Ars Technica ran an aptly timed article today called How to talk your family out of bad consumer electronics purchases. It’s definitely worth a read.
There’s a great tip in the article. If a doorbuster item has a model number that isn’t available the rest of the year, you don’t want it. That’s a good rule.
Continue reading Beware the Black Friday electronics
I was certain I’d written before about the best glue for paper models, but I guess I haven’t–at least not here. So if you want to build a paper model that lasts, use a pH-neutral PVA bookbinder’s glue. My wife, who has a master’s degree in art education, specifically recommended Books by Hand PVA Adhesive. Although it looks and smells and feels like regular white glue, I find it does a better job of not warping the paper and not bubbling, and for longevity’s sake, you want something that doesn’t change the pH balance of your paper.
I started building model structures with Books by Hand glue in 2004, and those miniature buildings still look like I built them yesterday. Continue reading The best glue for paper models
Slashdot accuses the new Nook HD and HD+ of punching above their weight.
Now, granted, B&N has an uphill fight. But to me, there are several compelling things about these new devices. Maybe these devices don’t have what that particular contributor seeks, but to date, there’s still no one-size-fits-all tablet.
Continue reading Barnes & Noble punches back
The Solidoodle is the first fully assembled 3D printer to hit the magic $500 price point.
Nobody has reviewed one yet, and the device makes some significant compromises in order to get to that price point. Given that, I won’t be among the first to buy one. I’ll reserve that decision for a time when we know what it can and can’t do. But if we look at history, that $500 milestone is important.
Continue reading 3D printing hits $500
Courtesy of Dan Bowman: You may have seen the brief writeup on Slashdot about how to set printers on fire by messing with the fuser, but in Germany next month there’s going to be a security engineer’s nightmare unleashed, courtesy of the HP printer that’s probably sitting a few feet outside your cubicle and mine.
And there’s a whole lot more to it than just messing with the fuser in hopes of killing a printer or (perhaps) starting a fire. There’s a lot more to a printer than toner and a fuser. As the link above says, a printer contains an embedded Linux or Vxworks system that’s trivially easy to install a rootkit on and that nobody’s paying attention to. Seriously, who watches traffic coming from the printer?
The possibilities are endless.
Continue reading Expect your HP printer to get 0wnz0r3d shortly
Tonight I was getting my hair cut, and the stylist asked if I shop on Black Friday. I said I have in the past, but probably will sit this year out. She asked what it’s like, especially in light of the trampling incidents in recent years. I said it can get kind of crazy, but it’s bearable with a plan.
Continue reading How I shop on Black Friday
Though I’m sure you’ve seen it hundreds of other places, the tech industry lost its most memorable pioneer and greatest marketer today. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died, aged 56, after years of declining health. Continue reading RIP, Steve Jobs
The way we buy things (or don’t buy them) has changed a lot in the last decade or so. We stopped buying CDs. Now that our Internet connections are fast enough, we’ve really slowed down on buying movies, too. And the emergence of practical e-readers means a lot fewer people are buying books now too. All of this is part of the reason why there’s probably a Borders closing near you, and there are suddenly a lot less of what we used to call record stores too.
But there’s something even bigger looming overhead. 3D printing. Ars Technica has a piece about its legal implications. Rather than rehash that, I’d rather talk about some of its other implications, including why you should care at all.
Continue reading Buy online, manufacture at home
Ars Technica did a quick and dirty study on whether inkjets or lasers are more cost effective for color printing and came down in favor of the inkjet.
The math works in their laser vs. inkjet battle, but it misses something non-trivial. Ink cartridges dry out. Toner cartridges don’t.
Continue reading Laser vs. inkjet for color printing: The hidden factor
Windows 7 and my HP Laserjet 4100 weren’t getting along. And I was pretty livid about it. I paid $125 for my Windows 7 upgrade, and for that money, I got to mess around for 4 days trying to get better-than-1997 functionality out of what’s supposed to be the latest and greatest. I was about ready to trade it even up for a copy of Windows ME and Microsoft Bob. Because at least then I’d be able to print.
I finally fixed the problem, but finding the solution wasn’t easy. So I’ll present the symptoms and the ultimate solution here.
Continue reading How I fixed an infuriating printer problem