3-D Printed Car Is as Strong as Steel, Half the Weight, and Nearing Production

Via: Wired

By Alexander George

Picture an assembly line not that isn’t made up of robotic arms spewing sparks to weld heavy steel, but a warehouse of plastic-spraying printers producing light, cheap and highly efficient automobiles.

If Jim Kor’s dream is realized, that’s exactly how the next generation of urban runabouts will be produced. His creation is called the Urbee 2 and it could revolutionize parts manufacturing while creating a cottage industry of small-batch automakers intent on challenging the status quo.

Urbee’s approach to maximum miles per gallon starts with lightweight construction – something that 3-D printing is particularly well suited for. The designers were able to focus more on the optimal automobile physics, rather than working to install a hyper efficient motor in a heavy steel-body automobile. As the Urbee shows, making a car with this technology has a slew of beneficial side effects.

Jim Kor is the engineering brains behind the Urbee. He’s designed tractors, buses, even commercial swimming pools. Between teaching classes, he heads Kor Ecologic, the firm responsible for the 3-D printed creation.

“We thought long and hard about doing a second one,” he says of the Urbee. “It’s been the right move.”

Kor and his team built the three-wheel, two-passenger vehicle at RedEye, an on-demand 3-D printing facility. The printers he uses create ABS plastic via Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). The printer sprays molten polymer to build the chassis layer by microscopic layer until it arrives at the complete object. The machines are so automated that the building process they perform is known as “lights out” construction, meaning Kor uploads the design for a bumper, walk away, shut off the lights and leaves. A few hundred hours later, he’s got a bumper. The whole car – which is about 10 feet long – takes about 2,500 hours.

Read more: here

Some Thoughts About DIY Transhumanism

Via: disinformation

Posted by alizardx on February 5, 2013

(c)2013 by alizardx

This article is mainly intended to discuss ideas regarding DIY human augmentation (extending human senses, access to information, access to tools, ultimately increasing effective human intelligence, therapeutic devices) beyond the high-risk fashion accessory level, ideas about possible experiments in this area within the scope of available electronic technology for people already thinking about these concepts, and ways to make such experimentation safer for people who want to do this in the real world.

My perspective on this at this point is as an outsider contemplating future hands-on involvement, so what I know is based on online research. I’d like to hear from people who are doing this.

Advocacy is not enough to bring the promises of Transhumanism to fruition. Spinning visions of a future that can not naturally evolve from the techno-capitalist system as we know it today is not enough to persuade people that change is unnecessary because technocapitalism will bring the Miracles of The Future automatically to your doorstep with the invisible fine print saying “if you’re one of the super-rich who can afford it” That’s why they currently fund it.

Programs that include concrete goals and real-world social and political actions and the people willing to carry them out are required to make “better living through bio-enhancement” available in a real future world to the masses. A Transhumanism without real-world action to make it real is a fantasy live-action role-playing game. That’s why Russian Transhumanists are starting a political party. In a parliamentary system as exists in RU, a small party can influence much bigger ones as part of political coalitions. In the US, one would create an advocacy group aka “special interest group” aka “pressure group” for this kind of goal.

Here’s an article from Fast Company about do-it-yourself biohacking, but note that the writer seems to conflate DIY enthusiasts with venture capitalists. Would-be Transhumanists shouldn’t assume that they’ll benefit from the work of the latter. Why share their research when they can sell it to the highest bidder? Accessing the work of academics poses similar problems. Acquiring papers through major academic publishers is expensive and trying to get them for free through one’s connections or from the original author is in my experience, a crapshoot.

Sometimes, a DIYer is going to have to reinvent the wheel. The good news is that sometimes, one can reinvent a better wheel, and the most important thing about a technology if one wants to do this is knowing that it’s possible.

Read more: here

It’s (Almost) Alive! Scientists Create a Near-Living Crystal

Via: Wired

By Brandon Keim

Three billion years after inanimate chemistry first became animate life, a newly synthesized laboratory compound is behaving in uncannily lifelike ways.

The particles aren’t truly alive — but they’re not far off, either. Exposed to light and fed by chemicals, they form crystals that move, break apart and form again.

“There is a blurry frontier between active and alive,” said biophysicist Jérémie Palacci of New York University. “That is exactly the kind of question that such works raise.”

Palacci and fellow NYU physicist Paul Chaikin led a group of researchers in developing the particles, which are described Jan. 31 in Science as forming “living crystals” in the right chemical conditions.

Read more: here

RSA Conference 2013: Experts Say It’s Time to Prepare for a ‘Post-Crypto’ World

Via: threatpost

February 26, 2013, 2:43PM
by Dennis Fisher

SAN FRANCISCO–In the current climate of continuous attacks and intrusions by APT crews, government-sponsored groups and others organizations, cryptography is becoming less and less important and defenders need to start thinking about new ways to protect data on systems that they assume are compromised, one of the fathers of public-key cryptography said Tuesday. Adi Shamir, who helped design the original RSA algorithm, said that security experts should be preparing for a “post-cryptography” world.

“I definitely believe that cryptography is becoming less important. In effect, even the most secure computer systems in the most isolated locations have been penetrated over the last couple of years by a series of APTs and other advanced attacks,” Shamir, of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, said during the Cryptographers’ Panel session at the RSA Conference here today.

“We should rethink how we protect ourselves. Traditionally we have thought about two lines of defense. The first was to prevent the insertion of the APT with antivirus and other defenses. The second was to detect the activity of the APT once it’s there. But recent history has shown us that the APT can survive both of these defenses and operate for several years.”

Read more: here

DIY X-Ray Backscatter Imaging System (Airport Body Scanner)

Via: Penny Pincher

Of course if you’re worried about X-rays, why would you want to have one in your home or business, but it’s an interesting project.

I could see using it for a field hospital, to look for broken bones and shrapnel and the like. Or to test various hiding-an-object ideas, from either the standpoint of the hider or the guy looking for stuff.

This guy backwards engineered it from the patent and built one using parts he got on E-bay.

Read more: here

F-22’s Human Interface Kills Humans, Then Lands Them Safely

Via: MIT Technology Review

John Pavlus
February 22, 2013

User experience design eats its own tail in a high-tech military boondoggle.

Think Windows 8 is a usability nightmare? Two pilots of the infamously expensive F-22 fighter jet recently went on 60 Minutes to describe how this “phenomenal, phenomenal machine” poisons its pilots’ air supply in the course of normal flight. But the plane is also smart enough to land itself with no help from its passed-out pilot. This is UX design by way of Brazil: the human interface is so bad that it actively tries to kill you the entire time you’re using it, and so good that it can deliver your comatose body back to safety with no help from you at all.

Read more: here

Blocking China and Bots

Via: Cryptome

Subject: Re: NYT covers China cyberthreat
On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 01:34:13AM +0000, Warren Bailey wrote:

> I can’t help but wonder what would happen if US Corporations simply
> blocked all inbound Chinese traffic. Sure it would hurt their business,
> but imagine what the Chinese people would do in response.

Would it hurt their business? Really?

Well, if they’re eBay, probably. If they’re Joe’s Fill Dirt and Croissants in Omaha, then probably not, because nobody, NOBODY in China is ever actually going to purchase a truckload of dirt or a tasty croissant from Joe. So would it actually matter if they couldn’t get to Joe’s web site or Joe’s mail server or especially Joe’s VPN server? Probably not.

Nobody in Peru, Egypt, or Romania is likely to be buying from Joe any time soon either.
This is why I’ve been using geoblocking at the network and host levels for over a decade, and it works. But it does require that you make an effort to study and understand your own traffic patterns as well as your organizational requirements. [1]

I use it on a country-by-country basis (thank you ipdeny.com) and on a service-by-service basis: a particular host might allow http from anywhere, but ssh only from the country it’s in. I also deny selected networks access to selected services, e.g., Amazon’s cloud doesn’t get access to port 25 because of the non-stop spam and Amazon’s refusal to do anything about it. Anything on the Spamhaus DROP or EDROP lists (thank you Spamhaus) is not part of my view of the Internet. And so on. Combined, all this achieves lossless compression of abusive traffic.

This is not a security fix, per se; any services that are vulnerable are still vulnerable. But it does cut down on the attack surface as measured along one axis, which in turn reduces the scope of some problems and renders them more tractable to other approaches.

Read more: here

DHS Wants to Help You Become a Cybersecurity Fed

Via: NextGov

The Homeland Security Department has launched a new online resource that makes cybersecurity career and training information more readily available to federal employees and the public.

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies website is part of an effort to elevate cybersecurity awareness as well as educate the government and public about education, careers and workforce development opportunities available in the cybersecurity field.

“DHS is committed to working with our partners in academia and throughout the private sector to develop the next generation of cyber professionals to protect against evolving cyber threats,” said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. “NICCS provides a comprehensive online resource for cyber education and training.”

Read more: here

Temporary Tattoos Could Make Electronic Telepathy and Telekinesis Possible

Via: IO9

Charles Q. Choi – Txchnologist

Temporary electronic tattoos could soon help people fly drones with only thought and talk seemingly telepathically without speech over smartphones, researchers say. Electrical engineer Todd Coleman at the University of California at San Diego is devising noninvasive means of controlling machines via the mind, techniques virtually everyone might be able to use.

Commanding machines using the brain is no longer the stuff of science fiction. In recent years, brain implants have enabled people to control robotics using only their minds, raising the prospect that one day patients could overcome disabilities using bionic limbs or mechanical exoskeletons.

 But brain implants are invasive technologies, probably of use only to people in medical need of them. Instead, Coleman and his team are developing wireless flexible electronics one can apply on the forehead just like temporary tattoos to read brain activity.

Read more: here

49 Quadrocopter in Outdoor-Formation-Flight / Ars Electronica Futurelab / Linz, Austria

Via: You Tube

Quadrocopters turn into pixels at the voestalpine Klangwolke and form 3D-Modells in the sky. As a world-premiere, the Ars Electronica Futurelab has managed to fly a formation outdoor with so many quadrocopters, painting some moments of magic into the nightsky of Linz.

See more: here

3D Printing Revolution: The Complex Reality

Via: Make

By Michal Zalewski , 2013/02/14 @ 10:00 am

In the past couple of years, the concept of low-cost 3D printing has captured the hearts and minds of millions of geeks. The allure of an upcoming manufacturing revolution has seeped into the mainstream, too: take The Economist, which ran about two dozen articles about this technology within the last year alone. Something must be in the air!

The charm of 3D printing is easy to understand, especially as it coincides with the renaissance of the DIY movement on the Internet. But all this positive buzz also has an interesting downside: it makes it easy to overlook that the most significant barriers to home manufacturing run very deep, and probably won’t be affected just by the arrival of a new generation of tools.

After all, affordable and hobbyist-friendly manufacturing tools that convert polygons into physical objects have been available for more than a decade. Take desktop CNC mills, for example: home- or office-friendly and costing about as much as a 3D printer, they have revolutionized the lives of many jewelers and dentists; they have shaken up quite a few other niche industries, too. But spare for a small community of hobbyists, these self-contained and tidy mills have not brought on-demand manufacturing into our garages or living rooms.

Read more: here

What’s All this About Van Gogh and LEDs?

Via: Electronic Design

by Don Tuite 

There is a disconnect between recent claims that LED illumination is destroying great works of art and what the research behind the claims really involved.

Like van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”?

What if museum lighting were destroying them?  What if your invention had enabled the lights that were doing the damage?

Last week, I received a curious press release from Soraa, The GaN-on-GaN LED company founded by Shuji Nakamura, the guy who invented a way to make blue and UV LEDs, which is the reason we can have high brightness (HB) white LEDs.  (The part of the spectral gamut that produces HB white light comes from “yellow” phosphors on the inside surface of the LED package.)

Read more: here