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.

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.


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