Auto-pausing Netflix socks make a great gift (if you have the skills)

With socks like these, you'll be the hit of any Netflix party.

So there you are, watching Netflix, binging on some TV series that everyone’s talking about when you suddenly fall asleep. What happens? Netflix keeps playing, running through a few more episodes while you catch some Zs.

Imagine, though, having a garment — socks, for example — that can automatically detect when you fall asleep and pause that Netflix stream for you. How great would that be?

If you’re comfortable around a pair of knitting needles as well as an Arduino mini-computer controller, some IR hardware and a soldering gun, you just might be the kind of person who should make these socks for a last-minute holiday gift.

This is exactly the kind of DIY stuff that gives us nerds an exciting thrill, but the technical specs and required knowledge (not to mention ownership of various electronic- and knitting-flavored gear) is a bit higher than your run-of-the-mill mid-December project.

You can use socks you already own, but Netflix has a set of patterns based on its popular shows for you to download and use in knitting a pair of foot warmers. The most popular patterns? Try BloodlineUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, House of Cards, BoJack Horseman and Daredevil.

Once you’ve knitted socks, you get to assemble the little electronic hack that makes it all work. You’ll need an Arduino microcontroller, IR LEDs, an LED indicator light, a small battery, a momentary button, an accelerometer, and a 12-inch x 12-inch piece of felt to hold all of it together.

Netflix has all the instructions on its Make It site, so head on over and get knitting and soldering.

How to fix a busted Apple Watch on your own.

You can make repairs to Apple Watch on your own. Photo: iFixit

The Apple Watch is one of the most impressive feats of engineering to come out of Cupertino. When it comes to repairing Jony Ive’s wearable yourself, you’re not going to get much help though, so the brilliant minds at iFixit have already come up with a few repair guides.

iFixit published four guides today on how to repair various parts of the Apple Watch that will help make your fixes a breeze. Unfortunately, iFixit says pretty much any repair you make yourself will break the Apple Watch’s NFC chip, but they’ve got a guide on how to fix that two.

Here’s are some of the quick fixes you can make to Apple Watch yourself:

Replace the display

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Already cracked the glass of your Apple Watch? You can get it fixed up by replacing it with a brand new OLED display and fused glass digitizer with this guide. 

Fix a broken NFC antenna

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The NFC antenna also serves as a gasketing seal that’s made of two layers. The two layers may separate when you open your watch, but if you break it, you can repair it quickly with these steps. 

Swap out the battery

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Your Apple Watch battery not holding a charge? Replace it with in a new one using this handy guide.

Replace the adhesive

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Opening your Apple Watch will destroy the adhesive that keeps it together. Finish every repair by replacing the adhesive and following the reassembly guide shown here.

Turn your iPhone into a microscope for $10.

Surely it can't be too hard to make this. Photo: Kenji Yoshino/MAKE

Taking macros of your monitor or American Apparel hoodie with your iPhone is so last year.

Make Magazine tutorial shows you how to make a powerful microscope with up to 375x magnification using just your iPhone, a clear plastic panel, a piece of plywood and some inexpensive hardware.

If you’re a DIY-er that knows how to drill holes and take apart a laser pointer on a keychain, you could be taking super up-close pictures of cricket legs and your cat’s tongue before you know it.

Make contributor Kenji Yoshino has put up all the steps you’ll need to create this slick microscope that lets you magnify all sorts of things, not just the stuff you’ll typically find in a laboratory.

“It was designed to be easy to operate, lightweight, and portable,” Yoshino writes. “Just align your phone’s camera with the focus lens on top of the camera stage, then place the object you’d like to view on the adjustable specimen stage.”

Cat tongue at high magnification. Photo:

You can create this tool with either one or two lenses that you’ll pull out of one of those cheap laser pens you can find pretty much anywhere these days. You’ll also need some Plexiglas, some wood and some
basic nuts and long bolts that will let you adjust the height of the specimen tray. You can use it with or without an external light source (Yoshino suggests a small LED click light), making it perfect to use either outdoors or inside.

Yoshino took a picture of his cat’s tongue (eesh – sharp), some cricket legs and some fly wings with his homemade microscope. Be sure to head over to Make to see them all; they’re pretty fantastic for such an inexpensive setup. I’m sure someone could do a convincing science fair project like this.

Build a $35 Raspberry Pi-based Time Capsule backup server.

Here’s a fun weekend project for those of your who like building your own Mac add-ons. Raymi.Org has posted a tutorial on how to build your own US$35 Time Capsule using a Raspberry Pi single-board computer, rather than paying $299 for the official Apple version. If you aren’t aware, a Time Capsule is a storage device that allows you to securely and wirelessly back up your data.

You’ll need two things; a Raspberry Pi, Model B/B+ and a USB disk. The builder has tested this method with a 128 GB USB disk and a 1 TB USB hard drive. It’s possible to get a lot of storage using this method. The entire process is complicated, so set aside a good block of time to complete the project.

Once you’re done you’ll have a perfectly serviceable budget Time Capsule. Enjoy the storage and savings.

Water isnt always the kiss of death for an iPhone.

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Water and technology don’t mix. If you drop your iPhone in a lake, pond, toilet, or martini, there’s a fantastic chance it will end up being completely destroyed. Many of the little electrical bits inside the device don’t take kindly to be drenched, especially if it leads to a short. However, as Rob Griffiths of Macworld discovered, sometimes all is not lost.

His story on the premature death, rescue, autopsy, and unlikely resurrection of his iPhone 5 is definitelyworth a read in its entirety, but if you’re too pressed for time, at least take this small tidbit of information with you: Complete disassembly and a thorough blasting with compressed air can be the magic touch.

Also, it helps if you drop your phone took a bath in fresh water, as opposed to the ocean. Saltwater is infinitely more deadly for an unprotected smartphone, so keep that in mind.

This LEGO Steve Jobs is just as adorable as you’d imagine.

Etsy is a great place to find odd things, and you don’t need to poke around on the site very long to find something unique. Case in point: This ridiculous adorable Steve Jobs figurine crafted from LEGO blocks. From the iconic jeans and black T-shirt to the glasses crafted from transparent blocks, it’s a pint-sized spitting image of the Apple co-founder.

The figure is available for a pretty reasonable US$24.86 (I know, that doesn’tsound reasonable, but have you seen how much they charge for LEGO sets these days? It’s absurd). Of course, if you’re not into buying pre-made plastic-block creations, you could always grab your LEGO set and attempt to recreate mini Jobs all on your own.

Note: I’m not recommending you try to make anything out of those notoriously hard-to-work-with tiny blocks. Have you ever tried to peel two of those apart? Say goodbye to your fingernails!

Source: TUAW.

Snip! Slash! Staple! Make A MacBook Desk Stand From An Old Pizza Box.

I always thought the handiest thing I could do with a pizza box was to toss it in the trash and use the little three-legged plastic widget (the one that stops the lid from touching your cheese) as a milking stool for my Barbies.

But I was wrong. Assuming that you can keep the cheesy grease off the box, then a few cuts and folds will turn it into this awesome MacBook stand.

Mmm… Pizzzzaaaa… Oh, sorry. I didn’t know you were still there. Well, at least now I have an empty pizza box to make this project.

The design, by Russia’s Ilya Andreev, is ingenious. It requires a few quick cuts and creases, plus a staple or two, and you’re left with a wedge of cardboard which will hold a 17-inch MacBook or smaller at a 25-degree angle. There’s even a cable router formed from one of the steam holes.

I have saved this to my Evernote to be used next time I’m staying in a hotel. I invariably order up a $20 pizza from room service, and once the night porter has defrosted me a margarita, microwaved it and carried it up to my room, now I’ll have some extra fun to enjoy while the oily mess oozes its way through my digestive tract.


  1. You might be wondering why I had Barbies as a child. The answer is that I stole them from the girls in my neighborhood to form my own private “joy division” for my Action Men – the UK equivalent of GI Joe. Hence the milkmaid fantasy outfits.  

Source: Cult of Mac.