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Feb 232015

If you’re interested in making your hardware open source, check out my new book, Building Open Source Hardware! It contains a how-to guide and checklists for many aspects of open source hardware: manufacturing, licensing, and business in open source hardware to name a few. In the spirit of democratization, different authors have written each chapter, many friends of Resistor, and Resistor member Catarina Mota also has a chapter in the book!


Don’t take my word for it, check out this review:

This book is one you can judge by it’s cover. It is everything you need to know about how to work on an open hardware project from cradle to grave. It is a solidly researched book that doesn’t skip an issue because it is hard, nor is all the content from one person or organization. This has produced a product which is informative to a degree that it is greater than the sum of it’s parts.” -Aaron Harper (read the whole review.)

Also check out the NYC inspired kit to practice making open source hardware derivatives:

Blinky Building Empire State copy

Remake the kit to be a landmark or building in your area, and together, we can build the world! (Godzilla not included.)

You can buy the kit from me, or get both the book and the kit at Sparkfun.

Apr 122012

OSHWA will be a non-profit organization (status pending) working to spread the love of open source hardware. We’re still deep in the process of working out all the details, but please bookmark, and check back there for upcoming news.

OSHWA’s first project is a survey, “to better understand the Open Source Hardware community.” Catarina Mota has lead this project and created a survey along with David Mellis and John De Cristofaro. The aggregate and anonymous results will be made publicly available in May. If you’re involved with the OSHW community, we’d invite you to take the survey.

 Posted by at 12:44 pm
Jan 122012

UPDATE: Please attend NYTM’s SOS Jan. 18th, 12:30pm-2pm
Outside the Offices of Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand 780 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Please RSVP with NY Tech Meetup:

As the saying goes:

Dear Congress, It’s No Longer OK To Not Know How The Internet Works

Jan. 24th will be a big vote for the Internet. PIPA, SOPA’s twin will be voted on in the Senate. Here’s what we’re doing to let our Senators know they should reject PIPA on Jan. 24th. We are asking our 2 NY State Senators to have town hall meetings or an in-district meeting with us (you can request them but sometimes the request stuff like faxes). We don’t have a date for a meeting in NYC yet, because the Senators are on recess and it’s difficult to effectively schedule a date with an answering machine. New Yorkers, stay tuned, we’ll announce the date to meet with our Senators. If you’re not in New York – we urge you to contact your Senators for a town hall meeting or in-district meeting in your area before the Jan. 24th vote. Those of us who call the Internet home need to educate Congress on the dangerous nature of this Act, because srsly, do they get how DNS works? Or what xkcd is? We don’t think so.

The following is a citizen packet prepared by Public Knowledge

Tell Congress to Reject Internet Censorship Tools in PIPA

On January 24th the United States Senate will be voting on S. 968 the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). Your two Senators will have the opportunity to decide whether America will adopt the tools of censorship used to block websites in China or reject them by voting no and standing with Senators Wyden, Moran, Paul, and Cantwell. Ask your two Senators to stand against adopting the tools of censorship in any bill that comes up for a vote.

What you should know about PIPA:

  • 83 of Internet’s original creators including Vint Cerf, co-designer of TCP/IP, and Robert W. Taylor, founder of ARPAnet, oppose SOPA and PIPA.
  • The government has a poor track record of protecting free speech on the Internet. For example, lawful hip-hop music blog was held by the government for anentire year on the accusation of copyright infringement.
  • Think tanks, government agencies, and industry associations across the political and social spectrum have said that SOPA and PIPA would undermine freedom of expression
  • Top cyber security experts have said that SOPA and PIPA would undermine a 15 year government initiative (DNSSEC) to update Internet security.
  • Human rights groups have told Congress that PIPA would help censorship regimes like China and Iran by sacrificing America’s fight for Internet freedom worldwide.
  • Congress has yet to allow experts on free speech, network engineering, Internet security, or human rights testify at a hearing on PIPA.
  • The content industry has spent $94 million in lobbying Congress to pass their bills in 2011, arguing that if China can censor the Internet the U.S. can also do it.
  • Lobbyists have misled Congress by saying the United States already uses censorship tools for malware and child pornography.

Sample Town Hall Questions:

  •  Will you stand with Senators Wyden, Moran, Paul and Cantwell and oppose Internet censorship on January 24th?
  •  Do you understand what the Domain Name Server (DNS) system is and have you consulted with cybersecurity experts on the effects of the Protect IP Act?
  •  Would you still vote for Protect IP if it restricts freedom of speech?
  • Have you taken money from the movie and music industry?


Who Opposes SOPA/PIPA’s DNS Filtering Provisions (full list)?

Non-profit organizations and education institutions, including Public Knowledge, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and library groups like The American Association of Law Libraries, American College of Research libraries, the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Special Libraries Association. Other non-profit organizations opposed to the bill include the Future of Music Coalition, the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice, the Internet Society and the Public Interest Registry.

A group of 41 “press freedom and human rights advocates,” including the Center for Media Justice, Free Press, and organizations from the European Union, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, England, Finland, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Slovenia, and Sweden. Additionally, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, and Internews all oppose SOPA/PIPA’s filtering provisions.

83 Internet professionals, cybersecurity experts, and Internet engineers including Vint Cerf, the creator of TCP/IP, Paul Vixie, the author of BIND, Esther Dyson, the founding Chairman of ICANN, and Robert Taylor, an early ARPAnet innovator.

Founders of some of the most successful Internet companies: Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape, Michell Baker, co-founder of Firefox, Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Square, Caterina Flake, co-founder of Flickr and Hunch, David Filo, co-founder of Yahoo!, Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post, Chad Hurley, co-founder of YouTube, Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive and co-founder of Alexa Internet, Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal, Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist, Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, Biz Stone, co- founder of Obvious and Twitter, Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation, Evan Williams, co-founder of Blogger and Twitter, and Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo!.

Think tanks such as the Brookings Institute and CATO Institute as well as consumer groups such as the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, and U.S. PIRG: The Federation of State PIRGs, and the Entertainment Consumers Association.

The Sandia National Labs under the Department of Energy and OpenDNS, “the largest DNS and Internet security service in the world.”

130 “entrepreneurs, founders, CEOs, and executives who have been involved in 283 technology start-ups,” including Chas Edwards of Digg, Chad Dickerson of Etsy, and Dennis Crowley of Foursquare.

55 venture capitalists from firms such as Union Square Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, and SV Angel.


Thanks Public Knowledge!!

 Posted by at 8:34 pm
Nov 182011

Earlier this week I went to MICA in Baltimore (and last month to CDI in Winston-Salem) to meet with a diverse group of very forward thinking individuals on the topics of art, science, education, innovation and all the ancillary things that get wrapped around that, in other words: the whole universe.

Folks from the NSF, NEA, several academic institutions, hackerspaces, and industry came together to start a discussion about advocating for an educational system that reminds us art and science do not need to be taught separately; and that formal and informal educational spaces have benefits of working together and sharing their research, be it citizen scientists and tenured professors, k5 to grey, cats and dogs, and other predetermined groups that result in mass hysteria. Creativity happens everywhere, in every subject matter, as does science – this is something we’ve witnessed at NYCResistor from the amazing projects people bring in every Thursday night at craft night. Our tagline at NYCR is we learn, share, and make things – not unlike the goals and missions of academic institutions.

The group has been given legs from a joint effort from the NSF and NEA and has yet to choose a name and website to point to, but is called NSEAD (Network to support Science, Engineering, Arts and Design) under the grant proposals. I am hopeful in the initiatives we will all be able to accomplish together. Members of this group previously have founded the STEM to STEAM initiative, including Art in the STEM curriculum and held a congressional hearing along these efforts. The discussion is just starting, and is being seeded with thoughts of innovation without walls, economic development, open research, art/science mashup exhibits, and even elephants. I’m honored and excited that the DIY community and hackerspaces have a place at this table.

Stay tuned, tell me your thoughts, and hack on – whatever your day job is.


 Posted by at 2:06 am
Oct 112011

This week come craft yourself a new liver at Not-NYCResistor!! Craft night is CANCELED this week (Oct. 13th) but we’ll all be at Pacific Standard just around the corner.

Why is craft night canceled?

Because we said so. Also because we are getting the space all painted so it looks shiny and new for NEXT craft night.

So, to recap:

Please DO NOT show up to NYCResistor on Oct. 13th but DO go drink yourself silly at Pacific Standard. It’s a nice bar, once they let us bring our robot over. Please DO come back on Oct. 20th in the newly painted spaced when craft night will resume at NYCResistor with the candlestick and Prof. Plum. Ms. Peacock will also be in attendance.

Very truly yours,


 Posted by at 9:21 pm
Sep 072011

Get $2,000 USD for your open source hardware project! Check out the post on the Open Hardware Summit!


Do you have the next big Open Hardware idea, but just don’t have the funds for it?

The Open Hardware Summit (OHS) is announcing its first Open Hardware scholarship this year! The purpose of the OHS scholarship is to support emerging artists/inventors and developers by providing funding for works that are released as Open Source Hardware. Granting these funds is an opportunity to draw attention to the Open Source Hardware movement, to give back to the DIY community, and to give you the chance to join a growing roster of gamechangers in Open Source Hardware history. If you have a project that is in the spirit of the OHS and supports the OHSW definition, we welcome your submissions.

Upwards of $2000 will be awarded. The scholarship is made available by the generous individuals and sponsors who have made the Open Hardware Summit possible.

The winner will be chosen by the public. All projects will be viewable online and votes will be collected during the week of the summit. People will be able to vote on their favorite project remotely or onsite. A check will be presented to the winning artist/group at the conclusion of OHS on September 15th at the New York Hall of Science

1. upload a 30 second (maximum) video clip to youtube that showcases the concept of your project. The title of the video MUST be the title of the work

2. include a short paragraph in the description of the video. Your description must start with the following sentence, and go on to explain your project in less than 500 characters.
“The following project is a submission to the Open Hardware Scholarship awarded by the Open Hardware Summit 2011.
Project title: …
Project Description:..”

3. email the following information to [email protected] :

For submissions is 12:01am, September 14th EST. NO EXCEPTIONS

Please feel free to email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Good luck!

Hirumi Nanayakkara
Scholarship Chair
Open Hardware Summit 2011

 Posted by at 2:10 pm
Aug 042011

Sponsor the Summit!

Sponsorship for the Open Hardware Summit is open! Special thanks to our sponsors who have already donated.

The summit is in its second iteration in partnership with MAKE and Makerfaire at the New York Hall of Science. Last year, 350 people came together to share knowledge about bringing open hardware to market, solving issues around open design, protocols and licensing. Many more people watched online and got involved in the conversation through the forums and twitter. Together with support from you, we have gained more momentum as a team. The definition we signed last year was turned into a license by CERN. We held a logo competition which received 129 submissions and chose one by popular vote. The summit continues to be about the DIY, Maker, small scale (and growing to large) fabrication movements and Open Hardware, and legalese around open source hardware.

By sponsoring the Open Hardware Summit you’ll be fostering the open source hardware movement. Read more about Why to Sponsor.

This is a non-profit event. Extra funds from sponsorship will be put toward a scholarship for creating open hardware.

Would you like to Sponsor?

Your donation is tax deductible. Thanks to Eyebeam Art and Technology center, our non-profit fiscal sponsor for handling the finances.

 Posted by at 4:29 pm
Jun 062011

* * * Please Redistribute * * *

The Open Hardware Summit (OHS) invites submissions for the second annual summit, to be held on September 15, 2011 in New York City. The Open Hardware Summit is a venue to present, discuss, and learn about open hardware of all kinds. The summit examines open hardware and its relation to other issues, such as software, design, business, and law. We are seeking submissions for talks, breakout sessions, and demos from individuals and groups working with open hardware and related areas. Submissions are due by June 24, 2011. Notification of accepted proposals will happen by August 1st. If you are looking for a new software to start using in your business then you should consider using this work order management software.

Since the first Open Hardware Summit in 2010, we have seen the open hardware movement continue to flourish. The Open-Source Hardware Definition was announced, the OSHW logo was selected by a popular vote, an open source oil spill cleaning robot got more than $33,000 in crowd funding, Google adopted the open hardware movement’s biggest success story, Arduino, as its platform and our very own keynote speaker, Limor Fried, was featured on the front page of Wired Magazine – to name a few. Needless to say, open hardware is getting BIG.

Submission topics

Topics of interest for the summit include, but are not limited to:

  • Lessons learned from past projects
  • Legal and intellectual property implications of open-source hardware
  • Means of supporting collaboration and community interaction
  • Manufacturing
  • Distributed development and its relationship to physical goods
  • Digital fabrication (e.g. laser cutters and 3D printers)
  • Software design tools (CAD / CAM)
  • DIY technology
  • Ways to share information about hardware that’s not captured in source files
  • Business models
  • Manufacturing on demand
  • Competition and collaboration
  • Sustainability of open hardware products (e.g. how to unmake things)
  • Industrial design
  • “open-washing” (green washing for open source)
  • Open-hardware in the enterprise
  • Specific product domains: e.g. science, agriculture, communications, medicine

And any other topic you think relates to openness and hardware. We want to hear all about it!

Types of submissions

You may submit proposals for one or more of the following formats:


  • Expected duration for talks is between 5 and 20 minutes, depending on the number and quality of submissions.
  • We expect all talks to be plenary (i.e. presented to the entire summit audience).
  • Talk submissions primarily containing marketing for a product will not be accepted. However, talks that share knowledge and insight derived from work on commercial products are welcome.

Breakout session

  • Depending on submissions, there may be an opportunity to organize breakout sessions with smaller groups (5-40) to discuss a particular topic
  • We expect breakout sessions to occur during a single time-slot of approximately 1 to 2 hours.
  • Breakout session submissions should include an overview of the content and plan for the session.
  • You are encouraged to co-author breakout session submissions with other interested parties but sessions will be open to general summit attendees.

Project Demo

  • This is a casual show and tell session that will take place during the end-of-day drinks.
  • You are encouraged to include pictures as part of your demo submissions.
  • Please include all demo requirements: amount and type of space (e.g. “one 3×3 foot table and one chair” or “a 5 × 5 section of wall with at least 10 feet in front of it”), power requirements (note: we cannot provide any power adaptors). Please keep in mind this is an informal project demo, and complex requirements/constraints (internet, light/sound conditions etc) will be difficult to accommodate.
  • It will be your responsibility to carry/assemble/set up/disassemble your demo. We cannot provide any support for the receiving, storing, or shipping of demos.
  • Note: If submitting a project demo, Your project MUST be working by the time of the summit.

Submission format

  • Submissions should be formatted as plain text of no more than 1,000 words in length and include ALLof the following:
  • The type of submission (talk, breakout session, or demo)
  • A title
  • A bio of the speaker(s) (That’s you!)
  • What you intend to talk about, the topic for your breakout session, or a description of your demo
  • An explanation the importance of your submission to the open-hardware community
  • A maximum of TWO photos that help explain your topic of submission (optional)

Submissions should be emailed to proposals [AT] with the subject line “Open Hardware Summit submission” followed by the type of submission in parentheses (e.g. “Open Hardware Summit submission (breakout session)”). Deadline is JUNE 24th, 2011 BY 11:59pm (EST). Accepted submissions WILL BE PUBLISHED on the OHS website.

For more information

For more details about the Open Hardware Summit, see the website at Please direct questions about submissions to the Review Chair, David Mellis, at

mellis [AT]

Please direct other questions about the summit to General Chairs Alicia Gibb and Ayah Bdeir at

info [AT]

Thank you and we hope to see you in September!

 Posted by at 9:36 am
Feb 102011

Read the official post from Ayah Bdeir on the Open Hardware Summit blog! This is an exciting day in opening hardware!

Finally D-day is here! We are pleased to announce the 1.0 of the Open Source Hardware Definition.

The definition has undergone a few rounds of feedback, and feedback collection has been done (online, forums, open hardware summit, stakeholder’s websites, email etc) and posted here for review. Gradually, feedback has been converging more and more, and support for the definition growing.

We would like to thank everyone who took an active part in drafting the definition, and discussing it.

Now, to move forward, please HELP:

1. Endorse the definition, post your feedback on version 1.0 on the forum and the mailing list as we work towards a 1.1 update in the next few weeks / months.

2. Take a look at the logos we are considering for “open source hardware”, give feedback or submit your own logo on the forum, in the thread LOGO.

3. Show your support of the OSHW Definition by applying the definition to your work/project/website

This is a very important step in propelling our movement forward. PLEASE FORWARD FAR AND WIDE.


 Posted by at 12:58 am