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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

Hello world

Hello world

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.

Hello World

Just that

Open Source Licensing and Governance

Earlier this year, arguments and debates raged about whether the open source model was doomed to fail in the 21st century economics of Software As A Service (SAAS). One thread of these discussions centered around the creation of a new type of license that could effectively preserve source code availability and author attribution while denying licensees some of the freedoms enjoyed by the authors, particularly the freedom to present a user interface distinct from so-called attribution.

GPLv3 looks like a worthy update

When I first came across the GNU General Public License in 1986, it was nothing short of an epiphany for me. Its revolutionary approach to copyright (all wrongs reversed) and the bold vision of the GNU project (to do nothing less than to make UNIX obsolete by making something that was both better and free) was as earth-shaking to me as perhaps quantum physics was to Einstein. (You don't need to tell me I'm no Einstein--I know that.)

Newer, More Modern

If you're coming to this URL for the first time in awhile, you may think you're in the wrong place...

Nope, we've just finally soft-launched our new website. The old one was largely hard-coded (as was common back in 1998 when it was launched). It got to be too hard to maintain, as many of you noticed. Many thanks to our volunteer webmaster, Steve Mallett, for putting up this new Drupal-based site that we can edit and contribute to more easily.

Less is More...what's so hard about simplicity?

I am continuing to process Made To Stick, a Guns, Germs, and Steel-quality treatment about why some ideas survive and others die. I heard the authors interviewed courtesy of our local National Public Radio affiliate WUNC (which does their share of great content generation, btw), and to fit the ultra-dense format of radio, they said "there are six success factors for making an idea stick, but the first three, Simple, Unexpected, and Concrete, are the most important."

As the authors tell it, experts suffer from The Curse of Knowledge, and the nature of the curse is such that it is almost impossible for those so cursed to keep things simple or, for that matter, concrete. Complexity is fun, and abstraction is what gives theories their power. It also makes them notoriously transient in people's minds.

Yes, the 'open source' label is still relevant and powerful

Nat Torkington asked recently Is
"Open Source" Now Completely Meaningless
. Certainly not; in fact,
there are several reasons this label is still valid and important.
I'm a pragmatist, so I'm not going to wave any flags or sing any
anthems to argue this, just point out what has worked and continues to

First of all, let's be clear about what "open source" means. Software
is 'open source' when it is issued under a license compliant with the
Open Source Definition. Nothing any clueless or malevolant corporate
marketeer does can change that, because the term originated in the
open-source developer community and only we have the authority to
redefine it.

Brent Williams gives the best open source presentation ever?

That seems to be the opinion of Stephen Walli in this blog posting.

I just finished reading Made To Stick, a book recommended to me by my trendspotting wife Amy, and it's quite obvious that Brent has both a command of the facts, an understanding of the context, and a gift for relating them in ways that are simple, unexpected, concrete, and other ways that make the ideas stick. It is wonderful (and refreshing) to see a presentation that is at once so right on the facts and so complete in its explanation. Great work, Brent!


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