Gadgette: Audrey: an adorable online service where people read to each other. “We’re used to hearing how digital media makes us feel more isolated — envying someone’s glamorous life on Instagram, feeling left out from all the fun on Facebook — but it’s worth remembering that there are services out there that bring people together, too. One of them is Audrey, a new website that matches up pairs of people to read to one another.” I am so signing up for this. PREPARE FOR MY SOUTHERN ACCENT, AUDREY.
Tubefilter: Check Out This Fully-Functional, YouTube-Based Edition Of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’. “YouTube’s annotations, before they were phased out in favor of cards in 2017, were used to power a few cleverly-designed formats, including several choose-your-own-adventure games that lived entirely on YouTube. Though cards are now the way of the YouTube world, creators are still finding innovative ways to gamify the world’s top video site. The latest example comes from a guy named Nigel, who used cards to create a YouTube-focused version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, titled Who Wants To Be A Youtuber.”
New Atlas: Music-search app gets you to draw songs in the air. “If you like moving your hands as if you’re conducting a piece of music that you like, then SoundTracer may be right up your alley. The experimental new iOS app allows you to find a song within a digital library, by ‘drawing’ that music in the air with your phone.” It’s very limited at the moment but I love the idea.
The Verge: This beautiful project creates soundtracks for photographs. “The photograph is dark, cooling towers stark against a sky streaked with color. This is the Drax power station in England, a site of pollution and protests. What would it be like to stand at the site? What would this scene sound like? The Drax photo is part of ‘Sound Photography,’ a beautiful new project from Cities and Memory.”
Interesting Engineering: This Short Story Vending Machine Brings Literature to Unexpected Places. “…for those of you who crave for reading, the Short Story Dispenser from Short Edition can save you. The story vending machine essentially allows you to spend at least some time reading. The machine doesn’t spit out books or send the stories to your smartphone or Kindle. But with the push of a button, you get a short story printed on a long strip of paper that’s similar to grocery receipts.”
This is so off-topic, but I love it. Apologies. From DIY Photography: This Photographer Shot Formula 1 With Game Boy Camera And Clip-on Smartphone Lens. “Game Boy camera was launched twenty years ago, and technology has advanced immensely since then. Nevertheless, experimenting with this toy camera in the modern era is still kind of fun. Photographer Tim Binnion recently brought his to 2018 Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, China. He captured the Formula 1 race with the 0.016-megapixel camera, and the results are unusual and pretty amazing.”
Some fun from AI Weirdness: D&D character names – generated by a neural network. “I’ve trained neural networks to invent new Dungeons & Dragons spells (part 1, part 2) and also trained them to name new D&D creatures. It worked very well (Shield of Farts, anyone?), thanks to the spellbooks and monster manuals I could use as datasets. But there weren’t any datasets for another big aspect of Dungeons & Dragons: all the characters who populate these worlds. So, over the past few months, readers have been helping me to build a dataset – which has now reached a staggering 20,908 entries.” I think my favorite is The Cowben, whose race and D&D class is noted as “Human Opera”.