"maker" entries

Creating Maker-friendly cities

Cities should encourage homebrew innovation and inspiration.

Governments, particularly local governments, need to do more to understand and adapt to what might be called DIY citizenship.

Four short links: 23 January 2012

Four short links: 23 January 2012

Wearable Computing, Secure Implants, Budget Game, Restoring Democracy

  1. Adafruit Flora — wearable electronics and accessories platform. (via Tim O’Reilly)
  2. Killed by Code — paper on software vulnerabilities in implantable medical devices. Discovered via Karen Sandler’s wow-generating keynote at linux.conf.au (covered here). (via Selena Deckelmann)
  3. DIY London — fun little Budget-Hero game to make apparent the trade-offs facing politicians. Kids should play Sim* and Civilization games: you get a sense of tradeoffs and consequences from these that you don’t from insubstantial activities. More City Hall games, please! (via David Eaves)
  4. Lessig on How Money Corrupts Congress (Rolling Stone) — glad to see Larry’s profile rising. This is key: I lay out my own voucher program that tries to do that, but the challenge isn’t as much to imagine the solution as much as it is to imagine the process to bring about the solution, given how entrenched the cancer is and how much the very people we need to reform the system depend upon the existing system. (see also an excerpt from Lessig’s new book) (via Long Now)

The maker movement's potential for education, jobs and innovation is growing

"MAKE" founder Dale Dougherty was named a "Champion of Change" by the White House.

Dale Dougherty, one of the co-founders of O'Reilly Media, was honored by the White House as a "Champion of Change" for his work on "MAKE" Magazine, MakerFaire and the broader DIY movement.

The manufacturing future

Can the United States become more competitive as a maker of things?

Dale Dougherty weaves together recent commentary and his own first-hand observations from the manufacturing world. In this piece, he asks: What can we learn from China? Can the U.S. become more competitive as a maker of things?

Make-offs: DIY indie innovations

How low-cost, open-source tools are energizing DIY.

With Maker Faire Bay Area scheduled for this weekend, we take a look at makers who are using low-cost, open-source tools to create sophisticated projects and experiments. The DIY movement in science and technology is demonstrating that it can do inexpensively what large companies and even Big Science have spent millions doing. I call them "make-offs," low-budget knock-offs of scientific and industrial technology built with off-the-shelf components.

We are iPad. Resistance is (not) futile

Apple may have closed the iPad, but you don't need permission to open it.

A lot of people are upset about how closed the iPhone, and now the iPad, are. Cory Doctorow wrote a lengthy piece about the evils of the iPad and its awful closed system. I agree that Apple has taken far too much away. I agree that it is infantalizing to require us to send in the iPad to get its battery replaced. But, my gosh, when did developers ever need permission to break things? When did Steve Jobs become not just rule maker, but some sort of deity that actually prevented me from ignoring said rule maker, and doing whatever I could with my device?

Four short links: 13 January 2010

Four short links: 13 January 2010

Hacked Watch, Hackable Watch, Alpha Biogeeks, and a Tech Sweet Spot

  1. Telling Time with Open Realtime DataSony Ericsson MBW-150 bluetooth watch, showing the next few SF Muni bus arrival times for a nearby stop. The code to fetch the arrival times is running on my Droid phone, and communicating with the watch using Marcel Dopita’s OpenWatch software for the Android platform. This is a neat hack, and reminds us that every object on our person could be programmed. (via Brian Jepson)
  2. EZ430 Chronos — wireless, programmable, pressure sensor, accelerometer, temperature sensor, all in a watch. (via Makezine)
  3. Developing Bioinformatics Methodsthe best method developers, in general, are those people who are both developers and users of their own methods. Regardless of what field you’re in, look for the alpha geeks: those who have both a problem and the means to solve it.
  4. How to Innovate Using Existing Technology (Caterina Fake) — interesting observation, that there’s a sweet spot between “just a feature” and “needs ten years of basic research in academia” to get something that’s defensible, useful, and achievable with the means of a startup. I’m a big fan of augmented human skill: using computers to make humans more effective at doing what humans are good at.

Working Together to Create a National Learning Community

National Lab Day is a National Barn-Raising for hands-on learning. Using the internet and social computing technologies, with the support of the White House, and the business and scientific communities, National Lab Day reaches out to the education community, providing a tool set that brings context, community, and passion to education, and that has the potential to transform our educational system into a true learning community.

Four short links: 4 November 2009

Four short links: 4 November 2009

Electronics Hacking FAQs, Speech-To-Text Democracy, Open Source Column Database, Massive Online Analysis

  1. ChipHacker — collaborative FAQ site for electronics hacking. Based on the same StackExchange software as RedMonk’s FOSS FAQ for open source software.
  2. Democracy Live — BBC launch searchable coverage of parliamentary discussion, using speech-to-text. One aspect we’re particularly proud of is that we’ve managed to deliver good results for speech-to-text in Welsh, which, we’re told, is unique. I think of this as the start of a They Work For You for video coverage. I’d love to be able to scale this to local government coverage, which is disappearing as local newspapers turn into delivery mechanisms for real estate advertisements.
  3. InfiniDB: Open Source Column Database — hooks into MySQL, uses MySQL for SQL parsing, security, etc. The commercial enterprise version has multi-server support (parallel scale-out). (via Brian Aker)
  4. Massive Online AnalysisMOA is a framework for data stream mining. Includes tools for evaluation and a collection of machine learning algorithms. Related to the WEKA project, also written in Java, while scaling to more demanding problems. . (via joshua on Delicious)
Four short links: 21 October 2009

Four short links: 21 October 2009

Battlefield Android, DIY Leukemia Hacking, Localisation, Bus Pirates

  1. Raytheon Sends Android to Battlefield — Google’s OS sees deployment. Using Android software tools, Raytheon ( RTN – news – people ) engineers built a basic application for military personnel that combines maps with a buddy list. […] Every part of RATS is tailored for use on a battlefield. A soldier could make an unmanned plane a “buddy,” for instance, and track its progress on a map using his phone. He could then access streaming video from the plane, giving him a bird’s eye view of the area. Soldiers could also use the buddy list to trace the locations of other members of their squad. (via Jim Stogdill)
  2. The Kanzius Machine (CBS News, video) — inventor lost the race against leukemia, but his DIY RF therapy device is being developed “for real”. (via Jim Stogdill)
  3. Lost in Translation — Will Shipley shows how to handle internationalisation and localisation. In this post I’m going to explain to you what internationalization and localization are, how Apple’s tools handle them by default, and the huge flaws in Apple’s approach. Then I’m going to provide you with the code and tools to do localization in a much, much easier way. Then you’re going to think, ‘That will never work, because of blah!’ and I’m going to respond, as if I can read your mind or I’ve already had this argument with a dozen developers, ‘It already did – I used these tools in Delicious Library and Delicious Library 2 and they’ve won three Apple Design Awards between them. (via migurski on Delicious)
  4. The Bus Pirate — interfaces to a heap of embedded hardware. The ‘Bus Pirate’ is a universal bus interface that talks to most chips from a PC serial terminal, eliminating a ton of early prototyping effort when working with new or unknown chips (via joshua on Delicious)