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Open-source hardware is slowly making the rounds at some of the more traditional news and editorial sources, here’s a pretty good overview from the Economist called “Open sesame” – some of the usual suspects are included (Chumby, Buglabs, Neuros). MAKE and Adafruit were not included along with a few others, but we have a complete list of open source hardware folks in the related links below…

THE idea of “open source” software is familiar to many computer users. Enthusiasts get together on the internet to create a new program, and as well as giving it away, they also make available its source code–the software’s underlying blueprint. This allows other people to make additions and improvements, and those are made available, in turn, to anyone who is interested. You do not have to be a programmer to benefit from the open-source model: many people use the Linux operating system or Firefox web-browser, for example, both of which have been developed in this way.

Now the same approach is being applied to hardware, albeit in a modified form.

And here’s a great quote…

All of which suggests that open-source hardware will really start to make a difference when big hardware makers and consumer-electronics firms begin to embrace the idea. “It’s a new day for consumer electronics,” says Chumby’s Mr Tomlin. “The community makes suggestions and shares hacks. And we don’t try to sue our innovators. We make heroes of them.”

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Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.

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