Archive for May, 2015|Monthly archive page
I suppose I also stopped reading SF sometime around 2010, probably before then. But I’ve also stopped tracking what LWN tiredly spouts and what so many of the old sites mutter to themselves. Nowadays, I track reddit, HN, and …. many others, with Ars being the pleasure read. (El Reg continues to amuse, but rarely inform, let alone persuade, as once it did, and when it comes up with trenchant views–when Andrew O pens an article–it’s seldom enough and too often predictable.)
Interesting. And, if so, who actually would be doing the deed? (Could just be done programmatically–?)
More and more Business Insider bores me with its relentless rah rah. But every now and then its journalists come up with a good point, such as the one below. But it’s dismaying, still, that the most the author (the regular Julie Bort) can write is that it’s a dangerous game. Uhm. It’s actually a game foretold, that the biggest companies will win and establish effective monopolies, unless the cloud as a set of services hosted in meshed systems comes into being soon. It’s possible. And maybe even desirable, especially if we refrain from characterising the notion of a populist cloud as having anything to do with Libertarian political fantasy (it doesn’t). But for the relative short term, the model I’d look to is what the Saudi regime is doing to oil prices–and why.
It’s a dangerous game for the tech industry because it means that only the biggest companies with the deepest pockets and the healthiest businesses will be able to make it in the new cloud world.
I”ve lately been investigating Play Framework (https://www.playframework.com/), which is both an interesting and good project and community. Typesafe holds copyright over the open source (ASL2) code and maintains itself as the final arbiter of code decisions. But they emphasise that they value community perhaps even more than the code itself; nice. (It reminds me of Apache–which makes me think: What company doesn’t espouse that view? I mean, besides one of my previous employers.)
The Play Framework community pages are pretty good, but see for yourself. (https://www.playframework.com/community-process) They are models of clarity. (We’ve gone a long way since those early days when website documentation was better left unwritten, as it was often so confounding.) But I was especially pleased by their direct reference to the Reactive Manifesto, cited below. Actually, I love this continuing (if slightly less vigorous) age of the manifesto; so much like fin-de-siècle art, and for a reason. And although I hear increasing calls to “make it new” again, these, as with Pound’s original exhortation, come from the right. (Pound meant, as do these neocons, to grab the old before it fades into icky future and vivify it. Of course, I tend to think of such efforts as vampiric and believe it better to leave the undead where they lie than to pretend that the best solution for the future is the past again.) The Reactive Manifesto powerfully resonates with what I and others have been advocating for some time now–but read it.
On the other hand, companies could simply join another trend — allowing employees to work from home. That model has proven to boost productivity, with employees working more hours and taking fewer breaks. On top of that, there are fewer interruptions when employees work remotely. At home, my greatest distraction is the refrigerator.
I think the answer is no. They have made it difficult to get productivity apps included and seemed to have been too late for the mobile party. Conceivably, things could change, and developers could start to see Mozilla, including its mobile Firefox OS, as something other than an also ran. But I think they will have to abandon the Mozilla arrogance first, and impress upon the world that it offers something more than a nearly useless cheap device or niche browser gilded with community foil.
From the article:
The problem of drug prices eating up national health budgets has been coming up at the annual World Health Assembly. Last week, a panel of experts discussed the merits of lowering those prices by delinking research and development costs from pricing.
Several vectors moving here and they share the principle that a private-sector monopoly (or equivalent) is the problem, not the solution and that if the society made up of the individuals using the medications is to survive as a society (and not simply as a thick clot of mall rats) then rational approaches are required, so as to determine the right paths to take (and also to un-take).
From the letter signed by Creative Commons and 22 other organisations to Elsevier, which evidently seeks to own the practice of knowledge:
Elsevier’s new policy, announced 30 April 2015, is detrimental to article authors as well as those seeking access to these research papers. The policy imposes an embargo of at least 12 months before authors can self-archive their final manuscripts in an institutional repository–with the option of these embargoes being as long as 48 months. Beforehand, Elsevier allowed immediate deposit of the articles in repositories. The new policy also restricts access once the embargo expires by requiring that articles be shared under the most restrictive Creative Commons license–CC BY-NC-ND–which prohibits commercial use and the creation of derivative works.
Quote, from same article in Infojustice:
The letter is available here. It has been signed by the following groups, and you can add your organization to as well.
Access Copyright suffers (and will suffer even more) from the hubris of believing it could stop the flow of time and force users–of whatever sort–to pay big for content just because they wanted them to. The users include government, education and just about everyone in-between. And Access wanted a lot. When I looked upon the company, and the deals it had inked, I wondered how long something like this could last. The answer: not long.
The Copyright Board of Canada delivered a devastating defeat to Access Copyright on Friday, releasing its decision on a tariff for copying by employees of provincial governments. Access Copyright had initially sought $15 per employee for the period from 2005 – 2009 and $24 per employee for the period from 2010 – 2014. It later reduced its demands to $5.56 and $8.45. The board conducted a detailed review of the copying within government and the applicability of the Access Copyright licence. Its final decision gives Access Copyright pennies rather than dollars: 11.56 cents for 2005-2009 and 49.71 cents for 2010-2014.
Yet as bad as the specific outcome is for Access Copyright, the longer term implications are even worse. Revenues from government and corporate copying are useful, but bigger money lies with its education licenses.
In particular: Fair dealing.
The fair dealing analysis is the most important part of the decision since it represents the first time that Access Copyright’s restrictive fair dealing theories have been assessed by the Board. The outcome is a huge loss for the copyright collective as the Board rejected argument after argument. Some of the most important ones include: