Dad Hacks Xbox’s Adaptive Controller so His Daughter Can Play Zelda

Xbox’s Adaptive Controller is designed to help people with disabilities play Xbox games. However, it doesn’t work with other game platforms. Rory Steel figured out how to adapt the controller for Nintendo Switch so his daughter can play Zelda with her friends.


Gamer Builds Toronto in Minecraft

Gamefruitpulp, a person who plays Minecraft, started to use Minecraft to build a 1:1 scale model of their home town in Toronto, Canada with the help of a small community. They’ve tracked progress in a series of YouTube videos. And architects and urban planners pointed them to an open source website that describes Toronto buildings and resources. They’re also hoping to get Minecraft developers to expand the limits of their game so they can build the tallest building in Toronto, the CN Tower, which is double the height allowed to build in Minecraft.


Math Finds the Best Way to Load an Airplane

If you’ve waited to board an airplane flight, then struggled down a crowded narrow plane aisle to your seat, maybe you’ve wondered if there’s a faster way to get everyone seated. Turns out math has solved this problem. You might think the solution is to have the fastest people board first. But you’d be wrong. If slow pokes board first, the math says the plane will load quickest. That’s the result of running 10000 simulations of four possible boarding algorithms.


A Mummy Speaks with 3D Printing

Nesyamun was an Egyptian priest who lived 3000 years ago and whose coffin noted that he had a wonderful voice. Fast forward to 2019 and 2020 and a team of scientists have used CT scans of Nesyamun’s mummy to 3D print his vocal layrnx, hooked it up to a loudspeaker, and replicated a single sound, a vowel that sounds like eh. Turns out there’s a lot of research around how humans and animals speak, including a mummy!


How Your Voice Sounds on Mars and Other Planets

Ever wonder how your voice might sound on a planet besides Earth? Our voices depend on vibrations from our larynx that travel through the atmosphere. On our planet, the nitrogen and lack of carbon dioxide in the air makes our voice vibrations travel well. On Mars, however, the atmosphere is 95% carbon dioxide and our voice vibrations would quickly be stopped by the thick atmosphere. Plus our blood would boil and bad things would happen in seconds. More likely our talking or singing would end in screams.



  • Tim Slavin

    Tim is an award-winning writer and technologist who enjoys teaching tech to non-technical people. He has many years experience with web sites and applications in business, technical, and creative roles. He and his wife have two kids, now teenagers, who are mad about video games.

Also In The April 2020 Issue

As students reach the age of 13 the importance of them understanding their rights and privacy online becomes crucial.

The iDTech summer camp recently posted 102 questions. Here are a few with links to the full list.

Being well-read is essential in everything in life, and coding is no exception! Here are some book recommendations to make you a coding master.

The circus is in town, but they're missing one of their colourful balls. Let's make one for them!

Sundials were one of the first ways people kept track of time. But how did they work?

New to physical computing? MircoPython may be perfect or you!

It's project time! In this article we go over how the same processes used in big factories can be used to control a simple LED.

What do bubbles, pancakes, and spaghetti all have in common? They're all great for sorting!

Yee-ha! In the wild wild west of the internet, antivirus software is a must-have partner.

Exploring the concept of RAM and how it helps your MInecraft game run better.

Breaking down big problems into smaller ones is a great way to solve them. Let's see how recursion helps us do this!

How did this pale blue dot that we call Earth first begin? The answer is even more fascinating than imagined.

Have you ever wondered why your computer's mouse is called that? Well it all started with a fellow named Douglas and a block of wood...

How do you power devices at the top of mountains and the bottom of oceans? Let's find out!

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Interesting stories about computer science, software programming, and technology for April 2020.

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