"makers" entries

Fighting the next mobile war

Fighting the next mobile war

Recent moves by Apple and Google could ignite the external accessories space.

While you'll likely interact with your smartphone tomorrow in much the same way you interacted with it today, it's quite possible that your smartphone will interact with the world in a very different way. The next mobile war has already begun.

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Science hacks chip away at the old barriers to entry

Science hacks chip away at the old barriers to entry

Access to data and tools is putting scientific exploration into anyone's hands.

How can opening access to scientific data, equipment and lab space spur innovation? BioCurious' Eri Gentry and Ariel Waldman from Spacehack.org share a few ideas.

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Maker Faire Detroit this weekend

Maker Faire Detroit this weekend

Maker Faire Detroit will be held July 30 and 31

In our second Detroit Maker Faire we're able to see all kinds of examples of how makers have become resources for the community, contributing in Detroit and the region.

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Tinkering with technology education

Tinkering with technology education

The maker movement's many entry points create a welcoming environment for tech education.

The maker movement offers an appealing invitation to technology for a broad audience that includes both women and men, seniors and children, technologists and artists.

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The secret is to bang the rocks together

The secret is to bang the rocks together

Arduino is a building block for the world to come.

Every so often a piece of technology can become a lever that lets people move the world, just a little bit. The Arduino is one of those levers.

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2 makers, 2 robots, 2 visions

2 makers, 2 robots, 2 visions

An errand car and a ball-shaped 'bot illustrate Maker Faire's robotic diversity.

In advance of the upcoming Maker Faire Bay Area, here's a look at two vastly different robotics projects: one aims to change the world while the other wants to roll around (and inspire some healthy creativity).

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Four Short Links: 16 March 2011

Four Short Links: 16 March 2011

Javascript Fiddling, Securing Web Traffic, DIY Jumbotron, and Kinect Tesla Fun

  1. JS Fiddlean online editor for snippets build from HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The code can then be shared with others, embedded on a blog, etc. (via Darren Wood)
  2. SideStep — Mac OS X program that automatically routes connections through a secure proxy when you’re on an unsecured wifi network. (via Gina Trapani)
  3. Junkyard Jumbotron (MIT) — lets you take a bunch of random displays and instantly stitch them together into a large, virtual display, simply by taking a photograph of them. It works with laptops, smartphones, tablets — anything that runs a web browser. It also highlights a new way of connecting a large number of heterogenous devices to each other in the field, on an ad-hoc basis.
  4. Kinect-Controlled Tesla Coil (YouTube) — “now say: Fools, I’ll Destroy You All!”. (via AdaFruit)
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Four short links: 15 March 2011

Four short links: 15 March 2011

Twitter Numbers, Online News, Emotional Complexity, and Making Described

  1. Twitter Numbers — growing at half a million accounts a day (how many are spammers, d’ya think?), over 140M tweets sent each day.
  2. Online vs Newspaper News (Mashable) — The Poynter Institute, a landmark of American journalism research, has determined that as of the end of 2010, more people get their news from the Internet than from newspapers — and more ad dollars went to online outlets than to newspapers, too. (via Sacha Judd)
  3. Blue Lacuna: Lessons Learned Writing the World’s Longest Interactive Fiction (PDF) — While I felt Progue was largely a success, the extreme complexity of the character’s code made difficulties with him both intensely difficult to diagnose and repair, and failures all the more mimesis-breaking for an engaged audience. In addition, the subtle text substitutions and altered behaviors provided in many cases too opaque a window into Progue’s interior workings. From informal interviews and published reviews I gathered that players could often not tell which conversation responses might cause Progue to become more submissive, paternal, and so on. In many cases, the change was not noticeable at all, and did not successfully indicate to players that their actions had had an e ect on the character. More mechanisms to let the player shape their relationship with Progue more directly might have created a stronger feeling of agency for players, and an increased ability to shape the story more to their liking. Lessons for people designing complex emotional states into their products. (via Zack Urlocker)
  4. From Head to Hand (Slate) — I was searching for the place where someone, anyone, writes about that epiphany where you see what you have made and it is different from what you had conceived. I was searching for a description of how an object can displace a bit of the world. I was avid. I wanted someone to write a description of Homo faber, the maker of things. I wanted a story of making told without the penumbra of romanticising how hard it is, without nostalgia.
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The NASA Make Challenge

The NASA Make Challenge

The first challenge: create kits that can be built in a classroom and sent on-board suborbital flights.

If you are fascinated by space, it's a great time for you to be able to do something as a maker and make a real contribution. Makers can now participate in a new kind of space program, one that expands beyond NASA to include commercial space collaboration.

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Four short links: 28 January 2011

Four short links: 28 January 2011

RSS Dashboard, Hardware Filesharing, Making is Learning, and Revenue/Customer

  1. NiftyUrls — open source elegant wee RSS dashboard. I haven’t looked into the source yet, but I’m already thinking of applications.
  2. The PirateBox — small piece of hardware that creates a wifi network for local filesharing. Not connected to the Internet. (via BoingBoing)
  3. More Hammer, Less Yammer (Julian Bleecker) — If you’re not also making — you’re sort of, well..basically you’re not doing much at all. You’ve only done a rough sketch of an idea if you’ve only talked about it and didn’t do the iteration through making, then back to thinking and through again to talking and discussing and sharing all the degrees of material — idea, discussions, conversations, make some props, bring those to the discussion, repeat. Why O’Reilly prefers makers to fakers.
  4. Revenue per Unique Visitor (BusinessInsider) — Amazon makes $189/user, Google $24/user, Yahoo! $8/user, Facebook $4/user. (via Greg Linden)
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