March 10th, 2013
Here is an interesting post pointing out a few awesome comments by Pixar’s Senior Scientist. The most interesting to me (and probably you too) was this: ”open-source software like Blender can do almost everything Pixar’s software can do”!
If you aren’t looking at free and open-source software as an option for your church or non-profit, you are missing out on a huge, available (and free) resource.
November 26th, 2012
Here is a great summary of the reasons that open source software and generic hardware work (and might not work too) in a business environment. Great summary read describing the tangible and intangible benefits of the free and open source model. I can say now that I’ve been using open source software for so long that I never even notice that I don’t use Microsoft or Apple products. And it’s even easier and most cost-effective than ever to make the switch.
September 18th, 2012
In the spirit of Solomon, Kirby Ferguson makes a compelling argument to Embrace the Remix in his TED talk about copyright and patent law.
How willing are you to share your creative work with others? If you’re interested, check out Creave Common Licenses for your content so that it’s explicitly shared.
August 17th, 2012
Funded by it’s Kickstarter campaign, Museopen as released several professional recordings of classical music into the public domain. If you’re looking for classical music for a backing soundtrack or just enjoy listening to classical music, check out the site! There even more music done by other submitters as well.
June 22nd, 2012
Another very interesting article about the ethics of making computers last by Wired’s iFixit. I don’t have much to add. We should always be considering others in our technology choices and not just ourselves, right?
And if you want to know the best way to make your hardware last. Here’s my recommendations:
- Buy a quality computer that is “fixable”
- Install Linux (or buy it with Linux installed)
- Fix or upgrade your computer as necessary.
- If you do require newer or faster hardware that you can’t upgrade to, make sure the computer finds a new home when you buy your new one. Depending on where you live, there can even be services that will refurbish your old computer (usually installing Linux afterward) and send it to markets that can’t afford the latest technology as mentioned in the iFixit article.
From personal experience, both of my Dell home laptops are almost 7 years old. They still run Ubuntu phenomenally (I just upgraded to 12.04). I’ve replaced the battery pack in both, but otherwise they have worked flawlessly. I even do some pretty heavy lifting with audio and video production and I’ve never felt the need for more although I did buy pretty beefy hardware at the time I purchased them.
If you’re interested in a longer discussion on this issue, you can also read my prior post about Digital Ethics and the Environment. Please keep rethinking ethics in our digital world!
June 21st, 2012
If you think that you can’t do amazing video production work for your church or non-profit with a free and open source VFX pipeline, you need to see this!
So, why are you paying all of that non-profit, donated money to buy commercial software when you can get professional results with free and open source software? Maybe you should consider a change.
Or if you think you can’t afford the expensive production software from Adobe or others, you now know that you have free and open source alternatives that give professional results!
June 11th, 2012
Today, I saw a link to an article by the person who coined the term “open source” about “Evaluating the Harm From Closed Source”. It is a well thought-out reasoning on how to evaluate the ethics of the harm done by proprietary software. Since I don’t get a chance to opine on philosophical issues here as much lately, I had to pass it along.
It is however a secular perspective. While “remember[ing] that the goal of all your ethical rules is the reduction of harm, and act[ing] accordingly” encapsulates that secular ethical perspective, I believe it is only part of the Christian ethical perspective. For Christians “do no harm” may be part of the answer, but adding “do good” as Christ did for us adds additional ethical weight to the argument. We shouldn’t be just hoping to limit harm to our (cyber-)neighbors, but seeking to edify, encourage, support, love and commune with them as well.
Adding food for thought and continuing the conversation on how to rethink ethics in a digital world.
January 22nd, 2012
So, this article is months old now (sorry I’ve been really busy with family stuff). But I still wanted to pass on this article from The Economist titled “What Would Jesus Hack? Cybertheology: Just how much does Christian doctrine have in common with the open-source software movement?” It turns out that I’m not the only one that has seen the similarities in the values of the two…
August 18th, 2011
I recently ran across this 3D artist’s perceptions about moving from commercial to free, open source software. I appreciated what I believe to be an objective analysis of the costs and benefits of commercial and open source software. Sure, the commercial software has some nice features that you’ll have to live without…but do those really affect your artistic expression? Probably not. How much do you gain by moving to free, open source alternatives like the time you gain for artistic work when you don’t have to analyze the financial costs of upgrades, plugins and other up-sells that keep subtracting from your personal or professional budget? I’m guessing most non-profits and churches identify closely with the author’s tension caused by “[wishing] to conduct business in a legal, sustainable fashion amidst a struggling economy”.
There are many very full-featured free, open source alternatives to all of the mainstream art and production software. Give them a try…you just might find that free is freeing in more ways than just in your pocketbook…