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David Benjamin
Member Since: May 8, 2010
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World Cup Soccer: Designed to Be Dull
Blog  
6/16/2014   98 comments
Most sports become more interesting as the skill of the players advances. The striking exception to this rule is World Cup soccer. In soccer, the higher you go, the duller it plays.
FCC chair looks to break Wi-Fi traffic jam
News & Analysis  
1/10/2013   5 comments
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced a plan to free up a large chunk of airwaves for better Wi-Fi. He also touted "mobile body area" technology for medical applications.
Panasonic spotlights Newark HQ move at CES
Blog  
1/9/2013   Post a comment
Panasonic executives keynoting CES were having a tough time selling their message of putting "people over products" until Newark Mayor Cory Booker showed up.
Sharp doubles down on large screen TV
News & Analysis  
1/8/2013   2 comments
Sharp Electronics said the Japanese company's future would rest squarely on TV that are bigger and broader, with higher resolution.
Lexus drives 'advanced safety' initiative
Design How-To  
1/8/2013   1 comment
Toyota’s Lexus group believes that "autopilot" is not the solution to the 32,000 road deaths (one in six caused by distracted driving) that occurred last year in the U.S.
Comment: re: Top 10 tech blunders of 2012 - 12/20/2012
Comment: re: Top 10 tech blunders of 2012 - 12/20/2012
Comment: re: Top 10 tech blunders of 2012 - 12/20/2012
Comment: re: Top 10 tech blunders of 2012 - 12/20/2012
The 'ponderous chain' that keeps jobs overseas
Blog  
12/19/2012   21 comments
Resident Luddite David Benjamin ponders the parallels between the global supply chain and the Dickensian "ponderous chains" that Jacob Marley forged in life.
Future of SSL LED lighting is not dim, but it’s flickering
News & Analysis  
3/28/2012   35 comments
Michael Poplawski has led one of the government’s teams – at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory – seeking to solve issues that currently hobble the widespread deployment of LED
CES post-mortem: Fear and loathing of the show
Social Mania  
1/24/2012   5 comments
So, it’s the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and I’m stuck in a nerd queue long enough to wrap twice around the Death Planet in Star Wars IV:A New Hope.
FCC calls for free hand in spectrum auctions
News & Analysis  
1/12/2012   4 comments
In a CES talk, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski prodded an ambivalent Congress to pass a law allowing incentive auctions of broadband spectrum and to act fast, without "tying the hands" of the FCC.
Scenes from the CES show floor, day one
News & Analysis  
1/11/2012   2 comments
Scenes from the show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center on the official opening day of CES 2012.
Superbattery: The next great triumph of engineering
Blog  
12/29/2011   39 comments
The next great engineering advancement in batteries is in the lab and it is tantalizingly close to solution.
‘Woz’ says schools, corporations ‘tamp down creativity’
News & Analysis  
5/3/2011   82 comments
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak regaled a crowd at the Embedded Systems Conference with an idiosyncratic critique of U.S. education while encouraging a revival of creativity among technology companies.
Ford CEO Mulally 'electrified' at CES
News & Analysis  
1/8/2011   7 comments
Ford expects to have five different electric cars on the market by 2012. By 2015, Ford plans for its fleet to be 10-15 percent electric, compared to one percent today.
FCC chair and CEA chief agree on spectrum, but will Congress?
News & Analysis  
1/8/2011   2 comments
FCC chief Julius Genachowsky came to CES to promote a "national broadband plan," designed to free up spectrum for mobile wireless.
CEA chief sees low growth 'bright future'
News & Analysis  
1/7/2011   Post a comment
CEA President Gary Shapiro predicted a gradual recovery for his industry, but joined with other industry leaders to tout “innovation” and a lighter regulatory touch as the keys to a full “comeback” for consumer electronics and the U.S. economy.
Call any rib roast, call it by name
Blog  
12/23/2010   20 comments
A new consumer electronics gadget fills the universal need for people to develop a meaningful dialog with the food they cook.
ESC keynoter Kaku beams audience back to the future
Blog  
4/27/2010   2 comments
Physicist Michio Kaku, keynote speaker at the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, offered his audience a feast of futurism, predicting extraordinary advances in medical technology, and science-fiction turned reality in areas like teleportation, invisibility and molecule-size computers.
U.S. broadband plan needs more spectrum, says FCC chief
News & Analysis  
1/9/2010   Post a comment
In his annual "one-on-one" with the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Consumer Electronics Association CEO Gary Shapiro, learned the new deadline for a U.S. plan for universal broadband, discussed the country's "spectrum shortage" and confirmed the death of the Fairness Doctrine.
CES:'Avatar' provides avatar for hopeful 3-D promoters
News & Analysis  
1/9/2010   Post a comment
Agreeing that most technical obstacles to 3-D television have been overcome, a panel of experts at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas expressed optimism about consumer acceptance of the technology, citing the movie "Avatar" as a positive omen.
CES: 'Connected' Ford redefines 'the driving experience'
News & Analysis  
1/8/2010   3 comments
Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mullaly, at the Consumer Electronics Show, explains how Ford will balance a wave of new dashboard infotainment features with his company's emphasis on reducing "driver distraction" and enhancing safety.
CES: Industry chief Shapiro says, 'Innovate or die!'
News & Analysis  
1/8/2010   1 comment
Consumer Electronics Ass'n CEO Gary Shapiro, addressing the Consumer Electronics Show, condemns government bailouts, advocating innovation as a survival strategy and warning against an "entitlement society."
The gift of 3-D vision (if you're willing to risk the surgery)
Blog  
12/22/2009   5 comments
Funny man David Benjamin has stumbled upon a technology that will make those goofy 3-D glasses a thing of the past -- maybe.
Astronaut invokes 'Apollo spirit' for 'hard days ahead'
News & Analysis  
3/31/2009   Post a comment
Kenneth Mattingly recalled the Apollo spirit of cooperation in the rescue of the Apollo 13 mission and encouraged engineers at the Embedded Systems Conference to apply the same determination to the current hard times.
FCC Chairman, at CES, hedges on shutoff date for analog TV
News & Analysis  
1/11/2009   Post a comment
Pressed by the incoming Obama administration to delay the planned conversion of all U.S. TV broadcast from analog to digital on February 17th, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, at the Consumer Electronics Show, hedged his bets, admitting that a coupon program to subsidize conversion boxes, is not working.
Medical technologists at CES: 'Your lungs are calling!'
News & Analysis  
1/9/2009   Post a comment
A CES medical electronics panel, discussing the potential of implantable devices, remote patient monitoring and even robotic surgery, agreed that the U.S. health care system is poorly equipped to take advantage of the technology available bot now and in the future.
Sony CEO downplays economy, offers 'lucky seven' policies
News & Analysis  
1/8/2009   Post a comment
Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony, focused his keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show largely to new Sony products, while introducing celebrities such as Tom Hanks and Reggie Jackson, as Consumer Electronics Ass'n President welcomed in a new administration in Washington by issuing a subtle "hands-off" our industry warning.
Comment: CES Presents 'The Giant Horny Gorilla from the 3-D Lagoon'
Blog  
1/8/2009   Post a comment
A commentary on the promotion of 3-D video at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, featuring a panoramic glimpse at the history of 3-D movies and a skeptical suggestion that 3-D in its new incarnation might be just a costly exercise in planned obsolescence.
Web functions key to mobile-phone growth, says NTT Docomo
News & Analysis  
10/1/2008   Post a comment
The future growth of the mobile handset industry, according to an NTT Docomo executive, will be the expansion of Internet functions on each device, with software standardization allowing global expansion.
Opinion: It's a Chinese thing. You wouldn't understand
Blog  
9/14/2008   2 comments
Capitalism's love affair with communist China, as exemplified by a panel of China specialists at IBC 2008, is compared to American Left's discredited affection with the Soviet regime under Joseph Stalin.
Chinese CATV, "huge" but dysfunctional
News & Analysis  
9/13/2008   Post a comment
The Chinese market for cable television, although enormous, is controlled by local operators who resist any central guidance from the government and by subscribers unwilling or unable to pay more than $2 a month.
Broadcasters' 'parasites' dissected at IBC
News & Analysis  
9/12/2008   Post a comment
Leonardo Chiariglione, the father of MPEG, triggered a lively discussion of technology versus content as the essence of broadcasting, including remarks by British TV executive Michael Grade describing Google and other IPTV aggregators as "parasites."
Web content on your TV? Just press 'Play'
News & Analysis  
9/11/2008   Post a comment
Panelists at IBC in Amsterdam assure consumers that new simplified search engines and devices finally allow "convergence" of a vast library of Internet-based context with the big TV screen in the living room.
Engineers' pay in India growing fast; China, not so much
News & Analysis  
6/11/2008   Post a comment
Representatives from India and China, at the Design Automation Conference in Anaheim, offered a snapshot of salary growth for high-tech jobs in India, the outsourcing picture, and the problem of protecting intellectual property rights in China.
High-tech will relieve energy crisis--some day
News & Analysis  
6/10/2008   Post a comment
Gas prices, clean energy, immigration restrictions on foreign engineers and legislation to fund high-tech research dominated a panel discussion of election-year politics and its intersection with technology at the Design Automation Conference in Anaheim.
IPhone nudging embedded design toward standard
News & Analysis  
4/16/2008   1 comment
The trend toward standardized platforms for development of embedded systems is almost certain to accelerate, according to a panel of engineers who study consumer behavior.
DRM debate gets louder
News & Analysis  
4/16/2008   Post a comment
The battle over digital rights management resumed during the Embedded Systems Conference when a Hollywood studio proponent of DRM locked horns with an attorney who demanded unfettered consumer rights to use and share copyrighted video.
Opinion: A little charity, please
Blog  
2/15/2008   Post a comment
The diminishment of "charity" as a motive for Third World telecom development and the current trend toward Social Darwinism should remind us of the Biblical exaltation of charity as the greatest of all virtues.
Wireless entrepreneurs are 'connecting the unconnected'
News & Analysis  
2/14/2008   Post a comment
Wireless entrepreneurs seek to "connect the unconnected."
Users' love affair with iPhone stumps Mobile World panel
News & Analysis  
2/14/2008   8 comments
A panel of experts at the Mobile World Congress used psychology, behaviorism, technology and a touch of mysticism to fathom users' fondness for Apple's iPhone experience, in hopes of helping mobile telcom companies to capture some of the iPhone magic.
'Free voice' forecast for mobile Web, but no 'free lunch'
News & Analysis  
2/13/2008   Post a comment
Talk may be cheap, but if Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son has his way, talk-- regardless of distance, length and the number of people in the conversation--will be free "because the mobile phone is becoming an Internet machine."
Mobile execs tout cooperation but differ over WiMax, LTE
News & Analysis  
2/12/2008   Post a comment
Cooperation emerged as the theme of Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers at the Mobile World Congress' keynote session.
GSMA: 'Don't take candy from strangers in cyberspace'
News & Analysis  
2/11/2008   Post a comment
The GSM Association, joining forces with EU governments and the International Telecommunication Union, announced a Mobile Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Content to forestall the wholesale migration of child pornography from the Internet to the fast-growing universe of mobile devices.
Media money moving to mobile--maybe
News & Analysis  
2/11/2008   Post a comment
Nokia executive Pertti Kasanen, at the Mobile World Congress, predicts that media services that migrate from fixed-line devices such as PCs and TVs to mobile devices will shift revenue and profits proportionately.
Commentary: Observing the herd at CES
Blog  
1/17/2008   Post a comment
Our man at CES thinks the consumer electronics industry is selling the same old technology in new packages.
Negroponte seeks momentum for One Laptop Per Child at CES
News & Analysis  
1/10/2008   Post a comment
Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the One Laptop Per Child movement, to supply IT learning devices to children in developing countries, spoke at the Consumer Electronics Show, describing his program and technology and shrugging off the defection of Intel from the coalition of companies committed to the non-profit OLPC initiative.
'Internet cloud' hovers over CES panel
News & Analysis  
1/9/2008   Post a comment
CES panelists each took different angles on how to exploit the Internet to achieve their goal of "enabling your customers."
FCC chief promises CES a digital America, and higher cable bills
News & Analysis  
1/9/2008   Post a comment
Speaking to Consumer Electronics association president Gary Shapiro, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin previewed this month's auction of 700 megahertz wireless spectrum and guaranteed that the oft-delayed "digital transition," shutting down all analog TV broadcast in the U.S., will occur on schedule in February 2009. He was less sanguine about making the cable TV industry more consumer-friendly or ending the spiral of "ever-increasing cable rates."
Panasonic erects 'Life Wall' at CES
News & Analysis  
1/8/2008   Post a comment
The president of Panasonic AVC Networks Co. blitzed a standing-room crowd at the Consumer Electronics show with a cavalcade of new products, climaxing with the futuristic prospect of "Life Wall."
CEA chief blasts 'protectionists, isolationists, TV demagogues'
News & Analysis  
1/8/2008   Post a comment
Consumer Electronics Association president Gary Shapiro called out for pressure on Congress for free trade, including approval of treaties with Colombia, Panama and North Korea, while blasting, protectionists, isolationists, pundits and TV demagogues for placing security issues ahead of America's tradition of open borders and "engaging with the world."
A viral Christmas story
News & Analysis  
12/23/2007   Post a comment
Forget the Wii shortage, says humorist David Benjamin. This year's must-have, can't-find game console is the "Veeblefetzer." Good luck finding one, and Happy Holidays.
State of the Engineer: Immigration--The reactionary side of engineering
News & Analysis  
10/29/2007   Post a comment
Although engineers are decidedly open-minded about "green" technology, they are much less liberally disposed toward immigrants.
Salary Survey: They're not rock stars, but EEs earn satisfaction
Design How-To  
10/29/2007   4 comments
In the greater scheme of things and for the time being, engineers--especially in North America--have it pretty good, at least according to their replies to the EE Times Annual Salary and Opinion Survey.
Jack Sparrow: Alive and well, and living in the digital domain
Product News  
9/10/2007   Post a comment
The pirates of the digital domain have little to fear from authorities, according to the uneasy consensus of an expert panel that convened here during the International Broadcast Conference.
Broadcasting industry not dead yet, says CEA's Shapiro
News & Analysis  
9/10/2007   Post a comment
Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association, assured his listeners that though broadcasting faces massive and fundamental changes in both its business and markets, the "death of a great industry" is hardly inevitable.
HD-DVD, Blu-ray sow high-definition 'confusion'
News & Analysis  
9/6/2007   Post a comment
The format battle among Hollywood studios and consumer electronics giants over control of the high-definition DVD market boils down to three words: "Confusion, confusion, confusion!"
Comment: 'No good reason'
Blog  
4/18/2007   Post a comment
The massacre at Virginia Tech University again prompts us to say, "They died for no good reason."
Ease-of-use crisis: Designers or 'feature creeps'?
News & Analysis  
4/5/2007   Post a comment
A panel of experts on "ease of use" convened by the MIT Club of Northern California ruefully agreed that simplicity is one of the most complicated challenges in electronic engineering.
Comment: Al Gore and the inconvenient amendment
News & Analysis  
4/4/2007   Post a comment
In my effort to attend former Vice President Al Gore's keynote speech at the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, I bumbled into a curious sequence of events.
Italians 'willing to pay' for mobile TV
News & Analysis  
3/9/2007   Post a comment
Italy's 3 Italia has declared itself a modest success at not only carving out mobile TV spectrum but putting enough TV on handsets to attract more than 250,000 subscribers.
Google exec: TV's future looks bright--for 90 seconds
News & Analysis  
3/7/2007   Post a comment
Vincent Dureau, head of TV technology for Google, reassured his audience of television technologists at the DVB World Forum that TV remains "relevant," even as it seems to face a mortal threat to its popularity and revenue from his medium, the Internet.
Comment: Asked to choose between rice and ringtones
News & Analysis  
2/28/2007   Post a comment
The wireless industry's laudable goal of reaching out to the emerging world appears to have been derailed by the credit industry in the year since it was first announced.
Asked to choose between rice and ringtones
News & Analysis  
2/26/2007   Post a comment
The "emerging markets" initiative announced at the 3GSM World Congress by GSM Association CEO Rob Conway is a joint GSMA/ MasterCard program, in collaboration with banks, to help "unbanked and underbanked" itinerant workers remit small amounts to their families back home. Conway noted that the annual volume of such transfers exceeds $200 billion, but fees for sending money through current systems can devour as much as 40 percent of the remittance. Conway said GSMA and MasterCard would reduce s
EMF radiation: the cigarette of the 2000s?
News & Analysis  
2/19/2007   Post a comment
Given anxieties over the possible ill effects of electromagnetic-field (EMF) radiation, cell phone makers would be wise to design in safeguards, the CEO of Exradia Ltd. said last week. EMF "could be the cigarette of the 21st century," James Lawler told the 3GSM World Congress here.

Mobile TV preferences depend on where you live
News & Analysis  
2/15/2007   Post a comment
The level of worldwide interest in mobile television remains low and its future is uncertain, a market researcher told the 3GSM World Congress, and distinct national preferences pose programming problems for providers in different countries.
Is EMF radiation the cigarette of the 21st century?
News & Analysis  
2/13/2007   1 comment
James Lawler, CEO of EMX Corp. and Exradia Ltd., told the 3GSM World Congress that 40 percent of consumers believe this form of radiation might compromise their health.
Wireless carriers following the money
News & Analysis  
2/13/2007   Post a comment
ARPU is dead, but greed is still good.
Consumers lukewarm on mobile TV
News & Analysis  
2/12/2007   Post a comment
The Chief Marketing Officers Council provided a snapshot of both the potential and difficulties facing the annual trade show's current pet technology: mobile television.
CES Coverage: Ease of use remains an elusive goal
News & Analysis  
1/15/2007   Post a comment
The consumer electronics industry is developing a raft of novel but complicated approaches to easing the burden for consumers perplexed by the com- plexity of the systems they buy. But none of the solutions now under consideration will instantaneously make the current generation of devices easier to use. Nor is the pell-mell pace going to slow in an industry that competes by bombarding consumers with products that are feature-heavy, stubbornly proprietary and persistently incompatible with one a
Good news, bad news at CES about ease-of-use
News & Analysis  
1/9/2007   Post a comment
The bad news emerging from a Consumer Electronics Show is the dizzying complexity of the potential solutions proposed by experts.
It takes more than Moore to keep IC customers happy
News & Analysis  
11/20/2006   Post a comment
In the increasingly global realm of semiconductor design, Moore's Law might be giving way to (Dale) Carnegie's Law, which says that constant improvement and acceleration in process technology are less important than winning friends and influencing people. That was the consensus of industry heavyweights and EE Times editors at a panel here last week at the Electronica show.

Global chip design enters era of local customer
News & Analysis  
11/15/2006   Post a comment
In the global realm of semiconductor design, Moore's Law might be giving way to (Dale) Carnegie's Law, which says that constant improvement and acceleration in process technology is less important than winning friends and influencing people, according to an EE Times-sponsored Global Design Forum at Electronica.
Mobile media forcing TV and film producers to think small
News & Analysis  
9/11/2006   Post a comment
Among a panel of content production experts at IBC — Europe's largest broadcast technology conference — who face the challenge of adapting movies, TV and sound to the "explosion" of new delivery networks and new audio/video devices — including portable media players, mobile phones and in-car mobile TV — one used the word "amazing," another called it "kind of tricky" and one just said, "Absurd."
Europeans HD-ready, but also HD-dumb
News & Analysis  
9/9/2006   Post a comment
The key obstacle to "reaching orbit" in high-definition television (HDTV) in Europe, after this year's successful "liftoff" from extensive, expensive and popular HD World Cup coverage, is the education of a viewing public still unclear on the concept.
BBC video project could reverse 'Immaculate Reception'
News & Analysis  
9/8/2006   Post a comment
With the help of new 3-D video technology developed by the BBC, one of the great sports mysteries ever could be solved.
Hackers winning DRM 'arms race'
News & Analysis  
9/7/2006   Post a comment
Everyone wants digital rights management technologies that protect copyrighted content from hackers, but a panel of experts concluded that nobody wants to pay for them.
The 21st century Lucky Strike
Blog  
8/21/2006   Post a comment
When I observe standard mobile-phone behavior among the natives of most Western nations--from France to Italy to the U.S.A.--I can't help but think of arctic wolves prowling the tundra, peeing on shrubs.
Flying the cold-blooded skies
News & Analysis  
5/26/2006   Post a comment
Forget "The DaVinci Code." This summer’s big movie is "Snakes on a Plane," because it represents the perfect metaphor for air travel in 2006.
Fat phones litter mobile-TV 'minefield'
News & Analysis  
3/3/2006   Post a comment
Even as speakers at the DVB World Forum expressed optimism about the worldwide adoption of the DVB-H standard for mobile TV networks, they were busy assembling a long list of possible booby traps.
Mobile TV comes home, literally
Product News  
3/2/2006   Post a comment
Speakers at the DVB World conference found themselves explaining the surprising phenomenon of “mobile home TV,” but it had nothing to do with television viewing in trailer parks.
Mobile TV exec foresees content-wireless carrier clash
News & Analysis  
3/1/2006   Post a comment
Mobile TV will grow in three years into a $3 billion market, heavily concentrated among young consumers, according to an industry executive.
African entrepreneur tweaks U.S. at 3GSM
News & Analysis  
2/16/2006   Post a comment
In the midst of Europe's largest mobile telephony conference Wednesday, an African entrepreneur interjected a wry critique of "American know-how" and provided participants at the 3GSM World congress a rare note of levity.
DRM panel called 'bunch of big girls'
Product News  
2/16/2006   Post a comment
At a 3GSM World Congress discussion on digital rights management, audience member David Birch called the panelists “a bunch of big girls” for buckling under to the demands of Hollywood studios and record companies.
Mobile phone industry targets the Third World
News & Analysis  
2/16/2006   Post a comment
The mobile phone industry is turning to the Third World and asking the heads of developing countries to lift regulatory barriers.
3GSM chief sends Instant Message to the world
News & Analysis  
2/14/2006   Post a comment
Esperanto never caught on, but the GSM Association's CEO still likes the idea of a universal language.
Despite gaining on China, Indian mobile market has long haul
News & Analysis  
2/13/2006   Post a comment
India will surpass China in new mobile phone subscriptions in 2006, but will continue to trail its technology rival in market potential for years to come.
Mobile carriers targeting emerging, but poor, markets
News & Analysis  
2/13/2006   Post a comment
Mobile carriers are turning their attention toward world's poor but nevertheless "emerging markets" where the demand for various mobile services is growing.
Digital imaging stuck in a 'shoebox,' says Kodak chief
News & Analysis  
1/8/2006   Post a comment
Eastman Kodak CEO Antonio Perez outlined a vision of the digital imaging future at CES in which consumers will be easily able to rescue photos from the “shoeboxes” where they currently languish.
New FCC head says he'll steer clear of politics
News & Analysis  
1/8/2006   Post a comment
In a Consumer Electronics Show (CES) tradition, Consumer Electronics Association chairman Gary Shapiro questioned the Federal Communications Commission chairman about the hottest issues in telecommunications regulation, but this year's dialog generated far less political red meat than in recent years.


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Max Maxfield

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Max Maxfield
25 comments
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Jolt Judges and Andrew Binstock

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Jolt Judges and Andrew Binstock
1 Comment
As we do every year, Dr. Dobb's recognizes the best books of the last 12 months via the Jolt Awards -- our cycle of product awards given out every two months in each of six categories. No ...

Engineering Investigations

Air Conditioner Falls From Window, Still Works
Engineering Investigations
2 comments
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David Blaza

The Other Tesla
David Blaza
5 comments
I find myself going to Kickstarter and Indiegogo on a regular basis these days because they have become real innovation marketplaces. As far as I'm concerned, this is where a lot of cool ...