Tag Archives: tech-culture

Steampunk vs Apple-ism

I had no idea how big steampunk has gotten.  There was a gathering of them in Waltham this last weekend at the Watch City Festival, and 17,000 people showed up.  I took the kids there on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, … Continue reading

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Robotics for Profit and Fun

Last week Kiva Systems, a maker of robots for distribution warehouses, was bought by Amazon for $775M in cash.  It’s the biggest deal ever in robotics.  They were founded in 2003, and last year had sales of about $100M.  Their … Continue reading

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Keurig Dumps Inventor, Builds Millions of Junk Coffee Makers

Keurig single-cup coffee makers are the most unreliable appliances I’ve ever owned.  My most recent machine failed after only three weeks, and thus this rant.  I’ve owned several of them, and used many more at work, but they never seem … Continue reading

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Political Inventors

There’s a great deal of talk in the political world these days about improving STEM education – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.   I’m not sure how Technology is different from Engineering, but it does improve the acronym.    The US apparently … Continue reading

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Every Thing Can Be Improved

Well, maybe not everything can be improved, but every thing can be.  “Surely not,” you think.  “Some things are so old and worked over that nothing more can be done with them.” Well, how about a garbage can?  Is there … Continue reading

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Boston Power becomes Beijing Power

Well here’s a depressing story – a local lithium-ion battery startup, Boston Power, has recently been bought out by Chinese investors and the Chinese government, and will be moving most of its R&D operations to Beijing.  The American execs are … Continue reading

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“MIT Seeks to Flatter Wealthy Businessmen”

… is what the headline should have read on this Boston Globe article, “Stars of invention – Walk of Fame in Kendall Square celebrates technology and the entrepreneurial spirit”.  Apparently MIT and the city of Cambridge have set up a … Continue reading

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The Last Factory

My town of Arlington Massachusetts was first settled in 1635.  Its first factory was a water-powered grist mill built just two years later by a Captain George Cooke.  Its last factory, an ice cream plant, is just being torn down … Continue reading

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Reading Criminal Authors

So I was in a bookstore browsing the new non-fiction when I came across “The Rational Optimist” by Matt Ridley.  The cover blurb was intriguing: For two hundred years the pessimists have dominated public discourse, insisting that things will soon … Continue reading

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Edward Tufte – Guru of the Information Class

I recently had the pleasure of taking one of Edward Tufte‘s seminars, “Presenting Data and Information”.  He’s a professor emeritus of statistics, political science, and computer science at Yale, and the author of an important set of books on charting: … Continue reading

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