Rite in the Rain notebooks

See the original posting on Boing Boing

I use my phone to take photos of business cards, signs, parking spots, and so on, but I don’t like to tap out notes on it unless I have to. I make too many errors. I’ve been carrying around a small notebook when I travel, and the one I like the best is this 3″ x 5″ Rite in the Rain, a pocket sized notebook with nearly waterproof pages. Each wire-O bound book has 50 double side sheets (with a grid pattern print). I use a pencil to take notes with it. Ordinary ballpoints won’t work when the pages are wet, but all-weather pens do. The cover is made from durable plastic. They come in a variety of colors and sizes. The small ones cost less than $4 each.

The Best Part of Waking Up Just Got Better

See the original posting on Hackaday

If you ask us, one of life’s greatest pleasures is sitting down with a nice, hot cup of something of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Of course, the best part of this ritual is when the beverage has cooled enough to reach that short window of optimal drinking temperature.

Often times the unthinkable happens—we sip too early and get burned, or else become distracted by watching cat videos reading our colleagues’ Hackaday posts and miss the window altogether. What’s to be done? Something we wish we’d thought of: using the beverage’s heat to cool itself by way of thermal dynamics. …read more

Stellar collection of 1980s tech company logos (also available as a slideshow!)

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Available free on Archive.org, the 1985 Electronic Engineers Master Vol 2 contains page after page of excellent technology company logos, many of which have been lost to the obsolescence of hardware and business plans.
Marcin Wichary the designer/typographer/writer behind the Segmented Type Playground and the Pac-Man Google Doodle, turned the logos into a beautifully haunting slideshow.

(via Kottke)

The Kubernetes ‘fork’: Open source purists miss the point

See the original posting on JavaWorld

It was bound to happen. Kubernetes, so often held up as a paragon of community virtue, turned into a petty “more-open-than-thou” battleground between Heptio CEO (and Kubernetes cofounder) Joe Beda and, well, everyone else.

Beda’s argument, strenuously denied by Red Hat employees and supporters, is that Red Hat OpenShift forks Kubernetes and isn’t 100-percent conformant. Beda’s coup de grace, however, is that “many customers” think it matters “a lot” whether OpenShift is a fork or “layers cleanly” on the upstream Kubernetes project.

To read this article in full, please click here

Modular Robotics Made Easier With ROS

See the original posting on Hackaday

A robot is made up of many hardware components each of which requires its own software. Even a small robot arm with a handful of servo motors uses a servo motor library.

Add that arm to a wheeled vehicle and you have more motors. Then attach some ultrasonic sensors for collision avoidance or a camera for vision. By that point, you’ve probably split the software into multiple processes: one for the arm, another for the mobility, one for vision, and one to act as the brains interfacing somehow with all the rest. The vision may be doing object recognition, something …read more

Cryptocurrency mining rigs are just PCs — so why won’t Stripe let you sell them?

See the original posting on The Verge

At the end of 2017, and the height of the cryptocurrency craze, Noah Katz decided to start a mining rig company called Artesian Future Technology. His plan was simple: he would make custom computers for people who didn’t have the time or know-how to do so on their own, but wanted to enter the wildly volatile field of cryptocurrency mining. However Katz’s offering quickly reached stratospheric prices: the basic computer he sold cost $1,899, but customers could fill it with GPUs sometimes costing upward of $47,990. These machines were listed on Katz’s website and eBay, where they were explicitly labeled as mining rigs. Those machines would then mine alternative cryptocurrencies, and in theory at least, eventually pay for themselves.


Continue reading…

This newly funded startup wants to help women gauge their reproductive health a lot sooner in life

See the original posting on TechCrunch

It’s often the case that women don’t think much about their reproductive health until they have to. Sometimes it begins with an aside from a well-meaning gynecologist — or one’s impatient parents. Sometimes, it’s because a couple is ready to try conceiving and it’s proving harder than they imagined it would be. A San Francisco-based […]

This Alexa-enabled smartwatch is cheaper than an Apple Watch

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Smartwatches are pretty neat, but some of us still appreciate the classic aesthetic that comes with toting around an analog timepiece. Martian mVoice Smart Watches with Amazon Alexa let you leverage push notifications, voice commands, and the like, while adorning your wrist with their sharp, uncluttered 24-hour analog clock displays. They’re available in the Boing Boing Store for $69.99.

In addition to classing up your wrist, these smartwatches help you stay connected with push notifications from hundreds of your favorite social, news, fitness, sports, and other apps. You can make and respond to calls right from your wrist and get more done with a number of voice commands thanks to its Amazon Alexa compatibility. What’s more, in the event you misplace your phone, you can call your device simply by tapping the Martian menu.

The Martian mVoice Smart Watches with Amazon Alexa are available in the Boing Boing Store for $69.99 today.

What Toto’s “Africa” is really about

See the original posting on Boing Boing

I admit that I dig Toto’s “Africa” (1982). No irony. I’ve always loved it. And once again, the song is all over our news feeds thanks to Weezer’s fan-inspired cover of it. (My favorite cover though is this one by Low.) But what the hell is the song actually about? Based on comments from Toto, it seems the meaning has evolved as sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti. From Wikipedia:

Jeff Porcaro explains the idea behind the song: “a white boy is trying to write a song on Africa, but since he’s never been there, he can only tell what he’s seen on TV or remembers in the past.”

Paich said:

At the beginning of the ’80s I watched a late night documentary on TV about all the terrible death and suffering of the people in Africa. It both moved and appalled me, and the pictures just wouldn’t leave my head. I tried to imagine how I’d feel about if I was there and what I’d do.

In 2015, Paich explained the song is about a man’s love of a continent, Africa, rather than just a personal romance. In 2018, Paich explained the song is about a person flying in to meet a lonely missionary. As a child, Paich attended a Catholic school. Several of the teachers had done missionary work in Africa, and this became the inspiration behind the line “I bless the rains down in Africa.”

(via r/totayilearned)

PSA: Your birth control pills could be placebos

See the original posting on Boing Boing

This one’s for the ladies. According to Stat, Allegra is recalling 170,000 packs of their Taytulla birth control pills because the first four pills in each of the packs are placebos, instead of medicine that’ll keep babies, severe cramping, and all the other things that the pills are typically prescribed for, at bay.

The sketchy packs are all from a single lot of pills that were doled out as samples to physicians. So if your doctor provided you with some free Taytulla birth control pills, you’ll want to check their lot number.

From Allegra:

As a result of this packaging error, oral contraceptive capsules, that are taken out of sequence, may place the user at risk for contraceptive failure and unintended pregnancy. The reversing of the order may not be apparent to either new users or previous users of the product, increasing the likelihood of taking the capsules out of order. If patients have concerns regarding the possibility of an unintended pregnancy they should consult their physician.

This product is an oral contraceptive indicated for the prevention of pregnancy in women who elect to use oral contraceptives. The TAYTULLA  pill pack is a 28 count blister card that has 24 “active” pink softgel capsules (with hormones) with “WC” printed on the outer shell in white to be taken for 24 days, followed by 4 maroon softgel capsules (without hormones) also imprinted with “WC” on one side to be taken for the next four days. If you are a patient in the U.S. who has used a TAYTULLA sample pack from lot 5620706, Exp. May 2019 since August 27, 2017, and are concerned that you may be impacted by this issue, please consult with your physician. This product was distributed Nationwide to healthcare providers.

That lot number again is 5620706. If the pills you’ve got on hand list that number on their packaging, you’ll want to call your doctor to arrange a return of the pills, instructions on what to do and, hopefully, be fixed up with some replacement medication that actually works.

Image: ?Bryancalabro??????CC BY-SA 3.0???

Baseball team to wear jerseys that look like Mister Rogers’ sweater

See the original posting on Boing Boing

The South Bend Cubs, a minor league baseball team in South Bend, Indiana, will be wearing special jerseys that look like Mister Rogers’ iconic red cardigan for a special event in August.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the South Bend Cubs will host Mister Rogers Day at Four Winds Field on Sunday, August 12 at their scheduled 2 p.m. game at Four Winds Field in South Bend, Indiana.

In recognition of this 50th anniversary, the South Bend Cubs are partnering with local PBS affiliate WNIT and Fred Rogers Productions to celebrate this milestone. Clips from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood will be shown on the video board throughout the game. Daniel Tiger, star of the award-winning PBS KIDS series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and the son of the beloved original puppet, will also be in attendance. Fans can sign a giant banner with their own message of thanks to Mister Rogers. Special messages of thanks from fans, players, and community members will also be shown throughout the game.

According to the team, replicas of the shirt will not be sold to the public but “game worn ones will be available in an online auction with proceeds to benefit local PBS station WNIT.”

Lead image via Darren Rovell , second image via MILB.com

Thanks, Andy!

Kamasi Washington’s killer new soul-jazz track inspired by videogame arcades of yore

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Cosmic saxophonist, composer, and spiritual jazz revivalist Kamasi Washington has released a new jam inspired by his teenage experiences at the videogame arcade. “Street Fighter Mas” will appear on Washington’s forthcoming album “Heaven and Earth” out June 22. Listen:

Washington says:

When I was younger, I was in between the end of the arcade generation and the beginning of the console generation. We used to go to this place called Rexall to play Street Fighter. At Rexall, there would be different people from different hoods there playing the game. It was the one place that was like an equalizer. It was just about how good you were at Street Fighter…for the most part. In other places, you were afraid of these dudes; there, you would just play the game and it was what it was, you know? I was really good at Street Fighter, so where the song really came from was me jokingly saying I was going to have my own theme song so that when I showed up to play Street Fighter they’d play my theme song before I came in, like a boxer. In the context of the album, it was the connection that we got with those guys in our neighborhood. We used to call them OGs, the older guys that we looked up to.

In a lot of ways, for me, video games was the way I connected with them because I was never affiliated with any gangs, but I knew them and I was cool with them and that was mainly through the video games. At an older age I thought how amazing would it be if the OGs could just play the game and solve their problems that way. The meaning within the scope of the record is a connection to the past and all of the many ways we can connect.

Carvel’s Fudgie the Whale ice cream cake is now also a beer

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Fudgie the Whale is back. But this time it’s not just a “whale of a cake,” it’s a whale of a beer.

On Wednesday, Carvel announced a stout brewed with chocolate crunchies and fudge, aptly named Fudgie the Beer. The stout is a limited-edition Father’s Day collaboration with craft microbrewery Captain Lawrence Brewing Company in Elmsford, New York.

The novelty brew is said to have “smooth cocoa notes with a roasted crunchies finish” and would pair well with “roasted or smoked foods as well as chocolate or espresso desserts.” If you have a “whale of a dad” and need to get your hands on this special beer, you’ll have to head to New York state, as it’s only available at the Captain Lawrence Beer Hall. (If you want some for real, be sure to check when it will be available again. The first batch sold out yesterday evening.)

I have just one question: Why, oh why isn’t this an ale? It could have been a whALE of a beer.

For old times’ sake, here’s the original ad for the Fudgie the Whale cake narrated by Tom Carvel himself:

The time Davy Crockett met Bigfoot who warned him about the Alamo

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In 1835, Davy Crockett reportedly wrote a letter to his brother-in-law Abner Burgin telling him of a rather strange experience in the Mexican province of Texas just six months before Crockett was killed at the Battle of the Alamo. From the letter:

“William and I were pushing through some thicket, clearing the way, when I sat down to mop my brow. I sat for a spell, watching as William made his good and fine progress. I removed my boots and sat with my rations, thinking the afternoon a fine time to lunch. As the birds whistled and chirped, and I ate my small and meager ration, I tapped my axe upon the opposite end of the felled tree I rested upon.

“Whether it was the axe’s disturbance or possibly the heat of the sun which caused an apparition to slowly form in front of my eyes, I know not. As a Christian man, I swear to you, Abe, that what spirit came upon me was the shape and shade of a large ape man, the likes we might expect among the more bellicose and hostile Indian tribes in the Territories. The shade formed into the most deformed and ugly countenance. Covered in wild hair, with small and needling eyes, large broken rows of teeth, and the height of three foundlings, I spit upon the ground the bread I was eating.

“The monster then addressed a warning to me. Abner, it told me to return from Texas, to flee this Fort and to abandon this lost cause. When I began to question this, the creature spread upon the wind like the morning steam swirls off a frog pond. I swear to you, Abner, that whatever meat or sausage disagreed with me that afternoon, I swore off all beef and hog for a day or so afterward.”

Sasquatch Classics: The Davy Crockett Incident(Texas Cryptid Hunter via The Anomalist)