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Show and Tell: Laser Cutting Norm's Wedding Favors

For this week's Show and Tell, Norm shares the homemade wedding favors that Frank helped make for Norm's recent wedding ceremony using his Universal Laser Systems cutter. The project was straightforward and simple to execute, and Norm couldn't be happier with the results!

Adam Savage and John Scalzi Chat Sci-Fi!

Before joining us for a recording of Still Untitled at New York Comic Con, science fiction author John Scalzi sat down to chat with Adam about his most recent writing projects, fan convention culture, and the status of John's film and television projects.

Google Play App Roundup: CTRL-F, Particular, and CELL 1

If you're going to be supporting app development on Android (and you should), you might as well pay for the best content you can. That's what the Google Play App Roundup is all about. This is where you can come every week to find out what's new and cool on Android. Just follow the links to the Play Store.


I would not usually feature a wallpaper app, but this isn't just any wallpaper app. This is Wallpapers by Google. Just a few days before the Pixel shipped, Google decided to release the Wallpaper chooser from that phone as a standalone app that anyone can install.

The app includes access to all the photos stored on your device, as well as stock wallpapers that came with it. The focus, though, is the Google-provided wallpapers. There are five categories in the app: Earth, Landscapes, Cityscapes, Life, and Textures. Each one has a couple dozen photos, and Google says it will continue adding more images over time.

When you tap on an image to view it, the app downloads it from the web. It takes a second or two, depending on your connection speed. Each image comes with embedded source data allowing you to learn more about it. In the case of images that came from a partner like 500px, you'll be linked to the image on the artist's page. For the Google Earth snapshots (my personal favorite), the explore link opens Maps and takes you to the location.

Each category has the option of setting a daily wallpaper as well. Choose that option, and the app will rotate in a new image each day. While you can install this app on any Android device running 4.1 or higher, it has special capabilities on devices running Nougat. Google added native support for different wallpapers on the home and lockscreen in Android 7.0. So, this app lets you set an image for one or the other, or both. I tested this on an LG V20, and it worked perfectly.

If you like the style of Google's wallpapers as of late, this app is a must-have. The selection of images is great, and it's only going to get better. It is, of course, free.

Izmojuki's Beautiful Urban Mech Model Kit

We fell in love with this industrial mech design on display at New York Comic Con! And it turns out these intricate figures are going to be real toys, launched via Kickstarter. We chat wit Yuta Tobari, the design director for the Izmojuki mech line at Sen-ti-nel toys about how this design came about and what's in store for the model kit.

The Design and Development of High-End Collectible Toys

We meet Klim Kozinevich, who runs Bigshot Toyworks, a design firm that works with companies like Sideshow Collectibles, Mondo, and KidRobot to develop and produce high-end collectible figures. At New York Comic Con, we chat with Klim about what goes into the making of toys like Mondo's Iron Giant and Sideshow's StarCraft II Raynor figure.

Here is Nintendo's Switch Hybrid Console, Due March 2017

In an age where it's nigh impossible to keep a new product secret, the Nintendo Switch, previously known by its codename NX, was generally a known quantity. In a short video released by Nintendo, we can finally see this new hybrid console in action, coming March 2017.

The device itself is essentially a tablet, with a screen size of around 7 inches. On either side are the Joy-Con controllers and they have a fairly traditional layout. Unlike the Razer Edge, these controllers are naturally integrated with the Switch. Physical games will come on carts, and are inserted into the top via a covered port.

Whether you're on the go or at home, the controllers can slide off the device and be used wirelessly. They can still act as one controller this way, and there will even be a controller shell, the Joy-Con Grip, available for the Joy-Cons to slide into. Or, they can function independently for multiplayer games, kind of like a smaller Wii Remote. Wait, this is a tablet, isn't it? How will you hold it if you're using the controllers detached? POW, kickstand.

The Switch also doubles as Nintendo's new home console. Included is a dock with various ports that the tablet slides into. This dock covers the screen of the Switch, so this isn't like the Wii U. You won't have a game displaying on your TV and still interact with the screen on the tablet. You can then detach the Joy-Con controllers as previously mentioned, or use the new Pro Controller that Nintendo will also sell.

The Norm Show - Episode 52 -10/21/16
This episode of CreatureGeek, we talk to Norm Chan, the man behind! We chat about my visit to Robert Kurtzman's Creature Corps Studio and The Paranormal Penitentiary, about the haunted house season and we get into it in our discussion about Westworld. Yee-hah! Listen in! If you're digging this podcast, please head over to and support us with a few bucks.
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How Google Assistant is Different from 'OK Google'

We've been able to talk to our Android phones in a conversational manner for years thanks to the power of Google search. However, Google has been focusing more on voice over the years with features like the "OK Google" commands. Then at Google I/O, the company started talking about Assistant, but it neglected to really explain what Assistant is and how it's different from the Google search features you already have on your phone. Let's see if we can work it all out.

Google Everywhere

At its heart, Assistant is an impressive artificial intelligence engine. It's like Google search, but more powerful and aware of context. Google's voice and text search features in the past have always been built into the Google Search app on Android. However, Assistant is designed to be integrated into more places, and it will be explicitly labeled as Assistant instead of just being some amorphous "Google" thing that can go by any number of names depending on the context (eg, Google Now, voice actions, and so on).

In the new Allo chat app, Assistant is what powers the Google chatbot. On the Pixel (and maybe more Android phones in the future), Assistant is the omnipresent voice-activated search tool. In Google Home, Assistant can do voice searches and control connected smart home devices like Hue lights and the Chromecast.

The way Google Assistant and all of Google's other voice tools is really unchanged. Your words are transcribed locally on the device, then uploaded as text snippets. That's faster than streaming the raw audio to be processed in the cloud. That's why Assistant in its chatbot form and conversational voice form work in mostly the same fashion. So, when you hear about Google Assistant, it's not really a replacement for Google voice search or OK Google—it's more of an evolution.