Still Nutty After All These Years

Madness perform MadnessOne Step Beyond!BrassySuggs

Madness @ The Roundhouse, a set on Flickr.

I was lucky enough to win tickets for an iTunes Festival show again this year. I was even luckier that it was my wife’s favourite band. And best of all, it was a tremendous performance from them that we both enjoyed tremendously. Overall, very thankful for the whole thing! I wish I could share more than just the photos with you.

But What About Patents?

News of government support for open source in the US and EU this week is great. But at the same time, software patents are stifling innovation and the same administrations are doing nothing about it – even permitting supposed “reforms” that just make things worse. My column in InfoWorld this week takes a closer look.

MySQL FUD Claim Needs Action, Not Words


A chance encounter at the OFE Summit in Brussels, coupled with a provocative statement by an Oracle VP, lead me to believe it’s time for Oracle to come out of hiding and start working with the MySQL community – including MariaDB, Percona and other competitors  After all, that’s how open source works. Read more at ComputerWorldUK.


Apparently the weather is getting cooler…

Welcome to Autumn. I’d sensed a chill in the air, but my cat confirmed it for me…

FLOSS Weekly on JasperSoft

I was co-host on FLOSS Weekly again this week, and the guest was the community manager from JasperSoft, who make Jasper Reports and other business intelligence software. Oh, and it was Talk Like A Pirate Day.


Surprising Sponsor

You’ll never guess who’s bankrolling open source. In my column in InfoWorld this week, I look at an initiative to get some crucial software written for America’s schools. Wisely, the Council of Chief State School Officers is making the infrastructure, toolkit and client software all open source so that states can collaborate rather than each expensively creating their own systems.

What will come as a surprise to some is who’s bankrolling the creation of this new open source community. The Gates Foundation (along with Carnegie) are funding two $75,000 awards to seed the community. The winners of the awards stand to become the leaders in a rich new open source software market. An upcoming code camp in Boston offers the chance to get in at the start.

Iona Tour – Last Gig


Iona In Action At The Brook


We went to hear the last concert of the Iona tour Sunday night. It was a tremendous evening of music with gorgeous soundscapes enfolding intelligent, thoughtful yet emotionally dynamic lyrics performed perfectly. Iona are still delivering on the rich promise of their music after more than 20 years

Iona remind me of a Turner painting, capturing the experience of awe and grandeur with their sound without wasting energy on simplistic caricature of the ideas involved. Band founder Dave Bainbridge admitted to being a prog-rock fan when challenged by an audience member mid-set, and indeed Iona’s musical style has always verged on prog-rock without quite reaching that extreme, cutting things short enough to reach the bliss without hitting the boredom.

I chatted with Dave last night and asked him about his decision to make the band’s best-of album available as a free download. He told me that the goal is to build the mailing list and fan-base. I’m always delighted to find a band that takes responsibility for its own affairs rather than trying to blame “pirates” (AKA fans you’re not serving properly, in the main) so this seems a worthy goal; go sign up for the list and get their (magnificent) album “Treasures” completely free of charge.

That “taking responsibility” also extends to their new music. The best way to get their new album “Another Realm” is to visit their web site, where there’s a full-function international shop that as well as selling CDs also offers audiophile-quality digital downloads. It’s on Amazon too, of course, but I also respect a band that’s looking after itself online this well.



I’ll be talking about “What’s Driving Open Source” after the Annual Meeting for FLOSS UK in London on Thursday.

Apple and Connector Standards

It seems Apple wasn’t serious when it promised the European commission it would use micro-USB. Read more about it in my article in ComputerWorldUK this week.

Software Patent Solution Under Our Noses

I was blown away by a paper by legal scholar Mark Lemley when I read it in full this week. He plausibly claims there’s a very simple and elegant solution to software patents in the USA that simply needs a future defendent to use it in their defence. Read about it in this week’s InfoWorld article.

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