Cheap 3D printers are poised to wreck companies’ powers to enforce their IP

Ten days ago a 3D printer called The Micro started a Kickstarter campaign with the modest goal of raising $ 50,000 in a month. With 18 days to go, the project has already raised nearly $ 3 million. The Micro has gained more than 10,000 followers and all of the early production runs of the $ 199 and $ 299 versions of the device have sold out. New supporters will have to pick a February 2015 shipment date of pay at least $ 600 for very early test production runs. Obviously, the frenzy of excitement around The Micro seems to indicate that there is real fascination about the idea of owning a 3D printer priced at the level of a video game console.

But what happens if The Micro and its ilk drive the component and manufacturing costs of 3D printers low enough to enable mass market adoption? Gartner has a bleak prediction: Cheap and widely available 3D printers could lead to intellectual property losses topping $ 100 billion per year. Dozens of household items could be replaced by DIY products cranked out by 3D printers. How could Mattel or Hasbro possibly police whether their IP is infringed by individuals in the privacy of their own homes? Could distribution of blueprints for Mickey Mouse candleholders or Gucci eyeglass frames possibly be effectively blocked?

It seems inevitable that major IP issues will pop up sooner or later. But it’s another question entirely how precisely the cheap home printers can shape products in the near future and whether the tactile feel, flexibility, weight and coloring of home-brewed products is good enough for people to start substituting household items en masse. Toy and household goods vendors also have the option of trying to embed electronics into their products to make them harder to mimic and raising value added. This could push the toy business towards Disney Infinity type direction where physical items are designed to interact with tablets and phones, thus rendering them immune to attempts to duplicate.

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Batman 1966 TV Series Batcave Granix Art Plaque

Batman 1966 TV Series Batcave Granix Art Plaque Batman 1966 TV Series Batcave Granix Art Plaque

Others will know your devotion to the Caped Crusader is rock-solid when they see your Batman 1966 TV Series Batcave Granix Art Plaque, which features all the Bat goodness you could possibly want in one image.

Sure, it’s cool that a retro image from the popular 1966 Batman TV series is being displayed on a large chunk of slate but it’s the image itself that really makes this a win for fans. Just look at all the goodies that are included here:

Of course, you get Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin but you also get a peek at the classic Batcave, along with a decent look at the 1966 Batmobile, which is still one of the best vehicles Batman has ever driven, in my opinion. You can even see Alan Napier as Alfred, puttering around in the Batcave with his green apron as he dusts or brings sandwiches down for the Dynamic Duo… or whatever it was he did in the Batcave.

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Yahoo! Taking On Instagram With Flickr

Yahoo announced some new changes to Flickr with version 3.0 for iOS and Android, and they seem to be aimed at competing with the wildly popular Instagram photo sharing service with a number of filters, advanced editing, intelligent search, and plenty of social elements.

There are fourteen different live photo filters you can employ even before you snap a picture, and there are plenty of editing tools beyond that. The live filters work on up to 30 seconds of video, too.

flickr v3 main1 Yahoo! Taking On Instagram With Flickr   flickr v3 main2 Yahoo! Taking On Instagram With Flickr

Users get Flickr’s 1TB of storage with an AutoSync feature that backs up your photos as soon as you take them (in their original quality), and you can search your own photo database with terms such as a month and year or a place, and the engine will locate pertinent photos intelligently. You can also easily share batches of photos from the app to Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. Read more…

Motorola will soon launch an even cheaper, slimmer Android handset

 Motorola will soon launch an even cheaper, slimmer Android handset

Motorola has previously hinted that it wants to offer users an even more affordable smartphone this year, and Tecnblog says it learned that such a handset will launch this May. The Moto G has been one of Motorola’s best-selling smartphones thanks to its affordable price, and this new device may be even cheaper.

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 Motorola will soon launch an even cheaper, slimmer Android handset

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Week in Gaming: Tomodachi madness, Sony’s Titanfail, and a nuclear Fallout 4 hint

 Week in Gaming: Tomodachi madness, Sonys Titanfail, and a nuclear Fallout 4 hint

How many games have you played in which Karl Kennedy from Neighbours opens a scone stall by the beach?

The answer should be "None, but not a day goes by that I don’t fantasise about it".

Yet in the bizarre world of Tomodachi Life, this is an everyday occurrence. As is Clare Balding and Bane having a rap battle, Pierce Brosnan taking a bath, and Shaggy reading the news.

TechRadar’s been playing Tomodachi Life for less than a week and, as you might have guessed right now, we’re still not entirely sure what’s going on. All we know is that it’s oddly addicting and quite possibly the maddest thing we’ve ever encountered.

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AT&T Doles Out More Data For GoPhone Plan Customers With No Contract

Often overlooked in the mobile market for some reason is prepaid plans, and AT&T’s prepaid GoPhone deals are about to get sweeter. Customers will soon enjoy an increase in monthly data without an increase in rates, and more importantly, they’ll be able to use their phones as a mobile WiFi hotspot.

There are three new plans altogether: For $ 60 per month, one offers an increase in data (from 2GB to 2.5GB) with unlimited talk and talk and the WiFi hotspot capabilities. Another doubles the data from 250MB per month to 500MB per month and offer 500 minutes of talk time, for $ 40 per month. There’s also a new plan that offers 1GB of data with unlimited talk time for $ 45 per month.

att gophone main AT&T Doles Out More Data For GoPhone Plan Customers With No Contract

Those are decent deals all around, but the killer is the mobile WiFi hotspot capabilities. Anyone who travels for work or for pleasure can attest to the need to tether their smartphones at times. Whether that’s digging in and getting some serious work done or just needing to jump on their laptop to pull up and email an important file, it’s an incredibly useful tool. Read more…

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