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MAKE Newsletter

June 9, 2010

Welcome to the June Make: Newsletter

Maker Faire Director Sherry Huss (as the cupcake), co-starring Faire Producer Louise Glasgow. [Photo by Kipp Bradford]

Hot Fun in the Summertime!

We're still reeling from Maker Faire Bay Area, which was a multiverse of fun. If you missed it, don't miss our rapidly growing YouTube playlist, with in-depth features from the event, and the Maker Faire archives on the website. We've now excitedly moved on to planning Maker Faire Detroit (July 31–Aug 1) and World Maker Faire in NYC (Sept 25–26). We hope you can make it to one of these awe-inspiring events.

We're also putting the finishing touches on MAKE Volume 23, the Gadget issue. It in, you'll learn about the Laser Mosquito Zapper, the world's first laser-guided, laser-blasting, mosquito defense shield! And there are loads of cool gadgets you can make, such as the Mini Chip Amp, a tiny audiophile amp with a see-through form factor. Look for Volume 23 on newsstands by July 27.

And, this month on Make: Online, the theme is "Physical Science and Mechanics." Learn more.

We hope you're ready for big fun this summer and you get the chance to take some time off to indulge in DIY. If you do, let us know what you're working on.

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Ford's American Journey 2.0


By Gareth Branwyn

In the lead-up to Maker Faire Bay Area, we got the opportunity to participate in a unique program of Ford's, undertaken as part of the development of their next-generation Sync car computer technology, powered by Microsoft. Working with student engineers from the University of Michigan, a contest was held to create software that best featured the capabilities of the Sync platform. The winning program, called Caravan Track, and the winning student developers, Team Bobcat, were then sent on a roadtrip, from Ann Arbor, Mich., to Maker Faire Bay Area, San Mateo, Calif.

MAKE met up with the team, and their caravan of Ford Fiestas, at four stops along the way. The students had a unique opportunity to road-test Caravan Track (designed to track and communicate between vehicles traveling in a group) and other experimental apps. One of the Fiestas, AJtheFiesta, could even twitter its "moods" (based on in-car sensors and other data collected from the car). Once at Maker Faire, the team of students, and the Ford and Microsoft engineers that traveled with them, got to talk to makers about the future of open application development for car systems and the idea of the car as a hardware and software development platform. There were some fascinating and inspiring exchanges of ideas.

More about American Journey 2.0:

  • Here's the American Journey 2.0 site on MAKE, where we tracked their progress on the trip.
  • MAKE editor Dale Doughery did a webcast with K. Venkatesh Prasad, Technical Leader, Infotronics team at Ford Research & Advanced Engineering, called Automakers 2.0, to talk about the AJ2.0 project and the networked and open platform car of the future.

As MAKE author Matt Mets said in his wrap-up post about the American Journey 2.0 experience:

MAKE really enjoyed being a part of American Journey 2.0. It's encouraging to see the interest that Ford has expressed in the maker movement, and if this project is any indication of the direction in which they're headed, it will be interesting to see where this journey ultimately takes us.

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The Maker's Dictionary explores the world of DIY through its technical terms, jargon, and slang. We cover emerging terms you might hear floating around (but don't really know the meaning of), the tried and true argot of various technical disciplines (that all makers can benefit from knowing), and fun slang that helps paint a picture of DIY subcultures. If you have any terms or slang you want to share, send them to gareth@makezine.com.  --Gareth

DIWO (do it with others) — The collaborative answer to "do it yourself" (DIY). With so many hackers groups, makerspaces, Dorkbots, and other local orgs getting together, it's nice to know there's an acronym for acknowledging such collaboration (even though few people ever actually use it).

Dead bug mode — Said of an integrated circuit (IC) chip that's on its "back" so that its pins are sticking up in the air. In "live bug mode," the chip is standing on its pins, upright.

HAP (hire a professional) — The opposite of DIY (or DIWO).

Headers On a printed circuit board (PCB), the pins (male headers) and corresponding sockets (female headers) that allow you to plug in additional PCBs, programming connectors, sensors, and other components.

Wabi-sabi — The Japanese aesthetic principle of finding beauty in transcience, imperfection, and incompleteness.

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