Cops 3-D print murder victim’s finger to unlock iPhone


The iPhone 6's Touch ID sensor is greatly improved over the 5s &mdash for me, anyway.
At least they didn't cut his finger off.
Photo: Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Instead of running to Apple to unlock iPhones involved in criminal case, cops may have found a new path to get past Touch ID’s security: 3D printing fingers.

Police officers asked for aid from the lab of professor Anil Jain at the University of Michigan this year to help them recreate a murder victim’s fingerprints by 3D printing each digit so they can attempt to unlock the device, which they think may contain clues that would help solve the case.

Why you shouldn’t let an iPad raise your kids


Yep, kids love their iPads.
The challenges of parenting in the digital age.
Photo: Payless

Steve Jobs didn’t let his kids play with iPads and, far from being out of touch with modern parenting, it turns out that he was being quite progressive.

That’s according to a recent study carried out by the University of Michigan, which found that parents with “difficult” children are far more likely to give them iPads to pacify them — particularly during high-stress times like eating, being in public, doing chores, or going to bed.

Future spacecraft could repair its own skin


The International Space Station occasionally has to dodge pieces of debris floating in space.
The International Space Station occasionally has to dodge pieces of debris floating in space.
Photo: NASA

To see a satellite image of the field of space debris that floats around the earth is like looking at fleas swarming an unfortunate dog. About a half-million pieces of debris are the size of a marble, but even tiny pieces that travel more than 17,000 miles per hour could be deadly to a spacecraft with astronauts.

Researchers from the University of Michigan and NASA have developed a self-healing material that could instantly plug up a hole in the hull of a ship just milliseconds after impact.

Take 23 Nude Pictures Of Yourself And This iPhone App Will Tell You If You Have Cancer


Taking DIY to a new level.
Taking DIY to a new level.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that there will be 2 million new diagnoses of skin cancer in the U.S. alone this year, including nearly 80,000 cases of melanoma. Besides the obvious practice of routine checkups, those known to be a bit more preemptive have taken to whole body photography as a means to spot cancerous activity before it’s too late.

An iPhone app called UMSkinCheck is meant to be an easy way to check for skin cancer without the need of a trained professional. All you need to do is have someone use your iPhone to take 23 pictures of yourself completely nude.

Georg Essl leads University of Michigan students in iPhone orchestra



I imagine that in a lot of totally fundamental ways, pitching a university to let you teach a new course must be a lot like pitching a tech article to a mainstream magazine. It all starts with throwing random words at a sheet of brainstorming paper, then cynically deciding that while “iPhone: the future of music composition” is clearly ridiculous, it would look good as a headline [in the course catalog], so let’s see where it gets us anyway. Quickly inducing hyperventilation in order to simulate breathless excitement, you pick up the phone, call your editor [department head] and shout: “The iPhone is the future of music! No one else has done it before, so we’ll be at the forefront, reporting [teaching] about a fantastic new era meshing technology and art!”

Yes, go forth, my son. Fortune favors the bold! Do your job right and if you’re a tech journalist, you’ll make about $800. But if you’re a university professor, like Georg Essl of the University of Michigan? You may just have taken your first step towards tenure!