Crowdfunding a bike-lock that squirts vomit-inducing antipersonnel gas when cut


The Skunklock is a $109 crowdfunded gadget that contains pressurized vomit-inducing gas the creators call "Formula D_1," and which is intended to induce immediate vomiting when inhaled, as well as difficulty breathing, "A lot of similar symptoms to pepper spray." Read the rest

Fidget toys to disperse your nervous energy


I dote on fidget gadgets -- soothing gizmos intended to give your hands something to keep busy with, like modern worry-beads -- and while you can't buy Chris Bathgate's amazing machined sliders, and the Fidget Cube Kickstarter just closed, there's still Thinkgeek's new Jumbo Noah Fidget Toy, which looks like a lot of fun and "features two interlocking rings that are also connected together with five links on each ring. The center link is larger and has a colored rubber band that rolls back and forth like a treadmill." Read the rest

The tiniest touchscreen "phone" of them all


VPhone is a wee "phone", surely the most wee of them all. It has a 1.54-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, FM radio, pedometer, 128MB (megabytes!) of storage, a heart rate monitor, some social network-monitoring apps, and a choice of "simple and stylish" black or silver trim. The radio's quad-band GSM, so if you can get your hands on one it should work on T-Mobile and ATT in the US.

Yes, there's also a 3.5mm phone jack. The Verge's Ashley Carman:

Some of you might read these stats and think they’re sad. I kind of agree, but I just really love how little this phone is, so it cancels out depressing spec reality. ... The S8 appears to only be available in China, so we, once again, will have to keep dreaming. I’m trying, everyone! I think if we dream hard enough we can force these cool phones to appear in front of us. Will it.

Agreed! It's a curious device that seems more a chunky call-enabled smartwatch than a fully-featured mobile--and the English is a bit ropey on the product page, so it's not really clear if it can make voice calls without a BT connection to another device. Carman points to this 2.45"-screened crapgadget as the smallest bona-fide smartphone on offer; the ancient Sony-Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini, despite its age, is probably a better bet in the 2.5"-ish range. Read the rest

Galaxy Note 7 now banned from air travel


Withdrawn by Samsung and recalled from store shelves, the explosion-prone Galaxy Note 7 is now forbidden in the skies. The Federal Aviation Administration has officially banned it, via an emergency prohibition order, making it a federal crime to take one on board an airplane.

The order restricts passengers from carrying the phone "on their person, in carry-on baggage, in checked baggage, or as cargo," and says that anyone who inadvertently brings one on a plane must power it down immediately. Carriers are also required to "deny boarding to a passenger in possession" of the phone.

Passengers who bring a Note 7 onto a plane are "subject to civil penalties of up to $179,933 for each violation for each day they are found to be in violation (49 U.S.C. 5123)," and could be prosecuted, which could "result in fines under title 18, imprisonment of up to ten years, or both (49 U.S.C. 5124)."

It is already a cult object, ready to take its place among the more dangerous inhabitants of our descendants' wunderkammers.

Read the rest

Turning light-sockets into LCD projectors


Beam is a lightbulb replacement that screws into any light-socket and turns it into a remote-controlled LCD projector. Read the rest

Leatherman MUT: great-looking successor to the Skeletool


There was a time when I had a lot of multitools: it started innocently, with a classic Leatherman "pocket survival tool," which I carried everywhere, and because when you have a multitool, everything looks like a screw, bottlecap, thing-in-need-of-sawing/scissoring, or filing, I used it all the time. Read the rest

The FEEL FLUX grants the sense of slowing down time


I’ve been playing with my FEEL FLUX for weeks and its hit rate in the amazement department is 100%.

Each time you drop the metal ball through the copper tube you’d expect it to zip out the other end but instead, it lazily creeps from one end to the other and dribbles out into your waiting hand.



A “Silent Catch” is what happens when you toss the ball into the FF and it slowly glides down the sides without making contact with it.  I have to say that it’s satisfying and magical every time I pull off the maneuver.

As the ball glides down the tube, the magnetic field changes inside the metal wall and when this happens, a bit of voltage is created.   This reaction is not unlike a tiny, temporary battery and is called an electromotive force. The movement pattern of the voltage moves down with the ball and looks like this:



What could be simpler?

The tube’s material is an electrical conductor and drives current around in circles as the ball descends. The scientists at my laboratory tell me that when this happens, a second magnetic field is created that opposes the downward motion of the magnetic ball. The ball wants to fall through the tube at 9.8 meters per second but the field wants to halt it and of course, gravity wins in the end. And here’s the crazy part – the faster the initial downward motion, the more powerful the slowing force becomes. Read the rest

Samsung gives up on exploding cellphone, withdraws Galaxy Note 7 for good


The Wall Street Journal reports that Samsung is to withdraw the Galaxy Note 7 cellphone for good. Subject to recurring reports of fires, even after replacement, the dodgy smartphone's burned through users' pockets to threaten the Korean brand itself.

The New York Times describes it as a "a humbling about-face."

The demise of the Galaxy Note 7 is a major setback for Samsung, the world’s largest maker of smartphones. The premium device — with a 5.7-inch screen, curved contours and comparatively high price — won praise from consumers and reviewers, and was the company’s most ambitious effort yet to take on Apple for the high-end market.

But Samsung has struggled to address reports that the Galaxy Note 7 could overheat and catch fire because of a manufacturing flaw. Last month, the company said it would recall 2.5 million phones to fix the problem. But in recent days, Galaxy Note 7 users emerged with reports that some devices that had supposedly been repaired were overheating, smoking and even bursting into flames. And on Monday, Samsung asked Note 7 customers to power off the phones while it worked on the problem.

Previously: Southwest plane evacuated after Samsung Note 7 catches fire. It was a recall replacement. Read the rest

Samsung pauses production of exploding phone as retailers pull it from the shelves


The Samsung Galaxy should be renamed the Samsung Supernova: despite recall and replacement, the company's smartphones keep burning up in spectacular fashion. The Korean manufacturer has paused production and retailers are pulling it from the shelves, reports the BBC.

In a further blow, two US mobile networks have stopped replacing or selling the phone.

The AT&T and T-Mobile networks said they would no longer replace the devices in the US, while the latter said it would halt all sales of the phone. "While Samsung investigates multiple reports of issues, T-Mobile is temporarily suspending all sales of the new Note 7 and exchanges for replacement Note 7 devices," T-Mobile said on its website.

This Samsung phone led to a flight being evacuated

Meanwhile, AT&T said: "We're no longer exchanging new Note 7s at this time, pending further investigation of these reported incidents." It advised customers to exchange them for other devices.

Among the unlucky customers was Brian Green, who took the above photo of a Note 7 that wrought havoc on an airplane. Read the rest

Best sweaters of British television in the 1980s


Curious British Telly has done the work, finally, to assemble the penultimate collection of 1980s fashion errors and exaltations: 22 of the Most Hideous Jumpers on British TV in the 80s. Noel Edmonds is the presumptive winner, of course, but there are many more in store for aficionados of the era after UK scientists learned the dark art of fluffy polyester. [via Metafilter, where Devonian notes the sad omission of legendary British yarnlord and former politician Gyles Brandreth, imaged below by a probe orbiting dangerously close to the cultural event horizon.] Read the rest

Make: jointed, hot glue-gunned cardboard toys


The Grid Kit makes a range of DIY toys that you punch out of precut cardboard sheets, glue-gun and assemble; the finished toys have working joints and can be painted or left plain. Read the rest

Mystery man smashes up Apple store


This video depicts a man in the Dijon Apple store smashing up phones and laptops with a metal ball. Everyone just lets him get on with it, presumably for legal reasons or corporate policy. By the time a mall cop arrives, he's already done.

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R2-D2 French press pot


Thinkgeek's $40 R2D2 French press coffee-pot starts shipping in early November, in time for Xmas delivery. Holds 32oz, BPA-free, and the carafe is dishwasher safe. Read the rest

Dice so nerdy, they make other dice seem not nerdy


Eric Harshbarger's weird, laser-engraved dice are a tour-de-force: a pair of D6s for figuring out where to go for dinner in NYC; another D6 to figure out which die you should roll; an all-20s critical hit D20; Sicherman D6s that have different faces to a normal D6 pair, but the same probability distribution; punctuation mark dice (I've had students who were definitely using these); dice for indecisive people, and so on. Read the rest

Concrete computer keyboard


Redditor ipee9932cd couldn't find a keyboard to their liking, so they built the casing of their dreams—out of cement. The brutal board weighs in at 12 pounds (yes, heavier than an IBM Model M) and "it takes some force to move it."

Being my first concrete cast, I chose not to put any rebar and want to see what happens over time. I know nothing about concrete, just did some research and went for it so we'll see what happens. It's not moving off my desk, even if I try, and when I do move it I never hold it from one edge. I was thinking about trying basalt rebar or glass fibers for the next cast...
the full gallery has 5 glorious shots of this brutal contraption, and there's an accompanying how-to gallery to show each step of the way. (Not shown is dismantling a keyboard and installing the important bits, but I guess if you're that far into custom keyboards it won't be a problem for you.) [via r/MechanicalKeyboards]

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Lawn Jawas with solar-charged light-up eyes


Thinkgeek's $80 Lawn Jawas are a weird mix of kitsch, bad taste, technology, and fandom. Read the rest

Giger's Alien coin-bank


Eli Livingston's $23 viynl Big Chap bank is a beaut (I bought one last week when I saw it in person in a store): the whole sculpt is awesome, but the tinted/clear-plastic brain-casing is just the best. Read the rest

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