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Hardware Hacking

Grad Student Invents Cheap Laser Cutter 137

An anonymous reader writes "Peter Jansen, a PhD student and member of the RepRap community, has constructed a working prototype of an inexpensive table-top laser cutter built out of old CD/DVD drives as an offshoot of his efforts to design an under $200 open-source Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printer. Where traditional laser cutters use powerful, fixed-focus beams, this new technique dynamically adjusts the focal point of the laser using a reciprocating motion similar to a reciprocating saw, allowing a far less powerful and inexpensive laser diode to be used. The technique is currently limited to cutting black materials to a depth of only a few millimeters, but should still be useful and enabling for Makers and other crafters. The end-goal is to create a hybrid inexpensive 3D printer that can be easily reconfigured for 2D laser cutting, providing powerful making tools to the desktop."

Comment wu mao tang (Score -1) 533

A friend of mine who's worked in China over the past few years told me the story of the Wu Mao Tang. This translates, roughly, to the "50¢ party"; it's the name of the army of internet users that the government pays to surf the net, looking for "subversives". This is where poverty, and a lack of culture that values freedom collide: 50¢ is enough to buy the selling out of your wrong-thinking peer. We should remember that Google isn't arguing just against the government, but millions of Chinese that support it. And that this isn't so much a technical matter (we're used to fearing automatic filtering) as much as a social and cultural one.

"Everybody is talking about the weather but nobody does anything about it." -- Mark Twain