DIYs & Mods

App pitch: coffeehouse commons

Coffee isn't only a stimulant, but also a social glue and fuel for creative lives. A proposed mobile app would allow caffeinated bloggers, writers, artists, and designers to share their coffeehouse-generated work in real-time.

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The expanding Kinectosphere

Kinect hacks are emerging at a rapid pace; its hard to recall a mass-market gadget so quickly adapted to new uses. As Bruce Sterling points out, Microsoft accidentally invented a primo piece of art-installation hardware. It's this kind of DIY innovation that keeps tech feral.

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Sugru is Flubber for hacking things better

Perhaps the most usefuland certainly the most whimsicalpick on Times list of the 50 Best Inventions of 2010, Sugru is a moldable, self-adhesive, self-curing silicone elastomer. That doesnt sound whimsical? Then you havent watched the video yet.

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Kinect: ready-to-hack gadgetry

The ease with which the Microsoft Kinect can be torn downand the familiarity of the software driving ithas quickly proven a feature and not a bug for hackers. Hacking commercial gadgets is nothing new of course; but the pace at which hacks now appear, as well as the appeal they generate, is something to watch.

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Hacking the app called the book

Jonathan Safran Foer's new book, The Tree of Codes, has a marvelous title. But the real marvel begins when you turn the cover to find that the story is literally carved out of another worknamely, The Street of Crocodiles, the 1934 cycle of short stories by martyred Polish writer Bruno Schulz. There's a gadget angle to all this, but you'll have to follow the jump for it.

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Hackers of the world, unite

Repair is greenrepair is joyfulrepair injects soul and makes things unique. Those are some of the claims of Ifixits "Self-Repair Manifesto," which is not a self-help tract but a hackers call to arms.

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The Periodic Table of Videos

A great series of videos made by the chemistry department at the University of Nottingham in Englandone for each of the elements in the periodic table, 118 in all. It's full of insightsand it will have you wondering about the activation energy of professor Martyn Poliakoff's hair.

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Are you spacecrafty?

The Space Shuttle Program, which employs five thousand people and comprises more than a quarter of NASA infrastructure, is set to end in early 2011. How to commemorate the program that has defined manned spaceflight for more than thirty years? How about with an astronaut-helmet tea cozy!

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The scanner without us

Digital filmmaker Franois Vautier installed an ant colony in his scanner and scanned it every week for five years. The movie he made of the results is fairly astonishing. It's high-tech ruin porn at insect scale.

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