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Cambridge Company Unveils 3D Printed "Fruit" 59

An anonymous reader writes "A Cambridge England company called Dovetailed has created the world's first 3D printed 'fruit'. They use a process of spherification to create little balls of fruit puree, which they then print to form the shape of the given fruit. Images here where you can see a 3D printed raspberry. Vaiva Kalnikait, creative director and founder of Dovetailed, said: 'We have been thinking of making this for a while. It’s such an exciting time for us as an innovation lab. Our 3D fruit printer will open up new possibilities not only to professional chefs but also to our home kitchens – allowing us to enhance and expand our dining experiences. We have re-invented the concept of fresh fruit on demand.'"

Scientists Advocate Replacing Cattle With Insects 760

rhettb writes "Scientists in the Netherlands have discovered that insects produce significantly less greenhouse gas per kilogram of meat than cattle or pigs. Their study, published in the online journal PLoS, suggests that a move towards insect farming could result in a more sustainable — and affordable — form of meat production."

Environmental Chemicals Are Feminizing Boys 614

pickens writes "Denmark has unveiled official research showing that two-year-old children are at risk from a bewildering array of gender-bending chemicals in such everyday items as waterproof clothes, rubber boots, bed linen, food, sunscreen lotion, and moisturizing cream. A picture is emerging of ubiquitous chemical contamination driving down sperm counts and feminizing male children all over the developed world. Research at Rotterdam's Erasmus University found that boys whose mothers were exposed to PCBs and dioxins were more likely to play with dolls and tea sets and dress up in female clothes. 'The amounts that two-year-olds absorb from the [preservatives] parabens propylparaben and butylparaben can constitute a risk for oestrogen-like disruptions of the endocrine system,' says the report. The contamination may also offer a clue to a mysterious shift in the sex of babies. Normally 106 boys are born for every 100 girls: it is thought to be nature's way of making up for the fact that men were more likely to be killed hunting or in conflict. But the proportion of females is rising. 'Both the public and wildlife are inadequately protected from harm, as regulation is based on looking at exposure to each substance in isolation, and yet it is now proven beyond doubt that hormone disrupting chemicals can act together to cause effects even when each by itself would not,' says Gwynne Lyons, director of Chem Trust."

Comment Re:Just what the world needs... (Score 4, Interesting) 232

I am legally blind, so usually reading on my iPod Touch is out of the question. I just tested the Kindle app out with my wife's Kindle account. I can actually read the largest font settings with my reading glasses. I don't think I could read on the iPhone for a long time, but I certainly could do it for short periods of time. I have to hold the device up to my face, which is uncomfortable, but I have to do that with anything I read. The Touch is lighter than any of Neal Stephenson's books, even the paperbacks.

Comment Re:17 USC 121 (Score 1) 370

People with disabilities can use specialized devices, which are made available only by prescription to people with a qualifying disability, that play copies of works produced under an exception to the U.S. copyright statute (17 USC 121). Kindle 2, being available to all, does not meet this requirement.

Have you ever used devices dedicated to the blind. They are expensive, ugly, complicated to use and do not offer what the Kindle does.

Being legally blind with functional vision, I like to read, but I cannot for long periods of time. With the Kindle 1's largest font, that eye strain is reduced somewhat. The Kindle 2 is the next step towards my ideal reading device, one that allows me to go back and forth with large print and TTS.

Losing TTS (Amazon's discussion is likely tantamount to this) will kill this move forward for accessible, aesthetic and feature rich device for the partially sighted.

See One Small Step Back for Amazon, One Giant Leap Backwards for Access for more of my rantings on this subject.

Comment TTS is an important accessibility feature (Score 1) 539

Skipping over the already well-discussed audio rights issue, let me rant about access for the visually impaired. Blount's arguments in the Times' OIp-Ed in regards to the lack of accessibility of the Kindle 2 to the blind were flawed. I hope that he is only ignorant, rather than disingenuous. Blind people have a variety of visual impairments and varying levels of functional vision. I have enough functional vision to read the Kindle with low vision glasses for short periods of time. Supplementing this with text-to-speech makes the Kindle pretty damn near the ideal accessible reading device for me. So dismissing the accessibility implications with a glib rephrasing of his conversation with the NFB is both misleading and unjustified. I do not want to be stuck going back and forth between devices for the profoundly blind and my tiny-fonted iPod for the rest of my life. I have posted this discussion in more detail on my blog: http://www.timobrienphotos.com/2009/02/blount-bluntly-dismisses-the-blind-on-the-nytimes-op-ed-page/.

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