staff editor Arwen O'Reilly asked a bunch of makers what their New Year's resolutions are. The answers, posted on the Make blog, are surprising and inspiring.
1. Learn something new from a child or teenager, especially in your area of greatest expertise. I find the perspective of innocent novices to be most refreshing and enlightening.
2. Revisit an old science book you read growing up and see how your (and society's) perspective on things have changed.
3. Find someone you've always admired and tried to emulate, and thank them for being such an excellent role model, and ask them about some good stories about the "way things used to be done".
4. Find an important social topic and dig as deep as you can; follow up and look for citations, references, and raw data. For example, I learned that some theorists dispute the carbon-reduction ability of certain hydroelectric technologies, because the dams flood large regions causing them to decay, releasing methane (20x more potent greenhouse gas than CO2) into the atmosphere. Global warming appears to be a very richly textured topic with lots of unintended consequences just being realized. Unfortunately, a lot of important issues are summarized with a few "talking points" by the press and political groups. As technologists, I think we have the responsibility to always question our assumptions, and to listen to both sides of the story, and to make sure that we are moving deliberately and cautiously as a society.
5. Learn a new tool. Maybe that means picking up a new programming language, or perhaps it means learning how to use a new kind of CAD software. Or maybe it means learning a new kind of calculus or statistics, or perhaps getting into the shop and using the mill you always meant to use. Putting aside your well-worn and efficient tools is often hard to do, but it's also hard to grow when your tools limit your abilities. My new tools for the year are Solidworks and a laser cutter--I have little mechanical engineering background, and I'm hoping that learning tools like these will expand my understanding of the world and my capabilities.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]