Sunday, December 23, 2012

Xerox death squads

Anybody been following the newest weapons craze, the kind you build on the new 3-D printers? This group in Texas has been on the forefront.

Here they test their AR-15, which lasts for six shots before failure. Of course, no problems going through TSA with plastic, right?

The company that leases the printers has now pulled the weapons fabricator's lease and taken their printer back.
...Since losing their Stratasys printer, Wilson says he’s received help from two unnamed companies based in Austin and San Antonio, where his group can print and test their guns, and is waiting on a federal firearms manufacturers license, as the Undetectable Firearms Act provides an exemption for plastic gun prototypes designed by licensed manufacturers. (Stratasys does sell printers to licensed firearms manufacturers.) Wilson has also since incorporated Defense Distributed into a nonprofit corporation.
I don't think that creating a weapon out of plastic on a copier that actually shoots six shots is in any way a failure. I do think that it is a serious wake up call. Here is a partial piece of the Defense Distributed manifesto:

On another millennial tech note, you know how all the new cars have those large video screens on the dash that help you back up and keep you from running into objects? They sort of scare me. Any thing that keeps your eye off the road and looking at a screen is scary. And maybe I have reason to be alarmed.

My friend Tom's teenage son was backing up down a hill one late night when he swears that his girl friend plugged her ipod into the cars USB, which immediately overrode and took over the screen he was using to navigate his descent and sent him plunging over the cliff, causing thousands of dollars of damage. No word on what else they may have been doing at the time and I will just leave that alone...

The point is, I have driven with people who rely on these screens instead of using their rear and forward vision and they are an accident waiting to happen.

A few weeks ago, Leslie and I had dinner at the Gambling Cowboy in Temecula with a bunch of friends. (Eat in the bar, much cheaper) We parked on the dark block to the east on the rainy night. When we were driving home, Les had to take a left on Main. I screamed "Watch it!" A texting pedestrian, wearing all black of course, walked right in front of our car. Leslie halted just in time and the walker did a cute little skip, never breaking stride, never looking up, one second from getting snuffed.

All kinds of neat stuff and new problems in this nascent epoch.

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