Finland: Cooperation, Not Competition, Among Schools

(in Finland) The main
driver of education policy is not competition between teachers and between
schools, but cooperation.

With America’s manufacturing industries now in decline, the goal of educational policy in the U.S. — as articulated by most everyone from President Obama on down — is to preserve American competitiveness by doing the same thing. Finland’s experience suggests that to win at that game, a country has to prepare not just some of its population well, but all of its population well, for the new economy. To possess some of the best schools in the world might still not be good enough if there are children being left behind.

Lots of good ideas in this article but the idea of cooperation instead of competition seems like the best one.

Gilbert’s Girders: My article on the Erector Set and the toys of the American Century


This article, whic was published in the Make special issue on kits, is online at I found it interesting that Erector sets, Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs were developed in the second decade of the 20th century, and became very significant learning toys in the second half of the century. What might we build in this decade that has a similar impact for new generations of makers yet to come?

Nashua NH hackerspace, MakeIt Labs, Shut Down by City Plans to Re-Open

Staff photo by Don Himsel
Make It Labs


Purchase Photo

The region’s first hackerspace, MakeIt Labs, is working to reopen after being shut due to building-code issues in the former foundry where it set up shop in July, and the city might help out with a micro-loan.

“Something like this could be a death blow to a hackerspace, but we’re definitely sticking around. We’re here for the long haul,” said Adam Shrey of Hudson, a member of the board of directors.

Here’s a story from Nashua, New Hampshire story that has nothing to do with presidential elections but everything to do with role of government. good and bad. Thanks to Dave Brooks for covering it and getting the context right. Good luck to the hard-working members of MakeIt Labs.

The Problem With Patents (Infographic) from Frugal Dad

Excellent summary from Frugal Dad of the patent issues. Be sure to listen to the episode of This American Life, “When Patents Attack.”
My favorite section of the infographic is #5 referencing Tim Berners-Lee.

There’s no question that software and technology represent some of the fastest growing industries today. The internet has fundamentally changed the way we interact, do business, and spend money—without it, Frugaldad wouldn’t exist. That said, I always try and keep abreast of what’s happening in these sectors, and to be aware of how the online and tech industry makes its money.

I recently listened to an episode of This American Life called “When Patents Attack!”. Something that surprised me while listening was that while I think of patents as being mostly for gadgets and the kinds of products you see on infomercials, patents have become a huge factor in the software and online industries, to the tune of billions of dollars.

This infographic discusses some of the facts behind the patent industry and how it’s changed as software, technology, and the internet have developed at an incredible pace. I find the information to say a lot about the state of development and innovation; both how important it can be to everyday life, and the problems it can face on a larger scale.

Please share this graphic by embedding it on your site

Patent Infographic

Please share this graphic by embedding it on your site

Excellent summary from Frugal Dad of the patent issues. Be sure to listen to the episode of This American Life, “When Patents Attack.” My favorite section of the infographic is #5 referencing Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the web, who never obtained patents for his invention so that it might spread freely.

Pacemaker protocols: Negotiating the Internet of Things

Two weeks ago, IBM and its development partner Eurotech formally submitted Message Queue Telemetry Transport protocol to the Eclipse Foundation open source group. It’s being called “the” Internet of Things (IoT) protocol, but in fairness it’s only one candidate. It would serve as the communications mechanism for devices whose size may scale down to the very small level, with negligible power and transmission radius of only a few feet.

A trillion heartbeats

One example application already in the field, Piper told RWW, is in pacemakers. Tiny transmitters inside pacemakers communicate using MQTT with message queue brokers at their patients’ bedsides. Those brokers then communicate with upstream servers using more conventional, sophisticated protocols such as WebSphere MQ.

“Look, this is engineered for a constrained environment,” Piper emphasized. “But because of that, [these devices] are actually extremely efficient at doing things like conserving battery, and using very low bandwidth. So [MQTT] is actually a fairly sensible protocol for both the machine-to-machine (M2M) space that we’re addressing with the Eclipse announcement, and also the mobile explosion as well. All these devices need to be connected.”

New twist on the old idea of having a heart-to-heart conversation.

Pictures Under Glass

And that’s great! I think hands are fantastic!

Hands do two things. They are two utterly amazing things, and you rely on them every moment of the day, and most Future Interaction Concepts completely ignore both of them.

Hands feel things, and hands manipulate things.

The link to Bret Victor’s post was sent around by Roseanne Somerson and forwarded to me by Frank Wilson.   (Initially I collapsed all of that, unfortunately, and didn’t get the attribution correct.)   Bret’s “rant on interaction design” says most technology ignores the hands, limiting us to interacting with “pictures under glass”. We “dump the tactile for the visual.”

MAKE | Mt. Elliott Maker Space brings Hackers to a Detroit Church

Pastor Barry Randolph and Jeff Sturges talk to us about the Mt. Elliot Makerspace, which is located in the basement of the Church of the Messiah in East Detroit. The role that the church plays in the community is explained, and the bright side of urban blight is explored.

Subscribe to the Meet the Makers Podcast in iTunes, download the m4v video directly, or watch it on YouTube and Vimeo.

Check out more episodes of Meet the Makers.



Shanghai Government Proposes 100 Community Hackerspaces

Wow! The future for Made in China.

Posted by: timothy, on 2011-11-10 13:58:00
   taweili writes “[1]A tweet from Shanghai Morning Newspaper’s Weibo
  account, Shanghai Government Technology committee has issued a call for
  [2]proposal to build 100 community hackerspaces with government funding
  for equipments and community managing the spaces. Hackerspaces have
  been growing rapidly in China since the the first one [3]XinCheJian was
  started in Shanghai last November as [4]reported here by CNN Go.
  Currently there are three hackerspaces in China with [5]XinCheJian in
  Shanghai, [6]Maxpace in Beijing and [7]Chaihuo in Shenzhen. It looks
  like the governments are paying attention to the trend and are getting
  into supporting (or ‘regulating’) the movement.”



3D printers – Manufacturing for the rest of us

We are entering a period where the consumer is a designer and manufacturer,  too,” said Carl Bass, the chief executive of Autodesk. “We are entering a period where the entire act of making things, seeing how they are used and what the manufacturing process is will change.

At the Make It in America confab in Washington last week, I said that if we want to revitalize manufacturing in America, we have to increase participation in manufacturing. The 3D printer is one of those tools that can change how we think about manufacturing and get us to consider manufacturing as something we all do. When computing was done on mainframes, few of us cared about it and it certainly didn’t have direct impact on our lives. If manufacturing is done by a few, it will no longer be relevant to all of us.