Swipe the spacebar to move the cursor

Mobile devices have limited touchscreen space, so many interface elements do double duty (or triple, or more): the same button reacts differently when tapped, swiped, long-pressed, or hard-pressed. The trouble is that many of these aren't intuitive: you won't find them unless you're told about them. And so, with a useful feature like Google Keyboard's spacebar which can be swiped for cursor movement, it comes as an "oooh!" moment when someone reveals it. (Just look at the elated comments on that post - and these are tech-savvy people!) The feature is mentioned in the brief novella that is the app description, but who actually reads those? And who knows what other gems might be hiding there...?
[via Lifehacker]

Design & engineering during an active shooting...

In a recent active-shooter crisis at UCLA, many students found themselves in rooms without door locks. It's a grim and terrible situation, but one that can still benefit from quick design and engineering. Pranasha Shrestha shows one example of the lengths some went to keep the doors closed - copied above, complete with hashtags - and Gizmodo cataloged many more. Locks are basic tools, whose presence or absence can be used for good or bad; the ability to improvise a change to the lock situation can be, literally, a lifesaver.

Beer Trough Picnic Table: Impractically Fantastic

I know it's impractical: tough to fill, quick to melt, hogging precious table real estate, and more. But damned if it isn't gorgeously inviting, like a cornucopia of booze right there for the taking! You don't even have to stand up to get a new drink! Sometimes maybe the un-usability of a product (or DIY project, as most of these seem to be) is justified by a fleeting moment of sweet, satisfying perfection. Now let me grab another beer out of that trough.
[via Core77]