This smallish portable USB charger from Kmashi is rated at 5000mAh and is on sale now for $8.38 when you use promo code: PIRVWBWG on Amazon. I have a few different Kmashi chargers, and have used them for over a year with good results. Read the rest
The flashlights in our household have a tendency to wander off. Where do they go? I gave my last remaining one to my daughter for a camping trip, so I just reordered an 8-pack of metal LED flashlights for $14. Each flashlight has 9 LEDs and uses 3 AAA cells (included, though some reviewers on Amazon have reported that they did not come with batteries). I keep one in the car, one in my travel bag, and the rest in a kitchen drawer, where they no doubt plotting their escape. Read the rest
Unlike a multimeter, this battery tester isn't battery powered. Instead, it measures the voltage across the terminals of 9V, AA, AAA, C, D and 1.5V button type batteries. It's also easier to use than multimeter probes. It's only $6.61 on Amazon and has a 4.5 star rating with over 1500 reviews. Read the rest
This handheld magnifying glass has two bright LEDs and is powered by 3 AAA cells (not included). The manufacturer says the magnification is 40X. I think it is less than that, but it is still plenty powerful for my needs - mainly, reading the markings on tiny electrical components and checking the layer fusion on 3D printed parts. I have a few different magnifiers, and this one has quickly become my favorite.
It's not like a regular magnifying glass. It's more like a jeweler's loupe. To use it, you hold it up to your eye and move close to the thing you want to look at.
It comes with a fake leather pouch. At $2.93 + free shipping on Amazon, it's a great value. Read the rest
The European Commission is probing whether Samsung televisions' sensed when they were being tested for energy efficiency and changed their power consumption to get better ratings than they deserved. Read the rest
The curved bottom of the cup peeks through your drink as the level drops down, moving the "moon" from full to a fingernail-paring sliver. Of course, it works better if you drink something cloudy and white -- it's designed some cloudy Korean rice-wines, but would also work with Pernod and water, I'm thinking. Read the rest
Thinking of buying an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus? If photographic quality matters to you, check this out first. Read the rest
Munkstein's forthcoming, $70 Cthulhu mugs are billed as "official" which actually sounds kind of sinister, in that it implies that there's a nest of true Elder Gods cultists who are in a position to grant such a designation. Read the rest
What do you do about the huge, ugly neck-brace your doctor wants you to wear after spinal fusion surgery? Read the rest
When we were at the Mission Inn for Weekend of Wonder, this 5-port USB desktop charging station, on sale at Amazon for $10 kept 3 iPhones and a tablet well-fed. I used the additional port to charge a battery pack. The great thing about it is that you can plug it into a wall outlet (which are always in weird places in hotel rooms for some reason) and set the charger on a desk for ready access. It even comes with a suction cup mat to hold your soap in the shower! Read the rest
A factory refurbished Thinkpad shipped with Windows 7 and a scheduler app that ran once a day, collecting usage data about what you do with your computer and exfiltrating it to an analytics company. Read the rest
A light box is an excellent tool for illustrators. It allows you to place a sheet of paper with a sketch on it, then place another piece of paper on top of it, and trace the original drawing. A lot of artists do a pencil sketch on a sheet of paper, then use a nicer piece of paper to trace the sketch in ink.
Andreas Ekberg, a wonderful illustrator who makes beautiful stenciled skateboards (like this Jackhammer Jill deck) and other things, told me about this USB light board. I already have a light board, and I've used it for over 30 years. It's a clunky metal box with fluorescent tubes and I used it draw illustrations for the early issues of the bOING bOING zine.
If I didn't already have my lightbox, I would snap up this 5mm-thick USB powered light box ($45 on Amazon). It looks so much better than my old-school light box. The brightness level is adjustable, the LEDs will last much longer than the bulbs (mine currently has one burnt out bulb and I've been using it that way for years), and best of all, it is much more portable. If I get back into hand drawing in a big way, I'll get one. Read the rest
If you've wondered why it matters that the Internet of Things is being born with the inkjet printer business model, here's why. Read the rest