Watch – cheese infested with live maggots is a delicacy

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Even though cheese is pretty disgusting when you think about what it is, most cultures enjoy eating the coagulated mammary secretions of hoofed animals. Even bleu cheese (which is little more that moldy fat) is considered good eating by a lot of people. But when it comes to cheese infested by maggots, most folks draw the line.

Not the residents of Sardinia. They go for casu marzu, a festering pile of rotten pecorino cheese teeming with squirming fly larvae. Stashed away in cupboards and under counters at open-air markets due to its contraband status, casu marzu is a cheese in which flies have been permitted — actually, encouraged — to deposit eggs. When the thousands of eggs hatch, the maggots eat the cheese and release an enzyme, triggering a fermentation process that causes the fat in the cheese to putrefy. By the time the cheese is ready to be consumed, it’s a gluey mass that creates a burning sensation in the mouth. Because the maggots will attempt to leap into the cheese eater’s eyes, conventional wisdom dictates that you should cover the cheese with your hand when you raise a piece it to your lips.

Squeamish casu marzu gourmands who don’t want to ingest live maggots can first place the cheese in a paper bag and seal it. When the maggots become starved for oxygen, they jump out of the cheese and writhe in the bag, making a pleasant pitter-patter sound.

When the sound subsides, that means the maggots are dead and the cheese is ready to eat. Read the rest

2600-Inspired Handheld Brings the Faux Woodgrain

See the original posting on Hackaday

The Atari 2600 is a console from a very different time, when home appliances, furniture, and even automobiles were all covered in fake vinyl woodgrain veneer. Somehow it was the in thing for a decade, and then immediately became tacky overnight. Regardless, if you want to evoke the era, that’s what you do – and that’s exactly what [Christian] did with this handheld RetroPie build.

The technical side of things is fairly routine in these parts – a Pi Zero runs RetroPie so you can play emulated games from the mid-90s and earlier. It’s the visual presentation that we particularly …read more

Several Nintendo Switch games are discounted at GameStop and Target

See the original posting on The Verge

Whether your Nintendo Switch is brand-new or you’ve had it since launch, it’s always good to stock up on games when they’re discounted. Today’s one of those days, and you can find digital versions of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Octopath Traveler, Splatoon 2, and more for nearly $20 off of their original price until January 10th. You won’t find Super Mario Odyssey or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild looped into this sale, but chances are good that you probably already own them.

Unless you’re buying around the holidays, Nintendo games rarely see major discounts. On other consoles, you can get blockbuster titles like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 for $30 or sometimes $40 off of their regular price, so it’s not surprising if $20 off of a $60…

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Compiling NodeMCU for the ESP32 With Support for Public-Private Key Encryption

See the original posting on Hackaday

When I began programming microcontrollers in 2003, I had picked up the Atmel STK-500 and learned assembler for their ATtiny and ATmega lines. At the time I thought it was great – the emulator and development boards were good, and I could add a microcontroller permanently to a project for a dollar. Then the ESP8266 came out.

I was pretty blown away by its features, switched platforms, except for timing-sensitive applications, and it’s been my chip of choice for a few years. A short while ago, a friend gave me an ESP32, the much faster, dual core version of the …read more

Eradicating Memory Leaks in Javascript

See the original posting on DZone Python

If you are wondering why your JavaScript app is suffering from severe slowdowns, poor performance, high latency, or frequent crashes, and all your painstaking attempts to figure out the problem were to no avail, there is a pretty good chance that your code is plagued by ‘Memory Leaks.’ Memory leaks are fairly common as memory management is often neglected by developers due to the misconceptions about automatic memory allocation and release in modern high-level programming languages like JavaScript. Failure to deal with memory leaks can wreak havoc on your app’s performance and can render it unusable. The Internet is flooded with never-ending complex jargon which is often difficult to wrap your head around. So in this article, we will take a comprehensive approach to understand what memory leaks are, their causes, and how to spot and diagnose them easily using Chrome Developer Tools.

What Are Memory Leaks?

A memory leak can be defined as a piece of memory that is no longer being used or required by an application but for some reason is not returned back to the OS and is still being needlessly occupied. Creating objects and variables in your code consumes memory. JavaScript is smart enough to figure out when you won’t need the variable anymore and will clear it out to save memory. A memory leak occurs when you may no longer need an object but the JS runtime still thinks you do. Also, remember that memory leaks are not caused by invalid code but, rather, a logical flaw in your code. It leads to the diminished performance of your application by reducing the amount of memory available for it to perform tasks and could eventually lead to crashes or freezes.

CES 2019: what to expect from the biggest tech show of the year

See the original posting on The Verge

CES 2019 is upon us, and The Verge is headed back to Las Vegas to bring you all of the news from the gadget-filled electronics show next week. This year’s conference is shaping up to be more of an iterative event; we should see plenty of improvements to existing services and products like PCs and smart home devices, but no major overhauls or groundbreaking gadgets are expected this time around. Expect to see more folding phones, more devices with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built in, and the continued development of the smart home. Here’s a full glimpse of what we’re expecting to see at CES 2019.


The PC industry is in an interesting place going into CES 2019, where it doesn’t look like any big seismic changes to the status quo…

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The Enterpise TLC Storage Era Begins: Rounding Up 13 SSDs With Samsung, Intel, and Memblaze

See the original posting on Anandtech

It’s been a busy year for consumer SSDs. With all the NAND flash manufacturers now shipping high-quality 3D NAND in volume, we’ve seen more competition than ever, and huge price drops. NVMe is starting to go mainstream and Samsung is no longer sitting atop that market segment unchallenged. But not all of the interesting SSD advancements have been in the consumer realm. We’ve reported on new datacenter SSD form factors, the introduction of QLC NAND and enterprise SSDs with staggering capacities, but we haven’t been publishing much in the way of traditional product reviews for enterprise/datacenter SSDs.

Today we’re looking at several recent models that cover the wide range of enterprise SSDs, from entry-level SATA drives based on the same hardware as mainstream consumer SSDs, up to giants that deliver 1M IOPS over a PCIe x8 connection while pulling more than 20W.

Artist gives award for the tallest weed he found in a neighborhood

See the original posting on Boing Boing

New York Times columnist and all-around unclassifiably interesting person Rob Walker has a book coming out in May called The Art of Noticing: 131 Ways to Spark Creativity, Find Inspiration, and Discover Joy in the Everyday. Rob also has an excellent newsletter also called The Art of Noticing Newsletter, and in the latest edition he writes about The Urban Weed Awards:

Celebrate the Tallest Weed. I’m a big fan of artist Michael Pederson, who does all sorts of super-clever street/public interventions in Australia, under the name Miguel Marquez Outside. I really dig the latest project he’s posted: The Urban Weed Awards.

As you can see: Here is an award plaque/ribbon for the “tallest weed” in some particular local.

There’s a bit in The Art of Noticing about “annotating the world,” and this is a really charming variation on that idea. Pick something that’s generally regarded as residing somewhere between “not exciting” and “a nuisance.” The weed is a perfect example, but maybe cracked sidewalks or potholes or power lines or whatever you can come up with. Now look for superlatives: The deepest pothole; the most picturesque sidewalk crack, the most rococo power line arrangement.

Come up with variations for suburban drives, office environments, or anywhere else. Dream up the criteria that makes it fun to identify the most notable examples of ordinary things. Find the tallest weed.

Image: Miguel Marquez Outside Read the rest

How the Director of Research for Radiolab finds story ideas

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Latif Nasser is Director of Research for WNYC’s Radiolab. He wrote a piece for Transom about how he comes up with story ideas for the show. He has an interesting “bag of tricks” to find stories and have lots on hand so that he doesn’t panic under a deadline. The tricks include setting up dozens of Google Alerts on the names of interesting people, “juicy phrases” (such as “the human equivalent of”), and topics he finds fascinating (such as the “alford plea“). He signs up for lots of newsletters — “The more obscure the field the better.” (He recommends creating a separate email account for newsletters). He searches for oral histories on ArchiveGrid. He also talks to strangers — on planes, in lines, “even wrong numbers.” The piece includes many other tricks I didn’t include here. Highly recommended!

Image: Read the rest

Smart pet food bowl closes when pets try to overeat

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Mookkie is a pet bowl with built-in AI and a fisheye lens that keeps a close watch on your pets’ dietary habits, and will generate detailed reports on how much food they are eating. It will close up if pet is eating too much or if a wild animal tries to eat the food.

Via VentureBeat:

Mookkie connects to a local network over Wi-Fi, and communicates with a smartphone companion app to notify you (or send a short video) when doggo’s about to munch. And like so many other “smart” products on the market these days, the AI-driven pet bowl works with voice assistants like the Google Assistant and Alexa. A series of simple commands is all you need to control the feed bowl’s latch, get the skinny on served meals, and order food when it’s running low.

CEO Silvio Revelli says that Volta is targeting a $189 price point, and expects the AI-powered pet bowl to go on sale by the end of 2019 on the official Mookkie website. The plan is to let owners customize the colors and engrave their pet’s name.

Read the rest

It’s January, so it’s time to settle in with the annual WELL State of the Union address, with special guest James Bridle!

See the original posting on Boing Boing

For decades, the WELL has rung in the new year with a weeks-long public discussion led by Jon Lebkowsky and Bruce Sterling (2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2007, 2005, etc).

This year’s contributors include Tiffany Lee Brown and James “New Aesthetic” Bridle (previously).

As you might expect from such an august panel, they’re off to quite a start. Sterling has continued his tradition of declaring different countries to epitomize the year: this year, it’s Ukraine, in “the EU-Russia shatterbelt where the elderly village grannies, the last ones too poor to flee, are harvesting their turnips while getting randomly pounded by mortar fire” … it’s “typical of our times. It’s the patient zero for the actual trouble. The prospects for real peace there are very slim. The prospects of that kind of offshored Violence Lite appearing elsewhere, those are high.”

Bridle, meanwhile, thinks the boasts of an upcoming “dark enlightenment” (or any other kind of enlightenment) are overblown, briefing instead for an upcoming entanglement: “weird, niche communities – antisocial media, distributed and federated services, truly decentralised ones as well as real urban anarchists – and they feel like different places to
talk about power and agency, and formulate strategy.”

I do have one self-set task for the SoTW this year. What is
the forthcoming shape of the 2020sMoore’s Law is dead, there’s
no Singularity, the fix is in tech oligarchs of (take a breath)
Google Apple Facebook Amazon Microsoft Baidu Alibaba Tencent Netflix

Read the rest

Revisit Boing Boing’s best deals of 2018 – now with an extra discount

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Get ghosted by Santa this year? Here’s a tip: Once Christmas is over, it’s ok to do a little materialistic self-care. To that end, here’s one last sleigh ride through Boing Boing’s best deals of 2018. We’ve got everything from pipes to tech to learning bundles, all at an extra discount for the new year. Just enter the code NEWYEAR2019 for an additional 19% off the final price for all this gear, sitewide.

uTalk Language Education: Lifetime Subscription

“Learn a new language” isn’t as popular a new year’s resolution as it should be. If only people knew it was this easy: uTalk boasts feedback from native-speaking voice artists and an interface that game-ifies the learning process with challenges and a progress tracker. A lifetime subscription to uTalk is on sale for $29.99 and lets you choose any six from over 130 languages on the app.

UltraBright 500-Lumen Tactical Military Flashlight: 2-Pack

A true lifesaving piece of tech, these sturdy but lightweight torches illuminate out to 800 meters. With an adjustable zoom and three modes including an “SOS” flash setting, they’re perfect for roadside emergencies or long outdoor treks. With storage case included, the UltraBright 500-Lumen Tactical Military Flashlight: 2-Pack comes in at $19.99 – an 80% discount.

Ultimate Cisco Certification Super Bundle

Considering a new career for the new year? This online bundle paves the way to certification in Cisco’s networking systems, providing a firm foundation as part of any IT team. You’ll learn to do much more than troubleshoot the big stacks – you’ll be able to set up, maintain and handle security for the infrastructure that major companies depend on. Read the rest

A Practical Portable Wii Emerges from the Memes

See the original posting on Hackaday

A few months ago, [Shank] built what will almost certainly go down in history as the world’s smallest portable Nintendo Wii. As it turns out, the Wii motherboard is home to a lot of unnecessary hardware, and with a careful hand and an eye for detail, it’s possible to physically cut it down to a much smaller unit; allowing this particularly tenacious hacker to put an actual Wii, along with everything else required to make it portable, into an Altoids tin.

As you might expect, between the cramped controls, comically short battery life, and the fact that the whole thing …read more

Vuzix starts selling its AR smart glasses for $999

See the original posting on The Verge

At CES, the consumer electronics industry’s biggest annual trade show, scores of products tend to get hyped up and unveiled, only to disappear when it comes to time to either ship them or show off a new version at next year’s show. That does not appear to be the case for Vuzix, a Rochester, New York-based augmented reality and smart glasses company that says it’s now taking orders for its Blade AR glasses.

The device was unveiled in its most recent form — Vuzix has been working on this technology for years, in various capacities — at CES 2018. We covered that device, a pre-production version of what will now ship to consumers, as a solid, though clearly first-generation version, of what Google Glass once promised. The glasses…

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Neutrogena will 3D print custom face masks based on buyers’ skin measurements

See the original posting on The Verge

Last year at CES, Neutrogena introduced an iPhone accessory — the Skin360 — that scans users’ faces to assess their skin condition and moisture levels. At this year’s show, the company is building off that device to create custom face masks through a new iOS app called MaskiD.

The Skin360 isn’t necessary to use the app, although Neutrogena says it’ll give a more accurate assessment of users’ skin needs. However, the app does rely on the TrueDepth camera in the iPhone X, XS, and XR to take a 3D image of users’ faces, the idea being that every mask is customized to fit each person. The eye slits match up with an individual user’s eyes, for example, as does the mouth opening.

The company will offer five main ingredients to start with:…

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LG’s 2019 TV lineup includes Alexa, HDMI 2.1, and an 88-inch 8K OLED

See the original posting on The Verge

In advance of the start of the big CES tech show this weekend, LG has announced its flagship TV lineup for 2019.

Leading LG’s range this year are its first 8K TVs, the 88-inch Z9 OLED and 75-inch SM99 LCD, which boast four times the resolution of current 4K displays, or sixteen times that of full HD. The entire flagship lineup also natively supports Alexa at launch in addition to Google Assistant, and they’re the first TVs announced with support for the latest HDMI standard, version 2.1, and high frame rate (HFR) for better rendering of sports, documentaries, and action films.

Whereas last year you could only control LG’s TVs with Alexa using an external smart speaker, this year’s models will allow you to access the voice assistant…

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