[PLUG-TALK] Open source hardware?

Keith Lofstrom keithl at kl-ic.com
Mon Aug 13 13:44:17 PDT 2018

On Mon, Aug 13, 2018 at 06:44:00AM -0700, Rich Shepard wrote:
>   The open source software industry is well established with multiple
> options for all needs. Is there an equivalent open hardware industry?
>   It would be highly useful to have open source hardware for voting
> machines.

Modern hardware requires integrated circuit chips.
I'm a chip designer; if I control the processes that make
the chips, my hardware can subtly "manage" your software.

Really slow chips can be made in a million-dollar lab, but
state-of-the-art chips require billion dollar factories
and thousands of skilled engineers and technicians.  I
would love to see a global movement that funded and enabled
libre integrated circuits, and I would donate my skill and
passion to it, but it requires vastly more effort than open
source software.  You don't make nanometer-precision optics
with 3D printers.

We have open source hardware for voting; its called paper
ballots.  Wednesday's XKCD was apropos:


If you want to cut down paper usage, start by hacking the
computers of the world's advertising agencies so that any
attempt to design paper junk mail wipes their hard disks.


Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com

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