3D printing is taking the world by storm. There are 3D printers that offer downloads of their own parts that you may print and then install.I have watched a 3D printer print out a monkey head today and it turned out very well. The plastic is very light and strong; you could download models of a toy and print it out for your kids to play with. The future is home manufacturing and fabrication. The printing of parts like this means that you could print out replacement parts for laptops and other devices that can crack and break. The Liberator 3D printed gun is the reason that 3D printing has bit the mainstream bullet. The news stations are having a field day talking about this gun that can fire a .380 cartridge and propel a bullet. They are believing that this weapon will be the end of humanity. What about the arming of Mexican gangs and the prolific spread of dangerous automatic weapons amongst the criminal gangs in America? They are not obeying any gun laws. The website of the Liberator pistol is here: http://defcad.org/liberator/. But this is not available anymore due to the American government cracking down on the weapon. But if you search on The Pirate Bay; you may find AR15 Lower Receivers and the Liberator pistol files for download. A plastic gun can get through metal detectors; but the Transport Safety Authority might be able to use their 3D body scanners to find the weapon upon your person.
But the 3D scanners should not be banned outright due to the actions of a person that designed this weapon. The printers are too useful to be disregarded as a terrorist weapon. The ability to create a 3D model in 3D Studio Max or Blender and then export to a 3D printer file is awesome. The printer lays down an initial layer of plastic onto a perforated plastic sheet and then it builds up the model with a lot of plastic pillars that support the model when it is built up above. It took 2 hours to print a relatively sized monkey head; but this is getting us closer and closer to the replicator technology seen in Star Trek. The ability to print in color means that you can print out toys and other useful items with a different color for each part. There is already technology that uses a laser beam and sintering to 3D print metal. Read more about this here: http://gpiprototype.com/services/metal-3d-printing.html. This can be used to manufacture replacement parts and is a good counterpart to the plastic 3D printing capability that the public is enjoying. But it would not be affordable for a home user to deploy this kind of technology. Manufacturing new car parts could be done with this technology but it is arguable whether this would be a good thing. It would be cheaper to just go out and buy a new part.
I am not saying that this is a bad idea though. This is incredible. The ability to create a model in software of a game monster and then print out a metal statue of it would be a very cool thing indeed. This company takes orders and will print out parts for customers. This uses metal power that is spread out on a flat surface and then this is melted to build up the model. This obviously uses higher temperatures than the 300 – 400 degrees Celsius that the plastic melting printers use; but this would make strong metal parts. The future looks bright when any home user with the right knowledge and skill can make their own parts in their living room.
The new Star Trek movie Into Darkness is an interesting film. The juxtaposition of the new JJ Abrams Star Trek with the classic scene borrowed from the ending of Wrath Of Khan, but in reverse is a strange element indeed. The fact that this is an alternative universe with a different timeline is the reason that this movie is so different from the classic Star Trek movies. But how did they get from Khronos to Earth so fast? I am sure that there is an explanation somewhere. The one thing that the new franchise needs to do eventually is a mirror universe movie or episode that shows a totalitarian and evil Empire that is conquering space and killing their enemies. The mirror universe episodes of the Enterprise series were fascism and evil depicted in a realistic and gripping fashion. I hope to see more of the mirror universe starfleet and what the politics of this world are really like. The evil of the mirror universe Enterprise crew was portrayed perfectly. But getting back to the new movie, the insides of the engine room look less like the interior of the NCC-1701 A and more like the engine room of a seagoing battleship. That is a nice touch though, it is more realistic. The Klingons looked completely different to the aliens we are familiar with. But this is a minor gripe. The movie is an action packed and entertaining thrill ride, the brave sacrifice and resurrection at the end completes a film that takes the second Star Trek film and rearranges the elements to make something new and exciting.
We will wait and see if another film comes out and shows us more of the JJ Abrams Science Fiction vision. Will he tackle the third Star Trek film after this? Maybe he could do the film where the whales were extinct on Earth and they had to travel to the 20th century and retrieve 2 whales to repopulate the oceans of the future. That was the movie that had the giant Cetacean ship that was sending pulses of energy into the oceans looking for the whales that were nowhere to be found. The idea of trans-warp beaming is another idea that I do not remember seeing in the original series. They can beam from the ship to the planet and vice versa, but beaming from a planet to a ship that is traveling at warp speed would require impressive mathematics indeed. But that is why Spock had to bring the equation for trans-warp beaming back from the future. But the Star Trek Into Darkness film is strange; it is using scenes from the older Star Trek films and rearranging them into something new. They need to create an original script for the next film though in all seriousness. Reusing old scenes is not the be all and end all of filmmaking. There is a large Star Trek universe, there is plenty of room to think up an original plotline in an alternate universe. But why did they destroy Vulcan? The original films had the planet and the ancient Mount Selaya as a closing scene in The Search For Spock. That was an incredible scene, the depiction of the ancient temple on the mountain was done very well indeed.
Vulcan seems to be a planet that is mostly arid desert, but not to the extent of Tatooine in Star Wars. That planet had next to no plants on the surface at all. So where did the atmosphere come from? It must have had underground life that breathed in Co2 and gave out o2. The new Star Wars film is coming out soon as well; this will be very interesting to say the least. Considering the massive fan base and the number of novels that have been written to expand on the Star Wars extended universe; there is a lot of material to use. They could make a movie set after the destruction of the second Death Star that has Kyle Katarn in it and shows his theft of the sun Crusher and his fight against the remnants of the Empire. Many Super Star Destroyers survived the attack on Yavin IV and this means that the empire still poses a threat after their Emperor is dead. Many fans of Star Wars will be waiting to pass judgement on this film when it comes out; good or bad. Considering how long has passed since Return Of The Jedi was filmed; it will need to be set quite a while after that film if Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia reprise their roles. I hope George Lucas does not butcher this film as he did by releasing the special editions of Star Wars with the remade ending of ROTJ. The original film showed an old man as the ghost of Anakin Skywalker and the new versions show the younger Skywalker instead. That makes no sense. Another example of doing something just because you can. All Science Fiction fans are eagerly awaiting the film; me included. I will see then what he has decided to do with this universe.
Star Trek also has a massive amount of novels that could be used as source material to create a good movie; JJ Abrams does not need to use only the older movies as inspiration. There are many possibilities out there. The Star Trek Corps of engineers could be worked into a movie. They were mentioned in the movie The Wrath of Khan; but a Star Trek movie involving them would be interesting indeed.
ISS crewman using a Linux Thinkpad with a cool Star Trek wallpaper.
The International Space Station has migrated all of its computers from Windows XP to Debian GNU/Linux 6.0. This will greatly add to the security of the computers on the ISS and although it requires retraining Cosmonauts in the use of the computers; this will have many benefits in the long run. Linux is more secure and reliable than Windows and this is a good move by the people in charge. Even with Service pack 3 installed; Windows XP is too susceptible to viruses and malware. Better to run an open-source operating system that allows the crew to re-write sections of the operating system themselves and patch software the same way. This is the true spirit of open-source software and ensures that Linux will become more popular than ever before. The proprietary software that the crew of the International Space Station was using on Windows XP was easily ported to Linux with a re-write and then they could use it on Linux. This is a win for Linux and shows that Microsoft do not have a monopoly on every market. They will have to improve the quality of their software and operating systems before everyone will trust it. That is the key. But they drastically changed the Windows interface in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. That has caused a less than stunning uptake of Windows 8 installations around the world. If even the crew of the ISS will not use Windows; then it looks like a bright future for Debian Linux.
A view of the now Linux powered International Space Station.
I am using Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 on my laptop and I got Apache2 and MySQL working very easily without any fuss. Much easier than setting up a web server on Windows. Unless you are using IIS on Windows 2008 or 2012. But Linux has a long heritage as a server operating system and this makes it a better choice. The nature of the scientific work carried out on the International Space Station requires a computer system that is very stable with long uptime. Linux is perfect for this; it is very stable by default. They use Scientific Linux as well as Debian; the various distributions are perfectly suited for certain tasks. Some other computers run the Red Hat Linux distribution. The Large Hadron particle collider that is run by CERN uses Linux and the robot on the ISS is also powered by a Linux distribution. The International Space Station crew will be trained by the Linux Foundation in the use of the Linux machines and they will then be able to run their experiments easily with a stable and reliable desktop OS that is easily programmable with the Python, Perl and C programming languages that are easily installed on Linux. The Universe that we inhabit is an amazing one with many sights out there that are worth the trip if we ever develop the technology to travel to other planets. Read more about our Universe here: http://www.securitronlinux.com/uncategorized/amazing-facts-about-the-universe-we-live-in/.
This is game-play footage of Half Life 2 running on Ubuntu 13.04. There are native binaries of Half Life 2 for Linux; this means that gamers all over the world can play this game without using Windows or WINE. A good win for open source software; the Ubuntu distribution is the easiest to use Linux desktop and gaming on this distribution would be easy and fast. Windows is still popular; but Linux is free and if it takes off; then Microsoft will not have such a monopoly on the desktop.
The Iron Man 3 movie showing off Sun Sparc server racks. This movie has some strange ideas about IP addresses; but the other things are pretty good. But this is obvious product placement. Below is a real Sun Oracle server for comparison with the server in the movie.
The Iron man 3 movie shows Tony Stark using a computer with IP addresses that have numbers greater than 255. This is not possible; the largest number you can have is 255.255.255.0 There is another scene where he is using Speedtest.net. This is a strange thing for a defense login screen to have. The main computer screen shows the IP address as 934.554.32.3. This is way outside the normal IP addresses that we see in everyday Internet usage. And if we are setting up our own Local Area Network where we might use IP addresses like 192.168.1.3 or 10.0.1.3. But this is a movie and they do not always have accurate portrayals of the usage and workings of computer networks. I think that the computer interface in this movie with the tabbed windows that allow the user to perform various tasks with the same window is pretty good though. It is very usable. TRON legacy had a very accurate depiction of the workings of the UNIX command-line; but the computers in Iron Man 3 are not using a UNIX based operating system as far as I could tell.
Iron Man 3 computer interface. This is showing the IP address that Tony Stark was accessing in the movie.
Tony Stark describes the satellite dishes on the top of the television broadcast van as “ISDN`s”, when ISDN uses a telephone line to provide a high-speed Internet connection rather like ADSL Internet does. The passwords used by the characters in the movie are not very complex either. You would think that people that are high up in the military would have more security than that. Sometimes the portrayal of how computer networks actually route data is very wrong in movies. Especially in the horrible movie “The Core”, this involved a virus that would get into any computer and website on the Internet and remove all mentions of certain information. This would be quite a feat to actually pull off. And how can the Iron Man suits actually fly? Are they using technology from alien civilizations? The whole arc reactor thing does not make much sense to me at all. The computer usage is one thing that is grating; they do not even show IP addresses that are within the proper range. It is a good thing that pepper survived her fall into the fire and becomes super pepper. She can destroy Iron Man suits with one hand. That is one strong woman.
The visudo command is used on Linux systems to edit the /etc/sudoers file; this ensures that there are no errors before the changes are written to the actual file. As you can see below; I have added my user homer to the sudoers file. This allows me to run commands with sudo; but will still ask for my users password before running the command.
# This file MUST be edited with the 'visudo' command as root.
# Please consider adding local content in /etc/sudoers.d/ instead of
# directly modifying this file.
# See the man page for details on how to write a sudoers file.
# Host alias specification
# User alias specification
# Cmnd alias specification
# User privilege specification
root ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL
# Allow members of group sudo to execute any command
%sudo ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL
homer ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL
# See sudoers(5) for more information on "#include" directives:
This is how you enable the sudo command for the normal user on Debian GNU/Linux 7.0. This is not very difficult at all; just make sure you NEVER edit the /etc/sudoers file with any other editor. Use the visudo command.
http://www.wowwiki.com/World_of_Warcraft_functionality_on_Wine. This posting has some information on how to get the World of Warcraft game working on Linux. The Linux launcher is no longer supported; so the WINE application is the only way to play WoW these days. With patch 5.3 on the way; the game is getting even more improvements and with these steps the Warcraft fans on Linux will not be left out in the cold. The artwork and graphics for this game are awesome; there are incredible wallpapers if you want to dress up your desktop with some fantasy fighters and creatures: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/media/wallpapers/. Running the game is better than looking at wallpapers and hopefully with this guide you will be able to play WoW on Linux and enjoy some medieval slashing and hacking action. I have never played this game before but it seems like something that I would really enjoy; the only thing is the time you would need to invest to build a character. But it would be a lot of fun to destroy Orcs and defend the existence of the Human race. The new king of the human city is the leader that will lead humanity out of darkness and into the light; but there must be war before we see the light.
The Orc will never be the owner of the kingdom; the Human race is too powerful for that.
I have just started using the Debian 7.0 distribution after installing it today on my laptop and it is an extremely good Linux distribution that has codecs already installed allowing the user to play Xvid and MP3 formats straight out of the box. The installation was quite painless; I had used up all of the other partitions on my laptop with Windows stuff; so I used the recovery partition instead. I just needed to resize a partition to make way for the swap partition and I was all set. The Gnome 3 desktop is very fast and usable; I had a look at a Red Hat Enterprise Linux desktop today and it was the old Gnome 2.32.2 desktop. That was a very nostalgic moment. But despite the dumbed down interface; it is very fast and usable when you are on a laptop. The Debian 7.0 distribution is easy to setup after installation. I only needed to enable the http repositories and then run apt-get update to update the repositories information.
This is what my /etc/apt/sources.list file looks like now.
# deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 7.0.0 _Wheezy_ - Official amd64 DVD Binary-1 20130504-14:44]/ wheezy contrib main
deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 7.0.0 _Wheezy_ - Official amd64 DVD Binary-1 20130504-14:44]/ wheezy contrib main
# wheezy-updates, previously known as 'volatile'
# A network mirror was not selected during install. The following entries
# are provided as examples, but you should amend them as appropriate
# for your mirror of choice.
deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-updates main contrib
deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy contrib main
deb-src http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-updates main contrib
And this is how to update the apt repository information on Debian based distributions.
root@neo:/home/homer/Documents# apt-get update
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 7.0.0 _Wheezy_ - Official amd64 DVD Binary-1 20130504-14:44] wheezy Release.gpg
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 7.0.0 _Wheezy_ - Official amd64 DVD Binary-1 20130504-14:44] wheezy Release
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 7.0.0 _Wheezy_ - Official amd64 DVD Binary-1 20130504-14:44] wheezy/contrib amd64 Packages/DiffIndex
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 7.0.0 _Wheezy_ - Official amd64 DVD Binary-1 20130504-14:44] wheezy/main amd64 Packages/DiffIndex
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 7.0.0 _Wheezy_ - Official amd64 DVD Binary-1 20130504-14:44] wheezy/contrib Translation-en_AU
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 7.0.0 _Wheezy_ - Official amd64 DVD Binary-1 20130504-14:44] wheezy/main Translation-en_AU
Get:1 http://http.us.debian.org wheezy Release.gpg [1,672 B]
Hit http://ftp.debian.org wheezy-updates Release.gpg
Get:2 http://http.us.debian.org wheezy Release [159 kB]
Hit http://ftp.debian.org wheezy-updates Release
Hit http://ftp.debian.org wheezy-updates/main Sources
Hit http://ftp.debian.org wheezy-updates/contrib Sources
Hit http://ftp.debian.org wheezy-updates/main amd64 Packages
Hit http://ftp.debian.org wheezy-updates/contrib amd64 Packages
Get:3 http://http.us.debian.org wheezy/contrib amd64 Packages [42.0 kB]
Get:4 http://http.us.debian.org wheezy/main amd64 Packages [5,846 kB]
Hit http://ftp.debian.org wheezy-updates/contrib Translation-en
Hit http://ftp.debian.org wheezy-updates/main Translation-en
Get:5 http://http.us.debian.org wheezy/contrib Translation-en [34.8 kB]
Get:6 http://http.us.debian.org wheezy/main Translation-en [3,851 kB]
Fetched 9,935 kB in 58s (170 kB/s)
Reading package lists... Done
Once this is done you will be able to install any software that you wish to add. I am in Australia; so this should be using Australian repositories; but it really does not matter. The only other thing that I needed to do was set the time and then mount my Windows partiton to access my music.
Gnome Shell time/date settings.
Setting up the Gnome desktop is very easy; but there are other desktops available. I could not find the E17 desktop; but Xfce4 and Lxde are alternatives that would make any desktop user happy.
These themes I am installing in this screenshot are very high quality GTK 3 themes that are perfect for your Gnome Shell desktop.The Greybird one is the theme that I am using at the moment. It looks very good indeed with a dark GTK theme and window decoration. Installing themes this way is easier than downloading them off the Internet and installing them only to find that they do not style GTK 3. There are countless GTK 2.0 themes that are very nice indeed, but not as many GTK 3.0 themes and this shows that the installation of GTK themes need not be difficult at all, that is what Linux is about.