Nightflyers’ showrunner explains why George R.R. Martin’s massive worlds are ideal for TV

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Tonight, the Syfy channel will launch its latest big science fiction show: Nightflyers, based on a story from Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin. The series poses a big question for viewers: does humanity deserve to be saved?

The story is adapted from a novella originally published in 1980 in the science-fiction magazine Astounding Science Fact and Fiction, long before Martin was a household name. He wrote it to refute a critical statement he read, claiming that science fiction and horror were opposites, and couldn’t be mashed together. “As a lifelong fan of both, that assertion struck me as nonsense, so I set out to prove it wrong by blending the two genres together. Worked out pretty well for me,” he posted on his LiveJournal in…

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The debut of a new ISS AI robot ‘crew member’ went exactly how you’d think

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Earlier this year, the International Space Station got a new “crew member” of sorts: CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile Companion), an interactive AI assistant that can float around the station and help answer astronauts’ questions — kind of like a specialized spaceflight cross between Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Clippy.

But CIMON’s debut — seen in a new video release by the European Space Agency — shows an early interaction with the space robot is going, well, exactly the way that every single science fiction movie has prepared you to think it will, via Gizmodo.

The idea behind CIMON is innocuous enough. Developed by IBM in conjunction with Airbus, the robot was designed with two functions in mind: to help astronauts with tasks, like…

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SNL lampoons Netflix’s spending on original content

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Saturday Night Live aired its latest episode last night, hosted by The Crown and First Man star Claire Foy. One of the sketches took aim at Netflix’s enormous effort to produce as much original content as possible.

“In 2019, we’ll have even more programming to choose from because we’ve. gone. crazy.” The mock ad goes on to highlights endless scrolling through the company’s originals, that that once you’ve reached to the bottom of the menu, there’s new content for users to enjoy. Pitch meetings are depicted as Netflix executives throwing money at producers, and mock scenes from ridiculous and “gritty” reboots, prestige dramas with viewership in the single digits, and spinoffs, like Leslie Jones in a Van Getting Batteries.

There’s a…

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This Game of Thrones aerial drone video collection will get you through winter

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The year is winding down, the days are getting colder — you might say that winter is coming. But even if you’re not traveling anywhere for the holidays, you can still go et your vacation sightseeing fix through an unlikely source: aerial drone video collections. While Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season doesn’t arrive until next spring, fans have made a series of drone videos featuring famous destinations in Europe and North Africa where the show was filmed.

For instance, here’s a video of Dubrovnik, Croatia, which is actually King’s Landing on the show, set to a remix of the Game of Thrones theme song. A note in the video description details how the seaport city that originated in the 11th century has been preserved through the…

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Most popular baby names of 2018

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Each year, Baby Center polls parents to find out what they named their newborn. In 2018, more than 742,000 parents answered.

Based on that data, here are the top baby names for 2018.


1. Sophia
2. Olivia
3. Emma
4. Ava
5. Isabella
6. Aria
7. Riley
8. Amelia
9. Mia
10. Layla


1. Jackson
2. Liam
3. Noah
4. Aiden
5. Caden
6. Grayson
7. Lucas
8. Mason
9. Oliver
10. Elijah

Sophia celebrates her ninth consecutive year as the top choice for girls, while Jackson remains the most popular name for boys for six years running. Oliver and Layla both jumped into the top 10, pushing out Logan and Zoe. The fastest climbers of 2018 include Everly, Isla, Leo, and Carson.

These are the top ten, head to Baby Center to see all 100 top baby names for 2018. If you click on a name, you can discover its popularity over the years (data FTW!). Baby Center also offers predictions of future trends in baby names (inc. sneakers, gender-swaps, and Southern states), as well as alternatives to popular names.

Previously: Heather used to be a popular baby name


image via Classic Film Read the rest

Wheel of Fortune Gets Infinite Puzzles on NES

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Wheel of Fortune is a television game show, born in the distant year of 1975. Like many popular television properties of the era, it spawned a series of videogames on various platforms. Like many a hacker, [Chris] had been loading up the retro NES title on his Raspberry Pi when he realized that, due to the limitations of the cartridge format, he was playing the same puzzles over and over again. There was nothing for it, but to load a hex editor and get to work.

[Chris’s] initial investigation involved loading up the ROM in a hex editor and simply …read more

Fan-made ‘Shrek’ is beautifully bizarro

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Over 200 hardcore Shrek fans contributed to the crowdsourced Shrek-Retold, a full-length, deeply-artistic scene-by-scene remake of Dreamworks’ original 2001 animated film. The 90-minute adaptation is a project headed by 3GI Industries, the Shrek superfans behind Shrekfest (their hyper-busy retro website is a must-see). Now, I’ve admittedly only skimmed the video but it’s probably the most “internet-y” thing — with its surreal mix of live-action, cosplay, and animation — I’ve seen in a good long while.

(Digg) Read the rest

CNC Machine Most Satisfyingly Mills Double-Sided PCBs

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We know that by this point in the development of CNC technology, nothing should amaze us. We’ve seen CNC machines perform feats of precision that shouldn’t be possible, whether it be milling a complex jet engine turbine blade or just squirting out hot plastic. But you’ve just got to watch this PCB milling CNC machine go through its paces!

The machine is from an outfit called WEGSTR, based in the Czech Republic. While it appears to be optimized for PCB milling and drilling, the company also shows it milling metals, wood, plastic, and even glass. The first video below shows …read more

3D Printed Brushed Motor is Easy to Visualize

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A motor — or a generator — requires some normal magnets and some electromagnets. The usual arrangement is to have a brushed commutator that both powers the electromagnets and switches their polarity as the motor spins. Permanent magnets don’t rotate and attract or repel the electromagnets as they swing by. That can be a little hard to visualize, but if you 3D Print [Miller’s Planet’s] working model — or just watch the video below — you can see how it all works.

We imagine the hardest part of this is winding the large electromagnets. Getting the axle — a nail …read more

Connect Your Electric Heater To The Internet (Easily and Cheaply)!

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Winter has arrived, and by now most households should have moved on from incandescent bulbs, so we can’t heat ourselves that way. Avoiding the chill led [edent] to invest in an electric blanket. This isn’t any ordinary electric blanket — no, this is one connected to the Internet, powered by Alexa.

This is a project for [edent] and his wife, which complicates matters slightly due to the need for dual heating zones. Yes, dual-zone electric heating blankets exist (as do two electric blankets and sewing machines), but the real problem was finding a blanket that turned on when it was …read more

Arcade1up Cabinet Solderless Upgrade With A Side of Raspberry Pi

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Upon announcement of the Arcade1up replica arcade cabinets earlier this year, many laid in waiting for the day they could see a teardown. A four foot tall cab with an LCD outputting the proper 4:3 aspect ratio and the simple construction of IKEA furniture certainly seemed appealing. In theory, it wouldn’t take long to customize such a piece of hardware provided the internals lent themselves to that sort of thing. Now that the cabinets are on store shelves, [ETA Prime] made a tutorial video on his method for upgrading the Arcade1up cabinet with a Raspberry Pi calling the shots.

The …read more

Naomi Wu On The Sino:Bit, 3D Printers, And Open Source Hardware In China

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Many readers will be familiar with [Naomi Wu], the prolific hardware hacker who has shown us so much of the epicentre of Chinese tech in her native Shenzhen through a lens that most outsiders would struggle to achieve. We’ve seen her touring factories and electronics marts, building a load of interesting projects, and achieving the first open source hardware certifications in China.

We’ve seen a lot of [Naomi] speaking to us in English as an audience outside her country, so it is extremely interesting to see her latest video posting in which she makes her case for open source hardware …read more

11 new trailers you should watch this week

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I really wasn’t sure what to expect from A Star is Born. It’s been getting so much buzz, and yet its trailer made made the movie look so melodramatic, saccharine, twee, overwrought, and manically romantic. And it is all those things. But it’s also just so impossibly earnest. It loves its characters, its music, its emotions, and it wants you to love them too.

And somehow it works. The film looks like a glossy, big-budget production, but it so often has the interests and sensibilities of a film with 1/10th the budget. There’s a lot to unpack in the movie, but the thing I’m most fascinated by his how committed it is to bringing a low-budget, indie vibe to a big and very-shiny screen.

It’s a balance that lets the characters become larger…

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Retrotechtacular: Before the Internet: MUDPIE

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It is easy to forget how disconnected computers used to be. There was a time when sites with similar computers would do a tape rotation where a tape (or whatever media) would arrive in the mail. You’d spend some time looking at what was on it and then add anything interesting that you had to the end of it before sending it on to the next person. Eventually, the tape would come back to you, presumably loaded with more things. Late in 1967, Dr. James Peters started a newsletter called MUDPIE — Museum and University Data Program and Information Exchange. …read more

Daily deals from Best Buy, Amazon, and more discount tech before the holidays

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There are still at least a few more opportunities to save on tech gifts for loved ones (or yourself; we won’t tell) before the winter holidays arrive. Retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Samsung are hosting daily deals on their online stores that could be your best opportunity to score a low price if you missed out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

As daily deals become available, we’ll compile them below. Keep in mind that these deals will only be active for the day that they are announced.


It’s not much of a surprise, but Samsung’s daily deals only include its own products. Each day of sales loops in tech from a few different categories, and we’ll list them out below.

December 1st:

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Cyber Monday leftovers and Verge reader exclusives are this week’s best deals

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Last week was the best time to find pretty much everything on your wishlist at a discount. But now that Black Friday is in the past and Cyber Week is coming to an end, finding a similar bounty of deals before the winter holidays arrive is unlikely to happen.

Certain items, like the PS4 Slim bundle with Spider-Man, Nintendo Switch bundles, and Sony’s previous-gen 1000XM2 headphones proved to be popular enough to sell out everywhere, and you might have trouble finding them even at their regular retail price before the end of the year. But if you’re after TVs, cameras, video games, phones, and laptops, there’s still hope. Some retailers will be hosting weeks-long sales leading up to the winter holidays, so stay tuned for that. Until then,…

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Simple, Low-Cost Rig Lets the Budding Biohacker Run DNA Gels

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We all the know the basic components for building out an electronics lab: breadboards, bench power supply, a selection of components, a multimeter, and maybe an oscilloscope. But what exactly do you need when you’re setting up a biohacking lab?

That’s the question that [Justin] from The Thought Emporium is trying to answer with a series of videos where he does exactly that – build a molecular biology lab from scratch. In the current installment, [Justin] covers the basics of agarose gel electrophoresis, arguably the fundamental skill for aspiring bio-geeks. Electrophoresis is simply using an electric field to separate a …read more

Henry the Hoover Gets a Weapons Upgrade

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In this day and age of unprecedented military expenditure, we’re used to seeing weapons upgrades across all manner of war fighting hardware – tanks, helicopters, attack aircraft, you name it. We’re somewhat less accustomed to seeing the same on a domestic appliance. Regardless, we now have Henry the Hoover packing some serious heat.

Originally a mere vacuum cleaner, Henry was given movement through two motors and gearboxes sourced from a children’s ride on vehicle. A tank was created out of copper pipe to store the flammable gas (which appears to be butane, as used in cigarette lighters), and discharge is …read more

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