Nerval's Lobster writes: Women outpace men when it comes to raising money for technology projects through crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, according to a new study by researchers at New York University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Jason Greenberg (NYC) and Ethan Mollick (Wharton/UPenn) chose 1,250 Kickstarter projects in five categories: games and technology, where founders were predominantly male; film, with an even gender distribution; and fashion and children’s books, both populated with more female founders and backers. They analyzed additional factors such as 'industry typing' (a theory in which people 'often hold conscious or unconscious biases about what gender is the archetype employee in a particular occupation or industry') and restricted the data set by geography and how much money each Kickstarter project wanted (a project aiming for less than $5,000 may attract an inordinate percentage of family and friends as funders, skewing results). After crunching the data, they found that female founders of technology projects were more likely than males to achieve their Kickstarter goals, a finding that didn’t extend to the other four categories. 'It appears female backers are responsible for helping female founders succeed in specific industry categories that women backers generally disfavor,' they theorized, adding a little later: 'The value of crowdfunding is that it enables access to a pool of potential female backers particularly inclined to support women in industry categories in which they believe women to be underrepresented.'
fangmcgee writes: SexFit – because men need to know how well they’re performing in the sack. This latest in wearable health trackers isn’t about making sure your heart is in good shape, instead it is used to monitor and enhance your sexual fitness. We’re pretty sure this device came about when someone over at UK-based sex shop, Bondara wrapped a Jawbone Up around his dick and tried to see if it would track his sex life. While just a prototype now, the SexFit is a cock ring that measures calories burned, thrusts per minute, and has vibration modes to you know, enhance performance.
fangmcgee writes: Made locally in New York City, each shoe comprises at least 90 percent components manufactured on a small desktop printer. To maintain the premise—and promise—of rapid prototyping, hand-finishing is kept to a minimum. “Designing with 3D printing must not seek to merely replicate existing products, but to design better products than what is currently possible,” says Mary Huang, founder of Continuum Fashion.
almda writes: One year ago 19-year-old Boyan Slat unveiled an Ocean Cleanup Array that he claimed could clean 7 million tons of plastic from the world's oceans. The design went viral and received it's share of criticism — however a newly released one-year feasibility study shows that the array would indeed work as planned. Slat claims that a single array could remove half the plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just 10 years.
fangmcgee writes: Underwear drawer in need of a pick-me-up? Sloggi wants you to wake up and smell the coffee. The skivvy-maker, a subsidiary of lingerie juggernaut Triumph International, has launched a new line of bras and briefs made with recycled coffee grounds. "Love Cafe," which the brand recently feted at fashion "flash mobs" in Singapore and Malaysia, is its fourth to boast sustainable credentials, following collaborations with the World Land Trust in previous years.
fangmcgee writes: Love is pain, and Spanish artist David Cata knows that feeling better than most. Not content to carry snapshots of his nearest and dearest around in his wallet, the 21-year-old has chosen to embroider their likenesses into the palms of his hands. Cata creates each portrait by gingerly piercing the top layer of his skin with a needle, then drawing a length of colored floss through to create a stitch. The entire process takes four hours to complete, after which Cata picks the threads from his hand to reveal the barest outline of each face—and surprisingly little blood. Others may wince at his technique, but Cata says the pain is only superficial and "no boundary."
fangmcgee writes: American model Lindsay Ellingson turned heads Tuesday night when she hoofed down the Victoria's Secret runway in a shimmering filigree costume created through the magic of three-dimensional printing. Designed by architect Bradley Rothenberg, and brought to life by New York City 3D-printing firm Shapeways, the ensemble comprised hundreds of interlocking nylon "snowflakes" that moved like fabric (in the case of the corset and bustle) or stood rigidly in the form of angel wings.
kkleiner writes: With the cost of healthcare services increasing, it's welcome news that a recent deal between Walgreens and Theranos will bring rapid, accurate, low-cost blood testing to the local pharmacy. A pinprick of blood from a finger is enough to run any number of a la carte diagnostic tests with results in four hours or less. The automation of blood testing in one convenient machine may mean that the demand for clinical technicians may decline, but the benefits of making blood analysis more accessible to everyone is enormous.
fangmcgee writes: If it wasn’t for a case of crossed wires, one of Doctor Who’s most iconic accoutrements might never have been. We’re talking, of course, about the Fourth Doctor’s impossibly long—and woefully impractical—striped scarf, which he claimed he received from one Madame Nostradamus. The real-life provenance of the garment, though a mite less fanciful, is equally intriguing. Commissioned by BBC costume designer James Acheson in 1974 for Tom Baker’s portrayal of the fictional Timelord, the scarf was designed to finish off the freshly regenerated Doctor’s “bohemian look,” modeled after that of a fin-de-siècle student in Paris. The final 12-foot product, however, was a happy accident.
fangmcgee writes: Strandagaldur, The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft is home to what is possibly the oldest-known intact pair of “necropants,” made from a dead man’s skin sometime in the 17th century. The ghoulish trouser, known as nábrók in the native tongue, was believed to bring good luck and wealth to the sorcerer who wore them. The only catch? You needed the permission of a living man before you could pry his flesh off upon his passing. Such pacts between practitioners of the occult were all the rage in Iceland’s pre-industrial past, according to legend.
fangmcgee writes: Forget paper-pulp coffins, human-ash pencils, and "memorial diamonds"— Pia Interlandi's "Garments for the Grave" are how you shuffle off the mortal coil in eco-friendly style. The Australian designer and self-styled "death-wear facilitator" created developed the bespoke label after she struggled to dress her grandfather's body in a suit for burial. Interlandi realized that the clothes we wear in life are ill-designed for death. (The deceased have little use for zippers or buttons, for instance, or even shoes for that matter.) Neither do decomposing need the staying power of synthetic fabrics.
fangmcgee writes: Here's a name you didn't expect to find on the New York Fashion Week docket: MakerBot. Better known for producing consumer-grade three-dimensional printers that squirt layers of molten plastic in place of ink, the Brooklyn startup challenged designer Francis Bitonti to create a dress using its experimental "Flexible Filament," a biodegradable, plant-based fiber that remains pliable after it's extruded from the machine. "MakerBot Flexible Filament is different than traditional 3D-printing filaments that are solid and stiff after extrusion," says Bre Pettis, MakerBot’s CEO. "With its flexibility and suppleness, this could revolutionize 3D printing.”
A Johns Hopkins computer science professor blogs on the NSA and is asked to take it down.
A professor in the computer science department at Johns Hopkins, a leading American university, had written a post on his blog, hosted on the university's servers, focused on his area of expertise, which is cryptography. The post was highly critical of the government, specifically the National Security Agency, whose reckless behavior in attacking online security astonished him.
On Monday, he gets a note from the acting dean of the engineering school asking him to take the post down and stop using the NSA logo as clip art in his posts. The email also informs him that if he resists he will need a lawyer.
Why would an academic dean cave under pressure and send the takedown request without careful review, which would have easily discovered, for example, that the classified documents to which the blog post linked were widely available in the public domain?