Graphing calculators have clung on to school lives despite us all carrying around smartphones that are several magnitudes more powerful. (Let’s not even get into wearables.)
In a bid to reduce cheating in exam settings, Texas Instruments is pulling support for assembly- and C-based programs. If you install the latest firmware update, those kinds of programs won’t work, and you won’t be able to roll-back the device.
While this could please teachers worried that students will use apps on their calculator to cheat during exams, enthusiasts are, unsurprisingly, mad. It reduces the control programmers have over their calculator apps. It also might not have the intended effect.
Some have already found ways to bypass the calculators’ Exam Mode — the updates may block ‘casual’ cheaters, but not determined ones. How much do you need that grade?
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 leaks hint at S20 Ultra and giant dimensions
Even the base Note 20 may be huge.
The Galaxy Note family tends to borrow a few cues from the S series that preceded it, but these cues might be more conspicuous than usual this year. Leak-based renders for the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20+ suggest that big screens are the order of the day — the usual for Note devices. The Note 20+ will reportedly have a 6.9-inch screen, like the S20 Ultra, while even the ‘regular’ Note 20 would boast a 6.7-inch display. It would be a big jump from the relatively petite 6.3-inch Note 10 of last year. Continue reading.
Two of Apple's former HomePod masterminds prep a 'revolutionary' speaker
This includes the architect of one of the HomePod's key features.
There is no shortage of smart speaker options, but here’s another challenger. Financial Times sources say that ex-Apple design legend Christopher Stringer (who worked on the HomePod, Apple Watch and iPhone) and engineer Afrooz Family (who was heavily involved on the spatial audio system on the Apple smart speaker) are using their startup Syng to develop a “revolutionary” speaker system that would tackle both the HomePod as well as Sonos’ home audio devices — and the rest.
Their upcoming Cell speakers would reportedly use a mix of Stringer’s design and Family’s audio engineering to produce “immersive [audio] rendering” with sound “indistinguishable from reality,” according to the investment pitch.
The first Cell speaker is due in the fourth quarter of the year, according to FT, but it’s not certain how the pandemic will affect that timeline. Continue reading.
Hacked NES Power Glove controls a modular synth with finger wriggles
It’s more artistic flourish than instrument.
Look Mum No Computer (aka Sam Battle) has hacked an NES Power Glove into a gesture controller for his modular synth setup. All he has to do is bend his fingers to adjust the filter cutoff, pitch, pulse width and volume. Yes, the result is just as strange and beautiful as it sounds — Battle just has to wriggle his fingers to add an extra flourish to an electronic tune. He’s gone further, making an animatronic hand that takes input from the synth to control the glove, which in turn controls the synth. It’s a feedback loop with a robot hand. Check out how it sounds right here.