2019/03/18: We treat open source like it’s a poison pill for a commercial product. And yes, with an open source license it’s harder to force someone to pay for a product, though many successful businesses exist without forcing anyone.
I see an implicit assumption that makes it harder to think about this: the idea that if something is useful, it should be profitable. It’s an unspoken and morally-infused expectation, a kind of Just World hypothesis: if something has utility, if it helps people, if it’s something the world needs, if it empowers other people, then there should be a revenue opportunity. It should be possible for the thing to be your day job, to make money, to see some remuneration for your successful effort in creating or doing this thing.
That’s what we think the world should be like, but we all know it isn’t. You can’t make a living making music. Or art. You can’t even make a living taking care of children. I think this underlies many of this moment’s critiques of capitalism: there’s too many things that are important, even needed, or that fulfill us more than any profitable item, and yet are economically unsustainable.
I won’t try to fix that in this blog post, only note: not all good things make money.
Can we sell open source to other people? Can anyone else do anything with source code?
And so I remain pessimistic that open source can find commercial success. But also frustrated: so much software is open source except any commercial product. This is where the Free Software mission has faltered despite so many successes: software that people actually touch isn’t free or open. That’s a shame.
2019-03-19: The oil industry needn’t be too concerned -- for now -- about how Tesla Inc.’s electric cars are denting demand. China and its bus fleet could be more of a worry.
By the end of this year, a cumulative 270,000 barrels a day of diesel demand will have been displaced by electric buses, most of it in China, according to a report published Tuesday by BloombergNEF. That’s more than three times the displacement by all the world’s passenger electric vehicles (a market where Tesla has a share of about 12 percent.).
2018/01/31: Educational psychologists have discovered that much of our knowledge is “inert.” Students who excel on exams frequently fail to apply their knowledge to the real world. The same goes for students of biology, mathematics, statistics, and, I’m embarrassed to say, economics. I try to teach my students to connect lectures to the real world and daily life. My exams are designed to measure comprehension, not memorization. Yet in a good class, four test-takers out of 40 demonstrate true economic understanding.
2019/03/19: simply by visiting the Vessel, you are granting the Vessel the rights to use all of your Vessel content.
In the Hudson Yards Terms & Conditions (but as far as we could tell, there's no signage at the Vessel itself), there are two notable and exceptional clauses which state that by creating, posting or uploading any content depicting or related to Vessel, they have the right and license to use your content however they see fit in perpetuity. Likewise, if you merely appear in a photo with the Vessel, they also have the right to use your name, likeness, voice, and all the rest for any commercial purpose they see fit in perpetuity.
2018/03/08: As a parent, you might walk past your child’s room and see her happily typing away on a Google Docs page. “Lovely!” you think. “She’s probably working on her science report or finishing up her essay on the rise of RBG.”
Or, she could be in a secret chat room.
2017/01/10: a collection of 45 websites where you can download tens of thousands of books, plays and texts for free. Oh, and these sites are also all completely legal, of course!
CROSS-SECTIONS ALONG MERIDIANS
A collaborative wiki of tools for ethical pedagogy.
2019/02/21: The Bash Automated Testing System puts Bash code through the same types of testing processes used by Java, Ruby, and Python developers.
2019/02/14: On the surface, the open source software community has never been better. Companies and governments are adopting open source software at rates that would've been unfathomable 20 years ago, and a whole new generation of programmers are cutting their teeth on developing software in plain sight and making it freely available for anyone to use. Go a little deeper, however, and the cracks start to show. The ascendancy of open source has placed a mounting burden on the maintainers of popular software, who now handle more bug reports, feature requests, code reviews, and code commits than ever before.
At the same time, open source developers must also deal with an influx of corporate users who are unfamiliar with community norms when it comes to producing and consuming open source software. This leads to developer burnout and a growing feeling of resentment toward the companies that rely on free labor to produce software that is folded into products and sold back to consumers for huge profits. From this perspective, Heartbleed wasn't an isolated example of developer burnout and lack of funding, but an outgrowth of a systemic disease that had been festering in the open source software community for years. Identifying the symptoms and causes of this disease was the easy part; finding a cure is more difficult.
2018/01/31: Set out to solve new problems/Design products for longevity and reuse/Aim to influence culture
2019/02/13: The UNIX market is in inexorable decline:Only 1 in 85 servers deployed this year uses Solaris, HP-UX, or AIX. Most applications on Unix that can be easily ported to Linux or Windows have actually already been moved.
Most of what remains on Unix today are customized, mission-critical workloads in fields such as financial services and healthcare. Because those apps are expensive and risky to migrate or rewrite, Bowers expects a long-tail decline in Unix that might last 20 years. “As a viable operating system, it’s got at least 10 years because there’s this long tail. Even 20 years from now, people will still want to run it,” he says.
2019/02/10: Libertà di voto. Ciascun elettore è libero di votare senza condizionamenti e pressioni esterne. Tale principio viene rispettato più facilmente quando la procedura è soggetta a controlli, come avviene nei seggi elettorali. Ciò non può dirsi nel caso del voto online, quando la scelta si effettua con un click, seduti comodamente a casa. L'Estonia, tuttavia, consente ai suoi elettori di votare online più volte, fino al giorno ufficiale delle elezioni. Solo l'ultimo voto viene però considerato e va ad annullare quelli precedenti, eventualmente estorti con violenza. L'elettore ha quindi la possibilità di correggere il suo voto qualora non corrisponda alla propria volontà. Inoltre, il voto nei seggi elettorali viene preferito a quello online.
2019/01/30: The Local Contexts initiative began in 2010 when Kim Christen and I started to think more carefully about how to support Indigenous communities to address the immense and growing problems being experienced with copyright around Indigenous or traditional knowledge. We had both been working with Indigenous peoples, communities and organizations over a long period of time and had increasingly been engaged in a very specific way with the dilemmas of copyright that existed at the intersection of Indigenous collections in archives, libraries and museums. We were able to see more clearly the ways in which copyright has functioned as a key tool for dispossessing Indigenous peoples of their rights as holders, custodians, authorities and owners of their knowledge and culture.
Combining both legal and educational components, Local Contexts has two objectives. Firstly, to support Indigenous decision-making and governance frameworks for determining ownership, access to and culturally appropriate conditions for sharing historical and contemporary collections of Indigenous material and digital culture. Secondly, to trouble existing classificatory, curatorial and display paradigms for museums, libraries and archives that hold extensive Indigenous collections by finding new pathways for Indigenous names, perspectives, rules of circulation and the sharing culture to be included and expressed within public records.
Inspired by Creative Commons, we began trying to address the gap for Indigenous communities and copyright law by thinking about licenses as an option to support Indigenous communities.
Our initial impulse was to craft several new licenses in ways that incorporated local community protocols around the sharing of knowledge. Pretty quickly however we ran into a significant problem: with the majority of photographs, sound recordings, films, manuscripts, language materials that had been amassed and collected about Indigenous peoples, and that were now being digitized, Indigenous peoples were not the copyright holders. Instead, copyright was held by the researchers, missionaries or government officials who had done the documenting or by the institutions where these materials were now held. Or – at the other end of the spectrum, these materials were in the unique space that copyright makes – the public domain. This meant that not only did Indigenous peoples have no control over these materials and their circulatory futures, they also could not apply any licenses – either CC ones or ones that we were developing. This was a problem that we responded to by developing the TK Labels.
2019/01/21: The physical and psychological toll of brutal commutes can be considerable the average American commuter spends 42 hours per year stuck in rush-hour traffic. In the Los Angeles area, the figure is nearly twice that, equivalent to more than three days. A 2015 Los Angeles Times poll found that among residents of that city, traffic concerns exceed those pertaining to personal safety, finances or housing costs.
A recent analysis of Los Angeles traffic, published in the Journal of Public Economics, documented a link between congestion and domestic violence. From 2011 to 2015, the study found, extreme evening traffic on two major highways — I-5 and I-10 — increased the incidence of nighttime domestic violence by about 9 percent.
2018/10/02: BitTorrent usage has bounced back because there's too many streaming services, and too much exclusive content.
2019/01/29: Stingrays (AKA IMSI catchers) are a widespread class of surveillance devices that target cellular phones by impersonating cellular towers to them (they're also called "cell-site simulators").
IMSI catchers are so easy to build and operate that they have leapt from police agencies to criminals, and foreign and corporate spies, exposing us all to potential surveillance from all quarters.
That's why it was so important that the new 5G mobile protocol be designed to foil IMSI catchers, and why the 3rd Generation Partnership Project, or 3GPP (the body standardizing 5G) updated the Authentication and Key Agreement (AKA) to resist IMSI catching techniques.
But new research from ETH Zurich and Technische Universität Berlin has revealed a critical flaw in AKA, a defect that not only allows attackers to track the number of calls and texts being sent while a user is connected to the fake tower, but also a count of calls and texts from before the device was compromised. More importantly, the attack allows for fine-grained location tracking.
2019/01/29: Una delle peggiori annate di sempre per l'olivicoltura nazionale, con una produzione di olio di oliva più che dimezzata rispetto al 2017 ( -57%). È quanto emerge dalle ultime elaborazioni Ismea sulla base dei dichiarativi di dicembre, che collocano la produzione di olio di oliva del 2018 a 185 mila tonnellate, in ulteriore ribasso rispetto alle stime - già poco ottimistiche - presentate a ottobre, a frantoi ancora chiusi.
In particolare sono state le regioni del Mezzogiorno ad accusare le perdite maggiori, con la Puglia, che da sola rappresenta circa la metà della produzione nazionale, colpita da una flessione stimabile attorno al 65%, a causa delle gelate e dei problemi fitosanitari che hanno colpito gli uliveti.
2019/01/29: If Texas turns back to a Democratic state, which it used to be, then we’ll never elect another Republican [president] in my lifetime.
2019/01/28: it became fashionable to pronounce that Macron, as a political phenomenon, was finished. Yet for all their airs of certainty, the hot takes failed to take into account a few crucial intangibles of French political life.
The first was that despite the outrage being directed against him, Macron faces next to zero chance of being forced out of office before his term ends in 2022. The second was that the Yellow Jacket movement — which has no identifiable leader, organizational structure or unified agenda — could just as easily turn into a liability for Macron's opponents. And the president, paradoxically, could turn out to be the big winner.
The Yellow Jackets were supposed to have killed off Emmanuel Macron, but they could end up making him stronger.