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The Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame astounds us with a huge, rare collection

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LAS VEGAS—When we weren't pounding the pavement at last week's overloaded CES trade show, we at Ars Technica took whatever opportunity we could to nerd out in uniquely Vegas style. That didn't mean dumping our spare quarters into a Lord of the Rings-themed slot machine; it meant hitching a ride to the Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame.

This collection of roughly 260 working pinball, electromechanical, and video games has been open to the public for over a decade, with its 2006 opening followed by a size-boosting relocation in 2009 to a venue two miles down Tropicana Avenue. It arguably includes the most varied and valuable open-every-day collection of pinball and pinball-like games in the United States, if not the world—but you'd never know it by simply passing the building.

Sam Machkovech

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glenn
2 days ago
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Adding this to the bucket list!
Waterloo, Canada
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1 public comment
JayM
2 days ago
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Wow! Going here next time I'm in Vegas!
Atlanta, GA

The Electrek Review – Tesla Model 3, a promise delivered

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On December 29th, 2017, I took delivery of one of the first non-employee Tesla Model 3s.  This was a day which many of us longtime EV drivers have been waiting for a long time – the realization of Tesla’s “secret master plan” announced more than ten years ago.

A lot has happened between then and now, and the industry has changed significantly.  At the time, basically the only electric cars on the road in the United States were DIY projects, golf-cart-like “neighborhood electric vehicles,” and the few first-generation RAV4 EVs which had made their way into private hands. GM had recently crushed its stockpile of lease -only EV1s.

The “plan” was that Tesla would be an example for the rest of the industry, would come out with a great car and other manufacturers would follow upon seeing that example. The plan would mean more competition as other manufacturers would try to make better and better EVs until they reached parity and eventually surpassed gasoline.

more…





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glenn
8 days ago
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Look but solid review of the Tesla Model 3.
The future is now in the present.
Waterloo, Canada
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son-of-dathomir:A Happy Little Millennium Falcon

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son-of-dathomir:

A Happy Little Millennium Falcon

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fxer
10 days ago
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that's a helluva thick brush
Bend, Oregon
glenn
10 days ago
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:)
Waterloo, Canada
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Smells Like Teen Spirit in a major key is an upbeat pop-punk song

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This bent my brain a little: if you re-tune Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit in a major key, it sounds like an upbeat pop-punk song. Like, Kurt Cobain actually sounds happy when he says “oh yeah, I guess it makes me smile” and the pre-chorus — “Hello, hello, hello, how low” — is downright joyous. Although I guess it shouldn’t be super surprising…in a 1994 interview with Rolling Stone, Cobain admits that the song was meant to be poppy.

I was trying to write the ultimate pop song. I was basically trying to rip off the Pixies. I have to admit it [smiles]. When I heard the Pixies for the first time, I connected with that band so heavily I should have been in that band — or at least in a Pixies cover band. We used their sense of dynamics, being soft and quiet and then loud and hard.

“Teen Spirit” was such a clichéd riff. It was so close to a Boston riff or “Louie, Louie.” When I came up with the guitar part, Krist looked at me and said, “That is so ridiculous.” I made the band play it for an hour and a half.

Like me, if you don’t know a whole lot about music, here’s the difference between major and minor chords & scales.

The difference between major and minor chords and scales boils down to a difference of one essential note — the third. The third is what gives major-sounding scales and chords their brighter, cheerier sound, and what gives minor scales and chords their darker, sadder sound.

You can also listen to the song on Soundcloud.

See also this falling shovel sounds exactly like Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Tags: music   Nirvana   remix   video
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glenn
10 days ago
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holy crap what a total different feel
Waterloo, Canada
wmorrell
10 days ago
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Silicon Valley's Hypocritical Spirituality

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On January 1, as we marched into a new year hopeful and hungover, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey laid one on thick.

But his expression of performative spirituality came at the exact wrong time, the day before President Trump used Dorsey’s platform to send an especially harrowing threat to North Korea about US nuclear power.

Hours later, protesters in San Francisco were projecting messages of Dorsey’s complicity on the exterior of Twitter’s headquarters. This was the umpteenth time the Silicon Valley executive was accused of fostering an online culture and platform that has allowed abusive and violent language to thrive, while simultaneously and arbitrarily censoring other speech. In his tone deaf tweet about gratitude and meditation, the CEO of a company that facilitates and thrives on frivolous, toxic speech online was touting the benefits of silence.

The tech industry has embraced meditation and other mostly Eastern spiritual practices for decades now. Successful leaders like Steve Jobs and Richard Branson have openly espoused the importance of these practices in their careers, while Mark Zuckerberg and Jeffrey Skoll have traveled to an ashram in northern India to find their own dose of meaning.

But Dorsey’s tweet about a vipassana, the oldest Buddhist meditation practice, drives home a problem with this self-proclaimed nirvana-seeking population: Silicon Valley is exploiting age-old spiritual practices for the benefit of tech companies. And it’s in direct conflict with the actions of the people who are leading the industry.

Google, for example, promotes mindfulness and programs like Search Inside Yourself, which teaches employees self awareness and emotional intelligence, using techniques like—surprise—meditation. But Google employees have also complained of being overworked and unimaginably stressed. Replacing safer and healthier work standards with meditation is just a fancy way, it seems, of turning a industry-wide issue into an individual problem.

Silicon Valley is exploiting age-old spiritual practices for the benefit of tech companies.

The more tech seems to embrace spirituality, the higher the price tag on it becomes. Vipassana is traditionally offered by donation, and the retreats, if you can get a spot like Dorsey did, are technically available to everyone. But other popular getaways for the Silicon Valley crowd, like Esalen, a popular 50-year-old private retreat, can mean spending thousands of dollars, even if you bring your own sleeping bag.

Of course, the more tech companies promote meditation and spirituality, the more they also stand to gain from their own shiny version of superconsciousness, or highest spiritual potential. The meditation and mindfulness “industry” was worth $1 billion in 2015, according to Fortune, with dozens of meditation apps and services. And it’s only growing: former Twitter VP Ross Hoffman is now the chief business officer at Headspace, the biggest meditation app on the market. And Kevin Rose, tech investor and founder of Digg and Milk, announced his new meditation app, Oak, in October.

“It will be a great addition to the many other meditation apps you might be using today,” Rose wrote in a Medium post, acknowledging the redundancy. “I’ve learned through my studies of Zen, Vipassana, and Transcendental Meditation that it’s best to try different methods and choose the one that works best at that moment in time.”

Mindfulness, meditation, and yoga are not bad things. In fact, they are very good things. But to strip these practices of their context is to strip them of their power and authenticity. Vipassana on its own is one tiny part of Buddhism—there are other parts, like dharma, which loosely translates to duties and correct actions. If you want to get granular about it, it would appear that Jack Dorsey is shirking his duties by allowing for the proliferation of violence and hate speech on his platform.

Another important part of Buddhist teachings, and the foundation of various Eastern religions and spiritual practices, is sangha, or community. None of these practices are meant to be done in a silo. But Silicon Valley focuses on individualism, and promotes using meditation and mindfulness as a means of disruption, to get ahead, rather than collective growth.

It’s hard to watch a bunch of white dudes in one of the most affluent parts of the country, and possibly the world, cherry pick from ancient traditions and religions and claim they’ve found a new path. But it’s even harder to watch them use it as a distraction, a sort of spiritual bandage, while enabling actual abuse and negligence to happen on their watch.



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glenn
13 days ago
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"It’s hard to watch a bunch of white dudes in one of the most affluent parts of the country, and possibly the world, cherry pick from ancient traditions and religions and claim they’ve found a new path. But it’s even harder to watch them use it as a distraction, a sort of spiritual bandage, while enabling actual abuse and negligence to happen on their watch."
Waterloo, Canada
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Fear tap water is a toxic plot to control your mind? Here’s the water for you

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Enlarge (credit: Live Water)

Step aside, Juicero—and hold my “raw” water.

Last year, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Doug Evans brought us the Juicero machine, a $400 gadget designed solely to squeeze eight ounces of liquid from proprietary bags of fruits and vegetables, which went for $5 to $8 apiece. Though the cold-pressed juice company initially wrung millions from investors, its profits ran dry last fall after journalists at Bloomberg revealed that the pricy pouch-pressing machine was, in fact, unnecessary. The journalists simply squeezed juice out of the bags by hand.

But this didn’t crush Evans. He immediately plunged into a new—and yet somehow even more dubious—beverage trend: “raw” water.

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glenn
13 days ago
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Un-be-lievable
Waterloo, Canada
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