Daytripper automatically hides your naughtiness when your boss walks by

If you’re anything like me you like to shirk, dilly-dally, and dawdle. But figures of authority like bosses, parents, and teachers are always asking you to focus! How better to thwart their vile ends than with a little box that hides your gaming as soon as they walk by.

This DIY project, called Daytripper, consists of a little sensor and a receiver. When someone walks by the sensor it sends a signal to your computer to hide all your windows or even shut down your computer. This means you can be browsing shopping sites and you’ll immediately be warned when someone who pays your bills walks by.

The kit is simple enough to build by hand but you can also purchase a ready-made kit on Tindie for $59. Some specs:

  • Can detect motion within 120cm (4 ft).
  • Has 5Hz scan rate, works best indoors.
  • Works out-of-box with Windows, compatible with all major OSs.
  • Has a 40-hour battery life, rechargeable via USB-C.
  • Has a 100 meter (330 ft) communication range between TX and RX, open-air.
  • Comes with a magnetic mounting kit.

Given the fact the Man is always trying to steal your time this might be the best solution for stealing it back.

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Will the next iPhone go to 11?

On September 10 Apple will be holding its annual bacchanal/iPhone launch which will probably result in some update mobiles and a new iMac or two. Is it enough?

There are many tech pundits who are seeing the death of Apple’s innovation and, barring a few bright spots in the realm of privacy and security, they’re just about right. The iPhone has remained the same for nearly a decade, adding incremental improvements but little in the way of massive change. The laptops and desktops are stagnant and even falling backwards in terms of quality. Computers and mobile phones are full of features. Sure, Apple still leads when it comes to making features work well, but it is far from the first in adding new technologies to what amounts to an antiquated stack.

So the new iPhone will go to 11. That’s great. But what do we get for our upgrade fee?

I’m seeing an interesting twist in terms of technology these days. The idea that you can film an entire movie on your iPhone sounds like fun but filmmakers are still going back to mirrorless cameras and “antiquated” lenses. The future of streaming media has already been decided in the 2D and Apple is far behind on that front. What happens when VR comes to the fore? There are plenty of companies that will eat Apple’s lunch on that front come 2025 and beyond. Finally, Apple doesn’t own infrastructure. That part of the world, the part that is hidden behind security and future smart highways, belongs to the Asian giants, tariffs or no.

This stage of the game reminds me of the home computer revolution. For decades IBM and other giants ruled the basements of big corporations. An army of rich and faceless men sold big iron to governments and institutions. Then, ever so quietly, the home computer revolution upended the entire thing. Those faceless men died as something bigger took their place.

And I know it is unfair to compare flashy Apple with IBM. But remember: in the late 1970s an IBM 1401 was as futuristic as any MacBook and the language of computing – machine readable fonts, barcodes, and blinking lights – was part of our culture.

The question isn’t whether or not we’ll get three cameras on our iPhone. The real question is who will build the next 20 years of tech?

It’s not Apple.

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Apple offers more repair options, but not many more

If you’ve ever taken anything in to Apple for repair you’ll note that the process is surprisingly pleasant (when you’re under warranty) and quick. But what if you’re not close to an Apple store? The process sucks.

That’s why Apple is now working to build out a “a new repair program, offering customers additional options for the most common out-of-warranty iPhone repairs.” This means the guy down the street in the bodega with a heat gun and some iPhone screens won’t have to be repairing on the sly anymore.

The program will supply independent repair people “with the same genuine parts, tools, training, repair manuals and diagnostics as its Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASPs).” From the release:

“To better meet our customers’ needs, we’re making it easier for independent providers across the US to tap into the same resources as our Apple Authorized Service Provider network,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “When a repair is needed, a customer should have confidence the repair is done right. We believe the safest and most reliable repair is one handled by a trained technician using genuine parts that have been properly engineered and rigorously tested.”

But, as many note, this program is only for a selected few repairers and all need a “Apple-certified technician” to repair Apple products. This is similar to the model used by watch companies in allowing only registered technicians open the back of certain watches.

That said this program will definitely slow down grey market part sales and repairs and could open doors for small businesses globally. That said, who knows how they’ll maintain quality over time and it would be great to have the ability to DIY a few of these repairs, something that is traditionally hard to impossible for Apple products. Time will tell.

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Please do not purchase this ugly piece of wood

Imagine that you had $40. What would you spend it on? A few sandwiches for the homeless? An inflatable kangaroo? A box of small-sized rubber chickens? How about an ugly piece of wood?

Please do not buy this piece of wood. It’s supposed to be a door stop and it’s made by a company called Huckberry which, arguably, creates lots of hipsters, homespun stuff. But this hunk of wood from Japan – “originally created to keep manual trucks from rolling” – is ugly and old and silly. I’m sure you could spend $40 on lots of wood and make a dozen of these by burying the ones you make in the back yard for a week.

Anyway, we’re not here to control your spending. Just consider the plight of the poor inflatable kangaroo sellers before you pull the trigger on this.

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Sonos leaks a battery-powered audio player

A new audio called the Sonos Move leaked today, appearing on multiple gadget sites. The new device, a battery-powered and Bluetooth enabled smart speaker, is a portable Sonos system that connects to your home system.

The leaked photos first appeared on Win Future.

Specs are limited right now but we do know that it will charge via a dock and features Wi-Fi playback, a handle for carrying, and will support Air Play 2, Alexa, and Google Assistant via a built-in mic.

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Now funding: The customizable Kiri Backpack from Banana Backpacks

At Knapsack, we’re committed to bringing you all the sorts of tech and gadgets that we find interesting out there. However, you’ll need some way to carry all that with you, and as Knapsack is literally part of our name, we’ll be bringing you coverage on cool bags that we come across. One of the more recent ones I uncovered is the very customizable Kiri Backpack.

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Review: The Mercury Rocketeer Keyboard

First, a confession: I’m not typing on the Mercury Rocketeer keyboard right now. It’s not because I don’t love the design, the colors, the keys, and the switches. It’s because I can’t use the type of keyboard the Rocketeer is without driving myself nuts.

This keyboard, a collaboration between designer Zslane and Massdrop, is a 60% layout. This means its about as big as a standard typewriter but doesn’t have arrow keys or a number pad. This means, in practice, you have to press a function key to access the arrow keys and other things that you might be used to if you use a lot of command lines and shortcuts.

That said, as a lover of mechanical keyboards I will try to use this one as often as I can to write. The key travel is amazing, the sound is satisfying as a Selectric, and the design is wonderful.

At $250 it’s a bit steep but the entire package, from the wonderful keycaps to the aluminum case, are very well executed. I could definitely seeing this be a writer’s keyboard a la the Freewrite or a second keyboard for those who need very few of the key commands that I depend on.

The bottom line? I love this thing. But because of my typing and work style I can’t use it. If you’d like me to send it to you, please comment below and I’ll ship it out to a lucky reader.

SPECS

  • Designed by Zslane
  • Produced by Massdrop
  • 61 keys
  • Powder-coated die-cast aluminum frame
  • Custom 60% PCB
  • Kaihua hot-swap switch sockets
  • QMK firmware
  • Cherry-style stabilizers
  • Aluminum or brass switch plate
  • Dual USB-C connectors
  • SA doubleshot ABS keycaps
  • Dimensions: 12.1 x 5.4 x 1.5 in (30.7 x 13.7 x 3.9 cm)
  • Weight: 32.2 oz (912 g)
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The ClockworkPi GameShell is full of DIY fun

Devices like the GameShell are my absolute favorite. Made for DIY fans and Raspberry Pi users, they are basically mini computers inside a wonderfully easy-to-build shell. I’ve 3D printed something similar in the past but now the whole thing is available for $139 preassembled, a boon to those who don’t want to go through rolls of plastic and fiddle with messy prints.

This little device comes with a DIY case and buttons as well as all the hardware you need to build your own retro gaming rig. Features include:

  • New clockworkPi V3.1 (Quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU, WI-FI & Bluetooth on-board,1GB DDR3 memory, Micro HDMI output)
  • ATmeage168p programmable Keypad
  • 2.7 inch TFT [email protected] screen
  • Dual speaker
  • 1200mAh rechargeable lithium battery
  • Lightkey module (for shoulder buttons)
  • 1 front shell + 2 back shells
  • 16GB MicroSD card
  • clockworkpi OS, Linux Kernel 4.1x supported
  • 14PIN GPIOs development cable
  • Assembly instructions & sticker

It comes with a few indie games built in and can run emulators including NES and SNES ROMs.

Darrell at TechCrunch filmed himself building the thing if you’d like to see how complex – or non-complex – the whole process is. After all, if he could build it… “All told, I had mine put together in less than an hour, and even though I did get in there with my teeth at one point (to remove a bit of plastic nubbin when assembling the optional Lightkey component, which adds extra function keys to the console), I never once felt overwhelmed or defeated,” he wrote which means that anyone with a little time and a little desire can follow in his DIY footsteps.

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If you’re not biased, the Aura Stand can help you with that

And by biased, I mean – of course – the concept of bias lighting. We generally think of this more in terms of those sticky LED light strips folks put on the back of a television to help improve the contrast your eyes see on the screen, as well as allowing your eyes to adjust to varying lighting conditions. Well, how about your laptop? Guessing not many folks have fiddled with bias lighting there. If so – and you wish your screen was a bit higher – then the Aura Stand is something you’ll want to take a look at.

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