Uses for tangled earbud cables


Have you ever pulled earbuds out of your pocket, or headphones from your desk, and marvelled at how ridiculous the coiled mess of cables is? Here are some things I thought we could use them for:

  • An impromptu puzzle. Bonus points for needing to solve it in a hurry, especially if you’re supposed to be on a conference call!

  • An entropy source for a random-number generator. Take a photo of the headphones right out of your pocket every day, and watch with glee at all the failed attempts to crack your hashes with your non-deterministic goodness.

  • A source of inspiration for new and undiscovered kinds of rope knots. They may not be useful, or even functional, but that’s what they said about this site. Hey, wait.

  • A way for people to say you should use a device to wrap your cables around or wireless earbud people to say doesn’t happen to me!

  • A prompt to start a Bob Dylan karaoke session. Don’t worry, he couldn’t sing either.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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