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3D Printed ‘Robohand’ Replaces Lost Fingers for Cheap


Step past the hype and 3D printing’s most palpable perk is that it can make complex custom solutions that cost piles of dough affordable — say robotic limbs designed to replace lost ones that might otherwise be financially unattainable.

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Take 12-year-old Dylan Laas, missing his right hand because of something known as Amniotic Band Syndrome, a condition in which parts of the amniotic sack entrap and hamper the development of fetal body parts, most often appendages. Laas now uses a relatively inexpensive, arguably unprecedented hand prosthesis custom-crafted by a 3D printer. “It looks cool. It makes me look like Darth Vader,” Lass told AP.

Laas owes his new hand to South African Richard Van As, a carpenter who himself lost four fingers to a circular saw accident in May 2011. The most functionally advanced solution — a biomechanical prosthesis activated by the…

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Man Sports Polka-Dot Dress, Pink Wig For Bank Heist


A 50-year old Illinois man allegedly wore pink-and-purple polka dots and a pink wig for a bank robbery on Friday, just in time for New York Fashion Week.

The FBI said that the glamorous thief, Arnell Edwords, tried to fool the teller by speaking in a “high-pitched-squeaky voice” and then allegedly handed her a post-it note that said “STICK UP ALL MONEY,” according to The Smoking Gun. The teller gave him $1,537 and he walked away.

Police found the dress and wig near the bank and arrested Arnell at a friend’s apartment shortly afterwards.

Arnell also wore a rag over his face and sunglasses to complete the look.

[The Smoking Gun]

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Russia’s Syria Calculus: Behind Moscow’s Plan to Avert U.S. Missile Strikes


The notion of Syria giving up its chemical weapons, or at least putting them under foreign control, has long been on the table in the consultations between Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and his allies in Moscow. In the course of the civil war that has been raging in Syria for more than two years, “we discussed this possibility many times from many different angles,” says Russian diplomat Andrei Klimov. But it was only in the past week that both Russia and Syria realized that it was in both of their best interests.

Previously, Syria’s chemical weapons, which are largely based on Russian or Soviet technology, helped defend the Assad regime. “They have served as a certain deterrent against Israel,” says Leonid Kalashnikov, a member of the foreign-affairs committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament. Though Israel has conducted at least one air strike against Assad’s forces during the…

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The Latest Tech Frontier: Electronic License Plates


Imagine you’re driving down the highway when the license plate on the car in front of you starts to flash a message: “AMBER ALERT.” Rather than embossed metal letters, the plate is covered in electronic paper, like the faux pages of a Kindle. A signal, bounced off a cell tower, was received by the plate, which has a tiny lithium battery charged by the vibrations of the car. Law enforcement authorities made the call to beam that signal, and now you, the person behind this driver, know that the vehicle has been linked to a kidnapping.

Electronic license plates may be the next step in the digital reinvention of our everyday lives. A growing group of entrepreneurs and lawmakers want to upgrade the aluminum rectangles on our cars with more dynamic material. “It’s flowing forward,” says David Findlay of Compliance Innovations, a manufacturer of one prototype. But while states like California are…

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