MakerBot Mixtape

Among the many casualties of the digital music revolution was the mixtape — although a custom CD could come close, it didn't carry the same "I worked on this for hours" weight as the venerable cassette. While it still won't carry quite the same weight, the MakerBot Mixtape ($25-$39) tries its hardest to revive some of that lost aura. Available in versions for those with MakerBots and those without, it offers 2GB of memory, the ability to playback MP3 files, a standard headphone jack, a four-hour battery life, an included USB cable for loading it up, and three buttons which offer a total of five functions: play/pause, skip forward, skip backward, equalizer, and reset. Although if it really wanted to be like a cassette, it would just play the songs in order, with an annoying "switching sides" sound in the middle of the playlist.

  • AirSlab

    Yes, we know the new Retina MacBook Pro has asymmetrical fan blades to cut down on noise — but ideally, those fans wouldn't be kicking on at all. That's where the AirSlab ($50) comes in. Crafted in the US from full grain Walnut veneer or Baltic Birch, each one is made to fit Apple's 13- or 15-inch portables, and sports a bevy of perfect circular holes to promote cooling, as well as cork feet to attach for desk use — which also means that it's great for keeping the heat away from the boys when your using it on your lap.

  • MaKey MaKey

    For anyone who's ever wanted to make a banana piano, or a kitty-powered photo booth, or any other sort of strange invention, hope has arrived. The MaKey MaKey ($35 and up) is a new, simple invention kit that makes it easy to make whatever you want. It connects to your computer via USB and uses alligator clips to make a connection to pretty much any conductive object you can think of — paint cans, fruit, or even other people — letting you control websites, apps, or custom programs. In addition, the MaKey MaKey runs on top of Arduino, so when you're ready to step up to more advanced builds it'll be up to the challenge.

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