What the Heck Are WebSockets!?

See the original posting on DZone Python

We are knee deep into the real-time world by this point with so many applications working with live data. It’s high time there was an explanation of all the events leading up to this point in a technological stance. So, here goes…

These days, applications are moving from utilizing stale data from a database or data that’s created on-the-fly following an event trigger in a live experience that follows real-world events. The first thing we think of when it comes to real-time applications is WebSockets. But, in spite of a lot of people constantly tossing around this term in technological circles, there actually seems to be huge misconceptions associated with its meaning and working.

Corporate Badgelife: Oracle’s Code Card

See the original posting on Hackaday

We tend to think of elaborate electronic conference badges as something limited to the hacker scene, but it looks like the badgelife movement is starting to hit the big time. Now even the “big boys” are getting into the act, and pretty soon you won’t be able to go to a stuffy professional conference without seeing a sea of RGB LEDs firing off. We’ll let the good readers of Hackaday determine if this means it’s officially post-cool or not.

[Noel Portugal] writes in to tell us about how he created the “Code Card” during his tenure with the Oracle Groundbreakers …read more

The new horror film canon (and where to stream it)

See the original posting on The Verge

For people with a lively interest in cinema’s rapid technolgical and cultural evolution over the past few decades, few areas are as fascinating as the horror genre. Just a few decades ago, horror films were mostly considered disreputable and schlocky. The field was dominated by cookie-cutter sequels full of masked slashers and low-rent monsters, and while many actors of note started out in horror, few willingly stayed there if they could get more prestigious work. Directors were another thing entirely, with a handful of dedicated genre enthusiasts, from George Romero to David Cronenberg, reliably cranking out memorable work — but they were usually the exception to the rule.

But rapid changes in digital effects, filmmaking, and…

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U.S. declines in internet freedom rankings, thanks to net neutrality repeal and fake news

See the original posting on TechCrunch

If you need a safe haven on the internet, where the pipes are open and the freedoms are plentiful — you might want to move to Estonia or Iceland. The latest “internet freedoms” rankings are out, courtesy of Freedom House’s annual report into the state of internet freedoms and personal liberties, based on rankings of […]

The Modern Analog Soldering Station

See the original posting on Hackaday

There is a certain sense of accomplishment one gets when building their own tools. This is what [Alejandro Velazquez] was going for when he built his own soldering station. Sure you can get a decent station for a pittance on Amazon, or eBay. You can even build your own microprocessor controlled station. [Alejandro] is currently interested in analog electronics, so he went that route to build his own closed-loop station.

The handle is a 50 watt, 24-volt affair with a thermocouple. You can find this handle on many Hakko 907 clone soldering stations, often referred to as the 907A. The …read more

7 Segment Clockwork Display Made From Cardboard

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We’ve seen a variety of oddball 7-segment displays in the past, but this one uses a new material: both for the display and the mechanical mechanism that drives it; cardboard. Yup, the whole thing is made from cardboard, wood and a few rubber bands. [The Q] shows how he put together in this nice video, starting from first principles that show how the segments are made: simple pieces of cardboard painted on one side with fluorescent paint. A piece of wood pushes the element out to blank it, and each element is connected to a cam wheel that pushes the …read more

Lisa Kereszi’s creepy photos of low-budget scare attractions

See the original posting on Boing Boing

[Note: disturbing photos below]

Lisa Kereszi “has an eye for the kind of detail that makes you feel like slitting your throat,” Sarah Boxer writes in her New York Times review of an exhibition that included Kereszi’s photos of Governors Island, in New York Harbor. A courtesy phone the color of freshly dried blood; a drinking fountain that somehow manages to look sinister against the traffic-cone orange of the wall behind it; an abandoned motel room whose queasy-green carpet still bears the ghost image of a bed, a discolored rectangle uncomfortably reminiscent of a grave: looking at Kereszi’s images of the former military and Coast Guard base, we have to agree with Boxer’s observation that she has an eye for “plain and awful surfaces.”

Kereszi, who is director of undergraduate studies in the Yale School of Art when she isn’t prowling modern ruins, captures the uncanniness of the banal, the creepy melancholy of the abject, the disquieting blur at the edge of camera frame. Boxer compares her work to Eugène Atget’s proto-surrealist photographs of dreamlike boulevards and sleepwalking mannequins in Belle-Époque Paris but to my mind it’s more accurately a cross between Diane Arbus’s mixture of the mundane and the insinuating — her ability to render the everyday freakish with the snap of a shutter — and the nameless creepiness of David Lynch. (I’m thinking of the saloon singer’s apartment in Blue Velvet.)

Nowhere is this quality more abundantly on display than in Haunted, a “Halloween series” of “temporary and semi-permanent scare attractions” Kereszi has “been working on, on and off, since 2004,” as she told me in an e-mail. Read the rest

Smart scares for smart people

See the original posting on The Verge

By now, filmmakers and game designers have jump-scares down to a science. All it takes to really startle an audience is a combination of unsettling music, a protagonist or avatar creeping up on something they probably shouldn’t approach, and a big blare of sound and something moving rapidly at the screen. The formula works just about every time, to the point where a painfully clunky horror movie like Rings can get away with startling audiences just by having an umbrella open up on-screen really, really loudly.

But good horror — the kind that gets in under the skin and really sticks with you over time — usually has a psychological element, some kind of hook that plays to real, personal fears. The best horror is intelligently constructed,…

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10 scary podcasts to listen to in the dark

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As podcasting has matured as a medium, it’s grown to cover almost every genre and style imaginable, from old-school tech talk and true crime, to sci-fi and sobering historical deep dives. It’s also proven extraordinarily adept at horror, with both fictional podcasts and real-life tales offering a variety of scares, chills, and unsettling encounters. Much like traditional radio dramas, there’s a distinct intimacy to the format, one that allows talented storytellers to unnerve audiences with nothing more than sound.

For Halloween, we’ve collected some of the best and scariest podcasts to grace our smartphones. They might be brand-new shows, or long-running classics, but like a great horror movie or novel, each and every one is practically…

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Trump Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Varma tweets obscene Halloween joke

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It’s not funny.

Medicare For All is the idea of you and everyone you love being protected from going bankrupt if you get really sick.

That is a thing that happens to Americans. It ruins lives and families. Sometimes it kills people, even when the disease does not.

It is obscene for the Administrator of Medicare to mock human lives, and to mock Medicare. This is just all so nauseating. Happy Halloween. Please vote on November 6.

[source] Read the rest

96-year-old Carl Reiner has a message for Americans

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Carl Reiner is disgusted with what’s happening in the United States these days. In this heartfelt PSA, the accomplished nonagenarian shares his thoughts on what Americans can do to change what’s happening. In short, vote!

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Spotify returns to Roku devices starting today

See the original posting on The Verge

Spotify is returning to Roku’s streaming players and Roku TVs beginning today after a fairly long absence from the platform. Devices running Roku OS 9 (which has also just started rolling out) and TVs on OS 8.2 can head to the channel store and download the Spotify app. Aside from simply launching it from the home screen with a remote, the new Spotify for Roku app can also play tunes through Spotify Connect, so you can control playback from other devices like your smartphone.

Spotify removed its app from Roku products last December, citing a lack of satisfaction with that version of the software and promising to come back with something better. At the time, the company said “we expect the service to return as a much better overall…

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Exchange unwanted Halloween candy for Reese’s with this vending machine

See the original posting on Boing Boing

I can’t help but love the “Reese’s Halloween Candy Converter.” It’s a vending machine where some fortunate trick-or-treaters can feed their unwanted Halloween candy (cough *Good & Plenty*) to get a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in exchange. Now that’s a clever marketing stunt!

There’s only one machine though and it’s in New York City:

Reese’s lovers can make an exchange from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. outside Washington Square Park on 5th Avenue between Washington Square North and East 8th Street in New York City on Halloween.

Delish reports that the machine will make 10,000 candy exchanges. Read the rest

This Weekend: The Greatest Hardware Conference

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The Hackaday Superconference is this weekend and it’s the greatest hardware con on the planet. Tickets are completely sold out, but you can still get in on the fun by watching the livestream and joining Supercon chat.

For everyone who will be here in person, the entire Hackaday crew is busy as beavers preparing for your arrival. We’re assembling badges, rigging AV for the talks, stuffing goodie bags, calling caterers, and taping cables to the floor. This is by far the biggest Superconference yet.

Doors open at 9 am Friday at the Supplyframe HQ. This is your first chance to …read more

Speak Your WiFi

See the original posting on Hackaday

When you create a Thing for the Internet of Things, you’ve made a little computer that does a simple job and which probably has a minimal interface. But minimal interfaces leave little room for configuration, such as entering WiFi details. Perhaps if you made the Thing yourself you’ve hard-coded your WiFi credentials in your code, but that hardly translates to multiple instances. So, how to put end-user WiFi credentials easily on more than one Thing? Perhaps [Rob Dobson] has the answer with his technique of sending them as a sequence of audible tones.

There is a piece of Javascript code …read more

The TV reboot of Heathers was doomed from the start

See the original posting on The Verge

Spoilers ahead for the American TV remake of Heathers.

It should come as no surprise that the marathon release of Paramount Television’s Heathers fell apart. The embattled TV remake of the 1988 film comedy has been delayed repeatedly over the past year, as a wave of school shootings and terrible advance reviews made the show’s tongue-in-cheek look at high school violence seem like a public relations disaster. Paramount attempted to sell off the series, then heavily recut it, merging its 10 hourlong episodes into five two-hour segments, and removing large segments of the finale. But the plan for a weeklong Halloween marathon release of the recut edition, starting on October 25th, seemed to be coming together.

Then on October 27th, an…

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What it’s like to drive in Japan

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I’m pretty used to driving on the left side of the road, having driven in Rarotonga, New Zealand, and Australia for several months. But I would be nervous to drive in Japan, because the roads are narrow and I am nervous I wouldn’t be able to read the signs. But this video makes me think I should rent a car the next time I go there.

This video tells you about international driving permits, speed limits, rest stops, car rental, tolls, and other tips.

Video: YouTube Read the rest

Sample pages from Liz Suburbia’s new comic book anthology, Thee Collected Cyanide Milkshake

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Artist Janelle Hessig (who was a guest many times on Boing Boing’s retired Gweek podcast) has launched a comic book publishing company in Oakland called Gimme Action. Tomorrow Gimme Action is releasing a new comic anthology by Liz Suburbia (who wrote and illustrated the excellent Sacred Heart in 2015).

Suburbia’s anthology is called Thee Collected Cyanide Milkshake, which includes all seven issues of Liz’s mini-comic Cyanide Milkshake.

As Janelle describes it, “the book takes you on a journey from hilarious single panel gags (a la Mad Magazine) to deeply personal autobio strips about subjects like anxiety and street harassment to horny sci-fi (favorite new genre?). If it sounds jam-packed, that’s because it is. But it never feels fractured or inconsistent as it takes readers through a variety of experiences. Cyanide Milkshake is personally very precious to me and I feel honored that Liz has trusted me with her genius work. I truly believe this book will make the world 176 pages less shitty. It feels worthwhile to note that this book was created by a woman, published by a woman, printed by a women-owned press, and debuts at a women-run comic convention (Short Run in Seattle).”

Thee Collected Cyanide Milkshake ships November 1st, 2018. Ordering info is on the Gimme Action site.

Enjoy these sample pages:

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