Category Archives: economics

That Inequality Thing

This is an open question to my friends and colleagues who have more experience in economics than I do. I’m trying to understand the factors behind accelerating economic inequality. I have no formal training in economics, so my understanding is … Continue reading

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Open Source Hardware Definition v.1.0 released

Last year, along with other members of the Arduino team and colleagues from several other open source hardware makers, I attended the Open Hardware Summit in New York. We began working on a definition and statement of principles for producing open … Continue reading

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Traceroute Fun

The students in my Understanding Networks class had a short assignment this past week, to run a couple dozen traceroutes, and do visualizations with the results.  A few interesting points came out of it. Alejandro Kaufmann did traces mostly on … Continue reading

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Idle speculation on the shan zhai and open fabrication

Strategy & Business magazine has an interesting article on the shan zhai manufacturers in China at the moment. It’s the first business press article I’ve seen in the US that takes a relatively balanced approach to reporting on them.  It’s … Continue reading

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A novel idea: repair instructions

Given how pervasive the idea of planned obsolescence is, I’m always on the lookout for counterexamples — cases where a company actually wants you to fix what you bought from them, and keep it longer, rather than just replacing it … Continue reading

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Civil Technologies: The Values of Nonprofit ICT Use

There’s a new report out from the Social Science Research Council’s Information Technology and International Cooperation program, “Civil Technologies: The Values of Nonprofit ICT Use,” by Ken Jordan and Mark Surman with funding from the Ford Foundation. This report is the last in a series of three major reports on the Internet, governance and civil society that were published by the ITIC program.The report “explores exemplary instances of nonprofit ICT adoption by civil society groups from around the world, and draws attention to ways the values of civil society are reinforced and extended through their use of digital tools.
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Doors of Perception

Doors always has some interesting links on design and social innovation. They cover sustainability, health care, social justice, economics, all staring from a design point of view. Continue reading

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Grameen Technology Fund

Grameen Bank started out as a micro-credit organization in Bangladesh, making small loans to poor women so that they could start businesses…. From their website:”Grameen Foundation USA is empowering the world’s poorest people to lift themselves out of poverty with dignity through access to financial services and to information.”The Grameen Technology Center is working to eliminate poverty by leveraging the power of microcredit and technology.”
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Smart Mobs

Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs blog dedicated to subjects stemming from his book of the same name. He and other bloggers report on various social/technology items here.
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E-Tech Notes 2004

He and his company are doing a “Wireless Roadshow to teach local technology NGOs how wireless technologies can be used to bring Internet and intranet connectivity to those parts of the world not included in the plans of the commercial telecommunications companies.”He also showed a nifty and very small wireless mesh router, a cube about 3 inches on a side…. Lili covered the history of the social computing group really well, and gave great context and setup for Wallop, an environment they’re working on which maps and organizes relationships between you and the people you care about, through emails, photos, shared work, and other documents.Rael Dornfest’s Mobile Hacks session was mighty geeky, and a lot of fun.
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