3-D Gun Printing: Here’s the Software That Stops It

New software has been developed that aims to restrict the manufacture of firearms that have been created using new 3-D technology.

The world’s first gun made using 3-D printing – called “The Liberator” – was successfully fired on May 6 in Austin, Texas. In just three days the blueprint created by startup Defense Distributed to produce the plastic gun had been downloaded around 100,000 times, according to Forbes Magazine.

Anti-gun campaigners have criticized the project, whilst lawmakers in different U.S. states have moved to pass new legislation to prohibit the manufacture, sale and use of the digitally made firearms. And now Danish startup Create It REAL has produced software that it says blocks users from printing guns in the first place.

“The likely buyers are 3-D printer manufacturers who want to minimize their liability risk and offer a firearm parental control feature to their customers,” Create It REAL’s CEO Jeremie Pierre Gay told CNBC.

“The feature creates a unique digital fingerprint of the firearm…the manufacturer could decide to block the print or to simply give a warning to the user of the potential danger.”

The software has taken a year to develop. The firm realized there was a gap in the market after surveying end users and 3D printer manufacturers. Gay told CNBC that his previous job working with Digital Rights Management (DRM) for technology firm Motorola served him well.

“[We realized] people are interested in the ability to put a lock on their firearms at home, the same should be possible on a 3D printer as a parental control feature. I would say that this feature is customer driven even if they did not know they wanted the feature when we asked,” he said.

“The possibility to make a firearm at home is not new, there are many plans on how to do it on Internet, the problem with 3-D printing is that it could become simply too easy, this feature makes it more complicated again.”

Cody Wilson, the man behind nonprofit Defense Distributed was skeptical that the product would actually be able to prohibit the printing of guns, which are produced as separate parts and then assembled. “The Liberator” is printed with hard plastic and fires a standard .380 caliber bullet. The only non-printed piece is a common hardware store nail which is used as its firing pin.

“Such software must walk a very fine line, of which I’ve no doubt it is incapable…It’s interesting PR to the uninitiated only,” the 25-year-old law student at the University of Texas told CNBC.

“‘The Liberator’ pistol is an assembly of over 17 parts, most of which individually would not set off a detection software unless the exact model was blacklisted. Think about it, springs, hammer, even the grip. These are not ‘guns’.”

‘Wild West’ Regulation

Both New York City and New York State have introduced legislation to curb the making of 3-D printed firearms or ban their use altogether and similar bills have been introduced in California. Linda Rosenthal, a New York State assembly member told CNBC that New York’s bill is currently sitting with the Codes Committee after the legislative session ended on June 21.

“I have all intentions of pursuing this legislation next session,” she told CNBC. “The controversy surrounding the passage of the SAFE ACT (the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act) will make passing any piece of gun-related legislation that much more difficult, but I think this is a very important issue that must be addressed before the technology becomes widely available.”

New York State should act as a leader to provide a national model for other states to follow, Rosenthal said, and welcomes the new software that she says is effectively the industry regulating its own behavior.

“It is important that industry and government partner with each other to address this issue. Neither acting alone will be able to accomplish enough to deter dangerous behavior….Given that no technology is foolproof, it is critical that the states have strong tools available to discourage wrongdoing and criminalize bad behavior,” she told CNBC.

“3D printing is a very new technology, and in terms of regulation, it is the Wild West out there.”

Despite the issues surrounding the manufacture of firearms, 3-D printing – creating three-dimensional solid objects from digital models – is gathering momentum and is transforming everything from medicine to home goods. Printers that once cost $30,000 now are priced closer to $1,000 and have the potential to rewrite the rules of global manufacturing.

The market for 3-D printing was estimated at about $1.7 billion in 2011 and could hit $6.5 billion by 2019, according to research firm Wohlers Associates.

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Opera Next 16 hints at new features

Norwegian browser developer Opera Software has confirmed the switch of its browser development to a rapid release cycle with the launch of Opera Next 16. The new version number comes less than a month after Opera 15 FINAL was released, which saw Opera switch from its own proprietary Presto web engine to the Blink engine used by Google Chrome.

As with all rapid release cycle updates, there are no major overhauls to be found in Opera Next 16, although a number of interesting new features have been showcased as the next iteration starts its journey towards final release.

Opera 16 — which is based on Chromium 29, the engine that powers Chrome 29 (currently in beta) — comes with support for the W3C Geolocation API, a form auto-filler tool and opera:flags, a shortcut to settings that allows adventurous users to play with experimental features.

Users will also find a new setting under Browser > Start Page called “Preload Discover contents”, which allows users to switch this feature off.

Platform-specific updates include support for Jump Lists in Windows 7 and 8, plus the addition of Presentation mode to the Mac platform.

In addition to these existing features, Opera has revealed the next set of features it’s working on, with the promise that early versions of these will be rolled out into the Opera Next build over the next few weeks. These include proper bookmarks support, synchronization via Opera Link, improved tab handling and themes.

Opera Next 16 is considered “alpha” software, which is why — like Firefox Aurora — it’s designed to run alongside an existing stable build of Opera, allowing users to experiment with new features without affecting their day-to-day browsing. Updates are frequent as bugs are discovered and fixed, but users should not attempt to rely on Opera Next as their primary browser, hence the separate installation.

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Accela Releases Civic Hero App for Windows 8

Accela, Inc., the leading provider of civic engagement solutions for government agencies, announced today that its Civic Hero app is now available for Windows 8. With Civic Hero for Windows 8, Accela is providing entire communities with an innovative app that empowers citizens to report non-emergency community issues such as graffiti, potholes, or damaged public property to local government.

“We’re very excited that Civic Hero is now available on Windows 8,” said Maury Blackman, Accela President and CEO. “This opportunity provides an amazing user experiences and offers features that will delight our user base. Now more government agencies and citizens will be able to access our expanding platform of applications and will realize the true value of citizen engagement. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Microsoft to bring additional apps to market.”

By using their Windows 8 devices, citizens can simply select the type of issue they are reporting, take or add a quick photo or comment and they are done. Citizens can also review and comment on issues reported by others. Government agencies will benefit from utilizing Civic Hero in the following ways:

  • Automatic report routing to only receive service requests within your jurisdiction and areas of responsibility.
  • Tight integration with Accela Automation, allowing agencies to leverage the workflow engine to assign and track reports.
  • Prioritization of reported issues through community feedback.
  • Elimination of duplicate requests.
  • Good will from citizens when they utilize a convenient and useful app that makes communicating with government easy and efficient.

“Civic Hero for Windows 8 offers significant benefits to government agencies and citizens by enabling a fast and transparent method for reporting non-emergency issues,” said Steve Jenkins, senior director of government partners, Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector. “Accela’s easy-to-use app helps cities, citizens and government employees stay engaged with their communities on their Windows 8 devices with convenient access virtually anywhere.”

The Windows 8 version of Civic Hero joins existing versions deployed on leading mobile platforms including iOS and Android. For more information on Accela’s mobile applications, including Civic Hero, visit www.accela.com/civic-apps.

About Accela

Accela, Inc. provides the leading civic engagement platform, powering thousands of services and millions of transactions daily for large and small public agencies worldwide. We connect government to people and accelerate and streamline land management, licensing, asset management and public health and safety processes. Accela’s Civic Cloud includes a complete platform, both packaged and tailored solutions and cloud-based, office, mobile and social applications to support government agency, business and citizen needs. Accela is headquartered in San Ramon, Calif., with international offices in Australia and the United Arab Emirates. For more information, visit www.accela.com.

Yahoo!’s Earnings and the Future of Display Ads

Investors were upset that Yahoo! Inc.’s (YHOO) quarterly results showed a sharp drop in display advertising revenue. And, based on its forecasts, that will not get any better soon. The Yahoo! trouble is not an isolated case. Display rates have started to collapse across the industry, making a chance for Internet advertising to expand as fast as it has over the past decade impossible. That represents trouble for tens of thousands of businesses.

Yahoo!’s revenue fell 7% in the second quarter compared to last year, drifting down to $1.22 billion. Wall St. focused mostly on one comment:

Iconic Brands That Just Vanished

GAAP display revenue was $472 million for the second quarter of 2013, a 12 percent decrease compared to $535 million for the second quarter of 2012.

At the same time, there was no evidence that Yahoo!’s audience fell, so the yield from the average display ad fell considerably.

Yahoo! holds a special place among America’s Internet companies. In the United States, according to research firm comScore, it had a monthly audience of unique visitor that was above 192.9 million in May. That put it a very close second to Google Inc.’s (GOOG), which was 193.5 million. Because of its huge size, the trends set by Yahoo! almost certainly represent those of most of the balance of the industry.

States That Drink the Most Beer

The bane of display advertising today is that so many Web properties have decided to stake their futures on content delivered on small devices, which include, primarily, smartphones. All of the evidence indicates that advertisers will pay less for messages they post on these smaller screens. Actually, the amount marketers will pay for this content environment is much, much less than for traditional display ads that appear on personal computers (PCs). In an attempt to chase the online content audience as it migrates away from PCs, Internet companies have badly damaged future revenue prospects. The trouble is that people will watch content on smaller screens whether online content sites like it or not.

Most experts hope that falling display ad rates can be offset by the increase in video content on the Internet. Advertisers will pay a great deal more for video ads than display ads. So, there is a rush to create this sort of programming. But the likelihood that video can balance the drop in display rates appears unlikely.

Beyond Google’s YouTube, the amount of video posted on the Internet by large content companies is relatively small. In May, Google sites had 154.4 million unique video viewers, driven almost exclusively by YouTube. These visitors spent an average of 437 minutes on Google sites in May. After that, video viewership at other sites drops very sharply. For example, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) sites had 45.2 million unique video viewers in May. The average time these viewers spent watching video on Microsoft sites was only 36.9 minutes, barely more than a half-hour TV show.

Internet advertising may remain at current levels in terms of volume, but the monetary yield from these ads likely will never return.

HTC Mini – the latest version of HTC Smartphone Has Officially Introduced in Indonesia

Some time ago, mobile phones HTC has officially launched in Indonesia. This smart phone can be considered quite innovative and brought some technology like the HTC BlinkFeed, Zoe HTC, HTC and HTC Sense BoomSound. Such features make this smart phone is different compared to other Android phones. To reach consumers who preyed HTC cheaper and smaller, HTC has launched the HTC Mini in Indonesia.

Arguably HTC Mini is a mini version and lighter than previous versions of HTC. This smart phone has embedded 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor core 400 using two with Adreno 305 graphics. In addition, this phone is using the Android operating system V 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

 

For full technical specifications from one HTC handset are as follows:

4.3 “720 x 1280 Super LCD2 capacitive touchscreen Corning Gorilla Glass 3
HTC Sense, HTC Blinkfeed, Boomsound HTC, HTC and HTC Zoe Ultrapixel
Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor 400 Dual Core 1.4 GHz
Adreno 305 GPU
1 GB of RAM
16 GB internal capacity
4-megapixel rear camera and 1.6 megapixel front camera
Micro USB 2.0 connectivity, DLNA, Bluetooth, and Wifi
Already equipped with Android Jelly Bean version (4.2.2)
As seen above, the hardware specs of HTC HTC Mini One to see cuts. However this phone still has good hardware specs and still be able to enjoy the features of HTC BlinkFeed, Zoe HTC, HTC and HTC Sense BoomSound innovative. To use the camera itself is still the 4-megapixel resolution with HTC Ultrapixel technology. From the look of the phone, similar to the HTC One and still made of aluminum but with a plastic periphery.

The phone is perfect for those who want to try and enjoy the features of HTC but with a cheaper price. For in Indonesia itself about the price and when it was officially sold there is still no clear information, the new HTC Mini HTC just introduced officially in Indonesia

Amcom Software Supports HIPAA-Compliant Smartphone Texting at Emory University and Emory Healthcare

Amcom Software, Inc. today announced that Emory University is leading a large strategic effort to expand the use of its HIPAA-compliant smartphone texting app, Mobile Connect, Powered by Amcom™. The organization plans to have thousands of Emory staff in both the academic and hospital settings using the solution to facilitate their secure critical messaging. Emory wants to ensure that sensitive information such as identifiable patient data remains protected, that staff can easily locate the people they need to contact, and that messages requiring immediate attention are acknowledged and responded to quickly.

Emory uses Mobile Connect because it integrates easily with their Amcom hospital call center solutions, including their staff directory, on-call scheduling and emergency notification systems. “Currently we are focused on educating our staff about the benefits of Mobile Connect, including the security and ease of communicating,” said Jay Flanagan, Senior Manager, UTS Messaging at Emory University. “This is particularly important for those who send or receive critical communications, including physicians and nurses, administrators, IT staff, and Infection Control. The healthcare staff is our primary focus, but faculty and staff in the university sectors are also included.”

“When staff see how Mobile Connect simplifies their work and makes them more productive, they get excited,” said Jason Stanaland, Mobile Messaging Applications Engineer at Emory University. “Our early adopters enticed their coworkers to use it. They all recognize its many benefits and are helping to spread the word.”

“Mobile Connect is transforming how Emory’s staff is able to communicate, particularly in its fast-paced clinical setting,” said Colin Balmforth, President, Amcom Software. “It’s exciting to see customers like Emory making full use of their Amcom solutions to improve their communication workflows and patient care.”

About Emory’s Office of Information Technology
Emory University’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) is responsible for maintaining and coordinating centralized computing services on campus and supporting academic, administrative, research, and healthcare departments in the effective and efficient use of these technologies. The Office of Information Technology coordinates its efforts and initiatives with other central and local information technology units. Some of the larger systems and service provided by OIT include electronic medical records, voice and data services, enterprise-wide human resources, student administration, financial systems, high-performance computing, and academic course-management software.

About Amcom Software
Amcom Software, a subsidiary of USA Mobility, Inc. (USMO), connects people to each other and to the data they need. This helps organizations save lives with communications that are faster, more accurate, and more efficient. Thousands of organizations worldwide rely on Amcom solutions for critical smartphone communications, contact center optimization, emergency management, and clinical workflow improvement. The company’s products are used by leading organizations in healthcare, hospitality, education, business, and government.