Mobile

Here’s how to make Alexa control a toilet because why not



 Alexa-controlled toilets are a thing in 2018 but cost thousands. An enterprising person can make their own by following these instructions. It takes a bit of work, multiple components and about $750 (plus the cost of the toilet) but the end result is a voice controlled toilet and everyone needs that in their life. The trick is buying a bidet that has an IR remote and then using a Adafruit… Read More

Humans sow seeds of destruction by abusing poor robot just trying to walk through a door



 You may remember last week that Boston Dynamics’ latest robot, a trim and yellow Spot Mini, has learned to open doors. Seems like at this point you don’t want to anger them. They will find you. Or rather, they’ll find the company’s designated robot abuser and punish him for stopping poor robots from doing what they have been told to do. Soon Spot Mini will not be the one… Read More

Mozilla and NSF awards $380K to small projects connecting the unconnected



 The FCC may be hard at work at “bridging the digital divide,” as Chairman Pai so frequently puts it, and the Connect America Fund II will help. But while the big players are setting up, people all over the U.S. are going without reliable internet. Mozilla and the National Science Foundation are awarding cash to projects that aim to connect those still waiting on the bandwidth we… Read More

Mixer, Microsoft’s Twitch competitor, adds game sales



 Twitch has long since allowed its streamers to generate revenue from their channels through things like subscriptions, virtual tipping, and game sales. Today, Microsoft is adopting one of those features for its own game streaming service, Mixer, with today’s launch of “Direct Purchase.” The addition will allow streamers to promote purchases – including game titles and… Read More

Ultrasound could waken a sleeping smart home



 The home of the future, we are assured, will be swarming with tiny sensors: security cameras, carbon monoxide detectors, speakers, and everything else. Few need to be running all the time — but how do you wake them up when they’re needed if they’re off in the first place? Ultrasound. Read More

Facebook’s plan to unite AR, VR, and News Feed with 3D posts



 What if you could digitally sculpt a 3D object and share it on Facebook, play with it in virtual reality, or insert it into your world with augmented reality? Facebook is polishing up stages one and two today after first debuting posts of interactive 3D models in News Feed in October that you can move and spin around. Now Facebook 3D posts support the industry standard glTF 2.0 file… Read More

Sonos One is the speaker to beat for those that want great sound and smarts



 The connected speaker wars are upon us, and one day they will be detailed in history books for all to remember. But here now, it can be hard to cut through the various narratives surrounding the options out there and pick a winner. Now that the cards are on the table in terms of offerings from the major players, however, it’s pretty clear that Sonos has the best option available for… Read More

Instagram Direct one-ups Snapchat with replay privacy controls



 Messaging is the heart of Snapchat, so after cloning and augmenting Stories, Instagram is hoping to boost intimate usage of Direct with privacy controls not found elsewhere. Now when you send an ephemeral photo or video from the Instagram Direct camera, you can decide whether recipients can only view it once, replay it temporarily, or will see a permanent thumbnail of it in the chat… Read More

Tenor hits 12B searches in its GIF keyboard every month



 David McIntosh’s startup Tenor builds a GIF keyboard — but he actually hopes you’ll spend as little time searching on it as possible.
Instead, Tenor’s aim has been to collapse the amount of time it takes for you to find a GIF you like and send it to a friend. Instead of trying to get people to come to the service and kind browse around on the keyboard or a different… Read More

Snapchat adds GIF stickers via Giphy, plus new Friends and Discover screen tabs



 Snapchat is bringing one of the best recent features of Instagram Stories to its own app, with the ability to add GIF stickers from Giphy to your posts. This is a notable reversal of the typical pattern we’ve seen of Instagram cloning Snapchat features, but it’s a good one for users since GIF stickers for Stories are basically the greatest thing ever invented on social media. The… Read More