modulates


Monthly Archives: October 2019

Seth Meyers pokes fun at Republican panic around the impeachment inquiry



On Thursday’s episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers, the host examined the US House of Representatives’ vote to endorse the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump – a vote that many Republicans had insisted would not pass.

In fact, White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway appeared on Fox News claiming “[The Democrats] don’t have the votes” — a clip Meyers juxtaposed deliciously with various news bulletins announcing the vote had passed.

“What? We can’t trust Kellyanne Conway?” joked Meyers. “I guess up is up and down is down.”

Meyers also touched on the possibility that Trump’s ex-national security adviser John Bolton will be called to testify, which will be interesting considering their less than amicable split. Read more…

More about Donald Trump, Seth Meyers, Late Night With Seth Meyers, Impeachment, and Trump Presidency

YouTube star Grandpa Kitchen, who cooked gigantic meals for orphans, has died



YouTube channel Grandpa Kitchen has announced its beloved star Narayana Reddy passed away on October 27. The 73-year-old resident of Telangana, India, rose to internet fame through his popular cooking videos, in which he prepared ridiculously large portions of food.

Reddy’s outsized meals weren’t a simple pursuit of internet notoriety, but a reflection of his equally outsized heart. The results of Reddy’s cooking went straight into to the mouths of hungry orphans, while the proceeds from his YouTube channel are reportedly donated to charities.

“Our goal is to provide basic necessities like food, clothing, school supplies and birthday gifts to orphans,” states Grandpa Kitchen’s Patreon. Read more…

More about Youtube, Food, Cooking, Obituaries, and Grandpa Kitchen

8th Wall’s new Cloud Editor helps customers quickly build mobile AR experiences



The world of phone-based AR has involved a lot of promises, but the future that’s developed has so far been more iterative and less platform shift-y. For startups exclusively focused on mobile AR, there’s been some soul-searching to find ways to bring more lightweight experiences to life that don’t require as much friction or commitment from users.

8th Wall is a team focused on building developer tools for mobile AR experiences. The startup has raised over $10 million to usher developers into the augmented world.

The company announced this week that they’ve built a one-stop shop authoring platform that will help its customers create and ship AR experiences that will be hosted by 8th Wall . It’s a step forward in what they’ve been trying to build and a further sign that marketing activations are probably the most buoyant money-makers in the rather flat phone-based AR space at the moment.

The editor supports popular immersive web frameworks like A-Frame, three.js and Babylon.js. It’s a development platform, but while game engine tools like Unity have features focused on heavy rendering, 8th Wall is more interested in “very fast, lightweight projects that can be built up to any scale,” the startup’s CEO Erik Murphy tells TechCrunch.

8th Wall’s initial sell was an augmented reality platform akin to ARKit and ARCore that allowed to developers to build content that supported a wider breadth of smartphones. Today, 8th Wall’s team of 14 is focused on a technology called WebAR that allows mobile phones to call-up web experiences inside the browser.

The main sell of WebAR is the same appeal of web apps; users don’t need to download anything and they can access the experience with just a link. This is great for branded marketing interactions where expecting users to download an app is pretty laughable, moving this process to the web with a link or a QR code makes life much easier.

The startup’s cloud-based authoring and hosting platform is available now for its agency and
business users.

Source

This tactile display lets visually impaired users feel on-screen 3D shapes



Using a computer and modern software can be a chore to begin with for the visually impaired, but fundamentally visual tasks like 3D design are even harder. This Stanford team is working on a way to display 3D information, like in a CAD or modeling program, using a “2.5D” display made up of pins that can be raised or lowered as sort of tactile pixels. Taxels!

The research project, a collaboration between graduate student Alexa Siu, Joshua Miele and lab head Sean Follmer, is intended to explore avenues by which blind and visually impaired people can accomplish visual tasks without the aid of a sighted helper. It was presented this week at SIGACCESS.

The device is essentially a 12×24 array of thin columns with rounded tops that can be individually told to rise anywhere from a fraction of an inch to several inches above the plane, taking the shape of 3D objects quickly enough to amount to real time.

“It opens up the possibility of blind people being, not just consumers of the benefits of fabrication technology, but agents in it, creating our own tools from 3D modeling environments that we would want or need – and having some hope of doing it in a timely manner,” explained Miele, who is himself blind, in a Stanford news release.

Siu calls the device “2.5D,” since of course it can’t show the entire object floating in midair. But it’s an easy way for someone who can’t see the screen to understand the shape it’s displaying. The resolution is limited, sure, but that’s a shortcoming shared by all tactile displays — which it should be noted are extremely rare to begin with and often very expensive.

The field is moving forward, but too slowly for some, like this crew and the parents behind the BecDot, an inexpensive Braille display for kids. And other tactile displays are being pursued as possibilities for interactions in virtual environments.

Getting an intuitive understanding of a 3D object, whether one is designing or just viewing it, usually means rotating and shifting it — something that’s difficult to express in non-visual ways. But a real-time tactile display like this one can change the shape it’s showing quickly and smoothly, allowing more complex shapes, like moving cross-sections, to be expressed as well.

Joshua Miele demonstrates the device

The device is far from becoming a commercial project, though as you can see in the images (and the video below), it’s very much a working prototype, and a fairly polished one at that. The team plans on reducing the size of the pins, which would of course increase the resolution of the display. Interestingly another grad student in the same lab is working on that very thing, albeit at rather an earlier stage.

The Shape Lab at Stanford is working on a number of projects along these lines — you can keep up with their work at the lab’s website.

Source

Small satellite startup Kepler opens sign-ups for its IoT developer kits



Kepler Communications, the Toronto-based startup that’s focused on developing and deploying shoebox-sized satellites to provide telecommunications services, is opening up registration for those interested in getting their first developer kits. These developer kits, designed to help potential commercial customers take advantage of its Internet of Things (IoT) narrowband connectivity deploying next year, will then be made available to purchase for elect partners next year.

This kind of early access is designed to give companies interested in using the kind of connectivity Kepler intends on providing a head start on testing and integration. Kepler‘s service is designed to provide global coverage using a single network for IoT operators, at low costs relative to the market, for applications including tracking shipping containers, railway networks, livestock and crops and much more. Kepler says that its IoT network, which will be made up of nanosatellites designed specifically for this purpose it plans to launch throughout next year and beyond, is aimed at industries where you don’t need high-bandwidth, as you would for say HD consumer video streaming, but where coverage across large, often remote areas on a consistent basis is key.

IoT connectivity provided by constellations of orbital satellites is an increasing are of focus and investment, as large industries look to modernize their monitoring and tracking operations. Startup Swarm got permission from the FCC to launch its 150-small satellite constellation earlierr this month, for instance, to establish a service to address similar needs.

Kepler, founded in 2015, has raised over $20 million in funding so far, and has launched two small satellites thus far, including one in January and one in November of 2018. The company announced a contract with ISK and GK Launch Services to deploy two more sometime in the middle of next year aboard a Soyuz rocket.

Source

Weatherman's Halloween costume leaves his coworkers laughing hysterically



Global News subsidiary Global Calgary had a guest meteorologist on their show this week, and he was pretty otherworldly.

Ferdinand, the mythical unicorn, jumped around set while the show’s anchors goggled at his magical ensemble. The tight white shorts, the metallic hooves, and flowing hot pink mane threw the crew over the edge, and nobody could stop laughing as he tried to report the weather.

“I didn’t even bother shaving, I thought maybe it would add to the whole thing,” Ferdinand, aka Global Calgary meteorologist Jordan Witzel, said towards the end of the clip.

“Sure, sure, that’s where the focus is,” another anchor responded, referencing his, uh, bulge.  Read more…

More about News, Funny, Bloopers, Unicorn, and Weatherman

Subscribe to our mailing list

Join our online network:

Copyright © 2011-2018 Modulates