Last week a 14-year-old boy brought a tech project to school setting off a wave of controversy. He is a Maker and he wanted to show his teacher a fun thing he put together. The resulting reaction was typical of today’s Internet praise and outrage cycle. On one side the Maker community has banded together to show the boy that his desire to build was important. On the other side, some believe everything about this story is a dangerous farce. After all, they say, Ahmed didn’t really build the clock. It wasn’t real – it was just a repurposed Radio Shack clock from the 1980s. The boy’s father is an Islamic firebrand! This is a carefully orchestrated sham so Ahmed can get a Surface and so kids can bring real bombs to school and teachers will think twice!

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I had the unique privilege of interviewing William Gibson this year. Gibson is my favorite author and, quite literally, the reason I got into writing. It’s my squee moment and was really important to me. It’s a great interview – except for a little audio trouble. Check it out.

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Hi. You’re interested in pitching me your project. Ok. Cool. I like you. Let’s get this done.

So here’s what I ask every time. If you do not complete this basic survey then I will not read your email. Answer each of these questions in clear English in your email. Do not send attachments. Do not send images. Send links to screenshots and a link to your project.
Continue reading How To Pitch Me

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I’ve been messing with the Pipsta mini-printer that connects to the Raspberry Pi. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with it so I decided to learn how to send messages to it via the web. To do this you need to use the example software that comes with the printer and runs on the Raspberry Pi, a third-party MySQL server, and a little PHP.

To start, you have to set up your Pi to ping an addressable database. You can learn how to do that here. You can then then set up the server to receive jobs from the database and test it by sending a few jobs via the command line.
Continue reading Sending Data To The Pipsta Printer With PHP

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It’s been almost eight years in the making and it’s taken lots of work to get here but here we are: my book, Marie Antoinette’s Watch, is now available in ebook and paperback. I’m working with a publisher called Zola Books to distribute the ebook version and I’ve been working with Victor Marks of A Blog To Watch to solve the myriad issues with printing the paperback version. Both are ready to go and I want you guys to be the first to get them.

You can buy the paperback from Createspace now and it will soon be on Amazon.
Continue reading My Book, Marie Antoinette’s Watch, Is Now Shipping

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A Croatian site posted an interview with me in advance of my arrival in Zagreb this week. More Central European ink!

Zagreb će tako postati šesti grad ove godine, koji će ugostiti ovaj jednodnevnim događaj s utjecajnim ljudima iz svijeta biznisa i startupa. Više o događaju možete pronaći na službenim stranicama, gdje ujedno i možete kupiti kartu, a u nastavku možete pročitati naš intervju s Johnom Biggsom, jednim od predavača i urednikom prestižnog TechCruncha.

ZIMO je službeni medijski sponzor ove konferencije!

Pozdrav John, postoji li nešto u hrvatskoj startup sceni što vas privlači da dođete ovdje?

Uzbuđen sam kad idem bilo gdje. Toliko je iznimnih talenata diljem svijeta, stoga je uvijek dobro doći na nova mjesta i naučiti nove stvari.

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