My latest Locus column is online: "Creative Commons" explains the fundamentals of using CC licenses for people who are interested in the idea but haven't tried it yet. I get a lot of email from people asking just how you apply licenses to your work.
After you check off a few boxes on the Creative Commons license form, you'll get a page with the license for your work. This consists of a short block of computer code you paste into your book, image, web page, or what-have-you. This code displays a graphic badge showing the license you've chosen, with a link back to the license and a block of hidden "machine readable" text. This is text that search-engines can use to figure out which files are shared, and under which terms (you can limit searches on Flickr, Google, or Yahoo to only show Creative Commons licensed results).
Additionally, the machine-readable version links to two other versions of the licenses – a "human readable" plain-language version that can be understood by anyone, and a "lawyer-readable" version of small print that says the same thing in legally binding terms.
Creative Commons licenses are international – over 80 countries have their own CC projects – and something licensed under CC in the USA can be combined with Israeli, Indian, Brazilian, Spanish, British, South African and German CC works without violating the terms of any of their licenses.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
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The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
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