makers

Gamers, makers, and sci-fi fans unite! at Penguicon 2014

penguins in space

As someone who makes it to about 20 events a year between open source conferences and science-fiction/fandom-type events, I feel qualified to describe Penguicon as a relatively unique event among its brethren, as it is a bit of both of those. It's also a music event, a gaming event, and a maker event. It's a little bit of all these interests that so often intersect, and this year's event, to be held May 2 - 4 in Southfield, MI, is fast approaching. » Read more

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Makers are the new industrial revolution

open up book review

Following up on the recent review of the Maker's Manifesto, I ran across the book Makers: The New Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson. Anderson is a former Editor in Chief of Wired and no stranger to the economic paradoxes of peer-production and open source. He has written about both in previous books The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More and Free: The Future of a Radical Price.

In his most recent book, Anderson examines the historical parallels between the Maker movement and the second Industrial Revolution, » Read more

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How libraries can be a haven for makers

open source in libraries

I work at a public library in the Washington DC-area and often think about what needs to be designed into the space of future public libraries. I was recently visiting the MAKE magazine website when I saw a fascinating how-to video about building your own portable Raspberry Pi game system.

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Young maker says Raspberry Pi is way to go

Raspberry Pi

A few weeks ago I was able to attend the Mini Maker Faire in Cleveland, Ohio where I got to meet with local makers and discuss a variety of subjects including Raspberry Pi, 3D Printing, and programming. One of the highlights of my trip there was meeting Dave and Lauren Egts. Lauren was there presenting on the Scratch Game she designed: The Great Guinea Pig Escape.

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Can Inkscape reduce the number of incarcerated people?

illegal foss

When the free vector drawing program Inkscape was first released in late 2003, I realized this software could do some part in helping to reduce the number of people incarcerated in the United States. This worthy goal is still within reach. Let me explain.

From 1990 to 2000, I spent quite a bit of time supporting the Adult Literacy Resource Center of the D.C. Public Libraries. Then, this division was exploring how technology could help adults learn how to read (among other things). I saw up close how computers could engage these adults, many of whom had learning disabilities.

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Interview with Jenn Karson, co-founder of Vermont Makers

5 questions with

SparkFun’s Department of Education engages in educational outreach all over the country, and we’re always impressed and excited when we run into people and organizations as enthusiastic about electronics as we are. Over the past few years we’ve met a lot of people involved in the maker movement on the east coast, and Vermont continues to stand out as a state invested in furthering STEAM and electronics education in new ways. (In fact, Vermont’s Department of Education recently instituted a grant structure that will give SparkFun Inventor Kits to Career and Technical Education Centers around the state to provide preliminary Arduino training for FIRST Robotics teams!)

One of our friends in Vermont is Jenn Karson, who is on the forefront of the maker and open source movements there, and has worked with SparkFun on several educational endeavors, including the Champlain Mini Maker Faire. We recently caught up with her to talk about her experiences.

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NPR reports on open source 3D printing

NPR reports on open source 3D printing

I first encountered 3-D printing in Cory Doctorow's Makers, a science fiction novel set in the wake of economic armageddon. In Doctorow's imagined near-future world, hulking industrial bulwarks are doomed. Malls are deserted. But garages are alight with innovative activity, as heroic, entrepreneurial inventor-doers concoct new gizmos by repurposing abandoned commodities. » Read more

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With Mozilla Webmaker, a new generation of coders learns the language of the web

Mozilla Webmaker

We're proud to launch "Mozilla Webmaker," a new program to help people everywhere make, learn and play using the open building blocks 
of the web.

The goal: help millions of people move from using the web to making the web. With new tools to use, projects to create, and events to join, we want to help the world increase their understanding of the web and take greater control of their online lives.

And we'd like you to join us. » Read more

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Electronic resurrection through open source

Over at Make: Online last week, Phillip Torrone posted "If You're Going to Kill It, Open Source It!"--his wish list of dead products that he'd like to see given to an open source community for new life. It's a great suggestion--freeing the knowledge that went into a product gives it a little life after death and could give a unprofitable or seemingly useless project a better reason for existence. » Read more

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How hackerspaces make any city an open source city

At SCaLE 9x, Leigh Honeywell gave a keynote on the history and future hackerspaces. (Watch the video.) She provided a history of the hackerspace movement both inside and outside of the US and its slow but steady spread through the world. She also talked about some of the things that hackerspaces are known for, and some notable things that the hackerspace she co-founded, Hacklab Toronto, had done. » Read more

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