289: Stamping HORSE on Zebras

Alicia Gibb (@pipix) joined Elecia to talk about open source hardware, the OSHW association (@ohsummit), using trademarks for quality control, and light-up LEGO blocks.

Alicia is the editor and author of Building Open Source Hardware: DIY Manufacturing for Hackers and Makers. It is a handy resource for any manufacturing.

Alicia is the director of the Blow Things Up Lab, part of the Atlas Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Light up LEGO blocks are available at Build Upons.

The LilyPad Arduino has many sewable electronics components.

You can find more talks and hacks on Alicia’s personal site, aliciagibb.com.

287: Joke With No Punchline

Kate Compton (@GalaxyKate) spoke with us about casual creators, Twitter bots done cheap and quick, and the creativity that is within each of us.

Kate’s website is galaxykate.com. Her Phd dissertation defense is interesting, see it on youtube.com. She is joining UCSC’s CROSS to do more work on casual creators and open source software. (We talked to Carlos Maltzan, the head of CROSS in 285: A Chicken Getting to the Other Side.)

Tracery is an open source story generator using a specific grammar. One example is at Kate’s BrightSpiral.com which creates a whole story every time you refresh.

You can use Tracery to make Twitter bots via CheapBotsDoneQuick.com. They are often text (@infinite_scream, @str_voyage, @DUNSONnDRAGGAN) or emoji based (@choochoobot, @infinitedeserts). However, Tracery and CBDQ  can be used to create SVG images (such as @softlandscapes).

Elecia’s text bot is @pajamaswithfeet. It tweets (usually) kind things you can (sometimes) say to other people (or yourself).


285: A Chicken Getting to the Other Side

Carlos Maltzahn joined us to talk about graduate studies in open source software, research incubators, and how software development tools can be used to aid the reproduction of scientific results.

Carlos is the founder and director of the Center for Research in Open Source Software (CROSS). He is also an adjunct professor of computer science and engineering at UC Santa Cruz.

Some projects we spoke about:

  • Jeff LeFevre — Skyhook: using programmable storage in Ceph to make Postgres and other databases more scalable and elastic (skyhookdm.com)

  • Ivo Jimenez — Black Swan: using DevOps techniques and strategies to speed up the systems research delivery life cycle (falsifiable.us)

  • Kate Compton — Tracery2 and Chancery: using open source software to support artists and poets (tracery.io)

Carlos mentioned the wonderful notion of “being productively lost”.  He picked up the idea at a POSSE (Professors Open Source Software Experience).