Archive for the ‘podcast’ Category

Mahalo Daily Trailer – Very Sharp

October 31, 2007

I’m not sure about the idea of people-powered search. But maybe Jason Calacanis should stick to video trailer production instead. This intro video for the new Mahalo Daily video podcast was very good. The part with Alex Albrecht was genius.

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A Must-Listen Interview about the Future of Software and other things…

September 28, 2007

I spotted an interesting post about an interview done with Eben Moglen, the general counsel for the Free Software Foundation. The title of the post was interesting enough, “The inevitability of free software”, however I’ve written before about how smart and passionate Eben Moglen is, and after listening to an mp3 of the interview, I have to say I was not disappointed.

While the interview was fascinating from start to finish, his views on the future of the software industry were a lot less rosey and idealistic than I was expecting. Of course he contends that the old models of proprietary software manufacture (like Microsoft) will die out, but he also predicts a landscape of freely available software being produced by millions (if not billions) young people the world over, not a relatively small group of high-minded rich programmers in the US destined for early retirement. The high-level, money making task it seems is not in the software production and design, but in the ‘editing’ of the newly commoditized software landscape. That is, taking the raw materials and forming practical and palatable solutions for corporate and consumer consumption. Adding value is the thing. He illustrates it with IBM. He says they are well on their way. They are commoditizing all the software they can and concentrating on their high margin/ high-value added items instead.

There has long been discussion about how free software developers are supposed to make money. Maybe they’re not. I remember an interview on TLLTS where Richard Stallman is  confronted with this question. And if I remember correctly, I think he said the same thing.. ‘maybe they’re not’.

And while this undoubtedly won’t sit well with many free software developers (or software developers in general), it may be the inevitable truth in the long run. Does the western world have some divine right to software technology production? Perhaps it (the western world) just has to move on to something else – something further up the chain.

I’ve been mulling over a prospective blog post in a similar vein for a month or two now. Maybe traditional journalists will go the way of the Dodo Bird. Maybe free software programmers are not supposed to make money doing it. As technology develops, certain careers fall by the wayside. What about secretaries? What about professional photographers? What about professional graphic designers? Are any of these things sacred? Maybe not. Maybe those people have to find other ways to make a living in the future. Time passes, things change, and being a stubborn optimist, I think we, as a whole, move forward. But I digress… that post is still simmering.. 😉

One final fascinating thing in the interview was Moglen’s distinction between functional and non-functional digitial goods. Functional meaning things like  data collections, algorithmic systems, blueprints, software and the like which can be judged on their functionality. Whereas non-functional digital goods are things like music, art, movies, literary works etc. whose evaluation is subjective in nature. He proposes that  the quality of functional commodities improves when no-one is excluded from producing it (eg. free and open-source software) so rights restrictions on these things inherently limits quality. However he states that non-functional digital good (music, art etc.) will not necessarily be better or worse depending on how they are limited in terms of rights – so whether or not these rights are limited makes little difference.

Now I’ll stop pretending to know all of the intricacies of these issues. Do yourself a favour and listen to it. It’s the most interesting 45 minutes I’ve spent in a long while.

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7th Son podcast now back from hiatus.. Finally!!

July 7, 2007

Almost forgot!

JC Hutchin’s fabulous audio trilogy 7th Son is finally back from hiatus. Book Three: Episode Zero is now up (and looks like it was posted on July 4th).

If you’re into listening to audiobooks, and you’re a fan of the great action/thriller/sci-fi genre, you owe it to yourself to subscribe. I was initially pulled into listening to it via a mention on Chess Griffins’ LinuxReality podcast and before long I was completely hooked. It’s very very well done and I recommend it highly.

[update: Episode 0 was just a recap of the story so far.. Good news though, JC has Episode 1 up on the site now, right on schedule. 😉 ]

Now that’s a keynote!

February 19, 2007

I listened to an inspiring keynote yesterday by the FSF’s General Counsel Eben Moglen. The recording is from the O’Reilly Open Source Conference. This is one of the best talks I’ve heard regarding the state of open source and licensing (or any other subject for that matter).

Besides being about a subject that fascinates me, I have to say: Damn! – is that guy ever well-spoken. Knowledgeable, passionate and inspiring, all in one go. If you’re into free and open source software, or just want to hear a great keynote, you owe yourself a listen.