MuppetAphrodite

2,397 Flips | 7 Magazines | 133 Likes | 5 Following | 641 Followers | @MuppetAphrodite | User experience designer, actress, and gamer. Find me at http://blog.cherylplatz.com, http://facebook.com/thecherylplatz, or @muppetaphrodite

Batman and Superman's costume-swap double date is the best comic book story of the week

This week’s finest comic<p><i>Batman</i> #37 is about Batman and Superman taking their significant others on a double date. <i>Batman</i> #37 is also about them doing that <i>in each other’s costumes</i>.<p>This week’s issue of <i>Batman</i> is <i>also</i> about two old friends and two new ones, examining the uncertainty of commitment and the …

Taking a Ride Through Space Mountain at Walt Disney World With All of the Lights Turned On

Theme Park University took a ride through Space Mountain, the legendary indoor space-themed roller coaster at Walt Disney World, with all of the …

Ketamine found to rapidly reduce suicidal thoughts and depression

After recently drifting into recreational circles due to its hallucinogenic properties, ketamine is now being re-evaluated among medial researchers …

We Need More Women In STEM: The Girl Scouts Want To Help

The first step is proving to young girls that they can make a difference in typically male-dominated fields. What’s next, and more complicated: Keeping their interest and confidence as they learn.<p>The gender gap in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is a known and …

Amazon launches its Echo devices and Alexa in Japan

Amazon has continued its hardware push into Asia after it launched the Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot in Japan today.<p>Alongside the hardware, it is also making its Alexa voice assistant available in the country. That means that developers will gain access to Alexa Skills — which has support for …

Lyft is testing a new rider experience with a small percentage of users

Lyft is giving around 1 percent of its riders access to a different, beta user experience in its mobile app, starting today. The new look for passengers offers the same essential functionality, but is definitely a departure in terms of how the interface works for riders.<p>Lyft says via a spokesperson …

We’re all wizards now — ‘Pokémon Go’ developer sets its sights on Harry Potter

Niantic, the developer of 2016’s breakout augmented reality hit <i>Pokémon Go</i>, announced its follow-up: <i>Harry Potter: Wizards Unite</i>, set in J. K. …

Senators push to ditch Social Security numbers in light of Equifax hack

Eyeing more secure alternatives to Social Security numbers, lawmakers in the U.S. are looking abroad. Today, the Senate Commerce Committee questioned former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Verizon chief privacy officer Karen Zacharia and both the current and former CEOs of Equifax on how to protect …

Identity Theft

For Amazon, The Future Of Alexa Is About The End Of The Smartphone Era

With touch-screen devices like the Echo Show and Echo Spot, Amazon is trying to upend a decade of smartphones, notifications, and apps.<p>Picture a hypothetical future in which Amazon’s Alexa renders your smartphone unnecessary.<p>You tap the “good morning” button on your bedside Echo Spot, and it …

A self-driving shuttle in Las Vegas got into an accident on its first day of service

Surprise: it was the human’s fault<p>A Las Vegas-based self-driving shuttle service celebrated its launch day by getting into an accident with a human driver, according to a news report from local Nevada broadcast station <i>KSNV News 3</i>. The shuttle, made by French startup Navya and owned and operated by …

Researchers discover aluminum foil actually does improve your wireless speed

Researchers at Dartmouth University have found that a 3D printed shape covered in aluminum foil can improve wireless range and increase Wi-Fi security. The project, which appeared on Eurekalert, involves placing a reflector on and around a Wi-Fi router’s antennae to shape the beam, increasing range …

The former vice chairman of GM just predicted the car industry’s future: it has no future

It’s not every day a titan of industry predicts the demise of his own. But Bob Lutz, the former vice chairman of General Motors, believes the auto industry is not long for this world.<p>“It saddens me to say it, but we are approaching the end of the automotive era,” he writes this month for Automotive …

The iPhone X Is A User Experience Nightmare

How did we go from the most elegant user experience ever created to this mess?<p>If the iPhone X’s hardware features are the epitome of fluff over function, its new navigation gestures are the epitome of needless complexity over intuition.<p>Need proof? Just take a look at this cheat sheet published …

Who will the driverless car crash into? This cartoony simulator answers some truly horrible questions

It all depends on the car’s priorities<p>President Trump is crossing the road. No, you haven't heard this one before. It's not a joke – and it doesn’t …

Want to Really Teach a Robot? Command It With VR

Do me a favor and grab and object near you. Anything will do. Even if it’s something you’ve never handled before, odds are your brain automatically …

Robotics

Bandage-Like Gadget Could Make Stitches and Staples a Thing of the Past

A Seattle-based startup has developed an innovative “skin closure device” that exhibits the anchoring strength of sutures and staples, but is nearly …

Clinical Trials

Twitter officially expands its character count to 280 starting today

Twitter’s expansion to 280 characters is rolling out publicly today to all users in supported languages, including English. The company had first announced the controversial plan to move beyond its traditional 140 characters back in September, noting at the time how a longer character count allowed …

Social Media

Why Brian Michael Bendis' switch from Marvel to DC is such a big deal

A 20-year Marvel veteran switches sides<p>Brian Michael Bendis, a 20-year Marvel veteran, will join DC Comics, the publisher announced today. Not only will Bendis be writing DC Comics characters for nearly the first time, he’ll be writing them exclusively, breaking ties with Marvel Comics.<p>So Bendis’ …

Democrats In Washington State Win Full Control Of The Government

Manka Dhingra (D) won her special election to a state Senate seat, which switches control of the chamber.<p>WASHINGTON ― Democrat Manka Dhingra won Tuesday’s special election to a Washington state Senate seat ― a race that most people wouldn’t be paying attention to except that Dhingra just cemented …

This new "Star Wars" collection looks *exactly* like Leia's outfit on Hoth — and we need it ASAP

<i>The Last Jedi</i> is just over a month away from its release and we are trying (and failing) to contain our excitement in a very big way. It’s clear …

Star Wars

Amazon Has a Risky Strategy for Cutting Prices This Holiday Season

If you find more goods than usual on Amazon are discounted as the holiday season starts, that may not be because the sellers have chosen to cut their …

This AI Turns Unrecognizable Pixelated Photos Into Crystal-Clear Images

This artificial intelligence technology turns the “Enhance!” TV trope into reality.<p>Remember all the times you snickered when some TV character zoomed in on a photo and said “Enhance!” turning a blurred mess into a highly detailed, razor-sharp image? Now there’s a system–an artificial …

Elon Musk Reveals First Photo of Tunnel Under LA to Bypass Traffic

The tunnels could also one day be used for Musk's Hyperloop transit concept.<p><i>In brief:</i> The Boring Company and Elon Musk have completed about 152 meters of their tunnel project under the city of Los Angeles. Musk posted a photo of the tunnel's progress on his Instagram on Saturday.<p>DIGGING …

This app is like Shazam for fonts

WhatTheFont is a Shazam for fonts — a designer’s dream.<p>The app is a mobile version of the website previously developed by MyFonts, and recognizes any font you point at with your camera, including a variation of similar fonts to go with it. It also lets you buy the fonts you find directly through …

Alexa adds support for custom lists

Amazon today announced it’s improving one of Alexa’s most-used features: lists. The company is expanding both the Shopping list and To-Do list functionality to allow Alexa device owners to create their own lists for any purpose – beyond just things they need to pick up at the store, for example, or …

New Car Buyers Increasingly Interested in Apple CarPlay

CarPlay is becoming an increasingly important feature that consumers look for when purchasing a vehicle, according to a new report released today by Strategy Analytics.<p>In a survey querying future car buyers about their interest in Android Auto, CarPlay, and Baidu CarLife in the United States, …

Pirates of the Caribbean Pinball Machine Announced by Jersey Jack Pinball

Sextillion.<p>Update (May 10, 2018): We've played Pirates and uncovered some of its' secrets. Check out the video below!<p>Exit Theatre Mode<p>Pirates of the …

Pinball

Tesla employees bite back, calling recent firings a cost-cutting measure

After <i>San Jose Mercury News</i> first reported Friday that Tesla was firing 400 to 700 employees of the motors division, speculation swirled. The Model 3 was behind schedule, and terminating workers in the division seemed a less-than-ideal way to solve its current production issues.<p>A CNBC report today …

You Could Become an AI Master Before You Know It. Here’s How. - MIT Technology Review

At first blush, Scot Barton might not seem like an AI pioneer. He isn’t building self-driving cars or teaching computers to thrash humans at computer …

Machine Learning

Mapping the blockchain project ecosystem

Blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and token sales are all the rage right now. In the 5+ years I’ve been working in the VC industry, this is by and large the fastest I’ve seen any area of technology take off in terms of new company (or project) formation.<p>It wasn’t too long ago that founders …