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Auckland University Bioengineering Institute

By Nat Torkington
September 11, 2008

I am an industry advisor to the Auckland University Bioengineering Institute and got a tour on Tuesday. It was inspirational! They sprawl over several floors of a tall concrete building in Auckland, expanding from their cramped one-floor presence. Everywhere you look there are people with soldering irons, laptops, and batteries working on devices that sit between hardware and biology. I've...

Why We're Failing in Math and Science

By Tim O'Reilly
August 15, 2008

Norman Mailer's brilliant novel Why Are We in Vietnam? doesn't talk explicitly about the Vietnam war; it tells a story about American culture and the American psyche, thereby producing a devastating critique of the war with the title and last line alone. In a similar way, it may be easier to understand why America is falling behind at math and...

Radar Theme: Art and Technology

By Nat Torkington
August 14, 2008

[This is part of a series of posts that briefly describe the trends that we're currently tracking here at O'Reilly] Art is emotion hacking, intended to provoke or illuminate rather than profit. Artists play on the boundaries of new materials, new modes of interaction, new technologies. Often what they build can inspire or inform useful and commercial hacking. Watchlist: Natalie...

Radar Theme: Materials Science

By Nat Torkington
August 14, 2008

[This is part of a series of posts that briefly describe the trends that we're currently tracking here at O'Reilly] New materials follow a curve: initially expensive and so used by R&D only, but many eventually become mass-produced and cheap and so enable mainstream applications. By tracking new materials with interesting possibilities, we can be ahead of the mass-manufacturing curve....

Radar Theme: Make

By Nat Torkington
August 5, 2008

[This is part of a series of posts that briefly describe the trends were currently tracking here at O'Reilly: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.] DIY culture is back, from rocket cars to simply tweaking things you already own to make them better. People want control over their devices again, whether access to the internal computer systems of their car or...

The Last HOPE

By Jim Stogdill
July 21, 2008

The Last HOPE conference in NYC was a great mix of hardware hacking, open source, phone phreaking, lock picking, sleeping on the floor, and good old fashioned paranoia mongering.

Segway CTO Leaves for Apple as Product Design VP

By Tim O'Reilly
July 6, 2008

Phil Torrone noticed today on the Segway Chat forums that "Doug Field, the chief technology officer at Segway who heads their entire engineering team (and has since Day 1), is leaving Segway to become a VP of product design at Apple." The announcement continues: Doug has been the driving force in making the Segway what it is today and will...

O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures Startup Camp

By Tim O'Reilly
May 21, 2008

The Thursday and Friday (July 10-11) before this year's Foo Camp in Sebastopol July 11-13, O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures will be hosting OATV Startup Camp. This startup boot camp will consist of sessions led by startup veterans and other experts in a roundtable discussion format on various topics important to founders. The sessions will be more of a conversation on each...

Gandhi on Ubicomp

By Nat Torkington
May 13, 2008

Remember Gandhi's steps of a revolution? "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." For as long as I've known the term, ubiquitous computing has been largely ignored, written off as a scifi pipedream from the people who promised you AI and cars that would run on water. That's beginning to change,...

Disaster Technology for Myanmar/Burma aid workers

By Jesse Robbins
May 8, 2008

There is an ongoing crisis in Myanmar (Burma) in the aftermath of cyclone Nargis. The ruling military junta is finally allowing humanitarian organizations into the region after denying access for almost a week. The situation is grim, and you can help by donating to organizations like: Doctors without Borders, Direct Relief, and UNICEF. There has been some incredible discussion on...

Maker Faire mimesis and open speculation

By Andy Oram
May 4, 2008

Maker Faire is a string-and-duct-tape combination of O'Reilly's, Emerging Technology, Open Source, and Money:Tech conferences. The ultimate impact, like the free software movement, is to enhance everyone's mastery of their environments and both the tools and the confidence for solve one's own problems. This process--which reflects the way most of the great scientists became their mature selves--can not only increase the number of scientists and engineers, but alter the kinds of scientists and engineers they are. To anyone who's attended Maker Faire, seen what it does for children, and felt its effects on oneself, there's really nothing more to say.

Hurrah for Home Chemistry

By Dale Dougherty
April 28, 2008

Today, in most schools, science is taught as a body of acquired knowledge, but not as much as a set of tools and practices that were used to discover that knowledge and expand upon it. Students are expected to learn from lectures and textbooks, not labs with hands-on learning and experimentation. Nothing quite embodies the practice of science like a...

Radar Roundup: Ubiquitous computing (ubicomp)

By Nat Torkington
April 8, 2008

The Street as Platform (Dan Hill): amazing essay by Dan Hill (yet another genius formerly at the BBC) about the invisible cloud of data in a city street. "We can’t see how the street is immersed in a twitching, pulsing cloud of data. [...] This is a new kind of data, collective and individual, aggregated and discrete, open and...

Good Devices Gone Bad

By Dale Dougherty
April 1, 2008

(This entry itself had problems after posting and it took a day to fix. A good entry gone bad.) My sister, Doreen, who is seldom on the bleeding edge of technology, bought a Kindle in January and by March she was sending it back. My Kindle was a clunker. I LOVED it and had about 15 books on it when...

I Make... (Maker Faire Bay Area May 3-4)

By Dale Dougherty
March 15, 2008

If you wonder what Maker Faire is all about, check out this video, created by eric michael berg, a video intern working with us out of New York. He came to Maker Faire Austin and put together this simple but...

The Shipyard Returns

By Dale Dougherty
February 23, 2008

Last May, I wrote about the City of Berkeley closing down The Shipyard. A communal workspace for artists and alternative techies, The Shipyard was organized by Jim Mason; it was built as stacks of shipping containers. After the shutdown notice...

The NYC Toy Fair for geeks, scientists and engineers

By Brady Forrest
February 22, 2008

MAKE Magazine spent the week at the New York City Toy Fair looking for the latest DIY, science and engineering toys. While there was a lot of awful mind-numbing toys amongst the thousands of companies MAKE found some real...

Thomas Jefferson as Inventor and Maker

By Tim O'Reilly
February 20, 2008

Makezine has a nice Presidents' Day entry celebrating Thomas Jefferson as an inventor and maker. Among the inventions called out: "Moldboard of least resistance" - using math, Jefferson designed a better plow to lift and turn over sod more effectively...

Slow Down and Read Make

By Dale Dougherty
January 22, 2008

The comic "Over the Hedge" featured Make in its January 21st strip. Thanks to Poncho Alarcon of Monterrey, Mexico who spotted the turtle named Verne reading Make. I'm working on a piece for the next issue of Make called "Slow...

Maker Movement Gaining Recognition

By Tim O'Reilly
January 11, 2008

There have been a number of stories in mainstream media recently recognizing the "Maker movement" exemplified by our own magazines Make: and Craft: and online sites like Etsy and Instructables. (Disclosure: O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures is an investor in Instructables.)...

A Passion for Reading

By Dale Dougherty
December 10, 2007

Several items about books: Stephen Levy writes in his Newsweek cover story on the Kindle and Jeff Bezos: "When making mental lists of the most whiz-bangy technological creations in our lives, [...] we may overlook an object that is superbly...

Advertising Homage to the DIY Spirit

By Tim O'Reilly
December 6, 2007

Nick Dragotta, the illustrator of Howtoons, just sent a pointer to an absolutely lovely advertising video about a little nerd girl who builds a rocket to go visit Santa. It's a lovely homage to the DIY spirit celebrated in Howtoons,...

Fortune interview with Saul Griffith

By Tim O'Reilly
November 18, 2007

Fortune has a very nice interview with Saul Griffith (see previous Radar profile), which, for the first time, discloses a bit about what his company Makani Power, is up to: "Its plans are closely held, but anyone looking for...

Maker Faire Austin in Full Swing

By Tim O'Reilly
October 20, 2007

Maker Faire Austin is in full swing. I'm not there, having just finished up the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, recuperating at home before heading out Monday for a MySQL board meeting in London, but I'm watching the goings-on...

Maker Faire Austin this weekend

By Tim O'Reilly
October 11, 2007

Maker Faire this spring in San Mateo drew 40,000 people and blew a lot of minds. This weekend, the Faire is coming to Austin, Texas, with highlights from San Mateo but also an amazing cast of local makers. It's...

Bill Gross is into Atoms

By Tim O'Reilly
October 8, 2007

I was interested to get my latest copy of Business 2.0 magazine (apparently the final) and see an article about long-time internet entrepreneur Bill Gross's new focus: "moneymaking opportunities in the physical world." Erick Schonfeld, who did the interview with...

Local Recycle & Reuse Hits A Bureaucratic Roadblock

By Dale Dougherty
September 14, 2007

Let's imagine that you set up a non-profit to recycle electronics and divert computers from going directly into landfills or otherwise being destroyed by a grinder. You look for ways to refurbish these components and possibly recombine them into functional...

Report on Barcamp Cambridge (UK)

By Tim O'Reilly
September 12, 2007

In response to a query from foo camper Stephen Hsu about interesting people to meet with in Cambridge UK on an upcoming visit, I passed on the query in turn to UK foo Timo Hannay of Nature, who pointed me...

Revenge by Gadget

By Tim O'Reilly
August 18, 2007

It was interesting to see the Wall Street Journal picking up on a trend we've been watching at Make: magazine, namely the emergence of devices that let people interfere with other people's devices. In an article entitled Revenge by Gadget,...

The Virtues of Print in a Web 2.0 World

By Tim O'Reilly
August 14, 2007

Dale Dougherty, the publisher of Make: Magazine did a brief interview with Publishing Executive Magazine, which included some great thoughts on how print publishers can harness the power of Web 2.0 while also playing to their own strengths. INBOX: How...

New Era of DIY

By Dale Dougherty
August 14, 2007

Giving a talk at NI Week organized by National Instruments in Austin, TX, Chris Anderson of Wired and author of "The Long Tail" spoke about DIY and open source hardware, according to an EETimes story. I think he's pointing at...


By Artur Bergman
July 11, 2007

What was evident at this past weekend's iPhoneDevCamp, was the sheer energy displayed by the close to 400 attendees. Organised by Raven Zachary -- one of the authors of O'Reilly's iPhone hacks -- and Chris Messina, it was hosted in...

Mr. Woo's Robots: A Stop on the Maker Holiday Tour?

By Tim O'Reilly
May 27, 2007

In response to my offhand mention of "Maker Holidays,", a reader from Germany named philip noted that a good maker holiday would be a visit to "this ingenious maker/builder." I couldn't agree more. This is a good video for a...

Chaos Communication Camp call for participation

By Tim O'Reilly
May 26, 2007

Paul Böhm wrote in email: "We've just launched the final call for papers for the Chaos Communication Camp 2007 to be held near Berlin this August. The CCC is already well known in security circles worldwide, but for this year's...

"I like to build machines that make people laugh"

By Tim O'Reilly
May 19, 2007

Another wonderful talk from the Maker preview day on Thursday (we did this day because of complaints from exhibitors at the Maker Faire that they didn't have time to see each other's work) was from Tim Hunkin. Tim is probably...

Toast Burner at Target

By Dale Dougherty
May 1, 2007 editor Phil Torrone writes: A long long time ago I made a hacky toaster that burned images, it was for a pitch to holiday inn - pre-2000, all blank stares. Years later, alpha geeks made all sorts of toast...

Used and Antique Machines

By Dale Dougherty
April 30, 2007

This weekend, we held a ReMake event at ACCRC in Berkeley, giving makers coming to Maker Faire a chance to look for a few interesting things to play with. The previous weekend, ACCRC had held an Earth Day electronics collection,...

Twittering your Home

By Tim O'Reilly

I had no sooner got finished writing "don't discount twitter. I'll lay odds that it gets hacked into a really useful service before long" in the comments on Nat's twittervision post, in response to the various people saying that twitter...

Honoring the Skunk Works

By Tim O'Reilly

It's easy to forget our history when we're gushing about the potential of new technology In response to a comment on my blog entry O'Reilly Radar Executive Briefing at Etech, rektide wrote: The lockheed martin polecat always comes to mind...

Bag the Schwag

By Dale Dougherty

If the tech industry and its associated conferences have any serious notions about reducing our impact on the environment, one small step would be to minimize the amount of schwag distributed at tradeshows, most of which ends up in...

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