It’s another bad-news story for the US newspaper industry: newsroom jobs slumped another 10.4 percent to the lowest level since tracking began in 1978.
The annual survey by the American Society of News Editors released Tuesday found newsroom employment dropped to 32,900 in 2014 from 36,700 a year earlier.
“If we project the recent decline forward, we’ll have one-half the number of daily journalists working in 2016 or 2017 as we did 16 years ago.”
The survey highlighted the ongoing hemorrhaging at traditional news organizations as readers turn to online sources of information.
But the results also showed some gains in large-circulation newspapers and some very small ones.
“And this year’s loss happened in the best US economy in close than a decade. Daily newspapers have bled people in good times and bad.”
— Ken Doctor, a media analyst at the research firm Outsell
ASNE found the number of employees at newspapers with daily circulations between 250,000 and 500,000 increased by 13.98 percent.
Those with circulations under 5,000 had a 15.9 percent increase in the number of employees.
But the drop was a whopping 21.58 percent among newspapers with circulations between 100,000 and 250,000. Read the rest of this entry »
Jun Hongo reports: Researchers at the University of Tokyo said they have created a new electricity-conducting ink with high elasticity which can be used to print circuits on textile.
According to their research, published in Nature Communications magazine on Thursday, the elastic conductor ink is made from silver flakes, fluorine rubber and fluorine surfactant. There have been similar substances developed in the past, but the new fluid can be stretched up to three times and still keep its electrical conductivity.
“This is a technology that allows us to create conductors on a textile with a single printing step,” University of Tokyo professor Takao Someya told Japan Real Time Friday. “What’s new about them is that they are very flexible.”
Exactly how the new ink would be useful isn’t clear yet, although Prof. Someya has a number of ideas. Circuits printed on clothing could be used as part of medical devices measuring heart rate or other body activity, he suggested. Read the rest of this entry »
Solid Concepts has successfully produced what it claims to be the world’s first 3D printed metal gun. And unlike the Liberator before it, this one looks a whole lot closer to the traditional firearms you’re used to seeing. According to its creators, the metal gun functions without issue and has already fired off over 50 rounds. Building it involved the process of laser sintering — which helped them manufacture over 30 individual components for the gun — and various powdered metals. The point of all of this, Solid Concepts says, is to provide yet more evidence of 3D printing’s potential; that the technology of far more than making “trinkets and Yoda heads.”
MakerBot has a retail store in Manhattan. And UPS is testing in-store 3DPrinting services in five locations. But how many neighborhoods or Main Streets have a small-biz, 3D printing/digital fabrication retail store? One that not only prints but teaches classes and sells printers?
The answer is… not very many. According to MAKE contributing editor, Anna Kaziunas France, there is Deezmaker in Pasadena; The Color Company andiMakr in London; The 3D Printing Store in Denver; and the GetPrinting3D Retail Store in Evanston.
Meet AIO Robotics‘ Zeus “3D copy device”: a 3D printer, 3D scanner and 3D object faxing machine that’s blasted past its $100,000 Kickstarter funding goal after about a day on the crowdfunding trail. This hybrid box is on a mission to consumerise 3D printing by converging multiple functions and taking away some of the rough, manual edges.
A 3-D printed drone is shot down by insurgents near a far-flung base manned by the U.S. military. Within hours, a small lab dropped onto the base by a helicopter days before churns out a replacement — along with plenty of ammunition and reinforced shelters for the troops. A few miles off a nearby coastline, a naval ship-turned-factory harvests resources from the sea and uses on-board printers to make everything from food to replacement organs.
It’s a far-out vision for future combat, but at least one naval officer thinks it could happen. According to Lt. Cmdr. Michael Llenza, who sketched out the scenario in the latest Armed Forces Journal, 3-D printing could arguably “upend the way we think about supply chains, sea basing and even maritime strategy.” And by we, Llenza doesn’t just mean Americans. The Chinese military is already bragging about how they are printing parts for their next-gen aircraft.
Aside from drones — which have already been printed — ammunition could potentially be produced with the machines, as the casings would be “relatively easy,” he writes. (The Pentagon would just have to find a way to produce the propellants.) Additive manufacturing also “offers a new way to think about building shelters or other structures on a beachhead or forward operating base.” The hope, as the theory goes, is that large-scale investments in 3-D printing could take a lot of strain off the supply lines modern military forces depend on to survive.
None of this amounts to the official position of the Pentagon, but publications like the Armed Forces Journal serve as influential arenas where many theories and ideas from military officers — some which are later incorporated — are first put up for debate. And it’s no surprise the potential (and existing) military uses of 3-D printers has been getting a lot of recent ink.
In April, Navy lieutenants Scott Cheney-Peters and Matthew Hipple sketched out a theoretical future Navy in the widely read U.S. Naval Institute journal Proceedings that imagined ships capable ofharvesting the oceans for 3-D printing material, and floating factories capable of manufacturing repair parts for a fleet of ships. Even shipyards, the authors wrote, could be effectively converted into giant 3-D printers. Llenza, who is also a Senior Naval Fellow at the non-partisan Atlantic Council, has taken that concept and run with it.
But there are also dangers, he warns…
Two thousand and twelve will probably be remembered as the year 3D printing broke into the mainstream.
While 3D printers don’t yet compete with toasters or DVD players in the home, the dam on the consumer market has been breached as the number of lower priced, easy-to-use models–and those who use them–grows. Part of this trend surely comes from the ever-expanding catalog of 3D printed objects, from the useful to the fanciful. Printing chess pieces and busts of Stephen Colbert is nice, but the range of what people create with their printers grows by the day and in turn inspires others to model and print ever more striking/utilitarian/beautiful/ridiculous/amazing objects.
What follows is a round-up of some of the more compelling items that came across our desks in 2012. As I look at the list it strikes me that it represents a moment in time. I can only imagine how such a list will look a whole 12 months from now. To the future!
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