Kickstarting gorgeous mechanical metal models

    Time 4 Machine is a Ukrainian design shop led by Denis Okhrimenko; their latest project is "The most beautiful construction set in the world", a set of thin steel parts that you bend together to make (yes) beautiful mechanical models: a business-card case, a tractor, a working clockwork timer, a vintage sportscar, a springpowered cabriolet, a sedan, a Hercules eight-motor aircraft and a dieselpunk steamliner engine. Read the rest

    WATCH: Super satisfying magnet action

    These magnetic balls look fun as heck. Keep them out of the way of small kids and pets, please. Read the rest

    Gloriously impractical "pressure gauge" watch

    For many years, we've celebrated Tokyoflash's glorious and impractical contributions to horology: the company has set itself on a long path to imagine what a watch can be in an era where we all have unbelievably precise, self-setting timepieces in our pockets at all times, playfully experimenting with what a watchface can do while still telling the time (nominally, at least!). Read the rest

    Skateboarding in an abandoned wool factory

    Enjoy Sverker L?ding, Stefan Helin and William Forsberg make good use of an abandoned (but conscpicuously well-kept) wool factory before it gets turned into condos or turned into an Investigation Discovery Channel host's segue lair.

    This is one of my favourite indoor places I've ever filmed. A big old wool factory in the middle of nowhere. Just wanted to keep this edit very simple and real. Just pure skateboarding, sound and a very nice looking location.

    Filmed with BMPCC 4K in BRAW, Milvus 21mm on Ronin-S.

    Kristoffer Davidsson used the new 4k Blackmagic "Pocket" Cinema Camera, which is amazingly inexpensive for a credible production camera and produces great footage—but has some of the same practical shortcomings as its predecessor: tough to use without a rig, poor battery life, etc. They can't produce enough to meet demand, unfortunately, so they're selling far over MSRP on eBay and craigslist. Read the rest

    Hr's how to protct your Appl MacBook kyboard

    At the Wall Street Journal, Joanna Stern reports that the ultra-thin butterfly keyboards on current MacBooks are still failing. The online version of her column is brilliantly funny, with options to rmv crtain lttrs or make itt so thatt certtain charactters repeatt — the characteristic failures of what Apple watcher John Gruber describes as the "worst products in Apple history."

    Stern recommends various remedies, from a beta app that kills double keystrokes to blasting your laptop with canned air. But there's a better solution: this $13 polyurethane keyboard protector [Amazon affiliate link].

    Preventing disaster is that simple. I've had mine for 6 months and this is what worked.

    It protects my MacBook from microdust or sebaceous filaments or whatever it is that keeps murdering these butterfly keyboards, and it's nearly invisible—the photo at the top of this post shows it installed. It also protects the machine itself from spills, and the keys themselves have none of the wear, tear and shine they usually pick up after a few months of hammering.

    I got the UPPERCASE GhostCover brand protector and can vouch for these specific products: the 12" MacBook GhostCover [Amazon] and the 13" and 15" MacBook Pro GhostCover [Amazon], which comes in Touchbar and F-key versions. (There are other cuts too for older models, but I haven't tried them.)

    If you're buying out in the wild, the important thing is to get a polyurethane cover, not silicone. Silicone is cheaper and dominates search results and algorithmic recommendations, but they're thicker and stretchier and don't stay put. Read the rest

    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

    Two arrested for hiding cameras in motel rooms and charging for access to livestreams

    Some 1,600 people were secretly livestreamed while staying in South Korean motel rooms where cameras had been hidden by criminals who operated a 4,000-user service for voyeurs, where a $45/month upcharge bought subscribers the right to access replays and other extra services. Read the rest

    New iPad Mini, iPad Air

    Android tablets being crummy and Microsoft ones being dismembered laptops, it's nice that Apple's unexpectedly announced new models of its aging iPad Mini and iPad Air.

    The 10.5" iPad Air weighs one pound and starts at $499, while the 7.9" iPad Mini has pencil support, an ultra-high DPI and starts at $399. Both use Apple's latest A12 chips and have optional LTE.

    The new Air effectively replaces last-gen iPads with something a little smaller and much more powerful, while the Mini should be especially interesting to artists and designers who don't want to hoik around a ~$800+ iPad Pro just to get dirty. From the press release it appears to be the last-gen pencil with the standard 60hz refresh rate, but even then the latency is in a league of its own. Read the rest

    Lockpicking Lawyer wins $100 proving a fancy padlock can be opened in less than three minutes

    Enjoy one minute and eleven seconds of fun from the Lockpicking Lawyer, who makes short work of a Smartkey Kwikset Padlock [Amazon], which you absolutely shouldn't buy as a gift for someone whose property you have plans for. Read the rest

    Good deals today on 2018 iPad Pros

    I finally pulled the trigger on the new iPad Pro because of today's deals at Amazon; affiliate links follow below. Every year I throw all my computers in a dumpster and make another desperate, clawing, doomed effort to use an iPad Pro as my "only machine" and it is once again Time.

    Here's what's up:

    11" models

    2018 11" iPad Pro (WiFi, 64GB) – $749.99 [$50 off] 2018 11" iPad Pro (WiFi, 256GB) – $879.00 [$70 off] 2018 11" iPad Pro (WiFi, 512GB) – $1,064.81 [$84 off] 2018 11" iPad Pro (WiFi+LTE, 64GB) – $899 [$50 off] 2018 11" iPad Pro (WiFi+LTE, 512GB) – $1,199 [$100 off] 2018 11" iPad Pro (WiFi+LTE, 1TB) – $1,589 [$109 off]

    12.9" models

    2018 12.9" iPad Pro (WiFi, 64B) – $1067 [$81 off] 2018 12.9" iPad Pro (WiFi, 256B) – $1,067 [$81 off] 2018 12.9" iPad Pro (WiFi, 512GB) – $1,249 [$99 off]

    Other iPads are on special too, but don't bother, they're all old and soon to be replaced. Read the rest

    The Hall Typewriter: the world's first 'laptop'

    Martin Howard from Antique Typewriter (previously) writes, "In 1881, Thomas Hall, a Brooklyn engineer, invented the first portable typewriter that would enable a person to type with the machine anywhere, even on one’s lap. This was also the first index typewriter, a typewriter with no keyboard that requires one to use a selector. In this case, a black handle is depressed to choose the characters when typing. The Hall, despite its unusual design, proved to be quite successful over the next twenty years." Read the rest

    Co-inventor of handheld electronic calculator dies

    Jerry Merryman, who co-invented the handheld electronic calculator in 1965, is dead at 86.

    Merryman told NPR's "All Things Considered" in 2013, "It was late 1965 and Jack Kilby, my boss, presented the idea of a calculator. He called some people in his office. He says, we'd like to have some sort of computing device, perhaps to replace the slide rule. It would be nice if it were as small as this little book that I have in my hand."

    Merryman added, "Silly me, I thought we were just making a calculator, but we were creating an electronic revolution."

    Kilby died in 2005: Microchip pioneer Jack Kilby Dies at 81

    Photos: Smithsonia Museum; Montage: Matt Novak / Gizmodo Read the rest

    Who needs foldable smartphones when you can just clip two together?

    Samsung and Huawei wowed early-adopters (and their creditors) this week with cutting-edge designs for foldable tablet-phones. LG's genius answer is to just clip two screens together. The BBC:

    It has created a second display as a detachable accessory. The end result may look less elegant thanks to the gap between the screens, but it is likely to cost less. The 6.2in (15.7cm) V50 ThinQ handset and its matching Dual Screen add-on both use OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology.

    Read the rest

    Samsung's foldable phone is called the Fold and will cost $1980

    After tax, you're clear of two grand. Read the rest

    As sports company abandons support for "smart" basketball, Nike pushes a software update that bricks its self-tying shoes

    Wilson X was the sports manufacturer's entry into the market for smart basketballs, but maintaining the app that made sense of the telemetry from your sensor-equipped roundball was expensive and stupid and so the Wilson X app is no more, and the "B" in "B-ball" stands for "bricked." Read the rest

    Yes, get a high-end vacuum cleaner

    Angela Lashbrook has followed the online recommendations for vacuum cleaners and found them wanting. The high-end brands that never get consideration in roundups of vacs are much better at sucking your carpet clean of filth.

    A simple task like cleaning my kitchen or vacuuming my rugs may seem small and relatively unimportant. But research shows that feeling control over elements of one’s life can help reduce stress, so is it any wonder that our generation is so attracted to the concept of home improvement? The capability to transform a chaotic environment into an orderly one can take my anxiety from a nine to a five or four; having a vacuum I don’t have to fight makes my pursuit of tidiness and eventual mental peace closer to effortless.

    This is, of course, why you don't see a professional cleaners or hotel mails hauling around a $100 Hoover Linx or whatever piece of crap Wirecutter recommends, but you do see them with models like the Miele Compact C2 [Amazon link] she recommends. It's currently $400 for the hard-floor model and $600 for the pet-hair model. Oof!

    When my Dyson broke I needed a cheap vac in a hurry, checked craigslist, and ended up with a barely-used Sebo X1 for less than a hundred dollars. It was and is a complete revelation: just whipping it around that first golden day filled its bag with stuff the supposedly premium Dyson couldn't even sniff. It's a discontinued model, but the current equivalent is about a grand new so, haha, you cheapskates should probably just get a Miele. Read the rest

    Magic Lantern: feature-rich addons for Canon EOS cameras

    Magic Lantern is a suite of feature-rich add-ons for your Canon EOS camera that you load via a SD card; in addition to a suite of video-recording tools, Magic Lantern allows fine-grained gain adjustments, selection of input sources, wind filters, audio monitoring, and better tools for everything from white-balance to exposure presets to overlays to help with exposure and other settings. The source is available for inspection and modification, of course. (via Four Short Links) Read the rest

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