A Primer on 3D “Printing”

I’ve heard a lot about 3D printing over the past year, but I never really knew what it was or how it worked except that it’s cool is coming to the Free Library.

TED Talks to the rescue! I learned what 3D printing is, how it works, and that in the future when your vacuum breaks, you might be able to print out a replacement part from your home.

I still feel weird about the “printer” part of “3D printer,” since a seal for your vacuum can’t appear “in print,” and there’s no ink involved! But it does have a catchy ring to it…

Check out Lisa Harouni: a primer on 3D printing {ted}.

Apple Ambivalence

I’ve been a Mac user since about 2003. I was frustrated with my Windows machine, with the way nothing on it seemed to work based on intuition. Macs seemed (and are) simpler, more detail obsessed, and easier to use. After I switched, I wondered why Apple wasn’t more successful.

Fast forward to Q1 2012 {the verge}, and Apple is the world’s most valuable company. (Or at least they were for a little while today; Exxon has since taken the top spot again. But still, that’s Exxon.)  It’s extraordinary. And I can’t help but be fascinated by their success, and weirdly proud of what they’ve accomplished.

And that bugs me. Why should I care how successful a ubiquitous, massive multinational corporation like Apple is, and one with a questionable dedication to fair labor practices to boot.

David Heinemeier Hansson, nailed it today, and made me feel a little less crazy. An excerpt:

Still, financial results of the likes Apple delivered yesterday serve as an affirmation of all that energy spent telling their story. Believing in the underdog. Like your favorite home team who couldn’t get into premier league while growing up just won the Superbowl, the Stanley Cup, and the World Series all together for the 10th time in a row — and you were the only one to believe in them. It’s an immensely satisfying feeling.

Read the rest: Watching Apple Win the World  {37 signals blog; via daring fireball}.

I Think I Have the Right to Grow

Author Eric Klinenberg has a new book about the rise of living alone in the U.S. and elsewhere. In an interview with the Smithsonian, he highlights some of the research (in Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Chicago 35-45% of people live alone), and suggests that technology makes it possible, desirable even, to be connected while alone:

The next thing, I would say, is that we live today in a culture of hyperconnection, or overconnection. If we once worried about isolation, today, more and more critics are concerned that we’re overconnected. So in a moment like this, living alone is one way to get a kind of restorative solitude, a solitude that can be productive, because your home can be an oasis from the constant chatter and overwhelming stimulation of the digital urban existence.

I’m wary of suggesting that something like Facebook enables genuine human connection, but I’ll grant that we’re better off with it than without it.

Get the book: Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone {amazon}.

{via andrew sullivan}