Is 3D Printing An Opportunity Or A Threat?

3d_Printing pros and consScientists and engineers are excited about 3D printing. It’s a breakthrough in the sense that it could be used to create costly things at a low cost, thus lowering the cost of manufacturing. The benefits should flow down to the end user because medical expenses or technical gadgets could become more affordable. However, live anything new, there are two sides to this too.

To begin with, 3D printing was being used by some engineers and technical experts since the 1980s. However, it has received hype only recently. The availability of 3D printers at cost-effective prices has allowed people to explore the benefits of this technology. Even US President Barack Obama spoke about it in one of his speeches. He said, “(3D printing) …has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost anything.”


Reducing the complexity of medical science

With more viable and cost-effective 3D printing solutions coming to the market, it is expected that the benefits of this technology will spread to almost every field in the near future. Medical science and healthcare are expected to benefit significantly from this technology. Reports suggest that researchers are now  busy exploring the possibility of replacing complex human organs with 3D printed objects.

Some researchers at Princeton University have even printed a replica of the outer ear using silver nano particles, human cells and hydrogel. Therefore, it will not be wrong to expect that the new technology will bring some breakthrough changes in the medical stream.

Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing can also make a great difference to the lives of automotive engineers and industrial developers. They will be able to visualize the model or prototype of the product they manufacture, resulting in greater accuracy.

 

Also Read: The Most Fascinating 3D Printing Technologies:Fused Deposition vs Selective Laser Sintering 

Creative professionals are worried sick

Those who are working in the creative fields are worried about what 3D printing would do to their business. It is already being expected that the retail and sports sectors could also enjoy some significant changes if 3D printing becomes a more viable option in the coming times.

However, designers are worried that this technology could sound the death knell for creativity. Kayne West spoke about it on the show Keeping Up With The Kardashians,  “This is what I’m afraid of–because the Internet destroyed the music industry and now, this is what we’re afraid of right now with the textile industry.” He added, “There will come a time when people are making their shoes at home.”

Tell us what you think about this technology. Would it cause more harm than good? Would it be good to have a check on 3D printing practices?

 … Read the rest

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What People Want From Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Google is all set to launch its new Android 6.0 OS on September 29. Termed ‘Marshmallow’ this time, there are a lot of expectations from the new OS. Invites for the event have already been sent out and expectations are high.

The most important question on everyone’s mind is, how will it differ from the Apple’s recently-launched iOS 9? Here are the improvements avid Android users would like to see in Android 6.0.

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Anuja Sharma, who has been using Android phones for a long time says, “I want muted and coral tones in the new Google OS. The brightness does not appeal anymore.”

Alisha Singh suggests it could do with some changes to the gallery. “I love how iOS 9 lets you hide your pictures. Why not bring this or something more to Android 6.0?”

Also Read: Google Set To Release Android 6.0–Christens It Marshmallow

“Security, security and security, there is nothing else I need in Marshmallow”, says private professional Shreyans  Singh. “Dude I do everything on my phone. I am scared if it gets hacked.”

iOS 9 has enhanced its security features by enabling six-digit security passwords. “What I will really like in Marshmallow is one-tap copy past functions (sic),” says media professional Mahendra.

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How will it hold up against iOS 9?

Android 6.0 really needs to up it game against iOS 9. We do expect it to make multitasking a priority, but what most people worry for is the security. Many android users face trouble with their phones being hacked into.

The latest Android OS is also expected to come with a battery-saving feature called “Doze”, much like the lower power mode in iOS 9.

While Marshmallow will come with Android Pay, iOS 9 already features Apple Pay. All of this makes competition tough for both the operating systems.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow is due to release next week.

Also Read: iOS 9 Hands On Review: Apple’s Fancy FeaturesRead the rest

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Draft Encryption Policy Withdrawn: 10 Reasons

Coming under tremendous public ire, the Indian government has already withdrawn its draft proposal that required users to share all the information they shared over online exchanges. If the proposal had seen the light of the day, it would have radically altered how people use social media, communication services like WhatsApp and Hike. Find out a 10-point cheatsheet to this huge story below:

I. IT Minister of India Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the earlier proposed National Encryption Policy was released to people for feedback without his knowledge. He also accepted that it was not done properly and that it is being reworked.

II. He also assured that any new rules would not hamper the lives of common people in any way and that the government is well aware of its duty to protect and promote freedom of the social media.

III. The draft proposal wanted apps and platforms to register with the government, the kind of encryption service they use or sign-up, and to use only those encryption services that are approved by the government.

IV. It must be noted that when a message is sent via services like WhatsApp, it gets automatically coded/scrambled and then decoded for the addressee.

V. The draft proposal wanted all users and businesses to save their communications through messages for 90 days and provide those to the government if demanded.

VI. After NDTV broadcast this news on Monday, a clarification note was issued by the government informing that the new National Encryption Policy would not regulate social media in any way.

VII. The new rules to unscramble data would not be applicable to e-commerce and Internet banking.

VIII. Experts even flagged the draft proposal saying the language was loose and could not be applicable for apps and message communication services.

IX. Some aspects of the proposal also suggested that services that do not register their method of message encryption with the government would be declared illegal in India.

X. In 2010, the UPA government had declared a ban BBM if BlackBerry did not give Indian security agencies access to snoop on their emails. Eventually, both of them came to an agreement that would let the government to intercept communications made on BlackBerry’s platform through emails or messages.… Read the rest

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#SkypeDown: Great For Other Voice Chat Apps

After facing hours of outage on Monday, Skype was finally restored for users in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Apart from frustrated users, this problem also led to many new video chatting apps raising their banners.

Video calling apps wrote some extra tweets

Skype downUsers regularly access Skype for personal and work purposes. They took to Twitter to express their concerns. Interestingly, many johnny-come-lately apps that offer voice and video chats also took to #skypedown to promote their services. Discordapp.com and rabb.it were some of the names that came up. They conveyed messages like, who needs Skype and it’s time to check out a new app.  

According to Statista, Skype had 300 million active users as of August 2015. This is the highest number of users among video calling social networks. The numbers suggest there is a vast market to explore but most competitors have not been able to make a breakthrough. Skype has become a synonym for video chats with its many subscribers ad ease of use.

After the long breakdown Skype witnessed yesterday, it remains to be seen if other video calling apps are able to make a little dent. If there’s someone determined out there, it could also be the beginning of a new phase for video calling.

Skype is not the first 

Skype is not the only big name to face such concerns recently. Last week, Twitter’s desktop client went kaput for over an hour. Over the weekend, Amazon Web Services also suffered a break down, which affected services like Buffer and Netflix as well.

What was the issue with Skype?

Microsoft, which owns Skype, said that they had “detected an issue with the status settings”. The status of many people showed “offline”, which restricted them from making calls. However, the issues was resolved about 4 hours back.

Skype had acknowledged the problem and they were constantly informing users about the status through their social media channels. In a further blog post, the company said, “We’re in the process of reconnecting our users, and focused on restoring full service.” The statement added that Skype for Business users was not affected yesterday.

Skype went down Monday morning, which caused a lot of panic among people who depend on it for various purposes.… Read the rest

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Interview: NearGroup App Gets Neighbours Closer

While IIT Madras alumni Prashant Pitti was busy preparing for a marathon, he realized he needed company in the neighborhood. He was not motivated enough to run all by himself and was looking for someone who could train with him but struggled to find a neighbor to do that. Thus came the idea to launch an app that would connect you to people in the neighborhood–the Near Group app. NearGroup

Near Group app is a platform where people get to meet like-minded people. “We live in a digital world and there is no better way to interact, than in virtual groups,” says Pitti. This, the app makes socializing easy, he adds. Read on to know how Pitti thinks his new venture will bring like-minded people closer and make life easier.

What are the unique aspects of Near-Group app?

Pitti: It brings compatible people under one roof. In the times when everyone is leading a busy lifestyle, our app give you the opportunity to interact with neighbors who seldom step out of their houses.

How does it work?

Pitti: You can register on the app via Facebook. You can also request an invitation to the app on Neargroup.in. It allows people of the same location with similar interests become members of niche groups when they sign up.

How do users ensure that they are interacting with genuine people?

Pitti: No member can become the part of the group without going through a screening process. Their Facebook profiles are thoroughly screened before anyone is made the member of the group.

What you think of local businesses coming online?

Pitti: It is great that people are finally realizing the potential of digital media. Selling your products online is only a peek into the future.

What response have you got with Near Group app?

Pitti: The response has been tremendous. More than 15060 people have registered with the app till now.
 … Read the rest

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Harry Potter-Style Cloak Coming Soon!

For all those who are under the Harry Potter spell, scientists have confirmed that the invisibility cloak is now a reality. Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley have published that they have been successful in creating an ultra-thin invisibility cloak made from microscopic rectangular gold blocks that manipulates light.

The cloak can be wrapped around any object to make it invisible to the naked eye. The blocks act like skin and cling to the shape of the object underneath so that it can remain undetected using visible light.

The Details Revealed

US scientists invisibility cloakPublished in Science journal, the study also suggested that while these experiments involved cloaking small objects as of now, there will be tests on larger and more real objects so that the technology can be put to use even on a military scale.

Specs of the invisible cloak

What we know so far is that the cloak is 80 nanometres thick. Also, the surface of the cloak can reroute light waves scattered onto it to hide the object underneath. It could take five years or even a decade for this technology to be put to practical use, says Xiang Zhang, Director, Materials Sciences Division of US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

At the experimentation stage, light with a waveleangth of 730 nanometers was reflected towards the sample object. The light bounced off the object without revealing it, the scientists have said.

While designing the cloak, scientists have also ensured that the nanoantennas are engineered in a manner that it adjusts to the shape of the object. This also ensures that the object does not move and retains invisibility.

The German invisibility box 

Meanwhile, some KIT scientists in Germany are also working on a box that can be used to hide small objects. Robert Schittny, who heads the research project said, “It is a macroscopic cloak that you can look at with [the naked eye] and hold in your hands.”Read the rest

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iOS 9 Hands On Review: Apple’s Fancy Features

IMG-20150917-WA0029iOS 9 has come as a whiff of fresh air. It truly has some innovative features as opposed to other recent launches from Apple. First and foremost, my iPhone 6 (64 GB) has become swift… bye-bye sluggishness. Pages are opening in microseconds and everything is working at Quicksilver speed, honestly the world seems to moving at a slower pace.

Apple has clearly stepped out of the nest and has added some nifty features to the new iOS. Okay, you can pull down the home screen and make way for the Search Screen, thanks to feature called Spotlight. You will get suggestions of contact and apps based on where you are and what you doing.

IMG-20150917-WA0027Here is an interesting incident, I was traveling to Pune when Spotlight suggested an app called Trip-It… Viola!  And now I can easily share and plan my itineraries. I did not find anything new in the app suggestions as just like previous iOS it gave me options from most frequently contacted people.

Calendar also tells you when is your next meeting scheduled. Being a music enthusiast what really impressed me is Apple’s keen interest in suggesting the music I can play in my car. I connected the phone via Bluetooth to my car and the list of relevant songs popped up.

Siri has come way ahead of its times and now it will show you the photos from a past event when asked. Ask for the photo from a birthday and they will grace your screen in no time.

Another thing that Apple has done is blocking the ads. This feature has really made loading of page swift. The new News apps lets you pick the content of your own interest, so you get he news you want to read. I am already getting my daily dose of fashion, thanks to iOS 9.

Notes apps lets you make checklist and even draw sketches. Apple Maps work better on iOS 9. I have used it to travel from Delhi to Jaipur, worked well for me. The most vital feature of iOS 9 is increased security.  Instead of 4 now you have to put a 6 digit passcode. The probability of anyone hacking into my phone has decreased drastically.

iI am already drooling over iOS9… it is indeed a step-up for Apple.… Read the rest

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Facebook Pays Up For Under-Age Gaffe

Following complaints from a father about his daughter being exposed to “sexual predators at the age of 11”, Facebook has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum. This is an out-of-court settlement as the hearing was due next week. With this, Facebook has had to pay because of their inability to restrict under-aged users from accessing the site.

According to reports, the man has accused the site of exposing his 11-year-old daughter to sexual predators as she uploaded explicit images of herself to contact men from different accounts. The lawyer of the family has accused Facebook of neglecting its “duty of care” whereby they should ensure the age of users before signing them up.

However, the spokesman for Facebook has said that they do not allow users below 13 years to open an account. In case somebody under aged tries to open an account, they remove it as soon as it comes to notice. He did not mention any details related to the case because all parties are bound to maintain confidentiality.

Social networking platforms like LinkedIn, Snapchat, Tumblr and Instagram have also restricted the minimum age of users to 13 years to ensure healthy interactions. However, it is not uncommon to see young users online faking their age. As online companies grow, it should be considered how they can keep the private lives of their users safe.

The father who has sued Facebook is from Ireland. He has preferred to remain anonymous.

 … Read the rest

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Fit Hai Boss! Indian Govt. Launches Own OS

BOSS Indian OSThe Indian government is set to release a new and improved version of BOSS (Bharat Operating System Solutions), a home-grown operating system for use in offices.

Developed by C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), it has a Linux distribution. Set to be launched this month, the OS was developed in association with Gujarat Technical University, DRDO and some private players.

Indian government portals have faced attacks in the past and this OS is expected to prevent such occurrences. It’s believed that BOSS will be able to overcome vulnerabilities currently present in the government’s cyberspace. The new OS will be able to prevent the exposure of government systems and software to outside parties.

BOSS was initially developed by the National Resource Centre for Free/Open Source Software in 2007. It is a free and open source OS that is expected to replace Microsoft Windows in future. The software was last updated in 2013. However, reports suggest that it has undergone many changes this time round.… Read the rest

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Is Apple iPhone 6s Plus A Great Smartphone?

Two new Apple iPhones were launched at a grand event this week–the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. These handsets have introduced some improvements to existing features and seen little fresh changes. One of the most innovative changes introduced with the iPhone 6s is the much-hyped 3D Force touch technology. This make it a lot easier to handle the device, especially if you are pairing it with the Apple Watch.

Sure, the handsets have a host of improved features but they failed to impress many investors. To start with, the high price of these smartphones has disappointed buyers. Features of the phone also leave a lot to be desired. It is therefore important to compare this phone against other smartphones available in the market.

Is Apple iPhone 6s Plus the best choice for smartphone buyers?The iPhone 6s contemporaries

One of the major setbacks for the iPhone 6s is that it has a smaller screen size compared to the Motorola Moto X Pure Edition, Sony Xperia Z5 Premium and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. While these phones offer 5.7-inch displays, the Apple smartphone has a 5.5-inch display.

Pixel density on the Apple smartphone is also low compared to the other phablets. Even though Apple has worked on the camera yet again, iPhone 6s Plus only boasts of a 12MP camera, while Samsung’s smartphone has a 16MP camera, Motorola 21MP and Sony 23MP.

The storage capacity is also low compared to the other phones. However, the weight is more. Therefore, someone considering to buy a new phablet this fall is recommended to make a wise study of the choices available in the market before making the pick. … Read the rest

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