pbahra writes: Let’s be honest, 3-D-printed food doesn’t exactly sound appetizing. You imagine pizza made out of some gray paste, or chickens printed to look like lobsters, or something. But a Barcelona startup is hoping to make 3-D food printers the machine of choice for the discerning foodie.
Natural Machines, based in the Barcelona Activa center in the west of the city, is working on a 3-D printer that will produce not just chocolates (there are plenty of companies that do that) but pasta (such as ravioli), breads—in fact, anything that starts life as a dough, paste or stiff liquid.
pbahra writes: Stephen Elop wasn’t Nokia Corp.'s first pick as chief executive three years ago, the man many credit with having fueled the company’s rise—only to later preside over its decline—says in a memoir. Jorma Ollila, was Nokia chairman when Mr. Elop was snatched from Microsoft Corp.'s executive ranks to join the once-dominant handset maker. In his book, Mr. Ollila—who as chairman in 2010 led the search for a new CEO—describes how he flew to the U.S. that year to interview five potential candidates with suitable backgrounds over the course of three days. After the interviews, Mr. Ollila’s primary choice “was the No. 2 man at a well-known American technology company.”
pbahra writes: It is, perhaps, the ultimate “selfie”—a self-portrait snapped with a digital camera. But why be content with taking a picture of yourself, what about a three-dimensional miniature model of yourself reproduced in unnerving accuracy? A German startup is offering just that.
Customers of Twinkind can get a 3-D figurine ranging in size from around 15cm (6) to 35cm and costing between €225 ($297) and €1,290.
The process starts with capturing your likeness in the company’s offices in Hamburg. According to Mr. Schaedel, over 100 images taken from all angles are shot in a fraction of a second using technology designed by Twinkind.
pbahra writes: Airline passengers in the U.S. irritated at having to turn off their devices could soon see some reprieve, with regulators set to allow wider use of gadgets in flight.
The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to relax the ban on using some types of personal-electronic devices at low altitudes, allowing passengers leeway during taxiing and even takeoffs and landings, according to industry officials and draft recommendations prepared by a high-level advisory panel to the agency.
For fliers, the new rules would likely mean an end to familiar admonitions to turn off and stow all electronic devices. Cellphone calls are expected to remain off limits, however.
pbahra writes: In the not-too-distant future, airliner cockpit panels are likely to resemble giant iPads, as the current dizzying array of knobs and switches gives way to touch screens adapted from consumer devices.
If implemented quickly enough, new designs unveiled at the Paris International Air Show would mean that by the end of this decade airline pilots will issue basic airborne commands—from changing course to controlling engines—by tapping or dragging icons across screens, people in the industry said.
There are obvious issues though. What happens if there is severe turbulence and the engine fire-extinguisher function is deep in a menu?
pbahra writes: When friends of Jordan Casey’s parents lost their jobs in Waterford, a city that has been one of the worst hit by unemployment in Ireland, the then 12-year-old self-taught programmer decided he could do something to help. “Lots and lots of businesses are closing down,” said Mr. Casey, now 13. “Usually when you were in a big city in Ireland, you’d always see people in the city in the night, but it’s just really really lonely and quiet.” “People are losing their jobs and I wanted to help them.” Still at school Mr. Casey turned to the only thing he knew. He decided to try and make a difference by building a company out of his knack for designing computer games.
pbahra writes: A Helsinki investment agency is making a pitch for the Finnish capital to become a center of ‘neurogaming’ – using brainwaves to control computer games. The Helsinki Business Hub is hosting a series of meetings bringing together developers from Finland’s game industry and neuroscientists from the University of Helsinki. Neuroscientists have been interested in studying why certain games are so successful and have explored just why Angry Birds, the globally successful from Finnish company Rovio was so addictive. They looked at how the music and the color affected players, down to how you don’t get punished for failures. Although brainwave-measuring technoogy is not new it’s only lately that headsets capable of detecting brainwave patterns from the surface of the head have become cheap enough to be put to commercial applications.
pbahra writes: "It was hard to avoid the message at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that Near Field Communication was to have its day. If you had the right phone you could bypass the entrance queues with an NFC-powered "badge" on your phone. The halls were strewed with NFC-powered "smart" posters that would unlock all manner of hidden secrets if you tapped them with your smartphone, from restaurant information to directions to the nearest restrooms. There were demonstrations that allowed you to play music on headphones, test if products were genuine or counterfeit, or that let you replace your car keys or your house keys with just your phone.
NFC has been a decade in the making, and has always been about to be "The Next Big Thing". It is a contactless radio technology that can transmit data between two devices within a few centimeters of each other. Coupled with a security chip to encrypt data, it promises to transform a wide range of consumer experiences. The key word there is "promise"."
pbahra writes: "In nearly 20 megabytes of PDFs comprising the Leveson inquiry report into press standards in the U.K. what one might collectively describe as “new media” escapes almost entirely. On the future of media which lies online, Lord Justice Leveson is almost entirely mute. There is no suggestion that bloggers of any size or status will be required to be part of any future proposals even though there is a desire that the more influential blogs might think about it. Whether they will is an entirely different matter."
pbahra writes: At first glance, there isn’t much that links a Web-based start-up with a rocket-powered car designed not merely to break the land speed record, but to smash it, by traveling at 1,000 miles per hour. Not many start-ups burn £300,000 a month, not many in turn get £25,000 a month in public donations. Not many—in fact none—are pushing the boundaries of engineering in the way that Bloodhound SSC, which aims to hit Mach 1.4 in a South African desert in 2014, is doing. But according to Richard Noble, the ebullient man behind the dream, the 1,000-mph car maybe the ultimate open-source project and has a management structure that start-ups would do well to emulate. How open is Bloodhound? “As open as we can possibly make it,” said Mr. Noble. “We are going to make absolutely everything available. There are no patents.”
pbahra writes: There is no shortage of talk about Big Data and the transformational impact it will have, but one sector of the economy that traditionally hasn’t been a heavy user of technology is hoping it can reap the benefits, too. Charities, nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations — or the third sector — are hopeful that the ability not merely to handle vast datasets, which is one attribute of Big Data, but the combination of disparate datasets, will bring new insights to their work, resulting in greater efficiencies on the ground, and better value for money. For example, using satellite data, weather information, population density and other information allows teams to focus efforts on distributing things like malaria nets or doing indoor residual spraying, or even stepping up education programs in areas likely to be blighted.
pbahra writes: "Finally, the U.K. is going to get a 4G mobile-Internet service. For a country that was once at the cutting edge of mobile telephony, its lack of a high-speed mobile broadband was becoming a severe embarrassment. Everything Everywhere, Britain’s largest mobile network operator, has been granted permission by U.K. regulator Ofcom to provide next-generation LTE services as early as Sept. 11. Although Ofcom’s ruling is a significant step for the U.K.’s telecoms future, the choice of frequency — 1,800 MHz — means that devices that can take advantage of the much faster data speeds that LTE offers—theoretically up to 100 megabits a second—are limited. Currently the only significant market using the frequency is South Korea. While 1,800 MHz is in use in a small number of European countries, and in Australia, numbers of users are small in comparison to the U.S.. This means devices may be harder to get and cost more. So anyone who thinks their new iPad is going to zip along at 4G speeds is going to be disappointed; the new iPad only supports U.S. LTE frequencies. For the same reason, those hanging on for the new iPhone, expected to be announced on Sept. 12, in the hope that it will be LTE-compliant are unlikely to have good news. Even if there is a new iPhone, and even if it is LTE enabled, will it operate on Everything Everywhere’s frequency?"
pbahra writes: "It seems that the markets are as much in love with “Big Data”—the ability to acquire, process and sort vast quantities of data in real time—as with the technology industry. The first Big Data initial public offering hit the market last week to roaring approval. Splunk Inc., which helps businesses organize and make sense of all the information they gather, soared 109% on its first day of trading. Big Data, big price. However, according to a report published last year by McKinsey, there is a problem. “A significant constraint on realizing value from Big Data will be a shortage of talent, particularly of people with deep expertise in statistics and machine learning, and the managers and analysts who know how to operate companies by using insights from Big Data,” the report said. “We project a need for 1.5 million additional managers and analysts in the United States who can ask the right questions and consume the results of the analysis of Big Data effectively.” What the industry needs is a new type of person: the data scientist."
pbahra writes: "Conferences for start-ups and entrepreneurs often feature "pitch contests," slots in which aspiring entrepreneurs take to the stage to sell their ideas to the audience. Last month's ArabNet conference, held in the Lebanese capital, was no different. What was different, however, was the number of pitches from female entrepreneurs. The stereotype has it that women in the Middle East are subjugated, oppressed and barely let out of their houses. But if that is the case, how come 40% of the pitches were from women—a higher percentage than is typical in equivalent conferences held in Europe? Nor was this closer-to-equal representation of women unique to ArabNet--other conferences in the region boast similar ratios."