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Welcome to Red Slime, the personal journal of Orange Claymore. This site contains work I have done over the years, audio and video. Things i like to do are as followed; skateboarding, computers, video games, listening to bad music, guns and creating music (check noise section). I also pass live feeds of interesting and related topics. Explore and have fun.

UPDATE: Redslime has now branched off into a recording studio named “The Loft”. New updates and posts coming soon.

Apple Pay Could Be Coming To Small Businesses, Thanks To Square

Apple Pay Could Be Coming To Small Businesses, Thanks To Square

Since it launched last month, Apple’s mobile payment system has been doing pretty well for itself. But the list of participating stores, while impressive, is dominated by big names. Thanks to plans to team up with Square, a credit-card processing service for small firms, that could all change.

In its current guise, Square is (mostly) a mobile credit-card reader that lets small businesses — think artists, or moms selling home-made jewellery on the side — process credit card payments without the need for an expensive point-of-sale terminal. But thanks to its forays into the world of mobile payments, many people saw it as a competitor to Apple Pay.

But according to Square’s founder, Jack Dorsey, Square is really “a [cash] register, and this register accepts all these forms of payments”. To that end, Dorsey is planning to build Apple Pay compatability into Square’s service, starting sometime next year. According to CNN’s report, that will require hardware changes to Square’s existing mobile card reader, which is a module that plugs into smartphones. But with most handsets already featuring a NFC reader, the capability might be there to allow for Apple Pay transactions without new Square hardware — or, in theory, any hardware at all.

All that means Apple Pay might become the payments system of choice for small businesses and self-employed folk — provided that Square can get all the technicalities sorted out, of course. [CNN]

Source Article from http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/QaGeTIvFb3U/apple-pay-could-be-coming-to-small-businesses-thanks-t-1662107133

One year in, here’s what our readers think of the Xbox One

Since the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One launched in North America last year, our readers have had plenty of time to get to know both systems. Last week, we took a look at what you had to say about the PlayStation 4 one year in. Now, we’re shining a light on what you think of the Xbox One on its first anniversary. What works and what doesn’t? And what still needs improvement?


When the Xbox One hit North American shelves a year ago, there was a lot to like about Microsoft’s third video game console. Still, it wasn’t a total slam dunk. In our review, we said that while it had “little in the way of visual charms,” the controller was a refinement of an industry standard and the dashboard “outclasses the competition.” The voice controls were “magical” when they worked — which they often didn’t. The same could be said of the launch games lineup for the Xbox One, which ranged from gorgeous “graphics powerhouses” like Forza Motorsport 5 to titles “not worth your money” like Crimson Dragon and Dead Rising 3. Suffice to say, then, there were definitely a few issues with the Xbox One at launch. To find out if Microsoft has addressed them, we turn to our readers and the user reviews they’ve written for us.

For starters, the One has certainly been a pleasant addition to our readers’ living room decor, with nikolaskp noting that its bulky build “blends so nice with my furniture.” RyTheGeneral finds the “utilitarian design to be modern and sublime,” though both UXGeek and JPASTENE thought it reminded them of existing objects in their entertainment centers, with one saying it looks like a cable box, while the other found it reminiscent of a VCR from the ’90s.

The user interface also impresses. RyTheGeneral likes how “clean and modern” it is, while thiel says it’s been “getting better with every system update.” There are still some issues here and there, with UXGeek finding the media sharing “abysmal” and the snap feature “broken.” Ultimately, though, users have been pleased with the speed at which things have improved: cbcharlie says that as a media device it’s “not perfect,” but it’s “getting there with every update.”

Many readers found themselves struggling to adjust to the voice control, with RyTheGeneral making sure to “speak clearly and annunciate my words,” while UXGeek finds himself “shouting commands at the Xbox repeatedly” to the annoyance of his wife, who gets “angry at 3 AM” when she’s trying to sleep. As he notes, “this sorta defeats the purpose of the headphone mic.”

That said, these issues haven’t stopped our readers from using the Xbox One to play games. Indeed, cbcharlie says there are “some fantastic titles out right now,” while RyTheGeneral was a little more specific, noting “franchise staples like [Halo] The Master Chief Collection and Forza are the backbone while daring new IPs like Project Spark and Sunset Overdrive try to innovate.” Reader cbcharlie even went so far as to call Forza Horizon 2 “mind-blowing.” Still, it seems like the current lineup of titles is a little lacking. JPASTENE hasn’t “enjoyed the selection of games we have received,” including exclusive darling Titanfall, which he says got old after about a month. The best games UXGeek played ended up being the free ones included with Xbox Live Gold, though thiel says you would probably never buy them and “XBL Gold membership offers nearly no extra value.”

The Xbox One is definitely a system our readers like, just not enough. For instance, theraspiguy says it’s “a great console, but honestly, I still regularly use my Xbox 360.” UXGeek feels that Microsoft “under delivered,” and despite being pumped for the system a year ago, “a year later that zeal is gone.” Meanwhile, thiel was a little more scathing, calling it “so bad” that it “can barely outsell the misunderstood child of Nintendo, Wii U!” They also said “you’re probably better off with PS4 on the long run” and UXGeek agrees, saying, “I should have stuck with the PS4.” Ultimately, while REZIN8 notes that “things are changing for the better,” for the time being, users like JPASTENE are just not completely satisfied with their console purchase.
















Source Article from http://www.engadget.com/2014/11/22/xbox-one-user-review-one-year-later/?ncid=rss_truncated

Cloning a Board from Pictures on the Internet

[Andrew] was a pretty cool guy in the early 90s with an awesome keyboard synth that did wavetable synthesis, sampling, a sequencer, and an effects processor. This was a strange era for storage; a reasonable amount of Flash memory was unheard of, and floppy disks ruled the land. [Andrew]‘s synth, though, had the option to connect SCSI drives. Like all optional add ons for high-end equipment, the current price for the Ensoniq SCSI card is astronomical and [Andrew] figured he could build one of these cards himself.

Poking around eBay, [Andrew] found the card in question – just a few passives, some connectors, a voltage regulator, and an odd chip from AMD. This chip was a 33C93A, a SCSI controller, and a trip down the Chinese vendor rabbit hole netted him one for $7. Can’t do better than that.

With the datasheet for the chip in hand and a few reasonable assumptions on how the circuit worked, [Andrew] tried to figure draw the schematic. After doing that, he found another hobbyist that had attempted the same project a few years earlier. All the nets were identical, and all that was left to do was sending a board off to the fab.

A quick trip to Front Panel Express got [Andrew] a mounting bracket for the card, and after plugging it in to the synth revealed a new option – SCSI. It worked, and with an ancient SCSI CD-ROM drive, he had boatloads of offline storage for his synth. Great work, and something we’d love to see more of.

 

Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/hackaday/LgoM/~3/Yl0HyME5cYQ/

The sounds of repairing shoes are surprisingly satisfying

The sounds of repairing shoes are surprisingly satisfying

I can close my eyes and just listen to the noises of all the work that goes into repairing shoes. The machines pressing down, the cutting of the sole, the sanding, the stitching, the brushing of the glue. It’s a symphony of satisfying noises. It’s the only soundtrack you need.


SPLOID is delicious brain candy. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Source Article from http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/xv2SYPNWAzM/+caseychan

You can use Twitter activity to track unemployment

Anti-job cut protest in Madrid

Governments aren’t usually quick to react to changes in demographics. They frequently have to take surveys that are not only slow, but don’t always paint a complete picture of what’s going on. Researchers at the Autonomous University of Madrid have discovered a far more effective way of keeping tabs on the population, however: tracking Twitter updates. They’ve found that the content, frequency and timing of tweets across Spain correlate well with joblessness levels in their respective regions. People in high unemployment areas tend to not only mention jobs more often in their posts, but tweet more in the morning and make a larger number of spelling mistakes. Since it’s both easy and quick to collect that information, it’s possible to track economic patterns almost as they happen — you can see when a financial crisis hits a city hard, or when there’s a job boom.


The study doesn’t guarantee that Twitter-based tracking will work elsewhere. The university only looked at several months’ worth of tweets in Spain; their methods would have trouble in areas where Twitter isn’t popular, of course, and it’s hard to say if it would fly in many other countries. However, the findings suggest that governments could supplement their usual data with social network stats and make quicker policy decisions about all kinds of issues. They could even respond to disasters sooner than usual. This doesn’t mean that officials would make smarter decisions, but they might not have to wait years to realize that they’ve made mistakes.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Andres Kudacki]
















Source Article from http://www.engadget.com/2014/11/21/twitter-activity-unemployment-tracking/?ncid=rss_truncated

Upgrading a Laminator for Toner Transfer PCBs

If you need a circuit board now, you’re probably looking at a toner transfer process; all you need to make a PCB is a copper clad board, a laser printer, some special paper, and the usual etching chemicals. The quality of these boards is highly dependant on the quality of transferring toner to the copper, and getting the process right is as much an art as it is a science. A clothes iron is the easy way of transferring the toner to the board, but if you’re looking for repeatability, you’ll probably want a laminator.

Laminators, too, also vary in quality. The king of toner transfer laminators is the Apache AL13P. With four heated rollers and a steel chassis, it’s enough to do some serious heating. [mosaicmerc] came up with an amazing mod for his Apache laminator that takes all the guesswork out of the settings, and does it all in one pass for maximum repeatability and PCB quality.

The Apache laminator in question is a beast of a machine that drives four rollers with a synchronous motor and also has a ‘reverse’ button that sends the laminations out the front end of the printer. Stock, a toner transfer PCB would require dozens of passes through the Apache, but [merc]‘s mod takes care of everything for you.

The addition that makes this possible is a small board with a PIC12 microcontroller. This microcontroller connects the motor driver board and the display interface together, triggering the reverse button to move the board 5/8″ forward and 1/2″ back, giving the laminator an effective speed reduction of 12:1. This method also has the bonus of not tampering with the motor or control circuitry, and allows for multiple passes in the same run.

With this modification, the Apache AL13P becomes the perfect solution to transferring toner to a piece of copper, with the ability to transfer 10mil traces on 1oz copper. The board also offers some other features like thermal sensor failure shutdown and a cool-down mode that overrides the heater. If you’re looking for an easy way to step up your toner transfer PCBs, you can’t do much better than this mod.

Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/hackaday/LgoM/~3/hvYfCkF-kDI/

The UK Now Has Poop-Powered Buses

The UK Now Has Poop-Powered Buses

America has the Tesla electric car, Britain has… a poop bus. Bristol Airport now has a bus that will shuttle people to Bath city centre, powered solely by human and food waste.

To be specific, it’s the biomethane gas produced by the anaerobic digestion treatment of said waste that the bus runs on. Anaerobic digestion sees oxygen starved bacteria breaking down biodegradable materials, with methane-rich gas a by product of the process.

The 40 seater can travel 186 miles on a single tank, which is the equivalent of five people’s annual waste. The gas is stored in dome-like tanks on the bus’s roof, with the vehicle emitting 30 per cent less carbon dioxide compared to a conventional diesel engine.

“Gas-powered vehicles have an important role to play in improving air quality in UK cities but the Bio-Bus goes further than that and is actually powered by people living in the local area, including quite possibly those on the bus itself,” said Mohammed Saddiq, general manager at GENeco, the Wessex Water subsidiary whose Avonmouth sewage works provides the biomethane gas that powers the bus. [BBC]


The UK Now Has Poop-Powered Buses

This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.

Source Article from http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/YOGp9NdUqek/the-uk-now-has-poop-powered-buses-1661529129

Blinkbox brings offline movie and TV streaming to the iPad

Blinkbox

Unlike mobile books and games, video streaming is completely dependent on an internet connection. That’s fine when you’re at home, but if you’re on your way to work or generally on the move, viewing your favourite movies and TV shows can be quite a hassle. Recognising that people might want to keep kids quiet in the back of the car or enjoy a quick episode on their way to work, Tesco’s Blinkbox is now letting customers download films and TV episodes for offline use. Currently, you’ll need an iPad to take advantage of the feature, and even then you’ll still need to actually buy or rent the video you want to watch via a browser (instead of in the app). However, once you’ve done that, it’s a simple case of hitting the little download arrow next to your chosen title before heading out of the door (assuming you’re already connected to WiFi).


















Source Article from http://www.engadget.com/2014/11/21/blinkbox-offline-streaming-ipad/?ncid=rss_truncated

Speaker Cabinet Boom Box Build

When you get that itch to build something, it’s difficult to stop unless you achieve a feeling of accomplishment. And that’s how it was with [Rohit’s] boombox build.

He started out with a failing stereo. He figured he could build a replacement himself that played digital media but his attempts at mating microcontrollers and SD cards was thwarted. His backup plan was to hit DX for a cheap player and he was not disappointed. The faceplate he found has slots for USB and SD card, 7-segment displays for feedback, and both buttons and a remote for control. But this little player is meant to feed an amplifier. Why buy one when you can build one?

[Rohit] chose ST Micro’s little AMP called the TDA2030 in a Pentawatt package (this name for a zig-zag in-line package is new to us). We couldn’t find stocked chips from the usual suspects but there are distributors with singles in the $3.50-5 range. [Rohit] tried running it without a heat sink and it gets hot fast! If anyone has opinions on this choice of chip (or alternatives) we’d love to hear them.

But we digress. With an amp taken care of he moved onto sourcing speakers. A bit of repair work on an upright set got them working again. The bulky speaker box has more than enough room for the amp and front-end, both of which are pretty tiny. The result is a standalone music player that he can be proud of having hacked it together himself.

Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/hackaday/LgoM/~3/BZJvvL8J_L0/

5 New Details That Show How Apple Wants Us To Use Its Watch

5 New Details That Show How Apple Wants Us To Use Its Watch

This week the Apple Watch made a big step towards reality, with the release of WatchKit for developers of watch apps. Hidden within a fairly mundane document are plenty of glimpses at how Apple envisions smartwatches fitting in with our lives.

With WatchKit come Apple’s Watch Human Interface Guidelines, which lay out the company’s recommendations for nearly every detail of app design, from color to logos to gestures. Here are a few telling points.


Watch interactions should take seconds, not minutes

5 New Details That Show How Apple Wants Us To Use Its Watch

The WatchKit guidelines, even though they’re developer-specific, contain loads of general info about how Apple hopes consumers will live with the watch. Perhaps the smartest takeaway is the company’s insistence that users shouldn’t be glued to their watches.

“A Watch app complements your iOS app; it does not replace it,” it says. “If you measure interactions with your iOS app in minutes, you can expect interactions with your Watch app to be measured in seconds.” It’s nice to know that developers are getting guidance as to what they can reasonably expect from their users. Throughout the guidelines, the message is simple: Less is more.


Reading is possible, if not exactly recommended

5 New Details That Show How Apple Wants Us To Use Its Watch

The digital crown is one of the most interesting aspects of the slew of new UI elements encased in the Apple Watch. When the device was announced, the repurposed crown was presented as a way to zoom in and out of the home screen, and scroll through pages. Now we’re getting more of a sense of why that’ll be so useful.

Designed for finely tuned, accelerated scrolling—without obstructing the Apple Watch display—the Digital Crown makes it easy to scroll through longer pages,” Apple says. In other words, the crown solves a solution to one big problem with smartwatches: How to scroll through long pages without your finger getting in the way.


Typefaces should adapt for your eyes

5 New Details That Show How Apple Wants Us To Use Its Watch

You’ve probably already heard about San Francisco, the brand-new typeface that Apple designed specifically for the watch. But the UI guidelines give us more information about why it’s suited for small screens.

Unlike some fonts, San Francisco will condense or expand based on the size of the letters. If you’re reading tiny text, for example, the kerning will expand so there’s more space between each letter—as will the size of the punctuation and the size of the holes in letters like “e” and “a”. This will make it much less difficult to read the watch’s tiny text.


You’ll control the notifications

5 New Details That Show How Apple Wants Us To Use Its Watch

While your iPhone’s notification center is sometimes less than ideal for handling short blips of info, an interaction called Glances is a solution to a problem that iOS has struggled to solve. You can think of a glance as a Google Now card: A short blip of information that comes from an app, but that is “timely and contextually relevant,” presumably based on situational input like location.

Importantly, you’ll decide when you see those glances. “Unlike an alert pushed to a device, Glances are accessed at the wearer’s discretion,” says Apple.


Force Touch adds a secondary layer of interaction

5 New Details That Show How Apple Wants Us To Use Its Watch

We already knew that the watch’s Retina screen would be able to interpret the force of your finger. But now we’re getting a glimpse of how that sensitivity will impact the UI.

“A small screen can only accommodate so many controls,” Apple writes. “Force Touch interactions display the context menu (if any) associated with the current screen. Apps use this menu to display actions relevant to the current content.” That’s why Force will act like a secondary layer of interactions. You’ll use it to access a higher level menu that displays options within each app.


…But we still don’t know much about the Taptic Engine

5 New Details That Show How Apple Wants Us To Use Its Watch

One thing that isn’t mentioned in the guidelines? The Taptic Engine, which will supply the vibrating notifications from apps.

Back in September, Apple intriguingly said that the engine will supply a range of vibrations customized to each app, so “you feel a tactile sensation that’s recognizably different for each kind of interaction.” Presumably, Apple will be controlling those sensations, and it’ll be interesting to find out more about them. This could be one of the more interesting ways we interact with the watch, but we’ll have to wait to find out just how big a role the tactile aspects of the UI will play.


Source Article from http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/RY3Fuxthe0Y/5-new-details-that-show-how-apple-wants-us-to-use-its-w-1661147687