Category: miscellaneous

See-Through Networks

Promising faster, more efficient and cheaper computer networking, transparent networks are the paradigm of the future. But thanks to European researchers, they are on their way already. Transparent networks are all-optical systems data transport systems. Touted as the solution to future networking needs, they nonetheless present a difficult technical challenge.

Open Source Education

Open source or software freedom isn’t simply another way of procuring software, it’s more a state of mind, a particular attitude to technology. Of course, you can just treat it as a cheap way of getting high quality, robust code, and there’s certainly no requirement to grow a beard, wear sandals or drink real ale in order to install open […]

Bio-Inspired Computer Networks Self-Organise and Learn

Powerful computers made up of physically separate modules, self-organising networks, and computing inspired by biological systems are three hot research topics coming together in one European project. European researchers have developed an innovative computing platform. At the heart of the system are many small modules, each made from chips with an inbuilt ability to learn. A self-configuring wireless network connects […]

Open Source and Computer Science Education

In his March 2006 column in the Communications of the ACM, ACM President David Patterson urged Computer Science (CS) educators to “Join the open source movement.” Despite the widespread use of the open source development model in the software industry, Patterson observed that “most schools still teach ‘write programs from a blank piece of paper’ programming.” Patterson noted that students […]

What If All Software Was Open Source? A Code to Unlock the Desktop

What if all software was open source? Anybody would then be able to add custom features to Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, Apple iTunes or any other program. A University of Washington project may make this possible. “Microsoft and Apple aren’t going to open up all their stuff. But they all create programs that put pixels on the screen. And if […]

Is Microsoft About to Declare Patent War on Linux?

Microsoft’s comments on happenings outside its immediate product portfolio are rare, and all the more valuable when they do appear. Here’s one from Horacio Gutierrez, “Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel”, entitled “Apple v. HTC: A Step Along the Path of Addressing IP Rights in Smartphones.” By now, all the alarm bells should be going off: this is from […]

Net Neutrality: Opening the Doors of Opportunity

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn made a direct appeal to the civil rights community to support Net Neutrality rules during an appearance at a forum hosted by the Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies in Washington earlier this month. They argued that Network Neutrality offers the unique opportunity for people […]

An Express-Lane for the Internet

The Internet is expected to be inundated in the future with billions of gigabytes (or exabytes) of data as high-definition video and other bandwidth-busting downloads become the norm. The cost of upgrading the Internet for this so-called “exaflood” could make Web connections too expensive for most consumers. Internet service providers may be able to keep prices down by opening up […]

Looking Into the Future of Data-Routing With IRIS

The Internet is on the verge of overheating, as big network routers are forced to sort through more and more data packets. One solution is to install photonic routers that leave data in the form of light, thereby avoiding unnecessary electronic processing. Researchers at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs and LGS Innovations, both in New Jersey, have built an operational photonic router […]

Three Areas of Open Source Economics

These days, I get involved in a lot of discussions about open source economics. Usually, they lead to an invitation to present our research and clarify “how open source works” to the audience. I’ve found it helpful to distinguish these three rather different areas of open source economics: (1) direct profits, (2) public welfare, (3) labor market. In more detail: […]

Future of Broadband: Where Data Is Broadcast Using Desk Lamps

In the future, getting a broadband connection might be as simple as flipping on a light switch. In fact, according to a group of researchers from Germany, the light coming from the lamps in your home could one day encode a wireless broadband signal. As of now, the majority of wireless in homes and businesses is achieved through a radio-frequency […]

Intellectual Property and Risks to the Public

Hi, I am Victoria Espinel, the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator. I am honored to have been appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve in this new position created by Congress in the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008.  Given the unique nature of this job, I’d like to describe […]

OOXML not suitable for Norwegian government, says study

Microsoft’s XML-based office document format, OOXML, does not meet the requirements for governmental use, according to a new report published by the Norwegian Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (DIFI). The agency wants to start a debate over the report as part of its work on standards in the Norwegian government. For the Norwegian government, PDF is the recommended file […]

Why Microsoft Suddenly Wanted to Be More Interoperable

Guess why Microsoft suddenly decided it wanted to be more interoperable? It’s so it can get customers to quit using Linux and switch to Windows & .NET. Exhibit 7068 [PDF] in the Comes v. Microsoft antitrust litigation exhibits list tells us what happened with Intel. It is a 4-page email thread with Bill Gates and others at Microsoft all about […]

12 Trends to Watch in 2010

12 Trends to Watch in 2010

It’s the dawn of a new year. From our perch on the frontier of electronic civil liberties, EFF has collected a list of a dozen important trends in law, technology and business that we think will play a significant role in shaping online rights in 2010. In December, we’ll revisit this post and see how it all worked out. 1. […]

Putting the “Public” In Publicly-Funded Research

Putting the “Public” In Publicly-Funded Research

By Corynne McSherry: Sometimes an idea is so blindingly, obviously good that you have to wonder why it hasn’t already been implemented. A few years ago, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had an idea like that. Why not create a free, public, online archive of findings from research studies that were funded by Americans’ tax dollars? That way, members […]

The Economic Case for Open Source Foundations

Abstract An open source foun­da­tion is a group of peo­ple and com­pa­nies that has come together to jointly develop com­mu­nity open source soft­ware. Exam­ples include the Apache Soft­ware Foun­da­tion, the Eclipse Foun­da­tion, and the Gnome Foundation. There are many rea­sons why soft­ware devel­op­ment firms join and sup­port a foun­da­tion. One com­mon eco­nomic moti­va­tion is to save costs in the devel­op­ment […]

The Car Analogy

The Car Analogy

By Tal Schechter: What if buying a new car were like using nonfree software? While the following example may seem a little far-fetched, it is a pretty good analogy to understand the importance of user freedoms in software. Imagine going out to buy a new car. After deciding on a brand, you go to that dealer and start looking at […]

Lest CodePlex perplex

Lest CodePlex perplex

by Richard M. Stallman: Many in our community are suspicious of the CodePlex Foundation. With its board of directors dominated by Microsoft employees and ex-employees, plus apologist Miguel de Icaza, there is plenty of reason to be wary of the organization. But that doesn’t prove its actions will be bad. Someday we will be able to judge the organization by […]

How to stop Conflicker: Switch to Linux

On April 1st, the Conficker worm, perhaps the most wide-spread malware program in history, is set to activate. We don’t know what Conficker will do, but it’s a safe bet it won’t be anything nice to the hundreds of thousands of Windows PCs that have been infected with it. Will it strip out every credit-card number within these PCs? Launch […]