Archive for the ‘Culture and Community’ Category

Why Creative Work Should Enter The Public Domain

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Here is a great post by John Walker that makes the case why creative works should enter the public domain sooner rather than later.  He also points out ways to fast track that by using copyleft and Creative Commons licenses.  My favorite analogy exposing the hilarity of the current copyright laws was asking, “And the surgeon’s royalties on that heart operation he did…Why shouldn’t he get paid every time [your heart beats]?”  Great thoughts.  If you’re a creative, I join John in hoping you get paid.  However, as a creative, please recognize the societal and cultural shoulders you are standing on that allow you to do your work and consider contributing it back to the public whether through Creative Commons or public domain licensing.

How Can Open Source Be Better? Diversity.

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

I really appreciated this NPR story drawing attention to some of the many challenges in breaking into software development, even open source software development, especially for “coders of color”.  As the open source movement continues to gain momentum world-wide I expect this to change (hopefully fairly rapidly), however, we all should be looking to find ways to broaden the diversity of those in our community.  Open source software by its’ very nature extends our community to people of all races and ethnic backgrounds worldwide and diversity will only make that community better and stronger.

The Antonio Pizzigati Prize for Software in the Public Interest

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

The Tides Foundation today announced it is accepting applications for The Antonio Pizzigati Prize for Software in the Public Interest for 2014 (due Dec 6, 2013) which “annually awards a $10,000 cash grant to one individual who has created or led an effort to create an open source software product of significant value to the nonprofit sector and movements for social change.”

Thank you to The Tides Foundation for supporting open source projects for non-profits!

Pixar on the Importance of Open Source

Sunday, 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.

Why Would Someone Use Generic Hardware and Open Source Software

Monday, 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.

Balancing the Costs and Benefits of Commercial and Open Source Software

Thursday, 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…

What Do We Elevate?

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Ran across this article from Collide magazine.  The author asks a lot of good introspective questions about church services and what that means about priorities.  Of course, why limit that to only your church services?  Why not ask that about other parts of the church including  your IT strategy?  About the type of computers and software you use?  What do you elevate?  And what does that say about your church?  Does it say exclusion or inclusion?  Does it say selfishness or sharing?  Once you know what it does say about your church, it then follows on to ask the original authors question:  what should we be elevating?  When you ask and answer those questions, my guess would be that more Christians and churches would be using (and creating too) more open source software and sharing more of their content with Creative Commons licensing.  But that’s just a guess. 😉

Matt Mason’s Piracy Dilemma

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

I read The Pirate’s Dilemma by Matt Mason sometime last year and really enjoyed it.  He just posted a presentation he did recently at Incubate 2010 that summarizes a lot of the book on his blog and I wanted to pass it around for discussion.  I think he does a great job at balancing the fact that we do need intellectual property laws, but that laws aren’t going to stop piracy.  Things like open source and Creative Commons licenses are just market reactions to bad IP laws in some sense.  People are looking for better and easier ways to share, collaborate, remix and join in a conversation with you and your organization.  Take advantage of that as we move into a new era of communication by using and contributing to open source and Creative Commons projects.

OpenOffice becomes LibreOffice

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Just posting to let everyone know that changes are afoot for those that use OpenOffice.  I guess the transition to Oracle hasn’t been smooth, so they are declaring independence.  I guess we’ll see how this unfolds.

New Christian TV Series Made With Open Source Software

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Just saw this come through the Blender channels, looks like a new Korean production house, Dave Interactive, is developing a new TV series with Blender, my favorite 3D-animation-video-editing-special-effects-and-just-about-anything-multimedia-software.  The visuals and animation look great on the preview.  I look forward to hopefully being able to see the final product.