Archive | June 23, 2004

Tim O’Reilly: Open Source Paradigm Shift

Open Source Paradigm Shift.
“This article is based on a talk that I first gave at Warburg-Pincus’
annual technology conference in May of 2003. Since then, I have
delivered versions of the talk more than twenty times, at locations
ranging from the O’Reilly Open Source Convention, the UK Unix User’s
Group, Microsoft Research in the UK, IBM Hursley, British Telecom, Red
Hat’s internal “all-hands” meeting, and BEA’s eWorld conference. I
finally wrote it down as an article for an upcoming book on open
source,”Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software,” edited by J.
Feller, B. Fitzgerald, S. Hissam, and K. R. Lakhani and to be published
by MIT Press in 2005.” [Tim O’Reilly, O’Reilly Network]

Interesting reading.

How much would you pay for a favorable opinion?

From Dan Gillmor’s eJournalOpinion Laundering Thrives.

  • Tim Lambert: When Think Tanks Attack. Why
    are all these think tanks so down on Open Source? Well, the Small
    Business Survival Committee is concerned that using open source will
    expose small business to the risk of lawsuits. Citizens Against
    Government Waste is concerned that the Government might waste money on
    Open Source. Defenders of Property Rights is concerned that Open Source
    might be a threat to intellectual property rights. However, I was able
    to detect a common theme to all their criticism. They all seem to be
    funded by Microsoft.

“This piece isn’t absolute proof, but it’s another layer of circumstantial evidence that Microsoft is continuing its campaign of what I’ve called “opinion laundering” to make a case against LInux and other free software. (See previous  looks at this subject here, here and here, for example.) Microsoft is hardly alone in this activity, of course. Lambert’s article looks into the tobacco archives and shows how major think tanks were paid by tobacco companies  and took positions congruent with the tobacco interests’ own views. The bigger problem is that we often don’t know who is funding which think tank, and many won’t tell us. Even the ones that do say they’re getting some money from companies like Microsoft won’t say how much. If the “contribution” is .001 percent of annual funding, that’s trivial. If it’s 50 percent, that’s not trivial. But we are never told this relevant information. None of this is illegal, but it’s definitely sleazy. We need laws, not that this Congress or administration will every touch the topic, to force think tanks to reveal the sources and amounts of their funding in amounts over, say, $500. That would let individuals continue to contribute in privacy, but would shine a needed light on the opinion laundering that is now so prevalent. In the meantime, when a think tank takes any position on just about anything, your first instinct should be to ask, “Did someone pay for that opinion?” — Dan Gillmor

Some people accuse me of being an “Open Source zealot” (thanks, btw), but at least my opinion is not for sale to the highest bidder.

GNU Bash reference

MacOSXHints points out a really useful reference for Mac OS X, Linux or Windows CygWin users, for that matter – the GNU Bash Reference.
Written by the authors of the shell, this book covers the concept of
the shell, its commands and variables in 180 pages. The book can be
purchased for $29.95 or downloaded in PDF from their website for free.

Off to Waltham!

Off to Waltham this evening for the meeting of the Boston Area FoxPro User Group. Dmitry
Litvak will show how he accesses Visual FoxPro using ASP.NET.
Directions to the meeting – open to the public – and enrolment
information for our low-traffic announcement email list is also
available at the website.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.