum, Sr. VP Imagineering stated, “Our team thought long and hard about how to best update this scene. Given the redhead has long been a fan favorite, we wanted to keep her as a pivotal part of the story, so we made her a plundering pirate! We think this keeps to the original vision of the attraction as envisioned by Marc Davis, X Atencio and the other Disney legends who first brought this classic to life.”

Via MiceChat

How to have a great weekend by engaging in “serious leisure”

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Katrina Onstad, author of a new book called The Weekend Effect: The Life-Changing Benefits of Taking Time Off and Challenging the Cult of Overwork says people usually feel better after a weekend of engaging in engaging social activities instead of binge-watching TV, loafing, and drinking.

From Quartz:

Serious leisure activities provide deeper fulfillment, and—to invoke a fuzzy ’70s word—“self-actualization.” Self-actualization is the pinnacle of human development, according to humanist psychologist Abraham Maslow, who describes it as “the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.” In other words, getting self-actualized is the whole point of life, and passive, hedonistic leisure (fun and occasionally necessary as it might be) won’t get you there.

Instead, the weekend goal should be “eudaimonic” happiness, which is a sense of well-being that arises from meaningful, challenging activities that cause you to grow as a person. This means spending the weekend on serious leisure activities that require the regular refinement of skills: your barbershop-quartet singing, your stamp collecting, or slightly less dorky, but still equally in-depth, projects. You pursue serious leisure with the earnest tenor of a professional, even if the pursuit is amateur.

Thinking about my own weekends, I like ones that include loafing *and* social stuff. My ideal weekend would include reading for a few hours, learning Japanese for an hour, meeting with my amateur magic club for a couple of hours, having a fun date night with Carla (dinner and a movie), watching a couple of episodes of a show we like, taking a long hike with Carla (and one of my daughters if they are around) in the Hollywood Hills, making meals that require lots of chopping and prep, sketching with my daughters, and fixing something broken around the house (especially if it requires me to design a 3D model and make something on my 3D printer). Sometimes, I achieve a weekend that includes all of these things, but it’s rare, because other obligations get in the way. But I usually am able to do a few of these things, which is enough.

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