Good news: John Krasinski has a whole bunch of good news

See the original posting on Boing Boing

The world is currently full of absolutely shitty news—like, way more than usual. Actor/Director/Seemingly very nice fella John Krasinski’s not OK with that. Instead of moping about it, he and a few pals, both online and off, took it upon themselves to throw together close to 16 minutes worth of video that features nothing but good news. As we shelter at home, worrying about our loved ones and community, this is exactly the injection of feel-good shit that we need.

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How to set up a Slack account

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Now that we’re spending more time indoors, we’re finding new platforms — and new ways to use old platforms — to stay in touch, whether it’s for work or with friends. This is the case with Slack, an instant-messaging platform which functions somewhere in the space between email and text messages. Designed for quick communication, Slack became an important tool for a lot of workplaces well before everyone started working from home. But you can use it for pretty much anything: friends, group activities, clubs, or online communities.

Slack has a free version and offers several paid plans. You start by setting up a workspace (which is your main area of operations, and contains your network of contacts) on Slack. In your workspace, you create…

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The Office’s John Krasinski launched a YouTube channel dedicated to good news

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John Krasinski, best known for playing Jim Halpert on NBC’s The Office, is back behind a desk and talking into a camera — this time, in a video on his new YouTube channel dedicated to sharing good news.

The show is exactly what it sounds like: Krasinski will talk about a few heartwarming, good stories that people might be looking for right now while stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are stories about the support cities around the world have shown health care workers from their own apartments, clapping and cheering out their windows. There are stories about a homeowner making a delivery driver’s day by leaving gifts on the porch. There are even stories about a man who purchased 100 lobsters in Maine to help a local…

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OpenTable will allow people to reserve shopping times at supermarkets

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Image: OpenTable

OpenTable wants to let you reserve shopping times at supermarkets to help decrease overcrowding and make stores safer for shoppers.

OpenTable’s new tool will allow you to choose a vacant time slot or join a waitlist at partnered supermarkets and other essential businesses, much like setting up a reservation at a restaurant. Currently, only six grocery stores around Los Angeles and San Francisco are using the new feature, but OpenTable told The Verge it is in “active talks with other national grocers/retailers.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a significant strain on grocery stores. As an essential shop, they can receive a high volume of customers, which can be dangerous for many individuals and can increase the probability of spreading…

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Clean up and class up your bathroom with this sensor-driven, hands-free soap dispenser

See the original posting on Boing Boing

So…exactly how many times a day are you singing Happy Birthday to your sink? Unless you’re among the most germaphobic among us, it’s unlikely you ever thought the simple act of handwashing would start to take on such a central role in our daily lives.

Of course, with all the touching and such, bar soap isn’t really the best idea these days, so it might be a good time to fully step up to a sanitation process worthy of our chaotic times. And that process means — don’t touch anything.

This hands-free foaming soap dispenser not only serves up a handful of soapy goodness when you need it, it does so with a simple swipe over an infrared sensor. There’s no need to ever push a button or force down a pump. Just like all those fancy bathrooms in expensive hotels and restaurants, a single sweep of your hand gets the job done, so nobody’s grungy fingers get all over anything.

The unit’s motor churns out disinfecting foam in a quarter of a second to prevent any bacterial transmission — and that cool little sensor works like catnip to a kid, while also not-so-subtly reinforcing the whole handwashing habit. If you’ve got a youngster who seems to constantly “forget” to wash up after a stint in the throne room, this might just be the attention-grabbing reminder they need.

Unlike other models, this dispenser also comes with a clear plastic soap reservoir, so you can always tell exactly how much soap is left before you’re going to need to pick up some more…if Read the rest

Little Free Library in Seattle converted into a “Peep Show”

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I’ve seen reports that Little Free Libraries are being turned into free food pantries to help folks in this time of coronavirus. Now, hilariously, there’s one in Seattle that’s been converted into a “Peep Show,” complete with a hot pink neon sign, and a rooftop one that reads “Chicks! Chicks! Chicks!” But you won’t find anything lewd inside. Instead, you’ll find a fun diorama of marshmallow Peeps.

On Nextdoor, the Peep Show’s creator, Cristie Kearny of Seattle’s Crown Hill neighborhood, explains:

I’ve removed books from my Little Free Library to help slow the spread of COVID-19! I’ve converted it to a Peep Show, featuring Mary Peepins! Come by and take a peek! Social distancing approved! Hands free viewing or use provided sanitizing wipes for light switch.

She plans on changing her Peeps-filled diorama out every week. If you’re in the area, you can go check it out at 9709 14th Avenue NW. She tells Boing Boing that she’s already working on the next one: “Peeper Pan.”

Thanks, Marcia!

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Leaked image shows Apple’s Logic Pro X getting GarageBand iOS features

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Image: Apple

It looks like big updates are coming to Apple’s professional music software, Logic Pro X. Yesterday, a Reddit user noticed that Apple’s education products webpage showed a version of Logic with ported functions from Logic Pro X’s little software brother, GarageBand. The image has since been replaced on Apple’s website, but a cache of the page on Wayback Machine confirms it’s real.

Even though GarageBand and Logic Pro X are both music-making DAWs (digital audio workstations), there are a lot of fundamental differences. GarageBand is free, fairly easy to use, and works on both iOS and desktop. Meanwhile, Logic Pro X is a $199 desktop-only software designed for professionals.

The two programs already talk to each other to a degree, which…

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Teardown of Costco Ceiling Light Reveals Microwave Motion Sensor and Hackable Design

See the original posting on Hackaday

[hclxing] eagerly picked up an LED ceiling light for its ability to be turned on and off remotely, but it turns out that the lamp has quite a few other features. These include adjustable brightness, color temperature, automatic turnoff, light sensing, motion sensing, and more. Before installing, [hclxing] decided to …read more

Good Job! lets you chaotically smash through your office complex from home

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Good Job! was one of the multiple titles Nintendo surprise-dropped in its Nintendo Direct Mini presentation last week, and it arguably couldn’t have come out at a better time. It’s a lighthearted and chaotic puzzle game set at an office complex that’s a perfect, bite-sized replacement for anyone missing their day-to-day work life.

The brightly animated world appears to be based on road or safety signs, and puts players in the role of a featureless caution sign person who we’re told is the “clumsy” child of the company CEO. You start off — literally — at the bottom, working your way up through the company by completing puzzles in the charming, isometric office environments.

Each level assigns players a simple office task to perform, like…

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Bare pantry? Watch this Saltine cracker hack and salivate

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If your pantry is dwindling down to the dregs, fear not. Host Alton Brown from the Food Network comes to the rescue with this Saltine crackers hack –– using just the crackers, along with butter, hot sauce, and mustard –– that looks easy and yes, even tasty.

And if your pantry is actually doing just fine but you want another Saltine cracker hack, here’s one we posted in 2018 that uses “saltines, Ritz crackers, ramen, tomato sauce, cheese, pepperoni, Slim Jims, and pickles.”

How to make prison pizza

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A positively beautiful 1979 International Harvester Scout II SE

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A good friend of mine is restoring a Scout now. He compares it to my Vanagon and I do not understand why.

Looks like this one wants to be driven!

Bring a trailer:

Features unique to Selective Edition included an SSII-style grille, gold side stripes, and matching wheels. This example received a repaint in its factory shade of dark brown with gold stripes under previous ownership. Numerous exterior images in the gallery below show the current condition of the finish.

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Riot’s shooter Valorant goes into beta on April 7th

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Fans will get an opportunity to play Riot’s Overwatch-meets-Counter-Strike game Valorant very soon: today, the developer announced that a closed beta will be launching on April 7th. It’s not clear just how big the beta will be or how long it will last, but Riot says that prospective players will need to link their Riot and Twitch accounts to be eligible. “When closed beta activates in your region, watch specific Valorant streams highlighted on Twitch for the opportunity to be entitled for closed beta access,” the developer explains. (Check out the official site for full details.)

The beta won’t be entirely global, at least not at launch. Instead, it will be available to players…

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Stack Overflow is getting a dark mode, its most upvoted feature request ever

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Image: Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow, the popular question and answer site for developers and software engineers, announced a new dark mode today. The company says the mode has been the site’s most upvoted feature request ever.

It looks like, well, a dark mode. Here’s a screenshot, provided by Stack Overflow:

Image: Stack Overflow

You can turn on dark mode by clicking on your profile, “Edit profile and settings,” and “preferences,” the company tells The Verge.

Making dark mode took almost a year, but work accelerated on it earlier this year after an engineer had an idea to launch an “ultra dark mode” as a joke at an internal hackathon, the company says. Work on the ultra dark mode contributed to the actual dark mode that’s here today.

The…

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Free Zoom backgrounds you can use to disguise your messy remote work rooms

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Now that people are finding themselves working remotely or setting up virtual parties to chat with friends and family while maintaining social distance, Zoom is quickly becoming the go-to source for those gatherings. But when you spend days quarantining at home, cleaning up for a Zoom call might be the last thing on your mind.

Verge reviews editor Barbara Krasnoff has already told you how you can make use of Zoom’s custom background tool to hide messy backdrops or running children and pets. But if you need some resources on what backgrounds to use as your virtual teleconferencing room, here are a few places to browse, plus some of The Verge staff’s favorites.

Canva

Canva is a design resource service, and it’s offered several free…

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Microsoft’s new Edge vertical tabs look ideal for 16:9 screens

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Microsoft unveiled its new Microsoft 365 subscription plans today and some new Edge browser features. The biggest new addition is vertical tabs for Edge, which will allow users to stack tabs at the side of the browser instead of the traditional long list of tabs at the top. While it might look a little peculiar at first, it will be ideal for 16:9 monitors and laptops.

Websites typically look stretched out on these types of displays, with a lot of wasted vertical space. If you’re using a 3:2 display, then the regular tabs will likely be more efficient. You’ll be able to click to switch between tabs like you normally do or group tabs together and move them into the vertical list.

Most vertical tab features in browsers like…

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