British Engineers Build and Fly First Printed Aircraft

  • Engineers in the UK have designed, built and flown a model aircraft, the entire structure of which has been printed (including its two-meter wings, control surfaces and access hatches).
  • The Southampton University Laser Sintered Aircraft unmanned air vehicle (UAV) was printed layer by layer on an EOS EOSINT P730 nylon laser sintering machine.
  • The electric vehicle, the first of its kind to be completely printed, is capable of a top speed of nearly 100 miles per hour.
  • “The flexibility of the laser sintering process allows the design team to re-visit historical techniques and ideas that would have been prohibitively expensive using conventional manufacturing,” says University of Southampton professor Jim Scanlon. “This type of structure was initially developed by Barnes Wallis and famously used on the Vickers Wellington bomber which first flew in 1936. This form of structure is very stiff and lightweight, but very complex. If it was manufactured conventionally it would require a large number of individually tailored parts that would have to be bonded or fastened at great expense.”
  • “This is a great example of what 3D printers are making possible,” comments ETCentric staffer George Gerba.

MPAA Wins Piracy Case Against UK File-Sharing Site

  • Britain’s High Court ruled in favor of Hollywood studios on Thursday, forcing Internet service provider British Telecom to block access to the Newzbin2 website, a hub for pirated media content.
  • Newzbin2 has more than 700,000 users, and opened last spring after its predecessor, Newzbin, was shut down by court order. The members-only site aggregates illegally copied material found on Usenet discussion forums.
  • “In my judgement it follows that BT has actual knowledge of other persons using its service to infringe copyright,” said Justice Arnold in his ruling. “It knows that the users and operators of Newzbin2 infringe copyright on a large scale, and in particular infringe copyrights of the studios in large numbers of their films and television programs. It knows that the users of Newzbin2 include BT subscribers and it knows those users use its service to receive infringing copies of copyright works made available to them by Newzbin2.”
  • The suit was hailed as a victory for creative industries by the Motion Picture Association, which repped the studios in the suit. The ruling marks an important precedent, opening the doors for copyright holders to call on ISPs to help prevent infringement.
  • Chris Marcich, MPAA president and managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa said: “This ruling from Justice Arnold is a victory for millions of people working in the U.K. creative industries and demonstrates that the law of the land must apply online.”

British Investigators to Use 3D Laser Technology at Crash Sites

  • BBC News reports that police in the UK are planning to use new laser scanners at the location of serious motor vehicle accidents to create 3D images of the sites and, in turn, clear the roads more quickly for other motorists.
  • It is expected that the technology will save the time required to “painstakingly log everything at the scene” and will save the economy hundreds of thousands of pounds each year.
  • The 3D laser technology uses a special tripod-mounted scanner that records a 360-degree image of the crash site down to a resolution of less than one millimeter. Each sweep takes about four minutes.
  • ETCentric contributor Phil Lelyveld comments: “This technology could be useful for location scouting for 3D shoots, as well as recording positions for later reshoots.”

News Corp. Scandal May Impact BSkyB Acquisition

  • New allegations have emerged that News of the World, a British paper owned by News Corp., illegally hacked into and tampered with the voicemails of crime victims, including a kidnapped 13-year-old girl.
  • The allegations arrive just as News Corp. was poised to acquire BSkyB, the largest pay TV service in Britain.
  • British regulators have yet to give final approval to the deal, which has already taken 13 months due to complicated regulatory hurdles.
  • It is unclear whether the growing scandal will affect its fate. However, Prime Minister David Cameron said the allegations are a “separate issue” from the regulatory process.

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