Compete in Startup Battlefield and Launch at Disrupt SF 2020

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Early-stage founders: don’t miss your chance to follow in the footsteps of tech giants. We know COVID19 has created challenges for startup founders, but fear not. Disrupt SF is still proceeding as scheduled with a Disrupt Digital Pass Virtual option. Launch your startup in the world’s most famous pitch competition, Startup Battlefield. The smackdown goes […]

Astrophysicist trying to invent coronavirus gadget is hospitalized for getting magnets stuck up his nose

See the original posting on Boing Boing

A bored astrophysicist trying to keep busy throughout these days of social distancing thought he had a great idea. Dr. Daniel Reardon thought he might invent a necklace that would set off an alarm whenever someone touched their face. Instead, he was hospitalized for getting four magnets stuck in his nostrils.

According to The Guardian:

The 27 year-old astrophysicist, who studies pulsars and gravitational waves, said he was trying to liven up the boredom of self-isolation with the four powerful neodymium magnets.

“I had a part that detects magnetic fields. I thought that if I built a circuit that could detect the magnetic field, and we wore magnets on our wrists, then it could set off an alarm if you brought it too close to your face. A bit of boredom in isolation made me think of that.”

However, the academic realised the electronic part he had did the opposite – and would only complete a circuit when there was no magnetic field present.

“I accidentally invented a necklace that buzzes continuously unless you move your hand close to your face,” he said.

Reardon realized his idea wasn’t going to work, but, still bored, continued to play around with the magnets. First he attached them to both sides of his ears, as many of us have done, and then to the inside and outside of his nostrils. It was funny, until he realized he couldn’t pry them out, not even with a pair of pliers.

“At this point, my partner who works at a hospital was laughing at me,” he told The Guardian. Read the rest

Video series about selling an ugly painting for a lot of money

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YouTuber Reckless Ben says “the goal of this [8-part] series is to create one of the ugliest paintings we could think of and try to sell the painting for a large sum of money.” The first episode alone has so many twists and turns that I can’t be bothered to give a recap. I recommend that you just watch it.

Part 2:

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‘Killer Queen Black’: like multiplayer ‘Joust’

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I have been enjoying Killer Queen Black.

I started playing KQB in beta, on the recommendation of some friends who played the arcade version regularly in a bar. This game is a hoot!

In addition to a ‘Military’ win where you beat up the other team with flying creatures that operate a heck of a lot like the awesome ostrich riders in Joust, you can also win by collecting berries (“Economic”) or racing a snail across a finish line (“Badass”.)

Three-player teams take on three-player teams, or you can just play vs the AI.

Available for Xbox One, Switch and PC via Steam. Read the rest

Why dark backgrounds in videos look awful

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Even though typical video has 16.8 million colors (256 shades each of red, green, and blue. 256 * 3 = 16,777,216), large gradients of dark colors have a terrible blocky look on displays. Why is that? Tom Scott says there are three reasons: 1) there aren’t a lot of dark colors, which makes it easy to see color bounding in gradients 2) the way human eyesight works, and 3) lossy compression.

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Dominic Toretto’s 1970 Dodge Charger from the Fast and Furious is now a Lego kit

See the original posting on The Verge

Dominic Toretto’s 1970 Dodge Charger is one of the most iconic cars in the Fast and Furious franchise, and soon, it’ll be available as a Lego set.

The model is a part of Lego’s Technic line, which means that it won’t just look cool; it will also include some moving parts. The car comes decked out with a replica V8 engine and a bottle of NOS (nitrous oxide) in the back — which is important if your goal is to try to race a model train to really set up the mood of the first film.

Adding Dominic Toretto’s car (which, in case you’ve forgotten, is the one that he was scared to drive until he really needed to at the end of the first Fast and Furious movie) to the Lego family might seem odd. The Fast and Furious franchise isn’t exactly…

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Microsoft aims to win back consumers with new Microsoft 365 subscriptions

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Microsoft is unveiling its new Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions today, which are designed to replace and enhance existing Office 365 consumer plans. Much like the Office 365 Personal and Home subscriptions that exist today, Microsoft 365 Personal and Family plans will be available on April 21st, priced at $6.99 per month for Personal (one person) and $9.99 a month for a Family (up to six people) subscription. Both options will include access to Office, and new features will gradually roll out in the months ahead.

Microsoft 365 plans add two new features that will roll out in preview in the coming months: a new Microsoft Family Safety app and new features in Microsoft Teams for consumers. The new Microsoft Family Safety app…

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This fingerprint-verified smart lock can be foiled by a magnet

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LockPickingLawyer (YouTube)

Tapplock, a company that makes fingerprint-verified locks, has had a rough time with its locks’ security. The company’s flagship lock, which has been available since 2019, is apparently easy to pop open with a magnet. YouTuber LockPickingLawyer published a video last week showing how he could use a powerful magnet to turn the motor inside the Tapplock One Plus, causing it to open. The entire process takes less than 30 seconds.

The Tapplock One Plus costs $99 and features a fingerprint sensor. It also has built-in Bluetooth, so people can unlock it using an app. In response to the video, Tapplock commented: “Wow! Shout out to LPL for finding this exploit. Working on a fix with magnetic shielding, will be back.”

This is a commendable…

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Microsoft Edge is getting smart copy and paste, a password monitor and vertical tabs

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Microsoft today announced a ton of new features for its productivity apps, but it also used today’s release to highlight a few new features that are coming to its Chromium-based Edge browser in the near future. Most of these are pretty straightforward and expected, like its Collections bookmarking feature coming to mobile later this year, […]

You can get two of Amazon’s Echo Show 8 displays for the price of one

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Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

At Best Buy, Amazon’s Echo Show 8 comes in a two-pack for $130, the usual cost for just one of these smart displays. To take advantage of this deal, head to this page and simply add two of them to your cart, and feel free to mix up the colors.

The Echo Show 8 earned the distinction of being the best smart display for most people in our buying guide. Up against the Google Nest Hub lineup, the Echo Show 8 offers the most features, even if it misses out on a few exclusive ones that you can only find in Google’s smart display. It offers good sound, a sharp display, and while it supports video chatting with its built-in camera, you can easily turn off the camera with the privacy shutter.

Target is hosting a buy two, get one…

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Acer’s upcoming laptops will include AMD Ryzen 4000 mobile processors

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Acer has announced that it will release a new version of its Aspire 5 laptop this year, powered by AMD’s Ryzen 5 4500U mobile chip. The company has also revealed the release date for its Ryzen-powered Swift 3.

With both lines, Acer aims to provide fairly slim products at an affordable price; reviewers often note that the devices look and feel more expensive than they are. The U-Series, which both laptops incorporate, is designed for ultraportable devices.


The upcoming Acer Swift 3

The 14-inch Swift 3 includes the 15W Ryzen 7 4700U, with eight cores, eight threads, and 2.0 GHz base speeds that can boost up to 4.1 GHz. It’s comprised of an aluminum chassis and a magnesium-aluminum lid; the company…

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Save over 75% on lifetime subscriptions to Rosetta Stone, VPN Unlimited, and 12min Book Summary App

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Paralysis by analysis. It’s the phenomenon that happens when you’re so stuck on thinking through all the ramifications of your actions that you don’t actually take action in the first place.

That can happen with all this free time you’re spending stuck inside your house. With literally every home-bound option available to you, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by your choices and just watch Dr Pimple Popper from morning til night.

Resist that urge, people.  In fact, we’ve got three ways your time indoors could actually end up being time well spent — and you can knock out all three with The Social Distancing Lifetime Subscription Bundle ft. Rosetta Stone.

Learn a language

Half the world is bilingual. Literally. So if you’re locked in on English and only English, you can broaden your communication horizons with a lifetime subscription learning up to 24 different languages at your own pace with Rosetta Stone. They’ve spent decades refining their intuitive learning method that’s been the online gold standard for language learning for 30 years. Their immersive system ramps up vocabulary, conversation, and writing skills naturally while their TruAccent speech recognition technology is there with instant feedback on how well your spoken language skills are progressing.

Read a book…or dozens of books

Since you can’t go to the library, you can bring the library to you with lifetime access to 12min Premium Micro Book Library. Just scroll through hundreds of different nonfiction titles in more than 20 different categories and make your choice. Read the rest

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