Modern Device Company is the work of Paul Badger, an artist working in new media and public art, who teaches courses in physical computing and robotics at Rhode Island School of Design. He also does much of the reference documentation on the Arduino website.
The Bare Bones Board is an Arduino-compatible board (Freeduino) that implements the vast majority of the functionality of the Arduino Diecimila with the exception that the USB chip has been removed to a cable. More on this below.
Arduino is an open-source microcontroller hardware, and software, environment, closely related to the Wiring and Processing open-source initiatives. The microcontroller uses an Atmel Atmega168 chip programmed with a bootloader, so no programming hardware is required.