Techniques for Animating on the Canvas in React

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I recently experimented with audio visualization in React on the Twilio blog. While I meant to teach myself more about the web audio API I found that I picked up a few techniques for animating in canvas within a React project. If you’re creating a canvas animation in React then perhaps this will help you too.

Good References

First up, if you’ve used React before you’ll know that you’re supposed to avoid touching the DOM and let React handle it. If you’ve worked with an HTML5 <canvas> before, you’ll also know that to get a context with which to draw on the canvas, you need to call directly on the canvas element itself. Thankfully this is an edge case that React supports through refs.

Creating Antimatter On The Desktop — One Day

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If you watch Star Trek, you will know one way to get rid of pesky aliens is to vent antimatter. The truth is, antimatter is a little less exotic than it appears on TV, but for a variety of reasons there hasn’t been nearly as much practical research done with it. There are well over 200 electron accelerators in labs around the world, but only a handful that work with positrons, the electron’s anti-counterpart. [Dr. Aakash Sahai] would like to change that. He’s got a new design that could bring antimatter beams out of the lab and onto the desktop. …read more

Bot Makes Etch A Sketch Art In One Continuous Line

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Introduced in 1960 for the princely sum of $2.99 ($25.00 today), Etch A Sketch was to become a standard issue item for the Baby Boomers’ toy box. As enchanting as the toy seems, it’s hard to see why it had staying power: it was hard for young fingers to twirl the knobs, diagonal lines and smooth curves required a concert pianist’s fine motor control, and whatever drawings we managed to make were erased at the slightest jostle of the tablet.

Intent on righting these wrongs, [Sunny Balasubramanian] not only motorized an Etch A Sketch, but he’s also given it a …read more

This Pulp Fiction-Brett Kavanaugh mashup is a perfect end to a horrible week

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I don’t know about you, but for me, this week was bad. It was really bad! Truly, there’s nothing quite like working on the internet, covering internet news, all while the internet insists on reminding you, every single minute of your day, just how enthusiastic the people running your country are about putting sexual abusers in power. Boy, is it bad!

Ironically, this miserable fact is also how the best memes are born. The highest-quality memers online today — much like offline traditional comedians — do two things exceptionally well:

  1. They possess a deep well of pop cultural awareness, and
  2. They either know how to completely distract you from the absurd Hellmouth that public life has become, or they know exactly how to make the…

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Photographer travels the globe documenting remarkable libraries

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The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries is a lovely collection of some of the most awe-inspiring libraries ever built.

Via the publisher:

In this new photographic journey, Massimo Listri travels to some of the oldest and finest libraries to reveal their architectural, historical, and imaginative wonder. Through great wooden doors, up spiraling staircases, and along exquisite, shelf-lined corridors, he leads us through outstanding private, public, educational, and monastic libraries, dating as far back as 766. Between them, these medieval, classical, baroque, rococo, and 19th-century institutions hold some of the most precious records of human thought and deed, inscribed and printed in manuscripts, volumes, papyrus scrolls, and incunabula. In each, Listri’s poised images capture the library’s unique atmosphere, as much as their most prized holdings and design details.

Check out his Instagram for just a few of the examples:

The coffee table book isn’t cheap, so maybe suggest it as an acquisition for your local library!

• The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries (via Taschen) Read the rest

Watch a very brave biker zip along a lakeside cliff

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Nothing like a relaxing bike ride where the slightest mistake will send you careening down jagged rocks and into a lake far below. The only thing less relaxing would be focusing on filming the whole thing while riding.

Fun fact: the reason Phoksundo Lake in Nepal is such a vibrant color is because of the low levels of nutrients and organic matter in the water.

The same biker has summited some spectacular mountains, too:

• Phoksundo Lake (YouTube / Michele Ferro) Read the rest

Gaze Upon This Daft Punk Helmet’s Rows of Utterly Perfect Hand-Soldered LEDs

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The iconic robot helmets of Daft Punk feature prominently as challenging DIY hardware projects in their own right, and the results never disappoint. But [Nathaniel Stepp]’s photo gallery of his own version really sets the bar in both quality and attention to detail. The helmet uses a Teensy 3.2 as the main processor, and the visor consists of 328 hand soldered through-hole APA106 addressable RGB LEDs. A laser cut panel serves as the frame for the LEDs, and it was heat-formed to curve around the helmet and mate into the surrounding frame. Each LED is meticulously hand-soldered, complete with its …read more

The new Kobo looks a lot like a Kindle Oasis

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In an extremely random case of product leaking, Kobo’s Spanish Twitter account briefly tweeted, then deleted, an image of its upcoming Forma e-reader. The screenshot above shows a rendered image of the device, along with its release date of October 16th.

Though it looks a lot like the one-handed design of the Kindle Oasis, there’s no word yet on its water resistance. Although the Kobo Aura One came out with a waterproof e-reader way before Amazon in 2016, the more recent Kobo Clara HD curiously isn’t waterproof.

We also know from a recent FCC filing spotted by The Digital Reader, that the Forma will have Wi-Fi but not Bluetooth — one of the standout features of the Kindle Oasis, which allows for it…

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Red delays Hydrogen One phone again, pledges to give buyers a free aluminum version

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There are more problems for camera maker Red’s first smartphone, the Hydrogen One. Company founder Jim Jannard posted today that the titanium version of the phone is delayed. The aluminum version still appears to be on track for an October release date. Jannard blames supply chain issues for the delay and the fact that the company’s outside manufacturers weren’t able to create enough devices to cover all the preorders.

In the meantime, he writes that all titanium customers will receive an aluminum Hydrogen One at launch. Once the titanium is available, they’ll receive it, too, and can keep that first phone. This is nice, granted we have no idea how long it’ll take to receive that titanium phone. The device has been delayed multiple…

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Account aggregates thematically similar Instagram travel pics

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Platforms like Instagram reward users who post specific kinds of content, in some cases leading to travel largely for the photo op. Insta Repeat examines how stylistic themes have emerged in the genre of of Instagram travel photos by aggregating shots that are similar in theme, location, and type of person.

What’s always interesting to me is that behind many of these photos is an “Instagram boyfriend,” the generic term for any spouse, friend, or intimate companion who documents the life of an Instagram influencer.

• Insta Repeat (Instagram) Read the rest

A Swiftcycle Built Four Two

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And now that we’ve got our apps compatible with this year’s OS and devices, it’s time to take a closer look at all the goodies in the latest Swift that people have been discovering since WWDC, now that it’s official and all:

Swift 4.2 Released

Swift 4.2 is now officially released! Swift 4.2 builds on the strengths of Swift 4, delivering faster compile times, improving the debugging experience, updating the standard library, and converging on binary compatibility.

Give Yourself A Sixth Sense With An Arduino

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If you carry a smartphone around in your pocket, you have a GPS navigation system, a compass, an altimeter, and a very powerful computer at your fingertips. It’s the greatest navigational device ever created. To use this sextant of the modern era you’ve got to look down at a screen. You need to carry a phone around with you. It’s just not natural.

For this entry into the Hackaday Prize, [Vojtech Pavlovsky] has an innovative solution to direction finding that will give you a sixth sense. It’s a headband that turns your temples into the input for a clever way …read more

Amazon 4-star is a dream store for last-minute gift givers

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Yesterday Amazon opened up another retail location in New York City. But this one, the company’s third in Manhattan, is different than the standard Amazon Books store. It’s called Amazon 4-star, and the name gives away the store’s premise: Amazon 4-star stocks items that have an average customer review rating of four stars and above. There are also sections for new / trending and top sellers, where featured products don’t necessarily have to meet the four-star bar.

The store’s selection will be changed out and refreshed on a frequent basis — in some cases weekly, according to one employee I spoke to — but there are mainstays (like Amazon’s own hardware products) that will obviously be a permanent staple of the store.


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Support abortion access with ‘Broadway Acts For Women’ and ‘A is For’

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Kavanaugh got you pissed off about the future of Roe v. Wade? Support this awesome event, and this awesome nonprofit.—The Editors.

In 2012, A is For was launched as a response to the ever-escalating legislative attacks on access to safe reproductive healthcare. I’m proud to be one of the co-founders and its vice president.

One of our most successful events is our annual Broadway Acts for Women show at 54 Below in New York City.

Each year, and in the only event of its kind, Broadway performers who support access to reproductive health care show up to sing something they’ve never rehearsed, while the audience bids for a fantastic prize AND the chance to choose the song.

It’s a madcap night of music and mayhem featuring some of Broadway’s biggest stars. This year’s show takes place this Sunday, September 30th and our lineup is absolutely amazing.

Hosted by A is For’s president Martha Plimpton and Saturday Night Live‘s Cecily Strong, our performers include Sara Bareilles, Deborah Cox, Brandon Victor Dixon, Ariana DeBose, Judy Kuhn, Lesli Margherita, Bonnie Milligan, Jeremy Kushnier, Rashida Olayiwola, and Jessica Vosk.

Our auction host for this year is comedian Amanda Duarte, and this year’s beneficiaries are National Advocates for Pregnant Women, Access Reproductive Care, and the National Network of Abortion Funds.

Abortion rights in this country are in serious jeopardy.

We’ve seen what Republicans are willing to sacrifice in order to overturn Roe v. Wade.

And life without Roe would be a nightmare for women. Read the rest

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