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(Jon sez:)

Your Writer: Jon Kilgannon The goal is to build a machine that can replicate itself in its entirety. The project is the Replicating Rapid-Prototyper Project or RepRap. (We were sent this link by Sebastien Bailard, who is working on the project as a developer.)

There's no reason why the RepRap shouldn't be possible to build. We're not talking about nanotechnology, with its manifold engineering issues. We're talking about an extension of a currently-extant technology, rapid prototyping.

Although perhaps one should think about that for a minute: The ability to print objects in three dimensions, as physical items, is a solved technology that is in use in industry. (Note: It helps if the item you want to "print" is made of soft plastic.) Welcome to the future, as they say.

The creation of the AIs in the Venusians' detectors, mentioned on today's page, was discussed between Benjamin and Caprice on page 309.

As a side-note, it intrigues me that "Venusians" is recognized as a word by Thunderbird's spellchecker, but "nanotechnology" isn't. Mind you, Venusians is definitely a rational word, if an uncommon one. It's just that nanotechnology is a branch of engineering with its own government initiative and everything.

(Mark sez:)

Your Artist: Mark Sachs I read about the RepRap a while back and frankly cannot shake a frisson of fanboyish glee upon discovering that one of its developers reads our comic. That's just neat.

We got some new fan art also; it'll be uploaded this weekend. So that's good too. Plus I got the comic done at all! That's a step up!