- Top E-Tailers Profiting From Scams — Vertrue, Webloyalty, and Affinion generated more than $1.4 billion by “misleading” Web shoppers, said members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. [...] The government says the investigation shows that [the companies] “trick” consumers into entering their e-mail address just before they complete purchases at sites such as Orbitz, Priceline.com, Buy.com, 1-800 Flowers, Continental Airlines, Fandango, and Classmates.com. A Web ad, which many consumers say appears to be from the retailer, offers them cash back or coupon if they key in their e-mail address.
- Image Swirl (Google Labs) — interesting image search result navigator. It’s fun to play with, trying to figure out why particular sets of images are grouped together.
- Create Crisis (Dan Meyer) — great call to arms for educators. It’s still astonishing to me how few “learning xyz” books follow this advice. Would-be authors, take note! If there were ever an easy way to make your computer book stand out for being better than the rest, this is it!
- Typographic Character Coasters — the single best argument for laser cutters evar. Send the patterns to Ponoko if you don’t have a laser cutter handy.
ENTRIES TAGGED "manufacturing"
Scams, Swirl, Crisis, and Coasters
Web Time Travel, UK Map Data Liberation, Streetview Mashups, 3D Retail
- Memento: Time Travel for the Web — clever versioning hack that uses HTTP’s content negotiation to negotiate about the date!
- Ordnance Survey Maps to Go Online — The prime minister said that by April he hoped a consultation would be completed on the free provision of Ordnance Survey maps down to a scale of 1:10,000, (not the scale of a typical Landranger map set at 1:25,000). The online maps would be free to all, including commercial users who, previously, had to acquire expensive and restrictive licences at £5,000 per usage, a fee many entrepreneurs felt was too high. No word yet on license. (more details here)
- Freedom of Creation Shop — online store for 3D-printed objects. (via Makezine).
SMS Data Collection, Love of Math, Anti-File Sharing Rubbish, Open Manufacturing
- RapidSMS — a free and open-source framework for dynamic data collection, logistics coordination and communication, leveraging basic short message service (SMS) mobile phone technology. UNICEF’s mobile data collection framework, as used in Malawi and other proving grounds. (via gov2expo)
- Groceries — read this and you will realize that Dan Meyer is the math teacher you wish you’d had. He has the geek nature, and his excitement must be great for his students. The express lane isn’t faster. The manager backed me up on this one. You attract more people holding fewer total items, but as the data shows above, when you add one person to the line, you’re adding 48 extra seconds to the line length (that’s “tender time” added to “other time”) without even considering the items in her cart. Meanwhile, an extra item only costs you an extra 2.8 seconds. Therefore, you’d rather add 17 more items to the line than one extra person! I can’t believe I’m dropping exclamation points in an essay on grocery shopping but that’s how this stuff makes me feel.
- How the UK Government Spun 136 People into 7 Million — a radio show looked into the government’s claim of 7 million illegal filesharers and discovered it came down to 136 people in a survey admitting they’d used it. (via br3nda)
- Idle Speculation on the shan zhai and Open Fabrication (Tom Igoe) — shan zhai have established a culture of sharing information about the things they make through open BOMs (bills of materials) and other design materials, crediting each other with improvements. The community apparently self-polices this policy, and ostracizes those that violate it. Open hardware, business, recovery, and more in this fascinating speculation.
iPhone Maps, Tooth Milling, Scratch Updated, Newspapers for All
- Offline Mapping App for iPhone — carry Open Street Maps maps with you even when you’re not in 3G/wifi range. (via Elisabeth)
- My dentist used an in-office CAD & CNC mill to produce a new tooth for me today (Nat Friedman) — hello, future!
- New version of Scratch released — Scratch is an excellent way to teach kids how to program (I’ve had success with lots of 7 and 8 year olds). The new version includes keyboard entry, webcams, and support for Lego WeDo. The user interface has also been changed to work on a Netbook’s 800×600 screen. Kudos to the Scratch team! (via scratchteam on Twitter)
- Newspaper Club – a Work in Progress — blog for the Newspaper Club project. “We’re building a service to help people make their own newspapers. This is the blog where we’re alarmingly honest about where it’s all going wrong.” I can’t figure out whether this is a brilliant decentralisation move that will disrupt the newspaper industry, or a paper form of steampunk. (via Simon Willison)
China has become the production workhorse of the consumer electronics industry. Almost anything you pick up at a Best Buy first breathed life across the Pacific Ocean. But what is it like to shepherd a product through the design and production process? Andrew “Bunnie” Huang has done just that with the Chumby, a new internet appliance. He’ll be speaking about the experience at O’Reilly’s Emerging Technology conference. In an exclusive interview with Radar, he talks about the logistical and moral issues involved with manufacturing in China, as well as his take on the consumer’s right to hack the hardware they purchase.