Category Archives: Uncategorized
New 3D Printer Review: The Orion Delta

Hot off the press is a review of an interesting 3D printer: the SeeMeCNC Orion, a delta 3D Printer.

print-anim3There’s a lot to like about the SeeMeCNC Orion Delta: It offers a large print volume for the cost and size, and it usually produces fine-quality prints, especially with smooth, clean curves. This will make the Orion especially appealing to people who want to produce tall objects like statues or vases. The Orion struggled with fine details, though, and objects with very sharp edges didn’t come out as well. This would not be a printer for engineering models or small, detailed prints. For those objects, you would do better the similarly priced LulzBot Mini.

Appliance Science: The Warm Physics of Sous Vide Cooking

I wrote about sous vide cooking for my latest Appliance Science column at CNet.

SousVideIllo2Sous vide cooking is a great example of Appliance Science, of how a technique enabled by science and designed for commercial use made its way into the home. And, perhaps more importantly, the results taste really, really good.

IR Camera Review: FLiR One IR iPhone Camera Case

For Wired I reviewed the FLiR One Infra-Red camera, which fits onto the iPhone 5.

Infra-Red Pug!The FLIR One is certainly an interesting product, but I found myself constantly saying “if only” when writing this review. If only the charger could recharge both the device and the phone at once, it would be easier to keep both charged. If only the temperature range of the sensor was a little wider, I could use the spot sensor to check how far below freezing the food in my freezer is. If only it could be used to take IR photos of small objects. If only the final images and videos didn’t have a FLIR logo in the corner all the time…

Laptop Review: Dell Latitude 13 Educational

I just reviewed the Dell Latitude 13 Educational, a mid-range laptop for the school cafeteria crowd.

This well-priced laptop for students (or anyone who’s a little hard on his or her hardware) offers decent performance and a case that should stand up to heavy use.

Should you buy a cheap or expensive camera lens?

Just posted at, a column on the differences between a $350 and a $1500 SLR camera lens.

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A good photographer takes the time to understand their equipment so they can get the best image, irrespective of how expensive their kit is. If you spend $350 on a lens and really learn how to use it, you’ll be closer to the ideal of photographers like Cartier-Bresson, who used good equipment to take great photos. 

Cloud Storage: Commercial vs Roll-your-own

Just posted at, a column on cloud data storage services, and roll-your-own vs commercial versions.

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That makes Dropbox a better solution for those who just want to install and use it, although you can end up paying a lot if you need more space than the free version. For those who don’t mind getting down and dirty with the technical details, ownCloud may be the better option, as it gives you more flexibility and lets you take control of your own data in the cloud.