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For the folks who are visiting MAKE for the first time, welcome! Take a look around! MAKE brings the do-it-yourself mindset to all the technology in your life. MAKE is loaded with exciting projects that help you make the most of your technology at home and away from home. This is a magazine that celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your own will. We have a Maker Faire coming up in Austin, TX October 20-21 (the Bay area Faire was in the Quest show and had over 45,000 attendees).

For the folks coming in from the ABC World News Tonight program here are some of the “Design Noir” gadgets along with a bit more information about these social and technological projects. Design Noir can be defined as “The ‘hidden underbelly’ of ‘real human needs,’ acting as elements in a “narrative space entered by using and misusing a simple electronic product” that challenges “the conformity of everyday life by short-circuiting our emotions and states of mind” – (Raby & Dunne 2001).

Design Noir devices usually have:

  • Control/Empowerment
  • Subversion
  • Critical Discourse/Dialogue
  • Functionality/Agency

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TV-B-Gone. A keychain sized device that acts as a “universal remote” that turns off any TV (we sell these in our Maker store). Turns off ANY TV on or off with a click of the button! With the new and improved Gen 3 model, even those new big screen LCD TVs aren’t safe anymore! New features include instant reactivation with the press of a button, bigger battery, Flashing LED indicates that the unit is sending out its signal. (If you don’t want the flashing LED on, simply double-click at the beginning of a new sequence for “stealth mode”) – Link (you can get one here at the Maker store).

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People mod these and put them in hats, make high powered ones and coming soon we’ll have a kit!

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WaveBubble – A self-tuning, wide-bandwidth portable RF jammer. The device is lightweight and small for easy camouflaging: it is the size of a pack of cigarettes – Link.

[Not shown in the segment, but ones that I like to put in context of the ones that were…] These projects feature C=culture-jamming industrial design. Electronic devices as artifacts and unfulfilled personal desires and reactions to technologies that surround us…

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“Scream body”, Kelly Dobson, ScreamBody is the first of the series of Wearable Body Organs. ScreamBody is a portable space for screaming. When a user needs to scream but is in anynumber of situations where it is just not permitted, ScreamBody silences the user’s screams so they may feel free to vocalize without fear of environmental retaliation, and at the same time records the scream for later release where, when, and how the user chooses – Link.

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“No Contact Jacket” (Whiton & Nugent). Protects the wearer against aggression with a high voltage electric shock (80,000 volts low amp current) – Link.