Making Better Episode 8: Hayley Stevens, Parranormal Researcher

Hayley Stephens is a paranormal researcher and she lives in what she refers to as “Weird Wiltshire” in the United Kingdom. she is studying towards a BSc (Hons) Psychology. she works full time and in between working and studying, she researches paranormal claims and phenomena. Hayley hosts The Spooktator podcast and is also active on Twitter. Click here to read Hayley’s full biography and feel free to browse her website, which she updates frequently. As with all Making Better episodes, this one is fully transcribed. Click here to read a full transcript of Episode 8.

Making Better Episode 7: Penny Arcade

Since first climbing out of her bedroom window at age 14 to join the fabulously disenfranchised world of queers, junkies, whores, stars, deviants and geniuses she has become one of the most influential performers in the world. By fearlessly displaying her singular brand of feminist sexuality and personal conflict she has garnered countless fans worldwide with an emotionally and intellectually charged performance style. Internationally revered as writer, director and actress, she has influenced generations of artists around the world.

(Click here to read a rather lengthy biography of Penny Arcade). Click here to follow Penny Arcade on Twitter in English, and click here to read a complete transcript of Making Better Episode 7: Penny Arcade.

Making Better episode 6: Jim Fruchterman #a11y

Jim Fruchterman is a leading social entrepreneur, a MacArthur Fellow, a recipient of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and a Distinguished Alumnus of Caltech. Jim believes that technology has the power to improve—even transform—the lives of people around the world. As Founder and CEO of Benetech, he focused on bringing Silicon Valley’s technology innovations to all of humanity, not just the richest five percent. He is a former rocket engineer who also founded two successful for-profit technology companies. Under Jim’s leadership, Benetech created and scaled multiple software for social good enterprises spanning education, human rights, and environmental conservation. Jim has recently founded a new nonprofit, Tech Matters, to provide strategic technology services that maximize impact, not profit. Jim is active on Twitter as @JimFruchterman

As with all of our episodes, this one also is accompanied by a transcript so that everyone can enjoy it. Click here to read a transcript of Episode 6.

Making Better Episode 5: M. E. Thomas

Making Better Episode 4: Richard Stallman

Richard Matthew Stallman leads the Free Software Movement, which shows how the usual non-free software subjects users to the unjust power of its developers, plus their spying and manipulation, and campaigns to replace it with free (freedom-respecting) software.
Born in 1953, Stallman graduated Harvard in 1974 in physics. He worked at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab from 1971 to 1984, developing system software including the first extensible text editor Emacs (1976), plus the AI technique of dependency-directed backtracking, also nown as truth maintenance (1975).
In 1983 Stallman launched the Free Software Movement by announcing the project to develop the GNU operating system, planned to consist entirely of free software. Stallman began working on GNU on January 5, 1984, resigning from MIT employment in order to do so. In October 1985 he established the Free Software Foundation, of which he is president as a full-time volunteer.
Stallman invented the concept of copyleft, “Change it and redistribute it but don’t strip off this freedom,” and wrote (with lawyers) the GNU General Public License, which implements copyleft. This inspired Creative Commons.
Stallman personally developed a number of widely used software components of the GNU system: the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU symbolic debugger (gdb), GNU Emacs, and various others.
The GNU/Linux system, which is a variant of GNU that also contains the kernel Linux developed by Linus Torvalds, is used in tens or hundreds of millions of computers. Alas, people often call the system “Linux”, giving the GNU Project none of the credit.
Their versions of GNU/Linux often disregard the ideas of freedom which make free software important, and even include nonfree software in those systems.
Nowadays, Stallman focuses on political advocacy for free software and its ethical ideas. He spends most of the year travelling to speak on topics such as “Free Software And Your Freedom” and “Copyright vs Community in the Age of the Computer Networks”. Another topic is “A Free Digital Society”, which treats several different threats to the freedom of computer users today.
In 1999, Stallman called for development of a free on-line encyclopedia through inviting the public to contribute articles. This idea helped inspire Wikipedia.
Stallman is officially a Visiting Scientist at MIT.
Free Software, Free Society is Stallman’s book of essays. His semiautobiography, Free as in Freedom, provides further biographical information.
He has received the following awards:
• 1986: Honorary life time membership in the Chalmers Computer Society
• 1990: MacArthur Foundation Fellowship
• 1990: The Association for Computing Machinery’s Grace Murray Hopper Award “For pioneering work in the development of the extensible editor EMACS (Editing Macros).”
• 1996: Doctorate honoris causa from Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology
• 1998: Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer award
• 1999: Yuri Rubinsky Memorial Award
• 2001: The Takeda Techno-Entrepreneurship Award for Social/Economic Well-Being
• 2001: Doctorate honoris causa from the University of Glasgow
• 2002: United States National Academy of Engineering membership
• 2003: Doctorate honoris causa from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel
• 2003: Honorary professorship from the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería del Perú
• 2004: Doctorate honoris causa from the Universidad Nacional de Salta, in Argentina
• 2004: Honorary professorship from the Universidad Tecnológica del Perú
• 2005: Fondazione Pistoletto prize
• 2007: Honorary professorship from the Universidad Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, in Peru
• 2007: First Premio Internacional Extremadura al Conocimiento Libre
• 2007: Doctorate honoris causa from the Universidad de Los Angeles de Chimbote, in Peru
• 2007: Doctorate honoris causa from the University of Pavia
• 2008: Doctorate honoris causa from the Universidad Nacional de Trujillo, in Peru
• 2009: Doctor of Science honoris causa from Lakehead University in Canada
• 2011: Doctorate honoris causa from the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, in Argentina
• 2012: Honorary professorship from the Universidad César Vallejo de Trujillo, in Peru
• 2012: Doctorate honoris causa from the Universidad Latinoamericana Cima de Tacna, in Peru
• 2012: Doctorate honoris causa from the Universidad José Faustino Sanchez Carrión, in Peru
• 2013: Inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame
• 2014: Doctorate honoris causa from Concordia University in Canada
• 2015: Doctorate honoris causa from Universidad las Américas in Peru.
• 2016: The Association for Computing Machinery’s Software and Systems Award for development of GCC, the GNU Compiler Collection. Click here to read a full biography of Richard Stallman. Click here to read a full transcript of this episode.

Episode 3: Anne Devereux-Mills @annedevmills

Anne Devereux-Mills is a sought-after speaker, author and advocate for women, particularly on the subject of how to create a powerful cycle of personal growth, empowerment, and advancement. Anne’s mission is to share what she has learned through her own experience: recognize one’s own strengths and skills – and use them to help other women, creating an outward moving circle of positive change, and, in the process, empowering yourself.

Capping a 25-year career as one of the most influential women in the advertising industry, in 2012 Anne founded Parlay House, (@ParlayHouse on Twitter)c an expanding national salon-style gathering of 1500 women who meet to pull each other forward through a combination of shared experiences, meaningful content, and peer-to-peer connections. She has been a mentor for SHE-CAN, an organization supporting and grooming the next generation of female world leaders coming from post-genocide countries, and served as the director of Stanford University’s Healthy Body Image Programs. She was the Executive Director of The Return, an Emmy-nominated documentary about the experience of people returning to society post-incarceration. She and her husband were the lead sponsors of California’s Proposition 36, which restored fairness in sentencing to the State’s excessive Three Strikes Law.

As with all episodes of Making better, a transcript is available for this one as well. YOu can begin reading it below and continue reading by following the link in the embedded copy.…etter-podcast-in/

Episode 2: Michael Marshall @MrMMarsh

Michael Marshall is the Project Director of the Good Thinking Society and the Vice President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society. He regularly speaks with proponents of pseudoscience for the Be Reasonable podcast. His work has seen him organising international homeopathy protests, going undercover to expose psychics and quack medics, and co-founding the popular QED conference. He has written for the Guardian, The Times, the New Statesman and Gizmodo. You can follow him on Twitter at @MrMMarsh and you can consume episode 2 of Making Better in text form here.

Episode One: Sina Bahram

Sina Bahram is an accessibility consultant, researcher, speaker, and entrepreneur. He is the founder of Prime Access Consulting (PAC), an inclusive design firm whose clients include technology startups, research labs, Fortune-500 companies, and both private and nationally-funded museums. Sina has a strong background in computer science, holding undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field. As a recognized expert in accessibility, Sina enjoys collaborating with both colleagues in the field and individuals of diverse professions to devise innovative and user-centered solutions to difficult real-world problems. In 2012, Sina was recognized as a White House Champion of Change by President Barack Obama for his work enabling users with disabilities to succeed in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. In 2015, the international accessibility community recognized Sina as an Emerging Leader in Digital Accessibility at the annual Knowbility Community Heroes of Accessibility Awards. In 2017, Sina served as the invited co-chair of the 2017 Museums and the Web conference.