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Elon Musk May Soon Be Selling a $600 Flamethrower

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Elon Musk is known for trying to bring some unconventional ideas to life—say, a super-high-speed Hyperloop transit system or an underground tunnel system to eliminate L.A. traffic—but this time, he seems to be playing with literal fire. Leaked photos indicate that his Boring Company is about to start selling a flamethrower, according to The Verge.

In December 2017, Musk teased the idea of a flamethrower on Twitter, writing that the limited-edition promotional hats the Boring Company was selling had run out. “Hats sold out,” he wrote, “flamethrowers soon!”

Weeks later, dedicated fans on Reddit noticed a password-protected page on the Boring Company’s website, at boringcompany.com/flamethrower. For a time, the password was “flame,” allowing a select few rumor-hunters to see the page—a product page for a very real-looking gun—and grab some screenshots like the one below.

According to the tweeted screenshot, the web page was advertising a Boring Company-branded flamethrower available for pre-order for $600. “Prototype pictured above,” the site read. “Final production flamethrower will be better.” (Unsurprisingly, the password was quickly changed, and we can't access it.)

There’s no indication that this isn’t an April Fool’s Day joke, but at least one prototype might exist. A brief video of what appears to be a Boring Company-branded flamethrower showed up on music producer and Space X investor D.A. Wallace’s Instagram, though the post was quickly deleted. Whether or not anyone else will be allowed to shell out $600 for one of their own might be debatable.

[h/t The Verge]

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The Design Tricks That Make Smartphones Addictive—And How to Fight Them
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Two and a half billion people worldwide—and 77 percent of Americans—have smartphones, which means you probably have plenty of company in your inability to go five minutes without checking your device. But as a new video from Vox points out, it's not that we all lack self-control: Your phone is designed down to the tiniest details to keep you as engaged as possible. Vox spoke to Tristan Harris, a former Google design ethicist, who explains how your push notifications, the "pull to refresh" feature of certain apps (inspired by slot machines), and the warm, bright colors on your phone are all meant to hook you. Fortunately, he also notes there's things you can do to lessen the hold, from the common sense (limit your notifications) to the drastic (go grayscale). Watch the whole thing to learn all the dirty details—and then see how long you can spend without looking at your phone.

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New Lobster Emoji Gets Updated After Mainers Noticed It Was Missing a Set of Legs
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Emojipedia

When the Unicode Consortium released the designs of the latest batch of emojis in early February, the new lobster emoji was an instant hit. But as some astute observers have pointed out, Unicode forgot something crucial from the initial draft: a fourth set of legs.

As Mashable reports, Unicode has agreed to revise its new lobster emoji to make it anatomically accurate. The first version of the emoji, which Maine senator Angus King had petitioned for in September 2017, shows what looks like a realistic take on a lobster, complete with claws, antennae, and a tail. But behind the claws were only three sets of walking legs, or "pereiopods." In reality, lobsters have four sets of pereiopods in addition to their claws.

"Sen. Angus King from Maine has certainly been vocal about his love of the lobster emoji, but was kind enough to spare us the indignity of pointing out that we left off two legs," Jeremy Burge, chief emoji officer at Emojipedia and vice-chair of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee, wrote in a blog post. Other Mainers weren't afraid to speak up. After receiving numerous complaints about the oversight, Unicode agreed to tack two more legs onto the lobster emoji in time for its release later this year.

The skateboard emoji (which featured an outdated design) and the DNA emoji (which twisted the wrong way) have also received redesigns following complaints.

[h/t Mashable]

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