from Pradodesign Researchers discover a new way to identify 3D printed guns
Researchers at the University at Buffalo have found that 3D printers have fingerprints, essentially slight differences in design that can be used to identify prints. This means investigators can examine the layers of a 3D printed object and pinpoint exactly which machine produced the parts.
“3D printing has many wonderful uses, but it’s also a counterfeiter’s dream. Even more concerning, it has the potential to make firearms more readily available to people who are not allowed to possess them,” said Wenyao Xu, lead author of the study.
The researchers found that tiny wrinkles in each layer of plastic can be used to identify a “printer’s model type, filament, nozzle size and other factors cause slight imperfections in the patterns.” They call their technology PrinTracker.
“Like a fingerprint to a person, these patterns are unique and repeatable. As a result, they can be traced back to the 3D printer,” wrote the researchers.
This process works primarily with FDM printers like the Makerbot which use long spools of filament to deposit layers of plastic onto a build plate. Because the printers used in 3D printed guns are usually more complex and more expensive there could be less variation in the individual layers and, more importantly, the layers might be harder to discern. However, for some simpler plastic parts could exhibit variations.
“3D printers are built to be the same. But there are slight variations in their hardware created during the manufacturing process that lead to unique, inevitable and unchangeable patterns in every object they print,” said Xu.
from Pradodesign Fusty Ol’ Scientific Texts Get a Gorgeous, Pricey Makeover Arty versions of science classics are mostly a gift for your midcentury modern coffee table—but crack them open, and you might learn a thing or two about science too. https://ift.tt/2P829ez https://ift.tt/1P9I4xH
from Pradodesign Rockstar’s ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ Crunch Controversy and the Rest of the Week in Games You thought the industry’s labor problem was under control? Good luck with that! https://ift.tt/2PIWk4i https://ift.tt/1P9I4xH
from Pradodesign PayPal and American Express expand partnership, will allow use of points for PayPal purchases
PayPal this week announced an expanded relationship with American Express that will allow cardholders to use their Membership Rewards points when shopping from PayPal merchants, as well as more integrated experience within both PayPal and the Amex apps, among other things.
The deal is similar to those PayPal earlier struck with Visa and MasterCard., and follows a series of partnerships it has made across the industry, including others with Apple, Google, Samsung, and, most recently, Walmart, designed to increase its PayPal’s visibility and adoption.
In addition to using points for purchases at PayPal’s millions of online merchants, the new partnership will also allow Amex mobile app users to send money through PayPal or Venmo directly in the app. And they’ll be able to add their American Express cards to their PayPal wallet directly from the app, too.
On PayPal’s side, users will be able to pay their Amex bill with their PayPal or Venmo balance using the PayPal Instant Transfer feature, and it will more clearly identify users’ specific American Express cards in the PayPal wallet using card-specific branding.
These agreements have represented something of a change of course for PayPal over the past couple of years. Before, the company had been pursuing its own brick-and-mortar strategy to see its payment mechanism integrated at point-of-sale. But those ambitions have died down, and now PayPal is focused on expanding its relationships other payment providers, like Apple Pay or major credit cards, turning former rivals into partners.
“This partnership is the product of our companies’ strong commitment to create innovative payment experiences that utilize both organizations’ core assets, including the ability for customers to pay with American Express Membership Rewards points and the integration of peer-to-peer payments into the Amex app,” said Dan Schulman, President and CEO, PayPal, in a statement about the Amex agreement. “Our new partnership expands PayPal’s ubiquity, and enables us to offer consumers and merchants new and innovative product experiences,” he added.
PayPal says it will also integrate into the American Express Token Service, and continue its global card acceptance relationship, as part of this deal. The two companies will work together to implement the new features over the course of 2019.
These expanded agreements with stakeholders in the payments industry may be working.
The company also reported earnings this week, noting the addition of 9.1 million accounts during the quarter and a 25 percent increase in total payment volume. Payment volume in Venmo was also up 78% in Q3. PayPal’s total revenue grew 14% in the quarter to $3.68 billion, while earnings were up 26 percent.
from Pradodesign Facebook hires former UK Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg, as global policy chief
Facebook has confirmed it has hired the former leader of the UK’s third largest political party — Nick Clegg of the political middle ground Liberal Democrats — to head up global policy and comms.
The news was reported earlier by the Financial Times.
Facebook hires Nick Clegg, the former UK deputy prime minister, to head its global affairs and communications team. https://t.co/EhPZlJ0hJL pic.twitter.com/VqRR2chNyk
— Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) October 19, 2018
Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch that Clegg’s title will be VP, global affairs and communications, and that he starts on Monday — and will be moving with his family to California in the New Year.
Former global policy and communications chief, Elliot Schrage, who has been in post for a decade is staying on as an advisor, according to Facebook, and in a post announcing Clegg’s hire COO Sheryl Sandberg thanked Schrage for his “leadership, tenacity, and wise counsel ‑- in good times and bad”.
Facebook told us that Sandberg and founder Mark Zuckerberg were both deeply involved in the hiring process, beginning discussions with Clegg over the summer — as fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal continued to rain down around it — and emphasizing they have already spent a lot of time with him.
Facebook also made a point of noting that Clegg is the most senior European politician to ever take up a senior executive leadership role in Silicon Valley.
The hire certainly looks like big tech waking up to the fact it needs a far better relationship with European lawmakers.
Zuckerberg didn’t make any friends in Europe today
In a post on Facebook announcing his new job, Clegg says as much, writing: “Having spoken at length to Mark and Sheryl over the last few months, I have been struck by their recognition that the company is on a journey which brings new responsibilities not only to the users of Facebook’s apps but to society at large. I hope I will be able to play a role in helping to navigate that journey.”
“Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Oculus and Instagram are at the heart of so many people’s everyday lives – but also at the heart of some of the most complex and difficult questions we face as a society: the privacy of the individual; the integrity of our democratic process; the tensions between local cultures and the global internet; the balance between free speech and prohibited content; the power and concerns around artificial intelligence; and the wellbeing of our children,” he adds.
“I believe that Facebook must continue to play a role in finding answers to those questions – not by acting alone in Silicon Valley, but by working with people, organizations, governments and regulators around the world to ensure that technology is a force for good.”
In her note about Clegg’s hire, Sandberg lauds Cleggs as “a thoughtful and gifted leader who… understands deeply the responsibilities we have to people who use our service around the world” — before also discussing the big challenges ahead.
“Our company is on a critical journey. The challenges we face are serious and clear and now more than ever we need new perspectives to help us though this time of change. The opportunities are clear too. Every day people use our apps to connect with family and friends and make a difference in their communities. If we can honor the trust they put in us and live up to our responsibilities, we can help more people use technology to do good,” she writes. “That’s what motivates our teams and from all my conversations with Nick, it’s clear that he believes in this as well. His experience and ability to work through complex issues will be invaluable in the years to come.”
One former Facebook policy staffer we spokes to for an insider perspective on Clegg’s hire, couched it as a sign Facebook is finally taking Europe seriously — i.e. as a regulatory force with the ability to bring big tech to rule.
“When I started at fb there were two people in a Regus office doing EU policy,” the person told us, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Now they have an army, and they’re still hiring.”
In Europe, the region’s new data protection framework, GDPR, which came into force at the end of May, has put privacy and security at the top of the tech agenda. And more regulations are coming — with the EU’s data protection supervisor warning today that GDPR is not enough.
“The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica revelations are still under investigation in Europe and America, but they are only the tip of the iceberg, a sign of a much wider problem and a symptom of many more problems still unnoticed,” writes Giovanni Buttarelli in a blog entitled: The urgent case for a new ePrivacy law.
“They didn’t take it seriously and they’re catching up now. I think it also just sends a strong signal that they’re not a U.S. centric company,” the source added of Facebook’s attitude to EU policy, dating the shift in approach to around 2016 — which was also the year that domestic election interference came home to roost for Zuckerberg, after Kremlin meddling in the US presidential elections.
So no more ‘pretty crazy ideas’ from Zuckerberg where politics is concerned — Nick Clegg instead.
For Brits, though, this is actually a pretty crazy idea, given Clegg is the awkwardly familiar face of middle ground, middler performance politics.
And, more importantly, the sacrificial lamb of political compromise, after his party got punished for its turn in coalition government with David Cameron’s Brexit triggering Conservatives.
Our ex-Facebooker source said they’d heard rumors linking the former Labour MP, David Miliband, and the Conservatives’ George Osborne to the global policy position too. Whatever the truth of those rumors, in the event Facebook went with Clegg’s third way — which of course meshes perfectly with the company’s desire to be a platform for all views; be that conservative, liberal and Holocaust denier too.
In Clegg it will have found a true believer that compromise can trump partisan tribalism.
Though Facebook’s business will probably test the limits of Clegg’s powers of accommodation.
The current state of the Lib Dem political animal — a party with now just a handful of MPs left in the UK parliament — does also hold a cautionary message for Facebook’s mission to be all things to all men.
A target some less machiavellian types might judge ‘mission impossible’.
Add to that, given Facebook’s now dire need to win back user trust — i.e. in the wake of a string of data scandals, such as the Cambridge Analytica affair (and indeed ongoing attempts by unknown forces to use its platform for voter manipulation) — Clegg is rather an odd choice of hire, given he’s the man who led a political party that fatally burnt the trust of its core supporters who punished it with near political oblivion at the ballet box.
Still, at least Clegg knows how to say sorry in a way that be turned into a hip and shareable meme …
from Pradodesign The Tervahovi Silos | PAVE Architects
A whole new life was given to the area of Toppilansalmi in Oulu, Finland as the mid-century cylindrical grain silos, the landmark structure of the area, was transformed into a contemporary residential building. Designed by PAVE Architects, the nature of the project changed early on as most of the old structures had to be dismantled due to their poor condition. As stipulated by the town plan, as much of the original outer silo aesthetic as possible was recreated. This reimagining allowed for a vast variety of layouts within; from smart one-bedroom flats to neo-lofts up to three level lofts can be found within the building with a total of 95 apartments.
Photography: Arno de la Chapelle
The Silos Utilization:
The round silo structures became utilized as varyingly sized balcony zones. The balcony openings are enhanced with metal trelliswork that maintains the round shape of the silos while providing sufficient privacy. The trelliswork blocks part of the direct sunlight yet is still sparse enough to let light pass and allow views through to the landscape. Together with varying zones of glazed and open, low and full-height, the balconies are vastly multifunctional, true extensions of the apartments. A mainly rectangular dark extension expands the silo structure naturally within the reimagined plot. At the top, a joint-use sauna and roof terrace can be found. The extension’s contemporary facade was executed with reflective black and grey facade glass with subtle coloured jetties providing structure and relating to the elements of the courtyard.
Photography: Arno de la Chapelle
The courtyard offers intriguing views of the structure and its colourful fire escape and refined, contrasting materials around create a truly memorable space. Here, the dialogue of the building masses representative of three different eras is on full display. The first two floors out of thirteen consists of neo-lofts with galleries, with spacious, five-meter-high open living spaces. The galleries were designed efficient and practical, and are mainly in bedroom use. This allowed for the top seven floor apartments to have an open height of 3,2 meters. Throughout the building, the large sweeping expanses of windows allow plenty of light to enter the apartments. As the glass starts from the floor level, the floors receive most of the light and reflect it further into the structure.
Photography: Arno de la Chapelle
The windows and glazed surfaces were designed in close cooperation with a manufacturer with similar interests to create something new and unique allowing as unobstructed views as possible yet practicality through-out. In keeping with the original industrial atmosphere of the area, the raw, in-situ cast concrete surfaces are a vivid element throughout the interior of the building. The corridors’ industrial design combined with contemporary solutions and materials creates a unique, hotel-like feel. The possibility of purchasing an apartment in a semi-finished state proved also popular. This gave the owners greater freedom in defining the final layout, fixtures and finishes of their new home.
Photography: Arno de la Chapelle
Architects: PAVE Architects
Location: Oulu, Finland
Project Year: 2014
Project Area: 7,700 m2
Manufacturers: Cembrit, Milliken, Profin, Amkel, Covering Chile, PP-Fasadi, Klas1-yhtiöt
Photographs: Arno de la Chapelle
Project Name: The Tervahovi Silos
The post The Tervahovi Silos | PAVE Architects appeared first on Arch2O.com.
from Pradodesign Linked: Nebraska: Not for Everyone
Instead of trying to generate buzz by amping up its offerings, the Nebraska Tourism Commission is embracing its state’s status as perhaps not the most exciting state in the U.S. with a new campaign that revolves around the positioning, “Nebraska: Honestly, it’s not for everyone”. https://ift.tt/2PbJtL1 https://ift.tt/2QVSBke https://ift.tt/1P9I4xH
from Pradodesign Noted: New Logo and Identity for SpareRoom by Idea Is Everything
“Spare Some Change?”
(Est. 2004) “SpareRoom is the UK and US’s best and busiest site for roommates, houseshares and flatshares, helping people find their ideal housemates the fast, safe and easy way.”
Idea Is Everything (London, UK)
Idea Is Everything project page
Relevant quoteWe created a logo based on the idea of a balanced house share, the result of finding home with a group of people that compliment each other’s lives. We also created a custom typeface; SpareRoom Sans. The typeface emphasises the angular and curved forms of the logo and through the inclusion of alternate characters references the diversity of personalities within a house share.
Images (opinion after)
The idea of the icon in the old logo was fairly clever and the execution was almost there if they had figured out a way to make the people a little smaller and the house at their intersection a little bigger but pretty solid, I’d say. The new icon is kind of weird as I keep seeing an “S” rotated 90 degrees and wedged into a house shape that yields a somewhat awkward set of thick lines. I mean, it’s a decent icon, but there is something not right about it. The wordmark is odd too, with the tilted “e” and the customization on the “R” where neither of those moves are related to the other nor do they relate back to the icon in any way. The “m” also feels too condensed, almost as it if were a monospace font. The custom font works better as part of the identity and with the accompanying wiggles, although everything starts to look like a marina with so many blue and white wavy lines. The buttons and sweatshirt with the “I [icon] CITY” make no sense… “I SpareRoom New York”? Overall, as I wrote this out, I guess I’m not a fan but also, there is nothing inappropriate going on and the service should do fine with this redesign.
from Pradodesign Virtual reality makes food taste better
In another example of VR bleeding into real life, Cornell University food scientists found that cheese eaten in pleasant VR surroundings tasted better than the same cheese eaten in a drab sensory booth.
About 50 panelists who used virtual reality headsets as they ate were given three identical samples of blue cheese. The study participants were virtually placed in a standard sensory booth, a pleasant park bench and the Cornell cow barn to see custom-recorded 360-degree videos.
The panelists were unaware that the cheese samples were identical, and rated the pungency of the blue cheese significantly higher in the cow barn setting than in the sensory booth or the virtual park bench.
That’s right: cheese tastes better on a virtual farm versus inside a blank, empty cyberia.
“When we eat, we perceive not only just the taste and aroma of foods, we get sensory input from our surroundings – our eyes, ears, even our memories about surroundings,” said researcher Robin Dando.
To be clear, this research wasn’t designed to confirm whether VR could make food taste better but whether or not VR could be used as a sort of taste testbed, allowing manufacturers to let people try foods in different places without, say, putting them on an airplane or inside a real cow barn. Because food tastes differently in different surroundings, the ability to simulate those surroundings in VR is very useful.
“This research validates that virtual reality can be used, as it provides an immersive environment for testing,” said Dando. “Visually, virtual reality imparts qualities of the environment itself to the food being consumed – making this kind of testing cost-efficient.”
from Pradodesign Twilio shops, Uber and Lyft IPO scuttlebutt, and Instacart raises $600M
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
This week we had the Three Excellent Friends (Connie Loizos, Danny Chrichton, and Alex Wilhelm) on hand to kick things about with Scale Venture Partner’s own Rory O’Driscoll.
As I’ve written the last few weeks, what a pile of news we’ve had recently. And like the last few episodes, we had to pick and choose what to drill into. This week: Twilio-Sendgrid, Palantir, Uber, Lyft, and Tencent Music IPOs, Instacart, and Saudi Arabia.
In order, I think? First, we tackled the week’s biggest venture-themed M&A: Twilio buying SendGrid. Keep in mind that they are both recent IPOs; Twilio went out in 2016, and SendGrid in 2017.
The $2 billion-ish all-stock transaction is effectively Twilio using its rich market cap (rich in terms of its revenue and profit multiples) to snag an obvious (though intelligent) extension of API-powered communications toolset.
Next up we dug into the chance that Palantir is worth $41 billion. Spoiler: It isn’t. Then we chatted the two other recently-floated IPO valuations for Uber ($120 billion) and Lyft ($15 billion). They probably make more sense, depending a little on how you add and then divide.
All that and we also touched on the recent delay in the Tencent Music IPO, a profitable company.
Then we riffed through the Instacart round ($600 million more at a $7.6 billion valuation; wow), and re-touched on Silicon Valley’s currently least popular dinner party topic: how much Saudi money has recently gone to work powering tech startups.
A big thanks to you for not only sticking with Equity for so long, but also for making it quite literally as popular as it has ever been. It’s super fun to have the biggest crew with us every week that we’ve ever had.
You, yes you, are a delight.
Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.