SVP Technology at Fiserv; large scale system architecture/infrastructure, tech geek, reading, learning, hiking, GeoCaching, ham radio, married, kids
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A Custom Raspberry Pi 4 Arcade Cabinet

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Over the years we’ve covered quite a few Raspberry Pi based arcade cabinets, and admittedly many of them have been fairly similar. After all, there’s only so much variation you can make before it stops looking like a traditional arcade machine. But even still, we never tire of seeing a well executed build like the one [Dawid Zittrich] recently shared with us.

These days you can order a kit that has pre-cut panels to build your cabinet with, but looking for a completely custom build, [Dawid] decided to first model his design in SketchUp and then cut out the panels himself with a jigsaw. This obviously is quite a bit more work, and assumes you’ve got sufficient woodworking tools, but we think the final result looks great. Not to mention the fact that it’s going to be a lot stronger than something made out of MDF.

He also created the side artwork himself, taking the logos and names from his favorite arcade and Amiga games and putting them on a retro-looking gradient pattern.  The marquee on the top has an acrylic front and is illuminated from behind with strips of LEDs. It’s mounted on a hinge so that it can be lifted up and a new piece of art slid in without taking apart the whole cabinet. While it might be a little more labor intensive to switch out than some of the electronic marquees we’ve seen, we do like that you still have the ability to change the artwork on a whim.

With the cabinet itself completed, [Dawid] turned his attention to the electronics. Inside you’ve got the aforementioned Raspberry Pi 4 (with a Noctua fan to keep it cool), an external hard drive, a HDMI to VGA converter with scanline generator to drive the 4:3 ratio Eizo Flex Scan S2100 monitor, and a rather beefy amplifier hanging off the Pi’s 3.5 mm analog audio output. All of which is easily accessible via a maintenance hatch built into the cabinet so [Dawid] doesn’t need to tear everything down when he wants to tweak something.

If you’d like to have that arcade cabinet feel but don’t have the space and equipment to put something like this together, you could always stick a Raspberry Pi into an iCade and call it a day.

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JayM
23 hours ago
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Really nice build. Worth the click through.
Atlanta, GA
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Netflix is still saying ‘no’ to ads

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Despite ongoing speculation and investor pressure, Netflix is still declining to adopt an advertising-based business model as a means to boost its revenue, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings confirmed on Tuesday. The company on its Q4 earnings call again shot down the idea of an ad-supported option, with Hastings explaining there’s no “easy money” in an online advertising business that has to compete with the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook.

Explained the exec, “Google and Facebook and Amazon are tremendously powerful at online advertising because they’re integrating so much data from so many sources. There’s a business cost to that, but that makes the advertising more targeted and effective. So I think those three are going to get most of the online advertising business,” Hastings said.

To grow a $5 billion to $10 billion advertising business, you’d need to “rip that away” from the existing providers, he continued. And stealing online advertising business from Amazon, Google and Facebook is “quite challenging,” Hastings added, saying “there’s not easy money there.”

“We’ve got a much simpler business model, which is just focused on streaming and customer pleasure,” he said.

The CEO also noted that Netflix’s strategic decision to not enter the ad business has its upsides, in terms of the controversies that surround companies that collect personal data on their users. To compete, Netflix would have to track more data on its subscribers, including things like their location — that’s not something it’s interested in doing, he said, calling it “exploiting users.”

“We don’t collect anything. We’re really focused on just making our members happy,” Hastings stated.

That’s not exactly true, of course. Netflix does track viewership data in order to make determinations about which of its original programs should be renewed and which should be canceled. It also looks at overall viewing trends to make decisions about which new programs to greenlight or develop. And it tracks users’ own interactions with its service in order to personalize the Netflix home screen to show users more of what they like.

The company also this quarter introduced a new viewership metric — “chose to watch,” which counts the number of people who deliberately watched a show or movie for at least two minutes. That’s far longer than Facebook or Google’s YouTube, but isn’t a great way to tell how many people are watching a show to completion, as on TV.

However, none of this viewership tracking is on the scale of big tech’s data collection practices, which is what Hastings meant by his comment.

“We think with our model that we’ll actually get to larger revenue, larger profits, larger market cap because we don’t have the exposure to something that we’re strategically disadvantaged at — which is online advertising against those big three,” he said.

This isn’t the first time Netflix’s CEO has had to repeat the company’s stance on being an ad-free business. In Q2 2019, Netflix reminded investors in its shareholder letter that its lack of advertising is part of its overall brand proposition.

“When you read speculation that we are moving into selling advertising be confident that this is false,” the letter said.

Analysts have estimated Netflix could make over a billion more per year by introducing an ad-supported tier to its service.

To some extent, the increased push for Netflix to adopt ads has to do with the changes to the overall streaming landscape.

Netflix today is facing new competition from two major streaming services, Disney+ and Apple+ — both of which have subsidized their launch with free promotions in order to gain viewership. In the next few months, Netflix will have to take on several others, including mobile streaming service Quibi, WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and NBCU’s Peacock. The latter features a multi-tiered business model, including a free service for pay-TV subscribers, an ad-free premium tier and one that’s ad-supported.

The service was introduced to investors last week, where it was well-received.

Other TV streaming services also rely on ads for portions of their revenue, including Hulu and CBS All Access. Meanwhile, a number of ad-supported services are also emerging, like Roku’s The Roku Channel, Amazon’s IMDb TV, TUBI, Viacom’s Pluto TV and others.

Netflix’s decision to keep itself ad-free is likely welcome news for its subscriber base, however, who see the lack of ads as being a key selling point.

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JayM
1 day ago
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Good.
Atlanta, GA
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fxer
7 hours ago
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In my head I value streaming services with any level of ads as second tier, and the amount I’m willing to pay for them approaches zero. Rightly or wrongly I see ads and think “inferior content”. Ads have just become that kind of poison that taints anything they touch
Bend, Oregon

Rocket League will drop support for Mac, Linux versions in March

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Screenshot of video game Rocket League.

Enlarge (credit: Epic Games)

For anyone who clings to Linux or MacOS as a preferred gaming platform, Epic Games and Psyonix offered a rare kind of bad news on Thursday. The companies confirmed that their mega-hit game Rocket League would no longer receive updates for either platform following a "final" patch for all non-Windows versions on PC coming in "early March."

This "end-of-life" version of Rocket League on Linux and MacOS will still function in a wholly offline state, and affected players will be able to access whatever cosmetics and add-ons they'd previously earned through the game's economy system (but no more new ones). Additionally, those platforms will be able to use Steam Workshop content, but only if it's downloaded and applied to the game before the March patch goes live.

Otherwise, if any function in the game connects even in the slightest to the Internet—from item shops to matchmaking to private matches to friends lists—it will stop working once the March patch goes live, and any future modes, maps, or other game-changing content won't come to their platforms, either.

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JayM
2 days ago
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Booooooo.

Never played the game... only care because I hate to see dropped support for Mac and Linux.
Atlanta, GA
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Networking Problems

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LOOK, THE LATENCY FALLS EVERY TIME YOU CLAP YOUR HANDS AND SAY YOU BELIEVE
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JayM
2 days ago
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ROFL. Made an docs just for me. :)
Atlanta, GA
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alt_text_bot
2 days ago
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LOOK, THE LATENCY FALLS EVERY TIME YOU CLAP YOUR HANDS AND SAY YOU BELIEVE

Response: Manual Work is a Bug – ACM Queue

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Its possible to do bad automation

The post Response: Manual Work is a Bug – ACM Queue appeared first on EtherealMind.

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JayM
2 days ago
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What?!? Bad automation can happen?!?! What?!?! Shocked I say!

The fear of bad automation should not stop modernization of work.
Atlanta, GA
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The Grow with Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate #Python #Education @google

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Grow with Google is expanding their IT training offerings with the new Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate. Python is now the most in-demand programming language, and more than 530,000 U.S. jobs, including 75,000 entry-level jobs require Python proficiency. With this new certificate, one can learn Python, Git and IT automation within six months. The program includes a final project where learners will use their new skills to solve a problem they might encounter on the job, like building a web service using automation.

With over 100,000 people now enrolled in our original certificate program, we’ve seen how it can aid aspiring IT professionals. While working as a van driver in Washington, D.C., Yves Cooper took the course through Merit America, a Google.org-funded organization that helps working adults find new skills. Within five days of completing the program, he was offered a role as an IT helpdesk technician—a change that’s set him on a career path he’s excited about. All over the world, people like Yves are using this program to change their lives. In fact, 84 percent of people who take the program report a career impact—like getting a raise, finding a new job, or starting a business—within six months.

Read more here.

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JayM
3 days ago
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Atlanta, GA
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