3-D printers: putting a factory on every corner

If hardware is the new software, 3-D printers are a big reason. New research holds that even enterprise-class 3-D printers will be affordable enough to be widely deployed within a few years.

5 cool things at MIT Media Lab

Build-your-own cell phones, a “finger-worn executive assistant,” immersive TV, 3-D printed houses: These are among the many cool technologies on display at MIT’s Media Lab.

Pivotal Labs is said to have been sold

Pivotal Labs, one of the smartest Web teams, known for its pioneering work in agile development, is in talks to be acquired, we have learned. The news will come sometime later this month. And we are still trying to pin down the buyer’s name.

How Lanyrd went from Casablanca to conference circuit

Simon Willison is the ultimate nerd: He’s the face behind several important pieces of web technology and a developer who’s worked for some of the biggest names in the business. Now he and his wife are finding more success with events website Lanyrd.

Handling Video Traffic Spikes: In the Event of a Michael Jackson or LeBron James Exclusive

When you run a news site and you get your hands on a video that you know is going to be huge — potentially-breaking-your-site huge — what do you do? In two recent cases, companies turned to new video platform providers that promised they could handle the strain. And in both cases, they appear to have done just that.
Celeb mag Us Weekly last month gained possession of a video of Michael Jackson sustaining the burn injuries that would kick off his lifelong (and ostensibly life-ending) painkiller addiction. The previously unreleased footage from a would-be 1984 Pepsi commercial shows Jackson’s head catching fire when on-set pyrotechnics went off too early. Damage he sustained during the shoot required multiple skin grafts.
Us Weekly’s staff knew they had the video exclusively (they won’t say how they obtained it), and that it would get millions of views as soon as it went up. And they had already been talking to video management startup Ooyala about making a switch from Voxant/Grab Networks, part of a larger initiative to include more video from the site’s new web shows, red carpet events and other celebrity fare. So in a coincidence of timing, the Michael Jackson video was the first video they posted with Ooyala.
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UMPC Recipe for Success: Mod a MID


Tired of waiting for promised MIDs and disappointed that UMPCs are headed the way of the dodo? I suppose you could make do with lesser alternatives. That’s not your only option though. Case in point: this video from jkkmobile.

The master of mods took the best parts of a MID and added some nice touches to create his own pocketable computer. You’ll recognize the original device as the Aigo MID. jkk added a matte-finish carbon-fiber face to avoid fingerprints. The backside of the device now includes a second battery which should easily boost the original two-hour run-time to between four and five hours. Linux went away in favor of Windows XP, although I think Linux would be fine for browsing, IM, Skype and such. Different strokes for different folks, right? The device gets a nice performance boost through the use of Microsoft’s (s MSFT) Enhanced Write Filter;  In this case, EWF disables writes to the SSD and keeps browser cache and app data in the faster RAM memory. That adds a little complexity when installing applications or saving data, but it might be a tolerable trade-off. Text entry, navigation and other input is done through the touchscreen or via the slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Very nice!

So: MID or UMPC? I agree with jkk’s UMPC nomenclature, mainly because the small device runs a full desktop operating system. That offers the benefits of greater hardware and software capability. Whatever you call it, a device like this is certainly attractive!

Obama’s FCC Transition Team Co-chair a WoW Player

kevin_werbach_2Last week, President-elect Obama appointed Kevin Werbach, assistant professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton, and Susan Crawford, who teaches communications and Internet law at the University of Michigan, to co-chair his FCC transition team. In preparation for his incoming administration, the two, both seasoned Net Neutrality advocates, will be tasked with providing information on U.S. government Internet and telecom policies, along with advising on budgetary and personnel matters.
This is clearly good news for Net advocates, and as it happens, it could also be good news for online gamers. The Wharton professor is a hardcore World of Warcraft player, a member of two guilds: Read More about Obama’s FCC Transition Team Co-chair a WoW Player