Wednesday, September 20, 2017

66-year-old man sees in colour for the first time

Born colourblind, William lived his whole life in back and white. For his 66th birthday, his family decided to pitch in together to buy Enchroma glasses that have colour correcting lenses that help the colourblind see colour. This video is his expression to opening his gift and witnessing color for the first time.

via kottke

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Apple Watch Series 3

Trusted Reviews reports: [edited]

Apple announced three new iPhones yesterday, along with a 4K Apple TV. All of them are lovely pieces of technology, but its most interesting announcement was that it has made significant improvements to its Apple Watches, with its top model now possessing cellular connectivity.

You’ll now be able to take and make calls from your Apple Watch Series 3, and it’ll use the same number as your iPhone. You’ll also be able to stream music thanks to the cellular connection through Apple Music directly from your wrist.

There’s a new S3 dual-core processor delivering 70% more performance than the previous chip. This means Siri can now talk through the built-in speaker, reading out useful information without you needing to look at the display. There’s a new W2 chip for wireless connectivity, including an 85% boost to Wi-Fi performance and 50% increase in power efficiency for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (v5).

An altimeter is now included. This means elevation data can now be obtained, which is great for runners, cyclists and skiers alike. It also means the Apple Watch Series 3 will detect the flights of stairs you climb, useful if you need the added motivation to take the stairs in lieu of the elevator.

The display is the antenna for LTE and UMTS, which is a clever feat of engineering when many antennas are integrated into the strap making them stiff and uncomfortable. The Apple Watch Series 3 will also use a e-SIM, which also cuts down on the size. This means the Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 3 are almost the same size.

The Series 3 will start at £329 for the GPS model and £399 for the cellular + GPS option. The Series 2 will drop to £249.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

SanDisk Ultra MicroSD UHS-I 400GB card

PC Mag reports: [edited]

The 15 x 11 x 1mm SanDisk Ultra MicroSD UHS-I 400GB card is Class 10 rated and offers transfer speeds of up to 100MB/s.

It carries the A1 Application Performance rating, meaning 10MB/s writes, random read IOPS (Input/output operations per second) of 1,500, and write IOPS of 500.

Price: $249.99

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Kickstarter reports: [edited]

We made the Cyclotron the most versatile and technically advanced bike available today.

The Cyclotron is equipped with

– Spokeless wheels
– Airless tires (solid polymer, last +6,000 miles)
– Internal E-Gear Box & Encapsulated Drive Train
– Integrated Smart Lights & Li-Ion Battery

[Ed. Cautionary note, this was due to be shipping in June, which has left some backers questioning whether this will every be produced.]

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Essential Phone

The Verge has published a generally positive review of Android creator Andy Rubin's smartphone.

Snippets follow:

"Although it runs standard Android, it's meant to act as a vanguard for Essential's new ecosystem of smart home devices and services connected by the mysterious Ambient OS."

"Available unlocked or at Sprint, the $699 Essential Phone is an ambitious device. It has a unique way to connect modular accessories, starting with a 360-degree camera. It has a bold take on how to make a big, edge-to-edge screen paired with top-flight materials such as ceramic and titanium."

"The 5.7-inch screen on the Essential Phone is bigger than what you'll get on an iPhone 7 Plus or a Pixel XL, yet the phone itself is much smaller. It’s much closer in size to the smaller counterparts of those phones, the iPhone 7 and Pixel."

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Great 78 Project

kottke reports: [edited]

Through the Great 78 Project, the Internet Archive has been digitising 78rpm records produced from 1898 to the 1950s. Over 25,000 recordings are currently available from artists like Edith Piaf, Irving Berlin, Lena Horne, and Duke Ellington.

Click here to browse/listen to the songs.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

London - Somerset - London, 05 & 06-08-17

London to Somerset
Blinded By Your Grace, Pt. 2 (feat. MNEK) - Stormzy
Teenager In Love - Marty Wilde
Fancy Pants - Kenny
Wonderful - Angel
Klapp Klapp - Little Dragon
Don't You Worry Child - Swedish House Mafia ft. John Martin
Ma Baker - Boney M
Pinball Wizard - The Who
Shake It Out - Florence + The Machine
Don't Look Back - Matrix & Futurebound Feat. Tanya Lacey
One Week - Barenaked Ladies
Red Eyes - The War On Drugs
Plug In Baby - Muse
Summertime Sadness - Lana Del Rey Vs. Cedric Gervais
Summer Paradise - Simple Plan ft. Sean Paul
This Town (feat. Tippa Irie & Horseman) - The Skints
I Will Dance (When I Walk Away) - Katzenjammer
Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes
Gertcha (live) - Chas 'N' Dave
Mountain Sound - Of Monsters and Men
Rope - Foo Fighters
Youth - Foxes
C-C-C-Cinnamon Lips - OK Go
Love Action (I Believe In Love) - The Human League
My Lover Cindy - Marika Hackman
Little Sister - Ry Cooder
Out of Touch - Daryl Hall & John Oates
I Touch Myself - m*a*s*h feat. Stacie D
Music to Watch Girls By - Andy Williams
Mister Sandman - Emmylou Harris
I Wanna Be the Only One - BeBe Winans/Eternal
Genius of Love - Tom Tom Club
Standing In The Way Of Control - The Gossip
#Thatpower (Feat. Justin Bieber) - Will.I.Am
Fantasy - Appleton
Blow Me (One Last Kiss) - P!nk
I Eat Cannibals - Toto Coelo
Good Times (remix) - Chic
Come & Get It - Selena Gomez
Jeepers creepers - Louis Armstrong
I Keep Forgettin' - Michael McDonald
Hash Pipe - Weezer
I'm So Excited - Pointer Sisters
I Got U - Duke Dumont feat. Jax Jones
There She Goes - Taio Cruz
Only The Horses - Scissor Sisters
Scribble (Radio Edit) - Underworld
Day By Day - Godspell
Supernature - Cerrone
Snoopy vs The Red Baron - Royal Guardsmen
Tell Me When - The Human League
Boogie Oogie Oogie - Taste Of Honey
Don't Stop - 5 Seconds Of Summer

Somerset to London
Jubel - Klingande
Hotel Yorba - The White Stripes
Girl On Fire - Alicia Keys
If I had Words - Keali'i Reichel
Classic - MKTO
King Of The Kerb - Echobelly
Into the Groove - Madonna
Love Machine (Girls Aloud cover) - Arctic Monkeys
My Boy Lollipop - Millie Small
Pompeii - Bastille
Gecko (Overdrive) - Oliver Heldens X Becky Hill
Say Nothing - Example
Any Way You Want It - Journey
I Need Your Love (Ft. Ellie Goulding) - Calvin Harris
Amateur Hour - Sparks
Don't Stop Movin' - S Club 7
Jesus walks - Kanye West
The Way - Fastball
Turn Me On - David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj
Cracklin Rose - Neil Diamond
I Won't Change You - Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Brokenhearted - Karmin
It Doesn't Have To Be This Way - Blow Monkeys
Love It When You Call - The Feeling
Down On The Corner - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Always The Sun - Stranglers
Can You Hear Me? (Ayayaya) - Wiley ft. Skepta, JME & Ms D
Supersonic - Oasis
Dibby Dibby Sound - DJ Fresh vs. Jay Fay feat. Ms Dynamite
Lazy Day - Spanky & Our Gang
So Right, So Wrong - Linda Ronstadt
Let It Whip - Dazz Band
What A Way To End It All - Deaf School
Shake It Off - Taylor Swift
San Franciscan Nights - Eric Burdon & The Animals
Airhead (single) - Thomas Dolby
Dance With Me - Le Youth feat. Dominique Young Unique
Heaven Is A Halfpipe - OPM
Goodbye To Love (Remix) - The Carpenters
Tell That Girl To Shut Up - Transvision Vamp
Live While We're Young - One Direction
Losing My Religion - R.E.M.
Bubblegum - Mystery Jets
Battleship Chains (Kick 'n' Lick Remix) - The Georgia Satellites
Saturday Night - Whigfield
3 Little Words - Frankmusik
Slung-lo - Erin McKeown
All Night Long - Alexandra Burke Ft Pitbull
Emotion (remake) - Destiny's Child

Gran Turismo Sport To Feature Virtual Photo Shoots

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

Players of the next version of PlayStation’s Gran Turismo Sport will be able to create professional looking photographs of their cars using a new feature that offers a surprising amount of ‘photographic’ control over the way the images turn out.

Called 'Scapes', it lets players place cars in a wide range of scenes—from landscapes to city streets and interiors. A control panel down the side of the screen has software-like sliders for exposure compensation, aperture, shutter speed and focus. The car can be turned and parked where you like, the lights switched between beam settings, and the colour temperature of the whole scene can be adjusted.

Users can alter the color balance of shadows, mid-tones and highlights using RGB sliders, while grain effects can be added along with vignetting and distortion corrections. And you blur the background using a panning effect, to deliver a race day atmosphere in one of around 1000 scenes.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The Evolution Of Trust

If you feel so inclined, and have 20-30 minutes to spare click here to see how Nicky Case uses game theory to answer the question "Why, even in peacetime, do friends become enemies? And why, even in wartime, do enemies become friends?"

Thanks to Brook for the link.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Avionics V1 Electric Bicycle

Digital Trends reports: [edited]

Avionics has gone with a 1930s minimalist design that includes sweeping lines and an extremely low profile. The company then took the aesthetic one step further by building the V1’s brake levers, fork covers, seat, motor case, and other elements from Jatoba wood.

The bike is outfitted with a 5000-watt, brushless electric motor that is capable of achieving pedal-assisted speeds of up to 36 miles per hour. That drive system is powered by a 24 Ah lithium-ion battery, which gives it a range of up to 75 miles and a recharge time of under three hours.

The V1 is equipped with 203-millimeter disc brakes and 26-inch tires on both the front and a chrome-plated headlamp capable of putting out as much 1,000 lumens of light. A bank of 18 COB LEDs serves as the bike’s tail light.

At the moment, it is unclear what the price and release date for the Avionics V1 will be. The company says we can expect pre-orders to begin in September when an Indiegogo campaign is expected to launch. Early-bird adopters are promised a 40 percent discount when that happens.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

'Origami' Office Space

Ten Fold Technology reports: [edited]

This film shows a 64 square meter office unit that opens and closes in 10 minutes using a hand-held battery-powered drill. Everything you see in the unit at the end of the film was already inside it at the start.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Free Font - Zilla Slab

Font Squirrel reports: [edited]

Zilla Slab is Mozilla’s core typeface, used for the Mozilla wordmark, headlines and throughout their designs. A contemporary slab serif, based on Typotheque’s Tesla, it is constructed with smooth curves and true italics, which gives text an unexpectedly sophisticated industrial look and a friendly approachability in all 6 weights.

Thanks to Conrad for the link

Thursday, July 06, 2017

All Volvo Cars To Be Electric/Hybrid By 2019

The Guardian reports: [edited]

All new cars launched by Volvo from 2019 onwards will be partially or completely battery-powered, in what the company called a “historic end” to building models that only have an internal combustion engine.

Between 2019 and 2021, the firm will introduce five 100% electric models, and ensure the rest of its conventional petrol and diesel range has a hybrid engine of some form.

The cars that Volvo produces from 2019 onwards will range from battery-only to plug-in hybrid – which can run for a significant distance before switching to petrol or diesel – and mild hybrids, where a battery helps a conventional engine achieve greater fuel economy.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

2017 iPhone Photography Award Winners

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

When the iPhone Photography Awards were established in 2007, the first iPhone had just been released and its 2MP images were... well, they were nothing to write home about. Fast-forward to 2017, and the winners of this year's 10th annual IPPAs are stunning, taking full advantage of a decade's technological advancement.

[Ed. One of the article’s comments sums things up nicely: "My first 35mm camera was a Konica Auto S2 purchased at a PX in Vietnam in 1966 for $35. Still have it, still works. My iPhone 7+ takes photos of comparable IQ, fits in a shirt pocket, always with me, has date and time, GPS data, and can be transmitted instantly. Also movies, panorama, HDR. Memory cards support near infinite capacity. Apps provide PP, and EXIF info."]

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Microsoft’s AI is first to reach a perfect Ms. Pac-Man score

The Verge reports: [edited]

The perfect score for arcade classic Ms. Pac-Man has been achieved. Maluuba — a deep learning team acquired by Microsoft — has created an AI system that’s learned how to reach the game’s maximum point value of 999,900 on Atari 2600, using a unique combination of reinforcement learning with a divide-and-conquer method.

Although AI has conquered a number of retro games, Ms. Pac-Man has remained elusive, due to the game’s lack of predictability. Maluuba tasked out responsibilities to over 150 agents. The team then taught the AI using what they call Hybrid Reward Architecture — a combination of reinforcement learning with a divide-and-conquer method. Individual agents were assigned piecemeal tasks — like finding a specific pellet before working in tandem with other agents to achieve greater goals. Maluuba then designated a top AI agent that took suggestions from the other agents in order to inform decisions on where to move Ms. Pac-Man.

The best results came when individual agents “acted very egotistically” and the top agent focused on what was best for the overall team, taking into account not only how many agents wanted to go in a particular direction, but the importance of that direction. (Example: fewer agents wanting to avoid a ghost took priority over a higher amount of agents wanting to pursue a pellet.) “There’s this nice interplay,” says Harm Van Seijen, a researcher with Maluuba, “between how they have to, on the one hand, cooperate based on the preferences of all the agents, but at the same time each agent cares only about one particular problem. It benefits the whole.”