FarmBot: Open­source precision farming

FarmBot is an open­source and scalable automated precision farming machine and software package designed from the ground up with today’s technologies. The world’s population is growing and is projected to surpass 9 billion inhabitants by 2050. As a result farms must increase production by about 60 percent to meet demand which is stunning since many believe we have reached the limits of traditional farming.
FarmBot

In comparison to desktop digital 3D printers and CNC machines FarmBot extends the idea of X, Y, and Z directions and applies it to plows, seed injectors, water and sensors in order to accurately and efficiently grow plants and soil. I think that I would like to try this out in my own backyard.
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Latest Read: Makers: The New Industrial Revolution

Makers: The New Industrial Revolution is the best book hi-lighting the impact Makers have established over the last five years. The Maker movement is growing due to the collision of powerful digital tools, the internet of things and cost effective manufacturing. As a child I always wished for these advanced tools to bring to life my ideas, inventions and the toys my childhood friends would talk about and dream about making.

Makers The New Industrial RevolutionMy ideas for creating art was always apart of my Saturday art classes at the Toledo Museum of Art. The drawings I kept of my inventions have all but disappeared.

This is where Makers: The New Industrial Revolution comes into focus for parents and educators today a generation later. What is making this possible? The industrial global supply chain has driven the cost of affordable powerful IoT including the new $5 Raspberry Pi Zero that will drive new innovations at incredibly efficient price points.

We should be careful at home because the world is embracing these technologies. Remember Anderson shares his belief that inventors and creative types are actually makers. Now this is happening on a truly global scale.

If the buzz of 3D printers and filament reels make your eyes glaze please remember that YouTube is the best example of Makers sharing their passion. Look at any dedicated YouTube channel – say woodworking- and you will find Makers creating and uploading passionate lessons regarding their craft. Look no further than Esty for a commercial success as a reseller of Maker’s crafts now listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Simply unheard of just 5 years ago.
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FireFox at 10

FireFox turned 10 years old this week.  As much as the internet and society has had a love/hate relationship with this browser it is very important to not lose this one lesson: Initial month of deployment: 100 million downloads (10% market share) and now Microsoft was threatened by this new upstart browser and had just finished destroying Netscape.

But the real lesson not to be forgotten:  Blake Ross was a Stanford freshman (just 19 years old) along with Dave Hyatt and Joe Hewitt started developing this browser.

They were fresh out of High School when they all began developing what we now know as FireFox.

In Higher Education we need to really see that the world has changed rather significantly and for many administrators this lesson on launching a successful alternative to Internet Explorer is not lost on me.

Are we fully acknowledging that in the new App Economy we already see European countries teaching mobile app development in grade schools.

How far do we fall behind?

Will printed books remain relevant in the future?

Milwaukee radio station 620am WTMJ broadcast a segment regarding ebooks last week.  I finally got around to blogging about it today.  The segment was titled: Will printed books remain relevant in the future?  Book/library aficionado/blogger Paul Everett Nelson joins WAN at 4:34pm.

While the discussion was simple and well targeted to their audience there is certainly more to this story.  I understand the limited time allocated to radio segments — its Milwaukee’s WTMJ – not NPR.

My own experience and love of reading drew me to think deeper about the discussion of the publishing industry and their new demand to charge libraries unbeliveable fees.Some believe the publishing industry has been decimated in the internet age like the music industry.  Not sure that I completely agree with this statement.  A well run publishing business should be able to make significantly more profit from selling ebooks.  But in order to be successful the publishing industry must cannibalize itself.

One of the points of discussion is a rather draconian sales policy ebook publishers have demanded. They are changing their Terms  by actually charging libraries to repurchase (at full price no less) any ebook checked out more than 25 times. Yes you read that correctly – publishers plan to force every library that checks out an ebook 25 times to re-purchase the ebook at full price.

When exactly did those same publishers force those same libraries to purchase additional hardback copies of their books at full price after they were checked out 25 times?  Never, since the idea is just asinine.

Imaging a cable company requiring you to purchase a new cable package after watching 25 TV shows. Yep – now you know how stupid — or simply greed — is driving this decision.

Ever see a stack of 500 books on a shipping pallet?   Consider all the costs for print, assembly and shipping.  Add costs to distribute those books to bookstores and big box resellers….that is an expensive and time consuming process.  Oh yea…want it fast? — then pay extra for overnight shipping. Remember those books are only available during business hours.
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MDNA: sales vs. torrents

I simply burst out laughing reading the Detroit News‘ article regarding Madonna’s sharply falling record sales.  Her latest release MDNA debuted at #1 last week after selling 359,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. Yet as the article indicated: Madonna set to make the wrong kind of chart history.  Clearly author Adam Graham (@grahamorama) has no idea how torrents have simply crushed the music industry.  If he does understand — it was not mentioned in his article.

Riddle me this: How does Nielsen, Billboard or any other entertainment resource accurately reflect the impact of torrents on sales?  Ah….they can’t. The fact that Nielsen/Billboard still lists “traditional chart history” tells me another analog business is choking to death on the globalized internet.

I have come to accept that illegal downloads are no different than drugs, ebooks, guns or music.  All are in heavy demand.  The only difference: ebooks and music use the internet. Supply and demand.  Nothing more.

Its been a long standing issue for me to see mainstream media really show how inept they are when it relates to the globalization of the internet.  So what exactly did Adam Graham miss?

If you really want to understand the way the world works…

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