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[News] Economist and Science Daily Cover Open-Source Hardware

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Open-source hardware: Open sesame

,----[ Quote ]
| Now the same approach is being applied to hardware, albeit in a modified 
| form. The open-source model cannot be directly carried over to hardware, 
| because software can be duplicated and distributed at almost no cost, whereas 
| physical objects cannot. Modifying source code and then distributing a new, 
| improved version of a program is much easier than improving and sharing the 
| design of, say, an open-source motorbike. Some day, perhaps, fabricating 
| machines will be able to transform digital specifications (software) into 
| physical objects (hardware), which will no doubt lead to a vibrant trade in 
| specifications, some of which will be paid for, and some of which will be 
| open-source.         
| [...]
| But until that day, the term “open-source hardware” is being used in a 
| narrower sense. It refers to an emerging class of electronic devices, for 
| which the specifications have been made public, so that enthusiasts can 
| suggest refinements, write and share software improvements, and even build 
| their own devices from scratch. This is not as daft as it sounds. Even if all 
| the details needed to build something are available, few people will have the 
| tools or the inclination to do so.      
| [...]
| Some enthusiasts point to 2005 as a crucial year: that was when work began on 
| devices such as the RepRap (a rapid-prototyping machine that will, its makers 
| hope, be able to replicate itself) and the TuxPhone, an open, Linux-powered 
| mobile-phone. It was also when Sun Microsystems, a computer-maker, decided to 
| publish the specifications of one of its microprocessors, the UltraSPARC T1. 
| The open-source hardware trend is now growing fast, says Adrian Bowyer, a 
| mechanical engineer at the University of Bath and the inventor of the RepRap.      


Prototype Of Machine That Copies Itself Goes On Show

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| A University of Bath academic, who oversees a global effort to develop an 
| open-source machine that ‘prints’ three-dimensional objects, is celebrating 
| after the prototype machine succeeded in making a set of its own printed 
| parts. The machine, named RepRap, will be exhibited publicly at the 
| Cheltenham Science Festival (4-8 June 2008).    



DIY Robotics: The Rise of Open Source Hardware

,----[ Quote ]
| Holman's not the only one hacking hardware. The hardware-hacking trend, 
| perhaps exemplified best by O'Reilly's Make magazine and wildly successful 
| Maker Faire, is one of the dominating themes of this year's conference. 
| Geeks, accustomed to being able to use and modify open source software like 
| Linux without restriction, are adopting the same attitude with respect to 
| consumer electronics devices, whether those devices are freely hackable, like 
| the forthcoming Google-backed Android operating system for phones, or more 
| locked down, like Apple's iPhone.        



Open Source Hardware Gift Guide

,----[ Quote ]
| Open source 3D printers, TV-turn-off devices, iPod chargers, music players, 
| wi-fi companions, educational electronic kits, and more! Let's get gifting! 


Open source hardware comes out of closet

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| EVER SINCE open-source software created a buzz, people have stroked chins, 
| pondered and pontificated about the possibility of open-source hardware – and 
| now it’s becoming a reality.  


The Future of Hardware is Open Source

,----[ Quote ]
| Open Hardware is the future of technology, and all we need to kick off this 
| next great revolution in technology is to have the right tools in the right  
| place at the right time.  After that, the sky’s the limit!  


Open Source Hardware: Birth Of A Long Tail Market?

,----[ Quote ]
| And when there is unrestricted collaboration, nearly anything is possible. 
| Buglabs, the open source hardware movement and other yet-to-be discovered 
| frontiers have the same opportunity here.  


Do we need an open hardware license?

,----[ Quote ]
| Still, Hicks says that it's possible to use open source hardware designs with 
| field-programmable gate arrays, "which are quite affordable," and points to 
| OpenSPARC and the OPENCORES community of open hardware designers as examples 
| of real-world usage of open hardware.   
| Phipps says that he sees open hardware following in the footsteps of FOSS, 
| though he says mainstreaming of open hardware "will take much longer ... to 
| get a foothold."  


Perens set to tackle open-source hardware

,----[ Quote ]
| On Monday, Perens plans to announce the TAPR Open Hardware
| License, a document written by John Ackerman designed
| specifically to govern hardware designs that can be
| modified and redistrubuted. Perens plans to submit the
| license to the Open Source Initiative for its as an
| open-source license.

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