Posts tagged ‘hack’

Mason Jars Can Be Used as Mini Blender Jars

By Chad Upton | Editor

Perhaps this is why they call them “Blender Jars” — the thread on the bottom of the jar is the same as a mason jar. That means you can remove the blade assembly from your large blender jar and attach it to a mason jar for small recipes, quick smoothies, baby food, etc.

If you’ve already got a blender, that’s just a few dollars in mason jars. Otherwise, you could shell out $50 for a magic bullet:

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February 28, 2012 at 6:00 am 17 comments

Caller ID Can Be Hacked

If you rely on caller ID to screen calls, you should be aware that the number you see cannot always be trusted.

There are a few services available that let people choose the caller id number that appears when they make a phone call.

Telemarketers and collections agencies are not allowed to change their number, but some still do.

I share this secret because caller id spoofing is becoming popular among fraudsters. You should be weary of any caller asking you for something, especially money or personal information. If a caller claims to be from your financial institution or another company that requires personal information, ask them some information that confirms they are who they say they are. For example, if it’s your cell phone company, ask them which calling plan you’re on.

(more…)

March 8, 2010 at 12:46 am 3 comments

Locking the Gas Pump Trigger

UPDATE: It is illegal in some places to leave the gas pump while filling your tank. After doing some further research, it appears this is done for two reasons. 1. To prevent you from getting back in your vehicle, which can cause a static buildup that could cause a spark (and fire) when you touch the pump handle again. 2. To ensure you are nearby if the auto-stop fails and fuel begins to spill. So, even if your station provides a locking mechanism, the safest option is to hold the handle while filling.

If you’re like me then you like to lock the fuel pump trigger so you can clean all the garbage out of your car while the tank is filling.

Some gas stations remove the device that locks the trigger so you can’t walk away from the pump while it’s filling. But, there is a secret to locking the trigger without the built-in mechanism: stick your gas cap under the trigger.

That’s it. Now you can do other things while your tank is filling, like tidy your trunk or complain about gas prices with some sucker who is attached to their pump.

Gas Pump Cap Hack

Keep an eye on your pump and use this tip at your own risk.

December 21, 2009 at 12:01 am 14 comments

Opening a Bottle of Wine Without a Corkscrew

If you’re a wine drinker, a day will come when you go camping, tailgating or romantic picnicking and forget to bring a corkscrew. Open your wine without any special tools by combining these two tricks:

1. Remove the foil using the slide technique. It briefly appears at the beginning of the following video, although I suggest also watching Gary Vaynerchuk’s video here for a specific demo of this secret.

2. Remove the cork using the ram technique. Watch the video below.

Warning: Be very careful when bashing a glass wine bottle against a tree. As you can see in the video, you don’t have to do it very hard.

BrokenSecrets.com

December 8, 2009 at 2:07 am 2 comments

Headphones Can Be Used As Microphones

You forgot your microphone at home and you’ve got an online meeting in five minutes. This secret might save you.

While it might be hard to come by a spare microphone, the ubiquity of mp3 players makes it easy to find a pair of headphones. If you plug headphones into the microphone input on your computer (or other electronics), you can speak into the LEFT headphone as if it were a microphone.

This might sound crazy, but this is possible because microphones and speakers (or headphones) are very similar. A microphone converts sound waves to electrical impulses while a speaker converts electrical impulses to sound waves. Although they do the exact opposite function, they actually use the same principle and components to do so.

In a microphone, the sound waves hit the diaphragm, causing it to vibrate at a specific frequency. A magnetic coil attached to the diaphragm moves with the vibrations which induces an electric current in the wires. This current is often converted to a digital signal to be recorded or sent across the internet.

A speaker works the exact opposite way.  An electric current on a wire causes a coil to move; a diaphragm attached to the coil pushes air at a specific frequency which generates sound waves for your ear to pick up.

I discovered this secret a long time ago, when I lost the microphone for my Rap-Master Keyboard. I found a demo video you can check out:

BrokenSecrets.com

Photo Credit: steveyb (Creative Commons)

December 7, 2009 at 1:28 am 4 comments

Change Traffic Lights Like a Fire Engine

Most cities employ a system by 3M called Opticom. There are sensors on the light standards; when a strobe light flashes at the right frequency in range of the sensor, the lights change color almost instantly.

Before I go into the details, I should mention that it is illegal in most places for unauthorized users to change traffic lights, but knowing about it is very interesting. There are even systems that have a warning light attached to them so you know an emergency vehicle is approaching the intersection.

Fire trucks and police cars have a light mounted on their roof, but volunteer service members usually have a hand-held device. If you look in the right place, you can buy one and possibly even get fined or arrested for trying to beat your best drive time.

There are even reports that a universal TV remote is powerful enough and capable of generating the right frequency to change the lights (see the video).

Photo by: Elventear (used under CC attribution)

BrokenSecrets.com

November 25, 2009 at 12:17 am 1 comment


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