How to Build an Inverter, and Why Not to Bother

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It’s ridiculously easy to lay hands on a cheap DC-to-AC inverter these days. They’re in just about every discount or variety store and let you magically plug in mains powered devices where no outlets exist. Need 120- or 240-VAC in your car? No problem – a little unit that plugs into the lighter socket is available for a few bucks.

So are these commodity items worth building yourself? Probably not as [GreatScott!] explains, but learning how they work and what their limitations are will probably help your designs. The cheapest and most common inverters have modified square wave outputs, which …read more

Error Monitoring in Symfony

See the original posting on DZone Python

Symfony is a PHP model-view-controller framework used to develop web applications. The main reasons Symfony has gained fame among the developer community are its database engine compatibility, its faster development, and its robust system. These features make it easy to develop and customize web applications.

To make your web application successful, you should consider how user experience is affected by the inevitable errors that pop up in production. Customers can walk away from a purchase or churn out from a subscription when applications do not run properly. A fast response to critical problems is essential. To minimize customer impact, it is important to track and fix issues quickly.

What’s the Cheapest Way to Scan Lots of Buttons?

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So you’re building a new mechanical keyboard. Or attaching a few buttons to a Raspberry Pi. Or making the biggest MIDI grid controller the world has ever know. Great! The first and most important engineering question is; how do you read all those buttons? A few buttons on a ‘Pi can probably be directly connected, one for one, to GPIO pins. A mechanical keyboard is going to require a few more pins and probably some sort of matrix scanner. But the grid controller is less clear. Maybe external I/O expanders or a even bigger matrix? Does it still need diodes …read more

Hackaday Links: September 30, 2018

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If you’re looking for an Open Source computer, good luck. The RISC-V stuff isn’t there yet, and with anything else you’re going to be dealing with NDA’d Intel, AMD, or some other proprietary cruft. System76, however, makes the most big-O Open computer, and they will be announcing a new Open computer called the Thelio next month. It was on display at the Open Hardware Summit, although smartly there were no pictures taken of this box. Liliputing has reported on it, but there are a few things wrong with that speculation. No, it’s not RISC-V. We’re looking at x86 here. …read more

An Enigma Wrapped In A Riddle Wrapped In A Vintage Radio

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Puzzle boxes are great opportunities for hacking. You can start with a box which was originally used for something else. You get to design circuitry and controls which offer a complex puzzle for the players. And you can come up with a spectacular reward for those who solve it. [thomas.meston’s] Dr. Hallard’s Dream Transmission Box, which he created for an original party game, has all those elements.

The box was a broken 1948 National NC-33 Ham Radio purchased on eBay after a number of failed bids. Most of it was removed except for the speaker. The electronics is Arduino based, …read more

iCEstick Makes Terrible Radio Transmitter

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We’ve done a lot of posts on how to use the Lattice iCEstick ranging from FPGA tutorials to how to use one as a logic analyzer. If you picked up one of these inexpensive boards here’s a fun little experiment. [T4D10N] saw a project [Hamster] put together to send SOS on the FM radio band using nothing but an FPGA. [Hamster used a Spartan], so he decided to do the same trick using an iCEstick with the open source IceStorm tools.

You might be surprised that the whole thing only takes 53 lines of Verilog — less if you cut …read more

Dad Adam Driver learns how to play Fortnite on SNL

See the original posting on The Verge

Saturday Night Live returned for its 44th season this weekend, with The Last Jedi’s Adam Driver returning as host. While he didn’t reprise his role of Matt the Radar Technician from his 2016 appearance, he did jump on another cultural bandwagon: Fortnite.

The sketch opens with Dad Driver joining a squad, explaining that his ex-wife’s new husband has been playing the game with his son, and that he wants to find a way to keep up.

It doesn’t go well. Driver’s naïve character is truly out of his element, which makes for a fun skit in and of itself — running into walls and messing up the entire mission, but what really makes the sketch is the fact that SNL decided to forgo using game footage for the sketch. Instead, they reenacts the…

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Tindie Guides That Hackaday Prize Entry Into Your Hands

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The Hackaday Prize invites everyone to focus on specific challenges with encouragement of prize money and motivation of deadlines. But what happens after the award ceremony? While some creators are happy just to share their ideas, many projects need to get into the real world to make their full impact. Several past prize winners have used their award as seed money to start production and go into business. Recognizing this as something worth supporting, a new addition this year is Tindie’s Project to Product program.

Tindie is a marketplace for makers to sell to other makers, hence a natural place …read more

The Gardens Between is an unexpected lesson in theoretical physics

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It can be difficult to find time to finish a video game, especially if you only have a few hours a week to play. In our biweekly column Short Play we suggest video games that can be started and finished in a weekend.

The Gardens Between is about two kids, Ariana and Frendt, exploring surreal islands that are made from objects in their shared memories. But you don’t actually control either character directly — you control the flow of time. At first this seems like a difficult thing to wrap your head around. But because of how you are able to observe the forward and backward movement of time, it all makes sense, as you’re able to understand the causality of events. However, when I think about how the characters might see these events…

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Leak reveals Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Pro 6 might lack USB-C ports

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Surface Laptop 2 in black mockup

Microsoft is holding a Surface hardware event on Tuesday (October 2nd) in New York City, and a new leak reveals the company will announce a Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Pro 6. We’d been expecting Microsoft to refresh both these devices at the event, but we’d also been assuming the new hardware would come with modern USB-C ports. Germany site WinFuture claims that neither the Surface Laptop 2 or Surface Pro 6 will include USB-C ports.

Instead, Microsoft is said to be sticking with its trusted mini DisplayPort and Surface Connector combo for connecting to displays and charging the device. If the report is genuine then this would be a surprising move from Microsoft, and it would also match rumored leaked photos of the Surface Laptop 2. The…

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Maker Faire NY: Getting Physical with Minecraft

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If you’ve been hanging around Hackaday for a while, you’ve likely seen a few attempts to bridge the real world with the voxel paradise that is Minecraft. In the past, projects have connected physical switches to virtual devices in the game, or took chunks of the game’s blocky landscape and turned it into a 3D printable file. These were interesting enough endeavors, but fairly limited in their scope. They assumed you had an existing world or creation in Minecraft that you wanted to fiddle with in a more natural way, but didn’t do much for actually playing the game.

But …read more

Everything coming to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Now in October

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October is nearly here, so it’s time to think about Halloween, and streaming services are doing their best to offer up a selection of the spooky, supernatural, and suspenseful. Netflix is leading the way with a number of original movies and TV shows coming to subscribers over the course of the month. Mike Flanagan’s TV series adaptation of the Shirley Jackson novel The Haunting of Hill House will arrive on October 12th, along with Apostle, the new period horror film from director Gareth Evans (The Raid). Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the latest adaptation of the Archie comic, will arrive on October 26th, and it looks to be including a healthy dose of Satanic weirdness to differentiate itself from the 1990s Melissa Joan Hart version….

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Curtains Up, a short film on movies and meditation featuring David Lynch

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Stella McCartney profiles David Lynch in this moody piece on the joys of cinema and transcendental meditation.

Via Nowness:

Having both reflected and refracted the modern world—from the provincial eeriness of Blue Velvet to the urban grime of Mulholland Drive—Lynch’s work has consistently probed the magical and often dreamlike qualities of film. The LA-based director puts it simply: “Cinema is its own language.” For Lynch, watching film—waiting for the curtains to rise, before descending into another world—shares many qualities with the inward reflection of meditation. This is especially relevant at a time when the subject matter of many films dips anxiously into modern darkness. But, as Lynch points out, “the filmmaker doesn’t have to be suffering to show suffering.”

Throughout the film, an eclectic cast of cameos and creative talents make appearances (including McCartney herself) in order to highlight the benefits of transcendental meditation in addressing trauma and the epidemic of toxic stress. The collaboration was created in support of the works of the David Lynch Foundation, whose aim is to prevent these issues from further spreading.

• David Lynch in “Curtain’s Up”, from Stella McCartney (YouTube / Nowness) Read the rest

Mailstrom declutters your inbox with smart sorting tools

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Right up there with your Twitter feed and Mr. Coffee machine, our email inboxes are among the first things we check in the morning. And, no matter how diligent we are about managing them, there’s always a mountain of clutter waiting for us when we start our day. We could all use some organizational help, and Mailstrom Pro might be the solution. Lifetime subscriptions are on sale for $59.99 today.

Mailstrom is the email management app that identifies and organizes bundles of related mail, allowing you to easily sort, manage, and delete massive swathes of emails at a time. You can unblock unwanted senders and unsubscribe from old lists with a single click, and Mailstrom’s lifetime subscription extends to up to 20 of your email accounts giving you plenty of coverage.

A lifetime subscription to Mailstrom Pro normally retails for $999.75, but you can sign up today for $59.99. Read the rest

Affinity Photo is an awesome low cost Photoshop alternative

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I pay for a monthly subscription to Adobe’s suite of photo editing apps. They streamline my workflow on my Mac, iPad and iPhone. What’s more, they allow me to make my mediocre photos almost look like they were taken by someone who knows what they’re doing. I’ll be the first to admit, however, that subscription-based software is bullshit. Yes, you’ll always have access to the latest updates that the application developers have to offer, but for all of the money you’re paying over the course of months, or even years, you never end up with a product that you can say you own. Stop paying that monthly fee and you’re left with bupkis. I don’t much care for how that feels. I’m also not crazy about how much horsepower Adobe’s software needs to perform well. Photoshop and Lightroom work great on my 2015 MacBook Pro. The same goes for Adobe’s mobile apps on my iOS devices and Android smartphones. Unfortunately, the pixels flow like mud if I attempt to do any image editing in Lightroom on my Microsoft Surface Go. It’s just not powerful enough. Happily, I discovered Affinty Photo a few years ago. It’s a low cost Photoshop alternative for iOS, Mac OS and Windows that, for many image editing tasks, is just powerful enough to get shit done.

On my low-powered Surface Go, Affinty loads in half the time that Photoshop does, allowing me to get in and out of working on a photo quickly before uploading it to go along with a story. Read the rest

Matt Damon’s eerily good Kavanaugh SNL sketch

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Say what you will about the Trump era: it has ushered in a SNL renaissance. Between Baldwin’s eerily good Trump and McKinnon’s Sessions, Melissa McCarthy’s Spicer and Bill Murray’s Bannon, SNL is proving Garry Trudeau’s point that satire isn’t supposed to change minds, it’s supposed to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.

Kavanaugh embodies “comfortable” which is why his decidedly uncomfortable performance before the Senate was so singular; Matt Damon’s SNL cold open skewers Kavanaugh through-and-through.

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