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3D Printer for Knitting Lets You Make a Sweater Without Picking Up Needles

The repetitive, meditative nature of knitting can have therapeutic benefits for some crafters. For others, it eats up spare time they don’t have. If you’re looking for a quicker way to produce knitted masterpieces, a special type of 3D printer currently seeking funds through Kickstarter may be exactly what you need.

Kniterate works like an industrial knitting machine, but on a much smaller scale. The contraption can produce hats, scarves, shoes, sweaters, and other garments in a matter of hours where it would take an individual knitter days to do the same. And while the knitting isn’t done by hand, Kniterate still gives owners the chance to be creative.

After deciding what they want to make, users can visualize their designs on the computer. Kniterate then takes the digital file and translates it into a real-life knitting formula. The text, images, and patterns that adorn the creations are limited only by the user's imagination. If that sounds like an overwhelming amount of freedom, Kniterate also offers a library of templates from which to choose.

The product is currently in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign, and it’s already more than doubled its initial $100,000 goal. Backers have more than a month to pledge $4700 and reserve a Kniterate of their own. If you don’t have the money to invest in a fancy knitting machine, 3D-knitted scarves are also available for $50.

[h/t Colossal]

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Live Smarter
Make Spreadsheets a Whole Lot Easier With This Excel Trick
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While data nerds may love a good spreadsheet, many office workers open Microsoft Excel with a certain amount of resistance. Inputting data can be a monotonous task. But a few tricks can make it a whole lot easier. Business Insider has a new video highlighting one of those shortcuts—a way to create a range that changes with the data you input.

Dynamic named ranges change and grow with your data, so, for instance, if one column is time and another is, say, dollar value, the value can change automatically as time goes on. If you do this, it's relatively easy to create a chart using this data, by simply inserting your named ranges as your X and Y values. The chart will automatically update as your range expands.

It's easier to see in the program itself, so watch the full video on Business Insider. Microsoft also has its own instructions here, or you can check out this video from the YouTube channel Excel Tip, which also has dozens of other useful tutorials for making Microsoft Excel your hardworking assistant.

[h/t Business Insider]

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History
Marshall McLuhan, the Man Who Predicted the Internet in 1962

Futurists of the 20th century were prone to some highly optimistic predictions. Theorists thought we might be extending our life spans to 150, working fewer hours, and operating private aircrafts from our homes. No one seemed to imagine we’d be communicating with smiley faces and poop emojis in place of words.

Marshall McLuhan didn’t call that either, but he did come closer than most to imagining our current technology-led environment. In 1962, the author and media theorist (who is the subject of today's Google Doodle) predicted we’d have an internet.

That was the year McLuhan, a professor of English born in Edmonton, Canada on this day in 1911, wrote a book called The Gutenberg Galaxy. In it, he observed that human history could be partitioned into four distinct chapters: The acoustic age, the literary age, the print age, and the then-emerging electronic age. McLuhan believed this new frontier would be home to what he dubbed a “global village”—a space where technology spread information to anyone and everyone.

Computers, McLuhan said, “could enhance retrieval, obsolesce mass library organization,” and offer “speedily tailored data.”

McLuhan elaborated on the idea in his 1962 book, Understanding Media, writing:

"Since the inception of the telegraph and radio, the globe has contracted, spatially, into a single large village. Tribalism is our only resource since the electro-magnetic discovery. Moving from print to electronic media we have given up an eye for an ear."

But McLuhan didn’t concern himself solely with the advantages of a network. He cautioned that a surrender to “private manipulation” would limit the scope of our information based on what advertisers and others choose for users to see.

Marshall McLuhan died on December 31, 1980, several years before he was able to witness first-hand how his predictions were coming to fruition.

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