Outbreak of the future: 3D printing takes off like a shot.

Last week there was a cluster of outbreaks of the future (thanks, Warren Ellis, for the term) in the field of 3D printing that caught me by surprise, not by their appearance but how they appeared in rapid succession to one another.

The first is an industrial grade 3D printer called the Objet1000, which is marketed for the production of full-scale prototypes and industrial models. It has a fabrication platform 39 inches by 31 inches in size (a little bigger, actually, but I'm deliberately dropping decimals today), and can print with any of 120 different substances, of which 14 at …

Read more...

Anybody want to help buy a comsat?

There are some forward-thinking countries in the world who have decided that net.access is a basic human right and are taking steps to provide it to everyone who needs it. When you think about it a little, for many people life without the Net is a difficult one, indeed: it's difficult to apply for jobs if you can't get online. It's indeed difficult to be gainfully employed if you can't get online in some fashion these days. The Net is also, in a very real sense, the repository of a fantastic amount of knowledge and wisdom accumulated by the …

Read more...

Affordable personal satellites now available, launch included.

It is a long standing tradition among the amateur radio community to construct whatever you need to get the job done if you can’t acquire it somehow. In fact, the basic training you need to get a ham license includes some electrical engineering and electronics theory, assuming that you don’t already possess this knowledge. Some hams have even gone so far as to design and construct satellites to facilitate shortwave communication around the planet, helpfully launched by space agencies where they serve as ballast for other orbital insertions. It would seem that negotiating for help from NASA is …

Read more...

Unauthorized use of communications satellites for propaganda bombing.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, also known as the Tamil Tigers, is a group of rebels active in the country of Sri Lanka who demand the formation of a separate state for the Tamil majority in the northern and eastern regions of Sri Lanka, or a terrorist group, depending on who you talk to about them. They're pretty nasty customers as sepratist movements go, even having separate strike and black ops teams. They also have an unusual degree of technological sophistication - they have their own television station, a bank, a customs service, and it's been discovered that they can …

Read more...