Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ A NEW DIMENSION ]]> Lead story image

Ford Motor Co. is using 3-D printing to make prototypes of everything from air vents to cylinder heads, saving millions of dollars and shaving months off production. The so-called “rapid manufacturing” process has played a key role in the Torrence Avenue Assembly Plant’s production of the Explorer and its EcoBoost engine. It uses software to render photos into designs that can “print” physical objects. The advance is a key part of what’s becoming known as the Industrial Revolution 2.0. Since three-dimensional technology lets engineers work smarter, be more productive, improve product quality and offer a better value to customers, it … ]]> Thu, 30 May 2013 19:22:26 -0600 <![CDATA[ You can still buy Moo & Oink originals ]]> Lead story image

Moo & Oink fans salivating for the company’s rib tips, hot links and High Five barbeque sauce can buy them at the click of a mouse at The website offers 16 Moo & Oink products — all unchanged from their original recipes. The website launched about a month ago with an inaugural “gift” order from a Moo & Oink fan in Cary, N.C., to a friend in San Ramon, Calif. The customer shipped a 10-pound box of rib tips and 2.5 pounds of pork hot links at a cost of $71.79. The online orders ship in dry ice through … ]]> Sun, 24 Mar 2013 06:05:47 -0600 <![CDATA[ Recycle old phones with push of a button ]]> Lead story image

Chicagoans have a new alternative to recycling their smart phones, tablets and other electronic devices: ATM-like kiosks that refund money instantly for old electronics. The kiosks, called EcoATM, aim to make electronics recycling as accessible as a grocery-shopping trip. ]]> Sun, 10 Mar 2013 06:10:59 -0600 <![CDATA[ Predicting technology changes in 2013 ]]> Lead story image

IBM Corp. predicts sensors will evolve in 2013 so tablets and smartphones can give people a simulated touch of a fabric. Ad agency JWT predicts a robot will cost the same as a used car, at about $22,000. So what’s in store for Chicago in the New Year? The Sun-Times asked two technology and social-media experts — Andy Crestodina, co-founder and web strategist at Orbit Media, and Mana Ionescu, founder and president of Lightspan Digital, to weigh in on local trends. Crestodina’s Predictions * Responsive web design — Design and programming tricks now make it possible to build one website … ]]> Wed, 06 Feb 2013 06:06:49 -0600 <![CDATA[ Your phone can find you a parking space ]]> Lead story image

Web design team leader Nathan Henry turned to technology to save nearly 50 percent on his regular parking downtown — and he has no contract tying him any single garage. He uses ParkWhiz, a free web and mobile site that tells motorists in real time the cheapest parking garage vacancies nearby, and offers a discount on those spaces. “Sometimes I take mass transit, but sometimes I need my car,” said Henry, a South Loop resident who drives to work in River North. “I didn’t want to pay $20-plus each day.” He also wanted to avoid getting locked into a monthly … ]]> Wed, 16 Jan 2013 06:04:08 -0600 <![CDATA[ Christ Church expands its reach with smartphone app ]]>

Christ Church takes innovations in digital technology to another level as they reach people beyond the walls of the church with “worship-on-the-go.” Suddenly, “there’s an app for that” takes on a whole new meaning as Christ Church once again becomes an early adopter using the latest innovations in technology to connect with people wherever they can. ]]> Wed, 24 Oct 2012 13:40:01 -0600 <![CDATA[ Sourcebooks ebook app puts children in starring roles ]]> Lead story image

Sourcebooks, the nation’s largest woman-owned independent book publisher based in Naperville, has launched an app and an e-book series aimed at transforming the iPad’s use for tweens, teens and young children. A story app lets parents personalize the book by inserting a child’s name, and photo, into the story. Another app enhances the classics with at-your-fingertip background and context. ]]> Tue, 25 Dec 2012 06:05:45 -0600 <![CDATA[ Startup pins down locations ]]> Lead story image

An Evanston startup’s breakthrough technology that identifies Tweets, YouTube videos and photos from Flickr, Instagram and Picasa by their locations helped emergency responders find Hurricane Sandy victims and is giving federal authorities a new way to identify human trafficking. ]]> Tue, 11 Dec 2012 06:03:55 -0600 <![CDATA[ Wheaton startup’s shirts blend art, tech, charity ]]> Lead story image

A Wheaton startup is touting its “Made in America” label with a twist: It leverages new fabric technology and independent artists’ crowdsourcing to make fitted and fashionable T-shirts on demand. “We have the belief and the commitment that we can do good locally by investing in production here in America,” said Cole Lohman, 28, director of business development for the web-based company, “The Made In America mission is connected with supporting our local economy and providing work to independent artists. We need the help right now.” It’s also a hot topic this election season. The T-shirts for men and … ]]> Wed, 21 Nov 2012 06:05:40 -0600 <![CDATA[ Empowering entrepreneurs ]]> Lead story image

While Chicago’s startup cheerleaders trumpet rapid-fire business launches, South Side native Aaron Gray is working to empower the underserved, overlooked and unconventional businessperson to think about a variety of options. Gray, 31, has started The Legacy Movement to upend the conversation about business startups: He has set up for would-be entrepreneurs, franchisees and business owners looking to sell, as well as people aiming to start for-profits, nonprofits or social ventures and others who don’t necessarily want to start a company from scratch. The Legacy Movement, whose network charges $25 a month, is focused on many of the people who … ]]> Wed, 14 Nov 2012 06:05:08 -0600 <![CDATA[ $5 get resume to top of stack ]]> Lead story image

Jaclyn K. Hogan discovered a new career when she used a Chicago-based job board,, that lets job seekers pay a $5 fee upfront to ensure their resumes are seen for jobs they’re serious about, or their money back. People who post their resumes with the $5 token also get the promise of a hiring bonus averaging up to $4,000, paid by HiredMyWay. People who refer a successful hire get a one-third take of the bonus, split evenly among HiredMyWay, the new hire and the person who referred him. People may post their resumes for free, but there’s no guarantee … ]]> Tue, 16 Oct 2012 06:05:17 -0600 <![CDATA[ Dreams of 1-stop transit-map app ]]> Lead story image

Chicago has a traffic jam of transit apps created by independent software developers, offering everything from transit stop data to real-time parking-space availabilities. A home-grown startup, Greater Good Studio, is using crowdsourcing to research and rally support for an all-in-one transit-map app that would give commuters a single view of buses, trains and other public transit in real time, including the latest weather updates and whether the next bus is full. The app is intended to let commuters figure out their travel schedules without having to jump from one app to another, and to think of public transit as a … ]]> Tue, 09 Oct 2012 14:26:24 -0600 <![CDATA[ Putting pictures with places ]]> Lead story image

A mashup innovation called Pinstagram that combines the hugely popular desktop app Pinterest with photo-sharing app Instagram got its start when web designer Pek Pongpaet, who grew up in Wilmette, joked to colleagues about the potentially powerful combination. “The more I thought about it, I realized the mashup could be useful, and they are two of the hottest and highly valued companies going,” said Pongpaet, a native of Thailand and alumnus of the University of Illinois at Chicago who now lives in Silicon Valley. After all, Instagram’s marketplace of more than 50 million wanted to see and share their photos … ]]> Wed, 05 Sep 2012 06:03:13 -0600 <![CDATA[ ComEd tapping online power ]]> Lead story image

This summer’s heat wave and power-outage-inducing thunderstorms are proving to be yet another trial-by-fire for Commonwealth Edison CEO Anne Pramaggiore, the first woman to lead Illinois’ largest utility. Pramaggiore, who took over in February, is faced with the enormous task of repositioning a bureaucratic utility for a competitive, unpredictable and sustainable-energy age. She concedes that ComEd needs to do a better job telling customers basic stuff, especially after a power failure, and she is setting up technology tools to help tackle the challenges. Her influence has spurred the utility to adopt social-media tools, including texting, Twitter and Facebook, to get … ]]> Wed, 22 Aug 2012 06:05:36 -0600 <![CDATA[ Using new way to sell old books ]]> Lead story image

Chicago is home to a rare concept: A literacy non-profit whose technological innovations are enabling it to earn 66 percent of its yearly budget from targeted programs and book sales so it can focus on strategizing the age of electronic readers. ]]> Tue, 24 Jul 2012 09:44:18 -0600 <![CDATA[ Tapping moms in Web security ]]> Lead story image

Alicia Peiffer is proud to call herself a “mom blogger” whose writings about her children’s special needs have caused support groups of parents with similar issues to spring up. Peiffer describes in her blog, Making Time for Mommy (, how she copes with 2-year-old Lucas’ autism spectrum disorder and 3-year-old Jacob’s processing delay issue s, “I believe if I’m open about it, I can help another parent or bring people together to connect,” said the 28-year-old Plainfield resident and Orland Park native. “When I first got Lucas’ diagnosis, I didn’t know anyone who was dealing with the issue. I started … ]]> Tue, 03 Jul 2012 09:21:16 -0600