Our favorite smart phone gadgets [Gadgets 007]

The editors of Boing Boing recommend technology they love and use. Xeni, Jason, and Mark check out a Bluetooth speaker, an earphone cord manager, a compact phone recharger, snap-on earpod clips, an app for insomniacs, and more.

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X-Wing Fighter knife-block


Starting in August, you'll be able to buy these Star Wars X-Wing knife blocks for £70, with five knives (of unknown quality). At first, I assumed that the naked blades protruded from the block, but on closer inspection, it appears that the chromed sheaths are integral to it. That's a big bonus for practicality and safety, but does limit your options for replacing the knives with your own.

Star Wars X-Wing Knife Block

Animatronic face-ripping Undead Ted horror-toy

The 700th Undead Ted horror-toy was a face-removing, talking animatronic that sold for £420 on Ebay. I love that it can do more than one line; I like to think of it as the reincarnation of good ole Teddy Ruxpin. (via IO9)

Laser-cut Twin Peaks jewelry


Kate Rowland's $13.06 Twin Peaks Sheriff Badge is just one of many laser-etched birch Twin Peaks wearables in her store, including log lady earrings, an owl cave necklace and the She's filled with secrets brooch.

She also does Arrested Development, Parks and Recreation, Breaking Bad, and more.

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Anti-forensic mobile OS gets your phone to lie for you

In Android Anti-forensics: Modifying CyanogenMod Karl-Johan Karlsson and William Bradley Glisson present a version of the Cyanogenmod alternate operating system for Android devices, modified so that it generates plausible false data to foil forensic analysis by law enforcement. The idea is to create a mobile phone that "lies" for you so that adversaries who coerce you into letting them take a copy of its data can't find out where you've been, who you've been talking to, or what you've been talking about.

I'm interested in this project but wonder about how to make it practical for daily use. Presently, it maintains a hidden set of true data, and a trick set of false data intended to be fetched by forensic tools. Presumably, this only works until the forensic tools are modified to spot the real data. But you can conceptually imagine a phone that maintains a normal address book and SMS history, etc -- all the things that are useful to have in daily use -- but that, on a certain signal (say, when an alternate unlock code is entered, or after a certain number of failed unlock attempts) scrubs all that and replaces it with plausible deniability data.

Obviously, this kind of thing doesn't work against state-level actors who can subpoena (or coerce) your location data and call history from your carrier, but those people don't need to seize your phone in the first place.

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Tumblers that trace whiskey's noble lineage


Pop Chart Lab's Whiskey Glasses Set is comprised of four tumblers, each of which traces the lineage of different branches of the whiskey tree (rye is a notable omission). They're very beautiful, and cost $45 for the set. They're adapted from the Whiskey Taxonomy poster, which can also be had in laser-engraved form.

Whiskey Glasses Set (via Laughing Squid)

Cat Paint, Bike GPS, and an Audeze headphones giveaway [Gadgets 006]

In each episode of Gadgets the editors and friends of Boing Boing recommend technology they love and use. This time Xeni, Jason, and Mark talk about Cat Paint for iOS, a GPS device for bikes, ambient sound maker for human babies, a great $14 pocket knife, a wireless home security camera, plus an exclusive giveaway for a pair of Audeze LCD 2 Bamboo ($1,000 value)!

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Inside the design of 3D printed back-braces and fairings

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Joris writes, "I did an interview with Scott Summit who designs beautiful 3D printed fairings and back braces. 3D printing lets the customer customize them and makes the orthopedic implant become much more a part of themselves and their lives."

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Crowdfunding mass FOIA requests on police use of "Stingray" warrantless spying devices

Michael from Muckrock sez, "After scouring American police departments (via public records requests) for drone usage, MuckRock is setting its sights a little lower with a crowdfunding campaign hoping to fund thousands of public records request on how local agencies are using fake cell phone towers, warrantless wiretaps, and other techniques to get your cell phone to phone home."

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AT-AT made from old skateboards


Derek Keenan's AT-AT made from old skateboards is part of the Deathstar Blues show at Denver's Black Book Gallery. It sells for $2,000.

Deathstar Blues (via Super Punch)

Rocket-ship pour-over coffee drip


Thinkgeek's Rocket Fuel Pour-Over Coffee Drip ($10) is a great, science-fictional way to make your single-cup pour-overs. Why flange when you can fin? It's made by the fine folks at Gama-Go.

Tiny wearable camera, rubber band loom, Picklemeister [Gadgets 005]

In each episode of Gadgets the editors and friends of Boing Boing recommend technology they love and use. This time Xeni, Jason, and Mark talk about superior shoelace replacements, a rubber band loom, a wearable camera, a krautmaker, a handheld marine VHF radio, and a fitness tracker with a 1-year battery. Plus a great website for finding free fonts.

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Haunted Mansion merch preview


The Disney Parks blog has a preview of the reference art being used to develop merchandise for the 45th anniversary of the Haunted Mansion. There's 100 new items coming, and based on this reference material, they're going to be great.

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Kickstarting Kibo: robot-blocks for kids 4-7

Jenise sez, "When I worked for a robotics company, I complained bitterly about the lack of robotic toys for my daughter to my boss, Mitch Rosenberg. Yesterday, he sent me an email with the answer to my problem: KIBO, a robot kit specifically designed for kids age 4-7. Mitch partnered with Marina Umaschi Bers, co-creator of Scratch Jr., to found KinderLab Robotics, Inc., and they're trying to produce the toy I dreamed of for my daughter."

Looks amazing, but it ain't cheap: $219 minimum to get the actual blocks, $349 for the full set.

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Clive Thompson -- guest on new Cool Tools podcast


Kevin Kelly and I launched a new podcast at Cool Tools. In this entertaining second installment of the Cool Tools podcast, Clive Thompson, author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better, discusses the problem with laptop calculators, a surprising use for uncommonly bad tools, and what we all can do to stop stock photos from ruining the internet… all while introducing us to some terrific cool tools. (Listen to episode 001 with guest David Pogue here.)