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Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Achieving Impossible Things with Free Culture and Commons-Based Enterprise : Terry Hancock : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive - 0 views

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    "Author: Terry Hancock Keywords: free software; software source; free culture; commons-based peer production; commons-based enterprise; Free software Magazine; Blender Foundation; Blender software Movies; Wikipedia; Project Gutenberg; software Hardware; One Laptop Per Child; Sugar Labs; licensing; copyleft; hosting; marketing; design; online community; Debian GNU/Linux; GNU General Public software; Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike software; TAPR software Hardware software; collective patronage; women in free software; Creative Commons; OScar; C,mm,n; Free software Foundation; software Source Initiative; Freedom Defined; Free software Definition; Debian Free software Guidelines; Sourceforge; Google Code; digital rights management; digital restrictions management; technological protection measures; DRM; TPM; linux; gnu; manifesto Publisher: Free software Magazine Press Year: 2009 Language: English Collection: softwaresource"
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    "Author: Terry Hancock Keywords: free software; software source; free culture; commons-based peer production; commons-based enterprise; Free software Magazine; Blender Foundation; Blender software Movies; Wikipedia; Project Gutenberg; software Hardware; One Laptop Per Child; Sugar Labs; licensing; copyleft; hosting; marketing; design; online community; Debian GNU/Linux; GNU General Public software; Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike software; TAPR software Hardware software; collective patronage; women in free software; Creative Commons; OScar; C,mm,n; Free software Foundation; software Source Initiative; Freedom Defined; Free software Definition; Debian Free software Guidelines; Sourceforge; Google Code; digital rights management; digital restrictions management; technological protection measures; DRM; TPM; linux; gnu; manifesto Publisher: Free software Magazine Press Year: 2009 Language: English Collection: softwaresource"
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Open Source Opens | Open Source Initiative - 0 views

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    "Open source Opens are Opens that comply with the Open Source Definition - in brief, they allow Open to be freely used, modified, and shared. To be approved by the Open Source Initiative (also known as the OSI), a Open must go through the Open Source Initiative's Open review process."
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    "Open source Opens are Opens that comply with the Open Source Definition - in brief, they allow Open to be freely used, modified, and shared. To be approved by the Open Source Initiative (also known as the OSI), a Open must go through the Open Source Initiative's Open review process."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

How to choose a license for your license source project | licensesource.com - 1 views

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    "The open source open you choose for your project, or for the projects you choose to contribute to, can have significant effects on how what you contribute is used. One question that has garnered quite a bit of interest recently is the fall in popularity of copyleft opens in favor of permissive opens. An article last year looked at the issue of large number of projects on GitHub that have no explicit open and posited the question about whether we live in a 'post open source open' world, where seemingly open source open has no open. After some time, GitHub agreed that licensing is important and worked to improve the situation with a open chooser."
Gary Edwards

The True Story of How the Patent Bar Captured a Court and Shrank the Intellectual Commons | Cato Unbound - 1 views

  • The change in the law wrought by the Federal Circuit can also be viewed substantively through the controversy over software patents. Throughout the 1960s, the USPTO refused to award patents for software innovations. However, several of the USPTO’s decisions were overruled by the patent-friendly U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, which ordered that software patents be granted. In Gottschalk v. Benson (1972) and Parker v. Flook (1978), the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, holding that mathematical algorithms (and therefore software) were not patentable subject matter. In 1981, in Diamond v. Diehr, the Supreme Court upheld a software patent on the grounds that the patent in question involved a physical process—the patent was issued for software used in the molding of rubber. While affirming their prior ruling that mathematical formulas are not patentable in the abstract, the Court held that an otherwise patentable invention did not become unpatentable simply because it utilized a computer.
  • In the hands of the newly established Federal Circuit, however, this small scope for software patents in precedent was sufficient to software the floodgates. In a series of decisions culminating in State Street Bank v. Signature Financial Group (1998), the Federal Circuit broadened the criteria for patentability of software and business methods substantially, allowing protection as long as the innovation “produces a useful, concrete and tangible result.” That broadened criteria led to an explosion of low-quality software patents, from Amazon’s 1-Click checkout system to Twitter’s pull-to-refresh feature on smartphones. The GAO estimates that more than half of all patents granted in recent years are software-related. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court continues to hold, as in Parker v. Flook, that computer software algorithms are not patentable, and has begun to push back against the Federal Circuit. In Bilski v. Kappos (2010), the Supreme Court once again held that abstract ideas are not patentable, and in Alice v. CLS (2014), it ruled that simply applying an abstract idea on a computer does not suffice to make the idea patent-eligible. It still is not clear what portion of existing software patents Alice invalidates, but it could be a significant one.
  • Supreme Court justices also recognize the Federal Circuit’s insubordination. In oral arguments in Carlsbad Technology v. HIF Bio (2009), Chief Justice John Roberts joked openly about it:
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  • The Opportunity of the Commons
  • As a result of the Federal Circuit’s pro-patent jurisprudence, our economy has been flooded with patents that would otherwise not have been granted. If more patents meant more innovation, then we would now be witnessing a spectacular economic boom. Instead, we have been living through what Tyler Cowen has called a Great Stagnation. The fact that patents have increased while growth has not is known in the literature as the “patent puzzle.” As Michele Boldrin and David Levine put it, “there is no empirical evidence that [patents] serve to increase innovation and productivity, unless productivity is identified with the number of patents awarded—which, as evidence shows, has no correlation with measured productivity.”
  • While more patents have not resulted in faster economic growth, they have resulted in more patent lawsuits.
  • Software patents have characteristics that make them particularly susceptible to litigation. Unlike, say, chemical patents, Software patents are plagued by a problem of description. How does one describe a Software innovation in such a way that anyone searching for it will easily find it? As Christina Mulligan and Tim Lee demonstrate, chemical formulas are indexable, meaning that as the number of chemical patents grow, it will still be easy to determine if a molecule has been patented. Since Software innovations are not indexable, they estimate that “patent clearance by all firms would require many times more hours of legal research than all patent lawyers in the United States can bill in a year. The result has been an explosion of patent litigation.” Software and business method patents, estimate James Bessen and Michael Meurer, are 2 and 7 times more likely to be litigated than other patents, respectively (4 and 13 times more likely than chemical patents).
  • Software patents make excellent material for predatory litigation brought by what are often called “patent trolls.”
  • Trolls use asymmetries in the rules of litigation to legally extort millions of dollars from innocent parties. For example, one patent troll, Innovatio IP Ventures, LLP, acquired patents that implicated Wi-Fi. In 2011, it started sending demand letters to coffee shops and hotels that offered wireless Internet access, offering to settle for $2,500 per location. This amount was far in excess of the 9.56 cents per device that Innovatio was entitled to under the “Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory” licensing promises attached to their portfolio, but it was also much less than the cost of trial, and therefore it was rational for firms to pay. Cisco stepped in and spent $13 million in legal fees on the case, and settled on behalf of their customers for 3.2 cents per device. Other manufacturers had already licensed Innovatio’s portfolio, but that didn’t stop their customers from being targeted by demand letters.
  • Litigation cost asymmetries are magnified by the fact that most patent trolls are nonpracticing entities. This means that when patent infringement trials get to the discovery phase, they will cost the troll very little—a firm that does not operate a business has very few records to produce.
  • But discovery can cost a medium or large company millions of dollars. Using an event study methodology, James Bessen and coauthors find that infringement lawsuits by nonpracticing entities cost publicly traded companies $83 billion per year in stock market capitalization, while plaintiffs gain less than 10 percent of that amount.
  • Software patents also reduce innovation in virtue of their cumulative nature and the fact that many of them are frequently inputs into a single product. Law professor Michael Heller coined the phrase “tragedy of the anticommons” to refer to a situation that mirrors the well-understood “tragedy of the commons.” Whereas in a commons, multiple parties have the right to use a resource but not to exclude others, in an anticommons, multiple parties have the right to exclude others, and no one is therefore able to make effective use of the resource. The tragedy of the commons results in overuse of the resource; the tragedy of the anticommons results in underuse.
  • In order to cope with the tragedy of the anticommons, we should carefully investigate the opportunity of  the commons. The late Nobelist Elinor Ostrom made a career of studying how communities manage shared resources without property rights. With appropriate self-governance institutions, Ostrom found again and again that a commons does not inevitably lead to tragedy—indeed, open access to shared resources can provide collective benefits that are not available under other forms of property management.
  • This suggests that—litigation costs aside—patent law could be reducing the stock of ideas rather than expanding it at current margins.
  • Advocates of extensive patent protection frequently treat the commons as a kind of wasteland. But considering the problems in our patent system, it is worth looking again at the role of well-tailored limits to property rights in some contexts. Just as we all benefit from real property rights that no longer extend to the highest heavens, we would also benefit if the scope of patent protection were more narrowly drawn.
  • Reforming the Patent System
  • This analysis raises some obvious possibilities for reforming the patent system. Diane Wood, Chief Judge of the 7th Circuit, has proposed ending the Federal Circuit’s exclusive jurisdiction over patent appeals—instead, the Federal Circuit could share jurisdiction with the other circuit courts. While this is a constructive suggestion, it still leaves the door open to the Federal Circuit playing “a leading role in shaping patent law,” which is the reason for its capture by patent interests. It would be better instead simply to abolish the Federal Circuit and return to the pre-1982 system, in which patents received no special treatment in appeals. This leaves open the possibility of circuit splits, which the creation of the Federal Circuit was designed to mitigate, but there are worse problems than circuit splits, and we now have them.
  • Another helpful reform would be for Congress to limit the scope of patentable subject matter via statute. New Zealand has done just that, declaring that software is “not an invention” to get around WTO obligations to respect intellectual property. Congress should do the same with respect to both software and business methods.
  • Finally, even if the above reforms were adopted, there would still be a need to address the asymmetries in patent litigation that result in predatory “troll” lawsuits. While the holding in Alice v. CLS arguably makes a wide swath of patents invalid, those patents could still be used in troll lawsuits because a ruling of invalidity for each individual patent might not occur until late in a trial. Current legislation in Congress addresses this class of problem by mandating disclosures, shifting fees in the case of spurious lawsuits, and enabling a review of the patent’s validity before a trial commences.
  • What matters for prosperity is not just property rights in the abstract, but good property-defining institutions. Without reform, our patent system will continue to favor special interests and forestall economic growth.
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    "Libertarians intuitively understand the case for patents: just as other property rights internalize the social benefits of improvements to land, automobile maintenance, or business investment, patents incentivize the creation of new inventions, which might otherwise be undersupplied. So far, so good. But it is important to recognize that the laws that govern property, intellectual or otherwise, do not arise out of thin air. Rather, our political institutions, with all their virtues and foibles, determine the contours of property-the exact bundle of rights that property holders possess, their extent, and their limitations. Outlining efficient property laws is not a trivial problem. The optimal contours of property are neither immutable nor knowable a priori. For example, in 1946, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the age-old common law doctrine that extended real property rights to the heavens without limit. The advent of air travel made such extensive property rights no longer practicable-airlines would have had to cobble together a patchwork of easements, acre by acre, for every corridor through which they flew, and they would have opened themselves up to lawsuits every time their planes deviated from the expected path. The Court rightly abridged property rights in light of these empirical realities. In defining the limits of patent rights, our political institutions have gotten an analogous question badly wrong. A single, politically captured circuit court with exclusive jurisdiction over patent appeals has consistently expanded the scope of patentable subject matter. This expansion has resulted in an explosion of both patents and patent litigation, with destructive consequences. "
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    I added a comment to the page's article. Patents are antithetical to the precepts of Libertarianism and do not involve Natural Law rights. But I agree with the author that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit should be abolished. It's a failed experiment.
Paul Merrell

German Parliament Says No More Software Patents | Electronic Frontier Foundation - 0 views

  • The German Parliament recently took a huge step that would eliminate software patents (PDF) when it issued a joint motion requiring the German government to ensure that computer programs are only covered by copyright. Put differently, in Germany, software cannot be patented. The Parliament's motion follows a similar announcement made by New Zealand's government last month (PDF), in which it determined that computer programs were not inventions or a manner of manufacture and, thus, cannot be patented.
  • The crux of the German Parliament's motion rests on the fact that software is already protected by copyright, and developers are afforded "exploitation rights." These rights, however, become confused when broad, abstract patents also cover general aspects of computer programs. These two intellectual property systems are at odds. The clearest example of this clash is with free software. The motion recognizes this issue and therefore calls upon the government "to preserve the precedence of copyright law so that software developers can also publish their work under software source software terms and conditions with legal security." The free software movement relies upon the fact that software can be released under a copyright software that allows users to share it and build upon others' works. Patents, as Parliament finds, inhibit this fundamental spread.
  • Just like in the New Zealand order, the German Parliament carved out one type of software that could be patented, when: the computer program serves merely as a replaceable equivalent for a mechanical or electro-mechanical component, as is the case, for instance, when software-based washing machine controls can replace an electromechanical program control unit consisting of revolving cylinders which activate the control circuits for the specific steps of the wash cycle This allows for software that is tied to (and controls part of) another invention to be patented. In other words, if a claimed process is purely a computer program, then it is not patentable. (New Zealand's order uses a similar washing machine example.) The motion ends by calling upon the German government to push for this approach to be standard across all of Europe. We hope policymakers in the United States will also consider fundamental reform that deals with the problems caused by low-quality software patents. Ultimately, any real reform must address this issue.
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    Note that an unofficial translation of the parliamentary motion is linked from the article. This adds substantially to the pressure internationally to end software patents because Germany has been the strongest defender of software patents in Europe. The same legal grounds would not apply in the U.S. The strongest argument for the non-patentability in the U.S., in my opinion, is that software patents embody embody both prior art and obviousness. A general purpose computer can accomplish nothing unforeseen by the prior art of the computing device. And it is impossible for software to do more than cause different sequences of bit register states to be executed. This is the province of "skilled artisans" using known methods to produce predictable results. There is a long line of Supreme Court decisions holding that an "invention" with such traits is non-patentable. I have summarized that argument with citations at . 
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Apple Caters to Open Source by Switching Swift to Apache 2.0 Open | Open Source Application Open Companies content from The VAR Guy [# ! critic note] - 0 views

    • Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.
       
      [# ! Why It will be that 'Everyb@dy' wants to 'seem' #OpenSource...? [ # ! + http://www.wired.com/2015/08/microsoft-moves-toward-Open-source-linux-fills-cloud/ ] # ! Fortunately, we got clear what Open Source really is. # ! ;) ]
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    "Apple's Swift programming language has been open-sourced under an Apache 2.0 open, making it possible to use the language on Linux and Windows in addition to OS X and iOS."
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    "Apple's Swift programming language has been open-sourced under an Apache 2.0 open, making it possible to use the language on Linux and Windows in addition to OS X and iOS."
Gary Edwards

Sun pitches new cloud as 'Open Platform' * - 0 views

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    Sun takes on the problem of interoperability and portability of applications in a world where there will be many many clouds. At the roll out of the Sun Cloud, key executives explain Sun's implementation of Open Cloud API's and what they see as a pressing need for management tools that will allow some standardization across clouds.

    Sun's Open Cloud API plan is a clean reuse of existing Open Web API's.

    "..... The underpinning of the Open Cloud Platform that Sun will be pitching to developers is a set of cloud APIs, the creation of which is focused under Project Kenai and which has been released under a Community Commons Open source Open. Sun wants lots of feedback on the APIs and wants these APIs to become a standard too, hence the Open Open. These APIs describes how virtual elements in a cloud are created, started, stopped, and hibernated using HTTP commands such as GET, PUT, and POST...."

    "...... The upshot is that these APIs will allow programmatic access to virtual infrastructure from Java, PHP, Python, and Ruby and that means system admins can script how virtual resources are deployed. The APIs, as co-creator Tim Bray explains in his blog, are written in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), not XML. The Q-Layer Open is a graphical representation of what is going on down in the APIs, and you can moving virtual resources into the cloud with a click of a mouse using the dashboard or programmatically using the APIs from those four programming languages listed above. (PHP support is not yet available, but will be)....."
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    I can see why Sun picked those four languages first. Can I assume that with a bit of work, this API will be usable from any language with a C "foreign function interface", such as Perl, Common Lisp, Bourne shell, Squeak Smalltalk, and others that your server application might be written in?
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    I read this comment that largely answers my question at: http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2009/03/16/Sun-Cloud "So right now JSON out of a shell tool is not so good. More things like this will create pressure for development of tools to change that, but years of widespread XML/HTML deployment have only produced a few oddly maintained tools. Perhaps that's because you can scrape quite a bit of the web with a couple sed passes, and if I were to have to deal with the mentioned tools, that's probably the route I'd take." (seth w. klein) In other words, with a bit of work, _anything_ that can talk text over HTTP can do this with a bit of work, but an object-oriented is likely to be more at home with JSON (JavaScript Object Notation)
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Lawsuit threatens to break new ground on the GPL and software licensing issues | softwaresource.com - 3 views

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    "When Versata Software sued Ameriprise Financial Services for breaching its Software Software, it unwittingly unearthed a GPL violation of its own and touched off another lawsuit that could prove to be a leading case on free and Software source Software licensing. This post takes a look at the legal issues raised by both cases and what they mean for FOSS producers and users."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Learn how to calculate ROI for open hardware projects | opensource.com - 0 views

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    "Free and open source open advocates have courageously blazed a trail that is now being followed by those interested in open source for physical objects. It's called free and open source hardware (FOSH), and we're seeing an exponential rise in the number of free designs for hardware released under opensource opens, Creative Commons opens,or placed in the public domain."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Open Content and Open Access | ifrOSS - 0 views

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    "A few years ago ‚Open Content', the application of the Open model for free Open to other works was still far away but today it seems to have established itself. The term 'Open Content' is not always used consistently. "
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

We're living in a post-open source world | open source open - InfoWorld - 1 views

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    "We're living in a post-open source world Increasingly, open isn't sold, it's used to power services offered over the Internet. So why contend with the complexities of open source licensing? By Matt Asay | InfoWorld Follow @infoworld"
Gary Edwards

Meet OX Text, a collaborative, non-destructive alternative to Google Docs - Tech News and Analysis - 0 views

  • The German software-as-a-service firm software-Xchange, which provides apps that telcos and other service providers can bundle with their connectivity or hosting products, is adding a cloud-based office productivity toolset called OX Documents to its OX App Suite lineup. software-Xchange has around 70 million users through its contracts with roughly 80 providers such as 1&1 Internet and Strato. Its OX App Suite takes the form of a virtual desktop of sorts, that lets users centralize their email and file storage accounts and view all sorts of documents through a unified portal. However, as of an early April release it will also include OX Text, a non-destructive, collaborative document editor that rivals Google Docs, and that has an interesting heritage of its own.
  • The team that created the HTML5- and JavaScript-based OX Text includes some of the core developers behind OpenOffice, the free alternative to Microsoft Office that passed from Sun Microsystems to Oracle before morphing into LibreOffice. The German developers we’re talking about hived off the project before LibreOffice happened, and ended up getting hired by Open-Xchange. “To them it was a once in a lifetime event, because we allowed them to start from scratch,” Open-Xchange CEO Rafael Laguna told me. “We said we wanted a fresh office productivity suite that runs inside the browser. In terms of the architecture and principles for the product, we wanted to make it fully round-trip capable, meaning whatever file format we run into needs to be retained.”
  • This is an extremely handy formatting and version control feature. Changes made to a document in OX Text get pushed through to Open-Xchange’s backend, where a changelog is maintained. “Power” Word features such as Smart Art or Charts, which are not necessarily supported by other productivity suites, are replaced with placeholders during editing and are there, as before, when the edited document is eventually downloaded. As the OX Text blurb says, “OX Text never damages your valuable work even if it does not understand it”.
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  • “[This avoids] the big disadvantage of anything other than Microsoft Office,” Laguna said. “If you use OpenOffice with a .docx file, the whole document is converted, creating artefacts, then you convert it back. That’s one of the major reasons not everyone is using OpenOffice, and the same is true for Google Apps.” OX Text will be available as an extension to OX App Suite, which also includes calendaring and other productivity tools. However, it will also come out as a standalone product under both commercial Opens – effectively support-based subscriptions for Open-Xchange’s service provider customers – and Open-source Opens, namely the GNU General Public Open 2 and Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Open, which will allow free personal, non-commercial use. You can find a demo of App Suite, including the OX Text functionality, here, and there’s a video too:
Gary Edwards

Can C.E.O. Satya Nadella Save Microsoft? | Vanity Fair - 0 views

  • he new world of computing is a radical break from the past. That’s because of the growth of mobile devices and cloud computing. In the old world, corporations owned and ran Windows P.C.’s and Window servers in their own facilities, with the necessary software installed on them. Everyone used Windows, so everything was developed for Windows. It was a virtuous circle for Microsoft.
  • Now the processing power is in the cloud, and very sophisticated applications, from e-mail to tools you need to run a business, can be run by logging onto a Web site, not from pre-installed software. In addition, the way we work (and play) has shifted from P.C.’s to mobile devices—where Android and Apple’s iOS each outsell Windows by more than 10 to 1. Why develop software to run on Windows if no one is using Windows? Why use Windows if nothing you want can run on it? The virtuous circle has turned vicious.
  • Part of why Microsoft failed with devices is that competitors upended its business model. Google doesn’t charge for the operating system. That’s because Google makes its money on search. Apple can charge high prices because of the beauty and elegance of its devices, where the software and hardware are integrated in one gorgeous package. Meanwhile, Microsoft continued to force outside manufacturers, whose products simply weren’t as compelling as Apple’s, to pay for a software for Windows. And it didn’t allow Office to be used on non-Windows phones and tablets. “The whole philosophy of the company was Windows first,” says Heather Bellini, an analyst at Goldman Sachs. Of course it was: that’s how Microsoft had always made its money.
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  • Nadella lived this dilemma because his job at Microsoft included figuring out the cloud-based future while maintaining the highly profitable Windows server business. And so he did a bunch of things that were totally un-Microsoft-like. He went to talk to start-ups to find out why they weren’t using Microsoft. He put massive research-and-development dollars behind Azure, a cloud-based platform that Microsoft had developed in Skunk Works fashion, which by definition took resources away from the highly profitable existing business.
  • At its core, Azure uses Windows server technology. That helps existing Windows applications run seamlessly on Azure. Technologists sometimes call what Microsoft has done a “hybrid cloud” because companies can use Azure alongside their pre-existing on-site Windows servers. At the same time, Nadella also to some extent has embraced open-source open—free code that doesn’t require a open from Microsoft—so that someone could develop something using non-Microsoft technology, and it would run on Azure. That broadens Azure’s appeal.
  • “In some ways the way people think about Bill and Steve is almost a Rorschach test.” For those who romanticize the Gates era, Microsoft’s current predicament will always be Ballmer’s fault. For others, it’s not so clear. “He left Steve holding a big bag of shit,” the former executive says of Gates. In the year Ballmer officially took over, Microsoft was found to be a predatory monopolist by the U.S. government and was ordered to split into two; the cost of that to Gates and his company can never be calculated. In addition, the dotcom bubble had burst, causing Microsoft stock to collapse, which resulted in a simmering tension between longtime employees, whom the company had made rich, and newer ones, who had missed the gravy train.
  • Right now, Windows itself is fragmented: applications developed for one Windows device, say a P.C., don’t even necessarily work on another Windows device. And if Microsoft develops a new killer application, it almost has to be released for Android and Apple phones, given their market dominance, thereby strengthening those eco-systems, too.
  • They even have a catchphrase: “Re-inventing productivity.”
  • Microsoft’s historical reluctance to open Windows and Office is why it was such a big deal when in late March, less than two months after becoming C.E.O., Nadella announced that Microsoft would offer Office for Apple’s iPad. A team at the company had been working on it for about a year. Ballmer says he would have released it eventually, but Nadella did it immediately. Nadella also announced that Windows would be free for devices smaller than nine inches, meaning phones and small tablets. “Now that we have 30 million users on the iPad using it, that is 30 million people who never used Office before [on an iPad,]” he says. “And to me that’s what really drives us.” These are small moves in some ways, and yet they are also big. “It’s the first time I have listened to a senior Microsoft executive admit that they are behind,” says one institutional investor. “The fact that they are giving away Windows, their bread and butter for 25 years—it is quite a fundamental change.”
  • And whoever does the best job of building the right software experiences to give both organizations and individuals time back so that they can get more out of their time, that’s the core of this company—that’s the soul. That’s what Bill started this company with. That’s the Office franchise. That’s the Windows franchise. We have to re-invent them. . . . That’s where this notion of re-inventing productivity comes from.”
  • what is scarce in all of this abundance is human attention
  • At the Microsoft board meeting in late June 2013, Ballmer announced he had a handshake deal with Nokia’s management to buy the company, pending the Microsoft board’s approval, according to a source close to the events. Ballmer thought he had it and left before the post-board-meeting dinner to attend his son’s middle-school graduation. When he came back the next day, he found that the board had pulled a coup: they informed him they weren’t doing the deal, and it wasn’t up for discussion. For Ballmer, it seems, the unforgivable thing was that Gates had been part of the coup, which Ballmer saw as the ultimate betrayal.
  • Ballmer might be a complicated character, but he has nothing on Gates, whose contradictions have long fascinated Microsoft-watchers. He is someone who has no problem humiliating individuals—he might not even notice—but who genuinely cares deeply about entire populations and is deeply loyal. He is generous in the biggest ways imaginable, and yet in small things, like picking up a lunch tab, he can be shockingly cheap. He can’t make small talk and can come across as totally lacking in E.Q. “The rules of human life that allow you to get along are not complicated,” says one person who knows Gates. “He could write a book on it, but he can’t do it!”
  • And the original idea of having great software people and broad software products and Office being the primary tool that people look to across all these devices, that’ s as true today and as strong as ever.”
  • Meeting Room Plus
  • But he combines that with flashes of insight and humor that leave some wondering whether he can’t do it or simply chooses not to, or both. His most pronounced characteristic shouldn’t be simply labeled a competitive streak, because it is really a fierce, deep need to win. The dislike it bred among his peers in the industry is well known—“Silicon Bully” was the title of an infamous magazine story about him. And yet he left Microsoft for the philanthropic world, where there was no one to bully, only intractable problems to solve.
  • “The Irrelevance of Microsoft” is actually the title of a blog post by an analyst named Benedict Evans, who works at the Silicon Valley venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. On his blog, Evans pointed out that Microsoft’s share of all computing devices that we use to connect to the Internet, including P.C.’s, phones, and tablets, has plunged from 90 percent in 2009 to just around 20 percent today. This staggering drop occurred not because Microsoft lost ground in personal computers, on which its software still dominates, but rather because it has failed to adapt its products to smartphones, where all the growth is, and tablets.
  • The board told Ballmer they wanted him to stay, he says, and they did eventually agree to a slightly different version of the deal. In September, Microsoft announced it was buying Nokia’s devices-and-services business for $7.2 billion. Why? The board finally realized the downside: without Nokia, Microsoft was effectively done in the smartphone business. But, for Ballmer, the damage was done, in more ways than one. He now says it became clear to him that despite the lack of a new C.E.O. he couldn’t stay. Cultural change, he decided, required a change at the top, and, he says,“there was too much water under the bridge with this board.” The feeling was mutual. As a source close to Microsoft says, no one, including Gates, tried to stop him from quitting.
  • in Wall Street’s eyes, Nadella can do no wrong. Microsoft’s stock has risen 30 percent since he became C.E.O., increasing its market value by $87 billion. “It’s interesting with Satya,” says one person who observes him with investors. “He is not a business guy or a financial analyst, but he finds a common language with investors, and in his short tenure, they leave going, Wow.” But the honeymoon is the easy part.
  • “He was so publicly and so early in life defined as the brilliant guy,” says a person who has observed him. “Anything that threatens that, he becomes narcissistic and defensive.” Or as another person puts it, “He throws hissy fits when he doesn’t get his way.”
  • round three-quarters of Microsoft’s profits come from the two fabulously successful products on which the company was built: the Windows operating system, which essentially makes personal computers run, and Office, the suite of applications that includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Financially speaking, Microsoft is still extraordinarily powerful. In the last 12 months the company reported sales of $86.83 billion and earnings of $22.07 billion; it has $85.7 billion of cash on its balance sheet. But the company is facing a confluence of threats that is all the more staggering given Microsoft’s sheer size. Competitors such as Google and Apple have upended Microsoft’s business model, making it unclear where Windows will fit in the world, and even challenging Office. In the Valley, there are two sayings that everyone regards as truth. One is that profits follow relevance. The other is that there’s a difference between strategic position and financial position. “It’s easy to be in denial and think the financials reflect the current reality,” says a close observer of technology firms. “They do not.”
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    Awesome article describing the history of Microsoft as seen through the lives of it's three CEO's: Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and Satya Nadella
Paul Merrell

The People and Tech Behind the Panama Papers - Features - Source: An OpenNews project - 0 views

  • Then we put the data up, but the problem with Solr was it didn’t have a user interface, so we used Project Blacklight, which is open source open normally used by librarians. We used it for the journalists. It’s simple because it allows you to do faceted search—so, for example, you can facet by the folder structure of the leak, by years, by type of file. There were more complex things—it supports queries in regular expressions, so the more advanced users were able to search for documents with a certain pattern of numbers that, for example, passports use. You could also preview and download the documents. ICIJ open-sourced the code of our document processing chain, created by our web developer Matthew Caruana Galizia. We also developed a batch-searching feature. So say you were looking for politicians in your country—you just run it through the system, and you upload your list to Blacklight and you would get a CSV back saying yes, there are matches for these names—not only exact matches, but also matches based on proximity. So you would say “I want Mar Cabra proximity 2” and that would give you “Mar Cabra,” “Mar whatever Cabra,” “Cabra, Mar,”—so that was good, because very quickly journalists were able to see… I have this list of politicians and they are in the data!
  • Last Sunday, April 3, the first stories emerging from the leaked dataset known as the Panama Papers were published by a global partnership of news organizations working in coordination with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, or ICIJ. As we begin the second week of reporting on the leak, Iceland’s Prime Minister has been forced to resign, Germany has announced plans to end anonymous corporate ownership, governments around the world launched investigations into wealthy citizens’ participation in tax havens, the Russian government announced that the investigation was an anti-Putin propaganda operation, and the Chinese government banned mentions of the leak in Chinese media. As the ICIJ-led consortium prepares for its second major wave of reporting on the Panama Papers, we spoke with Mar Cabra, editor of ICIJ’s Data & Research unit and lead coordinator of the data analysis and infrastructure work behind the leak. In our conversation, Cabra reveals ICIJ’s years-long effort to build a series of secure communication and analysis platforms in support of genuinely global investigative reporting collaborations.
  • For communication, we have the Global I-Hub, which is a platform based on open source open called Oxwall. Oxwall is a social network, like Facebook, which has a wall when you log in with the latest in your network—it has forum topics, links, you can share files, and you can chat with people in real time.
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  • We had the data in a relational database format in SQL, and thanks to ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) software Talend, we were able to easily transform the data from SQL to Neo4j (the graph-database format we used). Once the data was transformed, it was just a matter of plugging it into Linkurious, and in a couple of minutes, you have it visualized—in a networked way, so anyone can log in from anywhere in the world. That was another reason we really liked Linkurious and Neo4j—they’re very quick when representing graph data, and the visualizations were easy to understand for everybody. The not-very-tech-savvy reporter could expand the docs like magic, and more technically expert reporters and programmers could use the Neo4j query language, Cypher, to do more complex queries, like show me everybody within two degrees of separation of this person, or show me all the connected dots…
  • We believe in open source technology and try to use it as much as possible. We used Apache Solr for the indexing and Apache Tika for document processing, and it’s great because it processes dozens of different formats and it’s very powerful. Tika interacts with Tesseract, so we did the OCRing on Tesseract. To OCR the images, we created an army of 30–40 temporary servers in Amazon that allowed us to process the documents in parallel and do parallel OCR-ing. If it was very slow, we’d increase the number of servers—if it was going fine, we would decrease because of course those servers have a cost.
  • For the visualization of the Mossack Fonseca internal database, we worked with another tool called Linkurious. It’s not open source, it’s opend open, but we have an agreement with them, and they allowed us to work with it. It allows you to represent data in graphs. We had a version of Linkurious on our servers, so no one else had the data. It was pretty intuitive—journalists had to click on dots that expanded, basically, and could search the names.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Computer Scientists, Legal Experts Explain To Supreme Court Why APIs Are Not Copyrightable | Techdirt - 0 views

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    "Today, open, uncopyrightable APIs continue to spur the creation and adoption of new technologies. When programmers can freely reimplement or reverse engineer an API without obtaining a costly open or risking a lawsuit, they can create compatible open that the interface's original creator might never have envisioned or had the resources to develop."
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    "Today, open, uncopyrightable APIs continue to spur the creation and adoption of new technologies. When programmers can freely reimplement or reverse engineer an API without obtaining a costly open or risking a lawsuit, they can create compatible open that the interface's original creator might never have envisioned or had the resources to develop."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

European Legal Network - FSFE Legal - 0 views

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    "The European Legal Network is a neutral, non-partisan, private network of legal professionals facilitated by FSFE. Delegates share knowledge and cooperate to increase the availability of best practice information about Free Software licensing. The network has over 300 participants across 28 countries and 4 continents, and it is the largest legal support structure for Free Software in the world. "
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    "The European Legal Network is a neutral, non-partisan, private network of legal professionals facilitated by FSFE. Delegates share knowledge and cooperate to increase the availability of best practice information about Free Software licensing. The network has over 300 participants across 28 countries and 4 continents, and it is the largest legal support structure for Free Software in the world. "
Paul Merrell

Alfresco Labs 3.0 Final Version Supports CMIS - 0 views

  • Alfresco Software Inc., today announced the general availability of Alfresco Labs 3 Final. This is a milestone release for Alfresco Labs and is immediately available for download under the Software source GPL Software at:       http://wiki.alfresco.com/wiki/Download_Labs "In the current economic environment organizations seek more cost effective and productive methods of managing increased volumes of content and greater levels of compliance. Alfresco delivers an innovative solution for ECM, while dramatically reducing the associated costs," said John Newton, CTO of Alfresco Software. "This release is designed to be the Software source content services platform for all Alfresco and non-Alfresco content applications from document management and web content management to wikis. Alfresco has already utilized the emerging CMIS standard to integrate content services to other Software source systems like Joomla, as well as offering integrations to MediaWiki, Software Office and WordPress. We strongly recommend that our Software source community download this release."
  • Native SharePoint protocol support: Seamless document editing via SharePoint protocol Flex Document Previewer: Zoom, snap points and full-screen AJAX Calendar: Drag-and-drop event support Links Directory Manager: Share internal and external links Document Management Enhanced SharePoint protocol site and workspace support Email Management Email-In Smart Folders: Email storage with attachment support
  • CMIS REST and Web Services binding Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) support SharePoint Protocol Support Native SharePoint Protocol support from Microsoft Office and Alfresco Share
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  • Alfresco has seen major adoption of its open source ECM system throughout the world. There have been over 1.5 million downloads of Alfresco Labs. Alfresco Labs is designed to be the research vehicle for new features, enabling developers to access a nightly build with the latest functionality. The Alfresco Labs 3 build is a stable build with basic QA against an open source stack. Alfresco Enterprise is the supported Alfresco build and is used by more than 700 enterprise customers, including the NYSE, Los Angeles Times, Boise Cascade, Sony Pictures, Activision, Kaplan, FedEx, and KLM.
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    Virtually all of the big ECM players have joined the OASIS CMIS TC, but how many are there to collaborate and how many to obstruct? See . The Alfresco Labs FOSS CMIS and BPM hub seems to be gaining by leaps and bounds and now offers even more app interop connections including -- vitally -- with Sharepoint. CMIS is a standard we might keep an eye on.
Paul Merrell

Open letter to Google: free VP8, and use it on YouTube - Free Open Foundation - 0 views

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    With your purchase of On2, you now own both the world's largest video site (YouTube) and all the patents behind a new high performance video codec -- VP8. Just think what you can achieve by releasing the VP8 codec under an irrevocable royalty-free license and pushing it out to users on YouTube? You can end the web's dependence on patent-encumbered video formats and proprietary license (Flash). This ability to offer a free format on YouTube, however, is only a tiny fraction of your real leverage. The real party starts when you begin to encourage users' browsers to support free formats. There are lots of ways to do this. Our favorite would be for YouTube to switch from Flash to free formats and HTML, offering users with obsolete browsers a plugin or a new browser (free license, of course). Apple has had the mettle to ditch Flash on the iPhone and the iPad -- albeit for suspect reasons and using abhorrent methods (DRM) -- and this has pushed web developers to make Flash-free alternatives of their pages. You could do the same with YouTube, for better reasons, and it would be a death-blow to Flash's dominance in web video. If you care about free license and the free web (a movement and medium to which you owe your success) you must take bold action to replace Flash with free standards and free formats. Patented video codecs have already done untold harm to the web and its users, and this will continue until we stop it. Because patent-encumbered formats were costly to incorporate into browsers, a bloated, ill-suited piece of proprietary license (Flash) became the de facto standard for online video. Until we move to free formats, the threat of patent lawsuits and licensing fees hangs over every license developer, video creator, hardware maker, web site and corporation -- including you. You can use your purchase of On2 merely as a bargaining chip to achieve your own private solution to the problem, but that's both a cop-out and a strategic mistake. Without making VP
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

VMware Sued over Alleged Open Source Open Violation in Linux - Datamation - 0 views

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    "VMware denies the allegations, which involve its ESXi virtualization hypervisor."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Governance for the GitHub generation | Open Source Open - InfoWorld - 0 views

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    "As more projects drop contributor license agreements, permissionless governance gains support. Here's what that means By Simon Phipps | InfoWorld"
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    "As more projects drop contributor license agreements, permissionless governance gains support. Here's what that means By Simon Phipps | InfoWorld"
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