January 22, 2013

Building to be built using a 3D printer

Filed under: Design,Technology by Orangemaster @ 10:36 am

Designed by Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Universe Architecture in Amsterdam, this möbius strip of a house, has a ‘coiled, acrobatic form, with double-curved walls and twisting floor plates, which could be impossible to build using conventional concrete construction methods’. However, Ruijssenaars says he could build or in any case theoretically build his home using a 3D printer.

Created for the European design competition, which highlights the work of young designers, the ‘Landscape House’ was designed by Ruijssenaars with the help of artist and mathematician Rinus Roelofs, and could be built as early 2014.

(Links and photo: www.architizer.com, techcrunch.com)

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March 20, 2007

Computers learn to talk to each other

Filed under: IT by Branko Collin @ 8:25 am

When a PC talks to a printer, the PC has to know in advance how to address the printer and what the printer is saying.

On March 21, PhD student Jurriaan van Diggelen will defend a thesis that suggests a system where ‘agents’ (autonomous computer programs that act on behalf of a user) learn to communicate with other agents on their own. Such self-learning software could for instance be used to search the Internet for cheap holiday packages, collecting the necessary information from the servers of travel agents, airlines, hotels and so on, even though the program would initially not know how to talk to these servers.

The thesis is called Achieving Semantic Interoperability in Multi-Agent Systems (PDF). Via Web Wereld.

Van Diggelen tested his theories with a sophisticated RSS agregator. He identifies a translation problem: different systems know about the same concepts, but give them different names. The agent has to learn the names that apply to the same concept. A second problem is one of specialisation: “So you don’t know about ‘football’, but do you know about ‘sports’?”. The aggregator could reply “Yes,” and provide a more generic answer than it was looking for, but still one that could be presented to the user.

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March 17, 2007

Get a free printer thanks to poor usability

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 2:02 pm

This week, smart surfers were able to trick the website of Wehkamp.nl into sending them a free printer after cancelling their order for a PC. When ordering a PC, Wehkamp.nl would throw in a free printer. The trick consisted in taking out the order for the PC from the shopping cart and still getting the free printer home delivered. To make sure the order was actually delivered, all one had to do was buy something cheap. The smarties score themselves a printer worth 70 euro.

Of course, Wehkamp.nl has removed the special offer from their site.


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