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Comment LEGO Strength (Score 2, Interesting) 165

I could be wrong, but I think the injection molding process used to manufacture LEGO bricks is the reason they are so strong. Most 3D printers use PLA or ABS, and while ABS should be sufficient, PLA is a softer plastic that just won't have that "LEGO grip". Because of the layering technique used by 3D printers, there will always be more flex in the end product than the rigidity of a dense brick made with a highly-pressurized injection system.

I'm sure in the future these problems will be dealt with, but for now I think you're searching for a unicorn.

Comment Are phones not protected under the 5th amendment? (Score 1) 231

I mean, at the very core, a phone is a tool (let's pretend it's a diary in this example) -- it can contain useful or useless information, but ultimately it is a very private thing. It has the power to incriminate someone beyond the investigation at hand. Law enforcement's desire to decrypt first, ask questions later really is equivalent to violating a person's privacy and fifth amendment protections to abstain from revealing information that could potentially incriminate themselves.

Comment CPU company doesn't like benchmarks of CPUs (Score 1) 174

Okay, so AMD is in the business of manufacturing and selling CPUs. Along comes a tool to qualitatively analyze CPU performance. AMD doesn't like that. What are they really trying to say?

P. S. I'm fully aware that there are all kinds of backdoor deals and benchmark fudging in the market, but as other posters have noted, you want a CPU score based on the performance of the CPU.

Comment Can't find any law that's been broken? (Score 1) 312

What about the glorious catch-all "reckless endangerment" or "criminal mischief"? There are myriad ways this scenario could have gone wrong, such as a malfunction resulting in severe injury or death to the owner or a previously-unseen bystander. It's not that I think this type of thing should be outlawed, per se, but when a story such as this hits the internet, I now have to worry about every bored teenager in the sticks trying this out and potentially using no care or consideration for safety whatsoever. If it was a camera or water-balloon dropping device, eh, whatever -- but now we've planted a seed of villainous intent into the minds of people who hadn't thought of it before -- some of those minds can handle the concept, while at least a few won't be satisfied until they've intentionally harmed something with it.

Submission + - WikiLeaks publishes The Sony Archives (

vivaoporto writes: WikiLeaks published on its site a full, searchable archive of the data leaked during the high-profile hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment last year.

Some of its 30,287 documents from Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) and 173,132 emails highlights SPE inner works and thoughts on matters like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the case against Megaupload and the extradition of its founder Kim DotCom and the connections and alignments between Sony Pictures Entertainment and the US Democratic Party.

Submission + - Google Launches Chrome 43, help batten down HTTPS sites (

River Tam writes: The next version of Chrome, Chrome 43 new feature promises to take out some of the work website owners — such as news publishers — would have to do if they were to enable HTTPS.

The feature might be helpful for publishers migrating legacy HTTP web content to HTTPS when that old content can’t or is difficult to be modified. The issue crops up when a new HTTPS page includes a resource, like an image, from an HTTP URL. That insecure resource will cause Chrome to flag an “mixed-content warning” in the form of a yellow triangle over the padlock.

Submission + - LAUSD OKs Girls-Only STEM School, Plans Boys-Only English Language Arts School

theodp writes: Citing statistics that showed a whopping 46 more boys than girls passed the AP Computer Science Exam in 2011-12, the 640,000+ student Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) on Tuesday approved a waiver to enable the District to operate a single-gender, all-girls STEM School called the Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA). Students in GALA will follow a six year sequence of computer courses starting in middle school that will culminate in AP Computer Science Principles. "Fewer females take AP courses in math, science, or computer science, and they are not as successful as males in receiving passing scores of 3, 4 or 5," argued the General Waiver Request (PDF, 700+ pages). "An all girls environment is reasonably necessary for the school to improve the self-confidence of girls in their academic abilities, especially in STEM areas where an achievement gap currently exists. GALA's admissions shall also comply with AB 1266 to ensure male students who identify as female are admitted to the school." The school's CS-related Partners include the UCLA Exploring Computer Science Program, as well as Google-bankrolled Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code, and NCWIT. One of the reasons the all-girls STEM school reportedly got the green light is that its backers satisfied federal regulations requiring a "substantially equal school" for excluded male students by submitting a plan for a companion all-boys school that would emphasize English Language Arts, where they often fall short of girls' test scores, rather than GALA's focus on STEM. One suspects the no-fan-of-gender-restricted-public-schools ACLU may call BS on this maneuver.

Submission + - Oh, the Irony: Microsoft .NET Compiler Now Building Better on Linux and Mac than (

Lumenary7204 writes: In an odd turn of events, as of the late evening of April 16, 2015 (US Eastern Daylight Time), a quick survey of Microsoft's .NET repository on GitHub indicates that Roslyn, the .NET Compiler, is currently (link to screenshot) building successfully on Linux and Mac platforms, but not Windows.

Strange times, indeed...

Submission + - GNU Hurd 0.6 Released (

jrepin writes: It has been roughly a year and a half since the last release of the GNU Hurd operating system, so it may be of interest to some readers that GNU Hurd 0.6 has been released along with GNU Mach 1.5 (the microkernel that Hurd runs on) and GNU MIG 1.5 (the Mach Interface Generator, which generates code to handle remote procedure calls). New features include procfs and random translators; cleanups and stylistic fixes, some of which came from static analysis; message dispatching improvements; integer hashing performance improvements; a split of the init server into a startup server and an init program based on System V init; and more.

Submission + - Earth microbe prefers living on meteorites (

sciencehabit writes: Scientists have found a microbe that is happier living on meteorites than on Earth. The organism—an archaea known as Metallosphaera sedula—was originally found in 1989 living in Italy's hot acidic sulfur springs around Vesuvius. When the researchers gave them an energy drink made of powdered meteorite, the microbes went on a space dust binge—consuming their samples in only 2 weeks as compared with the 2 months it took for them to munch through their Earth samples. The team says its work could have implications for asteroid mining, where rare metals embedded in space rocks could be extracted and brought back to Earth for use in technological advancements.

Submission + - Scientists close to solving the mystery of where dogs came from (

sciencehabit writes: For years researchers have argued over where and when dogs arose. Some say Europe, some say Asia. Some say 15,000 years ago. some say more than 30,000 years ago. Now an unprecedented collaboration of archaeologists and geneticists from around the world is attempting to solve the mystery once and for all. They're analyzing thousands of bones, employing new technologies, and trying to put aside years of bad blood and bruised egos. If the effort succeeds, the former competitors will uncover the history of man's oldest friend—and solve one of the greatest mysteries of domestication.

Submission + - Dark Matter May Not Be Completely Dark

StartsWithABang writes: If you take two clusters, groups, or individual galaxies and collide them together, you'd expect the stars to pass through unperturbed, the gas to experience friction, slowing down and heating up, while the dark matter, if it's truly collisionless, will do the same thing as the stars. But if there's a tiny frictional force at work on dark matter, it, too, will slow down a little bit. A team looking at 72 groups and clusters saw no effect of slowing down, but then on the 73rd one, they saw a separation between the mass reconstruction and the stars. Is this the first sign of dark matter's interactions, or is it simply an astrophysical effect, or maybe even a fluke? A good recap and rundown of what we're looking at to the best of our knowledge.

Submission + - New Chemical Tools Lead to Targeted Cancer Drugs

caudex writes: Proteins are encoded in DNA, and while the degeneracy of the genetic code works to minimize errors, a single DNA basepair mutation can change the structure of the encoded protein. When a mutated protein causes uncontrolled cell growth, we call it cancer. Unfortunately proteins typically contain hundreds of amino acids, and developing a drug that will target the version of a protein containing one amino acid mutation is difficult. For this reason most anticancer agents indiscriminately attack both mutant and healthy proteins and tissues. Researchers at Caltech have come up with a potentially general method for selectively drugging only the mutant protein at fault for cancerous activity, even in the crowded and complex milieu of living cells. Their proof of concept study published in Nature Chemistry targets the E17K mutation which can be the causative mutation of many types of cancer.

Submission + - UK Company Wants to Deliver Parcels Through Underground Tunnels (

Zothecula writes: Drones flown by Amazon aren't the only way we could be getting our parcels delivered in the near future. UK firm Mole Solutions is exploring the possibility of using small robot trains running on underground tracks to manage deliveries, and it's just received funding from the British government to help test the viability of the proposal.

Comment Minecraft can be a good start (Score 1) 315

If you have a Raspberry Pi handy, you can install the latest Raspbian which comes with a free version of Minecraft (creative mode only) and Python programming interface installed and ready to go on it.

If you don't have a Raspberry Pi, you can always install CanaryMod and use the RaspberryJuice plugin to setup a Python programming interface in Windows/other environments.

Both use the same mcpi Python library, which is easy-to-use and documented here:

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