Adafruit industries are starting a webseries for kids about the basics of electricity, circuits, and making electronics do what you want. My verdict: is there a word that means cute and at the same time informative? Cuteformative. Informacute. Informadorable.
So this is pretty much the best thing I've seen all day (and I've already seen the synopsis for Pacific Rim and two commercial spots for The Dark Knight Rises including one where Catwoman poses as Mrs. Bruce Wayne to steal his car). Limor Fried is an Open Source pioneer, engineer and business owner, and being there for the first Open Source Hardware summit and drafting the Open Source Hardware definition and being the first female tech professional to grace the cover of Wired in fifteen years would be enough to make her a role model for any young science inclined girl. Probably my favorite thing that Fried has done was going up against the mighty corporate power of Microsoft, and winning, when she offered a cash prize for the first person to make open source drivers for the Kinect peripheral for the Xbox 360. Microsoft was by historical default very protective of who could use its hardware and for what, and initially threatened legal action against anyone who would interfere with their desire to keep the Kinect tamper-proof. Fried's response was to increase the value of the prize by 50%.
So in 2011 when we all (including, by official statement, Microsoft) enjoyed dozens upon dozens of YouTube videos of programmers and animators showing off the Kinect hacks they'd made to create virtual puppets controlled by putting your hand in the air, turn things invisible to the computer screen, and create 3D models of objects simply by rotating them in front of a piece of hardware that cost less than $200, we had Fried to thank.
And so we might have her to thank for the above Lego set, if she gets enough votes.
The explosive success of Google+ may be somewhat dampened at the news that Google is apparently launching a massive effort to bring accounts into line under their terms of service and seems to be freezing accounts left and right. The issue seems to spring from Google+'s policy which requires users to enter their real name.
ZDNet reports that people who have entered nicknames or psuedonyms, including writers, entertainers, and regular folks, have found their Google+ accounts inaccessible. While some, including Limor Fried, have managed to get their accounts reactivated not everyone is so lucky. More troubling are reports that the account deletions are happening without warning, and in some extreme cases have locked users out of all Google services.
The site GOOD recently posted about how Limor Fried's landmark WIRED cover is just absolutely appalling because of its glossy, stylized appearance, making them wonder why they bothered to feature Fried at all if all they were going to do is Photoshop her "beyond recognition." Because a female in a scientific field should not appear to have any regard for her looks at any time ever, not even for a stylized magazine cover? Because only frumpy women are real women? Well, Fried responded to the post in their comments section, assuring them "that is really what I looked like."
Wired has a rather infamous track record when it comes to putting women on the cover of their magazine -- and it didn't help much that last year, Wired put a pair of breasts on the cover. (Because they illustrated an article on tissue engineering, of course.)
So it's refreshing to see that for the April 2011 issue of Wired, a woman with technical skills gets prominent cover placement. Adafruit Industries' Limor Fried, who was prominent last year in raising the call for an open Kinect driver that arguably helped launch the Kinect hack revolution, is the first female engineer to make the cover of Wired.
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Wired has come under criticism before for its depiction of women on its covers. According to Cindy Royal, whose blog post about the lopsided featuring of women on the cover of Wired reached many last fall, the last time a woman on the cover of Wired was actually a luminary from the world of technology it was 1996. As Royal said, Martha Stewart, Sarah Silverman and Uma Thurman don't count.
Whether Wired actually listened to Royal's criticism is more than we can say for certain, but we're happy to report that today Wired tweeted their April cover featuring none other than Limor Fried (who we featured on our PowerGrid, 10 Women Who Secretly Control the Internet), the lady who offered a cash prize to the first person to produce open source drivers for the Microsoft Kinect, and then successfully convinced Microsoft that she had actually done them a favor and they shouldn't sue her.