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Is the answer to the “gig economy” patronage? I hope to find out using Patreon!

Turning silver into gold

The Gig Economy

We’re moving more and more into what’s called the “gig economy”, where instead of a single, full-time, lifetime-long job, people engage in multiple activities. It’s certainly what I have been doing for the last few years; consulting on open source, serving on the boards of a variety of civil society organisations, arranging and conducting study tours, writing for several publications, writing on my own sites, speaking at events and more. Few of those have been paid work. Continue reading

Meshed Again In 2016

As of January 1st 2016, my main work focus is once again Meshed Insights Ltd., which we’ve kept ticking over during 2015.  Working at Wipro was an interesting experiment, but frankly I did not enjoy it at all. I could have probably have lingered there indefinitely if I’d wanted, but leaving on December 31st was entirely my own decision. The company is simply not ready to speak up for software freedom or encourage its clients to set themselves free from the proprietary vendors Wipro loves and from which it profits. Screenshot 2014-12-27 at 18.06.02

Fortunately there are better things to do lining up at our door; I’m ready to dive straight in to client activities for Meshed.  We’ve been retained by Mozilla to compile a report describing the entities that could host the Thunderbird Project, and have two other (currently non-public) clients ready to go. We would welcome further engagements for 2016 and I would be thrilled if demand allowed me to hire more staff.

In addition to those client engagements we have ideas relating to the thinking we’ve been doing around Community Interest Companies and open source communities, and I hope to have news about that after FOSDEM. I was also surprised and honoured to be elected to the Board of The Document Foundation, effective mid February, and hope to understand more about that at FOSDEM as well.

As you can tell I’m excited about 2016!  I wish you the very best for the new year.

Remembering Payday

Wanting to remember to run the payroll for my company, I was amazed to discover that Google Calendar does not offer any way to create a recurring calendar entry for the last day of each month. As it turns out, this is one of the examples actually quoted in the iCalendar standard — RFC2445 (on page 43) — so it’s very surprising Google has not implemented a way to manage such entries.

Fortunately Google Calendar does actually support recurring entries for the last day of a month, so it’s possible to hand-craft an .ICS file that can then be imported into Google Calendar. Baptiste Gazul’s helpful blog post started me in the right direction and I was able to craft some entries for my needs with help from the RFC. I saved the quoted text below into a plain-text file with a .ICS suffix and then used Google Calendar’s Import Calendar function to add the entry.

To have a calendar entry for Payday on the last weekday of every month, try:

BEGIN:VCALENDAR
BEGIN:VEVENT
DTSTART:20150331
RRULE:FREQ=MONTHLY;BYDAY=MO,TU,WE,TH,FR;BYSETPOS=-1;WKST=MO
SUMMARY:Payday
DESCRIPTION:Last weekday of each month
END:VEVENT
END:VCALENDAR

Change DTSTART to specify the date of the first payday.

I actually have to run payroll on the Friday before the last weekday of the month; this seems to work:

BEGIN:VCALENDAR
BEGIN:VEVENT
DTSTART:20150417
RRULE:FREQ=MONTHLY;BYDAY=FR;BYSETPOS=-1;WKST=MO
SUMMARY:Run payroll
DESCRIPTION:Friday before last weekday of each month
END:VEVENT
END:VCALENDAR

New Role At WiPro

I’ve news. Starting today, I will be working full time in a new role. I’m now a Director at the global consulting firm WiPro in their Open Source practice, advising both customers and implementation teams on open source issues concerning software selection, community engagement, license compliance and more. You’ll find me at a variety of conferences and events, and I’ll continue to write for InfoWorld and others.

I’ve always wondered why SIs and outsourcing consultants didn’t use more open source in their solutions. It keeps solutions more flexible for their clients, reduces the overall cost of ownership and ensures end-of-life migrations are easier. WiPro is taking the lead among high-scale consulting firms applying the insights and benefits of open source software to its customer engagements. I’m looking forward to helping WiPro’s customers worldwide gain these benefits and avoid having their software solutions unnecessarily intermediated by copyright owners.

2013 in review

WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 27,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

New Police Powers

Adding Bitcoin Subscriptions

If you’d like to support my writing, I can now accept donation of Bitcoins.  You can subscribe to make a monthly donation, or make a one-off donation.  I’m using Coinbase to handle this, I’d welcome input on other people’s experiences.

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