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Open-Source Hardware Hacker Ladyada Awarded Entrepreneur of the Year 56

ptorrone writes "Limor 'Ladyada' Fried of open-source hardware company Adafruit Industries was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by Entrepreneur Magazine. From the article: 'Recognizable by her signature vivid-pink locks, Fried (or Ladyada, as she is known on the internet) is one of the dominant forces behind the maker movement--a legion of do-it-yourself-minded folks who create cool things by tweaking everyday technology. Last year New York City-based Adafruit did a booming $10 million trade in sales of DIY open-source electronic hardware kits.'"
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Open-Source Hardware Hacker Ladyada Awarded Entrepreneur of the Year

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  • she deserves it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tweezak ( 871255 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @01:30AM (#42333923)

    I've wondered what she was doing ever since she released Spoke POV years ago. I'm relieved to see that not all of her ideas were stolen.

  • Re:she deserves it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tweezak ( 871255 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @01:34AM (#42333943)

    maybe that didn't sound quite right. Someone swiped the POV system she developed and sold it on car wheels. They didn't even bother to change the programming interface. I was always afraid someone else was getting rich off her ideas and hard work.

  • Re:she deserves it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dahamma ( 304068 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @03:13AM (#42334391)

    How do you steal an open source hardware design? Clearly she doesn't care if someone else used her hardware design or she wouldn't have made it public. Since it's hardware it's more about patents than copyright, and if neither she nor the company selling the hardware patented anything, who cares?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @07:42AM (#42335407)

    Great for her! I knew her back when she was 14, protesting the Scientology abuse of the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology. She organized the printing and sale of T-shirts with lots of secret Scientology code words, like "Xenu", the name of the cult's secret galactic conqueror demon, and various criminal actions of the cult such as "Operation Snow White".

    The T-shirt company actually tried to rip her off and keep the money without making the shirts. It took work, but rather than wasting all the money on lawyers, Ladyada and her dad arranged for her dad to pretend to be ready to order thousands of printed shirts, showed up in the company president's office, and her dad said "you have to deal with *her*". Having a punked out teenager who's smarter and much more coherent than you in your office, with her very angry father as backup, seems to have brought the T-shirt maker to his senses. I have 2 of those shirts,, and sent several to Dennis Erlich, a former cultmember who was a very vocal critic of the cult and a credible counter to the cult's attempts to whitewash away the crimes discussed in the old newsgroup.

    Ladyada was a shining example of political protest at its best: sharp, knew her material, and kept her concerns about actual abuse and criminal activity while staying completely legal. I'm thrilled to see she's as sharp commercially as she was politically. I like to think that the lessons we learned about handling abuse and censorship contributed to early handing of spam, astro-turfing, and even the recent Arab Spring by preserving the role of electronic communications as effective, uncensorable expressions of speech and knowledge. They were a vaccine against cult and government abuse, and Ladyada was one of the sharpest syringes we had to administer that vaccine.

  • Open Source Sells... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @09:00AM (#42335667) Homepage

    Please All you nay sayers how you cant sell open source or make money off it... PLEASE, tell me how she is a failure...

    Open Sells. Open is Profitable. This is a fact.

  • Re:Congratulations (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @09:04AM (#42335677) Homepage

    She is a success because she is driven by creating and doing not by raw greed. This is what makes her not only a success, but she has far more respect from people than any fortune 500 CEO.

    Being a greedy Bastard, like Samsung, Apple, Dell, HP, Microsoft, etc... is more profitable in the long run because screwing people has a higher profit margin.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @10:41AM (#42336317)

    I'm near retirement and have worked in embedded software for four different companies. In all my years of experience, the best engineers I have encountered were those educated at MIT. Limor Fried is not only from MIT, but she did a stint at the MIT media laboratory. I've bought lots of products from her and the quality is first rate, her circuit boards are works of art with tin plating on the solder pads (compare that to a Velleman board) and legible annotation.

    A year ago, I ported her software library for the Adafruit touch-screen LCD display to the STM32 ARM platform. I can tell you that her software design is close to perfect - I found very few places where I could improve on her methodology.

    What I like best about Limor Fried is her ability to teach fundamental concepts using state of the art multimedia. Where the beloved Heathkit had their extensive paper manuals, Fried publishes online tutorials with clear photographs and YouTube videos.

    I guess the point is that if you meet someone who is intellectually gifted, educated at one of our finest universities, and sports hot pink hair and a lip piercing, you should be adult enough to expect some, shall we say, personality quirks.

    Lastly, what is with all these adolescents here posting "anonymous" toilet jokes about Fried - was "Teen Beat" magazine uninteresting this month?

    Speaking of Anonymous postings, I'll give my name.

    James P. Lynch (Jim)

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"