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The delightful Grain Audio walnut-cased Bluetooth speaker

Crybaby the semi feral cat poses next to the Grain speaker for size comparison purposes.

I have quite a few different bluetooth portable speakers. The Packable Wireless System from Grain Audio is my favorite. It's easy to operate, sounds wonderful (great bass), and has a long battery life (it recharges with a USB cable and charger, which are included). And with its walnut shell, it's also the best-looking portable powered-speaker I've seen. I can't think of a better way to listen to the streaming music on my WFMU Radio app.

Packable Wireless System from Grain Audio $249

Rolling illusion toy: gorgeous erratic motion

Brusspup's "rolling illusion toy" is simple to make, and produces an illusion while in motion that's just wonderful. As he demonstrates, the more rings you add to it, the cooler it looks.

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Door based on rotating squares

Klemens Torggler's designed a thoroughly wonderful and mind-melting door system based on rotating, interlocking squares. There are several variations on the theme on his site, but the one above is the most elegant and polished of the lot.

Klemens Torggler`s doors and paintings (via JWZ)

Big Mouth Billy Bass animatronic fish frightens away burglar

The proprietor of the "Hooked on Fishing" store in Rochester, MN hung a Big Mouth Billy Bass animatronic by his store's door as a means of notifying him when new customers entered. The fish also doubles as burglar-frightening device: according to the Olmsted County Sheriff, the noise it made "spooked" a burglar who'd kicked the door in, sending the miscreant off empty-handed.

Now just imagine what he could have done if he's installed GNU/Linux on his animatronic fish.

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Woz: Apple should make Android phone

Mat Honan, at Wired, quotes co-founder Steve Wozniak: “The great products really come from secret development,” he said. “You put small teams of great people on them and they aren’t bothered by other people commenting on what they’re doing while they’re doing it. A whole new category of products doesn’t happen very often. It might happen once a decade. Sometimes you have to wait for one of those to come about.” Rob 12

Apple turfs biggest bitcoin app from store

Today in "You didn't see this coming?" news, Apple ejected "the world's most popular bitcoin app" from the walled garden. Robert McMillan:

Some believe that Apple may be dumping bitcoin wallets because of the emerging, somewhat confusing international regulations surrounding bitcoin. But like others, Blockchain’s Cary argues that his app was pulled because Apple sees bitcoin as a potential competitor. “I think that Apple is positioning itself to take on mobile payments in a way they haven’t described to the public and they’re being anti-competitive.”

Sony to exit PC business

It's selling off the VAIO unit, responsible for desktop and laptop computers, and plans to spin off its TV division into a separate company this summer. Sony will be holding onto its smartphones and PlayStations, obviously. [Engadget] Rob 5

Giant sponge-filled syringe for plugging gunshot wounds

XStat's Rapid Hemostasis System is a giant syringe filled with pellet-shaped sterile sponges doped with hemostatic agents for squiring directly into shotgun gunshot wounds. Within 15 seconds, the sponges absorb blood and expand, staunching the wound.

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HOWTO make an intercom out of obsolete corded phones

Here's a great, simple Make project that teaches you how to make an intercom from a pair of old, corded phones, a 9V battery and a resistor. I loved walkie-talkies and intercoms when I was a kid -- the idea of setting up your own house-wide wireline intercom is super-cool, and the project is dead-simple.

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Microsoft taps Nadella for CEO

Satya Nadella is Microsoft's new CEO. Bill Gates is stepping down as chairman to become Satya's technology adviser. John Thompson replaces Gates as Chairman. Headline makes me hungry.
The 46-year-old Nadella will take over immediately, allowing Ballmer to retire early. Nadella had been one of a number of candidates that Microsoft is believed to have interviewed for the role; the company originally said it was pushing to name its Ballmer successor before the end of last year. Despite the fact that the search extended into 2014, the timing of the CEO announcement is important as it places Nadella in charge ahead of the closure of Microsoft’s Nokia deal and the company's ongoing reorganization.

Tekken Piano

Mc Cool hooked up a MIDI-capable piano to the control inputs of classic fighting game Tekken, thereby synchronizing the on-screen action and musical performance. Then he recorded video of him doing online battle. He won!
This is the final product of my project for interaction design. Took the whole semester, to get this to work but it was worth it. How it works: The piano sends a Midi-Signal, which is transferred to an arduino. According to the signals, the arduino triggers transistors, which then trigger inputs on a paewang PCB (This is the PCB of an arcadestick). The paewang is connected to an Xbox360 (you can also use it on PS3).
The TekkenPiano [Vimeo]

Oversized Krang belt-buckle

Etsy seller Christopher Genovese made this $190 KRANG belt-buckle that recreates the experience of being a mecha-suit used by a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles villain. It's the perfect thing for holding your pants up on casual Fridays.

KRANG from TMNT oversized belt buckle (via Geekologie)

Homemade cardboard Portal gun for less than $10

Redditor Pastlightspeed cosplayed Chel from the game Portal and put together an amazing Portal Gun out of cardboard and paint for less than $10. The Imgur set shows some details of the build, and the incredible fact that she ran a 5K while dressed in full Portal drag and carrying her sidearm.

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Gweek podcast 131: Huggable Atomic Mushrooms

In each episode of Gweek, I invite a guest or two to join me in a discussion about recommended media, apps, and gadgets. This time my guests were Michael Pusateri, a television technologist, inveterate tinkerer, cooking geek, and cycling enthusiast, and Rob Walker, a technology and culture columnist for Yahoo Tech, a regular contributor to Design Observer, and The Workologist columnist for the New York Times Sunday business section.

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Show Notes

Bug-out cabinet, large

The Wolfram Cabinet contains 170 items critical to human survival. Survival will cost $14,500 and require about 40 cubic feet. The inventory. The brochure. The relatively inexpensive briefcase edition. [via Uncrate]