The working Lego keyboard of your nerdy dreams is here

Back in 2005, Lego tinkerer Jason Allemann attempted to build a prototype of a working keyboard out of Lego using the membrane from a curved Microsoft Natural keyboard. The curves fought back, and the project was never finished. Fast-forward to 2014 and Allemann has taken another stab at it, this time successfully creating a classic flat keyboard using Legos.

For the new project, the membrane came from a discarded generic keyboard found on the side of the road. The resulting keyboard totally works. The Num Lock, Caps Lock, and Scroll Lock LEDs light up and all the keys are functional. The membrane itself sits inside a simple Lego frame.… Read more

Synology flagship DSM 5.0 NAS operating system now live

Two months after the beta was announced, Synology's DiskStation Manager (DSM) 5.0 is now live.

Since its inception, DiskStation Manager has been by far the most advanced operating system for NAS server and helped Synology NAS sever to win many of CNET's Editors' Choice awards, such as the Synology DiskStation DS1513+.

The new upgrade brings in a totally revamped user experience. The interface has been overhauled with lots of improvement with a Control Panel that incorporates a new ease of use collectively found in other native operation system, such as Windows, Mac OS, and even iOS. It … Read more

Buffalo releases DD-WRT-based Wi-Fi routers

Open source router fans, you don't need to fiddle with installing third-party firmware yourself anymore!

Buffalo announced today a trio of new Wi-Fi router that come preinstalled with the well-known DD-WRT linux-based firmware, including the AirStation AC 1750 WZR-1750DHPD, the AirStation N600 WZR-600DHP2D, and the AirStation N300 WHR-300HP2D.

Using third-party firmware on a router is very similar to installing Linux on your computer instead of using the vendor-provided operating system, such as OS X or Windows. This allows for a new level of openness, security, feature, performance, and flexibility. On top of that, using DD-WRT also allows for a … Read more

WD ships new Purple hard drive for surveillance applications

Answering Seagate's latest surveillance hard drive (HDD) that was introduced yesterday, WD announced today the availability of the WD Purple HDD, the company's first 3.5-inch, high-capacity internal drive for surveillance applications.

The new WD Purple drive is very much a traditional desktop hard drive that supports the latest SATA3 (6Gbps) standard. However, designed specifically for video surveillance units, the drive can work 24/7 for always-on environments. Most other hard drives are designed to work about 8 hours per day.

WD says the Purple HDD comes equipped with AllFrame and Advanced Format Technology (AFT). The former is … Read more

Home networking explained, Part 9: Access your home computer remotely

Editors' note: This post is part of an ongoing series. Check Related Stories below for the previous installments.

If you've been following this series, you'll know that I explained the LAN and WAN ports on a home router in part 1. And now, I need to tell you how you can use this information to remotely access your device at home. For example, if you know how to use Remote Desktop, a built-in feature of Windows, to control a computer in a different room of your home, how about doing that from somewhere away from home, and save … Read more

5TB hard drive is here, inside LaCie's latest Thunderbolt storage systems

The hard-drive capacity race has just started again as LaCie announced today the availability of a 5TB internal hard drive in its three Thunderbolt series, the 5big, the 2big, and the d2.

This is the first time a new capacity was announced not by the original maker, which is Seagate in this case. However, LaCie has been part of Seagate since 2012. This is a SATA3 Desktop HDD internal drive that spins at 7,200rpm, model number ST5000DX000.

The addition of the 5TB drive option (up from 4TB) means that LaCie's Thunderbolt series can now up its top capacities … Read more

Netgear ships two new DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem-Wi-Fi router combos

With the looming merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, consumers might soon not have much of a choice in terms of how much they have to pay for their broadband service. But now they sure have more choices for the equipment.

Netgear today announced two home networking products designed specifically for cable Internet, the N600 Dual-Band WiFi Cable Modem Router (C3700) and the N300 WiFi Cable Modem Router (C3000). Both of these devices are modem/router combos, meaning they including both a cable modem and a Wi-Fi router in a single box.

Both the C3700 and the C3000 include … Read more

12-year-old builds low-cost Lego braille printer

Shubham Banerjee, a California seventh grader, is one of those kids whose heart and mind extend well beyond his own life and into the the wider world beyond. For a science fair project, he contemplated the issue of braille printers, which can cost upwards of $2,000, and decided there must be a better way.

The better way he came up with involved the clever use of a $350 Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit along with a few bucks worth of hardware from Home Depot. He took a basic, preexisting pattern for a printer and reworked it with new software and hardware enhancements to print out letters in braille. The result is called the Braigo.… Read more

Fund this: Jumper cables for your smartphone

It was just a few weeks ago I told you about the Charged-Card, a wallet-friendly battery pack designed to provide emergency power for your smartphone.

Pretty cool, yes, but a little costly at the expected retail price of $39.99 (early backers can still get in for $30), and a little limited with just one connector: Apple 30-pin, Apple Lightning, or Micro-USB.

Unfortunately for the Charged-Card folks, there's already a better product in the works: the Jumper Card, which does more for less.

Update: Shortly after this post went live, the Jumper Card disappeared from Indiegogo, and e-mails to … Read more

Get a Dell C1660w wireless color laser printer for $99.99

Quick question: I thought yesterday's $34.99 Fitbit Zip deal would be hugely popular, but it didn't seem to generate much excitement. For future reference, were you not all that interested in the product? Did the cashback "hoop" seem too large to jump through? If you're so inclined, leave a comment explaining why that deal didn't rock your world.

On to business. I've always preferred laser printers to inkjets, mostly because the latter gulp super-pricey ink cartridges that don't seem to last very long. Plus, for plain-paper document printing, laser quality (almost) … Read more