Sunday, April 22, 2012

Collaboration & Open Source Hardware (OSHW)

First there was open source software. Then came open standards, open architecture, open access, open data, open knowledge, open communities… and now we have open source hardware.  Open source hardware is just one more component of the ever growing collaborative 'open source' cultural movement sweeping across the nation and around the world. 

Open Source Hardware (OSHW) is a term for tangible artifacts -- machines, devices, or other physical things -- whose design has been released to the public in such a way that anyone can make, modify, distribute, and use those things.  See

Open source hardware gives people the 'freedom' to control their technology while sharing knowledge and encouraging commerce through collaboration and the open exchange of designs.  See video on Open Source Hardware at

The open source hardware design (e.g. mechanical drawings, schematics, bill of materials, integrated circuit layout data), are all released in accordance with generally accepted open source practices.  See

Ideally, open source hardware uses readily-available components and materials, standard processes, open infrastructure, unrestricted content, and open-source design tools to maximize the ability of individuals to make and use hardware.

As you can see from the current  List of Open Source Hardware on Wikipedia, there are hundreds if not thousands of open source hardware projects springing up around the world related to the design and development of electronic equipment, machines, tools, energy solutions, medical devices, robotics, automotive technology, and more. Check it out!
Selected 'Open Hardware' Links

Finally, the emergence of a robust open source hardware community composed of individuals and organizations from industry, academia, and government will be needed in order to effectively address and overcome the many challenges out there.  Remember, collaboration, open solutions, and innovation are the key management strategies companies need to embrace to succeed and prosper in the 21st century.  Explore the "Open Way".

Have you gotten involved with an open source hardware project? Tell us about it.

Selected Videos on  'Open Source Hardware'

* Visit the the Collaboration, Open Solutions, & Innovation (COSI) web site at  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Predictions on the Future Job Market

Speaking at the TEDx Reset Conference in Istanbul, Turkey, futurist Thomas Frey predicted that over 2 billion jobs will disappear by 2030 - roughly 50% of all the jobs on the planet. I really liked what he has said and decided to post this short blog with a link to his predictions.

It wasn’t intended as a doom and gloom outlook. Rather, it was intended as a wakeup call, letting the world know how quickly things are about to change, and letting academia know that much of the battle ahead will be taking place at their doorstep.

Here is a list of five major industries where he predicts the job picture will be changing dramatically over the coming decades.
  • Power Industry
  • Transportation Industry
  • Education Industry
  • Publishing & Printing
  • Manufacturing & Robotics
Read more in FuturistSpeaker.Com about Thomas Frey, his predictions, and about the new jobs that will likely replace some of the lost jobs over the coming decades.

The predictions need to be seriously considered and discussed as America continues to change and adapt to the future. Share your own predictions about the future job market with us.

Dumb Tech Predictions about the Future

I felt a need to add a touch of humor here and take a look back in time. Here are some more of the dumbest tech predictions from past years, decades, and centuries. Inspired and based on an article previously written by Cody Willard entitled "Some of the Dumbest Tech Predictions of All Times".
  • "The canal system of this country is being threatened by a new form of transportation known as 'railroads' ... As you may well know, Mr. President, 'railroad' carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by 'engines' which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed."  -  Martin Van Buren, Governor of New York, 1865
  • “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.” — Western Union internal memo, 1876.
  • “Do not bother to sell your gas shares. The electric light has no future.” —Professor John Henry Pepper, Victorian-era celebrity scientist, sometime in the 1870s
  • "The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys." -  Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878
  • “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” - Lord Kelvin, circa 1895, British mathematician and physicist
  • "That the automobile has practically reached the limit of its development is suggested by the fact that during the past year no improvements of a radical nature have been introduced."  -  Scientific American, 1909
  • “Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.” — Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre
  • “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?” — Associates of David Sarnoff responding to the latter’s call for investment in the radio in 1921
  • “The problem of TV was that people had to glue their eyes to a screen, and that the average American wouldn’t have time for it.” − The New York Times, 1939
  • “Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night,” Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox, 1946.
  • “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” — Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943.
  • “The world potential market for copying machines is 5,000 at most,” IBM executives to the eventual founders of Xerox, 1959.
  • “Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18 000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers of the future may have only 1 000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1½ tons.” — Popular Mechanics, March 1949
  • "Transmission of documents via telephone wires is possible in principle, but the apparatus required is so expensive that it will never become a practical proposition."  -  Dennis Gabor, British physicist and author of Inventing the Future, 1962
  • "There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television, or radio service inside the United States." -  T. Craven, FCC Commissioner, 1961 
  • “I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.” — Jack Valenti, MPAA President, testimony to the House of Representatives, 1982
  • "I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." — Michael Dell's comments about Apple back in October 1997
  • “There is no need for any individual to have a computer in their home.” - Ken Olson, President of Digital Equipment Corp (DEC) in 1977
  • “No one will need more than 637 kb of memory for a personal computer. 640K ought to be enough for anybody.” - Bill Gates, CEO and founder of Microsoft, back in 1981
  • "The Internet is just a fad."  -  My boss, the CIO at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) back in 1999
  • “The subscription model of buying music is bankrupt. I think you could make available the Second Coming in a subscription model and it might not be successful.” Steve Jobs — Rolling Stone, Dec. 3, 2003
  • “Let’s look at the facts. Nobody uses those things…” - Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer when asked about Google Android and the future of apps
Have you got some other dumb tech predictions you've run accross to add to this list? Share them with us.