Dreams is getting PlayStation VR support this month

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Dreams, the expansive game creation tool for the PlayStation 4, is getting VR support. Development studio Media Molecule made the announcement on the official PlayStation blog, saying that PlayStation VR compatibility would arrive as part of a free update later this month.

There’ll be new tutorials that teach you how to create VR content, and the update will also bring games and experiences that are ready to play right away. There’ll be a lot of flexibility in the interface: VR experiences can be crafted both in and out of the PSVR headset, and PlayStation Move controllers are optional. Sculpting with Move controllers “is a very one-to-one experience and lets you fully immerse in the creation process,” according to Media Molecule, which…

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Facebook’s newest proof-of-concept VR headset looks like a pair of sunglasses

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Image: Facebook

Facebook has shown off a new proof-of-concept virtual reality headset, and it has a completely different design than most other VR devices on the market today. Instead of a bulky contraption that covers up the top half of your face and has to be strapped to your head, this proof-of-concept headset looks kind of like a pair of large sunglasses that can sit comfortably on your ears.

Yet Facebook is billing this new device as not a pair of augmented reality glasses, as common conceptions of AR devices go, but a legitimate VR product. They’re very thin, with a display thickness of less than 9mm, and Facebook claims they have a field of view that’s “comparable to today’s consumer VR products.” Here’s a top-down view:

Image:…

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How a Black woman turned quilting into a surprisingly radical art form

See the original posting on Boing Boing

The New York Times has a fascinating new article about the life and work of Rosie Lee Tompkins, whose stunning quilting art is currently the subject of a retrospective exhibit (online, and in person) at the UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive.

I certainly hadn’t heard of Tompkins before this. Nor had I given much thought to quilting as a modern art form, let alone a radical one. Sure, I’d seen centuries-old craftwork on display in museums. But, as I learned from the Times article, Tompkins work was a uniquely American expression — a predecessor in a way to the remix culture that would later lead to the development of hip-hop. Sometimes, you have to use whatever materials are available to you, and transform them in ways that can (hopefully) fulfill both practical and artistic purposes. And that’s exactly what Tompkins did:

Tompkins was an inventive colorist whose generous use of black added to the gravity of her efforts. She worked in several styles and all kinds of fabrics, using velvets — printed, panne, crushed — to gorgeous effect, in ways that rivaled oil paint. But she was also adept with denim, faux furs, distressed T-shirts and fabrics printed with the faces of the Kennedy brothers, Martin Luther King Jr. and Magic Johnson.

A typical Tompkins quilt had an original, irresistible aliveness. One of her narrative works was 14 feet across, the size of small billboard. It appropriated whole dish towels printed with folkloric scenes, parts of a feed sack, and, most prominently, bright bold chunks of the American flag.

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The Writers’ Co-op is a great new podcast about how to make your freelance writing career work

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I’ve worked with Jenni Gritters at several media companies now, including Upworthy and Wirecutter, and I have no qualms saying that she is probably the best editor I’ve ever worked with. As such, I can’t say I was surprised when I learned that she pulled in $120,000 in her first year as a full-time freelancer.

Jenni is certainly a hustler, but she’s a gracious soul who’s eager to share advice and help others to succeed as well (even if that means setting timers for me to indulge my weird ADHD research wormholes). So she and her friend/fellow freelancer Wudan Yan decided to start a podcast called The Writer’s Co-Op, examining the ways they both got started in freelance journalism, as well as the trials and tribulations they’ve stumbled on along the way. They’re also chock full of experience and advice about how to actually run your business, including planning for taxes, time management, and budgeting out how much money your actual time is worth (including all that paperwork and booking you forgot to factor in).

Here’s how they describe it:

The idea for this podcast was born in the middle of the desert last fall when I (Wudan) pulled up to a rest stop in the middle of a long drive. In the months leading up to that moment, I had noticed more and more people reaching out to me for freelance help. And nearly all the questions that I was fielding were related to the business of freelancing: what terms to negotiate in a contract, how to get paid on time, how to demand late payment, and more.

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Kellogg’s is releasing Green Onion-flavored Chex, and the commercial is absolutely bonkers

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In 2004, the Kellogg’s Corporation in Korea decided to hold a promotional contest where people could vote for the new “President of Chex.” As The Takeout explains:

The two candidates were the delicious chocolate “Chekkie,” and the hideously green “Chaka.” Chekkie promised that if they won, they would find a way to add even more chocolate to Chocolate Chex, while Chaka promised to imbue the cereal with stinky green onions. One thing the adults at Kellogg’s were sure of was that kids hate, hate, hate green onions, so Chaka would be an easy fall guy, Chekkie would emerge victorious, and Korean customers would be so excited about Chocolate Chex that they’d purchase millions of boxes. What Kellogg’s forgot is that the internet is full of folks hellbent on ruining everything.

Kellogg’s tried to the rig the election in Chekkie’s favor. But it was too late; the damage was done. And like the Easter Rising of 1916, sometimes a conspiratorial defeat only leads to greater victories. Which brings us to today — 16 years later — when Kellogg’s Korea is finally making good on their promise to deliver Green Onion Chex to the mouths of hungry cereal eaters everywhere (or at least, in Korea for a limited time).

The Korea Herald describes the taste:

Opening the box of Chex Green Onion sent from Kellogg for review, the scent of green onion hit sharper than expected.

However, tasted on its own, the green colored cereal had little green onion taste and was just sweet and salty.

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Someone made a dance to the “Nations of the World” song from Animaniacs to show which countries Britain invaded

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Here’s the original “Nations of the World” song, in case you aren’t familiar with the seminally insane 90s kids cartoon Animaniacs.

Whatever TikTok user came up with this dance to the song has done a better job of teaching British history than most school systems do:

I’m genuinely surprised by how educational this was. Like Britain invading Iceland during World War II? And here I thought they were loosening their grip by then!

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Rob Paulsen (voice of Pinky on Pinky and the Brain) critiques others doing his voices

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Rob Paulsen, the voice of many notable animated characters (Pinky on Pinky and the Brain), Carl Wheezer (Jimmy Neutron), Yakko Warner and Dr. Scratchnsniff (Animaniacs), and many others, critiques others doing impressions of his voices. This is a decent workshop in character voice overs for animation.

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Netgear now has a slightly less expensive Wi-Fi 6 Orbi mesh router

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Netgear Orbi RBK752. | Image: Netgear

Netgear is launching a second model of its Orbi mesh router with support for Wi-Fi 6, following up on a high-end model released last fall. This new version, eloquently named the RBK752, is more of a midrange model, offering slightly decreased performance at a slightly decreased price. This is still an Orbi router, though, so it’s still expensive: $450 for a router and satellite. The high-end model, the RBK852, offers the same bundle for $700.

While cheaper, this new model is still a fairly capable mesh system. The RBK752 is a tri-band system, meaning it has a radio dedicated to serving as a wireless link between the units, and it offers four user-facing streams of connectivity with a theoretical maximum speed of 4.2Gbps. That’s down from…

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Every tool box needs a pair of screw removal pliers

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A screw with a stripped head can be difficult to remove.

There are a number of ways to remove screws with stripped heads. Lifehacker has a nice article on this subject.

My favorite method of removing a stuck/stripped screw is with a pair of screw removal pliers. They bite into the exposed sides of the screw head and you can twist the screw loose, then finish the job with a screwdriver. It’s also a nice brute-force workaround for tamper-proof screw heads. This is the kind of tool you want to have in your toolbox now, instead of having to run out and buy one when it’s needed.

If the screw is really stuck, you risk breaking the head off the screw. If that happens, all is not lost. You can try to drill a small hole into the center of the screw shaft and pull out the screw with a screw extractor. Read the rest

Android’s AirDrop Competitor Is Coming Soon

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Android’s long-awaited “Nearby Sharing” feature, which allows you to share files between Android devices wirelessly, is rolling out to beta testers. Android Police reports: Nearby Sharing may appear slightly differently depending on the type of content you try to share. In all cases, it shows up as an app in the apps list on the share sheet, but you may also get a smaller prompt just under the content preview, more like it did in the previous Android 11 video leak. We tested it on a Pixel 4 XL and Pixel 3a running Android 10, but the appearance may also vary on other versions of Android. Note that Nearby Share works for both files like photos or videos, as well as other shareable content like Tweets and URLs. It probably works with a lot of things.

Select Nearby Share in the share sheet as the target, and you’re prompted to turn on the feature, if it’s the first time you’ve used it. The quick setup process lets you configure your default device name and device visibility settings, though those can also be changed later. Once you have it enabled, Nearby Sharing starts looking for other nearby devices. The interface is pretty simple: A big X in the top left corner backs you out, your avatar on the right takes you to a settings pane that lets you configure things like your device name, visibility, and which mechanism to use to make the transfer (i.e., whether to use your internet connection for small files, to stick to Wi-Fi, or to always share offline). Google says Nearby Share is currently in limited testing via the Play Services beta: “We’re currently conducting a beta test of a new Nearby Share feature that we plan to share more information on in the future. Our goal is to launch the feature with support for Android 6+ devices as well as other platforms.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon’s shooter Crucible goes back into closed beta after rocky launch

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Image: Amazon Game Studios

Amazon-owned game studio Relentless is putting its free-to-play shooter Crucible back into a closed beta state after admitting it launched the game before it was ready. In a blog post published Tuesday, franchise lead Colin Johanson says the focus is now on ”providing the best possible experience for our players as we continue to make the game better,” and so the game will be sliding back to its current full release state to give the studio time to make changes and plan a more robust launch.

“We’ll continue following the roadmap we laid out previously and working on map, combat, and system changes to improve the Heart of the Hives experience as well as implementing other improvements based on your feedback and what we think the game…

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Your Own Open Source ASIC: SkyWater-PDF Plans First 130 nm Wafer in 2020

See the original posting on Hackaday

You might have caught Maya Posch’s article about the first open-source ASIC tools from Google and SkyWater Technology. It envisions increased access to make custom chips — Application Specific Integrated Circuits — designed using open-source tools, and made real through existing chip fabrication facilities. My first thought? How much does …read more

Discord raises $100 million and plans to move beyond gaming

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Discord on Tuesday announced it’s making a number of changes to expand its service beyond the gaming community. The company says the change is one its users have requested as Discord has become more of a tool for “day-to-day communication.”

“Games are what brought many of you on the platform, and we’ll always be grateful for that,” reads a blog post by Discord CEO Jason Citron and CTO Stanislav Vishnevskiy. “As time passed, a lot of you realized, and vocalized, that you simply wanted a place designed to hang out and talk in the comfort of your own communities and friends. You wanted a place to have genuine conversations and spend quality time with people, whether catching up, learning something, or sharing ideas.”

T…

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YouTube TV sharply increases monthly subscription to $64.99

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

YouTube TV has announced that it’ll be raising its monthly price from $50 per month to $64.99 as the company starts to offer eight of ViacomCBS’s channels, which are available today: BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land, and VH1.

The new price takes effect today for any new subscribers, while existing customers should see it on their next billing cycle (either on or after July 30th).

The $15 increase in price marks the latest price hike for YouTube TV, which was $35 per month when it originally launched. The price was first raised to $40 per month in early 2018 as it added Turner networks (including TBS, TNT, CNN, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, truTV, and Turner Classic Movies). Costs went up again in…

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Life is Strange creators aim for something more grounded with psychological thriller Twin Mirror

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French game studio Dontnod loves the supernatural. The team’s breakout hit was the original Life is Strange, which starred a teenage girl who had the ability to rewind time. The sequel featured a young boy with telekinetic powers, and in 2018, the studio dabbled in roleplaying games with Vampyr, which put players in the role of a bloodthirsty denizen of the night. But around 2016, the team decided they wanted to create something a little more grounded.

They eventually landed on the idea for Twin Mirror, an adventure game about a former investigative journalist named Sam who ventures back to his hometown following the death of his best friend. Naturally, he gets wrapped up in a much bigger mystery involving the entire town. Sam does have…

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Google’s Stadia controller finally works wirelessly with Android devices

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Google’s Stadia controller. | Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

It has taken more than six months, but Google’s Stadia controller now finally works wirelessly with Android devices. Google originally launched its Stadia service back in November as a subscription to stream games to TVs, Android phones, and the web. Wireless controller support was strangely missing at launch for Android devices, which meant you had to awkwardly connect the Stadia controller using USB.

Google is issuing a Stadia update to its Android app today that will enable the wireless support. It will also be a good opportunity for Stadia subscribers to test how well the Stadia controller roams between a Chromecast, the web, and Android devices.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Google Stadia.

W…

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