Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ear plugs, a modern solution

I just started watching a movie with begins with a man who suffers from insomnia, migranes, and very noisy neighbors. This is such a big problem for him that he's fantasising about murdering his neighbors.

There is also an "Ultra" version, I 
don't know how big the difference is.
This is a common problem, and it's clear that many people are not aware that a large part of the problem can be alleviated with a simple solution: modern, comfortable, effective earplugs.

Until a few years ago when a keen reader of this blog made me aware of it (thanks RCmedia), I only knew the traditional earplugs, you may know them: cylindrical, yellow, pretty hard, and not comfortable at all. But the modern ones are a quantum leap better, particularly in comfort.

Currently I use Mack's, but I'll bet there are many good ones.

They are handy in many situations. I'm lucky to live in a rather quiet neighborhood, but there's still the occasional loud party or such. If it's so hot I need to have the air conditioning on. If I've been working late, and need to sleep while the world is awake. And whatnot.
I can still hear my phone on my bedstand, if somebody knocks on my door or if the doorbell rings, but most of the rest of it, they take care of. For many people, they can help if the spouse is a snorer.

Come to think of it, it can be helpful too in the workplace, if it's a very noisy workplace. Or even an office landscape, if the general bustle distracts you from doing any delicate work. Or maybe for a home-worker, to keep distractions at arm's length while you cyber-commute from the corner of the closet.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Focus fireworks

Bert found this cool video where the photographer played around with the focus during filming.

暈け Bokehxplosions from Stanislas Giroux on Vimeo.
Canon 550D, 50mm f/1.8, some gunpowder
Music: Thomas Newman - Arose

Monday, July 22, 2013

3D printing will explode in 2014

3D printing will explode in 2014, thanks to the expiration of key patents
The revolution in manufacturing that was supposed to come with cheap, desktop 3D printers hasn’t materialized because, frankly, the models they produce are basically novelties, handy for giving you a feel for what something will look like in three dimensions, but not really usable for creating prototypes that can be directly translated into molds for mass production, and certainly not usable for creating finished goods.
With the expiration of patents on laser sintering 3D printing, however, all of that is about to change. 

Wow, this may be revolutionary. The beginning of the age of cheap, local, short-run production of all kinds of simple or very complex products, in full usable quality.

The products will probably not sell cheaper than industrial products produced in the millions, because of the economics of scale. But there will be an enormous levelling of the playing field, and probably an explosion of exciting new products, because we no longer will need to get financing to make a factory or even a big machine in order to get a new product into final production. Kickstarter will get busy like never before, except for those products which will become so cheap to make that Kickstarter will not even be needed.

It also means that the "Long Tail" will now now expand from being about digital products into the realm of physical products. And people with taste and needs which are off the mainstream will get much more choice, possibly beyond their wildest dreams.

It will also mean a lot for artists, sculptors particularly. Take for example the official DOMAI sculpture. It is a beautiful, wonderful thing, and those who have bought it love it. But to make it durable means bronze casting, and that is very expensive, so we have to sell even the smallest model (23 centimeters, 9 inches) for $890, which is a lot for most people in an economy like the current. With full industrial strength digital 3D printing, probably this can be brought down considerably.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rosetta Type Foundry

Each typefoundry is unique, but some are more unique than others. Initiated by David Březina from Brno in the Czech Republic, the Rosetta foundry specializes in fonts for writing systems other than the Latin script (the one you’re reading now). 

iPhone as hearing aid

Hearing aids are quite expensive. If you have an iPhone, there may be much cheaper solutions for some situations.