If you’ve ever seen Prototype This! on Discovery Channel, or remember L0pht Heavy Industries, you’re probably familiar with Joe Grand, aka “Kingpin.” He’s made a name for himself as a prolific hardware hacker and today runs Grand Idea Studio in Portland, OR. We sat down with Joe at SXSW to chat hardware hacking, kids, and his thoughts on the state of computer security.
Debuting in February of 2005, Make: posited the idea that the world was changing, that advanced high-technologies and the collaborative powers of the internet were creating the perfect environment for all of us to claim an identity as “Makers.” For our 50th issue, we’ve collected a small sampling of these Makers who’ve had a great influence in the Maker Movement.
What can a Daddy really do in this situation? In our case, a lot. Ben and Miles’ Daddy is Joe Grand, a real life computer engineer and a long time staple in the hacker and maker communities. Joe jumped at the chance to help the boys and I jumped at the chance to learn about and document the process. What started out as wishful thinking turned into a project that the whole family brought to life. Our kids got to experience the thrill of taking an idea from concept to reality and learned about the focus and effort that it requires to do so.
One of the longstanding problems in security–and the software industry in general–is the lack of any universally acknowledged authority on quality and reliability. Product testing and certification authorities for software and hardware have existed for many years, but they are sometimes seen as ineffective or beholden to the manufacturers whose products they are testing. Creating an independent organization that will perform these functions could solve much of this problem.