German Brewers Face ‘Unprecedented’ Beer Bottle Shortage

A nation of beer lovers is facing a shortage of bottles, partly because of the war in Ukraine. Breweries are looking to drinkers for a rescue.

#beer, #germany, #glass, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #shortages, #ukraine

In Struggling Murano, a Design Intervention

The Venetian island, famous for its glass, has long been on the wane, but 700 years of expertise is a terrible thing to squander.

#archibong-ini, #art, #design, #factories-and-manufacturing, #glass, #luxury-goods-and-services, #murano-italy

The Resurgence of Murano Glass

The opulent look of Murano glass is on the rise, propelled in part by a new wave of home goods and accessories inspired by the centuries-old aesthetic.

#design, #glass, #jewels-and-jewelry, #murano-italy, #tableware

The ancient origins of glass

Rainbow-colored glass fish.

Enlarge / This glass fish was found in a fairly modest private house in Amarna, buried under a plaster floor along with a few other objects. It may once have contained ointment. (credit: Trustees of the British Museum)

Today, glass is ordinary, on-the-kitchen-shelf stuff. But early in its history, glass was bling for kings.

Thousands of years ago, the pharaohs of ancient Egypt surrounded themselves with the stuff, even in death, leaving stunning specimens for archaeologists to uncover. King Tutankhamen’s tomb housed a decorative writing palette and two blue-hued headrests made of solid glass that may once have supported the head of sleeping royals. His funerary mask sports blue glass inlays that alternate with gold to frame the king’s face.

In a world filled with the buff, brown, and sand hues of more utilitarian Late Bronze Age materials, glass—saturated with blue, purple, turquoise, yellow, red, and white—would have afforded the most striking colors other than gemstones, says Andrew Shortland, an archaeological scientist at Cranfield University in Shrivenham, England. In a hierarchy of materials, glass would have sat slightly beneath silver and gold and would have been valued as much as precious stones were.

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#glass, #science, #uncategorized

Theater’s New Glass Menageries

Some of the most innovative set designers and directors are placing actors within transparent boxes, posing novel aesthetic questions in the process.

#albee-edward, #glass, #mendes-sam, #nunn-trevor, #t-design-and-luxury, #the-lehman-trilogy-play, #theater, #three-tall-women-play, #van-hove-ivo, #whiteread-rachel, #yerma-play

Equity Monday: Women’s employment drops, as Delta’s drama continues

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff to catch up on weekend news and prep for the days ahead. We’re here on Tuesday this week since us folks in the United States had off for labor day. You can follow the show on Twitter here, and while you’re at it, throw me a follow too.

  • Jobs report: Over the weekend, the US government posted the Jobs Report. It wasn’t ideal, with a sharp drop in percentage of women rejoining the workforce. I give you the startup angle, and talk about a somewhat poetic unicorn.
  • Instacart, meet Instagram: WSJ reports that new Instacart CEO Fidji Simo is expanding the grocery delivery store’s consumer-product advertising business, with a goal of hitting $1 billion in revenue next year. I riff on why this makes sense and what challenges the business make come up against.
  • Behemoths, beware: The largest Series A within Africa just closed, and it’s not even close. Wave is taking on telecom-led mobile money, now with four-big name backers. It’s not the only startup trying to take on a behemoth. I also gave a shout out to Glass, which wants to take on Instagram as a new go-to destination for photographers to share their content.

And that’s a wrap. I have a fun edtech piece coming out on Extra Crunch this week, so keep your eyes out for it.

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PST, Wednesday, and Friday at 6:00 a.m. PST, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts!

#africa, #equity, #equity-monday, #fintech, #glass, #instacart, #instagram, #jobs-report, #tc, #wave

Instagram may not be a photo-sharing app anymore, but Glass is

Instagram made headlines (including this one) when product head Adam Mosseri said in June that the app is “no longer just a square photo-sharing app,” since it’s pivoting its focus to shopping and video. But where does that leave photographers who want a social photo-sharing experience?

According to Tom Watson, a former product designer at Facebook and Pinterest, photographers have lacked a social network for a while. That’s why, with co-founder Stefan Borsje, Watson built Glass, a subscription-based iOS app designed to be a home for photographers.

“I’ve always loved photography, and when Flickr got bought by Yahoo, it was a sad moment for me. I love that kind of nerdy photography community,” Watson told TechCrunch. “Then you started to see it pick up with Instagram to take the torch into the mobile space. But I was at Facebook when Facebook purchased Instagram, and you could kind of see that it would inevitably be where it is today.”

For those of us accustomed to free, ad-supported social media, it might feel unfamiliar to pay a monthly fee for an app. Glass costs $4.99 a month (or $29.99 a year) to use, but you can try it without charge for 14 days. Still, the app takes your App Store payment info right away, so it could be a barrier to entry for people who worry they won’t remember to delete Glass before the trial period ends, should they not want to continue with it. But this model is intentional. Watson and Borsje are specifically trying to build their app — which only has five team members — without any venture funding or ad revenue. They only want to have to answer to their community of photographers.

“I wanted to do something different and start with a social subscription model and to bootstrap without venture capital,” said Watson. “We’ve seen in the past what happens when you take on venture capital and go for the moon. You keep pivoting away from your photographer community in order to become more broad.”

Image Credits: Glass

From the moment you open the Glass app, it’s clear that the emphasis is on the photography itself. When you follow photographers, their posts will appear in a feed of images designed to minimize distractions. The photos take up the entire screen, and you can only see who posted them if you drag them to the right. When you click on an image, you can see its caption and other information about how the photograph was shot. You can engage socially through comments, but there aren’t likes on photos — this is an intentional design choice, though Watson says some users are asking for a like button, even if it just helps them bookmark images for later browsing. In the coming weeks, Glass will launch discovery features, like categories for photographs. Glass also has a feedback board, which allows users to request features and upvote or downvote other users’ ideas. If Glass chooses to develop a suggestion, it is noted as “in progress” on the board.

Though it’s only in its beginning stages, Glass already sets itself apart from Instagram or VSCO by offering EXIF data, which is like candy for the “photography nerds” that Glass hopes to attract. EXIF data shows what camera a photographer used, as well as the photo’s ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and focal length. This data and sense of community was what drew people to Flickr in its early days, but when Yahoo gave free users up to one terrabyte of data, it became more of a personal archive than a community. Then, when SmugMug bought Flickr from Yahoo in 2018, it tried to backpedal by only allowing free users to have 1000 photos, warning that they could delete free users’ photos if they didn’t upgrade to a paid plan.

Glass also appeals to photographers by allowing for a wider variety of image sizes on the app — the maximum aspect ratio is 16 x 9, which accommodates the size of standard camera photos. But on Instagram, even after the platform moved away from its square image motif, it’s not possible to post vertical photographs from most cameras without cropping them. Like VSCO, Glass doesn’t show how many followers each user has, though you can see comments. While you can’t see how many followers someone else has, you can see who is following your own account.

“We thought that was important for safety. If someone follows you, you need to know who that is, and to be able to block them,” Watson said. “We really wanted to build blocking and reporting features from day one.”

Watson declined to share how many users have downloaded the app so far, but Watson said he’s “extremely happy with the response” to Glass. It launched with a waitlist in August, and Wednesday the app opened up to all iOS users. The goal of the waitlist wasn’t to generate hype, but rather, to make sure that the user experience remained smooth, and that the app wouldn’t get overloaded. At the time of the app’s waitlist launch in August, Watson told TechCrunch that Glass was sending hundreds of invites out every day. 

“I’ve been on the internet a long time, and I used to feel like there was a cozier, safer space,” Watson said. “I hope that by having this subscription model, these spaces can feel that way a little bit more again.”

#apps, #glass, #photo-sharing, #photography

In Venice, Jewelers Try to Revive Their Businesses

The lack of tourists during the pandemic may have made the city more livable, but empty streets don’t buy jewelry.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #genninger-leslie-ann, #glass, #jewels-and-jewelry, #montavoci-cosima, #nardi-alberto, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #small-business, #venice-italy, #your-feed-fashion

Vintage Vases Find New Life as Bongs

Two trends in one: Upcycled antique glassware and marijuana accessories.

#antiques, #glass, #marijuana, #smoking-and-tobacco

The Message in a Reusable Wine Bottle: Combat Climate Change

Glass bottles are the largest source of the wine industry’s carbon footprint. Several companies are experimenting with new shipping methods.

#containers-and-packaging, #glass, #waste-materials-and-disposal, #wines

Man Hangs On for Life After Winds Shatter Glass Bridge in China

Gusts blew out parts of a glass bridge’s flooring in northeast China, trapping a man and raising questions about the safety of similar hair-raising tourist attractions in the country.

#accidents-and-safety, #bridges-and-tunnels, #china, #glass, #rescues

Apple invests $45 million more in Gorilla Glass-maker Corning


Apple has invested an additional $45 million in US-based Corning Incorporated, the maker of Gorilla Glass, the companies announced today.

A news release from Apple says the investment will help “expand Corning’s manufacturing capacity in the US” and “drive research and development into innovative new technologies that support durability and long-lasting product life.”

The investment will come out of Apple’s $5 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund, which was established in 2017 to invest in manufacturing jobs and infrastructure in the United States related to Apple’s products like the iPhone.

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#apple, #corning, #corning-incorporated, #glass, #gorilla-glass, #iphone, #kentucky, #smartphones, #tech

The Munich Atelier Where Stained Glass Comes to Life

In a six-story building in the city’s center, Michael and Petra Mayer run — and reside in — one of the world’s oldest and most celebrated architectural glass and mosaic studios.

#architecture, #art, #churches-buildings, #glass, #historic-buildings-and-sites, #interior-design-and-furnishings, #munich-germany, #restoration-and-renovation, #stained-glass, #windows

Murano Glass, an Ancient Art Revived

A new generation of artisans is adding to the long history of the Italian craft, known for its strange shapes, odd colors and secretive techniques.

#2020-t-design, #design, #glass, #handicrafts, #murano-italy, #scarpa-carlo

T Process | The Making of a Glass Vase

The artist Andrew O. Hughes uses colored glass to create his signature works.

#glass

MIT engineers develop a totally flat fisheye lens that could make wide-angle cameras easier to produce

Engineers at MIT, in partnership with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, have devised a way to build a camera lens that avoids the typical spherical curve of ultra-wide-angle glass, while still providing true optical fisheye distortion. The fisheye lens is relatively specialist, producing images that can cover as wide an area as 180 degrees or more, but they can be very costly to produce, and are typically heavy, large lenses that aren’t ideal for use on small cameras like those found on smartphones.

This is the first time that a flat lens has been able to product clear, 180-degree images that cover a true panoramic spread. The engineers were able to make it work by patterning a thin wafer of glass on one side with microscopic, three-dimensional structures that are positioned very precisely in order to scatter any inbound light in precisely the same way that a curved piece of glass would.

The version created by the researchers in this case is actually designed to work specifically with the infrared portion of the light spectrum, but they could also adapt the design to work with visible light, they say. Whether IR or visible light, there are a range of potential uses of this technology, since capturing a 180-degree panorama is useful not only in some types of photography, but also for practical applications like medical imaging, and in computer vision applications where range is important to interpreting imaging data.

This design is just one example of what’s called a ‘Metalens’ – lenses that make use of microscopic features to change their optical characteristics in ways that would traditionally have been accomplished through macro design changes – like building a lens with an outward curve, for instance, or stacking multiple pieces of glass with different curvatures to achieve a desired field of view.

What’s unusual here is that the ability to accomplish a clear, detailed and accurate 180-degree panoramic image with a perfectly flat metalens design came as a surprise even to the engineers who worked on the project. It’s definitely an advancement of the science that goes beyond what may assumed was the state of the art.

#fisheye-lens, #gadgets, #glass, #hardware, #imaging, #lenses, #massachusetts, #medical-imaging, #mit, #optics, #science, #science-and-technology, #smartphones, #tc

Hunting for Glass Orbs on Block Island

In this summer of sorrow, a game searching for glass orbs has taken on new and magical meaning.

#block-island-ri, #glass, #horton-eben-artist, #scavenger-hunts, #travel-and-vacations

The Romans Called it ‘Alexandrian Glass.’ Where Was It Really From?

Trace quantities of isotopes hint at the true origin of a kind of glass that was highly prized in the Roman Empire.

#archaeology-and-anthropology, #chemistry, #egypt, #glass, #glassware, #isotopes, #mediterranean-sea, #research, #roman-civilization, #your-feed-science

Breaking Glass and Gloomy Skies Inspire This Artist

The Japanese glass virtuoso Rui Sasaki’s great subject is the weather.

#art, #corning-ny, #corning-museum-of-glass, #glass, #japan, #museums, #sasaki-rui

Smart glass manufacturer Click Materials inks major deal to challenge $1 billion-backed View Inc.

Click Materials, a Vancouver-based developer of “smart glass” has inked a major partnership with one fo the largest manufacturers of windows for the home, Cardinal Glass, as it looks to challenge the billion dollar-backed View Inc.

Founded in 2016 by a University of British Columbia professor, Curtis Berlinguette, Click Materials has raised only a few hundred thousand dollars in seed funding. But the technology that Berlinguette’s company is developing could provide a lower-cost more flexible option to traditional photochromatic deposition — which can be applied to plastic as well as glass.

Smart glass gets its name from the coatings that are applied to transparent surfaces (typically glass) that allow users to customize the tint of the surface between clear and dark states. The result is more control over heat and light levels in an environment. It turns out that exposure to sunlight has implications for mental health and can enable dramatic cost savings in heating and cooling for any built environment.

Click Materials claims that its windows can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to fifty percent and that it can achieve those reductions while slashing manufacturing costs by as much as sixty percent.

Through the partnership with Cardinal Glass, Click will be building out a pilot plant that could give the upstart company manufacturing capacity to reach nearly $25 million in annual revenue, according to founder and chief executive, Curtis Berlinguette.

A typical plant of that size could cost at least $10 million, according to industry experts, but Click’s process — leveraging automation and existing manufacturing lines — means that a pilot can be built for a fraction of that cost, according to industry insiders.

“The first pilot plant is to prove out the product and get it refined,” says Berlinguette. And the company has other potential partnerships lined up to take its smart window products into commercial real estate and even auto manufacturing, Berlinguette said.  

The company has scaled from one employee as recently as a year ago to a staff of ten now with plans to add another 15 employees by the end of the year.

Image courgesy of Click Materials

While smart glass may seem like an odd investment thesis, the technology has received attention from a diverse array of investors. SoftBank’s Vision Fund is a major investor in the market through View Inc., which has raised roughly $1.8 billion in funding, according to Crunchbase. Another big player in the world of smart glass technologies is the multi-billion dollar French industrial conglomerate Saint-Gobain, which bought Sage Electrochromics back in 2012.

“Both of those companies have cleared a path for us because they’ve educated the market,” said Berlinguette. “The way they make their products — even with economies of scale you won’t be able to bring the cost of making those windows down to a level that’s accessible for the residential market. Those products are two to three times too expensive for the residential sector.”

Cardinal, a longtime leader in residential glass manufacturing and construction, was impressed with the new process that Click had developed, according to a statement from the company.

“Click Material’s proprietary deposition method enables uniform, optically-pure coatings that can be sprayed at ambient conditions and has the potential to disrupt the electrochromic window industry in the residential market and beyond,” said Keith Burrows, Technology Scouting & IP Manager at Cardinal Glass.

The potential to revolutionize design using smart glass extend far beyond the residential market, according to Berlinguette. Indeed, one of the areas where the company’s technology could have a significant impact is in the design of electric vehicles.

Heating and cooling can significantly reduce the range of electric vehicles, and the use of smart glass can, conceivably, increase efficiency significantly, Berlinguette said.

“As consumer appetite to bring smart technologies into the home grows, Click is delivering innovative advancements to window technology that will truly transform the way we experience our connected homes in the future,” said Berlinguette, in a statement. “The opportunities here are immense; heating, cooling and lighting account for 35% of home energy consumption, half of which can be lost through windows. Studies have also shown that greater control over lighting can dramatically improve energy, mood and personal well-being. Our partnership with Cardinal Glass is a massive leap towards bringing the future of windows into the present, with just one Click.”

#energy, #glass, #leader, #materials, #matter, #real-estate, #smart-glass, #smart-technologies, #softbank, #tc, #vancouver, #windows

Does Sunlight Through Glass Provide Vitamin D?

You can’t get adequate UVB exposure sitting indoors or in a car.

#glass, #sunlight, #ultraviolet-light, #vitamin-d, #vitamins, #windows