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.
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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). Read the rest
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.
We're publishing an 8-part series of videos profiling the winners. Today, meet 16 year old Harry Lee of Melbourne Australia. He talks with us about his "Sneaky Card" game concept, which explores social interactions between people. He was inspired by ARG and indie projects like "Bite Me," by Gamelab, and Jane McGonigal's Top Secret Dance-Off, both of which we've covered previously on Boing Boing.
"I love index cards," says Harry, "And I was thinking -- hmm, how can I incorporate them into a project?" So he designed and printed these game cards, and "spread the seeds of sneakiness and espionage" into the unsuspecting pockets, math books, binders and bags and jackets of his schoolmates.
I tracked most of the cards and found, with much satisfaction, that a majority of them had been passed down at least three times. The most successful story is of the card passed from student to student three times before ending up in a math teacher's jacket. The teacher found it and gave it to another math teacher, who inserted it into a student's corrected test before giving it back to him. The card passed hands once again before I lost track of it.
Below, some sample cards in Harry's game. (Link to PDF). More after the jump.
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Digital Open: Teen Altoid-hacks his way to tech glory
Teen dreams of a kinder future.
Teen creates winning robot shop
Teens build hybrid airship
Youth and open innovation
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!
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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 - Boing Boing
BB Video: IFTF, Sun, and Boing Boing Launch Digital Open Youth ... Read the rest
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:
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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.