(with thanks to SMBC, who are so generous with their images they even generate the HTML to embed them on your blog)
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It’s been an open secret all month, but two new members have joined the Affiliate scheme at OSI – Spain’s CENATIC (the national open source competency centre that’s been so important to the government adoption of open source in Spain’s regions) and the venerable Debian Project. Both bring a much-needed international flavour to OSI, along with a wealth of hard-won experience.
Having Debian join OSI is especially sweet. When OSI formed at the end of the 90s, the basis for the definition of what constituted an open source license – the Open Source Definition – was derived directly from the earlier Debian Free Software Guidelines by a former Debian Project Lead, Bruce Perens. The DFSG in turn was part of the Debian Social Contract, a pragmatic and specific response to the ethical imperative of free software.
By opening up as it has, OSI offers a place to gather the clans of open source. OSI is not the only, the first or the best exemplar of open source – it would be rash for any organisation to make such claims. But its decade-long stewardship role, along with the vision of the new Board to draw in members from ever country and every aspect of open source and software freedom, makes it a fine gathering point which could have tremendous value to us all in the future.
I expect to be in the USA in early-to-mid May (and possibly again in July). If you would like me to speak at a private or public event, or to provide consulting services, I would be pleased to hear from you. Combining multiple engagements saves money, saves energy and is good for us all! Please use my contact form to get in touch and I or my agent will get back to you.
[This post is only useful to people who can buy MP3s from Amazon US - sorry]
I have previously recommended samplers from Mishara Music. They specialise in singer-songwriters and their previous two samplers in Summer 2011 and Autumn 2011 were superb – and are still free, if you missed them then. So I was pleased to see a new one for Spring 2012 has been released. It’s also free, is double the length of the earlier samplers and is packed with wonderful artists. If you’re allowed to have it by the archaic copyright controls Amazon is forced to implement, go grab it now.
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I spent the day yesterday at ORGCon with friends old and new, enjoying talks from a wide range of speakers including of course Cory Doctorow and Lawrence Lessig. There was a film crew recording all the talks; I’ll highlight some of them here over the next week or so. My tweets about the event might interest you too.
I’m also co-maintaining ORG’s page on Google+, which you’ll find has a steady stream of interesting links – well worth adding to a circle if you’re a G+ user.
If you wish you’d been able to go but couldn’t, you may be interested in another event ORG is arranging in London on April 3rd. Author Bill Patry will be discussing the ideas covered by his new book How To Fix Copyright – tickets are free to ORG members and a very reasonable £7.50 for others.
We saw Hannah Peel supporting and playing with The Unthanks when they played down here in Southampton. She is as talented as she is charming, with a fascinating new approach to folk-inspired music that is well-represented on her album The Broken Wave, from which one of the standout tracks is Song For The Sea:
One of her signature instruments is the pin-harp, a music box programmed with a paper tape like a piano roll that she cranks by hand on stage to accompany her singing.
It seems her new project is a small-group concept work called Orkney: Symphony Of The Magnetic North. The teaser web site is hauntingly attractive and I’m looking forward to finding out more when they release the album on May 7th.
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The enterprise IT world is coming to grips with a new buzz-TLA; “BYOD”. It stands for Bring Your Own Device and considers the way employees are bringing their own laptops, tables and smart-phones to work and using them in the overlap of life and work. There’s a growing industry of companies who want to help you stop it, cripple it, or control it.
My experiences at Sun Microsystems suggest BYOD is an opportunity waiting to be grasped for enterprise IT executives — a move to management by standards rather than centrally purchased company desktops. It means selecting a basket of server-supported standard capabilities (IMAP, LDAP, PDF, HTML5, ODF, and so on) and telling people that anything that works securely with those standards is acceptable. It also offers the prospect of letting people use open source software that works with those standards, rather than having to buy everyone the same expensive proprietary software and instantly-depreciating hardware, then manage them expensively until they are legacy systems.
You can read my thoughts on this phenomenon – and its potential impact on open source on the desktop – on InfoWorld today.