Sure, you could gain hipster cachet with a snazzy new iPhone, but nothing screams "before it was cool" louder than a massive brick of a phone that doesn't even fit in your handbag, never mind a pocket. Cue Binatone's The Brick -- a mobile phone that seems to have been beamed to us from the 1980s.
While most parents are wrestling with whether or not to buy their kids the latest iPhone, a Canadian family is more concerned about finding good cassette tapes to listen to.
Blair McMillan and his girlfriend Morgan are raising young Trey. Blair got the idea to ban new technology from the household after little Trey became too obsessed with an iPad to go and play outside with his dad. So now the family draws the line at any technology created after 1986, the year Blair and his girlfriend were born.… Read more
If you can post to Twitter using Morse Code, you should darn well be able to get tweets via ticker tape.
"This astounding device will print a permanent copy of all tweets yet requires no ink or computer," reads the site for the standalone contraption, which British Web developer Adam Vaughan built from scratch with used parts from clocks and other objects. … Read more
While our gadgets get better all the time (faster, smaller, more storage and functions), the beloved old gadgets we were so proud of, and spent so much time with, languish in basements and garages and attics -- gone, yet never forgotten.
If you have a bit of electrical know-how, though, you can give them a new lease on life, as Glasgow-based artist and filmmaker James Houston did. He rigged together a 1988 Sega Mega Drive, a 1982 Commodore 64, and a bunch of old floppy and hard drives to play music, controlled live via MIDI.
The song, written and performed by electronic musician Julian Corrie, is called "Polybius" -- named for an 1981 arcade tube shooter of urban legend that was said to send its players insane. … Read more
Never mind about Baffman, this is the best geek news of the day. The new "Star Wars" movie, Episode VII, will be shot on good old-fashioned film, like the originals -- not the digital cameras used in Episodes I-III.
At an event hosted by the American Society of Cinematographers, cinematographer Dan Mindel, who worked with new "Star Wars" director J.J. Abrams on the recent "Star Trek" flicks, confirmed he'd be shooting on 35mm Kodak film, Boba Fett Fan Club reports. … Read more
We loved the NES modded with a built-in screen, but it looks like former computer science Ph.D. and current software engineer Dave Nunez has done it one better. He's created a portable NES, which he calls the NESPo, almost entirely from the ground up.
Rather than cannibalize an existing NES ("Call it honor among the elderly," Nunez said), he started with an NES hardware clone known as a NES on a chip (NOAC) called the NES Retro Entertainment System (RES). This would form the guts of the machine.
For NESPo's screen, he used a 4.3-inch color TFT camera screen that plugged into the RES, and to power it, he picked up a 1500mAh NiMH rechargeable battery that gives the device around two hours of gameplay. For a speaker, he used a LM386-based amp module. Once that was all put together and tested, the next step was creating the case. … Read more
Calling all sci-fi enthusiasts with cash stowed under the sofa. A gigantic 1950s robot called "Cygan" is to be sold at auction next month, and could fetch upwards of $18,000.
The half-ton bot was built in Italy in 1957, the BBC reports, and was shown off in London the following year, delighting adults and children alike by dancing clumsily with a lady, and not murdering anyone.
Cygan, sometimes called Gygan, has the power to crush a can in his robotic claw, and is equipped with a camera so that his operator can monitor his movements. … Read more
Artists might see the world differently, but these days, 97-year-old Hal Lasko has trouble seeing much of anything. That doesn't stop him, however, from making beautiful pixel art with Microsoft Paint.
Lasko, considered legally blind, has a condition known as wet macular degeneration, which causes loss of central vision. In theory, this sort of vision impairment would sound like something that could hinder an artist from creating illustrations, but it doesn't stop Lasko.… Read more
You never know who will show up in the shady halls of Chalmun's Cantina on the desolate desert planet of Tatooine.
Over the last week leading up to the San Diego Comic-Con, an event called Course of the Force has celebrated the "Star Wars" saga and raised money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation in the process. On behalf of the event, Billy Dee Williams (who played Lando Calrissian in "Star Wars") sang a not-so-stirring, yet still amusing rendition of "West Coast" by Coconut Records.… Read more
There's a certain retro-cheesy charm to the sets used for the original "Star Trek." The lights and sounds of the bridge are ingrained in minds of many Trekkies. Several members of the USS Nokomis, a Twin Cities "Star Trek" fan club, made their very own bridge console, using modern technology to bring it to life.
Every year, the "crew" of the USS Nokomis stocks a party room at its Trekkie convention. Needing to spruce up the hotel room's decor, members set about making a classic "Trek" control panel. Sure, they could have plugged in some lights and called it done, but they instead drafted Arduino, an open-source electronic prototyping platform, and Raspberry Pi, a credit card-sized computer, into the project.… Read more