The PC industry is built around an idea of almost infinite variation: different Wi-Fi adaptors, different Ethernet chipsets, different GPUs, different USB3 controllers. This variety is then reflected in the systems available from manufacturers—and more importantly, it's reflected in the way the systems are actually built. … The big reason that HP wants to get out of the PC business is that it's simply not very profitable for HP—and that's true for all the major PC OEMs, Cupertino excepted. Cheap PCs are certainly important for making computing accessible, but they also mean that PC vendors have made themselves vulnerable: endless price cuts and a failure to emphasize the value of a quality product have cut revenues and slashed profitability. Desperate to compete on pricing and pricing alone, the mass-market PC OEMs have ended up cutting their own throats.
Ars technica explains why the PC industry is having such a difficult time trying to build a competitor to the MacBook Air
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear
on Sep 5, 2011 -
When you receive your Logonom logo, you’re not just opening a symbol, a brand or a small representation of you, you’re also opening peace of mind. And that’s something we’ve worked hard for 113 years to pack into each and every box.
posted by Terminal Verbosity
on Dec 3, 2010 -
Andrew Shane Huang is a 35 year old hardware hacker, known to some as bunnie
, and others as that guy who hacked the Xbox
and went on to write a book about it
. Finding the hidden key to the Xbox
was an enjoyable distraction
while he worked on getting his PhD in Electrical Engineering from MIT as part
of Project Aries
. Since then, he has written for
(and been written about
) in Make Magazine
, has giving talks on the strategy of hardware openness
and manufacturing practices in China
, as experienced with the development of the opensource ambient
" called Chumby
. When he's not busy on such excursions, bunnie writes about hacking
(and more specifically, Chumby hacking
), technology in China
, and even biology
in exquisite detail on the bunnie studios blog
). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Jun 17, 2010 -
has a long and detailed article
about the future of manufacturing. Short version: the same kind of democratization that technology has effected in publishing, music, video, etc., is opening up design and manufacturing to anyone who wants to participate. [more inside]
posted by yesster
on Jan 26, 2010 -
Nanoparticles often get a bad rap in popular media. From discredited scenarios (grey goo
) to more plausible concerns (cancer
), often the emphasis in reporting is on its risks rather than its potential rewards. But this has been a good week for the tiny science. [more inside]
posted by Hardcore Poser
on Dec 15, 2009 -
Cope pipe without a jig.
Enter a few parameters and get a pdf that will give you a printable pattern that will allow you to notch tubing for welding or brazing to another pipe.
posted by Mitheral
on Mar 15, 2008 -
Made in China. A look inside the world’s manufacturing center.
Flash video slideshow of the port of Shenzhen (7:00 minutes with sound)
posted by srboisvert
on Jul 23, 2007 -
Workers in the U.S. South Too Uneducated to Build Cars?
Automobile manufacturer Toyota announced that it would build a new car factory in Woodstock, Ontario, even though several US states offered greater subsidies and tax breaks to the company. The reason?
[M]uch of that extra money would have been eaten away by higher training costs than are necessary for the Woodstock project... Nissan and Honda have encountered difficulties getting new plants up to full production in recent years in Mississippi and Alabama due to an untrained - and often illiterate - workforce. In Alabama, trainers had to use 'pictorials' to teach some illiterate workers how to use high-tech plant equipment.
(Also a contributing factor -- Canada's national health service, which apparently drives down the overall cost of each individual worker.)
To be fair to the US South, the problem may be more apparent there because of the region's zealousness in competing for automobile factories. But the point remains -- Toyota is saying US workers are so poorly educated that it's not worth the effort to train them. Whom to blame? And how many more factory (and other) jobs will have to be lost to better-educated workforces in other countries before this pings on the national radar?
posted by jscalzi
on Jul 3, 2005 -
End of an era
IBM may sell its PC division to Lenovo, a Chinese company, due to its decade-long dwindling importance in comparison to powerhouses HP and Dell - in a market they helped invent in the first place. Seems like a good enough reason to reminisce about the old bastard.
posted by fungible
on Dec 3, 2004 -
How everyday things are made.
See how things such as candy, cars, airplanes, etc are made. Learn about manufacturing processes, like forging, casting, or injection molding. Stanford University's Alliance for Innovative Manufacturing's site covers over 40 different products and manufacturing processes, and includes almost 4 hours of manufacturing video. Optimized for DSL/Cable speeds or greater. Macromedia FlashPlayer plugin (6.029 or greater) required.
posted by riffola
on Aug 30, 2003 -