Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog

Dear Mr. Obama - Small and Medium Business

Dec 08, 2008 GMT

Dear President-elect Obama, As part of your campaign, you were an advocate for small and medium business (SMB). I agree with this philosophy, since such a large number of people in the United States are employed by SMBs, and since such a large portion of our economy is based on SMBs. In the computer industry there is something known as Free Software, which is software that guarantees the availability of the source code for the software solution to the end user. This allows the end user to make a business decision about whether they wish to use the software the way it exists, or take steps to change the software to have it meet the end-user needs. Sometimes these changes are simple fixes...
Open Mobility?

Nov 24, 2008 GMT

Last week I was at a conference in San Francisco entitled "Open Mobile Summit".For their first attempt the organizers did what I thought was a very good job organizing this conference, getting people from many branches of the mobile telephone industry (handset manufacturers, carriers, service providers and ISPs) to come together to talk about "Open Mobility". There were even representatives from Research In Motion (makers of the Blackberry) and much mention was made of the Apple iPhone, and even though neither were considered to be very "Open", they were featured in the discussions regarding such areas as security, reliability, fragmentation and making...
December 31st. 2009: NAT Free - Goodbye to an old friend

Nov 14, 2008 GMT

By now anyone who does not know we are running out of IPv4 Internet addresses must be living in a hole. The warnings and pleadings of the Internet community to move toward IPv6 have gone from "advisory" to "panic" to "IT is almost too late". But while the final issue may have to be solved by the "cupboard is bare" answer, I have found a few more reasons for me (and others) to make the move now instead of later. Recently I have been looking at dual issues of mobile Internet and power consumption. Through several different avenues, a culprit is appearing, and its name is IPv4. Now don't get me wrong, IPv4 has been my friend for many, many years. It...
Back to the Future - Past events in Ohio and future events in Ontario, Canada

Oct 20, 2008 GMT

In a lot of ways it is nice to write for a magazine family like Linux New Media that is a media sponsor of so many events. I get to see a lot of the events, and it encourages me to go to more of the talks than I would normally do. Normally I talk to people in the hallways and see one or two talks. When I represent the magazine at these events, I try to see more of the talks. October 11th was the sixth annual Free and Open Source Conference and Expo in Columbus Ohio (also know as the "Ohio LinuxFest) and as always, it was a fine community event. Over 1000 people attended, and with both the issues of the economy and high gas prices, was more than some of the event planners...
Digital Tipping Point

Oct 06, 2008 GMT

In 2004 I was at the FISL conference in Porto Alegre, Brazil when I was introduced to a young man who wanted to create a documentary about the Free Software movement. His name is Christian Einfeldt and he is a lawyer in San Francisco, California Christian and Paul Donahue, his cameraman, had flown to Brazil to capture some of the excitement and flavor of Free Software that occurs at FISL. At the conference I contributed some video on the early days of the Alpha port and other topics. Later I found that Christian was traveling to Extremadura, Spain for the Free Software World Conference and when I went to wine country on a trip to California I invited Christian to join Eric Allman...
Microsoft admits that TCO for developing nation's schools is same for Linux and Windows.

Sep 30, 2008 GMT

This is a very long blog entry. I wondered whether it would be better to write it here, or to write an article for Linux Pro Magazine. The editors felt that because of the timeliness of the subject it would be better to have it as a blog entry. For those who do not want to read to the end, the "Executive Summary" is: Microsoft admits that TCO for education students in developing nations is about the same with their products and Free Software. They further admit that the initial TCO costs of hardware and software are lower with Linux, and that Linux technical people in developing nations command a higher salary than their Microsoft counterparts due to scarcity. I feel that...
Public Code With Public Funds

Sep 24, 2008 GMT

I was summoned to a large bank the other day. This bank administers funds for various philanthropic organizations, and often oversees grants for software development. The bank had an interesting idea. Since the grants they handed were purportedly for the "common good", why not make a stipulation that any software developed through a grant be a free and open source license? At first the bank thought about insisting that all of the software be GPL. That way the bank could be assured that the maximum number of people could use the code that was developed with these philanthropic funds. However, the bank worried about companies who wanted to take the GPLed software and make a...

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