Crapgadget apocalypse: the IoT devices that punch through your firewall and expose your network

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Cheap Internet of Things devices like Foscam's home CCTVs are designed to covertly tunnel out of your home network, bypassing your firewall, so they can join a huge P2P network of 7 million other devices that is maintained and surveilled by their Chinese manufacturer. Read the rest

BT 622212453353: a machined sculptural component of a gadget from a better future

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Sculptor/machinist Chris Bathgate (previously) has posted the details of his latest piece, "BT 622212453353." Read the rest

Thieves saw through bike-racks, cover the cuts with tape, wait for bikes to be locked to them

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PC Mark McKay, a police officer in Camberwell, London, tweeted this warning to locals to beware of bike racks that thieves have sawn through and camouflaged with gaffer tape; once the bikes are locked up, the thieves return, remove the tape, and make off with the bikes. Read the rest

BC town votes to install imaginary GPS trackers in criminals

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The town council of Williams Lake, British Columbia has unanimously passed a motion to implant GPS trackers in "high risk offenders." Implantable GPS trackers don't exist. Read the rest

Cheapo LED lightbulbs the "single worst device I've ever bought"

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Matthew Garrett "bought some awful light bulbs so you don't have to." And you really, really shouldn't buy the iRainbow light bulb set: the controller box runs all sorts of insecure services, including an open WiFi hotspot that lets anyone into your home network. Read the rest

The Freewrite, a beautiful, rugged machine for writing -- and nothing else

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The Freewrite started life as a successful Kickstarter campaign and now it's an object of commerce: a $500 keyboard with a sharp frontlit e-ink screen that gets more than a month's use from a full battery. Read the rest

Lithium batteries should be banned as cargo on passenger planes, says UN aviation watchdog

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Planes that carry passengers should be prohibited from carrying large quantities of lithium batteries in cargo, a United Nations aviation watchdog says.

Read the rest

Make cookies that look like you with custom 3D printed cookie-cutters

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Kriszti Bozzai, a Hungarian maker who sells on Etsy as Copypastry, will turn your photos into a line-art caricature, extrude it into the third dimension, and 3D print it, so that you can bake cookies that look like you. It's about $50, including the custom art. Read the rest

Giant 3D printed D20s to hold your D20s (and other dice!)

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3D Creations' 3D Printed D20 Dice Box are giant D20s that you store your D20s (and other polyhedra) in. Read the rest

The Leica Q is the best fixed-lens compact camera

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Craig Mod reports on six months in the field with the $4,000 Leica Q, a compact, fixed-lens camera for professionals and for amateurs who are very serious indeed. He loves it with an intensity that would seem unreasonable were it not for a) the fact that the photos illustrating his essay are spectacular, and b) he discusses how using it changed his mind on photography basics.

Compare with the just-published review of Sony's latest RX1R-II at DPReview. It's serious competition for the Leica Q in the rarefied market for fixed-lens compacts that cost more than a MacBook Pro. Though it's $700 cheaper, and in many respects technically superior, the design (from UX to battery life) sounds so frustrating and ill-considered that it's hard to imagine preferring it over the Leica if you're spending that much dough on a fixed-lens camera to begin with.

There's a great section in Craig Mod's review to remind you this is all for stills folk: "Video: I think the Leica Q does video."

Leica Q [Amazon.com referral link] Read the rest

Hackers steal a hospital in Hollywood

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A hospital is a computer we put sick people into, so when ransomware creeps infected the hospital's IT systems and encrypted all their data, they asked for a whopping $3.6m to turn the data loose again. Read the rest

5-port Quick Charge 2.0 USB station for $24

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The highly-rated Tronsmart Titan 10A/90W 5-Port USB Charger Charging Station with Quick Charge 2.0 Technology sells on Amazon for $38, but if you use code USBTITAN you can get it for $24. Read the rest

Elements of telegraphic style, 1928

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Nelson E. Ross's "small booklet" sets out the principles of sending telegrams "in the most economical manner possible," so you can take full advantage of a communications medium that "annihilates distance and commands immediate attention." Read the rest

Scissors with a right-angle bend

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The Rightshears don't exist yet, but the inventors have promised a crowdfunding campaign to conjure them into reality, soon. (via Oh Gizmo) Read the rest

Bullet earrings

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Enreverie's $20 "Little Black Gun" earrings are studs made from shells have have been fired, affixed to surgical steel posts, nickel-plated and set with Swarovski crystals. (Thanks, Kyle!) Read the rest

Printed circuit board masking tape

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A must-have for the with-it cyberpunk, and it's appropriately hard to get ahold of, being sold only through a Japanese website that uses translation-software-resistant graphics of Japanese text set against an animated background that made mincemeat of all the Japanese-English OCR software I tried it on (I think this is the orders page, but couldn't get more than one word in four out of Google Translate's photo-text converter). Read the rest

Kickstarting Fabulous Beasts, a tabletop game that uses smartblocks

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Fabulous Beasts is a new game from indie studio Sensible Object, which combines stacking/balancing (think Jenga) with smart, sensor-enabled blocks that talk to your mobile device as you play the game, creating fun and complex challenges. Read the rest

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