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http://openhardware.org

The open hardware organization has published the first issue with the purpose of sharing the design of physical or electronic objects with the public. The right to use, modify, redistribute, and manufacture, commercially or as a non-profit, is granted to everyone without any royalty or fee. Perhaps this could be the beginning of the end of the firmware issues plaguing the free software community at the moment.

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spanky's picture
Created by spanky 3 years 7 weeks ago – Made popular 3 years 7 weeks ago
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lozz's picture

lozz

3 years 7 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago

3

Nice one, spanky

It's easy to see where Bruce Perens is coming from, here.

As soon as you start to realise what a terrible barrier to progress software patents create, it doesn't take long to extend that concept to everything else as well.

If all human endeavor was was open source and free from all patent, copyright and IP restriction we would have an explosion of human progress instead of a few giant corporations laying like great hogs on their litters of patents and blocking any further development.

All claims to the contrary can easily be demonstrated to be self-serving b.s.

spanky's picture

spanky

3 years 7 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago

3

Thanks mate. We must start now!

Every passing day hardware becomes so much more complex and expensive (to design). If there had been a meaningful open hardware push ten years ago, we would be in a completely different landscape now. I'm not saying that (some) people didn't realize this problem back then or that there were no efforts but only it didn't succeed fully so far. We must do it now.

We have very much very good free software these days, that's been a massive amazing success. But what use is the lot of it when your hardware can take away all your imagined freedom? We must control the whole stack. All the reasons we want to modify software also apply to hardware.

I want my computer to use as little power as possible. I want my video card to perform to its full potential. I want to be able to switch off all the silly LEDs on my laptop especially when using it in the dark. How does my wifi work? Can I extend its range and improve its reception? Can I swap my USB 2.0 ports for USB 3.0? Can I add acceleration/pressure/temperature sensors to my board? Can I produce replicates of the new improved board sell them?

Heck, my laptop is even designed so that the fan is the very last part accessible when you rip off every single other part there is. And it is a cheap fan with lousy bearings making too much noise. It is designed for obsolescence, I am to chuck the lapper to the dump and go buy yet another machine preferably from the very same wonderful manufacturer as my last one, paying the Micro$oft tax for an operating system I will never use.

I think it is about time we collectively start saying no to this garbage marketeers are pushing and device a reasonable alternative, just like we did with software. This will at first mean small batches, high prices and low performance, unlike with software. However if the pressure is kept steady and crooked initiatives is fended off (see microsoft "secure boot") the hardware will become better, slowly at first and possibly rapidly after a certain point has been reached and vendors start to find out it exists and provides a superior alternative and start contributing, at least funds.

Or all world dominations plans aside, it's nice to tinker with intelligent stuff and share the results. Damn, that was some fine cognac. :)