DC Comics offers free virtual backgrounds for Zoom conferencimg

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DC has made images of a number of iconic comic book locations available for use as virtual backgrounds for Zoom and other video conferencing services.

“Whether it’s for work, school or just keeping in touch with your friends, you’ve likely found yourself video chatting with a lot of people over the past couple of weeks. After all, it’s a great way to stay connected in this time of social distancing,” the DC press release reads. “But why take video calls from your living room or bedroom when you could take them from the Batcave, the Fortress of Solitude, Themyscira, or the Hall of Justice?”

Read the rest on Bleeding Cool.

[H/t Bruce Dykes]

Image: Foretess of Solitude virtual backdrop from DC Comics Read the rest

Huginn: An Open-Source, Self-Hosted IFTTT

See the original posting on DZone Python

As developers, we don’t have the time or patience for routine tasks. We like to get things done, and any tools that can help us automate are high on our radar.

Enter Huginn, a workflow-automation server similar to Zapier or IFTTT — but open source. With Huginn, you can automate tasks, such as watching for air travel deals, continually watching for certain topics on Twitter, or scanning for sensitive data in your code.

Dell accidentally leaks images of new XPS 15 and 17

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When it comes to Windows laptops, Dell’s XPS 13 is the laptop to beat. But the XPS 15 and XPS 17 are exciting upcoming releases as well, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see them officially announced in the coming weeks. That’s because — if a new leak from a Reddit user is to be believed — Dell has accidentally leaked an image of the upcoming XPS 15 and XPS 17 on the Precision laptops section of its website.

We expected Dell to refresh the XPS 15 alongside its 13-inch counterpart, but this is also our first look at the larger XPS 17, which we’ve been hearing rumors about for almost a year.

The image appears to have been removed, but thankfully the eagle-eyed u/WesolyKubeczek took a screenshot. Take a look.

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Microsoft’s Xbox Game Bar is getting custom widgets and its own store on Windows

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Microsoft is unveiling some significant changes to its Xbox Game Bar on Windows today, including new custom widgets that any developer can build. We’ve seen Microsoft gradually improve the Game Bar with widgets, but it’s now opening it up fully today with a beta SDK to enable any developer to create custom widgets.

It’s a big move that’s accompanied by a new Xbox Game Bar app store within the overlay, allowing developers to create and list custom widgets for people to find and install. XSplit and Razer are both releasing custom widgets to support Microsoft’s updated Xbox Game Bar. The XSplit integration will include access to Gamecaster tools without having to tab out of apps or games and the ability start or stop streams, chat to…

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NASA puts $7M towards long-shot research, from moon mining to solar lenses

See the original posting on TechCrunch

NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program is all about making high-risk, high-reward bets on unique — and sometimes eyebrow-raising — ideas for space exploration and observation. This year’s grants total $7M and include one of the most realistic projects yet. It might even get made! NIAC awards are split into three tiers: Phase I, II, and […]

Take A Look Into An Organized Community Response To Covid-19 With Smarter Every Day

See the original posting on Makezine

As we’ve been covering this event, we’re hearing various groups talk about how they’re organized and how they’re planning out their actions to deliver much needed DIY supplies to front-line workers. Something that feels a little unusual in 2020 is that we haven’t seen much in terms of video breaking […]

Read more on MAKE

The post Take A Look Into An Organized Community Response To Covid-19 With Smarter Every Day appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

PS5’s Controller, the DualSense, Revealed

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Sony has revealed the DualSense, PlayStation 5’s new controller that will “bring a sense of touch to PS5 gameplay.” IGN reports: Announced on PlayStation.Blog, the DualSense will keep “much of what gamers love about DualShock 4 intact, while also adding new functionality and refining the design.” Touch was a big inspiration when designing the DualSense, and haptic feedback is one of the ways this new controller will help bring PS5 games to life. Sony mentions that this feedback will add ” a variety of powerful sensations you’ll feel when you play, such as the slow grittiness of driving a car through mud.” Adaptive triggers have also been incorporated to the L2 and R2 buttons, which will help players “feel the tension of your actions, like when drawing a bow to shoot an arrow.”

The angle of the hand triggers were changed and some subtle updates were made to the grip. One thing that will be missing from the DualSense is the “Share” button that was featured on the DualShock 4. Sharing from the controller is not gone, but that previous button was replaced by the new “Create” button. Sony promises more details will be revealed on this change as we get closer to PlayStation 5’s launch. DualSense will also have a built-in microphone array that will allow players to easily chat with friends, even for those who don’t own a headset.

As for the controller’s color, it is a bit of a non-traditional design as far as PlayStation is concerned. Usually, PlayStation controllers have a single color, but the DualSense has a two-toned design to make it stand apart. Additionally, the position of the light bar, which will be returning, was moved to “give it an extra pop.” Now, the light bar sits on either side of the touch pad, as opposed to the top of the controller. Here’s a picture of the front of the controller:

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sony reveals new DualSense controller for the PlayStation 5

See the original posting on The Verge

Sony still hasn’t shown off what the PlayStation 5 will look like, but it just unveiled the controller for its next-gen console: the DualSense, which marks the biggest departure for Sony’s controller design in its over 25-year history of PlayStation consoles.

The new controller has some big changes on the inside, too: the previously announced haptic feedback (replacing the old rumble technology in previous controllers) and the new “adaptive triggers” that can adjust the resistance of the triggers for different gameplay effects. There’s also an integrated microphone, a first for Sony’s controllers, along with a (long-overdue) USB-C port. And of course, there’s the new two-tone color scheme (similar in style to the PSVR) and an overhauled…

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Netflix now lets you lock your personal profile with a PIN to keep kids (and roommates) out

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Want to let your kids poke around Netflix without them wandering their way beyond the kids section? Got a roommate who keeps inexplicably forgetting to use their profile and is totally screwing up your “Continue Watching” list? Good news! Netflix is now letting users set a PIN to keep individual profiles locked down. The new […]

PlayStation 5’s new DualSense controller is a sleek and futuristic gaming accessory

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Sony has revealed the design of the PlayStation 5‘s controller – a follow-on to its popular DualShock line that takes on a new name for a new generation: DualSense. The DualSense controller is kitted out in black and white, and looks like a futuristic, plastic armor-plated robot companion more than a gamepad in some ways. […]

Get all the Photoshop and Lightroom training you need to create glorious images

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Have you ever had more time to hone in on fine details than right now? Sure, at first glance, this might not seem like the time to get tripped up on the nitty-gritty of minutia. But how often are you ever going to have this much time to really stop and think about hows and whys and make a truly informed, truly considered decision about anything?

Like which Adobe photo editing app do you need, Photoshop or Lightroom?

The debate has raged for years — but since they’re both hugely popular with their own idiosyncratic skill sets, now’s the time to be a real imaging expert in both with the training in The Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for Beginner Designers Bundle.

The collection spans nine courses over 27 hours of instruction, all coming from one trusted authority you can count on to explain these elite apps. In fact, Marcin Mikus has legions of former students endorsing his curriculum, notching a 4.3-out-of-5 star rating for over 250,000 reviewers.

While both Adobe programs get plenty of attention here, the lion’s share of your training will naturally fall on learning Photoshop, the undisputed king of image editing software. Mikus’ beginner-friendly coursework will get you familiar with all the app’s basic controls, then get you started working on a batch of projects to hone your skills, including retouching landscapes and adjusting portraits.

Once you’re up and running with Photoshop, various courses focus in on more specific, yet highly useful training practice, helping students work with layers, curves and masks as well as LUT color fixes. Read the rest

How to use FaceTime for group calls

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Apple iPad 2018

Image: Apple

If you have an iPhone or MacBook, then you have probably used FaceTime, Apple’s built-in video and voice-calling app. While FaceTime has always been useful for keeping in touch, it’s become even more important for staying connected with friends and family while observing social distancing measures.

You can have up to 32 people on a FaceTime call, so it’s a good video-chatting option if you don’t want to download another app to have a group video call — as long as you and your friends all have Apple devices. You can’t install it on a Windows or Android device, and it’s not available for all countries and carriers. However, you can use it between different devices if one friend is on their MacBook and the rest of your friends are using…

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Astonish Yourself: 101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life

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I came across Astonish Yourself: 101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life when I took my kids to the California Science Center in Los Angeles in 2009 and found it in the gift store. It was written by philosopher Roger-Pol Droit, a researcher at the Centre de Recherche Scientifique and, as the title indicates, contains 101 mental and perceptual exercises you can perform on yourself.

In his introduction, Droit says the purpose of the experiments is to “provoke tiny moments of awareness,” and to “shake a certainty we had taken for granted: our own identity, say, or the stability of the outside world, or even the meanings of words.” Most of the experiments require about 20 minutes or less to complete, and often involve nothing more than merely thinking about something.

Some of the experiments you’ll probably want to try when you are alone at home (like calling your name repeatedly for 20 minutes, or repeating some other word to drain it of its meaning), but others can be performed anywhere (like imagining that the world was “created from nothing, just an instant ago” and will vanish “like a light going out” in 20 minutes).

Some of the experiments you can’t really plan in advance; they’ll happen by accident, like when you wake up without knowing where you are — a magical experience I love having, but Droit explains how to make the best use of this five-second-long “delicious lightness of a mystery without menace” the next time it happens: “What you do not know, for a tiny interval of time, is what the place is called, where it is, and you you are doing there. Read the rest

Hear E.E. Cummings Read “anyone lived in a pretty how town” and Paul Krassner Recalls: “The Day I Met Lenny Bruce!”

See the original posting on Boing Boing

 

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

 

THIS WEEK:

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Episode #4: “To Forget to Remember”

Welcome back to Spoken Word with Electronics. I hope this week has gone well for you, all things considered. Here’s some audio theater:

This week we lead off with an uncommon recording of E.E.Cummings. One of my favorite poems of his is anyone lived in a pretty how town. It was first published in 1940 and has some interesting resonance today. He has a beautiful speaking voice, which surprised me, a blend of Oscar Wilde with Truman Capote, just with no capital letters. (E.E.’s name was often capitalized, unlike his poems)

Here’s the track:

Side A: E.E. Cummings Reads ‘anyone lived in a pretty how town’ — with a Yamaha Loop and a Metasonix R55 VCO

Music for this track is a blend of a few things, but primarily a loop from a Yamaha Reface CP (GREAT FUN) along with other yamaha-based loops recorded over the last few years, and a Metasonix Voltage Controlled Oscillator, specifically the R55. The R55 (and its current version, the RK7) is based on a very unpredictable thyratron tube and is a wonderfully unpredictable source of noise and completely unique. It’s not unlike a tesla coil with sound. You can hear it floating through this isolated track at a gentle dissipating scrape about halfway through. Plugging an LFO into its VCA can produce a wonderful snoring sound; this is audible in the ending third of the track. Read the rest

Serato now has a free edition of its music-making software

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Image: Serato

Popular DJ and music production software company Serato has released an update to its Serato Studio DAW, and it comes with a big change: there’s now a free edition. This free edition is feature-limited, but it does let you make, save, and export tracks.

Serato Studio is a digital audio workstation like Ableton or Logic, but it has features that are geared toward DJs and beat-makers. It integrates with Serato’s DJ software so you can quickly make edits or mashups of tracks you already have. It also includes DJ-style channel mixing strips and works with Serato DJ-compatible controllers, so DJs can use them to make music with Serato Studio.

The free edition of Serato Studio has most of the functionality of the full edition, but with…

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Dead Cells is finally making its way to Android on June 3rd

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Image: Motion Twin

The excellent indie roguelike hit Dead Cells is coming to Android on June 3rd, according porting company Playdigious. Original developer Motion Twin first announced an Android version of Dead Cells was being developed back in May 2019, when the French studio gave its iOS version a summer release date. (The iOS version of Dead Cells released in August of last year.)

Now, Android fans just have to wait a little longer to play the ultra-difficult game on mobile. There’s no word yet on price. The iOS version launched at $8.99 and now costs $5.99 starting today. But it looks as if the Android version will indeed cost money, rather than being released for free with ads or some form of in-app purchase to unlock the full game. Playdigious says…

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