Score a Black Friday discount on this Adobe CC training bundle

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Ask any creative professional, and chances are they’ll tell you Adobe’s Creative Cloud programs are essential to their livelihood.

Still, they’re only as good as the person using them. Luckily, there’s now a training that covers all the best elements of this software suite, and it’s the Complete 2020 Adobe CC Certification Bundle.

As you might imagine, the courses lean heavily on the things you can do in graphic design with Adobe, and sure enough, there’s a two-course boot camp that gives you a firm foundation in the fundamentals of design before you even get into the nuts and bolts. Later courses open up all the creative possibilities of Lightroom, After Effects and (of course) Photoshop.

But there’s plenty here for videographers too. Two lessons on Adobe Premiere Pro take you through the process of producing and editing great footage.

In all, it’s nine courses and more than 60 hours of resources that lead to resume-boosting certificates. The entire package is already 97% off, but you can take an additional 60% off that price by using the Black Friday online code BFSAVE60. Please note Adobe software is not included with the collection.

Don’t wait for Black Friday—you can get these top-sellers at deep discounts today! Read the rest

Valve’s Steam Controller Is Dead

See the original posting on Slashdot

Valve has confirmed to The Verge that it will stop making its Steam Controller. Currently, the gamepads are on sale for just $5 — 90 percent off its original price — but once these controllers are gone, Valve doesn’t plan to make any more. From the report: [W]hile I can’t recommend it wholeheartedly like I did when Valve discontinued its amazing Steam Link wireless HDMI cable-in-a-box, I will say that $13 is a pretty excellent price if you ever plug your PC into your television, or sling your PC games wirelessly to the Steam Link app on your phone and need an accurate solution. That’s because the controller, originally introduced in 2013 as part of Valve’s failed Steam Machines initiative, is one of the most fully customizable gamepads ever made, and perhaps the only one to offer mouse-like pinpoint precision. That’s because it uses a pair of trackpads, complete with tiny solenoid actuators for haptic feedback, so you can emulate a mouse or trackball. Plus, there are paddles around back for crouching, jumping, strafing, you name it without needing to take your thumbs off those trackpads.

But that’s just the beginning. Thanks to Valve’s robust configuration software, the Steam Controller has developed something of a cult following with thousands of gamers uploading their custom configurations for their entire game libraries on Steam. It’s not uncommon to fire up a game and find dozens of fancy profiles that place the game’s functions at your fingertips plus add entirely new control modes. One common modifier is to hold down a button to switch the entire gamepad into a gyroscopic aiming mode, not only readying your character’s weapon, but slowing down your aiming sensitivity while allowing you to physically shift the controller a small amount to line up a shot using its built-in gyroscope. […] I doubt I’m actually going to convince you to buy a Steam Controller if you’ve never been sold on the idea before. (Plus, paying $8 for shipping seems a bit much.) But I’m keeping mine around as a piece of gaming history, and I’m a little tempted to buy a second just in case I ever lose its USB dongle.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Samsung’s PlayGalaxy Link is another way to beam PC games to your Galaxy phone

See the original posting on The Verge

If you’re not quite ready to sign up for a full-fledged cloud gaming service like Google Stadia — and who could blame you? — there are plenty of ways to dip your toe in the streaming game waters for free or cheap. The latest is exclusive to Samsung Galaxy phones, and it’s called PlayGalaxy Link.

Like the Steam Link app or Parsec — on which PlayGalaxy is based — you’ll install one client on your Windows PC, another app on your phone, then you can press a button to launch a game that streams to your handset. As XDA-developers notes, it was already available in beta for the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10e, S10 Plus, and S10 5G as of April, is now formally available for the Note 10, and will arrive on the Galaxy Fold, S9, S9+, Note 9, and Galaxy…

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What’s new in tabletop gaming (Indie edition)

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Recently, I’ve found myself playing more games from small, independent game companies and those sold directly from the designers. Here are a few of these offerings currently on my radar, at my painting station, and on my tabletop. If you’re looking for game-related gifts for the holidays, consider supporting these talented and hardworking indie creators.

Relicblade: Adventure Battle Game
Metal King Studios, $30 (basic hardbound rulebook), 2-4 players, Ages: 10+

Sean Sutter, the mastermind behind Relicblade, was kind enough to send me some of his Relicblade merch earlier this year. Throughout the year, I watched my tabletop gaming friends enthusiastically flinging themselves down the Relicbalde rabbit hole, but I only recently got around to my own swan-dive into these realms. I love games that are largely the vision of a single designer/artist. Kingdom Death Monster always comes to mind. Like that uncompromising vision of a game as a creative platform for an artist’s self-expression (Adam Poots in its case), Relicblade is a gaming universe populated by the imagination of artist and designer Sean Sutter. Sean designs the game, does all of the artwork and book design, digitally sculpts the figures–all of it. He also produces videos that chronicle his design and manufacturing process. Looking at his product line, you’d be hard pressed to distinguish Sean’s output from any major game publisher. Our modern world of on-demand publishing, small scale manufacturing, digital design and sculpting, 3D printing, and crowdfunding has created the near-ideal conditions for creators like Sean to be able to compete with much larger commercial concerns. Read the rest

Orba is an all-in-one instrument and MIDI controller that fits in the palm of your hand

See the original posting on The Verge

Image: Artiphon

Nashville-based tech company Artifon has a new music-making gadget up for backing on Kickstarter called Orba. The Orba is a small, handheld device that’s a synth, looper, and controller all in one. It’s shaped like a halved grapefruit, and mimics the gestures used on smartphones and trackpads to let you make beats and play around with sounds with a variety of motions.

The flat top of the Orba is divided into eight segments that let you stack drum, bass, chord, and lead layers, along with operate basic controls like record and pause. Then, the center acts as a menu button for cycling between features like presets and the looping function.

There is a lot packed into this tiny device, which takes it far beyond just tapping a button and…

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Get early Black Friday savings on a lifetime of Rosetta Stone

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There’s no way around it: Learning a new language takes practice. You can stare at new words all day, but until you start speaking – and getting feedback – those words won’t actually stick.

That feedback is where Rosetta Stone excels, especially in its latest version. And if you’re looking to learn, there’s already Black Friday pricing on the acclaimed software.

It’s tough to improve on Rosetta Stone’s approach, which has earned it top honors from PC Magazine as Best Language Learning Software for 5 years in a row. But over the years, RS has incorporated speech recognition into its curriculum to great effect.

Their TruAccent™ tech analyses your speech almost constantly, giving you feedback every time you speak a new word. It will even compare your speech to that of native speakers, so you can be sure you’re conversation-ready.

Rosetta Stone subscriptions are on sale today, and by entering the Black Friday code BFSAVE15, you can take an extra 15% off the final price.

Don’t wait for Black Friday—you can get these top-sellers at deep discounts today! Read the rest

Machine learning for Java developers, Part 1: Algorithms for machine learning

See the original posting on JavaWorld

Self-driving cars, face detection software, and voice controlled speakers all are built on machine learning technologies and frameworks–and these are just the first wave. Over the next decade, a new generation of products will transform our world, initiating new approaches to software development and the applications and products that we create and use.

As a Java developer, you want to get ahead of this curve, especially because tech companies are beginning to seriously invest in machine learning. What you learn today, you can build on over the next five years, but you have to start somewhere.

This article will get you started. You will begin with a first impression of how machine learning works, followed by a short guide to implementing and training a machine learning algorithm. After studying the internals of the learning algorithm and features that you can use to train, score, and select the best-fitting prediction function, you’ll get an overview of using a JVM framework, Weka, to build machine learning solutions. This article focuses on supervised machine learning, which is the most common approach to developing intelligent applications.

To read this article in full, please click here

Machine learning for Java developers, Part 2: Deploying your machine learning model

See the original posting on JavaWorld

My previous tutorial, “Machine Learning for Java developers,” introduced setting up a machine learning algorithm and developing a prediction function in Java. I demonstrated the inner workings of a machine learning algorithm and walked through the process of developing and training a machine learning model. This tutorial picks up where that one left off. I’ll show you how to set up a machine learning data pipeline, introduce a step-by-step process for taking your machine learning model from development into production, and briefly discuss technologies for deploying a trained machine learning model in a Java-based production environment.

To read this article in full, please click here

Amazon marketplace seller swipes procedurally generated art from an indy game developer

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A Reddit user named cleroth developed a “hex-based real-time strategy exploration game” called Marvora, “with elements from Dwarf Fortress and Civilization.” Four years ago he posted a preview of procedurally generated biomes, which you can see here.

Today, cleroth discovered  that an Amazon marketplace seller is using that image to sell Marvora Biomes umbrellas, Marvora Biomes antibacterial toilet seats, and Marvora Biomes bikinis. The Amazon Marketplace seller is no doubt using a bot to scrape image files, so it seems appropriate to use an image created procedurally, too. Read the rest

Celebrate by watching the ‘Other Side with Zabrecky Thanksgiving Marathon’

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This holiday we are entertained!

The master magician who spends his spare time communicating with the dead, Rob Zabrecky, has decided to host a Thanksgiving Marathon of his amazing seance series ‘Other Side with Zabrecky.’

A cavalcade of colorful characters join Zabrecky to contact spirits of their choice. Guests include Will Forte, Kate Flannery, Jack Black, Jeff Grossman, Neil Hamburger, Jason Sudeikis, and David Arquette. Also featured are two commercials, a mail bag episode, and lots of music by the band Monitor.

I understand Zabrecky hides secret messages in every video.

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Rescue weasel likes to play with human at computer

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Brace for maximum cuteness.

This cute little weasel sure enjoys playing with their human’s hand on that computer mouse.

Such a cute little fuzzy dude.

His name is Ozzy.

I love that his name is Ozzy.

Cute little pocket weasel. Not a pet, a rescue.

From the uploader, Frisco68:

Yup, he loves to play. So do I. But before I get to go online and start killing, I’m being camped by this fearless fighter. But then again; his ping is so much lower than mine…
Disclaimer: A weasel is not a pet. They hate being locked up, they’re not friendly when hungry. Don’t get one. Seriously. Ozzy is a special case rescue baby. Cute, but deadly. 😉

The video was originally published in 2013, and is newly making the viral rounds.

Ozzy, the adorable desk weasel.

Love that Ozzy. Read the rest

Excellent lemon/lime squeezer

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Carla didn’t like the glass citrus juicer we’ve had for years. She said it hurt her wrist when she twisted a lemon half on the cone. I agreed with her. It’s an unnatural way to move your wrist. She also didn’t like having to lift out the seeds with a spoon before using the juice. Again, I couldn’t argue. I told her I wanted to do some research for a good squeeze handle juicer, but I took too long so she ordered a cast aluminum juicer like this one ( on Amazon).

It does a good job of getting almost all the juice out of a lemon, and is pretty easy to squeeze. It keeps the seeds inside the cup, too. My main concern is with the pin in the hinge. When will it break, and what kind of pin replacement will I be able use? It may not be an issue, though, because I didn’t see a review where someone said the hinge pin broke. Read the rest

Google Photos finally lets you manually tag people in pictures

See the original posting on The Verge

Google photos stock

Google is finally adding the ability to manually tag someone in Google Photos, as reported by Android Police. Google Photos has always been able to automatically recognize faces and sort them for you, which makes managing your library far easier than having to tag people manually. But the system misses faces sometimes, and there’s never been a way to correct it. Once this feature rolls out, you’ll finally be able to add in many of the faces it’s been missing.

There’s a full breakdown of how the new feature works over at Android Police. In short, you can now tag people in photos the app missed, but there’s a notable caveat: you can only add them if Google detects that there’s a face in the photo in the first place. Basically, if Google…

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Here are a few different way to use pencils to the very end

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Design website Core77 has an article about different ways to use a wooden pencil to the very end. First, though, take a look at this parsimonious person’s pencil, which represents the cheapest and arguably easiest way to extend the life of a pencil:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Elizabeth Ingram (@lonestarclassroom) on Sep 5, 2019 at 4:55pm PDT

If you can’t deal with a pencil this small, the article has other suggestions: pencil extenders (I can vouch for them), gluing a sub onto a new pencil, and using a remarkable Japanese pencil-joining tool call the Tsunago:

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