When the news came out that hackers had jumped on the opportunity to tinker with Microsoft’s new Kinect game controller — making it do “things it really wasn’t meant to do,” in the words of a New York Times reporter — most of the coverage was very inside-baseball. Some stories claimed that the hackers’ activity was a source of great consternation to Microsoft. Others quoted company officials claiming Microsoft had deliberately “left a back door open” to allow for such user creativity.
We don’t think it matters much whether this was true or just spin-control; what matters is that Microsoft has now publicly embraced the hackers — and that’s an instance of a broad and profound change in corporate innovation. Once wholly in the hands of managers (the “visible hands” chronicled by industrial age historian Alfred Chandler), technology innovation used to begin with a company’s commitment of resources to R&D and patent protection. If and when the technology succeeded, that company stood to reap the rewards through the differentiation in its products, and often also by licensing the new intellectual property.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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