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Facebook Viewpoints pays users for well-being surveys & tasks

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Facebook is launching a new market research, task, and product testing program that lets users earn money. Starting today, people in the US who are over 18 can download Viewpoints and participate in a well-being survey so Facebook can learn to “limit the negative impacts of social media and enhance the benefits.” Other opportunities include completing online chores on behalf of Facebook, or trying out new apps or devices ahead of launch so Facebook can refine them.

The well-being survey will take about 15 minutes score users 1000 points, which translates into a $5 reward that’s paid over PayPal. People interested in signing up can join Viewpoints here. The company claims it will only use the data collected internally and won’t sell it. Facebook Viewpoints is available on iOS and Android, and the company plans to open the app to more countries next year.

The question is whether users will be comfortable giving up even more data Facebook. Many are already creeped out by Facebook, but the monetary incentive might override their morals.

Meanwhile, Facebook will have to work to prevent the app from beinh abused. Most importantly, it needs to figure out how to make sure underage minors aren’t slipping into the app. They might be more vulnerable to coercion by cash, and less aware of the consequences of sharing their data.

I tried using Viewpoints but wasn’t invited to the well-being study or any other opportunities, so I couldn’t earn any money or try it out further as som studies are open only to people in certain locations or demographics. For now you have to log in with a Facebook account but it showed greyed out options for Google, phone, and email login that Facebook says are coming soon. Payments can take up to 10 days to process and your points expire after 5 years. Facebook won’t post or publicly share any info you provide through the app.

The launch of Viewpoints comes after Facebook shut down its paid market surveillance program Research and its free VPN that collected users’ data Onavo in the wake of a TechCrunch investigation that found the company was paying teenagers for their data while breaking Apple’s rules about distributing employee-only apps outside of a company.

The social network relaunched its market research efforts under the name Study From Facebook in June with a commitment to not allowing kids access. But in the meantime, leaked court documents have shown that Facebook purposefully used market research collected from Onavo to find potential rivals to cut off from its data. Facebook is now under anti-trust investigations surrounding concerns that disadvantaging its competitors hurt consumer choice in social apps.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2019/11/25/facebook-viewpoints/

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23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

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Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
Whether your shopping for your kid (or your inner child), each one of these kits is fun, informative, and on sale.
Whether your shopping for your kid (or your inner child), each one of these kits is fun, informative, and on sale.
Image: Sunfounder

Whether you love coming up with awesome inventions or are looking for a fun hobby that will challenge your brain, do-it-yourself electronics are a super entertaining way to build something cool while learning about engineering and science.

It’s like having your own grownup science fair, but this time you win. And because you can’t really “just go get started” with DIY electronics, a kit to guide you is really the best place to start. Got kids or nieces and nephews in your life? There are some great kid-friendly options that are a lot better than watching Frozen II for the fifth time in a row.

The kits start at just $14.99 — so go wild. 

Beginner Raspberry Pi and Inventor Kits

GrovePi+ Starter Kit for Raspberry Pi

If you want to get on the fast track to prototyping hardware and bringing your inventions to life, this kit has everything you need. Take a stab at putting together a GrovePi+ board (which you can then slip over your Raspberry Pi) all on your own for $89.99.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

Grove Base Kit for Raspberry Pi

Another beginner-friendly kit is the Grove Base Kit for Raspberry Pi (on sale for nearly 19% off). It comes with physical equipment, as well as an easy-to-follow demo that helps you get comfortable with Raspberry Pi without requiring soldering or complicated wiring. Get it for just $32.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

CrowPi Raspberry Pi Accessory Kit

Ready to take your Raspberry Pi inventions wherever you go? This portable kit contains a variety of DIY components, as well as a built-in touchscreen and camera that doubles as a mini computer. And right now it’s on sale for $220.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

Grove Inventor Kit for micro:bit

To get the most out of your micro:bit (aka a pocket-sized computer), you’ll want a core board, as well as sensors, displays, and an actuator that can allow you to expand the breadth of projects you can work on. This Inventor Kit, which is on sale for $55, brings it all.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

Crowtail Starter Kit For Micro:bit 2.0

Another way unlock the full potential of the Micro:bit 2.0 is with this affordable $89 Crowtail Starter Kit. With one of these in your back pocket, you’ll be able to create robots, musical instruments, and everything in between, even if you have little to no coding background.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

Grove: Starter Kit for Arduino

Arduino gives you the ability to create a certain output based on a sensor (such the touch of a button making a certain noise). Let your creativity soar with this starter set, which comes with a step-by-step manual designed for novices, just in case you have absolutely zero clue where to get started. It’s valued at $49.90, but it’s available for just $39.99 here.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

Elecrow Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit

Ready to build a computer that can surf the web? This Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit has you covered, with an LCD touchscreen, WiFi adapter, and of course, an instruction manual, to get you started. It’s just $108 in the Mashable Shop.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

Kid-Friendly DIY Electronic Kits

DIY Robotic Art Kit for Ages 6 to 9

Introduce the kiddos in your life to the fascinating world of STEM with this Robotic Kit. It comes complete with a variety of creative DIY projects that allow them to explore not just science and robotic technology, but art, too. Normally $69, it’s just $49 here.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

DIY Robot Curiosity Kit for Ages 8 to 10

This robotic set its a great stepping stone for kids learning to develop and design functioning robotic technology. It’s a great way to get them interested in STEM. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s on sale for $99, down from $119.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

DIY Coding Kit for Ages 8 to 12

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: coding isn’t going anywhere. So start ’em young on their computer programming journey with this interactive coding kit (created for kids aged 8 to 12).  Its electronic modules have all the essentials children need to build something cool while gaining the basic fundamentals of computer programming. Normally $99, it’s on sale for just $79.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

TinyTesla Musical Tesla Coil Kit

Remember when potato alarm clocks used to be our go-to science fair project? Nowadays kids have the TinyTesla Musical Coil Kit, which can shoot sparks and make music at the same time. It’s on sale for 14% off, just $197.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

3D Printing Kits

SparkMaker Original SLA 3D Printer Starter Bundle

Want to 3D print your digital designs? With the SparkMaker Starter Bundle, all you have to do is insert an SD card with your pre-loaded design, and then in a matter of minutes, you’ll start to see your creation come to life. Normally $396, this starter bundle is just $299 here.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

3Doodler Start Essentials 3D Printing Pen Set

When a 3D pen has a number of awards attached to it (including the Toy of the Year Award and 2016 National Parenting Product Award), it’s safe to say, it’s good — read: really good. The 3Doodler uses low-heat, BPA-free plastic to create illustrations and figurines in IRL. Bring it home for $49.99.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

3Doodler Create+ Master Creator 3D Pen Set

For those on the hunt for the new and improved version of the 3Doodler, as well as a variety of nozzles that can help change the shape and texture of your designs, additional plastic refills, and a 144-page project book to boot, look no further than this Master Creator Set. Get the entire kit for $149.99.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

3Doodler Create+ Essentials 3D Printing Pen Set

If you’re looking for the latest version of the 3Doodler, the Create+, but without all the extras that come with the Creator 3D Set, the Essentials 3D Printing Set ($79.99) fits the bill. 

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

3Doodler Start Mega 3D Printing Pen Set

Last, but not least on our 3Doodler list is the Mega 3D Printing Pen Set. For young creators, it comes with a variety of resources (including the 3D pen, 3Doodler Eco-Plastic, DoodleBlocks and activity guide) that makes 3D printing possible pretty much anywhere. Get it for just $99.99.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

Beginner-Friendly Circuit Kits

Circuit Scribe: DIY Circuit Kits

Circuit Scribe takes a seemingly ordinary piece of printer paper and turns it into a working circuit board for creating blinking lights, noisy buzzers, and motors. If you want to get started with circuits, these kits have everything you need to for $32.99 (normally $59.99).

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

More DIY Fun

BONDIC® Starter Kit + Extra Refill

Superglue doesn’t touch BONDIC. This liquid plastic (which only solidifies when you cure it with UV LED light) will be your ultimate fixer-upper tool, allowing you to repair tricky items (like insulating and connecting wires or attaching pieces of broken ceramics back together) that might otherwise have been destined for the trash. Normally $24,99, this kit and an extra refill are on sale for just $14.99.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

DIY Bionic Robot Lizard

We have a few robotics kits on this list that are designed for kids. But what about the kids at heart? If you fall under that category, consider the DIY Bionic Robot Lizard kit, which gives you all the tools to build a fully functional robot that can be controlled through visual programming language software. It’s usually priced at $65.99 but is available for $54.99 right here.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

Crowtail NodeMCU Internet of Things Kit

With a total of 19 DIY lessons and 30 different modules you can build, the Cowtail NodeMCU lets you dive headfirst into building electronic hardware — all for just $89

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

SunFounder Robotic Arm Edge Kit for Arduino

Always wanted a robotic arm to do whatever you tell it to do? You’re in luck. All you need is the right tools and instruction to get started, both of which you can score with this SunFounder Robotic Arm Kit (now on sale for $54.99). 

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

SunFounder Nano DIY 4-DOF Robot Kit

What’s the most fun way to learn robotics? By programming this “Sloth” robot to dance, play a game of soccer, or walk around the house, of course. You won’t even realize you’re learning how to code like an absolute pro. Normally $59.99, it’s just $46.99 right now.

23 DIY electronics kits that make learning STEM super fun

Source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/mashable/tech/~3/cuJ6XThalE4/

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Tackle spring cleaning early: Shop vacuums on sale for less than $100

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Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
These vacuums will help make your easy post-game cleanup the true victory.
These vacuums will help make your easy post-game cleanup the true victory.
Image: Walmart

TL;DR: Get a top brand vacuum on the cheap. Walmart has plenty on sale right now for less than $100.


Like it or not, the big game is almost upon us. You know, that massive football thing that happens every year around this time? And if you’re hosting a watch party, that means crumbs, spills, and a whole lot of yelling about blown calls and a disappointing halftime show. Won’t that be fun?

You already have the giant new HDTV set up and upgraded your slow cooker game for that killer chili and queso dip everyone loves. Maybe you even ponied up for a tabletop grill this year to keep the burgers plentiful. But with great hosting also comes the inevitable chore of cleanup once the game is over and all those fair-weather fans have left a big mess behind. Luckily, Walmart has you covered with plenty of brand name vacuums on sale for under $100, most of which include free delivery. 

Some everyday vacuums can run upwards of $300, which in our opinion is ridiculous. Instead, check out our list below for a few more affordable options from trusted names like Bissell, Shark, and Hoover. Then you’ll be able to clean up like a champ once the inevitable, anti-climactic blowout happens like it does pretty much every year.

Tackle spring cleaning early: Shop vacuums on sale for less than $100

Source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/mashable/tech/~3/LyxukTcsTa8/

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This ultrasonic gripper could let robots hold things without touching them

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If robots are to help out in places like hospitals and phone repair shops, they’re going to need a light touch. And what’s lighter than not touching at all? Researchers have created a gripper that uses ultrasonics to suspend an object in midair, potentially making it suitable for the most delicate tasks.

It’s done with an array of tiny speakers that emit sound at very carefully controlled frequencies and volumes. These produce a sort of standing pressure wave that can hold an object up or, if the pressure is coming from multiple directions, hold it in place or move it around.

This kind of “acoustic levitation,” as it’s called, is not exactly new — we see it being used as a trick here and there, but so far there have been no obvious practical applications. Marcel Schuck and his team at ETH Zürich, however, show that a portable such device could easily find a place in processes where tiny objects must be very lightly held.

A small electric component, or a tiny oiled gear or bearing for a watch or micro-robot, for instance, would ideally be held without physical contact, since that contact could impart static or dirt to it. So even when robotic grippers are up to the task, they must be kept clean or isolated. Acoustic manipulation, however, would have significantly less possibility of contamination.

Another, more sinister-looking prototype.

The problem is that it isn’t obvious exactly which combination of frequencies and amplitudes are necessary to suspend a given object in the air. So a large part of this work was developing software that can easily be configured to work with a new object, or programmed to move it in a specific way — rotating, flipping or otherwise moving it at the user’s behest.

A working prototype is complete, but Schuck plans to poll various industries to see whether and how such a device could be useful to them. Watchmaking is of course important in Switzerland, and the parts are both small and sensitive to touch. “Toothed gearwheels, for example, are first coated with lubricant, and then the thickness of this lubricant layer is measured. Even the faintest touch could damage the thin film of lubricant,” he points out in the ETHZ news release.

How would a watchmaker use such a robotic arm? How would a designer of microscopic robots, or a biochemist? The potential is clear, but not necessarily obvious. Fortunately, he has a bit of fellowship cash to spend on the question and hopes to spin it off as a startup next year if his early inquiries bear fruit.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/22/this-ultrasonic-gripper-could-let-robots-hold-things-without-touching-them/

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