Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht is currently serving multiple life terms in a high security federal penitentiary. He was captured in 2013 by law enforcement while using his laptop in a public library. Agents managed to distract him and grab his laptop before he could erase any of the incriminating information on it. — Read the rest
I never quite got used to my Planck keyboard, and I'd never get used to this, either. But isn't the OLKB ortholinear keyboard for the modular MNT Reform laptop just uncannily perfect? The absurd simplicity and symmetry of it. Like a hastily-drawn computer console in the background of a comic-book villain's lair. — Read the rest
I’d like to share a project I’m working on that could have an impact on your future freedoms in the digital age. It’s an open video development board I call NeTV2.
Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Pocket Sprite – a $55 piece of game emulation hardware that fits in the palm of your hand. Measuring just an inch wide and two inches tall, the Pocket Sprite looks like the smallest Game Boy you've ever seen. — Read the rest
Crowd Supply (previously) is an extremely effective platform for funding open source hardware development, boasting twice the success-rate of Kickstarter and Indiegogo; it is also the birthplace of the proclamation of user rights, an outstanding document that lays out the rights of users to explore their hardware, use it independent of any subscription, use it with any other service or hardware, use it indefinitely without fear of remote kill-switching, to transfer it to others, to freely discuss it, to use it privately, and to be informed of security issues.
Lou Cabron writes, "Finally, after five years of work, Rhombus Tech has gone from a free/libre/open source "spec" to their first actual modular devices!
The video is amazing.
Our guest on the Cool Tools show this week is Star Simpson. She is an electronics designer whose greatest joy is designing objects and tools that are useful to others, which inspire and delight. Her previous work includes research on robotics and work in drones, PLIBMTTBHGATY, an event where people convene to try new programming languages, and an electronics reference card PCB designed for Octopart, now carried in the wallets of electrical engineers everywhere. — Read the rest
Chloe from Portland's Reading Frenzy writes, "Mike King has made more concert posters than any designer in America. This book contains more than 1000 of them. Spanning three decades of music, Maximum Plunder gathers together Mike's work into a comprehensive retrospective. — Read the rest
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Bunnie has a years of experience partnering with manufacturers in Shenzhen, so he knows what he's talking about. This looks like a fantastic resource for hardware entrepreneurs.
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Bunnie Huang, the infamous hardware hacker known for reverse engineering the XBox and the Novena, is publishing "The Essential Guide to Electronics in Shenzhen."
A reader writes, "The USB Armory is full-blown computer (800MHz ARMÂ® processor, 512MB RAM) in a tiny form factor (65mm x 19mm x 6mm USB stick) designed from the ground up with information security applications in mind."
Those public USB charging points are tempting, but could be used to propagate all kind of grotesque malware (imagine what happens when your phone's camera, mic, storage, keyboard and GPS start leaking your data to voyeurs and identity thieves) — sure, you can always buy a charge-only cable, but these crowdfunded adapters turn any cable into a power-only source.
Just a reminder about the Novena crowdfunding project which closes tonight: this is Bunnie Huang's fully open and transparent laptop, the only computer whose internals can be modified and verified by its users. It's big and weird and fuggly, and it's gorgeous. — Read the rest
Remember Bunnie Huang's fully open laptop? Bunnie and Sean "xobs" Cross prototyped a machine he called the "Novena" in which every component, down to the BIOS, was fully documented, licensed under FLOSS licenses, and was totally modifiable by its owner. — Read the rest
Joshua Lifton is one of the founders of Crowd Supply, a company that crowdfunds around products. They take a very different approach to preparation, funding, and follow-up than Kickstarter. Kickstarter just announced that it had crossed $1bn in pledges in its five-year lifetime. — Read the rest
Maxwell Salzberg of BackerKit knows what it's like to have a lot of people giving him money who want something in return: he and three colleagues created the Diaspora project, one of Kickstarter's early blockbusters. He co-founded BackerKit with Rosanna Yau to help people with the problem of managing crowdfunding backers' responses and expectations. — Read the rest
Noah Swartz writes, "Jie Qi from the MIT Media Lab and Bunnie Huang of Hacking the Xbox fame have teamed up to make LED stickers! Using adhesive copper tape you can turn any notebook into a fantastical light up circuit sketchbook. — Read the rest
We recorded a special live episode of The New Disruptors in Brooklyn's fantastic DUMBO district in the Galapagos Art Space as part of the Nearly Impossible conference in which we talked about the joys, challenges, and surprises in prototyping, funding, producing, and distributing products. — Read the rest