Q: When you look at how open source technology has evolved, what’s consistent with your original thinking and what surprises you?
A: I knew from the beginning that Open Source Software (OSS) would change the world. Before OSS, software development was a feudal system where only an elite few could contribute. OSS democratized software development and upending the power structures of the industry. Anyone with interest, energy and skill (whether obtained formally or not) could contribute. This was a powerful idea.
But I’m still surprised by how fundamentally OSS has changed the technology landscape. It is safe to say that without OSS, the Internet would today be a mere shadow of itself. Most people outside of the tech industry don’t realize that most of the internet is built on OSS. By extension, I also think that much of cloud computing owes its existence to OSS. But beyond that, OSS has changed how software start-ups operate.
Really well written & thought provoking article in the Atlantic with a conclusion that Open Source is our best defense:
The U.S. government is surreptitiously collecting the DNA of world leaders, and is reportedly protecting that of Barack Obama. Decoded, these genetic blueprints could provide compromising information. In the not-too-distant future, they may provide something more as well—the basis for the creation of personalized bioweapons that could take down a president and leave no trace…..
In the hope of mounting the best defense against an attack, one possible solution—not without its drawbacks—is radical transparency: release the president’s DNA and other relevant biological data, either to a select group of security-cleared bioscience researchers or (the far more controversial step) to the public at large. These ideas may seem counterintuitive, but we have come to believe that open-sourcing this problem—and actively engaging the American public in the challenge of protecting its leader—might turn out to be the best defense.
One practical reason is cost. Any in-house protection effort would be exceptionally pricey. Certainly, considering what’s at stake, the country would bear the expense, but is that the best solution? After all, over the past five years, DIY Drones, a nonprofit online community of autonomous aircraft hobbyists (working for free, in their spare time), produced a $300 unmanned aerial vehicle with 90 percent of the functionality of the military’s $35,000 Raven. This kind of price reduction is typical of open-sourced projects.
I installed the GPL Open Source virtualization app VirtualBox tonight with Windows 7 so I could run the BlackBerry simulator on my Mac. It runs basically everything you would need:
Presently, VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh and OpenSolaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4 and 2.6), Solaris and OpenSolaris, and OpenBSD
Been running it for a bit, and so far so good, and really impressed by how easy it was to setup. Score one more for Open Source 🙂
“We learned first hand that it’s not easy to make an iPhone app. Taking some inspiration from the folks at Automattic (who open sourced their free WordPress iPhone application), we’ve decided to give back to our customers by sharing what we’ve learned.”