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  1. MakerBot Announces New 3D Digitizer That Allows You to Scan and Print Pretty Much Whatever You’d Like

    Man, 3D printing keeps getting more and more popular! The tech keeps getting better, so it makes sense that its popularity should rise as well. Soon everyone will have their very own 3D printer. You'll be able  3D print your friends, your pet, maybe even yourself! But until that day, let's consider MakerBot's new Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner, which lets you duplicate a dirty garden gnome, or at least whatever fits inside its scanning frame.

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  2. Finally: A Barcode Scanner for Zebras

    Ok, not exactly a barcode scanner, but close enough. A new system called StripeSpotter allows researchers to automatically catalogue and identify zebras based off their markings alone. Here's how it works: using a digital image of a zebra, the user defines an area on the zebra. From this, the software creates a "StripeString," a sequence of white and black bands. Put enough of these strings together and you have a "StripeCode," a unique identifier for each zebra, which is entered into a database. By comparing the ratio of white to black in the StripeCode, the system can differentiate between animals with great accuracy. StripeSpotter can also identify other animals that have pronounced patterns in few colors, such as giraffes and tigers. Now, this may not be useful to everyday folk like you and me, but I think we can all agree that it's about time this technology existed. With barcode history going back more than 60 years, we can finally scan a zebra as we would a six pack of beer. (via New Scientist, image via ShutterStock)

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  3. The Building Made from Thousands of Books

    Slovakian-born artist Matej Kren designed this dizzying structure made of thousands of books as an installation for Bologna's Museum of Modern Art.

    Titled Scanner, the narrowness of the piece, which is large enough for people to walk through and which is lined with mirrors, is meant to "evoke a sensation of sublime terror, an alteration referring to a puzzling infinity itself created to destabilize conventional spatial habits. Mirrors become an instrument to create illusion and, at the same time, to unmask it. Since the public can easily see themselves reflected in a false infinite – thus discovering the illusion – the problem becomes the latency of perception."

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