About a year and a half ago, I discovered this $12 “Gongkai” cell phone (pictured above) in the markets of Shenzhen, China. My most striking impression was that Chinese entrepreneurs had relatively unfettered access to cutting-edge technology, enabling start-ups to innovate while bootstrapping. Meanwhile, Western…
The U.S. Army is open-sourcing a code it uses to analyze cyberattacks. For the past five years, whenever a Department of Defense network has been compromised, the Army has used the Dshell framework to do forensic analysis on the attacks.
Razer wants a piece of virtual reality. Here at CES, the company has its very own VR headset to help stake that claim. Why yes, it does look just like an Oculus Rift developer kit!
If you got a new ereader or tablet for Christmas—or if you have an old one that needs an infusion—Amazon and Apple would be happy to sell you ebooks and movies to fill it. Or you could just load up on these free goodies instead.
If you could go online, select a home, print the plans for free, and build it yourself for less than $80,000 in a few days, would you? That's the dream behind WikiHouse, an open source home design project that just finished construction of its fourth prototype, a two-storey home that snaps together in just a few days.
A decade ago, OpenStreetMap launched as a free, open-source alternative to the other mapping tools you may encounter on the internet. Turns out that the collaborative experiment worked exceptionally well, and thanks to a new site, you can see for yourself how the Wikipedia of mapping has covered the whole planet.
Github, a wildly popular social network for coders and their open-source creations, likes to keep track of what you're doing around its little corner of the internet. And one Belgian coder took advantage of this fact in the most phenomenal way possible—by spelling out "BUTTS."
Your very own Wall-E? It may not be too futuristic a prospect if Intel has anything to do with it. The company just showed off a DIY kit at the Code Conference that will let you 3D-print your very own robot for $1600.
It's official: the last holdout for the open web has fallen. Flanked on all sides by Google, Microsoft, Opera, and (it appears) Safari's support and promotion of the EME DRM-in-HTML standard, Mozilla is giving in to pressure from Hollywood, Netflix, et al, and will be implementing its own third-party version of DRM.…
Animals are exceptionally complicated things. So complicated, in fact, that we've never actually built one ourselves. But the day is fast approaching when we'll be able to create digital versions of organisms on a computer — from the way they move right through to their behaviors. Here's how we'll do it.
If you've been thinking about getting started on the rocket project that's been on your mind for ages, now is a good time to get serious. Next week, NASA will release a massive software catalog with over 1,000 projects. It's not the first time the space agency's released code, but it is the first time they've made it…
Every time I tell someone about OpenStreetMap, they inevitably ask "Why not use Google Maps?". From a practical standpoint, it's a reasonable question, but ultimately this is not just a matter of practicality, but of what kind of society we want to live in. I discussed this topic in a 2008 talk on OpenStreetMap I gave…
One of the limitations of 3D printing is in the materials—plastic might be the most affordable and widely available, but it's also cheap and brittle. So some students at Michigan Tech University have made a relatively cheap metal 3D printer, and they're releasing the plans to the masses.
Caspar Bowden spent nearly a decade working for Microsoft, where he held the position of chief privacy adviser. He says he knew nothing of the PRISM data sharing scheme while there, a fact that’s turned him into a code-examining member of the paranoid elite.
Ikea's not the only place you can get a build-your-own-furniture puzzle. If you're into the whole open source thing, there's a new repository of completely free furniture designs that are ripe for the downloadin'. The only hurdle? You have to actually make the pieces before you can put 'em together.
Frederick Kaufman has penned a provocative article for Slate's Future Tense column in which he makes the case for open-source genetically modified foods. "It will help fight climate change," he says, "and stick one in Monsanto's eye." What's more, it's an approach that still favors scientific advancement.