I arrived in Vancouver late this afternoon and saw something, which entirely makes sense, that caught my attention and had me chuckling to myself. The airport has a vending machine near the exit to ground transportation that sells umbrellas for $5 each. It appears to work like a pop or soda machine--money in, and the little screw forces the brolly out of the shelf it sits on for retrieval in a door at the bottom of the machine.
Creative Commons is a licensing scheme that protects your copyright, but allows others to make use of your creative work. I strongly support Creative Commons licensing but also respect the right of creators to control how what they create is used. Creative Commons is sort of like open source but for creative works like music, writing, and visual art. I suppose it could be applied to code as well, as code is copyright when it is put into some kind of permanent form.
Creative Commons reflects the increasingly open nature of the Internet. You will find that many images on Flickr operate under some flavour of Creative Commons. On Revver, you must submit work under creative commons as you agree that others may syndicate your video.
When IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m on the road, broadband matters. I like to work in my hotel roomÃ¢â‚¬â€business centres suck for so many reasons. I use Skype as a soft phone to keep in touch with programmers, colleagues at work, and my family. Within North America it is free to make calls using Skype.
Why do I dislike business centres?
2) They can be non-private
3) You are stuck using their software if no open Internet connections are provided
So many of the systems I work with are Internet based allowing me to work pretty much anywhere I happen to be, but I am STUCK if I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have an Internet connection, and dialup just doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t cut it.
The power of Open Source is that of thousands of programmers producing some pretty amazing products for free. Some of my favourite open source packages includeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Linux (duh!) Operating System
PHProjekt Project Management
Bugzilla Bug Management
VideoLan Client Video Client
RAR Expander Expansion Software
Audacity Audio Capture Tool
In some ways this makes open source ideal for non-profits. The tools donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t cost much of anything but time. My advice to non-profits thinking about using open source is to think about the cost of deployment. While the software doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t cost anything, learning to use it or install it can be a bear. It is often worth the cost to have an Ã¢â‚¬Å“expertÃ¢â‚¬Â teach you or work with you to ensure deployment goes smoothly.
I started thinking about my presence on the Web today and I realised that I am approaching a decade of having a personal Web presence. When I started messing around on the Web in 1995 Mosaic was the browser of choice.
So, I've been blogging on Blogger for 808 days today. My first post indicated that I would be using the blog predominantly to post pictures of my art and photos. What started as an attempt to generate interest in my work has morphed into a blending of how the arts non-profit world can make use of Internet technologies and a fair bit of discourse on how technologies can/should direct aspects of arts policy-making.
The Committee that was reviewing net neutrality this past year failed to pass the legislation onto the legislative houses in a tie vote. This was great news for people who believe that the Internet should remain a level playing field.
While the fun was going on, I was encouraging everybody I could to call, email, fax their Representatives and let them know that they support a flat Internet.
With both the house and the senate in Democratic hands, it seems likely that this issue should go away. The Democrats now control key committees and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) it seems will be the the committee chair person for the Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee while John Dingell of Michigan will take the place of Ted Stevens on the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Sometime back I posted my thoughts on pushing an arts agenda in our current political environment. Things have changed somewhat in the last few days. In some ways for the better, and some ways for the worse.
First off many of the Republicans who have been ousted were moderates. Lincoln Chafee from Rhode Island is more liberal than many Democrats and I have mixed feelings seeing him go. He is pro-choice and pro gay rights. In fact, Chafee has indicated that he may not stay with the Grand Old Party. This means, in many cases, that the Republican side of the equation is even more conservative than ever. However, many highly moderate Dems have been elected--ones that show quite conservative bents.