Nintendo Labo VR hands-on: virtual reality goes DIY

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Nearly one year after the launch of Labo, Nintendo’s DIY cardboard accessory line for the Switch, the company is releasing its fourth kit: an introduction to VR for kids. While we tend to think of virtual reality as isolating, Nintendo’s Labo VR Kit reimagines the VR experience with “simple and shareable” minigames designed to get multiple people playing and interacting.

All of the games have to be played with the headset held up to your face, which has its pros and cons. On one hand, little arms could get tired holding the Switch screen after a while; but on the other, some of minigames are designed to be played in turns, and it’s quicker to pass around the screen than it is to deal with all the fuss taking a headset on and off. Passing…

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Deep Space 9 remastered with deep learning

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Star Trek‘s original series and TNG were shot on film, allowing them to be rescanned for high-definition broadcast. Star Trek: Deep Space 9, however, was shot on video at standard definition: there’s no further detail to recover for HD broadcasts. Machine learning to the rescue! CaptRobau writes:

I will go into greater detail about my process in a future blog post, but it took me about two days to get everything extracted, upscaled and put it back together in a way that was pleasing. This resulted only in the first five minutes of the episode being done (the episode recap, the opening scene, and the intro). Still pretty good time for a mid-to-high end PC with software that isn’t just available to professionals.

The result left me pretty awestruck. It looked better than I had hoped. No weird issues or anything. It looked pretty much like an HD version of DS9. Since (moving) pictures are worth more than a thousand words, here are two comparison videos that show off the improvement I was able to get with this machine learning based upscaling technique.

Below, the intro at 4K. CBS, hire this man! (Or license his code!) “Imagine what a real team could do, with more powerful equipment, custom trained neural networks … and access to the original SD files instead of a DVDRip like me.”

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Walmart is reportedly looking into launching its own cloud gaming service

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Cloud gaming services are one of the biggest topics in tech this week, and yet, you wouldn’t necessarily expect that Walmart would enter the fray. Google’s announcement of Stadia, its upcoming game-streaming service, is already being intercepted by a report at US Gamer. “Multiple sources familiar with Walmart’s plans, who wish to remain anonymous” tell USG that Walmart is at least exploring the possibilities of launching its own cloud gaming service to compete with the likes of Google’s own.

If you think about it, it’s not entirely unlikely. As one of the largest retail corporations in the world, Walmart surely has the capital to fund a pet project like this. What’s even more interesting is that Walmart has shown it’s theoretically…

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WeChat could get a lot more fun outside China with global mini games

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WeChat, China’s ubiquitous messaging and payments platform, is now opening up its mini games platform to developers worldwide — meaning that WeChat outside of China could soon get a lot more interesting. The mini games platform is a tab inside the WeChat app where users can enjoy basic games like Tetris, and it’s part of what makes WeChat so addicting within China.

Even so, there are several hurdles to playing mini games on WeChat. It’s tricky figuring out how to access mini games. You’ll have to head into the main WeChat search bar and type in “games,” which will lead you to a list of mini games that are mostly in Chinese. The pages that list the games are likewise in Chinese, so while it’s easy enough to tap on a photo of a game that…

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Watch these dogs with floofy fluff-butts bravely tunnel in snow

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This very good doggo is either hunting something special, or clearing a path for his human, or who knows? Either way, the dog is obviously a submarine.

When you thought you were adopting a dog, but instead got a subwoofer.

And below, meet Yukon.

“He is named after Yukon Cornelius and he, too, is still searching for that elusive peppermint mine!”

May I present, Yukon. Destroyer of Worlds.

[Link, via Reddit user blue_bomber697]

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Take-Two is suing over a Grand Theft Auto cheating mod — again

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A whale spawned with one of Grand Theft Auto V’s non-cheating, single-player mods

Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto Online, which launched over five years ago, isn’t the studio’s newest online game — it was upstaged by Red Dead Online last year. But GTA Online’s publisher is still going after people who enable cheating (as well as other modding options) in the game. Last week, Take-Two filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the makers of a mod called Evolve, the latest in a years-long fight that’s gotten mixed reactions from inside the GTA Online community.

Evolve is a paid GTA Online mod menu (or trainer) that’s been running since 2017. Like several similar mods, it lets players change basic elements of the game world while the mod is running. Evolve grants users godlike powers like cloning themselves,…

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Aurora’s Sterling Anderson, Uber ATG’s Raquel Urtasun to discuss self-driving cars and AI at TC Sessions

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We’re just weeks away from our TC Sessions: Robotics + AI event at UC Berkeley on April 18. Some of the best and brightest minds are joining us for the day-long event, including Marc Raibert, Colin Angle, Melonee Wise and Anthony Levandowski . Last week, we added to the list of marquee guests and announced a panel with roboticist Ken Goldberg, […]

Kindle edition of Neuromancer at steep discount

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The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

I read William Gibson’s Neuromancer for the first time in 1985. I bought a copy at the San Francisco State University bookstore (Carla was attending college there and I was working at Memorex/Burrough in nearby Santa Clara as a mechanical engineer) after we went to a talk by Timothy Leary and he raved about it.

It’s probably safe to say that without Neuromancer, Carla and I might not have ever started the bOING bOING zine in 1987, because the novel was hugely influential on the way we thought about technology and society.

Neuromancer is on sale on Amazon in the Kindle edition for a very low price right now. Get it before the price goes back up. Read the rest “Kindle edition of Neuromancer at steep discount”

Lynn Freer Turner’s wild, whimsical, and sometimes absurd paintings

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Lynn Freer Turner has been painting for decades, but you had to know the Turner family to see her work! If you got really lucky, as I did with the top image in this post, sometimes Lynn would sell you a piece. Finally, this outstanding artist decided to share her work via Instagram! Lynn is trying to share one new image of her work a day.

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New one#painting#losfeliz#animallover#losangeles

A post shared by Lynn Freer Turner (@lynfogram) on Mar 20, 2019 at 9:21am PDT

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A bad dream#sleeplesspainting

A post shared by Lynn Freer Turner (@lynfogram) on Mar 7, 2019 at 7:31am PST

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Exploring the neighborhood#griffith park

A post shared by Lynn Freer Turner (@lynfogram) on Mar 4, 2019 at 1:12pm PST

Lynn paints whatever catches her fancy. Sometimes wonderfully bizarre scenes, sometimes the chickens in her back yard. The world displayed through Lynn’s lens delights me.

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Gluon ships JavaFX 12

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Mobile solutions provider Gluon has released JavaFX 12, the company’s second release of the rich client technology for Java since JavaFX was decoupled from the JDK (Java Development Kit).

New Google project offers Kubernetes building blocks for CI/CD

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Cloud-native technologies such as Kubernetes promise to be a hedge against cloud lock-in. A new open-source project, Tekton, offers a Kubernetes-native framework for quickly building CI/CD systems that run anywhere Kubernetes runs. Plus, Tekton will work with existing CI/CD servers such as Jenkins. 

GoPro’s Hero 7 Silver camera is just $199, and the classic Duke Xbox controller is 50 percent off at Amazon

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GoPro’s Hero 7 Silver action camera is $199 at Amazon, which is $100 off of its original price and cheaper than ever, according to pricing data from CamelCamelCamel. According to my colleague Sean O’Kane’s hands-on with the whole Hero 7 lineup, the Silver is capped at 4K resolution at 30 frames per second for recording video (compared to the Hero 7 Black’s 4K resolution at 60 frames per second). Even so, it’s still a solid camera that’s even more affordable than before.

For those who are nostalgic for the massive Duke controller for the original Xbox, Hyperkin brought it back for the Xbox One and PC. This particular controller that’s on sale is translucent green, and as you can see above, the Xbox logo in its middle displays the…

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