Exostiv FPGA Debugging Might be a Bargain

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Got $4,000 to spend? Even if you don’t, keep reading — especially if you develop with FPGAs. Exostiv’s FPGA debugging setup costs around $4K although if you are in need of debugging a complex FPGA design and your time has any value, that might not be very expensive. Then again, most of us have a lot of trouble justifying a $4,000 piece of test gear. But we wanted to think about what Exostiv is doing and why we don’t see more of it. Traditionally, debugging FPGAs meant using JTAG and possibly some custom blocks that act like a logic analyzer …read more

Charging An Electric Supercar With Lemons, Kids, And The Sun

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First things first: the tease on this video, that an electric supercar can be charged from a massive lemon battery array, is exactly that – a tease. Despite that, it makes for an interesting story and a great attempt to get kids exposed to science and engineering.

The story goes that [Mark] was approached by Volkswagen to help charge the batteries on their entry for the upcoming Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the annual “Race to the Clouds” in Colorado. Racers are tortured by a 4,700′ (1,440 m) vertical climb over a 12.42 mile (20 km) course that features 156 …read more

Free E-Book: Software Defined Radio for Engineers

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We really like when a vendor finds a great book on a topic — probably one they care about — and makes it available for free. Analog Devices does this regularly and one you should probably have a look at is Software Defined Radio for Engineers. The book goes for $100 or so on Amazon, and while a digital copy has pluses and minuses, it is hard to beat the $0 price.

The book by [Travis F. Collins], [Robin Getz], [Di Pu], and [Alexander M. Wyglinski] covers a range of topics in 11 chapters. There’s also a website with more …read more

Handmade Robot Brings Stop Motion to Life

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Stop motion animation is often called a lost art, as doing it (or at least, doing it well) is incredibly difficult and time consuming. Every detail on the screen, no matter how minute, has to be placed by human hands hundreds of times so that it looks smooth when played back at normal speed. The unique look of stop motion is desirable enough that it still does get produced, but it’s far less common than hand drawn or even computer animation.

If you ever wanted to know just how much work goes into producing even a few minutes of stop …read more

On Scorpion, Drake rages against the internet

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The internet fame machine pumps out music stars on the regular — Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Cardi B — but few truly embody the internet in the way that Drake does. The man is a walking meme; our mockery or admiration of the Toronto rapper is forever buoyed to the top of our feeds. Drake is the internet — and he hates it.

For stans, this is nothing new: perennial Sad Boy that he is, Drake has always loved talking (and rapping, and singing) about how much technology and the internet only serves to alienate us from each other. It always feels a little cheesy when Drake spits it, but he can get away with it, because he usually taps into something real. If nothing else, his confessions about how technology affects his relationships are messy…

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R/C Rocket-Beest Burns Up Fuses Out There Alone

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We’re beginning to think the “S” in [Jeremy S Cook] stands for strandbeest. He’ll be the talk of the 4th of July picnic once he brings out his latest build—a weaponized, remote-controlled strandbeest that shoots bottle rockets. There are a bank of money shots up on Imgur.

This ‘beest is the natural next step after his remote-controlled walker, which we featured a month or so ago. Like that one, the locomotion comes from a pair of micro gear motors that are controlled by an Arduino Nano over Bluetooth. The pyrotechnics begin when nitinol wire cleverly strung across two lever nuts …read more

Instagram is testing a persistent Stories bar that follows you down the feed

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When I opened Instagram on my Pixel 2 XL moments ago, I noticed something different: the Stories bar remained visible as I scrolled down my main feed. Usually it stays at the top and doesn’t follow you down, but clearly the company is testing a more persistent, sticky approach to keeping Stories in front of you at all times. That seems awfully annoying to me, but some might find it convenient.

To this point, I think Instagram has developed and built onto Stories very well. They’re fun. I post and watch often. But between the obnoxious neon-orange IGTV notifications in the main app that I can’t turn off and now this, I’m not thrilled. Let people use the app how they want. I understand there’s a constant push for greater usage and better…

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T-Mobile is rolling out support for the next-gen texting standard backed by Google

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T-Mobile has started rolling out support for the RCS Universal profile — a new messaging standard that’s supposed to make traditional texting look a bit more like chatting in a modern messaging app, complete with read receipts, typing indicators, and more.

The rollout, spotted by Android Police, is starting with Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge and is supposed to come to more Android devices later in the year. There are a million qualifiers here around how and when everyone will really get to use this, but this is still an important step toward improving the basic texting experience on Android.

RCS messaging has been supported between T-Mobile customers for three years now, but it isn’t until now that T-Mobile has adopted “Universal” RCS….

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Weekend Tunes: The Tossers – Whiskey Makes Me Crazy

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It’s wedding season, y’all. Time to get dressed up, drink too much and do something regrettable at what should be the best day of your best friend/sister/mother/father/hairdresser’s life. Around since the 1990s, Chicago paddy punk band The Tossers are the perfect soundtrack to any special occasion you’d care to ruin.

Sign up for the Disrupt SF Virtual Hackathon today

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Developers and creators, this is your shot to flex your technical building skills for a chance to win free passes to Disrupt SF 2018 — and maybe even $10,000! Sign up today to participate in the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018 virtual hackathon! Here’s how the virtual Disrupt SF Hackathon works. Our expert judges will review, evaluate and score every eligible […]

Listen: Stuttering John actually talks to Trump on the phone in bold prank

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It’s hard to believe, but according to Axios and Yahoo Finance, as well as my own ears, The Stuttering John Podcast just recorded a prank phone call with Trump.

Yesterday, comedian John Melendez just called the White House switchboard and was put through to Trump (or a really good impersonator). Melendez told the switchboard that he was NJ Senator Bob Menendez’s assistant, Sean Moore – “S-E-A-N as in Sean Connery” and “Moore as in Roger Moore.”

The fun starts at about 32:00 into the podcast. After getting hung up on, then getting a vapid switchboard operator who believed him, and then a call back asking why he had a California phone number (to which Melendez responded that he was on vacation), and finally getting a call from Jared Kushner from Air Force One, Trump calls him back (at 1:10:00 on the recording).

“You went through a tough, tough situation, and I don’t think a very fair situation, but congratulations,” Trump tells The Stuttering John prankster.

The two chit chat about various items, including immigration, to which Trump said, “Bob, let me just tell you I want to be able to take care of the situation every bit as much as anybody else at the top level. I’d rather do the larger solution rather than the smaller solution.”

And who’s going to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. “I have a list of people, I have a big list of people, Bob, and we’ll take a look at it and we’re gonna make a decision. I’ll probably make it over the next couple of weeks,” Trump assures him.

From Axios:

Why it matters: This calls into question White House security. White House staff members are freaking out today trying figure out how the podcast host was so easily transferred from the White House switchboard to Air Force One, per a source familiar.

The whole thing is ridiculous. Melendez, the host, had three different interactions with two White House operators and got through two call screens before Jared Kushner called him from Air Force One. According to Melendez, Kushner asked if he wanted to talk to the president then or have them call him back later, which is what he did.

You can listen to the podcast and hear it for yourself here.

Image: Michael Vadon/Flickr

xLIDAR Is A Merry-Go-Round Of Time-Of-Flight Sensors

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[JRodrigo]’s xLIDAR project is one of those ideas that seemed so attractively workable that it went directly to a PCB prototype without doing much stopping along the way. The concept was to mount a trio of outward-facing VL53L0X distance sensors to a small PCB disk, and then turn that disk with a motor and belt while taking readings. As the sensors turn, their distance readings can be used to paint a picture of the immediate surroundings (at least within about 1 meter, which is the maximum range of the VL53L0X.)

The hardware is made to be accessible and has a …read more

These 50 founders and VCs suggest 2018 may be a tipping point for women: Part 1

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For the last several years, we’ve compiled profiles of women founders and investors at the end of each year because they’ve either raised substantial amounts of money or otherwise achieved notable milestones. This year, we don’t want to wait until December. We’re too excited about the progress we’re witnessing, with women-led startups getting seed, Series […]

Michael Moore shares details of his new anti-Trump documentary with Stephen Colbert

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Michael Moore is just finishing up his anti-Trump documentary, which he talked about – along with the plight of America – on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night.

His new film, Fahrenheit 11/9 – a title that references both his 2004 Fahrenheit 9/11 documentary about President George W. Bush and the date that Trump won the presidential electoral vote – is about “how we got in this situation and how we’re going to get out of it.”

He shows us a short clip of the film, and then asks Colbert, “When you read the paper every day or watch the news, do you ever cry?…It happens to me now every day…That has become the norm.”

He reminds us that the majority of Americans are liberal, which is proven by the fact that Democrats have won the popular vote in the last 6 out of 7 presidential elections, losing only once since 1988 when George W. Bush won in 2004.

Fahrenheit 11/9 will be released September 21.

Eight new anime shows to check out this summer

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The summer 2018 anime season is upon us, and with 42 new series and 11 continuing from the spring, there is a lot to sift through. With such a massive slate, we’ve decided to highlight some that might be interesting for anime fans and non-fans alike. (Many of these shows are available for viewing internationally a day after they air in Japan, thanks to streaming services like Crunchyroll, Netflix, and Amazon.)

If you like action, horror, and political drama

Attack on Titan Season 3

On an alternate version of Earth, humanity has retreated behind three tiers of 160-foot-high walls to protect themselves from giant humanoid monsters called Titans. These creatures don’t seem to be sentient, and appear to exist only to kill and eat humans….

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The Vivo Nex S’s pop-up selfie camera is making unwanted appearances

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The Vivo Nex S smartphone caused a stir for doing away with bezels and notches in favor of a pop-up selfie camera that’s hidden in the top edge of the phone. Now users in China who have gotten their hands on the Vivo Nex S say the selfie camera is making surprise appearances when they’re casually browsing the web or other apps, and the effect is creepy.

As spotted by Abacus, a user on Weibo took a video of the selfie camera rolling out of a Vivo Nex S when you open a chat window in the secure messaging app Telegram. The video zooms in on the popped up camera at the exact time, suggesting that the user had encountered this weird surprise before and was recreating it for the video.

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We can size up other people by the sound of their roar

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A team lead by Jordan Raine, a behavioral ethologist at the University of Sussex, found that people are pretty good at guessing the relative size and strength of other people just by hearing their roar.

From Scientific American:

First, researchers took the circumference of 61 men’s and women’s biceps, measured their grip strength, and their height. Then they told ’em to let loose a roar.

“I would probably describe it as the most hellish version of Groundhog Day you can think of.” Jordan Raine, a behavioral ethologist at the University of Sussex. “If you just imagine 30 actors in training coming into a small room one after another and roaring at you, um, yeah it was an experience, that’s for sure.”

His team then played those roars back to a separate group of male and female listeners, who’d also been measured for strength and size. They found that men correctly rated other men as substantially stronger than them 90 percent of the time, based on roar alone.

Men did tend to underestimate women’s strength by the sound of their roars, and women overestimated men’s strength. But, in general, roaring like a wild animal seemed like a pretty accurate way to telegraph body size and strength.

Image: Ollyy/Shutterstock

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