manufacture on demand

anonymous asked:

hello! I've been looking for a manufacturer that can print my art on phone cases, and I was just wondering if you could tell me about any experiences you've had with alibaba. I read some of your posts and you mentioned "braving" alibaba, so i'm not sure if it's a good idea for me to continue searching on this site. I'm from canada and I just want to order a small quantity of cases, but most of the manufacturers on alibaba seem to have minimum orders of 200 pieces or more. Any advice? Thank you.

Kiriska: Alibaba connects you with overseas manufacturers, so there’s often a language barrier involved when ordering. A lot of artists have managed orders without issue, but naturally, this isn’t and won’t always be the case, and a lot depends on individual manufacturers and the type of good they’re producing.

But if you only want a small number of cases, it’s much easier to go through a print-on-demand type site like Redbubble or Society6, in my opinion. The pricing won’t be as good, but those sites are much easier to “brave,” and there’s little to no direct communication required.


Collectors who lament always missing out on the hottest new Japanese figures are in luck, because two of the most popular Japanese toy manufacturers are bringing their latest wares to For the first time ever, fans in the United States will be able to preorder figures via at the same time as their Japanese counterparts. Good Smile, creators of the popular Nendoroid line, and Kotobukiya are both offering their unique takes on Lillie from Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon and making them available for a limited time.

What does that mean? If you’d like to purchase these fine collectibles, you’ll need to put your preorders in soon. These figures are being manufactured to demand, meaning the creators will produce only enough figures to fill the preorder numbers. So if you wait on this preorder, you’ll miss out on Lillie for good.

Kotobukiya’s 8-inch tall version of Lillie (and her ever-present partner Pokémon Cosmog) is a game-accurate depiction of the character, reflecting her appearance in the Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon video games. The 3.9-inch Nendoroid Lillie with Cosmog, on the other hand, is a smaller, cuter version of the character, complete with interchangeable parts and accessories that allow fans to customize her pose and expression. The version of Nendoroid Lillie includes an exclusive Pokémon Doll that looks adorable!

Lillie is the young woman from Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon who acts as Professor Kukui’s assistant. During your adventure through the Alola region, you first encounter Lillie and her partner Cosmog (nicknamed Nebby) as they’re being confronted by a group of wild Spearow. After you rescue Nebby from the threat, Lillie becomes an integral part of your adventure, and you begin to learn more about the character and her mysterious background.

Remember, these Lillie figures will be produced only in very limited quantities based on the number of preorders received. The last day to preorder the Nendoroid Lillie is July 26, and the final day to snag a Kotobukiya figure is August 30. Head over to and place your preorder for these collectible figures today!

Carla Murray and Peter Allen, TechnoLust, 2000

“TechnoLust is a prototype for a zip-on suit with intregral electronic functions. Using 3d body scanning and vacuum forming processes, the suits would be manufactured on demand to fit individual needs, from body contours to technology preferences. Using such emerging technologies as nanochips, flexible printed circuitry, and soft screens, TechnoLust looks at the future of computing and communication technologies. The configuration of TechnoLust shown here–just one of many potential product variations–is a wireless, self-sufficient gaming suit, designed to allow the user to play virtual games from any location. The design is deliberately erotic, suggesting the replacement of erogenous zones with electronic ports.

TechnoLust seeks to merge the softness of skin with the hard lines of consumer electronics.


One must be enculturated into journalistic practices. Journalism — recognizing what is supposedly in the “public interest”  — is a habitus that is acquired and to some extent taught; it is not self-evident in events that certain ones constitute news. 

No journalism comes without a set of biased values built into it, pertaining to what should be considered in the public interest. The recourse to “trending” is fantasy about getting to do away with that enculturation of journalists; instead you use your platform’s size to guide engagement toward whatever is already being engaged with. You get to make news on demand by generating an ever-changing list of “important” topics, without having to define what rises to the level of “important." 

The only "important” thing in that world is the network that is big enough to be capable of tracking what is “trending.” Facebook is the only newsmaker.

News products produced commercially reproduce the ideological conditions that allow them to be profitable products. They are made to reconstitute the demand for them. “Trending” is one flavor of that product. “Serious and in the public interest” is another flavor. 

But these flavors are shaped by genre conventions, not fidelity to some real conditions of newsworthiness.Trending stories are essentially sponsored stories for Facebook. 

Facebook is invested in the idea that truth depends on scale, and the size of their network gives them privileged access to the truth: no one else has as many users, so no one else knows what is trending, and trending is “newsworthy” by definition — it is almost tautological. 

Facebook isn’t trying to correct biases or appear objective; they are saying that sheer scale ultimately cannot be biased, and any bias lingering is users’ fault (they made their filter bubble) or the result of insufficient automation to remove curatorial bias and editorial judgment. 

Facebook wants to promote the idea that scale is the only “real” form of editorial judgment, because no one currently can compete with them in those terms.

Looking at Facebook for some sort of overarching left-right political bias misses the point of how it works altogether. Its Newsfeed is designed only to keep you consuming, not to shape your views. It wants only to persuade you to stay on Facebook, by whatever combination of content performs that trick. 

Facebook only cares about offering Trending insofar as it gets you to not close the tab. And that is a literal sideshow to the main even on Facebook, the newsfeed. The newsfeed algorithms are built to do one thing: manufacture demand for more Facebook, which takes the form of more of whatever content Facebook can seize upon and redistribute to you.

If the algorithmic brainwashing is working, the newsfeed doesn’t make users want more news of some ideological stripe; it makes us want more of Facebook making choices for us: That is the product enjoyed, not the content of what stories are being chosen. The stories are just the fuel powering the fun mill that is the newsfeed’s continual turning.



For the past sixty years, Andrea Aranow has collected fabrics. Her textile collection traces her life of travel and exploration, bringing together an archive of material beauty and pattern that has contributed to collections at The British Museum and inspired fashion houses ranging from Ralph Lauren to UNIQLO. As a maker and academic, Aranow’s work has included everything from designing snakeskin suits for Jimi Hendrix to ethnographic research in Peru, China and Japan. Through the years of expatriate explorations with her family, her son Caleb Sayan inherited her obsession for pattern, fabric and material weight.

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Top 10 Ways the Space Station is Helping Get Us to Mars

Believe it or not, the International Space Station is paving our way to Mars. Being the only microgravity laboratory in which long-duration investigations can take place, it provides deeper understanding of how the human body reacts to long-term spaceflight. Here are the top 10 ways the space station is helping us on our journey to the Red Planet:

10: Communication Delays

Have you ever sent a text and got frustrated when it took longer than 3 seconds to send? Imaging communicating from Mars where round-trip delays could take up to 31 minutes! Our Comm Delay Assessment studies the effects of delayed communications for interplanetary crews that have to handle medical and other emergencies in deep space.

9. Astronaut Functional Performance

After a long nights sleep, do you ever feel a bit clumsy when you first get out of bed? Imagine how crew members might feel after spending six months to a year in microgravity! Our Field Test investigation is working to understand the extend of physical changes in astronauts who live in space for long periods of time, with an aim toward improving recovery time and developing injury prevention methods for future missions.

8. Psychological Impacts of Isolation and Confinement

In order to study the behavioral issues associated with isolation and confinement, researchers evaluate the personal journals of space station crew members. These study results provide information to help prepare us for longer duration spaceflight.

7. Impacts on Vision

Did you know that long duration spaceflight can often cause changes to crew members’ vision? It can, and our Ocular Health study monitors microgravity-induced visual impairment, as well as changes believed to arise from elevated intracranial pressure. All of this work hopes to characterize how living in microgravity can affect the visual, vascular and central nervous systems.

6. Immune Responses

An important aspect of our journey to Mars is the need to understand how long-duration spaceflight affects they way crew members’ bodies defend agains pathogens. Our Integrated Immune investigation collects and analyzes blood, urine and saliva samples from crew members before, during and after spaceflight to monitor changes in the immune system.

5. Food for Long-Duration Crews

Just like a hiker preparing for a long trek, packing the foods that will give you the most energy for the longest amount of time is key to your success. This is also true for astronauts on long-duration missions. Our Energy investigation measures a crew members’ energy requirements, which is a crucial factor needed for sending the correct amount of the right types of food to space.

4. Exercise for Long-Term Missions

Rigorous exercise is already a regular part of astronauts’ routines, and continuing that focus will be critical to keeping crew members’ bodies strong and ready for a mission to Mars and a healthy return to Earth. Our Sprint investigation is studying the best combination of intensity and duration for exercise in space.

3. Determine Best Habitat/Environment for Crews

Have you ever complained about your room being too small? Imagine living in cramped quarters with an entire crew for months on a Mars mission! Our Habitability investigation collects observations that will help spacecraft designers understand how much habitable volume is required, and whether a mission’s duration impacts how much space crew members need.

2. Growing Food in Space

There’s nothing like fresh food. Not only does it provide valuable nutrition for astronauts, but can also offer psychological benefits from tending and harvesting the crops. Our Veggie investigation studies how to best utilize a facility aboard the space station for growing fresh produce in microgravity.

1. Manufacturing Items in Space

When crews head to Mars, there may be items that are unanticipated or that break during the mission. Our 3-D Printing in Zero-G Technology Demonstration would give crews the ability to manufacture new objects on demand while in space.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space:


In December, the Nicktoons network will be airing marathons of Nicktoons from the 2000′s. Most of them have had all their episodes released legally either online or on DVD… except two. The two shortest lived ones ever, Catscratch and The X’s.

These two shows both premiered in 2005 and had the misfortune of getting cancelled after only one 20-episode season each, due to Cyma Zarghami’s boneheaded decision to cancel all Nicktoons currently running at the time (except SpongeBob and Avatar) when she became the head of Nickelodeon in early 2006. After their last few episodes were aired, Catscratch and The X’s both disappeared off the face of television, not even having reruns anywhere. Because of this and the fact that they didn’t get the chance to build up enough popularity, finding their episodes on the internet, be it legally or otherwise, has been next to impossible, save for only a small handful of them.

Now, because of the Nicktoons network putting them both back on the air after so long, we have the chance to fix that. Anyone who’s familiar with recording TV shows, preferably in the highest quality possible, I’m asking this of you: Record any and all episodes that Nicktoons may show of Catscratch and The X’s and share them online. Normally, I’m against doing this, as it’s not the proper way to show support for anything, but since they’re both old shows that have no official releases anywhere, this is the only other alternative. We could also go the more legal route and try to convince Nick and Amazon to release manufacture-on-demand DVDs of the shows, like they’ve done for many other Nicktoons of the past, but until that happens (if at all), recording them on TV ourselves is the only way to see them again.

Transphobia in Show Business

Speaking from my own experiences, being gender-queer in the entertainment industry has not been as glamourous or well received a path as Caitlyn Jenner is currently experiencing.

Don’t get me wrong I am and beyond stoked for her but, well, I’m not an Olympian, nor am I a reality TV star. Nope, I am just a tech geek who happens to also identify on the spectrum. This is not a coming out piece, this is a reality check. With the ACLU looking into gender discrimination in Hollywood for female directors, the truth is we must dig deeper.

This problem runs rampant for all departments of crew, manufacturers of equipment, rental houses and countless other areas of support businesses. So, while I am happy that Ms. Jenner is getting her first taste of sexism in the industry with an emphasis in the media on her looks, I’d like to provide what I feel is the reverse perspective.

I graduated film school, I was about 21, on my first step onto my first indie feature I was greeted snarkly by an art department guy, we were shooting a low budget film in a bar decked out to look like a strip club and our first day called for exotic dancers (now, clearly from then onto now my look has changed, but I was dressed professionally). “What are you one of the dancers or something?” he quipped with a laugh. I sternly blurted out “No. I am the Key Grip. Where is the DP?” With the color draining from his instantly humbled face he motioned backward and stuttered, “Uh…uh.. back there,” and quickly looked back down at his work. MY FIRST FEATURE. Welcome to show business.

Now, my background is pretty varied as I have changed paths in entertainment industry many a time but at every place of employment remained the same — I encountered this kind of devaluing bigotry.

Whether it was when I worked for a lighting manufacturer and I demanded a raise so that I could make a decent living wage and was told, “We pay you what we pay everyone here.” My response, “I don’t work in the factory and should not be paid like a factory worker, I am in marketing.” Or when I worked for a rental organization owned by a major corporation by my boss said, “You don’t know what you’re talking about” in reference to being able to produce promotional new media spots for a specific budget — when I already had the treatment and agreement in hand from the production company. Or maybe when I was told by a female colleague in the same rental organization to not expect to have the CFO answer my emails “because you don’t have a dick.”

But all in all, the most interesting time in the sexist treatment I have received in the industry is now at this stage in my career. I have built a substantially trafficked lighting and grip equipment news website; I have lengthy email conversations with potential advertisers. This is what I’ve encountered from 90% of the male representatives when the conversation turns to well hey let’s chat on the phone:

I introduce myself:
“Oh. (dead silence)” “Uh. Oh you’re with who again?” Yeah buddy, I think you know who the fuck I am and the site after six emails.
“Do you know what a slider is?” Yes. Yes, you idiot. I’ve worked both in production as a Gaffer and Key Grip, lighting manufacturing in marketing, G&E rentals in creative strategy, and retail sales of production equipment and expendables for over a decade now and you emailed me out of the blue to have a conversation about how my website could potentially help promote your equipment because of how “great” you thought the site is. But it’s like, oh shit. Your voice doesn’t sound extremely masculine, you must not know anything about gear. You simply must be a dummy.

Let’s say I transition, will I receive similar out-pouring of empathy, kindness and support from the lighting and grip industry — from the cis-gendered males or will it always be transphobic bullshit? Or will it get easier because I am perceived as male? And if it does get easier for me, how fucked up is that actually? Time will tell.

THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL: I can say now that I also work with a group of great guys outside of the equipment industry at an online entertainment industry platform. But frankly it’s taken me over a decade to find them.

How The Replicator Destroys The Federation And Leads To Humanity Becoming A Slave Race to the Vulcans

This from your friend and mine, Professor Zach Feinstein (here’s his Star Wars / Empire brought down by economics email!).  I would like to thank him for showing me the respect of referencing episodes by season and broadcast number, knowing that I clearly have all episodes memorized in this manner.  Here we go.  His words, my sassy picture captions!

Statement 1: Replicators exist and are widely available to any human (i.e., not just Starfleet officers or the wealthy).

Gimme, oh, some chicken, three glasses, and a bottle of brown.  Corked, please.

Evidence: We can justify this statement since: 1. according to TNG Ep. 1x26: money has become obsolete [so idea of “wealthy” no longer can exist in the traditional sense] and humans no longer care for materialism [so assuming “wealth” means access to a replicator is inconsistent with Picard’s comments as it can only provide material objects]; 2. if only military officers had access then humanity would live in a fascist regime, which (for the moment) let us assume is false.  

Further, while never depicted within canon (to the best of my knowledge), we can further justify wide-spread replicator adoption since the first could just be used to replicate new replicators (and thus an exponential growth of replicators could be manufactured) thus supply and demand would make the value of a single replicator essentially worthless from a capitalistic standpoint once they were being sold.  

The only other reason why some humans might not have access to a replicator is due to the power requirements.  Having a single replicator would require immense amounts of energy (e = mc^2), but it is rarely remarked on the energy needs.  In Voyager there were replicator rations at times, but even with an energy crisis the replicators were able to still function when necessary.  This implies that under normal circumstances, and particularly in a stationary habitat such as a planet, unlimited and free energy (or close enough for all practical purposes) energy is available.

Statement 2: Assuming wide-spread replicator use, humans lose economic incentives to work or join Starfleet (save for a select few).

In this image, we see Picard feeling a little… blue.

Evidence: There are many jobs that people would volunteer to do for enjoyment or adventure.  However, for every Starfleet captain there are hundreds of junior officers who are worried about their prospects at a promotion (see e.g. TNG Ep. 7x15) or those that are actually stuck in a path with no chance for promotion (TNG Ep. 6x15).  In an economic system someone would stay in a job they don’t enjoy or feel they are underutilized for compensation.  But free energy/necessities mean that compensation is unnecessary.  So at the first hindrance most people would resign.  This would especially be true for the service jobs that remain.  Yes people would want to travel through space, but the ships must be maintained which requires specialized skills and knowledge.  So each ship needs an engineering section, and the rest of the “crew” just has a pleasure cruise?  That would be a very unstable relationship and would quickly lead to mutiny.

Statement 3: Assuming wide-spread replicator use, Vulcans would not lose the incentives to work.

What does that thing Spock messed with even do.  Why does it kill everyone if you take the lid off.  Why did we build one into our engineering meeting room.

Evidence: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”  So while optimal for the individual to be content with the necessities, it is optimal for society if everyone continues to contribute.

Statement 4: Vulcans advise humanity on issues of galactic importance. 

This is an “I’m gonna tell you what to do” face if I’ve ever seen one.

Evidence: As noted on Memory Alpha: “The Vulcans eventually became Earth’s "big brothers” in a way, advising Earth officials on how to proceed into the galaxy.“ Additionally, the rulers of humanity would recognize the useful analytical skills of the Vulcans thus employing them as advisors.

Conclusion: Vulcans manipulate humanity into becoming a slave race.

And it’s probably all Janeway’s fault.

Evidence: Given the evidence stated above, we will assume Statements 1-4 are true.   Humans lack economic incentives to do any kind of work.  They are left with just one kind of incentive: the hope for power.  This is an unstable system though since, as mentioned in Statement 2, the moment an obstacle would be placed in front of advancement, the person would almost invariably choose to resign.  However, since replicators would have been introduced slowly (as the technology matured), this would not be an immediate shock to the system, allowing for the prior system to perpetuate itself to some degree.  But once wide-spread replicator technology is introduced it would create massive unemployment and instability (which seemingly does not occur as it is never depicted or referenced).  This implies that there is an element of "bread and circuses” going on to keep the political system in place.  This can only last for so long as the “best and brightest” may also be contented thus leading to suboptimal outcomes.  

“See, what I did here was, I put in a picture from the episode with the same name as the words Zach used.” - Me in my acceptance speech for my future Best Tumblr Presentation Of An Email You Didn’t Write award

The Vulcan advisers (Statement 4) would keep trying to advise as best they can (Statement 3 + assumption the Vulcan race is benevolent towards humanity).  But at what point do the humans stop making the decisions and start passing all decisions off to the advisers to begin with.  And with many of the best and brightest not making it to the top ranks of society because they are contented already (Statement 2), those that are at the top may not have the wherewithal to handle it.  And what leader who has tough choices not “pass the buck” in case it goes wrong?  So Vulcans would be making the big decisions for humanity.  And humans are still desiring to join Starfleet in apparently massive numbers, so something broke the incentives argument (Statement 2).  This means Vulcans have found a way to bypass human economic rationality, which means they either are a master race to humanity or just well positioned to be one if they ever chose to do so.  

It may sound like humans could take decisions back from Vulcans and return to the strictly advisory role as before.  However, likely the new generation coming up the ranks would look to the Vulcans as always having had that power.  It is why power once taken is rarely given back freely.

Live long and prosper.  It’s more profitable for us that way.

Additionally, just to point out a suspicious piece of information that is not strong on its own, but powerful with the rest of the argument provided: Vulcans began strongly prioritizing science over Starfleet beginning in the 23rd century.  This happens to be the exact point when replicator technology was first being introduced in industrial settings (and thus beginning the economic arguments above).  The logical Vulcans would clearly have noticed where this was going and performed the soft coup to keep humanity “stable” but also provide benefit for Vulcans (give the dangerous and undesirable jobs to humans and leave Vulcans the positions of prestige: diplomats, scientists, webcomic artists, etc).  This suggests that humanity has been enslaved already, but just doesn’t realize it.