wouter's blog

Digital Commons at the IASC Regional European Conference in Bern

Last week I had the pleasure to participate in the Regional European Conference in Bern, Switzerland, organised by the International Association of the Commons, the IASC. The main theme was "GLOBAL CONNECTIONS AND LOCAL RESPONSES", an adequate theme for many of the social movements and commons initiatives around the world. The natural resource and social commons were strongly represented, but some of the keynotes and sessions also pointed to the knowledge commons and digital commons.

The Things Network: 4x Commons for the Internet of Things

The Things Network is an initiative to build a distributed wireless data network for connecting "things" to the net, fully owned and controlled by its users. The Internet of Things (IoT) typically consists of electronic devices with sensors and actuators that transmit small bits of data to the net. The Things Network (TTN) uses a free spectrum radio technology called LoRaWAN, that is Long Range, using low bandwidth and low power. Their newly designed gateways by the TTN are low cost at 200 €, while Arduino UNO nodes go for 40 €.

The Commons Law Perspective, Open Hardware and Digital DIY

Photo of David Bollier by Joi Ito - originally posted to Flickr as David Bollier. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:DavidBollierJI1.jpg#/media/File:DavidBollierJI1.jpgOn October 1st I had an interview with David Bollier. Given his decade long work on the commons, as researcher and activist, author of books like Viral Spiral and in particular his work on Laws and the Commons, I thought that his perspective would be meaningful for our research in the DiDIY project. In particular for our work on rights and responsibilities, but also more in general to the various workpackages that make up the project.

The Right to Repair

I have always thought that repairing a broken product is better than throwing it away, even though quite a few products are designed in ways that don't help or directly encourage not to repair. In general, repairing is good for your personal wallet and good for the environment, right? Now that digital fabrication tools are spreading out like wildfire, it has become much easier to design and produce a spare part and repair your product. It gets even better as online communities share howtos and even design files. However several legal challenges may occur. Some examples.

Open Education at fOSSa conference

Last week I had the pleasure to participate in the free/open source software in academia (fOSSa) conference organised by the French INRIA. The topics of the conference covered from Open Education to Open Science, Open Design and Free Software. In this post I'll share some reflections on the topic of Open Education.

Selected Readings on Digital DIY

General introductions about digital fabrication technologies and how our societies are changing right now and in the foreseeable future:

  • Neil Gershenfeld (2005). FAB. The Coming Revolution On Your Desktop – From Personal Computers To Personal Fabrication. Basic Books. About FabLabs and How to make almost anything. Ebook. Neil's famous TED talk.

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