Saturday, March 7, 2009

101 Spy Gadgets for the Evil Genius (Graham, Brad & McGowan, Kathy)

Rating: 5/5
Genre: Nonfiction Tech/Electronics
Read Again? Yup.

This is one cool book, a combination of build-it-yourself projects and simple hardware hacks broken down into 15 sections.

Wanna see how to make a parabolic microphone out of a wok lid? Page 12.

Wanna hack a rifle scope to make a telephoto lens for your digital camera? Page 48.

Wanna build a robot that uses some of the other stuff the authors introduce, including a panning camera mount, night vision, radio control, a microphone, and payload drop? Page 219.

We find out how to modify everyday items into sneaky spy tools: a magic marker becomes a camera; a stuffed animal becomes a nanny-cam; a soft drink can becomes a room bug.

If you think you're being spied upon, there are some nifty gadgets for you! A laser pointer can toast a night-vision camera. Hack a cheap camera and re-purpose the flash unit into a 1,000-volt shocker (either portable or mounted on something you're trying to protect).

For the computer-hacking folks, there's a hardware key-logger that plugs in between the keyboard and computer. Kind of bulky-looking, but who looks behind their computer all that often?

All around, it's a fun and interesting read for the hobbyist, tinkerer, and nosy curtain-twitcher in us all.

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