3D printing

NASA Funds Mother of All 3D Printers to Build Equipment in Space

(Photo: Tethers.com)

In news that may not make sense to people who are not rocket scientists, NASA has recently awarded Tethers Unlimited $500,000 to develop a robotic 3D printer that would build huge structures while in orbit, Gigaom reports.

The SpiderFab printer and assembly system would be able to throw together structures more than half a mile wide, Gigaom says.  NASA would densely pack materials into existing spacecraft so that the SpiderFab could assemble it into “extremely large structures that are optimized for the space environment,” Tethers Unlimited CEO Rob Hoyt is quoted as saying. Read More

Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (GigaOm Structure, NY Tech Meetup, Future of 3D Manufacturing, IBM Code Rally Hackathon, Design for Manufacturing, Silicon Dragon Alley)

sponsor_garys_red_tie_new

This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.

“And as long as I’ve got my suit and tie, I’m-a leave it all on the floor tonight…” Yup, I’ve got JT’s new single (with Jay-Z) stuck in my head. “Suit & Tie,” that’s how I roll ;).

Heard about the NYC Schools Gap App Challenge? The New York City Deptartment of Education is challenging software developers to submit apps and games that enhance math teaching and engagement for our middle schools. A worthy cause, indeed! The deadline for submission is April 10.

Greylock’s Josh Elman (who’s worked at both Facebook and Twitter) is putting together a conference on How To Build Great Products next month (April 12) in San Francisco. It’s by-invitation-only and limited to top product managers. Fit the bill? Apply here! Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: VCs Waxing Philosophic Edition

Mr. Graham (flickr.com/pragdave)

Startup soothsayer Paul Graham penned a letter to Y Combinator’s portfolio companies about withstanding the fallout from Facebook’s poorly-performing IPO. [Business InsiderHacker News]

Fred Wilson wants to put Mr. Graham’s musings in perspective. [A VC]

Apple will yank Google Maps from iPhones later this year, which is just another reason why we’re quite happy with our Galaxy Nexus, thankyouverymuch. [Wall Street Journal]

GigaOm rounds up what we know about Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker’s video startup, Airtime, set to launch at a press event this morning. [GigaOm]

Oh good, there is an Instagram for animated GIFs. [Wired]

Commenting Wars

Nick Denton Apparently Loves Branch

Mr. Denton (flickr.com/scriptingnews)

Gawker overlord Nick Denton’s commenting revolution is in full swing, with the first phase–revoking the illustrious “star” from each commenter, and temporarily disabling comments altogether–implemented last week. Mr. Denton has been very vocal about the fact that he wants to ditch the site’s old insidery cabal of snark-obsessed commenters in favor of more thoughtful, inclusive discussion. Read More

Pro-Sumer

GigaOm Goes Beyond the Blog With Research Even Start-ups Can Afford

GigaOm CEO Paul

The average price for annual access to the research reports at Forrester or Gartner is over $100,000. Not a big deal for a coporate account, but pricey for a young start-up, angel investor or micro-VC. The typical solution has been to chase the same level of detail by following dozens of blogs, some of which rehash the material from these big firms. “We think it’s time somebody went after the middle of the pyramid,” says GigaOm CEO Paul Walborsky. Read More