- Have you heard about or seen, or do you plan to see Snowden? It tells the true-life story of Edward Snowden, who became disillusioned with a practice he helped make possible, through his computer-engineering prowess (according to the movie he single-handedly invented it, but I’m not sure this is true): the U.S. government’s program of spying on its own citizens by monitoring their contacts, Facebook, phone, and gmail activity, and even watching them through the camera in their computers. Something that interested me about the movie is that he claims, during a speech, to be a “robot,” but he is clearly motivated by his profound beliefs about what communication is and should be in our society.
- I thought this article in the New York Times was really interesting, about how American fashion designers are using 3-D printing to make products that either couldn’t previously be made, or were prohibitively expensive for most designers and consumers. “The beauty of instant, customized fashion, experts say, is that goods can be made at a lower cost and more quickly — yet in a personalized style.”
- While I was reading that article, I saw a link for another article in the Times, about 3-D printed houses. This article appeared in a very interested and innovation-centric special section that the Times did this summer called “Cities for Tomorrow.” Some of the technological and engineering issues that this article (and the whole special section) brings up are particularly relevant to us Clevelanders. For example, one “urban futurist” focuses on re-engineering cities like Detroit (not to mention Cleveland), with decreasing populations. Two of the freaky, fascinating innovative businesses mentioned in this article are Food Ink., a restaurant that makes 3-D printed food, and Contour Crafting, a 3-D house building company with an eye toward constructing on other planets. Needless to say, the inventor of Contour Crafting has a TED Talk that he did linked on his website.