So Long Sam, Learning from the Open and the Infinite, and More

  • Learning how to leverage community from PHP’s success
    Glyn Moody links to an insightful interview with the creator of PHP, Rasmus Lerdorf. He quotes probably the most critical part, where Lerdorf really learned first hand the power of community around free software projects.
  • Twitter says your updates belong to you
    The lack luster response to the ToS may come from how long after the service launched that they are adopting a more user rights friendly stance. It may also be that the kerfuffle of Facebook’s ToS makes it look like less of a genuine move on their part as much as a measure to forestall a user rebellion.
  • Why users move from open to closed software
    I am not seeing a lot here that I think is unique to open source or free software, though. Sure, speaking in generalizations, they are more likely true of FLOSS, but I sure have seen commercial software makers commit the very same mistakes. It seems to have more to do with delivering features users want and maintaining clear and consistent communication.
  • How infinite goods create more jobs
    Mike Masnick at Techdirt shares a pretty good analogy to help understand the non-scarce nature of digital goods. Reading through it, I cannot help thinking of how in economics and thermodynamics, localized and non-localized differences lead to useful work. The analogy here builds on that, showing how infinity in one space affects non-infinite goods and services, not surprisingly with the potential for the better.
  • Ramji is leaving Microsoft
    I am not entirely surprised, though his departing comments seem positive and MS seems to be looking to find someone to continue in his now vacant position. I just cannot easily job such an open evangelist with not only MS’ deep history of antagonism towards open source, but their recent and continuing efforts in FUD.
  • A history of wiretapping
    This ACM Queue article reminds me very strongly of Matt Blaze’s keynote at the last Shmoocon. It digs into many of the same issues but with much more detail. Well worth the read whether you caught Blaze’s keynote or not.
  • Kids programming language, scratch, available for Linux
    It is an alpha version according to the website. Also, I picked this up from a posting to the DCLUG mailing list where the sender said he contacted someone from the project at MIT and confirmed that if you donate to support Scratch, you can specify you want your donation to specifically support development of the Linux version.