Gorgeous Victorian early typewriter

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Martin Howard from Toronto's Howard Collection writes, "The Salter is one of England’s first typewriters and is a stunning example of a piece of Victorian engineering. It was made by The Geo. Salter & Co. of West Bromwich who were well known at the time as the makers of penny scales, which were a common feature in train stations and other public areas." Read the rest

Six months with a dumbphone

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In yearning for simplicity, the question is its own answer. Or maybe just get something old from Nokia.

Star Wars medical merch from Scarfolk, the horror-town stuck in the 1970s

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Scarfolk (previously) is the English country town that is caught in a perpetual ten-year loop from 1970-1980; in 1977, while the rest of the world was getting Kenner Star Wars toys, Scarfolk's children were treated to a line of Star Wars medical equipment from the good people at PalliativeToy. Read the rest

Philips pushes lightbulb firmware update that locks out third-party bulbs

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Philips makes a line of "smart" LED lightbulbs and controllers called Hue, that run the Zigbee networking protocol, allowing third-party devices to control their brightness and color. Read the rest

Charge 4 devices at once with the Limefuel Blast 20000mAh battery pack

When you choose Limefuel’s Blast for portable power, you choose a battery that charges twice as fast as the competition.

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A cellphone case that spits out instant photo prints

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Prynt is a $140 printer that's also a (bulky, impractical) phone case. It looks cute and brings instant-print nostalgia to the cellphone you already have and to your very large cargo-pants pocket.

Wired's Molly McHugh reports on the strangely-appealing gadget and its prospects against the resurgent instant cameras from Fujifim and "Polaroid."

The device uses thermal printing technology, so there’s no ink, just heat, to create the image. The Prynt app has all the Instagrammy features you want—filters, namely—plus other effects, like stickers and meme-ify options. The adapter that connects your phone is sold separately, but that’s a decision the company made to allow for multiple adapters to all work with the same base unit. There are currently adapters for iPhone 6s, 6, 5s, 5c, 5, and Samsung Galaxy S5 and S4. It comes in black or white, and while it’s definitely bulkier than a standard phone case, it’s fairly sleek for a printer. It’s a little plastic-y, a bit toyish, and there’s a little finagling to be done to get the adapter connected. But, really, that’s OK—because Prynt is a whole lot of fun.

Interesting datapoint: they went with "physically connected case" rather than "tiny wireless printer" because Bluetooth pairing still isn't reliable enough. Read the rest

Backslash: a toolkit for protesters facing hyper-militarized, surveillance-heavy police

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Backslash -- an "art/design" project from NYU Interactive Technology Program researchers Xuedi Chen and Pedro G. C. Oliveira -- is a set of high-tech tools for protesters facing down a "hyper-militarized," surviellance-heavy state adversary, including a device to help protesters keep clear of police kettles; a jammer to foil Stingray mobile-phone surveillance; a mesh-networking router; a "personal cloud" that tries to mirror photos and videos from a protest to an offsite location; and tools for covertly signalling situational reports to other protesters. Read the rest

Alton Brown hates your dumb kitchen gadgets

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I do love my citrus-squeezer and spiralizer, but I'll agree that the badly-designed shitgadgets that author/chef Alton Brown highlights in this Daily Dot viral video are indeed super dumb.

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Toy demands that kids catch crickets and stuff them into an electronic car

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The Bug Racer is Mattel's $50 electronic "science" car toy that requires that you fill a sensor cavity with up to six crickets; the toy measures the crickets' movement in the cavity and uses them to guide the car's movements (though the car will reverse when it hits an obstacle, regardless of the crickets' movement). Read the rest

Digital Wizard hoodie uses LEDs, speakers & accelerometers to "cast spells"

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The $120 Digital Wizard hoodie started out as a 2012 April Fool's prank, but as with other Thinkgeek April Fools products, it proved so popular that they went ahead and made it. Read the rest

The iHome Kineta K1 - an inventive bluetooth speaker

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I think we’re all pretty spoiled these days when it comes to bluetooth streaming technology. I can remember waiting in line for one of the first portable, wireless speakers and being disappointed when I finally got it. The syncing was painful, the music cut in and out and the sound quality was iffy.

Since then, I’ve been on the lookout for a newer, more portable solution but I had to change my expectations.  When the tech first came out, our hopes were far too great. We were all looking for a speaker that could fit in the palm of our hand and sound like a home theater system.  The iHome Kineta K1 is tiny and it sounds pretty good to boot. But, don’t hold your breath thinking you’re going to match the $2500.00 Kefs in your living room.

I’ve been watching the K1 and I’ve seen them priced anywhere from $89.99 - 149.99.  At the lower price points it's a perfect speaker for me because of the way I handle my free time around the house.

I have a very short attention span and constantly change locations like Billy from the Family Circus Sunday comics.

What I love most about the K1 is that when it's set up and my phone is within 10 meters of it, they auto-sync.  My other wireless speakers have to be manually reconnected every day.

Another great thing about the K1 is that after using it for a few weeks, I haven't had to charge it much - which is saying a lot because each aspect of my life is tied to charging my phone.   Read the rest

Top your tree with Baphomet, Cthulhu or Krampus

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They're from Middle of Beyond (who make the bigfoot and Krampus sweaters). $20 each, 8" tall: Krampus, Cthulhu, or Baphomet. (via Christian Nightmares) Read the rest

$10 smartphone sucks

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Ron Amadeo has Walmart's $10 smartphone, the LG Sunrise. It's shit. And yet…

The specs look like something out of 2007: a 3.8-inch 480×320 display, a dual core, 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, and a 3MP camera. Everything here aims to fits the most basic definition of each component rather than living up to any kind of performance standard. The camera, for instance, technically records some kind of image based on the light that enters the lens… But hey, it's $10! You've got to lower your standards appropriately. If your other option is nothing, there is actually a lot the Sunrise can offer: It can boot and show the Android desktop. If you tap the screen, something (eventually) happens

It's $20 now that Black Friday sales are over, too. One obvious use for it might be as a cheap dashcam—alas, the camera seems to be the worst thing about it.

LG Sunrise [Walmart] Read the rest

Hacker puppets explore the relationship between carbon paper and copyright

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Gus writes, "Remember carbon paper? You’re probably of a certain age if you can recall typing on a sandwich of two sheets of paper with a thin, grimy, black sheet between them to make copies." Read the rest

Ifixit repair kits: everything you need to fix everything

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Ifixit produce open repair guides for everything imaginable, in a variety of languages, and help sustain a global community of independent repairers who divert electronics from e-waste dumps and keep poor and marginalized people connected to their work, school and families. Read the rest

Vtech toy data-breach gets worse: 6.3 million children implicated

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The Hong Kong-based toymaker/crapgadget purveyor didn't even know it had been breached until journalists from Vice asked why data from its millions of customers and their families were in the hands of a hacker, and then the company tried to downplay the breach and delayed telling its customers about it. Read the rest

Pre-mutated products: where did all those "hoverboards" come from?

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Those bowtie-shaped "motorized self-balancing two-wheeled scooters" you see in the windows of strip-mall cellphone repair shops and in mall-kiosks roared out of nowhere and are now everywhere, despite being so new that we don't even know what they're called. Read the rest

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