Tag Archives | Inventions

Blueprint For 3D-Printable Gun Downloaded 100,000 Times In A Few Days

3d-printable gunFiles for a printable gun which is immune to metal detectors were downloaded briskly for two days, before the gun’s inventors and Kim Dotcom’s Mega site removed them at the government’s behest. A few days ago Forbes reported:

[100,000] is the number of downloads of the 3D-printable CAD files for the so-called “Liberator” gun that the high-tech gunsmithing group Defense Distributed has seen in just the last two days.

The State Department has now demanded Defense Distributed take down its printable gun files due to possible export control violations.

The controversial gun-printing group [was] hosting those files on Kim Dotcom’s Mega storage site. It’s also been uploaded to the filesharing site the Pirate Bay, where it’s quickly become one of the most popular files in the site’s 3D-printing category.

It’s worth noting that only a fraction of those who download the printable gun file will ever try to actually create one.

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Police May Soon Be Able Check For Illegal Drug Use Via Breathalyzer Test

breathalyzerImagine if this Swedish invention were to become a part of stop-and-frisk. US News and World Report writes:

Police might soon be able to detect more than just alcohol on their breathing test devices. A new Swedish-designed device can detect 12 different controlled substances, including methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, morphine and marijuana.

In a study published in the Journal of Breath Research Thursday, Olof Beck, of Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, detected drugs on the breath of 47 patients at a drug addiction emergency clinic.

“Considering the samples were taken 24 hours after the intake of drugs, we were surprised to find that there was still high detectability for most drugs,” Beck said in a statement. He suggested that a breath test could be given at the scene and then confirmed with a blood test later.

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Solar Powered Plane to Fly Around The World

People powered might just as well be the description of this nifty solar plane, as the 12,000 solar cells are all sponsored to the tune of $200 each.

640px-Flea_Hop_HB-SIA_-_Solar_Impulse

Finn Olaf-Jones reports for the Wall Street Journal:

…In 2003, [Bertand] Piccard approached European companies to sponsor what has become a $148 million project and began assembling a team of 80 engineers and technicians plucked largely from Swiss universities. After seven years of tinkering, they arrived at a machine with a deceptively simple design: Solar Impulse—with its sleek, clean lines, white-gloss finish and rakishly angled 208-foot wings (bent to increase the plane’s stability)—resembles what you might get had Steve Jobs reimagined a child’s balsa-wood glider in giant form.

“The crux to flying nonstop around the world with solar energy is being able to fly even when the sun isn’t out, especially at night,” notes André Borschberg, a former Swiss air force fighter ace and McKinsey & Company consultant who, as the project’s CEO, oversees the design team and takes turns piloting the plane.

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Iranian Government Scientist Claims To Have Invented Machine That Reveals The Future

speculationsHow does it work? Algorithms, duh. Via the Telegraph:

Ali Razeghi, a Tehran scientist has registered “The Aryayek Time Traveling Machine” with the state-run Centre for Strategic Inventions. The device can predict the future in a print out after taking readings from the touch of a user, he told the Fars state newsagency.

Razaeghi, 27, said the device worked by a set of complex algorithms to “predict five to eight years of the future life of any individual, with 98 percent accuracy”. As the managing director of Iran’s Centre for Strategic Inventions, Razeghi is a serial inventor with 179 other inventions listed under his own name.

“My invention easily fits into the size of a personal computer case and can predict details of the next 5-8 years of the life of its users,” he said. “The reason that we are not launching our prototype at this stage is that the Chinese will steal the idea and produce it in millions overnight.”

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Researchers Create Basis For Computers Made From Living Biological Cells

Technology and nature to become indistinguishable, New Scientist writes:

Computers made from living cells, anyone? Two groups of researchers have independently built the first biological analogue of the transistor. It should make it easier to create gadgets out of living cells, such as biosensors that detect polluted water.

Drew Endy at Stanford University and colleagues have designed a transistor-like device that controls the movement of an enzyme called RNA polymerase along a strand of DNA, just as electrical transistors control the flow of current through a circuit. Because combinations of transistors can carry out computations, this should make it possible to build living gadgets with integrated control circuitry.

A similar device has been built by Timothy Lu and colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Such devices will be key building blocks in cellular machines, says Paul Freemont at Imperial College London, who was not involved in either study.

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The Nazi Plan To Build A Deadly Sun-Reflecting Space Mirror

On a more peaceful note, the device would also be used to turn the Arctic and Antarctic poles into verdant gardens. Via io9:

In 1945, Life magazine revealed how “U.S. Army technical experts came up with the astonishing fact that German scientists had seriously planned to build a ‘sun gun’…a gigantic orbital mirror that would “focus the sun’s rays to a scorching point on the earth’s surface.” The German army, readers were told, “hoped to use such a mirror to burn an enemy city or to boil part of an ocean.”

The idea had been originally proposed by the seminal rocket scientist Hermann Oberth in 1923. Oberth thought it might take ten to fifteen years to assemble a complete mirror at a cost of $3 billion. The pressure of sunlight on the vast surface would be used to maneuver it in orbit, with steering accomplished by adjusting the angles of the individual mirrors.

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Pentagon Working On Tattoos That Track Soldiers

What does your tattoo say about you? Wired writes:

In its ongoing quest to measure every aspect of U.S. troops’ physiology, the Pentagon’s esoteric research enclave DARPA wants to develop a durable, unobtrusive device that can track the body’s physical response to stress. Military scientists believe that using the device — preferably a tattoo — to track heart-rate, temperature or bio-electric response during various training situations will help them crack the code of combat fatigue.

Advanced materials make it possible to integrate everything from the sensors to the transmitter into thumb-sized membranes that can stick to skin — like temporary tattoos. These tiny arrays combine the necessary sensor — be it EKG, heart rate, or temperature — with a short-wave antenna and transmitting capability.

Isolating the factors that make these stress levels spike is part of a larger initiative to understand and control the different triggers of the body’s physiological responses.

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Scientists Invent Self-Healing Computer Chips That Repair Themselves

Great, the evil supercomputers in our future now will be able to immediately heal themselves if you attempt to damage their circuits, Phys.org reports:

Imagine that the chips in your smart phone or computer could repair and defend themselves on the fly, recovering in microseconds from problems ranging from low battery power to total transistor failure. It might sound like the stuff of science fiction, but a team of engineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), for the first time ever, has developed just such self-healing integrated chips.

In perhaps the most dramatic of their experiments, the team destroyed various parts of their chips by zapping them multiple times with a high-power laser, and then observed as the chips automatically developed a work-around in less than a second.

By showing that the self-healing capability works well in such an advanced system, the researchers hope to show that the self-healing approach can be extended to virtually any other electronic system.

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The CIA’s Secret Project To Turn Cats Into Spies

History’s earliest animal cyborgs? In the 1960s the CIA implanted cats with technological devices to turn them into living surveillance machines, io9 reveals:

In an hour-long procedure, a veterinary surgeon implanted a microphone into the furry feline’s ear canal and a small radio transmitter at the base of her skull, and weaving a thin wire antenna into her long gray-and-white fur. This was top-secret Operation Acoustic Kitty. The leaders of the project hoped that by training the feline to go sit near foreign officials, they could eavesdrop on private conversations.

The problem was that cats are not especially trainable, and the program was abandoned; as a heavily redacted CIA memo from the time delicately phrased it, “Our final examination of trained cats…convinced us that the program would not lend itself in a practical sense to our highly specialized needs.”

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A Box For Manipulating The News On Other People’s Computer Screens

The artistic creation of Julian Oliver and Daniil Vasiliev, the Newstweek device allows for "altering reality on a per-network basis" by literally changing the headlines on people's screens:
Newstweek is a device for manipulating news read by other people on wireless hotspots. Built into a small and innocuous wall plug, the Newstweek device allows writers to remotely edit news read on wireless devices without the awareness of their users. While news is increasingly read digitally, it still follows a top-down distribution model and thus often falls victim to the same political and corporate interests that have always sought to manipulate public opinion. Newstweek intervenes upon this model, providing opportunity for citizens to have their turn to manipulate the press; generating propaganda or simply 'fixing facts' as they pass across a wireless network.
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