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This 3D printer squirts out wet paper pulp – TechCrunch

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Like a kid shooting spitballs, designer Beer Holthuis has figured out that sopping wet paper is the best material for making mischief. His 3D printer, a primitive RepRap clone that literally squirts out huge lines of paper pulp, is designed to allow artists and designers to create more sustainable 3D objects.

According to 3DPrint.com, Holthuis was searching for material that wouldn’t create waste or increase plastic pollution. He settled on ground-up paper. By extruding the wet paper he is able to create a thick bead of pulp that he can then build up to create decorative objects.

“The design of the printed objects are using the possibilities and beauty of this technique,” said Holthuis. “The tactile experience, bold lines and print speed results in distinctive shapes. The objects are also durable: Printed paper is surprisingly strong.”

The interesting thing is that he uses natural binder to stick the layers together, ensuring that the entire system is recyclable. You could even feed paper into the machine and let it product the pulp automatically, thereby creating a self-feeding recycling system. Best of all, however, the objects look like something a super intelligent wasp colony would produce to trade with other cultures. Fascinating stuff.

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USAF taps Exosonic to develop supersonic combat training drone

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The US Air Force has awarded Exosonic a contract to develop a supersonic combat drone concept. The demonstrator vehicle will be used to demonstrate the technologies behind the quiet supersonic concept and to train pilots. The project will, among other things, help the USAF train its fighter pilots for potential future encounters with “near-peer adversaries.”

Low-boom supersonic technology is a hot topic at the moment, promising a rapid rate of travel without the loud booming noises typical of these aircraft. Exosonic will use its low-boom technologies to develop the demonstrater unmanned aerial vehicle for the USAF under a Direct to Phase II Small Business Innovation Research contract.

The company says this will be the USAF’s first purpose-built supersonic drone intended to help train pilots. Of note, the US Air Force is currently facing both a pilot shortage and training budget constraints, which has resulted in a lack of new fighter pilots that have been fully trained. The Exosonic UAV will be leveraged as a “mock adversary” for use during live flight training exercises for fighter pilots

Compared to existing live training processes, Exosonic says its low-boom supersonic drone will help the USAF train fighter pilots at a much lower cost while also reducing the wear and tear on existing aircraft. Beyond that, the company points out that using an unmanned drone as the faux adversary will free up pilots to focus on their own training rather than requiring them to spend time serving as the enemy in a training situation.

Beyond the USAF, Exosonic says that it can also leverage the unmanned drone for its own purposes, namely as a way to test its low-boom supersonic tech. The data from these flights may then help pave the way for a revision on regulations that limit overland supersonic flights, which are intended to prevent the public from being disrupted by the loud booming sounds.

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Apple adds more ports and a notch to 2021 MacBook Pro

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For a while, the MacBook’s disappearing ports were something of a meme among the I/O enthusiasts of the world. However, with today’s new MacBook reveal, Apple has reversed course, announcing that it’s actually adding ports to the new MacBook Pro. In addition, it looks like the display on the 2021 MacBook Pro is taking a design cue from modern iPhones, picking up a notch it can call its own.

The ports on the new MacBook Pro may not be able to challenge the port-heavy laptops of yesteryear, but there’s still some good stuff here. On the right side of the device, we’ll see an HDMI port, a Thunderbolt 4 port, and an SDXC card slot. In addition, we get two more Thunderbolt 4 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack that supports high-impedance headphones on the left side. While the headphone jack departed iPhones years ago, it looks like we’re still getting one on the 2021 MacBook Pro.

Apple says these port selections are enough to connect two Pro Display XDRs on the M1 Pro-based MacBook, while the M1 Max-based MacBook will connect to three Pro Display XDRs and a 4K display. In addition to those ports, the new MacBook Pro will feature a MagSafe 3 port for charging.

If you look closely at the main image at the top of this article, you’ll also see that the MacBook Pro display has a notch for the first time. Of course, iPhone users are already well familiar with the notch, but Apple decided to employ it in the MacBook Pro to cut back on the borders around the display while still providing a space for the front-facing camera.

It’s certainly a little strange at first, though the presence of a notch does give a nice space for the menu bars in apps and Finder to nestle into. We’ll find out if the notch is a distraction or if the smaller borders around the screen make a noticeable difference soon enough, as the new MacBook Pro will be launching in 14-inch and 16-inch varieties next week.

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MacOS Monterey release date and requirements

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Your Apple computer will soon get a significant update to the latest version of macOS, the company’s desktop operating system. This latest version is macOS Monterey, and it’ll be available for almost every Apple desktop computer all the way back to late 2013. You’ll find the new MacBook Pro 14 and 16-inch machines running this software right out of the box next week.

If you have a macOS computer at home, you’ll find an upgrade awaiting you on October 25. That’s assuming the macOS Monterey release date (of October 25, 2021) fits with your machine’s build. The eldest Mac that’ll get this update is the “Late 2013” version of the Mac Pro.

If you have a Mac Pro from late 2013 or later, you’ll get macOS Monterey at launch. You’ll find the same is true of the Late 2014 and later Mac mini, and the early 2015 and later MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. If you have an early 2016 or later version of the MacBook, you’ll get this upgrade. So will late 2015 and older iMac machines. You’ll be set with an update if you have an iMac Pro released in 2017 or later.

If you’re unfamiliar with the contents of macOS Monterey at this point, take a peek at our timeline of features below. Keys to this next upgrade to the OS include the release of Shortcuts support, Focus Mode, and Universal Control. If you’re planning on buying a new mobile device from Apple soon, you’ll want this upgrade for your macOS machine as well.

Some features in this operating system update will require specific hardware to operate. For example if you’re using an Intel machine, some new features won’t function. Meanwhile, since you’re using an Apple machine, no further investigation into hardware requirements is needed outside of the release date of your machine from Apple to access whether you’re able to download and run this new OS – easy as can be.

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