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3D printing

Print your own food, Yahumblr, Sharenting and this week’s bits and bytes

Print your own food: A chap called Anjan Contractor received a $125,000, 6-month NASA grant to build a prototype 3D printer that prints food. Meant for space travel, you don’t have to be a Star Trek fan to understand that it could also be used to provide food in the future when the population is higher and presumably natural food sources become scarce (HT @stangreenan and @a_little_wine).

Rather than pots, fresh ingredients, and a stove – the 3D printer creates food from basic powdered ingredients loaded in cartridges. Even better, because these cartridges contain simply the building blocks of various different kinds of food and have a massively increased shelf-life compared to fresh food, the amount of food waste would be greatly reduced.

It gets better. What’s the first dish Contractor is looking to print?

Pizza.

Source: Quartz

Yahumblr: Yahoo bought Tumblr this week for $1.1bn. Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer set up her own Tumblr to announce the news – how else, but with an animated gif, the currency of the blogging platform (although, the Keep Calm meme? That’s sooo 2011). From the opening lines of her post, she is keen on making hard core Tumblrs know that Yahoo “promise not to screw it up.”

But why purchase a collection of blogs made up of cat images, animated gifs, porn (seriously, 1 in every 6 pages is NSFW) and sites dedicated to ‘Fuck yeah…’? They’re after a younger demographic and they’re hoping to sell access to it. Mayer did emphasise on an investor call that Yahoo would let Tumblr be Tumblr – but it’ll be interesting to see how Yahoo reconciles Tumblr’s naughty bits with the family friendly environment Yahoo has built up. The Harvard Business Review believes that it can work, but only if Yahoo listens closely to the Tumblr community.

Source: Marissa Mayr

Twitter security: Twitter has finally rolled out two-factor security. You link your Twitter account with your mobile phone and set it up so that you’re sent a verification message to your phone that you have to then input together with your password when you log in. That way you need the account password and your phone to log in – making it more difficult for accounts to get hacked.

The problem is that for corporate accounts that are managed by more than one person, this system won’t work because an account can only be linked to one phone number. Hopefully then, Twitter will add support for the Google Authenticator app.

Xbox One: Want to know what you’ll be getting your kids/yourself for Christmas this year? Microsoft’s new gaming console, the Xbox One.

Free McDonald’s for kidnap hero: A great bit of opportunistic PR from McDonald’s, which has decided to give the man who famously put down his Big Mac to help rescue three women held captive for years in a Cleveland house free McD’s for a year (HT @tomparker81).

A few hazelnuts short of a full spread: Imagine you’re the brand manager for Nutella. Over years, you’ve nurtured a relationship with a 40,000 strong fan community on Facebook. Every year, the page admin runs a Nutella appreciation day. A day where people share their Nutella inspired recipes and other odes to the Greatest Chocolate Spread The World Has Ever Seen (well, after Saino’s popping candy chocolate spread of course).

Happy days.

Then, unbeknownst to you, your legal department issues a cease and desist order to shut down the Nutella fan page. Obviously the fans went apoplectic, but through quick work, Nutella quickly reversed their position, wiping the chocolate from their face.

Sharenting: My social streams are full of people posting photos of their offspring. From the first ultrasound, to live tweeting the birth, Instagrammed photos of all early-life stages to jumpy six second home-video-vines of first steps and/or utterances. It bores the crap out of me. At least there’s ‘Unbaby Me‘, a handy browser extension that removes photos of babies in your Facebook and Twitter feeds and replaces them with whatever you’d rather see. I’ve gone for Imgur’s most viral RSS feed.

The Guardian looks at the pros (really?!) and cons of sharenting – the growing trend of young parents documenting their offspring’s development through social media.

Source: STFU, Parents

20 social insights: A thought provoking deck by @paulbromford about the top 20 things he learnt about social media last year. I LOVED slide #12: “Wifi is like electricity – people need it to do their jobs properly“. Then there’s #10: Trust. And #7: Relationships. Check it out for yourself – and do make sure you also visit Paul’s blog to see his notes on each slide (HT @AllThingsIC).

Tech and food: Two things I love and am ridiculously fortunate to combine in my job at Saino’s. So I was intrigued by a post from @nealunger about how similar tech and food blogging is. After all, both audiences form part of my target audience every day. Neal writes:

Both fields depend on producing large amounts of content for an obsessive and mostly financially comfortable user base. There’s a reason for the glut of well-funded tech and food web sites these days; a shitload of people read them, and advertisers want to reach that audience. To put it bluntly—tech and food publications both reach monomaniacs with money to throw around.

Tweet your afterlife away: According to the Beeb, Saudi Arabia’s religious police are employing an interesting (futile?) tactic to stop its population from using increasingly popular social media platforms to voice their political and religious views. They’re warning that anyone doing so “has lost this world and his afterlife“. They’ve obviously not heard of the Arab spring…

Social teens: Research from Pew Research Centre about teens, social media and privacy has found that teenage social media users aren’t too concerned about business or advertisers accessing their data. Do also have a look at some of the focus group quotes, as they provide an interesting snapshot of just how savvy teens are when using social media and how different platforms are used for different purposes.

Insight: Excellent advice from XKCD on adopting every new tech

Source: XKCD

Grid: Excel is a really useful program for calculations, recurring formulas and financial information. We also use it for many other purposes like content plans, weekly reports and contact lists. I’d argue that most of the things we use Excel are better done in other ways, yet it remains the go-to platform for organising information. Not much longer I hope, as this video for a new collaborative planning tool called Grid shows.

Video of the week: Clever stuff from – again! – McDonald’s with their Chalkboard versions of their menus. Such a simple idea to bring that down-to-earth, homemade and wholesome feel to a global brand.

And finally: Cat beards and of course, double cat beard.

#NowThatchersDead, monetising spam and this week’s bits and bytes

Twitter and the death of Baroness Thatcher: Wall to wall coverage, equal parts mourning and vitriol, and many, many tweets. The hashtag #nowthatchersdead started trending shortly after the news was announced – some people misread that as ‘now that Cher is dead’. An Oddbins manager tweeted that Taittinger was on offer for £10, down from the usual £29 – the message was quickly condemned as ‘shameless’ and ‘sick’ and the manager suspended. The Met Seargeant who tweeted that he hoped Thatcher’s death was ‘painful and degrading’ resigned a few days later. And then there’s Ding Dong, the With is Dead. There’s more and the Beeb has a great post on how the news was reported online.

Was it really such a surprise though? Nope.

Is the vitriol a neat summary of everything that’s wrong with Twitter? Absolutely not.

People have their opinions – with or without Twitter. The fact that any comments you make on the Internet without first activating your brain can (and will) come back to bite you is something that should be a part of media literacy courses in school. Perhaps that would have saved Paris Brown’s job as Yout Crime Commissioner?

Is the scoop dead? That is the question @Marcousleroux and @Steve_Hawkes discussed after a comment from Kevin Ryan, co-founder of Business Insider:

Marcous argues that market forces are driving people away from news gathering, while Steve believes Twitter and scoops, more than ever, are a must. Here’s the full thread (HT to @antsilverman).

Retail geekery: A bakery in Tokyo has implemented a new scanning system that scans food by recognising the shape and colour of each item, no need for a barcode or human assistance, while New Balance launches Its Own 3D-Printed Shoes. Still on 3D-Printing, our very own Rob Fraser recently spoke about 3D printing saying that we have to prepare for the fact that consumers may soon not want to buy pre-packaged iPhone cases, but build and design their own. This lovely little animated clip from GrafixTV shows how 3D printing is changing retail:

http://youtu.be/NiOKDOnJ3VE 

Facebook looking to monetise spam: Would you pay $15 to direct message Justin Bieber on Facebook? I wouldn’t, but that’s what Facebook are looking to do in the UK. The prices are staggered at $1, $10 and $15 (depending on how popular the person that you’re looking to message is) and Facebook say that it is an attempt to cut down on spam. Looks like a brilliant way to monetise millions of terabytes worth of Belieber spam. I wonder how long until artist management bods demand their cut.

Facebook Home: Facebook are serious about their new immersive mobile experience. They moved quickly to address the privacy concerns about having your entire private life display on your home screen on their newsroom blog (if you don’t want Home to appear as your lock screen, you have the option to turn that off) and they’ve launched their first ever TV ad. But is it going to be enough to get kids excited about Facebook again?

Social media investor relations: a great post from Edelman on what the SEC rule on disclosure in social media means for IR.

Crowdsourcing products: Nissan is using its social channels to allow fans to help customise and name a one-off version of the Juke Nismo. At Saino’s, we’ve crowdsourced feedback on our 20×20 sustainability plan with Green Mondays and our 20×20 event last year. We’ve also asked our fans what cookie flavour they’d like to see in store and put the results to a vote.

Source: Sainsbury’s Facebook page

Econsultancy looks at what other brands are crowdsourcing.

InstaAds are here: The Internet was up in arms when Facebook bought Instagram for $1bn because it though all photos would now be used in and as ads against their will. It’s been six months and the InstaAds haven’t materialised. Obviously, things aren’t moving fast enough for brands because they are advertising on Instagram – and neither Instagram nor Facebook are seeing a single dollar for it. Unilever and Pepsi have teamed up with celebs such as Beyonce and Nicole Richie (OK, ‘celebs’ might be stretching it a bit) for sponsored posts.

Video of the week: Dove hair care for men

and Samsung test their new washing machine in the extreme of conditions – with unexpected results.

And finallyVinetune.com

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