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Free PDF download of MagPi, a magazine about Raspberry Pi projects

Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized (or smaller) Linux computer that costs about 35 (you also need a monitor, a keyboard, SD card, and power source). The organization that developed it is called the Raspberry Pi foundation and they publish an excellent project magazine called MagPi. The PDF version is free to download. Issue 69 just came out and it has some good projects: Affordable 3D printing. Buy your first 3D printer and use a Raspberr

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Disney made a haptic jacket for the VRs

As VR headsets and controllers become readily available it is only a matter of time before we are all wearing haptic underoos and doing VR yogas. Now I can feel my heartbreak as I get shot down in Fortnite. Via Disney: Immersive experiences seek to engage the full sensory system in ways that words, pictures, or touch alone cannot. With respect to the haptic system, however, physical feedback has been provided primarily with handheld tactile

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RIP Bob Dorough, musical director of ‘Schoolhouse Rock‘

Bob Dorough jazz musician and musical director of Schoolhouse Rock, passed away earlier this week, at the age of 94. His voice is instantly recognizable. Lolly, Lolly, Lolly. Via Yahoo Entertainment: ‘In 1971 he received a commission to ‘set the multiplication tables to music.‘ This led to a small industry, being the beginning of ABC-TV‘s ‘Schoolhouse Rock,‘ Saturday morning cartoons that entertained an

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Enchanting mix of experimental, minimalist, and ambient cassette music

Brandon Hocura of the excellent Seance Centre record label mined his (and his friends‘) rare and vintage cassette archive to create this sublime guest mix for the Noise In My Head show on NTS Radio. Listen below, preferably with headphones. Turn on, tune in. Noise In My Head W/ Brandon Hocura (Seance Centre) Tracklist: Claire Thomas & Susan Vezey - Bright Waves Pablo‘s Eye - Blind And Quiet Mo Boma - Jijimuge Two (Rebounders /

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The evolution of the Star Wars Stormtrooper

This simple GIF from Gadget Love is pretty pleasing to me. Clone Troopers were not useless in battle.

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Raleigh-Durham, I‘m headed your way!

I‘m delivering the annual Kilgour lecture tomorrow morning at 10AM at UNC, and I‘ll be speaking at Flyleaf Books at 7PM -- be there or be oblong! (more)

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Package thief tries to swipe doorbell camera

This porch pirate in Tracy, California noticed that he was being surveilled by a doorbell camera so he tried to swipe that too. "It‘s kind of pointless to a certain extent because a lot of these devices store to the cloud," Tracy Police Captain Alex Neicu told Fox40. "So the image is already captured.‘ Hopefully soon the thief will be too.

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A who‘s-who of tech manufacturers sent scaremongering letters to the Illinois legislature to kill Right to Repair

Illinois is one of 18 states where Right to Repair legislation has been introduced -- rules that would force manufacturers to end the practice of undermining the independent repair sector with hidden service documents, unavailable parts, and DRM. (more)

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The predictable dystopian trajectory of China‘s Citizen Scores

China‘s Citizen Score system combines surveillance of your social media and social graph with your credit report, your purchase history and state spy agencies and police files on you to produce a "trustworthiness" score -- people who score low are denied access to high-speed travel, financial products, and other services like private school for their kids. (more)

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Amazing video of cells moving within an organism

Scientists combined multiple imaging technologies to deliver an unprecedented 3D view inside the body of crawling cancer cells, spinal cord circuit development, and immune cells traveling within a zebrafish (above). Nobel laureate Eric Betzig and his colleagues at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute integrate a technology called lattice light sheet microscopy with adaptive optics resulting in a very expensive, 10-foot-long microscope. From HHM

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Security researchers can turn Alexa into a transcribing, always-on listening device

Checkmarx researchers including Erez Yalon have created a "rogue Alexa skill" that bypasses Amazon‘s security checks: it lurks silently and unkillably in the background of your Alexa, listening to all speech in range of it and transcribing it, then exfiltrating the text and audio of your speech to the attacker. (more)

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Score 2TB of cloud storage from one of the best under-the-radar providers

Our computers are home to a myriad of files and documents, many of which contain sensitive information. While storing this data on your computer is convenient, it‘s not exactly safe, and with news headlines highlighting data leaks and ransomware attacks on what seems like a daily basis, moving them to a safer location is a solid move.pCloud Premium Plus Cloud Storage gives you an easily accessible place to store your valuable information, a

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Little Brother is 10 years old today: I reveal the secret of writing future-proof science fiction

It‘s been ten years since the publication of my bestselling novel Little Brother; though the novel was written more than a decade ago, and though it deals with networked computers and mobile devices, it remains relevant, widely read, and widely cited even today. (more)

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"Phooey": a pre-eminent cryptographer responds to Ray Ozzie‘s key escrow system

I have a lot of respect for ex-Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, but when I saw that he‘d taken to promoting a Clipper-Chip-style key escrow system, I was disheartened -- I‘m a pretty keen observer of these proposals and have spent a lot of time having their problems explained to me by some of the world‘s leading cryptographers, and this one seemed like it had the same problems as all of those dead letters. (mor

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Microsoft sends recycler to jail for reinstalling obsolete, licensed copies of Windows on refurbished PCs

Eric Lundgren is an environmental hero, whose California business diverts literal tons of e-waste from landfills, refurbishes it, and puts it in the hands of people who can make good use of it. (more)

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Oft-cited student loan expert turns out to be fake persona affiliated with lenders

If you‘ve been keeping up with the slow-burning student loan crisis -- the lifetime of debt imposed by the exploding cost of higher education -- you‘ve probably read a thing or ten from Drew Cloud, one of the foremost experts on the subject. He‘s been quoted and featured in numerous articles, appearing in major news outlets such as The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and CNBC, always ready with insightful remarks and stunnin

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The Onion on Kanye West

The context is Kanye West‘s long-expected but nonetheless startling MAGA turn. Nation Suddenly Concerned About Black Man‘s Opinion [The Onion]

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The ultimate 1990s mail-order panflute CD commercial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ISe0fdoaPs Behold the hauntingly beautiful strains of Gheorghe Zamfir, master of the panflute, viral once again in 2018 due to the retro 90s‘ charms of his cable TV ads. It strikes me that Zamfir‘s extraordinarily formulaic magnificence, which is not sold in stores, is something that machine learning might mimic convincingly. Then we could have every song made and all possible songs yet to be made per

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Trump‘s finance watchdog wants to make the taxpayer-funded database of crooked banks go dark

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is Elizabeth Warren‘s gift that keeps on giving -- one of the most effective US government agencies, handing out real punishment to banks that break the law, fighting loan-sharks that prey on poor people, and maintaining a database of vetted consumer complaints against banks that have ripped them off. (more)

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Experimental 1080p video footage offers an uncannily sharp snapshot of 1992 in Japan

Good-Night TOKYO was video recorded in 1992 using an experimental high-definition digital camera with features that didn‘t become standard on consumer devices for 20 years: 1080 lines and 60 frames per second. The world depicted is clearly from decades ago, but is recorded with a sharpness and starkness that signifies the present day. It seem uncannily contemporary. It‘s a weird artifact which reminds me how carefully composed peri

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MacBook Pro considered a bad buy even at Best Buy‘s fire sale

There‘s a huge sale on MacBook Pros right now at Best Buy, but Casey Johnston convinced me not to upgrade. The current models‘ keyboards have severe reliability issues, and are so badly-designed that service and replacement can take hours or days under warrantee and cost hundreds of dollars out of it. And on top of that, you‘re paying a very expensive premium out the door to get a Touch Bar and to not get any useful ports. I st

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Yale study: Newspaper op-eds change minds

Opinion pieces are often treated as performances of no real consuequence, as entertainments and political groundskeeping. But in a study at Yale University, researchers found that op-eds have "large and long-lasting effects on people‘s views both among the general public and policy experts." Moreover, the study also found that "Democrats and Republicans altered their views in the direction of the op-ed piece in roughly equal measure." "

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Podcast asks: "What would you say to the one who got away?"

I‘ve just learned of a lovely new podcast. It‘s called "The One Who Got Away" and this is what it‘s all about: We all have a lost love, a forgotten romance, a missed connection. If you had the chance, what would you say to the one who got away? The One Who Got Away is a new podcast by Oliver Blank, featuring you. In 2014, with the help of New York Times best-selling author John Green and PBS Digital‘s The Art Assignment,

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New, unusued Robotron cabinet found still in the box

Robotron: 2084 is one of my favorite games of all time. It has the rapidly-escalating-curve-of-difficulty I prefer in arcade games -- the first level is easy, the second is harder, the third is like, huh, yikes, and then by the ninth screen you need heart defibrillation. Plus, the single-screen nature of play is wonderfully claustrophic: You can‘t escape anywhere, so you‘re frantically weaving through hordes of killer robots, constant

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