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Printer

From Austria, the World's Smallest 3D Printer 120

Posted by timothy
from the make-it-with-a-makerbot dept.
fangmcgee writes "Printers which can produce three-dimensional objects have been available for years. However, at the Vienna University of Technology, a printing device has now been developed which is much smaller, lighter and cheaper than ordinary 3D-printers. With this kind of printer, everyone could produce small, tailor-made 3D-objects at home, using building plans from the internet — and this could save money for expensive custom-built spare parts."

Comment: Re:You don't need a certification to know somethin (Score 1) 235

by Matthew Weigel (#36078208) Attached to: I Like My IT Budget Tight and My Developers Stupid

I think you're making a logical error. You are comparing the value of the certificate as a predictor of success (that is, how much - if any - weight to give their degrees and certifications when deciding whether to hire them) and the value of the training process - yes, completely ignoring the certificate at the end - for someone that you've already hired and whose ability is not in question.

The question isn't whether someone with less intelligence or no experience in the subject matter can become an expert on a subject from a training program; the question is whether the smart and knowledgeable person you hired (let's at least assume that you hired someone who meets your standards, and have ruled out potential hires that would not cut the mustard without the certification or degree) can come out with much more and deeper knowledge of the subject.

Comment: Re:'consoleitis' not slowing uptake of video cards (Score 1) 369

by Matthew Weigel (#35140188) Attached to: Putting Up With Consolitis

Well, I'm specifically talking about games that push the limits of graphics hardware, and that require a $500 video card to run. The market is very tiny there, but the increase in development costs is - I think - nontrivially larger than the cost of entry into the retail box console market. As a rough estimate, look at the budget for a Pixar movie: Up had a budget of $175M. The quality of art assets and graphics engine programming is going to be a bit lower running on a GeForce GTX580, but not that much lower, and instead of voice acting and writing you have longer runtime (so more assets), game design, and the requirement to do more art "in the round" since you don't have as much camera control as you do in a movie. So... $175M seems kind of reasonable to me as a rough estimate for pushing modern GPUs to the limit in a PC game.

AAA console game budgets are not quite that high yet with a few notable exceptions like Grand Theft Auto 4. So... I agree that the smaller market is a big concern (especially when you restrict it to "people who spent $500 on their video card"), and a reason that console development is more attractive (indie games, strategy games that don't translate well to console, and MMOs seem like the main exceptions here). However, I disagree that the budgets would be similar for a major console title (something getting close to a sales record, pushing the envelope of what the consoles can display, etc.) and a major PC title that tried to push the limit of a modern high-end graphics card.

Comment: 'consoleitis' not slowing uptake of video cards (Score 4, Insightful) 369

by Matthew Weigel (#35134782) Attached to: Putting Up With Consolitis

"Though a $500+ video card is considered top of the line, a $250 one will now play pretty much any game at the highest settings with no problem. (Maybe that’s what everyone wanted?) Pretty soon, however, graphics chip makers won’t be able to sustain their rate of growth because the software is so far behind, which will be bad for gamers on consoles as well as PC."

Making content that looks good at 1080P (or 1920x1200 for some PC monitors) is hard. Some amazingly specialized people spend a lot of time working on it; the more powerful the graphics processor, the more that is possible, but the more art assets have to be created (along with all the associated maps to take advantage of lighting, special effects, shader effects...) and the more programming time has to me spent. Much like the number of pixels increases far faster than the perimeter of the screen, or the volume of a sphere increases faster than its surface area... the work to support ever-increasing graphics power grows faster than the visual difference in the image.

It's not sustainable, but those advancing graphics processors are a big part of why game developers are moving to consoles: a shinier graphics engine costs more money to develop, which increases the minimum returns for a project to be successful. Anyone who looks at the business side can see that the market of people who have $500 graphics cards is much tinier than the market of people who have an Xbox360 or Playstation3. If you're going to spend that much money on the shiny, of course you're going to shoot for a bigger return too!

When it takes a big team to develop something... well, that's generally not where the innovation is going to happen.

Comment: run your own server: +1 (Score 1) 222

by Matthew Weigel (#33979762) Attached to: Open Source-Friendly Smartphones For the Small Office?

I've been really happy with this approach, personally. I run eGroupware on my server, and it in turn provides device-agnostic GroupDAV and SyncML services (among others) that I use to keep my smartphone (an iPhone 3G, but options exist for pretty much everything else too) synchronized. I don't use Evolution, but I understand that it is supported as a client (I use Thunderbird / Lightning, although there's currently a bug in one or both of them causing problems that I haven't tracked down).

On top of integrating well with my phone, desktop, and laptop, it also provides a decent web interface for it all that I can use when none of them are available. It doesn't provide its own mail server, but it integrates just fine with what I had already set up - and all communication (send/receive mail, synchronize, and web applications) is inside an SSL tunnel. The functionality I have, for personal information, is as good or better than every corporate Exchange system I've interacted with. And it's all open source, except for the pieces that run on my proprietary phone.

Comment: Re:Online classes are a waste of time (Score 1) 428

by Matthew Weigel (#33047544) Attached to: Your Online Education Experience?

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools:

The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), also known as North Central, is one of six regional accreditation organizations recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

I'm not really sure where you are getting your information, but very basic Google searches are proving you wrong.

Seriously. Try to transfer your UofP credits to a state college and see what happens.

I don't have any UofP credits to transfer; as I said I am taking online classes elsewhere and my undergraduate degree is from a traditional university. However, my experience at traditional universities is that transferring credits between them is unreliable at best, and based at least in part on the opinions of the admissions people at the school you're transferring to.

We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything.

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