macOS 10.14 appears to be getting a dark mode and an Apple News app

See the original posting on The Verge

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is almost here, and the company is expected to unveil updates for its iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS operating systems. Apple appears to have accidentally leaked one upcoming feature coming to macOS 10.14: a dark mode.

Developer Steve Troughton-Smith? discovered a 30-second preview video that shows the development software operating in a dark mode, and he tweeted several screenshots of the upcoming Xcode 10 showing off the setting.

The present macOS currently does have a dark mode feature (under…

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Google’s Pixelbook is on sale for just $750

See the original posting on The Verge

You might scoff at the regular $1,000 price of Google’s excellent Pixelbook. It’s fundamentally just a really nice Chromebook, after all. And paying $1,000 for one of those is a hard mental barrier to break. But would a price drop to $750 be enough to change your mind? For “a limited time,” Google is discounting the laptop by $250. The sale is good at Google’s online store and Best Buy.

That entry-level Pixelbook has a Core i5 processor, 128GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM. To be honest, that seems like all I would ever need out of a machine like this for the foreseeable future. But if you want to load the thing up, the $250 promotional discount also applies to the higher SKUs. So the model with 256GB storage drops to $950 and the maxed out…

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Buck Converter Efficiency

See the original posting on Hackaday

We always appreciate when someone takes the time to build something and then demonstrates what different design choices impact using the real hardware. Sure, you can work out the math and do simulations, but there’s something about having real hardware that makes it tangible. [Julian Ilett] recently posted two videos that fit this description. He built a buck converter and made measurements about its efficiency using different configurations.

The test setup is simple. He monitors the drive PWM with a scope and has power meters on the input and output. That makes it easy to measure the efficiency since it …read more

A 4K TV sale, Google Home Mini bundles, and up to $300 off the Galaxy S9

See the original posting on The Verge

Memorial Day may be over, but some of the best tech deals we’ve seen this year are just beginning. If you’re in the market for a new TV, Samsung’s QLED TVs are some of the best available. You can pick up the 49-inch ClassQ6F version at Samsung today for $799.99, a full $500 off MSRP. If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, Walmart is running a sale on mid-priced 4K TVs — both the 43-inch Vizio Class FHD and Hisense’s 49-inch Smart LED TV are on sale for for $219.99 each. (The Hisense is a better deal, since it’s usually priced at $349.99.)

PC gamers may also want to check out some of the monitors on sale this weekend. B&H is running a sale on computer monitors through midnight tonight, June 2nd. The best deal is…

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Atari Launches Linux Gaming Box Starting at $199

See the original posting on Slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes Linux.com:
Attempts to establish Linux as a gaming platform have failed time and time again, with Valve’s SteamOS being the latest high-profile casualty. Yet, Linux has emerged as a significant platform in the much smaller niche of retro gaming, especially on the Raspberry Pi. Atari has now re-emerged from the fog of gaming history with an Ubuntu-based Atari VCS gaming and media streaming console aimed at retro gamers. In addition to games, the Atari VCS will also offer Internet access and optional voice control. With a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, the system can be used as a standard Linux computer.
The catch is that the already delayed systems won’t ship until July 2019… By the launch date, Atari plans to have “new and exclusive” games for download or streaming, including “reimagined classic titles from Atari and other top developers,” as well as multi-player games. The Atari VCS Store will also offer video, music and other content… The hardware is not open source, and the games will be protected with HDCP. However, the Ubuntu Linux stack based on Linux kernel 4.10 is open source, and includes a “customizable Linux UX.” A Linux “sandbox” will be available for developing or porting games and apps. Developers can build games using any Linux compatible gaming engine, including Unity, Unreal Engine, and Gamemaker. Atari also says that “Linux-based games from Steam and other platforms that meet Atari VCS hardware specifications should work.”
Atari boasts this will be their first device offering online multi-player experiences, and the device will also come pre-loaded with over 100 classic Atari games.
An Indiegogo campaign this week seeking $100,000 in pre-orders has already raised over $2.2 million from 8808 backers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

You can now preorder HP’s Chromebook x2 from Best Buy

See the original posting on The Verge

HP’s iPad Pro competitor is finally ready to ship. Best Buy has opened preorders for the HP Chromebook x2, the second tablet to run Chrome OS after Acer’s Tab 10, as spotted by Android Central.

Unlike the Tab 10, the HP Chromebook x2 is designed to appeal to professionals. It has an Intel Core m3 processor, 32GB of storage, 4GB of RAM, a 2400 x 1600 display, two USB-C ports, 13MP rear and 5MP front cameras, stereo speakers, a microSD card slot, and a headphone jack. It will also run for 10.5 hours on a single charge.

You can pick up the HP Chromebook x2 from Best Buy for $599, with an expected shipping date of June 7th. (Although Best Buy is currently showing an option for in-store pickup today, so you may be able to snag one early.)

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Get Arduino-savvy with this 9-course training

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a degree-toting engineer to create your own DIY electronics. In fact, with the advent of the Arduino platform, understanding the essentials of programming, robotics, and electronics is more accessible than ever before. The Pay What You Want: 2018 Arduino Enthusiast E-Book Bundle can get you creating on this user-friendly platform, and it’s available for a price you get to choose.

Here’s how the deal works: Simply pay what you want, and you’ll instantly unlock one of the collection’s ten ebooks. Beat the average price paid, and you’ll get the remaining nine at no extra charge.

Featuring 10 comprehensive ebooks, this collection will familiarize you with the essentials of creating Arduino devices. You’ll follow along project-focused courses and discover how to build a number of different creations including complex robots, electronic wearables, and even computer vision applications.

Choose your price, and you can start building your own DIY projects with the Pay What You Want: 2018 Arduino Enthusiast E-Book Bundle.

Print Your Own Filament

See the original posting on Hackaday

Ask anyone with a 3D printer what they make the most. They’ll probably say “trash.” There are extra pieces, stuff that oozes out of the extruder, support material, parts that didn’t stick to the bed, or just parts that needed a little tweaking to get right. No matter what you do, you are going to wind up with a lot of scraps. It would be great if you could recycle all this, and [3D Printing Nerd] looks at the FelFil Evo Filament extruder that promises it can do just that. You can see the video below.

As you’d expect, the …read more

Pokémon Quest is the best free-to-play game in the series yet

See the original posting on The Verge

Pokémon Quest is not a role-playing game in the series’s traditional sense. There’s creature collecting, but it’s more through luck and patience instead of grinding. There are battles, but they don’t need your help to proceed. Exploration is out of your hands. It’s a free-to-play Switch game that isn’t meant to be settled into for a long haul, but sampled at your leisure. Or, if you’re like me, obsess over on a daily basis.

Set on Tumblecube Island, the game leans heavily into this boxy theme with cute, Minecraft-like versions of the original 151 pokémon. Time is spent split between a base camp where your new friends roam freely, and exploring the island. After you’ve befriended a starter pal of your choice — Bulbasaur, Charmander,…

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Bike Helmet Plays Music via Tiny Motors for Bone Conduction

See the original posting on Hackaday

[Matlek] had an interesting problem. On one hand, a 40 minute bike commute without music is a dull event but in France it is illegal for any driver to wear headphones. What to do? Wanting neither to break the law nor accept the risk of blocking out surrounding sounds by wearing headphones anyway, and unwilling to create noise pollution for others with a speaker system, [Matlek] decided to improvise a custom attachment for a bike helmet that plays audio via bone conduction. We’ll admit that our first thought was a worrisome idea of sandwiching metal surface transducers between a helmet …read more

3D Printed Tank has Slick Tread Design

See the original posting on Hackaday

Tank projects are great because while every tank design is the same in a fundamental way, there’s nevertheless endless variety in the execution and results. [Hoo Jian Li]’s 3D Printed Tank is smartly laid out and has an unusual tank tread that shows off some slick curves.

The tank itself is remotely controlled over Bluetooth with a custom controller that uses the common HC-05 Bluetooth radio units. The treads are driven by four hobby gearmotors with custom designed wheels, and run over an idler wheel in the center of the body. There isn’t any method of taking up slack in …read more

A HID For Robots

See the original posting on Hackaday

Whether with projects featured here or out in the real world, we have a tendency to focus most upon the end product. The car, solar panel, or even robot. But there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes that needs to be taken care of as well, whether it’s fuel infrastructure to keep the car running, a semiconductor manufacturer to create silicon wafers, or a control system for the robot. This project is one of the latter: a human interface device for a robot arm that is completely DIY.

While robots are often automated, some still need human input. …read more

Prestreched Fabric Prints Pop into the Third Dimension

See the original posting on Hackaday

Printing on fabric might be a familiar trick, but adding stretch into the equation gives our fabric prints the ability to reconstitute themselves back into 3D. That’s exactly what [Gabe] has accomplished; he’s developed a script that takes open 3d meshes and converts them to a hexagonal pattern that, when 3D-printed on a stretched fabric, lets them pop into 3D upon relaxing the fabric.

[Gabe’s] algorithm first runs an open 3D surface through the “Boundary-First Flattening Algorithm,” which gives [Gabe] a 2D mesh of triangles. Triangles are then mapped to hexagons based on size, which produces a landscape of 2D …read more

Google quits selling tablets

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Google has quietly crept out of the tablet business, removing the “tablets” heading from its Android page. Google in particular has struggled to make Android a convincing alternative to iOS in the tablet realm, and with this move has clearly indicated its preference for the Chromebook side of things, where it has inherited the questionable (but lucrative) legacy of netbooks.

An Electromagnet Brings Harmony to this Waving Cat

See the original posting on Hackaday

We’ve noticed waving cats in restaurants and stores for years, but even the happy bobbing of their arm didn’t really catch our attention. Maybe [Josh] had seen a couple more than we have when it occurred to him to take one apart to see how they work. They are designed to run indoors from unreliable light sources and seem to bob along forever. How do the ubiquitous maneki-neko get endless mechanical motion from one tiny solar cell?

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the prevalence and cost of these devices, the answer is quite simple. The key interaction is between a permanent magnet …read more

At ex-CIA panelist’s insistence, Oxford Union reneges on promise to upload video of whistleblowing debate

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Douglas Lucas writes, “The prestigious Oxford Union, where Malcolm X and Mother Theresa spoke, has censored their own video of their own public February whistleblowing panel, which featured among others the lead programmer of the global data commons project GetGee.xyz, Heather Marsh. The ever so famous debating society isn’t uploading the footage to YouTube because another panelist, …former… CIA operative David Shedd, doesn’t want them to. Oxford Union’s bursar said it was copyright grounds which is laughable since it’s their own video, they have the copyright/wrong/official pieces of paper for it…”
(more…)

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