Archive for April, 2010

Managing multiple Twitter accounts via SMS

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

I have a handful of twitter accounts associated with specific events or websites. They’re often updated automatically with no regular intervention by me—I usually don’t even know their passwords. Everything works pretty smoothly until I need to do a manual update. Take the @hackerdrinkup account: It updates automatically with the week’s location, but if something unexpected comes up, I need to update it with the new venue. Many pro mobile twitter clients support multiple accounts and Brizzly supports up to five. I do these updates so rarely that it doesn’t feel worth the expense or setup time… and even if they were setup it still relies on my phone’s sometimes flakey data connection. I set out to build a simple solution that would work with a bare minimum connection. (more…)

Free StarCraft 2 beta key when you preorder from Amazon

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Free StarCraft 2 beta key when you preorder from Amazon. They just pushed a major cotent patch and the Mac client should be out in the next week.

iPod ears

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

The idea of threading earphones through stretched lobes has been haunting me for several years. I’m sure I would have squashed this fascination by now if I actually had pierced ears. But it continues and yesterday I found myself searching again to find a photo of someone who had done it. I came across a MacRumors:Forums post from 2005 about putting stock iPod headphones through stretched earlobes, but unfortunately the pictures were missing. A quick search of the username turned up a Flickr user of the same name. I contacted Michael Dyer, the original poster, and he happily took two new photos. Here are his comments on the mod: (more…)

Police know what your cellphone jammer looks like

Monday, April 12th, 2010

A couple interesting documents have recently appeared on Public Intelligence related to electronics hobbyists. Pictured right is a doc circulated by the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center “Radio Frequency Jammers Used to Disrupt Communication Devices“. It features one of the most widely available cellphone jammers on the market (here it is on Deal Extreme). SFPD recovered this one—it was on at the time—from a car during a drug bust. These particular units are sold with a cigarette adapter, but as the article notes, the range is only ~15 feet. With such a short range, I’m not sure what the point of using a jammer is outside of say, an elevator. (more…)

Mega Force

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Memories of the Mega Force toy series by Kenner recently popped back into my head. Premiering in 1989, the line had two different warring armies and didn’t specify which was “good” and which was “evil”. I’ve always been a fan of giant sci-fi vehicles (mechs and whatnot). I think that’s what the real draw for me was; I mean this thing had planes… that you could land planes on! The smallest units were diecast metal so they had a nice weight to them and didn’t feel cheap and plasticy like many toys from that era. Pictured above was my favorite vehicle of the four we owned. Its helipad is spring loaded and would pop up at the push of a button. The mechanism withstood a lot of abuse and all of the large vehicles featured some sort of action like this.

Of course, I couldn’t remember the name of this series the other day so I IM’d my parents to check the toy box. They actually found the checklist that used to be included with each toy and sent me a scan: front and back. You can find more pictures of the toy line on Toy Archive and here’s one of the commercials.