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Man builds working assault rifle with 3D printer

It only cost $30 in feedstock. Joe. My. God.: Print Your Own Assault Rifle
Get ready. It's now possible to print weapons at home. An amateur gunsmith, operating under the handle of "HaveBlue" (incidentally, "Have Blue" is the codename that was used for the prototype stealth fighter that became the Lockheed F-117), announced recently in online forums that he had successfully printed a serviceable .22 caliber pistol. Despite predictions of disaster, the pistol worked. It successfully fired 200 rounds in testing. HaveBlue then decided to push the limits of what was possible and use his printer to make an AR-15 rifle. To do this, he downloaded plans for an AR-15 in the Solidworks file format from a site called CNCGunsmith.com. After some small modifications to the design, he fed about $30 of ABS plastic feedstock into his late-model Stratasys printer. The result was a functional AR-15 rifle.

July 23, 2012

So I Guess *This* Is What Passes for Science These Days

How to build a jellyfish out of a rat –...

July 19, 2012

So Reddit users teamed up and made the video game from Community season 3, "Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne"!

For OSX and Windows. [RELEASE] Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne v0.0.31 : hawkthorne

July 12, 2012

California's High-Speed Rail System: What It Is And Why You Should Care

A two-hour trip to LA would be incredible. And think of all the jobs this will create in Cali. California's High-Speed Rail System: What It Is And Why You Should Care
What is the California High-Speed Rail? Exactly what it sounds like. Let's break it down piece-by-piece. California: The system will run from San Francisco to Los Angeles (eventually expanding to serve Sacramento and San Diego, as well), making stops at various cities in between, including San Jose, Fresno, Bakersfield and Palmdale. The SF—LA leg will span a distance of 432 miles, but the entire proposed system would likely be upwards of 800 miles long. California's a big, long state; if this thing gets built, it'll be the largest public infrastructure project in the country, hands down. High-Speed: The system will be designed for next-generation rapid transit. That means electrically-powered trains capable of achieving commercial speeds of up to 220 miles per hour. That's as fast or faster than all but a small number of trains worldwide. Whether trains would actually travel at that speed is another question. The only other high-speed rail in the U.S. — Amtrak's Acela Express — is capable of speeds of up to 150 mph, but typically chugs along at somewhere between 60 and 70 mph. That being said, current estimates put travel time between SF and LA on the high-speed rail at under 2 hours and 40 minutes, which translates to an average speed of over 160 miles per hour. If you were traveling by car, the same trip woud take you about twice as long — and that's if you're really hauling ass. . . .

Ukrainian scientists invent gloves that translate sign language into speech

Amazing. I hope this hits the mass market in time for Xmas so I can finally argue with my brother-in-law properly. The Escapist : News : Gloves Translate Sign Language to Speech
The four members of Quadsquad (get it?) got the idea to make these gloves when they tried to interact with deaf classmates at their school. The team spent time building the prototype using custom made flex sensors, touch sensors, gyroscopes and accelerometers to gather as much data from the hand motions as possible. Transmitting that data via Bluetooth to a Windows Mobile-powered cellphone was just a stroke of genius. Now that EnableTalk won the prize, the group will now turn to trying to sell the glove and software combo. The prototype's materials only cost around $75, and the group plans to sell the unit for $200 each. That might sound like a huge markup, but similar products (using less sensors, a wired connection, with no integrated voice support) cost about $1,200. The applications for EnableTalk are plentiful. Hearing impaired and deaf people could use them to converse with people who don't know sign language, allowing them to lead more normal lives. Severely autistic or handicapped patients could use them to speak to loved ones. We could even go full circle and use these gloves to communicate with animals.