Pour kettle and let steep the gods of tea. I built NewsBlur and Turn Touch.
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★ 10 Strikes and You’re Out — the iOS Feature You’re Probably Not Using But Should

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For many years now, iOS has offered an option in the Passcode section of the Settings all: “Erase all data on this iPhone after 10 failed passcode attempts.”

I’ve long been intrigued by this setting, but never turned it on, out of the vague fear that something could happen and I’d wind up with a wiped iPhone. Say, if a “friend” surreptitiously took my phone at a bar and entered 10 wrong passcodes as a prank. Something like that.

I asked on Twitter over the weekend how many people use this feature, and over 4,000 people responded to the poll. One-third use the feature, two-thirds don’t. Among those who don’t, the most common response, by far, is that they don’t use it because they’re the parents of young children, and they fear that their kids will trigger the erasure of their phone.

I had no idea until I looked into it last weekend, but it turns out this feature is far more clever than I realized, and it’s highly unlikely that your kids or jackass drinking buddies could ever trigger it. After the 5th failed attempt, iOS requires a 1-minute timeout before you can try again. During this timeout the only thing you can do is place an emergency call to 911. After the 6th attempt, you get a 5-minute timeout. After the 7th, 15 minutes. These timeouts escalate such that it would take over 3 hours to enter 10 incorrect passcodes.

It seems pretty clear from the responses to my poll that I wasn’t alone in thinking that this feature was more dangerous than it really is. I’ve got it turned on now, and I can’t think of a good reason why anyone wouldn’t enable this.

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samuel
20 days ago
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Wow, did not know that. Will be turning on this feature now.
The Haight in San Francisco
fancycwabs
18 days ago
I have a toddler and may turn on this feature in three years.
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I Built a Terrible N64 Controller for GameGrumps

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Because you can. This hilarious video shows you how to make a N64 controller that operates by screaming, no ‘B’ Button.

Via William Osman blog:

I hacked an N64 controller, so the player has to scream instead of pressing ‘B’.

What?

I used a relay and microphone to hijack the Nintendo controller’s ‘B’ button. If a player wants to press ‘B’ they need to make noise loud enough to trigger the relay.

NO ARDUINO OR PROGRAMMING REQUIRED just super janky electronics.

Why?

Arin Hanson of GameGrumps invited us to visit their office, and it’s not proper to show up empty handed.

As for where ‘scream sensor’ came from, I’ve got this box of ‘Arduino sensor modules’ and we dug through it imagining how you’d play old N64 games with inputs other than buttons.

Learn more!

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samuel
40 days ago
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Hilarious video. Also raises interesting ideas about alternate interfaces.
The Haight in San Francisco
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★ Lobe

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Lobe just launched publicly today:

Lobe is an easy-to-use visual tool that lets you build custom deep learning models, quickly train them, and ship them directly in your app without writing any code. Start by dragging in a folder of training examples from your desktop. Lobe automatically builds you a custom deep learning model and begins training. When you’re done, you can export a trained model and ship it directly in your app.

It’s a completely visual tool from designer Mike Matas and his co-founders Markus Beissinger and Adam Menges. I am always interested in anything Matas does, and Lobe is no exception.

You build and edit Lobe models through a web interface, and there’s a cloud API developers can use for finished models in production. But Lobe also exports to CoreML (for Apple platforms) and TensorFlow. My analogy: writing CoreML by hand is like writing PostScript by hand — possible, but only by a small number of talented experts. Lobe is to CoreML what Illustrator was to PostScript — a profoundly powerful tool that exposes the underlying technology to non-experts through an intuitive visual interface. Lobe looks utterly Matas-ian.

If you have any interest whatsoever in machine learning, drop what you’re doing right now and watch their 13-minute introductory tour. And if you’re not interested in machine learning, watch the video anyway and you’ll become interested in machine learning. It looks that amazing.

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samuel
50 days ago
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Hoooooly moly this demo is incredible. I'm going back to grad school this fall and I plan on taking a handful of machine learning courses and having something like this guide the way is going to be incredible.
The Haight in San Francisco
digdoug
50 days ago
Man, this is great news. Losing Push Pop bugged me. Facebook Paper was the only frontend that treated us better than the ad buyers. I work for a few data scientists these days, and having a tool that fits the way I think will definitely help me career wise. [And let me skip grad school for another decade]
vitormazzi
50 days ago
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Brasil
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Reconsidering the Hardware Kindle Interface

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Craig Mod:

What is the iOS Kindle interaction model? The iOS Kindle model is the “hidden spaces” model. That is, all active interface elements are invisible. This “hidden spaces” model of interaction is supremely user antagonistic.

There are no affordances to the taps. No edges to the active areas. Nothing to hint at what might happen. This creates what I call a “brittle” interface — where one wrong tap sends you careening in an unknown direction, without knowing why or how you got there.

I’ve had several Kindles over the years, and never liked one enough to really enjoy it. I agree completely with Mod’s suggestion that they had hardware buttons for page turning and the menu.

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samuel
53 days ago
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I just got a Kindle Oasis this year as my first Kindle. I love it but I wish that the touch screen interface didn't do page turns. I want it to just be for selecting and highlighting text. I hate losing my place, esp. because there are hardware buttons that I use just fine for page turning.
The Haight in San Francisco
kemayo
53 days ago
You can temporarily disable the touchscreen stuff. It’s not ideal, from the description: http://blog.the-ebook-reader.com/2017/12/14/heres-how-to-disable-the-touchscreen-on-kindle-oasis-2/ (I’m still on a Voyage, so I’ve been following this but don’t have personal experience with it.)
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Turn Touch Wooden Smart Home Remote

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My thanks to Turn Touch for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed to promote their beautiful wooden smart home remote. Ever wanted to control Spotify on your phone without looking at your phone? Do you have smart lights like Philips Hue and want a phone-free way to change scenes and colors? Turn Touch is your answer.

Turn Touch is a wooden smart home remote. Forget plastic, this is a remote as stylish as your home. It controls every smart home device that speaks Wi-Fi. You can also use it to control your Mac and iOS devices over Bluetooth. This includes Keynote, iTunes, Quicktime, Spotify, Sonos, and lots more.

Buy a remote for your home or office for only $59 (with free shipping). It’s a great gift for friends or yourself.

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chrisrosa
60 days ago
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Get yourself something nice to hold to control your home. /ref @turntouch
San Francisco, CA
satadru
61 days ago
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My first ad share, for a very nice product.
New York, NY
samuel
61 days ago
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Turn Touch has launched and I’m now shipping them out. I bought an ad on DF and it’s doing pretty well.
The Haight in San Francisco
ptnik
59 days ago
awesome :)
popular
59 days ago
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Supervisors To Consider E-Scooter Ordinance

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Citywide
Bird scooter down on franklin

Photos: Carrie Sisto/Hoodline

Legislation is moving forward that would allow SFMTA to impose permit requirements on companies that have rolled out dockless electric scooters across the city.

As we reported in March, mobility companies Spin, LimeBike and Bird placed an unknown number of e-scooters on city sidewalks. The devices hold significant appeal to some commuters, but many city residents are finding them a nuisance.

Because electric scooters aren't specifically prohibited, there are few restrictions on where they can be stored. Although it's illegal to ride them on sidewalks and users are required to wear helmets, those prohibitions are frequently ignored.

A Bird scooter left at Geary and Hyde.

An ordinance proposed last month sponsored by District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin and District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim would impose permitting and enforcement regulations on dockless e-scooters similar to what was adopted for dockless bike share programs, Peskin’s chief of staff Sunny Angulo told Hoodline.

If passed, the new rules would likely result in SFMTA establishing a permitting program for scooter companies that also requires them to provide helmets, she said.

The ordinance would also allow SFMTA to impose administrative penalties if companies violate the permit requirements. The Department of Public Works would be authorized to remove and impound any unpermitted scooters.

A Bird scooter left near a curb ramp.

“State law already requires that these scooter riders wear helmets and stay off the sidewalks, though they are currently permitted to ride in the bike lane,” Angulo said. Riders are also required to have a valid drivers' license and keep their speed below 15 miles per hour, but it’s difficult to enforce those provisions, she added. 

The legislation will be considered by the Board of Supervisor’s Land Use and Transportation meeting on Monday, April 16th at 1:30pm.

Committee members will vote on the ordinance after a public comment period, Angulo said. If it passes, it would go before the full Board of Supervisors for consideration.

Pedestrian and bicycle advocates have expressed mixed feelings about the e-scooter emergence. More mobility options can reduce the number of car trips and reduce traffic and pollution, but some scooters are blocking curb ramps, sidewalks, and crowding bike lanes.

This Bird scooter was left in the middle of the sidewalk on Post Street.

In response, pedestrian advocacy group Walk SF created a Facebook photo album that aggregates photos of scooters strewn on sidewalks.

“San Francisco’s sidewalks must remain a safe, protected space for people to walk,” said Walk SF’s executive director Jodie Medeiros in a press release. “Suddenly, motorized vehicles are zooming along the sidewalks. That’s unsafe, and it’s illegal.” 

Scooter-sharing company Bird yesterday issued a press release stating its opposition to an “impending emergency action by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.” Bird is concerned the supervisors are pushing through a ban on their shared scooters as a knee-jerk reaction to constituent complaints.

A LimeBike scooter outside a Metreon entrance. | Photo: Steve Bracco/Hoodline

Under the city's legislative process, new rules must be held for 30 days before they can be brought to committee to give the public—and city staff—time to review the proposal, Angulo said.

The regulations and rules being proposed "are not bans, they are designed to help manage the myriad of competing interests for use of our public realm," she said.

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samuel
70 days ago
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I rode a Bird yesterday and it was amazing. I would gladly do that again. The scooters are everywhere, cost about the same as a bus. They can cost less, but for a cross town ride like I was doing, it was $2.80.

These things are fun, convenient, and as a regular cyclist I feel perfectly safe on them, if not more so because they are speed limited to well below what I hit on my bike.

I look forward to these e-scooters being in every city. And they will be.
The Haight in San Francisco
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