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Amazon.com

22 Formal and Fantastic Geeky Cufflinks

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Amazon.com

If you want people to be able to tell exactly what kind of geek you are from your first handshake, these great cufflinks are a perfect way to literally wear your geek on your sleeve.

1. Star Trek

Sure the communicator badge from ThinkGeek is cool, but how awesome is it to wear the U.S.S. Enterprise right there on your sleeve? The only downside is that the ship’s engines may very well get caught on anything you get your wrist near—although that does give you a good excuse to start using the Vulcan salute in place of a handshake.

2. Imperial Vs. Rebels

Do you support the light side or the dark? Whoever you fight for, show your support for the cause by bearing either the Rebel Alliance or Imperial Empire logos on your sleeve. Or, you could always buy both pairs and wear one of each to show that you don’t take sides.

3. Rebel Alliance

As if Etsy seller Mol Gifts’ Alliance cufflinks weren’t nerdy enough on their own, the fact that the Star Wars pieces originally came from a set of LEGOs makes them even more impressive and awesome.

4. R2D2

How could you possibly make a set of R2D2-inspired cufflinks even cooler and nerdier? Make them hold a USB flash drive inside so you can secretly send messages to your Obi-Wan Kenobi.

5. Ewok

These might not be the most formal cufflinks on this list, but they are undoubtedly the cutest. Etsy seller rapscalliondesign certainly did a great job capturing Wicket’s tough, but teddy-bear-like, appearance.

6. Tardis

Time is of the essence, especially if you can travel through both space and time. That’s why these cufflinks by Etsy seller goddessglass10359 are so fantastic—that and the fact that they're beautiful.

7. LEGO

There are plenty of LEGO cufflinks out there, but if you really want to look classy, you’d better go for these gold ones by Etsy seller bitsandbadges.

8. Iron Man

You know these limited edition Marvel cufflinks are special because Iron Man is in silver, rather than his more traditional red and gold.

9. Batman

Something tells me that even if Bruce Wayne wore these cufflinks out to one of his charity galas, people still wouldn’t figure out his alter ego.

10. The Flash

No, wearing these cufflinks won’t make you run any faster, but they still will make your wardrobe look a lot more super.

11. Pow!

There are a lot of downsides to fighting in real life—you could get arrested, you might actually get hurt—but most importantly, real punches don’t land with giant words over them reading “pow” and “bam.” While you might not be able to get those reactions in real life, you can celebrate the wonder of comic book fights with these great Pow! cufflinks by Etsy seller Thetrendyman.

12. Eye of Sauron

I always feel like Sauron is watching me…wait, maybe it’s just those awesome Lord of the Rings cufflinks by Etsy seller Coffin Rock Shop.

13. D-20

If you’re going to get some D20 cufflinks, you might as well get a pair with a little pizzazz so you look classy as well as geeky. These beautiful D-20 cufflinks by Etsy seller Mage Studio certainly do the job nicely. On the downside, they aren’t detachable, so if you’re looking to be able to throw impromptu gaming sessions wherever you sport these, you’ll have to carry a real die along with you.

14. Assassin’s Creed

Be careful of anyone bearing these cool cufflinks by Etsy seller Coffin Rock Shop. They might just be out to slice your throat.

15. Mortal Kombat

For those that grew up shouting “Finish Him” in their favorite arcade, these Mortal Kombat cufflinks by Etsy seller Bazingajewellery are a great way to incorporate some of your favorite childhood memories into your next big event.

16. Game Over

These "game over" cufflinks by Etsy seller Quirkii are a great accessory for any gamer—just try not to wear them to any weddings.

17. Pi

Need something nice to accessorize your suit for your big annual Pi Day black tie gala? Didn’t think so. But if you did, it would be hard to beat these great pi cufflinks by Etsy seller KiolaDesigns.

18. QR Codes

These cufflinks by Etsy seller Beauty Spot are not just geeky—they’re also a good way to promote your website. The seller uses your personalized QR code on each pair, so just have the code link to your site and you have a genius networking tool for every party you go to from now on. Alternatively, this could be an awesome nerdy way to propose to your lady.

19. Circuit Board

Want to show off your pride in your IT job to the world? Well these circuit board cufflinks from ThinkGeek are one stylish way to do so.

20. Einstein

Etsy seller Thetrendyman sells some cufflinks we at the Floss can get behind as they feature our favorite picture of Einstein.

21. Guy Fawkes

Want to give a shout out to Anonymous even at a black tie affair? Simply sport these Guy Fawkes cufflinks, just try not to look like you’ve suddenly joined up with the top 1 percent.

22. Geek

Aren’t sure that any of these other cufflinks really express how geeky you are? Well then, spell it out for the world with these lovely geek cufflinks by Etsy seller whitetruffle.

Do any of you geeky gentlemen readers have your own cufflinks that you are particularly proud of?

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iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva
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Man Buys Two Metric Tons of LEGO Bricks; Sorts Them Via Machine Learning
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iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva

Jacques Mattheij made a small, but awesome, mistake. He went on eBay one evening and bid on a bunch of bulk LEGO brick auctions, then went to sleep. Upon waking, he discovered that he was the high bidder on many, and was now the proud owner of two tons of LEGO bricks. (This is about 4400 pounds.) He wrote, "[L]esson 1: if you win almost all bids you are bidding too high."

Mattheij had noticed that bulk, unsorted bricks sell for something like €10/kilogram, whereas sets are roughly €40/kg and rare parts go for up to €100/kg. Much of the value of the bricks is in their sorting. If he could reduce the entropy of these bins of unsorted bricks, he could make a tidy profit. While many people do this work by hand, the problem is enormous—just the kind of challenge for a computer. Mattheij writes:

There are 38000+ shapes and there are 100+ possible shades of color (you can roughly tell how old someone is by asking them what lego colors they remember from their youth).

In the following months, Mattheij built a proof-of-concept sorting system using, of course, LEGO. He broke the problem down into a series of sub-problems (including "feeding LEGO reliably from a hopper is surprisingly hard," one of those facts of nature that will stymie even the best system design). After tinkering with the prototype at length, he expanded the system to a surprisingly complex system of conveyer belts (powered by a home treadmill), various pieces of cabinetry, and "copious quantities of crazy glue."

Here's a video showing the current system running at low speed:

The key part of the system was running the bricks past a camera paired with a computer running a neural net-based image classifier. That allows the computer (when sufficiently trained on brick images) to recognize bricks and thus categorize them by color, shape, or other parameters. Remember that as bricks pass by, they can be in any orientation, can be dirty, can even be stuck to other pieces. So having a flexible software system is key to recognizing—in a fraction of a second—what a given brick is, in order to sort it out. When a match is found, a jet of compressed air pops the piece off the conveyer belt and into a waiting bin.

After much experimentation, Mattheij rewrote the software (several times in fact) to accomplish a variety of basic tasks. At its core, the system takes images from a webcam and feeds them to a neural network to do the classification. Of course, the neural net needs to be "trained" by showing it lots of images, and telling it what those images represent. Mattheij's breakthrough was allowing the machine to effectively train itself, with guidance: Running pieces through allows the system to take its own photos, make a guess, and build on that guess. As long as Mattheij corrects the incorrect guesses, he ends up with a decent (and self-reinforcing) corpus of training data. As the machine continues running, it can rack up more training, allowing it to recognize a broad variety of pieces on the fly.

Here's another video, focusing on how the pieces move on conveyer belts (running at slow speed so puny humans can follow). You can also see the air jets in action:

In an email interview, Mattheij told Mental Floss that the system currently sorts LEGO bricks into more than 50 categories. It can also be run in a color-sorting mode to bin the parts across 12 color groups. (Thus at present you'd likely do a two-pass sort on the bricks: once for shape, then a separate pass for color.) He continues to refine the system, with a focus on making its recognition abilities faster. At some point down the line, he plans to make the software portion open source. You're on your own as far as building conveyer belts, bins, and so forth.

Check out Mattheij's writeup in two parts for more information. It starts with an overview of the story, followed up with a deep dive on the software. He's also tweeting about the project (among other things). And if you look around a bit, you'll find bulk LEGO brick auctions online—it's definitely a thing!

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Here's How to Change Your Name on Facebook
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Whether you want to change your legal name, adopt a new nickname, or simply reinvent your online persona, it's helpful to know the process of resetting your name on Facebook. The social media site isn't a fan of fake accounts, and as a result changing your name is a little more complicated than updating your profile picture or relationship status. Luckily, Daily Dot laid out the steps.

Start by going to the blue bar at the top of the page in desktop view and clicking the down arrow to the far right. From here, go to Settings. This should take you to the General Account Settings page. Find your name as it appears on your profile and click the Edit link to the right of it. Now, you can input your preferred first and last name, and if you’d like, your middle name.

The steps are similar in Facebook mobile. To find Settings, tap the More option in the bottom right corner. Go to Account Settings, then General, then hit your name to change it.

Whatever you type should adhere to Facebook's guidelines, which prohibit symbols, numbers, unusual capitalization, and honorifics like Mr., Ms., and Dr. Before landing on a name, make sure you’re ready to commit to it: Facebook won’t let you update it again for 60 days. If you aren’t happy with these restrictions, adding a secondary name or a name pronunciation might better suit your needs. You can do this by going to the Details About You heading under the About page of your profile.

[h/t Daily Dot]

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