Open source hardware could be a revolutionary tool for unlocking our shackles to profit motivated, proprietary innovation. It has a vision to alleviate poverty through empowering decentralized and affordable, small scale production. Participants anywhere in the world can use the internet to access, improve, or adapt designs for local manufacturing and drastically increase the rate of innovation.
Open Tech Forever (OTF) is emerging to become a new force in open source hardware development by building an open source factory where it will produce open technology. OTF recently launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise $50,000 to build the facility, and they need your support. As a cooperatively-owned social enterprise, all of its innovation will be transparently documented in writing, graphics and video, and released under a Creative Commons license.
OTF’s mission is to “facilitate cooperation among the communities that live on the frontlines of suffering throughout the world, so that we can build enduring solutions to poverty and the destruction of the environment.” OTF co-founder, Aaron Makaruk explains, “An entirely new economic frontier stands before us, a world where innovation and wealth are mass produced as easily as a file is downloaded to a computer. Our goal is to use local, open source factories to outcompete companies that import unsustainable products manufactured in inhuman conditions and put them out of business – one locally-owned, open source company at a time.”
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Relocalizing manufacturing is one of the most significant steps we can take to prepare for the destabilizing effects of climate change and to empower local communities to build resilient, self-sustaining economies. OTF, with its passionate team of skilled engineers and radical mission, will be an exciting project to watch as it grows over the next couple years and a great cause to support through its first phase of development.
By Chris Anderson
The door of a dry-cleaner-size storefront in an industrial park in Wareham, Massachusetts, an hour south of Boston, might not look like a portal to the future of American manufacturing, but it is. This is the headquarters of Local Motors, the first open source car company to reach production. Step inside and the office reveals itself as a mind-blowing example of the power of micro-factories.
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In June, Local Motors will officially release the Rally Fighter, a $50,000 off-road (but street-legal) racer. The design was crowdsourced, as was the selection of mostly off-the-shelf components, and the final assembly will be done by the customers themselves in local assembly centers as part of a “build experience.” Several more designs are in the pipeline, and the company says it can take a new vehicle from sketch to market in 18 months, about the time it takes Detroit to change the specs on some door trim. Each design is released under a share-friendly Creative Commons license, and customers are encouraged to enhance the designs and produce their own components that they can sell to their peers.
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Here’s the history of two decades in one sentence: If the past 10 years have been about discovering post-institutional social models on the Web, then the next 10 years will be about applying them to the real world.
This story is about the next 10 years.
We are at this moment in history when we can say with certainty that open source hardware (OSHW) is economically viable. The video below tells the success story of Adafruit Industries. Barely formed, this business model relying on OSHW might already be obsolete. A new model, the open value network, is already threatening to transform the landscape of the open source economy. This article explains why.
Most people find it counter-intuitive that companies can survive in a highly competitive capitalistic environment, designing and distributing high tech products, giving away their recipes, AND allowing (even encouraging) everyone else to copy them, WITH THE RIGHT TO MAKE COMMERCIAL USE.
If you don’t believe it, stop wasting your time arguing against it. It is real, it is here, you better understand it fast before the world changes around you, leaving you an alien in your own surroundings.
The business around open innovation cannot be learned in school. It belongs to a new economic paradigm. Old arguments don’t apply anymore, because the semantics and the logic are not the same. Some time ago, we published the article How to play the open game in the present and future economy, which tries to capture the essence of sustainable open innovation. You should revisit this article from time to time, becausewe’ll continue to improve it.
The most successful ventures build around OSHW, like Arduino, Adafruit, Sparkfun, etc., can only be understood within their larger ecosystem. We can identify two main structures: a commercial entity and a community. The commercial entity is a classical form, usually a corporation or a co-op. It takes care of manufacturing, insures quality, structures and integrates the feedback from the community into new products, nurtures the community, performs legal functions, integrates all the transactional logistics (storage, shipping, payment), and provides services. The community plays different roles: consumers of products, provide feedback on products, provide new designs, spread the buzz, educate new members of the community and provide help, etc.
Phi Beta Iota: Emphasis added.
Excerpted from a review by Cryptome:
“This is a highly informative book, perhaps the best published on the substance of WikiLeaks, its technology, philosophy, origin and purpose, rooted in the Cypherpunks resistance to authority through encryption and anonymizing technology. The trenchant and salient, wide-ranging discussion among Assange, Appelbaum, Müller-Maguhn and Zimmermann, is derived from a four-part RT series with additional editorial material and a summarizing prologue by Assange, “A Call to Cryptographic Arms.”
It is an excellent introduction to the struggle for control of digital communications, economics and governance. A prime candidate for inclusion of reading lists of the enemies of authoritarian institutions, corporations and governments heavily invested in the Internet and aiming to control it by secret collusion for their purposes — at the global public’s expense, loss of privacy and reduced democracy. It claims to be a “watchman’s warning” against the threat posed by the Internet and cellphone technology.
The panel asserts [11 points in all]:
1. The internet is a threat to human civilization because of its panoptic surveillance and profiling of users.
2. “Strategic surveillance” gathers all online and cellphone data as distinguished from tactical surveillance with is specifically targeted.
TG Daily, December 18, 2012
Laptop powered by open operating system and designed around open hardware.
If you follow the technology world and the exploits of hardware hackers who like to mod devices such as Xbox 360 game consoles, you will unbdoubtedly recognize the name Bunnie Huang.
Huang is a notable hardware hacker who in 2010 leapt to the defense of one Matthew Crippen when he ran afoul of the federal government for running a business modding Xbox 360s in his garage.
We haven’t really discussed Huang 2010, but he is back along with some pals and a new design for an open laptop. Not only will this device run Linux, the laptop design will also be freely available for anyone to download, modify and use as they see fit.
The project – codenamed Novena – currently includes designs for a mainboard and battery board. Hardware includes a 1.2 GHz Freescale i.MX6 ARM Cortex-A9 quad-core processor paired with a Vivante GC2000 GPU (graphics). The above-mentioned processor isn’t exactly a speed demon, but it is fast enough for the Linux operating system, especially Ubuntu.
The laptop design is said to be remarkably open – as the only proprietary drivers required are for Wi-Fi and graphics modules. The design is described as a DIY project for now. However, Huang says that if the project gathers enough interest he might eventually launch a campaign via Kickstarter to build notebooks for people who are interested.
Other key features of the open notebook design include a Raspberry Pi compatible expansion header, a single DDR3 SO-DIMM, an available interface for mobile data cards, USB Wi-Fi module header on the board, a direct drive for a resistive touchscreen and an integrated digital microphone.
DOCUMENT (1 Page): Virgin Truth 2.6R
NetworkWorld, 20 November 2012
Its been a wild and crazy few years as the last of the client-server era norms clear out and new norms for the cloud era emerge. Last weeks grabs of Cloupia and Gale technologies was a brilliant counter to the increasing power of Microsoft and VMware and provides tremendous insight into the future of IT
Since it is that time of year, I will end this on an off-topic note … as we all prepare to take off for the holiday and share in giving thanks with our families, one thing I will be grateful for is the wild success that OPEN has had this year. While we could look back and talk about the cloud and SDN or at the broader economic battles our civilization has faced … what has stood out to me about 2012 is the fact that the largest corporate behemoths in the world all were forced to embrace open technologies and industry landscapes were toppled by the power of open. MITx and Coursera launched massively available online courses giving away the best education in the world freely. We see massive open-source powered clusters driving the economics that today are making it possible to do things like devoting the resources of an entire supercomputer to pediatric cancer patients individually. And while all the change we face can give us a lot of heartburn and stress, I cant imagine anything greater than getting to witness and even take a small part in the amazing possibilities that technology is creating to solve the challenges that humanity faces in this world, and just to be able to live in this amazing time for the growth and evolution of humanity, for this I am truly thankful.
“This is going to be revolutionary for the developing world”
On Sunday Nov. 11, the president of India, Pranab Mukherjee, will have unveiled the seven-inch Aakash 2 tablet computer Tuli’s company is selling to the government for distribution to 100,000 university students and professors. (If things go well, the government plans to order as many as 5.86 million.) In the meantime, Tuli is deluged with calls from reporters, and every day his company receives thousands of new orders for the commercial version of the Aakash 2. Already, he’s facing a backlog of four million unfulfilled pre-orders.
In developing countries, a $20.00 tablet is going have a profound impact:
Tired of high cost mobile phones? Feel guilty that while you’ve got a paper thin phone, it’s hard to recycle elements are destroying the planet ? Turns out, you don’t need Samsung or LG to stay in touch with those you love.
David A. Mellis, from MITs High-Low Tech group, has created a DIY mobile phone out of easily obtained electronic parts and a little bit of plywood. It may not have the internet connectivity or giant touchscreen of your current mobile phone, but it’s a completely self-made, operational phone, which means it’s low impact and free from the constraints of mass production.
According to Mellis, the initial prototype combines a custom electronic circuit board with a laser-cut plywood and veneer enclosure. The phone accepts a standard SIM card and works with any GSM provider. Cellular connectivity is provided by the SM5100B GSM Module, available from SparkFun Electronics. The display may only be about 1.8″ across, but it does offer color images. Currently, the software supports voice calls, but the folks at High-Low Tech say SMS and other functionality could be added with the same hardware. Altogether the prototype contains about $150 in parts.
“By creating and sharing open-source designs for the phone’s circuit board and case, we hope to encourage a proliferation of personalized and diverse mobile phones,” say the designers. Want to give it a try? The source code, circuit design files (Eagle), and case design files (Inkscape) are hosted in the damellis/cellphone repository on GitHub.
Phi Beta Iota: Combined with OpenBTS and Open Spectrum, this puts the stake in the heart of both governments and corporations seeking to create scarcity instead of infinite access.