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Everything we need to know about metadata, the usually invisible infrastructure for information with which we interact every day.
A short, informal account of our ever-increasing dependence on a complex multiplicity of messages, records, documents, and data.
An accessible introduction to 3D printing that outlines the additive manufacturing process, industrial and household markets, and emerging uses. The use of 3D printing—digitally controlled additive manufacturing—is growing rapidly. Consumer models of 3D printers allow people to fabricate small plastic objects, from cabinet knobs to wedding cake toppers. Industrial uses are becoming widespread, as businesses use the technology to fabricate prototypes, spare parts, custom-fitted prosthetics, and other plastic or metal items, often at lower cost and with greater efficiency than standard manufacturing. In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, John Jordan offers an accessible introduction to 3D printing, describing the printing process, industrial and household markets, and emerging uses. Jordan outlines the stages of 3D printing, from idea to software model to a printable file that slices the planned object into printable layers to the finished object itself. He describes additive technologies, consumer 3D printing in homes and schools, mass customization (which can create tens of millions of unique items), and industrial uses. Jordan explains that although 3D printers have not become the ubiquitous home appliance once predicted, they are making inroads into mass markets; and he discusses the business factors that may hinder industry adoption of 3D printing technologies. He considers the possible unintended consequences of 3D printing on jobs, as companies scramble to find employees with an uncommon skill set; on business models and supply chains, as manufacturing is decentralized; and on patent law, as machines can be programmed to copy protected property. Finally, Jordan looks at new and emerging uses, including bioprinting, building construction, and micromachines.
The future is like an unwritten book. It is not something we see in a crystal ball, or can only hope to predict, like the weather. In this volume of the MIT Press's Essential Knowledge series, Nick Montfort argues that the future is something to be made, not predicted. Montfort offers what he considers essential knowledge about the future, as seen in the work of writers, artists, inventors, and designers (mainly in Western culture) who developed and described the core components of the futures they envisioned. Montfort's approach is not that of futurology or scenario planning; instead, he reports on the work of making the future -- the thinkers who devoted themselves to writing pages in the unwritten book. Douglas Engelbart, Alan Kay, and Ted Nelson didn't predict the future of computing, for instance. They were three of the people who made it. Montfort focuses on how the development of technologies -- with an emphasis on digital technologies -- has been bound up with ideas about the future. Readers learn about kitchens of the future and the vision behind them; literary utopias, from Plato's Republic to Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland; the Futurama exhibit at the 1939 New York World's Fair; and what led up to Tim Berners-Lee's invention of the World Wide Web. Montfort describes the notebook computer as a human-centered alterative to the idea of the computer as a room-sized "giant brain"; speculative practice in design and science fiction; and, throughout, the best ways to imagine and build the future.
Forthcoming from the MIT Press
Explores the full spectrum of communication, from careers to information technologies, in an interdisciplinary fashion. Emphasis is on both historical and current issues, topics, and people.

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