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Comment TAZ (Score 1) 51

Yes, get a TAZ! :)


I've done a lot of things to make sure that the company stays free & open. Firstly, by making myself the final word (for now). Per our bylaws, I can only be removed from the company by court order. :)

The board of directors is me, Steven (long time employee, very much for free/open), and Bdale Garbee (very hardcore netgod of free software development). We will only have people on the board that are already 100% on board with free software. So we have another layer of protection there.

The non-libre folks that are very technically savvy that we have on board have influence in how things are done, but they don't have the final say. Though they are still on board with us running a libre company. Even if they earned their chops during the 80s (or earlier), they can see the huge growth in open systems. They just don't have direct experience in free software.

Then ultimately who gets to say what a company does is the owners. Most high tech high growth companies are angling to get bought out, get a lot of venture capital, and/or go public. This is usually the founders' "exit", where they get the pile of cash. When that happens, the company is likely to absorb the traditional non-libre practices of the parent company.

We are taking a different approach. If we can pull this all together, the idea is to convert Aleph Objects, Inc. into an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan). This means we don't have to be beholden to outsiders. It also allows the current owners an exit, in that they sell their stock to the ESOP. There are a lot of other advantages to ESOPs. The earliest we can decide whether to go for it or not would be December 2015, which we could make retroactive to January 2015. ESOPs are complicated.

I used to hack on the N900 too...

Comment delegation (Score 2) 51

Np, I can handle trolls. This thread has been surprisingly lucid, actually. ;)

Colorado's 2nd Congressional district is represented by Congressman Jared Polis. This district includes Boulder, Fort Collins, and Loveland (where we are). Polis and his family started bluemountain.com and made out with hundreds of millions of dollars during the 1990s dotcom boom. So he's probably the only dotcom millionaire in Congress and probably the only congressman that could set up Apache. ;) He is well informed on patent issues, is actively trying to find a solution to the present conundrum, and is more than happy to listen to the free/libre/open crowd.

I haven't spoken to the other Congressmen about patents yet, but I will likely speak with Cory Gardner of the 4th district in the next couple months if I get the chance (we'll be at some of the same meetings).

I spoke to two of Polis' potential election challengers. Neither of them knew particularly much about free/libre/open as far as I could tell, but they both seemed more than happy to learn about it. I will try to get them to visit our facility and give them the full show. They are definitely for reforming the system though--they can see it is broken. My brief argument is that we're stuck with a 19th century system in the 21st century. Plus I hammer home that even if we follow strict patent rules, the rest of the world isn't (e.g. China), so we're just hamstringing American companies by holding back their innovation with patents. That line of argument is a huge winner with politicians, btw...

Comment patent then open (Score 2) 51

The problem with the "patent now and open later" approach is that it then takes "forever" to get a product to market. If you throw a year or two away just waiting for the patent, you've lost a lot of time. Also, it means the development of the product has to be done in secret, so there is no community development process available. We would rather publish early & often. :)

Comment The Basement (Score 5, Informative) 51


We are definitely not working in our basement, though we did start in mine 3+ years ago. Gizmag visited our current facility recently. You can check out their tour here:


We definitely pay salaries too. In fact, we're set up with a Professional Employers Organization, Insperity. We offer healthcare to 22 employees, along with the other standard benefits.

We're not (all) kids either. My slashdot account is getting close to 18 years old even. ;) Our staff, advisors, and board of directors includes people with their signature on Mars for components they designed, the former Director of Engineering of Seagate (wrap your mind around the complexity of that for a minute), a major former HP exec responsible for $18 billion/year, the former Director of Finance of Digital Globe (Google Maps), and the chair of the Debian Technical Committee.

Also, our patent attorney has won billion dollar (with a "B") patent cases. He's no slouch. :) Plus we work with EFF, Harvard Cyberlaw, Public Knowledge, and other groups to push back against patents in 3D printing and patents in general.

I've spoken about it at length with our US Congressman Jared Polis (he invited me to a patent workshop too) and two of his potential rivals in November. I spoke briefly about it with US Senator Michael Bennet when he visited. So we're working on it at the political layer too.

Just sayin'...

-Jeff Moe, Aleph Objects, Inc. CEO

Comment Re:What is MediaGoblin? (Score 2) 37

Jeff Moe from LulzBot here (aka jebba). Thanks for your nice comments. :)

We actually don't have an interest in *running* a free/open/libre repository, but we'd sure like to see one exist. Ideally, there should be a thingiverse-like site that is run more like the Wikipedia Foundation. A "neutral" non-profit, with no ads, run by donations. The donations can come from various 3D printer companies and end users.

Also note, some folks think MediaGoblin is the hosting site. They are just the makers of the web software. Anyone can set up a MediaGoblin site on their own servers. With luck, many will do so.

Comment Thanks! (Score 1) 79

Jeff Moe here, founder of Aleph Objects, Inc. maker of the LulzBot 3D printer. Note this is a printer which makes *objects*, not a printer that prints on paper.

I haven't spent much time on /. recently. I appreciate the post and the positive comments from many of you. The others, not so much. ;) I typically use the nick "jebba", but this account got set up with "yeb" for some reason, long forgot.

I am a long time supporter of free software, open culture, open publishing, etc. I am not a communist, as you can figure out if you go to opensecrets.org or many other places (cf. http://thebubblefilm.com/ )

Just saying hi. Thanks again, and happy hacking!

Comment Cupcake Photos (Score 1) 117

I just started assembly of a Makerbot Cupcake. Unboxing & some assembly photos here:

I have some other printers as well, in various states, more photos:

The Makerbot stuff is very well documented relative to the other projects.

-Jeff Moe

Social Networks

Submission + - Ron Paul's use of the Internet in his presidential

tres3 writes: "A recent New York Times article explores some of the success that Ron Paul's presidential campaign has had in using the Internet. The author correctly states that others aren't as successful because their approach led many to micromanage their Web sites. By contrast, [Ms. Teachout] said, the Paul campaign took the opposite lesson that it was about openness and power. He has over 1140 MeetUp Groups in 900 cities (including one in the green zone in Baghdad) that have operated largely independently from the campaign.

For instance the ThisNovember5th site was setup by Trevor Lyman using a video created by James Sugra without even consulting the campaign. That site brought in $4.3M from 37,000 donors in 24 hours. Mr. Paul estimated that the one-day haul had brought $10 million worth of free publicity. Ron said he hadn't even gotten around to thanking them yet. THANKS Guys!! There is a new money bomb web site being prepared now in celebration of the Boston Tea Party

The article goes on to cover the wide variety of supporters that the Paul campaign has attracted. In reality Dr. Paul didn't create these groups; he simply gave them a focal point to rally behind. And he used the Internet to unite them, or more accurately, the users of the Internet found his message and united themselves behind it. I guess that is why the author titled the article 'The Web Finds Ron Paul, and Takes Him for a Ride'."

Submission + - Ron Paul sets record $4.3 M in online fundraising

rebmaster writes: "Sure, Ron Paul stories tend to be over-submitted (and occasionally over-hyped). But this is real, BIG news.

In one day (Nov. 5th) — Ron Paul has raised over $4,200,000.00 — mostly by online direct donations from over 37,000 individual donors. (These are not "pledges" — it is "money in the bank.")

Paul's total deposed Mitt Romney as the all-time single-day fundraising record holder in the Republican presidential field.

There's a lot of Internet major media news postings about it, but they tend to be inaccurate and/or biased. (Typical!)
The AP story is one of the more accurate."

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