Inexpensive battery tester


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

A very useful illuminated hand held magnifier for 3 dollars


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

Moon glass reveals the phases of the moon as you drink


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

10-foot-long inflatable Jabba lawn decoration


At $170, the 10' long, 6' tall light-up Jabba inflatable isn't a cheap lawn decoration, but he'll certainly make an impression on the neighbors. I think he'd go well with my brand-new custom lawn-flag. Read the rest

How does the iPhone 6s camera compare to every Apple smartphone before it?


Thinking of buying an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus? If photographic quality matters to you, check this out first. Read the rest

Dual USB charger with 10000mAh for under $10


Kmashi's Dual USB portable charger packs a beefy 10000mAh and is just $9.29 when you use coupon code MHLSNM2R at checkout in the Amazon store. It also includes a micro USB charger cable. I have one of these and I'm pretty sure Jason does too. Read the rest

Ornate Cthulhu stein


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

5-port USB desktop charging station great for family travel


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

Yet another pre-installed spyware app discovered on Lenovo computers


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

Ultra-thin USB powered light box


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

Hands-free magnifier great for detailed hobby work


I use this magnifier to doctor playing cards for magic tricks, but I imagine a 2X magnifying glass with foldable legs ($10 on Amazon) has other uses as well. It also comes with a 10X spotter and has a handle when you need to use it like a traditional magnifying glass. Read the rest

Carabiners with built-in USB cables

The Nomadclip draws tons of praise from its users; Nomad also make lots of little charge-cable gizmos like straps that open into cables and cable/keychains. Our house is like Game of Thrones for working USB cables as we steal one another's precious wires. (via Canopy) Read the rest

Empty Epson "professional" inkjet cartridges are still 20% full

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

Behold the multi-ax

For the dwarf who has everything: the $550 Ti-Klax Ax, whose head incorporates 10 tools: Ulu blade, knife, hammer, cutting/gut hook, hex wrench, 1/4" bit drive socket, bottle opener, lanyard hole and carabiner. (via Bruce Sterling) Read the rest

This $1 head massager is awesome


When my family settles down at night to watch an episode of Project Runway or The Walking Dead, we give each other foot massages. It's become a habit that's good for us. Recently we found one of these weird scalp massagers in an old box in the closet. I think Carla's mom bought it we ended up with it somehow. Usually, it's not fun to give yourself a massage, but rubbing this thing on your own head feels great. It's tingling and calming at the same time. We don't use it while we watch TV because that would be kind of distracting, but I've been using it before we go to sleep. Amazon is selling two scalp massagers for $2 (free shipping) or four for $3. Get a bunch and hand one out to every member of your family. Read the rest

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