Your Own Sinclair Scientific Calculator

See the original posting on Hackaday

We’ve talked about the Sinclair scientific calculator before many times, and for some of us it was our first scientific calculator. If you can’t find yours or you never had one, now you can build your own using — what else — an Arduino thanks to [Arduino Enigma]. There’s a video, below and the project’s homepage on Hackaday.io describes it all perfectly:

The original chip inside the Sinclair Scientific Calculator was reverse engineered by Ken Shirriff, its 320 instruction program extracted and an online emulator written. This project ports that emulator, written in Javascript, to the Arduino Nano and interfaces

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The History and Physics of Triode Vacuum Tubes

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The triode vacuum tube might be nearly obsolete today, but it was a technology critical to making radio practical over 100 years ago. [Kathy] has put together a video that tells the story and explains the physics of the device.

The first radio receivers used a device called a Coherer as a detector, relying on two tiny filaments that would stick together when RF was applied, allowing current to pass through. It was a device that worked, but not reliably. It was in 1906 that Lee De Forest came up with a detector device for radios using a vacuum tube …read more

Bag Week 2018: Timbuk2’s Launch featherweight daypack is tough and tiny

See the original posting on TechCrunch

If you need something small, lightweight and indestructible, Timbuk2’s Lightweight Launch Backpack ($129) might be right up your alley. The pack, constructed from famously tough Tyvek, can fit a 13″ laptop comfortably and plenty else. At only 18L, it sounds small, but due to its drawstring top design and large main compartment, it holds more […]

Linear Track Makes Plasma Cuts Neat And Simple

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No microcontroller, no display, and not even an LED in sight. That’s how [Made in Poland] decided to roll with this motorized linear plasma cutter, and despite the simplicity it really gets the job done when there’s metal to be cut.

Plasma cutting makes slicing and dicing heavy stock a quick job, but it’s easy to go off course with the torch or to vary the speed and end up with a poor edge. This tool takes the shakes out of the equation with a completely homebrew linear slide fabricated from square tubing. A carriage to hold the plasma cutter …read more

Logan and Jake Paul’s fight with KSI is shaping up to be deeply embarrassing

See the original posting on The Verge

Logan Paul, the YouTuber whose career somehow recovered after a suicide forest stunt, opens his latest YouTube vlog with a telling statement. “A lot of people think this fight is a joke who are not in the YouTube community,” he says. “All jokes aside, this will be the biggest event in the history of the internet.” “Biggest internet event in history,” his younger brother Jake Paul echoes later on.

The two YouTube stars are talking about their upcoming boxing match against their UK counterparts KSI and Deji, a much-hyped event for which ticket sales opened up this morning. For the chance to see two pairs of YouTubers noodle around in a ring, some fans are evidently willing to pay up to $600 a pop. The event will likely be well-attended…

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Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited service opens up to iOS devices

See the original posting on The Verge

After years of being an exclusive for Amazon hardware, the company’s FreeTime Unlimited service is now available on iOS devices. The service houses thousands of children’s TV shows, books, and movies.

FreeTime first became available to other Android devices last year — four years after the app’s initial launch. The app offers content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, and Disney, but the experience is slightly different on an Apple device than on an Amazon one. On a Kindle, for example, parents are able to adjust the settings in a way that would keep kids from exiting the app. Apple doesn’t allow third-party apps to control an entire device in that way, so parents may have to be a little more cautious if they share their iPad or other personal…

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Pad & Quill sale makes its bags and phone cases slightly less costly

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Pad & Quill is celebrating its eighth anniversary by offering a rare discount on some of its product lineup. The discount is good for 20 percent off of any item listed on the company’s sale page. You may also be able to knock 10 percent off of your entire purchase with offer code PQ16, according to 9To5Toys, though we’ve had limited success with it registering at checkout.

Its leather-bound iPhone and iPad cases are popular among the tech-savvy crowd, but this sale also extends to Pad & Quill’s broader lifestyle products, like messenger bags, satchels, duffels, and wallets.

Pad & Quill’s products are pretty expensive, so it’s admittedly easy to find cheaper alternatives. But after almost a decade of existence, the quality of its…

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Valve is shipping new ‘Knuckles’ VR controllers to developers with a Portal-themed demo

See the original posting on The Verge

Valve has announced that it’s shipping a new version of its experimental SteamVR “Knuckles” controllers to developers, and it’s posted a lot of detail about the controllers online, including video of a Portal-themed playground for testing them. The Knuckles EV2 substantially updates Valve’s earlier design, and although it’s not a consumer product, it’s looking more polished — and even less like the earlier Vive controller.

The Knuckles controllers, originally shown off in 2016, give users a fuller hand motion range than most VR controllers. Instead of holding them, you strap them around your hand, so you can open and close your fingers normally without dropping the controller. Capacitive sensors detect when individual fingers are…

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Evolving the 3D Printed Linear Actuator

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Our open source community invites anyone with an idea to build upon the works of those who came before. Many of us have encountered a need to control linear motion and adapted an inexpensive hobby servo for the task. [Michael Graham] evaluated existing designs and believed he has ideas to advance the state of the art. Our Hackaday Prize judges agreed, placing his 3D Printed Servo Linear Actuator as one of twenty winners of our Robotics Module Challenge.

[Michael]’s actuator follows in the footstep of other designs based on a rack-and-pinion gear such as this one featured on these pages, …read more

Coffee expert asked to guess difference between cheap and expensive coffee

See the original posting on Boing Boing

From Epicurious: “Epicurious challenges coffee expert Dillon Edwards to guess which coffee is more expensive. Edwards breaks down roasts (dark roast vs light roast), processing, freshness, varietals, and source. For each element, the connoisseur looks at and tests each coffee before guessing which coffee costs more. Once the prices are revealed, Edwards explains why a specific coffee costs more and dives into specifics on how each coffee is made.”

Image: YouTube screenshot/Epicurious

Paul McCartney takes James Corden on a tour through Liverpool

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Paul McCartney took a very lucky James Corden on a terrific car tour of Liverpool, they sang Beatles songs, checked out Paul’s old haunts (including his childhood home), and generally enjoyed themselves. Corden was so overcome at one point that he started crying. It concludes with a surprise performance at a pub.

Image: YouTube/The Late Late Show with James Corden

A look back at the best tech ads of the last 35 years

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Last week the Association of Independent Commercial Producers announced the winners of its annual awards honoring the best moving image marketing of the year and Apple’s “Welcome Home” ad took home the prize for Advertising Excellence in the single commercial category. Directed by Spike Jonze, the person behind movies like Her and Being John Malkovich, […]

What a journalist learned by tracking her time every day for 3 years

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“On Monday, April 20, 2015, I opened a new spreadsheet on my laptop,” writes Laura Vanderkam for Fast Company. I put the days of the week along the top. I put half hour blocks, from 5 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. along the left side. I began recording what I was doing on this time log: work, sleep, drive to train station, make kids breakfast.”

She learned that being aware of how she was spending her time did two things: it helped her make more rewarding choices about how she spent her time, and it made her realize she has more time than she previously thought.

Broadly, though, the most important outcome from time tracking has been a sense of abundance. I have always known I have a good, full life. Now I see the evidence, hour after hour. I see stressful times, such as the week before I wrote this when I was on planes three times, with multiple delays, ending up at the wrong Hilton somewhere in Ohio. But I can see that in the same 168 hours, I took the kids to an amusement park. I saw Renoirs and Matisses at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. I ate at one of my favorite restaurants with my husband. I sat on the porch multiple nights watching the sunset.

Without the time logs, I might be tempted only to remember the flight delays. I might tell myself I was rushed and harried. But with the time logs recording those sunsets, I simply cannot claim that I have no time.

I’m glad I’m not the only one who ends up at the wrong hotel after a long day of travel.

Image: A. and I. Kruk/Shutterstock

Watch this absolutely glorious slo-mo collision of two vortex rings

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In 1992, University of Melbourne researchers TT Lim and TB Nickels wrote a scientific paper titled “Instability and reconnection in the head-on collision of two vortex rings.” The research so inspired Smarter Every Day’s Destin Sandlin that he launched his own research effort to study the phenomenon and capture it using high-speed video. Four years later, he’s shared this magnificent video above. You can also watch all 12 hours of the 1x speed video below.

Men arrested for stealing shed by trying to drag it down the road behind a truck

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Last month, three gentlemen were arrested in Lebanon, Maine for trying to steal a 25-foot-long shed from a foreclosed property. They had tied the shed to the back of their pickup truck and were tugging it down the road when cops arrived. I’d guess there was no high-speed chase. According to the Portland Press Herald, police also busted one of them for meth and prescription pills that didn’t belong to him. Other charges for the men include unauthorized taking or transfer, reckless conduct, and criminal mischief. (via Weird Universe)

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