Read an excerpt from Elizabeth Bear’s next steampunk adventure Stone Mad

See the original posting on The Verge

In 2015, fantasy author Elizabeth Bear released Karen Memory, a steampunk novel about a sex worker living in an alternate 1878 in the Pacific Northwest who runs into trouble when a serial killer begins stalking women in the area. Bear is now back with a short sequel to that novel, Stone Mad, and we have an excerpt.

The story takes place after the events of Karen Memory, in which Karen and her friend Priya are celebrating their survival and rewards from their last adventure. They’ve purchased a ranch and are working on moving on when a pair of spiritualist sisters accidentally stir up an angry tommy-knocker — a magical creature that generally lives in the deep mines — which raises hell in town and drags Karen and Priya back into trouble….

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I got my iPhone’s battery replaced, and I’m angry Apple didn’t tell me to sooner

See the original posting on The Verge

The iPhone 6S Plus from 2015 — old tech, but more than useable (with a new battery)

Two weeks ago, I went to an Apple Store and had a new battery put in my iPhone 6S. The very next day, I realized how unusable my old battery had been making my phone.

The repair restored functionality that had been seeping away so slowly I hadn’t really registered the loss. Apps now load when I tap them, not when they feel like it. The keyboard doesn’t freeze when I try to reply to emails in Outlook. My phone no longer clings to its charging cable like it’s a hospital drip, and the battery itself has stopped taking surprise nosedives from 40 percent charge down to zero when I have the temerity to go outside in the cold. (Yes, cold weather kills batteries.) The trust is back in my relationship with my phone, but as a result, I trust Apple…

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Bullitt is turning smartphones into toolboxes

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Given the fact that we already rely on them for pretty much everything else, why not just go all in and turn our smartphones in to literal toolboxes? Bullitt, the UK-based licensed phone manufacturer behind those Kodak handsets was on hand at Mobile World Congress this week, showing off a pair of super rugged handsets. They’re not for everyone, sure, but in a world where most phones… Read More

Bullitt is turning smartphones into toolboxes

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Given the fact that we already rely on them for pretty much everything else, why not just go all in and turn our smartphones in to literal toolboxes? Bullitt, the UK-based licensed phone manufacturer behind those Kodak handsets was on hand at Mobile World Congress this week, showing off a pair of super rugged handsets. They’re not for everyone, sure, but in a world where most phones… Read More

GoFundMe relaunches nonprofit fundraising site CrowdRise

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 After acquiring CrowdRise over a year ago to double down on fundraising for non-profits, GoFundMe is today taking the wraps off a new product that will supercharge the service. CrowdRise by GoFundMe is a new version of the site that signifies the next step of development for GoFundMe, as it starts to work with larger organizations (and by association, larger campaigns and funding totals). It… Read More

9 great videos of oscillating fans, box fans and other types of large fan

See the original posting on Boing Boing

My only objection to Oscillating Fan Youtube is that the subculture fails to provide the model, make and specifications of their fans. Above is 10 hours of a Lakewood. Next up, an hour of a Lasko-brand box fan (“Finally!!!! I found one that sounds right!!!!! Thank you soooooo much!!!!?,” comments Cateia Jones.)

Here’s a roaring, full-spectrum fan sound that I suspect has had a lot of processing done to it (or is entirely synthetic) despite being presented as a “classic fan sound.” (more…)

The top smartphones of MWC 2018

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Like CES, this week’s Mobile World Congress feels like a bit of a down year, now that the smoke has cleared. Perhaps its was fact that Samsung’s big news stole the show before it even began. Maybe it’s companies’ continued push to launch handsets on their own terms. It could also be that, as many have predicted, the age of the smartphone is truly drawing to an end.… Read More

The HAVIT KB395L RGB Mechanical Keyboard Review: Marvelous Mechanical Minimalism

See the original posting on Anandtech

In today’s review we are taking a look at the KB395L, a mechanical keyboard from HAVIT, a Chinese manufacturer of advanced PC peripherals. Emphasizing a minimalistic design that’s only as big as it needs to be, the KB395L sports RGB backlighting, a programmable layout, and is using Kailh’s new PG1350 blue low-profile tactile switches. And, most importantly, it may just be among the finest professional mechanical keyboards we’ve reviewed to this day.

Someone put this Jason Voorhees statue under a lake to freak out divers

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Friday the 13th‘s bad guy Jason Voorhees can’t die but he can be chained under a lake near Crosby, Minnesota.

Dread Central reports:

Remember the end of Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives where Megan and Tommy manage to trap Jason in the bottom of Crystal Lake? Well, it seems that some random person has recreated this scene by planting a Jason statue, complete with mask and machete, 120 feet deep in a Minnesotan lake that is supposedly very popular with divers!… The statue was planted in 2013 and, as such, has gone through some wear and tear over the years.

The man behind the statue, diver Curtis Lahr, captured this footage of his creepy creation in 2014:

He went back at the end of last year and shot this video to show the goalie mask-wearing villian’s current condition (now 17% more creepy):

P.S. Fans of the franchise may enjoy this upcoming tour of “Camp Crystal Lake” (which takes place at the actual film location in New Jersey, not where the Jason statue is in Minnesota).

Thanks, John!

Wreck-It Ralph sequel breaks the internet

See the original posting on Boing Boing

It’s been six years since Disney’s original Wreck-It Ralph movie. You’ll remember that it was focused on video games. Its sequel, due to release at Thanksgiving, is set inside the internet.

Taking place six years after saving the arcade from Turbo’s vengeance, the Sugar Rush arcade cabinet has broken, forcing Ralph and Vanellope to travel to the Internet via the newly-installed Wi-Fi router in Litwak’s Arcade to retrieve the piece capable of saving the game.

A new teaser trailer for Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 was released Wednesday and it looks like a whole lot of fun.

Side note: I don’t want to spoil it by describing it, but don’t miss the funny “internet-breaking” ad for the film on its IMDB page.

Witness the amazing beginnings of a 10,000-year clock build in this timelapse

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Friends of mine at Because We Can (a local Bay Area “design build architecture” firm) shared some good news:

Congratulations to the Long Now Foundation on beginning installation of the 10,000 year clock. This is a must-see video showing publically for the first time just how far along they are on this bold, ambitious, and world-changing project.

Here’s some info about the incredible clock from the Long Now site:

There is a Clock ringing deep inside a mountain. It is a huge Clock, hundreds of feet tall, designed to tick for 10,000 years. Every once in a while the bells of this buried Clock play a melody. Each time the chimes ring, it’s a melody the Clock has never played before. The Clock’s chimes have been programmed to not repeat themselves for 10,000 years. Most times the Clock rings when a visitor has wound it, but the Clock hoards energy from a different source and occasionally it will ring itself when no one is around to hear it. It’s anyone’s guess how many beautiful songs will never be heard over the Clock’s 10 millennial lifespan.

The Clock is real. It is now being built inside a mountain in western Texas. This Clock is the first of many millennial Clocks the designers hope will be built around the world and throughout time. There is a second site for another Clock already purchased at the top of a mountain in eastern Nevada, a site surrounded by a very large grove of 5,000-year-old bristlecone pines. Appropriately, bristlecone pines are among the longest-lived organisms on the planet. The designers of the Clock in Texas expect its chimes will keep ringing twice as long as the oldest 5 millennia-old bristlecone pine. Ten thousand years is about the age of civilization, so a 10K-year Clock would measure out a future of civilization equal to its past. That assumes we are in the middle of whatever journey we are on – an implicit statement of optimism.

An article Cory posted in 2011 reveals that the clock is funded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

It’s also worth noting that if you’re in San Francisco, you can see a small working prototype of the clock at Long Now’s bar/cafe/museum, The Interval.

Asus’ Zenfone 5 is the king of the MWC iPhone X knockoffs

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Sure, Apple didn’t have any sort of official presence at this year’s MWC, but this was the week the iPhone X really came into its own. The company’s premium flagship was everywhere in spirit, through the design choices from the competition. For some it was the mere legitimization of the notch — for others, the inspiration was a bit more unabashed. With Huawei’s… Read More

Essential’s limited-edition phone colors look spectacular

See the original posting on The Verge

Since the Essential Phone was announced, the teal and copper “Ocean Depths” model has always stood out as the company’s boldest and by far most distinctive color scheme. Months and months of delays later, I wondered if anyone would actually care that it was finally being released — but that changed after seeing it in person.

I’ve seen and held a lot of phones over the last five years, and none has been quite like this. Essential’s Ocean Depths model radiates color. It’s bright and saturated in a surprising blue-green that makes it feel like some lost piece of treasure beside the cavalcade of black and white phones that make up so much of the market.

I don’t know why Essential spent so many months working on this, and I don’t know if…

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Sky Q is getting Spotify, Netflix, and HDR support

See the original posting on The Verge

Netflix integrated into Sky Q

British Satellite TV broadcaster Sky is unveiling a number of new improvements to its Sky Q service this week. Spotify will launch on Sky Q in the UK and Ireland in the spring, and like other third-party apps it will be integrated into the Sky Q interface for quick access to songs and playlists.

Alongside Spotify, Sky is also adding Netflix integration. This highly-requested addition will see Netflix shows like The Crown or Stranger Things be directly available within the Sky Q interface. Sky says it’s bundling the full Netflix service into “a brand new Sky TV subscription pack,” which means existing Netflix customers can migrate to the new Sky TV bundle any pay the Netflix subscription fee to Sky directly, or simply sign into the…

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How to Build a URL Shortener With Node.js and MongoDB

See the original posting on DZone Python

In this post, we’ll show you how to build a URL shortening service like or using Express.js (Node.js) and MongoDB. Here’s a demo of the final product we’ll be building through our MongoDB hosting platform.

How Does a URL Shortener Work?

At a very high level, the URL shortener works by taking an entered URL and creating a relatively shortened version simplified into an easy to share format. The shortened hash will be generated by base-encoding an auto-incremented counter and creates a minimum three-character hash that increases as the number of stored URLs go up.

Bye Bye, Maplin

See the original posting on Hackaday

Well, that was quick. Four days ago we mentioned that the British electronics retail chain Maplin was being offered for sale, and today it has been announced that no buyer has been found and the company is going into administration.

We dealt with all the nostalgia for what was roughly a British equivalent to Radio Shack in our previous post. Perhaps now it’s time to look beyond the jumpers-for-goalposts reminiscences about spaceships on the catalogues for a moment, and consider what this means for us in 2018.

It’s fairly obvious that a retail model for selling either electronic tat or …read more

Apply for Startup Battlefield Europe Today

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Ah, springtime in Paris — the City of Love. Couples strolling hand-in-hand down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Early-stage tech startups converging on the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles…um, say what? That’s right. Love of technology is in the air, and TechCrunch will host Startup Battlefield Europe at VivaTech on May 24th – 25.  Applications are still open! apply… Read More

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