nelson's blog

RMS going off on a tangent again

RMS is leading people off on his own path again. He's saying that if people want to keep their freedom they better not follow Torvalds. While it's great that RMS doesn't compromise his principles, the principle that he isn't compromising isn't necessary. RMS constantly tells us that it is the word "Free" which is important. This says to me that he feels that the experience of freedom -- that actual freedom -- is not important. Only the name is important, not the thing.

Why companies?

I never quite have understood why the mainstream press concentrates so much on what companies are doing. For example, see Jon Brodkin's NetWorld article, wherein he talks about nine open source companies to watch. Maybe they write more about companies with funding because they're the people more likely to buy advertising than nonprofit projects.

Dilbert and Open Source

Dilbert mentions Open Source today. Or, rather, his boss mentions it "because it's free." Which it is, but it's the freedom to run, modify, and share software that's important. In the Pointy-Haired Boss's office: PHB: "From now on, I want you to use Open Source software for everything we do. It's free." Dilbert: "I'll be right back." At Alice's desk: Dilbert: "It's an emergency. I think he's been reading." Dilbert and Alice in the PHB's office:

Microsoft's patent FUD

Note: this is just my opinion. The OSI board may have a different opinion if it speaks as a body. Microsoft is spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) with their latest anti-Linux patent campaign. If they had an actual, solid case of patent infringement, they would go to a judge, get an injunction against the distribution of Linux, and sell patent licenses for FreeBSD. The fact that they don't, but are willing to sell patent licenses for an unnamed set of infringed patents, says that they have no legal case.

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.


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