Speaking in San Jose, May 15

There’s a new speaker series being organised and hosted by PayPal at their campus in San Jose. I am honoured to be their inaugural speaker, on May 15th at 7pm. Do come along – I’m keen for there to be a lively Q & A at the end!

Bad News For The Meshed Society?

The Oracle/Google initial verdict is out in the US, and it’s bad news for the 21st century software industry. My take is on InfoWorld, but there’s still a fragment of hope – the judge could still rule that APIs are not in fact copyrightable (which would be a sensible taking-on-board of the SAS/WPL verdict in europe) and thus the jury’s finding is inapplicable.

Update: Looks like the EFF is on the same wavelength.

Making Hybrid PDFs

It’s easy with LibreOffice. Send people attachments you can be sure they can view, but which can also be edited with free, open source software.

Here’s a how-to video that explains how to make Hybrid PDF files – that’s a normal PDF file, but with the ODF source of the document embedded so that anyone with LibreOffice is also able to open and edit it. Both ODF and PDF are widely implemented open standards, so you can be sure that there’s a choice of free and open source software for editing and viewing them and that they will remain accessible in perpetuity.

[youtube http://youtu.be/EuVZcygoZsI]

The instruction sheet I edit in the video is available for download. Naturally, it’s an editable PDF!

The Global Mink

[youtube http://youtu.be/TWdzDIGW6zw]

Despite the crowds who gather to share the experience, watching the sun set and the shadow of the Sierra Nevada pass across the face of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park is always a tranquil and enriching experience. A hush settles over the place, as if everyone is aware of a sacred presence, and discussion settles to a whisper as the transition to night gradually embraces the landscape.

The year I went there with friends after JavaOne (including Juggy the Java Finch) I set up a tripod and took a sequence of stills to build this timelapse record of the experience.

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Ubuntu for Android

In case you missed it in the article yesterday (I know plenty of people don’t click through!), here is the very simple video I made of Ubuntu for Android in action:

It’s able to run unmodified LibreOffice because it’s running a full copy of Ubuntu and a full copy of Android, sharing the same Linux kernel. It’s still a prototype, but I think we’ll see more of this.

Open Source Enables Innovation

Without it, Ubuntu for Android would probably never have happened. My article for InfoWorld this week includes a video demonstration of it in action, and reflects a little on how open source removes obstacles so that innovation can simply happen and not be bogged down with the inevitable stop-energy proprietary approaches involve.

Going to OSCON

My proposal has been accepted for OSCON in Portland this July, so I’m planning on attending once again – I’ve been to most of them since 2000 when Sun created the OpenOffice.org project (now LibreOffice). I’ll be leading a session about the reboot of OSI, together with other OSI Board members, and I hope we will have some very exciting news to announce there.

Standards and Telecoms

A key insight into the UK Open Standards Consultation is that some of the opposition to truly open standards – ones without restrictions on implementation – comes from another industry where “open standards” means something different. Closing that semantic gap might well reduce the conflict. Read about it on ComputerWorldUK.

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