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We are all hackers now
 

We are all hackers now

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People have created and modified tools to address their needs since prehistoric times. But since a few generations we simply buy the tools we need and use them in the way they have been designed. With ...

People have created and modified tools to address their needs since prehistoric times. But since a few generations we simply buy the tools we need and use them in the way they have been designed. With the current pervasive presence of digital technology, these digital 'tools' are increasingly defining how we live, communicate, learn and work.

Many think of this as nauseating and constraining. We feel that we are forced to live the way big corporations have designed it for us. We feel no longer free to do what we want.

Why can't we design our own tools anymore? Is it really true that corporations always know better what we want? What about those people who fall outside of the mainstream, and have needs and contexts of life that require special tools, that these people can design themselves better than anyone else? And are we not all sometimes out of the mainstream?

In fact, we are increasingly becoming tech tinkerers, adapting our digital tools to a great variety of human needs.

This phenomenon has only just started. The open source hardware revolution has hardly kicked off, also due to the fact that digital technology that surrounds us is not always easy to modify.

But what would our world be like if technology was easy to modify? Would there be more empowerment? Innovation? Democracy? Participation? What could be in it for business? What could this all mean for people in emerging markets and for the future web of things?

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    We are all hackers now We are all hackers now Document Transcript

    • We are all hackers now but will we become builders too? SIGCHI Belgium Mark Vanderbeeken Senior partner, Experientia (Turin, Italy) Brussels, 29 June 2009 1 Today I want to present a new phenomenon that shifts the balance from corporations and institutions, to people. I am not sure how important this trend will become, because there are many obstacles, which I will talk about as well. But I think we need to be aware of it, start envisioning its possibilities -- something we will start with in the workshops -- and perhaps even support it wherever we can. This is the first time I give this presentation, and I therefore invite you to provide me with ample feedback and comments, so that I can improve it later on.
    • 2 Arduino the Cat, Breadboard the Mouse and Cutter the Elephant By Seaweed Studio www.vimeo.com/4313755 www.seaweedstudio.co.uk/eat/archives/65 Publicly available content
    • Before mass production Basic materials (wood, stone, metal, plants and animals) widely available. Transportation expensive. Main exchange: knowledge Read-Write culture (L. Lessig) 3 Mike Kuniavsky at LIFT France last week quoted Lawrence Lessig (Stanford University) who invented Creative Commons. Read-Write Culture: strong diffusion of making things, everyone made things, and these variations/innovations were pushed back into culture and society www.orangecone.com/archives/2009/06/when_bits_meet.html
    • 20th Century We moved into a Read-Only culture 4 Self-expression is limited to selection among pre-packaged options. You got low prices but at the expense of the flexibility of ideas.
    • The world of To and For “Industrialisation created a world in which goods and services were delivered to and for people. “ Charles Leadbeater, The Art of With, March 2009 5 Often in the name of doing things for people traditional, hierarchical organisations end up doing things to people. Companies say they work for consumers but often treat them like targets to be aimed at, wallets to be emptied, desires to be excited and manipulated. www.cornerhouse.org/media/Learn/The%20Art%20of%20With.pdf
    • “The world of To and For starts from people as bundles of needs, rather than as bundles of capabilities and potential.” 6
    • Coping mechanisms: adaptation Convenience adaptation Performance adaptation Economy adaptation Social significancy and identity adaptation Pleasure adaptation Suzan Boztepe, “User-Value-Based Product Adaptation” (2005) 7 Convenience: three types of ovens, or saving vs. reordering/managing time Performance: food processors to prepare tarhana: crush more than 100 lbs of boiled peppers and several kgs of dried dough Economy: product adaptation to increase a product’s economic value, e.g. through after sales services Social significance: status, maintaining face Pleasure: making products more aesthetically appealing. http://ead.verhaag.net/fullpapers/ead06_id166_2.pdf
    • 21st Century Advent of digital technology 8 With the current pervasive presence of digital technology, these digital 'tools' are increasingly defining how we live, communicate, learn and work.! Many think of this as nauseating and constraining. We feel that we are forced to live the way big corporations have designed it for us. We feel no longer free to do what we want.
    • 21st Century Could we be moving back to a Read-Write culture? 9 Lessig suggests that digital technology has made the 21st Century a Read-Write culture again, but that our 20th Century laws and organisations have not recognised it, and are actually actively seeking to prevent this.
    • The world of With “The web invites us to think and act with people, rather than for them, on their behalf or even doing things to them.” 10 The web is an invitation to connect with other people with whom we can share, exchange and create new knowledge and ideas through a process of structured lateral, free association of people and ideas. The principle underlying the web is the idea of endless, lateral connection.”
    • “Innovation invariably comes from a version of with: creative collaboration and conversation in which people share and blend their ideas” 11
    • Why shouldn’t we? 12 Why can't we design our own tools anymore? Is it really true that corporations always know better what we want? What about those people who fall outside of the mainstream, and have needs and contexts of life that require special tools, that these people can design themselves better than anyone else? And are we not all sometimes out of the mainstream?
    • Very few companies understand the world of With, so we all hack 13 In!fact, we are increasingly becoming tech hackers and tinkerers, adapting our digital tools to a great variety of human needs.! Tinkering is about seizing the moment: it is about ad-hoc learning, getting things done, innovation and novelty, all in a highly social, networked environment. This phenomenon has only just started. The open source hardware revolution has hardly kicked off, also due to the fact that digital technology that surrounds us is not always easy to modify, and because the legal framework is not there. Here are some examples
    • “Street hacks” 14
    • How Matt Gross of The New York Times is cheaply connected to the US: • Incoming: US phone > US mobile > Skype In > forwarded via Skype out > Italian mobile • Outgoing: Fring (on iPhone) > SkypeOut (via WiFi) 15 frugaltraveler.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/24/staying-in-touch-internationally-on-the-cheap/
    • 16 Telephoto mobile phone lens hack by UK artist Kerrin Mansfield. Photo by HD41117 www.flickr.com/photos/hd41117/2538184989/sizes/o/ Available under Creative Commons - Attribution - No commercial - No derivative license via Jan Chipchase, Nokia www.janchipchase.com/blog/archives/2008/08/bending_light_l.html
    • 17 Spanish teenagers armed with only a 90 euro camera and latex balloon have managed to take stunning pictures of space from 20-miles above Earth. www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5005022/Teens-capture-images-of-space-with-56- camera-and-balloon.html www.flickr.com/photos/meteotek08/sets/ Photo by Meteotek08 Available under Creative Commons - Attribution - Share Alike 2.0 license
    • 18 Dual SIM card allows two SIM cards to be used in almost any GSM mobile phone at the same time. Tinkering is bottom-up, iterative, experimental, practical and improvisational: informal and disorganized, accessible to anyone who is willing to learn. Photo taken in Accra, Ghana, 2007 by Younghee Jung, Nokia From presentation by Jan Chipchase, Nokia, publicly available at: www.janchipchase.com/blog/presentations/ JanChipchase_DuncanBurns_StreetHacks_vFinal_external.ppt Available under Creative Commons license
    • 19 Potenco pull-cord charger generating enough power for 20 minutes of talk time from one minute of pulling. www.flickr.com/photos/maneno/2932277363/sizes/o/ Photo by Maneno Available under Creative Commons - Attribution - No commercial - No derivative license
    • Hacks by communities 20
    • 21 Arduino - an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple I/O board and a development environment that implements the open source Processing / Wiring language. www.arduino.cc Photo from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Arduino_Diecimila.jpg Available unde r GNU Free Documentation license
    • 22 Lilypad, a microcontroller board designed for wearables and e-textiles. www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardLilyPad Photo by designdana designdana.wordpress.com/2009/04/14/communication-is-the-key/img_38201/
    • 23 TinkerKit is an Arduino-compatible physical computing prototyping toolkit aimed at design professionals. www.tinkerkit.com/ Illustration by Lok Neville Lee, Tinkerkit www.tinker.it/files/tinkerkit.pdf
    • 24 DIY Drones diydrones.com/ Photo by DIY Drones api.ning.com/files/i91jfgppQACVTQ-G8AzVmfXNlfpbezSRUs-uyiHKn1QK3jbZqHSFteCNTs8LY2- BO8NlodeOXaDADL4GRCj120JEwFI3vHSt/DSC04511ar.jpg
    • 25 Blimpduino diydrones.com/profiles/blog/show?id=705844%3ABlogPost%3A44817 Photo by DIY Drones api.ning.com/files/ uhMlCtYK9RZ5JBKdUMc0HkOj1g6AkkyuXv0QJjZGoSTmBL85ug3u8lEU3A3d7dMiC9NeT7j36MMDX MlpetLnIPv2oLYRJUDv/IMG_4507.JPG
    • 26 Linksys wireless router that was released in 2002 as a simple $150 router for home use. But hobbyists quickly discovered that its firmware was based on Linux and thus legally open source. Within months, hackers had written new code that gave the device radically new features: They boosted the antenna power, turned it into a signal repeater, and constructed self-healing neighborhood mesh networks. Based on the free work of amateurs, the router is now one of Linksys' all-time best-selling products. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linksys_WRT54G_series
    • 27 BerkShares www.berkshares.org Photo: http://lh5.ggpht.com/_ognFOelLQ4U/Rqyflq5WPQI/AAAAAAAABEA/luOqztLFbFc/IMG_0792.JPG
    • Small scale commercial initiatives 28
    • Zoybar - open source hardware platform for music making 29 A co-creation community inspired to develop and create innovative music instruments and effects in an open platform environment. www.zoybar.net Photo by Zoybar http://www.zoybar.net/photo/zoybar-hardware-parts-2?context=featured
    • 30 modu is a concept of a modular phone which is both a standalone phone and also the core of a range of variety of terminal devices. modu contains not only a slot for a SIM card, but also all the transmission technology needed for a mobile device to work. www.modumobile.com (from Israel)
    • 31 Bug Labs is creating a Lego-like hardware platform that tinkerers and engineers can use to create their own digital devices. Users start with the BUGbase and add Bugmodules to create a several in one gadget. The BUGbase is a general-purpose Linux computer about the size of a PlayStation Portable, encased in white plastic. This has four connectors that plug right into the motherboard. The modules include an LCD screen, a digital camera, a GPS unit, a motion sensor, a keyboard, an EVDO modem, and a 3G GSM modem. There are also places to add USB, Ethernet, WiFi, and serial ports. Bug Labs is planning on making 80 modules over time, and hopes outside companies and developers will create their own. “The Long Tail of Gadgets”: from a small number of companies building gadgets with markets of millions, to millions of innovators creating devices for the few. www.buglabs.net
    • BUG vonHippel 32 A breakout module to which you can connect sensors, wires, and USB devices. This module is named after Dr. Eric von Hippel of MIT who wrote the book Democratizing Innovation. www.buglabs.net/modules/bugvonhippel
    • OpenMoko Social Electronics 33 OpenMoko, a spinoff of Taiwan's First International Computer, established to build an open source touchscreen smart phone. Developers have created multiple widget toolkits, telephony frameworks and user interface shells that have been successfully programmed to run on the OpenMoko hardware. Social Electronics, an approach that leverages community involvement and collaboration with consumers. www.openmoko.com
    • Open Prosthetics Project 34 Open Prosthetics Project, a project to create useful and innovative prosthetic devices and release the designs into the public domain. This project is an open source collaboration between users, designers and funders with the goal of making the creations available for anyone to use and build upon. Their hope is to use this and our complementary sites to create a core group of “lead users,” and to speed up and amplify the impact of their innovations in the industry. openprosthetics.org
    • 35 VIA OpenBook Released under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 license giving customers the flexibility to bring their own innovative style and brand value propositions to the Mini-Note market segment. This also helps customers reduce product development costs and speed time-to-market. www.viaopenbook.com
    • 36 XORP is the industry's only eXtensible Open source Routing Platform www.xorp.org
    • 37 Asterisk, an open source telephony engine and tool kit. It is a telephone private branch exchange (PBX) originally created in 1999 by Mark Spencer of Digium. www.asterisk.org
    • 38 Shapeways - printing steel www.shapeways.com
    • What might this mean? 39 What would our world be like if technology was easy to modify?
    • Emerging markets 40 What could!this all mean for people in emerging markets?
    • Advantages • Knowledge transfer • Cost reduction of design process • Explore and encourage innovators • Accommodate different points of view 41
    • 42 Mobile phone repair shop, India Photo by Jan Chipchase, Nokia, 2005, publicly available at: www.janchipchase.com/blog/archives/2005/07/post-3.html Available under Creative Commons license
    • 43 Working on the circuit board Photo taken in Accra, Ghana, 2007 by Duncan Burns, Nokia From presentation by Jan Chipchase, Nokia, publicly available at: www.janchipchase.com/blog/presentations/ JanChipchase_DuncanBurns_StreetHacks_vFinal_external.ppt Available under Creative Commons license
    • 44 Reverse engineered repair manuals Photo taken in Delhi, India, 2005 by Jan Chipchase, Nokia From presentation by Jan Chipchase, Nokia, publicly available at: www.janchipchase.com/blog/presentations/ JanChipchase_DuncanBurns_StreetHacks_vFinal_external.ppt Available under Creative Commons license
    • Uganda tech incubator and software development firm 45 appfrica.org facilitates, mentors and incubates entrepreneurs in software in East Africa and Uganda. The mission is to offer opportunities and work experience for East African software entrepreneurs so that they can then use their talents to bolster the growing local markets by offering products and services.
    • uses Facebook Connect to allow questions to be a local mobile asked and answered OhmSMS - get an portal for in a Twitter-like SMS when your Facebook interface power is back on 46 status.ug – an inexpensive, and efficient, mobile gateway for Ugandans to update Facebook via their mobile phone. answer bird www.appfrica2.com/ugtek OhmSMS – Get an SMS when your power is off at home or at the office, simply by keeping a cheap mobile phone plugged into an outlet. http://appfrica.net/blog/archives/1815
    • Handasa Arabia Internet based organisation that aims to support electronics innovation and research in the Arab world. Working on the OFOQ, the Arabic open source PDA. 47 www.handasarabia.org
    • FabLabs MIT-sponsored personal fabrication workshops 48 General-purpose platform for making just about anything using a collection of computer-controlled manufacturing machines. fab.cba.mit.edu
    • 49
    • 50 FabLab in Afghanistan
    • Sustainability 51 Open Sustainability Network: open source water pumps, solar panels, weather kits and wind meters
    • www.platform21.nl 52 www.platform21.nl
    • Open Source Sensing 53 This is an open source-style project with the goal of bringing the benefits of a bottom-up, decentralised approach to sensing for security and environmental purposes. The intent of the project is to take advantage of advances in sensing to improve both security and the environment, while preserving — even strengthening — privacy, freedom, and civil liberties. www.opensourcesensing.org
    • 54 Tweet-a-Watt, an open wireless home-power monitoring system. www.ladyada.net/make/tweetawatt
    • Education 55
    • Aalto University New programme is fully based on prototyping, hands-on learning and multi- disciplinary teams. MIT What would happen if state-of-the-art research infrastructure, large library collections and world-class faculty were no longer scarce? 56 http://www.aaltoyliopisto.info/en/
    • 57 E-puck mobile robot, designed for micro- engineering education by EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland). Michael Bonani and Francesco Mondada at the ASL laboratory of Prof. Roland Siegwart en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-puck_mobile_robot
    • Politics, policy and development 58 Democracy? Participation?
    • European Commission • Working document (29/09/08): “Early challenges regarding the ‘Internet of Things’” • Communication (18/06/09): “Internet of Things - an Action Plan for Europe” 59 www.smart-systems-integration.org/public/documents/publications/Internet-of-Things_in_2020_EC- EPoSS_Workshop_Report_2008_v3.pdf/at_download/file ec.europa.eu/information_society/eeurope/i2010/docs/future_internet/swp_internet_things.pdf eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2009:0278:FIN:EN:PDF
    • Rwanda tech strategy 60 Everywhere you go in Rwanda, there are huge spools of fibre optic cable. In two years, every district of the country will be connected to each other and the Internet. Rwanda sends 300 students at a time to India Institute of Technology to develop skills in hardware, software and telecom they can bring back to their home country. First steps will include all government forms are moving online in the country, along with medical records. Ambition: to become a place that can churn out IT services for Rwanda first, and surrounding countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda second. IT is core not only for the education, connectivity and productivity, but the future economic development of Rwanda. www.techcrunch.com/2009/06/24/how-to-cross-the-digital-divide-rwanda-style
    • India “Open source hardware could well be India’s best bet to get started with a hardware industry, without spending years designing microchips from scratch.” Express Computer, June 2009 61 www.expresscomputeronline.com/20090601/market01.shtml
    • What are the bigger companies doing? 62
    • 63 one laptop per child laptop.org
    • 64 Simputer en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simputer www.simputer.org www.amidasimputer.com
    • 65 Lego mindstorms - They’ve open sourced the code and the hardware, and now offer a service called Lego Factory which allows fans to build novel models and pieces and have them produced by Lego’s real-world factory. mindstorms.lego.com
    • 66 OpenSPARC - an open source processor used in Sun SPARC servers www.opensparc.net
    • 67 www.android.com
    • 68 www.intel.com/pressroom/archive/releases/20090623corp_b.htm www.nokia.com/press/press-releases/showpressrelease?newsid=1324456
    • 69 An Alcatel-Lucent venture, based in Antwerp, Belgium www.touchatag.com
    • So why is this happening? • Cultural change because of the web • Price of designing and making goods is dropping • It has an ethical force: from passive consumers, to active and enpowered creators 70 While the price of moving goods will be increasing, the price of moving knowledge is decreasing. This is likely going to fundamentally change how things are made and our relationship to this production.
    • Barriers • History of To and With • Legislation and regulation • Intellectual property protection • Lack of expertise • Physical implem. and testing • Lack of business models 71
    • 72 Creating is inherently pleasurable. www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0HCW7lyIHQ
    • Thank you mark@experientia.com www.experientia.com www.experientia.com/blog twitter.com/vanderbeeken 73 In the short term, proprietary products are generally going to win because they can more tightly control inputs and output and therefore provide a more complete user experience. In the long term (10 years +), I think that open systems will almost win, because the systems will adapt better to people’s needs, be better understood from end to end, there will be more places for individual innovations to happen, and people will come to expect a more open ecosystem.