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Top Gadget of 2006 — The HurriQuake Nail 279

eldavojohn writes "Popular Science is naming its Best of What's New of 2006 and the one at the top doesn't have much to do with circuitry or computers. Instead, it's a nail. Not your average nail though, the HurriQuake nail [flash] spent six years in development." From the article: "As the Bostitch team tweaked the head-to-shank ratio, Sutt and metallurgist Tom Stall worked on optimizing high-carbon alloys, trying to find the highest-strength trade-off between stiffness and pliability — the key to preventing snapped nails. 'Meanwhile,' Sutt says, 'we were focusing on how to keep the nail from pulling out.' The team machined a series of barbed rings that extend up the nail's shaft from its point, experimenting with the size and placement of the barbs. 'You want the rings to have maximum holding power,' he says, 'but if they go up too high, it creates a more brittle shank that shears more easily.'"

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten