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A NEW DIMENSION

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 …

You can still buy Moo & Oink originals

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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 TasteChicagosBest.com/moo-oink.html. The website offers 16 Moo & Oink products — all unchanged from their original recipes. The website …

Recycle old phones with push of a button

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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.

Predicting technology changes in 2013

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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 …

Your phone can find you a parking space

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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 …

Sourcebooks ebook app puts children in starring roles

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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.

Startup pins down locations

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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.

Wheaton startup’s shirts blend art, tech, charity

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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 …

Empowering entrepreneurs

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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 …

$5 get resume to top of stack

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Jaclyn K. Hogan discovered a new career when she used a Chicago-based job board, HiredMyWay.com, 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 …

Dreams of 1-stop transit-map app

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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 …

Putting pictures with places

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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 …

ComEd tapping online power

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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 …

Using new way to sell old books

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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.

Tapping moms in Web security

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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 (MakingTimeForMommy.com), how she copes with 2-year-old Lucas’ …