How to mount your smartphone on a tripod (DIY)

This five-minute DIY project is the simple solution to shooting time-lapse videos, getting steady shots, and even capturing group selfies. It's a simple way to securely mount your smartphone to a tripod, and it only costs about $15. Assuming you already own the tripod.

The solution is easy. I used an L-shaped bracket to prop up the phone and secure it to a standard tripod. The secret is in using a 1/4-inch nut, a trick used in the stringpod and the gliding camera strap.

You'll need:

A 1-inch L-shape corner bracket Some kind of adhesive (epoxy … Read more

It's a 'Star Wars' snack! Admiral Ackbar cupcakes aren't a trap

Transforming an ordinary cupcake into Admiral Ackbar's head is simple with a few yellow candy melts, coffee sprinkles, black icing, and cocoa-cinnamon butter cream frosting.

Jenn from the JustJenn Recipes food blog explains how to make Admiral Ackbar cupcakes. "These cupcakes are sweet and delicious if you can get past Ackbar's giant eyes staring back at you begging you not to eat him," Jenn wrote on her blog. "Don't fall for it -- it's not a trap, IT'S A SNACK!"

Jenn is quite the Jedi Master chef when it comes to creating "Star Wars" treats. She's paid tribute to both the Millennium Falcon and its pilot Han Solo in Jell-O. She's baked a gruesome-yet-tasty severed Wampa arm cake. She's paid homage to Princess Leia in cupcake form with adorable Oreo hair buns. So Ackbar cupcakes are a nice addition to her portfolio of pastries, cakes, cookies, and other desserts for this galaxy and one far, far away. … Read more

Three ways to make your HDTV sound better

There's an undesirable trend happening. It seems that the thinner HDTVs get, the worse they sound. And no matter how much I tweak the audio options, nothing helps.

Welcome, fellow TV owners, to the BYOS (Bring Your Own Speaker) era. Flat-panel TVs are meant to simply look fabulous, and although there is sound, it's there only to hold you over until you buy some kind of audio system.

In this guide, I'll give you three of the best options for adding audio to your HDTV. There's a "splurge" option, a cheap set-and-forget route, and … Read more

Easily mount your HDTV

When I moved into my new place, I left behind my ancient, embarrassingly small TV. I jumped up to a 47-inch HDTV, which is still modest by today's standards, but big enough where I had good reason to worry about it toppling over -- especially with a kid in the house.

I decided to wall-mount the TV, not just to protect my kid (and the TV) but because a beautifully mounted TV looks amazing. It's like it's just floating there, defying gravity.

After doing some research on wall mounting, three things became clear. First, mounts have become … Read more

Watch this awesome recursive 'Lego Movie,' 'Simpsons' mashup

Love "The Simpsons" and love "The Lego Movie?" Then how can you not love this terrific video, which spoofs both in one simple recursive all-brick mashup?

Made by YouTube filmmaker Monsieur Caron, the video depicts the famous opening title sequence of "The Simpsons," with the whole family dressed as characters from "Lego Movie," complete with Bart as Batman. Then, it shows them watching the famous opening title sequence from "The Simpsons." Only this time, Emmet is playing Homer Simpson, and the family that runs in and sits down on the … Read more

The Fix: Building the ideal home theater

By the end of this week's episode, you'll be able to call yourself a home theater specialist. (At least, to your family and friends.)

First, Eric Franklin offers his definitive guide to finding the perfect TV distance. A clever formula will help you figure out if you need to scooch the couch closer to the screen, or inch it further away. Then, Donald Bell deserves extra accolades this week as he single-handedly wall mounts a 47-inch TV. And you won't believe what it cost him. (Hint: It was really inexpensive.)

And finally, I help you solve one … Read more

Create a retro game console with the Raspberry Pi

The projects people have created with the Raspberry Pi are truly incredible. The low-cost microcomputer has been used to power home automation projects, servers, media centers, and many other do-it-yourself projects. One of the coolest projects is called Retro Pie, which transforms the Raspberry Pi into a retro gaming console and gives you the ability to play classics like Super Mario Bros., Space Invaders, Sonic the Hedgehog, and many others.

The project is a little difficult and requires you to input various lines of code, but you should be fine if you follow these directions. If this is your first time with the Raspberry Pi, I suggest you check out my earlier article for more information about the device.… Read more

Brick bazinga! Bring on 'The Big Bang Theory' Lego

Scientist roommates Leonard and Sheldon, along with their geeky pals Howard, Raj, Bernadette, and neighbor Penny could be sharing their usual witticisms and take-out food in a Lego living room that mimics the set of the hit sitcom "The Big Bang Theory." (Disclosure: The show airs on CBS, CNET's parent company.)

This "Big Bang Theory" set created by Lego Cuusoo users "Alatariel" and "GlenBricker," features minifigs of Howard with NES belt buckle and rocket, Bernadette, Amy, Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, and Raj with his dog Cinnamon.

Plus you can vote for which nerdy T-shirt you'd like Sheldon's minifig to wear. … Read more

Mini Museum puts skulls, gold, London Bridge in your pocket

You don't have to be a globe-trotting explorer to obtain a fragment of the oldest matter ever collected (C. 4,568,200,000 years old), an insect in amber (C. 3,430,000,000 years old), or even an ancient mummy wrap (C. 350 BCE). There's no need to trek across the desert to an archeological dig in hopes of laying your hands on a triceratops' brow horn, or a T. rex tooth.

Thanks to collector Hans Fex, avid natural history fans can be curators of their own Mini Museum via his successfully funded Kickstarter campaign. These portable collections of fossils, bones, lunar rocks, and pieces of history are painstakingly assembled by Fex who broke these covetable specimens into smaller pieces, then embedded them in resin. The Mini Museums are handcrafted, individually numbered, and extremely limited.… Read more

1981 DeLorean modded with in-dash iPad interface

Dr. Emmett Brown made a good point in "Back to the Future" when he said to Marty McFly, "The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?"

If you plan on roaming the streets in a 1981 DeLorean, you might as well customize it to your liking. That's exactly what YouTube user DMCPat says in a video about the impressive modifications he made to his classic DeLorean, including adding an iPad Mini interface.

This 1981 DeLorean is a Vin 1880, which means it's one of the first 1,000 cars shipped to the US. It has many modifications, including a rear spoiler, a high-mounted third brake light, remote lock/unlock, new wheels and steering wheel, seal-beamed LED lights, LED fog lights, blue LED interior door lights, and blue LED underbody lights, just to name a few. … Read more