Boing Boing 

$17 radio amp lets thieves steal Priuses

If your car has a proximity-based ignition fob that lets you start the engine without inserting a key, thieves on the street in front of your house can use an amp to detect its signal from your house and relay it to the car, getting away clean.

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Travel smart with hanging compression shelves

I spend one in three nights on the road -- in hotels, on friends' couches, even in RVs -- and figuring out luggage is my obsession, which is why I gave Valet Luggage Compression Shelves a try. Read the rest

Walmart's $150 Chromebook not awful, say reviewers

k2-_8d372c8c-01b4-4d04-a02f-805a6a72063d.v2 HiSense's amazingly cheap laptop is "a good, basic experience that doesn’t feel as slow as some past ARM Chromebooks have," writes Andrew Cunningham at Ars Technica. PC World agrees, writing that "it is now possible to buy an adequate computer for $149, a cash outlay many people can afford."

Matt Weinberger thinks that the design is surprisingly sleek for a low end machine "that's far more than I could have asked for" given the price.

CNET's Sarah Mitroff warns that the keys feel mushy, but says it's a promising pick for people who just want the cheapest decent laptop going.

One downside is that there's only one place you can get it.

Snuglet - prevent accidental power cable disconnects

Millions suffer in silence as the freakin’ MagSafe magnet in Mac notebooks turns out not to be strong enough, so every time you shift on the couch it falls out. I don’t know if you have this problem, but many of us are very frustrated that the magnet is not as strong enough as it was in the old days.

There was a successful Kickstarter thing called a Snuglet. It’s a shim, it looks like a staple. This tiny liner for the MagSafe jack, through some miracle of physics, amplifies the magnetic grip of the power plug so that it does not fall out unless you really kick the power cord or trip on it or something, which was the original idea. -- David Pogue

This is from the Cool Tools Show podcast with David Pogue. See all of David's picks here.

Multitool in a hair-clip


The $10 Monkey Business Clippa Mini Tools Clip is a hair-clip with a sawblade, trolley coin, wrench, phillips screwdriver, ruler, and eyeglass screwdriver.

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Backchannel: computers can talk to each other with heat

A paper by Ben Gurion University researchers to be presented at a Tel Aviv security conference demonstrates "Bitwhisper," a covert communications channel that allows computers to exchange data by varying their temperature, which can be detected by target machines within 40cm.

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Nagra IV-L: the pinnacle of tape recorder UI


A design classic from 1968, with all the dials, knobs, switches and buttons you could possibly need.

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Gamer jewelry


New Zealand jeweler Charlie Meaden's OG gamer pieces include these shiny game-controller earrings and the Space Invaders ring, both available in gold or silver. (via Geeky Merch)

The 1982 JC Penney Christmas Catalog


631 lovingly scanned pages for your perusal; may I draw your attention to the electronic toys, including Little Professor at $15, Speak and Spell digital at $62, Coleco Frogger at $60, Merlin at $31.50, Simon at $32, Pocket Dungeons and Dragons at $20 and Electronic Battleship at $40 (multiply by 2.42 to adjust for inflation).

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Star Trek sushi set


The beams of blue spacewarp light on Thinkgeek's $35 Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise Sushi Set detach from the Enterprise's nacelles to form chopsticks, while the saucer section unscrews to form a soy sauce dish. (via Geeky Merch)

A 10000mAh portable USB charger for $13

kmashiIn 2013 I paid $80 for a 6000mAh USB charging unit. Here's a 10000mAh charger for $13.

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DRM for woo: "light therapy" mask's LED only works 30 times


The Illumask LEDs only fire for 30 15-minute sessions, despite being rated for 30,000 hours, thanks to a patented system.

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Alternate universe, Star-Wars scale Cthulhu action figures


Warpo's amazing, Kickstarted alternate-universe Cthulhu action figures have been reality for some months now, but now they're objects of commerce: $20 each at Thinkgeek.

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Portland cops charge homeless woman with theft for charging her phone

In Portland, OR, "Jackie," a homeless former social worker with muscular dystrophy, was hit with a misdemeanor theft charge for charging her phone from a plug on a planter-base on a sidewalk; she spent a day in jail when she missed her arraignment.

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This Book is a Planetarium (really!)


Master paper artist Kelli Anderson has a forthcoming title called This Book is a Planetarium that literally converts into a planetarium, as well as a smartphone amplifier, and many other paper contraptions.

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LED lamp made from real dandelion fluff


Studio Drift's Dandelight uses a "stem" of copper that mounts directly to a 9V battery, and its halo of dandelion seeds are hand-plucked from a real plant and glued, one at a time, to the business-end.

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Laptop killing booby-trapped USB drive


The USB Killer is a booby-trapped, hand-made USB drive that will "burn down" your laptop if you insert it into your USB slot.

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