You Bring It, This Blings It: Retrofitting a Hot Foil Stamping Machine

See the original posting on Hackaday

Hot foil stamping is a method often used to embellish and emboss premium print media. It’s used on things like letterhead and wedding invitations to add a touch of luxury. The operation is actually quite simple, where a custom die is heated, pressed into a heat transfer foil, and then transferred on to the print media. Some of the very first manuscripts used gold leaf embossing to decorate intricate calligraphy. You can also see it often used to decorate the sides of religious texts.

Professional foil stamping machines are often pricey and the cheaper ones you can get from eBay …read more

Birds don’t fart, neither do sloths, and other secrets of #DoesItFart

See the original posting on The Verge

For the bolson pupfish, a good fart can be a lifesaver: These little fish live in shallow pools in Mexico where they slurp algae off of rocks and burrow into the sediment to hide from predators. When temperatures rise in the summer, the algae squirt out gas bubbles that the pupfish suck down when they eat — making them bloated, and, worse, buoyant.

The puffed-up pupfish float back to the water’s surface where they’re easy pickings for predators. But that’s not even the worst part: if they don’t fart in time, “sometimes, it’s so bad that they explode,” says Dani Rabaiotti, a zoology graduate student at University College London.

These pupfish are among the 80 different animals that Rabaiotti, her co-author Nicholas Caruso, a…

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Concert: Kíla – Live at Vicar Street

See the original posting on Boing Boing

I got my first Kíla album in the mid-1990s while I was going to university in Halifax, Canada. It was a big deal.

Lemme give you some background: my folks declared bankruptcy the week that I shipped off to school. The financial help I assumed would be there for me, wasn’t. I watched, near penniless, as my fellows drank themselves into oblivion and got to know one another. I couldn’t afford to participate. I couldn’t afford the books from the extensive reading list I’d been given. The only thing that I had going for me was that I’d used my student loan to pay for a meal plan as part of my first semester’s tuition. I quickly found the work I needed to get by, teaching music, doing audio/visual duty for the classes I was attending, rattling locks as a security guard and playing in a bar band to make ends meet. I was exhausted much of the time.

There wasn’t a lot of room in my life for joy back then.

Around the middle of the school year, I received a letter from my mother. It explained that the she’d come by a coupon, good for $25 at HMV–a Canadian and British music store franchise. The thought of buying new music–new anything, really–at the time, didn’t have a place in my head, given how hard it was to come by books or cover my day-to-day expenses. I’ve never listened to a lot of popular music. My tastes lean towards OG punk and Irish/Scots traditional music. HMV’s offerings, in these areas, was limited. Thumbing through CDs in the store’s tiny world music section, I came across Kíla for the first time. I’d never heard of them, but the name of the album I had in my hands, Tóg É Go Bog É, spoke to me. It translates, roughly, as ‘take it easy.’ I handed over my coupon and took the CD home with me.

It was like having happiness poured into my ears.

I’d stumbled on a group of musicians hellbent on breathing new meaning and life into the traditional music I’d grown up with. Their compositions were original. They sang in Irish–a language I so rarely, at the time, had a reason to use. Having their music fill my head made me feel like I was a part of something larger than myself. The problems that came from money and the stress of not having having any felt small in comparison to the enormity of culture, tradition and love that their music suggested.

Kíla’s music has been a constant in my life, ever since.

I’ve not been fortunate enough to catch them in concert, yet. But this video of one of their shows from a few years back gives me an idea of what standing in the same room as them might be like.

A basket full of revolting EasterFools’ Day ‘treats’

See the original posting on Boing Boing

For the first time in over 60 years, Easter and April Fools’ Day are on the same day, creating the rare EasterFools’ Day holiday.

To celebrate, former NASA-JPL engineer/current science YouTube star Mark Rober (previously) went on Jimmy Kimmel Live to demonstrate some easy pranks for this rare double holiday. For example, he fills hollow chocolate bunnies with broccolini and calls them “Brocco-Bunny” and puts Brussels sprouts on sticks and then dips them in melted chocolate, creating “Brussels Pops.”

What he does with mayonnaise is unforgivable. And the kids they give these EasterFools’ “treats” to are surely scarred for life.

FYI: the next EasterFools’ Day happens in 2029.

Simple Decoder Serves as Solo Ham’s Test Buddy

See the original posting on Hackaday

For a hobby that’s ostensibly all about reaching out to touch someone, ham radio can often be a lonely activity. Lots of hams build and experiment with radio gear much more than they’re actually on the air, improving their equipment iteratively. The build-test-tweak-repeat cycle can get a little tedious, though, especially when you’re trying to assess signal strength and range and can’t find anyone to give you a report.

To close the loop on field testing, [WhiskeyTangoHotel] threw together a simple ham radio field confirmation unit that’s pretty slick. It relies on the fact that almost every ham radio designed …read more

Sharpening with Bluetooth

See the original posting on Hackaday

Few things are as frustrating in the kitchen as a dull knife. [Becky] and her chef friend collaborated to build a Bluetooth module to tell you when you are sharpening a knife at the optimum angle. That might sound a little specialized, but the problem boils down to one that is common enough in a lot of situations: how do you tell your exact orientation while in motion? That is, with the knife moving rapidly back and forth over the sharpening stone, how can you measure the angle of the blade reliably?

Looking for a challenge, [Becky’s] first attempt was …read more

Giving A 6th Generation iPod A New Lease On Life

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It can be disheartening when a favoured device begins to break-down. Afflicted by an all-but-dead battery and a fritzing-out hard drive, Redditor [cswimc] sensed the imminent doom creeping up on their 6th generation iPod, and responded by reviving and upgrading the decrepit device instead!

It’s no easy task to crack open one of these things, so they found themselves taking their time and carefully wedging the pry tool between the front and back covers, working their way around the exterior. Once separated, gingerly disconnecting the few ribbon cables allowed the iPod to be opened fully. From there, they turned to  …read more

ASP.NET Core – CRUD Using Angular 5 and Entity Framework Core, Part 1

See the original posting on DZone Python

In this article series, we are going to create a web application using ASP.NET Core 2.0 and Angular 5 with the help of Entity Framework Core’s database first approach. We will be creating a sample Employee Record Management system. To read the inputs from the user, we are using Angular Forms with required field validations on the client side. We are also going to bind a dropdown list in the Angular Form to a table in the database using EF Core.

We will be using Visual Studio 2017 and SQL Server 2012.

The Internet of Three-Pointers

See the original posting on Hackaday

When tossing something into the rubbish bin, do you ever concoct that momentary mental scenario where you’re on a basketball court charging the net — the game’s final seconds ticking down on the clock — making a desperate stretch and flicking some crumpled paper perfectly into the basket only for no one to notice your awesome skills? Well, now you can show off how good you are at throwing out garbage.

Well, not strictly garbage. The genesis of this IoT basketball hoop was in fact an inflatable ball on [Brandon Rice]’s desk that he felt would be more fun to …read more

A Retrocomputer Disk On A Chip

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There have been a lot of different mass storage methods over the relatively short lifespan of the computer. Magnetic tapes, drums, all sorts of disks, and flash memory have each had their time. Each of these new innovations required some time to become easy to use. One of the early attempts to simplify using flash memory was the M-Systems DiskOnChip device. Looking like a standard 8K JEDEC-compatible memory device, it actually provided access to a flash disk drive ranging from 16MB to 1GB. [Smbakeryt] bought some of these devices and built an ISA board to provide a disk and clock …read more

Niantic to settle Pokémon GO Fest lawsuit for over $1.5M

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Back in July of last year, Niantic organized an outdoor festival focusing on its augmented reality game, Pokémon GO. In theory, players would come from all around for a day of wandering Chicago’s Grant Park, meeting other players and catching new/rare Pokémon. It… did not go as planned. Widespread cellular connectivity and logistical issues brought […]

Alexa gets a DVR recording skill

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Slowly but surely, Alexa’s becoming a more competent catchall video assistant. Back in January, Amazon launched its Video Skill API designed to offer more control over apps from cable and satellite companies. An update this week brings the ever-important ability to use the smart assistant to start recoding. The skill joins a number of functions […]

DIY Mini-Amp Goes to Eleven

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On the day mini-amps were invented, electric guitar players the world over rejoiced.  No longer would they be house-bound when jamming out on their favourite guitar. It is a doubly wondrous day indeed when an electric guitar-inclined maker realizes they can make their own.

[Frank Olson Music] took apart an old pair of headphones and salvaged the speakers — perhaps intending to replicate a vintage sound — and set them aside. Relying on the incisive application of an X-Acto knife, [Olson] made swift work cutting some basswood planks into pieces of the amp before gluing them together — sizing it …read more

Jake Paul is getting his own talk show on YouTube Red

See the original posting on The Verge

Controversial vlogger Jake Paul, brother to similarly controversial vlogger Logan Paul, is developing a talk show for YouTube Red. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paul will host and executive produce the show, which is described as having a “late-night variety show feel.” The pilot for the as-of-yet untitled series is expected to start shooting as early as May.

Gavin Purcell will executive produce the pilot. (Purcell produced Late Night with Jimmy Fallon before working as head of video for The Verge’s parent company, Vox Media; he recently signed on as showrunner for Sarah Silverman’s upcoming Hulu show I Love You, America.) However, a YouTube spokesperson told Variety that the Paul show is just one of several projects the service…

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Amazon’s Alexa can now set DVR recordings

See the original posting on The Verge

Alexa’s ability to control DVRs is going to improve in the near future. Amazon announced today that it’s updated its Video Skill API so that Alexa can now start recordings, launch an app, or carry out playback commands. Multiple set-top box makers already have Alexa skills, including Dish, Verizon, TiVo, and DirecTV. They’ll be updating their skills, Amazon says, and some have already been experimenting with these new features.

Users will be able to say things like, “Alexa, record the Cubs game,” and the set-top box will plan a recording. They’ll also be able to tell the assistant to launch specific apps or services, like, “Alexa, launch Netflix.” Finally, they’ll be able to say, “Alexa, pause,” without having to explicitly name their…

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ClearVoice helps freelance writers show off their portfolios

See the original posting on TechCrunch

ClearVoice recently launched a new feature to give freelancers a better way to show off their work and get new jobs. CV Portfolios offer an easier alternative to personal websites that are often sparsely populated, out-of-date or otherwise neglected. Thanks a technology that the company is calling VoiceGraph, writers no longer have to keep the […]

Moment lenses — the DSLR killer?

See the original posting on TechCrunch

I travel with a Canon DSLR and two primes, a 35mm f1.4 and an 85mm f1.2 (endearingly nicknamed, “the fat kid”). Switching lenses is cumbersome and not ideal in certain environments, like a Saigon street market, densely crowded with vendors, tourists and thieves. After lugging this camera kit through six countries last year, I upgraded […]

Google’s on-by-default ‘Articles for You’ leverage browser dominance for 2,100 percent growth

See the original posting on TechCrunch

When you’ve got leverage, don’t be afraid to use it. That’s been Google’s modus operandi in the news and publishing world over the last year or so as it has pushed its AMP platform, funding various news-related ventures that may put it ahead, and nourished its personalized Chrome tabs on mobile. The latter, as Nieman Labs notes, grew 2,100 percent in 2017.

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