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Submission + - New 3-D printer builds with 10 materials at once (

mpicpp writes: Most 3-D printers use a single material to fabricate objects. For consumer 3-D printers, that generally means some kind of plastic or resin. But using only one kind of material means 3-D printers are limited in the kinds of objects they can create.

There are 3-D printers that can use multiple materials, but they can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, putting them out of reach for almost everyone besides engineers and developers.

A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory wanted to find a way to create a more affordable multi-material 3-D printer, and thus the MultiFab was born.

It’s built from off-the-shelf parts that cost about $7,000 in total, and is capable of printing in full color with up to 10 materials at a time, including fabrics, fiber-optics, and lenses.

Submission + - NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft Zips Past Pluto in Flyby (

mpicpp writes: “We’re going to do our 10-9-8 thing and you can get your flags out,” S. Alan Stern, the principal investigator for NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto told the people gathered here at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, which is operating the mission. “We’re going to go absolutely ape.”

About 7:50 a.m. Tuesday, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made its closest pass by Pluto, coming within 7,800 miles of the surface.

The crowd, which included the children of Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered Pluto in 1930, cheered.

As soon as it arrived, New Horizons was leaving, speeding along its trajectory at 31,000 miles per hour.

For now, no one knows how the spacecraft is faring.

New Horizons, which is in the middle of 22 hours of automated scientific observations, will not check in with mission controllers for several more hours, with the signal scheduled to arrive on Earth at 8:53 p.m. By Wednesday, the spacecraft will be mostly finished with the data-collecting phase of the mission and begin sending back the trove of information for scientists to delve into.

Submission + - Lego puts big bucks behind push to go green (

mpicpp writes: The toy company plans to invest $150 million over the next 15 years as part of a broad effort to make its iconic plastic building blocks better for the environment. It will also make its packaging more sustainable.

The company made 60 billion Lego pieces last year. So a little bit of change could go a long way to "significantly reduce [Lego's] impact on the planet," Lego said in a statement.

"Several factors influence the environmental sustainability of a material — the composition of the material, how it is sourced and what happens when the product reaches the end of its life," CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp said.

Submission + - Virtually climb El Capitan with Google's first vertical Street View (

mpicpp writes: Gogle Maps has announced its first vertical Street View, giving people the opportunity to virtually climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

"People around the world will now be able to virtually experience the unique act of ascending a 3,000-foot cliff by going on a self-directed, vertical climb," the Mountain View, Calif., company said. "Climbers" can make their way up the Nose route and part of the Dawn Wall.

To collect the imagery for Google Maps, the company worked with photographers and partnered with climbers Lynn Hill, Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell.

Submission + - California Says Uber Driver Is Employee, Not a Contractor (

mpicpp writes: In what could prove to be a ruling with serious implications for the on-demand economy, the California Labor Commission has ruled that an Uber driver should be classified as an employee, not an independent contractor.

The ruling, made in March, came to light after Uber filed an appeal Tuesday evening. The ruling ordered the company to reimburse Barbara Ann Berwick, a former Uber driver, $4,152.20 in expenses and other costs for the period when Ms. Berwick worked as a driver.

Uber has long positioned itself as a “logistics company,” an app that drivers and passengers use merely to facilitate private transactions, and not a transportation fleet with tens of thousands of employee drivers. The company argued it did not exert any control over the hours its drivers worked and did not require drivers to complete a minimum number of trips, according to the court filing.

But the Labor Commission cited many instances in which it said Uber acted more like an employer. The ruling noted that Uber provided drivers with phones and had a policy of deactivating its app if drivers were inactive for 180 days.

Submission + - U.S. says 4 million current, former federal employees affected by data breach ( 1

mpicpp writes: The U.S. government agency that collects personnel information for federal employees said on Thursday a cybersecurity breach had compromised the data of about 4 million current and former federal employees.

U.S. officials suspect the cyber attack originated in China, according to media reports.

The Office of Personnel Management detected new malicious activity affecting its information systems in April and the Department of Homeland Security said it concluded at the beginning of May that the agency's data had been compromised.

Submission + - Family served arrest warrants for 'disturbing the peace' at graduation ( 1

mpicpp writes: Four people who cheered — allegedly excessively — for their loved ones at a high school graduation ceremony in Senatobia, Mississippi, say they've now been slapped with an excessive punishment.

Two weeks after watching her niece walk across the stage at Senatobia High School's graduation ceremony on May 21, Ursula Miller received a warrant for her arrest for disturbing the peace.

"I just called her name out. 'Lakaydra,' Just like that," Miller told CNN affiliate WREG.

Now, Miller said, she has to appear in court or could face at least a $500 fine.

Submission + - Ross Ulbricht, Creator of Silk Road Website, Is Sentenced to Life in Prison (

mpicpp writes: Ross W. Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road, a notorious online marketplace for the sale of heroin, cocaine, LSD and other illegal drugs, was sentenced to life in prison on Friday in Federal District Court in Manhattan.

Mr. Ulbricht, 31, was sentenced by the judge, Katherine B. Forrest, for his role as what prosecutors described as “the kingpin of a worldwide digital drug-trafficking enterprise.”

Mr. Ulbricht had faced a minimum of 20 years in prison on one of the counts for which he was convicted. In handing down a much longer sentence, Judge Forrest told Mr. Urlbricht that “what you did in connection with Silk Road was terribly destructive to our social fabric.”

Mr. Ulbricht’s high-tech drug bazaar was novel and full of intrigue, operating in a hidden part of the Internet known as the dark web, which allowed deals to be made anonymously and out of the reach of law enforcement. In Silk Road’s nearly three years of operation, over 1.5 million transactions were carried out on the website involving several thousand seller accounts and more than 100,000 buyer accounts, the authorities have said.

Submission + - Russian internet 'troll' sues former employer (

mpicpp writes: Lyudmila Savchuk says lawsuit will shed light on secretive practice of paying people to post political comments online. The Moscow Times reports.

A former Russian internet “troll” hired to promote political views online is suing her ex-employer in an attempt to draw attention to the country’s “information war” , a news report said on Friday.

The grounds for the lawsuit filed by Lyudmila Savchuk, which is expected to be heard by a St Petersburg city court next month, is the employer’s failure to provide any labour contract or other paperwork supporting her hiring and eventual dismissal, Kommersant reported.

Savchuk said she was fired after speaking to the media about her employer, Internet Research, which she described as part of Russia’s “troll factory”.

Internet Research is reported to be linked to another company with a similar name, Internet Research Agency, which in the spring merged with a firm called New Technologies, whose official registration documents identify it as a construction company.

“The ‘troll factory’ operates based on very weird schemes, but all those firms are connected to each other, even though they are separate legal entities,” Savchuk was quoted as saying.

Submission + - Quebec man fined $120 for using Apple Watch while driving (

mpicpp writes: A Quebec man plans to fight the $120 ticket and four demerit points he got for using his Apple Watch while driving.
Jeffrey Macesin said he was using his smartwatch to change songs when a provincial officer pulled him over on a road near Pincourt, Que.
Macesin said he was confused about why the officer’s flashing lights were on.

The officer then charged him under the section of the Quebec Highway Safety Code that says “no person may, while driving a road vehicle, use a hand-held device that includes a telephone function.”
Macesin disputes that an Apple Watch counts as a “hand-held.”
“It’s on my wrist,” he said. “That's where it gets really controversial.”
Traffic lawyer Avi Levy agreed the law isn’t clear.

“It was just a question of time before we actually got a case like this,” Levy said.
“I'm not convinced that the Apple Watch itself is a phone,” he added. “It's rather a Bluetooth device that communicates the telephone signal from the phone and it has been established under the law that you are allowed to use Bluetooth devices.”

Submission + - GoPro enters virtual reality market with 16-camera capture rig (

mpicpp writes: GoPro is moving into virtual reality with the announcement of a 16-camera, 360-degree array that can capture stereoscopic and spherical video. But this early model is too big to wear on your head.

The rig, meant to be mounted on a tripod, has yet to be priced. It will support 16 of GoPro’s Hero4 cameras to record 360-degree video that can be used for virtual reality. It comes integrated with software from Kolor, the virtual reality company GoPro acquired last month, which stitches and synchronizes the recorded footage. GoPro introduced the camera at Google’s developer conference on Thursday.

“What people don’t know is we’re already the de facto capture device for capturing virtual reality content today,” said C.J. Prober, the head of GoPro’s software and services division. “GoPro cameras weren’t designed for virtual reality capture purposes, but the quality and the content they enabled just made them a natural choice.”

Submission + - GM to Offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on Chevrolets (

mpicpp writes: General Motors Co. plans to offer both Google Inc.’s Android Auto and Apple Inc.’s CarPlay software in most of its Chevrolet vehicles, signaling that no mobile operating system dominates the auto industry yet.

An icon embedded in the center screen of Chevrolet vehicles will allow occupants to link cellphones via either Android Auto or CarPlay in the majority of its 2016 vehicle portfolio. The revamped Chevrolet Cruze, due out next month, will be the first to offer the feature, which will still be routed through the auto maker’s MyLink in-car infotainment system.

After initially offering their own telematics software or investing to develop exclusive technology, auto makers now are allowing consumers to link via mobile software provided by others, rather than favoring one system over another. Each gives users access to everything from maps to music.

Hyundai Motor Co., became the first auto maker to offer Android Auto on one of its production vehicles. The auto maker announced on Tuesday the system is available on the 2015 Sonata sedan. It is also working to add CarPlay. Ford Motor Co., meanwhile, also intends to offer both CarPlay and Android by the end of 2016, it has said.

Chevy’s seven-inch screen MyLink system will offer both on the early 2016 models including the Spark, Malibu, Camaro, Camaro Convertible and Silverado. The eight-inch version will be compatible only with Apple CarPlay at the beginning of the 2016 model year with Android Auto to be offered later.

Submission + - Charter agrees to buy Time Warner Cable for $56 billion (

mpicpp writes: Charter Communications Inc struck a $56 billion deal to buy Time Warner Cable Inc, seeking to combine the third and second largest U.S. cable operators to better compete against market leader Comcast Corp.

The Federal Communications Commission immediately served notice that it would closely scrutinize the deal, focusing not only on absence of harm but benefits to the public.

Charter, in which Malone-chaired Liberty Broadband Corp owns about 26 percent, is offering about $195.71 in cash-and-stock for each Time Warner Cable share, based on Charter's closing price on May 20.

Including debt, the deal values Time Warner Cable at $78.7 billion.

A key area of regulatory concern would be competition in broadband Internet.

A merger of Charter and Time Warner Cable, with other related deals, would create a company that controls more than 20 percent of the U.S. broadband market, according to research firm MoffettNathanson.

"Regulatory approval is no longer a given but we expect this is highly probable and greater than Comcast-Time Warner," Macquarie Research analyst Amy Yong wrote in a note.

Comcast walked away last month from a deal to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion, citing regulatory concerns.

Submission + - Coffee May Perk Up More Than Men's Brains: It Could Stave Off ED (

mpicpp writes: According to a new study out in the journal PLOS ONE, caffeine intake is linked to reduced odds of having erectile dysfunction (ED) in men who drink the equivalent of two to three cups of coffee per day. Among the lifestyle factors that are known to put a man at risk of ED – poor diet, physical inactivity, smoking, and alcohol consumptions – caffeine has not been of the biggest candidates. But the new study suggests that like other areas of physical and mental health, ED may be another beneficiary of caffeine’s fascinating benefits. Since erectile function, and dysfunction, is in some ways an extension of cardiovascular health – and caffeine is known to help heart health in certain ways – the idea that it could also help ED may not be so surprising. But for men who are devout coffee drinkers, the results may come as good news.

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.