A Qwiic Update

The SparkFun Qwiic Connect System is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1 mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong. The …

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How the new virtual reality ‘Star Wars’ experience gets us closer to a theme park ‘metaverse’

After a fulfilling and action-focused ending to the second season of “The Mandalorian,” fans of the “Star Wars” brand are no doubt hungry for other experiences within the space opera universe. Few offer as thrilling a pitch as “Star Wars: Tales From the Galaxy’s Edge.” The game stands as a showcase for the latest in …

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Sensirion Sensors and Breakouts

With our recent partnership with Sensirion, we wanted to take a look at the products and boards we offer as well as some projects and tutorials!

MacKenzie Scott, the Amazon billionaire, is giving away $1 billion a month to charity

One of the wealthiest people in the world, MacKenzie Scott, has spent the end of 2020 giving away about $1 billion a month, a staggering amount that sets a high mark for tech billionaires in terms of speed. Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, disclosed on Tuesday that she had donated $4 billion …

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Tony Hsieh is gone, but his Las Vegas vision is finding new life

Tony Hsieh had ambitions that reached far beyond the shoe-selling business. After moving Zappos, his billion-dollar e-commerce company, to the Las Vegas suburbs and selling it to Amazon, he set his sights on transforming the city itself, pouring $350 million — mostly of his own money — into its hollowed-out downtown core, two miles north …

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California’s new contact-tracing app: What you need to know

Beginning Thursday, Californians will have the option to receive smartphone notifications if they’ve been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. California on Monday announced the public rollout of an app to support the state’s COVID-19 contact tracing efforts. Called CA Notify, the app relies on a tech framework created by …

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How quickly can the US distribute a Covid-19 vaccine? Here are the four biggest logistical challenges.

The first shipments of Covid-19 vaccines could be just days away, as the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna shots await regulatory approval. Within 24 hours of the Food and Drug Administration’s go-ahead, either of these vaccines could begin shipping throughout the US in weeks, if not days. The vaccines’ successful journey from the pharmaceutical companies’ manufacturers to …

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What happened to department stores?

Department stores, once a symbol of the American middle class, have been declining for years, along with the shopping malls they anchor in communities across the US. Just last year, both the high-end Barneys and the country’s oldest department store, Lord & Taylor, went bankrupt and announced plans to close all their locations. Then came …

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The 4 Best Micro ATX Motherboards 2020 Reviews and Buying Guide

When choosing the right components and parts for your PC, you will find a wide range of options out there. This especially gets confusing when choosing the motherboard of your computer since it acts as the central hub for the rest of the components. Even if you are looking for a mid-range motherboard, going with …

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The pandemic was great for Zoom. What happens when there’s a vaccine?

If 2020 was the year Zoom rode the pandemic to skyrocketing success, 2021 could be the year the videoconferencing company comes back down to Earth. Zoom started trading on the stock market in April 2019. At the time, it was known for being a rarity: a newly public tech company that actually turned a profit. …

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The 5 Best Modems For Gaming In 2020 Reviews and Buying Guide

A modem is one of the most simple yet highly important devices needed to connect to the internet. It is used to modulate and demodulate network signals making it highly important if you are using the internet. Although a low-performance modem can cause a lot of latency issues, which are quite obvious in games. Hence, …

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The controversy behind a star Google AI researcher’s departure 

Google’s workplace culture is yet again embroiled in controversy. AI ethics researcher Timnit Gebru — a well-respected pioneer in her field and one of the few Black women leaders in the industry — said earlier this week that Google fired her after blocking the publication of her research around bias in AI systems. Days before …

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The PS5 and Xbox Series X just ushered in a new game era. But not for the reasons you think

For more than three decades the video game industry has promoted technological leaps as the reason to be an early adapter of new consoles, creating a marketplace and a fandom that idolizes boxes and their components. Yet after spending a few weeks with the new video game consoles from Sony and Microsoft — and even …

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Survey the Brobdingnagian Wilds

Hello everyone and welcome back to another Friday Product Post. If you celebrated Thanksgiving last week, we hope you were safe and ate a ton of turkey and maybe scored a few amazing sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This week we have several new products to show off, and it all starts with …

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WarnerMedia’s CEO explains why he’s blowing up the movie business

Last month, WarnerMedia announced that HBO Max subscribers would be able to watch Wonder Woman 1984 at home on Christmas Day — the same day it would debut in movie theaters. That was a very big deal for the movie industry. So this is a much bigger deal: On Thursday, WarnerMedia said it will use …

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Better Running Through Science

I have been active for the bulk of my life – doing team activities like lacrosse and wrestling, and more individual activities like rock climbing, parkour and cycling – but the one thing that brings me no joy is running. Regardless of how much or how well I train, I seem to be unable to …

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A surprising number of government agencies buy cellphone location data. Lawmakers want to know why.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will investigate its own use of location data after it was revealed that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was purchasing cellphone location data from commercial vendors for use in its work. The DHS’s Office of the Inspector General recently informed Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ed Markey, Brian Schatz, Elizabeth Warren, …

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Reality TV meets video games … on Facebook? A new social experiment

Part video game, part reality show and part animated series, a new project airing on Facebook wants to shift the thinking on interactive television. “Rival Peak,” which will run daily for 12 weeks, allows for different levels of user engagement, unfolding as a scripted series that will shift based upon audience input. At first glance, …

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Data Logging for Air Quality

What gets people interested in air quality is different for everyone – for some it’s wildfire smoke, for others it’s general pollution, and for the founder of PurpleAir, it was a nearby gravel pit. From a humble beginning, PurpleAir has grown to a network of almost 11,000 air quality sensors in 80 countries. While their …

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Want to help animals? Here’s where to donate your money.

If you care about animals and want to reduce their suffering, but aren’t sure exactly how, Animal Charity Evaluators has you covered. The California-based nonprofit has released its annual list of top recommended animal charities. Most of these charities focus on strategies that aim to improve conditions on factory farms — or to get around …

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Column: This company will pay you to share your data. Is it worth it?

You already know that businesses buy and sell people’s personal information, padding their own pockets but never giving consumers — the rightful owners of the data — a piece of the action. Until now. A start-up called Killi, based in Toronto with offices in Los Angeles and New York, says it will pay people every …

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Game ON!

One of the best things about this job is that I get to play with new products. If you have a gamer in your family, listen up: The SN30 Pro Bluetooth Gamepad and the Lite Bluetooth Gamepad (which also comes in yellow) from 8BitDo are REALLY cool. And just in time for the giving season! …

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Ajit Pai, Trump’s FCC chair who repealed net neutrality, is leaving on January 20

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chair Ajit Pai has announced that he will leave the agency on January 20, when Joe Biden is sworn in as president. This gives Biden at least one commissioner slot to fill on his first day in office and, should that choice be confirmed, a Democrat majority to fulfill his vision …

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Cyber Monday at SparkFun

You’ve got one more day left in our month of sales – today! If you’ve waited all month, this is it. If you haven’t waited all month, this is still it, because tomorrow is December and it doesn’t make sense to have November sales in December. Cyber Monday Deals Rules & Info: The sale will …

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Covid-19 is turning urgent care centers into America’s favorite clinics

Demand for urgent care is spiking as the country continually breaks daily records for new Covid-19 cases. This makes sense: Americans are seeking out coronavirus tests more than ever and urgent care centers are one of few places people can walk up and get one without an appointment. In fact, urgent care is quickly becoming …

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The 6 Best Solar Backpacks In 2020 Reviews and Buying Guide

One of the most common issues you will face while traveling to remote areas is finding a power source to charge your smartphone and other mobile devices. Thankfully, solar panels can work almost everywhere as they convert sunlight to electricity. As a result, a few backpacks also include inbuilt solar panels, which includes the best …

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One of the few Black C-suite execs in tech is starting a firm to invest in Black, Latinx, and women entrepreneurs

Mike Smith is a versatile and well-respected executive in the e-commerce industry. He also happens to one of the few Black C-level leaders in tech. Now he wants to play a bigger role in changing that. Smith has served as president, COO, and interim CFO over eight-plus years at Stitch Fix, the online apparel retailer …

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Black Friday Sales are Here!

Black Friday sales are here! I repeat, Black Friday sales are here! Black Friday Deals Discounts ranging from 15-60% off! Helpful Reminders: Please note that SparkFun is closed Friday, Nov 27th. Don’t forget, Cyber Monday deals are just around the corner on November 30! Shipping Information: We put together a handy guide on when the …

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The 10 Best Deep Cycle Batteries In 2020 Reviews and Buying Guide

A deep cycle battery is essentially a high-performance battery that can handle a lot of discharge cycles. These batteries offer the same amount of current and performance even up to the point till they are almost discharged. Since these batteries can be used in many applications like boats, RV, golf carts, and more, we have …

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Big California donors want to fill Kamala Harris’s Senate seat with a woman of color

Some of California’s biggest political donors are urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to choose a woman of color to fill the seat of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Given how rare it has been for a Senate seat in the country’s largest state to become vacant, California leaders have been hard at work trying to lobby Newsom …

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How Facebook and Twitter plan to handle election day disinformation

A man in the Atlanta suburbs was scrolling Facebook in late October when an ad popped up claiming his polling place had changed. At first glance, the change didn’t seem to align with official records. He suspected it was a lie — potentially a voter suppression tactic. He had already voted by mail, but was …

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Why streaming devices and streaming networks are fighting over your eyeballs 

When Wonder Woman 1984 opens in theaters on Christmas Day, most HBO Max subscribers will be able to watch the movie at home. Emphasis on most: Right now, that group of HBO Max subscribers does not include those who use a Roku device to watch streaming TV. This is because Roku, which dominates the US …

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‘Bugsnax,’ ‘Sackboy’ and more next-gen family games you should own

Today’s games provide many wonders, including complex stories with multiple quests and missions that provide the illusion of letting us stitch together a linear story. But they are also big, and sometimes overwhelming to start. I enjoyed my first hour with “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla,” a massive Viking-themed addition to the long-running open-world franchise, but stopped …

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Thanksgiving Eve Product Post

Hello everyone and welcome to a very special Wednesday Product Post. We have several new products to show off today and it all starts with new versions of the NEO-M9N GPS Breakout and ESP32 WROOM Thing Plus. These new boards are very similar to their previous releases, but now include new connections based on your …

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