The Big Think

June 19, 2013

Fixit Felix

Filed under: Maker — jasony @ 4:38 pm

We Need a Fixer (Not Just a Maker) Movement:

“Madison Sheffield cracks open a toaster oven, jams her hand inside, then turns on the power. It looks like she’s about to electrocute herself, but she seems unfazed. ‘Thermostat or heating element?’ Sheffield mutters, yanking on wires and poking around with a multimeter.

‘Why isn’t this working?’ She isn’t the only one in this crowded room trying to get busted hardware working. A few feet away, a trio of people are elbow-deep in a vintage VCR, and there’s another team performing surgery on a lava lamp. It’s a typical meeting of the Fixer’s Collective, an ad hoc group of tinkerers in Brooklyn. Once a month, in an art gallery, they offer to repair anything neighbors can carry. People troop in with PCs, lamps, appliances — piles of stuff we typically pitch in the garbage at the first hint of trouble. As I watch for three hours, the fixers get everything up and running (except the lava lamp).

The spectacle of dead goods coming back to life isn’t just useful — for the locals, it’s transformative. ‘I was a totally different person after they fixed my laptop,’ says Nicole DeLuca, a filmmaker who had her MacBook repaired last year. ‘It made me realize I didn’t need to buy new every time something breaks.’”

MakerBot Merging With Stratasys

Filed under: Business,Maker — jasony @ 4:33 pm

MakerBot Merging With Stratasys – Slashdot: “MakerBot Industries, creators of the popular Thing-O-Matic and Replicator line of 3-D printers, is being acquired by Stratasys, a company that’s been working on 3-D printing and production systems since 1989. “

h/t Sean.

from an email I sent His Seanness:

Bre Pettis just got rich. Good for him.

I’m initially inclined to bemoan this, but after seeing the huge number of new 3D printers at the TechShop open house (not to mention the number of huge 3D printers), I’m just excited to see lots of churn in the market. Tons of innovation, creative destruction, and ideas floating around— and the price keeps coming down. Hooray free market!

In the digital economy, we’ll soon all be working for free – and I refuse | Suzanne Moore | Comment is free | The Guardian

Filed under: Business,Education,Technology — jasony @ 1:01 pm

In the digital economy, we’ll soon all be working for free – and I refuse | Suzanne Moore | Comment is free | The Guardian: “We cannot all be freelancers for ever. Freelance work, like interning, is fine if you have the funds to manage without a regular income. That is, if you are already wealthy. But the digital economy operates as a kind of sophisticated X Factor. Someone will make it, sure. For more than 15 seconds even, maybe. But most won’t. This is why Lanier says the internet may destroy the middle classes, the people who can’t outspend the elite. And without that middle group, we cannot maintain a democracy.

He sees musicians and artists and journalists as canaries in the mineshaft of this new economy. Who will pay them? ‘Is this the precedent we want to follow for our doctors and lawyers and nurses and everybody else? Because, eventually, technology will get to everybody.'”

Interesting thoughts. I don’t agree with them all, but I think she’s on a general right track.

Man Man vs Byad Myan

Filed under: Games — jasony @ 11:26 am

Okay, only my younger brother will get that title and he probably doesn’t read my blog. But anyway, LEGO MOVIE!

Ahh, the Good Old Days

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 10:56 am

Brilliant (and somewhat depressing/hopeful).

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