Find Deep Discounts on International Flights Using This Search Tool

While travel often is something we plan weeks and months in advance with specific travel dates in mind, sometimes you just know where you want to go and you’re willing to make that trip whenever it makes sense.

This week some friends of mine that are digital nomads, in that they don’t have a home and are traveling constantly, introduced me to Kiwi—and I’m hooked. It

The site allows you to search for travel to specific destinations by travel dates, but also allows you to be willing to travel “anytime” and get suggestions on when makes the most sense for you to make that trip. The “when” might be sooner than you think.

I did a quick anytime search for flights from San Francisco to Paris and found a $267 round trip ticket that leaves on December 6th, in just a few weeks, and returns December 16th. If that didn’t quite work for me the site offered a number of other options that were around the same price with different departure and return dates.

Searches can be tailors by the cabin class you want to fly, how many stops you’re willing to take, and how long you’re willing to stay in the air, amongst other things.

One thing my friend’s liked about it was that when you search for one-way flights, the site will highlight the round-trip options that are cheaper than flying one-way as well.

It works a bit better for international travel than trips inside the US. It also pulls in info from smaller local airlines where you’re traveling, a definite bonus for US travelers who might otherwise only see local airlines that work with US carriers in their results.

If you’re thinking about taking a trip I the next few months, the site is worth giving a try—you might find a bargain.

via Lifehacker

November 9, 2019 at 08:01AM

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Happy Ball Want Outside: Dog Learns To Communicate Using Custom Soundboard

These are several videos of speech-language pathologist Christine Hunger’s dog Stella using the custom soundboard she’s been training with since puppyhood to communicate. The board currently contains 29 different words that Stella has learned individually, which she can string together to form thoughts much more complex than anything you’d read on Geekologie. Some more info about the first Instagram series of videos after the jump:

Video 1: After I said "Stella bed," she responded "Water." Sure enough, her water bowl was empty.
Video 2: Stella drank her water. After I said "Stella bed" again, she responded, "Toy ball want." We always leave Stella in her bed with her Kong toy. She had to make sure I found it first!
Video 3: After we found the Kong, Stella commented, "All done happy!" She got everything she needed and was ready for the day ?

Fascinating. You can follow Stella’s progress on Instagram or at HungerForWords. I actually started teaching my dogs to communicate using human language but abandoned the project when they started conspiring about how delicious I’d taste. I also stopped letting them sleep in the bed with me.
Keep going for some videos.

View this post on Instagram

Stella makes sure she has everything she needs before I leave for work! Take a look at this amazing series to see how Stella participates in our getting ready to leave routine: • Video 1: After I said "Stella bed," she responded "Water." Sure enough, her water bowl was empty. • Video 2: Stella drank her water. After I said "Stella bed" again, she responded, "Toy ball want." We always leave Stella in her bed with her Kong toy. She had to make sure I found it first! • Video 3: After we found the Kong, Stella commented, "All done happy!" She got everything she needed and was ready for the day ? • • • • • #hunger4words #stellathetalkingdog #slpsofinstagram #speechtherapy #AAC #slp #corewords #slp2be #aacawarenessmonth #earlyintervention #routines #languagedevelopment #dogsofinstagram #dogmom #doglife #dogs #animalpsychology #doglover #dogvideos #sandiegodog #catahoula #blueheeler #smartdog #dogcommunication #mydogtalks #animalcommunication #interspeciescommunication #loveanimals #kongdogtoys #ashaigers

A post shared by Christina Hunger, MA, CCC-SLP (@hunger4words) on

Thanks to DT, hairless, and Jocelyn, who agree pets being able to talk is a slippery slope.

via Geekologie – Gadgets, Gizmos, and Awesome

November 8, 2019 at 12:12PM

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The Water Is Already Low At A Florida Freshwater Spring, But Nestlé Wants More

Activists demonstrated recently in High Springs, Fla., to oppose Nestlé

Nestlé wants to increase the amount of water it withdraws from Ginnie Springs to nearly 1.2 million gallons a day, to the dismay of environmental groups and local activists.

(Image credit: Reagan Fink/WUFT)

via NPR Topics: News

November 8, 2019 at 05:04AM

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Xiaomi Debuts Smartphone with 108MP Camera

Posted by

Shane McGlaun |

Wed, Nov 06, 2019 – 9:15 AM

A Chinese smartphone maker called Xiaomi has launched a new smartphone that is aimed at the mainstream smartphone market with a massive camera resolution. The device is called the Mi CC9 Pro Premium, and it has a 108MP smartphone sensor. Xiaomi promises that the device has “extremely sharp photographs.”

The device has only been announced for the Chinese market at this time. In the market, the Mi CC9 Pro Premium is priced at 2,799 yuan, which would work out to about $400 in the states. Some early reviews indicate that the smartphone may produce images with more digital distortion than those made using lower resolution devices.

The significant advantage of a higher resolution image is that users can crop the image to reveal more detail than lower resolution images allow. The same smartphone camera sensor will be used in another device that is coming soon.

That device will be the Mi Note 10 that will launch this week and will have broader availability. Such a high-resolution sensor is often limited to digital cameras that can sell for hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

via Legit Reviews Hardware Articles

November 6, 2019 at 09:22AM

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Nest Secure Security System Gets Glass Break Detection

Nest announced this week that glass break detection is arriving for the Nest Secure security system early this month, specifically for the Nest Guard unit.

The way it works is simple. Users will need to have Nest Guard within 15ft. of whatever glass or door they want to monitor. If Guard detects the sound of a door or glass breaking, it instantly analyzes the sound on-device to confirm it was indeed that sound and not something else, then it goes about its alarm system duties (loud noises) and notifies you.

If you have a Nest Guard installed in your home, here’s the process of enabling this new feature.

How to Enable

  1. Open your Nest app.
  2. Tap the Settings icon on the Nest app home screen.
  3. Select Security > Security levels.
  4. Choose Away and Guarding or Home and Guarding.
  5. Tap Glass break detection.
  6. Turn on Glass break detection and choose the amount of time you want before the alarm sounds.
  7. To set up glass break detection in another security level, go back to step 3.

// Nest

via Droid Life: A Droid Community Blog

November 6, 2019 at 10:51AM

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Martin Scorsese Clarifies His Controversial Comments On Marvel Movies

Martin Scorsese made waves when he said Marvel movies are "not cinema." The famed Oscar-winning director has now clarified his remarks as part of an opinion piece for The New York Times–and he isn’t backing down.

Scorsese started off by stating that he does not detest Marvel, he just doesn’t see those types of superhero movies as "cinema" as he defines it. He said many franchise films are "made by people of considerable talent and artistry." He doesn’t watch or enjoy Marvel movies because they do not personally appeal to his "taste and temperament."

"I know that if I were younger, if I’d come of age at a later time, I might have been excited by these pictures and maybe even wanted to make one myself," he said. "But I grew up when I did and I developed a sense of movies–of what they were and what they could be–that was as far from the Marvel universe as we on Earth are from Alpha Centauri."

Scorsese–who won an Oscar for The Departed–said Marvel movies do in fact contain "many of the elements that define cinema as I know it." However, he says he can’t call Marvel movies true cinema by his definition because they lack "revelation, mystery, or genuine emotional danger."

"Nothing is at risk" in Marvel movies, Scorsese added. "The pictures are made to satisfy a specific set of demands, and they are designed as variations on a finite number of themes."

The director went on to say Marvel movies are effectively remakes in spirit in part because they have gone through a process that removes a semblance of personality.

"Everything in them is officially sanctioned because it can’t really be any other way. That’s the nature of modern film franchises: market-researched, audience-tested, vetted, modified, revetted, and remodified until they’re ready for consumption," he said.

Scorsese singled out directors like Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker), Ari Aster (Hereditary, Midsommar), and Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, Punch-Drunk Love) as movie-makers who create experiences that deliver "something absolutely new." Their movies take Scorsese to places of "unnameable areas of experience."

The director said he’s sharing his opinions about Marvel movies, superhero movies, and franchise films because he sees them as a threat to the traditional movie-going experience. Movie theatres only have so many screens, so they choose to run sequels and franchise films, while independent theatres are losing ground.

"In many places around this country and around the world, franchise films are now your primary choice if you want to see something on the big screen," he said. "It’s a perilous time in film exhibition, and there are fewer independent theaters than ever."

"If you’re going to tell me that it’s simply a matter of supply and demand and giving the people what they want, I’m going to disagree," he added. "It’s a chicken-and-egg issue. If people are given only one kind of thing and endlessly sold only one kind of thing, of course they’re going to want more of that one kind of thing."

You can–and should–read Scorsese’s full piece at NYT to better understand the context of his comments, and gain a full understanding of what he’s saying and why.

Scorsese’s original comments inspired other directors to speak out as well. The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola took things further, saying Marvel movies are "despicable."

"I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again. Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema," Coppola said. "He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is."

Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld said Scorsese and Coppola are entitled to their opinions, while pointing out that Marvel, DC, and others will not stop making superhero movies just because Scorsese and Coppola don’t like them. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, meanwhile, said in a post on Instagram that no one should be surprised by the comments made by Scorsese and Coppola.

Scorsese’s next movie is The Irishman, starring Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino. It is playing in select theatres now and debuts on Netflix on November 27.

via GameSpot’s PC Reviews

November 5, 2019 at 07:24PM

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SpaceX and Boeing Still Need a Parachute That Always Works

On Monday, a small capsule launched off its test stand at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, reaching speeds of more than 600 miles per hour in just seconds. The spacecraft was Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule, which will begin carrying NASA astronauts to the International Space Station next year. Later this week, SpaceX will also perform a test of its Crew Dragon capsule, a second try after a catastrophic explosion ended a similar trial run earlier this year.

These tests are meant to demonstrate the capsules’ ability to handle a suborbital emergency. If something goes seriously wrong while the astronauts are perched on top of a rocket, the capsules are supposed to jettison them to safety. Passing these tests is a major milestone as the two companies race to be the first to ferry NASA astronauts to space. But getting an astronaut safely off the pad doesn’t count for much if you can’t bring them just as safely back to Earth. And for that you need lots of big parachutes that are guaranteed to work every time—which is trickier than it sounds.

In Monday’s Starliner test, only two of the capsule’s three parachutes deployed. Technically the capsule only needs two to land safely back on Earth, and Boeing deemed the test a success. Still, parachutes have long bedeviled space companies, and Monday’s partial deployment suggests they continue to pose a significant technical challenge. SpaceX had a similar incident earlier this year when all of its parachutes failed to deploy during a drop test.

“Parachutes remain a challenging area for both providers,” an Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel report on Boeing and SpaceX’s commercial crew programs noted earlier this year. “Both providers have experienced technical challenges, albeit different ones, related to the deployment and performance of their parachute systems.”

Each company is going through a different certification process for their commercial crew program, but the parachutes ultimately face the same fundamental challenges. They have to withstand extreme forces as they slow a 10 ton vehicle from over 100 miles per hour to a running pace. Complicating matters, these loads are constantly shifting as the parachute inflates—if it inflates at all. Toss in some added randomness from the wind, and you’ve got yourself a wickedly complex engineering problem.

Before this week’s launch, Boeing had successfully tested its parachutes by dropping a Starliner test vehicle from a balloon five times. On Monday, once the Starliner capsule reached its peak altitude, it released the drogue parachutes that then pull out the much larger main parachutes. The main chutes’ canopies are wide enough to fit three school buses end-to-end. Boeing says it is still investigating why the third parachute didn’t open.

“It’s too early to determine why all three main parachutes did not deploy, however, having two of three deploy successfully is acceptable for the test parameters and crew safety,” Boeing spokesperson Todd Blecher said in a statement.

The parachutes used in Boeing’s Starliner are a scaled-down version of legacy parachute designs developed by NASA nearly 20 years ago as part of the Constellation program. After this Bush-era push to the moon was canceled, the Orion capsule was redesigned and outfitted with a new parachute system. Since the design of Boeing’s parachute system is so similar to NASA’s, the company had to perform fewer tests to demonstrate the system’s safety compared to SpaceX. But despite the extensive testing of the chutes, a Boeing spokesperson says there is still work to be done to ensure astronauts return safely back to Earth.

In particular, engineers are concerned about “asymmetric loading.” Different parts of a parachute experience different amounts of stress as the chute inflates, which means it’s critical to reinforce those areas that experience the most force. But that adds weight to the system, which restricts the carrying capacity of the capsule. So engineers try to limit reinforcements only to those areas that are absolutely necessary by modeling the chute’s deployment under various conditions.

via Wired Top Stories

November 5, 2019 at 03:54PM

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