Friday, July 29, 2016

Ultimaker makes a backpack for its 3D printers

It carries the 3D printer in its original foam packaging.

Ultimaker's 3D printers will now ship out with a backpack, so you can take them anywhere you want. Now, we don't know why you'd want to to lug a big device around, but we won't judge. Maybe you want to impress a cute, geeky date or print out anything you want to on the go. Or maybe, like the team behind 3DPrinterOS -- those two dudes in the picture above -- you actually need to carry a printer with you for something important, such as teaching 3D printing classes. Whatever your reasons are, this backpack designed to carry the printer in its foam packaging is at least a safer option than regular bags. So, next time a friend moans about the need for a special weapon that can up their Pok√©mon Go game, you can say "I got you, bro."

watch the video here
source: Engadget

Kickstarter created over 300,000 jobs, study says

It also gave rise to 8,800 companies.

Kickstarter has created 29,600 full-time and 283,000 part-time jobs, as well as 8,800 companies thus far, according to a study by Professor Ethan Mollick from the University of Pennsylvania. Mollick, who's been keeping a close eye on Kickstarter for years, surveyed 61,654 successful projects from 2009 to 2015 to look at how the crowdfunding website has been benefiting creators. His study says projects tend to get $2.46 in revenue outside of the website for every dollar pledged, though the amount tends to be higher in food and product design. In all, he estimates that Kickstarter generated a whopping $5.3 billion for the creators and their communities.
Besides listing out a bunch of estimates, Mollick also noted that 37 percent of his survey's responders said their projects helped them advance their careers. A total of 21 percent said they started earning more after running a successful campaign. Some filmmakers, musicians, authors and video game creators reported securing distribution and publishing deals, as well, thanks to their projects. All these numbers sound impressive, but it's worth noting that Kickstarter helped with data gathering. That said, the company swears it had no influence over the professor's analyses.
Besides conjuring up these estimates, Mollick pointed out that the website made it possible for big ventures such as the Oculus Rift and the Pebble smartwatch to take off. Oculus ended up being part of Facebook after the social network snapped it up for $2 billion, while Pebble ignited people's interest in smartwatches. However, folks with great ideas may want to keep in mind that Kickstarter still isn't a magic formula for success. According to the stats the website published, it served as host to more (196,240) unsuccessfully funded than successfully funded projects. Among the 109,662 campaigns that met their goal, around 1 in 10 failed to deliver on their promises and to ship out backers' rewards.
source: Engadget

Microsoft is laying off 2,850 more workers

The cuts are mostly related to its disastrous Nokia acquisition.

Microsoft is cutting an additional 2,850 jobs on top of 1,850 announced in May 2016, meaning it has laid off over 10 percent of its workforce in the last two years. Most are ex-Nokia employees from its mobile hardware division, it said in its annual SEC filing. That means Microsoft has almost nothing left of its $7.2 billion Nokia acquisition, originally intended to make it a smartphone hardware player. The software giant has already notified 900 of the employees and will complete the remaining layoffs by mid-2017.
Microsoft's mobile phone plans are a big question mark, as sales are in a free fall. The only ray of hope for Windows Phone fans (if there are any left) is that Microsoft hinted last year that it needs to make a mobile device as good as the Surface line. A "Surface Phone," however, is still nothing more than a rumor and if it does come along, would likely be aimed at Microsoft's core business market and not consumers. With layoffs now totaling 12,100 in two years, however, Microsoft seems to want nothing to do with building smartphones.
source: Engadget

Sony's mobile division (sorta) makes a profit

A streamlined Xperia brand might be able to limp on for a while longer.

Sony's most recent financial report is out and, if you squint, things almost look good for its moribund mobile division. Sony Mobile posted a profit of $4 million, which the company attributed to the fact that it's fired enough people to get its costs to break even. If you want to put a positive spin on things, it looks like a greatly-slimmed down phone business might generate just enough money to keep it going. Given that Sony's had to cover Mobile's losses with PlayStation's gains for the last few years, some executives may be reaching for the champagne.
But this is Sony, so there's no silver lining without some pretty dark clouds covering the horizon in the form of Japan's currency. The Yen has been getting stronger of late, which means that Sony's exports are more expensive, and less competitive. That's important because Sony needs to sell its products to the world -- something it expects to get harder in the near future. As for Mobile, the company expects sales of Xperia (and its successor) devices to fall once again, because fewer people are buying smartphones -- and when they are, they're going for cheaper Chinese brands.
Overall, the picture for the company isn't looking particularly rosy, with falls in performance noted across almost all of its divisions. The only bright spot was PlayStation, which saw profits increase thanks to more people buying PlayStation 4 games. But a drop in image sensor sales, TVs and the fallout from April's Kumamoto Earthquake mean that profits are down pretty much across the board. So, it's one step forward, three back for Sony which, at this point, most people would call business as usual.
source: Engadget