Every Friday I share the five coolest things I’ve found on the web in the last week.
1 – Resonate
Resonate is, as the website says, a streaming music co-op. I won’t try to explain what a co-op is, but the basic idea is that it’s a shop owned by the producers whose goods are sold and the consumers who buy those goods.
When I was growing-up, co-ops selling groceries and other farm goods could be found in most small towns. It’s considered by many to serve producers, consumers and communities better than the more common for-profit corporate entities.
When I was at Murfie we discussed applying the co-op model to a portion of the business and it seemed (to me) like a very good fit. Ultimately we didn’t got that direction, so I was very excited to see someone else going for it.
There’s some very cool things about Resonate’s co-op implementation and I think you should read the descriptions of all the membership options they offer (I was most impressed that profit shares are distributed to volunteers first). Personally, I can’t decide if I want to sign-up as a listener, artist or volunteer (I could see myself as all three and I’m not sure if you can switch/combine/etc.).
Once I’ve had a chance to explore the platform I’ll probably write a more detailed post about it. In any case I’m very excited about the prospect of tech/online products and services adopting the co-op model. I think it’s a very natural fit and we could use a business model in tech that could bridge the gap between the truly free world of FOSS and the capitalist-driven “tech start-up” world.
2 – Krita
Krita is that rarest of beasts; a beautiful, well-designed piece of open-source application software.
That’s not to say that there isn’t loads of well-designed FOSS software, but when it comes to application software (the kind someone might use directly), open-source software isn’t known for having highly-polished user interfaces. This seems doubly-true for graphics software, ironically.
I lack the skills to determine if Krita is a great tool for making art, but the stuff I’ve seen come out of it looks amazing, and Libby was impressed.
Krita is available for Linux, Mac & Windows and if you use this type of thing I recommend giving it a try. If you like it, support the developers however you can, we can use more well-designed open-source software like Krita and supporting this kind of work is likely to attract and retain developers and designers who understand the importance of these things.
via a friend on Mastodon, but I can’t seem to locate their name atm 😦
3 – Mold-a-Rama on Waymarking.com
If you visited zoos or museums during the 1980’s you’ve probably seen a Mold-a-Rama. They are automated injection molding machines which will create a souvenir for you as you watch the machinery through it’s Plexiglas bubble canopy.
Of course as a child I was fascinated with these machines and begged for a couple dollars every time I saw one.
As time rolled on, they seemed to disappear and I had all but forgotten about them until my friend Preston mentioned getting a plastic Gorilla from one when he was a kid. This rekindled my interest in these machines and, thanks to the Internet, I was able to learn everything I could have wanted to know in no time at all.
One of the most exciting pieces of information I ran across during this research was a database of operational Mold-a-Rama’s on Waymarking.com. Up until now, finding these machines was a hit-or-miss operation, but thanks to this website you can now know where to find these machines and what models are available. Needless to say, this was enough to kick-start my desire to build a collection of these useless objects, and has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that each resides at an interesting location requiring some kind of road-trip…
4 – WiFi232 Internet Modem
I cut my telecomputing teeth on BBS’s, and I’ve even dabbled in resurrecting them on the Internet, so this project struck a chord for me.
The video tells it all, essentially this device is a way to get computers that only speak serial on to the Internet just enough to talk to BBS’s which can be connected to via Internet protocols (instead of landlines).
I’ve considered building a network interface for my TRS-80 Model 100 using an ESP8266, but I didn’t consider this application, and it’s quite an elegant hack.
5 – cjdns
You have to be a fairly serious networking geek to appreciate the beauty of cjdns, but if you’re there you’ll know why it made this week’s list.
I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet, but the potential is pretty exciting, and I’ll be setting up an experimental network in the lab in the near future. I’ll document the experiment and the results here, so if you’re not a network engineer but you still want to know why this is cool, stay tuned.