How technology will change life in the future and more...
These eight short story collections would make excellent sci-fi anthol
Since the beginning of the modern science fiction genre, authors have built careers on writing short stories, for magazines and anthologies — and more recently — on websites. While those works don’t quite get the same attention as a novel, collections of an author’s short fiction has long been a good way to catch up on their published repertoire. Recently, there’s been more attention on shorter fiction thanks to projects such as Netflix’s Love, Death + Robots, and a new anthology series based on horror author Nathan Ballingrud’s fantastic collection, North American Lake Monsters.
What’s more, a number of anthology shows have popped up over the years on a variety of streaming services. Netflix and Channel Four produced Black Mirror; CBS...More Info...
VanMoof Electrified X2 e-bike review: a shareable obsession
Samsung releases some clever Disney and Pixar wallpapers for the Galax
One of the ways that Samsung moved away from having a notch on its Galaxy S10 family of smartphones was to put the front-facing camera and sensors in the display, leaving a small cutout in the corner of the screen. Users have created some clever wallpapers to hide the hole, and Samsung recently partnered with Disney to release a series of its own custom wallpapers that camouflage the camera
Hiding the hole is pretty easy with the right wallpaper: it just needs to be surrounded by something that’s black, or call attention to it with something is actually a hole, or at least a small, round dot. Samsung partnered with Disney for its own series of wallpapers featuring characters from Frozen, Zootopia, and The Incredibles.
Most of Samsung’s o...More Info...
There’s now a museum dedicated to Robert Moog and synthesis called t
Robert Moog changed the landscape of music forever when he launched the first commercial synthesizer in the ‘60s. Since then, the Moog name has become synonymous with synthesis and iconic pieces of hardware like the Minimoog. Now, the Bob Moog Foundation has opened the Moogseum — a museum dedicated to Moog’s work and other important music devices — in Asheville, North Carolina.
The museum had its soft opening this week but will officially celebrate a grand opening on August 15th. The 1,400 square foot space features an immersive visualization dome that lets guests “step inside a circuit board” to see how electricity becomes sound, and a recreation of Bob Moog’s workbench. There are also rare theremins on display, prototype synth modules...More Info...
In BirdGut, you try to escape a dystopian society inside a bird’s st
It can be difficult to find time to finish a video game, especially if you only have a few hours a week to play. In our biweekly column Short Play we suggest video games that can be started and finished in a weekend.
I’ve written about a number of weird games for Short Play, but BirdGut might have the strangest premise so far. It’s about a disabled bee who is kicked out of their hive after being born. The bee manages to make its way through the world, despite not being able to fly, but eventually it’s eaten by a bird. It turns out that the bird isn’t eating insects for sustenance, but rather to brainwash them into mindless slaves who help operate and maintain the machinery inside the bird that keeps it alive. Due to the bee’s bent-over...More Info...
Apple’s abacus emoji is wrong
Apple’s abacus emoji is wrong. Or, technically not “wrong” per se, in that you can probably still use it do math if you actually know how to use an abacus (I do not). But still, that ever useful emoji — added in the Unicode 11.0 update to the emoji standards as part of iOS 12 — is apparently incorrect on Apple devices when compared to nearly any abacus used across the whole of human civilization.
The error was first spotted by Twitter user @sophophobic, who noticed that Apple’s abacus configuration appeared to be one that was never used at any point in history.
When in history was a 2:4 abacus ever used?
Greeks/Romans used 1:4 counting stones. Chinese used 2:5 (for decimal or hex). Japan adopted China's 2:5 via Korea, then 1:5, then...
Poland has filed a complaint against the European Union’s copyright
Poland has officially challenged the European Union’s recently-approved controversial copyright directive, according to Reuters, saying that the legislation would bring unwanted censorship. The country filed its complaint yesterday with the the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymanski said that the “system may result in adopting regulations that are analogous to preventive censorship, which is forbidden not only in the Polish constitution but also in the EU treaties.” Polish MPs predominantly rejected the measure (Two abstentions, eight for, 33 against, six no-votes, and two missing) when it was voted on.More Info...
An astronomer captured SpaceX’s recently-launched StarLink satellite
Earlier this week, SpaceX successfully launched its first 60 StarLink satellites into orbit around the Earth. An amateur astronomer in the Netherlands caught sight of them orbiting Earth after deployment, and captured the scene on video.
Astronomer Dr. Marco Langbroek noted on his blog that he calculated where the satellites would be orbiting, and waited with his camera. The result is a spectacular one: a string of bright dots flying across the sky, prompting some people to report that they saw UFOs.
Langbroek shot the video with a “WATEC 902H low-light-level surveillance camera, equipped with a Canon FD 1.8/50 mm lens,” and counted at least 56 distinct objects. He noted that the “train” will make 2-3 passes each night, and will...More Info...
Hackers reportedly used a tool developed by the NSA to attack Baltimor
Since May 7th, the Baltimore’s city government has been dealing with a ransomware attack that has shut down everything from its email to the systems that allow residents to pay water bills, purchase homes, and other services. According to a report in The New York Times, the tool that has crippled the city is a National Security Agency creation called EternalBlue, which has been used in other high-profile cyberattacks.
According to security experts, hackers used EternalBlue, which exploits a vulnerability in certain versions of Microsoft’s Windows XP and Vista systems, allowing an external party to execute remote commands on their target. The tool was leaked by hacking group The ShadowBrokers in April 2017, and within a day, Microsoft...More Info...
Alexa announcements feature now works on every Alexa-compatible device
Last year, Amazon rolled a new announcements feature for Echo devices, and later expanded it to Alexa-compatible Sonos speakers. Now, the feature can be used across all of the devices that utilize Alexa.
The feature essentially allows you to turn your Echo devices into an intercom system, and initially rolled out to the Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Show, and Echo Spot. Users send out their announcement by saying “Alexa announce that / tell everyone / broadcast...”, and their message gets pushed out to all of the devices in your home network at the same time.
Amazon says that Announcements is “available for certified Alexa built-in products to implement and new ones that pass the provided self-tests and certification.” Now, the...More Info...