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Hacked & Burned: How to grow your own plastic, Google Glass simulators and drone culture tumblrs

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TUMBLR OF THE WEEK: Branson Party

Words seem foolish in the face of this almighty brainf*** in Tumblr form, but here they are anyway. Branson Reese, a comedian living in New York, is responsible for the vivid insanity you will witness here.

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GIF OF THE WEEK: Urgent cat fax

The cat, natural enemy of office efficiency, is transformed into a helpful assistant through the unholy power of reversed, looped media.

HARDWARE OF THE WEEK: Interfacing with prosthetic limbs

DARPA have brought us a step closer to realising Luke Skywalker’s robotic hand with experimental prosthetic implants that can be controlled naturally by the wearer. The neural interface used by the prosthetics is called “targeted muscle re-innervation” - or TMR for short.

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MEDIA ART OF THE WEEK: Under Black Carpets

London artist Ilona Gaynor needs your help to rob a bank and she is politely asking for financial assistance on Kickstarter. The bank heist she plots is not a *real* robbery, but a design proposal for an exhibition in models, sculptures, technical drawings, film and photography.

WETWARE OF THE WEEK: Growing plastics

It turns out you can grow plastics instead of refining them from liquid fossil fuels. Well, some plastics anyway. Specifically: the polymer PHA and its sub-type PHB which can be used as a material for injection moulds. The concept, by Massachusetts-based firm Metabolix, involves extracting said polymers from specially grown grasses, the remains of which may be burned as biofuel with ultra-low carbon emissions.

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DRONE THING OF THE WEEK: Murmuration 

A virtual festival of “drone culture”, Murmuration has been devised by Adam Rothstein and Olivia Rosane who, in collaboration with THE STATE, are posting drone-related media every day during the month of June.

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: GlassSim.com 
It’s now possible to prototype Google Glass apps with this handy visualizer. Thus, all your creepy design concepts for Google’s controversial wearable device can be easily simulated online. Go play.

INTERNET EXPLORER OF THE WEEK: John Paolozzi

Poalozzi made a word cloud based on grief-stricken, enraged, and otherwise emotionally unstable Game of Thrones fans whose expressive tweets have been fastidiously collected by @RedWeddingTears on Twitter.

ROBOT OF THE WEEK: WABIAN-2RIII 

A robot who dances on the spot with humanoid feet! “Not only was it able to match the human step time of 0.6 seconds,” IEEE Spectrum notes with glee, “it also matched the required 12 degree foot rotation and 90 mm step width.” At last. The cybernetic tango partner I’ve been waiting for.

ALGO ANXIETY OF THE WEEK: Endless war fought by machines

The Register picked up on this UN report which included a line about robots potentially becoming engaged in “permanent (if low-level) armed conflict” and said, “UN report says killer bots could fight WAR WITHOUT END.” 

GEEKS OF THE WEEK: Alex Chung and Jace Cooke 

Alex and Jace had the idea for GIF search engine Giphy during a discussion about Wittgenstein. This week they announced ten artist-made, animated GIF screensavers for the Internet peoples to revel in. Which they will surely do.

GEEK MUSIC OF THE WEEK: TELECOM by Power Glove (Ezavskih Rework)

Pseudo-80s, tech-infused, synthetic aural pleasure.

Text by Chris Baraniuk

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