The Cake Robot is No Lie

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[52 Skillz] didn’t know anything about building robots. So he decided to not just read about it or make a simple robot. He jumped right in and wanted to build a robot that could make a cake. It took about a year and a half but it now — mostly — works, as you can see in the video below.

Granted it isn’t perfect and it isn’t really all that practical. But as a learning exercise, it was certainly ambitious and successful. Apparently, you still have to scrape the bowl a little by hand to get some of the flour …read more

RIP Larry Harvey, Burning Man founder

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A few weeks ago, Burning Man founder Larry Harvey suffered a massive stroke. Today I have learned that he has passed. He was 70 years old.

Marian Goodell, Burning Man’s CEO, made the announcement:

Our founder, friend, and original instigator, Larry Harvey has passed away. Larry suffered a massive stroke at his home on the morning of April 4. We resolutely held out for a miracle. If there was anyone tenacious, strong-willed and stubborn enough to come back from this challenge, it was Larry. Though we all hoped he would recover, he passed peacefully this morning at 8:24am in San Francisco, with members of his family at his side…

Read Marian’s announcement in its entirety here: The Man in the Hat, Larry Harvey, Passes

Larry’s friend of some 25 years and a director of the Project, Stuart Mangrum, penned a tribute that detailed Harvey’s life:

…As a denizen of San Francisco in the 1980s, Larry found himself drawn to the sorts of Bohemian scenes that are often the breeding grounds for serendipitous collaborations. And when he started hosting his own happenings on Baker Beach, he lit a flame that in turn drew these free spirits to him. He joined forces with the San Francisco Cacophony Society, and its members became some of the first Burners. When San Francisco authorities shut down the Baker Beach Burn in 1990, it was these Cacophonist colleagues who helped orchestrate the event’s relocation to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.

Over the next three decades, Harvey fought tirelessly to keep the event going, through dark days of organizational strife, government opposition, and financial uncertainty, as well as through boom times of community growth and unbridled creativity. Through it all he pursued his vision with a single-minded determination. In the words of his contemporary Stewart Brand, he created something that has “surpassed in every way” all other offspring of the San Francisco counterculture. Burning Man is now a global, year-round community, with 85 official regional events on six continents, and hundreds of thousands of passionate participants…

Read all of Stuart’s words here: In Memoriam: Larry Harvey, 1948–2018

The Project offers these ways to share memories and offer financial gifts in his memory:

In lieu of flowers, you are invited to share memories of Larry at We’ve also received inquiries about financial gifts. At the request of friends of Burning Man, Burning Man Project has established the Larry Harvey Art and Philosophy Fund to support art projects, philosophical endeavors, and other work that reflects Larry’s passion for the playful and the profound. Please see for more information.

In addition, his brother Stewart Harvey has created a photo essay in his honor.

I’m still in shock but I’d like to share this: This is my community and I’m truly saddened by the news. I fell into Burning Man in 1995, shortly after arriving to California, and was soon pulled into the greater shenanigans of the San Francisco Cacophony Society a month later. That was when I was reborn as “Rusty Blazenhoff” (I arrived to the Bay Area with a birth name). I have Larry and all the early playa pioneers to thank for giving me a space to be me. Without Burning Man, I feel certain that I would not be the “professional free spirit” I am today, and that includes being a blogger for Boing Boing. So, thank you, Larry. You are missed already.

As my longtime friend Juke, who I met through the Burning Man community oh-so-many years ago, writes, “We’re gonna need a bigger temple…”

screenshot via

Vastly Improving The Battery Life On Cheap Action Cams

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At one time, GoPro was valued at over eleven Billion dollars. It’s now on the verge of being a penny stock, because if surfers can make action cams and video editing software, anyone can. Action cams are everywhere, and one of the cheapest is the SQ11. It’s a rip-off of the Polaroid Cube, has a non-standard USB socket, a tiny battery, and the video isn’t that great. It only costs eight dollars, though, so [pixelk] decided to vastly expand the abilities of this cheap camera for a Hackaday Prize entry.

The major shortcoming of the SQ11 action cam is the …read more

Original Content podcast: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is even more intense in season two

See the original posting on TechCrunch

While streaming and bingeing seem increasingly synonymous, Hulu’s biggest hit The Handmaid’s Tale actually feels like an anti-binge. Some of that is just Hulu’s release strategy, where it doesn’t release an entire season at once, but instead comes out of the gate with a handful of new episodes (two this week for the launch of […]

Catch up on the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 17 minutes before Avengers: Infinity War

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Avengers: Infinity War is now out in theaters, the culmination of 10 years of superhero movies. Starting with Iron Man in 2008, the franchise’s 19 installments have built on one another to form a massive, cohesive story. That’s daunting 31 hours of story that set up this latest movie. Fortunately, YouTube supercut channel Burger Fiction has you covered with a 17 minute video that hits all the high points of the franchise.

Burger Fiction has made a number of these sorts of compilations of everything from major Academy Award categories to the evolution of characters and actors over the history of cinema, to big franchise catch-ups.

If you wanted to get caught up before the latest installment hit theaters, you would have either had to have…

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An Open-Source Turbomolecular Pump Controller

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It’s not every project write-up that opens with a sentence like “I had this TURBOVAC 50 turbomolecular pump laying around…”, but then again not every write-up comes from someone with a lab as stuffed full of goodies as that of [Niklas Fauth]. His pump had an expired controller board, so he’s created an open-source controller of his own centred upon an STM32. Intriguingly he mentions its potential use as “I want to do more stuff with sputtering and Ion implantation in the future“, as one does of course.

So given that probably not many Hackaday readers have a …read more

9 new trailers you should watch this week

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Last weekend, I finally got around to watching The Bad Batch, Ana Lily Amirpour’s second feature — her first being the excellent vampire film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. I knew from its previews that The Bad Batch would be weird, but I guess I thought it would be “unique take on a classic genre” weird, like her last film was. Instead, it’s just downright bizarre.

I’m honestly still not entirely sure what to make of The Bad Batch. I thought maybe it was saying something about body image and men subjugating women — there are cannibals who are really jacked and seem to eat a lot of women, and at least one who makes extremely flattering portraits of people he likes; plus the protagonist keeps trying to restore her missing limbs after…

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Deals on Amazon Echos, smart speakers, and more smart home devices

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Last week in this column, we featured a sale on Amazon’s smart home hubs, the Echo and Echo Dot, which were on sale for $84.99 and $39.99, respectively. This week you can get both of those devices, as well as the rest of the Echo family of devices, for even less. If you don’t mind refurbished, you can get an Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus and Echo Show for up to $20 off the usual refurb price. The best deal is probably on the Certified Refurbished Echo Plus for $109.99 (usually $129.99). A new Echo Plus costs $149.99. This deal ends on Monday, May 7th.

This weekend is your last chance to pick up an Anker PowerLine Lightning or USB-C cable with The Verge’s exclusive discount codes. The PowerLine+ Lightning Cable in the red color is on sale for…

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Reach new audiences with this animation studio

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When it comes to telling a story, animation is a powerful tool, especially in the realm of marketing. Whether you’re pushing a new product or just trying to cultivate a larger following, utilizing fun animations is an effective way to reach new audiences. Animation Studio Pro gives you the tools you need to create animations and graphics that will engage your audience, even if you have zero design or technical coding know-how, and you can get it today for $49.99 in the Boing Boing Store.

Used by business heavyweights like NASA, Facebook, and Google, Animatron Studio allows you to make mobile-friendly, entertaining animations in an intuitive, collaborative environment right in your browser. You’ll get access to thousands of free, pre-animated characters, backgrounds, and props and have the resources to create fun projects, like explainer videos, HTML5 banners and animations, stunning presentations, and more.

You can sign up today for $49.99 in the Boing Boing Store.

PCB Take on Stars, Moons, and Ringed Planets is Gold

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Remember when PCBs were green and square? That’s the easy default, but most will agree that when you’re going to show off your boards instead of hiding them in a case, it’s worth extra effort to make them beautiful. We’re in a renaissance of circuit board design and the amount of effort being poured into great looking boards is incredible. The good news is that this project proves you don’t have to go nuts to achieve great results. This stars, moons, and planets badge looks superb using just two technical tricks: exposed (plated) copper and non-rectangular board outline.

Don’t take …read more

Six questions and answers about the post-credits scene in Avengers: Infinity War

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Ever since Nick Fury first showed up at Tony Stark’s house to plug the Avengers Initiative at the end of 2008’s Iron Man, post-credit scenes have been a staple of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Sometimes they’re just a little gag, a bonus for sitting through the credits, like the sequence of the Avengers silently eating shawarma together in a partially wrecked New York City takeout after the catastrophic fight in The Avengers, or the Howard the Duck cameo after Guardians of the Galaxy. Much more often, though, they’re specific teases for a Marvel movie that’s coming up on the release docket, from the initial visit to Wakanda at the end of Captain America: Civil War to tease events in Black Panther to the various scenes introducing the…

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What’s new in tabletop gaming? (April edition)

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Last month, I posted the first of what I hope will be a series of Boing Boing articles looking at the latest tabletop miniature, board, card, and roleplaying games, and some of what’s going on in tabletop gaming culture. Here is some of what’s been holding my attention this month.

Mythic Battles: Pantheon
Monolith Games, 1-4 Players, Ages 14+
I was bummed when I thought I wouldn’t have an opportunity to plug this game here on Boing Boing. Mythic Battles: Pantheon was a Kickstarter exclusive game in 2016, a campaign in which Monolith/Mythic Games raked in nearly US$2.7 million. I was lucky enough to be one of the backers. The rewards for the base game and stretch goals amounted to two gigantic doorstop boxes filled with some of the most gorgeous, detailed minis, boards, cards, and other components I’ve ever seen. There are few recent games (see Rising Sun below) that are lovelier than Mythic Battles. A board game/miniatures hybrid, the Mythic Battles pits (usually) 2 players and their hosts of Greek gods, titans, monsters, and heroes against each other.

I cannot tell you how much I love this game. Besides the beautiful miniatures and components, which are all highly evocative of the setting, Mythic Battles: Pantheon has some really unique and interesting game mechanics, mostly driven through an activation deck and special “Art of War” cards, which serve as wild cards that allow you to perform a number of special actions. This really is ultimately a deck management game. Once you get the hang of how to work your deck to your advantage, and the timing and the dramatic turn-arounds triggered by the deck, the game becomes very epic-feeling, quite exciting, and strategically and tactically fulfilling.

The reason that I’m mentioning Mythic Battles: Pantheon here is that, in June, Monolith will be launching a second Kickstarter campaign. If you love beautiful, not overly complicated, fun, and very re-playable miniatures and board games, card management games, and Greek mythology, start saving your couch-crack money now and follow the Mythic Battles Facebook page so you’ll be ready when they relaunch.

Badgers & Burrows
Osprey Games, US$30, 2 Players, Ages 10+
To be honest, I kind of wanted to hate this game. Osprey has been cranking out the miniature skirmish game rule books of late, covering every imaginable genre. When I opened the package for Badgers & Burrows, I thought they might have finally jumped the shark.

But when I started thumbing through it, seeing the charming photos of the gaming minis, and reading the rules, I stopped rolling my eyes. I think, hot on the heels of the amazing Stuffed Fables, I am also more open to the idea of kiddie wargames.

This really does seem like a fun and engaging gateway game to get tweens, and even younger kids, into fantasy wargaming. And it appears to be engaging enough to hold the attention of adults, too. Like Stuffed Fables, this would be a fantastic family gaming experience. I can only imagine how much fun it would be to help your child put together and paint a warband of bunnies, badgers, mice, rats, and the like.

Miniature Wargames magazine
After I wrote a review of Tabletop Gaming magazine here on Boing Boing, the publisher sent me some copies of their companion magazine, Miniature Wargames. Where Tabletop Gaming covers every flavor of game, from wargames to card games, to RPGs and boardgames, Miniature Wargames exclusively covers all manner of miniature-based wargames, from historicals to miniature games in the sci-fi, fantasy, and horror genres. The mag is heavy on historical games (my least favorite genre) and the design is less sophisticated and engaging than Tabletop. It’s a well-done magazine, but if I were ponying up for an exclusive wargaming magazine, I would subscribe to Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy (I have before) or Wargames Illustrated. Actually, what I recommend (to save yourself the exorbitant shipping costs of these European magazines) is to convince your FLGS (Friendly Local Gaming Store) to carry copies of all three and then you can purchase the issues that have the game coverage you’re most interested in.

Dungeon Degenerates: Hand of Doom
GOBLINKO, $70, 1-4 players, Ages 10+ (Not Suitable for Squares)
The popularity of tabletop gaming is not only at an all-time high, but so is the quality of the games being produced. High-quality on-demand printing, crowdfunding, 3D design and printing, and the availability of custom component manufacturing at affordable prices have allowed for a new market of small-run indie game producers. If you design it, they will come. Now an indie designer/artist can have a great idea for a game, crowdfund it, and if it’s good, s/he will get the needed money and support to produce their game. One game designing/artist couple that is taking full advantage of this current environment is Sean and Kate Äaberg of GOBLINKO. Their crowdfunded game, Dungeon Degenerates, has been a surprise hit, even showing up on popular game programs like Geek & Sundry’s Game the Game.

The first thing you notice about Dungeon Degenerates is that Sean’s psychedelic nightmare artwork wants to melt your eyeballs and make steam shoot out of your ears. If you’re already familiar with underground, metal-flecked games like Cave Evil or the eyeball-seering art of Skinner,

Homebrew Not a Hakko

See the original posting on Hackaday

We don’t know if [Marius Taciuc] was thinking about how all Jedi make their own lightsabers as a rite of passage, but he decided that it was time to build his own soldering iron. He used a Hakko T12 tip which has a built-in thermocouple. However, he found that the information on the Internet about the tips was either incomplete or incorrect. Naturally, he figured it out and you can see the completed iron in the video, below.

The problem stems from the thermocouple type. Some sites he found identified it as a type K device. Others said it wasn’t, …read more

Umbrella and Tin Cans Turned into WiFi Dish Antenna

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There’s something iconic about dish antennas. Chances are it’s the antenna that non-antenna people think about when they picture an antenna. And for many applications, the directionality and gain of a dish can really help reach out and touch someone. So if you’re looking to tap into a distant WiFi network, this umbrella-turned-dish antenna might be just the thing to build.

Stretching the limits of WiFi connections seems to be a focus of [andrew mcneil]’s builds, at least to judge by his YouTube channel. This portable, foldable dish is intended to increase the performance of one of his cantennas, a …read more

Today: Hackaday is at UK Maker Faire Plus Afterparty

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As a finale to our month on the road through parts of the British Isles, we’ll be at UK Maker Faire this weekend, and we’ll also be hosting our final bring-a-hack at Maker Space Newcastle this evening, Saturday the 28th of April.

For the rest of the weekend’s UK Maker Faire, held at Newcastle’s Life Science Centre, you’ll find both Hackaday and Tindie at our booth number M118, and if you’re lucky you might even snag one of the [Brian Benchoff]-designed Tindie blinkie badge kits.

A few familiar faces from the Brits among our wider community will have their own …read more

An Open Source Sip-and-Puff Mouse for Affordable Accessibility

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At the core of any assistive technology is finding a way to do something with whatever abilities the user has available. This can be especially difficult in the case of quadriplegia sufferers, the loss of control of upper and lower limbs caused by spinal cord damage in the cervical region. Quadriplegics can gain some control of their world with a “Sip-and-puff” device, which give the user control via blowing or sucking on a mouthpiece.

A sip-and-puff can make a world of difference to a quadriplegic, but they’re not exactly cheap. So to help out a friend, [Jfieldcap] designed and built …read more

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