YouTube redesign tests replacing Library with ‘You’ tab

YouTube redesign tests replacing Library with ‘You’ tab

 YouTube has long maintained its own design language that sets it apart from other Google apps. YouTube for Android is now testing a somewhat notable redesign that replaces the Library tab with “You.”

This test sees YouTube remove your profile avatar in the top-right corner and move it to the bottom bar. It serves as the icon for a new “You” tab that combines the functionality of the previous account menu and Library. All Google apps have that account pic in the same position, and this YouTube redesign breaks that consistency. It’s somewhat reminiscent of Instagram and other social media apps, which might be the point (see: Shorts).

Your channel information appears first along with buttons to Switch account, Google Account, and Turn on Incognito. App settings are accessed from the gear icon that only appears on this page, and is faster to access than before.  

Next are carousels for History and Playlists, with the latter no longer being a continuous list for a big usability change that reflects how this is no longer a Library page. That said, it could be argued that it’s less important for the main YouTube app to have one than YouTube Music or TV.

Your videos, Downloads, Your clips, Your movies, Your Premium benefits, Time watched, and Help & feedback round out this page.

We only have one report today of this You tab replacing the YouTube Library.

If YouTube proceeds with the redesign, it would further branch off from other first-party apps. YouTube maintains everything from its own font to icons. At this point, it’s likely not getting a Material You bottom bar — tall or otherwise. 

More on YouTube:

Thanks, Samuel

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Genius Cliques: Mapping out the Nobel Network | by Milan Janosov | Sep, 2023

Genius Cliques: Mapping out the Nobel Network | by Milan Janosov | Sep, 2023

The network of Nobel laureates. Image by the author.
Towards Data Science

This piece was originally published in the second issue of Nightingale, the printed magazine of the Data Visualization Society.

Even though I got my Ph.D. in Network and Data Science, I have always stayed close to my roots, especially in Physics, whenever seeking inspiration. Growing up in Hungary, I was particularly amazed by the achievements of “The Martians,” a group of renowned scientists who emigrated from Hungary to the US around World War II. Interestingly, some of them even went to the same high school.

The Martians included, for instance, Leó Szilárd, who not only discovered the theory of nuclear chain reaction but also co-patented the refrigerator with Albert Einstein and Eugene Wigner–a key scientist at the Manhattan Project–leading the development of the first nuclear reactor. For his contributions, Wigner received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963, numbering among the 18 Nobel Prizes that have been linked to thinkers with Hungarian origins.

Those 18 prizes only measure about three percent of all the Nobel Prizes ever awarded. In fact, since 1901, about 600 prizes have gone to somewhat less than a thousand laureates in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, Peace, and–starting in 1969–Economics. The site highlights other exciting statistics about the prize and its awardees: from the youngest (17 years old) and oldest (97) laureates to multiple-prize winners such as John Bardeen (Physics, 1956 and 1972), Linus Pauling (Chemistry 1954, Peace 1962), and Marie Skłodowska-Curie (Physics 1903, Chemistry 1911).

The Curie family dominated the Nobel. Marie Curie first shared a prize with her husband, Pierre, and later received a second award. Additionally, the mighty couple produced a Nobel-winning heir. Their daughter, Irène Curie, who shared the recognition with her husband, Frédéric Joliot, was awarded the prize in the field of Chemistry in 1935. Marie Curie was a member of another fabulous example of the interlinked small world of laureates (sadly, Pierre passed away in 1906): the Solvay Conference on Physics in 1911. It was probably the most impressive line-up in science ever: 27 of the 29 participants had either already won, or later received, the Nobel Prize.

The stories of the Martians, the Curie family, the Manhattan Project, and the Solvay Conference all suggest that, behind the scenes, some seriously intertwined social networks are at work among Nobel laureates. To trace this network, I went to the most widely used online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, and collected the Wiki page text of each laureate.

Then, in each laureate’s page text, I counted the mentions of all the other names, noting whether any pairings shared a common history noteworthy for Wikipedia. This way, I built a network of 682 nodes and 588 links, where nodes correspond to laureates, and the strength of the link between two nodes is proportional to the number of times their Wiki sites reference each other. Additionally, I downloaded the total view count of each laureate’s page and set their network node size proportional to the logarithm of that number. This node scaling eventually highlighted those that have become household names. To finalize the network visualization, I applied color coding that corresponds to the scientific disciplines. You may find the result in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Nobel Network. The network of Nobel laureates with at least one connection, based on the cross-references between their Wikipedia pages. Each node corresponds to a laurate, edge widths measure the number of cross references, and node size is proportional to the total view count of their Wiki pages. Color encodes the disciplines they were awarded (in the case of multiple different awards, a color was picked at random from the awarded disciplines). Nodes with the highest view counts are labeled.

To me, as a network scientist, the first and most striking observation about the network is its core-periphery separation: a large, connected component in the center (a so-called giant component) which contains more than 30 percent of the nodes, and a fragmented ring around it with smaller network components, with sizes up to ten nodes. The most frequent component sizes are as few as two and three nodes, which aligns well with the fact that the Nobel Prize can be shared among a maximum of three laureates, and shared prizes are becoming more and more common in the majority of fields.

I also realized that nodes in the giant component are larger, meaning significantly higher visibility and a greater number of search hits for those laureates, as measured by logarithm of their Wiki view counts. After looking into the data, it turns out that the median Wiki-view count is 351,005 in the central component, while only 170,510 for the outer ring, and the average view count value is about 2.5 times higher for the central component than for the outer ring. So it seems, the central clique is way more popular!

But who are they? The coloring with the green-yellowish shades versus reddish tones is meant to distinguish sciences from humanities, coinciding with the left and right sides of the giant component. These sides are linked by Sir James Chadwick, who won the 1935 Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering the neutron and who also became a scientific advisor to the United Nations. The science side (Figure 2a), headlining researchers like Albert Einstein and Max Planck, seems to have a strong root in the Prussian Academy of Sciences (1700–1945) and is also strong amongst the founders of modern Physics, from the Curies to Enrico Fermi and Eugene Wigner or György Hevesy (both with Hungarian and Martian roots).

Figure 2a. Zoom-in of Figure 1, focusing on the clique in sciences.

On the humanities side (Figure 2b), we can see some quite popular figures. Apparently, science is not the way to world fame! There are immediately two central laureate organizations that strike the eye: the European Union and the United Nations, both awarded Nobel Peace Prizes. Notable individuals include prominent politicians, such as Barack Obama or Henry Kissinger, the human rights activist Nelson Mandela, and the economist Milton Friedman (with Hungarian, but non-Martian, roots).

As for the outer parts, there are a few famously social individuals, such as Ernest Hemingway, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Richard Feynman — personally, my favorite Nobel laureate for both his scientific contribution and his playful and eccentric personality. These individuals, despite living busy lives, are somewhat isolated from the network, likely due to the time and geographical locations of their active years compared to other laureates. Additionally, the data may be incomplete here as Wikipedia is neither perfect nor 100 percent accurate in documenting social connections, and sadly (or not?), Facebook did not exist at that time.

Finally, the Hungarians and the Martians: looking at the data, it turns out that many of them are not connected to even a single Nobel laureate, and those who are members of the network are simply scattered around. The reasons behind this are unclear — maybe the legend of the Martians is overrated, or maybe there weren’t enough of them awarded a Nobel to appear in the network visibility. One thing is for sure, though: the Manhattan Project counted seven Nobel laureates while it was operational and, later, a dozen more, but among them only Wigner was from the Martians.

Figure 2b. Zoom-in of Figure 1, focusing on the clique in humanities.

As inspirational as it is to scan all these names and connections in The Nobel Network, and despite how it makes me truly feel as if I’m “standing on the shoulders of giants,” the network has its flaws. Besides the peripheral Eastern Europeans, we see an elite club emerging in the center with the majority of popular names clustered together in the giant component, excluding two-thirds of the network. This suggests that two-thirds of the laureates just walk away with the prize and go back to their work, and only the remaining third engage in visible connections, be it friendships or collaborations. As “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” missing more than 60 percent of those brilliant minds from the central flow of ideas seems a pity.

Even more missed opportunities arise. The central component itself is split into two camps: science and humanities. This polarization very much goes against today’s main direction, interdisciplinary research, which gives us the power to tackle major societal problems never experienced before. Additionally, the network reveals the low number of female laureates. Despite the exceptional history of Marie Curie, only about six percent of laureates were female, most of whom were awarded the Peace Prize (16.5 percent of 109 awarded) and the least of whom earned awards in Physics (1.8 percent of 219 awarded).

Still, all is not lost. Mapping exercises like this one can help reveal these issues, which otherwise are barely visible, even to the most avid Nobel fans. Zooming out and utilizing network science can highlight otherwise hidden patterns and enable understanding, which is the first step in identifying future solutions, be it about gender gaps or elitist cliques.

Florida and Texas Social Media Content Moderation Bans Heading to Supreme Court

#Florida #Texas #Social #Media #Content #Moderation #Bans #Heading #Supreme #Court

Both Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed bills in the last few years trying to block social media companies from moderating content or otherwise banning accounts.
Photo: Justin Sullivan / Brandon Bell (Getty Images)

The GOP’s biggest gripes with big tech content moderation will have their day in the United States’ highest court. On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments for Florida and Texas’ big bills that have tried to stop big tech companies from moderating disinformation or other speech. The outcome has the potential to completely upset First Amendment protections enjoyed by most major social media platforms.

The discussions will revolve around Florida’s S.B. 7072 and Texas law H.B. 20, both of which make big tech companies with social media platforms vulnerable to lawsuits if they dare moderate user content. There are some differences between the two bills (the Florida bill has more to say about platforms specifically blocking political figures) though most of the complaints about this “censorship” have come from major Republican figureheads. Those bills led to quite a lot of consternation online, enough for some Redditors to call Texas Gov. Greg Abbott a “little piss baby.”

Despite their similarities, the Florida and Texas bills have had wildly different outcomes in the U.S. court system. Florida enacted its own big tech bill back in 2021 allowing people to sue social media companies up to $100,000 for content moderation on their posts. The following year, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals deemed the law unconstitutional save for a few provisions that allowed users to access their data up to 60 days after being banned.

Texas’ own bill was very similar to Florida’s in that it allowed users to sue social media companies for exercising the ban hammer or simply removing posts. The law centered around platforms with more than 50 million active monthly users, which just coincidentally avoided impacting major right-wing platforms like the now-defunct Parler and Truth Social. It was first blocked in federal courts, but one year ago to the month, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals gave H.B. 20 the green light. Conservative judge Andy Oldham notoriously wrote in his decision that the law “chills censorship,” not speech. He even went as far as to call out the platforms’ “obsession with terrorists and nazis… hypothetical.”

Big tech trade groups that have been pushing back against these laws were up in arms about the 5th Circuit’s decision. NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association were the main two forces challenging both the Florida and Texas laws. Both the states and trade groups supported bringing the discrepancy before SCOTUS.

The bills are essentially revenge for years of pressure campaigns leading to content moderation action. Bill proponents proclaim that platforms ranging from Facebook to TikTok are defacto public town squares, meaning that any moderation of speech is a limitation on their ideas. Never mind that most of these arguments have come from far-right politicians like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene posting misinformation as well as obviously incisive and outright violent content.

Still, there’s a chance that if the Supreme Court sides with the states on their “anti-censorship” laws, experts previously told Gizmodo that more than a dozen additional red states will pass similar legislation. The likely outcome would be that these platforms would simply pick up their toys and leave any state that enacts one of these bills. Otherwise, they would face the prospect of banning some content for users in some states but allowing it in others.

Quordle today – hints and answers for Sunday, October 1 (game #615)

Quordle today – hints and answers for Sunday, October 1 (game #615)

Quordle needs to be approached in a different way to Wordle. With four puzzles to solve in nine guesses, you can’t blindly throw letters at it and expect to win – you’ll stand a far better chance if you think strategically.

That’s the case in Wordle too, of course, but it’s even more important in Quordle.

There are two key things to remember. 

1. Use several starting words

Firstly, you won’t want just a single starting word, but almost certainly two or three starting words. 

The first of these should probably be one of the best Wordle starting words, because the same things that make them work well will apply here too. But after that, you should select another word or possibly two that use up lots more of the most common consonants and that include any remaining vowels.

For instance, I currently use STARE > DOILY > PUNCH. Between them, these three words use 15 of the 26 letters in the alphabet including all five vowels, Y, and nine of the most common consonants (S, T, R, D, L, P, N, C and H). There are plenty of other options – you might want to get an M, B, F or G in there instead of the H, maybe – but something like that should do the trick.

If all goes well, that will give you a good lead on what one or sometimes two of the answers might be. If not, well good luck!

2. Narrow things down

Secondly, if you’re faced with a word where the answer might easily be one of several options – for instance -ATCH, where it could be MATCH, BATCH, LATCH, CATCH, WATCH, HATCH or PATCH – you’ll definitely want to guess a word that would narrow down those options. 

In Wordle, you can instead try several of those in succession and hope one is right, assuming you have enough guesses left. It’s risky, but will sometimes work. Plus, it’s the only option in Hard mode. But in Quordle, this will almost certainly result in a failure – you simply don’t have enough guesses.

In the scenario above, CLAMP would be a great guess, as it could point the way to four of the seven words in one go.

Quordle today – hints and answers for Sunday, October 1 (game #615)

Quordle today – hints and answers for Sunday, October 1 (game #615)

It’s time for your daily dose of Quordle hints, plus the answers for both the main game and the Daily Sequence spin off. 

Quordle is the only one of the many Wordle clones that I’m still playing now, around 18 months after the daily-word-game craze hit the internet, and with good reason: it’s fun, but also difficult.

Realms Deep 2023 recap: Lots of 3D Realms release dates and a new Duke Nukem game (sort of)

Realms Deep 2023 recap: Lots of 3D Realms release dates and a new Duke Nukem game (sort of)

As promised by publisher 3D Realms, the 2023 edition of the Realms Deep streaming game event was full of announcements, like game premieres, new trailers, new demos, and more.

You can watch the entire Realms Deep event on YouTube (get some snacks; it’s nearly four hours long). There was so much revealed on the 3D Realms side, not to mention all of the other new game reveals and announcements from other indie game developers and publishers.

Here’s a quick recap of just some of the highlights of Realms Deep 2023:

Ion Storm: Aftershock – The long-awaited expansion pack to the Build Engine FPS got a new trailer, and you can buy and play the full expansion in just a few days, on Monday, October 2.

Phantom Fury – The Quake engine-based continuation of the Ion Fury universe won’t be out for a while, but you can check the new trailer and a new playable demo right now.

Wrath: Aeon of Ruin – This Quake engine game has been in Early Access for a long time. Today we got a new trailer and a final release date of February 27, 2024.

Kingpin Reloaded – This remastered version of Interplay’s 1999 controversial crime-themed first-person shooter Kingpin: Life of Crime was announced a while ago. Today at Realms Deep, we got a new trailer and a final release date of December 5, 2023.

Cultic Interlude – This Build engine horror-themed game released its first chapter a while ago. While Chapter 2 is coming in the future, you can get a free new ‘Interlude” section of the game right now.

Graven – This fantasy first-person RPG has been available in Early Access for a while, but the final version is coming out on January 23, 2024.

Ripout – This co-op sci-fi FPS looks pretty cool, and it’s coming very soon in Early Access. It will be available on October 24, but you can play the demo right now.

Twisted Tower – This is a newly announced first-person title from Atmos Games that mixes elements and inspriations from BioShock and Willy Wonka. There’s no release date yet for the game.

There were also a lot of notable non-3D Realms games revealed. One of them is Proteus: The Elder Veil, an upcoming expansion pack for the retro shooter Proteus. There’s no release date yet.

Finally, we wanted to mention that during Realms Deep 2023, it was mentioned that Duke Nukem is coming back. Zen Studios, the developers of many virtual pinball games, will release Duke Nukem: Big Shot Pinball, a new table for its Pinball M game. There’s no release date yet for the game.

CNC Soldering Bot Handles Your Headers

CNC Soldering Bot Handles Your Headers

Soldering pin headers by hand is a tedious task, especially when your project has a huge number of them. [iforce2d] has a large number of boards with a lot of headers, and has created a rather special CNC machine to to do the job. It’s a soldering robot, controlled by LinuxCNC and you can see it below the break.

Superficially it resembles a 3D printer made in aluminium, with an X-Y movable table and a Z-direction represented by a soldering iron and solder feeder on an arm. The solder feeder uses a Bowden tube, with a 3D-printer extruder motor pushing the solder wire down a PTFE tube and finally into a fine aluminium tube from which it’s fed to the iron tip.

Though he’s done a beautiful job of it, creating the machine is not all that’s required, because the tool path requires more attention than simply moving the iron to each pin and supplying some solder. There’s a need to consider the effect of that heat, how much each pad needs, and how much neighbouring pads contribute.

We’ve had repetitive soldering tasks just like this one though not on this scale, so we can understand the tedium this machine will relieve. We can’t however help being reminded of XKCD 1319.

Thronmax Space wireless mic kit review: an almost-great option for vloggers & more

Thronmax Space wireless mic kit review: an almost-great option for vloggers & more

The Thronmax Space wireless mic kit includes a useful and well-designed pack of condenser and lavalier mics and accessories that drops the ball with no included support for Apple mobile devices.

Thronmax has been making USB microphones for quite a while, but mostly the sort you might use for video-conferencing or podcasting when you need an upgrade from built-in mics. Their forthcoming Space mic set adds to their desktop line by expanding into wearable wireless mics.

This package is a great option for photographers, filmmakers, interview shows, or anywhere you need a wireless microphone. The kit comes in a “presentation” metal box with some faux leather on the top.

The presentation box

This nice touch makes it useful as a tray for easy access to the other items or as a soft top to rest delicate equipment, like a DSLR. The kit includes:

  • Two condenser microphones that double as wireless transmitters
  • Two lavalier mics with TRS cords that attach to the transmitters
  • A receiver module designed to look a lot like the transmitters
  • A vastly smaller zippered carrying case that everything can squeeze into for portability
  • Two windscreen filters for outdoor work
  • A TRS-to-TRRS adapter cord (compatible with Apple headphone jacks)
  • A TRRS-to-USB-C cord (Android-only, according to Thronmax)
  • A USB-A to USB-C tri-head cable (for charging the mics and receiver)
  • A two-page “manual” that explains what each piece is and some of its controls
The more compact travel version with the same contents

The more compact travel version with the same contents

It’s what this kit forgets to include that makes it frustrating for Apple users. To record these mics flowing into an iPhone or iPad, you must buy a TRRS adapter to Lightning and a TRRS adapter to USB-C.

If your Mac includes a headphone jack, you can use the included TRS-to-TRRS cord without issue. But the point of this kit is to record almost anywhere, so having no included way to record directly to an iPhone or iPad is a major shortcoming.

Thankfully, Apple sells TRRS adapters as 3.5mm headphone adapters for Lightning or USB-C for a mere $9 each. They work as mic and headphone adapters because they work with the built-in mic on EarPods.

To briefly explain TRS and TRRS for those unfamiliar: if you look at the plug end of a 3.5mm headphone or microphone, you’ll see a metal sleeve topped by a shaped tip and some black markings along the sleeve. The bit of the metal sleeve between the markings is called a “ring.”

A 3.5mm wired headphone that does not have a mic built-in will have one ring and is known as TRS, or Tip-Ring-Sleeve. The “ring” area is usually used for right-channel sound, and the tip is used for the left channel.

When a wired headphone does include a mic, you’ll see three black markings, designating two “rings.” This is a TRRS or Tip-Ring-Ring-Sleeve mic, where the tip is used for the left channel, the first ring is used for the right channel, and the lower ring is for grounding.

The TRRS plug goes into your adapter or headphone jack for Apple devices.

The TRRS plug goes into your adapter or headphone jack for Apple devices.

The wireless transmitters in the Thronmax Space kit are a brilliant bit of design work. Instead of just being transmitters, they double as small-capsule condenser microphones.

They feature a nice, compact, and rounded “barrel” design that will blend right in if you’re wearing black or dark grey. You can use the included lavaliers if they’re too bulky for your needs.

The lavalier mics plug into the transmitter and turn off the condenser mic. Being smaller mics, the lavaliers lose some sound quality but, like the condensers, can be combined into a stereo pair if desired.

The mic/transmitters and the receiver module feature a clip that works well with the vest, shirt collar, or jacket thickness. The clip also slides right into a camera’s hot shoe for easy recording if you’re using a DSLR, as most YouTubers do.

The clips on the mics and receivers fit perfectly into a DSLR's hot shoe.

The clips on the mics and receivers fit perfectly into a DSLR’s hot shoe.

Thronmax Space kit – Microphones

The condenser mics shine when you have someone speaking, but you also want some of the ambient environment sound— for example, the echo of a church or the sounds of the beach. The lavaliers are best suited to an interview situation or when you want much less ambiance to be included with the voice.

Microphones this compact are, of course, no match for large-capsule USB or XLR mics such as Blue’s Yeti, Rode’s NT1, or Thronmax’s array of desktop mics. But they do a good job of capturing voice with highs, lows, and midrange tones.

Even more importantly, the audio has no detectable “lag” that could cause sync issues with any recorded video. Our testing found this held true even when the subject was a considerable distance away.

These microphones have an impressive range when it comes to line-of-sight distances. We put them to the test in a 60-foot long, reverberant underground car park and different outdoor locations, such as by the ocean, while equipped with the provided windscreen. According to the manufacturer, these mics can maintain signal even at greater distances.

Indeed, we never once lost signal — even when our back was turned, walking away from the receiver, or as far as 200 feet away.

Thronmax Space kit – Cords and hardware

One key factor to ensure a good-quality recording is learning the receiver module’s minimalist controls. As with the transmitter mics, the on/off button is unmarked but pretty obvious, as it’s set off away from other buttons.

We found that the transmitters and receivers paired instantly without fail — no pairing required. That said, you can hold the power button on the transmitters to force pairing if necessary.

The receiver module also has a separate power button, an unmarked force-pairing button, and another unmarked button for adjusting the gain. Oddly, the gain is by default on full — which will result in distorted audio if the mic is too close.

The underside of the condenser mics/transmitters. USB-C is for charging only.

The underside of the condenser mics/transmitters. USB-C is for charging only.

In our testing, the two-thirds setting helped in noisy environments. The one-third setting was the norm for routine in-studio or quiet outdoor recording.

Once the gain is set, it is remembered until changed again. When the two mics are paired to make a stereo, they are perfect for recording nature sounds or live music.

The battery life on the mic/transmitters and receiver was also excellent, averaging about eight hours of “on” time. They can be quickly recharged using the tri-head USB-C cord to a USB-A port on a handy PC, older Mac, or battery pack.

If you don’t have an available USB-A port because you’re on location, you can use an adapter or hub to allow charging from a USB-C port. You shouldn’t need to recharge on a typical location shoot, but it’s best to have a battery pack to hand if you do.

The travel case makes for a tight fit to get everything in. However, it is wonderfully small and compartmented to make it easy to put everything in its place — even the fuzzy, tiny windscreens.

The presention box, and included (and far more practical) travel case.

The presention box, and included (and far more practical) travel case.

The designers put a lot of thought into the presentation, and it shows. This is why we are somewhat confused that the company does not make any sort of recording software for mobile devices — for any platform.

We used Rode’s Connect app for mobile devices since it easily “sees” when an external mic is available. Macs can use Rogue Amoeba’s excellent Audio Hijack.

Thronmax Space mic kit – Falls short of expectations

It’s important to note that the version of the Space wireless mic kit we reviewed is pre-release. Thronmax may correct the software, cords, and full Apple compatibility issues by the time it appears on retail sites and in stores.

Given their decent track record with Macs for their desktop USB mics, we hope the final product will be more Apple-friendly. You are good to go if you’re using an Android phone with a USB-C port for your recorder, apart from an actual recording app.

We have to review the product as we received it — and the lack of included iOS/iPadOS cord compatibility stops this from being a four-star review. Thronmax should also develop its own smartphone recording app or partner with another company to provide an app.

Simply put, using this kit should not require ordering one or more Apple accessories. An Apple-compatible Lightning and USB-C to TRRS adapter should be in the box, even if that means making the travel pouch a tiny bit bigger.

The condenser mics themselves, and especially the combo mic-and-transmitter design, are very high-quality and well-designed. They have a sound on par with some of their competitors in this small wireless-mic space, such as the Rode One wireless system or the Saramonic version.

The included lavaliers, being smaller mics, are, of course, not quite as good. That said, they are well-suited to keeping ambient noise low and fine for any scenario where hiring a boom mic operator would be impractical.

Thronmax Space wireless mic kit – Pros

  • Two mics and two types of mics included
  • True stereo recording option
  • Line-of-sight distance is impressive
  • Rock-solid pairing and connection
  • Good battery life, easy to recharge
  • Unique, well-built design

Thronmax Space wireless mic kit – Cons

  • No included iOS or iPadOS cables
  • Extra Apple accessories needed for iPhone/iPad recording
  • No accompanying recording app available
  • Charging cord connects to USB-A

Rating: 3 out of 5

Where to buy the Thronmax Space wireless mic kit

This project was originally fully funded via Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. Afterwards, it became available to preorder from the Thronmax website, priced at $169.

Will EVs Send OPEC Into a Death Spiral? – Slashdot

Will EVs Send OPEC Into a Death Spiral? – Slashdot

This week the UK’s conservative Daily Telegraph newspaper published an interesting perspective from their world economy editor.

“Saudi and OPEC officials self-evidently do not believe their own claim that world oil demand will keep growing briskly for another generation as if electric vehicles had never been invented, and there was no such thing as the Paris Accord.”
OPEC had to slash output last October in order to shore up prices. It had to cut again in April. The Saudis then stunned traders with a unilateral cut of one million barrels a day (b/d) in June. All told, the OPEC-Russia cartel has had to take 2m b/d of production off the table at a high point in the economic cycle, after China’s post-Covid reopening and at a time when the US economy has been running hot with a fiscal expansion roughly equal to Roosevelt’s world war budget.

That 2m b/d figure happens to be more or less the amount of crude currently being displaced by EV sales worldwide, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Yet the mood was all defiance and plucky insouciance at the 24th World Petroleum Congress in Calgary this month… This skips over the awkward detail that EVs are already on track to reach 60pc of total car sales in the world’s biggest car market within two years (not a misprint). The cartel is being hit from two sides. Petrol and diesel cars are becoming more efficient, gradually displacing 1.4bn vintage models disappearing into the scrap yard. BP says that alone will cut up to a tenth global oil demand by 2040. With a lag, EVs are now starting to take a material bite, with an S-curve trajectory likely to go parabolic this decade.

China’s EVs sales hit 38pc this summer, even though subsidies have mostly been scrapped. This is far ahead of schedule under Beijing’s New Energy Vehicle Industry Development Plan. China’s Chebai think tank says the emerging consensus is that EV sales will hit 17m or 60pc of total Chinese share by 2025, rising to 90pc by 2030, assuming that the grid can keep up… Vietnam is a few years behind but with similar ambitions. Its EV start-up, VinFast Auto, became the world’s third most valuable carmaker after it launched on Nasdaq last month, briefly worth as much as the German car industry before the share price came back down to earth…

OPEC’s central premise has long been that the rise of a billion-strong middle class in emerging Asia will more than offset declining oil use in the OECD bloc. That notion is ‘withering under scrutiny’… The International Energy Agency (IEA) says global oil demand will peak at 105.5m b/d in 2028 and then flatten for a few years before going into decline… The IEA pulls its punches. The Rocky Mountain Institute argues in its latest report — End of the ICE Age — that half of global car sales could be EVs by 2026, reaching 86pc later this decade.
The article closes by citing “the breathtaking pace of global electrification. The decline of oil in car and bus transport may be closer than almost anybody imagined. OPEC as we know it may be on the cusp of a death spiral.”

Hubble snaps a nebula glowing orange from young, hot stars | Digital Trends

Hubble snaps a nebula glowing orange from young, hot stars | Digital Trends

A new image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a nebula in the gorgeous colors of autumn, just in time for leaf-changing season in the northern hemisphere. It shows a part of a nebula called Westerhout 5, located 7,000 light-years away and also known as the Soul Nebula.

It is an emission nebula, meaning that its gorgeous colors and shapes are created by gas which has become ionized by starlight from bright, hot stars. As very massive stars are born and give off large gusts of radiation and streams of particles called stellar winds, these blow away nearby material which prevents more stars from forming too close. This creates cavities within the nebula, and in between these cavities more gas is pushed together. Then more stars can form in these now denser regions.

Just in time for the fall foliage season, this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope features a glistening scene in red. It reveals a small region of the nebula Westerhout 5, which lies about 7,000 light-years from Earth. Suffused with bright red light, this luminous image hosts a variety of interesting features, including a free-floating Evaporating Gaseous Globule (frEGG). The frEGG in this image is the small tadpole-shaped dark region in the upper center-left. This buoyant-looking bubble is lumbered with two names – [KAG2008] globule 13 and J025838.6+604259. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, ESA/Hubble, R. Sahai

One feature of note in this image is the dark region in the upper middle, which is an object called a free-floating Evaporating Gaseous Globule (frEGG). This dense pocket of gas is more resistant to the radiation which is ionizing the gas around it, creating a kind of “egg” from which new stars can be born. The best-known example of EGGs is in the famous Pillars of Creation image, also taken by Hubble, which found these pockets of denser gas that appeared as bumps on the nebula’s columns.

In this image, the EGGs are of a type called free-floating because they aren’t attached to a particular structure, but they do have a recognizable tadpole-like shape with a head and a tail. Eventually, these pockets of gas may incubate new stars as the density in the surrounding area increases and they become hotter, allowing a protostar to form inside.

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