This USB Drive Will Self-Destruct After Ruining Your Computer

See the original posting on Hackaday

Who would have thought that you could light up pyrotechnics on USB power? This USB keystroke injector that blows up after it’s used proves the concept.

Fully aware that this is one of those “just because you can doesn’t mean you should” projects, [MG] takes pains to point out that his danger dongle is just for dramatic effect, like a prop for a movie or the stage. In fact, he purposely withholds details on the pyrotechnics and concentrates on the keystroke injection aspect, potentially nasty enough by itself, as well as the dongle’s universal payload launching features. We’re a little …read more

A review of Starbucks’ fancy $80 mug

See the original posting on Boing Boing

YouTuber Dave Lee starts off his video review by saying that he went into Starbucks during the holidays to get a cup of coffee and was soon persuaded by their heavy advertising to buy an $80 Ember mug*.

“So basically I got conned into buying this thing,” he says.

He goes on to talk about the Ember, which is a ceramic temperature control mug. It measures the temperature of your your coffee or tea (or whatever hot beverage) and let’s you decide what temperature you want it to be all day. It also syncs with the Ember’s smartdevice app.

He likes it overall but has some issues with it. For example, it doesn’t hold the full 10 ounces unless it’s filled to the brim. It holds more like eight to eight and a half ounces.

While I appreciate Dave’s thorough review, if I’m spending $80 for a mug, it had better be making and serving me my hot beverage on a silver platter. I recently got a $40 electric kettle and — call me old fashioned, if you will — when I want to heat up my tea, I simply get off my butt, walk over to flip the kettle on, and take a break while I wait for it to heat up.

*Ember’s travel mug version is a mere $150!

Previously: Man creates a snarky review of his office’s janky $1K/yr water cooler

WhatsApp launches a separate app for small businesses

See the original posting on The Verge

WhatsApp has launched a separate app designed for use by small businesses to more easily connect with customers. WhatsApp Business adds key features like dedicated business profiles for details like email address, business description, store addresses, and website; smart messaging tools like greetings, quick replies, and away messages; and metrics for how many messages were sent, delivered, and read.

For those who use a business number and a personal one, both the WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Messenger apps can be used on the same device and registered with your different numbers. WhatsApp Business is also compatible with WhatsApp Web, the app’s desktop web browser client.

Image: WhatsApp

The quick replies…

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A gritty Netflix-style documentary on the Tide Pods epidemic

See the original posting on Boing Boing

The folks at Reality Check Documentaries took the trailer for Netflix’s gritty drug-crime docuseries DOPE and made it into a clever parody for the “Tide Pods epidemic.” It works a little too well, imo.

The official trailer for #TideDoc a documentary exploring the struggles and lives of pushers and the police in their never ending cat and mouse game.

Previously: Now there’s Tide Pods sushi and, yes, it’s edible

DIY Spray Booth is Both Light and Lit

See the original posting on Hackaday

Industrial designer [Eric Strebel] has access to big, walk-in spray booths, but bigger isn’t always better. For small jobs, it’s overkill, and he wanted his own spray booth anyway. If you’re ready to upgrade from that ratty old cardboard box in the garage, look no further than [Eric]’s spray booth how-to after the break.

If you don’t already know, [Eric] is something of a foam core legend. He has several videos about model building techniques that produce really slick results, so it’s no surprise to see these skills transfer to a larger build. The booth is built from a single …read more

Reading out an EPROM – with DIP switches

See the original posting on Hackaday

We’re all too spoiled nowadays with our comfortable ways to erase and write data to persistent memory, whether it’s our microcontroller’s internal flash or some external EEPROM. Admittedly, those memory technologies aren’t exactly new, but they stem from a time when their predecessors had to bathe under ultraviolet light in order to make space for something new. [Taylor Schweizer] recently came across some of these quartz-window decorated chips, and was curious to find out what is stored in them. Inspired by the BIOS reverse engineering scene in Halt and Catch Fire, he ended up building his own simple reader …read more

The Criteria to Consider for Choosing JavaScript Testing Frameworks

See the original posting on DZone Python

Since JavaScript is widely considered the “language of the web”, it comes to no surprise that test automation frameworks for the language are the most plentiful and most popular. However, this can also make it more difficult to choose the right ones for your team.

By considering the attributes of different frameworks, it’ll become more clear as to which one is the right fit for your current workflow. Follow our guide for selecting JavaScript testing frameworks in order to make the right choice that will lead your organization to lasting success.

MicroPython learns a new trick – ISP for AVRs

See the original posting on Hackaday

One of the reasons why the Arduino became so popular was the ability to program it with ease. It meant the end of big parallel programmers that would cost an arm and a leg. The latest installment of CircuitPython from [Lady Ada] and the team over at Adafruit is a library for programming AVR microcontrollers without a dedicated PC.

For the uninitiated, in-system programming or ISP for AVR controllers employ the SPI bus to write the compiled binary to the flash memory of the controller. The discount on the number of pins used itself is a benefit though getting the …read more

Cardboard wall is surprisingly well built

See the original posting on Hackaday

We all built cardboard forts when we were kids. [Paintingcook] has taken it into adulthood with a hand built cardboard wall. He and his wife leased a loft apartment. Lofts are great — one giant space to work with. Plans changed a bit when they found out they had a baby on the way. A single living, working, and sleeping space definitely wouldn’t be good for a newborn, so the couple set about separating a section of the room with a wall.

Sheetrock and steel or wood lumber would be the normal path here. They instead decided to recycle their …read more

Apple revamps web design for App Store

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Apple has updated the look of its web-based App Store, 9to5Mac first reported. It definitely has the feel of the iOS 11 App Store, which Apple completely redesigned and launched last September. But, unlike iOS 11, there’s no focus on app discovery.
The functionality is about the same as before, but what it comes down to is the clean design that feels simpler — perhaps due to the… Read More

Avoid losing your Nintendo Switch’s tiny game cards with this DIY storage controller

See the original posting on The Verge

When I bought my Nintendo Switch last year, I was a little surprised at just how small the individual game cards were. With a small child at home, I’ve been extra vigilant about keeping track of them, because no one wants to spend $60 on a tiny piece of plastic that can easily vanish. The same thought occurred to Bob Clagett, who runs the YouTube channel I Like to Make Stuff. In his latest video, he shows viewers how to make their own controller that doubles as a storage box for the cards.

I’ve been hooked on Clagett’s videos for a while now — ever since I came across his Shoretrooper helmet build, a project close to my heart — it’s a great series on how to build a range of extremely practical items.

This new project uses a bunch of…

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I can’t stop looking at this wonderfully bad Google Photos panorama stitch

See the original posting on The Verge

Most times, technology fails and we get frustrated. Sometimes, technology fails in a spectacularly adorable way. Such is the case with this Google Photos panorama image that the software automatically stitched together for Reddit user MalletsDarker, which place a photo of his friend majestically behind a different photos of snow and trees.

MalletsDarker shared the source images that Google Photos had combined together as a panorama, a feature that the software will automatically offer to you if it notices the images were taken near one another. He took three pictures: one with two friends, one of the snowy landscape, and one of the trees in a distance. In the photo of his friend, Google Photos managed to wipe…

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CES sucked this year

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 I’ve heard tell of people predicting the weather through achy joints. CES isn’t all that different. You get a sixth sense about the show once you’ve been to a few. A few weeks before the show starts you get a slight throb in your bones, telling you whether this CES will be a memorable one. All signs ahead of this year’s show pointed to a lackluster offering. Read More

Casually prep for nuclear war with this Minecraft tour of the Russian and American fallout bunkers

See the original posting on TechCrunch

 Virtual tourism is a little heavy in 2018. Sure, you’ve seen the Minecraft Eiffel Tower and beamed aboard the Minecraft USS Enterprise, but have you considered where you might wait out the end of days? Well, not you exactly, but people more important than you. To draw attention to the escalating threat of global nuclear annihilation, the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), which works… Read More

Big Trak Gets a New Brain

See the original posting on Hackaday

If you were a kid in the 1980s you might have been lucky enough to score a Big Trak — a robotic toy you could program using a membrane keyboard to do 16 different motions. [Howard] has one, but not wanting to live with a 16-step program, he gave it a brain transplant with an Arduino and brought it on [RetroManCave’s] video blog and you can see that below.

If you want to duplicate the feat and your mom already cleaned your room to make it a craft shop, you can score one on eBay or there’s even a new …read more

AR has inherited all the promise and hype of VR

See the original posting on The Verge

For the better part of the last decade, we’ve been told that virtual reality, and to a lesser extent augmented reality, will transform how we communicate, use computers, and play games and enjoy other forms of interactive entertainment. In 2018, it feels like the situation has reversed: AR is the more promising technology on the horizon. As a result, we’re starting to see the industry shift its resources and the built-in momentum of a hyped-up new product category toward heads-up displays. In combination, computer vision, which seeks to give software the ability to see and understand our surroundings using cameras, sensors, and artificial intelligence, AR feels poised to take off.

“My own view is that augmented reality is the larger of…

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