will.i.am becomes the face of 3D printing
While it is not unusual for celebrities to endorse new technology products, industry tools rarely receive much interest from VIPs. However, news has emerged this week reporting that the singer song writer will.i.am has taken up a position with 3D Systems as their chief creative officer. Although the former member of the Black Eyed Peas has previously held similar roles with Intel and Beats Electronics, his current position at 3D systems is particularly interesting given that will.i.am is involved in the development of an innovative new 3D printing system.
While 3D printing has been used in industry for a number of years, the device, known as the Ekocycle, has been designed specifically as a household gadget that can be used to print 3D items up to 6 inches in height. At $1199, the 3D printer is quite pricey. Reports suggest that will.i.am has personally helped create 25 different digital designs including a range of music and fashion accessories which users will be able to download and print at home. Although there are more advanced 3D printers available on the market, the fact that the Ekocycle is being endorsed by such a well-known celebrity highlights how the technology is becoming increasingly commercialized. If this new printer is received well by the early adopters, perhaps it won’t be long until 3D printers become a more mainstream household gadget.
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Exploitation leaves travellers with a sour taste
Every year over a 100,000 backpackers visit Australia on working visas with the hope of earning a little bit of money while they explore the country. Although Australia is a popular destination for travellers, news has emerged this week suggesting that visitors on working holidays may be subjected to an unacceptable level of exploitation.
In order to extend their stay and work in Australia legally, many visas require travellers to work in regional areas for a minimum of 88 days. However, according to reports, fruit farms across the country are taking advantage of this requirement and are employing travellers to pick fruit for as little as $7 a day. Given that many of the farms are in extremely remote areas of Australia, some workers are also forced to stay in substandard accommodation with high levels of rent.
Considering that just last week it emerged that slave labour was being used across the shrimp supply chains, these revelations highlight the extent of exploitation across food supply chains.
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Is Network rail on the right track with their new approach to online shopping?
There is no denying that the internet has completely revolutionized how we go about shopping. Whereas we once had to go into a shop to make a purchase, virtually every shop on the high street now has some form of online store. Although the convenience of home delivery has always been a major advantage of online shopping, considering that we only spend a small amount of time at home, click and collect services have grown in popularity in recent times and it is estimated that 59% of British consumers now regularly use this option.
In response to this shift in consumer behaviour, Network Rail has this week announced plans to launch a new chain of retail outlets which will provide online shoppers with a one stop pick up point for all their online orders. The train operator is joining forced with Lloyd Dorfman, the founder of Travelex, as part of a £24 million deal to launch 300 stores branded under the name “Doddle”.
By positioning stores in high traffic locations, the innovative concept will make online shopping more convenient than ever before. Given that the stores will be staffed and many will also have dressing rooms in which customers can try their purchases on, the shops will fuse together the best of internet shopping and bricks ‘n’ mortar stores.
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Have a great weekend!