3D Printing is Changing the World, Quickly

3D printing is amazing. Have the file for a toy, a piece of jewelry, even a car, or a gun, and you can probably create it in your garage. Printers are under $500 now. This could change the world.

(From TechCrunch)

Eventually, 3D printing will enable individuals to print just about anything from the comfort of their own homes. Already, hobbyists who own 3D printers are creating jewelry and toys. In the commercial space, 3D printing can print homes, prosthetics, and replacement machine parts.

3D printers can also print guns and synthetic chemical compounds (aka drugs). In July, user HaveBlue reported on the AR15 forum that he had used a mid-1990s. 3D printer to create a fully functional .22 caliber gun. He wrote: “It’s had over 200 rounds of .22 [caliber rounds] through it so far and runs great!” The 3D printed portion of the gun was printed in plastic with a reported material cost of about $100.

Click here for the story.

Rat Brain Controls an F-22?

Well humans, our time here on earth was pretty good. We had a good run. Now that scientists can grow mini brains to control fighter aircraft the writing is on the wall.

This is pretty darn amazing.

(From Discovery.com)

“We grow approximately 25,000 cells on a 60-channel multi-electrode array, which permits us to measure the signals produced by the activity each neuron produces as it transmits information across this network of living neurons,” DeMarse told Discovery News. “Using these same channels (electrodes) we can also stimulate activity at each of the 60 locations (electrodes) in the network. Together, we have a bidirectional interface to the neural network where we can input information via stimulation. The network processes the information, and we can listen to the network’s response.”

The brain can learn, just as a human brain learns, he said. When the system is first engaged, the neurons don’t know how to control the airplane; they don’t have any experience.

But, he said, “Over time, these stimulations modify the network’s response such that the neurons slowly (over the course of 15 minutes) learn to control the aircraft. The end result is a neural network that can fly the plane to produce relatively stable straight and level flight.”

At present, the brain can control the pitch and roll of the F-22 in various virtual weather conditions, ranging from hurricane-force winds to clear blue skies.”

The World’s First Website Lives and is 21 Years Old Today!

The Huffington Post reports that the world’s first website is still doing it’s thing today. It can be seen in its near original form HERE.

(From Huffpo)

Berners-Lee’s site went live in 1991, and was accessed by a decidedly small audience of fellow CERN researchers. It wasn’t until 1993, when web browser Mosaic was released, that the Web took off, as Wired explained last year.

Click here for the article.

Open Source Solar

This guy may fundamentally change the energy game and he’s giving the technology away.

(From Zenman Energy)

We hope to create a low cost, expandable solution that can create power plants of any size, from a few kilowatts up to many megawatts. Once we have a working prototype our entire focus will be directed at reducing the overall system cost and helping individuals and organizations construct their own. Our first attempt at reducing the expense of the overall system is using less expensive materials in the construction of these plants.

Some of the components for these power plants can be purchased locally from hardware stores. Other parts take a considerable amount of research to just find suppliers. Finally some of the components are custom made. We want to simplify this process so anyone in the world can easily get started making either a backyard solar power plant or buy acreage and build much larger power plants. If we mass produce the custom components, and mass purchase other parts we can dramatically reduce the cost and make medium to large scale solar plants achievable by a much larger population. Our end goal is to help make solar power plants that cost less than any other form of electricity generation.

Most importantly, we want to help YOU make a solar power plant that can power, not your house, but your entire neighborhood.

Click here for the article in Forbes.

New Urban Farming Development, Boon or Bane for Detroit?

It looks like the city of Detroit might have found a way to generate some tax revenue via a new urban farming project. Some smaller urban farmers in Detroit however are not keen to see the development as the city as the company involved in the deal has not committed to organic production and because the company is run by folks who are not “from” Detroit.

Regardless it is good to see movement on this front. We’d love to see Detroit, a city which could use a new industry, take the lead.

Click here for the story.