You probably don't think of them that way, but Blu-ray discs have a gorgeous color. In fact, the same physics that gives butterfly wings and housefly eyes their iridescent shine are also at work on Blu-ray. All are examples of what physicists call structural color, which are colors created not from pigments, but from translucent, microscopic shapes that capture light and reflect it in such a way that it appears colored to the human eye.
That logic still holds with today’s machines. A good smack can temporarily fix an intermittent connection, but it’s risky. Whacking a platter-based hard drive, for example, could damage the head. That’s why “percussive maintenance” is best left to professionals. A few well-placed taps may identify a weak connection on a printed circuit board, says Blakely, who has been an electrical technician for almost 50 years. “The word ‘tap’ is important,” he adds. “It’s not ‘hit;’ it’s ‘tap.’”
In the documentary film "Citizenfour" by Laura Poitras, it’s revealed that Edward Snowden’s longtime girlfriend Lindsay Mills also left the United States and joined Snowden in Russia. Cheekily, Vogue suggests a trio of outfits for Mills, to match both the climate and the need for discretion that comes with proximity to the source of a major intelligence leak.
When the first working gun was 3-D printed in the United States, the government responded not through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, but instead through the State Department. Guns, it turns out, aren’t terribly hard to get in the United States, so a 3-D printed gun doesn’t radically change gun access here. In countries with stricter gun control laws, though, printing a gun is a new risk. This week, Japan sentenced 28-year-old Yoshitomo Imura to two years in prison for printing guns and instructing others on how to print them.
Thanks to a pair of Melbourne security researchers, the cost of opening safes just hit a new low. Using an arduino platform and 3-D printed parts, the pair has created a contraption that can open many combination locks, like those on ATMs and gun safes. The device costs just $150 in parts, but people shouldn’t throw out their safes just yet: it takes about four days to crack the lock.
Sometimes, a person accomplishes something so great, so revolutionary, that all they can do is smile as wide as humanly possible and show off the thing. This paper airplane gun, crafted by a 3-D printing and paper airplane enthusiast, is such a device. Wordlessly, the operator fires a series of paper airplanes. Then, with the top of the device removed, he reveals the assembly line inside the weapon. The gun folds the paper and then shoots it out the end -- at a rate of almost one a second.