I spent half an hour in front of some video cameras at Revision3’s SF studio on Friday, with host Patrick Norton and fellow guest Mike Elgan, of ComputerWorld. We talked about Microsoft’s big reorg (and whether Ballmer was killing the company or not), the NSA’s PRISM program, the upcoming Def Con conference, Apple’s recent legal loss in the e-book price-fixing case, Dropbox, and whether Apple would be making a new, cheaper iPhone.
It was a lively, engaging discussion, and I had fun doing it. Check it out!
Just before the holiday, my friend and former boss Jim Louderback invited me to appear on his video show, downLOADED, to talk about the week’s top tech stories. To my surprise, Redg Snodgrass — another friend, who has worked with VentureBeat off and on over the past two years — was the other guest. The three of us had too much fun, I’m sure, chatting about Instagram’s new terms of service, Apple’s decision to shut down a useful charging station project on Kickstarter, why RIM needs a miracle, and the controversy over 3D printed guns.
Is there anything more American than a robot that can create anything you want out of a spool of plastic and some electricity?
It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that 3D printers offer levels of Jeffersonian self-reliance that our founding fathers only dreamed of.
“We have a consumer product that’s anti-consumerist,” MakerBot Industries founder Bre Pettis told me at CES 2012, where I captured the short video above. “When you get a MakerBot, you have an alternative to buying things. You can download them … or you can design something and make it custom yourself.”
The new MakerBot Replicator is a $1,750 box that can print three-dimensional objects by melting and fusing bits of plastic line, layer by minuscule layer. A version that prints objects in two colors costs $2,000. It’s one of several new, affordable 3D printers that are hitting the market this year.
Within a few years, your car may become a hub of interconnected devices, media and online services.
And you thought it was for getting you around town.
I recently spent a little time in a tricked-out 2009 Corvette whose dashboard included some proof-of-concept technology to integrate the car with a smartphone, a tablet, and the internet.
The console was created by QNX, the company that makes the operating system that underlies GM’s OnStar systems, Toyota’s upcoming Entune, and other vehicles. It’s similar to these systems, except it extends them by adding even more integration with the consumer devices you’re carrying.
In this car, the dashboard can interact with other devices in your car, such as your iPhone, a BlackBerry, or RIM’s upcoming tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook. It can play media from all of the above, or connect to the internet (via 3G) to stream music from Pandora.
Because QNX also makes the operating system underlying the PlayBook, there’s also a possibility that developers can create software for your car as easily as they can for the tablet, using HTML5, Java and other tools familiar to app developers.
In this video, I take a look at some of the ways cars will soon gain even more sophisticated connectivity.
When the tentacled aliens from Gliese 581g arrive on Earth, they’ll probably be riding a YikeBike.
At least, that’s how the YikeBike looks. In reality, it’s made for the posteriors of humans, not the glistening thoraxes of our future Gliesean overlords. It’s the most compact electric bicycle ever made, its creators claim, and it looks the way it does because they threw out every preconception about the way bikes are supposed to look.
Instead, they stripped the YikeBike down to its essentials: One big wheel to propel you forward and one little rear wheel to stabilize your ride. It’s a design that inventor Grant Ryan, the founder of YikeBike, calls a “mini-farthing.”
We spent some time with Ryan recently, riding his strange two-wheeled contraption around the Wired parking lot. Watch the video above to see it in action. Despite its looks, it’s quite fun to ride.
I spent a few minutes on CNBC Asia talking about Wired’s picks for the hottest (and most unusual) gadgets of 2009. Most of these came from Wired’s awesome Wish List 2009, a roundup of 100 amazing gadgets.