Summit of newthinking

In November, it’ll be 100 days since I started this project – at the Summit of newthinking on the 15th-16th, I’ll be presenting a talk on my experiences and struggles over these first 100 days, and in the lead-up to the event I’ll also be making a series of short videos.

 

newthinking has been around on the Berlin open source scene for almost 10 years, and I am really just taking my first steps, so they’re going to be showing me around – I’ll be making a series of videos about some of the interesting projects and developments in Berlin in the field of ‘open strategies’, to get an idea of the kind of issues that are likely to be discussed in November. I’ll also be checking in with Andreas and Claudia to see how the summit is coming along and what else they’ve got planned!

(Turn on captions for English subtitles)

newthinking will be providing €500 per month for 3 months to cover some of the costs of my project. I’m working on documenting my finances a little better so that I can be as transparent as possible, and you can see where the crowdfunding campaign funds are going – I’ll hopefully have a page up within a couple of weeks.

Serve Cold, with a Heated Licensing Discussion

 This post originally appeared on my blog on Shareable.net

A few weeks ago I was thirstily on the hunt for open source beer – and I’m pleased to report that I’ve found one! Two, even.

One was right under my nose here in Berlin, and the other, a little further afield: My brother came to visit this week, bringing a bottle of Yeastie Boys Digital IPA all the way from New Zealand – it’s a craft beer which provides the link to the recipe on the bottle. It’s also notoriously tasty. Knowing my brother’s penchant for hoppy brews, I do suspect that he may have originally set off with a 6-pack, and lightened the load en route.

I also went to see Fabricio Do Canto at the Meta Mate Bar across town, where they sell their Mier, a beer with the caffeine buzz of Yerba Mate brewed into it. Once again, the beer label includes a QR code leading to the recipe.

What I find interesting, and what distinguishes a recipe for Mier or Digital IPA from normal online recipes (or from the open source Free Beer project) is that it is the recipe for an actual commercial product. You can buy a beer, enjoy it and inspect the recipe used to make it. It’s an element of transparency which gives the user a clear understanding of the product. Wondering how they add the Mate to the beer? What kind of barley Yeastie Boys used? Read the recipe. If you’re a brew guru, and you want to change or improve the recipe, then by all means, do whatever you like. Or if you’re a novice brewer and just want to see how close you can get to ‘the real thing’ then it’s a great project to try out.

These beers are basically open source, in that a recipe process can’t be copyrighted. The actual writing of a flowery, wordy recipe could be copyrighted. But the bare-bones formula is free for any use you like – a brewer could adjust these online recipes to her own taste, and sell the beer as her own, as long as it was not branded as ‘Mier’ or ‘Digital IPA’.

One interesting conversation I had on Twitter* with Edmunds Sulzanoks covered the issue of Mier’s Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike-Non Commercial license, which is proudly stated on the bottle.

Creative Commons has a range of licenses available which provide a ‘some rights reserved’ copyright, and these allow books, films, music, and products to be remixed, adapted, or built upon by others. For example, my videos are available for anyone to use under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

I saw Mier’s choice of their license as being a statement of intent – encouraging people to make and modify the beer themselves, and call it Mier. The Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license means that anyone can produce Mier according to the recipe, and use the Mier branding for non-commercial use. They just have to attribute Mier to its creators and release any modified version under the same license.

But Edmunds’ point was this: what is the difference between releasing a brandname under a Non-Commercial license, and a normal licensed franchise? What is non-commercial use of a brand? Why would you need branding if you’re giving the beer away?

Certainly Mier’s intentions are good, and their franchising method is very much hands-off, allowing others to change the recipe and create a very different product, but this example is exactly the kind of situation which makes the Non Commercial license difficult to work with, and a little vague.

There are considerable differences of opinion as to whether Non Commercial means ‘no monetary transactions involved’ or simply ‘not-for-profit’. What if I wanted to sell my homebrewed, branded Mier at a bake sale, raising money for a non-profit charity? Donating the proceeds to cure malaria, perhaps? Or raising money for the deportation of Simon Cowell and the world’s wasp population to an island in the mid-Atlantic? It wouldn’t be for profit, but rather the benefit of all humankind. Is that non-commercial?

I promised myself when I started this project I would try not to get embroiled in pedantic licensing discussions, but look at me now…

The reason I’m interested in the Non Commercial license is that, even if it still restricts use of a product or artistic material, it often acts as first step away from traditional copyright. There are areas where it makes a significant difference – using Non-Commercial licensed music in an educational video, for example, rather than having to officially license the use of each track.

Depending on your point of view, the Non Commercial license is either the methadone that can wean copyright junkies off their all-rights-reserved habit, or it is a gateway drug to the psychedelic and dangerously addictive world of open source and free culture.

This week there’s been an awful lot of talk about it: the Students for Free Culture made a call for Creative Commons to drop the license altogether, and Creative Commons themselves made the very difficult decision to retain it. It’s a turbulent debate but if you’ve got opinions on this issue, read the discussions, jump in and share your ideas with the Creative Commons community.

So I guess that means for now, I’ll just be brewing these beers for my own purposes. No bake sales for me.

UPDATE: Yeastie Boys have now stated that Digital IPA (name & recipe) is Attribution-Sharealike! Brew away!

Unknown ObjectCheck out the video of my visit to the MetaMate Bar.

*what? Twitter’s not open source! For personal use, I’ve jumped from Facebook to Diaspora. But there is still a Year of Open Source Facebook page and @YrOfOpenSource Twitter to spread the word to people outside of the more niche open source networks.

Meta Mate Mier is a very fine beer

This week has been a Mate-soaked, highly caffeinated one – not only do I have an Uruguayan friend visiting, but I visited Fabricio do Canto, a Brazilian living in Berlin, who runs the MetaMate bar. He and his friend Malte, both members of the Pirate Party, told me the story of Mier’s development and the interesting results of making their recipe public and their branding available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike-Non Commercial License (not a free culture license but more open and permissive than traditional copyright).

(it’s a bit of a multi-lingual mess – turn on captions for english subs)

Correction: it is not Fabricio’s Pirate Cave but a communal Pirate Cave put together by many different people, particularly the Hedy Lamarr Pirate Crew!

Well, actually Mier is a very fine ‘alcohol-containing beverage’ according to the German Purity Law of 1516,  a document even more highly revered than the constitution. The law says that real beer contains only malted barley, hops and water. (they didn’t know about yeast in 1516)

For more information, check out the links to:

Mier

Liquid Democracy

Creative Commons

German Pirate Party (wikipedia)

 

Technical Stuff or, How I’m Getting My Ass Handed to Me by a New Video Workflow:

Kdenlive has edged ahead in the Open Source NLE stakes… it is more forgiving of different codecs, though due to its crashy tendencies I have now developed a nervous tic – even when making dinner I reach instinctively for the ‘save’ shortcut after slicing each vegetable. Just in case my salad crashes.

You will have noticed that this time the video’s on YouTube. not ideal, but Gobblin.se doesn’t seem to accept my videos, Vimeo doesn’t do captions, so that makes shooting anything in Europe basically impossible. I’m working on a solution with JWPlayer – it’s open source, allows captions, and I can upload in WebM, an open format. But it’s not quite working for me yet.

In other pathetic struggles, I spent a good hour fumbling around working out how to export a screenshot, before good old VLC came to the rescue! It’s a piece of free software that everyone should have, whatever operating system they use. So much more than just a media player.

 

Sharing some wisdom (teeth)

This post originally appeared on my blog at Shareable.net

How would the collaborative techniques, freedom, flexibility and transparency of free and open source software apply to dentistry? These questions, and a high-powered drill, were going through my head this week as I cut my teeth as a Linux user and encountered my first difficult situations in my Year of Open Source.

It’s been an odd few weeks getting used to my new open source life – some areas have hardly changed. I’m still sleeping on my left side. Still drooling on my pillow. Still riding my patent-free old-style bike (for now).

I’ve been looking into open source clothing – check out the first ideas for personalized clothing and our subsequent brainstorm session – there will be a practical workshop in the next couple of weeks when we’re actually going to make some open source boxer shorts.

Software is one area that has totally changed. No more Mac OS. Although my year is mostly about the ideas that have spread from free software to other areas, switching to Linux is still a very important first step in an open source life.Although the install was an exasperating process, the experience of actually using Ubuntu (as a first-time Linux user) has been wonderfully simple. All the programs work nicely, there’s huge amounts of support in online forums, the Software Center makes installing programs a little too easy. The tiny size of free software applications makes it very tempting to go on a wild free shopping spree, downloading every possible program. Who knows when I might need that Mandelbrot fractal generator? Or a rocket simulator? Maybe this verb conjugation program will magically bring back all my high school French? bien sûr.

The one area where I’ve really struggled is video editing software.

I already knew it was going to be tricky making videos without proprietary software, but so far I’ve got the feeling I’d be better off hand-drawing flipbooks. I’ve been trying OpenShot, KdenLive, and Cinelerra, and I’ve struggled constantly with converting and importing files – I merely threaten a clip with the cut tool and the whole program faints dramatically.

There is definitely potential – Cinelerra seems very in-depth, there are video editing options within the incredible world of Blender, and there are good things on the horizon: Novacut‘s new take on collaborative editing, or the long-promised second-coming of the NLE old-timer Lightworks… still waiting on that source code though

Trying out Novacut - still VERY early days, but I'm hopeful...

However, my current problems have a lot more to do with me being a newbie rather than any inate impossibility of editing on free software. Many people do it, and do it well. It’ll be a necessary learning curve for me & I’m sure that with plenty of help, I’ll untangle this mess of codecs and file containers.

I had hoped be able to anticipate any tricky problems in my project before they arrived, and deal with them through discussion and collaboration, but a few days ago I had my first significant failure. I had decided to calm down a wee bit of tooth pain with the clearly public domain (somewhat victorian) method of a hot salt gargle and an iced flannel (I was fresh out of leeches). But the next morning what had been a slightly sore tooth turned into a huge swell of a mound – two possibilities came to mind: either my face is pregnant, or I have a nasty infection.*

I’ll admit I felt a little helpless, holding an ice pack to the new continent forming on my face as I typed the words ‘open source dentistry?’ into a search engine with my free hand.

Not much to report, except a couple of free software programs and some plans to 3D print fake teeth. It was hardly the time to call a hack session, and with a heavy heart and a bulging cheek, I dragged myself to the traditional dentist. Normally I would say that German efficiency is a myth, but not this time. My wisdom tooth was raus before they could even say Achtung.

So other than asking for generic drugs, there wasn’t much I could do in such a situation.

Over the last few days as my face has contorted to all sorts of new shapes, there’s been little breakthrough work done on the open source front. The only project developing was my girlfriend Judith’s experiments with smoothies and other mushy blended meals, while also thinking up suitable names for the newly jowly man in her life. Orson Swells was a favourite.

Judith captured my natural beauty in her work 'Half-man, half-blimp'

By now I’ve mostly deflated – the only ‘upside’ to my failure in properly investigating the idea of open source dentistry is that I still have 3 more wisdom teeth which need to be removed. Plenty of opportunity for experimentation. Oh good.

So what would a more transparent, democratic, decentralized, open dentistry system be like?

How about a peer production voting system for amateurs? Based upon this dental photo, please select your preferred action: a) let it fester b) yank it out

Some kind of online distributed dental education system where people can learn all the skills they need to take a hand-drill to Auntie’s molars?

Arduino-controlled open hardware dental lights which can also feed your cat and control the Roomba?

As you can see, I need a little help. Suggestions?

*said infection has no relation to my recent switch to open source toothpaste. No relation, I tell you.

 

 Shareable’s content is licensed as Attribution-Sharealike-NonCommercial, so incompatible with free licenses. Therefore this post is also Attribution-Sharealike-NonCommercial rather than my usual Attribution-Sharealike.

Open Source Undies brainstorming session

Last Monday we had a little get-together at Open Design City to discuss some of the issues of clothing production & consumption, and work out how open source-influenced methods could improve the clothing and fashion industry.

2 hours, many cups of tea and a plate of cookies later and we had come up with a few interesting ideas, and 2 concepts for how a better-clothed future might look.

Each person was asked to think of and draw, make, or write down a visualization of 1 or 2 core problems in the way the clothing industry works today. We each presented our thoughts to the group and discussed them.

Some perceived problems:

  • Everything / everyone looks the same in many parts of the world (fewer independent clothing producers, more large brands, leading to a loss of personal/local/national identity)
  • There’s a lack of information for the public about processes / manufacture / costs of clothing
  • Clothing can be overpriced due to ‘paying for the brand’ / or it can be underpriced – the costs saved for the consumer are pushed onto the environment, or the people working to produce the clothing.
  • Lack of quality garments at affordable prices
  • Slippage of industry standards – pay less, get lower quality?
  • Materials – problems with environment/climate/waste . High pesticide use in cotton industry, for example.
  • Simplicity in clothing – sometimes no ‘simple’ option is available.

We then asked how ‘open source’ development, systems or ideals could change the industry:

  • Open Shapes – patterns? Freely distributed and available for modification/adaptation
  • Open source scientific development of materials
  • Use of personal fabrication – 3D printers, laser cutters
  • Transparency in production – costs, waste, environmental impact…
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Learning skills that were previously commonplace. Learn to repair, reuse, create and modify.
  • Reducing costs of production? Or maybe improving efficiency? (not in $ per garment, but in number of garments produced.)
  • Allow for individual alterations or personalisation.
  • Clothes swapping and other forms of distribution.
  • One perceived problem with self-manufacture would be the problem of having too much choice… for example, a 60-item restaurant menu is not better than a well thought-out 5-item menu. Some kind of curating of designs would be necessary.

We then split into 2 groups and settled on two core issues we would like to work on, and then brainstormed various solutions, before focusing on one concept to present to the other group. These solutions were not restricted to open source ideas or open hardware. Group 1 fleshed out the workings of an online platform, and Group 2 came up with a physical repair shop and linked online network.

Group 1

 

Group 1’s plan investigated the various aspects of an online platform to share and modify designs, whilst also thinking about other alternative clothing economies: repairing, hiring, and swapping clothing.

OS Undies Group 1 brainstorming.pdf

 

Group 2:

Haute Couture designers play an important role in setting the fashion pace. They don’t entirely dictate people’s tastes but they do determine a lot of what appears in magazines and high street shops. These high street shops and big brands contribute the most to what clothing is seen on the streets, though people can (and do) go their own way and create their own styles.

One problem we particularly focused on was the throwaway nature of fashion and consumerism. With the high rate of change, and the push to own ‘in-season’ garments, clothes are dismissed and discarded within a year of purchase. Due to this rapid cycle, and in order to save money, clothes are not produced to last.

Through our discussions, we drew two conclusions:

  1. People are less willing to throw away clothing that has a story or some kind of personal connection – perhaps it was a gift from a friend, perhaps knitted by grandma, perhaps you designed, made or personalised the piece yourself.
  2. Repairing damaged or worn clothes is often seen as something done by poor people, wearing obviously old or repaired clothing has a negative connotation.

So we decided our aims would be:

  1. Involve people in their garments
  2. Make repair beautiful

Our final concept took two different paths: a physical shop and an online platform.

We envisioned a chic downtown shop in the fashion district – it would have all the elements of a Saville Row tailor, but rather than designing or manufacturing clothes, the focus would be on bespoke, tailored repair. Elegant, creative patching with ornate stitching.

Prices would be high – by repair standards – but you would have the experience of a personalised tailoring service without having to buy a whole suit. Luxury for the economic crisis…

The decision to aim at the high-end market is to try to shake free of some of the negative connotations of repair.

Customers would bring in their damaged garments and discuss the repair with a skilled artesan, they’d pick out fabrics based on colour, texture or weight, decide on a stitching pattern, and create a new identity for their article of clothing.

People love to have stories to tell about their objects – rather than trying to hide the damage, a beautiful patch highlights the life of the garment, makes it a one-of-a-kind, and allows the wearer to tell others about either the wild night when the damage occurred, or the experience of having a high-end repair created for it.

The scourge of the regular casual cyclist. A sub-crotchal blowout destroys an otherwise functional pair of jeans. Not a cool, rock’n’roll place to have a gaping hole.

By sharing the methods, successes and failures of this shop with the online public, it becomes an open franchise, replicable in other cities.

The other part of Group 2’s concept is an online space where you would find tutorials and information about different stitching techniques, and the best ways to patch certain areas or materials. People could share photos and instructions for their patches, post the stories behind the material used, or the rip itself.

In this way the process of repair becomes more valuable, respected and widely circulated, and a long-lasting, personalised garment gains value over something new and mass-produced.

Thank you so much to Annelisa, Brian, Julia, Cathrin, Angel, Sergio, Mei, Judith and Rosa for all the help, good times, great ideas and interesting discussions! We’ll have a practical workshop in a couple of weeks with some people who actually know how to sew. Updates to come!

Some more interesting links to check out in this area:

Robis Seidran Koopmans, (who is using open source 3d programs and techniques in fashion) also gave me this tip: Susan Spencer has been (or had been?) developing almost exactly the hypothetical program I mentioned in my first post. I’ll get in touch with Robis and Susan soon and talk about their experiences.

A group at Cornell has been doing mind-blowing research into stitch meshes.

I don’t know if these are quite right for me, but Open Source shoes are almost a reality at the Barcelona FabLab. Check out their video, and if you like it, you’ve still got 6 days to support their project or order your own open source shoes!

The idea of open-source undies did not inspire my oft-nude friend Robbie to put any clothes on, but it did inspire this lovely cartoon:

Open Source Hulk by Robbie Neilson

You will have noticed that there’s no video this time… ah… technical difficulties… most of the photos in this post are stills from the video we shot at the workshop (thanks for the help, Rosa!) but the post-production side of things has grown complicated. The state of open source non-linear-editing software is a big but necessary hurdle for me to deal with. There has been much exasperation, and plenty of gibberish hurled at the Terminal window.

Can any of the more technically-minded amongst you help me:

a) create the right proxy files from Canon H264 footage for importing into Kdenlive

b) convert Canon H264 footage to an intermediate editing codec for use in Cinelerra (tried various versions of MTS / MKV so far…)

c) stop OpenShot from crashing the moment I try to do anything complicated?

There will be a more in-depth look at my first month with open source software soon. I’d like to have a happy ending to my editing struggles first though…

What is the Year of Open Source?

A little bit more about this project and how it works

[UPDATE] Year of Open Source ran from August 1st 2012-August 1st 2013.

Read the end-of-project wrap-up here.

The project kicked off a number of adventures further into this ever-expanding field: these days I spend my time applying the open source approach to video, to the circular economy, and, well, everything else.

What is the Year of Open Source?

Year of Open Source is a year-long investigative process and life experiment, documented in video, writing, and other media. I’m a filmmaker from New Zealand, based in Berlin. Until August 2013, I’m trying to live Open Source for a year – avoiding traditionally copyrighted products, using products released under open licenses, or adapting or developing my own. In every aspect of my life, from the clothes I wear to the film equipment and appliances I use, I will be looking for and switching to open source alternatives, in hardware, software and services.

Confused? Here’s how I explained it to my mum.

The goal is to investigate how free / libre / open source ideas have spread to other areas outside of software – to test out the theory and see how feasible an ‘open source life’ may be. The other core part of the project is to spread the idea of open source, to get people to understand what it is and how it works, and to consider using open source options and methods.

For more details, please read the FAQ.

All the while I will be gaining knowledge and perspective on core concepts and examples of free/libre/open culture and the best methods of communicating these ideas. The lessons and experience of this year will also go into a libre-licensed creative video work which will start production in August 2013. Keep coming back for updates, blog posts and videos throughout the year!

Sam Muirhead

 

Open Source Undies?

In hardware, Open Source techniques (collaborative working, sharing experiences and experiments, transparency in production) are designed to democratise the design and production process. To take what traditionally was a difficult and expensive task done only by experts, and provide the tools and methods to make it more accessible, faster, and more efficient.

Not all aspects of my life will provide great opportunity for open source improvement, however – particularly anything that already is fast, cheap, and easy to produce. For example, anyone can produce their own toothpaste in the same time it would take to brush their teeth. Here’s proof:


(this video is my first attempt at using open source editing software- OpenShot. It’s basic, but everything was easy to work out!)

To make toothpaste there’s no special equipment needed, no expensive materials. This recipe is just a variation on the WikiHow one: 80ml baking powder (NaHCO3.), 30ml hydrogen peroxide solution (3%, H2O2), 10ml glycerin (C3H8O3) (or you can use xylitol – C5H12O5), 2 drops peppermint oil. You can get hydrogen peroxide, peppermint oil and glycerin at most pharmacies. There’s not a great deal of variation or strong opinion on different toothpaste flavours, so although I’ll be using this open source version throughout the year, I’m not expecting others to get excited about it.

But what about more complicated matters? What about open source underwear?

I’m somewhat worried – I haven’t threaded a needle since the horrific experience of winning the school prize for sewing when I was 11 – it was a co-ed school, and my gigantic tribal beach baggies had for some reason impressed the judges. But I don’t just want to make undies for the sake of undies – I’m interested in seeing how Open Source methods can change clothing production.

There are already interesting ideas in the world of fashion with regards to crowdsourcing and technological innovation, and there are people working collaboratively and sharing their designs with others.

My thinking is based on the simple idea that not everybody is a perfect small, medium, or large. Most people are not shaped like shopping mall mannequins. Even mannequins only fit their clothes because they’re pinned at the back. My chicken ankles make any pants other than stovepipes flap listlessly like spinnakers. My shoulders wouldn’t even look broad in an ’80s power suit, and I think my hips are wider than my chest. While a fit 60-year-old might proudly boast ‘I have the physique of someone half my age‘ it’s not ideal for a 28-year old. I’m not worried about my body shape, it’s just an inconvenience when looking for clothes.

One of Da Vinci’s lesser known drafts, before he really nailed that circle.

But if I were to go to a shopping mall on the hunt for a jacket, I’d have to hope that one of these multi-national chains happened to have a style I like, that suits my body shape, and doesn’t have any stupid piping, or contrast-coloured zips, or whatever else the mass-produced version of this season’s style is.

So finding something I like is already an unlikely proposition, even before thinking about the sizes available. Instead of finding just the right jacket for me, I might end up buying 2 or 3 articles on sale (‘saving’ money) which aren’t necessarily quite the right style, colour or fit.

It also seems that manufacturing clothing in the countries with the lowest wages and then shipping it in bulk to the countries with the highest incomes is hardly an agile system, and difficult to achieve efficiently. We’ve taken this frustration of clothes shopping for granted for a very, very long time. But what other option is there? Tailoring is too expensive, and making things yourself is too difficult, right?

Well, one goal of my project is to get people to consider how an open source method might work in different areas, and I think there are plenty of opportunities in clothing.

For example:

-Imagine an online community, (kind of like a thingiverse version of openwear), where people could share their designs freely with others. These designs would be electronic patterns, readable by a software program.

A user could download a pattern, alter its design to their own taste, and release it back to the community as well.

-If this software program could parametrically alter the designs – for example, if I took my chest, neck, waist and arm measurements as inputs, the program could calculate the necessary changes to the pattern and provide the correctly shaped and sized pieces to be cut out.

-On a private section of your online profile you would have all of your measurements recorded so you could instantly adapt any pattern to fit. (Of course, your measurements might need to be adjusted should you switch to a Paula Deen-inspired diet.)

-Then you would be able to print and cut out the design to sew together. This could be done in a low-tech manner (print out on paper, pin to material, cut out with scissors) or a mid-tech manner (use a computer-controlled plotter to draw the design on material, cut out with scissors) or a high-tech manner (a computer-controlled laser cuts the parts directly)

Now this idea does not solve all the difficulty of actually designing or sewing the clothes, but the focus is on removing or streamlining the computational aspect of a tailor’s work, and leaving more time for creativity in design and high-quality crafting.

In order to illustrate the concept I would like to make my own boxer shorts. I’ve chosen boxer shorts because they’re one of the simpler articles of men’s clothing, and they really only have one key measurement – the waist. There’s generally a bit of give and take in terms of the length and leg circumference of boxer shorts, and I’m sure you could adjust them in a ratio with the waist measurement.

Is anybody keen to help me? I’m not trying to build a huge software program, just develop or adapt:

-a boxer short design (I guess in vector graphic format?)

-an equation which would adjust the size of pieces in accordance with the waist measurement

-a way of linking these together.

Who’s in? There’s a perfectly-fitting pair of boxer shorts in it for you…

Let me know what you think in the comments – could this kind of clothing system work? is there anything like it already? is the future for open source toothpaste really as dead as I assume?

Read on for a writeup of our open source clothing brainstorming session…

Ways you can help!

This is an independent documentary project in support of free / libre / open culture, with no crew and few resources – I ran an initial crowdfunding campaign in July to get things going, and we were able to raise almost €5000, but if you’ve just heard about the project and would like to help out, the best way is to donate via the links in the sidebar (flattr, paypal and BitCoin- open source money!). There are Open Source Swimsuit Calendars on offer as a thank you as well.  I’ve quit my part-time job to focus on this, but I’m only just scraping by!

If you like the idea of the project and would like to help out, there is all sorts of non-financial help that I need:

If you know of interesting relevant events happening within Europe throughout the duration of the project (until August 2013), please let me know. If you’re interested in collaborating on a project, I’d be keen to hear from you as well.

I don’t have the resources to be able to buy an open source computer or camera, or even to buy the parts and put them together. If anyone can sponsor me with an open source product, or if you know anybody developing an interesting open source hardware project who might need some publicity, I would love to be able to at least borrow a test version to play with and discuss, even if only for a month or two.

For the film at the end of the project I’ll be looking for people to help out with translation, animation, and all aspects of video production.

If you’re based in Berlin, there are plenty of ways you can help. If you:

a) have some experience shooting with Canon DSLRs, or would like to learn

b) have some editing experience or would like to learn, and are keen to join me in getting to grips with open source NLEs

c) are good at organizing and planning, and could help me make a timeline and organise some projects, visits and interviews to help me tackle this huge task (Native speakers of German would also be very helpful).

There are plenty of other ways people might be able to help, just send me an email if you think of something you can offer. The more skilled people who can help in any way, the better this project can be. If someone you know might be able to help me out, tell them to get in touch. I want it to be as far-reaching, entertaining and thought-provoking as possible, and I can only do so with your help. Thank you very much for all the suggestions so far, I’m working on turning this blog into a navigable, functional website, so keep checking back!

This last open source hero sure can fill out a speedo…

9 hours to go, and the IndieGoGo campaign is just over $6600! thanks so much to everyone who has contributed so far, it has been an amazing experience getting the word out and hearing back from so many helpful and generous people around the world.

So, who’s the last open source hero going to be…? wait for it…

it’s….

the community!

aww.

Open Source users, developers, writers, funders, engineers, and organisations, drawn by Judith Carnaby for the 2013 Open Source Calendar (Swimsuit edition)

There are enough dedicated and inspired individuals working, discussing and tinkering on open source projects to fill thousands of calendars. We’ve tried to highlight some of the core individuals leading by example and spreading the word about open source, but the movement’s greatest asset is and has always been the community, and they need to be honored too.

And you can get the calendar in the next 9 hours by donating $25 or more for the digital download, or $60 or more for the physical version!

Last 24 hours of crowdfunding!

The IndieGoGo campaign has just 1 day left, so time to reveal the last few heroes for the calendar…

One of the most mind-blowing and inspiring projects of the open source and open hardware world is certainly the 3D-printing revolution, and this is lead by the original, evolving, self-replicating 3D printer, the RepRap. I’ll be investigating the RepRap, its evolution and its community throughout the year, but here’s its inventor, Adrian Bowyer, to whet your appetite.

Adrian Bowyer drawn by Judith Carnaby for the 2013 Open Source Calendar (Swimsuit Edition)

There’s a nice quote from the Guardian in his Wikipedia entry: “[RepRap] has been called the invention that will bring down global capitalism, start a second industrial revolution and save the environment…”

Here’s Adrian talking about his invention (the video’s a few years old, I’ll be covering some of the more recent breakthroughs over the coming months).
[vimeo 5202148 w=500 h=400]

Also, of course, none of the current world of open source would have been possible without the World Wide Web, and its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee:

Tim Berners-Lee drawn by Judith Carnaby for the 2013 Open Source Calendar (Swimsuit Edition)

As well as, you know, bringing you the internet as you know it and giving away his idea royalty-free, he’s also an important advocate of open data and net neutrality.

So that’s 11 heroes in swimsuits, the final drawing will be up sometime in the next 24 hours… but who will it be?

In the meantime, you can get your calendar or check up on the campaign’s progress on IndieGoGo!