Archive for September 15th, 2015|Daily archive page

Apple Building Unified Cloud Platform for iCloud, iTunes, Siri and More – Mac Rumors

Apple is reportedly placing more emphasis on open source software in an attempt to attract open source engineers that can help improve its web services, but it remains to be seen how far the company shifts away from its deep culture of secrecy.

via Apple Building Unified Cloud Platform for iCloud, iTunes, Siri and More – Mac Rumors.

That’s encouraging. Mesos, in particular, seems crucial to cloud-app work. Apple’s ResearchKit ( also uses open source. Perhaps this bend toward open source–beyond BSD–reflects Cook’s pragmatism, as opposed to Jobs’ mania for control. Or perhaps just that open source, especially in cloud infrastructure, is the logical, and increasingly best choice. (Recall that Apple used and may still use Azure. Apple can be very pragmatic, and is, especially under Cook, who is considered without peer when it comes to enterprise logistics and strategy.)

Open Container Initiative

via Open Container Initiative.

Special Exclusive: Q&A with Joyent CEO Scott Hammond |

Joyent makes Node.js and is deeply involved in both cloud and open source work. It also has brilliant people–Bryan Cantrill (CTO), a friend from Sun, being just one. But what is interesting to me about this good interview by Jennifer Cloer, is that Hammond very powerfully represents why Joyent is using open source and community processes and why open source is now the preferred path for cloud infrastructure–and probably for a lot of other work. That leaves all that the consumer actually sees and uses, what used to be the desktop but now may be no more than a series of apps, proprietary. Is that likely to change? I doubt it. User interfaces, and user experience design is neither easy nor cheap; investing in it is risky and though refining a UI can certainly be collaborative, and invariably is, initiating it is about as collaborative as for any aesthetic work. It probably doesn’t *need* to be that way but “we” like it that way, where “we” is that body of people buying, say, Apple products, though this could be extended.

Somewhere in my archives I wrote most of an essay working through the subjects available for open source collaboration–and the ones that, for one reason or another, are not. Time to revisit it.

via Special Exclusive: Q&A with Joyent CEO Scott Hammond |

Fair dealing policy for universities | Universities Canada

There has been evolution regarding fair dealing of copyright material in Canada. The latest amendment to the Copyright Act is dated 23 June 2015 and was current as of 20 August of this year. As far as I could tell, no where in the document is fair dealing defined in percentages of the copyrighted work. I admit I used technological means to search, grep, scan, and so I might have missed something. I was using “percent,” “per cent,” “%”; maybe more. The result was the same, no matter what. Fair dealing employs a contextually sensitive definition, as the name suggests; not a prescriptive one. Dependencies are clearly laid out.

I asked my academic friends at various Canadian universities throughout Canada about their experience with fair dealing, especially in light of the recent pressures put on Canada law by international trade agreement discussions, by powerful and rich media companies, and by other interested institution making and distributing (or redistributing) copyright material.

That’s how I found Universities Canada guidelines for fair dealing. They assert that the limit is 10 percent of a copyrighted work. They reference the 2012 landmark decisions that clarified fair dealing, but then come up with this:

(a) Up to 10% of a copyright-protected work (including a literary work, musical score, sound recording, and an audiovisual work)

Source: Fair dealing policy for universities | Universities Canada

Where does that come from? I mean the 10 percent. In some performative instances, the approach to fair dealing has been more programmatic. (Not hard to guess why.) But I couldn’t find the 10 percent rule as it applied to, say, “literary work.”

Surely, I’m missing something.

But I’m also always curious to learn how institutions like the Universities Canada get funded and are able to assert this sort of authority. The institutions is not new; it’s been around, in one form or another, since the start of the 20th century. But who funds it? I didn’t look very hard. My guess would be a tithe, exacted on universities (all of which are funded by the provinces), but it could have a more interesting history. As it’s late here and I have a cold, I’ll look into this tomorrow. But, I’m really curious how the institution can come up with a figure so precise (not even an “about ten percent”) by what seems a lot like fiat.