Why Satellites Stay in Orbit: Cool 1964 kids’ science book

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Years ago, I read a bit of advice in The Whole Earth Catalog, which said a great way to get up to speed on a subject you are interested in is to read a children’s book about it. It’s excellent advice, and I’ve made use of it many times over the years.

The best children’s books are the ones that were published before 1970. After that, the illustrations started to get crappy, and the writing took a nosedive, too. There are exceptions, but I find it to be the rule.

Here’s a winner from 1964: Why Satellites Stay in Orbit, by Sune Engelbrekston and illustrated by Lee Ames. It’s a very short book that does a terrific job of explaining precisely one thing: why satellites stay in orbit. This is the kind of book an eight-year-old can read and appreciate.

Why Satellites Stay in Orbit is out-of-print, but copies can be found on Amazon Read the rest

How to protect your Netflix profile with a PIN

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Netflix now lets you protect your profile with a PIN, keeping other people on your account from accessing your home screen and personalized experiences. This new feature was announced as part of the service’s updated parental controls and should prevent young viewers from finding their way into a parent’s profile where mature content is accessible.

But PIN protection can be used even if you don’t have kids and simply want to prevent someone else on your account — friends, family, a significant other, etc. — from messing with your Netflix recommendations and viewing history. Before this new feature was enabled, it was a trivial matter to switch between profiles, so this new extra step should help stop people from “accidentally” watching…

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Plan C Profile: The Maker Mask Made in Seattle

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A local hospital called a Seattle makerspace to ask if anyone could help out to provide them with masks and visors. A bit of a scramble ensued to figure out who could do what.  Rory Larsen, a maker with a mechanical engineering background, jumped in and spent the night iterating […]

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Maker Spotlight: Michael Albert aka Sir Real

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Name: Michael Albert Where are you located?  White Plains, NY What is your day job?  American Pop Artist / Author/ Businessman (I started & own a juice & jam company called Sir Real) Personal Website | Art Website | Pinterest | Facebook What kinds of stuff do you make?  I […]

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The post Maker Spotlight: Michael Albert aka Sir Real appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

Watch the epic silent film The Ten Commandments (1923)

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In celebration of Passover, I suggest watching The Ten Commandments, Cecil B. DeMille’s 1923 epic silent film version of the biblical Exodus story (plus a related modern story that I never bothered to watch.) The parting of the Red Sea sequence is absolutely magnificent and worth the cost of admission alone.

As you may recall, just a few years ago archaeologists excavated the “Lost City of DeMille,” the Egyptian set for the film buried for almost 100 years in the sand dunes of Santa Barbara County, California.

(Thanks, Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie!) Read the rest

Google Stadia Now Free To Anyone With a Gmail Address

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Google’s video game streaming platform, Stadia, is now free to anyone with a Gmail address, the company announced on Wednesday. To sweeten the deal, Google is also giving new users two months of Stadia Pro — including access to nine games — for free. From a report: Existing Stadia Pro subscribers won’t be charged for the next two months of the service, Google said. Previously, access to Stadia required purchasing the $129 Google Stadia Premiere Edition, a bundle that includes a Chromecast Ultra, a wireless Stadia Controller, and three months of Stadia Pro, the service that offered free games and video streams up to 4K resolution and 60 frames per second with HDR lighting.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google launches free version of Stadia with a two-month Pro trial

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Image: Google

Google is launching the free version of its Stadia game streaming service today. Anyone with a Gmail address can sign up, and Google is even providing a free two-month trial of Stadia Pro as part of the launch. It comes just two months after Google promised a free tier was imminent, and it will mean anyone can get access to nine titles, including GRID, Destiny 2: The Collection, and Thumper, free of charge.

Even existing Stadia Pro customers will get two months of the service for free, as Google is not charging existing subscribers for the next two months. Fourteen countries will be able to access the free trial of Stadia Pro, and users can buy and keep individual games on the service.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales /…

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This Gen X online video gaming community is pretty chill

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What started out as some ‘adults’ looking for other ‘adults’ to play Fortnite with has turned into a fairly large and active community of age-appropriate Gen X video game enthusiasts.

Killer Queen Black, Pummel Party, World War Z, Fortnite and Overwatch are a few of the games I’ve enjoyed since the pandemic shut me in! Still largely focused on Fortnite, this group helped me build a gaming PC and pick a BBQ.

The people are nice. In almost 2 years of hanging out online with this ever-growing gang of senior players, I have never heard anyone be discouraging.

You can join the discord here. Chat at anyone with a FOF in their handle, they’ll help you find the games you are looking for!

Fortnite over Forty Read the rest

How coronavirus is kickstarting the 21st century

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“When the #coronavirus lockdown is lifted, we’ll be closer to living in the world envisioned in the 1990s by the likes of @EFF, @WIRED, @stewartbrand, @rossetto, @janemetcalfe, @kevin2kelly, @2000_mondo, and others,” says Nick Gillespie of Reason. Here’s a video he made to explore the idea that “we may realize that life is mostly better in the cloud, where it’s possible to learn faster, work better, and generally get what you really want delivered directly to your door, and for less money.”

I definitely agree with learning faster online part. For me, video learning is the best thing to come out of the Internet. My 16-year-old daughter devours coding, math, and science videos, and when I watch some of them with her, I realize they quality of the teaching is superior to any class I took in high school.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

The Apple Watch Series 5 is cheaper than ever today at Amazon and Best Buy

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

If an Apple Watch Series 5 has been on your tech wishlist, Amazon and Best Buy are offering the best deals yet on both the 40mm and 44mm sizes of Apple’s latest smartwatch. Mind you, these are technically the lowest prices we’ve seen, but it’s only a hair more affordable than the stellar Black Friday deals we saw a few months ago.

For a bit of background, the Series 5 is Apple’s first smartwatch that has an always-on display. It has a similar look to the Series 4, but you’ll no longer need to move your arm toward your face to see the time. What’s even better about the feature is that it isn’t much of a drag on battery life.

The GPS-only version of the 40mm Series 5 Watch is $349 at Amazon and Best Buy. Amazon’s selection is a little on…

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Sony’s new DualSense controller is its most exciting design since the original PlayStation

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Image: Sony

The next-gen console rollouts from Sony and Microsoft this year have been, for lack of a better word, soporific. But after weeks of spec comparisons and hardware boasts, Sony finally gave things a shot in the arm with the reveal of its new DualSense controller. It’s the most interesting announcement surrounding a next-gen console yet, and for Sony, in particular — which has barely updated its controller design in over two decades — the most exciting controller yet.

The DualShock line of controllers has long been one of the constants of the video gaming world. The original PlayStation controller set the standard for modern controller design, and its successors — the 1997 Dual Analog Controllers and the rumble-equipped generations of…

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Apply today to be a TC Top Pick at Disrupt SF 2020

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Opportunity’s a hot currency, and every early-stage startup founder’s on the lookout for it. Anything and everything that can help bring the dream to fruition, right? You’ll find three days packed with opportunity at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2020 on September 14-16. Care to know how you can super-size your Disrupt opportunity? We’ll get to that […]

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