Boing Boing 

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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Back to the Future Flux Capacitor watch

The Back to the Future Flux Capacitor watch is $50 from Thinkgeek -- naturally, it displays the date as well as the time (and has a mode to make the date jump back and forward to significant dates from the BTTF canon).

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One-handed bottle opener preserves caps for your collection


The Gropener is a one-handed bottle-opener designed to lift off caps without bending them (to preserve them for your collection); the anodized aluminium body has a rare-earth magnet to keep the cap from falling after it's removed.

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Bondic: multipurpose liquid UV-curing plastic adhesive

Bondic is a UV-curing liquid plastic adhesive that can stick together materials that usually require different kinds of glues to bond.

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Vaping hoodie with mouthpiece in the drawstring


Vaprwear has a vaping chamber in the central pocket that feeds smoke out through the drawstring around the hood; they cost about $100 each, in a variety of styles. No word on washing instructions.

Wearable laugh sensor knows when you're feeling good

laugh_sensor At the 2015 Wearable Device Technology Expo in Tokyo in January, a tech firm introduced a small lapel worn sensor that can tell when the wearer's laughing, talking, or in trouble. Based on 10-years of "laugh-detecting" research, it's meant to help monitor the health of senior citizens. According to researchers:
To know they are "laughing" will help you see that they are happy and mentally well. "Falling" may indicate an emergency situation. This device reassures you that your loved ones, who live far away, are doing well.
via Tim Hornyak, IDG News Service

Nova Scotia artist generates furious noise from hand-made sound machines

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Artist Rebecca Baxter of Halifax, Nova Scotia makes noisy, grating, often ethereal sounds from machines she designs and solders herself. Demand has been high for her one-offs, including those used in recordings and performances by Flaming Lips, Electric Wurms, New Fumes, Mike O'Neill, Panos, METEOROID, Holy Fuck, Buck 65, and Oscillator Sunshine Machine.

Now she's launched a campaign to raise money to build more sophisticated handmade instruments. So far her devices have been stand-alone, creating sound from oscillators inside, but her next model, the Omega, is slated to have inputs for a guitar or keyboard. More videos: 1, 2, 3.

Ad-hoc museums of a failing utopia

Photographer David Hlynsky took more than 8,000 street photos in the Eastern Bloc, documenting the last days of ideological anti-consumer shopping before the end of the USSRRead the rest

Cuddly log-pillows

Just in time for the Twin Peaks revival, a microbead-filled, photorealistic plush log pillow, which comes in "birch," "log" and "platanus" (and is glowingly reviewed by hundreds of satisfied customers).

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Tactical cutlery


The Buck 941 Travelmate Kit Chocolate Paperstone Knife is a tactical spreading knife with a clip-on multispork.

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Kickstarting Keybiner: a multitool caribiner that also holds your keys


It's a bottle opener, multidriver, wrench-set, and comes in brass, stainless, blackened or anodized aluminum, and it holds up to 14 keys, as well as a USB stick.

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The dystopian future of quantified babies

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A group of design students from a Swedish university published an insightful academic paper last year spoofing all the baby health trackers now pitched to parents. The trackers measure things like a baby's breathing rate, heart rate, and sleep, and are made by startups including Mimo Baby, Owlet, Sproutling, and Monbaby.

Is this fear mongering for new moms? Or will these devices actually offer valuable data on infants? I think it's too early to tell. But the paper does a good job of critiquing the design pitfalls of the user experience. It argues such devices could needlessly raise anxiety and remove intuition from parenting.

There's a cool hand-drawn storyboard of a new mom deciding not to go the park with Johnny after she binges on biometric data:

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Also, a good rendering of an epidemiological map overlay that would show all the kids in your neighborhood suffering from excessive booger:

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The beauty of an energy-free treadmill

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I've been coveting the world’s best manual treadmill, the EcoMill ($7,000). But until I have a spare seven grand, I have to run with conventional electric mills. Most use a lot of juice -- between 800 and 1800 watts continuously -- because they have ot lock down a consistent pace with a low-cost mechanism.

At a sleepy little gym and pool complex here in Vermont, on a conventional electric machine this week, the current was so high it overloaded a nearby stereo receiver playing upbeat pop music for a water aerobics class. All of a sudden, seven wet, angry seniors swarmed from the pool. Encircled by bright floaties, they demanded I quit running so the music would come back on. I tried to explain the concept of a blown fuse and how treadmills use high wattage because they can’t rely on the friction like spin bikes and how the world really should invent a cheap electricity free mill. But at that only enraged them, and they gripped the handrails and rocked the machine side to side.

I really want my own EcoMill for the house. Or maybe a human-sized hamster wheel.

 

Pedal Genie stomp box

Caroline Cannonball

Pedal Genie is a Netflix-like service for guitar pedals. It's great. But my first experience was offputting. A strange generic metal box arrived in the mail with a lot of unidentified knobs. It made sort-of-distorted sounds when plugged into a guitar and amp. I wasn't sure how to use it! So I immediately issued a complaint to Pedal Genie. An email came back in response saying it was actually a “one-off,” “hand-wired” “work of art,” implying that I didn’t appreciate such a fine custom pedal. They were right. I plugged it back in and indeed learned to like the Caroline Guitar Company Cannonball that they had sent.

File alongside other consumer complaints: “My caviar tastes salty” and “My Harley is too conspicuous, loud.”

Padded messenger bag disguised as a huge leatherbound hardcover


It's from Thinkgeek, and includes a removable internal pad/divider/organizer, fits 15" laptops, and has an internal zippered compartment, $50.

Battery with AC outlet charges laptops

Like all portable chargers, the ChargeTech charges USB devices, but it also has an AC outlet to charge laptops (and other AC devices under 65W). Amazon sells the 12,000 mAH model for $270, but StackSocial has it for $185. The 18,000 mAh model is $205.

Kickstarting a next-gen steampunk nixie clock


Kyle writes, "The first clock in my series of Steampunk Nixie timepieces was successfully funded on Kickstarter last year, and I've just released the next design! Sleeker, smaller, and at a lower price point, the clock is available in black walnut or purpleheart. 700+ backlight colours, and a ton of other features, each unit is handmade by me."

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Solar-charging battery for USB devices with massive 20000mAh

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The ZeroLemon SolarJuice 20000mAh Battery, which sells on Amazon for $80, is on sale for the next five days at Stacksocial for $50. I'm getting it for an upcoming trip with the family.