Check Out This Coding Toy—For Grownups | ReadWrite @TeamKano #coding #diy #makerspaces #tech

I think its a very smart marketing move for Kano to launch products that are gender and age neutral. I volunteer with my public library’s CoderDojo program, which is for 9 to 17 year olds. One of the participant’s parents has actually stayed to learn as well. Its heartwarming to see parent and child learning new concepts together. Learning to code, makerspaces, hackfests, arduino…these activities are fun and instructive for all ages and can be a family activity too.

Check Out This Coding Toy—For Grownups - ReadWrite

Kickstarted into existence in 2013, with a campaign that blasted through its $100,000 goal with $1.5 million in pledges, Kano now makes Raspberry Pi–based computer kits commercially available to children ages 6 to 14. Inspired by those young users, who founder Alex Klein says have created and shared as many as 5 million lines of code, he wants to spread that enthusiasm to a larger audience.

Engineering kits have been popular among kids and a natural fit in the educational space. Likewise, Kano set out following in the footsteps of companies like Little Bits, Adafruit, and Goldie Blox. But Klein now wants to extend Kano’s reach, taking it into grown-up territory. Simply put, he wants to appeal to everyone’s inner “inventor and tinkerer,” he said.

Klein wants to push into the adult maker market by putting out products that are both gender- and age-neutral. The core design, he hopes, speaks to fundamental human impulses: “Everyone has shared urges to look inside,” he said. “Everyone wants to take control. Everyone wants to make and play.”

Kano’s next stage of evolution will involve some fundamental shifts. The company is expanding its line-up with new add-on kits, and plans to open up Kano Blocks—its game-making arena—and online platform Kano World to community development.

All Kano products run on Kano OS, the open source operating system that sits on top of Raspberry Pi. It boasts high computational powers that let it run fast, boot quickly and offer clear graphical rendering. For developers, this means that they will have ample resources to jump on board and quickly create their own projects. Kano World allows for the Kano community to share their creations and add on to existing projects.

READ MORE: Check Out This Coding Toy—For Grownups | ReadWrite

Secure OS Tails Emerges From Beta |

If you want to give super-secure, relatively anonymous computing a shot, then the operating system used by famed NSA leaker Edward Snowden might be for you. The Amnesic Incognito Live System, otherwise known as Tails, has officially jumped out of beta and into version 1.0.

Read more: Secure OS Tails Emerges From Beta | News & Opinion |

Microsoft Will Soon Bring Back The Start Menu In Windows 8.1 | TechCrunch

Microsoft’s Terry Myerson today announced that Microsoft is “all-in” with the desktop. Indeed, while he wasn’t quite ready to announce Windows 9, he did show off how Windows 8.1 will soon get a new version of the beloved Start menu back.

When Microsoft removed the Start menu, quite a few of its users were upset, and this move did indeed make Windows 8.1 harder to use for many. The new Start menu will combine live tiles and other Metro-influenced UI elements, as well as most of the features still available in the Windows 7 menu.

In the future, all of Microsoft’s Universal Windows apps will also run in a window. That sounds like the company is backing off a bit from its Metro interface on the desktop.

It’s unclear when exactly Microsoft will launch these features, though. As far as we are aware, it will take another update to Windows 8.1 and it’s unclear when exactly this will happen. Read more: Microsoft Will Soon Bring Back The Start Menu In Windows 8.1 | TechCrunch.

This is great news! I provide volunteer computer coaching at my community library and I groan every time a patron comes in for help with Windows 8 (which is often!). The interface is problematic, so bringing back the start button (and hopefully making the metro interface optional) is a very welcome improvement. 

Bill Gates Unveiled Windows 30 Years Ago | Gizmodo

No matter what you think of Windows 8, it’s certain that Windows is both iconic and significant in the evolution of personal computing. It’s a series of operating systems, of course, but it’s also been a concept, a way of thinking, an influencer, and a touchstone for 30 years since Bill Gates introduced it on November 10, 1983.

The “Interface Manager” that would become Windows went into development in 1981 and finally had its public release as Windows 1.0 in November 1985. This first stab wasn’t actually a full OS, but more of a “graphical shell” that extended MS-DOS to have a user interface, as it is known today.

But Windows 1.0 had many defining OS features, like a calendar, clock, Microsoft Paint, a text editor, terminal, and clipboard. Windows allowed users to view multiple program windows at once, yup, though they couldn’t overlap at all. The early days of tiles! And 1.0 enabled data transfer between programs. Plus, it came with drivers for things like keyboards and the Microsoft Mouse, which had debuted earlier in 1983.

30 years seems simultaneously like an incredibly long time and a quick blur when you consider how Windows has evolved and spread to dominate between 80% and 90% OS marketshare. Windows 8 made it clear that Microsoft views interactive touch integration as crucial to a PC operating system going forward into the fourth Windows decade. Too bad hyper Ballmer ads won’t be the face of the next era.

Bill Gates Unveiled Windows 30 Years Ago Today | Gizmodo.