It took me a little while to warm up to Kickstarter, but I’m totally in love now, and it was this project that turned me:
This is a totally awesome clock made of 180 RGB leds. It’s running off an Arduino, and the source code is available for the clock. Beyond being open and programmable, the thing is gorgeous, and now hangs in my office at work.
There is something really rewarding about being involved in a great kickstarter project. There is so much communication between the creators and the backers, and you really do feel like you are co-investing in someone’s dreams to make something awesome happen.
Today I just backed my 4th kick starter project, which is a coop Zombie game. They have been blowing through stretch goals, so really can’t wait to see all that’s provided with the final game.
I’ve been thinking about getting a new wireless router that I could install dd-wrt on, an open Linux replacement firmware, which gives you all kinds of nice features. I started this journey on the dd-wrt website to try to figure out what good options are right now. It was a confusing support matrix that I couldn’t really compare very well.
Then something occurred to me, perhaps there were some comments on newegg reviews for equipment about people doing this. Newegg is a pretty technically competent community, so this wasn’t that much of a stretch. I popped “ddwrt” into the search engine, and was surprised by the results, which looked something like this:
Linksys WRT54GL 802.11b/g Wireless Broadband Router up to 54Mbps/ Compatible with Open Source DD-WRT (not pre-load)
There are currently 11 routers on newegg that list DD-WRT in their title. Being open is now a selling feature of these products. How cool is that.
Wired has a great interview with the Federal Gov CIO, which actually dates back just prior to data.gov‘s launch. It’s definitely worth a read.
I firmly believe that this is the most important change that the current administration can make. The Federal government did a tail spin into secrecy over the past couple of decades, and while I believe the previous administration took this to a new height, it seems like it was part of a trend that definitely predates them. Secrecy breeds distrust in government, as well as bad decisions, as people don’t have access to all the facts.
Sunlight is definitely the best disinfectant, and nothing has quite the same power of light as the whole of the internet gazing in.
Hours before the entire NY State Senate imploded into a bunch of whining 1st graders, the previous leadership pushed out something quite interesting: open.nysenate.gov.
To pursue its commitment to transparency and openness the New York State Senate is undertaking a cutting-edge program to not only release data,
but help empower citizens and give back to the community. Under this
program the New York Senate will, for the first time ever, give
developers and other users direct access to its data through APIs and release its original software
to the public. By placing the data and technological developments
generated by the Senate in the public domain, the New York Senate hopes
to invigorate, empower and engage citizens in policy creation and
It remains unclear what will happen once squabble-gate ends, and we get a NY State government again, but hopefully a step into open like this is hard to step back from, especially if more people know about it. So spread the good word, and cross your figures that we get some sort of government back some time this year.