mods

Moto DROID and Acer Liquid A1 get Android Root

An Android handset arguably doesn’t come of age until its been rooted by the modding community, and two recent devices have just now got their stripes.  Both the Motorola DROID and the Acer Liquid A1 have been granted pretty much one-click rooting, opening the door for the sort of hacks, ROMS and reskins that have flourished across the Android platform.

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Google Maps Navigation hack blocked outside of US

Google appear to have closed off the loophole that allowed users of Android smartphones to access the Google Maps Navigation beta outside of the US.  Tutorials explaining how to unlock the software – which was announced back in October – appeared in late November, and showed how workarounds for Google’s location limitations could enable the turn-by-turn navigation for users in the rest of the world.  Unfortunately a software update for Google Maps on Android this weekend appears to have cut off those workarounds.

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DIY Word Clock from old digital photo frame

DIY Word Clock from old digital photo frame

We reckon this is a mod that could be pretty popular after the holidays, when people wonder what exactly they're going to do with the non-wireless digital photo frames they've been given.  Matt Mets took one look at his and decided it would make a great DIY Word Clock, stepping through slides with the time written out long-hand; a frame that can automatically change the image every sixty seconds would even be able to do all the clock-work for him.

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Convert your dull AC outlet into a super-geeky USB version

Convert your dull AC outlet into a super-geeky USB version

The most bizarre thing about this Instructable for converting a regular AC outlet into a USB outlet is that only this morning - dealing with various review phones bleating as their batteries expired on the mess that is my desk - I found myself wishing for such a thing.  Apparently the work of 30 minutes and a mere $10, we're not sure we agree with project author Hextor's tongue-in-cheek prediction that "it will get your home ready for the future, when most appliances are USB" but for bringing new life to an unloved outlet it can't be beat.

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Phone-O-Scope straps SLR lenses to iPhone

Phone-O-Scope straps SLR lenses to iPhone

The iPhone 3GS' 3-megapixel camera is hardly a threat to RED, but modders can't stop trying to tweak it into doing things Apple never intended.  An excellent example of that deviant art is Bhautik Joshi's Phone-O-Scope SLR lens mod, basically an optical coupler that allows you to mount an SLR lens onto the iPhone.

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WiFi Robot Spybot is basically a DIY Rovio [Video]

WiFi Robot Spybot is basically a DIY Rovio [Video]

Want a WowWee Rovio but either can't justify the price-tag or fancy building something yourself?  Over at Instructables there's a guide to pretty much doing just that, with an off-the-shelf radio controlled car, Barracuda Controller, WiFi router and IP webcam.  The end result is a vehicle you can remotely drive while seeing exactly what the car sees.

Video demo after the cut

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Archos 5 MID mod adds Android Market, Gmail, Maps, more

Despite the recent firmware update, the Archos 5 Internet Tablet is still left without access to the Android Market, and despite Archos’ attempts to encourage development of device-specific apps for their own AppLib download store, the range of titles is still small.  Happily wherever there’s a problem, there’s usually a hack to address it, and so jkkmobile has outlined a guide to installing the Android Market – and some other things – onto the Archos 5 MID.

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ColorWare offer custom iMac and Magic Mouse paintjobs

ColorWare offer custom iMac and Magic Mouse paintjobs

If your Core i7 iMac isn't unique enough - and if you have one that powers on and has an intact screen, then from the sound of things it's already pretty rare - then you could always turn to ColorWare for help.  The customization company have announced that they're happily take your Apple all-in-one (or indeed your Magic Mouse) and brighten up its aluminum body with a new paint finish.

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Industri Repro XBEE reworks Xbox 360 for your A/V rack

Industri Repro XBEE reworks Xbox 360 for your A/V rack

Microsoft's Xbox 360 certainly has the media capabilities to earn itself a place underneath your HDTV or in your A/V rack, but the curvy casing doesn't exactly blend in with other such equipment.  Swedish modders Industri Repro have taken that into their own hands, crafting a custom aluminum replacement chassis called the XBEE (XB Elegant Edition) that's the width of a regular DVD player.  They've also stuffed some extra cooling in there, to hopefully avoid the infamous red-ring-of-death.

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Sony VAIO X gets OS X Snow Leopard

Sony VAIO X gets OS X Snow Leopard

There's a lot to like about Sony's VAIO X ultraportable - its indecently-skinny build, the engineering intelligence that went into its design, and its lengthy battery life just to name a few things - but if you're less than inspired by Windows 7 then how about a Mac OS X version?  That's not one of Sony's official options, but insanelymac forum member Asama took it upon himself to throw OS X Snow Leopard onto the VAIO X himself.

To do so he used the hacked together build of Snow Leopard that's been put together for the Sony VAIO P, reasoning that many of the components used in that don't-call-it-a-netbook machine were the same as used in the VAIO X.  Happily it installed quite merrily, though as expected the WiFi doesn't work.  Where fixing that in the VAIO P is a case of taking out the wireless card and swapping in a different one, it's a more arduous task on the VAIO X since so much has been soldered into place in the name of space-saving.

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HTC HD2 tweak enables WiFi N support

As if the HTC HD2 needed any more hyperbole, it’s now emerged that the Windows Phone can actually be coaxed to use WiFi 802.11n networks rather than just the advertised b/g support.  The tweak was identified over at xda-developers and requires a registry hack; however some users have reported significant increases in battery consumption when the higher-speed wireless is switched on.

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Hack-a-Sketch takes classic toy digital [Video]

Hack-a-Sketch takes classic toy digital [Video]

Electronic versions of the classic Etch-a-Sketch aren't particularly unusual, but so far this is the first time we've seen Arduino-controlled knobs with physical resistance and a proper shake-to-clear integrated into such a project.  The Hack-a-Sketch takes a Lenovo ThinkPad laptop and adds the usual two Etch-a-Sketch rotary knobs; this time, though, they're hooked up to two potentiometers which control the onscreen drawing.

Video demo after the cut

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