The Open Hardware Summit is gearing up for their second annual conference, which is to be held on September 15th, 2011 in New York City. The summit aims to be a venue where users can present, discuss, and learn about open hardware of all kinds. Hot on the heels of the Open Hardware definition announcement, the summit is bound to be an exciting gathering of hackers, makers and hobbyists of all kinds.
The organizers are looking to you, the hacker community, to help put make the event a memorable one. They have put out an official call for submissions in several broad formats. They are interested in talks, breakout sessions, and project demos on topics such as manufacturing, diy technology, open hardware in the enterprise, and more.
If you think you have something interesting to share with the open hardware community, make your voice heard, and be sure to get your submissions in before the June 24th deadline!
Turn on the television, flip through a newspaper or magazine, or simply surf the Internet and you will see traces of what Theodore Adorno labeled the “Culture Industry.” This industry acts as a delivery mechanism for manufactured identities that are projected through a myriad of mediating images. These designed projections have consumptive intent aimed to resonate with viewers and encourage participation within a larger arena of commodities consumption. Blurring the line between want and need sets the stage for many possibilities and a consumer culture is born.
My work is a response to this contemporary consumer milieu. By treating artifacts of consumer culture as readymades, I create assemblages to form pseudo monuments, or totems, that serve as precarious externalizations of culture as social biography. The totems speak of accumulation and materiality and encourage debate about consumption, media, class, gender and the ways in which we feel compelled to consume.
In a hidden corner of Hua Qiang Bei there are two large buildings that are primarily dedicated to cellphones. These, however, aren’t the same as the cellphone malls found in the district’s main street. Here cellphones are traded as a commodity or even as a raw material. Hundreds of small companies work with (and against) each other to squeeze every bit of value out of yesterday’s mobile phones.
Due to the vendors’ reluctance to give up ‘business secrets’, it’s hard to get many of my questions answered or to trace the exact source of the devices that are brought here. Some outdoor vendors have so few phones that it looks like they personally collected them from the trash to sell them in the adjacent street market.
Within one of the main buildings there is a large room dedicated to stalls selling these pre-owned phones. Each stall presents a couple of hundred of them. I often see them bundled together in threes or fours, though not always by type. Most of these phones look like they would still function but there are quite a few with cracked screens or other obvious damage. Apparently, they still hold value for whomever buys them. One entrepreneur I talked to, told me he bought his phones in bulk from a wholesaler who got them from garbage sorters in Hong Kong and other major cities in Asia.
I was most intrigued by the building dedicated to the down- and up- cycling of these phones. Outside, I see a guy sorting through big bags of phone circuit boards. I’m not sure but I think he might be picking out the ones with particular chipsets that are in demand right now.
At some, point the plastic shells have already been removed to be recycled in another process. There isn’t much money to be made there, but the low price of Chinese labor makes it worth someone’s time to separate the last bits of metal from the plastic.
Next, the boards are put under a heat gun to loosen the solder on the SMC’s (Surface Mounted Components). Then the components are picked off one by one with a set of tweezers and pre-sorted.
Next, the solder is removed and the components are cleaned and sorted further. For many of the shops, this seems to be the main activity. With some exceptions, this work seems to be predominantly done by teenage girls and young women.
Some of the parts are so small that they can only be handled with tweezers.
Although the components that are sold here don’t have the best reputation, there are a number of quality control methods used to make sure everything is still in working order. One of them is an optical check for any obvious damage.
These boxes are made-to-order for specific phones and specific parts. The shop that sells them is one of several tool suppliers in the building. There are others selling soldering irons, heat guns and books with circuit board schematics.
Finally the most valuable chips get reprogrammed or flashed and packaged into trays and tape reels (I’ve seen them do it!) that can be fed into the pick-and-place robots used to build new devices.
The next post will be dedicated to the other activities in this building, such as the (partial) fabrication of Shanzai phones.
[PT] just published an editorial calling on manufactures to transfer knowledge about products they are discontinuing by making them open source. He makes his case on the basis that millions of dollars and innumerable man hours go into developing these products, only to be lost when the company decides that the project is no longer (or maybe never was) profitable. We have to say he’s got a point. Granted the answer to “why not?” is that companies don’t want to give any help to their competitors. But just think of the opportunities lost to society when we can’t build on the work of others.
Now [Phillip] doesn’t stop with his plea for new policies. He goes on to list and defend a few products that are already dead and buried, for which he wishes the secrets had first been shared. These include the Palm V personal data assistant, IBM’s Deep Blue, Sony’s robotic toys/pets, and several others. For what it’s worth, we can think of one company that’s a shining example of this; the source code for Doom, which id Software released for non-profit use more than a decade ago. Good for you id!
Faced with a printer that would stop printing for no apparent reason, Finnish pirate and hacker [Janne] decided he had had enough. After doing a bit of research, he disassembled the drum assembly and replaced some components. The end result? Supposedly ‘broken’ printers started working again.
Apparently, Xerox uses a fairly basic scheme to determine when it’s time to replace your printer drum: An I2C eeprom keeps a count of the number of pages printed. After a certain number, the printer decides that it’s broken and won’t print any more. To fix this, a suitable replacement memory chip needed to be sourced. The original chip was a ST22C02WP. However, this was difficult to find, so the replacement part was selected to be a CSI 24C01WI. Amusingly enough, the replacement part has only half the space of the original chip, but this doesn’t appear to have caused a problem. The chips were swapped, and after some precision soldering the printer was completely repaired. The blank replacement chip functioned… due to the fact that there is no security or encryption involved between the printer and the drum (Score!)
The Peppermill project is an exploration into the design space of user interface devices that are able to source their power from the physical effort involved in interacting with them. We refer to this kind of device as being interaction-powered.
In the prototype Peppermill device, we use a geared DC motor and a simple electronic circuit to enable interaction-powered rotary input. When turned, the circuit provides a temporary power source for an embedded device, and doubles as a sensor that provides information about the direction and rate of input. To illustrate the capabilities of the Peppermill device, we have developed a remote controlled multimedia-browsing application.
A brand new product to replace plastic shelling: Paper PP Alloy. A paper based shelling material that is strong, sturdy, environmentally friendly and inexpensive to make. Via: Pegadesign.com
Paper PP Alloy is a new material for consumer electronic manufactures to choose from; this new material is made of the combination of recyclable paper and PP (Polypropylene). After research, development and experiments, PEGA D&E successfully created the paper based material. Because of the paper characteristic of this product, Paper PP Alloy is biodegradable, recyclable and reusable.
- the combination of recyclable paper and PP (Polypropylene)
Paper: Strong, Sturdy, and Ready to GO
Paper PP Alloy is not only environmentally friendly but also strong, sturdy, and flexible. Compared to plastic, the materials needed to make Paper PP Alloy are easy to retrieve. These advantages have already drawn the attention of consumer electronics manufactures. An even more exciting feature is Paper PP Alloy can be molded using injection molding method; it can be easily adapted without changing the manufacturing process.
Paper PP Alloy is the new material for our decade of 2010, be prompted, you will be using this material in the soon future.
The Retrode (formerly: snega2usb) is an easy to use USB adapter for *Super Nintendo / *Super Famicom and *SEGA Mega Drive / *Genesis game cartridges. Play your favorite 16-bit games – legally! – on your PC, smartphone, laptop, network router, *Wii, or *Pandora. There is a huge number of emulators for virtually all existing systems, and the Retrode is the link that enables them to load the ROM data straight from the cartridge. Of course, the savegame RAM on many *SNES cartridges can also be read and written.
Degates’ purpose is to aid reverse engineering of digital electronics in integrated circuits (ICs). Degate helps you to explore images from ICs. It matches logic gates on the imagery given by graphical templates and it assists you in tracing circuit paths.
Degate is not a completely automatic analyzing tool. Degate helps you with some automation in your manual reverse engineering process.
Degate is developed under OS X and Ubuntu. The GUI is based on gtkmm. So degate should run on any unixoid platform, where gtkmm was ported to.
Degate is a spare time project. It is still under development. Some project steps are already implemented other steps are not. Please have a look at the status page to see, what is implemented until now.
Degate is open source. It is released under the GNU General Public Licence Version 3.
Ever wonder what happens to your electronic waste?
That old computer or cell phone you discarded?
Do you want new electronics in 10 to 20 years?
If so, here is your chance to do something about it by creating innovative new uses for existing electronic waste, as well as its future prevention.
Electronic waste, or “e-waste,” generated by computers, TVs, cameras, printers, and cell phones, is a growing global issue. Through the Second International E-Waste Design Competition, participants are asked to explore solutions to both remediate the existing e-waste problem and prevent e-waste generation in the future.
The spirit of this competition is to prompt the industrialized world to dialogue about product designs for environmentally responsible green computing and entertainment. The goals of this competition are to learn about ways to reuse e-waste for new and productive means, explore your own ideas for how to address e-waste problems and contribute to the body of knowledge that advances the practice of environmentally responsible product design for current and future computing technology products. We invite you to create a broad range of design concepts and innovations for technology products that demonstrate fresh approaches and responsible solutions for green computing technologies. Engineering, design, sustainability, or business knowledge will be helpful but not required for success in this competition.
Yes, the title explains it pretty well. In this Instructable I will show you step by step how to construct a light sensitive, solar powered, robot. All you need is some parts that can easily be found in the trash or in your backyard.
Via, www.designandenvironment.co.uk. Written by Marente January 27th, 2011
Last week we had an amazing two-day workshop, working with and recycling electronic waste into new forms. Guest lecturers and designers Benjamin Gaulon and Brian Solon were really patient with us and totally rocked the classroom!
The workshop was a lot of fun! Not only did we get to take products apart (what’s better than that?), we learned how to use basic Arduino, start programming ourselves and give electronic waste a new life.
Marcela Teran, Elvira Grob and I hacked an old analog phone (with a lot of help from Benjamin, thanks!). The numbers were individually linked to different songs and when you’d dial a set of numbers you’d get this crazy musical mix.
This link will show a video of the hacked phone:
Japan’s space agency has joined forces with a 100-year-old fishing net company in order to create a system to collect space debris.
By Danielle Demetriou, Tokyo: www.telegraph.co.uk
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Nitto Seimo Co aim to tackle the increasingly hazardous problem of debris damaging space shuttles and satellites.
The new system involves launching a satellite attached to a thin metal net spanning several kilometers into space, before the net is detached and begins to capture space waste while orbiting earth.
During its rubbish collecting journey, the net will become charged with electricity and eventually be drawn back towards earth by magnetic fields – before both the net and its contents will burn upon entering the atmosphere.
Inspired by a basic fishing net concept, the super-strong space nets have been the subject of extensive research by Nitto Seimo for the past six years and consist of three layered metal threads, each measuring 1mm diameter and intertwined with fibres as thin as human hair.
The company, which became famous for inventing the world’s first machine to make strong knotless fishing nets in 1925, is aiming for the fuel-free system to be completed within two years.
Magnificent Revolution (MR) is a not-for-profit education project based in London. Made up of artists, musicians, designers, ecologists, and engineers, MR has flourished into a cross-disciplinary organisation working in education, ecology, engineering, design, art, music and film.
I was recently asked by a friend to put together a reading list on sustainability. I put a bit of time into it so I thought I might as well share it here too.
“Environmentalists argue that we are actually approaching and
overstepping material limits to growth and the “carrying capacity” of
the planet’s ecological systems. Meanwhile the mainstream argues that
we don’t need to worry about any such things because technology and
human ingenuity will see us through – so that growth can continue
indefinitely into the future….” Brian Davey
We are Facing the Greatest Threat to Humanity: Only Fundamental Change
Can Save Us – Maude Barlow
Proposal Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth
The Non Tragedy of the Commons
Elinor Ostrom wins the 2009 Nobel Prize for Economics
Imagining a New Politics of the Commons – David Bolier
How does the idea of p2p / commonism differ from the socialist
tradition? – Michel Bauwens
Video – Commons Lecture by Paul Hartzog
Charter for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge
Chris Martensons ‘Crash Course’
Connecting the dots…
Dialogue between Environmental Commons and Knowledge Commons Advocates
Beware of Fake Abundance – Brian Davey
Response to Brian Davey of Feasta: How Immaterial Abundance can assist
a Steady State Economy – Michel Bauwens
Key Topics and Useful Links
Hans Rosling Ted talk on population growth
Peak Oil Primer
United Nations Convention on Climate Change
Cop 15 – 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference Copenhagen
Cap and Trade
Emmisions Trading – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emissions_trading
Cap and Share
Cap and Dividend
On The Commons
Open Source Ecology
The Story of Stuff
Lifeboats and resilient communities
A cultural response to the environmental crisis
CHIEF SEATTLE’S 1854 ORATION
RSA Arts and Ecology
Art and Renewable Technologies
Sustainability and Contemporary Art
Wunderkammer a Journal of Environmental Art
A book printed through a printing chain made of four desktop printers using four different colors and technologies dated from 1880 to 1976. A production process that brings together small scale and large scale production, two sides of the same history.
MAGENTA (Stencil duplicator, 1880)
CYAN (Spirit duplicator, 1923)
BLACK (Laser printer, 1969)
YELLOW (Inkjet printer, 1976)