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Gifts for the Geek Home

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A home should be an expression of who you are. Sure, when you're young and broke, your room or apartment might be an expression of who your parents or the people who donate to Goodwill are, but gradually you collect items that express your personality, whether you receive them as gifts or purchase them yourself. If you are a technologically oriented geek, there are plenty of manufacturers and vendors catering to your tastes in home decor.

Interactive LED Dining Table

Windell Oksay of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories built a dining room table with 448 LEDs inside. The lights respond to movement on and above the table surface! No, not a motion sensor, but light sensors that detect shadows and respond appropriately by activating LEDs in those areas. This is a one-of-a-kind project, but if you are handy you can make your own with the extensive documentation of the project as your guide. Take a shortcut by buying the LED panel kit.

Motherboard Picture Frame


Recycling is not only environmentally-friendly, it can make a statement. The Motherboard Picture Frame states that you know what motherboards are all about -even if you don't! Buying one is much easier than recycling your own, but the motherboards are recycled from somewhere.

Geek Clock


This geeky clock was posted all over as "the clock only geeks can read." That's not quite true, as those of us of a certain age learned to read an analog clock by its angles, so no numerals are necessary. However, the formulas used in place of numerals on this clock face will display your geekiness for the world to see.

A Clock that Spells


Here's a clock that is easy for anyone to read, but the mechanism that displays it is something else. Christiaan Postma designed it to mechanically spell out the time.

I put together more than 150 individual clockworks and made them work together to become one clock.  I show the progress of time by letting the numbers be written in words by the clockworks. Reading clockwise,  the time being is visible through a word and readable by the completeness of the word, 12 words from "one" to "twelve".

Watch how the clock face changes here. Unfortunately, it's an artwork that is not available to purchase.

Galactic Hitchhiker's Towel


Never be caught without your towel! Express your inner hitchhiker with this utility towel, complete with the number 42. No need to explain to science fiction fans.

CRT Light Fixture


As you move from cathode ray tubes to LEDs, recycle your CRTs into light fixtures!

Fractal Art Quilt


Rose Rushbrooke makes gorgeous art quilts with intricate designs, including a collection of fractal patterns she designs and hand quilts. I was particularly taken with this quilt displaying a pattern based on the Mandelbrot set. A quilt like this will impress everyone, but particularly anyone who recognizes how the intricate pattern came about.

Enter Doormat


What do you do at someone's doorstep? Enter! This doormat says just that, but it looks like a huge computer key. Another available doormat resembles the "home" key.

Icon Pillows


If you're going to have throw pillows around, make them conversation starters, like pillows in the shape of familiar computer button icons, such as RSS, Mac OSX, subscribe, iTunes, and even chat balloons.

Social Networking Pillows


Display your loyalty to your favorite social networking site with a throw pillow your friends will recognize -or if you have no loyalty, use them all! Etsy seller Craftsquatch makes them in Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and other flavors, including a generic email pillow.

Mini Disc Pillows


Your geeky life isn't restricted to the internet, however. This pillow comes in the form of a floppy disc, which you might find fun to explain to younger visitors.

Elemental Refrigerator Magnets


Teach your kids about the periodic table as you hang their artwork on the refrigerator, or just show off with the Periodic Table Magnet Set. Use as a complete table, or detach individual magnets as you please.

Temperature Sensitive Tiles


Line your bathroom with tiles that react to heat like a mood ring! These temperature sensitive glass tiles go wild in a hot shower or when washing dishes. They even make awesome floor tiles that respond to bare feet.

See also: Video Game Furnishings for Your Home.

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AI Tool From West Elm Suggests Furniture to Match Your Pinterest Tastes
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Curating a Pinterest board is often more fun—and always less expensive—than filling a space with actual furniture. Now, there’s a new tool from West Elm designed to put your time spent pinning decor ideas to practical use. As Fast Company reports, the home retail brand’s Pinterest Style Finder uses an AI algorithm to recommend furnishings that best suit your tastes.

Users start by pasting the URL of a Pinterest board they love, whether it’s their own or someone else’s, into the web tool. Then, they select a category of furnishings to browse through, such as bedroom, kitchen, or office.

That’s when the AI gets to work: A neural network powered by the startup Clarifai analyzes the images and finds products in West Elm’s catalogue that match the style. If you input a board of boho-chic furniture, for example, the tool brings up reclaimed wood nightstands and funky quilts. Search for products related to your vintage kitchen board and you’ll get retro stools and mid-century bar carts.

Of course, the results are limited to what’s in the retailer’s inventory, so if you would never shop at West Elm to begin with this may not be the tool for you. If you'd rather pick out furniture the old-fashioned way, here are some neural network-free design tips to follow.

[h/t Fast Company]

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Rental Furniture Company Offers Hip Design With Low Commitment
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When you're just starting out in a new apartment in a new place, compromising on furniture quality can be tempting. But shopping for flea-bitten sofas on Craigslist isn't the only way to find stuff you won't mind parting with once your lease is up. As The Verge reports, Feather is a startup that rents out chic furniture at reasonable prices.

The service, only available in New York and San Francisco for now, is geared toward Millennials, a generation that tends to choose renting over homeownership. Whether they're working gig-to-gig or jumping between sublets or cities, the lives of many twentysomethings are in a state of flux. Feather offers furniture choices that are as flexible as their customers' living situations.

"Maybe you want to furnish an entire apartment with your new roommates," the company's website reads. "Maybe you're testing out a new city and aren't ready to commit to staying … With Feather, you can have furniture there when you need and gone when you don't."

Unlike some rental services, Feather makes their products affordable without sacrificing style. Farmhouse dressers, tufted love-seats, and upholstered bed frames can all be rented for less than $50 a month. All Feather furnishings must be rented for a minimum period of three months and include a $99 delivery fee, a $99 pickup fee, and a $99 deposit (so if West Elm is having a sale, it may be a better bet after all for smaller items). And if you do decide to leave your apartment to move to a new city or travel the world, canceling your furniture lease is always an option.

[h/t The Verge]

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