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You can assemble this paper booklet to create electronic music toys

  • An interactive booklet called Papier Machine is making beautiful STEM toys that are actually fun and accessible, by combining paper with electronic circuitry. The booklet contains pages silkscreened with conductive silver ink that can be assembled to create six electronic paper toys. It also comes with two button cells, two metallic marbles, two piezo elements, and two sound components that can be reused with each interactive toy.

    The first in a collection of thematic books, Papier Machine Vol.0 focuses on the theme of sound. “Circuits hide a surprising narrative potential that we wanted to make visible,” the video below explains. Users can close the circuits by drawing them in with a graphite pencil, and play around with the pitch and...

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    6 days 13 hours ago

Expanding into new markets, Namely adds former Box exec, Graham Younger, as president

  •  Graham Younger, a former executive vice president of Box and longtime enterprise software executive, is joining the human resources services provider Namely as its new president. The New York-based company, which provides human resources management software for mid-sized companies, is growing, and has plans to expand its geographic footprint with offices in Los Angeles and Atlanta. And Younger… Read More

    6 days 13 hours ago

Nintendo Switch accessories: items you need to make the most of your console

  • Once you've purchased your Nintendo Switch and you've picked up some of, if not all, the the best games for it you're pretty much ready to start playing at home and on the go. 

    But your gameplay experience won't be all it could be. Yes, the Switch comes with everything you definitely need in the box but to truly make the most of Nintendo's new console you should consider definitely picking up some of the many first and third party accessories that have been released. 

    There are some natural immediate purchases like screen protectors and portable chargers but there are some other accessories that are also worth your consideration to unlock the console's full hybrid potential. 

    To help you figure out what’s out there, what it’s used for, and whether or not it’s actually going to be useful for you, we’ve rounded up a bunch of the key first and third party Switch accessories right here.

    If you’re not particularly enamored with the Joy-Con controllers and want something that’s a little more traditional you should consider picking up the Nintendo Switch Pro controller. 

    Though the Joy-Con controllers do have a grip which unties them to form a single device, it doesn’t have a traditional D-pad and nor does it look quite as ergonomically sound as the Pro controller for longer play sessions. 

    With its motion controls, HD rumble and Amiibo support it’s a solid alternative to the Joy-Con controllers. You can buy it in a standard grey but for something a little more colorful there are also Xenoblade Chronicles and Splatoon 2-themed options with neon pink and green accents. These do, however, come at a slightly higher cost. 

    Despite the benefits of the Pro controller for the single player, it might also be worth picking up some extra Joy-Con controllers if you’re fond of multiplayer gaming.

    You might as well face the fact that not everyone in your life will have picked up a Switch. They're still kind of hard to come by. Though you could make the purchase of Joy-Con controllers a prerequisite for entry to your home, it might be better for your personal relationships to have a few extra controllers on hand for any impromptu multiplayer sessions.

    Joy-Con color selections are growing all the time. Alongside the neon red and blue and grey versions which were available at launch, it's now possible to pick up a matching neon yellow pair and a Splatoon 2-inspired neon pink and green set. 

    Joy-Con controllers can be purchased separately or in a pair. It's worth noting that you save a little on each individual controller by paying for a pair outright.

    There's nothing scarier than letting a fragile handheld jostle around in a bag during your commute into work or school. And while the Nintendo Switch is relatively sturdy,  it too could use a bit more protection while traveling from Point A to Point B. Cue the Power Shell Case from Nyko. 

    Not only does the Power Shell protect your most coveted of handhelds, but it can charge it, too, using its built-in 5000 mAh battery pack - which basically doubles the battery life of the console. If charging and protection aren't enough, there's even room to store up to 12 games and four SD cards. It's about as multi-purpose as they come. 

    It's available right now on Amazon for $29!

    If you’d rather not buy a Pro controller but you would like your additional Joy-Con controllers to be slightly more comfortable when they’re being used separately, you could always buy a grip kit. 

    This kit containing two controller grips and two thumb grips will make your slim Joy-Con controllers slightly bulkier and more akin to a traditional controller shape which should reduce any discomfort that would arise in a longer play session. 

    You can find it for $14.99/£14.99.

    If you’re a physical media fan rather than a download fan, you should probably consider purchasing a game card case for when you take your Switch on the go. Even when storing your games at home it’s a much more compact way of keeping your Switch cartridges in order than piling up each of the individual game boxes. 

    This compact one from HORI holds 24 game cards and 2 microSD cards, which should keep you going for a while. You can purchase it for $9.99/£8.99.

    True LAN parties are possible on the Nintendo Switch, but only if you have an Ethernet adapter as the console doesn’t actually have a standard Ethernet port itself.

    If you’d like to connect up to 10 docked Switch consoles for an intense Splatoon 2 tournament with your friends with no dodgy wireless connection worries,  you’ll need to pick up one of these. It's not been confirmed whether or not an official Nintendo adapter is necessary or if one you already have will suffice. If you'd rather be safe than sorry, though, you can pick up the official Nintendo Switch adapter for £26.99/$29.99.  

    No, the Joy-Con grip that comes boxed with your console will not charge your Joy-Con controllers, but considering the Joy-Con controllers have around 20 hours of battery life in them, this shouldn’t prove to be too much of a problem.

    However, we all have those times post-play where we just throw our controller on the sofa and walk away. If you just know you’re likely to play with the grip frequently and forget to reattach the controllers to your docked console this could be a purchase worth considering.

    It's not the cheapest luxury, though, at £24.99/$29.99 on the official Nintendo site.

    You buy protective accessories for your phone, you buy them for your tablet, and we’d say it’s worth buying them for your Nintendo Switch to keep it secure and safe when it’s undocked and on the move.

    You can get this nifty Mario case officially licensed by Nintendo which includes a screen protector, earbuds, character-branded Joy-Con Armor Guards, thumb caps, cleaning cloth, and applicator for $29.99/£29.99.

    If, however, you're less concerned about themed branding there's also this starter kit from Orzly which comes in at £14.99.

    We'd definitely recommend picking up this kit for the screen protector alone; there have been reports of players scratching the tablet screen when docking the console for home play so they're worth investing in. 

    If you’re not really into the idea of buying and hoarding game cards and would rather digitally purchase your Switch games, you’ll definitely want to look into buying a microSD card.

    The Nintendo Switch only has 32GB of internal memory and considering games like The Legend of Zelda will take up to around 13GB of storage, the ability to expand the console’s memory is essential.

    The Switch will support microSD and SDHC cards as well as SDXC cards of up to 2TB, even though the latter aren’t actually available for purchase yet.

    Think you’ll probably play the Switch in tabletop mode a lot? Then you’ll want to look into purchasing the HORI playstand.

    Although the Switch has a flip out leg on its rear that will support it, it doesn’t really leave any clearance for plugging a charging cable into the USB-C port on the console’s base. The HORI playstand will allow for this, though, as it lifts the console off the surface you’re playing on as well as offering adjustable angles for more comfortable play.

    As far as Switch accessories go, it's not overly expensive either at £9.99/$12.99.

    Planning to use the Switch on the go a lot? It could be worth investing in a sturdy external battery pack if you haven’t already.

    The Switch’s portable battery life isn’t unreasonable but it isn’t stellar either and since you can’t guarantee you’re always going to be near a plug socket to top up its charge a back up power source will rarely go wrong. Just make sure you have a USB-C cable to connect it. 

    These are our picks of the best portable battery packs to help you choose. 

    Given that it is mostly screen, we'd recommend buying some kind of protector for your Switch console. Users have reported that they've scratched their console when lifting it from the dock but anyone with a phone or tablet will know, you don't need a dock for accidents to happen. 

    You can pick up third-party protectors created by Orzly for as little as £5.99 on Amazon.

    The Nintendo Switch itself may be a portable console, but its bulky dock isn't which isn't ideal if you want to take the entire set up on the go to play on a TV that isn't your own.

    Fortunately, there's a third-party solution to that problem. Accessory maker Nyko has created a much smaller dock for the Nintendo Switch. So small it can fit in the palm of your hand. 

    Being so small, it doesn't have the comforting stability of Nintendo's official dock or USB ports but it's a great on-the-go solution. With a recommended retail price of $44.99 it's an affordable one, too.

    The dock has been released and can be purchased on Nyko's official website

    An alternative portable dock has been developed by SFANS. The manufacturer is seeking support for the product on Indiegogo and it has comfortably achieved its funding. However, there have been delays in delivery.

    While initial delivery was expected in August 2017, SFANS delayed the product for a re-design and has promised backers that they will receive their device in November. 

    Whether or not this product will be available from the main SFANS store any time soon is uncertain. But reviews of the initial design were fairly positive. 

    We'll update with more release information as it becomes available. 

    While the Switch's Joy-Con controllers don't have dismal battery life, we do sometimes forget to charge them. If you're forever finding your battery is running low mid-game you might be interested in Nintendo's official Joy-Con battery packs.

    This battery pack will essentially slide onto the back of your Joy-Con controllers and power them using AA batteries. They do add slightly more bulk but this might suit those who feel the Joy-Cons are on the small side. 

    You can find these on Amazon UK for £10.35 and Amazon US for $21.49.

    If you take your Mario Karting seriously, you might be interested in a Joy-Con steering wheel adaptor. This wireless wheel will use the motion sensors in the Joy-Con to allow you to feel like you're driving a real cart. There's a learning curve to using these and they're on the small side but they add a new dimension to racing games. It's especially convenient that they come in a pair so you don't have to send your friends off to buy their own.

    You can find these on the official Nintendo store for £12.99/$14.99 per pair. 

    6 days 13 hours ago

‘Everything Sucks!’ 90s kid nostalgia-fest arrives on Netflix February 16

  •  I know this trailer is meant to evoke a connection with all the dumb shit I remember from elementary and high school, and it does. But it’s also just depressing. The show could be good though (we’ll find out when all episodes arrive streaming on February 16), and maybe you’re happier to indulge than I am so ymmv. Read More

    6 days 14 hours ago

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