[ExI] The Coming War on General Computation

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Fri Jan 20 21:57:36 UTC 2012

On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 7:22 AM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 04, 2012 at 03:22:40AM -0800, Ben Zaiboc wrote:
>> We now risk a world where no-one is allowed to make an MPU without built-in
>> mechanisms for surveillance and control.  General-purpose computing would
>> become a thing of the past, and anyone who tried to build one would be a
>> criminal.  Free software, of course, would be dead in the water.
> We do have open hardware, and the means of production are
> slowly but surely coming to individuals and small groups.
> Rapid prototyping goes beyond just extruding blobby polymers.
> E.g. consider http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/silver-ink-solution-for-cheaper-faster-flexible-circuits-54967

That is RAD!!! Literally. :-)

> then think Memjet and http://www.technologyreview.com/printer_friendly_article.aspx?id=38973

Wow, that's breath taking.

> Even considering MIPS and SPARC, there are much simpler
> systems possible http://excamera.com/sphinx/fpga-j1.html

It might be fun to build neural networks out of a bunch of these...
there may be better simpler solutions for that, but it seems this
would be highly reconfigurable. Of course, I could be totally off
track here, as the FPGA technology isn't something I've played with,
only heard a little about.

> Future serial additive nanolithography will have a lot more
> in common with inkjet and dip pen printing than semiconductor
> photolitho on giant wafers we do today.

Possibly. Is there a limit to how small you can print? Photo
lithography makes very small components, and it seems like it would be
difficult to print things that small. Mind you this wouldn't
disqualify it for every application by any means. You don't need all
that much computation for lots of interesting applications.

I really enjoyed the Wired article recently on printing with ice.
Imagine printing something out of ice, then covering the ice with a
mold material, then you could cast it in bronze or similar. Would be a
lot easier than the current wax techniques used in jewelry shops, for

There is a local company that is sells a 2d cutter for paper
scrapbooking and have now branched out into cake decorations, this
company has a web site at www.cricut.com so this shows at the very
least that there is demand out there if you market it carefully. A
three dimensional printer using cake frosting would probably be quite
popular around here. LOL.

Fun post Eugen!! I think 3D and other novel printers have a great future.


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