Life

Food for thought: Consumer collaboration on car design

open source car design

Each year automobile companies try to predict what new features consumers will want in their cars. If their predictions are right, they are richly rewarded with increased car sales. If they are wrong, they suffer the financial consequences.

But wait, is that the best way to design cars? What if car companies invited consumers to the table as equal partners in the design process? The way I see it, consumers could be buying cars they co-designed—reducing the gigantic financial risk to car companies, not to mention the waste of never-purchased vehicles.

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Hershey Kisses, a pumpkin, and MaKey MaKey create an open source Halloween

MaKey MaKey pumpkin

We've been anxiously awaiting our chance to mess with a MaKey MaKey after we wrote this post, and we finally got our hands on one just in time for Halloween. MaKey MaKey's are based off Arduino, and you plug them into your computer with a USB cord. Basically you can alligator clip anything that conducts electricity and to make anything into a key. » Read more

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Get your application in for the Steam for Linux beta

Steam logo

The long-awaited beta test for Steam for Linux has arrived. There are only 1,000 spots available for testers, and Valve is looking for experienced Linux users. (I suspect if you can't answer the questions on the application, you probably don't qualify.) Valve also held an internal beta at the end of September.

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Thread of openness weaves TedX talks together

TedX

TED is a nonprofit that seeks out "ideas worth spreading", showcasing them annually at a conference before a select audience. Thankfully, the best talks are recorded and released for the viewing pleasure of the rest of us, albeit one by one, over an extended period of time. Chris Grames, President and Partner at New Kind, describes waiting for them as, "like a painfully-slowly dripping faucet teases a man dying of thirst."

Now, the folks at TED offer another way for us to quench our desire to hear great business ideas from people who have made their dreams come true—locally organized TedX events. Already this year, 2,013 TedX events have been held around the world, and there are 746 to go. Clearly, what started out as a small group of people talking about technology, entertainment, and design, has grown to encompass a diverse range of topics and industries with millions listening. 

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Collaborative creeps for sharing and scaring

zombie

Internet memes—those bite-sized, ephemeral cultural artifacts that are shared and remixed over the Web—seem to be evermore pervasive online and offline. Many of them feature reoccurring characters, like Courage Wolf, Good Guy Greg, and Business Cat. They are "characters" in the sense that they are defined by a single unwavering archetype, but what sets them apart from traditional literary characters is that they aren’t attached to stories.

For the most part. Because if you dig deeper, past the most popular memes, you'll find characters with more depth do exist. Their background stories might give you the creeps (many are the product of collective horror storytelling), but that's what makes them great for this time of year—Happy (open source) Halloween!

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Does your organization have a process for collaboration?

left and right brain

Most businesses today know that utilizing collaboration tools increases the liklihood success for a project, and for the organization as a whole. When people work together, brain power is multiplied; not only does more work tend to get done, but better work. The loner mentality—whether it's applied to how we think about office space, meetings, or project management—just doesn't measure up.

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Raspberry Pi team announces open source ARM userland

Raspberry Pi

Today we have some really big news, which is going to mean a lot to many programmers in our community who have been asking about it ever since launch. This is one of those announcements that has been in the pipeline for quite some time, but we haven’t been able to talk about it until now.

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Five new RPG games for Linux

open source game

If you love RPG (role-playing games) and you think there's no future for these games on Linux, this post is for you. I’ll show you five new RPG games developed from scratch that run on Penguin: Questverse, Hale, Dawn, Flare and Arakion.

Just a warning: these are projects in the making, so none of them are ready to be fully played. But if you like this genre, read on, you won't be disappointed. » Read more

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NASA achieves data goals for Mars rover with open source software

Mars rover

Since the landing of NASA’s rover, Curiosity, on Mars on August 6, 2012 (Universal Earth Time -- evening of August 5, Pacific Time), I have been following the incredible wealth of images that have been flowing back. I am awestruck by the breadth and beauty of the them.  

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David Eaves delivers a talk on the Science of Community at OSCON 2012

carrot + stick < love

With a background on negotiation theory, David brings a fresh and interesting perspective on the behavioral norms of open source communities. » Read more

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