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Detroit Maker Faire Was Kinda Awesome

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the worth-an-afternoon dept.

News 138

I was excited to have a chance to go to the Detroit Maker Faire this year. I've always wanted to attend such a thing, but the stars never aligned. I saw an entire tent filled with DIY 3D Printers making strange objects including the coolest polyhedral dice ever. Utilikilts held in place with suspenders! Haberdashery! Quilting! Blacksmithing! Books! A Cupcake Car! Gomp! Beer! Remote control turtles! A giant hay bailer! Numerous strange pedal powered forms of locomotion, and an entire garrison of Star Wars costumes... Besides, it's not often you have the opportunity to witness a giant steel dragon blow fireballs in a parking lot. I've shared a giant collection of photos if you want to see these things and more for a taste of the inspiring insanity I can't wait for next year... and between now and then I have some projects to tackle.

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Polyhedral dice? (2)

seven of five (578993) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946046)

As opposed to... monohedral?

Re:Polyhedral dice? (1)

Anonymous Cowar (1608865) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946108)

As opposed to... monohedral?

polygonal?

Re:Polyhedral dice? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946186)

...as opposed to bihedral.

Re:Polyhedral dice? (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946224)

As opposed to... monohedral?

... As opposed to really ugly or boring polyhedral dice?

Re:Polyhedral dice? (3, Informative)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946398)

I think he was trying to express that there were dice of many shapes, without using so many words. If you just say 'dice', people will assume 6-sided.

Re:Polyhedral dice? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946588)

My dice are 2-sided you insensitive clod!

Oh wait, those are coins.

Re:Polyhedral dice? (1)

Cap'nPedro (987782) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947316)

If you just say 'dice', people will assume 6-sided.

Yeah right, this is Slashdot!

Re:Polyhedral dice? (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947478)

If you just say 'dice', people will assume 6-sided.

Yeah right, this is Slashdot!

You mean all dice don't have sides 0 thru 5?

Re:Polyhedral dice? (1)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947552)

Even some Slashdot users would assume 6-sided. Believe it or not, just because we share a subset of interests doesn't mean that we share the same set of interests.

Re:Polyhedral dice? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36948146)

Behold: The one-sided die! [blogspot.com]

Re:Polyhedral dice? (1)

VAElynx (2001046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36948778)

As opposed to oligohedral perhaps?

This was America before "free trade". (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36946078)

I'm older than most Slashdot readers, so I'm lucky enough to remember when these sort of fairs were commonplace throughout the United States. They truly were hubs of innovation, discovery and amusement. They'd happen at least monthly in most regions.

The so-called "free trade" of the past 30 years has killed all of that. It drove out the true grassroots innovation that made America a powerful and prosperous nation. The jobs, abilities and skills necessary to make anything of value were shipped out to third-world hellholes, and the engineering skills necessary to design the factories and the processes to create such goods left soon after.

Older folks are well, well aware of the sad state of the American economy today. We saw it when it was better. We lived through times when poverty was at its lowest levels ever. This was because America produced real wealth at the time, rather than the only jobs being serving coffee, putting foreign-made clothes on racks, collecting shopping carts, and producing bullshit "financial instruments".

In many ways, it's not surprising that we're seeing this sort of grassroots innovation in the Rust Belt states. They were the first to, dare I say it, suffer from the utter molestation caused by "free trade". Some places, like Detroit, have themselves fallen to third-world living standards thanks to "free trade" and the movement of industry to Mexico, China, India and Vietnam. It would be true justice if these places were the first to bring industry back to the United States, becoming extremely prosperous in the process.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (0)

_0rm_ (1638559) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946134)

Simple, labour is cheaper, and who the fuck are you to argue against the bottom line? What are you? A TALIBAN COMMUNIST NORTH KOREAN PIG-DOG!?

Re:This was America before "free trade". (1)

_0rm_ (1638559) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946178)

Blatant sarcasm aside, most of us have little time to do these sorts of things anymore. I myself can't seem to gather up the enthusiasm (or disposable income) to do anything. I would really like to break out that bin of scrap I saved from a few months back and make myself a robot minion. It would be a great challenge for my programming skills. But sadly, college classes and the regular college chaos prevent me from doing so. Maybe once I graduate.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (2)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946280)

once you graduate it only gets worse.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (1)

_0rm_ (1638559) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946348)

Doubtful. I already have a job pretty much secured (I hope) and have a consistent schedule. The company is small, and I have weekends pretty much to myself. If you ask me, it will get extremely better.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946462)

Don't buy a TV...

Re:This was America before "free trade". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36947048)

Don't buy a TV...

I'm only responding to your post because %#&ing /. 2.5 (or whatever they're calling it) auto-idiotically used my mod points to mod it -1 Troll, when I was TRYING to mod it +1 Insightful.

So, it's a wash, instead - and I hope someone else will mod your post up, as it deserves.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (2)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947852)

Addendum: repartition your entire hard drive; install Linux to prevent video games.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (1)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946486)

Maybe if you're really careful, but a lot of us end up with homes, wives, children, aging relatives, and a ton of other distractions. I fondly look back on when I had as much free time as University.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (1)

_0rm_ (1638559) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946640)

Free time? At university?! HAHAHAH! You funny person!

Re:This was America before "free trade". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36947304)

Such naivete.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (2)

PNutts (199112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947798)

Free time? At university?! HAHAHAH! You funny person!

So... Folks that graduated tell you what happens after you graduate and you mock them? For a long time I told people if I won the lottery I'd go back to college forever. You have no idea how much suck there is out there waiting for you.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (2)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36948360)

Hell yes... if it wasn't for the wife and child, I would do the same.

These days if I won the lottery, I'd probably buy a local bankrupt factory (there are plenty, from the demise of the local textile industries), and set up a lab in it. And rent any space I wasn't using to anyone else who wanted a lab.

What would I research? Whatever the hell I wanted to.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947366)

Blatant sarcasm aside, most of us have little time to do these sorts of things anymore.

It's not just time either. You used to be able to display only old thing at those fairs. These days it has to be a twenty foot tall transforming animatronic with lasers and pyrotechnics and ten thousand Watts of rumbling sounds. Who's got the resources to build stuff like that as a hobby?

Re:This was America before "free trade". (3, Interesting)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946216)

It's not "Free Trade" that killed innovation in the US. It's regulation. You can't start a company out of your garage anymore. There are health codes, environmental regulations, tax and accounting standards to be met. Plus, quite a lot of regulation is designed to protect incumbent interests, squeezing out any potential competitors before they even get to market.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (1)

_0rm_ (1638559) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946276)

And I thought I was a conspiracy theorist. There are plenty of ways to get out of the garage, you just have to know where to look. For example, as much of a gold-rush as it is, how many have made "that one great app" for mobile phones and struck it rich? Use those funds to work with the system and then work to change it.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36946478)

The only people making it "rich" from $1 mobile apps are developers living and working in India, or some other rather shitty country, where $1 goes extremely far buying inferior, locally-produced goods and locally-grown fruits.

Even a wildly successful mobile app will often only provide income for an average North American, Western/Northern European, Japanese or Australian developer equivalent to a year or two's salary. That's not "striking it rich". That just means they'll need to reproduce that same level of success almost constantly for decades.

The problem is still "free trade", not regulation. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36946334)

Regulation isn't the problem. Some degree of regulation is necessary, and it provides some very real benefits. The higher standards when it comes to the safety of manufactured products and the treatment of employees is what helped make America a first-world nation, versus the third-world shitholes that we find around the globe.

"Free trade" is as harmful as it is because it allows goods to be made in countries that have standards and regulations that are far, far below even the minimum standards in America. This is the only reason that China and Mexico, for instance, can produce goods far more cheaply than in the US. Their workers aren't any more productive than American workers would be, and are often much less productive due to using primitive manufacturing techniques that pre-date those used in America decades ago. They don't produce products that are better than those made in America (having used both, the third-world goods are far, far inferior, quality-wise). They aren't any more skilled than American workers were, even 30 to 60 years ago.

America should only trade with other first-world nations that have similar standards. We're basically talking about Australia, the UK, France, Germany, Canada and the Scandinavian countries. Every other nation should be shunned until they raise their standards to the level of the civilized nations.

Re:The problem is still "free trade", not regulati (0)

clintp (5169) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946636)

"Every other nation should be shunned until they raise their standards to the level of the civilized nations."

You are an elitist, selfish, and reasonably-argued racist snob. If you didn't also represent the views of others I've met, I'd just consider you a not-clever troll.

Please crawl back under your diamond-covered lily-white rock and don't come out again until Asia, Africa, and most of South America has reached the prosperity levels of Europe, the US and Canada. And without trade with more prosperous nations that could be a very very long time.

Re:The problem is still "free trade", not regulati (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36946848)

Care to point out the supposed "racism"? I just re-read that comment again, and I saw no mention of race, skin color, or any other attribute commonly associated with racial discrimination. Hell, the GP didn't include Russia and much of non-western and non-northern Europe in the list of first world nations, and those places have very high white populations.

I think that you're just crying "racism" because you don't have any real counterarguments to use here.

Many of the countries that the GP didn't list are, in fact, rather horrible places to live. I don't know how anyone can dispute that. Yeah, most African nations are abysmal. I sure wouldn't want to live there, and I doubt that you'd want to, as well.

Furthermore, most of those unlisted nations have very large populations, with hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people. That's a perfect environment for creating an internal economy that could rapidly rise to first-world standards. That's exactly what the first world countries the GP listed did. They didn't wait for trade to make them rich; they took some initiative and created economies for themselves. If the citizens of these third world countries don't want to better their situation through hard work, then that's their problem.

Re:The problem is still "free trade", not regulati (0)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#36948594)

They love the "R" word.
It usually makes people run away in fear.
For years now just using the word was enough to win in most cases.
It has worked so well for so long in fact that now people pull it out when there is absolutely no way to defend its use.
GP is Wrongheaded, and when in large groups loud and violent whilst preaching peace.
GP is generally a bad person who blames corporations, uncaring government, rich people and all religions for the problems of all the poor and stupid in the world.
Never once looking at himself in any way other than to pat himself on the back for being one of the first people he knew to buy an Insight and he felt really good about himself when he got the Prius.
Hopes soon to get an all electric vehicle he can plug into the wall using no evil oil whatsoever.

Re:The problem is still "free trade", not regulati (2)

tebee (1280900) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946698)

Every other nation should be shunned until they raise their standards to the level of the civilized nations.

But that is what free trade will eventually accomplish. It's starting to happen in China now. Some of the money we spend buying those consumer goods ends up in the hands of the workers producing them. They spend a bit more in their country and a whole support structure appears there supplying them with their consumer needs. Eventually they start wanting more, looking for higher wages and maybe even political reform.

Even if the US as by this time moved on to the next country with even cheaper labor, then the nascent consumerism it started there can fire up the start of that country's own economy.

It's ironic that a poster child of the right wing - free trade - has done more for re-distribution of wealth from rich to poor counties than all the socialist ideals put together.

And I for one don't think it's a bad idea.

Re:The problem is still "free trade", not regulati (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36946942)

It's ironic that a poster child of the right wing - free trade - has done more for re-distribution of wealth from rich to poor counties than all the socialist ideals put together.

Not quite. It has redistributed wealth, but it has taken it from the poorest Westerners and given it to the richest foreigners.

The end result is that many people in Western nations have become far worse off than they would have been without free trade. (This, of course, further harms the domestic American economy, but that's another issue.)

Furthermore, the foreign workers doing the work aren't better off than they were before. They get paid roughly the same, and live a similar lifestyle as before. It's the factory owners (who are often high-ranking members of the political community) who profit the most. But they were already quite well-to-do beforehand.

The losses by Western workers far, far, far exceed the gains by the richest foreigners in every measure, and there have been absolutely no gains by the average foreign laborers. It's the sort of financial disaster that only "fiscally responsible right-wing conservatives" can manage to create.

Re:The problem is still "free trade", not regulati (1)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946832)

> Regulation isn't the problem. Some degree of regulation is necessary, and it provides some very real benefits.

Some regulation *is* necessary. I don't think we need the FDA issuing 10-page edicts on what constitutes Swiss cheese. Or government-granted monopolies on wireless spectrum, or internet access etc.. Not to mention how broken the patent system is. Or licensing requirements that have nothing to do with safety or hygiene (licensing for interior decorating?)

> This is the only reason that China and Mexico, for instance, can produce goods far more cheaply than in the US

You're conflating innovation with labor. We still create lots of stuff in the US, we just don't build it all here. The US is also, still, one of the largest manufacturing nations in the world. We export *tons* of stuff, we just import a lot more.

The problem is that there are a lot of workers in the US who think they should get $30 an hour for operating a torque wrench. Those days are long gone. There are still plenty of decent-paying manufacturing jobs available, but you need some skills beyond turning a wrench until it stops.

Re:The problem is still "free trade", not regulati (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947500)

Some regulation *is* necessary. I don't think we need the FDA issuing 10-page edicts on what constitutes Swiss cheese.

But without some definition of what "swiss cheese" is, how do you know that what you are buying is really "swiss cheese" and isn't some Mexican Asadero cheese with holes poked into it?

Re:The problem is still "free trade", not regulati (1)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947950)

I bought some oddball Iberian cheese from a local shop a couple of years ago. It was supposed to be some mild blue cheese. It was really intense, and I thought it had gone bad. I took it back and they gave me a credit, and I bought something else.

Crazy, right? I managed to fix the situation without the government testing all the cheese in the counter to make sure it isn't bad, is what the label says it is, and is what I thought it was going to be.

The guy at the shop said he had a couple people return that cheese, and he wasn't going to carry it anymore. This signals to the distributor, and to the manufacturer, that something is wrong with that cheese, and if enough shops do this, they'll either fix the problem or stop making it.

Re:The problem is still "free trade", not regulati (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36948238)

Cause that's exactly what we did with asbestos, over fishing, e-coli in spinach, and CFCs. Not to mention the Gouda from CostCo that had e-coli.

Re:The problem is still "free trade", not regulati (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36948286)

Read "The Jungle" you'll learn why the FDA was necessary (and possibly never be able to eat sausage again).

In short, no the free market does not handle food processing well, as the worst dangers from food are difficult for the consumer to detect and link to a source. Even if they do figure out who's rat poison laden sausage killed you, it's too late for you to start boycotting them.

Re:The problem is still "free trade", not regulati (2)

Xphile101361 (1017774) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947022)

This is the only reason that China and Mexico, for instance, can produce goods far more cheaply than in the US. Their workers aren't any more productive than American workers would be, and are often much less productive due to using primitive manufacturing techniques that pre-date those used in America decades ago.

I would argue that this isn't true at all. It has been shown many times that Americans won't be as productive because they feel entitiled to higher wages to work harder. http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/07/the-fruits-of-immigration.html [marginalrevolution.com] The article focuses on immigration, but the results are the same. We have a 10% unemployment rate and Americans turning down jobs because they don't want to do the work for the pay, yet it is looked down upon to use immigrants or send the work elsewhere.

Re:The problem is still "free trade", not regulati (1)

EdgeCreeper (1618161) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947258)

Every other nation should be shunned until they raise their standards to the level of the civilized nations.

A bit extreme. Standards could be applied on a per manufacturer basis rather than the whole country. Make it mandatory that manufacturers are audited by an approved authority before they are allowed to import goods into your country. It's beneficial to both nations that way.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946364)

Plus, quite a lot of regulation is designed to protect incumbent interests, squeezing out any potential competitors before they even get to market

That's not a "plus", that's the entire purpose.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (2)

gpmanrpi (548447) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946502)

I think I am going to call BS on this. There are a lot of small business groups that will give you free advice on all that stuff in most communities, not to mention if you speak with an attorney or an accountant when you incorporate or choose not to incorporate, you should get a good head start on that advice. I can only speak for Florida, but the main limitation is that you can't actually do it cheaper than your 3rd or 2nd world manufacturing hub. I'll give you a real world example. I ran a business for a few years that gave away shaker cups with certain purchases. We were by no means a large outfit with minimal startup money 10-30k. But, we made a conscious decision to offer some branded merchandise for free or low cost. So we looked to US companies to get a shaker cup with our logo on the side, the lowest price quoted in the volume we needed was $1.50/cup. You are thinking, "hey that is a great deal, right?" Wrong, we went direct to the mainland Chinese manufacturer and got the literal same cups for $ 0.25. After shipping, and import duties, the total cost was $0.35-$0.55 depending on how we calculated it. We are not talking about amazingly complex item here, but as you can see we could really afford to give the dang things away. And we sold them for 6 dollars. I think the few hundred we actually sold paid for the whole batch. That is what local industry is up against. To be honest, it probably should not be cheaper to make a shaker cup in mainland China and ship it to the united states; I realize that is a loaded judgment, but intuitively it makes no sense. Figure out the solution, and you have solved many geopolitical problems.

You're ignoring the hidden costs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36946694)

You're ignoring the hidden costs associated with the imported item.

First, are you sure that they were "literally the same cups"? American manufacturers, for instance, are subject to various regulations that prevent the use of plastics and other materials that may contain or leech harmful chemicals. Complying with these regulations does often increase the cost of the American-made good, but it also helps prevent poisonings and other health-related problems. Foreign companies usually aren't subjected to such regulation, especially when the goods are shipped to America. There have been more than enough cases, even within the past year or two, of imported goods containing lead and other toxic material.

Second, the workers making the goods were likely treated like absolute shit. While the American workers making the cups may not have the highest standard of living, it likely far exceeds that of the foreign workers. In America, it's likely a small team of engineers and technicians operating machinery used to make the goods, while in foreign nations it's literally armies of barely-paid unskilled workers toiling for full days to produce the same product. At least the American workers can likely raise a family and live a middle-class lifestyle, versus the foreign workers who basically just live to work.

I like to refer to the accounting you did as "Baby Boomer Accounting". It's a technique that their generation pioneered. Basically, it involves closing your eyes and ignoring any inconvenient costs, in order to come up with numbers that sound good. But by ignoring reality, you're coming up with a very, very distorted set of numbers that are basically meaningless. The costs that you, and many others, have ignored are starting to catch up with the American economy.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (1)

Artraze (600366) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946742)

But why do you think that is?

From the GP:
> There are health codes, environmental regulations, tax and accounting standards to be met.

The fact the China lacks is almost completely unregulated is why they're so cheap, even when importing nearly doubles the price. We've got nearly 10% unemployment but we can't hire those people because of any combination of taxes, minimum wage, health care, and disability/unemployment insurance, which only get worse if the workers unionize. On top of that, the factory will have to overcome environmentalists just to get built, and then have to meet EPA regulations and bay all kinds of taxes on fuels.

I'm not saying _all_ these are bad, but I am surprised they can make cups for that cheap in the US.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36946896)

Slavery built the pyramids, Rome, and much of the early industry in the United States. Without it, nothing really big would ever get done. What we have today with these 3rd world countries is nothing more than the modern abstraction of slavery. It makes us feel better that we don't have to see the living conditions and unsafe work environments these people are required to submit to in order to get a few pennies to provide their family with the local gruel.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (1)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946930)

I'd argue that you made the economically wise choice.  However, the exchange rate, kept artifically low, allows us to externalize our labor and despite higher real cost (to the environment, to labor, increased transportation, etc.), society paid a higher price.  Right or wrong--our system just externalizes those costs effectively.

It was "Free Trade" that killed America (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36946660)

Get though your head these two facts:
(1) US Taxpayers pay high taxes imposed by the US Congress.
(2) The foreign competition to US Taxpayers doesn't pay those high taxes even when it trades in the USA.
Free Trade set up this condition.

Now Wake UP! This is a formal TRADE WAR by the US Congress against its own people and the current economic situation is proof beyond a doubt that the trade war is working.

Given the end of "Free Trade" the USA will prosper immediately and investment will pour in. Otherwise all that will happen is the USA will be sucked dry of money which is why QE1 and QE2 etc did not work. It is why stimulus didn't work. You see stimulus was like giving a transfusion to someone who is bleeding to death while doing nothing to stop the bleeding. You may as well be pouring the money into China. It didn't even hit America.

YES IT WAS FREE TRADE THAT KILLED INNOVATION!

Re:This was America before "free trade". (1)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946890)

I wonder who helped to write those regulations?  Would it have been lobiests paid by larger corporations?  There is a long-standing tradition of re-writing the rules to your favour in many countries.  It'd be interesting to know.  From personal knowledge, I can say that the US's recent health care "reform" bill was written largely by and for the insurrance companies and larger hospital groups.  Or did you think that the "death-panel debate" had any real bearing on the bill being written?

Re:This was America before "free trade". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36947602)

"lobiests"???

What the hell...???

Re:This was America before "free trade". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36948322)

Hah, of course the medical sector was involved in the healthcare reform...it could never have happened or have had any teeth unless it was supported on all sides. Yikes. You act like this is some hidden secret that you've discovered, which tells me you don't know much about how it works.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36948400)

NO, those lobbyists & corporations only go to the farthest ends of the earth to bring us a selection of experts in the field being legislated. They even PAY those experts' costs for us. Our politicians just have the ridiculously difficult task of picking the right experts and translating their strange mumbo-jumbo into legal speak so it can be added to the big law book. Cause legal speak is also difficult, the generous lobbyists donate their time and lawers to do both of the above.

In the US, there is no "rewriting" involved.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (1)

Xphile101361 (1017774) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947062)

Yes, bring back the good days where you could dump toxic waste into the drinking water and put lots of lead and mercury into your products.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36948902)

You do realize that even in those days we still had the cleanest, safest drinking water than most other countries in the world?

And the only way to get lead/mercury poisoning from most products was to do something stupid like licking the inside of said items. (if you do you get what you deserve)

No-one ever worried about drinking tap water in the US, but would you drink it in 3rd world countries?

Re:This was America before "free trade". (1)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947204)

"quite a lot of regulation is designed to protect incumbent interests, squeezing out any potential competitors before they even get to market."

Nail.Head.Hit.

The other stuff is all window dressing for this.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (2)

Gotung (571984) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947234)

Hogwash. For a couple hundred bucks or less you can get yourself an actual fully legal corporation registered with the state and everything. At least in Ohio, but I doubt the process in other states vary all that much.

Hold one corporate meeting with a quorum of officers in attendance a year, and take notes, and you keep your corporation fully legal in perpetuity.

If that is too much regulation for you to handle, I suggest you stick with your day job.

Until you are making decent money, turbotax online will handle all of you taxes for about a hundred bucks. And until you are making decent money, accounting standards don't matter, because nobody cares how you accounted for that $5 "business lunch" at subway. And once you are making enough money that somebody might care, well then you can afford an accountant.

And as far as health code and environmental regulations, exactly what kind of operation were you envisioning starting in your garage that would be affected? Are you really pissed you can't pack 30 children in there to make t-shirts with noxious chemicals?

Re:This was America before "free trade". (1)

lysdexia (897) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947958)

Has anyone reading this come in contact with a hog's bath water? I guess 4-Her's might have ...

Re:This was America before "free trade". (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 3 years ago | (#36948812)

That is too much regulation. And that's ON TOP OF the regulation he's talking about.

No one is willing to risk their house to berserk environmental regulations. No one is willing to risk their savings because they hired some kid to move some stuff around, and now they're responsible for their health care and unemployment.

As to the snide t-shirt comment. Yes. Yes I am pissed. This is a legitimate business and because it's not *pretty* enough for you, you don't care if someone in the US is doing it.

You should be pissed too.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (3, Informative)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 3 years ago | (#36948184)

How does this tripe get modded up? I have started a company out of my garage . . . for a while we only had a PO box, and we had prime contracts with DoD. There were no regulations keeping us down, and I went through a DCAA audit and passed with flying colors using quickbooks. If you're unable to figure out how to get it done, it might be your problem. I read about successful small business startups regularly: T-shirt companies, bike shops, software shops, solar system installers, furniture makers, accounting services, law firms, etc, and have several friends who have started several out of the previous list and none of them have been hampered in any way by regulations.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36948460)

Yes let's do this. Let's have one of these imbecilic discussions in the face of someone who has found joy. This is a great idea.

So here we go. I know for certain what killed America- it was Obama. He did. All by himself. No wait, maybe it was the Tea Party... no... taxes, yes that was it, taxes punched America in the nuts. No, Kevin Smith. Cop Out FFS? No, it was Gingrich and Reagan- the original tax and spenders. No, it was dogma (not the Kevin Smith movie- well- wait, it could have been that...) Wait, it was religion. Religion killed the whole world and Obama is it's Rosicrucian overlord. Wait, George Bush- he is still killing America and in league with the Trilateral commission which is a Masonic plot to immanentize the eschaton.

What were we talking about?

Jesus Christ. Perhaps it was a bad fu$&ing attitude that is killing America?

The author found inspiration and hope in a place without a whole lot to spare. Let's, perhaps, for once, applaud and foster that.

I do remember my(the) first Maker Faire. It filled me with the same exuberance as the author- took tons of pictures, talked to people and got encouragement about a few ideas I had milling about in my brain, made some great friends, met the makers of the flame spitting serpent, saw kids engaging and creating in a way that I would hope they could in school. It all left that fire in me not just of self worth but of hope. It's still with me. It reinforced my belief that there are more people who want to do and share and be part of something than those who don't.

Rock the f#(k on CmdrTaco.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (4, Insightful)

eigenstates (1364441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36948648)

Yes let's do this. Let's have one of these imbecilic discussions in the face of someone who has found joy. This is a great idea.

So here we go. I know for certain what killed America- it was Obama. He did. All by himself. No wait, maybe it was the Tea Party... no... taxes, yes that was it, taxes punched America in the nuts. No, Kevin Smith. Cop Out FFS? No, it was Gingrich and Reagan- the original tax and spenders. No, it was dogma (not the Kevin Smith movie- well- wait, it could have been that...) Wait, it was religion. Religion killed the whole world and Obama is it's Rosicrucian overlord. Wait, George Bush- he is still killing America and in league with the Trilateral commission which is a Masonic plot to immanentize the eschaton.

What were we talking about?

Jesus Christ. Perhaps it was a bad fu$&ing attitude that is killing America?

The author found inspiration and hope in a place without a whole lot to spare. Let's, perhaps, for once, applaud and foster that.

I do remember my(the) first Maker Faire. It filled me with the same exuberance as the author- took tons of pictures, talked to people and got encouragement about a few ideas I had milling about in my brain, made some great friends, met the makers of the flame spitting serpent, saw kids engaging and creating in a way that I would hope they could in school. It all left that fire in me not just of self worth but of hope. It's still with me. It reinforced my belief that there are more people who want to do and share and be part of something than those who don't.

Rock the f#(k on CmdrTaco.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36946582)

Actually, America got a windfall in WWII since most of the manufacturing capacity of Europe was devastated by the Nazis. This manufacturing boom continued after the troops came home and our products had a halo effect for several years to follow. After WWII was the space race, creating even more technology and innovation. Then we blew it all on wars and entitlement programs. Free trade agreements were just one of many nails in the coffin.

To have a fair global economy, we need an equal compensation treaty. If you are to do business with a country, you should abide by all labor laws of that nation. I'm sure the Chinese, Indians, Vietnamese, Filipinos, and Africans (except maybe SA) would appreciate making $14,000+/year and a 40-hour work week. It may even bring some work back to America.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36946666)

"After WWII was the space race, creating even more technology and innovation."

Exactly backwards, the technology and innovation spurred by WWII allowed the space race. Please review your history, specifically history of technology.

Re:This was America before "free trade". (2)

Artraze (600366) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946590)

Free trade has it issues, but what you're saying isn't one of them. People still learn engineering... hell, people _come_ here to learn engineering.

The major reason that grass roots innovation is dead is because technology has just gotten more difficult to keep up with. In electronics you've got to use tiny pitch SMD's and most high end chips require BGA packages which are almost impossible for the hobbyist to work with. Mechanics have fared a bit better, but material prices have gone up and so have machining costs. Sure you can buy a MakerBot for $1200 or an old mill for $2000, but then you need a someplace to put them. Finally chemistry has basically become illegal because of the anti-drug craze.

While all that was happening, other things got better. Software because cheap, 'easy', and extremely relevant. You could just use the equipment and knowledge you'd have anyway, and quite possibly create something that many people use and care about. On the other side, entertainment got a lot better. Rather than sticking with blinking boxes direct drawn to a CRT, you can play immersive long stories or infinite online multiplayer. Or you could just dick around online.

So really it's just that traditional fields of innovation are moving beyond hobbyist capabilities. And even if they try and produce something, they won't be able to compete with large companies and Chinese production, but that's a capital/patent/IP issue, not a free trade thing. So they've moved foreword or moved on...

Re:This was America before "free trade". (1)

TimeOut42 (314783) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947308)

Pure, plain, and utter rubbish.... It isn't the country or innovation that has made changes for worse, it is change you've not been able to leverage. All this BS about how everyone has destroyed everything I loved is pathetic. The world changes; we still have the largest economy is world, by far. 30 years ago Alvin Tofler wrote about the changing economy and how countries shift from one economic base to the next; it wasn't a surprise and it wasn't bad.

So, instead of complaining about the lack of innovation, come up with something innovative instead of the same old hackneyed complaint about the economy and where America is heading. Instead of looking what was lost look at what we are doing; commercial space, bio-tech, serious information economics, etc. Want to innovate in your garage; start building the next best robot, clean energy solution, battery storage.

Instead of telling the world to 'get off your lawn' invite them in and start innovating with the world.

Also, bringing 'industry' back to America would condemn your grand-children to working 40-hour weeks in a factory. That's what we all want to aspire to.

We Still Have a Window of Opportunity (2)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947880)

When you go to a Maker Faire or read Make Magazine or even read /. you can tell the urge to create and innovate are not yet entirely gone from this country. It is on life support, but it's still there. We have about 10 years before it really will be too late, though. We need to take certain steps now to make America a cradle of innovation again.

Government and Big Business have put a massive stranglehold on American innovation. Regulations aren't bad by themselves; they were introduced to counter the abuses of the Trusts (Read: Monopolies) of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. But now they've been twisted to prefer Big Business and those who can afford the armies of lawyers to interpret and apply them.

Even worse than regulation, though, is the utter lack of capital to invest in start-ups and small businesses. Every bit of wealth that isn't locked down and most of what was supposed to be locked down have been ripped away and given to the big banks and ultra-wealthy to squirrel away in their offshore accounts. Unless you are one of the 0.000000000001% who is connected to those ultra-wealthy, it is impossible to access any of that capital.

So unless you can spin a revenue-making venture out of thin air with no seed capital whatsoever, it doesn't matter how useful or amazing your innovation might be because you will never be able to bring it to market.

Perhaps it would be possible to figure out to spin revenue making ventures out of thin air, but I sure haven't been able to find any place that can teach you. All that exists are people who will help you write a business plan (for a small fee), which is not remotely the same thing--angel investors and venture capitalists will only invest in a business that is already generating revenue, thus neatly clipping any clever venture in the bud.

Re:We Still Have a Window of Opportunity (2)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#36948546)

Even worse than regulation, though, is the utter lack of capital to invest in start-ups and small businesses.

Judging by the insane amount of money being poured into social companies, I'd say that the problem is not the lack of capital, but the lack of vision of most VCs. Most VCs just run after the latest flavor of the month ($1.3 billion valuation for AirBnB? really??), and most definitely shy away from industries they don't understand. Since a lot of VCs are clustered in Silicon Valley, guess what gets funded. It certainly isn't steampunk dragons. Unless, of course, they're delivered over the Internet.

Maker Faire started in the Bay Area (1)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 3 years ago | (#36948880)

The Rust Belt states are the places most in need of grass roots innovation, and I'm really glad to see that the Maker Faire there has appeared for a second year running.

But FWIW, MAKE has very California roots. The magazine is published by O'Reilly, and the first and longest running Maker Faire is held in San Mateo. And there's a joyous hippie transgressive vibe to it that must seem very alien to old-school manufacturing hubs but is unmistakably west coast.

The next "big" Maker Faire (there are mini faires all over the place) will be in New York City in September. It too could use a shot of happy weirdness.

Steampunkland (4, Interesting)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946102)

The Henry Ford museum is a steam junkies nirvana. Giant, two-story Edison power plant engines the size of a large ranch home. Original beam engines. An *enormous* Allegheny locomotive engine inside, used to haul mile-long coal trains up mountains. Compressed-air operating engines inside. Operating steam trains (burning coal) outside, along with various steam powered engines and tractors. There's an intact Edison substation, an operating workshop run on an overhead belt system, a working roundhouse where you can watch them work on the engines....

Re:Steampunkland (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947872)

For those in a different location, the transportation museum in Spencer, NC has running diesel and steam train and a working roundhouse as well.

inhumanity, genocide etc being made palatable (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36946118)

thinking about it is even discomforting.

still showing up here there & everywhere

should it not be considered that the domestic threats to all of us/our
freedoms be intervened on/removed, so we wouldn't be compelled to hide our
sentiments, &/or the truth, about ANYTHING, including the origins of the
hymenology council, & their sacred mission? with nothing left to hide,
there'd be room for so much more genuine quantifiable progress?

you call this 'weather'? much of our land masses/planet are going under
water, or burning up, as we fail to consider anything at all that really
matters, as we've been instructed that we must maintain our silence (our
last valid right?), to continue our 'safety' from... mounting terror.

meanwhile, back at the raunch; there are exceptions? the unmentionable
sociopath weapons peddlers are thriving in these times of worldwide
sufferance? the royals? our self appointed murderous neogod rulers? all
better than ok, thank..... us. their stipends/egos/disguises are secure,
so we'll all be ok/not killed by mistaken changes in the MANufactured
'weather', or being one of the unchosen 'too many' of us, etc...?

truth telling & disarming are the only mathematically & spiritually
correct options. read the teepeeleaks etchings. see you there?

diaperleaks group worldwide.

Hey Maker faire (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946264)

Quit nut hugging the Canadian boarder for once and come down south, we make stuff here too

Re:Hey Maker faire (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946442)

It looks like there's a couple people trying to bring something like this to Florida...

http://minimakerfaire.us/ [minimakerfaire.us]

http://b3nmedia.com/blog/2010/05/27/bay-area-maker-faire-2010-pics/ [b3nmedia.com]

I hope they succeed. I think it would be an awesome thing to attend, but I just can't travel that far for it.

Re:Hey Maker faire (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946454)

Quit nut hugging the Canadian boarder for once and come down south, we make stuff here too

I've often wondered why they never go to Huntsville AL. Twenty years ago when I last visited, that was the high-tech-redneck capital of the south. Pretty much the "Eureka" TV show, but with a sweet iced teas, pecan pies, and grits flavor. Yes I'm well aware of Alabama's legendary average scholastic performance; Huntsville was kind of like Austin is today, ten thousand PHDs per square mile surrounded by a seemingly infinite sea of proud grade school dropouts. None the less it was a cool place to spend a summer, other than the heat. Is it still like that today, or have the govt contracts dried up and blown away?

Re:Hey Maker faire (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947810)

The gov't is still here + more from BRAC movement, Nasa in whatever form it is, the heat still sucks, .. and it's whether'd most downturns (if not all since about ~1950). We use to have IEEE/Computer fair here open to anybody during the 90s that was pretty cool to me as a kid with lots of simulators and VR stuff (Sun, NEC, SGI were probably the biggest showers on average.). Now, it's like a computer swap meet.

It's a good place for family, but high school to college kids find themselves very bored (hence the dropouts of a lot people I knew to be very bright)

Re:Hey Maker faire (1)

quetwo (1203948) | more than 3 years ago | (#36948494)

Didn't realize that the Bay Area was near the Canadian border (or boarder, as you called it). I must be holding the map upside down.

Maker Faire has typically had two official events -- San Mataeo and New York (added a few years ago). They added Detroit last year as an annual event. There are local offshoot events in various other localities. If you want to run one of the offshoot events, O'Reilley would be more than happy to help you set it up.

Punctuation-craft (3, Funny)

Guppy (12314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946414)

"...suspenders! Haberdashery! Quilting! Blacksmithing! Books! A Cupcake Car! Gomp! Beer! Remote control turtles! A giant hay bailer! "

Ah, I see CmdrTaco took the Maker course in Exclamation-Smithing.

Those extrusion 3D printers are crap (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36946526)

If you're really interested in 3D printers, take a look at this one [blogspot.com] . And especially this page [blogspot.com] where there's a comparison between FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) and Digital Light Processing printing.

The DLP is so much easier to build, the results are so much better and it prints so much faster that I wonder why so many people are still working on FDM.

Re:Those extrusion 3D printers are crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36947370)

Probably because this is still vaporware at the moment. Come back when you have something ready to sell, troll.

Re:Those extrusion 3D printers are crap (1)

Cap'nPedro (987782) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947386)

The DLP is so much easier to build, the results are so much better and it prints so much faster that I wonder why so many people are still working on FDM.

The cost of the substrate material. Volume for volume, ABS is so much more cheaper than the light-curing resins needed for DLP.

Re:Those extrusion 3D printers are crap (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947390)

I've got a Makerbot Thing-O-Matic, and it's quite a bit of fun. I can tell you that I bought it for two reasons: it was a kit, and there is a large community around it.

DLP seems like a nice way to go, but it also seems quite a bit more complicated. As far as I know, no one is selling ready-to-build kits so the time investment is quite a bit larger on startup.I'd also imagine that due to the additional complexity they'd have trouble competing with the Makerbot on price. While the quality is much higher, if you are thinking of getting into the hobby that may not be something people are willing to splurge on to start.

That was not a giant collection of photographs (1)

samjam (256347) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946756)

That was only 45 photographs.
Friends and relatives could supply more photos than that in the days before cheap digital cameras.

That was a few photographs, it took 2 minutes to view them.

Re:That was not a giant collection of photographs (1)

TimHunter (174406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36948900)

Thank god it was only 45. One of the bad things about digital photography is that it's easy to puke up 100's of worthless pictures and some folks just don't use good judgement about sharing. Every couple of months my sister sends me an email from Snapfish that says "Check out these 197 new photos of my granddaughter." Of the 197 maybe 3 are worth looking at.

How is that a giant baler? (1)

HBI (604924) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946838)

Having stood next to a baler last weekend, they're all pretty big.

Most balers nowadays are the round kind. You drive through fields in the Midwest, you'll see more round bales than square ones. I'm told they weigh in at about 800lb when not wet. A new innovation is plastic-wrapping them automagically so you don't waste 6" on the outside of the bale from moisture and decomposition.

Example baler [deere.com]

Re:How is that a giant baler? (1)

lysdexia (897) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947914)

Yeah, but this one was powered by a steam engine. It had a huge reciprocating compaction arm that looked like it would grind you into monkey beef in about half a second. Truly terrifying machine. :-)

Re:How is that a giant baler? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36948820)

A new innovation is plastic-wrapping them automagically so you don't waste 6" on the outside of the bale from moisture and decomposition.

New innovation?? I grew up on a dairy farm in Minnesota and our round baler had that ability in the late 80s. Oh and there are different sizes of round bales, most of the ones up here are 5x6 and will weight 1200 to 1600 lbs.

Oh wow... (1)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947104)

Burning man in Chicago...

- Dan.

Re:Oh wow... (1)

paimin (656338) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947746)

At least it gave the burners something to do other than annoy the shit out of SF 11 months per year.

fros7 Pist! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36947110)

unless you can work charnel house. the THAT FREEBSD IS other members in I'm discussing alike to reap About 700 users as to which *BSD

Loved the Makers Faire in Austin (1)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947238)

Went twice. Awesome sauce.
So sad when it left for Detroit.

Re:Loved the Makers Faire in Austin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36948366)

Awesome sauce.

"Awesome sauce" is awesome sauce.

Don't forget the Power Wheel racing!!! (1)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947314)

Don't forget the Power Racing Series (Power Wheels vehicles modified for adult riding insanity). My hackerspace here in Chicago (http://www.pumpingstationone.org [pumpingstationone.org] ) started the event two years ago and has been organizing races at Maker Faire events in Milwaukee, Kansas City, and Detroit (with a lot of help from the respective local hackerspaces). This year, we had almost 25 cars competing over the course of the season and the Detroit Maker Faire was the finale racing event. It's a lot of crazy fun. Here's a YouTube video of part of the Detroit racing event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDfi4cGcPD4&feature=player_embedded [youtube.com]

Re:Don't forget the Power Wheel racing!!! (1)

lysdexia (897) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947786)

Any shots of me leaving a greasy pink stretch of my forearm all over the pavement when I wrecked my Super Cub?

Maker Faire plus airplane makes hilarity (3, Interesting)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36947662)

I was there displaying my video coat [cathodecorner.com] , being a human television. We had to run to catch a flight at Detroit Metro, so I didn't have time to pack my gizmo, so went to the airport wearing it.

Now I know what Cory Doctorow was talking about in his novel "Makers" with regard to the excessive searching applied to people who create stuff. As far as they're concerned, a dad with a family in tow, wearing a coat with wires and circuit boards on it, is a human bomb. I was just laughing throughout the whole extended search.

We got on our plane OK, because I didn't give them actual shit, but my kids got a good lesson when I said out loud, "This is the land of the free", and the nice TSA lady said, "Not any more."

New Stuff??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36947696)

Didn't I see all this at Black Rock five years ago? Mostly bad art and stuff only good for showboating on the playa. Taco, most of us get wiser as we age.

google double + good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36948642)

all these uninformed comments and nobody seems to notice the link location. i do hate facebook but i also hate google. the only way is to stay the fuck out of "the cloud".

don't get fucked, just say no.

Can someone tell me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36948676)

how anything can be "kinda" awesome?

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