Boing Boing 

FedEx won't ship milling machine that makes untraceable guns

Defense Distributed sells a $1500 digital mill called the Ghost Gunner. Among other things, it can carve an aluminum AR-15 rifle body without a serial number. FedEx refuses to ship it.

“This device is capable of manufacturing firearms, and potentially by private individuals,” FedEx spokesperson Scott Fiedler wrote in a statement. “We are uncertain at this time whether this device is a regulated commodity by local, state or federal governments. As such, to ensure we comply with the applicable law and regulations, FedEx declined to ship this device until we know more about how it will be regulated.”

But buying, selling, or using the Ghost Gunner isn’t illegal, nor is owning an AR-15 without a serial number, says Adam Winkler, a law professor at UCLA and the author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America. “This is not that problematic,” he says. “Federal law does not prohibit individuals from making their own firearms at home, and that includes AR-15s.”

Horrifying knit goods


Brooklyn's Knitrocious creates nightmarish knit goods, such as the goat balaclava and the horror clown balaclava.

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Dad builds a VW microbus bed for his daughter

“DIYDad” built a VW microbus bed as a birthday gift for his three year old daughter. The bed is on top, and a play space is below. It uses real VW parts scored for free on Craigslist, and the headlights are illuminated. [via]

Kickstarting a next-gen steampunk nixie clock


Kyle writes, "The first clock in my series of Steampunk Nixie timepieces was successfully funded on Kickstarter last year, and I've just released the next design! Sleeker, smaller, and at a lower price point, the clock is available in black walnut or purpleheart. 700+ backlight colours, and a ton of other features, each unit is handmade by me."

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Profile of Other Machine - a desktop CNC milling machine company

I'm very excited about Other Machine's desktop CNC milling machines. Unlike 3D printers, which build parts by adding material (almost always plastic, when it comes to low cost machines), the Othermill cuts away at material (plastic, wood, metal glass, printed circuit boards).

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Dancing papercraft Valentine


Siberian-born, Philippines-based paper artist Maria Dubrovskaya makes beautiful articulated paper dolls and sculptures, including this timely dancing Valentine's Day heart ($15).

Rebel Bass: Star Wars guitars with Millennium Falcon bodies


Doni Guitars of Coventry, England, has created a pair of amazing, Star-Wars-themed guitars based around vintage model Millennium Falcons, with new blue LED lights: a six-string Strat and a "Rebel Bass -- they also make custom flight cases for them.

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Zombie pancake

The Zombiecake: commemorate carbohydrates and resurrection at the same time.

A hard-fought lesson about USB cables

My pal Sean Ragan got a Seek thermal imaging camera add-on for his phone. He was excited to try it out, but the micro-USB jack on his phone is "upside-down," which means the camera faces the same way as the phone's screen. In his effort to correct this problem, he tried a variety of USB cables, and learned quite a bit about the way USB cables are wired. It's a worthwhile read for anyone who wants to make things that use UBS connectors.

About this time I discovered, to my chagrin, that micro-USB extension cables come in various flavors depending on whether they are for charging/syncing the phone or allowing it to serve as a USB host (“OTG”). The hackers and engineers reading this will immediately understand my frustration at this idea—it’s an extension cable, for f*ck’s sake: All the contacts at one end should be connected to the corresponding contacts at the other end, with continuous conductors between them. Is that really too much to ask? Omitting certain conductors just serves to fragment the market and create artificial demand for multiple purchases from individual users. Nonetheless, on a lark, I bought the complementary “charging” cable and discovered that, unsurprisingly, it does not work either.

He finally had to hand-make a connector to get it to work.

I like big books and I cannot lie embroidery


NiamhyStitches sells a variety of decorative embroidery, including this I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie hoop, which sells for $23.48. (via Geeky Merch)

Modern farm equipment has no farmer-servicable parts inside


Ifixit's Kyle Wiens writes about the state of modern farm equipment, "black boxes outfitted with harvesting blades," whose diagnostic modes are jealously guarded, legally protected trade secrets, meaning that the baling-wire spirit of the American farm has been made subservient to the needs of multinational companies' greedy desire to control the repair and parts markets.

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Humble Brainiac Book Bundle: tech books for kids!


Get more than 15 DRM-free kids tech ebooks from No Starch Press, including the amazing Lauren Ipsum, as well as a wealth of killer Lego books, books for young makers, and kids' programming guides -- support EFF and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, too!

Custom Jackhammer Jill skateboard by Andreas Ekberg

andreas-boardI love my new Jackhammer Jill skateboard deck designed and made by Andreas Ekberg. Check out his website of beautiful creations.

Kickstarting Facets, a cool granddad's magnetic, geometric wooden building blocks


Ron Worley's nearly fully funded in his Kickstarter for Facets -- wooden, geometrical blocks with small magnets that easily lock/unlock and build amazing, gemlike geometrical forms.

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Patrick Costello: the deaf, copyfighting Merry God of Banjo


BB pal and deaf banjo-pickin' dude Patrick Costello writes, "The Washington Post just did a story about my work as a music teacher: ‘Merry God of banjo’"

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Disembodied facial-feature candles


London-based Uncanny Art Shop makes realistic-looking candles containing disembodied facial features, some contorted in agonized rictii: there's a male mouth, two female mouths and a pair of ears on a featureless head.

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D20 and 20,000 Leagues ties


These gorgeous 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and D20 ties are $24 from San Francisco's Binary Winter

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