I won't go into the economics, but suffice it to say that I think there's little hope of Mozilla making Firefox (or any of its other software) into true public goods of any note. The best it can hope for, here on planet Earth, is for software in the public interest.
Mozilla Chief Executive Mitchell Baker suggests that the Web would be better off with robust public-interest aspects. She's 100 percent right.
Where she may be wrong is in how she thinks we get there:… Read more
In a quintessentially Web 2.0 case of "If it got funding, it must be worth a look," user-generated news site NowPublic hauled in $10.6 million in series A venture capital funding earlier this week, and now the blog community has pounced on it with accolades and criticism alike. NowPublic, in case you haven't checked it out yet, is a "citizen journalism" site devoted to bringing you news of the user-generated variety--all stories and accompanying photos, videos, and other multimedia are contributed by fellow NowPublic readers. Then, much like Digg, which remains the top … Read more
OpenMFG just took one step forward, and two steps backward. First, the positive. The company, which provides ERP and CRM solutions for small to medium-sized enterprises, has rebranded itself as xTuple. It has also developed PostBooks, a QuickBooks competitor.
Good stuff. We need more software like this. What we don't need, however, is xTuple's flawed licensing scheme that feints at open source, but falls far short.
There's a tremendous amount of attention focused on whether the Federal Communication Commission's September auction of new wireless spectrum in the 700 MHz band will be "open access," available to many mobile providers and applications, or be limited to whatever the auction winner wants to do with it.
There is also an important public safety issue in this debate that is not getting as much attention. That is whether some of this valuable wireless real estate should be reserved by the FCC for our first responders--the people who drive our ambulances, show up for fires, and … Read more
The latest on the Internet radio saga bears some positive news for people who like to stream music from public radio's online presence.
Recall that starting on Sunday, new federal rules requiring higher royalty payments to the music industry from Webcasters--commercial and non-commercial alike--are scheduled to take effect. In recent days, Internet radio outlets have been stepping up negotiations with SoundExchange, the nonprofit entity charged with collecting the fees, over compromises aimed at blunting the increases' impact.
Now public radio says it has reached at least a temporary agreement with the record industry.
Thanks to a "productive" … Read more
As a musician who's recorded a lot of CDs with unsigned bands, I'm a longtime fan of CD Baby, which provides an online store for selling physical CDs, as well as digital distribution through iTunes and other online services. How do the services compare for digital distribution?
CD Baby charges a one-time $35 fee for each album you want to sell through them (digital or physical), and takes a 9% cut of each download. … Read more
Mindquarry's core product is a collaboration server that allows teams to collaborate on documents, as well as via wikis and shared tasks. It's an interesting product now, but should get much better with the release of its email integration, due out this summer according to the company's roadmap. All in all, it feels like a simple alternative to Sharepoint or Basecamp, a comparison the company has made.… Read more
Google early on Monday went public with a wonkier sibling to its longer-standing "official blog."
The new project, which goes by the straightforward moniker "Public Policy Blog," is slated to house entries penned by its growing global policy team about topics the company perceives as key to the Internet's future: privacy, censorship, copyright, patent law changes and Net neutrality, to name a few.
Because the blog began an internal trial run a few months ago, it's already populated with a handful of entries about the company's outlook on H-1B visas (more, please), its … Read more
Is your Google Calendar looking lonely? Is it filled with boring things like work, family obligations, or vacation plans that loom far, far away? Worse yet, is it sitting there, empty and useless? To spice things up, Google has launched a fairly extensive listing of calendars you can subscribe to. They range from important schedules--like national holidays and Presidential candidates' 2008 touring dates--to things that are bound to fill up your days, like TV listings and DVD releases.