Build us something, anything! It can be a working piece of circuitry, or a wonderful piece of art, or both! It should be made out of at least 75% reused parts (though we encourage 100%!).
Well, there’s a winner! It’s a DIY hand-crank iPhone charger:
The power source is an AC turntable motor salvaged from a broken microwave. The project enclosure is a reused cardboard shipping tube. And many of the electronic components, such as a USB receptacle, were scrapped from old computer boards.
Read more about it — and other impressive entries in the contest — here.
"This weekend at the DefCon hacker conference in Las Vegas, Bransfield will debut the next logical step: The “WarKitteh” collar, a device he built for less than $100 that turns any outdoor cat into a Wifi-sniffing hacker accomplice.
Despite the title of his DefCon talk—”How To Weaponize Your Pets”–Bransfield admits WarKitteh doesn’t represent a substantial security threat. Rather, it’s the sort of goofy hack designed to entertain the con’s hacker audience. Still, he was surprised by just how many networks tracked by his data-collecting cat used WEP, a form of wireless encryption known for more than ten years to be easily broken. “My intent was not to show people where to get free Wi-Fi. I put some technology on a cat and let it roam around because the idea amused me,” says Bransfield, who works for the security consultancy Tenacity. “But the result of this cat research was that there were a lot more open and WEP-encrypted hot spots out there than there should be in 2014.” (via How to Use Your Cat to Hack Your Neighbor’s Wi-Fi | Threat Level | WIRED)
Second Life: The Heineken WOBO Doubles as Beer Bottle and Brick
Fifty years ago, Heineken developed a revolutionary and sustainable design solution to give its beer bottles a second life: as an architectural brick. The concept arose after brewing magnate Alfred Heineken visited Curacao during a world tour of his factories in 1960. He was struck by the amount of beer bottles—many bearing his name—littering the beaches and the lack of affordable building materials for residents. In a stroke of genius (or madness), Heineken realized both problems could be solved if beer bottles could be reused as structural building components. Enlisting the help of Dutch architect N. John Habraken, Heineken created a new bottled design—dubbed the Heineken WOBO (World Bottle)—that doubled as a drinking vessel and a brick. As author and architecture critic Martin Pawley notes, the WOBO was “the first mass production container ever designed from the outset for secondary use as a building component.” The new squared off bottle was both inter-locking and self-aligning, allowing it to nestle seamlessly and snugly into adjoining “bricks.” With Habraken’s design, a 10 by 10 foot hut could be constructed with 1,000 WOBO bottles. Though a test run of 100,000 bottles was produced in 1963, the marketing department’s worries about liabilities doomed the project. The WOBO was subsequently and unceremoniously retired. Though only two official WOBO buildings remain, both on the Heineken estate in Noordwijk near Amsterdam, the concept remains a powerful and inspiring one one. Indeed, the experiment is a reminder of how a major corporation might seriously take on sustainability in an innovative way.
Their Miss Possible line of dolls combines the appeal of American Girl with the skill development of GoldieBlox.
These young women have left Barbie so far behind.
The first doll will be the childhood version of Marie Curie, the Nobel Prize-winning chemist and physicist whose research led to breakthroughs on radioactivity. The second in the production line would be Bessie Coleman, the first African-American female aviator and first American to hold an international pilot’s license. The third woman they’ve chosen in their doll line-up is Ada Lovelace, known as the world’s first computer programmer.
Each doll will come with a smartphone app with a set of experiments and activities the child can do in the spirit of the doll’s namesake. The Marie Curie app will have instructions on making a compass, creating a chemical reaction with Elmer’s glue and experimenting with magnetism. It’s like a digital science kit with materials typically found in the house. The app also delves into the biography of the woman.
Toys can be powerful tools, letting children imagine a narrative of what’s possible in their own lives. But they have become increasingly gendered, pink, superficial and sexualized, since we were children.