Homebuilt CNC Software, Brewed To Taste

See the original posting on Hackaday

Mainstream productivity software from the big companies is usually pretty tight, these days. Large open source projects are also to a similar standard when it comes to look and feel, as well as functionality. It’s when you dive into more niche applications that you start finding ugly, buggy software, and CNC machining can be one of those niches. MillDroid is a CNC software platform designed by someone who had simply had enough, and decided to strike out on their own.

The build began with the developer sourcing some KFLOP motion control boards from Dynomotion. These boards aren’t cheap, but pack …read more

Every cover of MAD, from 1952 to the present

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It’s fascinating to see how MAD’s covers have evolved over the years. It started as a comic book in 1952 with covers drawn by creator Harvey Kurtzman. He also wrote the stories in each issue, but they were illustrated by artists like Wally Wood and Jack Davis. When the publisher, EC, was almost wiped out during the comic book moral panic of the mid-50s, EC stopped publishing their great horror and science fiction titles and converted MAD into a magazine.

Doug Gilford’s MAD Cover Site has all 553 covers, from 1952 to the present day. As you browse through the decades, it’s interesting to see how the covers reflect the culture of the time in which they were published.

From Open Culture:

To see the archive’s covers in a large format, you need only scroll to the desired year, click on the issue number, and then click on the image that appears. (Alternatively, those with advanced Mad knowledge can simply pick an issue number from the pull-down “Select-a-Mad” menu at the top of the page.) Gilford keeps the site updated with covers right up to the latest issue: number three, as of this writing, since the magazine “rebooted” this past June as it relocated its offices from New York to California. Recent targets have included Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, and, of course, Donald Trump. Mad’s longevity may be surprising, but it certainly doesn’t look like America will stop providing the ridiculousness on which it has always survived any time soon.

Leonardo Da Vinci to-do list reveals his insatiable curiosity about the world

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Leonardo Da Vinci kept a to-do list. The thing that struck me was his interest in seeking out experts to teach him and show him how to do things. This list is from 1490 or so.

  • [Calculate] the measurement of Milan and Suburbs
  • [Find] a book that treats of Milan and its churches, which is to be had at the stationer’s on the way to Cordusio
  • [Discover] the measurement of Corte Vecchio (the courtyard in the duke’s palace).
  • [Discover] the measurement of the castello (the duke’s palace itself)
  • Get the master of arithmetic to show you how to square a triangle.
  • Get Messer Fazio (a professor of medicine and law in Pavia) to show you about proportion.
  • Get the Brera Friar (at the Benedictine Monastery to Milan) to show you De Ponderibus (a medieval text on mechanics)
  • [Talk to] Giannino, the Bombardier, re. the means by which the tower of Ferrara is walled without loopholes (no one really knows what Da Vinci meant by this)
  • Ask Benedetto Potinari (A Florentine Merchant) by what means they go on ice in Flanders
  • Draw Milan
  • Ask Maestro Antonio how mortars are positioned on bastions by day or night.
  • [Examine] the Crossbow of Mastro Giannetto
  • Find a master of hydraulics and get him to tell you how to repair a lock, canal and mill in the Lombard manner
  • [Ask about] the measurement of the sun promised me by Maestro Giovanni Francese
  • Try to get Vitolone (the medieval author of a text on optics), which is in the Library at Pavia, which deals with the mathematic.

From Open Culture: “Da Vinci would carry around a notebook, where he would write and draw anything that moved him. ‘It is useful,’ Leonardo once wrote, to ‘constantly observe, note, and consider.’ Buried in one of these books, dating back to around the 1490s, is a to-do list. And what a to-do list.”

NPR’s Robert Krulwich had it directly translated. And while all of the list might not be immediately clear, remember that Da Vinci never intended for it to be read by web surfers 500 years in the future.

Object Detection, With TensorFlow

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Getting computers to recognize objects has been a historically difficult problem in computer science, but with the rise of machine learning it is becoming easier to solve. One of the tools that can be put to work in object recognition is an open source library called TensorFlow, which [Evan] aka [Edje Electronics] has put to work for exactly this purpose.

His object recognition software runs on a Raspberry Pi equipped with a webcam, and also makes use of Open CV. [Evan] notes that this opens up a lot of creative low-cost detection applications for the Pi, such as setting up …read more

A Custom Keyboard At Maximum Effort

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No one loves hacked keyboards more than Hackaday. We spend most of our workday pressing different combinations of the same 104 buttons. Investing time in that tool is time well spent. [Max] feels the same and wants some personality in his input device.

In the first of three videos, he steps us through the design and materials, starting with a layer to hold the keys. FR4 is the layer of fiberglass substrate used for most circuit boards. Protoboards with no copper are just bare FR4 with holes. Homemade CNC machines can glide through FR4, achieving clean lines, and the material …read more

Spotify is now streaming Archie motion comics

See the original posting on The Verge

Spotify has partnered up with Nerdist to offer motion comics based on new Archie comics. All six issues/episodes feature music and voice acting alongside the original comic illustrations. If you watch Riverdale on CW or Netflix, you’ll be familiar with the characters and their backstories, but the storyline follows the comics and diverges from the television show.

The motion comics are available in Spotify’s mobile app. To watch, tap play and the episode will begin. You’ll be reading, hearing, and experiencing the comic all at once. The text of the comics still appear, but since the comic auto-plays rather quickly between panels, you don’t really get the option to read at your own pace. The graphics also appear a bit small compared to W…

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Snake game, complete with bootage CD image, in a tweet

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In 2015, Alok Menghrajani wrote a simple game, including a floppy disk bootloader to run it, that fit in a tweet. Now that the tweet length is double what it was then, he’s made a version that can be burned to CD.


perl -E 'say"A"x46422,"BDRDAwMQFFTCBUT1JJVE8gU1BFQ0lGSUNBVElPTg","A"x54,"Ew","A"x2634,"/0NEMDAxAQ","A"x2721,"BAAAAYQ","A"x30,"SVVVqogAAAAAAAEAF","A"x2676,"LMBaACgB76gfbgTAM0Qv8D4uYAI86qqgcc+AXP45GA8SHIRPFB3DTeYSEhyBSwCa8CwicMB3rSG/sHNFbRFJjAke9rrwQ","A"x2638'|base64 -D>cd.iso

The code is compacted into Base64, but you get the idea: a ludicrously yet ingeniously simplified game wrapped in a perl script that dumps it into an iso file to burn to CD. The game is ~64 bytes long.

See also: the tweet-length demoscene.

Microsoft starts testing Your Phone Windows 10 app that mirrors phone content to a PC

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Microsoft is starting to test its new Your Phone app for Windows 10. The software maker first unveiled the app back at the company’s Build developer conference in May, and it’s designed to mirror content from a phone to a PC. Android phone users will be able to test Your Phone first, with the ability to drag and drop recent photos straight into Office apps and other Windows apps direct from a phone. Microsoft is also planning to add support for text message sync and notifications from phones to mirror to a PC.

The Your Phone app requires an Android app to be installed to mirror phone content to a PC, and Microsoft is also planning to extend this same feature to iPhone users. Microsoft claimed photos and notifications will be mirrored…

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Spotify now offers motion comics starring Archie

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Spotify has been experimenting with incorporating non-musical formats over the last couple of years, including videos and multimedia podcasts. Next up: Motion comics based on new Archie stories. For those of you who haven’t been keeping track of the comics incarnations of Archie and his friends, the title was recently rebooted by writer Mark Waid (Kingdom […]

Need A Tiny CRT? Karaoke Might Just Help

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[Brett] is working on a video installation, and for the past few months, has been trying to get his hands on tiny CRTs any way he can. After initially coming up short, he happened across a karaoke machine from 2005, and got down to work.

Karaoke machines of this vintage are typically fairly low-rent affairs, built cheaply on simple PCBs. [Brett] found that the unit in question was easy to disassemble, having various modules on separate PCBs joined together with ribbon cables and headers. However, such machines rarely have video inputs, as they’re really only designed to display low-res graphics …read more

Toxic gaming culture explained by the people who study it

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Polygon has an amazing piece on why gaming culture and young white male gamers are so toxic. They interviewed a number of folks doing actual academic research and professional journalism on the topic, and the answers are sadly exactly what you expect. Scared racist white guys have had a lot of time to fester in their little bubble, and are very resistant to any change that means they aren’t always Übermenschen.

Excerpt via Polygon, but read the whole thing:

Why are gaming’s toxic men so enraged?

Women and people of color are beginning to appear in games as powerful characters with their own agency. Slowly, women and minorities are starting to hold senior positions in game development and game criticism. Why is representation — within and outside the art — so offensive to gaming’s toxic men?

Soraya Chemaly:

There’s a lot of sociological research about hierarchy and status in the gaming space, and the misogyny and aggression that comes out of that.

We know that the dynamics of women’s visibility online, particularly in what are perceived as competitive situations, can often result in lower-status men feeling threatened, and then dogpiling on women who have more prominence, status and visibility.

We see that in gaming, and we see it in the same way on Twitter where they have a two-tiered verification system that makes women extremely visible in prominent ways.

Jen Golbeck (Golbeck is an associate professor at the University of Maryland. Her books on internet and entertainment culture include Introduction to Social Media Investigation: A Hands-on Approach.):

The mythos of heroic, powerful men who are in charge — who are respected, successful and dominant — is a narrative that is really changing. The status quo in video games is adapting, which feels threatening to white, conservative men, even younger ones.

It can be hard if you’re in the position of privilege to feel like something is being taken away from you. To fail to see that this is really about stopping other people being ignored or abused. I don’t like it, but I understand where that feeling comes from.

Paul Booth (Booth is an associate professor of media and cinema studies at DePaul Univesity. He researches fandom in new media and games. His books include Crossing Fandoms: SuperWhoLock and the Contemporary Fan Audience.):

When one is used to being catered to, and then suddenly other people are being catered to as well, it feels like you’ve lost something, even though you actually haven’t. So privilege absolutely plays into this, both male privilege and white privilege.

HTTP/2 Server Push

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The new version of the HTTP protocol, HTTP/2 lets the server to push content to the client before the client requests the particular content. There are many other modifications in the protocol if we compare the previous version 1.1 with the new version 2, but, in this article, I will focus on the push functionality. I will discuss briefly how it can be used in a servlet, and I will also discuss a bit about how to test and see that it really works at all or not. Before writing this article my original intention was to create a demonstration of HTTP/2 showing how much faster the sample page load is with the push than it is without. It is going to be one chapter in my video tutorial that is published by PACKT. During the development of the sample application I faced several problems, I have read some tutorials and debugged the sample code a bit using what I gathered during this experience. In this article, I share this experience with you. That way this article is a bit more than just a simple introductory tutorial. Nevertheless, it is also a bit longer, so TLDR; if you are impatient.

HTTP Versions

HTTP/2 is a new version of the HTTP protocol. The protocol had three versions prior to 2. They were 0.9, 1.0, and 1.1. The first one was only an experiment starting in 1991. The first real version was 1.0 released in 1996. This was the version that you probably met if you were using the internet at that time and you still remember the Mosaic browser. This version was soon followed by version 1.1 in 1997. The major difference between 1.0 and 1.1 was the Host header field that made it possible to operate several websites on one machine, one server, one IP address, and one port.

Register with Donate Life. Please.

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A quick registration at Donate Life can turn hunks of your soulless cadaver into the greatest gift you’ll ever give.

In 2006 a heart donor gave my Uncle, Lee Krinsky, 12 more years of life. I can not tell you how much those 12 years meant to Lee, his wife Karen, our entire family, and a large community of people who loved him.

My Uncle Lee was the kind of Uncle who was always full of shit. As a kid it was great fun to listen to him tell stories. As an adult it was great fun to smoke a joint with him, and listen to him tell wild stories. One of the best was the story of his transplanted heart. Nothing about being a transplant recipient is easy, but Lee was always grateful, and knew he was living on gifted time. He had worn his old heart out.

You can line up to give that gift to someone else. Be it restoring vision, kidneys, liver or a beating heart — any parts you aren’t using any more are spare. As my Uncle Lee would say “Be a mensch” and sign up.

Lee Krinsky, July 3, 1950 – July 24, 2018

GKE tutorial: Get started with Google Kubernetes Engine

See the original posting on JavaWorld

Kubernetes will save us all. If only we could work out how to install and maintain it. For the uninitiated, Kubernetes (also known as K8s to your local neighborhood hipster developer) is an open-source platform for running and orchestrating container-based applications and services. These are most often deployed in Docker containers, but other container runtimes—such as Containerd and Rkt—are supported.

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