by Stephen Downes
Nov 30, 2015
10 Things I Learned From My 3D Printer: An Early Adopter's Diary
What I like about this story is that it's not just a story about being an early adopter, it's a story about learning. And it's not one of those "you can learn it in ten minutes" stories, it's a story about what it takes to learn something big, complicated, and unfinished. "It turns out that there's a "dark Web" of Thingiverse full of parts people have designed to make their cheap printers not only functional, but behave like the $2,000-plus models. There's an entire economy and community of people, not unlike the popular VR world Second Life, who are devoted entirely to upgrading and modifying printers..."
Canada's Innovationm Challenge and Opportunities
Elizabeth Cannon, et.al.,
We again revisit the state of innovation in Canada (international readers can just look away). This is the latest report from the Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC), which reports to the federal government. It's not a pretty report. "Canada’s business enterprise expenditures on R&D (BERD) intensity (i.e., BERD as a share of gross domestic product) dropped further between 2006 and 2013, to the point where Canada ranked 26th among international competitors... Canada’s most profound and urgent ST&I challenge lies in increasing the number of firms that embrace and effectively manage innovation as a competitiveness and growth strategy." In a nutshell: Canada's businesses have stopped investing in research and development, and the previous government's strategy of giving established businesses more money has failed. This report has it a bit better: we need to support basic reserach and development, and we need to fund high risk ventures (ie., startups).
Mobile App Developers are Suffering
Good article explaining why it is nearly impossible today to break into the app market with enough impact to build a sustainable revenue base. Essentially, the market (consisting of the apple and Google app stores) is rigged in favour if the incumbents (and those apps with a special relationship with Apple and Google). Yes, the app market could be reformed - but this would require the cooperation of the platforms, and the platforms have zero incentive to do so. I think (along with the author, and Ben Werdmuller) that if we're looking for innovation, we should look for it in the web space (and for apps that can be loaded and discarded instantly, like web pages).
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