Make a RetroPie tabletop arcade game player with the help of a Glowforge laser cutter

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[This post is sponsored by Glowforge. To get $100 off a Glowforge Basic, $250 off a Glowforge Plus, or $500 off a Glowforge Pro use the link glowforge.com/boingboing.]

My 15-year-old daughter and I love retro video games. We often go a retro video game arcade in Pasadena, California, and we also play a lot of computer games from the 1980s and 1990s. We thought it would be fun to build a dedicated machine at home that we could use to play these retro games.

After a bit of online searching, we found out it’s easy to use a Raspberry Pi, which is a $35 single board computer the size of a credit card, along with a free Linux based operating system called RetroPie that has emulators for every arcade and console imaginable. We could use a Raspberry Pi and RetroPie to play every arcade game we want. And with our Glowforge laser cutter, we could easily make an arcade cabinet for ourselves as well quickly make them for friends and family.

In this 2-part video series, which was underwritten by our friends at Glowforge, I’m going to show you how we did it.

Parts and Materials

First, we bought all the parts and materials we needed to make the cabinet. We got a Raspberry Pi Model 3 B+, a 32GB MicroSD card, a power supply, a 10-inch HDMI monitor, a set of arcade buttons and a joystick, a pair of speakers, some cables and a box of various machine screws and nuts and standoffs. Read the rest

Meizu Unveils a Smartphone That Does Not Have Any Port, or a SIM Card Slot, or a Button, or Speaker Grill

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Phone maker Meizu has announced a new phone called “Zero,” which doesn’t have a headphone jack, or a charging port, or a physical SIM card slot, or any buttons, or a speaker grill. From a report: It doesn’t even come with a SIM card slot and buttons you’d usually see on a phone — the only elements that disturb the surface of its all-display, 7.8mm-thick ceramic unibody are its 12MP and 20MP rear cameras and two pinholes. One is a microphone, while the other is for hard resets. To make up for the lack of ports, Meizu Zero will support Bluetooth 5.0 and a wireless USB connectivity that will reportedly be able to transfer files as fast as the USB 3.0 standard can.

Zero’s 5.99-inch QHD OLED screen will act as some sort of a giant speaker and earpiece replacement. It does have a big enough bezel for a 20MP front camera, but its fingerprint reader is completely on-screen. The device, which is powered by a Snapdragon 845 processor, relies on 18W wireless charging due to the lack of a charger port. And it may not have the usual physical buttons, but it does have pressure-sensing ones with haptic feedback on its borders.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Upgrade your home theater setup with these deals for the 2019 Super Bowl

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Black Friday is the annual opportunity to pick up nearly everything on your wishlist at a deep discount. But if you’re looking for a TV and home audio equipment upgrade, the best deals of the year can be had just before the Super Bowl every February.

The biggest retailers are slashing prices on TVs from brands like LG, TCL, Samsung, and more, and you’ll also be able to save on audio equipment from Vizio, Sonos, Samsung, and others. At least speaking to the TVs that are seeing the steepest discounts, note that newer and better models might be on the horizon. The Super Bowl rush presents a convenient way for retailers to offload stock to make room for the 2019 models, so if a deal seems too good to be true, there’s no need to be alarmed —…

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The Meizu Zero takes phone trends to the natural conclusion of no ports or buttons

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Phones have been shedding ports and buttons for a while now. Headphone jacks are going extinct on most devices, and home and back buttons have been replaced on nearly every iOS and Android phone with software UIs. The new Meizu Zero is the first to take that trend to its natural endpoint: it has no ports, buttons, or holes that mar the exterior of the device.

According to Meizu, the Zero has “no buttons, no speakers holes, no SIM card slot, [and] no charging port.” Most of the exterior of the device is a seamless slab of ceramic (an effect that’s only slightly ruined by a protruding camera bump on the back and what appear to be microphone holes on the bottom).

The Zero is proudly advertised as “the world’s first holeless…

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Farming Simulator is getting its own e-sports league with more than $280,000 in prizes

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When you think of competitive gaming and e-sports, your mind probably drifts toward massively popular online games like Fortnite or Overwatch. But there are plenty of less-heralded games making their way in the space, including games about farming. Today, developer Giants Software announced a new Farming Simulator League, which is exactly what it sounds like: a competitive tournament for the enduringly popular PC series Farming Simulator.

It will consist of 10 tournaments across Europe, including big events like Gamescom and Paris Games Week, culminating in a grand final at FarmCon 2020. The developer is putting up €250,000 in prize money (around $280,000), and it has lured big-name sponsors like Logitech and Intel. The new league will…

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Pay what you want for this Python bundle

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For the newbie, Python can seem like the most intimidating programming language. After all, it can be used to create everything from simple apps to vast networks of web crawlers. But there are fundamental principles that underlie all the uses of this versatile platform, and you can absorb them all with the Python Master Class Bundle – an online course that’s currently available on a pay-what-you-wish basis.

The full nine-course package contains everything you need to know to code on one of the world’s most popular platforms. After an introduction to Python from a bird’s-eye view, you’ll get classes that drill down on its applications in web development and gaming. You’ll receive invaluable training in Python’s potential in the field of web scraping and machine learning, and get resume-building experience in data analytics by pairing it with apps like Madplotlib or the Pandas libraries.

The entire bundle is typically $1066, but right now, you can essentially name your own price for the Python Master Class Bundle. Get the details below and get coding.

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Adventures In Photopolymers With Ben Krasnow

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There is a technology that will allow you to add inks, resins, and paints to any flat surface. Screen printing has been around since forever, and although most of the tutorials and guides out there will tell you how to screen print onto t-shirts, [Ben Krasnow] had the idea of putting patterns of paint on acrylic, metal, or even ITO glass for electroluminescent displays. With screen printing, the devil is in the details, but lucky enough for all of us, [Ben] figured everything out and is sharing his knowledge with us.

The ten thousand foot view of screen printing is …read more

This $780 leather-covered wireless charger isn’t meant for you

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If your phone supports wireless charging, then you might want to buy a wireless charger. It won’t be any quicker, but it’s a nice way of making your bedside table look a little less cluttered with wires. We have a guide right here where we recommend a $30 model from RavPower. It’s great, you should buy it.

What you shouldn’t do is buy Native Union’s latest wireless charger, which it produced in partnership with the French fashion house Berluti. It’s a leather-covered version of the 10W Qi Drop Wireless Charger, but it costs $780 rather than the regular $60. It doesn’t even come with a power adaptor, you just get a (leather-covered) USB-C to USB-A cable.

I’m not here to shame anyone who wants a nice leather finish for their tech…

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Xiaomi’s folding phone is the best we’ve seen so far

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Xiaomi’s folding phone has been revealed in a teaser video from the company. Xiaomi co-founder and president Lin Bin has posted a nearly minute-long video to Weibo today, detailing the double folding phone. Both sides of the device can be folded backwards to transform it from a tablet form factor into more of a compact phone. Unlike other foldable phones we’ve seen recently, this certainly looks a more practical use for the technology.

Xiaomi doesn’t provide many details about its foldable phone, but Bin reveals the device in the video is simply an engineering model. Bin does note Xiaomi has conquered “a series of technical problems such as flexible folding screen technology, four-wheel drive folding shaft technology, flexible cover…

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Crisp Clean Shortcuts

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People always tell us that their favorite part about using a computer is mashing out the exact same key sequences over and over, day in, day out. Then, there are people like [Benni] who would rather make a microcontroller do the repetitive work at the touch of a stylish USB peripheral. Those people who enjoy the extra typing also seem to love adding new proprietary software to their computer all the time, but they are out of luck again because this dial acts as a keyboard and mouse so they can’t even install that bloated software when they work at …read more

The Xerox Star On A Desktop Near You

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It is 1980-something and you see someone typing on a keyboard. The display is graphical, and they use a mouse to finish a document, send it over the network to another similar computer, where another user edits it a bit and prints it on a laser printer. Given the time-frame you might think the computer is a Mac, but you’d be wrong. The Xerox Star had all the features Apple “invented” about three years before the Macintosh arrived. If you never heard of the Star, that’s not surprising. At $16,500 each, there were only about 25,000 sold. Your chances of …read more

Understanding Modulated RF With [W2AEW]

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There was a time — not long ago — when radio and even wired communications depended solely upon Morse code with OOK (on off keying). Modulating RF signals led to practical commercial radio stations and even modern cell phones. Although there are many ways to modulate an RF carrier with voice AM or amplitude modulation is the oldest method. A recent video from [W2AEW] shows how this works and also how AM can be made more efficient by stripping the carrier and one sideband using SSB or single sideband modulation. You can see the video, below.

As is typical of …read more

Build A Seismometer Out Of Plumbing Parts

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For those outside the rocking and rolling of California’s tectonic plate, earthquakes probably don’t come up on a daily basis as a topic of conversation. Regardless, the instrument to measure them is called a seismometer, and it’s entirely possible to build one yourself. [Bob LeDoux] has shared his article on how to build a Fluid Mass Electrolytic Seismometer, and it’s an impressive piece of work.

This is an instrument which works very differently from the typical needle-and-graph type seen in the movies. Fluid is held in a sealed chamber, with a restricted orifice in the center of a tube. The …read more

AOC’s latest curved gaming monitors offer the important features at an appealing price

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The <a class="ql-link" href="https://agon.aocmonitorap.com/au/product_ag273qcg.php" target="_blank">AG273QCG</a>.

AOC launched two new 27-inch curved gaming monitors today as additions to its premium line. Curved monitors might still be an added expense that makes gaming more immersive for some and seems pointless for others, but AOC’s new offerings today expand the market a bit. More importantly, they deliver fast refresh rates, quick response times, and other gaming-centric features.

The AG273QCG is a gaming monitor with a 2560×1440 Quad HD screen boasting a refresh rate of 165Hz, 1ms response time, and support for Nvidia’s G-Sync. It costs $650 and is available from Amazon and Newegg. The other monitor, the AG273QCX, has a VA panel and shares the same screen resolution with a slightly lower max refresh rate of 144Hz. (The response time is still…

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Twitter is slow-rolling out a simpler web interface, some users get it first

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“A new Twitter is coming,” tweeted Twitter today.

“Some of you got an opt-in to try it now. Check out the emoji button, quick keyboard shortcuts, upgraded trends, advanced search, and more. Let us know your thoughts!”

It’s simpler. No more three-column view. Two columns now.

“It’s thankfully about more than cosmetics, even if it doesn’t have everything users might like,” writes Jon Fingas at Engadget.

Snip:

To begin with, some basic tasks are faster. Keyboard shortcuts help you navigate around without as much mouse clicking, and a dedicated emoji button can add some smilies or hand claps to your latest tweet. You’ll also find an upgraded trend section for times when you want to track the planet’s pulse, and search promises to be more sophisticated.

This doesn’t appear to include some of the big updates Twitter mentioned recently, such as status updates. And no, there’s no edit button. Still, it’s notable that Twitter is giving its web client an overhaul after focusing so much of its attention on mobile users.

Just when you’ll see it is another story. At the moment, it’s limited to a portion of the audience through an opt-in button. You’ll know if you have access, then. It could be a while before the makeover is broadly available.

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