Last minute geek

last minute tech news from around the net

Wednesday, Jul 17th

Last update06:02:38 PM

You are here: English BoingBoing Gadgets

BoingBoing Gadgets

How turn your Mac Mini into a heat tomb that looks like an unappetizing Walmart cake

The Elago Mac Mini Silicone Case [Amazon] is a remarkable entry in the annals of "advertising vs. reality". Above, the product shot. Below, the Elago IRL. Read the rest

Read all

What it was like to actually use the TRS-80 Model 100 as a journalist on the go

1983's TRS-80 Model 100 is often hailed as the first portable computer, or at least the first laptop, and retains a cultish following, especially among the journalists who depended on it. Wayne Lorentz was there, and still has the ancient Associated Press terminal software to prove it! Is the TRS-80 Model 100 a good computer for a reporter to use? Today, absolutely not. But for its time, it was a revolutionary tool, and the best available for its intended uses. It is the Volkswagen Beetle of computing. I’ve owned close to a dozen laptops from the GRiD Compass to the IBM PC Convertible to any number of Apple portables. I use my eight-year-old MacBook Air daily, and enjoy working on it. But there’s a lot of be said for a unitasker. The Model 100 allows a writer to just write. To focus on the words and the story they’re trying to tell without pop-ups, instant notifications, and the temptation to connect to the internet and get lost down a mental rabbit hole. And for that reason, when I want to write for the pure pleasure of writing, I take my Model 100 to a coffee shop, put in my earphones, and just get stuff done. Those are his conclusions, but the historical anecdotes are most interesting. It is a pain in the keister to get a worthwhile workflow out of one of these now. You'll end up with bulky RS-232 dongles for it and whatever you're plugging it into, and may well end up trying to wire a Pi Zero or something inside it and becoming lost to the void for weeks, not writing. Read the rest

Read all

$5000 gadget for cheating at poker

In a 2016 article, Elie Bursztein collects and describes a gadget used to cheat at the card table. In 2015, I stumbled upon a post in an underground forum, discussing how someone was ripped off at a poker table by a very advanced poker cheating device. From what I understood at that time, the post being in Chinese, the device was able to remotely read card markings to inform the cheater who will win the next hand. Intrigued, I decided to follow the trail of this fabled device to see if people were indeed cheating at poker using devices that would fit naturally into a James Bond movie. Without spoiling too much of the rest of this post, let’s just say that the high-end cheating device that I was able to get my hands on far exceeded my expectations and it really is an outstanding piece of technology. I've watched the video demo of one of the gadgets (embedded above) and didn't figure the trick out. I won't spoil it for you, but for saying it's a $5000 fully functional Android smartphone with extra hardware: "Note that taking a screenshot of the cheating app turned out to be more difficult than expected because the ROM is hardened against analysis" Previously: HOWTO cheat your friends at poker Read the rest

Read all

Amazon unveils a new Echo Dot surveillance device for children

The latest addition to Amazon's line of always-on, ever-listening, networked, insecure (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) snitchy smart speakers is the new rev of the Echo Dot Kids Edition, whose "kid-friendly" Alexa is like surveillance Barbie without the pretense of being a toy. This All-New release is based on the latest Echo Dot hardware iteration (third-generation), but is 70 percent louder than the old kids model. It also costs $69.99 compared to the standard Echo Dot's $49.99 price tag, however, right now both prices have been reduced by $20. All-New Echo Dot Kids Edition Launches June 26 [Matthew Humphries/PC Mag] (Image: Cryteria, CC-BY) (Thanks, Tommy!) Read the rest

Read all

Swidl: robot picks up gooey spills without losing their shapes

Swidl is a robot that can quickly slide its thin flat tongue underneath gooey spills without disrupting their shapes. I can't begin to imagine a purpose for it other than forensic-grade vomit archiving (the given example is ... meat towels?) but it's amazing to watch in action. Thluuuuuuuup! Read the rest

Read all

Terminator bookends and tankard

The bookends ($79) are the clear winner here, but the robot hand tankard ($58) is pretty sweet too; they're made of painted resin (with a stainless steel insert in the tankard), pre-order now for July shipping. (via Geekologie) Read the rest

Read all

Apple is still lumbering iMacs with 5400 RPM hard drives

Apple, in 2019, weds fantastic 5k displays—almost impossible to find anywhere else—with storage technology so obsolete you can listen to it in a quiet room. What people generally don't know, however, is that the hard drives themselves are of a radical new design that is completely silent. What you're hearing fizzling and popping away is actually a tiny carbon-fired auxiliary power supply. They come with enough coal to last 20 years and there's a tiny little hatch to shovel more in. The only hurdle is that to get to the boiler, you need to get past the machine's glued-on display. But Apple just announced the perfect tool for prizing it off. A 1TB m.2 SSD is now just $120 at retail. [Amazon] Photos: Apple; xpixel/Shutterstock Read the rest

Read all