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We seem to have a love for things of the past and the last couple of years has seen the re-emergence of vinyl and a rake of things that went out with the high bike.
Instant photography is also one of the things that we’ve seen come back to the fore and there are more than Polaroid pushing it. Start-up company Prynt has begun crowdfunding to create a smart phone case that comes with a built in photo printer.
Simply clip the device onto your smartphone and take a picture and press print and the device will produce a image in 30 seconds. The cool prints come with a retro feel and to be honest are very good quality.
Prynt has claimed that it hopes to bring back the physical photography that we all knew and loved only a few decades ago. Allowing us to access physical items that we can physically share. The company claims that it wants to bring back the joys of holding photography in your hand.
The printer also has another trick up its sleeve and it acts as an augmented reality marketer. This allows the images to come to life in a short video format. This works in a clever manner. When posing for a photo the app captures short video and then when you scan the photo with the app, it shows this on the phone screen.
The device will work with both Android and iPhones.
The Canon Maxify iB4020 Wireless Small Office Inkjet Printer is a single function device and a good one at that. With a large capacity, low costs and high quality text for an inkjet it’s a good printer.
Overall the Canon Maxify iB4020 Wireless Small Office Inkjet Printer is a good device with low running costs and a solid quality output for a competitive price. So, if you’re looking for a device for a relatively high volume it’s a good one.
Measuring 11.5 by 18.3 by 18.1 inches the device comes with a 500 sheet capacity for paper and around 250 sheet trays, as well as an auto-duplexer.
The device comes with a good standard paper capacity and also a 2inch non touch display which is controlled by an arrow. This can be hard to read at times and is one of the biggest issues with the printer.
The device is air print compatible and uses the Maxify Cloud Link interface to help you print from a variety of cloud based services. This means printing from everything from Google Cloud to AirPrint is easy and can be done with a simple button press from your mobile device.
The printer is also able to connect to the Ethernet or WiFi, as well as through a traditional cable.
Print speeds are around 4.7ppm which is average enough for a printer of this price. The quality of the output is of good quality and the text quality is remarkably good for the device and is distinctively good. Graphics are also quite good and the only fault was with very thin lines which sometimes there was faint striation on.
The photo quality was also good, though showed some tint. Costs were quite good at 1p per mono chrome page and around 5p for a colour page. However, as we said above there are faster printers on the market.
Imagine that you have created a start-up company and you get to design the ideal office. What would it look like? Would your workers be more productive in individual cubicles or sitting together at picnic tables? Are they likely to be more efficient with absolute quiet, white noise, soft music or power ballads over the PA system? Would there be additional collaboration if they talked more face to face than over phone calls and emails? Maybe sitting alone in a cubicle encourages more social media browsing, but does groupings of couches increase the amount of non – work - related chit chat?
If you went with the traditional office floor plan, that would mean separate teams assigned to rows of cubicles. One employee per desk per three – walled box. There are several benefits to this set – up. Each employee has a designated space that he or she can customize. Cubicles are private. Unless you get glass walls, the employees have what is called “visual privacy.” They are not distracted by the birthday party being thrown two rows in front of them or by the baby shower in the office cafeteria to their right. “Audio privacy” is also a plus. With tall, sound – proof partitions, they can listen to their favorite opera while their neighbor enjoys rock n’ roll. Unfortunately, that privacy can sometimes be taken advantage of. Employees may be tempted to spend billable hours on online games of Candy Crush. Maybe they are not stretching their heads over the cubicles to talk about which football team won what the night before, but that does not mean they are not wasting time with the same conversation over Facebook messenger of other instant messaging sites.
If you went with the example set by the majority of the United States workforce – approximately seventy percent – you would opt for the Open Office Plan. Adherents include big names like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, American Express, Bloomberg Business (and Michael Bloomberg’s mayoral office in New York), eBay, and Goldman and Sachs. Their floor plans have few to zero partitions between workers, and the partitions they do have are typically glass. Employees have a choice between sitting and standing workstations. They can go with the traditional office chair or lounge on couches, perch on barstools, even relax into a bean bag chair. Teams intermingle. Accountants sit at the same tables and eat in the same cafeterias as the public relations gurus. An open office plan also makes great financial sense. It is far more cost effective to purchase four long tables than forty desks in forty cubicles. The physical symbols of hierarchies no longer exist. Instead of a penthouse office with fake plants and floor – to – ceiling windows, CEO’s sit in the “bullpen” right beside the new hires.
The “open” floor space “fad” started in the nineteen – fifties. Famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright advocated for them. But open spaces really did not become popular until the digital age start – ups started popping up in Silicon Valley. The philosophy behind the open office space focuses on communication, accessibility, and transparency. In theory, employees are more likely to be productive if what they are doing is “transparent” to everyone around them. They communicate more, and have more creative ideas because they are sitting next to each other all day instead of in secluded offices. Managers and other higher – ups are more accessible, which fosters trust. The bosses do not need an “open door” policy when there is no door.
All of that sounds great. Why would you not choose an open office plan if it costs less, inspires creativity, and increases productivity? The problem is that architects and entrepreneurs assumed that those are the results they would get. Unfortunately, organizational psychologists have noticed different trends, and the employees in those offices are not reporting positive feedback.
Statistics show, and surveys confirm, that an open office plan is not as good as cubicles because they increase workers’ stress levels. Where designers see increased collaboration, employees report increased distractions. People who used to have their own quiet spaces do not know how to tune out conversations. Noise can affect your ability to do basic arithmetic and your brain’s ability to recall information. It is great to improve interpersonal relationships in the office, but not if those relationships take too much time and energy away from the jobs that need done. In open offices, concentration decreases, motivation decreases, and with the lack of privacy, employees end up feeling resentful about their lack of personal space and some feel paranoid with so many eyes on them. When someone does not feel in control, whether that is their physical space, adjusting the light they need, or even what music they have to listen to, that leads to a sense of helplessness.
There are negative repercussions in the physical health department, too. Cubicles do more than set up barriers between distractions. They are barriers between germs. Studies have found a direct correlation between the number of workers in a room and the amount of sick time needed for the cold and flu. The more workers sit together in one place, the faster the bugs go around, and the more likely everyone is to get sick. Statistics show that the increase in sick leave is as much as 62% in open work spaces when compared to cubicles. Hormones are affected as well. Physicians have discovered that workers in open office workplaces have increased levels of epinephrine. That is the fight – or – flight chemical more commonly known as adrenaline. It is a strong indicator of stress, and in this context that stress is caused by the work environment.
The next time someone refers to their cubicle at work as a “cage,” remind them that it is far more beneficial than an open office. And if you do get the opportunity to provide feedback in your own workplace, or even the opportunity to design your own office, remember the pros and cons, and go with cubicles.
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We mentioned Canon’s super low cost printer yesterday, however if you’re looking to cut down on costs even more so then the PantumP2502W monochrome laser printer is now being sold for slightly over £20 if shipped from the US.
The monochrome laser printer is a wireless device and also tiny at a size of just 7.1 x 13.3 x 8.7 inches. The printer comes with two trays for input and output and each of the devices trays can hold between 150 and 100 sheets respectively.
If you’re looking for bang for your buck there is more and the device is high enough specced to offer Wi-Fi Direct or Wi-Di as it’s otherwise known, as well as potentially support for AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. This of course makes it a lost easier to print from mobile devices.
The cost of printing doesn’t seem to be extravagant either, although getting monochrome printer cartridges for a Pantum in the UK may take a bit of effort. However, according to research the printer uses Pantum PB-210 cartridges and these cost around £30 each and can print around 700 pages – which makes it relatively low cost in terms of consumables – something not all low cost printers can say.
Of course, like the Canon yesterday it’s not the sturdiest or best built device and the printing is quite average though okay. However, for the price it’s on offer for it’s hard to not be impressed.
Printers used to be large and expensive devices that constantly broke down – as we all know times have changed. The Canon PIXMA iP2820 printer is a testament to this.
The device is a low cost, convenient basic printer that makes the cost of printing in your own home low and it fits neatly in a tiny space, such is its small size. For its price it’s a basic machine that works well for those looking for the basics.
There are no frills with this machine, no LCD panels and no buttons really to speak of. It takes the traditional A4 style of paper and nothing else and only works via a hardwire setup. It would be nice for the device to have wireless printing abilities, however for under £30 it’s not to be expected.
Quality is average and it’s not the sort of printer you’d bring on a tour of Afghanistan, however it’s still okay once it’s not going to be treated too roughly. If you’re a student keep your drunk friends away from it. However, it’s easy to use and produces quite good quality prints.
Best results for using this little printer are achieved when the printer is calibrated with external software. However, stock calibration is certainly not bad if you’re looking for a basic device for photos.
For the price of this little device, it’s hard to fault it. Sure, if it were twice the cost you could be if you’re looking for a little printer that produces prints relatively cheaply and still offers a quite high quality then the Canon PIXMA iP2820 printer could be the device for you.
Samsung and Google’s Android operating system have had a rocky affair over the last few months, with the South Korean firm releasing their own operating system on phones recently.
However, Samsung have created its first Android powered printer range – Smart MultiXpress series comes with a number of different printers and offers ‘printing app scalability’ according the tech company.
The range of eight printers comes with smart functionality to the Australian market. The devices which are aimed at all levels of enterprise are user friendly and offer a variety of functionality. The most notable of the devices comes with a 10 inch LCD display to showcase all the functions it can perform. The tablet like screen allows you to do everything from access and print emails and images to edit photos on powerful apps via the screen.
The devices also support Samsung’s NFC Pro accessory, which comes separately to the device. This allows the device and its users to access mobile printing from devices, as well as offers a strong authentication element to the printing process. It’s also got its uses in security as it allows admins to clone security settings to multiple MFDs and it makes this whole process a lot easier.
There are no prices for the devices just yet, however we look forward to seeing them as these printers look great.
This great infographic shows us how businesses and companies can make employees happy and more joyous at work. It's very interesting and well worth at least a scan.
A UK based business man spent more than a year creating a complete replica of the batsuit from the film Batman.
Stevie Dee, from Gloucestershire used a 3D printer to create every last detail of the famous suit from the movies for his ‘cosplaying’ pastime. Batman is his favourite character and he plans on wearing it to his next Batman event.
Mr Dee, who used a mainstream 3D printer to create the suit said it took hours of his time and ‘thousands’, such was the amount of printing priming and sanding that went into the suit’s creation. He told the local newspaper, "Once the suit was printed and the print masters finished, moulds were then made so that the Armour could be cast in polyurethane rubber. Different parts of the suit are cast in more flexible rubber to allow freer movement. People seem to think that this suit was 3D printed and that's it, no... not at all."
The costume, which is said to set a standard for costumes for those who love dressing up as their favourite superhero is an astonishing replica and it’s amazing that Mr Dee, a businessman, could make it himself.
He said that he hopes to bring a number of other characters to life this year with his new love of 3D printing. Pretty special considering the suit was made with the aid of a home 3D printing device and a lot of time, dedication and imagination.
We’ve already taken a closer look at the polaroid printer and polaroid camera released at CES. However, there were plenty more amazing goodies at the show for people to drool over – so let’s get the lowdown on a few.
Goji Smart Lock
The Smart Lock allows you to enter your home with the simple tap of a smart phone button meaning you can ensure that you never have to worry about keys again. It even sends you a message when you leave to show you the locks are activeated.
Never worry about the sort of playlist that you want to listen to again as HABU will build the perfect one for you. Simply use the app to change the mood that you’re feeling and it selects a song in line with that.
LaCie Sphere Hard Drive
It’s expensive but it’s beautiful and will look fantastic where ever you put it.
This ball camera is held in the air where it takes 360 degree photos from all angles. It’s a pretty amazing gadget if you ask us – team it up with VR and you’re in for something very impressive.
Pebble released the steel at CES 2015 and it looks like it’s going to be one of the most exciting releases of 2015.
ZUtA is a portable robotic printer that’s about the same size as a burger and fits inside your backpack for easy use.
We mentioned the little device before and if you recall it’s the printer that rolls over the top of the paper via its wheeled base printing as it goes. The tear drop shaped printer tapers at a right angle, which makes it easy to line up with the corner of paper. When the printer is in position it begins the print jobs at the touch of an app.
The ZUtA works with both iOS, computers and also with Android devices and all it needs is a Wi-Fi connection. The device doesn’t have sensors to detect the page size and instead you set this in the app before you use it. If you need to print more than one page the device will stop at the end of the paper and the next sheet then needs to be replaced.
The printer can print at around one page a minute and the battery lasts for around an hour. It currently only prints in black, though the creators of the device have said it’s likely colours will be added in the future.