Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW

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Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Bryan Bishop 9/28/12 12:31 PM

From: Andrew Stone <st...@toastedcircuits.com>
Date: Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 1:07 PM
Subject: [Discuss] The institutionalization of OSHW
To: The Open Source Hardware Association Discussion List <dis...@lists.oshwa.org>


As I listened to the OSHW summit speakers, I felt a pretty disturbing trend towards closing aspects of some products, and "yes-sirring" both real and "fake" regulatory bodies (as opposed to reluctantly complying) by the well-regarded members of our community.  And then of course there were lots of great presentations of cool stuff that completely disregarded all that.

Looks like some of us are growing up :-(.  Did you feel that way?

My full blog posting: http://effluviaofascatteredmind.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-institutionalization-of-oshw.html

Cheers!
Andrew

Yesterday the Open Source Hardware Summit was held at Eyebeam in New York City.  While there was a lot of awesome projects, in this post I want to write about a disturbing trend of some of the largest players.

Open Source Hardware

First, just to set the stage, as I'm sure everyone in the community knows, MakerBot is closing some of the files in the Replicator 2.  AFAIK what portions exactly were not announced until the summit, and to credit Bre (or cynically, to credit him for backpedaling), it turns out that only the plans for the steel structure and the GUI will be closed.  But once that door gets opened...

This was not the only presentation on this topic... in fact there were several talks presenting an attitude along the lines of:  "Well, 99% of our customers just change the software so as we explore business models, maybe we'll just open source that...".  For example, in the keynote speech (of all places) Chis Anderson mentioned that some of his planes' extruded parts are not open because nobody but knock-off fabricators have extruders.  Well, nobody except this guy who made a DIY extruder I guess.  And couldn't you print them in a Reprap?

Ok fine, I understand the need to discourage knock-offs.  But if you do this you are NOT 100% Open Source Hardware.  You are trading the openness of some aspects of your design for the ability to make a good profit on your work, which you use to fund more cool projects!  Its actually great in many ways.  You've rediscovered the motivation behind intellectual property.  But let's not lie about it.  Let's be honest and let the customers decide whether your product is open enough.

FCC Compliance

A bit later, a representative from Sparkfun stepped up to speak about FCC compliance.  He explained to us what he called the "good news":  its actually only about 1000 bucks to get tested (ignoring your time and effort to get it done) if you are an "unintentional radiator" (that is you don't use wireless).  If you do, I may misremember but its 10k USD.  And by the way, kits, partial products, etc are not exempt so pay up!  Also, amazingly enough if you make 5+ items for your personal use, pay up.  But 1-4 is fine.  Of course this is only for the USA.  There's a similar but different regulatory body in every other country.

A chilling effect settled over the crowd.

All of this was delivered in a happy cheery tone because as we learned, "straight from the horse's mouth" so to speak, this guy previously worked for the FCC for 5 years!

I can't resist a momentary troll:  I'm imaging this guy running around the OSHWA demo area on his mobile reporting us to his cronies in Washington.  Sorry Sparkfun, but you should not hire an ex-FCC guy to do the FCC-compliance job.  You should hire a protestor.  And not just to prove a point -- but because enthusiastic people tend to magnify their jobs.

Did you sit under that LED dome? -- turn it off -- it was made from 5 identical driver modules.  How about those fabric artists and electric ink?  Turn 'em all off.  And there was an amazing talk about testing radioactivity levels in Japan after the nuclear disaster http://summit.oshwa.org/humanitarian-open-source-hardware/.  And not surprisingly, it was discovered that the Japanese government was not reporting these radiation levels.  If this had happened in the USA, as far as I can tell the FCC could have shut them down under the 5 unit rule.  The problem with a technicality is that it can and has been used to keep the truth from the public.  
 While clearly some small oversight to ensure reasonable electronic emissions is needed for mass consumer devices (say greater than 50k units) the 5 unit rule (and many others) is clearly obsolete.  After all, I can get 10 PCBs from Seeedstudio for about 15 bucks.

You may roll your eyes a bit, but these sort of things really do have "a chilling effect".  In other words, an effect not instantly obvious but one that is certainly dampening innovation in America.   I would imagine that the effect happens most especially in areas such as education or outreach.    People won't go the next step and bring these PCBs to a school, etc.  Why get fined 7000 bucks for volunteer work?  And of course schools are incredibly sensitive to possible litigation, since the cost comes straight from the pockets of the townspeople who hire principals.

And even if in practice nobody will see your prototypes at home, let me point out that it is a very dangerous social situation to have citizens living in a constant state of breaking the law.

USB Connectivity

Next, we got to hear about USB from DangerousPrototypes.  Ian at least presented the information mostly neutrally.  (summary: 2000 bucks to get your company registered; nope nobody can sell you an ID).  However, it is clear in his opinion that squatting on an address is for hack-ups and should only be done by raw (never sold) prototypes.

Ian, I guess you forgot about sit-ins as a method of protest.

At an OSHWA summit meeting, I would have preferred a more critical treatment.  I have done a lot of research on this, since my Lightuino 5 board uses a USB microprocessor.  Everything presented is easily discovered on the web.  But unfortunately, the key issue was not addressed and barely mentioned:

If you choose to squat (vid: 0xF055 FTW!) is there ANYTHING the USB consortium can do about it?

Currently the answer seems to be no -- they have no legal control over those particular bits in the USB protocol.  In fact there seems to be no mechanism to even gain such control (hooray!).  And history seems to prove this out; all that they have ever done is kicked companies out of the consortium (in fact one such company is still selling VID/PIDs).

But if I was invited to take up ten minutes of 450 peoples' time, I would have presented a legal opinion.


So, its getting pretty clear that the many of our most prominent OSHW members and companies are growing up.

And let's be clear, I do not blame them for following these laws -- it is important to be a productive member of the society you choose to live within.  But I blame them for following them enthusiastically.  A person's ability and proclivity to make things is literally as much a part of us as is our hands.  Similarly, economic theorists affirm that a person's right to trade goods is fundamental to any society.  Please do your part to ensure these freedoms are not taken from us.


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Re: [DIYbio] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Bryan Bishop 9/28/12 1:11 PM
On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 2:53 PM, Tim Schmidt <timsc...@gmail.com> wrote:
I'm willing to throw time, programming, and activism at this problem
if we can collect a few additional hands.

I think we already have enough hands willing to do that, Tim. But nobody has proposed good standards that everyone wants to follow yet. There's no "apt-get" for things, and the deb format can't really be repurposed for hardware. I don't think the ".things" zip file format is a good idea; it has no metadata and just has STL files instead of CAD models. But at the same time, skdb sort of overdid it a few years ago with the spec:

https://github.com/kanzure/skdb

Which subsequently nobody commented on. Anyway, maybe something simpler will work.

- Bryan
http://heybryan.org/
1 512 203 0507
Re: [DIYbio] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Bryan Bishop 9/28/12 7:17 PM
On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 9:08 PM, Tim Schmidt <timsc...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I've previously proposed using and extending, and have used in my own
> projects, Josef Prusa's ThingDoc.  Which provides a perfectly workable
> minimum feature set for mapping dependencies, source files, and other
> softwareisms onto this physical world.  It even provides for assembly
> steps and such.  Is it perfect?  Far from it.   But the problem you
> mention has been solved.  Time to move up to the next layer.

I am looking at the README. It claims only:

"""
  * BoM text file
  * HTML documentation
  * TeX documentation
  * Wiki documentation (suitable for the reprap.org wiki)
  * Dependency tree in text-mode and using GraphViz
"""

Before I puke over this, can you show me where the documentation is?
is there a spec?

Does the BOM refer to part numbers, or package names, or what?

What is the dependency tree being resolved against?

The README links to a wiki, which 404s.

http://thingdoc.org/
https://github.com/prusajr/ThingDoc/wiki/
Re: [DIYbio] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Bryan Bishop 9/28/12 7:26 PM
On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 9:22 PM, Tim Schmidt <timsc...@gmail.com> wrote:
> And as far as an OSHW definition goes, what's wrong with "all the
> information necessary to reproduce the device, including but not
> limited to the files which describe the device itself, software or
> firmware which runs on the device, and any software necessary for
> consuming said files."
>
> With the basic point being that it's not free unless we can distribute it.
>
> When you 'apt-get install reprap' or the like - we should install the
> reprap CAD files, but those files should depend on OpenSCAD, the
> Arduino IDE (in the case of the firmware files) and so on.  If a file
> is saved in Solidworks format, we can't exactly apt-get that
> dependency.  So it goes in a different repo akin to Debian's contribs
> repo (for packages which themselves are free, but which have non-free
> dependencies).
>
> In fact, the more I think about this, the more I think OSHW should
> just be packaged alongside our favorite applications in our favorite
> linux distributions.  Packaging for Windows and Linux should use
> whatever package manager is popular on those platforms at the moment.

I thought like that once too, but then I realized that the dependency
relationships are a bit more complicated in hardware. You have other
levels of dependencies other than the default that debian provides
you, like for expressing physical tool dependencies and widgets that
you need for assembly versus situations where you're not the one doing
assembly, versus operational dependencies like 240V.

I also disagree with the idea of repurposing a format like .deb or
.rpm, because of the maintenance nightmare. With the required effort,
we should just do our own thing. Node did, after all! (Kidding,
kidding.)
Re: [DIYbio] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Bryan Bishop 9/28/12 7:29 PM
On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 9:25 PM, Tim Schmidt <timsc...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Sorry, I'm behind a spotty 16kB/s connection in rural california.
> I'll not be doing your googling for you.

I didn't ask you to google for me, I asked you for links. Anyway, it
turns out that Josef changed his github account name, which is why all
the links are broken. thingdoc.org should be changed to redirect to
actual link.

Also, this looks like just documentation output, like HTML and TeX
markup. I don't think that's matching the features in the dot deb
format. :-(
Re: [DIYbio] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Bryan Bishop 9/28/12 7:43 PM
On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 9:33 PM, Tim Schmidt wrote:
> We're not packaging hardware.  We're packaging proto-hardware.  Which
> comes in the form of...    Software.

I don't see the difference.

> So why don't software packages work again?

I never said packaging doesn't work for software. I did mention that
it's an incomplete solution, and repurposing rpm/deb is not the a
workable solution for completely deploying hardware.

> This is why a built-in metadata format like ThingDoc works so well.

Are you referring to its HTML/TeX format?

> Attempting to solve this problem by engineering it in it's entirety,
> in place, is unlikely to yield fruitful results (as I think you're
> familiar from skdb).

That doesn't mean TeX is the best way to package bytecode. I don't
want to read a billion pages of documentation just to install a fablab
or whatever.
Re: [DIYbio] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Tim Schmidt 9/28/12 7:08 PM
I've previously proposed using and extending, and have used in my own
projects, Josef Prusa's ThingDoc.  Which provides a perfectly workable
minimum feature set for mapping dependencies, source files, and other
softwareisms onto this physical world.  It even provides for assembly
steps and such.  Is it perfect?  Far from it.   But the problem you
mention has been solved.  Time to move up to the next layer.

--tim
Re: [DIYbio] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Tim Schmidt 9/28/12 12:53 PM
Yes!

I see no reason an OSHW definition can't be at least as recognized as the DFSG.

However, the motivation for hardware designers to be OSHW-compliant
can be increased if the OSHW definition acts as a gateway to something
(as the DFSG determines eligibility for debian package inclusion).  I
favor that something being an OSHW "distribution" of sorts -- what a
nice way to replace Thingiverse!  But it could take the form of
something else entirely.

I'm willing to throw time, programming, and activism at this problem
if we can collect a few additional hands.

Thoughts?

--tim
Re: [DIYbio] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Tim Schmidt 9/28/12 7:22 PM
And as far as an OSHW definition goes, what's wrong with "all the
information necessary to reproduce the device, including but not
limited to the files which describe the device itself, software or
firmware which runs on the device, and any software necessary for
consuming said files."

With the basic point being that it's not free unless we can distribute it.

When you 'apt-get install reprap' or the like - we should install the
reprap CAD files, but those files should depend on OpenSCAD, the
Arduino IDE (in the case of the firmware files) and so on.  If a file
is saved in Solidworks format, we can't exactly apt-get that
dependency.  So it goes in a different repo akin to Debian's contribs
repo (for packages which themselves are free, but which have non-free
dependencies).

In fact, the more I think about this, the more I think OSHW should
just be packaged alongside our favorite applications in our favorite
linux distributions.  Packaging for Windows and Linux should use
whatever package manager is popular on those platforms at the moment.

--tim
Re: [DIYbio] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Tim Schmidt 9/28/12 7:25 PM
On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 7:17 PM, Bryan Bishop <kan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Before I puke over this, can you show me where the documentation is?
> is there a spec?

Puke all you want, other folks will keep writing code :P

Sorry, I'm behind a spotty 16kB/s connection in rural california.
I'll not be doing your googling for you.

--tim
Re: [DIYbio] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Tim Schmidt 9/28/12 7:33 PM
We're not packaging hardware.  We're packaging proto-hardware.  Which
comes in the form of...    Software.

So why don't software packages work again?

This is why a built-in metadata format like ThingDoc works so well.
You package up the software and don't have to teach the package
manager bupkis about what machine you, personally, use to make screw
threads.  The package manager shouldn't be concerned with that.  But
some outside utility might be.  Some outside utility -- or utilities
-- we can write at our leisure to do whatever fancy things with the
built-in metadata we want.

Attempting to solve this problem by engineering it in it's entirety,
in place, is unlikely to yield fruitful results (as I think you're
familiar from skdb).

--tim
Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Bryan Bishop 9/28/12 10:10 PM

From: Andrew Stone <st...@toastedcircuits.com>
Date: Sat, Sep 29, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Subject: Re: [Discuss] The institutionalization of OSHW

To: The Open Source Hardware Association Discussion List <dis...@lists.oshwa.org>


I hear your frustration Phillip.  Its doubly hard to hear criticism from people who are not wrestling with the problems you are dealing with.  Like I said in my OP I certainly respect pragmatic decisions and appreciate all OSHW, even fragments!  As I implied in my OP, if closing a small subset eliminates 99% of the knockoffs but only 1% of the enhancers then maybe it is a reasonable tradeoff.

But what really needs to be said about OSHW is that prior discussions were along the lines of practicum -- that is "I want to open everything but the tools do not allow me.  When they do I will..."

At the summit it seemed we were hearing "its bad for business to open everything".

This transformation in motivation needed to be addressed I think.


"Someone in this room will build a billion dollar business" was picked up and repeated several times by other speakers as if that was what we were all planning and striving for...

Was anyone considering the immense social and environmental impact OSHW has already had by influencing the decision of an entire country to stop using nuclear power?  And by accurately charting the environmental effects of industrial disasters?  Or did those talks get ignored in the scramble stake a claim in the OSHW gold rush? :-)

Yes Catarina, Michael, I hope people do think about it and vote with their pocketbooks... but I think you may want to stop a moment and consider why many votes aren't weighted by net worth.

And the rest of us may want to seriously consider releasing our contributions with strong share-alike requirements...

Cheers!
Andrew




On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 11:58 PM, phillip torrone <p...@oreilly.com> wrote:
>
> i usually try to say companies "making and selling open source hardware" when i write about companies folks should support if they like to see more oshw in the world. i don't think it's ever going to be possible to be a 100% open source hardware company and i'm also not sure 100% open source hardware can exist for some people too.
>
> what we have is a desire to share and be open, more is happening, it's good :)
>
> On Sep 28, 2012, at 11:51 PM, Michael James <mic...@opensourcehardwarejunkies.com> wrote:
>
> > I am a bit confused when people say Open Source Hardware Company.
> >
> > Any company can sell OSHW.  The OSHW designation applies to devices not business entities.
> >
> > Radio Shack carries Open Source Hardware - good for them I say and for OSHW.
> >
> > If a company wants to sell open and close source - power to them.  If their customer base feels alienated they can (and will) vote with their wallets.
> >
> > -Michael
> >
> >
> >
> > On Sat, Sep 29, 2012 at 7:30 AM, Catarina Mota <cata...@openmaterials.org> wrote:
> > I'm seriously sleep deprived, so take this with a grain of salt :)
> >
> > Perhaps we should stop using the expression "OSHW company." Otherwise, we'll end up having to determine what percentage of a business's products must be OHSW for that company to be considered open source. We don't need a company certification process, not right now I think.
> >
> > While I agree that some people behaved shamefully last week, let's keep in mind that they're a handful of individuals. Yesterday we stuffed almost 500 people in a warehouse to discuss controversial issues and everyone (as far as know) behaved beautifully. So much so that the Eyebeam team complimented us on being unusually friendly, respectful and upbeat. Many sponsors, speakers and attendees showed up early (some of them were 2 days early) and, instead of taking a seat, rolled up their sleeves and started deploying chairs and picking up trash - yup, we put CEOs on trash duty :) The outpour of love and support in our inbox and twitter stream today has been one of the most moving things I've experienced. So while we can't condone rudeness and disrespect, we should also celebrate the majority that is so kind and supportive.
> >
> >
> > On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 10:04 PM, phillip torrone <p...@oreilly.com> wrote:
> > 2 weeks ago i got the usual once-a-month "purity" email from some random person saying "you're not open source because you use quickbooks, or windows, or EAGLE" etc.. but now this week adafruit along with sparkfun is back to being a "good example of an open source hardware" company.
> >
> > i read your post and you say "Ok fine, I understand the need to discourage knock-offs.  But if you do this you are NOT 100% Open Source Hardware." -
> >
> > ok, but really, who is or isn't open source enough this week?
> >
> > is sparkfun 100%, is adafruit 100%, what about EMSL? they have a kit that's not OSHW, so does everyone else who i consider an oshw company. are we pure enough?
> >
> > our company statement, actually, limor's is "we're going to keep shipping OSHW while everyone argues about open source hardware". we're going to keep doing open source, we'll show that's an amazing cause and an amazing business, smart people will want to join us.
> >
> > last week the most vocal voices in the open source 3d printing community didn't inspire anyone to want to join their cause, in fact a 3d printer maker told me "wow, glad we never did (or will do open source). that's the worst thing i think, people steering clear of open source because of a "damned if you do, damned if you don't?
> >
> > i really don't know what's next, but i'm thinking about. for now,  i'm really excited about the OSHWA, because they're a group of people that has the mission to celebrate OSHW companies, i'd like to know i can work hard and someone *else* is going to say "these folks are doing OSHW, support them".
> >
> > i'm going to do my best to get them members and help them celebrate oshw.
> >
> > join in :)
> >
> > cheers,
> > pt

> >
> >
> >
> > On Sep 28, 2012, at 2:07 PM, Andrew Stone <st...@toastedcircuits.com> wrote:
> > As I listened to the OSHW summit speakers, I felt a pretty disturbing trend towards closing aspects of some products, and "yes-sirring" both real and "fake" regulatory bodies (as opposed to reluctantly complying) by the well-regarded members of our community.  And then of course there were lots of great presentations of cool stuff that completely disregarded all that.
> > >
> > > Looks like some of us are growing up :-(.  Did you feel that way?
> > >
> > > My full blog posting: http://effluviaofascatteredmind.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-institutionalization-of-oshw.html
> > >
> > > Cheers!
> > > Andrew
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > discuss mailing list
> > > dis...@lists.oshwa.org
> > > http://lists.oshwa.org/listinfo/discuss
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > discuss mailing list
> > dis...@lists.oshwa.org
> > http://lists.oshwa.org/listinfo/discuss
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > discuss mailing list
> > dis...@lists.oshwa.org
> > http://lists.oshwa.org/listinfo/discuss
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > discuss mailing list
> > dis...@lists.oshwa.org
> > http://lists.oshwa.org/listinfo/discuss
>
> _______________________________________________
> discuss mailing list
> dis...@lists.oshwa.org
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Re: [Open Manufacturing] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Nathan McCorkle 9/28/12 10:40 PM

Which country stopped using nuclear because of OSHW? That sounds very, very strange.

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Re: [DIYbio] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Tim Schmidt 9/28/12 10:51 PM
On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 7:43 PM, Bryan Bishop <kan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I never said packaging doesn't work for software. I did mention that
> it's an incomplete solution, and repurposing rpm/deb is not the a
> workable solution for completely deploying hardware.

Who's repurposing RPM/Deb?  I'm talking about using RPM/Deb for what
they're good for - distributing a bunch of files - and writing another
utility to do smart, fun things with those files.

--tim
Re: [DIYbio] Re: [Open Manufacturing] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Jonathan Street 9/29/12 4:27 AM
I assumed this was in reference to Japan.

I have no idea how much impact the OS geiger counters actually had on the nuclear debate in Japan though.

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Re: [DIYbio] Re: [Open Manufacturing] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Nathan McCorkle 9/29/12 8:50 AM


On Sep 29, 2012 7:27 AM, "Jonathan Street" <streetj...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I assumed this was in reference to Japan.
>
> I have no idea how much impact the OS geiger counters actually had on the nuclear debate in Japan though.

As far as I know Japan still is running on nukes and there is talk that they don't wanna give them up because it will increase their foreign dependence.

Re: [DIYbio] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Michael Turner 9/29/12 8:28 PM
> Was anyone considering the immense social and environmental impact OSHW has
> already had by influencing the decision of an entire country to stop using
> nuclear power?

Ahem. There's been no real decision, just a lot of talk.

Japan's immediate post-quake reactor shutdowns were complete on May 5th, 2011

   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17967202

At that point, Safecast's bGeigie Kickstarter campaign wasn't even over yet:

  http://blog.safecast.org/2011/05/kickstarter-success/

In Japan, the decision to restart is up to localities, not the "entire
country". A few reactors have been restarted. And some localities are
pushing for resumption of nuclear power production.

  http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201209190076
  http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201209290048

Safecast data largely ratified the coarser-grained government
readings. If the Japanese government lacked a data collection network
as fine-grained, at least part of the "blame" might be attributed to
... a sense of proportion. After all, it took a seismic event that
killed 20,000 people in one day to cause a nuclear pollution event
that might take the lives of only about 200 people over a period of
decades. In the meantime, much of the panic here was related to
absurdly conservative Japanese radiation standards. In Scandinavia,
which is not exactly a public-health-policy hell-hole, meat is
considered safe for sale at 5,000 Bq/kg. In Japan, the standard is 500
Bq/kg. Some Shizuoka tea was pulled from distribution networks because
of a radiation reading that would have left it quite acceptable for
sale in the U.S. -- even *without* considering the dilution that tea
ordinarily undergoes to become a beverage.

Safecast has since expanded into conventional air-quality monitoring.
Perhaps they'll help the Japanese understand how much more fossil fuel
is being burned now, with almost all the nukes still off, and
renewables still very far from closing the gap. Unfortunately, CO2
doesn't show up as an air-quality pollutant at all. It just kills
people through climate change effects that, in the longer run, will be
be much more disastrous for people in developing countries.

Custom manufacturing of parts, taken to a certain level, lends itself
to custom manufacturing of some parts that are very exotic indeed. For
example, the components of nuclear weapons. DIYbio could lend itself
to biological WMD.

There are two edges to the blade. As with any technology.

Regards,
Michael Turner
Project Persephone
1-25-33 Takadanobaba
Shinjuku-ku Tokyo 169-0075
(+81) 90-5203-8682
tur...@projectpersephone.org
http://www.projectpersephone.org/

"Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward
together in the same direction." -- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Bryan Bishop 9/30/12 6:16 AM
From: Rob Myers <r...@robmyers.org>
Date: Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 7:35 AM
Subject: Re: [tt] [Open Manufacturing] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW
To: t...@postbiota.org, openmanu...@googlegroups.com


On 09/29/2012 03:43 PM, Chris Church wrote:
>
> We are not all motivated by the same political or social goals, and some

We all use the same definitions, though. And if a device and its
software doesn't meet them, it isn't "Open Source".

> of us produce open-source technologies (hardware and software) for less
> lofty reasons:
>
>   - We expect that our customers should be able to service their own
> equipment
>   - We expect that our customers should be able to make changes to their
> equipment to better suit their needs, should they have the skills to do so

These are political opinions. They argue that people should be free to
use the hardware that they own. Many hardware manufacturers would
disagree and claim that they are simply acting in everyone's best
economic interests.

> We (and some others) make business decisions which are driven by these
> decisions, to the best of our abilities.  We have to consider the
> well-being of our employees, our investors, our creditors, and our
> community.

And some consumers will make purchasing decisions that are driven by
their own political decisions. It would be economically irrational of
them to privilege a company's interests above their own.

If people want to call their cool VC-funded proprietary hardware and
software "Open Source" then the problem is not the people telling them
that they are wrong.

I suggest appealing to the economic advantages of democratising access
to hardware rather than fighting a losing battle to redefine "Open Source".

- Rob.

_______________________________________________
tt mailing list
t...@postbiota.org
http://postbiota.org/mailman/listinfo/tt


--
Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Bryan Bishop 9/30/12 8:46 AM

From: Chris Church <thisdrone...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Subject: Re: [tt] [Open Manufacturing] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW
To: openmanu...@googlegroups.com
Cc: t...@postbiota.org


On Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 7:35 AM, Rob Myers <r...@robmyers.org> wrote:
>
> On 09/29/2012 03:43 PM, Chris Church wrote:
>>
>>
>> We are not all motivated by the same political or social goals, and some
>
>
> We all use the same definitions, though. And if a device and its software doesn't meet them, it isn't "Open Source".


... and many of us are following the existing definition for open-source hardware.  As defined here: http://freedomdefined.org/OSHW

The only talk of re-definition as of late on the OSHW mailing list and here, is to further ratchet down the definition - to demand that all files be distributed in open-source formats, etc.

The question at-hand, and the one which started this whole conversation is "is company X open-source enough."  The example at-hand is the amount of traffic suggesting to take away from, to shame, and to punish one specific company for failing to open-source every part which they sell.  And, last I checked, they didn't call that product "open-source," they said it had "open-source components."


> of us produce open-source technologies (hardware and software) for less
> lofty reasons:
>
>   - We expect that our customers should be able to service their own
> equipment
>   - We expect that our customers should be able to make changes to their
> equipment to better suit their needs, should they have the skills to do so


> These are political opinions. They argue that people should be free to use the hardware that they own. Many hardware manufacturers would disagree and claim that they are simply acting in everyone's best economic interests


I wouldn't call them political decisions, because my basis for them is different.  It used to be, when I got a radio, or a TV, I got a schematic to aid in the continuing of its operation.  I still can get one for my car. I don't see the need of the state or popular opinion in that...  But, to be clear, so we don't sit here picking hairs and bike-shedding all day: I don't care whether society is bettered by the product being open or not, I care whether or not the customer is better serviced by its being so.



> And some consumers will make purchasing decisions that are driven by their own political decisions. It would be economically irrational of them to privilege a company's interests above their own.


And the customers shall vote with their wallet.  Of course, let's not kid ourselves.  For those of us in capitalist society, the expectation is that a company make a profit - and likewise, it would be economically irrational to put a non-customer's interest above their own, no?

 
>
> If people want to call their cool VC-funded proprietary hardware and software "Open Source" then the problem is not the people telling them that they are wrong.


I don't think anyone here is claiming that a closed piece of hardware is open-source.  I haven't seen any such examples from any one on this list, for sure, or any one bring any examples to my attention as of late.  Instead, there has been a lot of talk about whether a company should be tarnished should they make a decision to produce a product with a closed part and an open part.  That anything but 100% is not enough.

 
>
> I suggest appealing to the economic advantages of democratising access to hardware rather than fighting a losing battle to redefine "Open Source".


Again, I will re-state, the only discussion as of late to re-define open-source, is to further ratchet it down beyond being simply "open," to being "open and shared using x..."

Chris

---
Chris Church
Dynamic Perception, LLC

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Re: [DIYbio] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Nathan McCorkle 9/30/12 12:05 PM

Thanks Michael. You make good points about fossil fuel exhaust vs nuclear residue... I've heard similar arguments recently,  and it makes sense to me.

Re: [Open Manufacturing] Re: Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Nathan McCorkle 9/30/12 12:14 PM

How far down the rabbit hole do the hair-splitting RMS folks go, especially with OSHW, since the processers and gold mines and trains and airplanes all part of those manufacturing processes are not open at all. Even if the airplane tire was open, along with airplanes,  would that democratize transportation?  In 50 or 100 years maybe. Oh, and the stepper motors and keyboards and mice and......

Should all this knowledge be free and available? Have people thought how development is incentivized in such an economy? Can an economy even exist in that world?

On Sep 30, 2012 1:31 PM, "Rob Myers" <r...@robmyers.org> wrote:
On 09/30/2012 04:46 PM, Bryan Bishop wrote:
From: Chris Church <thisdrone...@gmail.com

On Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 7:35 AM, Rob Myers <r...@robmyers.org
<mailto:r...@robmyers.org>> wrote:
 >
 > We all use the same definitions, though. And if a device and its
software doesn't meet them, it isn't "Open Source".

... and many of us are following the existing definition for open-source
hardware.  As defined here: http://freedomdefined.org/OSHW

Yes it's yet another DFSG derivative so it's easy for people to transfer their knowledge to it from software, culture or data definitions based on the DFSG.

In particular, for something to be called Open Source, it cannot contain proprietary components.


The only talk of re-definition as of late on the OSHW mailing list and
here, is to further ratchet down the definition - to demand that all
files be distributed in open-source formats, etc.

I was responding to the particular post.

But that sounds like a sensible idea. Vendor lock-in on formats is a well known problem for access and use of digital materials.


The question at-hand, and the one which started this whole conversation
is "is company X open-source enough."  The example at-hand is the amount
of traffic suggesting to take away from, to shame, and to punish one
specific company for failing to open-source every part which they sell.

They are not Open enough *by their own previously stated principles*, the principles that differentiated them and that made many of us their customers and proponents.

Without that differentiation there are other cheaper and better "almost open" options that I can buy from in future. Or I can bite the bullet and assemble the materials for a Free design myself. But in neither case is there any reason for me to continue with MakerBot.


  And, last I checked, they didn't call that product "open-source," they
said it had "open-source components."

Which is a change, and a disappointing one.


I wouldn't call them political decisions, because my basis for them is
different.  It used to be, when I got a radio, or a TV, I got a
schematic to aid in the continuing of its operation.  I still can get
one for my car. I don't see the need of the state or popular opinion in
that...  But, to be clear, so we don't sit here picking hairs and
bike-shedding all day: I don't care whether society is bettered by the
product being open or not, I care whether or not the customer is better
serviced by its being so.

That's why Open Source works so well. It doesn't, and I don't, care why someone does the right thing *as long as they do*.

Where they do the wrong thing, I'm not going to accept lectures on their special interests as a functional substitute for them doing the right thing.


And the customers shall vote with their wallet.  Of course, let's not
kid ourselves.  For those of us in capitalist society, the expectation
is that a company make a profit - and likewise, it would be economically
irrational to put a non-customer's interest above their own, no?

I'm a customer.


I don't think anyone here is claiming that a closed piece of hardware is
open-source.  I haven't seen any such examples from any one on this
list, for sure, or any one bring any examples to my attention as of
late.  Instead, there has been a lot of talk about whether a company
should be tarnished should they make a decision to produce a product
with a closed part and an open part.

When they've built their reputation on Open Source, their reputation will be affected if they retreat from Open Source.


That anything but 100% is not enough.

It isn't enough to call it Open Source.


Again, I will re-state, the only discussion as of late to re-define
open-source, is to further ratchet it down beyond being simply "open,"
to being "open and shared using x..."

I'm not sure how something can be open and not shared, or how introducing proprietary dependencies in designs makes them more Open, but as I say, that is not what I was responding to.

- Rob.

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Re: [DIYbio] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Michael Turner 9/30/12 6:38 PM
"I wouldn't call them political decisions, because my basis for them
is different.   I don't care whether society is bettered by the
product being open or not, I care whether or not the customer is
better serviced by its being so."

And why do you care about that? Only because it means that you
yourself will be "better serviced"? (Could we please say "better
served"?) Or because everybody who uses the product, directly or
indirectly, is better served? And if it's the latter, well, why do you
care about that? Is it axiomatic that it's better that customers
everywhere be better served, even if it makes society worse in some
way? Or is it because you believe that a product being open nets out
to a better society by some measure? If that's the reason, then you're
back at politics -- which is where you end up in any discussion of
property rights (intellectual or otherwise) because property rights
are inevitably defined by a political process.

Regards,
Michael Turner
Project Persephone
1-25-33 Takadanobaba
Shinjuku-ku Tokyo 169-0075
(+81) 90-5203-8682
tur...@projectpersephone.org
http://www.projectpersephone.org/

"Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward
together in the same direction." -- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


> "DIYbio" group.
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> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
Re: [DIYbio] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW GeneralOya 9/30/12 8:28 PM
"A bit later, a representative from Sparkfun stepped up to speak about FCC compliance.  He explained to us what he called the "good news":  its actually only about 1000 bucks to get tested (ignoring your time and effort to get it done) if you are an "unintentional radiator" (that is you don't use wireless).  If you do, I may misremember but its 10k USD.  And by the way, kits, partial products, etc are not exempt so pay up!  Also, amazingly enough if you make 5+ items for your personal use, pay up.  But 1-4 is fine.  Of course this is only for the USA.  There's a similar but different regulatory body in every other country."

Can you explain what is being regulated here? I'm confused.

Thanks,
Ryan
Re: [DIYbio] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW balduino 9/30/12 10:19 PM
Ryan


>>"A bit later, a representative from Sparkfun stepped up to speak about FCC compliance.  He explained to us what he called the "good news":  its actually only about 1000 bucks to get tested (ignoring your time and effort to get it >>done) if you are an "unintentional radiator" (that is you don't use wireless).  If you do, I may misremember but its 10k USD.  And by the way, kits, partial products, etc are not exempt so pay up!  Also, amazingly enough if you >>make 5+ items for your personal use, pay up.  But 1-4 is fine.  Of course this is only for the USA.  There's a similar but different regulatory body in every other country."

>Can you explain what is being regulated here? I'm confused.


The FCC tests regulate how much electromagnetic energy is (in the 1000 buck case) being unintentionally emitted over certain frequencies, in an effort to assure these unintentional emissions do not interfere with communications signals.  These are usually split into "radiated"  and "conducted"  (conducted applies to something hooked to line voltages or power outlets.  It would not apply to something powered by batteries)  The only reason I mention the two general types of radiation is that the price for getting the testing done will depend on whether you have something plugged into an outlet or not.

Steve

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Re: [Discuss] [Open Manufacturing] Re: Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Jordan Miller 10/2/12 7:04 AM
I don't think it is helpful to get fanatical about open source:
Arduino and RepRap use proprietary ATMEL chips. NOT OPEN! Who's got the multistep synthetic chemistry recipe to make FR4 fiberglass from scratch? NOT OPEN! Do you have the architectural drawings to be able to build a stepper motor? What grade magnets are in each motor and what grade steel is used to make the motor housing? NOT OPEN!

In my mind those types of questions don't actually matter. Open source is not about "the ability to do absolutely everything from scratch at home".

Open source means seeing everyone in the world as your peer instead of your customer. It's a philosophy, not a checkbox.

The benefits to making an open source product do affect the bottom line -- with RepRap companies you get free 24-hr tech support (viz. RepRap IRC and RepRap wiki) and free R&D from the community (RepRap resolution continues to improve while costs are also coming down thanks to tinkerers all over the world). Organically uniting around common conventions and technologies builds a vibrant community that I am proud to be a part of. I believe it is the "free" tech support and "free" R&D that will keep open source hardware projects around for a looooong time since they make it easy to start a company. These are good things.

jordan





On Oct 2, 2012, at 9:00 AM, Andrew Stone wrote:

> I think that much of FOSS in the 80's and 90's was more about reimplementing libraries that had been implemented 10 proprietary times before... it was about freeing the basic tools (hammer, nail, screwdriver) making it easer to build advanced stuff.  None of this "democratizes" the final industry as you were suggesting -- it "democratizes" the pen-ultimate "maker" industry -- that is, anyone can make new tires for their car.  
>
> There is no economic issue with basic tool development since there is no intention to have an economy -- in fact the intention is explicitly to NOT have an economy to reduce the barrier to entry into derivative industries...
>
> And we certainly are seeing OSHW used for this purpose with free electronic and 3d part libraries, low cost OSHW dev boards and lots more.  
>
> But we are also seeing FOSS and OSHW used to push the state of the art... for example the Linux package management is really the father of the "app store", and remains significantly better then MS windows installation alternatives.  And on the hardware side, companies like DIY drones are trying to hit price/performance points which are orders of magnitude better then commercial/military alternatives.
>
> Yesterday's economic theory would find this open, non-patented, R&D an impossible use.  But somehow some instances are thriving.  Its very interesting to consider why... but I won't do that here for brevity.  But the massive NRE cost and rapid marketing of knock-offs paints a very scary picture for CEOs, especially ones that are not looking at the quarterly fish fry where the VCs turn the CEOs on the spit.
>
> So this is where we see OSHW companies starting to fade back to at least partially-closed business models.  But lets keep it real and remember that partially open remains MUCH better then the fully-closed alternative.  And without knowing the specific details of each company, it is very difficult to be too critical.  So I'm only asking these players to remember that 1 self-discovered, self-taught contributor is often worth hundreds of non-contributors... and the ability to re-print a broken part adds tremendous value to the device itself since parts can be impossible to source, and 5 to 20 times the raw part cost if it even is possible.
>
> Cheers!
> Andrew
>
>
> On Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 3:14 PM, Nathan McCorkle <nmz...@gmail.com> wrote:
> How far down the rabbit hole do the hair-splitting RMS folks go, especially with OSHW, since the processers and gold mines and trains and airplanes all part of those manufacturing processes are not open at all. Even if the airplane tire was open, along with airplanes,  would that democratize transportation?  In 50 or 100 years maybe. Oh, and the stepper motors and keyboards and mice and......
>
> Should all this knowledge be free and available? Have people thought how development is incentivized in such an economy? Can an economy even exist in that world?
>
> On Sep 30, 2012 1:31 PM, "Rob Myers" <r...@robmyers.org> wrote:
> On 09/30/2012 04:46 PM, Bryan Bishop wrote:
> From: Chris Church <thisdrone...@gmail.com
> On Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 7:35 AM, Rob Myers <r...@robmyers.org
> <mailto:r...@robmyers.org>> wrote:
>  >
>  > We all use the same definitions, though. And if a device and its
> software doesn't meet them, it isn't "Open Source".
>
> ... and many of us are following the existing definition for open-source
> hardware.  As defined here: http://freedomdefined.org/OSHW
>
> Yes it's yet another DFSG derivative so it's easy for people to transfer their knowledge to it from software, culture or data definitions based on the DFSG.
>
> In particular, for something to be called Open Source, it cannot contain proprietary components.
>
> The only talk of re-definition as of late on the OSHW mailing list and
> here, is to further ratchet down the definition - to demand that all
> files be distributed in open-source formats, etc.
>
> I was responding to the particular post.
>
> But that sounds like a sensible idea. Vendor lock-in on formats is a well known problem for access and use of digital materials.
>
> The question at-hand, and the one which started this whole conversation
> is "is company X open-source enough."  The example at-hand is the amount
> of traffic suggesting to take away from, to shame, and to punish one
> specific company for failing to open-source every part which they sell.
>
> They are not Open enough *by their own previously stated principles*, the principles that differentiated them and that made many of us their customers and proponents.
>
> Without that differentiation there are other cheaper and better "almost open" options that I can buy from in future. Or I can bite the bullet and assemble the materials for a Free design myself. But in neither case is there any reason for me to continue with MakerBot.
>
>   And, last I checked, they didn't call that product "open-source," they
> said it had "open-source components."
>
> Which is a change, and a disappointing one.
>
> I wouldn't call them political decisions, because my basis for them is
> different.  It used to be, when I got a radio, or a TV, I got a
> schematic to aid in the continuing of its operation.  I still can get
> one for my car. I don't see the need of the state or popular opinion in
> that...  But, to be clear, so we don't sit here picking hairs and
> bike-shedding all day: I don't care whether society is bettered by the
> product being open or not, I care whether or not the customer is better
> serviced by its being so.
>
> That's why Open Source works so well. It doesn't, and I don't, care why someone does the right thing *as long as they do*.
>
> Where they do the wrong thing, I'm not going to accept lectures on their special interests as a functional substitute for them doing the right thing.
>
> And the customers shall vote with their wallet.  Of course, let's not
> kid ourselves.  For those of us in capitalist society, the expectation
> is that a company make a profit - and likewise, it would be economically
> irrational to put a non-customer's interest above their own, no?
>
> I'm a customer.
>
> I don't think anyone here is claiming that a closed piece of hardware is
> open-source.  I haven't seen any such examples from any one on this
> list, for sure, or any one bring any examples to my attention as of
> late.  Instead, there has been a lot of talk about whether a company
> should be tarnished should they make a decision to produce a product
> with a closed part and an open part.
>
> When they've built their reputation on Open Source, their reputation will be affected if they retreat from Open Source.
>
> That anything but 100% is not enough.
>
> It isn't enough to call it Open Source.
>
> Again, I will re-state, the only discussion as of late to re-define
> open-source, is to further ratchet it down beyond being simply "open,"
> to being "open and shared using x..."
>
> I'm not sure how something can be open and not shared, or how introducing proprietary dependencies in designs makes them more Open, but as I say, that is not what I was responding to.
>
> - Rob.
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Open Manufacturing" group.
> To post to this group, send email to openmanu...@googlegroups.com.
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>
Re: [DIYbio] Re: [Discuss] [Open Manufacturing] Re: Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Cathal Garvey 10/2/12 7:38 AM
I'm with you as far as the suggestion that we *shouldn't* try to open
source everything, in the long run.

That is, there's little point being evangelical if you end up "shaving
yaks"; wasting so much time trying to be fully-libre that you fail to
achieve anything with the resulting blend of technology.

However, I would consider it *desirable* to have open source everything,
from the mines and dirt to the shelves. The fact of the matter; chips
have been shipped from manufacturers that contain hardware backdoors.
Sure, that was to military contractors, but there's little to say that
the same can't be true of consumer electronics, especially with the
fascist drift of many/most western states these recent years.

So, while I'll happily buy an Arduino, knowing it's not 100% open
because the chip designs are proprietary, I'd happily buy an alternative
if one emerged that *was* open source down to the lithographic traces in
the chip.

Same is true of my phone; it runs all open source software from the OS
level up; CyanogenMod with F-Droid "market" and self-compiled messaging
app. But below that is closed-source drivers, one of which has been
discovered to have potential spyware capabilities. I'm looking forward
to a stable set of open source drivers to dig deeper into my own right
to privacy, security and platform trust.

If someone says something is "Open", I think they have a responsibility
not to mince the words; it's either "Open", or it contains "Open
Components", or it's not open at all. Those are your three options. So,
the new Makerbot is not "Open Source Hardware"; it's hardware with open
source components. And that's disappointing, and my next printer won't
be a makerbot, because I'm like that. :)

So yea; middle-ground; choose open when available, without limiting
yourself, I think.

On 02/10/12 15:04, Jordan Miller wrote:
> I don't think it is helpful to get fanatical about open source:
> Arduino and RepRap use proprietary ATMEL chips. NOT OPEN! Who's got the multistep synthetic chemistry recipe to make FR4 fiberglass from scratch? NOT OPEN! Do you have the architectural drawings to be able to build a stepper motor? What grade magnets are in each motor and what grade steel is used to make the motor housing? NOT OPEN!
>
> In my mind those types of questions don't actually matter. Open source is not about "the ability to do absolutely everything from scratch at home".
>
> Open source means seeing everyone in the world as your peer instead of your customer. It's a philosophy, not a checkbox.
>
> The benefits to making an open source product do affect the bottom line -- with RepRap companies you get free 24-hr tech support (viz. RepRap IRC and RepRap wiki) and free R&D from the community (RepRap resolution continues to improve while costs are also coming down thanks to tinkerers all over the world). Organically uniting around common conventions and technologies builds a vibrant community that I am proud to be a part of. I believe it is the "free" tech support and "free" R&D that will keep open source hardware projects around for a looooong time since they make it easy to start a company. These are good things.
>
> jordan
>
>
>
>
>
> On Oct 2, 2012, at 9:00 AM, Andrew Stone wrote:
>
>> I think that much of FOSS in the 80's and 90's was more about reimplementing libraries that had been implemented 10 proprietary times before... it was about freeing the basic tools (hammer, nail, screwdriver) making it easer to build advanced stuff.  None of this "democratizes" the final industry as you were suggesting -- it "democratizes" the pen-ultimate "maker" industry -- that is, anyone can make new tires for their car.  
>>
>> There is no economic issue with basic tool development since there is no intention to have an economy -- in fact the intention is explicitly to NOT have an economy to reduce the barrier to entry into derivative industries...
>>
>> And we certainly are seeing OSHW used for this purpose with free electronic and 3d part libraries, low cost OSHW dev boards and lots more.  
>>
>> But we are also seeing FOSS and OSHW used to push the state of the art... for example the Linux package management is really the father of the "app store", and remains significantly better then MS windows installation alternatives.  And on the hardware side, companies like DIY drones are trying to hit price/performance points which are orders of magnitude better then commercial/military alternatives.
>>
>> Yesterday's economic theory would find this open, non-patented, R&D an impossible use.  But somehow some instances are thriving.  Its very interesting to consider why... but I won't do that here for brevity.  But the massive NRE cost and rapid marketing of knock-offs paints a very scary picture for CEOs, especially ones that are not looking at the quarterly fish fry where the VCs turn the CEOs on the spit.
>>
>> So this is where we see OSHW companies starting to fade back to at least partially-closed business models.  But lets keep it real and remember that partially open remains MUCH better then the fully-closed alternative.  And without knowing the specific details of each company, it is very difficult to be too critical.  So I'm only asking these players to remember that 1 self-discovered, self-taught contributor is often worth hundreds of non-contributors... and the ability to re-print a broken part adds tremendous value to the device itself since parts can be impossible to source, and 5 to 20 times the raw part cost if it even is possible.
>>
>> Cheers!
>> Andrew
>>
>>
>> On Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 3:14 PM, Nathan McCorkle <nmz...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> How far down the rabbit hole do the hair-splitting RMS folks go, especially with OSHW, since the processers and gold mines and trains and airplanes all part of those manufacturing processes are not open at all. Even if the airplane tire was open, along with airplanes,  would that democratize transportation?  In 50 or 100 years maybe. Oh, and the stepper motors and keyboards and mice and......
>>
>> Should all this knowledge be free and available? Have people thought how development is incentivized in such an economy? Can an economy even exist in that world?
>>
>> On Sep 30, 2012 1:31 PM, "Rob Myers" <r...@robmyers.org> wrote:
>> On 09/30/2012 04:46 PM, Bryan Bishop wrote:
>> From: Chris Church <thisdrone...@gmail.com
>> On Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 7:35 AM, Rob Myers <r...@robmyers.org
>> <mailto:r...@robmyers.org>> wrote:
>>  >
>>  > We all use the same definitions, though. And if a device and its
>> software doesn't meet them, it isn't "Open Source".
>>
>> ... and many of us are following the existing definition for open-source
>> hardware.  As defined here: http://freedomdefined.org/OSHW
>>
>> Yes it's yet another DFSG derivative so it's easy for people to transfer their knowledge to it from software, culture or data definitions based on the DFSG.
>>
>> In particular, for something to be called Open Source, it cannot contain proprietary components.
>>
>> The only talk of re-definition as of late on the OSHW mailing list and
>> here, is to further ratchet down the definition - to demand that all
>> files be distributed in open-source formats, etc.
>>
>> I was responding to the particular post.
>>
>> But that sounds like a sensible idea. Vendor lock-in on formats is a well known problem for access and use of digital materials.
>>
>> The question at-hand, and the one which started this whole conversation
>> is "is company X open-source enough."  The example at-hand is the amount
>> of traffic suggesting to take away from, to shame, and to punish one
>> specific company for failing to open-source every part which they sell.
>>
>> They are not Open enough *by their own previously stated principles*, the principles that differentiated them and that made many of us their customers and proponents.
>>
>> Without that differentiation there are other cheaper and better "almost open" options that I can buy from in future. Or I can bite the bullet and assemble the materials for a Free design myself. But in neither case is there any reason for me to continue with MakerBot.
>>
>>   And, last I checked, they didn't call that product "open-source," they
>> said it had "open-source components."
>>
>> Which is a change, and a disappointing one.
>>
>> I wouldn't call them political decisions, because my basis for them is
>> different.  It used to be, when I got a radio, or a TV, I got a
>> schematic to aid in the continuing of its operation.  I still can get
>> one for my car. I don't see the need of the state or popular opinion in
>> that...  But, to be clear, so we don't sit here picking hairs and
>> bike-shedding all day: I don't care whether society is bettered by the
>> product being open or not, I care whether or not the customer is better
>> serviced by its being so.
>>
>> That's why Open Source works so well. It doesn't, and I don't, care why someone does the right thing *as long as they do*.
>>
>> Where they do the wrong thing, I'm not going to accept lectures on their special interests as a functional substitute for them doing the right thing.
>>
>> And the customers shall vote with their wallet.  Of course, let's not
>> kid ourselves.  For those of us in capitalist society, the expectation
>> is that a company make a profit - and likewise, it would be economically
>> irrational to put a non-customer's interest above their own, no?
>>
>> I'm a customer.
>>
>> I don't think anyone here is claiming that a closed piece of hardware is
>> open-source.  I haven't seen any such examples from any one on this
>> list, for sure, or any one bring any examples to my attention as of
>> late.  Instead, there has been a lot of talk about whether a company
>> should be tarnished should they make a decision to produce a product
>> with a closed part and an open part.
>>
>> When they've built their reputation on Open Source, their reputation will be affected if they retreat from Open Source.
>>
>> That anything but 100% is not enough.
>>
>> It isn't enough to call it Open Source.
>>
>> Again, I will re-state, the only discussion as of late to re-define
>> open-source, is to further ratchet it down beyond being simply "open,"
>> to being "open and shared using x..."
>>
>> I'm not sure how something can be open and not shared, or how introducing proprietary dependencies in designs makes them more Open, but as I say, that is not what I was responding to.
>>
>> - Rob.
>>
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>>
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Re: [Discuss] [Open Manufacturing] Re: Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW Bryan Bishop 10/2/12 8:10 AM
On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 8:00 AM, Andrew Stone wrote:
> I think that much of FOSS in the 80's and 90's was more about reimplementing
> libraries that had been implemented 10 proprietary times before... it was
> about freeing the basic tools (hammer, nail, screwdriver) making it easer to
> build advanced stuff.

Off-topic, but.. we haven't really done that for hardware I think. The
problem is that if we standardize on a "GNU" distribution of hardware,
it just really increases the cost of getting started - like a "GNU"
(hardware) version of the basic table saw, etc The reason this would
be theoretically nice is that it's then easy to just list which exact
things you need in a bill of materials. I mean, the alternative is
standardizing on something like the Sears toolset hah (or just
tiptoeing around tool differences).

- Bryan
http://heybryan.org/
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