Boing Boing 

Back issues of COILHOUSE now available digitally


The fine folks at COILHOUSE magazine (mentioned many a time here in the past, and who featured Xeni and Boing Boing Video in issue 3 have just put made available for the first time all five back issues as DRM-free PDF downloads. Issues are $5 each or $20 for all five, with promises that the funds from this will go directly into the production of issue number 6. The COILHOUSE team are some of my favorite people; if you missed picking up the printed versions when they were available, now is your chance to catch up.

A decade of Wikipedia: lesser-known miracles

wp-10th.jpg Image: a few of the remixable design elements, via Wikimedia Commons

It's no secret that I love Wikipedia, which I consider one of the grandest and most radical social experiments of our time, and the very best example of what the free culture movement offers for the world's future. I even love Wikipedia critics. There's nothing I love more than to improve an article after some whiny-baby complains about its quality with a copypasta example. For instance, novelist Jonathan Lethem was bagging on "the infinite regress of Wikepedia [sic] tinkering-unto-mediocrity" the other day. Too bad The Atlantic has no way for readers to fix that typo in the way I updated the article on Blake Edwards' cult classic The Party, which was the object of Lethem's scorn. He seems to miss the point that an encyclopedia article, even one about a screwball comedy, is supposed to be dry, factual, and not especially screwball. Just the facts, ma'am. I also love that his snapshot of the page is no longer that relevant.

In the past I have discussed Wikibumps (like the spike of a million readers who checked out the Salvia article in the week after the Miley Cyrus bong video) and the Click to Jesus game, where you see how few links it takes to get from a random Wikipedia article to the Jesus article. Here are a couple of other good reasons to love Wikipedia and its sister projects which you may not have seen:

Best of Wikipedia Tumblr page
Raul's Laws, possibly the best and wonkiest explanation of how Wikipedia works

Commons Picture of the Year contest winners

I hope you'll swing by, learn some things, maybe improve something (they even have a secure server option). There is still plenty to do, and it will never be completed. At the very least, just marvel at the possibilities for the future of free culture embodied in the project. What are some of your favorite things about it? Please share in the comments.

Digital Open Winners: Australian Teen Crafts "Sneaky" Games

Institute for the Future teamed up with Sun Microsystems and Boing Boing Video to co-host the Digital Open, an online tech expo for teens 17 and under around the world.Read the rest

Digital Open Winners: Teen Designs Eco-Home of the Future

Institute for the Future teamed up with Sun Microsystems and Boing Boing Video to co-host the Digital Open, an online tech expo for teens 17 and under around the world.

Read the rest

Digital Open Winners: From pocket-sized Altoids tin hack, big dreams emerge

Digital Open: Teen Altoid-hacks his way to tech gloryRead the rest

Digital Open Winner: A Living Diorama, to Change the World.

Teen dreams of a kinder future.Read the rest

Digital Open Winner: teen creates a robot shop

Teen creates winning robot shopRead the rest

Digital Open Winners: "Hybrid Airship," by teen robotic blimp builders.

Teens build hybrid airshipRead the rest

Digital Open Winners: A student website by and for teens.

Youth and open innovationRead the rest

Digital Open tech innovation expo for global youth: 10 more days to submit projects!

Boing Boing and Boing Boing Video are partnering with Institute for the Future and Sun to support the Digital Open, in which youth around the world are invited to submit technology projects "that will change the world--or even just make life a little easier or more fun."

The final deadline for submissions is August 15, 2009, but projects posted before the deadline will benefit significantly from feedback from the Digital Open community. We are giving away more than $15,000 worth of very cool prizes including laptops, video cameras, recycled billboard backpacks, solar-powered gear and more. We've already received 49 projects from eight countries: Argentina, Canada, India, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, the UK and the US!
More online:

Digital Open youth innovation expo: submit early and maybe win a Flip

 Images Dologo
Are you a young maker or know one? There is still a month to submit projects to The Digital Open, an online expo for open technology projects created by people aged 17 and under from around the world. The Digital Open is a project of the Institute for the Future in partnership with Sun Microsystems and Boing Boing. The deadline for submissions is August 15 but if you enter your project (even if it's not finalized) by July 24, you may win one of five Flip Ultra Camcorders. Grand prizes in the Digital Open include laptops running OpenSolaris and other fun gear. Entries will be judged by Eric Wilhelm of Instructables, Dale Dougherty of MAKE, Kati London of Area/Code, Graham Hill of Treehugger, Linda Rogers of Sun, Nick Bilton of the New York Times, Lawrence Lessig, our own Xeni Jardin, and many other interesting folks. The Digital Open

Digital Open: online tech expo for young people

BB pal and Institute for the Future colleague Jess Hemerly sends the following note about the Digital Open, an IFTF project now underway in partnership with Sun and Boing Boing! Jess writes:

Last year, Institute for the Future took an in-depth look at DIY culture with the Future of Making project, led by David Pescovitz. Working under the header "The way things are made is being re-made," we explored a dramatic shift in manufacturing and innovation, where we are moving from top-down, proprietary models to bottom-up and open ones. The maker movement grows larger every year, and with MAKE Magazine's Maker Faire in its fourth year, the momentum continues to push society to take a closer look at all things DIY. With President Obama's recent call to re-make America, more people are beginning to think about how they, too, can help to make the future.

But it's not just tech savvy adults getting into the DIY world. It's young people too, young people who want to play an active role in making their future. Working with technology in particular to create, improve, explore, or contribute to the world around us is a fantastic way to learn about how the world works--and understand how we might be able to make something work better. Young people who take an active interest in technological innovation are the makers of a foundation for a better future.

That's why The Digital Open, an Institute for the Future project in partnership with Sun Microsystems and Boing Boing, is looking to capture the spirit of the future makers. We're looking for youth ages 17 and younger who are working with technology to create, improve, explore, or contribute to their world by submitting free & open technology projects in 8 categories ranging from sustainability to gaming, from media to science and education. We want to provide a forum for these young makers to show off their innovations and to find other makers like them. The Digital Open is the maker community of the future.

If you are a young person who loves to create things with technology, whether for fun or with the hope of becoming an entrepreneur one day, maybe even tomorrow, we want you! Or if you are an adult fortunate enough to work with bright young innovators, please encourage them to join us. Sign up at or email info [at] digitalopen [dot] org for more information on how you can get involved.
Digital Open: An Innovation Expo for Global Youth

BB Video: IFTF, Sun, and Boing Boing Launch Digital Open Youth Innovation Expo

Download MP4 for this episode. RSS feed for new episodes here, YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.

Boing Boing Video is teaming up with Institute for the Future and Sun Microsystems to launch The Digital Open, a global expo for youth innovation.

Above, a video we produced with IFTF and teen 'web talent Charis Tobias, to invite young people around the world to join in.

Here's a snip from the launch announcement:

"What can you make with technology that will change the world, invent the future--or even just make life a little easier or more fun?"

Institute for the Future, in partnership with Sun Microsystems and Boing Boing, invite youth worldwide, age 17 and under, to join us as we explore the frontiers of free and open innovation. Running from April 15 until August 15, 2009, the Digital Open: An Innovation Expo for Global Youth will accept text, photos, and videos documenting projects at from young people around the world, all licensed under one from a list of free and open software licenses.

Youth can submit projects in a variety of areas, ranging from the environment, media, and community, to the more traditional open source domains of software and hardware. Additionally, the Digital Open will provide resources and links to help them learn more about free and open technology movements, from figures like Richard Stallman to organizations like Creative Commons.

(...) Marina Gorbis, Executive Director of the Institute for the Future emphasized the participatory nature of the project. "The Digital Open is more than just a competition," she says. "It's about recognizing and encouraging kids to follow their passions while giving them community experiences that further encourage or challenge their best thinking."

The top project in each of the eight Digital Open categories will be selected by a panel of approximately 20 judges, including David-Michel Davies (Webby Awards) Lawrence Lessig (Harvard/Creative Commons), David Pescovitz (Boing Boing!) and Dale Dougherty (Make).

Winners receive a tech prize package including a PeeCee mini laptop running the OpenSolaris operating system, a video camera, a solar-powered flashlight, and other goodies.

The Digital Open.