Slashdot Asks: Did You Have a Shared Family Computer Growing Up?

See the original posting on Slashdot

theodp writes: “Long before phone addiction panic gripped the masses and before screen time became a facet of our wellness and digital detoxes,” begins Katie Reid’s article, How the Shared Family Computer Protected Us from Our Worst Selves, “there was one good and wise piece of technology that served our families. Maybe it was in the family room or in the kitchen. It could have been a Mac or PC. Chances are it had a totally mesmerizing screensaver. It was the shared family desktop.” She continues: “I can still see the Dell I grew up using as clear as day, like I just connected to NetZero yesterday. It sat in my eldest sister’s room, which was just off the kitchen. Depending on when you peeked into the room, you might have found my dad playing Solitaire, my sister downloading songs from Napster, or me playing Wheel of Fortune or writing my name in Microsoft Paint. The rules for using the family desktop were pretty simple: homework trumped games; Dad trumped all. Like the other shared equipment in our house, its usefulness was focused and direct: it was a tool that the whole family used, and it was our portal to the wild, weird, wonderful internet. As such, we adored it.” Did you have a shared family computer growing up? Can you relate to any of the experiences Katie mentioned in her article? Please share your thoughts in a comment below.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

This cruel Bud Light smart fridge unlocks only when the Cleveland Browns win

See the original posting on The Verge

Football season is almost here, and Bud Light has put together something special for the fans of the eternally suffering Cleveland Browns: Cleveland Browns Victory Fridges, a bunch of custom-made, internet-connected fridges that will only open when the Browns manage to snap their winless streak (currently at 17 games and counting).

It’s a fun promotion with some impressive technical effort behind it, but there’s just one problem: those fridges will never need to open.

Bud Light claims that the fridges are kept shut with an elaborate locking system whereby the chains holding the doors closed (and the beer inside) are help up by an internal magnet, synced together with the other Browns Victory…

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All the Badges of DEF CON 26 (vol 1)

See the original posting on Hackaday

Two or three years back you would see a handful of really interesting unofficial badges at DEF CON. Now, there’s a deluge of clever, beautiful, and well executed badges. Last weekend I tried to see every badge and meet every badge maker. Normally, I would publish one megapost to show off everything I had seen, but this year I’m splitting it into volumes. Join me after the break for the first upload of the incredible badges of DC26!

Telephreak Eleven Badge

The Telephreak party at DEF CON is a gathering of a tight knit group of phone phreakers who spend …read more

Instagram now lets you send private polls through DMs

See the original posting on The Verge

Starting today, you’ll be able to send polls through direct messages in Instagram. It works the same as adding the poll sticker to your stories, but now, you’ll be presented with the option to send the story to your own selection of users. Everyone in the group chat will be able to view the poll results as they vote in real time. It’s not as groundbreaking of an update as, say, the ability to mute your friends’ posts, but it’s still a useful tool for when you just want to poll a small group of relevant people, like a dinner party or family members.

The poll sticker has been available for Stories since last October, and since then, it has been joined by the Emoji slider and the Questions sticker. Instagram is going full-force to increase…

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TechDen fights your kids’ tech addiction using… a box

See the original posting on The Verge

Here’s one way to get kids off the phones they won’t put down: hide them in a high-tech box.

TechDen, which is currently being funded through a Kickstarter campaign, claims to ”help kids develop healthy screen habits,” by combining an app to manage your child’s screen time with a literal white box that stores and charges up to two phones or tablets. It can also recognize each device, and send parents notifications about which devices are charging and which are currently in use.

Parents can create designated “sessions” — routine windows of time where their kids can use their phone — and set up a maximum allowable screen time within each of these windows. For example, a session could be an hour before bedtime, and the maximum amount of…

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Heartbreaking documentary on London’s North Korean enclave

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Little Pyongyang made the festival rounds and his been picked up by The Guardian. It tells the story of how one soldier made his way to Europe’s largest community of North Korean nationals after escaping the brutal regime.

Joong-wha Choi, a former soldier in North Korea, lives today with his wife and children in a sleepy London suburb, home to Europe’s biggest North Korean population. Despite enjoying the new found comforts of his British life, and being emancipated from the pressures of the North Korean state, he has a desire to return to the land that betrayed him, and feels like his true home. Joong-wha reflects on both why he left North Korea and the state of his day to day life over the course of several months, in a portrait of loss, longing, and the complexities of healing from trauma.

Here’s a nice Q&A with the filmmakers

• Little Pyongyang (YouTube / The Guardian)

Include Feature-Rich Maps in a NativeScript-Vue App With Mapbox

See the original posting on DZone Python

Vue.js has been all the rage lately and is proving to be a strong competitor to Angular and React. When it comes to the mobile development frameworks, we’re lucky that NativeScript allows us to create native Android and iOS applications with Vue.js. A little less than a year ago I wrote a tutorial titled, Using a Mapbox in a NativeScript Angular Application, that demonstrated including feature-rich maps in an application built with Angular.

Being that we’re all polyglots here, wouldn’t it be nice if we could accomplish the same with NativeScript and Vue.js?

HQ Trivia introduces an Apple TV app to less efficiently play with friends

See the original posting on The Verge

HQ Trivia might be waning in popularity, but it’s not dead yet. Now, it’s getting an Apple TV app so that you can more easily — but less efficiently — play with friends, via TechCrunch.

It’s a move that makes a lot of sense, partly. HQ has always chased the classic game show presentation that shows like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? or Jeopardy made famous. So making the jump to an actual TV feels like a natural extension of that. And playing on a TV, in theory, makes it easier to play HQ with more friends and family members.

But the problem is: if you’re…

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StarVR’s One headset flaunts eye-tracking and a double-wide field of view

See the original posting on TechCrunch

While the field of VR headsets used to be more or less limited to Oculus and Vive, numerous competitors have sprung up as the technology has matured — and some are out to beat the market leaders at their own game. StarVR’s latest headset brings eye-tracking and a seriously expanded field of view to the game, and the latter especially is a treat to experience.