Greetings, Comrades! Free codecs for the people, thanks to the benevolent CCCP. Not the USSR but rather the Combined Community Codec Pack Project, a group dedicated to propagating Windows video codecs to achieve de facto standardization among competing anime formats, many of them developed and used by fan groups. Over time it's grown into a collection of useful codecs for playing just about any kind of video file you're likely to encounter online. The whole point of the CCCP is to provide a comprehensive set of codecs that will not only play common files but also uncommon ones.… Read more
Open-source communities are founded on trust. It's therefore disappointing but not surprising, to see the Eclipse Foundation's executive director, Mike Milinkovich, rip into former Eclipse Foundation director of community Bjorn Freeman-Benson and tell him to take his "steady acid drip of negativity" and "go away."
Milinkovich, a steelie, hockey-playing executive, didn't mince words in a blog post:
Your former colleagues at the Eclipse Foundation have tolerated your public abuse quietly because we are professionals, and we honestly thought that you would tire of it. Apparently we were wrong. But the time has come … Read more
If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. That popular aphorism never seemed truer than today when reading The Wall Street Journal's analysis of Wikipedia's declining volunteer base. Despite countless articles extolling the virtues and seeming omnipotence of "community" over the past several years, the technology industry seems to be settling back into old habits:
Command and control.
It's not that the "wisdom of crowds" idea hasn't influenced the way technology is developed, or how news and information are gathered and distributed. It has.
It's just that the … Read more
Last week at the Hacker Dojo in Mountain View, Calif., developers partnered with Google, Yahoo, NASA, and the World Bank to exchange ideas and work on solutions for responding to natural disasters and other emergencies.
Random Hacks of Kindness is the first in a series of planned events that seek to use technology to solve real world problems related to crisis and disaster relief. By first working with governments and non-governmental organizations to better understand the immediate needs of rescuers and communities following a critical emergency, these programmers are work directly to solve communication issues and to better facilitate the … Read more
Reading the business section of yesterday's New York Times, you couldn't help but notice the juxtaposition of two seemingly different companies, which, at second glance, have more in common that you might think. One is Bloomberg, the financial data juggernaut that has enough cash to aspire to become “the world’s most influential news organization.” The company has placed its bets on the acquisition of the venerable BusinessWeek, trusting that it will broaden its reach into a mainstream business audience. A few pages later, Digital Domain columnist Randall Stross reveals Apple’s pending patent application for a new advertising pop-up technology … Read more
It's a fundamental tenet of classical economics that vendors want complementary goods to be cheap and plentiful.
It's therefore not surprising that SAP Chief Technology Officer Vishal Sikka is calling for a more open Java Community Process (JCP).
What is surprising is that it is SAP, the bastion of proprietary software, that delivers this message.
Irony, thy name is SAP.
SAP, after all, is hardly the most open-source or open-process friendly company on the planet. Despite early involvement in Eclipse, some interaction with MySQL (MaxDB), and a new commitment to the Apache Software Foundation, SAP remains a firmly … Read more
"Skype is going open source!" screamed the headlines over the weekend. If only.
While Skype has acknowledged an interest in making its Linux client open-source, this may not mean very much in practice.
I love Skype and use it daily for both instant messaging and voice calls. Its quality is superb and the Skype team continues to enrich Skype's functionality (now including the ability to screen-share and video chat).
Open source won't help with this. Not in the way Skype means.
Former IBM employee Bruce Buckelew has made it his mission to eliminate the digital divide in Oakland, Calif. By refurbishing donated computers and giving low-income families access to technology, the Oakland Technology Exchange (OTX) is providing access to the educational, health care, and employment resources available on the Internet that so many people take for granted.
In addition to providing computers, OTX provides training and technical support to the community, teaching basic computer skills to parents and children, giving them access to the technological knowledge and skills and a path toward self-sufficiency.
BOSTON--Start-up FloDesign Wind, one of a number of companies looking to shake up the wind turbine business, said a prototype of its jet engine-inspired turbine was three times more efficient at converting wind to usable energy than traditional designs.
The Massachusetts-based company is seeking to raise a series B round of $25 million later this year to deploy and test the real-life performance of its 150-kilowatt turbines, said CEO Stanley Kowalski III at the Cleantech Forum conference here on Thursday.
Intuit announced on Monday that it has launched a community site for open-source developers to write open-source SaaS (software as a service) applications that enhance Intuit's own SaaS platform. Glyn Moody derides the move as "a rather feeble attempt to plug into the power of openness without really engaging with it," but this misses the point.
The point is to enhance the value around an already valuable platform (Intuit's software). This isn't just of benefit to Intuit, but also to the third-party developers who contribute. No one wants to write software to sit on a … Read more