How to Email a Wrench to the International Space Station

From Backchannel:
My colleagues and I just 3D-printed a ratcheting socket wrench on the International Space Station by typing some commands on our computer in California. We had overheard ISS Commander Barry Wilmore (who goes by “Butch”) mention over the radio that he needed one, so we designed one in CAD and sent it up to him faster than a rocket ever could have. This is the first time we’ve ever “emailed” hardware to space.

We founded Made In Space, Inc. to design and build the first 3D printer for space. Our first printer was launched to the space station in September, and it printed its first object in November.

The socket wrench we just manufactured is the first object we designed on the ground and sent digitally to space, on the fly. It also marks the end of our first experiment—a sequence of 21 prints that together make up the first tools and objects ever manufactured off the surface of the Earth. (The other 20 objects were designed before the printer flew to the space station.)

Make Some Noise with Our New Year's Eve Noise Maker App

2014 is quickly drawing to a close with less than two weeks to go until the Gregorian calendar ticks off another year. And aGupieWare's exclusive New Year's Eve Noise Maker app is available from the App Store for just $0.99.  The app plays numerous New Year's Eve sounds and songs. Irritate ears with the sound of a horn. Twist brains with the twirler sound. Perform an ensemble of the instruments above, or play the classic New Year's song "Auld Lang Syne." Bring the noise!

Go To The Dough: "Doughbot" App Finds Donut Shops For You

In such confusing and complex times, it can be difficult to find places in which to take solace.  Which is why it's very important that there is a new app geared exclusively to helping you find donuts.

Full of woe?  Look to the dough.
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Known as (what else?) Doughbot, the pastry-seeking program will provide the nearest donut-slinging shop with a simple swipe.  More thorough directions including GPS, as well as reviews and photos, can be had with merely a tap.  Sweet sugary goodness is closer than you think.

Doughbot is available for iPod and iPad, and is not responsible for any excessive donut-based weight the user acquires.

First mission: locate this donut Valhalla.
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A Shot In The Dark, Or Right On The Mark? DARPA Invents Bullets That Can Hunt You Down

It worked for missiles, and now, it's coming to a .50 caliber...hopefully not anywhere you're on the receiving end of.

According to Business Insider, the United States' Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has created a bullet that is able to change its own path in flight, like a Super Mario villain come to life.  This would not just account for windage and other riflery considerations, but also could be made to seek out a specific target that has moved or taken cover.

Next up:  military-grade raccoon suits?
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What?  How?  The bullets use optical sensors embedded in their nosecones, which use in-flight information to determine whether their onboard electronically-operated fins should be deployed to change the projectile's course.

Known as EXACTO, for “Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordinance”, the project's mission will be “developing more accurate military artillery that will enable greater firing range, minimize the time required to engage with targets, and also help reduce missed shots that can give away the troops’ location.”

That's no excuse to slack on your marksmanship, though.  These new bullets should work well for snipers, but you never know when some good old fashioned-style targeting skills will come to your aid.

Curse the thought of losing any of your high-stakes games of Rifle-Tac-Toe.
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Snowed In? Bust Out With The New "Plowz & Mowz" App

'Tis the season to be jolly...and that probably means not having to worry about shoveling the piles of snow away from your door/garage/driveway/upstairs windows (if you live in someplace like Canada.)  Now, a new app can help not only with organizing snowplow providers, but also for cutting your lawn on that beautiful, beautiful day when it becomes springtime again.

You tried.  Now leave it to the pros.
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The Plowz & Mowz apps are straightforward and useful.  Simply schedule a plow or mowing appointment for a desired day with the available providers, then securely set up payments to make sure you don't end up looking like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining."  Realtime updates confirm that it's once again safe to navigate the ski slope that your driveway had become.

Nonprofessional snow shoveling is no joke.
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The Mowz element also includes leaf removal, just in case you never got a chance to get all that dead stuff off your lawn before the layers of snow fell.  No word on if you can act now and be ready for next spring.

Those who would like to lend their services as a provider of the plow/mow trade can learn more about signing up here.  Best of luck in your battle against the forces of nature!

Now doesn't that feel better?
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Multi-Partnered? Handle All Of Your Hookups With New "Poly Life" App

Is one love not enough for your life?  Do you prefer the company of numerous committed partners despite society saying that such relationships are unrealistic, inappropriate, or greedy?  Now, you can navigate the sexy sea of polyamory with a new app designed to provide simple solutions for keeping your complex love life in line.

If you can't even remember all their names, how are you going to remember whose date night it is?
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According to, an anonymous developer has created the Poly Life app to focus on two important polyamorous goals:  meeting new people and scheduling when you can sleep with them.  Separate calendars can be created for each partner, and the "relationship manager" feature keeps careful tabs on who you deem an emotional partner, a physical partner, and any variations in between.

"No, don't shoot him with a heart-capturing arrow.  Just shoot him with a 'brain and also those hot biceps'-capturing arrow."
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The social networking element of the app is designed to allow poly couples or prospective poly enthusiasts to meet each other and discuss the nature of their lifestyle outside of the judgmental (or jealous) conventional social media outlets.  Shareable to-do lists, group texting options, meetup location ideas, and other important organizational elements are also included.  And with more than one lover, you'll likely need all of them.

The Poly Life is available for iOS, though unfortunately it is not polyamorously compatible with Android as well.  But if you need serious planning for your "polycule" circle of special friends, this is much more efficient than wearing name tags at an orgy.

And in a few years, perhaps you'll be able to use Poly Life to sync all of  your sex robots!
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Strawberry Trees Forever: New Public, Solar-Powered Cell Chargers In Serbia

We all know and hate the feeling...during a busy day on the town, after using maps, apps, and countless texts on your smartphone, the inescapable dread of watching the battery drop to critical levels sets in.  If you're lucky, you have a charger on you, and can beg some power from a local bartender or the rare unoccupied coffee shop outlet.  But this is the future, and now there's a better way to handle these things.

This is what hitting rock bottom as an "Angry Birds" addict looks like.
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Behold, the Strawberry Tree.  According to CNN, the Strawberry Tree is solar-powered public charging station that was developed by Serbian student Milos Milisavljevicwho has an eye for clean technology.  After winning the Verge Accelerate startup competition, the invention has now spread to various cities and towns throughout Serbia.

Entirely solar powered and built from recycled/recyclable materials, the Strawberry Trees contain enough power to continue their charge mission even if it hasn't been sunny in twenty days.  Sixteen USB and wi-fi plugs allow for power for the masses.

You never have to boredly keep an eye on your children playing in the park, ever again!
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The Strawberry Tree, named for the first fruit of summer, also cares about your well-being.  Its chargers indicate local amounts of air pollution, noise levels, and UV radiation.  Plans in the future could include even more localized environmental data.  Plus, it is there for you in an emergency.  As Milisavljevic says, "Strawberry Tree could have an emergency button which would send a signal to emergency services that you are in danger, and in any kind of a disaster, for example if the power grid is down, the Tree would be the place where you could call for help and get in touch with your loved ones."

The future is for everyone, and now its technology has become a little more helpful to the common person. Just try not to spend a whole nice sunny day in the park messing around on your phone.

Old wonders and new can coexist peacefully in this new future.
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