Instagram’s CEO on vindication after 2 years of reinventing Stories

See the original posting on TechCrunch

“I think the mistake everyone made was to think that Stories was a photography product” says Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom. “If you look at all these interactivity features we’ve added, we’ve really made Stories something else. We’ve really innovated and made it our own.” His version of the ephemeral slideshow format turns two years old […]

Sonos redesigned the Nasdaq opening bell to mark IPO

See the original posting on The Verge

Today is a momentous day for US smart speaker company Sonos, which is marking is 16th year of existence with an IPO set to value it at around $1.5 billion. To give the occasion a little more flair and theatrics, Sonos has partnered with Nasdaq, the stock exchange where it will be listed as SONO, to redesign the sound of the opening bell.

Sonos’ sound experience lead Giles Martin and sound engineer Chris Jenkins collaborated with Nasdaq on the task of picking a new jingle to mark the opening and closing of the market. Remarkably, this is more than just a one-off publicity stunt. Sonos promises that “the new bell will continue to ring at Nasdaq, where countless more forward-thinking companies will launch their IPOs and where Nasdaq will…

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The ASRock X470 Taichi Ultimate Motherboard Review: Aquantia 10GbE on Ryzen

See the original posting on Anandtech

With the new X470 motherboard refresh to compliment the release of the Ryzen 2000-series of processors, motherboard vendors have had the opportunity to improve upon their previous X370 models. ASRock has released a new flagship AM4 socketed board without all of the gaming marketing and hype, with the focus this time around being realigned towards the enthusiast. The X470 Taichi Ultimate sits at the top of ASRock’s AM4 motherboard stack as it aims to improve upon their existing X370 Taichi with features such as 10-gigabit networking.

An LA gallery is selling “Molotov cocktails” from a vending machine

See the original posting on Boing Boing

They aren’t for throwing, but an art gallery in Los Angeles is selling Molotov cocktails from a vending machine.

Think Tank Gallery on Melrose Ave. writes:

This is an art object, not functional as a molotov cocktail.

“What’s More American Than Violence?” is a sculptural installation and series of dysfunctional art objects inspired by Edward Abby’s “The Monkey Wrench Gang.” The installation features a fully-functional molotov cocktail vending machine, full of converted Mezcal El Silencio bottles, customized with a limited edition, hand signed and numbered, spot-UV instructional art sticker, and custom “STEAL THE FIRE” bandana, each designed by artist Phil America and designer Dino Nama. The piece seeks to call attention to the ease of access to deadly weapons in America, and a large portion of proceeds of each sale are donated to Every Town.

This series is limited to 200 bottles available online, and an extremely limited number of bottles available for $5 at the vending machine on Melrose Ave, released at an undisclosed date and time leading up to and during the “We Stole the Fire” art exhibition.

Thanks, Chris!

images via Think Tank Gallery

The NES Classic is so popular it outsold the PS4, Xbox One, and Switch in June

See the original posting on The Verge

The NES Classic returned to stores in June after a brief stint of sales back in 2016, and it has now topped US sales charts. NPD reports that the NES Classic was June’s highest unit-selling hardware platform in the US, beating the PlayStation 4, Nintendo’s Switch, and the Xbox One. The NES Classic managed to outsell these consoles despite only being on sale for a few days in late June. Nintendo’s SNES Classic was also the overall top unit selling hardware platform in the US in September when it first debuted in stores.

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!Sinclair !ZX Vega To Lose The Sinclair Name

See the original posting on Hackaday

It’s not a good time to be a backer of the crowdfunded Sinclair ZX Vega retro console. After raising a record sum on Indiegogo, a long series of broken promises and missed dates, and a final loss of patience from the crowdfunding site, it has emerged that the owner of the Sinclair and ZX brands is to withdraw the right to use them from the console.

The Vega itself should have been a reasonable proposition, a slick handheld running the FUSE Spectrum emulator rather than Z80 hardware, and from Retro Computers Limited, a company that boasted a 25% ownership from …read more

Hoisting in JavaScript

See the original posting on DZone Python

Two weeks ago I gave a lightning talk at Caphyon on hoisting in JavaScript. Putting aside all the common jokes about the JS language, people really seemed to like it. It was kind of a challenge to talk about JS while having an audience of C++ and Java colleagues.

Now getting back to the talk, that was lightning fast and it didn’t covered that much as I would’ve liked to. So I’ll try to write a bit more on JavaScript scoping and hoisting below.

Shell Script Synthesizer Knocks Your SoX Off

See the original posting on Hackaday

Sound eXchange, or SoX, the “Swiss Army knife of audio manipulation” has been around for as long as the Linux kernel, and in case you’re not familiar with it, is a command line tool to play, record, edit, generate, and process audio files. [porkostomus] was especially interested about the generating part, and wrote a little shell script that utilizes SoX’s built-in synthesizer to compose 8-bit style music.

The script comes with a simple yet straightforward user interface to record the lead and bass parts into a text file, and play them back later on. Notes from C2 to C5 are …read more

Raspberry Pi On The Go Powers Car System

See the original posting on Hackaday

Most new cars have GPS, rear cameras, and all the other wonders an on-board system can bring. But what if you have an old car? [Fabrice Aneche] has a 2011 vehicle, and wanted a rearview camera. He started with a touch screen, a Raspberry Pi 3, and a camera. But you know how these projects take on a life of their own. So far, the project has two entries in his blog.

It wasn’t long before he couldn’t resist the urge to add a GPS. But that’s no fun without maps. Plus you need turn-by-turn directions. [Fabrice] did a lot …read more

Functional Programming Unit Testing in Node (Part 3)

See the original posting on DZone Python

Welcome to Part 3 where we’ll show you how to navigate class based code using FP, go over composing all these asynchronous functions we wrote, and continuing to define our dependencies in curried functions to make them easier to test.


This is a six-part series on refactoring imperative code in Node to a functional programming style with unit tests. You are currently on Part 3.

Hanky-Deprived Drones Taste Whale Snot for Science

See the original posting on Hackaday

A whole world of biomass floats in the boogers of a whale’s exhaust, and it’s a biologist’s dream to explore it. Whale snot carries everything from DNA samples to hormone signatures. But getting close enough to a surfacing whale for long enough to actually sample this snot turns out to be a nightmare when done by boat. Researcher [Iain Kerr] and a team from Olin College of Engineering thought, why not use a drone instead? Behold, the Snotbot was born!

Snotbot is essentially a petri-dish-equipped commercial drone that users can pilot into the exhaust of a whale to collect samples …read more

Theodore Gray, co-founder of Wolfram Research, talks about his favorite tools

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Kevin Kelly and I interviewed Theodore Gray the co-founder of Wolfram Research, makers of Mathematica and Wolfram|Alpha. He’s also the founder of App publisher Touch Press and the author of many books that Kevin and I own and love, including The Elements, Molecules, Reactions, and Mad Science. He’s also the proprietor of

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Show notes:

GU Eagle BF-1309 Laser Cutter

“I used to have a lot of different tools that I really liked. I like tools. I’m kind of tool guy. But once I got this laser cutter, it’s like everything else has fallen by the wayside, because this thing is just so much more fun and more enabling of things that any other tool I’ve ever had. …Their smallest and cheapest model is a 130 watt CO2 tube with a 51 by 35 inch working area. I mean, this thing is the size of a grand piano. And it’s like it’s huge. It’s way, way bigger than I had any intention of getting, and frankly more than I had planned to spend on a laser cutter. … . It’s just huge, and it’s very powerful, and it’s very fast, and it can cut half-inch acrylic like butter. You can actually cut inch-thick acrylic if you’re willing to go a little slow.”

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Deep Cut Band Saw

“A handheld bandsaw. This was probably, I don’t know, more than 20 years ago when I was building a house. I had just bought a farm, like a farmstead. And I was building stuff, big things out of wood. We built a greenhouse and docks, floating docks on a lake and a whole house. So I had every kind of tool there was. And then I saw this bandsaw. It’s like, ‘Oh my god. It’s a bandsaw you can hold in your hand.’ … The bandsaw is like a precision surgical instrument compared to the demolition saw. You can just go up to the side of a building and just gently and calmly saw through whatever you want to saw through. And so I just love the concept of this saw. And it worked great. And what I love about it now is that it’s over 20 years later, and I really don’t take care of my tools, right? I’m not a tool care person. But this thing is perfect. It just runs. It’s never given me the slightest trouble…. I abuse it, and the blades pop off, and they just go right back on again. It seems to be indestructible, and I still use it regularly whenever there’s something that needs hack sawing but on a larger scale.”

LED photo lights

“When I started photographing things, it was, I didn’t go quite back as far as gas lights or arch lights or whatever. But incandescent photo lights, you know, 500 watt quartz halogen bulbs and even 1,500 watt halogen bulbs. That was what you used. They were just, the cliché is how hot they were which has been an issue forever. … And now there’s LED lights. It’s just a complete night and day because, well, you know, you get day you get really, really, really bright light with almost imperceptible heat. I did an experiment once where I set up every single one of the LED lights we have. And we’ve got some extra fresnel lenses to go on past the end of the regular focusing lenses, the light and sort of concentration everything down to a couple of inches across. Just blindingly bright concentrated light. And you stick your hand in there, and it feels very slightly like there’s a bit of warmth coming on your hand. But basically no heat. And that’s been revolutionary in our ability to do filming of particularly sort of delicate substances, like wax. Because in the case of Elements it was all elements. But now that we’ve moved on to Molecules, a lot of these things, they’re sort of, they’re delicate objects. They might catch fire. They might melt. There’s all kinds of things that might happen.”

Wolfram Language

“Every day I’m using it for something. And I’ll give you one example is quilting patterns. So this was actually a project I did a few years ago with a currently ex of mine making stitching patterns for elaborate art quilts. The problem with quilting is that you can’t cut the thread. Like it’s bad to, you want to make a continuous line to, you know, to stitch your pattern without stopping. And if you have to stop you can but it slows everything down and it’s a pain. So you end up with a problem of, here is some line art. Here’s a vector file and it’s a illustrator with a very complicated pattern of lines that cross each other and that hit each other and T connections and things like that. And you want to find a single path, a single line path, that traces out all the lines that are in the original design in the optimal way … Like you have a city with streets in it and it snowed and you want to plow out all the streets, but you don’t want to run over the same street twice anymore than necessary. So anyway, this is a mathematical optimization problem, and it turns out that the commercially available software for doing embroidery design and quilting designs … is mathematically unsophisticated, shall we say. So now I do it in [Wolfram Language]”

Also mentioned:

Mechanical gifs are physical models you can hold in your hand
“There are things like differentials, transmissions, rack and pinion steering, steam engine, and you get these beautiful laser cut acrylic parts and then assemble them, and then you have these, exactly what it says, they’re mechanical gifs that show how these things work in action.” — Mark

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NASA’s Open Source Rover lets you build your own planetary exploration platform

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Got some spare time this weekend? Why not build yourself a working rover from plans provided by NASA? The spaceniks at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have all the plans, code, and materials for you to peruse and use — just make sure you’ve got $2,500 and a bit of engineering know-how. This thing isn’t made out of Lincoln Logs.

Great video of a wriggling worm found in fish at a New Jersey restaurant

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Worms in fish are not so uncommon. But rarely do we actually see them, especially alive, on a dinner plate, at a restaurant. That’s what makes this video so fascinating. It’s well-shot and captures a live wriggling worm on someone’s plate of codfish.

As a side note, after the customer posted the video on Facebook, the restaurant who served the pink appetizer, Stella Marina Bar & Restaurant, was none too pleased, and a social media feud between customer and restaurant ensued. You can read about it here if you’re interested.

Quadcopter Hardware Gets Classic Lake Bed Test

See the original posting on Hackaday

You’d be hard pressed to find an aircraft that wasn’t designed and tested without extensive use of simulation. Whether it’s the classic approach of using a scale model in a wind tunnel or more modern techniques such as computational fluid dynamics, a lot of testing happens before any actual hardware gets bolted together. But at some point the real deal needs to get a shakedown flight, and historically a favorite testing ground has been the massive dry lake beds in the Western United States. The weather is always clear, the ground is smooth, and there’s nobody for miles around.

Thanks …read more

Apple’s next iPad Pro will have tiny bezels, but no notch

See the original posting on The Verge

An icon found in iOS 12 developer beta 5 seems to have confirmed key details about Apple’s upcoming next-gen iPad Pro: the new tablet will ultra-thin bezels, just like the iPhone X, but no notch. As reported by 9to5Mac, the tiny blue iOS 12 icon shows a tablet with thinner, more uniform border lines and a home row of apps at the bottom. The existing iPad icon does show a home button and a front-facing camera at the top.

Last year, an accidental HomePod firmware release revealed the front-facing design of the iPhone X in very similar fashion, so it’s likely this icon, though not part of any leak, is a legitimate look at the front-facing design of the next iPad Pro. We’ve also heard rumors of Apple going with a bezel-less design for its…

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