Cryptid is a fun tabletop game of “honest misdirection”

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Yesterday for Father’s Day we went to the GameHaus Cafe in Glendale, California. Your town likely has a place like this – you can rent a table and play games from a large library. (GameHaus has about 1,500 games.)

Our favorite game of the day was Cryptid. It’s a game of “honest misdirection” in which players try to figure out the exact location of a monster on a map. Each player is given a secret clue. A clue might say “The habitat is within three spaces of a green structure,” or “The habitat is within two spaces of bear territory,” or “The habitat is within one space of swamp.” There is only one hexagon on the map that satisfies all the clues. It’s a player’s job to figure out what the other players’ clues are by taking turns and asking them if a hexagon meets the conditions of their secret clue. The first player to correctly identify where the cryptid lives is the winner.

The game is different every time you play it, because the map can be put together in many different ways and landmarks can be placed on different hexagons. The game has a link to a website map- and clue-generator that makes it easy to set up the 6 pieces of the map and place structures (standing rocks and abandoned shacks) on specified hexagons. For the three of us, a game took about 30 minutes to play. We played twice and I’m probably going to buy it so we can play at home. Read the rest

This dongle adds USB and microSD storage to your phone charger

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Sanho’s Hyper brand has brought us some pretty clever solutions to the shortcomings of today’s smartphones, laptops and tablets for years now, including a sleek, charger-mounted USB-C hub for MacBooks and wireless charging for AirPods before that was cool. By comparison, their latest is a little bit derivative — but it could be a handy way to automatically backup your iOS or Android device when you plug it in at night.

The company’s new crowdfunded project is called the HyperCube, and it’s a USB dongle that lets your phone charger double as a storage device. Drop it into your charger, pop in a microSD card, USB flash drive, or even an external hard drive into one of its full-size female USB ports, stick your charge cable into the other,…

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Adobe’s next iPad drawing app is called Adobe Fresco

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Adobe’s upcoming iPad drawing and painting app will be called Adobe Fresco, the company announced today on its blog. Previously called Project Gemini, the app will arrive sometime later this year.

Named after the Italian Renaissance-style painting technique of applying water-based pigments to wet plaster, Adobe Fresco’s main selling point is its Live Brushes, which mimic the way paint would mix and blend in real life. Adobe’s chief product officer, Scott Belsky, writes that Live Brushes use Adobe Sensei, the company’s AI platform, to recreate how oils and watercolors bloom and react with each other.

The app also lets artists draw with vector and raster brushes, combining the features of the Adobe Illustrator Draw and…

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You can still save $200 on a Samsung Galaxy S10E

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Father’s Day 2019 has passed, but some great deals that we saw last week are still happening. For example, you can save $200 on a Samsung Galaxy S10E, S10, or S10 Plus, the lowest prices that we’ve seen for these phones, which are unlocked and don’t require activation. The Google Pixel 3 XL with $300 knocked off of its price ($599.99 at checkout) isn’t too bad, either, though it’s a harder sell since the Google Pixel 4 has been revealed — by Google itself.

It’s not just phones that you can save on, Microsoft’s Xbox One consoles are cheaper than usual this week, discounting both its powerful, 4K-ready Xbox One X and the disc drive-less Xbox One S All-Digital console. If you preorder a game at Target, you can save 30 percent on a game…

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The Hunger Games is getting a prequel next year, set 64 years before the first book

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Suzanne Collins is bringing back The Hunger Games, with the author announcing a new prequel novel that takes place 64 years before the events of the first book in the series, set for release on May 19th, 2020.

“With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival,” Collins said in an announcement to AP. “The reconstruction period 10 years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days — as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet — provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity.”

The time period isn’t one we know much about from Collins’ existing…

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Artist paints playful shadow art on sidewalks

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Artist Damon Belanger’s “Shadow Art” installations are making the rounds on the internet and for good reason, they’re terrific! Using grey paint designed for concrete patios, he first created these street art pieces on commission back in 2016. They’re a permanent installation, so you can still find all 22 of the fantastical shadows, ranging from anthropomorphic flowers to critters to abstract designs, on the downtown sidewalks of Redwood City, California.

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In use… #redwoodcity #visitredwoodcity #shadowart

A post shared by Damon Belanger (@dmn.belanger) on May 29, 2016 at 9:32pm PDT

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#redwoodcity #cityofredwoodcity #publicart #streetart #visitredwoodcity #rwcparks #redwoodcityshadowart #shadowart

A post shared by Damon Belanger (@dmn.belanger) on Jun 8, 2016 at 7:46pm PDT

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Dog the Cat. One of about twenty shadow art pieces I painted in downtown #redwoodcity. #rwcparks #visitrwc #redwoodcityshadowart #publicart #shadowart

A post shared by Damon Belanger (@dmn.belanger) on May 21, 2016 at 11:23pm PDT

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Robo Band. One of about twenty shadow art pieces I painted in downtown #redwoodcity. #rwcparks #visitrwc #redwoodcityshadowart #publicart #shadowart

A post shared by Damon Belanger (@dmn.belanger) on May 21, 2016 at 11:28pm PDT

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Hydrant @ El Camino. One of about twenty shadow art pieces I painted in downtown #redwoodcity. #rwcparks #visitrwc #redwoodcityshadowart #publicart #shadowart

A post shared by Damon Belanger (@dmn.belanger) on May 21, 2016 at 11:33pm PDT

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Parking Monkey. One of about twenty shadow art pieces I painted in downtown #redwoodcity.

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This 3D printer for kids can help them invent and build their own toys

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With the quick-fix appeal of video games and their own cell phones, it can be tough to keep kids focused on supposedly “educational” toys. And while it may seem counter-intuitive to fight tech with more tech, we’re all in when it comes to the Toybox 3D Printer.

We’re not sure if anyone had envisioned a 3D printer for kids before the guys at Toybox brought it to Shark Tank on season 10, but the idea was fresh enough to woo a backer in outspoken judge Kevin O’Leary. When you see the printer in action, that endorsement seems like a no-brainer. The Toybox scales down the functionality of a full 3D printer without throttling the possibilities. With the push of a single button, kids can let the machine create a series of readymade toys out of non-toxic, biodegradable filament in a variety of colors – no knives or scissors needed. When they’re ready to unleash their inner inventor, they can create their own models with the companion app, which essentially makes this aptly-named printer a bottomless toybox.

With 8 filament colors included, the Toybox 3D Printer Deluxe Bundle is $314.99, more than 30% off the MSRP. Read the rest

WebSockets vs. Long Polling

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Sometimes we need information from our servers as soon as it’s available. The usual AJAX request/response we’re all used to doesn’t keep the connection open for this sort of use case. Instead, we need a push-based method like WebSockets, long polling, server-sent events (SSE), or, the more recently created, HTTP2 push. In this article, we compare two methods: WebSockets and long polling.

An Overview of Long Polling

In 1995, Netscape Communications hired Brendan Eich to implement scripting capabilities in Netscape Navigator and, over a ten-day period, the JavaScript language was born. Its capabilities as a language were initially very limited compared to modern-day JavaScript, and its ability to interact with the browser’s document object model (DOM) was even more limited. JavaScript was mostly useful for providing limited enhancements to enrich document consumption capabilities. For example, in-browser form validation and lightweight insertion of dynamic HTML into an existing document.

An Introduction to MVC Architecture: A Web Developer’s Point of View

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MVC, or Model View Controller

MVC Stands for Model View Controller and it’s software architecture design pattern. The main goal of this architecture is to separate functionality, logic, and the interface of an application to promote organized programming. It also allows multiple developers to work on the same project.

Let’s take a look at different components of MVC from a web developer’s point of view. Let’s take a look at some of the popular web frameworks that use MVC.

Watch Adam Savage make a flying Iron Man suit in his new show, Savage Builds

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Adam Savage became a household name as the cohost of Mythbusters, and now, he’s returned to the Discovery Channel with a new show: Savage Builds. In each episode of the series, Savage goes out and builds something, consulting with other experts and builders. The series just began airing on Discovery, and the first episode, in which he builds a flying Iron Man costume, is available for free online (at least in the US) for the next two weeks.

Think of it like a builder’s version of Mythbusters: take a thing from pop culture or history, and make a version that functions as closely as possible to its on-screen counterpart. In the show’s first episode, Savage sets out to build a real, flying Iron Man costume that’s also bulletproof.

To do…

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