Boing Boing 

Tritensil: a usable spork


London's Map Project studio created the bio-plastic Tritensil for notorious tax-dodging luxury department store Fortnum & Mason, where it is provided as a disposable all-purpose cutlery item in the store's picnic hampers.

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Bionic Bird: a cat-foolin', smartphone-controlled ornithopter

Kyosho's $150 Bionic Bird is a smartphone-controlled ornithopter that is birdlike enough to fool a cat (or at least, the cat is pretending to be fooled).

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Tweezerman hangnail clippers

clip

Hangnails bother me so much that when I get one, I can't think of anything else until I get rid of it. I will even bite it off if I am without clippers (this doesn't work well and usually results in blood being drawn). The Tweezerman Power Hangnail Clipper ($8 on Amazon) is the ultimate hangnail clipper. It removes hangnails down to the nub without going too deep into the skin. They are sharp and easy to control.

Crowdfunding Battle Blimps: "Small, open-source, RC blimps + hydrogen + red poker tips"


Eric writes, "Battle Blimps are: Small, open-source, RC blimps + hydrogen + red poker tips = SENDING YOUR FRIENDS DOWN IN FLAMES."

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The rise and fall of cellphone company HTC

666-htc-one-main_1366286012Wired's Brian Barrett reports on how the company became worth less to stockholders than the cash in its own pocket: "a smartphone market that simply doesn’t have room for more than a handful of players, one in which being different no longer counts for much."

The best 'budget' barbecue grill I've found: Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared 480

I don't expect a $200 grill to last a lifetime. But it has to cook meats and veggies evenly, with good temperature control. And I found a pretty affordable grill that does that reliably.Read the rest

Chinese mega-manufacturers set up factories in India


Foxconn is opening a $5B facility in Maharashtra; Huawei just got a green-light for a networking gear factory; Xiaomi already runs a phone assembly plant in Andhra Pradesh that will announcing new products today.

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This small intelligent orb guesses what object you are thinking of in 20 questions

This tennis ball-size orb knows what you are thinking. Most of the time it will guess what you have in mind after asking you twenty yes/no questions. It is eerily smart, and slightly addictive. The toy is remarkable. Because it is so small, so autonomous, its intelligence is shocking to the unprepared. Most children can’t stump it, and if you stick to objects it will stump smart adults about 80% of the time with 20 questions and most of the time with an additional 5 questions. I love to watch people’s reactions when they think of a “hard” thing, and after a seemingly irrational set of questions you are convinced are dumb, the sly ball tells you what you had in mind. (For instance, it can correctly guess “flying squirrel” without asking “does it fly?”) People who play chess machines won’t be surprised, but just about everyone else will be tickled. It feels like the future. But right now, for fourteen bucks, you can get an amazing little artificial intelligence, about as smart as an insect — but an insect which specializes in guessing what object you are thinking of. And in that part of the brain, it’s smarter than you are.

See more photos at Wink Fun.

20Q Deluxe
by Techno Source
Ages 7 and up
$14 Buy a copy on Amazon This link is for 20Q Deluxe, a newer version from the photos above

Incredibly useful headmount magnifier for $8

headmount

Splinter removal, painting, soldering, building models, inspecting your kids' heads for lice, jewelry repair. I've used my LED illuminated headmounted magnifier at least twice a month for several years. It might be the best $8 I've ever spent.

Open "Chromecast killer" committed suicide-by-DRM


The Matchstick, a Firefox-OS-based Chromecast-style device, kickstarted on the promise of bringing open, user-rights-respecting video to our homes -- then they decided to add DRM.

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A crayon highlighter that'll never run dry


Staedtler makes a highlighter called the Textsurfer Gel that somehow congeals finicky, dry-out-prone highlighter ink into an everwet, enduring crayon that you'll be handing down to your grandchildren.

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Super bright LED lantern for $10

lantern

This small lantern has 30 LEDs, making it very bright for its size. It runs on 3 AA cells (not included). It's got a 4.7 star rating on Amazon with over 2,600 reviews. A good deal at $10!

Excellent LED headlamp for $7

led-headlamp

If you're an Amazon Prime member, this adjustable-angle $7 LED headlamp is a great deal. It's regularly $19.

Hand-crank lantern, flashlight, USB charger ($15)

lantern

This combination flashlight/lantern/USB charger will reward you with 15 minutes of light for for each minute you pleasure it by turning its crank. Amazon has it on sale for $15.

crank

Build curvy, complicated, organic structures with ZOOB

Most of the really great construction sets are rectangular in shape, or they obey rigid angles. Lego, Kapla Blocks, Kinnex, or Zomeworks are fabulous kits that foster open-ended creativity. But they all tend toward very rectilinear structures. ZOOB is the first construction set I’ve seen that encourages organic, free-flowing builds. There are five basic ZOOB shapes centered on a ball-and-socket connection. When you click them together you have full 180-degree freedom in how the connection is oriented, leading to creations that are curvy, complicated, or ones that repeat like vertebrate in a spine, or carbons on a chain, or even amino acids on DNA. I was surprised by how sophisticated you could make the forms; you may need a bit of patience to get complex ones to fit perfectly (note to 8-year olds). In fact the force and precision needed to assemble pieces may be beyond toddlers, but school kids should have no problem. The plastic pieces are largish, unlike lego, so the finished forms can be quite hefty.

ZOOB
Ages 6 and up, 125 pieces
$20 Buy a copy on Amazon

See more photos at Wink Fun.

Darth Vibrader: a Vader mannequin made from sex toys

Adult film star Kayla-Jane Danger, SFX guy Todd Devlin and porn producer Seth Beard skinned a mannequin with sex toys, hooker boots and other stuff from a sex shop to create the 7' tall Darth Vibrader, which will adorn the offices of Wood Rocket, an LA-based porn studio.