A new browser, house arrest futures, fantastical animal skeletons, audio archives, 3D printing metal

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

1. A new desktop browser? Meet Vivaldi.

"The power user's current solution to the simplification, arguably the infantilization, of the Web browser interface is to get all those missing features back with add-ons. This works to a degree, but it introduces a ton of extra code, some of it written by programmers far less capable than those contributing to the code of Firefox or Chromium. This inevitably means add-ons slow things down. The problem is bad enough that a future version of Firefox will even have a feature dedicated to letting you know which of your add-ons is slowing you down."


2. The future of house arrest.

"'While conducting a security sweep of the home, the Task Force Officers observed, among other things, a hand-made contraption connected to the ceiling, from which Ceglia’s GPS bracelet was hanging. The purpose of the contraption appeared to be to keep the bracelet in motion using a stick connected to a motor that would rotate or swing the bracelet.' The 'contraption' appears to have been almost laughably basic, but it's not hard to imagine something more ambitious, complete with tracks wandering from room to room to making it truly appear that someone is inside the residence."

3. The fantastical animals of Mr. Irving Kornfield.

"In this dusty display box at the University of Maine sits the carefully preserved skeleton of a small, shrew-like rodent which, lacking hind legs, propelled itself along with the help of a long, jointed nose-foot. If that seems a bit too whimsical to be true, well, it is. The creature belongs to the mammalian order Rhinogradentia – an entirely made-up class of animals. Like this specimen, which belongs to UMaine professor Irving Kornfield, the rhinogrades are all rodents and they all have some sort of fantastic nasal appendage … and, most importantly, none of them actually exist."

+ For reasons you will discover, I probably should have given credit to Harald Stümpke, not Kornfield.

4. The endangered audio archive of a fading Detroit radio station.

"He’s also unofficial station historian. He pulls up in a pick-up truck and rolls down the window to say hello. Stephen was born and raised on the West Side. He attended the school across the way and graduated from Mackenzie High School. In 1969 he joined the Navy and served for twenty years. He returned home and worked his way up to Chief Engineer at WDTR. He still works here: tending the creaky equipment inside the building and the satellite system on the roof that gathers signals that get pumped out to listeners in Detroit and many miles away."


5. What is the current state of 3D printing metal? This guy went deep on finding out.

"But for all the work that has gone into understanding the properties of additively manufactured parts, the process is still very much in its infancy. It is not in any sense a mature technology, and the result is that each new part you design for DMLS — and, indeed, each new copy of the part that you print — is very much an experiment. Small variations in geometry and orientation can have huge effects on the way that a part prints. The laser’s scanning path is a closely studied subject, but much is not yet understood about it. Even keeping those variables constant, it’s often the case that building the same part on a different machine will produce very different results."


On Fusion: The creator of the panopticon, Jeremy Bentham, had his clothed skeleton (and wax head) interred in a cabinet at University College London. And now a webcam mounted there surveils all who visit.

Today's 1957 American English Usage Tip:

Whoops! I'm traveling and forgot the dictionary. But you know what word has a surprisingly interesting etymology? Broadcast.


The Credits

1. arstechnica.com 2. bldgblog.blogspot.com / @bruces 3. @maggiekb1 4. soundstudiesblog.com 5. pencerw.com


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The Laser's Scanning Path