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David Ing

David Ing's Public Library

Jan 13, 15

"Further investigation taught me that the Chinese have a parallel system of traditions and ethics around sharing IP, which lead me to coin the term “gongkai”. This is deliberately not the Chinese word for “Open Source”, because that word (kaiyuan) refers to openness in a Western-style IP framework, which this not. Gongkai is more a reference to the fact that copyrighted documents, sometimes labeled “confidential” and “proprietary”, are made known to the public and shared overtly, but not necessarily according to the letter of the law. However, this copying isn’t a one-way flow of value, as it would be in the case of copied movies or music. Rather, these documents are the knowledge base needed to build a phone using the copyright owner’s chips, and as such, this sharing of documents helps to promote the sales of their chips. There is ultimately, if you will, a quid-pro-quo between the copyright holders and the copiers.

This fuzzy, gray relationship between companies and entrepreneurs is just one manifestation of a much broader cultural gap between the East and the West. The West has a “broadcast” view of IP and ownership: good ideas and innovation are credited to a clearly specified set of authors or inventors, and society pays them a royalty for their initiative and good works. China has a “network” view of IP and ownership: the far-sight necessary to create good ideas and innovations is attained by standing on the shoulders of others, and as such there is a network of people who trade these ideas as favors among each other. In a system with such a loose attitude toward IP, sharing with the network is necessary as tomorrow it could be your friend standing on your shoulders, and you’ll be looking to them for favors. This is unlike the West, where rule of law enables IP to be amassed over a long period of time, creating impenetrable monopoly positions. It’s good for the guys on top, but tough for the upstarts.


Jan 06, 15

"So while O'Grady using Black Duck data found that "the GPL has been the overwhelmingly most selected license," these two licenses, GPLv2 and v3 are, "no longer more popular than most of the other licenses put together."

Instead, "The three primary permissive license choices (Apache/BSD/MIT) ... collectively are employed by 42 percent. They represent, in fact, three of the five most popular licenses in use today." These permissive licenses has been gaining ground at GPL's expense. The two biggest gainers, the Apache and MIT licenses, were up 27 percent, while the GPLv2, Linux's license, has declined by 24 percent."

Dec 13, 14

"My Swedish colleague, Professor Gunnar Hedlund, exhumed Athenian scholar Dionysius the Aeropagite's fifth-century writings, which appear to be the first discussion of hierarchy: "We must show, most pious of sons, that our hierarchy is inspired by God and that it implies a divine and deifying science. ... However, take care not to reveal indiscreetly these most sacred things ... to the uninitiated, reverently communicating sacred things only to holy persons." Dionysius also lays out nine distinct ranks, from seraphim at the top to angels on the front line."

Dec 13, 14

"Maneuverability, then, was the hallmark of the Mongols' strategy in war. As a basis for business strategy, it is discussed brilliantly in a new, unpublished paper by Swedish business professor/researcher Gunnar Hedlund. His "Milking Cows versus Going Hunting: Conceptions of Corporate Strategies" attacks the Boston Consulting Group's use of farm-animal metaphors—for instance, "cows" to be milked (for profit) and "dogs" to be turned into dog food (that is, businesses to be "harvested" or divested). Hedlund contends that BCG's metaphors, a cornerstone of business strategy thinking in the 1970s, are poorly aligned with forces at work today."

Aug 14, 14

“Open is not a business model, it is a production model,” said Mr. Mickos ....

Having many people in many places working on something, he said, is “a way to experiment with a lot of possibilities, make a lot of mistakes quickly, figure out what works faster.”

The open source method may be effective if enough people play along, but it does not make money in itself. Moreover, by definition it implies that open source projects have many more mistakes, bad code and failed efforts on their way to succeeding, compared with conventional projects.

Both Mr. Mickos and Mr. Buytaert compared open source to evolution, in which experimentation in the form of a million failed freaks finds a successful new adaptation for a species. “Would you call nature cruel and wasteful?” Mr. Mickos said. “O.K., then open source is wasteful.”

“Open source is Darwinian,” Mr. Buytaert said. “Eventually the best idea wins, but it is much more wasteful. A regular company couldn’t have experimented with creating 10 versions of an online photo album, then picked the best one.”

Not only that, but the profit margins in open source are lower than in proprietary software. There is, after all, a big chunk of the product that is free, and the point is to put the incumbent players in a corner with lower prices.

Mar 23, 14

"GWT is what Google used to build the visible parts of its Web applications such as Gmail, Google Docs, and other elements of its cloud computing service. Google developed its technology in a way that makes the client machine do a lot of the heavy lifting, thus helping Google serve more visitors to its cloud systems with less server power. That's a big issue when you work in front of an audience of millions.

Google makes its concept pretty clear when it explains how its toolkit works: Developers build elements of a Web page (or a whole page) with Java. Then they test it as Java, which, compared to testing in JavaScript, makes it easy for software to identify many mistakes. This is because Java is a tightly specified language with strongly typed data elements and a strict grammar. By comparison JavaScript, which may start with the same four letters but is otherwise quite distinct, is made for scripting and for many reasons is tolerant compared to Java. This can be useful for script writers but it's murder when it comes to debugging. A lot of JavaScript software is tiny, so even when it has an error the programmer can spot the problem with a quick inspection. But that is not the case with AJAX systems. The JavaScript is big and complicated and there are no debugging tools that work as well as the ones associated with Java, not because programmers are indifferent but because JavaScript, once it gets bulky, is a nightmare to analyze.

Anyway, once a developer likes the way an element or Web page behaves with its GWT Java, Google's software compiles the Java into JavaScript. The compiler seems to be pretty good. If the Java works so will the JavaScript. There are blogs and newsgroups where developers talk about their problems and the level of user satisfaction with GWT, at least as far as the compilation accuracy is concerned, seems very high."

Mar 18, 14

"To know exactly how many bytes a voice conversation consumes, you need to know which codec your VoIP service is using. [....]

Here are approximate values for data consumption of the most common codecs used for VoIP:

G.711 - 87Kbps
G.729 - 32 Kbps
G.723.1 - 22 Kbps
G.723.1 - 21 Kbps
G.726 – 55 Kbps
G.726 – 47 Kbps
G.728 - 32 Kbps

The G.729 codec is one of the best performing voice codecs and most good VoIP services use it.

So, if you plan an hour of conversation, it will be roughly 45 MB."

Mar 17, 14

"Secure alternative to: Skype, Google Talk/Chat
This guide will show how to set up encrypted off-the-record (OTR) chat and VoIP using ZRTP encryption in the following three sections:
Section 1 will show how to register with an XMPP service, here
Section 2 will show how to set up XMPP with Jitsi.
Section 3 will show how to find friends and initiate chat using end-to-end OTR encryption and secure VoIP calls using ZRTP, so no one but you and the receiver can read your messages or hear your conversations (and not a government or private company)."

Mar 15, 14

"The only downside to Mailvelope is that your attachments aren't encrypted along with your message, which is a bit of a bummer."

Mar 15, 14

"Stefan Sundin has created an Ubuntu PPA for TrueCrypt which has been patched to use an Ubuntu AppIndicator instead of a tray icon."

Mar 13, 14

"Microsoft Office installation has completed, but it ain’t ready yet. Well, if you possess clear bright eyes and happy with the current state of Office, the underneath stuff is redundant. Otherwise, proceed. Being a perfectionist myself, I can’t stand blurry font, retro Windows classic look and the dodgy performance, those teeny-tiny issues drive me nuts. I won’t rest till I overcome them.

The first thing to do is upgrading Wine. Remember the script installed Wine 1.5.16. Select Tools – > Manage Wine Version. Install version 1.5.28 instead. The reason behind this, is Wine 1.5.17 has fixed font aliasing bug."

  • R. Lusch, USA, and B. Edvardsson, Sweden
Feb 08, 14

"About once a year, the Linux Foundation analyzes the online repository that holds the source code of the kernel, or core, of the Linux operating system. As well as tracking the increasing complexity of the ever-evolving kernel over a series of releases from versions 3.0 to 3.10, the report also reveals who is contributing code, and the dominant role corporations now play in what began as an all-volunteer project in 1991."

Jan 12, 14

Some questions to get us started:
1. Are Agile practices applicable to product and systems engineering in any form?
What are the high-priority areas? Are there no-go areas – if so where and why?
Can Agile apply to non-software engineering disciplines such as mechanical and electrical/electronic engineering?
What are the key challenges? Are they industry-specific, project structure or technology challenges?

2. Can our traditional methods link up ‘around the edges’ of Agile systems engineering practices?
Even if it were possible, organizations can’t move everything to Agile processes overnight. So the reality of doing Agile for complex product development means agile processes will have to join up with non-agile processes ‘at the edges’.
Where should those edges be? Are there successful patterns that can be applied to achieve success? Are there ‘toxic’ interface scenarios to avoid?

3. Can we apply the Agile principles to existing process to improve what we have?
Many aspects of complex product development have constraints that make a ‘pure’ Agile approach impossible. For example hardware iterations typically take much longer than software iterations. Contracts might define ‘non Agile’ deliverables. But can Agile principles be adapted and applied around these constraints to yield benefits? What are the key principles to apply? Are there adaptation patterns that can be reused in different projects and contexts?

Jan 12, 14

We recently presented a proposal for a version of the Agile manifesto for systems engineering.  This was presented at INCOSE UK ASEC conference on 12 November 2012

Jan 07, 14

"Our research, conducted in collaboration with the University of Oxford, suggests that half of all large IT projects—defined as those with initial price tags exceeding $15 million—massively blow their budgets. On average, large IT projects run 45 percent over budget and 7 percent over time, while delivering 56 percent less value than predicted. Software projects run the highest risk of cost and schedule overruns1 (Exhibit 1)."

Dec 20, 13

The theme of this issue was triggered by a discussion with Daniel Curto-Millet (a doctoral student and one of the authors in this issue), who is particularly interested in Elinor Ostrom’s work in relation to sustainability and how it is applicable to open source software. My own research more recently has made me very curious about the dimensions and conditions necessary to sustain an open source community, project, and ecosystem.

The idea of sustainability, though borrowed from natural resource management, is surprisingly applicable to open source ecosystem sustainability. The definition of sustainability that resonated the most with my understanding of open source was provided by Repetto (1986), and I have amended it slightly to make it sensible for open source:

Open source sustainability is the recognition and drive to manage all assets, and resources related to open source development, including the broader financial and physical assets in order to increase the long-term vibrancy and well-being of a project (and ecosystem). Sustainable development of open source, as a goal, rejects policies and practices that support current adoption and development in the short-term without regard for how this may deplete the productive base, including all resources, and that leaves future communities with poorer prospects.

As this definition implies, time is a dimension that causes fluctuations in what is sustainable and desirable in open source.

- See more at:

Apr 25, 13

"Commons In A Box (CBOX) is a free software project aimed at turning the infrastructure that successfully powers the CUNY Academic Commons into a free, distributable, easy-to-install package. Commons In A Box is a project of the City University of New York and the Graduate Center, CUNY and is made possible by a generous grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

CBOX takes the complexity out of creating a Commons site, helping organizations create a space where their members can discuss issues, collaborate on projects, and share their work. CBOX also provides:

Out-of-the-box functionality with an intuitive set-up that guides site administrators through each step of installation.
A powerful, responsive, highly customizable theme developed for community engagement, based on PressCrew’s Infinity Theming Engine.
Responsive design for easy viewing on many devices, including tablets and smartphones.
Collaborative document creation and file sharing.
Reply-By-Email functionality for quick, on-the-go communication.
Compatibility with many other WordPress and BuddyPress themes and plug-ins.
Expansive wiki options.
CBOX will be useful to any organization that is looking for a shared space in which to build an engaged community of users and developers."

Apr 24, 13

The good news is the flagship open source office suite LibreOffice can open and edit PDF documents. Don’t expect to create interactive forms and the like in LibreOffice, but you can take a basic PDF document and make simple edits, thanks to LibreOffice’s built-in Draw feature. In Draw, your PDF documents temporarily become images that can be edited. When you’re finished, the document simply needs to be exported back into PDF format. This feature works the same on all platforms, which means you can edit PDF documents on Windows, Mac, and Linux in the same way.

  • The good news is the flagship open source office suite LibreOffice can open and edit PDF documents. Don’t expect to create interactive forms and the like in LibreOffice, but you can take a basic PDF document and make simple edits, thanks to LibreOffice’s built-in Draw feature. In Draw, your PDF documents temporarily become images that can be edited. When you’re finished, the document simply needs to be exported back into PDF format. This feature works the same on all platforms, which means you can edit PDF documents on Windows, Mac, and Linux in the same way.

  • If you can figure out how to use ITA’s Fare Matrix search engine, I think you’ll be a lot happier with the tools at your disposal to find the flights you want. You’ll have to actually go to the airline’s site to enter the information again when it’s time to book, but that’s the price to be paid.
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