Hackaday Links: May 12, 2019

The future of the musical instrument industry is in tiny, cheap, handheld synthesizers. They’re sold as ‘musical toys’. They bleep and bloop, and that’s about it. Korg may have just released the minimum viable product for this category, and thus the most popular product for this category. On the surface, the Korg Nu:Tekt doesn’t look like much, just a box with three knobs, a speaker, a (crappy) keyboard, and a few buttons. I/O includes MIDI in, Sync in and out, audio in, and headphones out. What’s inside is what counts. There’s a high-powered ARM core (STM32F446, a Cortex-M4 running at 180 MHz) and a ton of RAM. What’s the play here? It’s compatible with the Korg Prologue/Minilogue SDK, so you can put the same sounds from the flagship synthesizer on a tiny box that fits in your pocket. Things are starting to get weird, man. This is a toy, with the same sounds as the ‘pro’ level synth. Let it be known that the synth market is the most interesting segment of consumer electronics right now.

Bird, that ride share scooter startup, is now selling their scooters. It costs thirteen hundred dollars. Alternatively, you can pick some up for cheap at your city’s impound lot. Or for the low, low, price of free.

Razer, the company that makes garish computer peripherals aimed at ‘gamers’ and other people who are sucked deep into the existential turmoil of disempowerment, depression, and playing video games all day, are building a toaster. Gamers aren’t known for eating food that isn’t prepared by their mom, but the Razer consumer community has been clamoring for a professional gaming toaster since it was first teased on April Fool’s Day three years ago. You only eat so many cold Pop Tarts straight out of the box, I guess.

Everyone loves cupcake cars, and this year we’re in for a treat! We’re ringing the bell this weekend with the 6th annual Hackaday x Tindie meetup for the Bay Area Maker Faire. We got a few things going on here. Next Thursday we’ll be greeted with talks by The Only Makers That You Want To Meet. That’s HDDG, the monthly San Francisco meetup happening at the Supplyframe office, and it’s going to be packed to the gills this month. Don’t miss it. Next Saturday, we’re renting a bar close to the Faire. The 6th Annual Hackaday x Tindie MFBA Meetup w/ Kickstarter is usually at an Irish pub in San Mateo, but we’re getting a bigger venue this year. You’ll be able to move around in this venue.

27 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: May 12, 2019

  1. I was going to make a comment that if Razer wanted to make a appliance that gamers really need they would make a fleshlight, but then I thought, “Nah, I’m better than that”.

    1. I tend to skip over the byline and see if I can tell who wrote a piece just by the voice it’s written in. Benchoff is unmistakable, and easily my most accurate identification of the lot.

      But unlike you, I enjoy his take on things. Why be dry?

    2. Yeah, I’m not too happy with it either.

      That paragraph was originally supposed to include the line, “Right now, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan has confirmed the Razer toaster is coming, but gamers are already up in arms because of perceived issues of ‘forced diversity’ and ‘unnecessary minority representation’ in this official gaming toaster.”

      That, right there, kills it. That’s the punchline.

      You have the setup of man-children whose only value to society is consumption getting excited over a toaster. Then you push it over the edge with a phrase like ‘forced diversity’ in a toaster. It goes straight to the absurdity of a culture based around entertainment; an identity built on being entertained.

      All my best material is edited out. Kinda sad, really.

      1. And the best way to deal with man-children is to insult them. That makes them cry and hide for the rest of their lives. Problem solved. Such mature solution.

        I’m not against jokes, but IMO this is _pointless_ harassment. I’d rather (not) read it in your personal blog, than a Hackaday links post.

        1. I don’t get bashing on another group of people just because you disagree with/don’t understand them either but it’s the dude’s opinion (or possibly just satire/sarcasm that went over my head), I don’t have to like it and ignoring it doesn’t cost me a lot of time or effort. To each their own, I’ll continue on my morning reading no skin off my nose.

          1. My comment was motivated by the concern of seeing more of these personal opinions in the future. I don’t read Hackaday for them. This blog, for me, is a good source of news in the topics of diy electronics, robotics and citizen science. Stuffing such opinions into an article here is unprofessional.
            I can ignore it too, to a limit, which is pretty high for me, not for others. If Brian pisses off other readers with these, and we lose valuable comments (a great value is added every day by educated and experienced commenters), I won’t like it that much.

      2. “forced diversity in a toaster”
        What, you mean it accepts brown bread as well as white? At the same time?
        Or is it that it’ll only work if there is a slice of brown bread in the machine for every slice of white?
        I mean, I thought toasters only had one slice of brown every dozen loaves of white that are put through.

        Not sure where granary loaves fall into this though.

      3. Someone ought to re-assign Brian to write articles about gaming exclusively. Maybe with practice he can learn to crack jokes that don’t insult his target audience. So far his best material is like an out of touch extreme leftist boomer’s crude stereotype… If he’s trying to be funny, the joke is him.

      4. Oh fuck off. Every segment of society has morons that get excited over stupid things, don’t get preachy like you’re better than them. Look no further than open source software and (insert framework du jour) or hardware. I know you used to write about how Arduino was played out years ago yourself. Now it’s the same thing but (Lora, stm32, esp8266).

        As far as your best material being edited out: good. I wish the editors took a heavier hand with your articles. I like your articles in general, but I’m sick of the BuzzFeed tone of your writing. As I’m sure most of our parents said: “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.”

    1. I won a razer mouse probably 15 years ago at a *gasp* lan party. It worked great for a decade until a cat chewed up the cord and I never got around to fixing it because I had too many other working mice.

  2. I have to be the sad sack here with Bird. What Bird is doing is setting the price of the scooters so they can sue those who are stealing scooters off the streets, swapping the controller, and selling them cheap. The only legal way out is… buy them from the impound lot, because you get a paper trail that a lawyer can argue that Bird was in the wrong in setting them out in the first place for that city. (Consult with your local lawyer first, kids! I’m not one.)

    1. buy them from the impound lot, because you get a paper trail that a lawyer can argue that Bird was in the wrong in setting them out in the first place for that city. (Consult with your local lawyer first, kids! I’m not one.)

      IANAL, TINLA, etc, but I’m pretty sure if you buy one of those scooters in an impound auction it is definitely yours to do with what you want. I can’t even begin to imagine the mental gymnastics the lawyers would have to use to argue one of those scooters still belongs to Bird if it gets seized by the city and sold at auction.

    2. That makes sense because I doubt they expect anyone to buy at that price. For $1300 there are scooters with bigger batteries, full suspension with more travel, higher top speeds etc. They also removed a key feature, the bird scooter doesn’t fold. It makes total sense for a hire company since it increases reliability but no sense for a consumer who might want to store the scooter under their desk or transport it on public transport.

  3. Where is that moronic razer rant coming from ?
    Clearly it’s not just a joke so if you feel the need to humiliate and bash people because they enjoy video games or themed products please seek professional help.
    If I wanted to see shameless generalization and demented boomer judging people they know very little about I’d watch Fox News.
    What a truly disappointing thing to read on HaD.

    1. Rather strange indeed. Maybe it IS meant to be a joke (could be), but I find it rather narrow minded if it’s not.

      Some of us enjoy games for the art, the stories, the characters. For me especially, playing a good game is like reading a good novel or watching a film.

      Perhaps the author has limited his view of gamers to racist 12 year olds who mostly just play online and love to insult each other?

    1. maybe the gamers are getting a little tired of being picked upon. It happens quite frequently when a group of people are repeatedly picked on and its pretty easy and frankly lazy writing to pick on the gamers due to their stereo types.

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