Learn All About Cyber Security With This Board Game Starring (What Else?) Potato Pirates

Codomo
Codomo

Our private information is all over the internet, whether we realize it or not. And while cyber security is an increasingly important aspect of everyday life, it's not easy to actually understand how it all works. But Codomo, an education technology company based in Singapore, has found a way to soften the blow through a board game that breaks down the inner workings of the internet and cyber security with the help of pirate potatoes (obviously).

In Potato Pirates 2: Enter the Spudnet (which just launched its Kickstarter), you control an individual pirate potato that is connected to other players through shipping routes called the “spudnet” in the “Carbobbean Seas,” which is meant to mimic the internet's connectivity. Your objective is to move your ships around the map to strategically placed warehouses (Google servers, basically) so you can fulfill all your orders at the expense of your enemies. And while that sounds simple on the surface, there's far more to it than that.

In the 30–60 minutes it typically takes to complete the game, three to six players can also form alliances with rivals and launch attacks on the others—all while learning about cyber security topics like malware, how data is transmitted, and DDoS attacks in the process. (To learn more, there’s a rule book online for players to check out as well [PDF].)

With over $76,000 raised, the campaign crushed its original $11,120 Kickstarter goal in just an hour. But you can still back Potato Pirates 2: Enter the Spudnet until February 16. “Regular Spud” backers that pledge $52 will receive a copy of the board game, with the more expensive options offering greater rewards—like extra board games and adorable plush keychains.

According to the campaign, this game is great for ages 10 and up and will teach players “networking and cyber security concepts, all without computers!”

The Potato Pirate board game
Codomo

This isn’t the award-winning company’s first time mixing potatoes and pirates to teach people about computers and the web. You can check out the original version of Potato Pirates, which focuses on coding, on Amazon, where it’s available for $15.

No matter how much you know about computers, this board game is a fun way to learn about a tool that has such a large impact on our day-to-day lives. You can head here to find out more about the Kickstarter.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

10 Products for a Better Night's Sleep

Amazon/Comfort Spaces
Amazon/Comfort Spaces

Getting a full eight hours of sleep can be tough these days. If you’re having trouble catching enough Zzzs, consider giving these highly rated and recommended products a try.

1. Everlasting Comfort Pure Memory Foam Knee Pillow; $25

Everlasting Comfort Knee Pillow
Everlasting Comfort/Amazon

For side sleepers, keeping the spine, hips, and legs aligned is key to a good night’s rest—and a pain-free morning after. Everlasting Comfort’s memory foam knee pillow is ergonomically designed to fit between the knees or thighs to ensure proper alignment. One simple but game-changing feature is the removable strap, which you can fasten around one leg; this keeps the pillow in place even as you roll at night, meaning you don’t have to wake up to adjust it (or pick it up from your floor). Reviewers call the pillow “life-changing” and “the best knee pillow I’ve found.” Plus, it comes with two pairs of ear plugs.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Letsfit White Noise Machine; $21

Letsfit White Noise Machine
Letsfit/Amazon

White noise machines: They’re not just for babies! This Letsfit model—which is rated 4.7 out of five with nearly 3500 reviews—has 14 potential sleep soundtracks, including three white noise tracks, to better block out everything from sirens to birds that chirp enthusiastically at dawn (although there’s also a birds track, if that’s your thing). It also has a timer function and a night light.

Buy it: Amazon

3. ECLIPSE Blackout Curtains; $16

Eclipse Black Out Curtains
Eclipse/Amazon

According to the National Sleep Foundation, too much light in a room when you’re trying to snooze is a recipe for sleep disaster. These understated polyester curtains from ECLIPSE block 99 percent of light and reduce noise—plus, they’ll help you save on energy costs. "Our neighbor leaves their backyard light on all night with what I can only guess is the same kind of bulb they use on a train headlight. It shines across their yard, through ours, straight at our bedroom window," one Amazon reviewer who purchased the curtains in black wrote. "These drapes block the light completely."

Buy it: Amazon

4. JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock; $38

JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock
JALL/Amazon

Being jarred awake by a blaring alarm clock can set the wrong mood for the rest of your day. Wake up in a more pleasant way with this clock, which gradually lights up between 10 percent and 100 percent in the 30 minutes before your alarm. You can choose between seven different colors and several natural sounds as well as a regular alarm beep, but why would you ever use that? “Since getting this clock my sleep has been much better,” one reviewer reported. “I wake up not feeling tired but refreshed.”

Buy it: Amazon

5. Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light; $200

Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light
Philips/Amazon

If you’re looking for an alarm clock with even more features, Philips’s SmartSleep Wake-Up Light is smartphone-enabled and equipped with an AmbiTrack sensor, which tracks things like bedroom temperature, humidity, and light levels, then gives recommendations for how you can get a better night’s rest.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Slumber Cloud Stratus Sheet Set; $159

Stratus sheets from Slumber Cloud.
Slumber Cloud

Being too hot or too cold can kill a good night’s sleep. The Good Housekeeping Institute rated these sheets—which are made with Outlast fibers engineered by NASA—as 2020’s best temperature-regulating sheets.

Buy it: SlumberCloud

7. Comfort Space Coolmax Sheet Set; $29-$40

Comfort Spaces Coolmax Sheets
Comfort Spaces/Amazon

If $159 sheets are out of your price range, the GHI recommends these sheets from Comfort Spaces, which are made with moisture-wicking Coolmax microfiber. Depending on the size you need, they range in price from $29 to $40.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Coop Home Goods Eden Memory Foam Pillow; $80

Coop Eden Pillow
Coop Home Goods/Amazon

This pillow—which has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon—is filled with memory foam scraps and microfiber, and comes with an extra half-pound of fill so you can add, or subtract, the amount in the pillow for ultimate comfort. As a bonus, the pillows are hypoallergenic, mite-resistant, and washable.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Baloo Weighted Blanket; $149-$169

Baloo Weighted Blanket
Baloo/Amazon

Though the science is still out on weighted blankets, some people swear by them. Wirecutter named this Baloo blanket the best, not in small part because, unlike many weighted blankets, it’s machine-washable and -dryable. It’s currently available in 12-pound ($149) twin size and 20-pound ($169) queen size. It’s rated 4.7 out of five stars on Amazon, with one reviewer reporting that “when it's spread out over you it just feels like a comfy, snuggly hug for your whole body … I've found it super relaxing for falling asleep the last few nights, and it looks nice on the end of the bed, too.” 

Buy it: Amazon 

10. Philips Smartsleep Snoring Relief Band; $200

Philips SmartSleep Snoring Relief Band
Philips/Amazon

Few things can disturb your slumber—and that of the ones you love—like loudly sawing logs. Philips’s Smartsleep Snoring Relief Band is designed for people who snore when they’re sleeping on their backs, and according to the company, 86 percent of people who used the band reported reduced snoring after a month. The device wraps around the torso and is equipped with a sensor that delivers vibrations if it detects you moving to sleep on your back; those vibrations stop when you roll onto your side. The next day, you can see how many hours you spent in bed, how many of those hours you spent on your back, and your response rate to the vibrations. The sensor has an algorithm that notes your response rate and tweaks the intensity of vibrations based on that. “This device works exactly as advertised,” one Amazon reviewer wrote. “I’d say it’s perfect.”

Buy it: Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Upgrade Your Monitor to This 43-Inch Philips Model

Philips
Philips

This year has brought a lot of change to most households. You may be watching more TV than you ever have in your life, or perhaps your job turned into a telecommuting situation. Either way, your screen time has likely gone up. Make the most of that extra time staring at screens by upgrading your home setup with this certified refurbished Philips Momentum 43-inch LED 4K UHD monitor, which is on sale for 35 percent off today.

If your eye got caught on the word refurbished, let’s dive into what that really means. A certified refurbished product goes through testing and gets a certification when it’s working like new again. The process to get there includes cleaning, inspection, functionality testing, and repacking with the relevant accessories and a 90-day warranty. It'll basically be like new.

If you’re looking for a monitor to improve your image quality while gaming or binging, the UltraClear 4K UHD display will definitely do the trick. It’s all enhanced with HDR and quantum dot tech, which displays a dynamic range of colors to show the true natural palette in the picture.

For the real color enthusiasts, you’ll enjoy the presence of Ambiglow technology, which enlarges the screen by creating an immersive halo of light to analyze incoming images and adapt the color and brightness of the emitted monitor light to match the image.

There's also multi-view functionality that enables a connection to multiple devices for screen-sharing and toggling, a USB-C cable for easy connecting, and DTS Sound that optimizes playback regardless of form factors.

Work and play both require a lot of screen time, and it’s not worth the strain on your eyes to squint and struggle with a low-quality or small screen. Upgrade your setup while this certified refurbished Philips Momentum 43-inch LED 4K UHD monitor is on sale for just $650.

 

Philips Momentum 43" LED 4K UHD Monitor (Certified Refurbished) - $649.99

See Deal


This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. If you haven't received your voucher or have a question about your order, contact the Mental Floss shop here.