As a million 3D printers bloom, prices and complexity continue to fall. Here’s a fully-realized 3D printer available for only $499. For the same price as an iPad, you can put a 3D printer beside you on the desk.
A kit-based 3D printer that is raising funding for production, and $450 gets you a complete tested 3D printer. Granted, you need a PC with a parallel port to use it (got one of those laying around?) and it works with very unfriendly software. But it’s a viable printer, and it doesn’t get any cheaper than this.
Personal robots are on the way, gang.
B&N isn’t taking the Amazon Kindle Fire sitting down. Not only are they announcing a new Nook Tablet, but they are cutting the price on both the Nook Color and the Touch. They are also adding significant content (Hulu plus, pandora, other music streaming) to the Color.
Gonna be an interesting holiday season for these things.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Kindle is set to launch its own lending library this Thursday, without the support of any of the Big 6 Publishers (Hachette, Harper-Collins, McMillan, Penguin, Random House, and Simon & Schuster). Very, very interesting, but incredibly limited. It’s a foot in the door. Limiting it to just native Kindles is brilliant marketing.
The new program, called Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, cannot be accessed via apps on other devices, which means it won’t work on Apple Inc.’s iPad or iPhone, even though people can read Kindle books on both devices. This restriction is intended to drive Kindle device sales, says Amazon.
The program, which is effective Thursday, comes a few weeks before Amazon ships the Kindle Fire tablet on Nov. 15, which is a direct competitor with the iPad.
Good: A really thorough examination of copyright and books.
Bad: The _only_ mention of libraries is the DPLA project.
Ugly: The author perspective he gets is Ursula Le Guin, not exactly the most balanced of voices on this subject. Would love to have had a counterpoint to her POV in the the form of one of the usual suspects (Doctorow et al).
Google is now providing resources to help you mobilize your website.
I’m often accused of being an Apple apologist or fanboy. Truth is, I really like Android for the most part…but here’s why you won’t see me buying an Android phone.
The announcement that Nexus One users won’t be getting upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich led some to justifiably question Google’s support of their devices. I look at it a little differently: Nexus One owners are lucky. I’ve been researching the history of OS updates on Android phones…
Google Translate with Conversation Mode (by GoogleMobile)
The sci-fi future really is here now. Between Siri on the iPhone and Translate on Android phones, speech recognition has come a long way in the last few years. Everyone in the information industries, including libraries, should be paying close attention to this stuff.
Ars Technica on the Kindle/Overdrive experience. Two best quotes:
“To see what’s available, visit your library’s website, which will likely display an obvious link to the OverDrive eMediaLibrary. Login to the system, usually by entering details like a library card number and PIN code, and you’ll find a website straight out of 2002.”
and they clearly see what the future may bring:
“For Amazon, this looks only like a first step. While the arrangement helps Amazon move more Kindle hardware and sell some books (checked-out books can easily be purchased for those who want permanent access), a far more compelling product might come from Amazon itself rather than a local library: pay a yearly fee and get access to millions of Kindle-ready books. Not surprisingly, Amazon is working on exactly this idea (and it already rents textbooks).”
Developers are really starting to show off their HTML5 chops these days, and Google is clearly a leader in this area. If you are a Google Music Beta user, but prefer iOS to Android, you’ve been suffering with a lack of good integration with the service. This still isn’t the level that Android phones get, but it’s a really nicely done HTML5 app that shows off how much you can do in the browser these days.
Disney AppMATes: The New Mobile Application Toys for iPad (by DisneyLiving)
Here’s a new concept in iPad interactivity from Disney…toys that provide unique identifiers to the screen (I’m assuming via some pattern of capacitive dots on the bottom of the toy) and thus allows for custom interactive experiences. Very clever, and the general idea is brilliant. Storytelling with an added dimension for the child to interact with.
Origo is a company who’s developing an extruded-plastic 3D printer that’s easy enough for kids to use. As they say on their site:
“Right now, I am just an idea. I will be as easy to use as an Xbox or Wii. I’ll be as big as three Xbox 360’s and as expensive as 3 Xbox 360’s. I will sit on your desk and quietly build your ideas, drawings and dreams.
There are other 3D printers. But none will be as easy to use as I will. None will be as reliable or work as hard for you. I’m not a kit or an industrial machine. I’m not complicated. I’m an appliance, like a toaster or a microwave. Only I’m purple and make your stuff.”
Reading Rainbow for the iPad generation
from the article:
“LeVar Burton, a children’s literacy advocate and a former star of Star Trek: The Next Generation, plans to make an ambitious comeback, giving the once-loved Reading Rainbow brand a 21st-century upgrade. Burton’s for-profit venture, RRKidz, plans to launch an educational iPad app that lets children explore topics of interest—such as, say space—in a multimedia-rich environment, with voice-over-enhanced children’s books, familiar videos of Burton at real-life places (like NASA), and, of course, games.”