Motion sensing solar-charged LED outdoor light for $11


I have a larger model of the Mpow motion sensing solar-charged LED outdoor light and it has performed well since I installed it earlier this year. The light is very bright and the motion sensor is sensitive enough to turn on the light when a person or coyote walks by, but doesn't turn on the light unecessarily. Right now, Amazon is selling a smaller, 8-LED model for $11 (use code PWAVPADF). Read the rest

Everyone is smiling about this lion trying to eat a baby on live TV

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When the baby gets older, she'll learn to politely smile like the grownups around her while something terrifying is happening.

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Cube illusion


Here's a fun way on the checker shadow illusion. I don't know where the image file for this is. If anyone knows, please let me know in the comments. Read the rest

75 percent of Bluetooth smart locks can be hacked


Anthony Rose, an electrical engineer, was able to hack 12 out of 16 Bluetooth Low Energy smart locks as part of his research into their vulnerabilities. He presented his findings at the DEF CON hacker conference in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Via Tom's Guide:

Four locks, for example, transmitted their user passwords in plaintext to smartphones, making it easy for anyone with a $100 Bluetooth sniffer to pluck the passwords out of thin air.

Two of those four models, the Quicklock Doorlock and Quicklock Padlock, sent the password twice, Rose said. He and Ramsey found that they could change the user password by returning the same command with the second iteration of the password changed to something else, freezing out the legitimate user.

"The user can't reset it without removing the battery, and he can't remove the battery without unlocking the lock," Rose said.

Other lock manufacturers said they encrypted the user password for Bluetooth transmissions, Rose said. Technically, they did. But with at least one, Rose discovered that he could simply grab the encrypted password out of the air, then send it back to the lock — and the lock would unlock without the password ever being decrypted.

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Texas mom uncovers massive culture of corruption and sex scandals at US Secret Service

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Malia Litman of Dallas TX describes herself as a stay-at-home mom. Unlike most moms (or dads, or anyone for that matter) she has spent $100,000 suing the U.S. government to turn over 3,900 pages of secret records about widespread sexual abuse and misbehavior by the U.S. Secret Service.

From Dallas News:

When the first Secret Service sex scandals broke a few years ago, she grew curious. A former senior partner at Thompson & Knight law firm in Dallas, she knew that federal law allows us to see government documents.

She began filing requests with the U.S. Department Homeland Security to learn of any incidents of agent misbehavior in the Secret Service, any investigations and disciplinary action.

I'll skip ahead to the end of her multi-year legal battle that ensued. She won. In the end, she received 3,914 pages, some of them so hot they almost burn the fingers. A culture of "wheels up; rings off" meant even married agents could party on foreign trips. Secret Service K-9 units brought their dogs into their hotel room, which the dogs trashed. The agents made payoffs so the incident wouldn't be reported. A agent who missed his flight later showed up drunk with two prostitutes. He was not disciplined. Agents "engaged" with prostitutes in Amsterdam's red-light district during an advance team trip. A supervisor choked a female subordinate because she rejected his sexual advances. A supervisor offered a subordinate a larger office in return for sex. A supervisor took a subordinate to a sex show while on duty.

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Electronic makeup


This is a demonstration of Omote, a real-time face tracking and projection mapping system. Read the rest

Cool magnetic gyroscopic levitation


Here's cobrakiller2000's homemade Levitron-style magnetic top. He says:

The only non-electric way that I know off to get a magnet fully levitating over a magnet and with nice elevation too. Looks way cool and is just overall a beautiful invention in my opinion. Was hard to pull this off. I struggled for weeks before I got it levitating - very delicate system. Yes, gyroscopic forces keep it from tipping over and therefore keeps it in repelling mode as long the rpm are high enough.
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Valve-opening robot fail

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Trying to do simple tasks at a [10]

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A cellular-connected Pokéball for finding rare Pokémon


Particle is a company makes low-cost Wi-Fi and cellular connected microcontrollers for prototyping the Internet of Things stuff. TJ Hunter used a Particle Electron and a GPS chip to make a Pokéball that wiggles when a rare Pokémon is nearby.

Here are Hunter's build instructions.

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Two new great books for Arduino and electronics projects


No Starch Press just released two nice books. Arduino Project Handbook by Mark Geddes has 25 beginner-friendly projects that use Arduino (a low cost electronic prototyping platform), including a Simon-like memory game, a weather station, and a wireless ID card entry system. Electronics for Kids, by Øyvind Nydal Dahl, starts with an easy-to-grok explanation of voltage and current, and has a lot of practical information about components and tools and instructions on how to use breadboards and a soldering iron. The projects look like fun, too. One is a musical instrument that makes sci-fi sounds, and another is a sunrise-activated alarm clock.

Both books are full color throughout and beautifully designed.

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Free Press – A pictorial history of underground newspapers 1965-1975


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Free Press: Underground and Alternative Publications 1965-1975 by Jean-François Bizot (editor) Universe 2006, 264 pages, 9 x 1.1 x 13.5 inches (softcover) $17 Buy one on Amazon

The mid-1960s were an exciting time for art, music, youth culture, society, and politics, all of which were transforming at dizzying speed. The left wing underground press of the time reflected these mind-boggling changes in their design, content, and distribution methods. Underground newspapers from around the world joined the Underground Press Syndicate, sharing articles and illustrations free of copyright restrictions.

These papers gleefully taunted the establishment by promoting recreational drugs, recreational sex, black power, gay rights, women’s liberation, anti-authoritarianism, and anti-war activism. The covers of the papers were bold, experimental, and subversive. When I was designing bOING bOING (the late 1980s/early 1990s zine) I was inspired by the precious few samples of The East Village Other, The Realist, and The Gothic Blimp Works that I could find in used bookstores. I wish I’d had a copy of Free Press back then! Almost every page of this book has a full-color photo of a cover or interior page from dozens of well-known and obscure newspapers from the era. Though much of the design is amateurish and ugly, there are examples of brilliance, too, making this a worthy reference for designers.

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"Monkey Selfie" case headed to U.S. Court of Appeals

Self portrait by monkey

In 2011 a crested macaque in Indonesia took a selfie using photographer David J. Slater's camera. After Slater claimed copyright of the photo, PETA sued on behalf of the monkey, claiming it was the copyright holder. But in January a federal judge tossed out the lawsuit, ruling that non-human animals are not allowed to own a copyright.

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Man hides TV in sliding door

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This is as cool as the DIY parking garage.

Hiding a TV in a sliding door

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Nearly 200 Mexicans stranded at Madrid airport for days

Image: Mexicanas en Madrid/Facebook

183 Mexicans are stranded at Madrid-Barajas airport, some for up to two weeks. They are sleeping on the floor and are running out of money to buy food.

They are grounded because the kind of tickets they are holding are honored only on non-full Aeromexico flights, and since it is tourist season, all the flights have been full.

From BBC

A Facebook group called Mexicanas en Madrid issued a public appeal for help.

"It would be good to supply them with food, drinks, damp towels, spare bottles for water, fruit," their post said, adding that offers of temporary accommodation would be welcome too.

El Pais newspaper said some Madrid residents had offered to put Mexicans up for a few nights.

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What cities around the world would like like if they were "Tokyo-ized"


Japanese architect Daigo Ishii's “Worldwide Tokyo-lization Project” applies a "Tokyo skin" to cities and localities around the world.

From Spoon & Tamago, which has more examples:

The fascinating project takes elements of Tokyo and applies them to 6 global cities: New York, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Paris, La Paz and Venice. The project, originally produced as a video work, is on display at the 2016 Venice Biennale through November 27, 2016.

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Citizen pulls over Texas State Trooper for speeding

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Phillip Turner was on his way to court to fight a traffic citation when he noticed a Texas State Trooper speeding past him. Turner followed him, flashing his headlights at the trooper until he pulled over. The trooper apologized to Turner, who recorded the encounter.

Turner said on YouTube:

I will say this officer was very respectful, honest and owned up to the mistake. He was very professional and I strongly believe this is how officers should behave when they are confronted for doing something wrong. However, the issue I have is that people get citations for speeding all the time I think everyone should be held to the same standards. Throughout all my encounters with police, I believe more cops should mirror his professional attitude.

Turner is a police accountability activist. From MyStatesman:

Turner typically records police activity for the police accountability news site Photography is Not a Crime. Earlier this year, Turner’s footage helped direct police to a man who Turner saw grip what appeared to be a handgun during a fight downtown on the last night of this year’s South by Southwest Music Festival.

Turner is also suing the city of Round Rock and several Round Rock police officers who arrested him for not identifying himself while he was recording in front of the police station.

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15 most poisonous animals on earth


Interesting video about the most poisonous (not venomous) animals, from the Cane Toad to the Striated Surgeonfish.

From the YouTube description (which includes references):

In comparison to venomous animals, poisonous animals are far and few between. It turns out having to get halfway eaten before potentially harming a predator isn’t an incredibly popular adaptation in the animal world. But the animals who managed to stick it out utilize some of the most lethal toxins on the planet, some even eclipsing what even the most venomous animals in the world are capable of. The animals on this list are ordered by increasing oral LD50 (Lethal Dose 50%), so the further up the list we go, the smaller the amount of toxin it would take for your body to fade to room temperature.

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