BlackBerry Passport

Passport_Hands_on_Intro-1

It's a giant nearly-square smartphone (or mini-tablet, if you prefer) with a hardware qwerty keyboard and geometric, means-business lines. Coco Currinder from Crackberry has a hands-on preview:

The Passport is a completely different feel when you pick it up. It's not the classic design, not at this size. For a second it felt like I was picking up a sexy new twist to the original Gameboy and that's a compliment. The keyboard has a different feeling too. It's too wide for one hand. The keys are smoother than anything before. They're almost a tad slippery. I've been told that they have been improved upon since this generation of prototype. The backside had a felt-like feeling to it. Not like the Q10, but more like the Z10 and was easy to grip. With a phone this size and weight, the grippiness goes a long way.

I dig it. It's just the sort of thing the street finds its own use for. Whereby "street" I mean, "bloggers."

Paper sculptures and jewelry from discarded books


Book Art Necklace

These paper sculptures made from discarded books are the creation of Malena Valcarcel, whose work includes beautiful sculptures and wonderful, bookish jewelry.

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Zombie eyeball flask


The Zombie Nation, a fabulous webcomic, has its own Etsy store, full of great zombie crafts (the zombie family decals are a steal at $1 each). But my favorite is this zombie eyeball flask -- I bought one from the Zombie Nationals in person yesterday in the Westercon dealers' room.

Optimus Prime cookie cutter


Etsy seller Cookie Prints makes these Optimus Prime Cookie Cutters out of biodegradable PLA.

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Magnificent contraption: vacuum-cleaner/foam-ball particle accelerator

Niklas Roy's DIY particle accelerator contraption is based on vacuum-cleaner-powered pneumatic tube technology, installed in a beautiful glass pavilion located in the middle of a roundabout in Groningen, The Netherlands.

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FDA approves robotic exoskeleton for paraplegics


The FDA has approved Rewalk Robotics' personal exoskeleton for personal use by paraplegics.

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Blackphone: a privacy-conscious phone that actually works


The Blackphone is a secure mobile phone whose operating system is based on Android, designed to minimize the amount of data you leak as you move through the world through a combination of encryption and systems design that takes your privacy as its first priority.

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Folding, 90 micron-thick blankets that fit in your pocket


Matador pocket-blankets are 90-micron-thick nylon blankets with weighted corners to keep them from blowing away and stitched fold-lines for easy refolding.

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Mr Potato Head R2D2


The Mr. Potato Head Star Wars R2D2 goes on sale on July 14 -- happy Bastille Day! Up the rebellion! (via Geekymerch)

New FAA rules class toy UAVs as illegal drones


The latest FAA rules on UAVs are so broad that they class adorable toy quadcopters as drones and require special permits to operate them. Meanwhile, hot air balloons and unpiloted model aircraft are fair game for unlicensed play. The drone hobbyists are pissed:

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How to recreate the sounds of "Forbidden Planet"

In each episode of the Gadgets podcast we recommend technology we love and use. Xeni, Jason, and Mark check out a pro-quality food dehydrator, a camera lens and eyeglass cleaning brush, a cool synthesizer kit, and more!

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US inches towards decriminalizing phone unlocking


America's legal prohibition on phone unlocking has inched almost imperceptibly closer to reform, as a watered-down House bill approaches some kind of Senate compromise, that might, in a couple years, decriminalize changing the configuration of a pocket-computer that you own.

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Konami Code necklace


Etsy's Ha Ha Bird made this brilliant $23 Konami Code Necklace, made from black-engraved 3mm mirror acrylic. It's 18" long, with a magnetic clasp. (via Geekymerch)

Elegant, cheap, simple folded cardboard mount turns your phone into an Oculus Rift


Revealed at the Google IO conference, Cardboard is a scored, flat-pack box that you fold into set of cardboard goggles that hold your phone; an accompanying software package uses your phone's screen and accelerometer to create stereo-optical VR images in the manner of the Oculus Rift. It's a delightfully simple and elegant concept, and Google has published plans for making your own. You need cardboard, a set of cheap lenses, a magnet, velcro and a rubber band.

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The Moto 360 looks like the best smartwatch yet

moto360

Moto 360, with its colorful and round edge-to-edge display, looks like a prop from one of those near-future science fiction flicks. The trick seems to be that it's shamelessly big and heavy--with that downside accepted, technical leeway exists to get the rest right. It's getting good write-ups.

The Verge's David Pierce says that it's not that big, and felt natural on his write.

The 360 has a big, round screen that goes completely edge to edge except for one small cutout at the bottom – that's where the display drivers are, I'm told, and it was essentially an unavoidable design oddity. The screen feels big and bright, and is extremely responsive.

Gizmodo's Brent Rose says it immediately stands out compared to Samsung's competing gadget:

We weren't allowed to do much exploring (on the non-demo version they wouldn't let us look at the settings, for some reason), but from what we saw we were very impressed. It's nice to have confirmation that Android Wear looks good in both square and round styles, and it made us even more eager to spend some real time with the finished unit when it's released

Michael Gorman, at Engadget, is hedging his bets:

We thought it odd that the company chose to have the glass extend beyond the watch's metal housing, when the trend in mobile screens is for there to be zero gap between the surface of the glass and the pixels beneath them.