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OSI Board Blog

Ushahidi tracks the Gulf Oil Spill: Open Source Crowdsourcing at Work

On April 20th, 2010, a methane gas explosion ripped apart the operational oil rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico. This accident has become a catastrophe - the largest oil spill in US history. It has damaged the entire ecosystem of life in the Gulf. The ocean waters and shorelines of Gulf states all the way to Florida and the Mississippi river delta continue to be ravaged by the gushing oil. The spill is affecting millions of people, marine life and wildlife.

Brazil and India: The Next Generation of Open Source

Those of us who follow the growth of open source in the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China) know that both Brazil and India are leveraging open source at a rapid pace towards economic development.

India

Your Chance To Change OSI

When I said recently that we still need the Open Source Initiative (OSI), it started a flood of comment. There's no doubt that we need OSI - but we need a better OSI. The one we have now is just too small to be effective and too mired in past successes; a renaissance is needed. You can help.

OSI Committee Chairs Election for 2010-2011

Earlier this month, the OSI board held elections for the organization's committees. Board members interested in working on OSI initiatives such as membership, education, policy and economic development, outreach submitted their candidacy to the board. Based on the slate of candidates, the board voted the following chairpersons to lead each OSI initiative for the next year.

Oh and one more thing...open source does support piracy...

And by my earlier criticism of the IIPA position that open source == piracy...there might be something to that. Feel free to copy and distribute any of the open source software I've ever written. Give it to a friend, a neighbor, copy it to whatever devices, run it, use it, rip it and enhance it. I promise...I won't call the cops on you. If that makes you a pirate....ahoy matey...

To Microsoft, Open Source means "Windows Encumbered"

One of the most interesting things to happen in the past couple of years, is Microsoft's embrace of Open Source. This means different things to various people I've spoken with at Microsoft. Some seem genuinely sincere. Some seem less so. What hasn't changed is Microsoft's behavior to the Open Source community at large.

Open Source Education: OSI co-organizing POSSE in Silicon Valley from July 6-10, 2010

Open Source Software has come a long way in the last decade. It has gone from being bleeding edge to becoming mainstream. Every aspect of computing, from the operating system to web applications, has examples of open source software.

As the open source ecosystem grows, the need for talented developers, collaborators and open source experts has burgeoned. Increasingly, Universities want to incorporate the teaching of open source technologies, techniques and business models into their curricula to meet this growth.

Re: VP8 and WebM--Thank you, Google! (P.S. Let's talk)

It was more than a month ago that I started my pilgrimage to Texas to prepare for and participate in a court case in East Texas, but it still seems like only yesterday. As Groklaw aptly reports, opposing counsel pressed not only the question of whether Red Hat and Novell infringed three patents originally issued to Xerox corporation (which later fell into the hands of a non-practicing entity), but argued before the jury that there was a fundamental conflict between property rights and open source software--a conflict they wanted the jury to resolve in their favor.

While I have been processing the events of the trial, playing and replaying lines of questioning over and over in my mind, I've barely been able to keep up with the extraordinary changes to both the competitive landscape and the competitive rules of the technology industry. Having escaped from one rabbit-hole, I appear to have fallen down another directly.

Open Source HardWare Definition

Some friends of Open Source are banging out an OSHW definition. They're doing a good job so far. If you're making open source hardware, make sure that you comply with the definition, and then tell people that you do. I'm going to do that for my "Environmental Sensing with Arduino" talk at OSCON this summer.

Patent Absurdity

Our friends over at the Free Software Foundation were kind enough to send me an advance copy of their new documentary to preview. It's entitled Patent Absurdity and it tells the story of software patents through the words of many familiar figures in the world of software freedom, framed by a discussion of the Bilski case that's pending in the US Supreme Court.

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