When a disruptive technology is about to bloom, lawyers get nervous. This has been the case with 3-D printers, but there is one project that it pushing the boundaries: Defense Distributed. Defense Distributed wants to make the “WikiWeapon,” which will be a file. But, it’s the implications of this file that makes this feel like the Crypto Revolution as told by Steven Levy. Eventually, with this file and a 3-D printer, one could print all of the mechanical components for a gun.
But according to this article, Stratasys, whose 3-D printer Defense Distributed wanted to use, pulled out on the deal citing a legal “gray area.” This is the gray area that reads like a Cyberpunk story. In fact, this sounds a lot like Bruce Sterling’s Kiosk. I hope that Defense Distributed is successful. It’s not that I want to live in Revolution-like world (ok, that doesn’t really work but I’m loving that new tv-show, at least until HIMYM Season 7 is available on Netflix), but 3-D printing and Open-source Hardware stands to change our cultural DNA, just like open-source software has. Honestly, it’s not even about the guns, because Defense Distributed wants to make the recipe, which could make a gun. Just like someone could publish a book, or a blog post, on how to make a gun, or model airplane or whatever.
On the return trip from my Austrian hiking adventure I stopped over in Munich to partake in some authentic experiences: drink eine Maß Bier in a Biergarten, practice speaking German, and grab the German edition of WIRED. Ok, the last one might not be on everybody’s list, but it was third on mine.
The second edition of WIRED.de is available in German kiosks and it has all the great features of the U.S. WIRED magazine: creative typography, cross-discipline technological articles, and a touch of cyberpunk, but with German seasoning and some unique additions. The zweite edition weighs in at 138 pages, slightly longer than the latest U.S. edition with a Steve Jobs cover article at 122 pages. The first edition was released back in September 2011.
WIRED.de has the same great infographics as its U.S. partner. In a hilarious and informative two-page spread (see picture), WIRED compares over 40 religions positions on various sinful activities, like gambling and sex. Jainism appears the most restrictive and New Age the most liberal… if you’re into that kind of stuff…
A welcome addition was a comic of the fall of Kim Dotcom. Six pages of sharp illustrations made for an enjoyable mix-up from normal articles, one that I would be happy to see in the U.S. version. They also had great articles on a bionic eyeball webcam, advertisements for a McLaren and a great feature on the struggle of the open web.
My only complaint is that it appears difficult to obtain in the U.S.! Kiosk distribution in German-speaking countries seems to be the primary mechanism, but they also have an iPad app (you might have to use the VPN trick to get on the German app store). I guess I’ll just have to go back to pick up the third issue, although that habit may become expensive over time…