I've had a number of ideas that I would like to patent or copyright or whatever, as open source and I have not found a way to do that. I really like the Linux idea and would like to have that available to different ideas.
It's easy to copyright your software and put it under an open source license. Just put a copyright notice at the top of your code and choose an open source license like GPL, BSD or the MIT license, for example.
As far as patenting software goes: Those are generally anathema to open source. Also, recently the patent office has cast doubt on the whole idea of software patents: http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2008/07/the-death-of-go.html
If what you're creating is something other than software, take a look at the Creative Commons project: [url]http://www.creativecommons.org/[/url]
Thanks, that looks like what I'm interested in, I'll look it through.
There are several big-name companies see the value in open source development. For example, my father works for IBM at their Linux Technology Center. As he said when I was talking to him earlier, IBM thinks that having a healthy Linux system and community will be good for their company as well.
He also mentioned that he and other members of his group work a lot of extra hours, so in a way it's both their job and their hobby as well. It seems that many people find open source development more fulfilling than simply working on corporate projects, so it makes the extra work more like a hobby.
I'm still just a computer science student, but once I have the skills, I hope to find some open source project(s) to work on myself!
I'm a musician using open source software to record, edit, and produce professional quality recordings. I subscribe to the Linux Audio Users mailing list, where someone posted a lament that they couldn't find any good drummers in their town. Being a drummer myself, I suggested that he try looking in cyber-space, and I got a barrage of mostly positive replies. Eventually 7 of us decided to form what became the "Packet In" virtual band http://packet-in.org/ comprised of members from the USA, Canada, Bahamas and Europe. We decided that our music itself should be "open source" and chose the Creative Commons "Non-Commercial, Attribution [required], Share Alike" licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
With the vision agreed to we boldly entered a recording contest, where bands are tasked with writing and recording an entire album during the month of February. We succeeded in doing this, and the result is on our webpage, of course available for free in final form. But, all of the individual tracks and lyrics are also available for free for anyone to use in any way to create their own music, provided that they don't sell their creation, that they give credit to the authors, and that they share their own modifications in return. We think we just might be the only band in the world that's this "open".
Thanks for the show!
P.S.: I've been using and contributing my efforts to open source since the mid-1980s. At home my wife, kids and I use Linux on all of our computers.
Vidoop's MyVidoop web application and ImageShield technology are closed source. Why? Isn't closed source bad for users?
Closed source has it's positives as well. One is quality control. By keeping all the code inhouse, the company is able to control every aspect of their project... they can spend as long as they want on quality testing. They can also keep control of the interface and any features.
My name is Ahren and I'm an owner of Social Media Squad (http://www.socialmediasquad.com). We do social media marketing online and run our company completely on open source software. As a startup company this was the most viable solution for us for a couple reasons.
First of all, the cost. Open source software is generally free.
Second of all the features. Since open source software is often from many developers it really opens up to new and creative features.
Next, the flexibility. Since the code is available I can do anything i want with it. If i want to make a change or add a feature I can either do it myself or pay someone to do it. This allows us to customize the software however we want to do anything needed.
Lastly - the community around open source. There is almost always a forum centered around the software. People can come here for help in install, help in customizing the skins, brainstorming new ideas, hiring programs to make specific changes to the code they are unable to do themselves. You don't see this kind of community around closed source software.
Also, it's nice to be part of the community, giving feedback helping solve problems... creating a better free solution to inferior expensive programs.
We used to use Active Collab - project management solution - that was open source, it had an awesome following but then the creator took all the hard work of the programmers and turned it to a for profit model. This was an insult to everyone that had helped him. It's the only case i'm personally aware of but it's things like that that could ruin the communities behind open source.
One of the drawbacks to open source projects is that since there is many developers, sometimes there are too MANY features. everyone wants it to do what they want and sometimes it adds too much to the program and gets cluttered.
Also, if people lose interest in the project there be be large gaps in updates, and some projects even just die or go stale with no new features.
Microsoft will have to change or face a slow death.
Microsoft doesn't necassarily have to adapt open source. Many large corporations are (unfortunately) unwilling to grasp open source. Even small companies are unwilling. The last company I worked with i was in charge of IT for a while. I mentioned that I could save hundreds of dollars each new computer by switching to open office and linux for some of the employee that didn't do any more than telemarketing and very small amounts of email.
Microsoft's name provides a (false) sense of security - how ironic is that statement? But it's true, companies trust microsoft.
I recently read that Microsoft was forced to release a portion of their source code. Did that release have any effect on the new innovations in the market, or did they hold back so that they could remain a Monopoly for as long as possible?
Oregon State University's Open Source Lab is a great resource to the technology ecosystem. With the generous support of Google, IBM and our other sponsors, we at the OSL help some of the world's largest and highest profile open source projects succeed: the Linux kernel, the Apache web server, OpenOffice, the One Laptop Per child project, and hundreds of other smaller projects. As an Oregonian and a Portland resident, I am proud to help make technology freer - both free as in freedom and free as in gratis - to Oregon and the world.
Open source has great potential in the public sector. We are working with the State of Oregon Department of Education to bring affordable technology into our public schools. With the help of the open source community, teachers can - at no cost to them - bring online elements into their existing classrooms and take their classes online to reach out to students who cannot get to the classroom. With open source tools, teachers can focus on innovating in education without having to worry about paying for the software.
Open source is all about the freedom to collaborate. Most corporations do not want to collaborate - they view themselves as closed fortresses. The new collaborative mindset (which includes open source software) is fits very well into the Portland mindset which is why it's so popular here. In any given week there are several open source, collaborative software meetings happening in Portland. On a per-capita basis we probably have the highest participation in these sorts of events than any other city in the US.
I absolutely agree. There are so many open source user group meetings in Portland in a given week that it's impossible to make it to them all.
I use "Open Sourcery" and "Linux" fairly interchangeably to describe
my interaction with the Open Source philosophy. Open Source has changed the way I use and think about technology.
I've used Linux since 2002 so I'm broadly a part of the Open Sourcery
movement. I like calling it Open Sourcery because to the uninitiated Linux looks like complicated and dangerous magic, but it isn't. Linux has a long and rich history that requires significant effort to master.
Currently I use Linux us to get personal and professional stuff done. I've replaced Micro$oft with Linux at home and I haven't looked back. Frankly, if Micro$oft doesn't become more collaborative, I think Micro$oft's influence on software development will continue to diminish.
Once upon a time I provided Micro$oft support for a Portland-based
professional services firm, but over time I became disenchanted with
Window$ proprietary, buggy and bloated nature. Under Window$ things often broke, and sometimes they were hard to fix without resorting to drastic magic like reinstalling Window$ and it's applications with a digital sledge hammer.
The "$" in Micro$oft Window$ euphemistically refers to how expensive
Window$ can be to buy, use, upgrade and repair. Under Linux the philosophy of "co$t" is closely associated with words like "free" and "freedom".
You can download Linux for "free". It doesn't have to "cost" you dollars
though it can. Under Linux You have "freedom" to modify and distribute the applications you download as long as the source and its derivative works are free to others under the conditions spelled out in the GPL (General Public License).
The GPL is an important philosophical tenet of Open Sourcery which has
great implications for future research, democracy, capitalism, etc. I
relate the GPL to the philosophy that there is abundance in this world.
So-called "Scarcity" is created by greedy and short-sighted humans more
concerned with enriching themselves than making the world better for
everybody. The GPL represents empowerment of the group as well as the
individual. Closed source software commodities are locked down with
patents designed to enrich individuals and shareholders first. Everybody
else be damned. Well, that's overly cynical but you get the idea.
You can find more information than you want about the philosophy of Open
Source on the Internet. It's way too large a topic for this already bloaty post. Suffice it to say that many hate Linux because they haven't figured out how to make money from it. Perhaps the frustrated are stuck in conventional patterns of thought. Step outside the box into the Open Sourcerer's Realm....
Linux was created by Linus Torvalds who was a college student who wanted a UNIX-like operating system that wasn't so darned expensive. Back in the day UNIX cost thousands of dollars and wasn't generally affordable to individuals. Linus soon invited others to participate in fleshing out his fledging operating system and I think he's succeeded beyond our dreams. 3.14 cheers for Linus Torvalds.
Ubuntu Linux claims to have some 20,000 applications in their repository
and that means I can do just about anything I can imagine. Possibilities
for using Open Sourcery tools are limited primarily by one's imagination. If an application doesn't exist to do your task, code it yourself, or contract it out on the Internet.
While Linux is as easy to use as ever, it's still not ready for prime time or the timid. Using Linux is like attaching a fricken' laser beam to a shark's head so you can shoot the wings off a fly: Linux offers as much or as little power as a user demands, and this sophistication can be challenging and time-consuming to master.
But with great power comes great responsibility. It's up to the rookie
Open Sourcerer to learn how their system works and how to take advantage
of everything Linux offers that Window$ does not. For the intrepid, the
journey into Open Sourcery is far more interesting than the destination.
My greatest appreciation of Linux is that there are millions of eyeballs
coding and debugging Linux-based applications. Evolution constantly
occurs. Old programs are relegated to the binary bit bucket while new and better applications take their place.
Bugs are reported and fixed quickly for the most part. And because Linux
is a world-wide phenomenon, everybody can pitch in to make it better. For the first time in history we have a collaborative technology that everybody can use and contribute to without undue restriction. The ongoing improvement of Linux accrues to all.
While Linux is based on UNIX which is 40-some years old, Linux is still an infant. Linux has lots of room to evolve and improve. Over the next few years the Linux desktop will become as beautiful, cool and easy to use as Apple's. But Linux will always retain its heritage of offering the computer user complete control over their computing environment. Linux will be improved or degraded by the quality of the collaboration used to evolve it.
As far as People in Portland making money of Open Source, I don't have any facts to verify my feeling that the Bay Area has attracted the most aggressive and entrepreneurial Open Source advocates. The Bay Area is a hot bed of activity that thrives on competition and constant evolution. The Bay Area is a primary node while Portland might be a secondary node, but that's just a gut feeling.
The principles of open source have enormous potential to be applied to democracy. Two initiatives featured at OSCON are doing important work in this area.
The Open Source Digital Voting Foundation (http://www.osdv.org/) seeks to replace our current "black box" electronic voting systems with "glass box" voting, allowing anyone with the skill to do so the ability to audit the means by which our leaders are elected.
DemocracyLab (http://www.democracylab.org) is creating an interactive online think tank, designed to give citizens the ability to collaboratively form public policy and communicate their best ideas to policy makers.
Open Sources values of transparency and collaboration make it a perfect tool for improving our sometimes flawed democratic processes. It speaks to the character of Portland that we're the hub of this kind of activism.
DemocracyLab is doing great work!
There is an important issue in open source. Some developers may incorporate code or intellectual property that is owned by someone else. Then they hide behind the open-source agreement saying they have done nothing wrong. There are lawsuits in the open-source community over this issue. Could we include this in the discussion today?
I think that's not necessarily a valid concern specific to open source. The open source licenses are very clear about the intellectual property and how it can be reused and redistributed. These licenses have proven to be legally defensible, so I don't see this is any different than the defense of any other intellectual property issue. Yes, there will be misuse, yes there will be lawsuits, but I don't think this is any different than a novelist or photographer protecting their rights.
What makes it an issue specific to open source is that the OSLA itself is the defense for theft. Some developers may mis-appropriate code or concepts, bury it in open source, re-distribute it and now claim that they have done nothing wrong. It is the nature of the OSLA itself that causes this to be an interesting legal issue.
I agree it is a very interesting issue. I am not a lawyer, but I disagree that open source licenses can be used as a defense for theft. Open source licenses explicitly protect the author's intellectual property. Releasing code under an open source license does not weaken the intellectual property rights, it strengthens them. If someone steals code, they are still guilty of theft, regardless what license they use.
There are many projects out there - the most prominent one I know of is the HP-sponsored FOSSology (http://fossology.org) project - that scan source code and look at what code was used where. One of its specific goals is to identify whose code and what licenses are used. Just this week at OSCON I heard some talk about using the massive Google search power to fingerprint and identify code, no matter how deeply buried it may be in a project. There are companies whose whole business is to scan code and look for license and copyright violations.
That would make possible an idea I'd like to see, where everyone always owns their creation and people like Bill Gates are only able to rent or lease it. So any code worker/creator would always own their code and Gates could combine it with others into a product for sale or lease and the original coder would get something like royalties for as long as his code was in use.
So a painter could paint her painting and then lease it to whoever wants it, but the ownership always stays with the original painter. Then if it became highly desirable years later the painter would get the benefit by leasing it out at a higher rate and not some art speculator.
Very interesting possibilities.
"Some developers may mis-appropriate code or concepts"
How does one misappropriate a concept?
I think most of us are not very concerned about making money (at least not boatloads of money) with open source software. We're more content to make a living with it, not getting rich.
The SiliconFlorist Guy is right, the Silicon Valley mindset has been hyper focused on the almighty dollar. Whereas in Portland we're more focused on the fun.
Part of this is economic: Silicon Valley is a very expensive place to live so you have to be focused on money. Perhaps as Portland gets more expensive we'll lose the "fun" and start to have to focus on money.
We have many small, fast-growing Open Source software businesses that are hiring: Jive Software, Vidoop, OpenSourcery, etc...but it's hard for them to find the talent they need locally. Fortunately, Portland is a great place to recruit people to, but unfortunately Oregonians are missing out on some great jobs (avg. wage: $88,000)
One problem is that our educational and parental systems (with a few exceptions) still have a 2001-mindset. If you ask most teachers, parents & counselors in k-12, they would tell students to pursue careers other than computer science because there is still a perception that these jobs are getting outsourced.
I am involved with one group that is working to fix this: the TechStart Education Foundation here in Portland.
I own CubeSpace and we are run primarily on open source software. Our website is built on drupal, our POS system is built on Ruby on Rails and we use WordPress, Open Office etc. We also give space for open source user groups. We do that because we really like the collaborative and community-based approach of the open source community and we want to emulate that in our workspace community.
I agree that the challenge is in getting seed money for open source software development. I have just pulled together a group of public policy makers, small business development professionals and private money, so I am hoping this will change over time. But it is a different model and requires funders to change their thinking somewhat.
Someone on the radio asked where to find open source applications as a non-programmer, and someone new to open source. Might I suggest FreshMeat.net, specifically http://freshmeat.net/browse/18/
Also, for non-profit, one might talk with a the folks at FreeGeek http://www.freegeek.org/ who are all about both open source, and non-profit.
Just noticed your title -- it reminds me of a similar nickname that Evan Prodromou (founder of WikiTravel and Vinismo) gave Portland at RecentChangesCamp in Palo Alto a couple months ago: "Wiki City USA." Evan's from Montreal, the conference was in Palo Alto; there's definitely a "buzz" out there in the tech world that Portland is a good place for collaboration.
Just another plug for Evan Prodromou. He also built identi.ca, and open source microblogging platform.
I work for Intel- Open Source is a critical aspect of my work. I provide both commercial and open source solutions for Intel business groups to collaborate and and provide group community. Invariably, open source tools and applications have far more variety, flexibility and extensibility than their commercial counterparts do.
One of my favorite aspects is that Open Source is essentially a Meritocracy- the best code and ideas bubble to the top, are embraced and built upon. Commercial applications you are essentially paying a lot of money to fit their vision of what an application can do to your needs.
Open Source allows you to try drive and dive even- much faster and more cost effectively. Failure can be an option (as a learning process) without costing tens of thousands of dollars.
Now that's very interesting.
More Rick Turoczy of Silicon Florist tonight, live at 10PM as a guest on Strange Love podcast. We will discuss OSCON, OSF and other topics.
Subcribe or find us on iTunes:
Sorry I missed todays show, I watched the 6 hr House Hearing about Impeaching Bush/Cheney. They are replayed at 5pm Pac on CSPAN if anyone is interested.
I think the case was well made and Vincent Bugliosi even made a good case for murder, which has no Statute of Limitations.
And as much as I dislike Conservatives in general, two, Bob Barr and Bruce Fein, argued very well for restoring the Constitution and restoring the Balance of Powers, and so against Bush/Cheney and I admire them for it.
I left Intel this January to start my own open source company locally here in Portland. The idea is to build a website for people to [b]easily find local advertising over maps[/b]. It is a [u]collaborative, user contributed website[/u], just like [b][i]GasBuddy.com[/i][/b] where registered users can login and tell others about what promotion or deal is happening at local restaurants and shops to help others save money. I named this site [b][i][url]www.metroseeq.com[/url][/i][/b].
The site was launched at the beginning of June and I did it pretty much all by myself. However, [b]finding local developers to collaborate on this proves to be a challenge[/b] at this point. Comparing to the Silicon Valley, I feel there are [b]fewer independent developers[/b] here who are willing to risk their stable jobs to pursue a start up company and work for equity.
I would say there's definitely talent pool here, but it's mainly the [u]culture difference and risk tolerance [/u] that puts the Silicon Forest behind Silicon Valley. Perhaps there's just not enough companies that proved themselves and not many investors who have the right background to mentor these companies to the top like the Silicon Valley.
I too am sorry I was unable to participate in this discussion earlier. I agree with several of the folks who posted above. As a web developer I use open source technologies as an essential part of my daily work: LAMP (Linux Apache MySql PHP) servers are the backbone of my business, and I also utilize open source blog/CMS software such as WordPress and Joomla. In answer to the initial question that kicked off this discussion, I'd describe open source software as strictly a blessing; not a curse at all, from my perspective. May Portland's reputation grow and grow!!
I'd like to see someone create a website that sort of combines the CIA World Fact Book, wikipedia, historical maps, anthropology, sociology, history, etc. A world map you could click on and then drill down through all of the history and everything else about that location. And a searchable list of all the names that any location has ever been called.
From time to time I've run across some name like, say, Hibernia, and wondered where that was. I'd look at maps but of course I would need an historical map from the period of that name and how would I know what location had that name and so what map was needed. So I'd like to type (keyboard) in "Hibernia" and have a map show up with the dates of that name in history and menus of all possible information available pertaining to it.
Imagine a CIA World Fact Book for every year of history for every location on the world. Then put that all into one website, add all other available information about that year and location like writers, politicians, artists, craftsmen, thinkers, ordinary common working folks, who was wealthy and powerful, how they all lived, what they ate and why, their types of shelter, their types of family relationships, their forms and rules of community, their language and methods of communication, their trade, their fashions, their transportation, their livestock and pets, on and on.
And how about being able to click and show how the map of how that location changed through history, how a nation grew and shrank, how the names and rulers changed and what other nations affected it.
Imagine showing how a political idea grew and shrank on the globe though history. Or a Religion.
I suspect that you can pretty much find all this information on the internet now if you know how to search for it but that is currently a primitive way to go about it in my view.
Who, what, is "loglady" on publicbroadcasting.net?
Why does google-analytics always show up everywhere I go?
I'd like to see a downloading program for dial-ups that would be similar to SETI@home. You could schedule a download and it would operate between the times that you want to access and look at other web-pages, that is, it would use the time on the internet that you are not actively using and then automatically turn your computer back to you when you want it.
That would be especially useful for Adobe PDF, YouTube, Apple, and Flashplayer type stuff.
Check it-- I made a parody video of how Portland loves to have OSCON here:
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