Boston’s Mysterious January ’11 Fellows

April 12, 2011

There’s a reason why we are only now, in the middle of April, announcing the Boston January ’11 Awesome Fellows: it’s because they’re super mysterious. The Banditos Misteriosos are a troupe of Bostonians who consider themselves Boston’s mysterious playmate. Since 2007, they’ve been organizing public ruckuses and shenanigans that try to provide answers to the two big questions they’re always asking: “Who are these people we pass in the street?” and “How could we use those big open public spaces?” The Awesome Foundation is very excited to fund one of their future capers, which should be seeing the light of day in the summer. And although we know all the juicy behind-the-scenes plans, our lips are zipped for now when it comes to details: the mystery must linger! Instead, we’ll let them tell you about the basic idea: You see, we’re going to make a puzzle.  And some time in the summer, you’ll get to put it together! Oh… P.S. It’s gonna be GIANT! Want more details beyond that? Patience! Patience! You’ll find out more soon enough!  For now, we just need you to get excited, start boning up on your puzzling skills, and be sure you’ll be privy to… read more →

New Kids On The Block in Boston

January 25, 2011

There’s some new* blood in the Boston Chapter of The Awesome Foundation. Christina Xu 2nd Tim Hwang** Chair for Higher Awesome Studies (July 2010) In addition to being the Multitasker at Breadpig, Christina is the co-founder of ROFLCon, one of the proprietors of a coworking space in Cambridge called p.irateship, and a DJ for a weekly radio show called Global Frequency. She tweets about all of these things and more here. Doc Searls 3rd Matt Blake** Chair for Higher Awesome Studies (September 2010) Doc is Senior Editor of Linux Journal, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, an alumnus fellow with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, a fellow with the Center for Information Technology and Society (CITS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, one of the world’s most quoted bloggers, and a photographer committed to enlarging the sum of images in the public domain. Chris Marstall 2nd Emily Daniels** Chair for Higher Awesome Studies (October 2010) Chris is a programmer and creator of the concert alert service He’s the Creative Technologist at The Boston Globe charged with establishing their Media Lab, and a fixture on the local music technology scene to boot. Word on the… read more →

Droid Does… (aka the Disaster Communications App)

July 14, 2010

Access to communications technology is AWESOME, but not everyone has it. Cell phone towers are expensive and developing, remote, rural, and/or disaster ridden areas often don’t have those resources. Expose an already weak communications infrastructure to the destruction of a natural disaster, and you have our collective nightmare: Asia circa 2004, Haiti, and the site of the next international incident. When chaos strikes, the speed and proficiency of local relief effort coordination translates directly to saved lives. With those critical moments in mind, Paul Gardner-Stephen (a post-doctoral fellow at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia) founded The Serval Project. The project goal is to, literally, give voice to communities outside the grid. The Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences granted the project $1,000 in May 2010 to fund the adaptation of the Android OS for disaster relief communications. Paul and his colleagues have spent the past few months writing software to create instant, decentralized, P2P phone networks. The equipment requirements are used Android handsets and Village Telco’s “Mesh Potato” (a lightweight, low-cost, and low-power unit that serves as a building block for ad hoc networks). A key feature of Gardner-Stephen’s system allows users to send and receive messages using their… read more →

Grassroots Mapping Fellowship Party (BOS) 6/11/10

June 11, 2010

Aerial maps? (check) Balloons? (check) Beer? (check) The only thing left on our checklist is you. Come meet Jeff Warren and hear about how his work makes it possible for Louisiana citizen mappers to capture powerful images of the Gulf Coast oil spill. WARNING: you may want to make your own satellite and/or join the 108+ backers who’ve given Grassroots Mapping the green light on 6:30p – 8:30p – Design Annex – Union Sq, Somerville, MA 8:30p – The discussion & beverages will move next door to Cantina La Mexicana (247 Washington Street, Somerville, MA)