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Today In The World

Dated: 23 Oct 2013
Posted by Thomas McIntyre
Category: International, Technology, Uncategorized
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Saudi/US Relations: A deepening diplomatic rift between Saudi Arabia and the US fractured yesterday after Secretary of State Kerry acknowledged that Washington’s regional partner had serious misgivings about US foreign policy in the Middle East.  This came as Prince Turki al-Faisel, a leading member of Saudi Arabia’s political elite, addressed the National Council for US-Arab Relations using the harshest rhetoric yet:  “The current charade of international control over Bashar’s chemical arsenal would be funny if it were not so blatantly perfidious, and designed not only to give Mr. Obama an opportunity to back down, but also to help Assad to butcher his people.”

US Oil & Gas: Reports from the Energy Information Administration are countering rival countries’ claims that the current energy windfall will soon end.  With evidence supporting increased efficiencies in using fewer drilling rigs while producing larger wells in the shale formations, the U.S. passed Russia to become the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. Interesting to see the small players in this space with the competitive advantage: “Smaller producers have tended to be more successful in shale than major oil companies, in part because they can move more quickly to lease up acreage before land prices rise and are more nimble at experimenting with different well designs to maximize output and drive down unit costs.”

Carbon Nanotubes: A team of Stanford engineers has built a basic computer using carbon nanotubes, a semiconductor material that has the potential to launch a new generation of electronic devices that run faster, while using less energy, than those made from silicon chips. This unprecedented feat culminates years of efforts by scientists around the world to harness this promising but quirky material.  According to industry experts, there is now no question that this will get the attention of researchers in the semiconductor community and entice them to explore how this technology can lead to smaller, more energy-efficient processors in the next decade.

3D Printing and the Distributed Cloud

Dated: 10 May 2013
Posted by Cameron Mehin
Category: New Markets, Technology, Uncategorized
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3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing is destined to revolutionize the way we transition our digital creations into tangible goods. Though today it looks like it hit a bit of a speed bump with regards to the design files related to the first 3D printed gun, dubbed the Liberator. Defense Distributed, the organization that created and released the designs received a notice to remove the files until they can be further reviewed by the US Department of Defense Trade Controls. This came after the file had already hit over 100,000 downloads. While the file may have been taken down, we all know it’s not that easy to undo the dissemination of information in today’s digital world.

So is it over? Not exactly. It turns out the torrent hosting site Pirate Bay has begun hosting the files. The bigger question now is the outcome of the review and its implications on the future of 3D printed goods, including guns. Will this give rise again to the massive databases of the distributed cloud networks of the world or is this just a blip on the map for what seems like a manufacturing trend that’s just starting to ramp up with no end in sight?