CBS’s Star Trek: Discovery mini-episodes begin streaming next month

See the original posting on The Verge

Announced at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this summer, CBS has revealed that its series of short, standalone episodes — Star Trek: Short Treks — would begin rolling out next month, and revealed more details about what each one would be about.

CBS describes them as short stories, “that delve deeper into the Star Trek: Discovery universe.” The episodes will roll out monthly, on the first Thursday for the next four months, and will each focus on three characters from Star Trek: Discovery.

The first episode (airing October 4th), “Runaway,” will follow Tilly (Mary Wiseman) after she “encounters an unexpected visitor in need of help.” The second episode “Calypso” (airing November 8th), will star a new character, Craft (Aldis Hodge), who wakes…

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Amazon introduces APL, a new design language for building Alexa skills for devices with screens

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Along with the launch of the all-new Echo Show, the Alexa-powered device with a screen, Amazon also introduced a new design language for developers who want to build voice skills that include multimedia experiences. Called Alexa Presentation Language, or APL, developers will be able to build voice-based apps that also include things like images, graphics, […]

Amazon’s new Echo speakers have better sound and better looks

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Amazon just announced a ton of new products, but the ones that will probably be the most popular this holiday season are the new versions of the Echo Show, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus. I just spent some time using all three devices, and I can say that all of them are improvements on their predecessors, with nicer designs, more features, and, most noticeably, better sound.

The new Echo Show has a bigger screen and sleeker design than the model Amazon released a little over a year ago, which means it will look nicer on your kitchen counter, and it will be easier to see from across the room. But the more significant upgrade is in the speakers, which are comprised of two side firing drivers and a passive radiator for bass. It’s much louder and…

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Amazon Fire TV Recast hands-on: a very smart and elegant DVR for cord cutters

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I just got a quick demo of the Amazon Fire TV Recast. It’s a shoebox-sized thing you can put in your home to have a DVR that works with over-the-air channels that it receives via antenna and displays on your Fire TV (or Fire tablet). Like the Slingbox back in the day, the idea behind the Recast is to allow you to watch both live TV and stuff that you’ve recorded from anywhere.

There have been a million different weird takes on how to get TV content to act more like streaming content, so I should probably slow down a bit and explain exactly what the Recast is and how it works.

Fundamentally, you should think of it as a screenless hard drive attached to a TV antenna. (You’re going to need to buy a separate Fire TV to really make it work.)…

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Amazon’s new Alexa-ready products are now available for preorder

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The new Amazon Echo Show

At its 2018 hardware event in Seattle, Amazon announced several new Alexa-powered A/V devices, smart home products, and a few others that fall outside of the company’s usual wheelhouse. It was a mix of brand-new and updated products, and the biggest announcements include the redesigned Echo Dot and Echo Plus, the Echo Sub subwoofer, Amazon’s Echo Auto, and the Fire TV Recast cloud DVR box.

All of the products announced today are up for preorder, and most will be available in October. There’s plenty to dive into regarding the huge list of product debuts, and we’ve got you covered if you’re looking to place a preorder (or 10).

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Michael B. Jordan will star in a new Tom Clancy film series

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The Tom Clancy character Jack Ryan has found a new home on television recently thanks to Amazon Prime and John Krasinski. But according to Variety, Paramount Pictures will be focusing on a different character for a new film series — and Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan is set to star.

Paramount is developing adaptations of the Clancy books Without Remorse and Rainbow Six, both of which focus on the character of John Clark. A former Navy Seal turned CIA operative, Clark was originally introduced in the 1987 novel The Cardinal of the Kremlin. In 1993, Clancy’s Without Remorse delved into the character’s backstory, while Rainbow Six followed his adventures forming a counter-terrorist group known as “Rainbow.” While numerous Clancy novels…

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The long list of new Alexa devices Amazon announced at its hardware event

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Everyone’s favorite trillion-dollar retailer hosted a private event today where they continued to exercise their highly-strategic approach to hardware where they just throw everything at the wall and wait to see what sticks. We got some new Amazon Echo devices, sure, but there was also an amp, a camera, a clock and a microwave…? There’s […]

Google might release a Home Hub to take on the Echo Show

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Ahead of October’s Made by Google event, FCC documents have surfaced that suggest that Google may release a product called the Home Hub, as spotted by 9to5Google. According to the documents, and is listed as an “Interactive Video Streaming Device,” which would be a first for Google’s Home devices.

The device could be Google’s answer to Amazon’s Echo Show, following the release of third-party alternatives with Google Assistant like the Lenovo Smart Display. The documents detailing the Google Home Hub are dated from late August, but they only became available to view today.

An unverified leak has pointed to the Google Home Hub sporting a 7-inch LCD touchscreen, far-field microphones, an ambient light sensor, and speakers. It adds yet…

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Amazon’s Alexa-enabled microwave hands-on: it cooks but does not speak

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I just heated up a mug of water in a microwave. It got hot. The difference is that I used the new AmazonBasics Microwave, which works with Alexa. That “works with Alexa” phrasing and the fact that this isn’t the “Echo Microwave” should tell you that this thing doesn’t have any microphones or a speaker (beyond one that can beep) on it. Instead, it’s a $59.99 device meant to showcase Amazon’s new system for companies to make their regular gadgets into smart gadgets.

The way the Alexa integration works is pretty clever: when you set it up, it will get paired to your Alexa system as “the microwave,” and then you can command Alexa to, you know, cook stuff. There are very few buttons on the microwave because all the presets for various food…

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Burger restaurant owners take Gordon Ramsey’s criticism poorly

See the original posting on Boing Boing

“I can see the blood, but what’s in it?” asks cantankerous celebrity chef of a burger before taking a bite in an episode of Kitchen Nightmares. After he tastes it, Ramsey says, “that is hideous” and moves the plate away from him. The restaurant owners get mad at Ramsey, and even madder at their executive chef, after he serves a differently prepared burger to Ramsey which the show host declares “delicious.”

Get 2 right-angle, braided, MFi Certified Lightning cables for $15

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Lightning cables typically fray at the ends causing the wire to break. I wish Apple used plain old microUSB cables, because I have about 100 of them for other devices and they seem to last longer than Lightning cables. Instead, I have to constantly buy replacement Lightning cables. These Lightning cables have connecters at right-angles to the cable, which might reduce the wear and tear. The cables themselves are braided, too, for additional robustness. They are MFi Certified.

Java Challengers #4: Comparing Java objects with equals() and hashcode()

See the original posting on JavaWorld

In this Java Challenger you’ll learn how equals() and hashcode() combine to make object comparisons efficient and easy in your Java programs. Simply put, these methods work together to verify if two objects have the same values.  

Without equals() and hashcode() we would have to create very large “if” comparisons, comparing every field from an object. This would make code really confusing and hard to read. Together, these two methods help us create more flexible and cohesive code.

This Keyboard And Mouse Also Gives You A Workout

See the original posting on Hackaday

The Ergonomic Handheld Mouse / Keyboard Alternative from [Shervin Emami] is an all-in-one solution for your keyboarding and cursor moving needs.

The core of this build is a ‘grip-strengthening’ device that’s sold to guitarists. While the actual benefit of these devices for guitarists is questionable — there are a few anecdotes any music teacher will tell you about classical pianists ruining their hands with similar devices — the device itself can be converted into a fantastic chording keyboard. All you really need for a full-functioned keyboard is a few buttons in a rugged shell, and this ‘grip strengthener’ has that …read more

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