On the coattails of the rise of intellectual property and economic monopolies, the Open Source movement is thriving, expanding public access to knowledge, culture and tools. Advocates have opened up everything from software to science, media to politics…and of course, data.
Here are some of the 10 most promising Open Source Hardware projects that might just save the world:

1. Agriculture: FarmBot

We live on a planet that is experiencing exponential population growth. Everybody needs to eat, so many companies are working to make agriculture as efficient as possible. Problem is, they’re all proprietary (or “closed source”). So Rory Aronson, founder of FarmBot, is taking on the challenge of opening up agricultural technologies so we can all start to grow our food as efficiently as possible.
2. Waste: Precious Plastics

Commercial recycling operations are great, but often the applications for recycled materials, especially plastics, are limited. So Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Dave Hakkens recently showcased a series of open source machines he’s developed for repurposing waste plastics into new and useful things. Now anyone can build a local micro-recycling centre to service their (and their communities?) needs.
3. Housing: WikiHouse

WikiHouse is an open source construction. Users can freely download a series of files, purchase a bunch of plywood, and cut the designs out using a CNC router. The pieces all snap together like a giant puzzle (with instructions) and you can even cut out wooden mallets to help knock the joints together. This project is lowering barriers of entry to house building, so almost anyone can do it.
4. Ecology: Open Source Beehives

Bee colony collapse is a crisis we’ve heard a lot about over the past several years. Many people are aware, but there are very few grassroots solutions on the table. The OSBH project is helping citizens prevent bee population decline by bringing sensor-enhanced bee conservation into their backyards. Confession: I’m one of the founders of this project, but I really believe in it’s significance, otherwise I wouldn’t be putting all my energy behind it. If you care about colony collapse, please  check out our Indiegogo!
5. Connectivity: Spark.io

With all this talk of “The Internet of Things” there needs to be a piece of hardware that connects your technologies to the Internet, right? And it needs to be open source, so you can change it to suit your needs. Thats where Spark.io comes in. This Arduino compatible board lets even non-programmers start to make their hardware smarter.
6. Environment: Public Lab

Since our Governments and Corporations have become as corrupted as they are powerful, and democratic process is in many ways broken, the time has come for citizens to look after our own environment. Public Lab is facilitating this movement by developing open source hardware tools to generate knowledge and share data about community environmental health.
7. Fabrication: Lasersaur / Blackfoot

In order to utilise some of the open hardware designs out there, we need reliable digital fabrication tools to bring them from the digital into reality. These two projects give us considerably cheaper access to these tools in the increasingly important areas of laser cutting and CNC milling.
8. Clean Energy 1: The Gasifier Experimenters Kit

Ever wonder if you could turn you compost (or biomass) into energy? With this open source gasifier kit from All Power Labs, you can. This kit, available at multiple levels of energy output, can help you to lower your carbon footprint, while lessening your waste output. As an Open Hardware company, APL offer their kit for sale, but give the plans to make it yourself for free!
9. Clean Energy 2: Zenman Energy

Since energy production is one of the major issues of our time, here’s another open source energy project coming at the solution from a different angle. Zenman Energy have been working tirelessly to develop a cheap solar concentrator for you to harness power from the mother of all energy resources, the sun. Check out what even a mall solar concentrator can do here.
10. Transport: The Tabby

The Tabby is an open source, electric car designed by the team at Open Source Vehicle. According to the team, the whole car (once you have the parts) can be assembled in only an hour. This is a relatively new project, and definitely one to keep an eye on.

On the coattails of the rise of intellectual property and economic monopolies, the Open Source movement is thriving, expanding public access to knowledge, culture and tools. Advocates have opened up everything from software to science, media to politics…and of course, data.

Here are some of the 10 most promising Open Source Hardware projects that might just save the world:

1. Agriculture: FarmBot

We live on a planet that is experiencing exponential population growth. Everybody needs to eat, so many companies are working to make agriculture as efficient as possible. Problem is, they’re all proprietary (or “closed source”). So Rory Aronson, founder of FarmBot, is taking on the challenge of opening up agricultural technologies so we can all start to grow our food as efficiently as possible.

2. Waste: Precious Plastics

Commercial recycling operations are great, but often the applications for recycled materials, especially plastics, are limited. So Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Dave Hakkens recently showcased a series of open source machines he’s developed for repurposing waste plastics into new and useful things. Now anyone can build a local micro-recycling centre to service their (and their communities?) needs.

3. Housing: WikiHouse

WikiHouse is an open source construction. Users can freely download a series of files, purchase a bunch of plywood, and cut the designs out using a CNC router. The pieces all snap together like a giant puzzle (with instructions) and you can even cut out wooden mallets to help knock the joints together. This project is lowering barriers of entry to house building, so almost anyone can do it.

4. Ecology: Open Source Beehives

Bee colony collapse is a crisis we’ve heard a lot about over the past several years. Many people are aware, but there are very few grassroots solutions on the table. The OSBH project is helping citizens prevent bee population decline by bringing sensor-enhanced bee conservation into their backyards. Confession: I’m one of the founders of this project, but I really believe in it’s significance, otherwise I wouldn’t be putting all my energy behind it. If you care about colony collapse, please  check out our Indiegogo!

5. Connectivity: Spark.io

With all this talk of “The Internet of Things” there needs to be a piece of hardware that connects your technologies to the Internet, right? And it needs to be open source, so you can change it to suit your needs. Thats where Spark.io comes in. This Arduino compatible board lets even non-programmers start to make their hardware smarter.

6. Environment: Public Lab

Since our Governments and Corporations have become as corrupted as they are powerful, and democratic process is in many ways broken, the time has come for citizens to look after our own environment. Public Lab is facilitating this movement by developing open source hardware tools to generate knowledge and share data about community environmental health.

7. Fabrication: Lasersaur / Blackfoot

In order to utilise some of the open hardware designs out there, we need reliable digital fabrication tools to bring them from the digital into reality. These two projects give us considerably cheaper access to these tools in the increasingly important areas of laser cutting and CNC milling.

8. Clean Energy 1: The Gasifier Experimenters Kit

Ever wonder if you could turn you compost (or biomass) into energy? With this open source gasifier kit from All Power Labs, you can. This kit, available at multiple levels of energy output, can help you to lower your carbon footprint, while lessening your waste output. As an Open Hardware company, APL offer their kit for sale, but give the plans to make it yourself for free!

9. Clean Energy 2: Zenman Energy

Since energy production is one of the major issues of our time, here’s another open source energy project coming at the solution from a different angle. Zenman Energy have been working tirelessly to develop a cheap solar concentrator for you to harness power from the mother of all energy resources, the sun. Check out what even a mall solar concentrator can do here.

10. Transport: The Tabby

The Tabby is an open source, electric car designed by the team at Open Source Vehicle. According to the team, the whole car (once you have the parts) can be assembled in only an hour. This is a relatively new project, and definitely one to keep an eye on.

Members of a New Orleans church selflessly give away $5,000 in free gas for the community on Good Fridayhttp://www.nola.com/religion/index.ssf/2014/04/long_lines_form_as_church_give.html

(Source: goodnewsguardian)

Anonymous asked

You've (sort of) identified as a libertarian socialist before. What exactly does that mean to you? Does this mean that you would identify more with anarchist communists or anarcho-syndicalists than with right libertarians?

I don’t identify more with anarcho-communism, syndicalism, or right libertarianism. I answered a similar question not too long ago here:

I don’t subscribe to any particular label definitively, but I would say that “market anarchism” or “libertarian socialism” might best describe what I lean towards. I consider free association and exchange between humans to be liberating, and even egalitarian and conducive to peace when fully exercised without the abuse of property rights enabled historically and to this day by governments. I generally refer people to "Markets Not Capitalism" for a more thorough exploration of these ideas.

However, I don’t wish to limit myself or others from any form of experimentation in human exchange and cooperation that they might find beneficial. All of human interaction is varying forms of exchange; monetary, physical, intellectual, emotional, or otherwise. I think in pushing a non-violent, respectful, and cooperative message, human exchange can become a productive endeavor rather than exploitative. 

At its most basic I oppose all coercion and support all creative endeavors that empower people and generally improve the world for both sentient and non-sentient things on planet Earth.  

If and when I share a common ground with people from these groups, I hope to cooperate with them and provide my support. When I disagree with them, I hope to part ways peaceably and pursue our own means of survival. I am more focused on basic ideas than labels or parties, so there is cross-over between many groups. 

On specific issues like policing, war, surveillance, etc. I find common ground with most anti-statists. My biggest disagreements are probably related to my lack of support for American property law enforced by the state and American capitalism as a desirable market structure. I prefer the more cooperative/decentralized market visions proposed by left-libertarians and libertarian socialists, but this is mostly a choice of association. Not supporting something doesn’t dictate that I want to stop others by force from participating in it. There are however distinct disagreements when it comes to the use of the law to support certain market structures and give land privileges.

Hopefully this answered your question! 

Those of us who live in the rural areas know how to take care of lands. We have to start managing these lands. It’s the right thing to do for our people, for our environment, for our economy and for our freedoms.

Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder said, who lives in the northwestern Montana town of Thompson Falls, as more than 50 political leaders from 9 Western states gathered to discuss ways to take control of federally owned land in their statesNew Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington also were represented.

In most of these states, at least 30% of the state’s land is federally owned; with some like Nevada reaching up to 85% of the land.

The system was kind of kept confidential from everybody in the public. A lot of people do have a problem with the eye in the sky, the Big Brother, so in order to mitigate any of those kinds of complaints, we basically kept it pretty hush-hush.

LASD Sgt. Iketani 

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is using a new surveillance program utilizing the technology of a private contractor doing business under the not-scary-at-all name of “Persistent Surveillance Systems." This gives the LASD a literal eye in the sky that provides coverage it can’t achieve with systems already in place. But it does more than just give the LASD yet another camera. It provides the agency with some impressive tools to manipulate the recordings:

The system, known as wide-area surveillance, is something of a time machine – the entire city is filmed and recorded in real time. Imagine Google Earth with a rewind button and the ability to play back the movement of cars and people as they scurry about the city.

More here.

Louisville officers fired/demoted for exposing a wrongful conviction

When an esteemed police detective discovered that an innocent woman had spent years in prison for a murder she didn’t commit, he notified his supervisors and tried to make the tragic error known.  Instead of seeing that the new evidence came to light, police brass demoted the whistleblower and kicked him out of his unit.  Another veteran officer stood up for the whistleblower, earning him termination from the department after decades of service.  The Louisville Metropolitan Police Department has taken nefarious steps to hide a dark secret.

It’s rare to hear about cops sticking their own necks out to do the right thing when they see other cops conducting business as usual. It probably has something to do with how they and their family are treated by the police precinct as a result, both professionally and personally.
The system doesn’t cater to accountability, it deters it. The business of policing is a disgusting, moral-less entity, fueled by money and power, that punishes those few who might try to bring it out of the sewer. 

Louisville officers fired/demoted for exposing a wrongful conviction

When an esteemed police detective discovered that an innocent woman had spent years in prison for a murder she didn’t commit, he notified his supervisors and tried to make the tragic error known.  Instead of seeing that the new evidence came to light, police brass demoted the whistleblower and kicked him out of his unit.  Another veteran officer stood up for the whistleblower, earning him termination from the department after decades of service.  The Louisville Metropolitan Police Department has taken nefarious steps to hide a dark secret.

It’s rare to hear about cops sticking their own necks out to do the right thing when they see other cops conducting business as usual. It probably has something to do with how they and their family are treated by the police precinct as a result, both professionally and personally.

The system doesn’t cater to accountability, it deters it. The business of policing is a disgusting, moral-less entity, fueled by money and power, that punishes those few who might try to bring it out of the sewer. 

Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience.
Arkansas residents discover they can’t stop pipeline from crossing their land 

The Diamond Pipeline project, which would transport Bakken Shale crude from Cushing, Okla., to Memphis, Tenn., where Valero has a refinery, came to light when the pipeline company asked the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to survey property northeast of Little Rock that the commission manages for wildlife. Diamond Project LLC has not divulged the exact route of the pipeline, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it is a privileged document and won’t release it to the public. However, a rough map provided by Game and Fish shows the route bisecting the state north of Little Rock, and a brochure says construction is to start next year.
When the company contacted Dotson and asked to come on her property, which is being used as a cattle ranch, to survey it, “She essentially told them no,” Alison Millsaps said. “It got kind of ugly. They told her either you let us on or we’ll get a court order and come on.”
On Feb. 20, Diamond Project did get a court order, for a temporary condemnation, and were given 90 days to complete surveys and soil tests. Pink flags now cross Dotson’s land, “smack through the middle of her pasture,” Alison Millsaps said. There’s a pink flag tied to a branch over a cattle pond as well. Theoretically, Diamond is to reimburse Dotson $300 for any damage incurred in coming on the property, but Millsaps said she’s not sure how they would get the money, which is being held by the court.
Landowners who did not know before are learning that Arkansas law gives oil pipelines the right of eminent domain. Diamond Project LLC will have to get permits to cross rivers, streams and wet areas from the Corps, and must file other requests with the Public Service Commission and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality relating to river crossings, but the state can only regulate construction, not direct the route. The pipeline crosses three Corps districts; the Little Rock district will take the lead in the permitting process. Game and Fish and other interested parties are joining to ask the Corps to require individual permits for each waterway rather than a blanket nationwide permit. Individual permits would allow the public to comment on the impact of the pipeline on wildlife management areas, including the Rex Hancock Black Swamp Wildlife Management Area, Steve Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms WMA and the Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA. (Because it is a federal reserve, the Cache River National Wildlife Area was able to, and did, refuse Diamond access to the land.)
Millsaps’ picture of her husband and mother-in-law accompany this article. She said others who are unhappy about the company’s right of eminent domain may contact her on her Facebook page, True Price Per Acre.

Arkansas residents discover they can’t stop pipeline from crossing their land 

The Diamond Pipeline project, which would transport Bakken Shale crude from Cushing, Okla., to Memphis, Tenn., where Valero has a refinery, came to light when the pipeline company asked the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to survey property northeast of Little Rock that the commission manages for wildlife. Diamond Project LLC has not divulged the exact route of the pipeline, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it is a privileged document and won’t release it to the public. However, a rough map provided by Game and Fish shows the route bisecting the state north of Little Rock, and a brochure says construction is to start next year.

When the company contacted Dotson and asked to come on her property, which is being used as a cattle ranch, to survey it, “She essentially told them no,” Alison Millsaps said. “It got kind of ugly. They told her either you let us on or we’ll get a court order and come on.”

On Feb. 20, Diamond Project did get a court order, for a temporary condemnation, and were given 90 days to complete surveys and soil tests. Pink flags now cross Dotson’s land, “smack through the middle of her pasture,” Alison Millsaps said. There’s a pink flag tied to a branch over a cattle pond as well. Theoretically, Diamond is to reimburse Dotson $300 for any damage incurred in coming on the property, but Millsaps said she’s not sure how they would get the money, which is being held by the court.

Landowners who did not know before are learning that Arkansas law gives oil pipelines the right of eminent domain. Diamond Project LLC will have to get permits to cross rivers, streams and wet areas from the Corps, and must file other requests with the Public Service Commission and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality relating to river crossings, but the state can only regulate construction, not direct the route. The pipeline crosses three Corps districts; the Little Rock district will take the lead in the permitting process. Game and Fish and other interested parties are joining to ask the Corps to require individual permits for each waterway rather than a blanket nationwide permit. Individual permits would allow the public to comment on the impact of the pipeline on wildlife management areas, including the Rex Hancock Black Swamp Wildlife Management Area, Steve Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms WMA and the Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA. (Because it is a federal reserve, the Cache River National Wildlife Area was able to, and did, refuse Diamond access to the land.)

Millsaps’ picture of her husband and mother-in-law accompany this article. She said others who are unhappy about the company’s right of eminent domain may contact her on her Facebook page, True Price Per Acre.

Men in authority will always think that
criticism of their policies is dangerous.
They will always equate their policies
with patriotism, and find criticism subversive.
Henry Steele Commager (via mashkwi)

(Source: moralanarchism, via tonarchy)