Friday, September 21, 2012

Spam and Other Sludge...

I see the spammers are busy again on the comments section. As near as we can tell, most — almost all — of this stuff comes from China. If I were a betting person, I'd say these are test and/or practice runs from Chinese infowar guys, maybe something those guys do when they're sitting at their terminals and bored. It runs in waves and the posts constantly shift just enough to slip by our junk filters. Annoying as crap, and, if one thinks about it, slightly more sinister. So my apologies...I'll delete them as I catch them.

And speaking of war, I get it that Apple is at war with Google. That said, the new version of Safari (6.0) really, really sucks hard. Apple eliminated the Google Search window in favor of some supposedly do-it-all window that actually does nothing well. Yes, it can be fixed with a free applet, which I have done, (and yes, I have lots of browsers...Firefox and Opera are arguably more annoying than Safari) but as structured it is nearly completely worthless. Thank you, Apple! May your development division be hounded by Chinese spam crap.

There is an very interesting interview with Paul Barrett, author GLOCK: The Rise of America's Gun, in the Los Angeles Review of Books. It is certainly no secret that I have serious reservations about the book, and Mr. Barrett, whom I know personally, and I have had our issues. Still, this is an excellent interview for several highlights the huge gap between our side and their side, in many ways the absence of a "common language." LOL! Definitely worth reading.

In other world-changing news, Defense Distributed has come up with enough cash to continue their Open Source project for a handgun that can be "printed" from a 3-D printer. This from Forbes, which is worried:
The Wiki Weapon Project, hosted by a group that calls itself Defense Distributed, set out in July with the goal of raising enough money to hold a design competition among 3D-printable software models for a working gun capable of firing at least a single .22 caliber bullet that can be printed on a relatively cheap RepRap 3D printer.
As your basic nerd-boi, I find this fascinating! Wired Magazine is also reporting that MakerBot is bringer new inexpensive 3-D printers to the market with expanded features:
This is MakerBot’s Macintosh moment. Just as nearly 30 years ago Apple made desktop publishing mainstream, the aim with the Replicator 2 is to take something new to the masses: desktop manufacturing.
Indeed! Finally a Star Trek replicator for the masses! Well, not quite. I have talked to both individuals and companies using printing technology on firearms, including the guys (HaveBlue) who "printed" AR-15 receivers, and yes, they followed all applicable laws. It is not illegal to build your own gun. This from the ATF FAQ website:
Q: Does the GCA prohibit anyone from making a handgun, shotgun or rifle?  
With certain exceptions a firearm may be made by a non-licensee provided it is not for sale and the maker is not prohibited from possessing firearms. However, a person is prohibited from assembling a non-sporting semi-automatic rifle or non-sporting shotgun from imported parts. In addition, the making of an NFA firearm requires a tax payment and approval by ATF. An application to make a machine gun will not be approved unless documentation is submitted showing that the firearm is being made for a Federal or State agency. [18 U.S.C. 922(o) and (r), 26 U.S.C. 5822, 27 CFR 478.39, 479.62 and 479.105]
I know some of you might think this is a weird analogy, but just as desktop publishing was the "killer app" that shoved laser printers into the mainstream, and — heaven help us all! — pornography was certainly one of the "killer apps" in the early days of the Internet, I wonder whether weapons might be one of the "killer apps" (forgive the inevitable pun) that drives 3-D much as I'd love to print my own little green tractor, the concept of a modern day "Liberator" pistol is indeed fascinating. A point we've made for years is that guns are really old technology, and not particularly complicated at that.


nj_larry said...

Typewriters and mimeograph machines were the property of the KGB. Samizdat was hunted down and the traffickers arrested. The NSA records every single bit that fluxs across the wires or ether. Nothing goes unrecorded. Folks don't even know that every printer is required to embed serial number pixels on every piece of paper that goes thru them. That copy machines save every image to hard disk or NVRAM. long do you think it will take the bureaucratic minds to require embedding unique ids in every part printed on a 3D machine? And that the manufacturer records said id and first sale? That the stereo goo possess micro/nano particles like explosives? Passing the info along to the gov't. Going into the "records". Totally outside of the 2A.

We live in a dystopian world. No longer can you expect privacy in your home or outside. The 3D guns will achieve what? Convenience? Yeah but don't expect that somehow it will circumvent government awareness. Nor traceability. In fact the "old technology" of stamping serial numbers on guns is just that. Old technology. The government does not need it anymore. In time the gun manufacturers will be like rotary phone makers. Artifacts from a different age. But the government will have all they need. That is what makes them the government.

Kristophr said...

Not infowar.

Wages are low enough in Chaina that a tiny fraction of a percent of a penny for each spam is a big deal.

One of the things I liked about running my own webserver was being able to edit my htmlaccess file, and just not allow IPs in China to load the page.

Anonymous said...

The only things that will currently pose a problem with "printed" guns is, depending on the polymer , the need to press in a steel barrel sleeve and the ability of the printed parts to serve as impact parts like hammers/strikers.
Springs would also have to come from another source and no gun since the "handgunne" has functioned with out springs.
Tom B.

Kristophr said...

Tom B.:

The barrel does not need to be metal.

A plastic barrel ( or even a hole through a solid block of plastic ) will fire a single .22lr round safely, which was the criteria they had.

Chas Clifton said...

Don't know about China — my spam seems mostly to originate in the Philippines.