50 years later, nearly-forgotten all-girl ‘Summer of Love’ band cuts their first album

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Over fifty years ago, an all-female rock band based out of San Francisco played to “Summer of Love” crowds. The popularity of Ace of Cups grew quickly and, thanks to a good manager, they were soon on the same bill as Steppenwolf, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Country Joe and the Fish, The Band, Jefferson Airplane, and other popular acts at that time.

In fact, the weekend after Monterey Pop Festival, they opened for Jimi Hendrix at a concert in Golden Gate Park.

Despite their early success, the dynamics of the band changed when the women started having children. Never signed to a record label, they simply didn’t have the resources to continue playing music together like their brother bands did.

This short documentary by KQED Arts shares their story:

The Ace of Cups didn’t set out to be an all-girl band. The group’s original five members — Mary Gannon, Marla Hunt, Denise Kaufman, Mary Ellen Simpson and Diane Vitalich — came together guided by the communal spirit that blanketed Summer of Love-era San Francisco. Up to that point, most all-female bands had worn matching outfits and played cover songs. But with original songs that reflected their circumstances, the Ace of Cups played with groups like The Band, Jefferson Airplane, and even Jimi Hendrix, an avowed fan.

Despite their impact in San Francisco, in the intervening years the Ace of Cups were relegated to footnote status, all but written out of history books.

Until now, that is.

Four out of the original five band members, all in their seventies, have come back together to record new and old music together. Their first album will be released by High Moon Records in Spring 2018.

Thanks, Chuck!

The 2019 Mercedes E-class gets the electric boost it needs

See the original posting on The Verge

The G-Wagen may be the showstopper for Mercedes-Benz at the NAIAS, but we’re also interested in the batteries powering new 53-Series AMG E-Class.

These 53-series models of the CLS, the E-Class Coupe, and the E-Class Cabriolet are now certified autobahn burners, with a brand new, electrified 3.0-liter engine featuring an exhaust gas turbocharger and an electric auxiliary compressor. The E-Class, the company’s middle-of-the-road line of cars that slot between the entry-level luxury C-Class and the flagship S-Class, is the latest in Mercedes’ lineup to get the new electrified EQ boost powertrain with an added 21 horsepower output.

To be sure, the E-Class isn’t going full-electric, or even hybrid. (The…

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HTC unveils U11 Eyes with dual front cameras and massive battery

See the original posting on The Verge

HTC has unveiled its new U11 Eyes phone, featuring dual front cameras that the company says are designed for taking selfies. The two front-facing 5-megapixel cameras feature HDR boost, a bokeh mode which adjusts the depth-of-field in photographs (in real-time or after the photo is taken), and a beauty mode that HTC promises will create “spectacular selfies.”

The U11 also has a Snapdragon 652 processor, a 6-inch screen, 12MP rear camera, face unlock, and edge sense (a HTC gimmick that allows you to launch apps, zoom into maps, or perform other functions by squeezing the sides of the phone). It’s also water and dust resistant and has a massive 3,930mAh battery. It’s a mid-range device, but features the same liquid-shiny design as earlier U…

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Alexa will one day be able to tell you what it thinks about movies and beer

See the original posting on The Verge

Alexa’s favorite beer is Budweiser, and whether or not you agree with it, it’ll one day also have thoughts on TV shows, films, and other subjects. As reported by TechCrunch, Amazon’s voice assistant, which already offers information about what’s showing on TV, will also be able to personally recommend its favorite films, for example. “Having an opinion makes you more interesting, even as an assistant,” Amazon Fire TV VP Marc Whitten told TechCrunch. Whitten states that speaking to an assistant should be like having a conversation rather than just asking fact-based questions. “This is the 2018 version of the video buff at the video rental store,” he said.

While Alexa can respond to questions like “What should I watch?” based on your…

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Some Pixel 2 XL screens are actually good

See the original posting on The Verge

When it first launched in October, Google’s Pixel 2 XL was met with a ton of criticism — much of it coming from me — about its sub-par display. Among the issues identified by reviewers were muted colors, a potential image retention problem, and, most obvious of all, a horrible blue shift anytime you were looking at the screen at an angle. It was all serious enough to prompt Google to extend the Pixel 2 XL warranty by a year and issue a software update to recalibrate the phone’s colors. The one thing Google couldn’t fix was that blue color shift, but as it turns out, that problem isn’t universal to all Pixel 2 XLs: some devices out there don’t have it nearly as bad as others.

I was first alerted to this fact by the Jerome Ortega video…

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GPD Win 2 pocket gaming laptop announced for $649

See the original posting on The Verge

Last year I wrote about the GPD Win, a clunky but ultimately impressive Atom-powered gaming laptop the size of a 3DS. Now, Shenzhen-based GPD has announced its successor, the Win 2. It’s looking like a much more potent device, but comes with a price tag to match.

The Win 2 upgrades the original model’s Atom processor to a Core m3-7Y30 with integrated HD Graphics 615, doubles the RAM to 8GB, and increases the screen size to a 6-inch panel while remaining at 720p. The battery capacity has also been increased by nearly 50 percent, courtesy of two 4900mAh batteries.

Otherwise, some design tweaks here and additions like rumble support there, the Win 2 is a similar proposition to the original Win — it’s a pocket-sized Windows 10 laptop with…

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Alibaba blames politics as Taobao retains place on US government naughty list

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 It hasn’t been a great couple of weeks for Alibaba in the U.S.. First affiliate Ant Financial’s proposed acquisition of MoneyGram collapsed due to objections from the U.S. government, now its Taobao service has the dubious honor of again featuring on the USTR (United States Trade Representative) naughty list. Taobao, Alibaba’s hugely popular marketplace, is among 25… Read More

This Portable Pi May Not Be What You Expect

See the original posting on Hackaday

In the years since the Raspberry Pi and other similar inexpensive Linux-capable single board computers came to the market, we have shown you a huge variety of projects using them at the heart of portable computers. These normally take the form of a laptop or tablet project, but today we have one that starts from a completely different perspective.

The “Kindleberry Pi Zero W” from [Ben Yarmis] does not attempt to create an enclosure or form factor for a portable computing solution. Instead it’s fair to say that it is more of a software hack than a hardware one, as …read more

Imagine A Cluster Of ESP32s

See the original posting on Hackaday

When the ESP32 microcontroller first appeared on the market it’s a fair certainty that somewhere in a long-forgotten corner of the Internet a person said: “Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those things!”.

Someone had to do it, and it seems that the someone in question was [Kodera2t], who has made a mini-cluster of 4 ESP32 modules on a custom PCB. They might not be the boxed computers that would come to mind from a traditional cluster, but an ESP32 module is a little standalone computer with processing power that wouldn’t have looked too bad on your desktop only in the …read more

Translating Phoenix Applications With Gettext

See the original posting on DZone Python

Phoenix is a fast and reliable MVC framework written in the language Elixir (which, in turn, relies on Erlang). It has many features that should be familiar to developers who come from the Rails or Django world, but, at the same time, it may seem a bit complex at first due to Elixir’s functional nature.

In this article, you will learn about Phoenix i18n. I’ll walk you through how to add support for i18n in Phoenix applications with the help of Gettext (which is a default dependency). You will learn what Gettext is, what PO and POT files are, how to generate them and easily extract translations from your views. I will also talk about supporting multiple locales, pluralization rules, and domains. If you would like to run the code samples presented in this article locally, you’ll need to install OTP (at least 18), Elixir (at least 1.4) and, of course, the Phoenix framework itself (version 1.3 will be used in this tutorial).

Pi Weather Lamp Puts Lava Lamps To Shame

See the original posting on Hackaday

Representing the weather on an LED lamp in a manner that’s easy to interpret can be difficult, but [Gosse Adema]’s weather/matrix lamp makes it not only obvious what the weather is but also offers a very attractive display. For rain, drops of light move downward, and for wind, sideways. The temperature is shown using a range of colors from red to blue, and since he is situated in the Netherlands he needed snow, which he shows as white. A rainy, windy day has lights moving both down and sideways with temperature information as the background.

To implement it he mounted …read more

The 2019 Mercedes G-Class looks vintage but has a killer voice assistant

See the original posting on The Verge

Mercedes-Benz has redefined the G-Wagen. On Sunday, it revealed the the 2019 G550 during the Detroit Auto Show. While the exterior looks much the same as the big, boxy icon, it’s finally a remade vehicle with modern technology. Like your remodeled Palm Springs midcentury house, its up-to-date inside. That’s important, given that Mercedes’ most upmarket customers pick this car over any other SUV in their lineup. It’s a retro-looking unapologetic car that actually works in the modern-tech world.


When it comes to the interior UX, the 2019 G-Wagen has all the updated entertainment features, despite its classic rough exterior. Its voice assistant has two TFT screens, and makes it feel like a modern car on the…

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Hackaday Links: The ‘S’ In ‘CES’ Stands For Snake Oil

See the original posting on Hackaday

Remember IRDA? Before we had Bluetooth and WiFi, the cool kids connected their computers and printers together over fancy Infrared connections. Yes, your computer probably still has the drivers, but the hardware is nowhere to be found. For good reason, too: we now have Bluetooth and WiFi. This year, at CES, IRDA is making a comeback. MyLiFi is a product from OLEDCOMM that puts infrared connectivity in a lamp. All you need to do is plug an Ethernet cable into a desk lamp, a proprietary dongle into your computer, and you too can reap the benefits of a wireless connection …read more

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ returns to Hulu on April 25 (and here’s a new trailer)

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 The first season of The Handmaid’s Tale has been a home run for Hulu — the series has been embraced by awards voters, and it was one of the streaming service’s most-watched dramas last year. This weekend, Hulu has been working to build up anticipation for the 13-episode second season, with the release of the first images and the announcement that the show will return sometime… Read More

Cable Cutting Machine Makes Fast Work of a Tedious Job

See the original posting on Hackaday

We’ve all been there: faced with a tedious job that could be knocked out manually with a modest investment of time, we choose instead to overcomplicate the task and build something to do it for us. Such was the impetus behind this automated wire cutter, but in this case the ends justify the means.

That [Edward Carlson] managed to stretch a twenty-minute session with wire cutters and a tape measure into four days of building and tweaking this machine is pretty impressive. The build process was jump-started by modifying an off-the-shelf wire measuring machine, of the kind one finds in …read more

There’s more to fear than the cold in the trailer for AMC’s new horror show, The Terror

See the original posting on The Verge

AMC has released a new, full trailer for its upcoming horror show, The Terror, showing off a period drama in which the crews of a pair of stranded ships face death in the Arctic.

The trailer presents a terrifying story: two British ships, the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, get trapped in the ice as they search for the Northern Passage, and their crews face bitter cold temperatures, illness, and dwindling supplies. It’s not long before they realize that there might be something else killing them: an unseen, massive monster that seems to be stalking and picking them off one by one.

Produced by Alien director Ridley Scott, the show is based on Dan Simmons’ 2007 novel by the same name. It’s a fictionalized account of the real expedition,…

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Robotic Table Saw Automates Finger Joints

See the original posting on Hackaday

We’ve all seen finger joints or box joints, those interlocking puzzle pieces that make laser-cut plywood enclosures such a fixture for DIY projects. But laser cutters make finger joints look much easier to fabricate than they are with traditional woodworking tools, which often lead to disappointing results.

But this finger joint cutting robot is no traditional woodworking tool, and [timschefter] put a lot of work into building the rig. We have to admit that when we first saw the video below, the thought of having a table saw in our shop that could be turned on with a button on …read more

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