Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, May 07, 2021

Is your household experiencing a dearth of molded-plastic accessories? Then you might be interested in the possibilities promised by soon-to-be-affordable three-dimensional printers:

Bill Gross, chairman of IdeaLab, says the technology it has developed, which uses a halogen light bulb to melt nylon powder, will allow the price of the printers to fall to $1,000 in four years.

“We are Easy-Bake Ovening a 3-D model,” he said. “The really powerful thing about this idea is that the fundamental engineering allows us to make it for $300 in materials.”

Others are working on the same idea.

“In the future, everyone will have a printer like this at home,” said Hod Lipson, a professor at Cornell University, who has led a project that published a design for a 3-D printer that can be made with about $2,000 in parts. “You can imagine printing a toothbrush, a fork, a shoe. Who knows where it will go from here?”

I admit the concept of downloading a design off Mattel and baking up your own action-figure model is kinda cool.

But the wider applications seem pretty pie-in-the-sky. It makes sense that you would be able to easily “print” a replacement battery cover for your cellphone. But would a homemade replacement actually fit? We’re talking about fairly exacting precision molding to get interlocking parts to work together; a tiny imperfection can screw it up.

Plus, look at how long it took the traditional paper-printing business to address something so fundamental as correctly printing Web pages. Figure it’ll take at least as long — some ten years and more — for 3D printing to work out the kinks. I doubt consumers are going to wait around for that.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/07/2021 11:27:28 PM
Category: Tech
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Aaron Brazell detects a subtle but significant shift in online business-branding chic:

Back in the day (like 5 years ago), it was sexy to use e in front of brands. Remember eToys in the dot com bubble? Even e*trade? eBay? You can even eFile your taxes!…

But E is no longer cool. I is the new e, and I is kicking E’s ass into the grave, taking the shovel and personally burying it.

The truth is that the Apple iPhone, iStockphoto, iiProperty (!!) and iTunes all are so much cooler than those ‘E’ brands. And now there is iGoogle.

The really funny thing: That little “i” is just as empty of meaning as the old “e” was. They’re both supposed to signify “Internet” and “electronic”, respectively. But does the Internet really come to mind when discussing the iPod or iPhone? No one’s calling them “Internet pod” or “Internet phone” as alternatives identifiers. Even in the case of a Web service like iGoogle, it comes off as redundant. In truth, appending that one-letter prefix is supposed to add a tech luster to an otherwise un-techie object.

What will be the next hot letter-tag? I guess the logical progression — assuming there is one — would be “w”, for Web. Can’t wait to see the first “wPhones” roll out in a few years!

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/07/2021 10:44:04 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Internet
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The latest Pew Internet & American Life results are out, and they point to several splinter groups within the usual hardcore/moderate/negligible tech user groups within American society.

For instance, among frequent users of the Internet and modern-day communications:

- “Omnivores,” who fully embrace technology and express themselves creatively through blogs and personal Web pages.

- “Connectors,” who see the Internet and cellphones as communications tools.

- “Productivity enhancers,” who consider technology as largely ways to better keep up with their jobs and daily lives.

- “Lackluster veterans,” those who use technology frequently but aren’t thrilled by it.

Find out where you fit in by taking the abbreviated test.

I wound up being tagged an Omnivore. That means I’m either hopeless addicted to all things Web, or else somehow have a varied and balanced diet.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/07/2021 05:16:49 PM
Category: Internet, Society
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