What’s in the box!?

1913554601 67913a3317 450x299 Whats in the box!?

Bedroom engineering taken literally. (img by Kaspar Metz)

Motherboard addresses “the war on DIY electronics“:

“I think that is changing the culture… because the technology is more magical and people are more and more distanced from it,” [iFixit co-founder Kyle] Wiens said. “What we’re trying to do is connect people with their things again.” The way to do that, he said, is simply get more people tinkering, hacking, and understanding how electronics work in general. One the best points of entry is through self-repair: If we start seeing more stay-at-home moms out there replacing batteries in their kids’ iPods, he suggested, attempts by the government or anyone else to cast hobbyists and amateur engineers in [a dangerous] light will be universally dismissed as ludicrous.

The last time I owned an Apple product, I ended up taking it apart twice within weeks of the extended warranty expiring – once to replace a hard drive (success!), once to see if I could fix the blown screen backlight CFL (FAIL). Since then, I’ve helped friends try to solder internal iPhone antennas, build desktop computers from components, and found new life for my old (non-Apple) laptop by installing Linux instead of resource-hungry Windows 7 (it’s still running smoothly 5+ years in, which is 2 years longer than the Powerbook lasted).

Getting comfortable monkeying around in your electronics hardware is essential. It’ll save you money, for one, and it will teach you all kinds of stuff… from where to procure bizarre goddamn screwdriver attachments to how to keep all of the stuff you dismantle organized (hint: ubiquitous digital cameras make this a lot easier). It will also get you in touch with local groups of people who do stuff like this.

Check your town/city for a Hackerspace or a group of people who modify equipment that you’re interested in (people modify everything from electronics to other stuff to pewter figurines). It’s a lot easier to tackle the terrifying innards of stuff you’ve been taught never to fuck with on pain of warranty-voiding if you’ve got someone to back you up or tell you that “there’s a trick” to opening something. And makers/hackers tend to be fascinating people. Even if your project fails, I think you’ll come out ahead.

Features, Make, Play » No Comments

More bike thieving… mostly for fun

71940729 56b3399d8b 450x337 More bike thieving... mostly for fun

Dude, where's my PBR? (img by lang lang)

Last month, we told stories and linked a video about bike theft… It’s incredibly easy to do, mostly because nobody notices, and if they do, they think it’s not their problem.

Well, the guy who made the previous video tries again, with similar results. You can actually see people in the frame purposely ignoring his hacksawing, crowbarring, angle-grindering ways.

So yeah. It’s that easy. Don’t go stealing bikes, now… but keep your eyes open and consider doing more than tweeting about it when you see it in action.

Know » No Comments

What is this bunker missing?

tumblr lnyf1tEwQl1qcsry5o1 1280 450x600 What is this bunker missing?

Everything a body needs. (img by ??)

Too bad you have to come out to take a dump.

(The massively inbred and interlinked tumblrverse didn’t see fit to provide me with credit info for this shot. It may very well be hiding under the floorboards. If you know who I can credit for the image, please let me know in the comments!)

Gear, Live, Make » No Comments

Coke: Death begins here

56185958 d6b04df466 450x337 Coke: Death begins here

Who needs a knife when you've got this? (img by Michael Scheltgen)

Imagine you’re in the woods, competing in an epic kill-or-be-killed event. Imagine that the event has something to do with insufficient caloric intake, and that you really really need to polish some pennies so that you can make a periscope so you can see and spy on your enemies before killing them. You need Coke, one of the best penny-polishing soft drinks ever made.

But just as you open the can, an enemy competitor materializes out of nowhere to kill you, and you can’t conveniently stand at a distance and sort of arrange for the competitor to die at the hands of something/one else. What do you do?


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Don’t worry about apocalypse. Worry about USG.

4743148848 604d9b214d 450x299 Dont worry about apocalypse. Worry about USG.

Bob Marley should sing about this shit. (img by Jackman Chiu)

Karen Greenberg at Mother Jones has put together a sobering article about what US citizens can expect w/r/t civil liberties in the rest of 2012.

Nutshelled and summarized, we can expect:

  1. More Punitive [government](Less Fair-minded)
  2. More Legal Limbo (Less Confidence in the Constitution)
  3. More Secrecy (Less Transparency)
  4. More Distrust (Less Privacy)
  5. More Killing (Less Peace)

The legal gray zone Washington has, over the course of a decade, plunged us into—and everything that goes with it, including punitive measures, attempts to bypass constitutional guarantees, the spread of secrecy and surveillance, a growing distrust of American citizens, and straightforward killing—isn’t something we will soon put behind us. The move away from the rights and liberties enshrined in the Constitution and the law is very clearly the way of the American future in our new age of enemies.

That’s right. Forget the flu, a zombie apocalypse, or the eventual heat death of the universe – you’ve got things closer to home to worry about. (more…)

Do, Fight, Know » No Comments

MIT makes milk carton periscopes obsolete

2846809717 296c7d802e 450x337 MIT makes milk carton periscopes obsolete

Imagine not having to hold the mirrors yourself... (img by Eric Bartholomew)

MIT’s using high speed photography, flash, and computation to take pictures of stuff out of line of sight using light reflected off normal surfaces.

Need more? Go watch the video.

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