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Comment Lesser targets for revival? (Score 1) 208

Everyone's talking about re-creating famous species like the Woolly Mammoth, Tazmanian Devil, and dinosaurs. Are there any efforts that you have heard of to re-create lesser-known extinct species? Is anyone trying to recreate the Dodo (for food)? Glyptodon (as a pack animal)? The Giant Sloth (for fun)?

Comment Chinese Medicine Balls (Score 1) 144

Not sure how related they are to a 'gyroscope ball', but I used Chinese Medicine Balls to cure carpal tunnel some years back. The doctor suggested them. Rotating two balls in the palm of my hand -- first in one direction, then the other -- stretched and toned the muscles to the point where my hands were strong enough to type as much as I needed them to.

I'm not sure how useful they are as immediate pain relief, but I'm sure there are many exercises that help you build long-term strength and stability in your wrists and hands. Chinese medicine balls are one such exercise. I wouldn't be surprised if Gyroscope balls serve the same purpose.

Comment Re:Whats to worry? (Score 1) 1862

I think you're missing the possibilities of asymmetric warfare. The government can throw billion-dollar drones made out of titanium at criminals who are fighting back with ten-dollar drones made out of plastic. The government will win almost every battle, but they will lose the war. The criminals will bleed them bankrupt.

That's not even considering the possibility that a criminal might be smarter or more innovative than the government, and create something that blindsides law enforcement. Example -- flying drones are illegal, but has the law considered miniature car drones? How about spoofed objects; if you replace a street sign with a 3D printed replicate filled with malevolent automation (such as a RFID scanner), how long would it take the authorities to notice? The asymmetric warfare possibilities are endless and all stack the deck against the government.

Comment Re:Law and 3D printing will be on hell of a clash. (Score 1) 1862

The difference here is that the law traces the provenance of illegal objects, and tries to interrupt them at every part of the chain: The inventor, the creator, the middleman/seller, and then the user. Machine shops are rare, expensive, and known. (Are they licensed?) Cops can stop a machine shop by shutting down the business it belongs to. They can stop a reseller. The hardest thing to do is stop the person who intends to use the illegal object. But domestic 3D printing makes all of those the same person. This is a serious complication for law enforcement.

Comment Re:Whats to worry? (Score 1) 1862

Once we start printing magazines, what's to stop us from printing mortars? Flack? Anti-aircraft tubes and targeting? The only limitation is the explosive component, and the printers will manage to do that eventually. Hell, the 3D printers could make drones of their own.

If it comes down to a war between technologies, the side with the 3D printers will always win, because the printers have no theoretical limit. All you need is ingenuity, which will come with time. You'd have to use your drones to preemptively destroy all 3D printers because of what they *might* be used to do, and that will lead to revolution.

Comment Law and 3D printing will be on hell of a clash. (Score 3, Interesting) 1862

Putting the gun debate aside for a moment...

I'm fascinated by what will happen when 3D printing manages to create its first illegal object. I don't think they've printed anything illegal yet, have they?

What will happen when they do? Authorities will have to crack down on 3D printing patterns, which will be impossible. Or perhaps the law (all laws?) will be rewritten so that possession of the object is illegal but possession of the digital design is permitted...which will make monitoring of 3D printer usage mandatory. This upcoming clash between object legality and post-scarcity technology will make the copyright wars look like a kindergarten brawl.

Comment Pratchett's Rule. (Score 1) 191

“Scientists have calculated that the chances of something so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one.
But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.”

  Terry Pratchett, Mort

So the internet has made Pratchett's rule a reality. Now all I want it to do is give us giant turtles and ambulatory luggage.

Comment Re:What the what what? (Score 1) 270

Not sure what 'twilight sedation' is. I was given a chemical that the doctor said would not put me to sleep but I wouldn't feel nor remember anything...and I didn't. That probably doesn't meet the technical definition of 'general anesthesia', but from my perspective I was out like a light.

Comment Satellite imagery of wildfires is so 1990. (Score 1) 289

Seeing wildfires from space is not unusual. All wildfires are visible from space, and we have several monitoring programs going on right now that use satellite imagery to track wildfire appearance and growth.

The most dramatic imagery I remember doing was the Rodeo-Chediski wildfires in 2002, which burned half a million acres (compared to the 50,000 acres burning in Australia so far, although they might get larger.) There are also a few good pics from the Alaskan wildfires in 2004, which burned 6.6 million acres. That was such a large-scale disaster that it was almost too big for the satellites to view; smoke obscured almost the entire state.

The bad news for Australia is that the climate is getting hotter. The good news is that there ain't a whole lot in central Australia to burn.

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