The last time we caught up with Wicked Lasers, it was to check into the Spyder III Pro Arctic, a laser so powerful it requires wearing special eye protection and comes with the warning that it can blind instantly and set fire to skin.
Since then, Wicked Lasers has dodged a potential Lucasfilm lawsuit and set about figuring out how to make the Spyder even more like a real-life "Star Wars" lightsaber.
The result of that effort is the $100 LaserSaber, an add-on to the $300 Spyder. It's a 32-inch polycarbonate blade with an aircraft-grade aluminum hilt.
According to the sales pitch, the LaserSaber features "an ultrasmooth magnetic gravity system that can 'power up' and 'power down' the blade."
This may sound like a dream come true for legions of "Star Wars" fans, but there are some big, honking caveats involved.… Read more
Testing spacecraft components is no cake walk. It's expensive and can require subjecting them to tremendous amounts of stress and wear and tear, but it's necessary. You can't just blast them up into suborbit and hope they work.
Spacecraft manufacturer XCOR decided to get a little more grounded when it came to testing out components of its new piston pump technology destined for the Lynx Suborbital Spacecraft.
XCOR modified a Triumph motorcycle with propulsion parts and sent it off on a massive road trip from Roswell, N.M., to Mojave, Calif.… Read more
It's Star Wars Day, friends. May the fourth be with you.
We're ready too. We woke up early and got centered with our Darth Vader meditation tape. Then we made a cup of coffee, watched the following video, and -- super inspired -- grabbed the house keys and the briefcase, popped in our R2-D2 cufflinks, and made the jump to hyperspace.… Read more
Leave it to the Dutch and their famous flair for design to come up with a way to put a little panache into the censoring of Google Earth.
As Granta reports, Dutch artist Mishka Henner has discovered the remarkable way in which the government of the Netherlands has censored Google Earth's satellite views to block out certain military, political, and other sensitive sites.… Read more
Wow, check out that guy in the bizarre helmet that looks like a camera. What's the deal?He's giving his Halloween costume -- Instagram Man -- a very early test run. He's the inventor of the digicam, and an old, film-using SLR has taken its revenge by assimilating him. Don't be a wiseacre, this is art.
If you chose No. 3, you're absolutely right (and we apologize for being a wiseacre).
"Touchy" (see video embedded below) is an art project by Eric Siu -- an MFA graduate of UCLA's Department of Design Media Arts, and a Hong Kong-based new-media artist -- and beneath its playful surface it's actually quite serious.… Read more
Our favorite Aussie Ty Pendlebury stops by The 404 today to chat about what's new in the world of TVs. It's only May, but Ty thinks he's already seen this year's best TV. Tune in to find out which set he's talking about.… Read more
Rex Velvet, a self-described "people's villain," emerged in a video that makes you think we live in an alternative universe where comic book-style villains take to the airwaves to taunt the protectors of a city. After a lengthy manifesto-style rant, Velvet challenges Phoenix Jones -- a real person who leads a group of citizens that wear superhero clothing and fight crime in Seattle -- to a showdown.
Velvet supposedly belongs to a group called the "Social Villains Alliance," and says that he wants to rid Seattle of the "silly gang of misfit Power Rangers disturbing the peace," says Velvet in his introduction video. "Now our city is protected not by the once respected police force, but by a tormented delusional freak in a mask." … Read more
We love Facebook pranks as much as the next guys, but not when it's coming from an anonymous source at Best Buy. As if we needed another reason not to step foot in the big blue retailer, we read this story about a Best Buy employee that posted a phony Facebook status update on a customer's phone. The message declared, "I am gay, I'm coming out," but there's one problem: the customer is straight.… Read more
Could you last a year without the Internet? It's not the first time we've heard of someone going off the grid, but a guy from The Verge has decided to spend the next year offline, so we'll challenge each other to do the same.
In other online news, Facebook has launched a new organ donor tool for Timeline that lets users add a life story to their profiles with a link to sign up for donation services in their area. Mark Zuckerberg went on ABC news and credited Steve Jobs as inspiration to use social networking to … Read more