Thanks for the box of worthless crap, Meh!

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Boing Boing proudly welcomes our sponsor, Meh.

I was completely unprepared for how disappointed I was going to be with my random box of crap from Meh.

The folks at Meh told me I didn't have to like anything they sent. Dave told me over and over, it is ok if we hate the stuff. Having tried out most of what they sent me, I can safely say I was entertained, then frustrated, scared, confused, frustrated again, kinda bored and slightly angry. A box of crap indeed!

When I opened the cardboard box, I still thought maybe I'd get something really great. I didn't think this was impossible! I'd seen some items listed that I was sure would be a lot of fun to play with. Right on top, first thing out of the box was something I thought would be great: the CAP Clip-A-Phone!

This looked like a lot of fun! A SmartPhone mount for the brim of a baseball cap? What could go wrong? I grabbed an old hat, some hair clips and my Great Pyrenees. Amazing fun, right? I envisioned a hilarious Dog's Eye view of the world revealed through a camera clipped to my best friend's head. Luckily I didn't destroy my phone.

CAP turns your hat into an unbalanced weight dangling just above your face. There is no way a dog, even with lots of hair clips, and a bandana tied over his head holding it on, could walk with it on. Putting the hat on my 9 year old daughter allowed my phone to drop about 3 1/2 feet to the ground, luckily, the hat and clip protected it from taking the brunt of the fall. Read the rest

Deals on gadgets from Boing Boing and Morningsave

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We've come together with our pals at Morningsave to offer you a couple neat gadgets! All three were things we collectively thought were fun to play with, and that you might like! Check them out...

First up, for only $39, we've got the Ion Audio Vinyl Motion Portable Turntable. This portable record player comes in a suitcase, just like that first record player you got 40 years ago. Unlike the tinny sounding beast of yesteryear, this guy comes with both RCA and USB outputs! Readers with an eye to the future will encode their vinyl as MP3s!

Next we've got the Nabi Look HD action camera. Unlike more expensive models, at 5 to 10x the price, this camera is cheap. $35 cheap. If you want a camera that'll record 1080p video, in an underwater housing, that you don't mind losing or destroying, this is the camera for you! While the Nabi Look outputs to microSD, and has a bunch of other features, mostly what this camera is notable for is not being valuable. Opens up a lot of possibilities in the world of action cameras, doesn't it?

I was excited to see some photos taken with the Cheerson CX-10C Video Cam Quadcopter. I am still waiting. Thus far I can barely get the thing to hover without careening into a wall. The copter does come with a 2GB microSD card and certainly implies that a competent pilot could capture some interesting shots. Maybe you'll have better luck. I'd stick with the record player. Read the rest

Meh. Our sponsor who sends us random boxes of crap

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Boing Boing very proudly welcomes our new sponsor, Meh.

Meh is a daily deals site that often struggles to explain what the products they are selling are, what these gadgets do, or why you might possibly like them. They handle this the same way I approached college: if you can't offer useful information, make up something that sounds oddly plausible. You'll marvel at the creativity and sheer bullshit that goes into drafting the descriptive copy for the goodies they offer the world.

Sometimes you'll find a gem. Occasionally, you find something kinda useful in a limited, and likely to break soon kinda way, for an incredible price! Those are special Meh moments. Treasure them.

Meh is about fun! That's why they are sending each one of us at Boing Boing a random box of of crap that was literally laying around their warehouse. They really don't care what we think of the stuff, they hope we find something fun, or at least destructive, to do with it. We're not supposed to tell you how perfect it is. Every week or so this summer, one Boinger after another will receive a mystery Meh box and will share their wonder, bemusement, or disappointment, at what arrives. We may be weird, but to us this sounds very fun.

This video was made during the shoot for our Virgin America seat-back entertainment channel. If you fly Virgin America, watch Boing Boing TV on Channel 10 in the television channel selections. We had a lot of fun making it! Read the rest

Ray: One Remote to Rule them All

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Boing Boing is proudly sponsored by Ray, the super remote!

About a month ago, Boing Boing received a Ray Super Remote in the mail and for a moment we thought we were looking at a new smart phone. From the clean white minimal box it was packaged in, to its sleek glass face, we were impressed by the simplicity and beauty of this new take on an outdated, but important everyday object... the TV remote.

One of the most striking aspects of Ray is that it’s not cluttered with a bunch of plastic buttons. Instead, it is a touchscreen. Ray sports smooth Gorilla glass on its front and back, and has an elegant machined aluminum sidebar on the right with just three buttons, which you can use to easily turn the device on and off, hit mute, and control the volume.

The Ray’s packaging did not include an instruction booklet. Instead, Ray walks you through the set-up process with its user-friendly touchscreen after you turn it on. It asks about your program and channel preferences as well as more basic questions in order to customize your Ray to work with your equipment. Which premium movie channels do you have? What types of shows do you watch? What are your favorite channels? Who is your cable provider? What devices (TV, DVR, Apple TV, Fire TV, Xbox, etc.) do you use? You answer by simply tapping on icons or “yes” and “no” boxes, depending on the question.

Ray is so easy to navigate that even the biggest technophobe on the planet could tap through this process without a sweat. Read the rest

RAY: the smartest remote on Earth

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Boing Boing is proudly sponsored by Ray, the super remote!

Walk into almost any room with a television set, and you’re bound to come across an unseemly pile of remote controls. The more game consoles and streaming media players we collect, the more plastic remotes we accumulate, and after 50 years of TV remote technology, controlling what you want to watch on your television set is more confusing than ever. Not even the traditional universal remotes have helped much. Why? Because most universal remotes are designed to function the same way as the remotes they’re trying to replace!

The only way to fix the remote control madness is to erase our notion of what a remote control is and how we interact with them. Start from scratch and reinvent one. Be less about how we control things and more about how we enjoy them. And that’s exactly what Ray Super Remote has done. Unlike any other remote control, the Ray recommends what you want to watch based on what you like to watch. It learns and improves the more you use it, tapping into various video sources like content from your cable provider, movies on Roku and other streaming services, making the TV experience less about searching through guides and more about sitting back and watching old favorites or new discoveries.

Founded by CEO David Skokna and created by a team of engineers and designers who come from innovative companies like Apple, MakerBot, Amazon, and Nokia, Ray could easily be mistaken for a smart phone. Read the rest

Unboxing the Boing Boing x Quarterly Maker Box!

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See inside our Maker Box with Quarterly!

Earlier this year we teamed up with Quarterly Co. to curate their very first Maker Box! This was a brand new subscription and we were stoked to be apart of it. Each Maker Box includes at least three kits with a variety of themes and projects to be worked on. For this box, the theme was “grow”. We wanted to cover all aspects of DIY with a focus on growing - as a person, through the gadgets you’ll build and your plants!

The first kit was hand-picked by us for you: Farm Curious Vegetable Fermenting Kit. Fermentation is a fascinating chemical process that transforms food, making it more delicious and nutritious. Every time we ferment something we’re amazed. Milk into yogurt! Cabbage into sauerkraut! Cucumbers into pickles! Our mouth is watering as we write these words. We hope the Farm Curious kit turns you into a fermented food fanatic, too.

Also included was an original Makey Makey kit. Ever wanted to turn bananas into a piano? Or make your own game controller for a computer game? Well with the Makey Makey Classic you can! Makey Makey is an invention kit that allows you to turn any object into a touchpad and connect it to the internet.

For those with green thumbs, and those who tend to forget, we also included this DIY Thirsty Plant Kit from Technology Will Save Us. With this, you will always know when your plants needed water. Read the rest

A Happy Mutant’s Home Office

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Boing Boing is proudly sponsored by HP’s newest Color LaserJet Pro, the MFP M477!

Boing Boing is a truly distributed company. Each member of the team maintains a separate office, or lair, from which they work. Our Publisher, Jason, shares his home office with his two dogs, a cat, a lot of books, guitars, and a bunch of toys. In typical Happy Mutant style, Jason combines functional efficiency with his own offbeat aesthetic to create a space from which to publish Boing Boing.

Here are a few things that help make his office great:

Jason likes to have a lot of desk space, but physically can’t sit down for extended periods. He needed a very large standup desk. They don’t make them. As an aficionado of classic mid-century furnishings, he thought a mechanical Hamilton drafting table would do the trick. It did! By depressing a pedal with his foot, Jason adjusts the height of his work surface from sitting to standing and between. Swinging a lever lets him adjust the angle of the desktop from horizontal to vertical, transforming the surface into a whiteboard as needed.

Space is another huge consideration for Jason. His office is packed with musical instruments, props for various magic tricks, and a lot of books. The devices he needs to conduct business, like a printer, must be very carefully chosen. Through this course of this program, HP sent Jason an amazing new Color LaserJet, the MFP M477, to replace a seriously outdated C series inkjet. Read the rest

An interview with ROBERT JACKSON BENNETT on the occasion of the publication of THE CITY OF BLADES

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Boing Boing is proud to welcome Robert Jackson Bennett's The City of Blades as a sponsor!

In a world where politics have run amuck and consumers must choose from over 300 varieties of toothpaste, one seemingly simple question rises to the fore: what is my next great read? Luckily for you, ladies and gentlemen, we have the answer to that question – a book that will satisfy your cravings, turn that frown upside down, reduce wrinkles in women and stimulate hair growth in men. In short, my friends, it is a miracle book indeed.

And you don’t have to take my word for it; the bookish masses all agree that Robert Jackson Bennett’s books are a wonder. Author Jim C. Hines (Libriomancer) said: “Every once in a while I read a book that's so well done, I find myself wanting to punch the author in the face out of pure envy. Congratulations Bennett, you just made the face-punching list!" Blogger G. Brown of Nerds of a Feather, writes “Dazzling, sophisticated and thoroughly modern... Imagine China Mieville and George R. R. Martin stuck in an elevator, with only a laptop to keep them company, and you’re almost there. Robert Jackson Bennett is a name to remember and a talent to behold.” – G. BROWN, NERDS OF A FEATHER

Lean in closer, my friends, and I will whisper to you the names of these great books: Mr. Shivers, The Company Man, The Troupe, American Elsewhere, City of Stairs and the brand-new, much-anticipated, and thoroughly-magnificent (imagine a drum roll here, please) City... Read the rest

Introducing Boing Boing's Maker Box

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Quarterly.co is launching a brand new Maker Box subscription. This new Maker box features DIY kits and hands-on projects perfect for makers of all ages. You’ll receive kits to build your own gadgets, electronics, quirky tools, and more. Each quarter will feature a new curator, new ideas and new projects. The first curator is Boing Boing! Each box will contain at least 3 kits and will cost $100. The box ships in February. Read the rest

First Look: Jason Gurley’s ELEANOR

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Jason Gurley's ELEANOR is a proud sponsor of Boing Boing!

A new novel for readers of Neil Gaiman, Lev Grossman, Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life, and Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Eleanor is the story of identical twins, Eleanor and Esme, who have a secret language all their own. They’re inseparable, until a terrible accident changes everything and reality begins to unravel in strange ways for Eleanor. The first time it happens, she walks through a school doorway, and finds herself in a cornfield, beneath wide blue skies. When she stumbles back into her own world, time has flown by without her. Again and again, against her will, she falls out of her world and into other, stranger ones, until finally she is ripped from the fabric of time itself. Far from home, she will encounter creatures both familiar and dangerous, and a stranger who may hold her only chance to rescue her family.

An excerpt of Eleanor by Jason Gurley:

It happens again.

The roiling static, the not-so-subtle tug of something—as if a black hole has opened up in her bedroom and is trying to suck her right through the doorway. She doesn’t have time to say a word, but a terrible thought unfolds in her mind like a vortex of its own—What if nothing is real; what if everything is just made up, and anything can happen?—and she feels a powerful urge to resist the thought, because to give in to it, to even consider it, would unhinge her completely.

Read the rest

Evolving E-bike designs and technology changing the face of urban commuting

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Boing Boing proudly welcomes Mando as a sponsor!

Anyone who commutes to work in a major metropolitan center like New York, London, Paris or Berlin knows all too well about the challenges of getting from Point A to Point B. And urban dwellers struggle to choose between options that all seem to have drawbacks.

Packed trains, busses and metro lines with unpredictable reliability, vehicle restrictions, expensive parking, and mind-numbing traffic, not to mention costs of either public or private transport, all have led commuters scrambling for alternatives.

The traditional bicycle has emerged a strong contender for favored commuter method, especially as cities become more bike friendly with special lanes for two-wheel travelers, incentive schemes to motivate would-be bikers, and even convenient rental stations that allow easy access to bikes most anywhere you might need one.

So while there are many reasons to consider biking to work, there’s one reason urban commuters have shied away from this alternative.

“Sweat,” says Ben Jaconelli, owner of London-based Fully Charged bike shop near London Bridge. “People don’t want to arrive at work all sweaty and have to carry an extra set of clothes and then shower at the office. They want the most efficient and hassle free way to get to work, and humping across town on a push bike is not necessarily the best approach to achieve that.”

The e-bike alternative

Enter the electric bike. Long considered a handy way for older or less active folks to enjoy the experience of biking, e-bikes struggled to gain widespread appeal, especially for the younger set. Read the rest

Give the gift of flight with a 3DR Solo™, the first smart drone

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Boing Boing is thrilled to welcome 3D Robotics as a sponsor!

Want a truly unique gift for someone special (even if that someone is you)? Then check out the 3DR Solo, the first smart drone. Designed like no other personal drone on the market, Solo’s dual computers deliver cutting-edge features, while making Solo amazingly easy to operate.

Only Solo optimizes the full powers of your GoPro™ and even lets you control the camera during flight. Want to fly and shoot like a pro, right out of the box? Then use Solo’s automatic Smart Shots™ that make capturing cinema-quality aerial footage as easy as pushing a button. Worried about safety? Solo’s software includes airspace safety information to make flying Solo as safe as it is easy.

Solo is also the gift that keeps on giving. Its expansion bay and free software updates ensure you always have the latest and greatest technology – you won’t have to buy next year’s drone to get next year’s technology. Read the rest

Charitable Giving Guide 2015

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A guide to the charities we support in our own annual giving.

Sponsor shout-out: SparkFun Electronics

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Boing Boing is thrilled to welcome SparkFun as a sponsor this holiday season! Check out their fantastic gift guide!

Back in 2003, the world was still celebrating its unexpected triumph over Y2K, and SparkFun was but a twinkle in Nathan Seidle’s eye. Then, after the University of Colorado engineering student shorted out a component for a project and struggled to find a replacement, he threw up his hands in true infomercial style and shouted, “There has to be a better way!” Several credit cards maxed out on inventory and pizza later, SparkFun was born, and through twelve years, 150 employees (and 30 or so dogs), two buildings and over 2,000 DIY electronics products, the company has flourished under the banner of open source accessibility and education on which it was founded.

SparkFun also lives up to its name – from its annual Autonomous Vehicle Competition, to letting employees build an apartment inside the office for field testing projects, to years of elaborate electronic office pranks, SparkFun plays as hard as it works. Need more evidence? Check out this year’s edition of their decidedly creative annual gift guide and come away with some excellent ideas for everyone on your list AND an alternative use for all that eggnog.

And finally as an added bonus use the promo code BoingBoing2015 for $10 off your order of $50 or more until 12/31/2015. Happy inventing! Read the rest

Sponsor shout-out: ShanaLogic's halfling door locket necklace

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A special holiday thank you to our long time sponsor Shanalogic! Shanalogic is a curated shop of handmade and independently produced gifts, many of which we own and love! Check out this fantastic Halfling Door Locket Necklace!

Fantastical Style!

You'll feel magical when you wear this lovely halfling door locket necklace inspired by your favorite heroic halfling! Each antiqued bronze door features a hand-painted door with window and knob, that opens to a compartment for a photo or small secret letter.

Perfect for fantasy buffs and anyone who wants to show their love for the best trilogy of all time!

ShanaLogic's halfling door locket necklace Read the rest

Buy Boing Boing merch and bring about the final, heaven-like stage of history

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Each and every item in the Boing Boing Dry Goods store had been blessed by a Discordian Monk, imbuing it with extra entropy. If enough people by these items, our ancestors will look back on 2016 and say, "It was the year when they finally immanentized the Eschaton."

Read the rest

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