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

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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.

Facial-exercising pink fright mask


Worried about sagging facial skin? The "Facewaver Exercise Mask/Beauty skin sag face stretcher" ($60) is an elasticated pink fright mask/balaclava within whose confines you bind your face and then "stretch and tighten" your phiz, thus "kneading out wrinkles, lines and sag," through repetitive facial movements The manufacturer also claims additional circulation, which is useful if your face doesn't have enough blood it in. (Thanks, Alice!)

Vacuum stainless-steel coffee press


For French press coffee geeks who also happen to be klutzes like me, no more broken carafes with this bad boy. I’ve had mine for years and it is still like brand new. Also for whatever reason, the plunger mesh is MUCH tougher than on the Bodum products and does not shred nearly as easily. Next time you smash your carafe on your Bodum just buy one of these. -- A.T. Salzman

Thermos 34-Ounce Vacuum Insulated Stainless-Steel Gourmet Coffee Press: $40

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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