A field guide to the incredible scissors of Japan

Yasukuni Notomi ("a writer who has covered the world of stationery for many years") provides an introduction to the creative explosion in Japanese scissor-design, beginning with the "Pencut," a scissor that fits in a normal pencil-case, with retractable elastic loops for your fingers and full-length blades so you don't sacrifice power for portability. Read the rest

A paracord bracelet that contains firestarters and a fishing kit

The Outdoor Element Kodiak Survival Bracelet resembles the basic paracord bracelet, but when unwound, it reveals a strand that contains firelighting tinder (similar to jute) and a fishing line and hook; the buckle doubles as a fire-striker and reflector. (via Red Ferret) Read the rest

The intrinsic comedy of a self-inflating airplane emergency escape slide

Read the rest

The astounding science and engineering of printer jams

Anil Dash's third law holds that "Three things never work: Voice chat, printers and projectors." But Joshua Rothman's long, fascinating, even poetic profile of the Xerox engineers who work on paper-path process improvements is such a bit of hard-science whimsy that it almost makes me forgive every hour I've spent swearing over jammed paper. Read the rest

Your smart TV is trivial to hack and leaks your personal information like crazy unless you disable all its useful features

Consumer Reports dragged a bunch of its top-rated smart TVs back into its labs to re-evaluate them, this time checking them for hard-to-evaluate information security risks and defects, which are not normally factored into its ratings. Read the rest

Watch a keyboard melt into acetone

A Logitech keyboard is sacrificed to Saturn in this remarkable video posted by Amazing Timelapse. Plunged into acetone, the device melts slowly until only a cloudy congealment of undissolved plastics remains.

This is a regular pc keyboard dipped in acetone for over 70 hours. This is the satisfying result after more than 11.000 photos, enjoy.
Read the rest

A device for "germ-proof" kissing

In 1910, the National Pharmaceutical Society gave a thumbs up to the Osculatory Screen, a piece of silk in an elegant handle meant to prevent the spread of germs. The device was described as a "disinfected silk gauze through which the kiss is accomplished, the gauze being held in an ivory frame and placed between the two pairs of lips before they meet."

Besides just not working, I think the Osculatory Screen would take quite a bit of the romance of accomplishing a kiss.

Kissing Screen (Weird Universe) Read the rest

The Internet of Connected Sex Toys is every bit as horrifyingly insecure and poorly thought out as you imagine

The rush to put networked sensors and controllers into sex toys is grounded in foolish, convenient untruths, like the idea that the incredibly sensitive data generated by these systems can be anonymized and then analyzed for insights without exposing users to risk. Read the rest

Southern Alexa

It's a Southern Thing created this funny video about a version of Alexa that not only understands Southern accents, but how Southern folk talk: " The future is here, y'all. And it's available in burlap and reclaimed barn wood." Read the rest

Century-old comic accurately depicts the nightmare of cellphones

Going viral this evening is a marvelous comic strip by the legendary W.K. Haselden, as published in the Daily Mirror on March 5, 1919.

Without formal training his drawings first appeared in a couple of short lived publications but in 1903 he was taken onto the staff of the Daily Mirror, which was then a ‘Ladies’ newspaper, in the true Edwardian sense.

His daily cartoons on the fads, fashions, foibles and follies of the age soon earned him a large following. His style was gentle, subtle and his tone conservative. His targets were the upper middle-class householder and his family, and he was greatly exercised by the advances made by women, their careers, their voting rights and their increasing independence from the corset, both the physical and the metaphorical one of male domination. A viewpoint with which at the time the majority of his readers would have approved.

Each year between 1906 and 1935 around 100 of these cartoons were published in paperback under the title of ‘Daily Mirror Reflections’ and it was a stack of these from 1918 to 1931 that I unearthed. His pioneering work with the large single frame divided into four or more panels connected by a single theme gave him the title, according to his Times Obituary, ‘the father of British strip cartoon’.

Myko Clelland Read the rest

Nerf's new blasters are pretty danged badass

Nerf has unveiled six new blasters that will ship in fall of 2018, with some pretty amazing features, as detailed in Josie Colt's Wired roundup: the N-Strike Elite Infinius has a funnel you pour ammo into and it automagically slots them into a 30-dart magazine; the Modulus Ghost Ops Evader has a how-it-works-style transparent housing that lights up; the Zombie Strike Survival System Scravenger has twin dart-clips and a breakaway secondary blaster with two holdout shots; while the Nitro Doubleclutch Inferno fires little foam rolling cars around a tracked obstacle course. Read the rest

Photographer hunts down eBayer who has her camera

More A-grade sneering from Rob Wolchek of Fox 2 News Detroit, called in by professional photographer Kelly, who tracked down the guy flogging her stolen gear on eBay.

WOLCHECK: Where'd ya get all the stuff in your ebay store? ALI: Bought them. WOLCHECK: Who'd ya get it from them. ALI: ... ALI: People. Read the rest

EU fines Qualcomm over $1 billion for anti-competitive iPhone deal

The US -- allegedly a bastion of the "free market" -- has one of the world's lowest levels of economic competition, thanks to the triumph of the Chicago School economists, who used shitty math to convince Ronald Reagan and his successors that the only time a monopoly is a problem is when it raises prices. Read the rest

No turntable required! Rokblok, tiny bluetooth-enabled vinyl needle on wheels, is a wonderful disaster

Somehow I missed the successful kickstarter for a tiny bluetooth vinyl needle-in-a-box that powers 'round and 'round in circles along the grooves of a stationary record, obviating the need for an actual turntable. Now I've seen the Rokblok in action, I have to have one.

Here's another video:

This popular device is normally $90, but sold out at the official website. Amazon has them for $200. Read the rest

Amazon's useless "transparency reports" won't disclose whether they're handing data from always-on Alexa mics to governments

Amazon was the last major tech company to issue a "transparency report" detailing what kinds of law-enforcement requests they'd serviced, and where; when they finally did start issuing them, they buried them on obscure webpages deep in their corporate info site and released them late on Friday afternoons. Read the rest

Internet of things nightlight notifies you of tweets

When you lie in the dark of night, a faint neural echo of human connection urging you to reach for your phone, do you fight it? The Aumum Mini, a compact nightlight that lets you know when someone retweets you, etc, will help you fail even better!

It's a USB-powered nightlight that connects to your Wi-Fi, and includes IFTTT support for getting into all sorts of automated shenanigans. The exact sort internet events you'd like a nightlight to inform you of is, of course, entirely up to you. A few examples offered by Aumi include weather alerts, Wi-Fi-is-down notifications, and and smart home integration. Personally I'd like to use one to keep track of my unread emails.
No. Go to sleep! Read the rest

The Alexis: a homebrew typewriter from 1890

Martin from Antique Typewriters writes, "The Alexis typewriter is the result of a small town inventor with the desire to design and manufacture his own typewriter. James A. Wallace (1845 - 1906) was born in Alexis, Illinois (pop. 900) where he is now buried. He was a dynamic man with various occupations including bicycle repair, writer, and photographer (see his portrait below). He was also an avid musician. The Alexis is a superb example of a unique typewriter from the 'Wild West' of typewriters during the 1880s & 1890s when all sorts of ingenious designs came forth. Some ideas were better than others though and there were many successes and failures." Read the rest

More posts