Fascinating documentary about minimalist composers Young, Riley, Reich, and Glass

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In the first part of the 20th century, classical music was stripped of its majesty and injected with a healthy dose of discord and dissonance by avant-garde pioneers like Arnold Schoenberg, Pierre Boulez, and John Cage. Then in 1950s California and New York, a new form of contemporary classical music emerged: minimalism. “Tones, Drones and Arpeggios” is a terrific two episode BBC Four documentary on American minimalism pioneers La Monte Young, Terry Riley (above), Steve Reich, and Philip Glass who reimagined “classical” music and had a massive and continuing influence on punk, experimental, ambient, and electronic music.

Watch Episode 1 below. More about the documentary here: “Tones, Drones and Arpeggios: The Magic of Minimalism

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Every Booby Trap in ‘Home Alone’, the flipbook (GENIUS)

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Check out this incredibly dedicated animated flipbook re-creation of all the booby traps in the 1990 holiday scare-’em film HOME ALONE, starring Macaulay Culkin and Joe Pesci.

It’s a supercut flipbook!

I can’t stop watching it.

This is the creation of IMGURIAN theflippist, and you can see more of their wonderful work at TheFlippist.com.

From The Flippist:

The booby trap scene from Home Alone already feels like a cartoon, so turning it into a flipbook was natural! It especially works great with the amazing sound effects.

This took over a month to draw/color, but has always been one of my favorite movies so I had a lot of fun making it.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

Thanks for watching 🙂


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Intel Announces Faster Processor Patched for Meltdown and Spectre

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Intel just announced their new Sunny Cove Architecture that comes with a lot of new bells and whistles. The Intel processor line-up has been based off the Skylake architecture since 2015, so the new architecture is a fresh breath for the world’s largest chip maker. They’ve been in the limelight this year with hardware vulnerabilities exposed, known as Spectre and Meltdown. The new designs have of course been patched against those weaknesses.

The new architecture (said to be part of the Ice Lake-U CPU) comes with a lot of new promises such as faster core, 5 allocation units and upgrades …read more

THE BUREAU: Part Seven, “Lockdown in the Building, News of an Active Shooter Near the Cafeteria” — with Mr Quintron’s Circuit-Bent Guitars

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Welcome back to The Bureau. This week will be a holiday segment. Above the fold you’ll see this week’s comic and playlist, and you can catch up here on the current story. While the main office building gets covered in gasoline and the intruders pounce upon The Brain, we’re reminded of this time of year and the basic need of giving thanks and appreciations.

Part of this series has been to acknowledge electronic instruments that impact our lives positively. We’ve already highlighted the work of Metasonix and Soma Labs, as well as the RF Nomad and SSL’s Scat Talker, but there are some incredible pieces never made for mass production. Easily one of the most interesting categories of electronics is circuit bending.

When asked about the weirdest thing in the studio, I’m happy to point to an unassuming set of toy guitars. One is a Hot Lixx guitar by TYCO and the other is a generically titled “Electronic Guitar” by Radio Shack. To certain friends with shared interests, the phrase “These are modified guitars by Mr Quintron” is usually all the introduction needed to elicit immediate interest. These are treasured items that I acquired about 15-20 years ago when he put them up for sale. First, let’s meet the guitars without modification.

By themselves, these toys are pretty damn funny and obnoxious. Here’s a TV commercial from TYCO from 1989:

The TYCO Hot Lixx Guitar promises you’ll PLAY IT IN A MINUTE with its computerized buttons. Read the rest

‘The Mandalorian’ cast includes Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano … and Werner Herzog

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Lucasfilm has released an initial cast list for “The Mandalorian,” the live action Star Wars series that Jon Favreau is creating for the upcoming streaming service Disney+. Pedro Pascal, who had a brief-but-glorious run on “Game of Thrones” as Oberyn Martell, will star in the title role — Lucasfilm describes his character as “a lone […]

AmazonÂ’s Fire TV Cube adds multi-room music and follow-up mode in latest update

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AmazonÂ’s Fire TV Cube is rolling out a couple new software updates today thatÂ’ll fine-tune the experience of using Alexa. The updates enable Alexa multi-room music and follow-up mode, and come at the heels of last weekÂ’s news of Alexa Announcements coming to the Fire TV Cube.

To use multi-room music, you can add the Fire TV Cube to the appropriate speaker group in the Alexa App, which includes your HDMI-connected TV, soundbar, or AV system alongside your other compatible devices like your Echo Show and Echo Dot. You can then ask Alexa to play music in that group with commands like, “Alexa, play my dinner party playlist downstairs”, and it’ll play music through supported platforms like Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio.

Follow-up mode is…

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The 20 best TV series of 2018

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One of the more underrated perks of the “peak TV” era is that because there’s so much worth watching, no two television devotees will forge the same path through the mountains of programming. Below is a list of 20 outstanding series and miniseries that aired in 2018. These are well-crafted and entertaining shows, highly recommended and worthy of just about anyone’s time. Some of the names will be familiar; some may be surprising. Taken as a whole, this list is intended to present just one way of looking at what makes TV great. But that perspective is, inevitably, limited.

Here, for example, is just a partial list of shows and specials that couldÂ’ve easily landed in this Top 20: America to Me, Barry, BobÂ’s Burgers, Brockmire, Brooklyn…

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Fortnite developer Epic Games to release SDK for cross-platform profiles

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Epic Games unveiled plans for a new developer framework for online services. This framework will let other game developers add cross-platform support into their games. The SDK will be free and roll out in multiple parts over 2019. Fortnite has been one of the best examples of cross-platform gameplay. A single player can install Fortnite […]

How To Stay Grounded When You Have Zero Potential

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Ground is an interesting topic when it comes to engineering. Either it’s the reference level for a digital circuit (not necessarily at zero volts, either), or it’s the return path for current, or it’s the metal chassis, which shouldn’t be the return path for current or else something’s terribly broken. Erika Earl’s talk at this year’s Hackaday Superconference is all about ground.

The first type of ground to talk about is the ground in your outlets and walls. The AC safety ground is the third pin on your plug that should be attached to the chassis of your washer/dryer on …read more

New LG Gram is the Lightest 17-inch Laptop Ever at Just 3 Pounds

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LG has unveiled two new laptops in its Gram lineup in advance of CES in Las Vegas next month, and the Gram 17 looks like a stunner. LaptopMag: It weighs just 3 pounds, which is crazy light for a notebook with a 17-inch display. That’s the same weight as the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. A typical 17-inch laptop weighs 6 to 6.5 pounds, so getting such a big screen in such a lightweight package is definitely no small feat.

Does that mean the specs skimpy? Nope. LG says the 15 x 10.5 x 0.7-inch Gram 17 packs a 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8565U, up to 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. (There’s also a slot for an additional SSD). The Gram 17’s 72W battery is rated for up to 19.5 hours of usage, which we will obviously put to the test once we get our hands on the laptop. Other highlights include a sharp 2560 x 1600 pixel display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, a fingerprint reader and a chassis that’s rated MIL-STD-810G for durability. LG’s website lists a suggested price of $1,699.99 for the LG Gram 17.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

LG officially announces its ultralight 17-inch Gram laptop

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LG has announced new 17-inch and 14-inch laptops as the latest additions to its lightweight Gram lineup. The 17-inch was first spotted as an FCC listing and then later on Best Buy on a since-deleted page. In the past, these computers have been easy on the shoulders for carrying, but what they provide in convenience, they sometimes lack in performance.

The 17-inch model weighs in at just under three pounds despite its significantly larger size. Like the smaller Gram, itÂ’s powered by an 8th Gen Core i7 processor (the 8565U) and has 512GB of storage and 16GB RAM. Its display runs at a higher native resolution of 2560 x 1600 than the 14-inch Gram. ThereÂ’s also a fingerprint sensor for convenient sign-ins. LG is claiming that it can achieve…

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Tabletop gamer’s gift guide for 2018

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If you have an avid gamer on your holiday gift list, here are some great game gift recommendations for 2018. You can also find plenty of other candidates in the “What’s new in tabletop gaming” pieces I posted this year. Also, check out the Boing Boing Toys and Games gift guide for a few additional suggestions.

Wildlands ($57)

Game design doyen Martin Wallace is probably best known for railroad and civilization-building games (Age of Steam, Railways of the World, Brass, London, Struggle of Empires). His latest, Wildlands, is a grand and glorious departure. The game, published by Osprey, is gorgeous, easy-to-learn, fun to play, and very replayable, with lots of play choices and tactical depth (and already emerging expansions). Designed for up to 4 players, Wildlands is a card-driven fantasy skirmish board game with 20 beautifully-detailed, primed, and pre-washed miniatures. Four different factions, with different strengths and abilities, attempt to collect “arcane crystals” scattered over one of a two-sided game board. A hand of action cards, with multiple choices on each card, determine what each faction can do on each turn in their quest to vanquish foes and acquire crystals. The mechanics are elegant, the action, relentless and tense. Like last year’s Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate, Wildlands is a great way to introduce timid newbies to the world of fantasy miniature gaming and light dungeon delving.

Buy

Axis & Allies & Zombies ($33)

If you like Axis & Allies and want to try throwing a wrench (or in this case, hordes of brain-eating undead) into the typical mechanics of the game, then you’ll likely find Axis & Allies & Zombies a fun new twist. Read the rest

Warnings On Steroids – Static Code Analysis Tools

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A little while back, we were talking about utilizing compiler warnings as first step to make our C code less error-prone and increase its general stability and quality. We know now that the C compiler itself can help us here, but we also saw that there’s a limit to it. While it warns us about the most obvious mistakes and suspicious code constructs, it will leave us hanging when things get a bit more complex.

But once again, that doesn’t mean compiler warnings are useless, we simply need to see them for what they are: a first step. So today …read more

My Oscilloscope Uses Fire

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If you want to visualize sound waves, you reach for your oscilloscope, right? That wasn’t an option in 1905 so physicist [Heinrich Rubens] came up with another way involving flames. [Luke Guigliano] and [Will Peterson] built one of these tubes — known as a Rubens’ tube — and will show you how you can, too. You can see a video of their results, below. Just in case a flame oscilloscope isn’t enough to attract your interest, they are driving the thing with a theremin for extra nerd points.

The guys show a short flame run and one with tall flames. …read more

Djay relaunched on iOS with subscription model and powerful performance features

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Algoriddim has announced the next generation of its DJ software for iOS called Djay. The company has made some big changes to the program, including how you pay for it. The old version cost $20 on the iPad and $10 on the iPhone; the new version is free across both devices with an optional pro subscription. That subscription unlocks features like access to sample and loop libraries and support for loads of MIDI controllers from popular brands.

The program is meant for both amateur and professional DJs, and it allows users to mix music entirely within the app or through connected external hardware controllers. For an app, it was pricey, but it came with loads of features that elevated it into professional software territory. Not only did…

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CaviarÂ’s combined iPhone XS / Apple Watch fever dream could be yours for $21,050

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Russian accessory maker Caviar is known for strapping impractical gold-plated objects onto the backs of iPhones, like a gold-trimmed solar charging panel. But the company may have outdone itself this year with its latest variant of Apple’s phone: the iPhone XS Max “Swiss Dreams Watchphone” attaches a gold-plated Apple Watch onto the back of the phone for the low, low price of $21,050.

Questionable aesthetics aside, I have some serious concerns about how this could even functionally work. LetÂ’s start with the obvious: how do you charge the Apple Watch? No, seriously: looking at the pictures on CaviarÂ’s website, I canÂ’t see any way that youÂ’d be able to jam the…

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BlizzardÂ’s Overwatch League will have its first home games in Atlanta, Dallas, and LA next year

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In its first season, every match in the Overwatch League took place at Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles. But the big-picture promise for the league is that of home and away matches, where each team plays games out of arenas in their respective cities, much like in professional sports leagues like the NBA or NFL. That ambitious goal likely wonÂ’t be fully implemented until 2020 or later, but next year weÂ’ll get a preview of what itÂ’ll look like.

For season 2, Blizzard is introducing something called “homestand weekends,” where select teams will play a handful of matches in their home cities. The first clubs to participate are the Dallas Fuel and Los Angeles Valiant, along with expansion side Atlanta Reign. The Fuel will host matches at the…

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The five emoji skin tone options donÂ’t accommodate a diverse world

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How do you choose which emoji skin tone to use? This week on WhyÂ’d You Push That Button, VoxÂ’s Kaitlyn Tiffany and I discuss the five emoji skin tones (not counting the default gold option) and how people decide which color best represents them. The tones debuted in 2015, and now, three years later, people have studied how theyÂ’re used and how commonly people opt to change the default option. The choice isnÂ’t as simple as you might think.

We also change the show up this week. Instead of relying on just two users, we wanted to hear about as many experiences with the emoji as possible, so we have lots of guests. Thank you to all of them for coming on the show, including Ben, J., Jordan, Joshua, Rosie, Soco, and Malachi. We also received…

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