Light Start – Hoverboard milestone, AI knitting, Console Wars, and Little Monsters


Flyboard Air inventor Frank Zapata crosses the Channel on his second attempt

There are milestones out there, just waiting for someone to pass them. For some folks, it’s walking another block today. For others, like Frank Zapata, it’s flying a hoverboard across the English Channel. His first attempt, which took place at the end of July 2019, ended in failure when he crashed while coming in to refuel. This time, refuelling went just fine, letting Zapata zip across the Channel in about 22 minutes. The Flyboard Air that look him across (at speeds of up to 170km/h) can only hold about ten minutes or so of fuel, hence the need to stop halfway. A larger refuelling platform and some calmer seas contributed to Zapata’s success this past weekend. Head here for a very brief look at Zapata’s successful crossing.

Source: via The Verge

Hide your knitting needles, the AI revolution has come for your home-made socks

Okay, okay, this isn’t quite as apocalyptic as all that. Until someone works out how to knit a working hand grenade, that is. The fine folks over at MIT’s Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MITCSAIL) have come up with an AI system capable of helping humans design and create knitting projects, which can then be fabricated using a knitting machine. The AI helps users customise various templates, to the point where even complete novices are able to create complex projects. And experienced users… they can rope in the AI’s neural network system to create even more complicated works. It’s hardly the robot revolution — since it’s more like creating custom files for a 3D printer — but it’s certainly an interesting look at a future bolstered by AI. Just don’t let it pull the wool over your eyes.

Source: MITCSAIL (YouTube)

Console Wars (the book) is about to become Console Wars (the series)

We’re all about history here at Stuff. After all, those who forget are doomed to repeat it — which is one way to get another Zune, or another Samsung Galaxy K Zoom. Which is a fancy way of saying that non-fiction novel Console Wars, written by one Blake Harris, will become a TV show. And you should care because the book details the creation and launch of the Sega Genesis (also known as the Megadrive) in order to compete with Nintendo’s SNES console. And it’s that history that has allowed our current gaming environment to take root. Without that particular war, we wouldn’t have a PlayStation to fiddle with, and Microsoft might still be making operating systems (and only operating systems). Okay, that might be taking it too far but the upcoming show will examine “…how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry.” We’ll take it.

Source: Ars Technica

Adorable or horrifying: The newest Little Monsters trailer shows a zombie film with a difference

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice that zombies… aren’t going away. No matter how often their demise is predicted. So we might as well embrace it, and you can do worse than embracing Little Monsters. Picture, if you will, a group of kids and a teacher tasked with keeping them safe. Picture those kids and that teacher going to what seems to be a petting zoo, and then picture a zombie outbreak. What would be the consequences of just such a trip? If you guessed ‘Gore, panic, and more than a few laughs’… well done. You’re very, very good at guessing. Little Monsters stars Lupita Nyong’o as teacher Miss Caroline, and there’s a romance storyline in there somewhere as well. Plus, you know, zombies. To watch the trailer for yourself, just hit the link below. And then mark the release date on your calendar. The film launches overseas from 15 November.

Source: Altitude Films (YouTube)


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