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Open source hardware holds the same promise as software

makey makey from SparkFun Electronics
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I see SparkFun Electronics mentioned often in my social media stream, so I jumped at the chance to interview Chris Clark, the company's Director of Information Technology.

From their website: SparkFun is an online retail store that sells the bits and pieces to make your electronics projects possible. Our ever-growing product catalog boasts over 3,500 components and widgets designed to help you unleash your inner inventor... Through our Department of Education, SparkFun offers classes and online tutorials designed to help educate individuals in the wonderful world of embedded electronics... We believe an open market is a healthy market and we open source all of our product designs. SparkFun subscribes to the belief that open source tech encourages innovation and creativity, while helping empower individuals to build the projects they want.

In this interview with Chris » Read more

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Open source to bridge the global digital divide

open source bridge digital divide

I vividly remember my first experience using the Internet in 2000. The amount of information I was hit with by typing my first search term, university, was far beyond my wildest imaginations. This plethora of knowledge filled my mind with wonder, excitement, and enlightenment. I suddenly had the power to read, analyze, and learn about anything and anyone. The knowledge created by some of the greatest minds in the history of mankind was at my disposal, free of cost and just one single click away. I felt empowered.

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Gabe Newell talks about Linux as the future of gaming; teases "Steam Box" hardware

open source gaming

The gamers among us waited... very... patiently... for Steam to come to Linux. This week, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell came to LinuxCon to talk about Linux, gaming, and how important open source is to the future of gaming, which given the audience, he described as "sort of like going to Rome and teaching Catholicism to the Pope." In even better news, he also strongly hinted at a Steam Box announcement next week.

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Four reasons we need open source beat making software

make things better

The Beat Making Lab is back, with Pierce Freelon and the Apple Juice Kid. In this video, the music-making duo walks us through why the world needs open source beat making software. » Read more

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Weekly wrap-up: Picking an open source hardware license, mom writes programming teacher, and more

open source news and highlights

Open source news this week: September 9 - 13, 2013


What other open source-related news stories did you read about this week? Share them with us in the comments section. Follow us on Twitter where we share these stories in real time.

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Open source under the lens of an intellectual property lawyer

open source and intellectual property
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Have you ever wondered what, from a business perspective, the world of sharing, free, and open source looks like to a lawyer?

Challenging! Chaotic? Creative.

Pam Chestek is an intellectual property lawyer. She runs Chestek Legal, a practice that focuses on giving practical, legal advice on branding, marketing, and protecting and sharing content. In this interview she shares with me what caused her to challenge traditional wisdom back in law school, the kind of chaos involved in analyzing free and open source software through the lens of the law, and how creativity is at the heart of it all.  » Read more

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How a festival gets planned and organized the open source way

SPARKcon open source festival

SPARKcon is an interdisciplinary creativity, art, and design festival produced by the non-profit creativity incubator, Visual Art Exchange (VAE). SPARKcon 2013 will be the 8th annual event and will be held September 12-15 in downtown Raleigh, NC. See an overview of the SPARKcon festival in this video. Read an interview with the founder of SPARKcon, Aly Khalifa, in this article.


My first encounter with SPARKcon was shortly after I moved to Raleigh when I saw someone wearing the T-shirt. Intrigued solely by the name, a quick web search told me that I had just missed the event, held each September in downtown Raleigh, and a great opportunity to get to know the local creative community.

SPARKcon is described as a "creative potluck" with an "open source, for the people, by the people" approach, showcasing "the creative hub of the South." 

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Wikipedia Takes America photo event for your city

commons city photos

Have you visited the Wikipedia page for your hometown or the city you live in? There are likely images of local landmarks and interesting places, people, and things that are missing. To better represent your town or city, join the Wikipedia Takes America event this year! » Read more

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Envy Labs developer Carlos Souza talks about Code School and playing in a band

work and play
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I first heard of Carlos "Caike" Souza about a year ago while interviewing another developer for my bi-weekly podcast. My guest and I were discussing the things and people who inspired him and helped pave the way for his career. Carlos came up several times during that conversation.

Carlos Souza is a developer for Envy Labs, the company behind Rails for Zombies, Code School, and TryRuby.org.

I recently got an opportunity to speak with him, and it didn't take long for me to understand why he is referred by others as a source of inspiration. For me, talking with Carlos was the equivalent of riding the tallest roller coaster for the first time! He is genuinely dedicated to his career and projects, and his passion shows through when he talks about his experiences and future plans. His positive attitude and enthusiasm for everything, from coding best practices to his Small Acts Manifesto to music, is infectious. Check out his blog!

Read more in my interview with Carlos Souza here. » Read more

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Weekly wrap-up: Pay for news with Bitcoin, open source jobs, and more

open source news and highlights

Open source news this week: Sept. 1 - 6, 2013


What other open source-related news stories did you read about this week? Share them with us in the comments section. Follow us on Twitter where we share these stories in real time.

» Read more

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