Review: generic USB-C power-through adapter


They're terrible, don't buy them.

If you own the new 12" Macbook, you have one USB-C port. It's also the power port, which means if you have anything plugged into that port, you're losing battery charge. To both stay plugged-in and operate a USB peripheral—a backup drive, say—you have two choices: an $80 AV adapter from Apple that does things you don't need, or an enticingly cheap $20 third-party dongle that supposedly does.

These devices pass power though to the laptop while adding extra USB ports. They even come in a passably-accurate shades of the new gold and space gray colors. Any good? Read the rest

Handmade glowing radio-tube USB drives


Created by Latvia's Slavatech, these glowing, copper-chased USB drives come in 8/16/32/64GB starting at $39 -- they glow LED blue when plugged in. (via M1k3y) Read the rest

Army dudes in yoga poses: now an article of commerce

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Yoga Joes started life as a wonderful, weird Kickstarter to produce a set of nine "Green Army Men" in yoga poses; having raised over $100K in direct sales at $20/set ($10 for military personnel) Brogamats is now selling them in retail channels at a $28 premium, for all nine: "headstand, meditation pose, cobra pose, warrior one, warrior two, child's pose, tree pose, crow pose, and downward-facing dog." (via Canopy) Read the rest

Astounding showpiece table full of hidden compartments nested in hidden compartments


Custom furniture maker Craig Thibodeau created this showpiece "Automaton Table" to illustrate all the different ways that he can hide secret compartments in the pieces he builds. Read the rest

Kickstarting a tough, flexible first responder axe carved from AR400 armor plate

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Peter writes, "We spent the summer doing user-centered design (researching, designing, prototyping and building) around fire-fighting - specifically rural and volunteer first-responder fire fighters." Read the rest

Clear plastic developers' Apple Newton on eBay


Mint condition Apple Messagepad 110s are rare enough in their own right, but the clear plastic "Developers Edition" that just hit eBay is a real prize.

I am the original owner of this mint condition extremely rare Clear Apple Newton MessagePad 110. I was one of the first Apple developers to receive this during the 1994 MacWorld convention in Boston. I put aside my then current MessagePad 110 for a short time, and used this clear one for about a week. After that, I put it away in my safe and that's where it's been for the past 21 years. This is mint condition and still in perfect working order. I have a bunch of cool accessories to go along with it, including a leather case, MP2000 charging station, keyboard, and very rare PCMCIA wireless messaging card, which was the precursor to texting...a rare find all by itself. Add this to your Apple collection and you won't be disappointed.

You can buy it now for $2k. Bidding starts at $800.

Boing Boing reader MrProtocol says it isn't all that: "These clear plastic devices are usually produced to check for internal stresses in the plastic cases. They're neat enough that they're collectible after the fact. Apple recognized this, so in the case of the Newton 110, they produced a bunch of them, to give out to various people in the supply chain as gifts and rewards. So, there are actually a lot of these floating around out there. I had one myself; may still have it floating around somewhere. Read the rest

Crowdfunded food gadget marketer Tellspec threatens to sue critic


The creators of a crowdfunded food-scanning gadget have threatened to sue Pando Daily after the website reported its failure to deliver the device.

Depicted in a crowdfunding pitch as a keychain-sized scanner that tells the operator the true composition of processed food, Tellspec raised $386,392 in a 2013 indiegogo campaign.

"Our team has created the world’s first consumer handled device able to scan food at a molecular level," the blurb goes, promising to identify calories, macronutrients, allergens, fiber, sugars, and the glycemic index, "with one simple scan."

Its portability and claimed capabilities raised eyebrows, and the creators later admitted that the "model" depicted in the demonstration was not something that would end up in buyer's pockets.

“The device shown in this video is a 3D model representing the future industrial design of the TellSpec scanner,” the company said in a press release, confirming that it was “not a working device.”

But with the original delivery date now blown, even the bulkier version shown in a later video failed to end up in pledgers' kitchen drawers, drawing fire from backers.

In response, Tellspec's CEO, Isabel Hoffman, sent Pando a rambling, typo-strewn letter claiming that legal action would be forthcoming if the site's criticisms were not retracted.

We have sent requests to the editor as well as the past writer to retract the defamation done both on Tellsepc [sic] and my person. … I would appreciate a call or an email so this can be resolved amicable [sic] and without further delay.
Read the rest

Old routers to blame for bad wireless internet


A nondescript, forgotten box is probably the real source of all your wi-fi woes: the router. Read the rest

Obama's coming for your Christmas drones


Amid growing fears about safety and security risks from unauthorized drone flights, federal regulators say they plan to require pretty much all recreational drones in the U.S. to be registered. Read the rest

This 3D-printed, portable railgun fires slugs at 560 miles per hour


David Wirth 3D printed a 20lb railgun that fires copper-plated tungsten slugs with 1,800 joules of energy, firing them at 560mph, with so much force that they vaporize on contact with a steel-backed target. Read the rest

My favorite car phone mount so far is the $7 Spigen Magnetic Air Vent Mount


We recently got a new car, and I opted not to get the built-in car navigation. It's never as good as Waze, Google maps, or iPhones. It's a waste of money. My wife is the primary driver of the car and she hasn't been happy with any of the phone mounts she tried. So on the weekend I got the Spigen Air Vent Magnetic Car Mount Holder for $7 on Amazon and I think it is going to do the trick. I like it so much I bought another one for our other car. The mount attaches to the car's air vent and has a strong neodymium magnet in it. The kit comes with two very thin metal plates (0.013 inches thick according to my digital caliper) with adhesive so you can stick them on the back of your phone or the case. The phone feels secure when you put in on the mount. I like this much more than the springy pinchers my other phone mounts use. At $7, this was a great deal. Read the rest

Make your $1500 lens look like poop with LensSkins


These $40 stickers go onto your high-end and give it a wonderful new look. There's an entire collection of the coatings, in fact, designed to look "leathered" but which, with that faintly glistening texture, are inevitably reminiscent of mammalian excrement. This is the second-best way I can think of to hide the value of expensive lenses in plain sight. Peel on, peel off!

1mm Platinum Grade 3M Vinyl Finish Provides Scratch Protection for the Lens Fits the Contour of Lens / Low Profile Full Access to All Lens Controls/Windows Removable - Easy On and Off Residue-Free Upon Removal Protects Against Minor Abrasions

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Kickstarting new cases for old Amigas


Philippe Lang is looking for $140,863 from fellow Amiga enthusiasts, which he'll spend producing a run of new cases for Amiga (and Amiga-alike) computers, in 12 colors of UV-resistant plastic. Read the rest

Get a handy illuminated luggage scale for $7


When I need to weigh luggage, I use a health scale. First I stand on the scale holding the piece of luggage, then I stand on the scale without holding the luggage. By employing an ancient sorcerer's spell, I can use these two numbers to magically calculate the weight of the luggage. With this handy little luggage scale, though, I no longer have to resort to witchcraft. Except I did use the incantation "47KSC7YA" to melt $3 of the price of the scale on Amazon, and got it for just $7. That's the last time I'll use magick, I promise. Read the rest

Kenu Airframe+ Leather Edition car mount for smart phones and phablets


I've been using my Montar smart phone mount when I drive, but it has been so blistering hot in Los Angeles lately that the sun's rays coming through the windshield are overheating the phone, causing it to shut itself down.

I was given a Kenu Airframe+ Leather Edition car mount ($40 on Amazon) to try out. It clips onto a car's heating/aircon vent. Because I have the air conditioner blasting at all times, it keeps the phone cool. The phone feels a bit more wobbly than the Montar, but it has not yet bounced out of the Kenu's spring-loaded grip, so it's not a big deal. If the temperature ever drops below 90 degrees F again, I will probably switch back to the Montair, but for now, the Kenu is what I need. Read the rest

Sit down already: standing desks aren't healthier than seated ones


For half a decade, studies have been demonstrating a link between sitting and dying, prompting many of us (including me) to try out standing desks. Read the rest

Can you make your own wearable video-graffiti beamer?


Adafruit Industries takes a fascinated look at the VIDEOBLLST_R, an arm-mounted electronic buckler that projects line-art on any night-time surface you aim it at, giving you the power to produce video graffiti on demand. Read the rest

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