Thursday, February 3, 2011 2:12:00 AM
Recently, revolts in Tunisia and Egypt have caused the governments of those nations to shut off access to the Internet, to try to prevent protest groups from communicating.
Also, various politicians in the US have been proposing an "Internet kill switch" that would disable access to the Internet, if our infrastructure is threatened. Of course, there's no checks and balances on that...
In addition, major ISPs in Canada are forcing smaller ISPs into a nasty "usage based billing" scheme that threatens to ruin the Internet for Canada. Of course, US ISPs are seeing if they can get away with it.
So, in light of that, I think it'd be a good idea to set up infrastructure to work around any potential shutdowns or restrictions - both by the government and by ISPs.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010 3:36:24 AM
What they used to stand for: Clever hacks, exploration, creativity, making stuff, freedom, designed to benefit the hacker and the user
What they stand for today: Consumerism, restriction, walled gardens, control, designed to benefit the content producer
Best symbolism of the former? The Apple II. The lid isn't even screwed down, just pops right off. BASIC, and in some versions (depending on available space,) an assembler and disassembler in ROM. Manuals with schematics and source code.
Best symbolism of the latter? The iPad. Sealed tight, Apple doesn't even swap the battery, they replace the entire unit. Programming is only if you pay to play, and even then, your code has to be approved by Apple. Allegedly, DRM baked straight into the CPU, so Apple can in theory control every single piece of code that you run on it.
Which would you prefer?
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 10:35:16 PM
So, you've probably heard of the various 3D printer projects as of late, including the RepRap
and MakerBot's CupCake CNC
. However, they're expensive. A RepRap will cost at LEAST $500, and a CupCake starts at $750.
Also, at least the RepRap has some steps that require special skills and tools to assemble - the extruder, for instance, requires a CNC lathe. While I'm a newbie to all of this, it also seems like there are some design decisions on the RepRap that make it more complex, harder to assemble, and more expensive in the long run, although they do make it easier for it to print parts for itself. Case in point, this blog post
where a commenter's main criticism of a possible improvement to the RepRap is that it reduces self-replicatability.
But, why have a $500 machine that can print parts for itself when you can have, for instance, a $100 machine that instead uses readily available off-the-shelf parts with simpler modifications? (And, theoretically, that $100 machine could act as a RepStrap, or a machine that can print the parts required to make a RepRap.)