Dana Jacobsen

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Get a three-in-one smartphone lens kit for $11.99

Ready to unlock the power of your phone's camera? Start with this dirt-cheap, universally compatible kit.<p>Smartphone lens kits have been around nearly as long as smartphones, affording far more variety and precision to your snapshots than your phone can by itself.<p>Just one problem: Most of the kits …

Gear & Gadgets

This Maker Created a Different Origami Figure Every Day in 2014

We’re big fans of all things making, especially paper art. But when makers take on a daily challenge involving one of the most complex forms of the medium — origami — we have to stop and stare (in admiration, of course). That’s exactly what origami artist Ross Symons made us do with his 365 Days of …

Dell's super-thin, depth-sensing tablet is available now for $400

Remember that 8-inch, super-high-res tablet Dell showed off back in September? You know, the one with the depth-sensing camera? It's OK if you don't, but really, you should give this a second look -- yes, even if you have tablet fatigue. Dell's Venue 8 7000 series goes on sale today, with a …

Behold, atheists' new Ten Commandments

What if, instead of climbing Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments from God, Moses had turned to the Israelites and asked: Hey, what do you guys think we should do?<p>Considering the Hebrews' bad behavior in the Bible, what with the coveting of neighbors' wives and murdering their own brothers, …

Top 5 laptops of 2014

Laptops are facing a lot of competition from tablets and even large smartphones, but they’re still the mainstay device for getting work done. Here are the best of 2014.<p><b>13-inch MacBook Air</b><p>The MacBook Air hasn’t changed much over the past few years, but that’s a testament to its design, which was …

TGS 2014: I Can't Stop Touching the New Nintendo 3DS

The thumbstick and improved 3D are the real deal.<p>When Nintendo revealed the New Nintendo 3DS, the latest revision in the 3DS family tree, one glaring …

The Procrastination Doom Loop—and How to Break It

Delaying hard work is all about your mood.<p>When I woke up this morning, I had one goal: Finish this article by 11 a.m.<p>So, predictably, by the time it was 10 a.m., I had made and consumed two cups of coffee, taken out the trash, cleaned my room while taking a deliberately slow approach to folding my …

6 Entertaining Games Made Entirely in Microsoft Excel

Excel — your friendly (and perhaps most dreaded) office tool. But it's not just for spreadsheets anymore.<p>Believe it or not, you can turn the …

Top 8 Most Innovative Pinball Machines of All Time

At Popular Mechanics, we've got gaming geeks, energy experts, resident astronauts and roboticists—even an extreme surgeon. But no one's got our gadget guru beat on his pinball wizardry. From the invention of solid-state guts to holographic playing fields, from the advent of anticheating devices to …

Timberwolves Fans Are Having A Tough Time Being Mad At Kevin Love

Three-time All-Star Kevin Love appears to be headed to Cleveland via a trade and Minnesota Timberwolves fans are irate.<p>Well, kind of. Actually, they're not really mad at all. Some of them seem to be somewhat understanding of Love's desire to get out of Minnesota. One fan in the video above tried to …

The App I Used to Break Into My Neighbor’s Home

When I broke into my neighbor’s home earlier this week, I didn’t use any cat burglar skills. I don’t know how to pick locks. I’m not even sure how to …

Photographer Documents Customers Snoozing at Ikea

Try it before you buy it.<p>Or, if you're in one of China's Ikea stores, fall fast asleep on a bed in a display room.<p>For Ikea shoppers in China, the act …

How to use Google Maps offline mode on iOS, Android

Save Google Maps for offline access, so you can navigate the roads even when you're off the grid.<p>The moment your phone reads "No service," Google Maps suddenly drops out. That is, unless you've saved your maps for offline access. With this feature, you can store large map areas for guidance, even …

Apps

31 Essential Science Fiction Terms And Where They Came From

There are so many words and phrases that we use in science fiction—and even science—without giving it much thought. But where did we get terms like …

Science Fiction

Email overload? 19 tips for taking control of your inbox

How to take an email back, leave conversations and set up automatic responses<p>Email is both a miracle and a curse. At no other time in human history and we been able to exchange messages instantly globally; but at the same time, our ancestors didn't spend hours each day sifting through memos, …

Full trailer arrives for John Carter

<b>A full trailer has been released for Disney’s sci-fi extravaganza John Carter , and from the looks of the bone-crunching footage on show, Taylor</b> …

Action Hero

Amazon Launches 'Prime Music' Streaming Service with Access to Over One Million Songs

Amazon today officially launched its Prime Music streaming music service, offering Amazon Prime users unlimited, ad-free streaming on over a million songs. The service allows users to play specific curated playlists as well as the ability to add individual songs to a playlist, and offers unlimited …

The Fermi Paradox

<i>PDF: We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and offline viewing. Buy it here. (Or see a preview.)</i><p>Everyone feels something when they’re in a …

Watch 'Game of Thrones' mysteries explained (or disproved) with science

Sure, works of fiction are hardly subject to the rules of science, but the folks behind <i>It's OK To Be Smart</i> set out to explain many of the enigmas surrounding <i>Game of Thrones.</i> In the PBS digital short that awaits after the break, topics like the plausibility of Daenerys' dragons, winters that last a …

These sandals are so cool, they even look good with socks

I have a confession to make: I wear socks with sandals.<p>That’s not so bad in itself — I live in Germany, where otherwise-rational men wear socks, sandals and fanny packs all at the same time, and women still talk to them.<p>The kicker is that I started this habit when I lived in Spain. The reason? …

Clothing