"Have you ever been sitting around bored and found yourself trying to get some random household object — a battery, a pen, whatever — to spin around like a top?
Disney has taken that idea to a pretty grand extreme. Combining the power of 3D printing and some damned clever physics work, they’ve worked out a way to make just about any shape spin for ages.
The idea: if you have near-perfect control of an object’s distribution of mass, you can also control its center of gravity.
Disney just passes in the 3D model and plugs in their spinning axis of choice, and their algorithms figure out what sections of the model’s internals need to be made hollow (or, in some cases, use a heavier printing material) for optimal balance.
The bad news: this project was built by Disney’s Swiss research team for the SIGGRAPH 2014 conference, but it doesn’t look like they’re releasing any of the tools they built for others to tinker with. You can read their pdf on the project."
SpaceCracker writes: Singularity Hub brings this story of the Japaneese firm Brave Robotics moving into production of robot transformers:
[The robot] uses a game controller as a remote control for operation and has an on-board Wi-Fi camera that can be viewed on a tablet. Furthermore, the exterior parts of the 1/12 scale robot are now made using a recently acquired 3D printer, adding to its awesomeness even more.
In vehicle mode, the car can be steered and moved around as a normal RC vehicle. In humanoid mode, the robot is able to walk, shoot projectile from its arms, and do some impressive hero poses.
SpaceCracker writes: HP previously announced it will join the [already crowded] cloud IaaS market with it's OpenStack based offering. Now it's publicly available for beta users. OpenStack, is an opensource cloud computing platform founded by Rackspace and NASA that has gained traction from quite a few large players, such as IBM and Red Hat, who wanted to present an alternative to Amazon and VMWare.
SpaceCracker writes: The creators of the Cloudify Community site claim to have created the 'kick-ass community web site' in less than a month using opensource tools such as 'Github Pages, Jekyll, Disqus, Zendesk, Google custom search and others'. This slideshare describes the process. Would you have done it differently with these tools or with others?
SpaceCracker writes: A young Egyptian woman posted a nude photo of herself in her blog and on tweeter to protest against the harassment she feels by Islamic culture towards women. In this CNN interview she says: "I am not shy of being a woman in a society where women are nothing but sex objects harassed on a daily basis by men who know nothing about sex or the importance of a woman...Women under Islam will always be objects to use at home. The (sexism) against women in Egypt is unreal, but I am not going anywhere and will battle it 'til the end. Many women wear the veil just to escape the harassment and be able to walk the streets." About 40 Israeli women striped down in support of her protest.
SpaceCracker writes: Beats me why anyone would want to run their Java app stack on MS Azure, but now (from Q4) you can. Apparently Microsoft teamed up with distributed computation leader GigaSpaces to provide capability of deploying your complete Java application stack onto Azure. This is done using an Azure adaptation to "Cloudify" — GigaSpaces new PaaS enablement product.
SpaceCracker writes: According to this Bloomberg article, hardware giants like HP and Dell loose out to Intel and others who were quicker to adapt to the trend of shifting from traditional off-the-shelf servers to custom-tailored machines. "Hewlett-Packard, Dell and companies that sell the computers off the shelf are losing sales in a key market because Facebook and larger rival Google Inc. (GOOG) are leading a switch among Internet companies to do-it-yourself servers... Buyers say custom servers provide a cheaper, more efficient way of meeting the boom in demand for personal data shared via the Web... “It’s a completely different animal” than corporate servers, said Rejeanne Skillern, head of marketing at Intel’s cloud computing division."
SpaceCracker writes: "Researchers at MIT have found a way to control precisely the shapes of submicroscopic wires deposited from a solution — using a method that makes it possible to produce entire electronic devices through a liquid-based process."