Since the discovery of the Pacific Garbage Patch in 1997, which is predicted to measure twice the size of Texas, five more have been found across the world’s oceans with the Atlantic gyre predicted to be even larger. This plastic takes thousands of years to degrade, remaining in the environment to be broken up into ever smaller fragments by ocean currents.
The gyre stretches from the coastlines of California to the shores of Japan. Recent studies have estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometer of the world’s oceans. The number of plastic pieces in the Pacific Ocean has tripled in the last ten years and the size of the accumulation is set to double in the next ten.
Sea Chair is made entirely from plastic recovered from our oceans. The film uses a fishing boat and an open source design for the collection and creation of a marine plastic stool.
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!
[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!
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.
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.