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You don’t know Phil Tinari? We built his website.

Ever since I first stepped foot into China, I started getting questions if I know person X or person Y. Phil Tinari is by far one of the most connected and smart people I know in China. He bridges the gap between art and criticism, English and Chinese, and has perceptively been launching career nukes for years. He is a true Fabricator.

Polit-Sheer-Form Office, "Only One Wall," 2005.

Polit-Sheer-Form Office, “Only One Wall,” 2005. (from an art review from Phil’s blog)

I first met Phil through friend Robin Peckham. Scenarios collided because Phil needed our skillz to crank out a simple site for his blogging activities. He didn’t want anything flashy, so people could focus on his writing and projects.

Cover, LEAP 1, February 2010. Shown: Huang Yong Ping, Sand Bank/Bank of Sand, 2000.

Cover, LEAP 1, February 2010. Shown: Huang Yong Ping, Sand Bank/Bank of Sand, 2000.

Since, we have helped Phil on some unreleased projects and with Modern Media on launching Leap Magazine, the first real critical art magazine from China. This is a major project that he took from idea, to complete execution. Now you can find it all throughout China and the world.

And, more recently, Phil has been brought on as the director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. This has been announced in major press as an excellent strategic move by Tinari and UCCA.

Tinari is a heavy hitter. We look forward to more projects in the future with Mr. Tinari. Follow him on his twitter and blog.

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Xiaoban 0.5

Xiaoban 0.5

Originally uploaded by rejon

This is just a nice post to tide you over until the real Xiaoban 1.0 samples arrive here in Beijing and we can post more. Promise there is movement towards making these real. Don’t forget this all comes from the Laoban project.

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WorldLabel: The Future of Tagging

We’re happy to announce the launch of the new It’s been a long road, involving the conversion of thousands of old html pages and images into HTML5, CSS2/3, and the building of a makefile-based static file generation software called makestatic—but it’s finally complete! Now that the label behemoth is more streamlined, it’s time to get your label on. This is the Future of Tagging!

WorldLabel Press Release (Peekskill, NY), October 9, 2012—WorldLabel, the preeminent label manufacturer and distributor, is pleased to announce the launch of their new website and branding identity. Created by Fabricatorz, a global software and hardware production company, the new incorporates the latest in website technology, including HTML5 and makestatic software. The updates make for faster navigation, easier browsing and a fresh clean look—essentials when considering the breadth and depth of WorldLabel’s products.

In addition to the technological overhaul, WorldLabel’s visual identity has also received a refreshing upgrade. The new logo, designed by NYC-based new media company, represents a “flat world” that appears like a label, partially peeled. Its retro design and feel is striking, bold and—given its vintage look—surprisingly contemporary.

Part and parcel to keeping things fresh is something Fabricatorz founder Jon Phillips noticed when working on updates to the website. “The new site, with its tech and design updates, makes everything more accessible,” said Phillips. “ is a successful business built up with very simple technology. Now, with the update to HTML5, and using Fabricatorz makestatic technology, thousands of pages have been converted to a contemporary, lighter technology.”

“This really opened my eyes to parts of WorldLabel’s offerings that I never considered before,” Phillips said. This just goes to show how crucial design is when it comes to visibility. For instance, all of a sudden I noticed that WorldLabel carries RFID chips, something I didn’t realize on the previous site because it was way too complicated, visually and otherwise. All this got me thinking about RFID as the future of tagging because RFID enables automated shipping and inventory, and is included in all the smart cards used in transit systems, credit cards, and so on. It’s literally the future of tagging!”

“We were definitely ready to reset our image with both a great new logo and an awesome new website,” said Russell Ossendryver, CEO of WorldLabel Holdings Inc. “We concentrated totally on designing a site for the user base—we want to give our customers the best user experience possible. We’re very excited, and with this new branding initiative, along with our upgraded web technology, we are more than ready to give our customers better service. This will also allow us to continue to grow our markets at an even faster pace.”

With WorldLabel’s products now coupled with top-notch technology and a fresh face, it’s time to start tagging, like Phillips suggests, for the future.

About WorldLabel

Founded in 1998, WorldLabel Holdings Inc (Peekskill, NY) ( is a label manufacturer of PrintPeelApply™ Blank Label Sheets for multifunctional labeling applications including address, mailing, shipping, CD and media labeling, as well as general business office labeling requirements. Our labels are designed to format with label templates you are currently using in your popular label software and templates sizes, Windows® Mac® and Linux programs.

About Fabricatorz

Fabricatorz ( is global production company that makes successful projects from start to finish with major companies, startups and small businesses. They specialize in the development of software, hardware, and community-building based on the philosophy of Sharism (


For more information, please contact
Russell Ossendryver, CEO
104 South Division Street, Suite 4A
Peekskill, NY 10566
T +1(877) 955-2235

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Wise Futures and Shared Hardware, Part II

Milkymist One

If I were to write an allegory of the computer manufacturing industry in “Greater China”, I might be tempted to call it Pingguo and Shanzhai.

Pingguo(蘋果)is the nickname by which Apple Computer is known in China. Its partner Foxconn (a Taiwanese company by the way) is the largest electronic component manufacturer in the world and the largest private employer in the PRC. Foxconn is the pinnacle of industrial scale electronics manufacturing in the Pearl River Delta (and, indeed, the world); and Apple would not be the Apple of today without Foxconn, and China.

Shanzhai(山寨)are the noble bandits of our little allegory: small-scale black market manufacturers who skirt regulations and quality control to produce affordable, relatively low yield, but surprisingly diverse electronics. (I should point out that these innovations were enabled by another Taiwanese company, Mediatek, which sells development kits that many Shanzhai products, such as mobile phones, are built on top of.)

Pinguo and Shanzhai are the well-known protagonists in the technological and social drama of the computer manufacturing industry that straddles the Taiwan Strait. But neither Pinguo nor Shanzhai tell the story of the kind of technology that I want in my life, or that I want to base my business on.

For me the real inspirational story is that of Qi Hardware. Qi Hardware is innovation built not at the cost of billions of dollars and legions of anonymous workers (Pingguo), nor at the cost of questionable legal and safety practices (Shanzhai). Rather, Qi Hardware is a collective dedicated to sharing knowledge, experience and technology, and represents the kind of wise future[1] I am looking to achieve.

Adam Wang

In discussing Qi Hardware I am constantly looking for a language to describe this new style of innovation. I am reluctant to call it ‘open’ hardware for reasons I have already explained; and calling it ‘copyleft’ hardware (in contrast to ‘copyright’) puts too much emphasis on the legal underpinning.

I finally settled on the term ‘shared’ hardware to describe what I feel captures the spirit of the movement. By sharing, Qi Hardware aim to lower barriers to innovation, as well as to profit and pump out genuinely cool technology!

Let’s keep telling this story.


[1] wise futures – I came by this term by listening to public talks by Rob van Kranenburg and Adam Greenfield in Taipei in February of this year. You can read Part I here.

The first photo in this post is of the Milkymist One, which I shot in my studio a couple of weeks ago. The second photo is of Adam Wang, when I visited him in Taipei, where he tests and assembles the Milkymist.

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Wise Futures and Shared Hardware, Part I

Christopher Adams at TELDAP 2012

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to Academia Sinica in Taipei to address an audience of the Culturemondo forum on Smart Cultures, held alongside TELDAP and convened by Ilya Li. Ilya had asked me to prepare some remarks about open hardware culture, particularly as it relates to recent developments in Taiwan and China.

The Fabricatorz are often asked about “free and open” hardware. Jon shared his views on open hardware manufacturing during a talk he gave in Miami last December. It is not an idle topic for us, as we believe that investing in our own hardware platforms is just as important to the future of our business as is the software we create.

Copying hardware is hard to do —rms

Can Hardware be Free?

The term ‘open’ hardware is used by way of analogy to free and open source software. The freedoms of ‘free’ software comprise the right to use, study, duplicate and improve that software. These freedoms as they relate to hardware apply not to the physical device itself, but rather to its design; for it is only the hardware design that can be truly studied, duplicated, and, most important, improved.

However, a process which begins with a free hardware design and ends with a finished product requires a non-trivial provision of capital, resources, skill, and time. This plain fact leads the founder of the free software movment, Richard Stallman, to conclude that “freedom to copy hardware is not as important, because copying hardware is hard to do.”

People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware—Alan Kay

I think the logic of that assessment is backward. The difficulty that hardware presents to our freedoms makes the issue more important, not less. It is the reason that we at Fabricatorz are investing time, money and talent to find solutions to the hardware dilemma. Recall the famous words of Alan Kay: “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.”

Is Richard Stallman serious about software? I know we are.

Credits (images remixed by me on an M1):

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Welcome to the New Era

The new Fabricatorz is here; and its about you! People are the core of our business and the service we provide. This starts from the root and extends outward to the relationships we build, the clients we serve, and the healthy process of matching results with expectations. Please do join us in welcoming the new Fabricatorz website. Its a medium for working together with you. We believe that in a world of 7 billion people, the best Fabricatorz have yet to be found. The 王 resides in each person. We work each day to make better relationships, better business, and services through the software we create, hardware we build, and the communities we grow. Hire us today. We will work together as Fabricatorz of the New Era.

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Weak Soundsystem: Beijing Design Week 2012

Matt Hope was commissioned to build a custom soundsystem for CCD, The Community, a satellite event to this year’s Beijing Design Week, so he stole a page from his teenage speaker plan book and realized the project in common plasterboard and off-the-shelf speaker drivers.

The Weak Soundsystem fit right in at the CCD Pavilion, nestled in the courtyard of White Space Beijing, and survived a week of exposure to the cultural and climatic elements of Caochangdi.

If you need proof, check out the complete photoset I’ve uploaded to Flickr.

CCD, The Community ran from September 28 to October 6 as part of Beijing Design Week 2012. Fabricatorz built the Caochangdi website, kept the Weak Soundsystem humming, and helped deliver on a successful event.

Weak Soundsystem

Weak Soundsystem

Weak Soundsystem

Weak Soundsystem

Weak Soundsystem

Weak Soundsystem

Weak Soundsystem

CCD Pavilion

CCD Pavilion

Weak Soundsystem

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VJing Made So Simple Anyone Can Do It With The Milkymist One

The Qi Hardware project is proud to announce the Milkymist One video

Milkymist One video Synthesizer

A total power consumption of 5 watts and latency of 60 milliseconds
are the highlights of the new high-performance video synthesizer.
Without additional computer, Milkymist One takes line-in audio to
create real-time music visualizations. Ideal for musicians and DJs,
restaurant and bar owners, people organizing parties or interested in
visual art. The included camera feeds live video into the synthesis.

Milkymist One is the second product launched by Qi Hardware after the
Ben NanoNote in March 2010. While the NanoNote was built around a
MIPS-architecture SoC, Milkymist One takes copyleft freedoms one step
further by being the first free computing architecture built around
the GPL licensed 32-bit Milkymist SoC.

Visual artists benefit by being able to program their patches,
including connectivity and control of DMX lights, lasers and MIDI
instruments, all directly and in real-time from the Milkymist One
synthesizer. Network connectivity allows the inclusion of live Twitter
feeds. Free software programmers benefit by having the first fully
programmable graphics accelerator at their disposal, opening the world
of reusable and portable Verilog to free software developers.

Milkymist SoC is a new generation of collaboratively developed IC
designs, founded in 2007 by Sebastien Bourdeauducq. It aims to be an
ARM competitor with new sharism business model, allowing for greater
development speed and better customization and optimization in
embedded products.

Milkymist One is available from Sharism Ltd. now, and sells for 499
USD plus shipping from Taipei.

[1] Milkymist One shop:
[2] Media Gallery:

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Visiting Saamlung in Hong Kong

In the early days of the New Year I travelled to Hong Kong to look in on our client and friend Robin Peckham, whose new gallery had just opened to not unexpected acclaim.

Saamlung manages to skirt both the geographical and curatorial boundaries of the established Hong Kong art scene. The space is perched on the top floor of a nondescript commercial building on Connaught Road (not far from the sightseeing Central galleries of Wyndham Street and Hollywood Road, but only if you discount the vertical dimension). At the same time, Saamlung’s curatorial program hews between the heavyweight international galleries that care nothing for the city’s local context, and the indigenous Hong Kong galleries that don’t care to escape it.

When I visited the gallery with Sophie this January, we were lucky to catch Charles LaBelle’s exhibition Corpus just before it closed. The work on display makes up part of Charles’s life-long Buildings Entered project, and depicts a series of drawings of buildings with religious significance, atop pages excised from a copy of George Bataille‘s Je suis coupable.

Up now at Saamlung is a group exhibition, featuring work by a new favorite of mine, Chen Chien-jung.

Finally, don’t miss this interview with Robin by CNN which gets it just right: Saamlung: showcasing Hong Kong’s best new art.

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Video Tutorial On How To Place A #FREEBASSEL Vinyl Sticker Decal

Email your name and address to to get yours for free. Stick it on a bike, skateboard, car, computer wherever you can.

On March 15, 2012, Bassel Khartabil was detained in a wave of arrests in the Mazzeh district of Damascus. Since then, his family has received no official explanation for his detention or information regarding his whereabouts. However, his family has recently learned from previous detainees at the security branch of Kafer Sousa, Damascus, that Bassel is being held at this location.

#FREEBASSEL support letter sign up at

“I support the immediate release of detained software engineer and web pioneer, Bassel Khartabil (Bassel Safadi) from detainment in Syria.”

FOLLOW @freebassel on Twitter and use the hashtag #FREEBASSEL to share with the community.

 I support the immediate release of detained software engineer and web pioneer, Bassel Khartabil (Bassel Safadi) from detainment in Syria. (

#FREEBASSEL decal near Los Angeles carwash get yours by emailing

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Video Poem: Thoughts on the “web”

Our own Jon Phillips is featured in a recent video sharing his thoughts on what the web means, in both a personal and historical context.

Head over to commonspace to read the full article detailing the video!

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Video Games as Art? A Response to Roger Ebert

Legendary and often divisive Chicago-based film critic, Roger Ebert, has recently re-ignited the fury of the gaming community with a recent blog post. In said post, he reacts to a recent TED speech, given by Kellee Santiago. Through this tirade, the readers are gifted with gems like:

Let me just say that no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form.

Among the many retorts to this initial critique, Fabricatorz developer, Brad Phillips, has crafted a reaction of his own.

A key oversight in Ebert’s assessment of the medium is his lack of actual experience or connection to anyone with that experience. He boils each game cited in Santiago’s speech down to a few video clips streamed via YouTube. Below you can view the original talk that spurred this renewed debate. Head over to Brad’s blog post, and let us know what you think!

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Ubuntu Release Party this Thursday!

We’d like to let everyone know of the upcoming Release Party of Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) this Thursday at Thirsty Bear Brewing Co. in San Francisco! Ubuntu is a great supporter of Status.Net and is itself a tremendous network of open and distributed services and powerful platform for developers.

“For every Ubuntu release we like to organise parties all over the world. At these parties everyone is welcome and we get together to celebrate, meet new friends and often introduce people new to Ubuntu to our community and our Operating System. Release parties are not only a great way to meet people but they are a lot of fun!”

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Totally Free Network Services

This is a slide share that describes how Status.Net is unique from other existing servies and why it is a step in the right direction towards a totally free network service:

Screen shot 2010-02-21 at 10.45.33 AM

Your life and your business are your own!

Screen shot 2010-02-21 at 10.50.55 AM

Take control of your status!

Screen shot 2010-02-21 at 11.17.33 AM

Need something federated and scalable beyond one person or companies efforts!

Totally Free Network Services

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Thoughts on Technology and Steve Jobs

A note from a close friend of Fabricatorz:

Great interview with Steve Jobs from back around 1995. A bit long, but an interesting read. I agree with much of what he says. He basically predicted, correctly, I think, that the main beneficiaries of the Web will be companies selling things. And also that no amount of technology can help education.

“The desktop computer industry is dead.”

“The Web is not going to change the world, certainly not in the next 10 years. It’s going to augment the world.”

“The problem is I’m older now, I’m 40 years old, and this stuff doesn’t change the world. It really doesn’t. I’m sorry, it’s true. Having children really changes your view on these things. We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much – if at all.”

“People are thinking less than they used to. It’s primarily because of television. People are reading less and they’re certainly thinking less. So, I don’t see most people using the Web to get more information. We’re already in information overload. No matter how much information the Web can dish out, most people get far more information than they can assimilate anyway.”

“I used to think that technology could help education. […] No amount of technology will make a dent.”

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The Open Clip Art Library: Version 2.3 Hits the Net!

The Open Clip Art Library enjoys yet another of it’s scheduled monthly updates, with revision 2.3. With over 32,000 vector graphics currently calling it home, OCAL has grown into one of the largest and most prevalent sources for freely available graphics on the web. Version 2.3 aims to begin building on this solid foundation, by increasing user interaction and content submissions.

The Spring 2010 Clip Art Package brought together a diverse group of artists and pointed them in a similar thematic direction. Over 11,900 individual downloads have proven the themed package format an effective way of presenting similarly-grouped work to the Community. As in the June Release, Open Clip Art 2.3 brings along with it, a compact, user-generated, themed package of clipart.

Familiar ground is tread, in the latest Themed Package Release, as Community artists, like laobc, rg1024, and pianoBrad have focused their attentions on the Summer Season. Any wishing to utilize this smoldering collection can do so individually (by searching for the key term or tag “summer2010”) or by downloading the entire package.

Also continuing this month is a logo design contest, initiated by the organizers of the Free Culture Research Conference. Artists still planning on submitting an entry should mark this Friday (July 9th) as the deadline for that submission. Three more judges, Jonathan Zittrain, Leonhard Dobusch, and Michelle Thorne, have been added to the esteemed panel that will judge and announce the winner on July 11.

For more information on all things related to this Summer 2010 Release, have a look at the official press release.

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The Open Clip Art Library Prepares for Spring Package Release

The Open Clip Art Library development cycle is again gearing up for it’s latest release, and WorldLabel has a new blog post containing details about it and, more specifically, about planned package releases.

Developers at The Open Clip Art Library have been diligently implementing updates to the latest 2.1 Release of the site. Contributions and discussion about OCAL’s next steps have been progressing rapidly through platforms like bug reporting and the official mailing list. As preparations for the next iteration begin, the Librarians would like to announce the addition of a new element to upcoming and future releases, in the form of a coinciding themed package release!

Users of OCAL are encouraged to continue the growth and reach of the community by contributing to the initial Spring-themed clip art package, to be released by May 27, in honor of the Libre Graphics Meeting. To learn more about the upcoming release, have a look at the full article.

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