Original Content podcast: ‘Sharp Objects’ is a perfect TV mystery

See the original posting on TechCrunch

It’s been an awful week in the news, but you know what’s still good? TV — especially “Sharp Objects”, the HBO limited series that aired over the past couple months. Granted, the show didn’t air on the streaming services that we normally focus on during the Original Content podcast, but Jordan’s been talking constantly about […]

Inductance in PCB Layout: The Good, the Bad, and the Fugly

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When current flows through a conductor it becomes an inductor, when there is an inductor there is an electromagnetic field (EM). This can cause a variety of issues during PCB layout if you don’t plan properly, and sometimes we get burned even when we think we have planned for unwanted inductance and the effects that come with them.

When doing high speed logic we need to be able to deliver sudden changes in current to the devices if we want to have proper switching times and logic levels. Unfortunately inductance is usually not a friend in these circumstances as it …read more

Google breathes new life into Wear OS smartwatches with today’s update

See the original posting on The Verge

Today, Google will begin rolling out a software update for Wear OS smartwatches. I’ve been using this new version for about a week, and although it’s nowhere near as advanced or as fast as what you’ll get on an Apple Watch, it’s a big improvement over what we had before.

As I wrote last month when Google first announced that the software update was coming, Google is changing what happens when you swipe on the main watchface. The new interface represents a more opinionated and focused take on what a smartwatch’s purpose is supposed to be: simple fitness tracking and replying to notifications. It also leaves room for Google to experiment with new features without interfering with the core stuff you care about.

That’s a much less ambitious…

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7 tools to upgrade your productivity

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Between your work, emails, family, and friends, you’ve got a lot of responsibilities on your plate and hardly any time to tend to them all. Thankfully, you don’t have to go at them alone. From task managers to smart calendars, we’ve found 8 of the best productivity tools to help you stay on top of your to-dos, and they’re all on sale for a limited time.

1. Pagico 8

MSRP: $50

Sale Price: $19 (62% off)

Pagico is a one-stop app that helps turn all of your tasks, notes, and projects into beautiful interactive flowcharts, making it easy to see what’s on your plate and schedule accordingly. You can focus on current to-dos with the today view, search hundreds of projects using the powerful tag browser, and much more in Pagico’s streamlined interface.

2. BusyCal 3

MSRP: $49.99

Sale Price: $19.99 (60% off)

When your default calendar app won’t cut it, BusyCal is there to keep you on track. This smart calendar is loaded with time-saving features, like smart filters and custom views, and integrates with all the leading cloud services, including iCloud, Google, Exchange, and more.

3. Timelinr Personal Plan: Lifetime Subscription

MSRP: $1,710

Sale Price: $49.99 (97% off)

With the ability to create high-level roadmaps and track tasks for any project, Timelinr lets you organize your ideas and turn them into calculated plans fast. Timelinr’s SimulCollab™ feature makes it easy to keep your team in the loop with any changes you make along the way, and you can enjoy unlimited timelines and sharing as well. Read the rest

Dead body turns out to be sex doll

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Police in Colerain Township, Ohio, were summoned to a nature reserve after a dead body was spotted at the side of the road. But it was a sex doll. WLWT:

When Colerain police officers arrived and saw the body for themselves, they called the coroner.

As the coroner went to pick up the body, they realized it wasn’t human.

What they had found was a sex doll, Colerain Police Chief Mark Denney said.

Actually, I’m pretty sure that’s just a mannequin. But you do you, Ohio.

Photo courtesy of WLWT5 Read the rest

Snail racing championship held

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A silver tankard stuffed with lettuce was the prize at Norfolk, England’s snail racing championship, with more than 150 gastropods in competition.

The snails are placed on a special damp cloth marked with three concentric circles and the creatures race 13 inches (33 cm) to the outer ring.

“We take this seriously,” snail racer John McClean told Reuters.

“We have got training slopes. We look at diet, we are drug compliant as well. It is the whole thing when you look at elite sports.”

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Old lady calls cops on hispanic mom because her “baby is in pain”

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In this video, posted to Facebook by young mom Darla Jeny, an elderly woman summons police to the parking lot of a California PetSmart. It soon becomes apparent that she had spotted a baby in a parked car, but hadn’t spotted mom in there with her until after she’d worked herself up into a righteous anger about what was in fact a sleeping, air-conditioned child.

So we stop at PetSmart and I stay in the car with Elsie while she’s sleeping in her car seat. Ac is blasting and she taps on the window to get me to roll it down. I try to ignore her but she wouldn’t leave me alone. I roll down the window and she says the baby is in the sun. She threatens to call the cops if I don’t move my car. I know my husband will be out any minute since we’re only there for a few minutes. I then told her to mind her own business and that’s when I started recording.

After mom objected to her making a fuss, the older woman decided to escalate the confrontation instead of saying “oh, my bad” and proceeding with her day—at least until until a man came along, the hispanic mom’s white husband, to whom she is more respectful.

She keeps up a charade of being a concerned citizen for a while, but the smile drops after she is called out on the claim that Darla had threatened to beat her up, which is not in evidence on the recording. Read the rest

FPGA Jacked Into Pinball Machine Masters High Scores

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How do you preserve high scores in an old arcade cabinet when disconnecting the power? Is it possible to inject new high scores into a pinball machine? It was the b-plot of an episode of Seinfield, so it has to be worth doing, leading [matthew venn] down the rabbit hole of FPGAs and memory maps to create new high scores in a pinball machine.

The machine in question for this experiment is Doctor Who from Williams, which, despite being a Doctor Who pinball machine isn’t that great of a machine. Still, daleks. This machine is powered by a Motorola …read more

Ricoh’s GRIII is just tiny enough to survive the smartphone age

See the original posting on The Verge

Point-and-shoot cameras, it should be uncontroversial to say, are an endangered gadget species. Coming to a camera exhibition like Photokina, I still see a few scattered examples of them, but most companies are now focused on making beefier, vastly more powerful full-frame shooters. Except for Ricoh. One of the smaller contenders in the photography market, Ricoh’s most iconic product is the GR series of decidedly high-end point-and-shoot cameras — and at Photokina 2018, the company showed off its next generation in the form of the Ricoh GRIII, slated for release early next year.

The GR series stretches all the way back to 1996, I found out upon visiting Ricoh’s Photokina booth, when the Ricoh GR 1 film camera was introduced. There have…

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Razer Nari Ultimate gaming headset rumbles your ears

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Razer’s new Nari Ultimate wireless headset will vibrate along with loud sounds in an attempt to create a more immersive gaming experience. The “HyperSense” haptic technology has been developed alongside Lofelt, a company which you might remember for its wrist-mounted subwoofer, and converts audio signals directly into tactile feedback. Razer claims that this enhances your positional awareness with its “multidimensional” haptic feedback.

Along with its headline-grabbing haptic feedback, the Nari Ultimate also features the same THX Spatial Audio support that was first seen with the Kraken Tournament Edition. The headset works in both wired and wireless modes, and is compatible with all major platforms including PC, mobile, Xbox,…

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Get your tickets to TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2018

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  We absolutely love the thrill that comes from watching innovative tech startups launch their products to the world. It’s even more exciting when they’re competing head-to-head, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen at TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2018 on December 11 in Lagos, Nigeria. TechCrunch editors have selected the cream of Sub-Saharan Africa’s crop […]

Sounding A Sour Note Can Save People From A Sour Stomach (Or Worse)

See the original posting on Hackaday

We’ve covered construction of novel music instruments on these pages, and we’ve covered many people tearing down scientific instruments. But today we’ve got something that managed to cross over from one world of “instrument” into another: a music instrument modified to measure a liquid’s density by listening to changes in its pitch.

This exploration started with a mbira, a mechanically simple music instrument. Its row of rigid metal tines was replaced with a single small diameter hollow metal tube. Filling the tube with different liquids would result in different sounds. Those sounds are captured by a cell phone and processed …read more

Three Part Deep Dive Explains Lattice iCE40 FPGA Details

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It is no secret that we like the Lattice iCE40 FPGA. It has a cheap development board and an open source toolchain, so it is an easy way to get started developing low-cost, low-power FPGA designs. There are a few members of the family that have similar characteristics including the top-of-the-line UltraPlus. [Steve] from Lattice and [Michael Klopfer] from the University of California Irvine have a three-part video series that explain the architecture of the devices. Altogether, the videos are about an hour long and — of course — they use the official tools, not IceStorm. But it is still …read more

Carmack Compares Oculus Quest Hardware Power To Last-Gen Game Consoles

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During a talk at the Oculus Connect conference today, Oculus’ CTO, John Carmack, compared the company’s newly announced Oculus Quest headset to the Xbox 360 and PS3 in terms of power. Ars Technica reports: That doesn’t mean the Quest, which is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, can generate VR scenes comparable to those seen in Xbox 360 or PS3 games, though. As Carmack pointed out, most games of that generation targeted a 1280×720 resolution at 30 frames per second. On Quest, the display target involves two 1280×1280 images per frame at 72fps. That’s 8.5 times as many pixels per second, with additional high-end anti-aliasing effects needed for VR as well. “It is not possible to take a game that was done at a high-quality level [on the Xbox 360 or PS3] and expect it to look good in VR,” Carmack said. Expecting Rift-level performance from a self-contained mobile headset like the quest isn’t realistic, Carmack said, partly for simple electrical reasons. While a high-end gaming PC often draw up to 500 watts of power, Carmack said the Quest only uses about 5W, a tidbit that should be of benefit to the Quest’s still unconfirmed battery-life statistics.

That relative lack of hardware power is going to require some developers to adopt “a different programming style that’s been necessary on the PC,” Carmack warned. “With a modern PC, you have so much extra power, you don’t need to be a hotshot programmer to make a game people love. You don’t really have that convenience on any mobile platform, really, but especially not on our platform.” That’s not an insurmountable problem, Carmack suggested, as long as developers focus on the dozen or so things that players really need to concentrate on in an average game, rather than “thousands” of pieces of graphical fluff. He suggested developers look back to the lessons of platforms like the original PlayStation and Nintendo DS to see how developers crafted memorable experiences on much less-powerful hardware. Carmack went on to say that “realistically, we’re going to end up competing with the Nintendo Switch… they’ll pick up Quest as [a] mobile device, just like Switch.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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