YouTuber Builds AI Machine to Compliment Dogs Outside and Alert Him as They Pass

YouTuber builds AI dog detector
(YouTube/Ryder Calm Down)

The only thing that beats spending all day looking at animal pictures online is seeing an animal in real life. As it turns out, there’s a reason we feel better when staring into those wide-eyed, furry faces. Looking at pictures of animals actually increases our serotonin levels, rewarding us with a burst of the mood-stabilizing chemical any time we so much as Google “cute dog.”

For Ryder who runs the YouTube channel Ryder Calm Down, pictures weren’t quite cutting it anymore. He wanted to see animals in real life, from the comfort of his own home. Ryder explained that he didn’t have time to sit at his street-facing window all day, eagerly waiting for a dog to pass. Instead, he built a machine to stand guard for him, a machine that’s perpetually on Paw Patrol (is that the premise of the show? I’ve still never made it through more than 30 seconds before zoning out completely).

Using a Raspberry Pi and a machine learning module, Ryder records a video feed through his window. The AI program is designed to recognize 80 unique things out in the real world, but Ryder only had eyes for one – neighborhood dogs. The street-facing Raspberry Pi camera runs constantly, analyzing everything that passes and identifying the things programmed into its system.

Ryan wrote up a unique code, telling his impressive setup to pay specific attention to dogs, even though it also recognizes things like cars and people. After testing to make sure the machine was in fact picking up any dogs that passed by, Ryder set up a very basic alert system in the form of a megaphone that essentially yelled at Ryder any time a dog was detected. The unsettling text-to-speech voice that never seems to know which syllables to emphasize notifies Ryder, “attenTION, there IS A dog OUTside.” Hey, if it works, it works.

When Ryder isn’t home, he still wants to make sure all the good boys and good girls out there get the attention they deserve. He turns the megaphone’s speaker towards the street, and if Ryan isn’t there to appreciate the dogs in person, he pre-recorded his very own complement. “I like your dog,” the megaphone announces to the very confused passerby. Something tells me Ryder is about to become extremely pupular among his furry neighbors.

Kings of Leon to Be the First Band to Release an Album as an NFT

Kings of Leon NFT Crypto Release
(Getty/Kevin Winter)

I don’t know a thing about bitcoin. That’s not true: I know it’s a cryptocurrency, and I know its value is volatile, and I know 50 Cent has some. But that’s about it.

To be honest, most of us don’t really need to know a lot about it. It’s a finance bro kind of deal. I’m too busy surviving my life to worry about the future of currency. That may be shortsighted of me, but in terms of day-to-day life, cryptocurrency doesn’t really play much of a part.

But if artists follow Kings of Leon’s lead, that may change.

Last week, the southern rock group released their seventh studio album, in a brand new way. No, according to Rolling Stone, the album is being issued in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT), which is a form of cryptocurrency that doesn’t hold actual money, but instead holds assets, such as art, tickets, or music. They are the first band ever to release an album this way.

KoL is actually releasing three non-fungible tokens as part of a series they’re calling “NFT Yourself,” a special album package, one with concert-related items like front row seats for life, and one that is just audiovisual art. The NFTs were created by YellowHeart, whose mission is to use blockchain technology in the service of music and fans.

Have no fear, you can still get the album the old-fashioned way, or the new-fashioned way via Apple, Spotify, Amazon, but you can only get the special perks via the NFT, including a limited edition vinyl pressing. It will cost you $50.

“Over the last 20 years — two lost decades — we’ve seen the devaluation of music,” Katz, the CEO of YellowHeart, told Rolling Stone. “Music has become great at selling everything except music. There’s been a race to the bottom where, for as little money as possible, you have access to all of it. Previously, it cost $20 to go get one song.”

He thinks the Kings of Leon release is the future. “It’s early stages, but in the future, I think this will be how people release their tracks: When they sell a 100,000 at a dollar each, then they just made $100,000.”

I barely understood the bulk of this article or any of what YellowHeart does but hey, more power to them. The future is now?

Watch This One-Shot Drone Footage That’s Mesmerizing the Internet and Hollywood

Bowling Alley Drone One Shot
(YouTube/jaybyrdfilms)

Technology has made a lot of things that used to be complicated much easier. Take movie-making, for example.

It used to require a whole team of people with different skill-sets and technical know-how, not to mention tons of expensive equipment. But now anybody with an iPhone can shoot a movie, and anybody with a drone can film breathtaking aerial shots without a crane operator in sight.

If the person flying the drone has mad skills, you can create a fantastic little movie without much else. This is exactly what happened when a drone Jedi used his skills to promote Bryant Lake Bowl & Theater, a bowling alley, bar, and movie theater venue in Minnesota.

Shot in one continuous 87-second take, the drone flies a camera inside and around the bar, bowling alley, and theater, down and around the lanes, above and beside patrons, and, eventually, right down a lane and into the pins. There are even a handful of references and homages to The Big Lebowski, as patrons quote the lines while the drone flies by.

Jay Christensen shot “Right Up Our Alley,” as part of a project he’s created to promote businesses in Minnesota, and as soon as he posted it online, acclaim started pouring in.

“This is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen,” wrote Lee Unkrich, who directed Pixar’s Coco. “Jaw on the floor.” Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn called it “stupendous.” Todd Vaziri, a visual effects artist who worked on Star Wars, said “This kind of wonderful photographic innovation adds to the language and vocabulary of cinema. Just beautiful.”

Once you watch the video, all that praise is understandable. Check it out:

After Months, Son Realizes “Dad” He Added To Family Chat Wasn’t Actually His Dad

Son accidentally adds stranger to family group chat
(Getty/DragonImages, Twitter/jonnohopkins)

Teaching our parents to use technology has never been the most pleasant task, but thanks to COVID, it’s taken on a whole new important meaning. Technology has become essential for staying connected, from day-to-day interactions to work meetings and even celebrations. When one son helpfully put together a WhatsApp group so his family could stay connected, everything was seemingly going as planned – that is, until he realized one member of the group didn’t belong.

A Twitter user named Jonno shared the hilarious story, and it quickly went viral due to its absurdity. We’ve all accidentally texted the wrong person, but in Jonno’s case, he texted the wrong person for six. Whole. Months.

“For 6 months there’s been someone in my family whatsapp group who I thought was my dad but was in fact a random called Peter (my dad’s name),” Jonno wrote. “This person has sat and read every message and never thought to chime in to inform us that we’ve added the wrong Peter.”

Jonno shared news from his life in his family chat, but somehow, his dad never seemed to remember when they spoke on the phone. Parents can be forgetful. They struggle with technology. There were a whole host of reasons Jonno’s dad could have gotten confused about his son’s life.

Fake Peter got to know the family intimately, reading through every text but not responding. “I’m not sure why, when setting up the group, I didn’t add ‘Dad’ and not ‘Peter’. But now I feel bad for fake dad Peter and hope he enjoyed reading my mum’s messages about how she’d thought Coldplay’s album was called ‘A Cold Hard Blow To The Head,'” Jonno continued.

Six months into the family group chat, Jonno’s sister asked if she could add their dad to the chat. Weird, because their dad was already in the – oh. At that moment, Jonno realized his mistake. The number he’d added to the WhatsApp chat was Peter, but Peter the repairman who fixed his washing machine in 2013.

In a panic, Jonno kicked fake Peter out of the family’s chat and added his real dad. When asked if he’d be reaching out to his temporary dad, Jonno had no plans to do so. “I won’t be contacting fake dad Peter because when he came to fix our washing machine he ended up bleaching all of the clothes that were trapped in the drum.”

Jonno ended his saga by sharing an adorable picture of his family, real dad included.

NASA Engineer Helps Land Mars Rover From Daughter’s Childhood Bedroom

NASA dad watches Mars rover land
(Instagram/maddievsm)

Every job has different metrics for measuring success. Maybe you have regular performance reviews, sales goals to hit, or maybe being successful at your job means landing a freaking rover on Mars. Father and engineer Alejandro Miguel San Martin has worked for NASA for 35 years, and in that time, he’s made history time and time again. This time, however, San Martin’s daughter was able to capture the incredible moment on camera.

Because of COVID, NASA’s work on their most recent rover, Perseverance, has looked a bit different. Rather than working alongside his team in person, San Martin turned his daughter’s childhood bedroom into a makeshift mission control room.

“Touchdown! Never thought my childhood bedroom would become my dads covid mission control – but could not be more proud of the Jet Propulsion Lab EDL team!!!” Madeleine San Martín shared on Instagram. “5/5 for Mars Rover Landings, let’s celebrate!!”

 

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In the heartwarming video captured by the NASA engineer’s daughter, San Martin quite literally jumps out of his chair with excitement upon learning that the Perseverance mission was a success.

“YES!!!” San Martin exclaims, throwing his hands in the air after receiving confirmation that Perseverance safely touched down. He kisses his daughter and puts his head in his hands, watching with tears in his eyes as his peers celebrate on screen. “Unbelievable” he marvels, both laughing and crying.

After 35 years with NASA, San Martin has helped land five rovers safely on Mars. Even after experiencing such massive success four times previously, the thrill of making a monumental mark in history clearly doesn’t get old. This NASA dad’s work is out of this world, and San Martin is over the moon about it.

90-Yr-Old Man Spends $10k on Newspaper Ads to Tell AT&T CEO His Internet Sucks

90yos Newspaper Ads to Complain
(Twitter//zzcrockett)

We are living in a golden age of technology, while simultaneously living in probably one of the worst periods of customer service in history. Calling any major corporation to right a wrong involves so many steps that most people give up before ever getting the chance to talk to an actual person. So it’s satisfying any time someone has had enough to takes extraordinary steps to let companies know they need to do better.

California man Aaron Epstein has been an AT&T customer since 1960. That’s incredible loyalty to a company, the type you pretty much only see in other 90-year-olds. But, like many AT&T customers, he’s been frustrated that his internet service isn’t living up to the hype. But, unlike most people, he didn’t just send a strongly worded letter or cancel his service. He took his fury to the next level and spent $10,000 taking out two ads in the Wall Street Journal to call out the CEO.

“I kept calling AT&T,” he said asking them, “‘When are you going to give us a faster speed?’ They said, ‘It’s coming, it’s coming.’ But what really made me angry was they started putting ads in the paper and sending emails and putting ads on the internet [saying], ‘Try our faster speed.’”

The ads were titled “Open Letter to Mr. John T. Stankey CEO AT&T,” and touted his loyalty, and closed by asking why the company was treating them “so shabbily.” One ad went in the Dallas version so the company’s executives would see it, and another went in the New York version so investors would see it.

The 10k was money he had set aside for a vacation, but he said if it ultimately succeeds in getting him the faster internet service he was promised, it will be worth it. And honestly, it has to feel pretty good to finally say enough is enough and put the CEO of a major corporation on public blast.

And his trolling efforts did work. AT&T techs paid him a personal visit the next day, and now his internet service went from an appalling speed of 3Mbps to 300Mbps.

So, if you want to hold a company accountable for its promises, all it takes is thousands of dollars and years of patience.

Props to the old man for finally getting what he deserves, and sending a wake-up call straight to the top.

Dad 3D Prints His Son a Hand, Does the Same for Other Kids Free of Charge

Dad 3D Prints prosthetics for free
(Instagram/clawsfromcarter)

Hearing your kid ask for help is like a bat-signal for dads. Whether it’s a scraped knee or a desk that’s just a little too wobbly, dads jump at the opportunity to problem-solve. But when Michael Campos’s 4-year-old son Carter approached him with a problem he didn’t know how to solve, he did what any dad would do – he figured it out.

During Carter’s 12-week ultrasound, doctors discovered that Carter’s right hand wasn’t developing as it was supposed to. Carter was born without his right hand, a fact that generally didn’t seem to bother him. Carter was able to do everything his friends could do, and until recently, Carter didn’t seem to mind that he only had one hand. But as kids do when they grow up, Carter became more aware that he was different from his peers. In one heartbreaking moment that changed the course of both of their lives, Carter turned to his dad, the person he trusted most in the world, for help.

“In July of 2016, I was giving Carter a bath and he turned to me and said, ‘Daddy will you build me a hand?’” Campos recalled on his website. “My heart hurt. Not being able to give your child something they desperately want is hard. When your child asks you to make up for the hand he has been missing since birth, it is heartbreaking. When he asked me for a hand, I responded with the only thing I could think of ‘soon, buddy.’”

The determined dad began doing research and came across a design for a 3D printed hand from an organization called Enabling the Future. After contacting a local 3D printing lab, Campos was filled with hope. The people running the lab were well-versed in printing prosthetics, and they were thrilled to help Carter finally get his hand.

After seeing the difference the hand made in Carter’s life, Campos realized that many kids born with limb differences may not have access to a 3D printing lab, or be able to afford the massive cost of a professional prosthetic. Campos fulfilled his promise to Carter, but it wasn’t enough.

Campos started an organization called Claws from Carter, and immediately began changing lives. A typical prosthetic costs roughly $20,000, but one of Carter’s Claws costs on average $20. To the recipients, however, the prosthetics are absolutely free. Materials, printers, even shipping is covered entirely by donations, so no kid has to go without simply because they can’t afford it.

“I have finally been given the answer to the longing question ‘why,’” Campos explains, “Why was my son born this way? I wholeheartedly believe that Carter was born with a limb difference because with it, and because of it, we can make the world a better place for other children with ‘diff-abilities.’ We were able to take a negative and turn it into something so very positive. I am proud of the both of us for being able to do that.”

Miniature GameBoy Takes Technology Too Far

As technology improves, everything keeps getting smaller. Just look at our phones. They used to sit on desks, now they’re on our pockets or on our wrists. How about our TVs? They used to be enormous pieces of furniture, now they are like picture frames hanging on our walls.

As our computational power increases, the hardware used to process it is shrinking. That’s just the way it goes. But the latest example is a bit ridiculous.

The GameBoy was made to be portable. It was small enough to fit in your pocket so you could play Tetris wherever you went. Now someone has made an even smaller version, and this thing is so tiny you can fit 50 of them in your pocket.

It’s called the Arduboy Nano, and I can tell you right now I’m too old to play it. Not because I don’t know how, but because I can barely see the screen without my reading glasses.

Kevin Bates created a small, business-card thing version of the GameBoy in 2014, which inspired the creation of Bates Arduboy, which, according to Gizmodo, is an open-source Arduino-based Game Boy clone with a loyal following of developers who’ve created hundreds of free games for it.

Well, Bates has gone and shrunk his creation again. It’s less than an inch tall and can sit on top of a quarter without touching the sides. It has a 0.49-inch, 2,048-pixel OLED display, a 25 mAh rechargeable battery good for about an hour of gameplay, and an incredibly quiet 15-millimeter speaker, all of which are powered by the same ATmega 32u4 microcontroller as the Arduboy.

I’m not sure who’s gonna play this thing, or who even can. Maybe the Littles. Remember the Littles cartoon? No? God I’m old. Let me go find those reading glasses while you see the tiny GameBoy in action:

Go Back to Back to the Future II With This Working Hoverboard Engineers Invented

Hoverboard
(YouTube/Hacksmith Industries)

Sure, it took longer than we thought after watching Back to the Future II, but science has finally given us an honest-to-god hoverboard. Does it come with conditions? Of course. But it’s still a very cool (albeit completely pointless) invention, as it is an actual, working HOVERBOARD.

When it comes to science, we have all sorts of cool things these days we would’ve loved years ago, but we still lack some of the big inventions that feel imminent (self-driving cars everywhere) and some that we won’t probably see (flying cars). But a hoverboard once was thought to be only the province of Michael J. Fox in his prime.

And now the people behind the popular YouTube HackSmith Industries have created an actual working hoverboard. Does it catch on fire? Yes, quite frequently during testing. But they fine-tuned it, and actually made a hoverboard that works.

The tech behind it is very limiting, of course, as it’s powered by a bunch of super-powerful magnets, and it only works over a sheet of metal, so it’s not exactly road-ready. It was a mechanical engineering student who came up with the right specs to make it work, and the prototype is still very cool if you’re into engineering, sciency stuff, or just fun things in general.

So you might not be able to see one at Target, but it’s fun to see a group of people trying to make working prototypes of stuff we only see in movies (like lightsabers!).

 

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We Finally Have a Keurig for Ice Cream

ColdSnap the Keurig for Ice Cream
(Instagram/coldsnap_delight)

Keurig changed the way many people drink coffee and forever changed office breakrooms (for the worse, get us some real coffee!). So it only makes sense that other foods would chase that pod-based high, and now there’s another contender: soft-serve ice cream. A new product, ColdSnap, is making its case to eat up the precious amount of counter space you have left, with its pod-based soft serve.

 

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A post shared by ColdSnap (@coldsnap_delight)

It is one of the most-hyped new products to be unveiled THIS YEAR (so three weeks), but really, could be a total game-changer to the ice cream game. As the tech moguls would say, this could be just the SHAKE UP and DISRUPTION frozen treats need. At the very least, it’s certainly a much tastier option than the SodaStream collecting dust in your kitchen.

The ColdSnap can churn out some delicious soft-serve ice cream about 90 seconds after you throw that pod in there. They are also working on making frozen coffee, protein shakes, and other products. The entrepreneur behind the product, Matthew Fonte, actually credits his daughters for coming up with the idea for the ice cream machine. He told CNN they were making “invention journals” and his daughter asked “What about a Keurig for ice cream?” and now we have something awesome.

 

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A post shared by ColdSnap (@coldsnap_delight)

So the typical complaints about Keurigs were the avalanche of pods hitting landfills everywhere, forcing companies to switch to more environmentally friendly versions. ColdSnap beat them to the punch, making an easily recyclable aluminum pod that’s safe, convenient, and sustainable.

 

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A post shared by ColdSnap (@coldsnap_delight)

The ColdSnap will be available in select markets later this year and will begin shipping everywhere early next year. If you’re looking for a catch, here it is…it comes with a price tag of $1,000. That four-digit price makes your tasty ice cream harder to swallow, but the company says it’s working to refine its process in order to cut the price in half.

Pods will cost 2.99 each, and you will finally be able to have easy, convenient, ice cream on demand. This is an especially great development for those of us who grew up continually disappointed by the never-working ice cream machines at McDonald’s.

College Student Goes Viral for Incredible 3D-Printed Iron Man Suit

Iron Man Suit by Emily the Engineer
(TikTok/Emily.The.Engineer)

Few things are as inspiring as kids pulling off badass achievements, whether it’s a charity, athletics, or, in this case, science. A recent college graduate is blowing up on Tik Tok for creating an incredibly cool and accurate Iron Man replica suit she made with the help of a 3D printer.

Her suit is truly impressive and the video she put together about the process of making it quickly went viral, pulling down more than 60 million views. Emily Yaird told Good Morning America she posted it right before her college graduation and was overwhelmed by the views it quickly received.

@emily.the.engineeriron man update 🙂 #ironman #fyp #3dprinting #haventseen♬ Celebrate the Good Times – Mason

The suit was a labor of love, and one she did for the first time at age 14, when she put together an Iron Man suit out of Styrofoam and hot glue. When she got to college, she felt she could do better and has been trying to one-up herself ever since. This…will be hard to top. Tony Stark himself would be impressed with her creativity and engineering prowess. The suit has back flaps that open, a laser in the arm, and a helmet that closes.

Her account, Emily the Engineer, blew up after her latest video, as she now has more than 2 million followers. She told a local news station she hopes to get a job making more videos and said it’s a “blessing to be able to do something that is your hobby, for fun, and have people watch and encourage you to do it full time.” On GMA, she shared practical advice for kids interested in engineering; just start.

“Start getting your hands dirty. Build things, get your hands on tools. Making stuff like this has helped me tremendously in things like co-ops, internships and stuff like that, so I definitely recommend getting your hands on stuff and building things.”

Her videos are definitely an inspiration for younger kids and show young people are capable of far more than they get credit for.

And if anyone can appreciate the dedication to tinkering, falling to a hobby, and constantly working to make it better, it’s dads.

New Study Finds 70 Percent of Parents Use Google To Help Kids With Homework

Google Homework
(Getty/Kevin Dodge)

Helping your kids with their homework is a rite of passage for a parent. And what’s tough is that it’s getting harder. 5th-grade math in 2021 is not the 5th-grade math from 1991 or even 2001. The amount of homework kids are assigned has been skyrocketing as well, with some kids having hours of work every night. Don’t feel too bad for parents, though, because we have a secret weapon: Google.

According to a new study by OnePoll and Photomath, a homework assistance app, more than two-thirds of American parents are jumping on Google to help their kids with their homework. And honestly? Why not? There is a serious argument to be made for the youth of America that knowing how to find the right answer (and a trusted answer), is more important than actually memorizing figures and equations. It’s not that different than double-checking your work with a calculator.

OK, many teachers may not buy that argument, but even still, it can’t hurt for a parent to double-check their work (and what they tell their kids) with a quick little Goog.

The survey of 2,000 parents said that nearly 4 in 5 can recall some of the math they learned in school, they also said it was harder to help their kids with their homework. It did say kids will ask for help with homework, on average, five times per week. And when they do, couples typically negotiate (argue!) over who will help.

This is where it can be helpful for each parent to take ownership of certain subjects, so you both don’t have to re-learn everything your kids do. More learning for us? God forbid! And really, that’s why the Google option shouldn’t be a shameful one.

The truth is, we did school, we made it through to the other end! Why should we have to do school two or three more times just because we had kids? That’s when a friendly Google can save your night, and help keep your kid on the right path with their figures.

10-Year-Old Makes Thousands From 10 Shares of GameStop Stock He Was Gifted Years Ago

GameStop Kid Cashes Out
(YouTube/Inside Edition)

It’s one of the wildest stories of a still very young 2021, but after a series of investors on Reddit locked in on stock from gamer retailer GameStop, ripples were sent through Wall Street. What’s become a battle between hedge fund billionaires and a frenzied group of internet folks has added heaps of uncertainty to the stock market…but one 10-year-old boy got to cash out in a big way.

10-year-old Jaydyn Carr received 10 shares of stock in GameStop from his mom as a Kwanzaa present in 2019. His mom wanted to teach him a little bit about investing instead of just getting him another video game. She bought him 10 shares of the stock, which was trading for $6 at the time.

Thanks to the push from the Reddit investors and friends, that stock soared by nearly 5,000 percent since his mom bought it, allowing the Texas youngster to cash out when the price hit $320 a share, earning almost $3,200 in the process.

Jaydyn and his mom would occasionally look at the price, but had planned for it to be a longer-term investment project. She paid little attention to the brewing fracas between Wall Street and Main street (this is oversimplified, but it’s a fun cliché to borrow from EVERY TV NEWSCAST), but she started getting notifications on her phone when the price soared. Suddenly, the stock she bought her son at $6 was over $300.

She asked him what he wanted to do, and he took a break from remote school to cash out, earning a massive haul to a pre-teen.

“I felt shocked and excited at the same time,” he told the New York Times. He plans to save $2,000 and use the rest to jump back into the market.

His mom told CNN she wanted to teach her son about investing, saving, credit card debt, and other important financial topics after his dad died several years ago. She knew financial literacy would be important for him to learn.

“We’re African American. You don’t see a lot of that in our community,” she said. “I wanted to give him a step up when it comes to learning these things because I learned it later in life and I wish I had known sooner.”