Saturday, January 26, 2013

Intellectual Property Industry Must Move Information Into Public Domain

From ACM TechNews:
Intellectual Property Industry Must Move Information Into Public Domain
The Hindu (India)
(01/24/13) Anuj Srivas

Google vice president and ACM president Vint Cerf, referring to the recent suicide of computer activist Aaron Swartz, says greater sharing of information and open access are needed. “One of the things that was common amongst the community that created the Internet, was that we were fairly homogenous, and that in order to obtain information--we would share it. Not buy it," Cerf says. He believes Swartz's death was preventable and notes that recent events highlight the problems that intellectual property faces when it goes onto the Web. "While we have to be conscious of the harm that occurs on the network, we have to make sure we don’t solve bad behavior by just trampling all over people’s human rights," he says. "The need of the hour, therefore, is to see the intellectual property industry actively moving information into the public domain." Cerf cites Creative Commons as a good example of how to get things into the public domain. "This is all in the framework of working with creators, technologists, and legislators," he says.

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In the Mobile Market, Embracing Open Source Could Transform Microsoft

by Sam Dean - Jan. 25, 2013Comments (0
In recent years, Microsoft has largely reversed the stance it once took toward open source software applications and platforms. The company's current CEO, Steve Ballmer, is still famous for once calling open source "a cancer," but Microsoft has steadily contributed to the Linux kernel, released projects to the open source community and taken a friendlier overall stance toward Linux, especially when it comes to virtualization and data centers.
The truth is, though, that the best fix for Microsoft's woes on the mobile technology front could come from embracing open source. In fact, by doing do, Microsoft could begin to win again.
In this post, I considered what benefits Microsoft might get from embracing both Android and Mozilla's Firefox OS on mobile devices. For example, by using technology from BlueStacks Player, or similar emulation technology, Microsoft could give users of its new Surface tablets access to the already robust ecosystem of apps for Android.  This would instantly solve a problem that Microsoft has: It doesn't have the teeming app stores that both Apple and Android have after years of succeeding in the smartphone and tablet markets.
In smartphones, Microsoft is far behind Apple and players on the Android phone scene.  Matt Asay has made an excellent case for how Microsoft could benefit from adopting Mozilla's Firefox OS:
" Samsung has shown with Android, one needn't own an OS to profit from it.  Samsung's operating profit in its fourth quarter rose 89% to hit $8.3 billion.  That's real money that even Apple can't sniff at."
"Why not throw [Microsoft's] weight behind Mozilla?  Mozilla has taken on a huge task, one that Microsoft's engineering and financial resources can help to accelerate.  And while Mozilla is unlikely to give any special favors to Microsoft in terms of distribution, the very fact of embracing and distributing Firefox OS would give Microsoft influence in the Firefox OS community.  That's how open source works: being the source of code matters as much or more than owning source code." 
 Just this morning, I reported on the barnstorming success that Samsung has had in the smartphone market, thanks to Android. Samsung is ruling the smartphone market with an open operating system that it did not create.
Microsoft continues to try to leverage proprietary platforms and hasn't embraced the idea of the open app store, which could completely change its fortunes in the mobile market. Just check out Simon Phipps' thoughts on the value of the open app store, here
Could Microsoft come around to this way of thinking? Stranger things have happened.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fifty shades of open source

Monday, January 21, 2013

Intel Preps Thin Fiber Optics to Shuffle Data Between Computers

IDG News Service (01/16/13) Agam Shah

Intel is developing thin fiber optics that will use lasers and light as a faster way to move data inside computers.  The technology will be implemented at the motherboard and rack levels and use light to move data between storage, networking, and computing resources.  The silicon photonics technology will be part of a new generation of servers that will need faster networking, storage, and processing subsystems, says Intel's Justin Rattner.  He notes that silicon photonics could enable communication at speeds of 100 Gbps, and transfer data at high speeds while using less power compared to copper cables.  The technology also could consolidate power supplies and fans in a data center, lowering component costs.  After the infrastructure with silicon photonics is in place, server designs could change even further, Rattner says.  Intel is working with Facebook to define new server technologies that will lead to the decoupling of computing, networking, and storage resources.  Critical to this step is "the introduction of silicon photonics in not just the inter-rack fabric, but also the intra-rack fabric," Rattner says.  "Over time you will see the server communication infrastructure, which includes switches, to include photonics," says analyst Dean McCarron.