Mr. Hemel serves as a volunteer watchman for free, open-source software like the Linux operating system, which competes with Microsoft’s Windows. The use of free software has exploded, particularly in gadgets as varied as exercise bikes, energy meters and smartphones. Companies like Google, TiVo and Sony often opt to piggyback on the work of others rather than going through the ordeal of building all of the software for their products from scratch.
The problem that Mr. Hemel and others have stumbled upon is that some companies, even some technology savvy ones, may be violating the rather easy-to-follow requirements associated with free software licenses. Typically, these include making tweaked versions of a free software product available to the public, or simply giving credit to the original developers.
I was at the MakerFaire today and I heard people talking about this thing called Arduino. Apparently it’s a religion or something. Anyway, I wanted to learn what all the fuss was about, so I went to a talk about it. The talk was given by a guy named Massimo Banzi. Apparently people tell him all the time that he looks like me. Yeah, I don’t get it either.
Anyway, I recorded the talk so I could share it with you. Enjoy!
On Sundays, I usually try to post up some sort of big idea or experience — something to wrap your brain around while enjoying your day off (if you’re lucky enough to have a day off, that is). Last week, it was that guy climbing the radio broadcast tower. The week before that, it was memristors. But this week, I think I’ve got something every Maker will want to see, if for no other reason than sheer, unadulterated jealousy.
ASK AN ENGINEER – MAKER FAIRE EDITION! TONIGHT 10pm ET! Adafruit will be at Maker Faire over the weekend and while it’s not logistically possible to broadcast from the event we will have our usual show at 10pm ET tonight with sights and sounds from Maker Faire.
Amanda “w0z” Wozniak will be on the show as our special guest *and* we will a few surprises!
What is “Ask an engineer”? From the electronics enthusiast to the professional community – “Ask an Engineer” has a little bit of everything for everyone. If you’re a beginner, or a seasoned engineer – stop in and see what we’re up to! We have demos of projects and products we’re working on, we answer your engineering and electronics questions and we have a trivia question + give away each week. Mosfet the cat stops by too. Previous chats can be viewed at http://www.adafruit.com/ask
The new family of Arduino Boards will be officially presented at the Maker Faire – New York to happen at NY’s Hall of Science, September 25 & 26, 2010. Massimo Banzi, Tom Igoe, and Dave Mellis, will represent the Team… The team members will be around during Saturday and Sunday. You are more than welcome to pass by and ask anything about the future of our platform. On Sunday, September 26th, at 3PM EST (10PM CET) the team will be on stage presenting the improvements made to our hardware, our plans for helping the Open Source Hardware community develop further, and our new image.
I came into the summit with a straightforward question: How do you keep it all open? Often the first aspect of the open source movement people fear is the ease to “rip off” ideas. The concern that your hard work and time innovating will simply be taken is understandable. With traditional avenues, such as patents, people feel that protecting oneself equates to being closed. While there may be appropriate times for such avenues, the reality is that it’s probably not necessary. Why? Well, the answer is just as straightforward as the question: community.
If your company/product/service creates value, a community will form. This is the best protection. People are not only purchasing a product when they buy from Adafruit or Makerbot, they are joining a community. This community makes the experience for those purchasing the item far richer. They are entering an arena of intangible value. Phillip Torrone from Adafruit and Makezine brought up a great example of someone purchasing an imitation of an adafruit kit from a chinese company. The person bought it (probably because it was cheaper), and it didn’t work. Where did the person turn for help? The adafruit forums. Were they able to help? Of course, the community did what they could and in the end, the person said they were only going to buy from adafruit. I can assure you this conversion is a regular occurrence.
“If your company/product/service creates value, a community will form.”
Figured I’d post up a tip for my fellow B&T (bridge&tunnel) peeps coming in to Penn Station by rail (NJ Transit, MetroNorth, Amtrak). Check it out! Open-source directions!
The MAKE directions tell you to get on the 7-train (local) and ride it all the way to 111th st. in Queens. Arriving in NYC at Penn Station, however, there is no direct access to the 7. Sounds simple enough, but the NYC subway can be very confusing to folks who are unfamiliar with it. Don’t feel bad — the MTA is a mystery to New Yorkers too, they just don’t admit it!
Luckily, you have a couple of options to get yourself on the right track to the Faire!
1. On the east side of Penn Station (7th Ave), you can take the 1, 2 or 3 trains out of Penn and ride them one stop uptown to Times Square/42nd Street. Once there, you can transfer to the Queens-bound 7-train. If you came in on NJ Transit, it’s a good bet you’re on this side of the station.
2. On the west side (8th Ave), you can take the E-train (only the E-train, please do not get on the A or C, which are the same blue color, but which run uptown to the Bronx) and ride it into Queens, where you’ll get off at the Roosevelt Ave/84th Street station. Here you can transfer to the 7. When you’re in the station, you’ll see ads for NYSCI, so you know you’re on the right track. If you came in on MetroNorth, you’re probably on this side. Amtrak is in the middle.
Both of these routes take about 40-50 minutes to get to NYSCI from Penn Station. In my opinion, the E-train is a bit quicker, but I can’t discount the surety of being on the 7-train all the way from Manhattan.
NOTE: Please remember to stick to the local 7-train. This has a circle around the number (as opposed to a diamond indicating the express line). If you end up on the express 7-train, get off as soon as possible and wait for the local. The express runs past 111th st without stopping!
At World Maker Faire, you might see a robot solving a Rubik’s Cube. Or you might watch visitors making full 360-degree circles in a swing while, in another pavilion, people dressed as mice tap dance around a life-size version of the game “Mouse Trap.”
The event, which started five years ago in San Mateo, Calif., captures the intersection of high-tech engineering, arts and crafts, and the carnival culture of the Burning Man festival. By blending the futuristic with the anachronistic, it provides a common ground for digital media gurus, forensic scientists, backyard hobbyists and people who make all kinds of things.