Make Magazine: A Gift for the Tinker in Your Life

Make Magazine One of the best gifts you can give a child or young adult are gifts that encourage them to explore and think. When I was younger one of the best Christmas gift our family received was a book of craft making. That book got used so often that the binding broke and it was held together by duct tap. You could tell what our favorite projects were by the amount of stains on the page. The magazine Make is the modern equivalent of that craft book, only cooler. The magazine comes out quarterly and is available in both paper and electronic form. Each magazine is filled with projects both simple and complex. There are projects that involve robotics, electronics, woodworking just to name a few. There are projects that are right for everyone from kids to adults. The magazine also contains articles by other makers, their tips and tricks.

Pendulum Build Challenge
The magazine is only a small part of the maker community. It also includes the Make web site. The Web site includes videos of various projects people have made and how they made them. There are also audio and video podcast available from the site. You also get to meet various members of the community, who they are what they do and how they got started. There is a great community forum where ideas can be exchanged and problems can be solved. Plus there is the Maker Shed Store which allows you to buy what you need for your projects.

If they really get into the community and making things. They might want to participate in a local Maker Faire. Maker Faire is where the Maker community gets together and shows off their projects to the general community. These aren’t all small projects either, some are quite large. There was the attempt to build a 50 ft mechanical snake or perhaps you would like to help build the world’s largest tesla coil instead. These are just two of the projects that were shown off at various Maker faire around the U.S. and Canada in 2011 In 2011 there were major Maker Faires in the Bay area, Detroit and New York. However throughout the year there are a lot of smaller more local faires around the country.

Make magazine and the Make community isn’t for everyone, but if your kid is starting to take things apart or asking you how something works, it might be a great place to start. The paper and digital edition of the magazine is $34.95 a year and the digital edition alone is $19.95. Well worth the price considering how much someone likes to tinker can learn from them.

$49 Roku Might Be the Golden Ticket for Cord Cutters

Roku LT

Roku LT

This morning, Roku announced a $49 model of their popular Over the Top TV solution. The Roku LT is a very slimmed down version of the box. It does up to 720p video (which most content providers are creating content for), and while you cannot play Angry Birds or have a USB and Ethernet port (it’s a WiFi device, too) like the $99 model, it does have all the other functionality of this popular internet appliance.

Roku has been growing, adding many new channels including EPiX, which has been convincing people to cut the cord, as GigaOM discusses. Roku also added HBO Go – which is a On Demand service offered by HBO. You still need to order a cable package to get the OTT channel.

There are other great channels on Roku that do not require a cable connection, such as the TechPodcasts channel and Blubrry. You also have the Netflix, HuluPlus, Revision3, KoldKast, Glenn Beck, NHL, Fox News and many other channels.

The LT also undercuts the Apple TV by $50. Roku was already the lowest priced box, with a $59 and $79 version of the box. But this new magic price point turns the OTT box into a “great gift”. With the holidays fast approaching, this might be the hot item.

So with this news, will you finally be purchasing a Roku? Let us know!