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steve2470's Journal
steve2470's Journal
March 31, 2012

article about 3D printing


To hear enthusiasts tell it, the technique of additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, has the potential to change not just manufacturing, but the world.

3D printing today makes prototyping and manufacturing complex, custom objects simpler but tomorrow, everyone will have a 3D printer on their desk and make their own sneakers and hats.

3D printing is getting hyped right now, with a front page story in The Economist and a long article in the Times, but we actually think it is underhyped.

Even if it fails to meet some of the expectations of its boosters (and that's not a foregone conclusion), 3D printing will still probably become an enormous industry and have a tremendous impact on how we buy, sell and produce things
March 30, 2012

Six ways the rich really do get richer


(heavily edited)

1. Housing bargains – but only for the wealthy and uber-wealthy

2. Tax breaks are good – especially if you’re rich

3. Hedge funds: You must be this rich to ride this ride

4. Borrowing is easy – if you don’t need the money

*more at link above*
March 7, 2012

Why China Should Slow Down – but Probably Won’t


China’s Premier Wen Jiabao sent a shockwave through the global economy this week when he lowered the country’s GDP growth target for 2012, to 7.5% from 8%. In doing so, Wen was not only recognizing the tremendous headwinds China is facing from an uncertain global economy. He was also acknowledging that China needs to alter its growth model if the country’s economic miracle is to continue. Here are some comments from his Monday address, courtesy of state-news agency Xinhua:

Here I wish to stress that in setting a slightly lower GDP growth rate, we hope to make it fit with targets in the 12th Five-Year Plan, and to guide people in all sectors to focus their work on accelerating the transformation of the pattern of economic development and making economic development more sustainable and efficient, so as to achieve higher-level, higher-quality development over a longer period of time.

To ensure success in all our work this year, we must uphold the theme of scientific development, take transforming the pattern of economic development as the main thread, adopt a holistic approach and coordinate all our work. We must coordinate efforts to achieve steady growth, control prices, adjust the economic structure, improve people’s well-being, implement reform and promote harmony.

To be honest, I’ve had trouble figuring out why everyone got their underwear in a bunch over these comments. Sure, a slowing China would have negative implications for a global economy still suffering from the ill effects of the Great Recession and the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in Europe. Yet we should look at Wen’s statements with two key points in mind: First, the reality is China needs to slow its economy down. Secondly, China’s leadership shows no sign of allowing that to happen, no matter what nice speeches Wen might make. And that’s where the real threat to the world economy can be found.
March 7, 2012

Eye-controlled arcade games move closer


Swedish company Tobii has shrunk the size and updated the software of its eye-tracking device and hopes to see the technology go into use in the medical, design, presentation, surveillance and gaming industries.

The company says its technology is now more responsive and can fit in a wider range of hardware, including gaming machines.

The technology (pictured) uses two infrared projectors to illuminate the users' pupils and two small cameras to record their positions as they change, then feed this data to the onboard processors, which then output the person's eye position, pupil size and gaze position.

The new module is much, much smaller than its predecessor, which Tobii demonstrated at the show last year. It was also used in a prototype eye-tracking Lenovo laptop, which was tried out by ZDNet UK editorial staff in our offices.
March 7, 2012

Obama Calls for Scrutiny of Possible Oil Speculation


WASHINGTON—President Obama said he has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to pay attention to possible price speculation in the oil markets as rising gas costs are raising questions about his handling of the economy.

The president, in his first news conference since November, said he has asked Mr. Holder to "reconstitute" a year-old task force to look into potential oil-price speculation.

"Do you think the president of the United States going into re-election wants gas prices to go up higher?" President Obama said.

Gas prices have risen more than 8% in recent months to $3.76 for the average price of a regular gallon of gas, prompting criticism of the president's energy policies and fears that people are illicitly benefiting from the rise.

March 6, 2012

Who was the person yelling at President Obama during the news conference ?

It sounded like he (I think it was a man) wanted an answer on Iran ? President Obama ignored him and went on to his next questioner.

March 6, 2012

Son needs help with recording engineer career please, thanks

Back in 2010, a number of you so generously gave advice to me about my 14 year son here. I thank you so much for that.

Now, two years later, my son appears to be leaning to a career as a recording engineer. Again, I need help from the DU member "database". Does he need a degree from a school to do this ? How does he get an entry level job in this field ? Is Los Angeles the place to go for young people to get started ?

Once again, thank you soooooooooooooooo much for your generosity of spirit and time. My son and I appreciate it deeply.


March 6, 2012

Obama Holds News Conference, Unveils Housing Plan


President Barack Obama is aiming mortgage relief at members of the military as well as homeowners with government-insured loans, the administration's latest efforts to address a persistent housing crisis.

In his first full news conference of the year Tuesday, Obama was to announce plans to let borrowers with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration refinance at lower rates, saving the average homeowner more than $1,000 a year. Obama also was detailing an agreement with major lenders to compensate service members and veterans who were wrongfully foreclosed upon or denied lower interest rates.

A senior administration official described Obama's proposals to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss them ahead of the announcement.

Obama is holding the news conference in the midst of a modestly improving economy. But international challenges as well as a stubbornly depressed housing market remain threats to the current recovery and to his presidency.
March 5, 2012

Microsoft study claims cloud computing will create 14 million jobs worldwide by 2015


Microsoft released a dubious press release today to promote its entry into cloud computing. The company makes the sketchy claim that cloud computing will create 14 million jobs worldwide by 2015. Considering the fact that cloud computing is a consolidation technology that is used to fire IT staffs and centralize their efforts into a larger framework run by someone else, you have to assume at least 28 million jobs will be lost in the process. And that only assumes a two-to-one downsizing ratio. It could be worse.

So, who is Microsoft kidding? Who believes this rubbish?

Let's start with the false premise that, somehow, the ever-so-efficient cloud computing is going to create jobs rather than replace jobs. Does this make any sense to anyone? Cloud computing is like a merger between two companies, only it's a merger between hundreds of corporate IT departments. Whenever a merge happens, the redundancies are eliminated. So what is Microsoft trying to pull here? Is it trying to make itself look like some good-guy job creator?

It gets a little annoying when so-called "job creation" numbers fail to take into account the fact that many jobs are replaced and destroyed. There is no net gain in jobs with cloud computing. Zero. Why would there be? It's a methodology designed to eliminate jobs using the efficiencies of centralized services.
March 5, 2012

Internet rules and laws: the top 10, from Godwin to Poe

An old article from 2009 but still a goodie


1. Godwin’s Law

The most famous of all the internet laws, formed by Mike Godwin in 1990. As originally stated, it said: "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." It has now been expanded to include all web discussions.

It is closely related to the logical fallacy “reductio ad Hitlerum”, which says “Hitler (or the Nazis) liked X, so X is bad”, frequently used to denigrate vegetarians and atheists.

Common Godwin's Law appearances include describing women's rights campaigners as “feminazis”, comparing the former US President George W Bush to Hitler, or saying Barack Obama's proposed healthcare reforms are the new Holocaust.

*end of excerpt*

More at link above, enjoy !

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