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Japanese 3D-Printed Gun Maker Is Sentenced To Two Years In Jail

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Yoshitomo Imura, an employee at the Shonan Institute of Technology in Japan, was arrested last may for printing and firing a 3D-printed gun called the ZigZag. He printed three guns in total and was arrested for running afoul of Japan’s strict gun laws.

The prosecutors warned that Imura’s actions were a threat and felt he was “flaunting” his skill. They wrote:

“This has shown that anyone can illegally manufacture guns with a 3D printer, flaunting their knowledge and skill, and it is an offense to make our country’s strict gun controls into a dead letter,” stated Presiding Judge Koji Inaba.

Imura claimed he didn’t know about the laws associated with 3D printing guns but, it seems, the Japanese courts have made him an example.

via 3DPrint

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The Future Of AI Will Be Stacked

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Editor’s note: Rick Collins is the president for enterprise business at Next IT, creators of the Alme virtual assistant platform. Prior to joining Next IT, he served as director of business development for Microsoft.

We are entering an exciting period for artificial intelligence. We’re seeing more consumer impacting developments and breakthroughs in AI technology than ever before. And as Nova Spivack recently argued, it’s reasonable to expect that major players like Apple, IBM, Google and Microsoft, among others, will lead a fierce consolidation effort for the AI market over the next five years.

Indeed, it has already begun.

No doubt these efforts will produce some amazing innovation, and I’m excited to see how Siri, Google Now, Cortana, Watson, and even new entrants like Viv continue to progress and transform our interactions with technology.

However, I also believe these all-encompassing virtual personal assistant projects (VPA), and the race…

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With $2 Million In Funding, Indicative Ushers In Era Of Low Cost Hosted Analytics

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

After nine months in a secret beta and a public launch in September, Indicative co-founders and serial entrepreneurs Jeremy Levy and Andrew Weinreich have managed to sew up $2 million in financing for their new company tackling the problem of how to provide low-cost analytics easy to use analytics software for web and mobile companies.

There have been over 50 companies launched that are targeting the broad “analytics market in 2014 alone, according to data from CrunchBase, but what Levy and Weinreich say sets their company apart is their ability to integrate data storage and analytics to give any user the ability to query and interpret data in an incredibly easy-to-use manner.

“We built a proprietary data store that allows us to store data very cheaply,” says Levy. “[And] we built proprietary visualization tools which are designed to be incredibly easy to use.”

For the two men, getting answers…

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Mark Zuckerberg is the latest tech giant to buy (part of) an island

Originally posted on Quartz:

The Hawaiian island of Kauai’s newest landowner is Mark Zuckerberg. The Facebook CEO bought a small fraction of the archipelago’s fourth-largest island, snapping up 700 acres of the island’s 552 square miles. Zuckerberg reportedly spent more than $100 million for his share of the island, which will become his personal retreat.

Private islands are a relatively common place for billionaires and celebrities to park cash, especially if they’re American. There’s even a helpful guide (pdf) for those in the market. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison owns 98% of another Hawaiian island, Lanaii, which he bought for $300 million and is trying to transform it into a high-end, environmentally sustainable resort. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen owned 292-acre Allan Island off the US’s Washington state coast until Dec. 2013, when he sold it for $8 million.

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Surprisingly, it doesn’t cost as much as you might think to buy land surrounded by water. Islands themselves can cost anywhere…

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Why would anyone ever need to send a video message with Skype Qik?

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

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I don’t think I’m supposed to feel old at 22. There’s some rule about saving that sentiment for later years, when various body parts start to fail and doctors have to probe places I’d rather they wouldn’t. But when I consider applications like Skype Qik, a short-video messaging service for mobile devices, I can’t help but think of them the same way baby boomers think of Snapchat.

Qik is supposed to help Skype survive the shift to mobile devices. The app allows its users to share short videos with their friends who can respond to them in kind, creating a video chat filmed in staccato instead of being shot all at once. It’s supposed to be more convenient than Skype’s main service, I guess, and convince people that it can compete in mobile messaging.

The Verge describes Skype’s thinking behind Qik in its (positive) report on the application:

‘We’re responding to…

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Just what was America’s top-secret space drone doing up there?

Originally posted on Quartz:

America’s top-secret space drone is coming home today after a record 22 months in orbit—and we have no idea how it spent its time up there.

The X-37B, made by Boeing for the US Air Force, is catnip for space fans, but despite lots of public interest and plenty of speculation, we know next to nothing about the futuristic craft.

“Unfortunately, because the X-37B program is highly classified, our contract stipulates that we not discuss the program publicly,” a Boeing spokesperson told Quartz last year.  “We in fact have never done any interview on this program, on or off the record.”

The space plane—at 30 ft. long, it’s about a quarter of the size of the space shuttle—is launched on top of a rocket, but can fly back to earth and land, just as the shuttle could. But what has it been doing up there in the meantime?

For a…

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