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
The more time I spend looking at video games--especially online games and MMPORGs--the more and more strange information that comes out. As with any society, norms and oddities appear as individuals assert their place.There's a fascinating (and somewhat terrifying) article about Loyola University media professor David Myers "unwelcome" behavior in the game City of Heroes, where he created a character that everyone hated.
Players tried everything they could to get rid of the pariah, but he kept at, apparently as research, but there had to be hint of satisfaction in his role as the most hated player--probably right until someone threatened to kill him for real.
Myers revealed his identity and his character's purpose in "Play and Punishment: The Sad and Curious Case of Twixt," an academic paper on his experiment published in 2008.
If we assume that games are their own communities and have some level of self-policing (just like open source projects) we can also assume that these things iron themselves out. In this case the community turned completely against the individual and game-maker NCSoft had to step in to moderate a bit. … Read more
Microsoft's Internet Explorer's market share is absolutely falling. The question is, by how much?
I've reported before that Internet Explorer (IE) drops 5 percent market share points each year, while Mozilla Firefox gains 5 percentage points per year. But what is becoming increasingly clear is that IE's market share may be dropping more precipitously than previously reported, falling to 60 percent share in June 2009 instead of the 68 percent share expected.
Or is it?
Over the past 10 years that I've been involved in open source, one thing has become strikingly clear to me: there are no real predictors of open-source success. There are, of course, general principles that contribute to the creation of successful open-source projects, but serendipitous "right project, right time" circumstances often matter most.
I was therefore intrigued to read two articles that crystallized my own thinking around critical components of successful open-source projects.
The first is from BusinessWeek and details the mechanics of Mozilla's Firefox community. Mike Beltzner, Mozilla's director of Firefox, reveals that while … Read more
As community becomes the currency increasingly driving cash in the technology industry, there's a lot of pressure to force communities to bend to corporate desires. This, as community evangelist John Mark Walker suggests, is perhaps the best way to kill the goose that lays the golden community.
Sting sings that "if you love somebody, set them free." Walker applies a similar principle to online community-building:
[T]he way forward is much the same as with the search for happiness: take care of the community building blocks, like your choice of web platform, community governance principles, interesting conversations, … Read more