Is digital piracy possible on any object?
3D printers are not new: they've been around for 20 or 30 years, used by designers to make rapid prototypes of products they are developing.
It's a sort of extension of computer aided design, which has so transformed professions such as engineering and architecture.
You draw the design on a screen, and the data then drives a machine that spreads thin layers of plastic or metal powder on top of each other.
Each layer is solidified by a sort of laser welder or sinterer; at the end of the process, you blow off the unsintered powder and the object you drew on the screen is transformed into complex, intertwined three-dimensional reality.
3D printing takes weeks or months off the design process, but for years it stayed as a prototype process, trying things out.
Should we fear the growth of Chinese telecoms company Huawei?
When I first went to see Huawei, about 10 years ago, I had very little idea of who the company was, or what it did.
Ten minutes in the impressive corporate display hall in the booming city of Shenzhen illuminated me. It was full of elaborate and expensive machines.
The complicated art of retail logistics
It's almost the season to be jolly interested in how things are selling in the shops.
The news media, both print and broadcasting, seem to think that how retail sales fare over Christmas is as meaningful a part of the festive season as carols and mince pies.
Smashing way to start a global business
I will never forget my first encounter with the Chinese business leader Zhang Ruimin almost 10 years ago.
There, in a glass case in the boardroom of his company Haier was a sledgehammer, not something you normally encounter in corporate surroundings.
A train trip through the UK's industrial past
The train stopped in the countryside. The signal was sticking out at 90 degrees.
It was not a red light, but one of the old-fashioned semaphore arm signals was barring our way. Not something you encounter very often today.
The art of selling luxury goods
Despite my recent immersion in the solemnity of the tea ceremony in one of the poshest shops in China, I do not pretend to understand or appreciate luxuries, nor the fact that when a developing country starts getting just a little bit rich, luxury goods stores are the first things to pop up and apparently flourish.
Luxury playthings from clothes to yachts have a big impact on the media business, of course.
The designer creating a new Chinese brand
Taking tea with the Shanghai designer Jiang Qiong'er is an elaborate affair, slow and ritualistic.
Her brand comes to Europe this month.
Lessons from online learning
Every time a new medium comes along, visionaries proclaim that education is about to be revolutionised.
They did it when the cinema started more than 100 years ago. Then they said that radio would change everything. And TV. And the internet.
The importance of being paranoid
Of all the people I've ever interviewed one sticks out.
Most people who reach the top of an organisation have been asked every question there is to be asked on their way up.
Aberdeen's central role in the North Sea oil industry
The world of oil is distant, difficult and far flung. In Kazakhstan a few years ago, I journeyed laboriously to the shrunken Aral Sea to look at a contentious new energy producing area.
One of the firms I visited was the local branch of the Wood Group, crammed with reinforced work boots and overalls and the chemicals and supplies you need to run an oil operation. As I remember it, a Scotsman was in charge.