Good ideas with bad execution, or good execution of what should be bad ideas - an analysis of inferior, off-beat or malfunctioning products, and how other people's failures can help us design better stuff.

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PCB ruler doesn’t quite measure

It’s always good to get reader submissions on MbM, so thanks to Ian P for sending this one in.

It’s a little “PCB ruler” that is embellished with markings to indicate trace width, a wire gauge chart and the size of common diodes and resistors, among other things…

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Computer memory shortage causes air traffic system failure

Had to flag this one, a report on recent air traffic control problems in the US.

According to the BBC a spy plane “was responsible for a computer glitch that caused air-traffic chaos in western US states last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has revealed.”

The problems started…

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I can’t believe someone makes… Holographic chocolate

I’m rather partial to chocolate, and holography is a bit of a personal hobbyhorse, so you can imagine my eye was caught by news stories about holographic chocolate!

Swiss company Morphotonix are the people who make this complicated confectionery, and apparently they can add the technology without altering the…

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Impossible Objects #40: The Ultimate Machine that turns itself off

Mention was made in the office the other day of Claude Shannon (topics of sporting failure and celebrity chat having been exhausted), and up came mention of the Ultimate Machine.

Intrigued, I headed to YouTube optimistically hoping to see such a machine in action… and bingo! (I believe the device…

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Most Read in March – The Made By Monkeys popularity stakes

Slightly early, maybe, but let’s take a look a pick of the pops – sampling the most read blog posts in the month of March. Check out what your MBM peers have mostly been reading…

Topics covered include Epson printers, LED desks, bogus bearings, night vision golf headsets, and interactive…

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Recall Corner: Dyson AM04 and AM05 heaters

Dyson Heaters – the AM04 and AM05 heaters to be precise – find themselves in Recall Corner. Apparently a few of them have short-circuited resulting in a small fire “contained within the machine”.

There have been no reports of injury or property damage, but the company is conducting an international recall…

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Recall Corner: Irritating Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

Canon is shooting a selfie in Recall Corner. The camera company is recalling, for repair, its PowerShot SX50 HS Digital Cameras. According to the US CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled…

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MWC 2014 – The weird, the wacky and the absent

Mobile World Congress and Embedded World came not alone, notes David Manners. As well as the phones and tablets, there was the weird, the wacky,  the wonderful  and the absent. With Embedded World and Mobile World Congress this week we get, along with phones and tablets, the weird, the wacky…

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Most Read in February 2014 – The Made By Monkeys popularity stakes

February where have you gone so fast? Time’s whirligig spins ever on. But let us pause, just a while, to peruse what your MBM peers have been consuming this month… Topics covered include HP calculator, Wi-Fi, iPod annoyances and Lithium-ion batteries… In reverse order: 10. No change…

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I can’t believe someone makes… Internet connected egg trays

Don’t ask our Components Editor, David Manners, what he thinks of the Internet of Things, unless you want a brisk brush off (IPA – increasing prevalence of automation – would be his preferred acronym).

This product is unlikely to win his affections either – an interesting IoT device that counts the number…

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