From the Board

Riel's Law of Innovation

Rik van Riel posted an interesting insight this weekend about this important difference between those working under the constraints of the proprietary software model and those of us who use and develop open source software:
they *have* to target their development to work on marketable features, while we have more liberty to focus on things that provide our users with value -- even if they are not glamorous enough to use in marketing material.

Open Source takes center stage at Yale Conference

On the just concluded Access to Knowledge Conference run by the Yale Law School Information Society Project, Open Source came out clear champion. Distinguished participants on this prestigious conference singles out the use of Free Software and Open Source as a key in Access to Knowledge (A2K)

NCIS gets Open Source right!

NCIS gets Open Source right! This is probably courtesy of Sean Murray, who is arguably geekier than the character he plays. In this episode, his character, McGee, says "I was looking for an address book, and I found Celestia, an open source astronomy program popular with space enthusiasts. It's supposed to be an accurate simulation but I found a star system which doesn't belong. The program is Open Source. That means you can adapt it to pretty much anything; education, games, you can store grocery lists, or in this case you can use it for a diary.

FLOSSCom looking for survey participants

The European Union funded FLOSSCom research project is investigating Free / Libre Open Source software (FLOSS) communities as learning environments. They want to identify principles of FLOSS communities that could be transferred to (formal) educational settings (e.g. open culture, collaborative production, open and inclusive, values & volunteering, etc.). Their survey covers only a small part of their current research activities.

Minister of Communications opens FOSS meeting

It was an overwhelming surprise to hear the Ghanaian minister of Communications - Mike Oquaye, give the government's full support to Open Source. This was at the opening ceremony of the FOSS media training in Accra. This event also made prime time news;

The speech is here

Open Source as an input

There's a Slashdot story today on Tech Sector Expansion Blunting U.S. Job Outsourcing. This is 100% predictable. In fact, I did predict it two years ago. When something becomes cheaper, and an industry uses for its products, the industry will in time reconfigure itself to use more of that thing. Lots of people don't see that because of the delay in the response. That is exactly why economics is a fruitful field of study. It teaches you to look beyond the black clouds for the sunshine to follow.


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