♫ 5

I’ve been a fan of the music made by Lamb for a long time, but I’d assumed that when they broke up we’d not be hearing any more from them. Indeed, Lou Rhodes new solo career has produced some good music since then. But on the flight to Brazil, I saw in the TAP in-flight magazine that Lamb were back together and on tour – with a new album.

The album, 5 (that’s a US link – naturally it’s available in the UK too) seems to me to be a great come-back. Both musically and lyrically strong, it has a new smoothness to the music that harks back to earlier greatness plus an orchestral depth on many of the tracks that to my ears makes the new album my favourite Lamb so far. Very much recommended.

☞ Peril By Sharing

☞ Barriers

  • I’m aware of a number of potential open source foundations in this position and it’s definitely a problem that needs dealing with generally with the IRS. One interesting question would be who has told them there is a problem about which they should be cautious.
  • There’s more to this than meets the eye. I agree with Matthew that the industry’s pervasive embrace of open source has made the term less of a differentiator, but another factor is the realisation by some of these vendors that their product is not fundamentally about delivering software freedom.
  • Nibbling away at Adobe’s stranglehold on rich content on the web – extremely welcome.

☞ Proof Points

  • One day one of these cases will have an outcome so outrageous that legislators will be forced to hold up a hand to the corporate hawks and ask them why they want even more regulation. It would have to be a case where a market was ruined and a major corporation bankrupted in a highly visible and global way, of course.
  • While I can’t see this becoming common using the setup tested here, it’s a proof-of-concept that puts BitCoin into perspective.
  • Great attitude here. There’s no reason for them to act – in fact my take is that to do so would put them at greater risk – and anyway, the experience is simply training their software to resist exactly the sort of DDoS attacks being practised…

✈ Coffee Time in Brazil

Coffee BeansRipening Coffee Beans

Just ending a relaxing Sunday with friends in Brazil, who have these coffee plants in their garden. It’s getting close to the time the berries need harvesting, although as we discovered last time we tried it the work involved to make coffee from them is substantial. Anyway, watch out for news of FISL and more in the coming days.

☞ Game Changers

  • Fascinating use of power here by Rowling that has the potential to really change the eBook and DRM markets if others with her power follow suit.
  • If this is as good as it implies, it is a radical change for photography. Suddenly what matters is not the equipment you’re carrying but rather the power of the computing you have at your disposal. It also opens up a can of worms as the implementation space – presumably covered by a wealth of patents globally – moves from hardware to software.
  • The idea of a Linux-based tablet with access to all the content services Amazon is hosting is very exciting.
  • A sensible move that will ensure Debian users have the most up-to-date version of the most complete office suite for Linux.

☝ Control Considered Harmful

When society was arranged as a series of intermediaries serving disconnected clients, distinguishing clients from non-clients was a key element of business. But in a meshed, massively connected society, simulating that world using artificial control mechanisms simply does harm. In today’s article for ComputerWorldUK I connect the dots of Apple’s patent on video shutdowns, the problems projectionists have with Sony movies, Cory Doctorow’s recent keynote at PDF and my own essay on Digital Restrictions Management (DRM).

✈ Talks In Brazil Next Week

While the journey is a long one, I always enjoy visiting Brazil. Some of my best friends live there, and the whole place infused with a positive energy that’s unique in my experience. So I’m delighted to have been invited to speak at two separate venues next week.

The first is the University of São Paulo, where I will be spending Monday afternoon delivering a seminar called Open Source Concepts and Realities. I’ll explore some of the ideas you’ll find on my essays page, as well as hopefully engage in discussion with other attendees.

The second is one of the world’s longest-running – and largest – Free Software conferences, FISL. Held in the far south of Brazil in Porto Alegre (which means the mid-winter weather may prove a little colder than the name “Brazil” usually evokes), it is attended by a wide range of delegates from business, education and government. I’m speaking twice; on Wednesday at 9am, explaining the restructuring the OSI Board envisages for OSI, and on Friday at 11am delivering my keynote explaining why “Software Freedom Means Business Value”. I also expect to attend the meetups for LibreOffice (Friday at 1pm) and for people considering the Apache OpenOffice project.

If you’ll be at FISL in Porto Alegre, I’d love to see you – I already know that many old friends are there too. Please use my contact form if you want to arrange a meeting.

☞ Free Communications


  • Excellent choice by GNOME here – Karen is extremely capable and understands the nuances of FOSS politics acutely, which is sadly a skill that’s increasingly necessary. Having an experienced lawyer as ED will bring a new dimension to the dynamics of the project.

☞ Control Freaks

  • What an amazingly dangerous world Apple are exploring here. The scope for abuse, together with the quantisation of analogue freedoms, makes this breathtakingly poor judgement.
  • Cory makes an excellent point in this talk about how all technical measures need to evaluated not only by their effectiveness for their stated purpose but also by their potential for abuse and unintended consequences.
  • Fascinating article that reveals how the movie industry’s control-freak paranoia that treats all third-parties as criminals has as a corollary the degradation of the movie experience for paying customers becuase projectionists turn out to be untrusted third-parties who have to be controlled with ridiculous degrees of technical measures. If it’s this hard to change lenses, imagine how hard it will be to preserve the movie in the future after the business model that’s driven the technical measures has died.
  • Interesting thinking, although I’m not sure I completely agree with the diagram as open source is feasible as an ingredient at several points on the curve, and the software freedom dimension is missing.
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