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‘cool’ Archives

BMW designs ultimate PC gaming computer

BMW designs ultimate PC gaming computer

About a decade ago, pretty much every computer in the world was housed in a boring beige box, and the biggest design question was whether that container would sit vertically or horizontally. That's all changed now, partly due to the influence of Apple and custom PC manufacturers like Thermaltake, a Taiwanese company that specializes in PC cases [...]

Tear of Grief: Who knew this existed?

Tear of Grief: Who knew this existed?

Don't be fooled by the nice photo in the Wikipedia entry; this sculpture is in a horrible location. It's located at the end of the Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne and is SO out of the way, it probably gets no tourist traffic. The only reason I know about it is because a bus driver pointed it out while I was in Jersey, and even then I could only [...]

Why mercury is forbidden aboard airplanes

Why mercury is forbidden aboard airplanes

Unless you are a representative of a national meteorological bureau licensed to carry a barometer (and odds are you’re not), bringing mercury onboard an airplane is strictly forbidden. Why? If it got loose, it could rust the plane to pieces before it had a chance to land. You see, airplanes are made of aluminum, and aluminum is highly [...]

Putin Pretending To Be Tourist During Reagan’s 1988 Visit To Moscow

Putin Pretending To Be Tourist During Reagan’s 1988 Visit To Moscow

This is an amazing picture. See the guy with the camera around his neck standing behind the boy? That’s current Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pretending to be a tourist when we know today that he was a KGB agent. (more…)

HOWTO: Create a bootable self-playing video disc

HOWTO: Create a bootable self-playing video disc

MoviX2 puts a tiny Linux system on a disc or thumb drive that boots up and plays almost any video file you burn it with, making a handy tool for demonstrations or less-than-capable computers. Yes, yes, we know—most people can simply use VLC Player, or burn a video to DVD. If you need to play a video on a system without a DVD drive, though, or [...]

HOWTO: Open keypad-access doors

HOWTO: Open keypad-access doors

Here's a fun little tip: You may open most Sentex key pad-access doors by typing in the following code: ***00000099#* The first *** are to enter into the admin mode, 000000 (six zeroes) is the factory-default password, 99# opens the door, and * exits the admin mode (make sure you press this or the access box will be left in admin mode!) I'm [...]

Secret message hidden in Lincoln’s pocket watch

Secret message hidden in Lincoln’s pocket watch

Watchismo has the incredible story of an apocryphal anti-slavery message that a watchmaker hid inside Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch at the outbreak of the civil war: Dillon, working in a D.C. watch repair shop in 1861, told family members that he -- by incredible happenstance -- had been repairing Lincoln's watch when news came that Fort [...]

24 Solid State Drives in a RAID array

In a time when marketing is all around us, companies often have to come up with new and creative ways to get us excited. Some go the viral route, others hire famous spokes people. (more…)

HOWTO: Make your own background image for GRUB bootloader

HOWTO: Make your own background image for GRUB bootloader

No matter what distribution of Linux you’re using, the default GRUB bootloader background image is probably pretty generic. Or, maybe you just want to personalize it. Since your system isn’t booted very far, your tool set is rather limited, so there are strict requirements for the image. It must be exactly 640×480 It can only use up to [...]

Cool new Dutch coin

Cool new Dutch coin

Matthew Dent's new coinage for the UK was pretty great, but this Dutch commemorative coin is a fully contemporary chunk of wow. (more…)

Pointless Friday Fun

4085 square mile natural mirror

The world’s largest salt flat, the Salar de Uyuni in Southwestern Bolivia (near the crest of the Andes, 3,650 meters high), is one of the most exotic place scenery on earth. There is an estimated 10 billion tons of salt in the flats, 25 times the amount in the Bonneville Salt flats in Utah. (more…)

Kindle 2 teardown

Kindle 2 teardown

The people at iFixit have shown that they’re still on top of their game by tearing down the new Kindle 2 eBook reader. The main processor is a 532MHz ARM-11 from Freescale. Interestingly, there isn’t any significant circuitry behind the large keyboard; it seems its existence is just to hide the battery.

$100 Linux wall-wart launches

$100 Linux wall-wart launches

Marvell Semiconductor is shipping a hardware/software development kit suitable for always-on home automation devices and service gateways. Resembling a "wall-wart" power adapter, the SheevaPlug draws 5 Watts, comes with Linux, and boasts completely open hardware and software designs, Marvell says. In typical use, the SheevaPlug draws about as [...]

Röyksopp’s new “Happy Up Here” video

If you were fooled (as I was) into thinking the cartoon fan vid that made the music blog rounds a few days ago was official, you've missed out: Röyksopp's actual debut video for their forthcoming Junior album is this glorious Reuben Sutherland-directed number which does real-life Space Invaders better than anything I've ever seen. [...]

Abandoned tunnel under Brooklyn

Abandoned tunnel under Brooklyn

Unbeknownst to the thousands of people who walk and drive along the busy streets of downtown Brooklyn every day, they are treading on a 170 year old secret. At 17 feet high, 21 feet wide and 1,611 feet long, it is a big secret indeed, and one filled with greed, murder and corruption. Not long ago, M and I had the chance to go down a manhole in [...]

The Hofmeister Kink: A Lasting BMW Design Detail

The Hofmeister Kink: A Lasting BMW Design Detail

Sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest differences. They can carry powerful associations that aren't immediately obvious. Some good examples are: How your computer displays text, The $300 Million Button, and The difference a headline makes. The idea that a detail can make a big difference has always been fascinating to me.  I've [...]

Google Maps uncovers the long lost city of Atlantis?

Google Maps uncovers the long lost city of Atlantis?

The site lies 620 miles off the west coast of Africa near the Canary Islands — a location for Atlantis seemingly suggested by the ancient philosopher Plato. He believed it was an island civilization sunk by an earthquake and floods around 9,700BC — nearly 12,000 years ago. The “grid” showed up on Google Ocean, a Google Earth [...]

Unblocking Adblock

Unblocking Adblock

If you’re using Firefox with the Adblock Plus extension installed what would you think of a site that implemented a site-wide script that unblocks ads which were blocked by Adblock Plus? See, a while ago, when the whole Firefox is blocked debacle was raging, I made some hand-waving statement about how easy it would be to circumvent [...]

Missile launcher: iPhone interface

Pedram sent us his USB missile launcher interface project. He happened to have some of the USB missile launchers lying around. having lost their initial draw, he wanted to do something to spice it up. He wrote an interface in python so he could control the launcher via his iPhone. We don’t see how this is any different than controlling them by [...]

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