Where some of the weirdest cryptocurrencies of the early 2010s are now

See the original posting on The Verge

In 2014, as bitcoin rose in value to be worth several hundred dollars, many developers launched their own alternative cryptocurrencies, and ones that came with interesting backstories often grabbed media attention. Some of these coins were for the porn industry, others were for hip hop lovers, and some were actually serious contenders against Bitcoin that have become quite lucrative for investors.

Today, there are now more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies out there and given how volatile this market is, few could have predicted where these currencies ended up today. Some of these currencies like Dogecoin have grown more popular over time, while others like Coinye West are now defunct. I’ve taken a look at four of the silliest and most…

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Neill Blomkamp posted some more concept images from his canceled Alien movie

See the original posting on The Verge

A couple of years ago, District 9 director Neill Blomkamp posted a number of images to his Instagram feed of an Alien film that he had been secretly working on. The images sparked a deal with 20th Century Fox to develop the film, but after Ridley Scott began work on his Prometheus sequel, Alien: Covenant, Blomkamp told The Verge that he thought that the film was “totally dead.”

In a Tweet, Blomkamp noted that he had recently been going through some of the artwork that he had put together for his Aliens sequel, and posted a couple of select images online. It seems as though this art largely came after those initial images he posted.

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The Verge 2017 tech report card: Cameras

See the original posting on The Verge

Digital photography as we know it is about to change. It’s already changing, really, judging by some of the cameras released in 2017. Where last year was a solid, occasionally exciting one for the camera industry, the past 12 months held even more signs that the basics of photography are evolving. And a lot that has to do with advancements in software and computational photography.

That sounds boring! But hear me out.

Let’s start with consumer 360-degree cameras, which until this year have often felt like a solution in search of a problem. While professionals have spent years crafting high-end VR productions using 360-degree cameras with outrageous resolution, the consumer versions of these cameras have left a lot to be desired….

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Espple: A Wireless Apple 1 on an ESP8266

See the original posting on Hackaday

The Apple 1 was one of the three big hobbyist computers that burst onto the scene in 1977. Unlike the PET 2001 and the TRS-80, only a couple hundred Apple 1s were ever produced, and with only a handful in existence today, you’ll have to fork out some serious money to get a Wozniak original for yourself.

The Apple 1 experience is easily emulated, of course, but this ESP8266 emulates the Apple 1 on hard mode. Dubbed the Espple by its creator [Hrvoje Cavrak], it emulates the 6502-based original in all its 1-MHz glory, while providing 20-kB of RAM, a …read more

A look back at 2017’s good, bad, and most comforting TV

See the original posting on The Verge

Throughout the final week of 2017, culture writers from across Vox Media will be chatting about the best works of the year. In this installment, Vox’s Todd VanDerWerff and Caroline Framke, the Verge’s Laura Hudson, and Polygon’s Julia Alexander talk about TV in 2017.

Todd VanDerWerff: In 2017, everything about TV felt condensed and supercharged. Game of Thrones aired only seven episodes, but those seven episodes were all crammed full of stuff (arguably too much stuff, given the season’s weird, disjointed quality).

Instead of unspooling over the course of several weeks as people discovered it, Stranger Things mania was over in about 10 days — and that’s me being generous. The TV shows critics went nuts for, from Twin Peaks to The…

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Kodi Media Player Arrives On the Xbox One

See the original posting on Slashdot

The Kodi media player is now available to download on your Xbox One, making it one of the best Xbox One exclusives of the year. The Verge reports: Kodi is a very capable player that’s highly expandable thanks to third-party add-ons like live TV and DVR services — something Microsoft isn’t going to provide. But Kodi is perhaps best known as the go to app for piracy due to a wide variety of plugins that let you illegally stream television shows, professional sports, and films from the comfort of your living room. This has led to a cottage industry of so-called “Kodi boxes,” often built around cheap HDMI dongles like Amazon’s Fire TV sticks. While the XBMC Foundation has attempted to distance itself from the illegal third-party plugins, it’s also benefited from the exposure. In a blog post, Kodi warns that the Xbox One download isn’t finished and may contain missing features and bugs. Fun fact: Kodi began life fifteen years ago as the XBMP (Xbox Media Player). The only way to get the open-source player running on an original Xbox was to hack the console. XBMP eventually evolved into XBMC (Xbox Media Center), which then became Kodi.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Fresh-Baked Plastic Tiles For All!

See the original posting on Hackaday

Recycling aims to better the planet, but — taken into the hands of the individual — it can be a boon for one’s home by trading trash for building materials. [fokkejongerden], a student at the [Delft University of Technology] in the Netherlands, proposes one solution for all the plastic that passes through one’s dwelling by turning HDPE into tiles.

Collecting several HDPE containers — widely used and easy enough to process at home — [fokkejongerden] cleaned them thoroughly of their previous contents, and then mulched them with a food processor. An aluminium mold of the tile was  then welded together …read more

34C3: Hacking the Nintendo Switch

See the original posting on Hackaday

There’s a natural order to the world of game console hacking: every time a manufacturer releases a new game console they work in security measures that prevent the end user from running anything but commercially released games, and in turn every hacker worth his or her salt tries to break through. The end goal, despite what the manufacturers may have you believe, is not to run “bootleg” games, but rather to enable what is colloquially referred to as “homebrew”. That is to say, enabling the novel concept of actually running software of your choice on the hardware you paid for. …read more

How to Write Your First .NET Core 2.0 Application

See the original posting on DZone Python

Microsoft .NET Core is a cross-platform open-source software development framework that can be used to build applications for mobile, Windows, and the web. You can learn more about .NET Core here, but in this blog post, we’ll walk you through how to create and publish a .NET Core application for Windows.

To work with .NET Core, first you need to install it from here. While you can use any IDE to create a .NET Core application, I am going to use the Visual Studio 2017 Enterprise version. If you do not have Visual Studio installed, you may want to try the community edition, which can be found for free here. Once the environment is set, launch Visual Studio and create a new project by selecting File->New Project-> Visual C#-> .NET Core-> Console App. Besides C#, a .NET Core application can be used in other languages like Visual Basic.

My RSS feeds from a decade ago, a snapshot of gadget blogging when that was a thing

See the original posting on Boing Boing

I chanced upon an ancient backup of my RSS feed subscriptions, a cold hard stone of data from my time at Wired in the mid-2000s. The last-modified date on the file is December 2007. I wiped my feeds upon coming to Boing Boing thenabouts: a fresh start and a new perspective.

What I found, over 212 mostly-defunct sites, is a time capsule of web culture from a bygone age—albeit one tailored to the professional purpose of cranking out blog posts about consumer electronics a decade ago. It’s not a picture of a wonderful time before all the horrors of Facebook and Twitter set in. This place is not a place of honor. No highly-esteemed deed is commemorated here. But perhaps some of you might like a quick tour, all the same.


Arduino Trivia Box is a Gift Unto Itself

See the original posting on Hackaday

There’s something about impressing strangers on the Internet that brings out the best in us. Honestly, we wouldn’t be able to run this site otherwise. A perfect example of this phenomenon is the annual Reddit Secret Santa, where users are challenged to come up with thoughtful gifts for somebody they’ve never even met before.

For his entry into this yearly demonstration of creativity, [Harrison Pace] wanted to do something that showcased his improving electronic skills while also providing something entertaining to the recipient. So he came up with a box of goodies which is unlocked by the successful completion of …read more

34C3: Fitbit Sniffing and Firmware Hacking

See the original posting on Hackaday

If you walked into a gym and asked to sniff exercise equipment you would get some mighty strange looks. If you tell hackers you’ve sniffed a Fitbit, you might be asked to give a presentation. [Jiska] and [DanielAW] were not only able to sniff Bluetooth data from a run-of-the-mill Fitbit fitness tracker, they were also able to connect to the hardware with data lines using test points etched right on the board. Their Fitbit sniffing talk at 34C3 can be seen after the break. We appreciate their warning that opening a Fitbit will undoubtedly void your warranty since Fitbits don’t …read more

Seven-Segment Flip Clock Display Finally Finished

See the original posting on Hackaday

Earlier this year, we mentioned in a Hackaday Links article that [Spencer Hamblin] was in the process of building a seven-segment flip clock. Well, it’s finally finished, and it looks great!

Vintage seven segment digits make up the display. These digits work the same way that flip-dot displays work – current through each segment’s coil creates a magnetic field which causes the segment to flip over. Current in the other direction creates the opposite magnetic field and flips the segment the other way. On these digits, there are three connections on the coils. The middle one is power and the …read more

Marvel to launch “Create Your Own Comic” app, but “social issues” and “alternative lifestyle advocacy” are banned

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Marvel is launching a website that allows visitors to create their own comics using the company’s pantheon of famous characters. They insist, however, that certain topics not be addressed: social issues, death, farts, and so forth. You wonder: if the trap is so obvious, why walk into it?

Here are some highlights from the very long list of no-no’s:

“Content that could frighten or upset young children or the parents of young children.”
Prescription drugs or over-the-counter medication, vitamins, and dietary supplements.
“Suggestive or revealing images,” including “bare midriffs”
“Sensationalism,” which is not defined but elucidated with the examples “killer bees, gossip, aliens, scandal, etc.”
“Obscenity, bad or offensive language” or “proxies for bad or offensive language.” E.g. no “X@#%!”
“Noises related to bodily functions.”
No politics, including “alternative lifestyle advocacies”
“Misleading language”
“A copy or parody of current or past Marvel advertising creative”
Any “controversial topics,” including “social issues”
Double entendres
Any amusement parks that aren’t Disney amusement parks
Any movie studios that aren’t “affiliated with Marvel”

I can’t wait to play with this.

[Ken Shirriff] Becomes a Core Memory Repairman (Again)

See the original posting on Hackaday

Lately, [Ken Shirriff] has been on some of the most incredible hardware adventures. In his most recent undertaking we find [Ken] elbow-deep in the core memory of a 50-year-old machine, the IBM 1401. The computer wasn’t shut down before mains power was cut, and it has refused to boot ever since. The culprit is in the core memory support circuitry, and thanks to [Ken’s] wonderful storytelling we can travel along with him to repair an IBM 1401.

From a hardware standpoint core memory makes us giddy. It’s a grid of wires with ferrite toroids at every intersection. Bits can be …read more

Getting Your Head Around Vue.js Scoped Slots

See the original posting on DZone Python

Scoped slots are a useful feature of Vue.js that can make components more versatile and reusable. The only problem is they’re difficult to understand! Trying to get your head around the interweaving of parent and child scopes is like solving a tough math equation.

A good approach when you can’t understand something easily is to try put it to use in solving a problem. In this article, I’ll demonstrate how I used scoped slots to build a reusable list component.

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