The future of 3D printing
We were talking about the future of 3D printing the other day and I was curious to know what the state of modeling tools for the novice is. I downloaded Sketchup and had a quick look around my desk. I found a processor cap and set about trying to recreate it in 3D. That’s the result of a rather quick run at it up above (click it to see the whole thing). It was surprisingly simple. A few peeks at the manual and a couple Google searches and I had a reasonable accurate representation.
Granted, not a lot of home users have a pressing need for processor caps, but it does illustrate that the software exists for the average user to make their own parts. Add in the continually expanding collections of downloadable models that are ready to be printed and you can see that this could be a very big deal. It will be exciting to watch what happens in the 3D space in the next few years as prices come down and the quality of the software continues to improve.
The scary bit of the internet of things
The internet of things does promise some great conveniences and technology in the future, but that doesn’t come without some worries. As mentioned in our earlier post, security is the thing. And here comes 60 Minutes and DARPA to illustrate that to great effect.
It seems that researchers at DARPA have demonstrated that by taking advantage of a weakness in the OnStar system, they can insert malicious code and gain control of a vehicle. The most frightening part of that is that they were able to take control of the accelerator and brakes. Think about that the next time you are driving.
We’re going to take Android away from Google
That is the big highlight quote from this article in the Wall Street Journal about Cyanogen. CEO Kirt McMaster said just that. Knowing only that, the logical response is, ‘Good luck with that!’ But is there actually reason to think this is a real possibility? Could Cyanogen actually compete with Google as more than a niche/hobbyist offering?
In a word, yes. It is still a bit of a longshot. Google is, after all, still Google. They have all the resources, and plenty of incentive, to keep the status quo. But that Wallstreet Journal article also contains another interesting bit of news. In a recent round of funding, one of the investors in Cyanogen is Microsoft. That certainly alters the perspective, doesn’t it?
What Cyanogen really needs in order to compete is to be the shipping OS on more phones. The average user is just not going to go through the hassle of replacing their Google version of Android with Cyanogen. Being able to point you your pal Microsoft can only help when those deals are being negotiated. They already have a few such deals. If this latest round of funding means the skids are greased a bit as they work out more and bigger deals, then what we are saying is, they’ve got a shot.