Is the Holy Stone HS100 the best drone money can buy?

The Holy Stone HS100 is a drone on Amazon that has two interesting qualities. First, it's one of those undesigned generic gadgets resold by numerous brands with SEO-stuffed and bizarre product names (e.g. "Holy Stone GPS FPV RC Drone HS100 Camera Live Video GPS Return Home Quadcopter Adjustable Wide-Angle 720P HD WiFi Camera- Follow Me, Altitude Hold, Intelligent Battery Long Control Range")

Second, it has thousands of glowing reviews. Thousands. Are they real? Are the Holy Stones any good? DroneDJ checks it out.

The Holy Stone HS100 and HS100G are both rebranded versions of the SJRC S70W. The only places to buy the Holy Stone versions of these drones is on Amazon and on Holy Stone’s website. SJRC (also SJ R/C) is the brand of the original manufacturer. According to my source, the manufacturer is a Chinese factory called Apex.

You might think that I am going to totally trash the HS100 as a terrible drone. I’m not going to do that. I have tested 100s of drones, many of which are pretty bad. For the most part, the HS100 (SJRC S70W) does what it is supposed to do. That’s more than can be said for many of the cheap toys you can find on Amazon and elsewhere online.

Surprise! It's ok. But the reviews, it must be said, are definitely fake. Read the rest

Will this Unreal Engine real-time ray tracing demo run on my 486DX?

What better way to show off a second mortgage's-worth of parallelized GPUs (Eight Nvidia V100s, apparently) raytracing a scene than Star Wars' Captain Phasma?

The Unreal Engine's been knocking socks off for a long time:

Read the rest

The world's littlest laptop is yours for $399, but is it the ultimate writers' gadget?

The GPD Pocket is a wee laptop with a 7" high-dpi touchscreen display and an enticing $399 price tag. It'll be light on power, with an Intel Atom CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, but promises about 12 hours on a charge and two USB ports, one of them type C.

There's a ThinkBook-style tracknipple in lieu of a trackpad. It'll run Ubuntu or Windows 10 and, somehow, they managed to sneak a headphone jack on there. Read the rest

Is Trump on crappy prescription stimulants, like Hitler?

Gawker's Ashley Feinberg reports on rumors that Donald Trump, presumptive Republican candidate for U.S. President, is on "cheap speed."

...according to a source with knowledge of Trump’s current prescriptions, that letter isn’t telling the whole story. Most notably: Donald Trump is allegedly still taking speed-like diet pills.

Rumors of Trump’s predilection for stimulants first started really popping up in 1992, when Spy magazine wrote, “Have you ever wondered why Donald Trump has acted so erratically at times, full of manic energy, paranoid, garrulous? Well, he was a patient of Dr. [Joseph] Greenberg’s from 1982 to 1985.” At the time, Dr. Greenberg was notorious for allegedly doling out prescription stimulants to anyone who could pay.

Previously: Hitler was injected with all sorts of crazy drugs Read the rest

Did Nostradamus predict President Trump?

Michel de Nostradame, the 16th century apothecary and seer, published prophecies that remain chilling to this day. Their power is in their peculiar mix of vagueness and specifics: they describe nightmarish scenes with names and analogies that adhere with unsettling elegance to the political forces and personas of later ages.

Here, for example, is a classic quatrain held to describe the French Revolution:

"From the enslaved populace, songs, Chants and demands While princes and lords are held captive in prisons. These will in the future by headless idiots Be received as divine prayers."

Once you've decided what any given quatrain is about, it reads like an eyewitness report by an educated man from an earlier era, trying naively to describe in terms meaningful to him the sights of an apocalyptic technological future. You can imagine him getting high, looking into the fire or a glass ball, and feverishly transcribing the incomprehensible terrors he observes.

Among Nostradamus' greatest hits were Hitler (to whom references to "Hister" are said to apply); Saddam Hussein, whose name accommodates the terrifying "Mabus" character; and Barack Obama, of course, who fits that name even better.

Sure, it's all quite silly, a load of could-mean-anything Renaissance creepypasta. And there's humor to be found in the fact that Nostradamus is so good at predicting things that have already happened.

But where's Donald Trump?

He's mad, he's bad, and he's on track to be the Republican nominee for U.S. Read the rest

Do you really trade your privacy for service on Facebook?

I spoke with Farai Chideya for an Intercept story about the way that the dossiers Facebook maintains on the world's population are getting more detailed, more compromising, and more aggressively mined, even as the number of people in those dossiers continues to grow. Read the rest

Worst ghost photo ever

Photo: Nottinghamshire County Council

The Daily Mirror asks, "Is this the ghost of White Lady of Rufford?" Read the rest

Raw venison for breakfast?

Wolf researcher Werner Freund chomps into a leg of deer at Wolfspark Werner Freund, in Merzig, Germany, earlier this year. (Photo: REUTERS/Lisi Niesner) Read the rest