Category Archives: Technology

News in the wide world of technology

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US Senator Calls For Regulation of 3D Printed Guns

By Drew Wilson

The Liberator may have given gun enthusiasts a huge boost in confidence, but the 3D printable gun may also be attracting unwanted attention for 3D printing enthusiasts as well. Right now, a US Senator is calling for regulating 3D printed guns.

Last Thursday, we reported on the US government censoring content on DEFCAD.org, a website that contains certain kinds of object files for 3D printing. The move was sparked when someone successfully 3D printed a fully functional handgun called the “Liberator”.

The successful fabrication and subsequent raid by authorities generated two unprecedented traffic spikes to the website according to Alexa.

Of course, as we predicted in the previous report, the removal of certain files from the website didn’t stop the distribution of the files by any stretch of the imagination. The general wisdom is that once it hits the web, it pretty much stays on the web. Copied of the Liberator have been floating around numerous cyberlockers as well as BitTorrent website The Pirate Bay.

Now, the government might make an additional move on 3D printed guns. According to CBS, US senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) wants to find a way to track these unregulated guns. From the report:

“Terrorists can make these guns and do some horrible things to an individual and then walk away scott-free, and that is something that is really dangerous,” said Yee.

He said while this new technology is impressive, it must be regulated when it comes to making guns. He says background checks, requiring serial numbers and even registering them could be part of new legislation that he says will protect the public.

Yee added, “This particular gun has no trace whatsoever.”

The report goes on to say that M & J Gun Trade will be fighting the possible regulation saying, through a spokesperson, that “It’s just another way to try and block gun owners”.

I think that if you asked observers of technology 10 years ago if the gun lobby would also work to help protect the distribution of content online as well as keep new technology unregulated, I don’t think very many people would say they would because the gun lobby and Internet freedom advocates work in completely separate areas – and different parts of the US constitution. Yet, here we are today seeing the gun lobby try to prevent the regulation of 3D printed guns. Interesting times indeed.

Update: The press secretary has contacted us and explained that his comments about regulation was directed at the manufacturing of the guns themselves, not 3D printers:

While Senator Yee is looking into the matter of guns manufactured by 3D printers, he is not, nor does he intend, to push for the registration of 3D printers.

We have amended the article to reflect these comments.

This article was published yesterday on ZeroPaid.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85

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US Government Censors DEFCAD Website

By Drew Wilson

3D printing has been around for a while, but with the possibility of printing a gun, there’s been a very contentious debate surrounding the technology. Now, the US government has stepped in and taken down content.

The technology can print many interesting things such as human body parts, plastic figurines and even an entire building. Some, such as myself, have already seen the technology and wondered if we’ll witness the same kinds of debates we’ve seen with music and file-sharing all over again.

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Mega Defends its Cryptographic System

By Drew Wilson

Mega was able to open with a bang as an untold number of users rushed to create accounts on opening day – so much so that the traffic ultimately brought down the website for about 48 hours for some users. Now that the website is up and running, some are criticizing the websites security. With these criticisms circulating on some outlets, Mega has opted to post some clarifications.

It seems that the opening few weeks for Mega hasn’t been entirely smooth. Of course, with just about any start-up, that isn’t really much of a surprise especially when the start-up deals with something complex like modern security measures. Still, with so much attention directed to the new site, it might not be a surprise that it would be under such heavy scrutiny in the first place. Let’s dig into some of the latest on this front of the website.

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New Mega Website Experiences Mega Traffic Surge

By Drew Wilson

It was a much anticipated launch – Kim Dotcom’s new website “Mega” opened its doors today to much fanfare. While the website was greeted with positive reviews amongst outlets that were able to get an early sneak peak, the grand opening to the public caused such a surge in traffic, the load more or less brought the website down to its knees.

It’s probably one of the best problems a website administrator could ever hope for. On opening, the website gets inundated with so much traffic, it brings the website down to its knees. Our attempts to access Mega proved fruitless as we were greeted with server timeouts from the excess load. Of course, such a problem tends to be a temporary problem as either administrators work the servers to better handle such a load or the traffic dies down after a while.

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