Pi.pe, the file transfer and synchronization service which emerged from San Francisco-based Pixelpipe, has previously served as one of the only serious utilities to move photos and other media files between all the various cloud services. Since its launch a little over a year ago, Pi.pe’s focus has been primarily on backup and sharing. But it was missing an option for ordering prints – something which most services focused on photo management today offer. Today, that changes.
The company is now launching Pi.pe Prints, which allows users to print photos hosted all over the cloud to locations like Walgreens, CVS, and soon Shutterfly, Tesco, and Fuji Film, too – the latter likely in about a month’s time. Pricing for Walgreens and CVS is the same as is listed on their own websites (e.g. 4
Kicksend has announced it’s opening up its Home Delivery service to the US public, following a trial beta period.
Just to recap, Kicksend is a Web, desktop and mobile app that lets you send files to any recipient’s email address, or to your own desktop app. We first caught up with the startup back in August at a Y Combinator Demo Day.
Kicksend lends itself rather naturally to sending photos, and thus it has been placing more focus on this medium in recent times. Last February, it announced it was to let users share up to 30 uncompressed images at once from their iPhone. Then, in December, this number was made ‘unlimited’, from both iOS and Android – the latter app having launched the previous May.
But at the end of 2012, Kicksend started to move away from the digital realm and into the physical, announcing a new retail service called “Print to Family,” letting users send photos for printing at participating stores, including Walgreens, CVS, and Target. The idea here, was that family members based elsewhere could collect print versions of snaps from their local store.
But now, Kicksend is going one step further and letting users skip the middle man and ship directly to loved-ones based around the US.
The new Home Delivery service will, of course, sound very familiar – there’s already many digital-to-print services out there. But for Kicksend, it’s a natural progression for its existing service – why make your gran travel to her local Walgreens, when she can have them sent direct to her door? Plus, Kicksend is focusing on original-quality, high-res images – no compression.
The feature is enabled in the iOS, Android and Web app, and all you need to do is open the app, select the photos and choose a size – 4×6, 5×7, 8×10 or 4×4. Then, enter in the recipients’ addresses, and pay, with free shipping if you select at least 10 images.
The updated apps are available now.
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Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock
Austin-based re:3D just started a Kickstarter campaign for the Gigabot, a large-format 3D printer designed to build things on a 24x24x24 inch built envelope, allowing you to make much larger objects than you can with similar printers like the Makerbot. You can get the bot kit for $2,500 or a pre-assembled unit for $4,000.
The company was looking for a $40,000 pledge and has already surpassed $60,000, so there’s a good chance this thing will ship in time for when you need to build a 13,824 cubic-inch Christmas present.
The team launched the project at SXSW, and the company is founded by Samantha Lynne Snabes and Matthew Fiedler and a number of others with experience in manufacturing and design. They write:
It prints primarily in PLA right now because it does not have a heated build plate, but there are plans to offer that option in the future. While PLA isn’t ideal for some industrial situations, the plant-based plastic is still very usable and workable.
You can check out the project here or just imagine what it would be like to print out your own head, to scale, in corn-based resin.
See the article here: The Gigabot 3D Lets You Print Things That Are Bigger Than A Few Breadboxes
Last summer, the Financial Times predicted that its digital subscriptions would surpass print circulation by end of year. Update: the FT announced it had reached this milestone in July.
In its 2012 results, parent company Pearson has revealed that total FT Group revenues were up 4% last year, with combined paid print and online circulation rising to 602,000, and confirmed that digital subscriptions did indeed exceed print circulation for the first time in 2012.
The FT site sits behind a paywall, and whilst you can try it for £1 for the first month, £9/week gets you full access to all the digital content across Web and mobile, while £10 and £12 monthly subs get you add-ons such as print copies.
This is a significant milestone for the publication, which famously ditched Apple’s App Store in favor of an HTML5 Web app back in 2011, and we reported at the time it had notched up an impressive 200,000 downloads within a couple of weeks of launch, as it sought to move away from native iOS apps due to restrictions (and costs…) imposed by Apple.
Digital subscriptions increased 18% to almost 316,000 last year, and now has 3.5 million FT Web App users. Mobile devices now account for almost a third (30%) of FT.com traffic and 15% of new subscriptions.
Pearson also notes that its digital and services revenues accounted for half of all FT Group revenues last year, and if you consider this figure stood at less than a third (31%) in 2008, it’s clear that physical newspapers are on the fall, with online reporting and other services coming to the fore. Indeed, back in March the FT relaunched its Conferences and Events division as ‘Financial Times Live’, making live video-streaming, webinars, a video archive and Twitter chats core elements of its corporate events. FT Live went on to deliver more than 200 events last year.
Interestingly, Pearson also reported that ad revenue accounted for only 39% of FT Group revenues last year, down from 52% in 2008. This ties in with what FT.com Managing Director Rob Grimshaw said last year, predicting that subscription revenue was on course to overtake ad-income in 2012. This actually doesn’t give us hard numbers though, and it’s not clear from this if actual ad-spend is down, or just the percentage is less because of increases in subscriptions, though in its announcement it does say that advertising was “generally weak and volatile with poor visibility.” It did add that digital revenues were boosted by other initiatives, such as FT SmartMatch, which “automatically puts client content such as articles, white papers and videos in front of FT.com users while they’re reading related FT news stories.”
With the Penguin and Random House merger moving one step closer recently as the US Department of Justice gave its seal of approval, Pearson also noted that its Penguin subsidiary’s ebook revenue “grew strongly” in 2012 and accounted for 17% of Penguin’s total global revenue, compared to 12% in 2011. This figure stood closer to 30% in the US, compared to 20% in 2011.
This was perhaps partly boosted by its continued push into new markets including Australia, India, Brazil and China, with a number of notable digital-only imprints launched. Overall, however, Penguin’s revenue growth was modest, reported as 1% year-on-year.
Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock
As a fan of monsters and 3D printing, in that order, I was intrigued by Autodesk’s new iOS app, 123D Creature. Aimed at beginning 3D modelers, the app allows you to build cute (or scary) monsters right on your screen by pinching, grabbing, and rotating a lump of virtual clay hanging on a skeleton.
The $7.99 app ($1.99 for a limited time) is the latest in Autodesk’s line of free 3D apps. The company sells much more expensive and complex 3D solutions like Maya and 3ds max but these 123D apps are designed to allow users with little experience to build objects, paint them virtually, and output mesh files that can be used on 3D printers. You can even order 3D prints of your creations right from the app.
Given the perceived difficulty of 3D modeling, these are an interesting way for Autodesk to sneak their tools into the hands of younger designers who could go on to use the company’s more lucrative tools.
How does it work? Fairly well, to be honest.
I tried the app briefly today and was able to design a pointy-headed little man and print him on my home Makerbot. Sadly his arms didn’t quite make it through the print process but his tiny legs and pin head look just fine. I’m no 3D artist, to be sure, so it was fun to be able to make a cute little being and then pump him out of my extruder in a few minutes. Not only does this give 3D novices the chance to experiment with 3D design, it makes folks with 3D printers happy because of the seamless system for making and outputting mesh files for quick prints.
Originally posted here: Autodesk Releases 123D Creature, A Tool To Design, Paint, And Print Your Own 3D Monsters