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Biology Lab on Your Christmas List December 11, 2018

We hope you have been good this year because we have a list to start your own biology lab and not everything will fit into Santa’s bag (of holding). If you need some last minute goodie points, Santa loves open-source and people who share on our tip line. Our friends at [The Thought Emporium] have […]

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Artistic Images Made With Water Lens

It’s said that beauty and art can be found anywhere, as long as you look for it. The latest art project from [dmitry] both looks in unassuming places for that beauty, and projects what it sees for everyone to view. Like most of his projects, it’s able to produce its artwork in a very unconventional way. This particular project uses water as a lens, and by heating and cooling the water it produces a changing image.

The art installation uses a Peltier cooler to periodically freeze the water that’s being used as a lens. When light is projected through the frozen water onto a screen, the heat from the light melts the water and changes the projected image. The machine uses an Arduino and a Raspberry Pi in order to control the Peliter cooler and move the lens on top of the cooler to be frozen. Once frozen, it’s moved again into the path of the light in order to show an image through the lens.

[dmitry] intended the project to be a take on the cyclical nature of a substance from one state to another, and this is a very creative and interesting way of going about it. Of course, [dmitry]’s work always exhibits the same high build quality and interesting perspective, like his recent project which created music from the core samples of the deepest hole ever drilled.

Artistic Images Made With Water Lens
Source: HackADay

Amazon says Alexa can now better recognize context, such as playing the right song after an inaccurate request or launching a skill without hearing its name (Dami Lee/The Verge)


Dami Lee / The Verge:

Amazon says Alexa can now better recognize context, such as playing the right song after an inaccurate request or launching a skill without hearing its name  —  Alexa will understand you meant to say, ‘Play Nice for What’ instead of ‘Good for What’  —  In a developer blog post published today …

Amazon says Alexa can now better recognize context, such as playing the right song after an inaccurate request or launching a skill without hearing its name (Dami Lee/The Verge)
Source: Tech Meme

Uber Is Said to File for I.P.O. in 2019

The offering, which is expected to be a hotly anticipated debut, puts the ride-hailing service neck and neck with its rival Lyft in a race to the public markets. Uber Is Said to File for I.P.O. in 2019
Source: NY Times Tech

Coinbase chart is a harsh reminder of cryptocurrency’s terrible 2018


For those that bought Bitcoin in 2009, or even in 2011, I can only hope you’ve already sold it. For those that bought Bitcoin in 2017, well… sorry? Coinbase, one of the largest places to buy cryptocurrency online, seems to want you to revel in the Bitcoin‘s failures. For unknown reasons, the company still proudly displays a chart (which we first noticed last year, during the cryptocurrency boom) that shows the dollar value of Bitcoin if you’d bought $100 worth in 2013. Sadly, it’s about as bad as you’d expect. I love that @coinbase still have this page on their…

This story continues at The Next Web

Coinbase chart is a harsh reminder of cryptocurrency’s terrible 2018
Source: The Next Web

Uber files for IPO, Wall Street Journal reports – CNET

So much for Lyft’s early mover advantage. Uber files for IPO, Wall Street Journal reports – CNET
Source: CNet

Apple Watch Series 4 battery test: Did it survive a 6 hour hike? – CNET

We closed a lot of rings to test the six-hour activity tracking claim, automatic workout detection, and all the new fitness features on the new Apple Watch Series 4. Apple Watch Series 4 battery test: Did it survive a 6 hour hike? – CNET
Source: CNet

Sources: Uber has confidentially filed for an IPO; filing indicates it could go public as soon as the first quarter of 2019 (Wall Street Journal)


Wall Street Journal:

Sources: Uber has confidentially filed for an IPO; filing indicates it could go public as soon as the first quarter of 2019  —  The filing indicates a public listing could come in early 2019, pitting the ride-hailing service against rival Lyft  —  Uber Technologies Inc. filed paperwork confidentially …

Sources: Uber has confidentially filed for an IPO; filing indicates it could go public as soon as the first quarter of 2019 (Wall Street Journal)
Source: Tech Meme

The Apple Watch ECG detected something strange about my heart rhythm – CNET

The latest update, WatchOS 5.1.2, rolled out two new heart features that could help warn users of life-threatening conditions. The Apple Watch ECG detected something strange about my heart rhythm – CNET
Source: CNet

UK-based Boku, a carrier billing services provider, says it has acquired Danal, a US-based mobile identity and authentication service, and will pay up to $68M (Ingrid Lunden/TechCrunch)


Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:

UK-based Boku, a carrier billing services provider, says it has acquired Danal, a US-based mobile identity and authentication service, and will pay up to $68M  —  After going public in the U.K. last year, Boku has made an acquisition to expand its carrier billing services …

UK-based Boku, a carrier billing services provider, says it has acquired Danal, a US-based mobile identity and authentication service, and will pay up to M (Ingrid Lunden/TechCrunch)
Source: Tech Meme

Google has found three malicious ad network SDKs as part of Cheetah Mobile and Kika Tech ad fraud probe; sources: SDKs are from AltaMob, BatMobi, and YeahMobi (Sarah Perez/TechCrunch)


Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:

Google has found three malicious ad network SDKs as part of Cheetah Mobile and Kika Tech ad fraud probe; sources: SDKs are from AltaMob, BatMobi, and YeahMobi  —  A few days ago, Google removed popular Cheetah Mobile and Kika Tech apps from its Play Store following a BuzzFeed investigation …

Google has found three malicious ad network SDKs as part of Cheetah Mobile and Kika Tech ad fraud probe; sources: SDKs are from AltaMob, BatMobi, and YeahMobi (Sarah Perez/TechCrunch)
Source: Tech Meme

Italy's competition authority fines Facebook a total of $11.4M for using people's data for commercial purposes in ways that break the country's laws (Katie Collins/CNET)


Katie Collins / CNET:

Italy’s competition authority fines Facebook a total of $11.4M for using people’s data for commercial purposes in ways that break the country’s laws  —  Italy’s Competition Authority on Friday slapped Facebook with two fines that total 10 million euros ($11.4M) for using people’s data …

Italy's competition authority fines Facebook a total of .4M for using people's data for commercial purposes in ways that break the country's laws (Katie Collins/CNET)
Source: Tech Meme

The Apple Watch’s new ECG feature is already saving lives


Sure, Apple may have announced three new iPhones, a new MacBook Air, and the new iPad Pro this year, but the most important product is the company’s Apple Watch Series 4. It was just last night that Apple activated the Watch’s electrocardiogram (ECG) feature, and it appears to already be saving lives. Redditor u/edentel posted his experience today after receiving an alert on his Apple watch indicating he may have atrial fibrillation – afib for short – and decided to go to the doctor. The Doctor confirmed the Watch’s reading, saying “this probably saved you.” The post is worth reading in its…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Apple Watch,Apple

The Apple Watch’s new ECG feature is already saving lives
Source: The Next Web

Liberating Birds For A Cheap Electric Scooter

A few months ago, several companies started deploying electric scooters on the sidewalks of cities around the United States. These scooters were standard, off-the-shelf electric scooters made in China, loaded up with battery packs, motors, and a ‘brain box’ that has a GPS unit, a cellular modem, and a few more electronics that turn this dumb electric scooter into something you can ride via an app. Dropping electronic waste on cities around the country was not looked upon kindly by these municipalities, and right now there are hundreds of Bird and Lime scooters in towing yards, just waiting to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

This is a remarkable opportunity for anyone who can turn a screwdriver and handle a soldering iron. For mere pennies on the dollar you can buy dozens of these scooters, and you can own thousands of dollars in batteries and electronics if you show up to the right auction. [humanbeing21] over on the scootertalk forums is preparing for the Bird apocalypse, and he’s already converted a few of these scooters to be his personal transportation device.

The subject of this conversion are scooters deployed by Bird, which are in actuality Xiaomi MIJIA M365 scooters with a few added electronics to connect to the Internet. The ‘conversion kit’ for a Bird scooter comes directly from China, costs $30, and is apparently a plug-and-play sort of deal. The hardest part is finding a screwdriver with the right security bits, but that again is a problem eBay is more than willing to solve.

Right now, [humanbeing21] is in contact with a towing company that has well over a hundred Bird scooters on their lot, each accruing daily storage fees. Since these scooters only cost about $400 new, we’re probably well past the time when it makes sense for Bird to pay to get them out of storage. This means they’ll probably be heading for an auction where anyone can pick them up — all of them — for a hundred bucks or so.

Right now, scooter hacking is becoming one of the most interesting adventures in modern-day hacking. You’ve got batteries and electronics and motors just sitting there, ready for the taking (and yes, through these auctions you can do this legally). We’re looking at a future filled with 18650-based Powerwalls from discarded electric scooters and quadcopters built around scooter motors filling the skies. This is cyberpunk, and we can’t wait to see the other builds these scooters will become.

Liberating Birds For A Cheap Electric Scooter
Source: HackADay

Huawei Executive Took Part in Sanctions Fraud, Prosecutors Say

In a Canadian courtroom, authorities revealed details of the charges facing Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei official whose arrest has shaken U.S.-China relations. Huawei Executive Took Part in Sanctions Fraud, Prosecutors Say
Source: NY Times Tech

Elon Musk spits fire at Mark Zuckerberg in Epic Rap Battle – CNET

Facebook’s Zuckerberg scoffs at Musk’s many companies, but guess who’s the one with the flamethrower? Elon Musk spits fire at Mark Zuckerberg in Epic Rap Battle – CNET
Source: CNet

As Huawei CFO faces charges, company bookends 2018 with controversy – CNET

The detainment of Huawei’s chief financial officer in Canada on conspiracy charges is just the latest in a slew of problems for the Chinese tech giant. As Huawei CFO faces charges, company bookends 2018 with controversy – CNET
Source: CNet

China has set up the Online Games Ethics Committee, which has reviewed a first batch of 20 games and rejected 9 of them, according to the state broadcaster CCTV (Zheping Huang/South China Morning Post)


Zheping Huang / South China Morning Post:

China has set up the Online Games Ethics Committee, which has reviewed a first batch of 20 games and rejected 9 of them, according to the state broadcaster CCTV  —  – The recently formed Online Games Ethics Committee has rejected nine of an initial batch of 20 titles it reviewed

China has set up the Online Games Ethics Committee, which has reviewed a first batch of 20 games and rejected 9 of them, according to the state broadcaster CCTV (Zheping Huang/South China Morning Post)
Source: Tech Meme

Amazfit Verge is a better $160 watch than I expected – CNET

But I still prefer the Bip. Amazfit Verge is a better 0 watch than I expected – CNET
Source: CNet

Sources: Slack has hired Goldman Sachs to lead its IPO, expected in 2019, which it hopes will fetch a valuation of well over $10B (Reuters)


Reuters:

Sources: Slack has hired Goldman Sachs to lead its IPO, expected in 2019, which it hopes will fetch a valuation of well over $10B  —  (Reuters) – Slack Technologies Inc, a provider of chat and direct messaging services for businesses, has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) …

Sources: Slack has hired Goldman Sachs to lead its IPO, expected in 2019, which it hopes will fetch a valuation of well over B (Reuters)
Source: Tech Meme

Mowgli review: This ain't your Disney Jungle Book, and that's wild – CNET

Netflix’s Mowgli: In performance-capture maestro Andy Serkis’ hands, Legends of the Jungle is a darker, more surprising version of The Jungle Book. Mowgli review: This ain't your Disney Jungle Book, and that's wild – CNET
Source: CNet

Huawei Executive Was Company’s Professional Face, Until Her Arrest

Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s secretive founder, Ren Zhengfei, had stressed transparency at the company. She is now accused of hiding Huawei’s dealings in Iran. Huawei Executive Was Company’s Professional Face, Until Her Arrest
Source: NY Times Tech

Canada argues Huawei CFO committed fraud by misrepresenting a Huawei subsidiary as an independent company, tricking US banks into violating Iran sanctions (Kate Conger/New York Times)


Kate Conger / New York Times:

Canada argues Huawei CFO committed fraud by misrepresenting a Huawei subsidiary as an independent company, tricking US banks into violating Iran sanctions  —  VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The reasons that the United States asked the Canadian authorities to arrest a top executive …

Canada argues Huawei CFO committed fraud by misrepresenting a Huawei subsidiary as an independent company, tricking US banks into violating Iran sanctions (Kate Conger/New York Times)
Source: Tech Meme

Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg spit fire in new Epic Rap Battles of History


Epic Rap Battles of History just came back triumphant after almost two years of silence, and the opponents in the latest battle are none other than the most infamous CEOs of the year: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg versus Tesla’s Elon Musk. The choice of rivals is not a huge surprise — I’ve been seeing this match-up requested in comments for at least the last year. Series creators “NicePeter” Shukoff (who plays Zuckerberg) and “EpicLloyd” Ahlquist (who plays Musk) had previously said they would be starting the new season next year, but announced they’d be releasing a bonus episode today. The last…

This story continues at The Next Web

Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg spit fire in new Epic Rap Battles of History
Source: The Next Web

Gmail ‘Promotions’ bug reveals an algorithmic mystery

Google said Friday an inadvertent bug had made its email filters go haywire, rerouting messages in a way that made users believe it had lost its sense of judgment over what messages deserved to land on top of the pile — and at the worst possible time of the year, when retailers flood consumers with holiday shopping pitches. Gmail ‘Promotions’ bug reveals an algorithmic mystery
Source: Washington Post Tech

Building The World’s Smallest Jet Turbine By Hand

There are very few machines as complex to build as a turbojet engine. The turbine blades on a commercial airliner are grown from a single crystal of metal. The engineering tolerances are crazy, and everything spins really, really fast. All of these problems aren’t a concern for [Igor], who’s building what will probably end up being the world’s smallest turbojet engine. He’s doing it in his home shop, and a lot of the work is being done by hand. We don’t know the Russian translation for ‘hold my beer’, but [Igor] certainly does.

The design of this turbojet — as far as we can tell — is a centrifugal flow turbine, or something that’s not terribly different than the projects we’ve seen that turn the turbocharger from a diesel engine into a jet. The innovation here is using a lathe to machine the compressor stages by mounting an end mill to the headstock and the compressor blank on the cross slide, in a rotary table. It’s weird, but you really can’t argue with something that looks like it’ll work.

[Igor] has made a name for himself by creating some crazy contraptions. The most impressive, by far, is a gigantic remote controlled plane, powered by a handmade jet engine. This is an enormous fiberglass plane with a homebrew engine that spins at 90,000 RPM and doesn’t fly apart. That’s impressive by any measure.

[Igor] is posting a lot of his build process on YouTube and Instagram, including heat treating the compressor stages with a blowtorch. This is an amazing project, and even if this tiny turbine will be able to self-sustain, that’s an amazing accomplishment. You can check out a few more videos from [Igor] below.

Building The World’s Smallest Jet Turbine By Hand
Source: HackADay

Despite infamous hit, Elon Musk says he has 'no idea how to smoke pot' – CNET

A 60 Minutes interview with the Tesla CEO will air on Sunday, Dec. 9. Despite infamous hit, Elon Musk says he has 'no idea how to smoke pot' – CNET
Source: CNet

FCC to investigate if carriers submitted incorrect coverage maps after an initial review of speed test data suggested significant violations of agency's rules (Marrian Zhou/CNET)


Marrian Zhou / CNET:

FCC to investigate if carriers submitted incorrect coverage maps after an initial review of speed test data suggested significant violations of agency’s rules  —  The federal government keeps a map that highlights areas that have or don’t have broadband service.

FCC to investigate if carriers submitted incorrect coverage maps after an initial review of speed test data suggested significant violations of agency's rules (Marrian Zhou/CNET)
Source: Tech Meme

Sen. Warner calls for US cyber doctrine, new standards for security – CNET

“We have a long way to go on cyber hygiene and online media consumption habits,” says Virginia Democrat Mark Warner. Sen. Warner calls for US cyber doctrine, new standards for security – CNET
Source: CNet

Avengers 4: Endgame trailer gives us beardless Captain America, sad Iron Man – CNET

After the Snap, everyone seems as lost as we are. Avengers 4: Endgame trailer gives us beardless Captain America, sad Iron Man – CNET
Source: CNet

Yale teaches robots not to mess with people’s stuff


When it comes to getting a quality education, a robot could do far worse than a program at Yale. Machine learning researchers at the Ivy-League university recently started teaching robots about the nuances of social interaction. And there’s no better place to start than with possessions. One of the earliest social constructs that humans learn is the idea of ownership. That’s my bottle. Gimme that teddy bear. I want that candy bar and I will make your life a living hell if you don’t buy it for me right now. Robots, on the other hand, don’t have a grain of…

This story continues at The Next Web

Yale teaches robots not to mess with people’s stuff
Source: The Next Web

Elon Musk says Tesla may consider buying one of GM's idled plants – Roadshow

In a new 60 Minutes interview, Musk said he welcomed GM’s competition in the EV space. Elon Musk says Tesla may consider buying one of GM's idled plants – Roadshow
Source: CNet

Brave browser matures with move to Chromium foundation – CNET

The ad-blocking browser says hello to Chrome extensions by moving closer to Google’s software. Brave browser matures with move to Chromium foundation – CNET
Source: CNet

Beddit, the sleep tracking company that Apple acquired in 2017, releases Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5, a $150 sleep monitor for iOS, available in Apple Stores (Zac Hall/9to5Mac)


Zac Hall / 9to5Mac:

Beddit, the sleep tracking company that Apple acquired in 2017, releases Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5, a $150 sleep monitor for iOS, available in Apple Stores  —  Earlier this week, Apple received FCC clearance with a new sleep monitor product that looked like an updated version of the Beddit Sleep Monitor that it acquired in 2017.

Beddit, the sleep tracking company that Apple acquired in 2017, releases Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5, a 0 sleep monitor for iOS, available in Apple Stores (Zac Hall/9to5Mac)
Source: Tech Meme

Epic dances around legal issues with Fortnite emotes


Rapper 2 Milly yesterday revealed he was suing Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, for copying his dance, the Milly Rock, in one of their emotes. The problem, he says, is not just that he’s not being fairly credited and compensated — it’s that he’s just one of several artists who’ve been treated this way by the game company. (Mis)Appropriation In the complaint filed by 2 Milly’s (real name: Terrence Ferguson) lawyers in a California court, they allege that Epic Games ripped off several artists, saying, “Epic has consistently sought to exploit African-American talent in particular in Fortnite by copying their dances and movements.” The complaint goes on to…

This story continues at The Next Web

Epic dances around legal issues with Fortnite emotes
Source: The Next Web

Walmart to acquire the assets of Art.com, an online seller of art and wall decor which, a source says, was recently bringing in $300M in sales annually (Lauren Thomas/CNBC)


Lauren Thomas / CNBC:

Walmart to acquire the assets of Art.com, an online seller of art and wall decor which, a source says, was recently bringing in $300M in sales annually  —  – Marc Lore, head of Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce business, has said the company could one day own upwards of 40 digitally native brands.

Walmart to acquire the assets of Art.com, an online seller of art and wall decor which, a source says, was recently bringing in 0M in sales annually (Lauren Thomas/CNBC)
Source: Tech Meme

Racing the Beam on a Thin Client, in FPGAs

A few years back, a company by the name of Pano Logic launched a line of FPGA-based thin clients. Sadly, the market didn’t eventuate, and the majority of this stock ended up on eBay, to eventually be snapped up by eager hackers. [Tom] is one of those very hackers, and decided to try some raytracing experiments with the hardware.

[Tom] has one of the earlier Pano Logic clients, with VGA output and a Xilinx Spartan-3E 1600 FPGA under the hood. Due to limited RAM in the FPGA, and wanting to avoid coding a custom DRAM controller for the memory on the board, there just wasn’t room for a framebuffer. Instead, it was decided that the raytracer would instead “race the beam” – calculating each pixel on the fly, beating the monitor’s refresh rate.

This approach means that resource management is key, and [Tom] notes that even seemingly minor changes to the raytracing environment require inordinately large increases in calculation. Simply adding a shadow and directional light increased core logic utilisation from 66% to 92%!

While the project may not be scalable, [Tom] was able to implement the classic reflective sphere, which bounces upon a checkered plane and even added some camera motion to liven things up through an onboard CPU core. It’s a real nuts-and-bolts walkthrough of how to work with limited resources on an FPGA platform. Code is available on Github if you fancy taking a further peek under the hood.

If you’re new to FPGAs yourself, why not check out our FPGA bootcamp?

Racing the Beam on a Thin Client, in FPGAs
Source: HackADay

Google Hearing to Preview Democrats’ Strategy on Big Tech

Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google, will testify before Congress on Tuesday. Democratic lawmakers are expected to target the industry next year. Google Hearing to Preview Democrats’ Strategy on Big Tech
Source: NY Times Tech

Andy Rubin's Essential has acquired CloudMagic, maker of the Newton email app that the India-based startup shut down in September (Anirban Sen/Livemint)


Anirban Sen / Livemint:

Andy Rubin’s Essential has acquired CloudMagic, maker of the Newton email app that the India-based startup shut down in September  —  Andy Rubin’s Essential Products has acquired CloudMagic less than three months after the startup’s founder Rohit Nadhani said its flagship email app Newton Mail was shutting down

Andy Rubin's Essential has acquired CloudMagic, maker of the Newton email app that the India-based startup shut down in September (Anirban Sen/Livemint)
Source: Tech Meme

Sources: Apple acquired Platoon, a UK-based startup which uses analytics to source talent like musicians and writers to produce, distribute, and sell their work (Ingrid Lunden/TechCrunch)


Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:

Sources: Apple acquired Platoon, a UK-based startup which uses analytics to source talent like musicians and writers to produce, distribute, and sell their work  —  Spotify has made some significant moves to bypass record labels and work directly with artists, and there are signs that Apple …

Sources: Apple acquired Platoon, a UK-based startup which uses analytics to source talent like musicians and writers to produce, distribute, and sell their work (Ingrid Lunden/TechCrunch)
Source: Tech Meme

Oumuamua may be just one of many 'interstellar visitors' – CNET

The bizarre object from outside the solar system that buzzed us last year is now long gone. But there may be others that have stuck around. Oumuamua may be just one of many 'interstellar visitors' – CNET
Source: CNet

Deal alert: 2018 iPad selling for $270 at Amazon and Best Buy – CNET

This is the lowest price we’ve seen since Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Deal alert: 2018 iPad selling for 0 at Amazon and Best Buy – CNET
Source: CNet

So Retro: ToeJam & Earl reboot modernizes nostalgia – CNET

A reboot of the funkadelic video game from the ’90s comes out on March 1. So Retro: ToeJam & Earl reboot modernizes nostalgia – CNET
Source: CNet

Magic Wand Learns Spells through Machine Learning and an IMU

Jennifer Wang likes to dress up for cosplay and she’s a Harry Potter fan. Her wizarding skills are technological rather than magical but to the casual observer she’s managed to blur those lines. Having a lot of experience with different sensors, she decided to fuse all of this together to make a magic wand. The wand contains an inertial measurement unit (IMU) so it can detect gestures. Instead of hardcoding everything [Jennifer] used machine learning and presented her results at the Hackaday Superconference. Didn’t make it to Supercon? No worries, you can watch her talk on building IMU-based gesture recognition below, and grab the code from GitHub.

Naturally, we enjoyed seeing the technology parts of her project, and this is a great primer on applying machine learning to sensor data. But what we thought was really insightful was the discussions about the entire design lifecycle. Asking questions to scope the design space such as how much money can you spend, who will use the device, and where you will use it are often things we subconsciously answer but don’t make explicit. Failing to answer these questions at all increases the risk your project will fail or, at least, not be as successful as it could have been.

Balance

Another theme to the talk: design trades. You have to balance what you want vs other project realities like speed, power consumption, and cost. In this case, [Jennifer] points out that a machine learning system can be accurate, memory efficient, or low-latency and she contends you can only pick two. That is, a small and fast model might not be accurate. An accurate model that is fast will probably use a lot of memory, and so on.

Between the requirements and the trades, she takes you through how she arrived at the architecture for the wand which could then actually be designed and built. For example, a camera can recognize gestures, but not in the dark. The final design incorporates a BNO055 IMU, a Raspberry Pi Zero W, an audio system, and, of course, power.

 

The next trade involved using deep learning versus more traditional approaches. To make that decision, she looked at what each technique would make easier vs what it would make harder. For example, deep learning doesn’t require as much domain knowledge but is harder to debug and requires a lot of data to train well. A signal processing approach is easier to debug but requires more domain knowledge.

The final approach was to collect lots of data and then deep learn a model from that data. An important element here is coverage. That is, making sure the data covers all the expected use cases. The first iteration of the model did not work well, but after the third attempt, things started to fall into place.

Reduced to Practice

The practical side of the software used Python with some numerical libraries and scikit-learn to handle the deep learning aspects. Plot.ly and Jupyter Notebook also provided tools that were handy.

While a magic wand might not seem very practical, the end of the presentation talks about other things the technology might accomplish like earthquake detection or collecting census data. It could even detect when someone has fallen.

The real value, though, is the design process. As she points out, those same steps — defining requirements, and working through design trades — are important for every project. Sure, sometimes a project is so small that you intuitively do them without thinking. But as projects get bigger, having a process to make sure you’ve covered your needs and made choices consistent with your goals and constraints can be a big help in making sure a project is successful.

Magic Wand Learns Spells through Machine Learning and an IMU
Source: HackADay

FCA adding a second Detroit assembly plant for Grand Cherokee, report says – Roadshow

Jeep clearly anticipates a whole bunch of demand for its soon-to-be-revised SUV. FCA adding a second Detroit assembly plant for Grand Cherokee, report says – Roadshow
Source: CNet

Huawei Arrest Tests China’s Leaders as Fear and Anger Grip Elite

The detention of a Chinese tech executive poses a challenge for President Xi Jinping, who faces pressure to both retaliate and resolve the trade war with America. Huawei Arrest Tests China’s Leaders as Fear and Anger Grip Elite
Source: NY Times Tech

Discover a gift for your partner with our huge personality-based guide


Here at Plugged we cover gadgets differently. Rather than giving products an arbitrary rating (five out of seven! Nine stars!), we conclude our reviews by describing the person that an item would be perfect for. We wanted to take this same approach to our gift guides. So instead of doing a normal list, we’ve split the items into personality types. Specifically, the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator, a system that orders people into 16 specific groups. This chart sums it up succinctly, but don’t worry about that too much – we’ve put a short description of each type of person in each section.…

This story continues at The Next Web

Discover a gift for your partner with our huge personality-based guide
Source: The Next Web

EU's technology commissioner: EU should be worried about Huawei and other Chinese tech companies because of the risk they pose to bloc's industry and security (Reuters)


Reuters:

EU’s technology commissioner: EU should be worried about Huawei and other Chinese tech companies because of the risk they pose to bloc’s industry and security  —  BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union should be worried about Huawei [HWT.UL] and other Chinese technology companies …

EU's technology commissioner: EU should be worried about Huawei and other Chinese tech companies because of the risk they pose to bloc's industry and security (Reuters)
Source: Tech Meme

The ‘Avengers: Endgame’ trailer is here, along with a new release date


It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. The trailer for Avengers 4 has finally arrived, along with an official name. Get ready for Avengers: Endgame. It’s certainly… moody. Understandable, after half the universe has been wiped out, I suppose. If you want to go into the movie fresh, don’t worry; this trailer won’t do much to spoil things for you, as it’s also surprisingly light on plot and character appearances. Of course, there will inevitably be more trailers to come in the months leading up to the movie’s release. Speaking of, there’s another surprise today – the movie has been pushed forward…

This story continues at The Next Web

The ‘Avengers: Endgame’ trailer is here, along with a new release date
Source: The Next Web

Better Mechanical Keyboards Through 3D Printing

You’re not cool unless you have a mechanical keyboard. No, you won’t be able to tell if your coworkers don’t like it, because you won’t be able to hear their complaining over the sound of your clack-clack-clacking. You can even go all-in with switch modifications, o-rings, and new springs, or you could use your 3D printer to modify the touch of your wonderful Cherry MX switches. That’s what a few researchers did, and the results are promising.

The ‘problem’ this research is attempting to solve is bottoming out on Cherry MX keyswitches. If you’re bottoming out, you’re doing it wrong, but nevertheless, you can get a publication out of solving repetitive strain injury. This was done by modeling the bottom housing of a Cherry MX switch by printing most of it in nylon on a Stratasys Objet 350 polyjet printer, with a tiny bit of of the housing printed with a polymer with a hardness of Shore 40. No, Shore A, Shore B, or Shore 00 was not specified, but hey, it’s just a conference paper.

The experimental test for this keyswitch was dropping a 150 gram weight from 125 mm onto the keyswitch, with a force sensitive resistor underneath the switch, connected to an Arduino. Data was logged, filtered, and fitted in Excel to create a plot of the force on dampened, rigid, and commercial switch housings. Results from ANOVA were p > 0.05 (p=0.12).

Despite the lack of significant results, there is something here. The Objet is one of the few printers that can do multimaterial printing with the resolution needed to replicate an injection molded part. There is a trend to the data, and printing squishy parts into a keyswitch should improve typing feel. There will be more work on this, but in the meantime we’re hopeful some other experimenters will pick up this train of research.

Better Mechanical Keyboards Through 3D Printing
Source: HackADay

Discuss the future of payments at Hard Fork Decentralized


There are only five days left until Hard Fork Decentralized, our blockchain and cryptocurrency event in London, UK. If you’re interested in discussing the future of payments with industry leaders, we’ve selected some events you shouldn’t miss: Decentralized finance (University College London) The UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies focuses on the impact of this tech on our socio-economic systems, as well as the promotion of a safe and organic development and adoption of blockchain-based platforms. Join their event to learn more about bringing decentralization to the financial world. You can sign up for this event right here. The social evolution…

This story continues at The Next Web

Discuss the future of payments at Hard Fork Decentralized
Source: The Next Web

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