Manufacturing Your Own Single-Origin Tea

See the original posting on Hackaday

It’s nice to take a break from hacking together the newest bleeding-edge technology, relax, and enjoy a beverage. It’s no surprise that hacks devoted to beer and coffee roasting are popular. We’ve also seen a few projects helping brew the perfect cup of tea, but none involving the actual production of tea. Today we’re going to take a short recess from modernity and explore this ancient tradition.

Consumption of tea is about equal to all other manufactured beverages, such as coffee and alcohol, combined. It is hands-down the most popular manufactured beverage in the world, and we thought it would …read more

Hey! VINA, the female-focused friendship app, launches on Android

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Hey! VINA, the female-focused friend finding app, has today announced the launch of an Android app. The VINA app is almost identical to Tinder, except the end-result is to find women a new friend instead of a hot date. That said, VINA only shows one photo of the user, and instead of relying fully on swipes, it uses a matching algorithm that takes into account mutual friends, location,… Read More

Larry Ellison pokes AWS while unveiling intelligent database service at Oracle OpenWorld keynote

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Oracle is far behind in the cloud and chairman Larry Ellison knows it, so he takes whatever opportunity he can to take a swipe at market leader AWS. Last night’s Oracle OpenWorld keynote was no exception. When Ellison introduced the company’s new autonomous database, he couldn’t resist going after his chief rival while he was at it. The autonomous database actually does… Read More

OpenClassrooms and Capgemini team up and launch an online apprenticeship program

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 French startup OpenClassrooms is partnering with IT service company Capgemini to find and hire new people off the beaten path. This is something new for OpenClassrooms and could turn into a lucrative opportunity.
Starting today, 16 people have been recruited by Capgemini to become Java J2EE experts. They’ll first start by studying full time for three months. They’ll then work at… Read More

Ring takes on Nest with a much cheaper home security system

See the original posting on The Verge

Ring is announcing a major new product today that ties together its existing security cameras, lights, and doorbells: a full home security system, meant to monitor the inside of your home.

The announcement comes at an interesting moment. Just two weeks ago, Nest — which makes its own line of home security cameras and a still-unreleased smart doorbell — announced that it was getting into the home securitys system market, unveiling a $499 package that included a keypad and enough sensors to monitor two doors or windows.

Now Ring is announcing its own product, called Ring Protect, and it’s deeply undercutting Nest on price. The base unit costs only $199 and includes a single door/window sensor and an motion…

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New HTC Vive buyers are getting a free Fallout 4 VR preorder code

See the original posting on The Verge

HTC is launching a Vive virtual reality headset bundle that includes a free copy of the upcoming Vive game Fallout 4 VR. Starting today, people who buy a Vive will also get a redemption code for the VR adaptation of Bethesda Softworks’ 2015 title. The game is set for release on December 12th. For people who already own a Vive and buy Fallout 4 VR separately, HTC is offering three free months of its subscription gaming service Viveport, which normally costs $6.99 a month.

HTC dropped the Vive’s price to $599 this summer, and throwing in Fallout 4 VR makes it a little more attractive. Since this is effectively a preorder, it’s worth weighing all the usual risks of buying a game before you know how well it works. Fallout games in particular…

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Roku rolls out Roku OS 8, refreshes TV hardware with 4K and faster processors

See the original posting on The Verge

Roku just announced updates to five of its TV streaming products, as well as a new operating system that marries access to over-the-air TV with video streaming services. The announcements from Roku come after both Apple and Amazon have revealed updates to their own video streaming boxes in recent weeks, with all three companies pushing further into the home with things like 4K, voice control, and improved search functionality.

Roku’s low-cost streaming sticks are getting the most interesting updates. The basic Roku streaming stick, which at $49.99 is priced the same as last year’s model, is getting a processor update that Roku claims is 50 percent faster. The remote is also getting voice control functionality, along with power and…

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Ring launches Protect, its own $199 connected home security system

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Ring, maker of one of the original (and still likely the best) connected video doorbell, has launched a comprehensive home security system called Protect, which retails for $199 and includes a base station, keypad (for arming and disarming) a contact sensor for a window or door, a passive infrared sensor for detecting motion and a Z-Wave extender for adding range to smart home devices that use… Read More

Roku unveils faster media players, universal remote and a new OS

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 A year after giving its product line-up a major overhaul, today newly-IPO’d Roku announced it’s tweaking its lineup of streaming media devices yet again, this time introducing five new players featuring improved performance, wireless reception, and other features. The changes will impact both the low-to-middle tier devices, like Roku Express and Roku Streaming Stick, as well as… Read More

Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective invests in disruptive solar startup, Angaza

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Off-grid rural villages in emerging markets must usually resort to solar panels and batteries, often donated by non-profit organizations and charities. The problem, however, is that charitable handouts aren’t sustainable and don’t scale. At the same time, people can take out small loans to buy solar products, but access to credit is low and the products themselves comparatively… Read More

What to expect from Google’s October 4 Pixel 2 event

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Google’s big hardware event is coming up fast – it all goes down next Wednesday, October 4. But we already know (or think we know) a fair amount about what will be revealed, including brand new Pixel smartphones with some big upgrades, and some devices that will flesh out Google’s broader hardware portfolio considerably. Here’s a list of what we can expect when Google… Read More

Hacked and modded Zelda: Breath of the Wild becomes pop culture cacophony

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the hit launch title for Nintendo’s new Switch console, is already emulated on the PC, where it’s been hacked to house random pop culture stuff. In this video, see Biggie Smalls vs. Thomas the Tank Engine, Minecraft Steve, Spongebob, and Shrek do battle.

There’s something so awesomely dumb about this, joy and horror, fascination and boredom all at once. It embodies a trend that looks like it might be punk, or at least a new frontier in YouTube Poop. But this is mostly our novelty receptors getting plugged by a tornado of copies. A mashup without movement, manners without mode. A place where forms are honored and meaning forgotten. A flash of accelerant in the embers of web culture, cackling at the hope new things must emerge when the old is mixed.

Google Pixel 2 rumors: everything we expect from the new phones

See the original posting on The Verge

Google is expected to show off a bunch of new hardware at its annual event this Wednesday, October 4th, but we’re most excited about the idea of new Pixel phones, which we often credit with having the best smartphone camera. There are a lot of rumors are already floating around about the new devices, including leaked images. So what should we expect to see this week? Here’s everything we’ve could find about the rumored HTC-made Pixel 2 and LG-made Pixel 2 XL.

Design-wise, the larger Pixel 2 XL is said to include a new look and screen that’ll reduce the phone’s bezels, similarly to what Samsung did with its Galaxy S8 and Note 8. The Pixel 2, on the other hand, might keep those big bezels intact. It’ll likely look just like the first…

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Best CPUs for Workstations: 2017

See the original posting on Anandtech

In our series of Best CPU guides, here’s the latest update to our recommended workstation CPUs list. All numbers in the text are updated to reflect pricing at the time of writing (02-Oct). Numbers in graphs reflect MSRP.

Best CPUs for Workstations 2017

Sometimes choosing a CPU is hard. So we’ve got you covered. In our CPU Guides, we give you our pick of some of the best processors available, supplying data from our reviews. Our Best CPUs for Workstations guide mostly covers workstation processors available to consumers, although some server products cover both segments.

Workstation CPU Recommendations: 2017
(Prices are 02-Oct or MSRP)
Segment Processor
Best Overall Choice AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X $999
Maximum Performance Intel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Xeon W-2195
Maximum PCIe 1P 60 AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1900X $549
128 AMD EPYC 7351P $750
2P 96 Intel Xeon Bronze 3104 $241
128 AMD EPYC 7251 $475
Maximum Memory 1TB+ EPYC 7351P
EPYC 7601
<512GB Intel Xeon W-2123 $294
Ones to Watch None. For Now.

The majority of our recommendations aim to hit the performance/price curve just right, with a side nod to power consumption as well.

Best Overall Choice:
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X ($999) – Read Our Review

Our best pick here isn’t the fast overall CPU, it isn’t even the fastest single threaded CPU, and it is not the best bang-for-buck CPU. So why pick it at all then? Overall, it performs really well in all categories. Let me explain.

The 1950X at $999 is half the cost compared to the Core i9-7980XE at $1999. The 7980XE has two cores more and some extra IPC, but the 1950X has a much better performance-per-dollar ratio for almost all our pure throughput tests. It offers a full 60 PCIe lanes for coprocessors, compared to 44, and it matches the Intel for DRAM support (until 32GB UDIMMs hit the market, where AMD has stated it will overtake). Technically the Ryzen 5 or Intel Pentium processors have the best absolute bang-for-buck, but have a low overall performance: a workstation processor still needs a good absolute performance.

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper is a jack-of-all-trades. In most circumstances, it is not the absolute best CPU, but it strikes as the best all-rounder.

Best Absolute Performance, Money No Object:
The Intel Core i9-7980XE ($1999) – Read Our Review
The Intel Xeon W-2195 ($2553)
The AMD EPYC 7551P ($2400)

For the top performance, I’ve picked three processors for different reasons, depending on your situation. For some workstation users money is no object – it can easily be amortized into the step up in the speed of the workflow. But what you get will depend on your access to hardware.

For prosumers building their own system, or buying at retail, then the best option is the Intel Core i9-7980XE. This processor is destined to be on the shelves of the usual retailers, and offers eighteen of Intel’s high-performance cores at a 3.4 GHz all-core frequency as well as AVX-512. For users that have software optimized for multithreading or vector instructions, Intel has you covered here.

Rendering: Blender 2.78

What the Core i9-7980XE does is go for maximum threads at high frequency. In our testing compared to the Core i9-7960X, which has two fewer cores and a slightly higher all-core frequency, there were a few occasions where the processors performed equally and one or two where the higher frequency parts scored higher. For variable threaded workloads this can be the case, however in most circumstances workstation workloads are all about the multithreading. If a simulation doesn’t scale beyond 8 cores, then two simulations are run side by side in a sixteen core system. While single thread performance matters for some software, most of the gains are in thread count or memory performance.

Some workstation users will need ECC memory, and up to 512GB of it. When memory has an error rate of 1 error per GB per year, using 512GB ensures almost two bit errors per day: something that a 60-day simulation would find catastrophic. The top Xeon-W processor from Intel’s workstation line is the Xeon W-2195, offering almost the same as the Core i9-7980XE but with ECC RDIMM support and a few more PCIe lanes. The only issue is that Intel is not selling this at retail: only in pre-configured systems through system integrators, OEMs, or someone selling a tray chip as a third party. We’re also waiting for LGA2066 motherboards to hit the market, although very few will hit direct retail.

The same situation applies to AMD’s EPYC 7551P, e

Tyke, a minimal notepad app for the MacOS menu bar

See the original posting on Boing Boing

If you’re one of those people who constantly dips into a text editor to work with snippets of text — notes, lists, quotes, URLs, and so on — you’ll love Tyke. A free app by Andre Torrez, it lives in the MacOS menu bar and replaces the barely-used editor windows cluttering desktop and dock. The Susan Kare-esque icon is maybe my favorite thing about it, suggesting an missing feature of Macs going back decades.

FM Snake Feeds Off Radio Waves

See the original posting on Hackaday

[Eric Brasseur] built a radio-detecting snake that consists of a LED that lights up when around reasonably strong radio waves. Near an FM radio mast you’ll find a huge amount of waste energy being dumped out in the 88 to 108 MHz range.

[Eric]’s rig consists of a pair of 1N6263 Schottky diodes, flip-flopped with one set of ends soldered to the antenna and the other ends soldered to the leads of the LED with about a foot of wire in between. The antenna can be a single wire as the diodes are soldered together. This one is around 4 …read more

I went traveling and fell in love with the Google Pixel all over again

See the original posting on The Verge

This week’s Pixel 2 launch event will mark exactly one year from the announcement of Google’s first true self-branded smartphone, the “Phone by Google” Pixel. I’m eager to see what new stuff Google has in store, but before we get to that, it’s worth recounting what made the Pixel special and why it remains a terrific device today, a full year after its release.

I spent most of September swapping between the finest new Android flagship phones — the HTC U11, LG V30, and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 — but as the month drew to a close and my trip to my native Bulgaria came up, I settled on returning to Google’s Pixel. I just felt like using a smaller phone (and I still brought the V30 with me for the sensational sound). That decision has paid off,…

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Pissjar is a typeface you can almost smell

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Pissjar Sans is a free typeface evoking the unique letterforms of urine on cotton fabric. What’s remarkable about it is the fastidious attention to detail and workmanship evinced by type designers in pursuit of what could easily have been something dashed off and doomed to obscurity. They really put their backs into it.


We built a custom frame and tried out loads of different fabrics, using some good pieces of worn bed sheets with the perfect absorbency to cover the frame. Then we just started to pee a lot, one letter per pee session. When the bladder was empty we had like 5 seconds to photograph the frame before it bled out. After that we vectorized the photo and edited it with a font software.


The peeing took approximately six months, plus about a month or so to finish up the font.


Well, we worked on the R for like two weeks until we gave up and had to recreate it from three different peeing sessions.

Perfect for wedding invitations and children’s birthdays.

Sony is releasing a new PlayStation VR headset with a slightly simpler, better design

See the original posting on The Verge

A year after its launch, Sony is updating the design of the PlayStation VR headset, streamlining things a little bit and removing the previous imposition of having to disconnect the unit in order to view HDR content on the PS4 console. The new PlayStation VR headset model is distinguishable by the relocation of its headphone jack from the wire hanging from the headset to the back of the unit, making for a cleaner, more integrated design. There’s also a thinner connection cable to the PS4, to go with an upgraded Processor Unit that makes HDR passthrough possible with this model.

The updated PlayStation VR headset, CUH – ZVR2, is being released in Japan on October 14th in a bundle with the PlayStation Camera that will cost ¥44,980 ($400)….

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