Techman Texts: 3-D printing gets extra cheesy

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3-D printers have been used to make artificial body parts, guns and even cars, but reported on a use that may turn out to be the most revolutionary yet -- making pizza.

A start-up company called Natural Machines has a working prototype of what it has magically named the Foodini food printer that can 3-D print a pizza. The printer begins by piping dough down in a tight spiral. Next a spiral of red sauce is printed on.

At that point. the cheese and oregano are applied by hand.

The Foodini is still under development. There's no date set for it to hit the market. But it is obvious that food printing has a future. Layer cake anyone?


Rant: Why do so many products require you to download a manual and print it yourself if you want a printed one? Granted they might be able to make the device a little cheaper by not including a manual, but it couldn't cost more than it costs me for my own paper, Internet connection, hyper-expensive printer ink and aggravation. BTW, I am convinced that a big reason Apple caught on and survived when many other early computer makers didn't was the excellence of its printed manuals.


Hanging up on disclosure: While Google, Microsoft and other Internet companies are campaigning to be allowed to report requests from the government to disclose customer information, AT&T is going in the opposite direction.

A shareholder proposal asks AT&T to publish semi-annual reports about the information requests it receives from U.S. and foreign governments. The New York Times reported last week that AT&T has asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to agree the company can leave that shareholder proposal off its proxy statement, which shareholders will vote on at its 2014 annual meeting.


Watt a crime: Police in Chamblee, Ga., recently arrested a man for "stealing" electricity from a school where he plugged his electric car in for 20 minutes during his son's tennis match.

Police arrested Kaveh Kamooneh at this home 11 days after the alleged theft of electricity valued at 5 cents. Police made him do the perp walk and spend more than 15 hours in the county lockup.

What we have here is a crime of the future. Perhaps it will be called "illegal use of current."

Alas, Windows 7, I knew it: Microsoft on Oct. 30 quietly stopped the retail sale of Windows 7, according to a notice on its website,

In less than a year, Oct. 30, 2014, Microsoft will end sales to computer makers for PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled.

Windows 7 was a welcome replacement for Windows Vista, which was not very well-regarded although TechMan never had a problem with it. In my opinion, it didn't come close to being as bad as Microsoft's worst turkey, Windows ME, launched in 2000.


Website of the week: At, you enter the names of a retailer (mostly national chains) and it will show you coupon codes you can use to get deals on the stores' Websites.

Geek quote of the week: "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are." -- Buckaroo Banzai in "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension"

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