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Cyberware and the US Air Force have developed a body scanner for fitting military clothing and equipment. It can measure a person's size and shape in 15 seconds. [WSJ, 4/25/96, A1. NewtNews.]

Menswear designer Jhane Barnes uses a CAD program called Canvas for garment design and tailoring. She also uses MandelMovie and FractaSketch to create symmetrical and fractal pattern designs, then WeaveMaker to control a loom than can make a small fabric sample in about an hour. [Wired, 6/96. , net-hap, 5/11/96.]

There are at least four competing technologies for rapid physical prototyping, also known as "3D printing": photo-hardening of liquid polymer, sintering of sprayed metal powder, spraying melted wax or plastic, and lamination of laser-cut plastic or paper sheets. The San Diego Supercomputer Center uses the latter, forming any fist-sized prototype in under 24 hours. The prototype is similar to wood, and can be sanded, sawed, bolted, nailed, varnished or painted. They're currently working on software that can detect likely flaws (holes) in submitted designs prior to fabrication. [Chronicle of HE, 4/12/96, A25. NewtNews, 4/30/96. Bill Park.]

John Koza is offering a PostScript paper on four problems in cellular automata, molecular biology, and circuit design for which genetic programming has performed at least as well as humans. He says that genetic techniques often give you domain-independent automatic programming in which What You Want Is What You Get (WYWIWYG, pronounced "wow-eee-wig"). (Research Publications /Recent Papers). [, connectionists, 5/25/96.]

Jordan Pollack and his students have used simple hill-climbing in a 4K-parameter feed-forward network to develop a competitive backgammon evolution function. An initial champion of all zero weights was played against a slightly mutated challenger. Results show co-evolution to be a powerful machine learning method. A demo and an ALIFE 5 paper can be found on . [. Sharon Block , 5/6/96.]

IBM's Deep Blue chess computer searches about 20B moves in three minutes -- enough to check "every possible move and countermove 12 sequences ahead and selected lines of attack as much as 30 moves beyond that," but not enough to beat Kasparov. Chess masters "are doing some mysterious computation we can't figure out." [Scientific American, 5/96, p. 16. EDUPAGE.]

If you have a game engine you'd like to license for Internet use, contact Joshua Shaub , (415) 547-1410. [Mario Palumbo <>, colloq, 5/16/96. Bill Park.]