Mark Frauenfelder, Olympus m:robe, DVDuesday

Episode #5023


This Just In
Are You Flirting Or Just Chewing Your Gum? Singles meet at “quiet parties” and mingle via pencil and paper.

Really Old Old-School Gaming: Now you can play text-based Pong!

Long Lines You Don’t Mind: People are turning the Flickr photo sharing program into a sort of interactive game dealing with lines. (For a cooler Flickr project, check out this mosaic.)

Modder Nation
Mark Frauenfelder believes we’ve entered a new age of tinkering. Even as we coast through the midst of our digital age, more and more people are cracking open their gadgets, hacking their appliances, and creating new gizmos. To help further this phenomenon, the BoingBoing.net founder has helped launch a new endeavor, Make Magazine. This quarterly “bookzine” is loaded with DIY projects, hacks, mods, and tips that anyone can tackle.

“It’s basically Martha Stewart for geeks,” Mark said.

Some examples of projects in the first issue include a $14 homemade Steadicam that’ll keep your camera level, a magnetic stripe reader that’ll let you know what info is stored on your credit cards, and a way to send a camera aloft on a kite for aerial photography. The magazine is extremely open to user–generated content and it will regularly feature the projects of “regular” people.

Furthermore, Make Magazine’s website allows you to upload your own projects online for sharing and discussion. The site will also include a blog and web-exclusive features.

Learn more about the tinkering revolution at http://make.oreilly.com 

Sarah’s Damn Good Download
Sales of cell phone ringtones have become a big business, but now you can make your own – free! – at Smash The Tones.

Breakin’ the Law
It was a case of mass murder in the gentle castles of World of Warcraft after players discovered a bug that allowed them to kill their fellow players. If you, too, want to cast deadly spells, act fast – the worker bees at Blizzard are apparently working on a fix. Go to the World of Warcraft forum for all the dirt.

Office Supplies of Death
In another experiment in office bricolage, we discovered a site that offers instructions on how to make your own micro-claymore mine using innocuous paper clips. Warning: This can hurt someone, or worse. In fact, forget we ever told you about this.

The Feed
In tech topics…

That New “Security” Feature Takes a While: Microsoft announced it will release a beta version of the Longhorn operating system this year. Hey, maybe Mac OS 11 will be out by then.

Making a List… The FCC is posting lists of cell phone scammers.

FOX TV, Network of Good Taste: Upon reflection, FOX has axed GoDaddy.com’s Superbowl commercial because it’s too racy. Does that mean we should expect them to cancel three-fourths of their programming, too?

Look Out, DS: Sony’s PSP will launch with at least three WiFi online games.

It Came From eBay
You can buy darn near anything on eBay – particularly things that no one in their right mind should actually pay for. Here’s what Kevin P. dug up this week:

Cheerleading Chicken Robots!

The Paperclip Thong Bikini!

Backyard Space Chicken Egg!

Jesus Brick: It Hurts and Heals!

English Muffin Jesus: God Works Through Your Toaster!

Family Prays for You – For Only Five Grand! 

Praise Be! It’s DVDuesday!
DVDTalk.com’s Kim Morgan ran down her list of the week’s biggest DVD releases:

Raging Bull Special Edition: “It’s a brilliant movie – I can’t tell you how great this movie is,” said Kim. “The camera work, the black and white photography… this movie is amazing, right up there with Taxi Driver. It’s a two-disc set and it deserves it.” Kim says the commentary track by director Martin Scorsese is wonderful, not to mention educational, while the extra features are very good. “Even if you’re not a fan, check out this movie,” she said. (Here’s DVDTalk.com’s review of the Martin Scorsese Film Collection, which includes Raging Bull.)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Collector’s Edition: “It’s a really inventive, unique story about getting over a relationship,” said Kim, who really enjoyed the performance of Jim Carrey. “He’s really subtle and understated in this – he’s great.” However, for a “Collectors Edition,” this two-disc set is light on extra features. “It feels skimpy and I wanted more,” she said.

Miami Vice: Season One: “I have a soft spot for this show because Michael Mann was the producer,” Kim said, referring to the director of Collateral and Ali. “They made it like a movie – it looks good.” However, once again the features are on the skimpy side. “It’s a milestone for TV cop shows, so you would think that the first season box set would have some extras.” But, alas, there’s no commentary, and the featurettes are too short.

Live Call
Carl from West Palm Beach, Florida asked Mark Frauenfelder what was the most fun project that’s ever been sent to him.

Mark pointed to the new magazine’s MakeShift column, which presents problems and solutions. In the first issue, MakeShift tells you how to start a car with a dead battery by just using items you may have on hand.

Do We Have an iPod Killer Yet?
The Olympus m:robe MP3 player looks like a winner right out of the box, with a built-in camera, a color LCD touch screen, and long battery life for $500. But in actual use, Chi-Lan found that it’s far from perfect: the camera has no shutter button, which means you have to tap the screen to take photos and thereby smearing it up. Also, there’s no flash, so you can only take photos in good light. Furthermore, the music software is very slow, and the unit doesn’t allow for on-the-fly playlists.

But it does look really, really cool.

Go to the official m:robe website to find out more.

Olympus m:robe MP3 player


Mark Fruanfelder
Ten Minutes with Mark Frauenfelder

BoingBoing.net's co-founder edits a new magazine for modders -- "Make."