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Toys

Lego Loses Its Unique Right To Make Lego Blocks 576

tsa writes "The European Department of Justice has decided that the Danish company Lego does not have exclusive rights to the lego building block anymore (sorry, it's in Dutch). Lego went to court after a Canadian firm had made blocks that were so like lego blocks that they even fit the real blocks made by Lego. The European judge decided that the design of the lego blocks is not protected by European trademarks and so anyone can make the blocks." If true, hopefully this will open doors for people interested in inexpensive bulk purchase of bricks of specific sizes and colors. Perhaps at long last I can build a life-sized Hemos statue for my office.
Toys

Inside the Lego Factory 260

An anonymous reader writes "Gizmodo has a fascinating report and video tour inside the Lego factory, which is full of robots and controlled by a mainframe. 'This video shows something that very few people have had the opportunity to witness: the inside of the Lego factory, with no barriers or secrets. I filmed every step in the creation of the brick. From the raw granulate stored in massive silos to the molding machines to the gigantic storage cathedrals to the decoration and packaging warehouses, you will be able to see absolutely everything, including the most guarded secret of the company: the brick molds themselves.'"
Toys

Lego Secret Vault Contains All Sets In History 266

An anonymous reader writes "Gizmodo has an exclusive video and feature of one of the most heavily guarded secrets in Lego: the security vault where they store all the Lego sets ever created, new in their boxes. 4,720 sets from 1953 to 2008. Really amazing stuff and a trip down memory lane to every person who has played with the magic bricks. All combined, the collection must be worth millions, not only because of the collector value, but also because Lego uses it as a safeguard in copyright and patent cases."
Toys

LEGO Brick 50th Anniversary 206

An anonymous reader writes "'The LEGO brick turns 50 at exactly 1:58pm today. This cool timeline shows these fifty years of building frenzy by happy kids and kids-at-heart, all the milestones from the Legoland themed sets to Technic and Mindstorms NXT, as well as all kind of weird curiosities about the most famous stud-and-tube couple system in the world.'" Of course, it all peaked in 1979 with the space set. These kids these days with their bionacle. bah.
Toys

World's First Lego Autopilot 108

zlite writes "What's the best way to create a UAV for less than $1,000? Use the new Hitechnic gyro sensor for Mindstorms NXT to create a Lego autopilot! This one can turn a R/C plane into a drone, keeping the aircraft level and returning it to the launch area. Add a Bluetooth GPS module and a microcam and you've got a fully autonomous surveillance platform."
Hardware Hacking

Building Chips Like LEGO 50

MattSparkes writes "It seems that 3D silicon chips, allowing designers to fit more components into a smaller space, could soon be made far easier to create with a little inspiration from a classic children's toy. "Silicon wafers covered with matching patterns of Lego-like teeth and holes could aid the development of 3D electronics, say UK researchers." Crucially, this technique can make use of existing machinery."

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