We mentioned in a previous post that many stalwart FOSS projects are taking a different path. There is now another one —
The following software packages are intended to give you a first impression of what LibreOffice is. Currently we are in the process of combining the work of many contributors, and improving how to make the software available to our users. There are known issues, so please consider reading the release notes below for a list of known issues being worked on, the most obvious being the missing language packaging situation.
This beta release is not intended for production use! Be advised that the current beta might replace your OpenOffice.org installation.
Libre Office is a rebrand of the Open Office platform of office suites. Good thing? Bad thing? Well right now we can’t report. We will however have a review later in the month after some testing of the platform.
But here is what is on the score card –
Libre Office (Open Office)
MySql (Maria DB)
Illumos (Open Solaris)
… and more to come.
The question is what is driving this ‘fork in the road’ at this time? No simple answers as the triggers are diverse. Part of it is being driven by corporate consolidations that are bounding the teams who chafe at such things. Feeling unappreciated they fork off. Others are being driven by a seed change in the management of the current platform to something more lively. A prime example of a combo of the two is Maria DB. Founded by founder of MySql, Over time Michael Widenius has been able to assemble a new team. Many from the old team members at MySQL AB. But even still, the Maria DB will be a new thing even as it stays backward compatible with the old DB.
There is a lesson here too and why I highlighted Libre Office. FOSS transitioned to corporate ownership on the commercial side of things and that is when the paradigm started falling apart. Now the corporate ownership was good in one respect. It provided consistency to the funding for the teams. But its failings were that in many cases the acquisition pitted the FOSS product against legacy apps in the same corporate entity. Oracle being a prime example. Unlikely over time that MySQL survives in Oracles hands. Its why a alternate model is needed.
The choice? Well for Libre Office it was a foundation. This is also a model that Mozilla is based on. Independent ownership with a corporate like umbrella where teams can assemble. This will most likely be the future of FOSS. Corporations should take note of this model. There are advantages to them. The first one is sponsorship without the headaches of personnel management. The Fortune 10k should tap into this organizational style to acquire tuned applications off a base core. So long as commercial entities can work with a flexible delivery schedule the savings could be considerable for them in standard office suites and other applications. Second, their contributions rather than being a G&A expense can be turned into philanthropy. The foundations being tax exempt. Third, they can share the load among an industry group who tunes the needs to all the members of the group for mutual benefit.
Will the Great Fork continue? I would say yes. Those cases where FOSS is held captive by corporate entities that have commercial offerings; its a certainty. FOSS wants to be free of such conflicts. In other offerings where the motivation maybe only one of desire, the case is till pending. But the Fork rolls on.
The committee Brinkman, who had to see whether the Dutch government financially ailing newspaper industry needs support, advises an Internet tax. This enables innovative online initiatives funded.
The advice for setting up an internet supplement is now presented to the Board by Minister Ronald Plasterk of Education, as reported daily newspaper Setting a surcharge on each Internet would be levied, the consumer aware that news and news not free.
In the opinion of the committee Brinkman is also calling for the proceeds of a levy in Internet online initiatives with the regional media stabbing. Moreover, publishers want to invest in Internet projects, on the low VAT rate of 6 percent to pay.
The opinion also states that the program of public service broadcasting for all media available to come. This would for example, self-publishing TV guides can spend. The committee does not decide on the partial funding of public broadcasting from advertising, a thorn in the eye of publishers, who argue that the market distorts STER.
The Brinkman committee was established at the request of the Second Chamber. Previously the government did know that the annual 4 percent of STAR revenues in the Stimulation Press will collapse, and that these funds are intended for Internet initiatives.
Can you imagine? Tax one line of business to maintain the status quo in another line of business. Of course it makes sense if you are a politician. You now get cart blanche on the editorial positions of the papers as you control the purse strings of those entities. Pravda anyone?
A computer engineer has connected his home to social networking service Twitter, enabling it to Tweet him with updates about his residence’s electricity and water consumption.
Andy Stanford-Clark, 43, has fitted wireless sensors onto household items scattered around his 16th Century thatched cottage on the Isle of Wight, according to various online reports.
The sensors feed information to a central hub that, with the help of some specially written software, translates into words a sensor notification that, say, the bathroom heater has been turned on.
This is the best use I have seen for the Twitter service yet. Most readers know I think Twetters to humans turns all into Twits. Nor do I mean that in a flattering manner. But as a machine based protocol for sending/receiving queries it rocks.
I already have several client’s servers that send me critical messages as to they had to switch over battery power, cooling etc. So the question would be how hard is it to develop an API that handles the Twitter-X10 interface? If that was in place one could possibly build a remote control interface to the home right from a Twit enabled handheld. Possibly a two message format. First message with the intended action. Second with the security code to add that activates it to the hub’s queue.
Twitter really needs to up the message limit to say 2048 characters.
Shares of Blockbuster, which has sought to reposition itself in an increasingly digital world, fell over 23 percent to 87 cents a share after-hours, after closing at $1.14.
Keyes said Blockbuster continued to move aggressively with its kiosk initiative, hoping to have 3,000 standalone units by year-end.
Blockbuster rival, Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) recently cited growing competition from the rise of stand-alone kiosks.
Industry leader Redbox, owned by Coinstar (CSTR.O), has more than 12,000 locations, according to its Web site.
Keyes said he would consider closing some of Blockbuster’s 5,000 U.S. stores if kiosks ultimately proved successful.
“It’s possible,” he said. “The kiosks will be satellites and if we can replace two stores in close proximity, with one store and five kiosks, we think that can be favorable,” he said. “We’re in the process of that analysis and it will depend on the success and acceptance of the kiosks and the continued diversification of the stores,” he said.
So Blockbuster is not standing still and is expanding a kiosk operation of their own. The big question is — will being number 3 in a DVD distribution world be a winning strategy? In many cases if you are not the two top dogs it is not worth playing. We will see how it goes.
As it is right now RedBox has 12000 kiosks to Blockbusters 3000. RedBox is not standing still either and expanding like a rocket. The advantage for RedBox is that they are a sub of Coinstar. So I would expect that collocations and service by the same personnel will occur cutting RedBox’s costs of operation. The issue for this whole industry — RedBox, BlockBuster, NetFlix, ISP’s — is that video viewing has to be close to saturation. Americans have only so much free time to use viewing videos. So if we are not there now, we will be soon, then it will be a race to the bottom on pricing to deliver DVD content.
Now it would seem that the ISP’s with just in time viewing would have the advantage. But maybe not. If you look at purchase patterns, most food is bought Thursday/Friday. So if the emporium is served by a RedBox the customer has a choice. Spend $1 with a short return trip tomorrow. Or, spend $2.99-3.99 to do an ondemand viewing. Or do a ‘double feature’ for the same price as the ISP is offering for one. Advantage I believe is to the Kiosk.
But for the viewing consumer this is all good news. The costs pressures will be forcing distribution channels to realign costs. Nor will Hollyweird go unscathed.
There has been a drumbeat over the last couple of years than much content, years old has value if if not many sales. That the ‘longtail’ in the sales cycle have more to offer as a business model than what is sold in the first two years. Last year some economists tested that theory and found it did not hold and that most sales occurred at the ‘head’. –
This really isn’t the upbeat fairy tale message Anderson has spent four years selling on the conference circuit. However, as he took his “message” to Davos and beyond, the Long Tail has gradually developed into a ‘Policy Based Evidence Making’. Having convinced himself of the truth of his hypothesis by looking at one US music service, Anderson widened his search for facts that might fit his theory. But he didn’t examine the numbers closely or critically enough, say the economists.
“You need to consider much more than just some flimsy volume-based Rhapsody data if you’re going to say the world’s changed,” says Page. “For instance, understanding value both in terms of retail spend and then marginal profitability to the artist and songwriter would have been a logical extension”
In another surprise, 80 per cent of the revenue came from 52,000 songs. What’s eye-catching about the number? Well, the typical inventory of a conventional high street record store was around 4,000 CDs. Or … around 52,000 songs.
But that has import to the music business —
“If sellers sell it, it might never be bought. But if the swappers offer it, at least one person will likely take it,” the authors point out.
Polls suggest many music fans would gladly pay for such a service. The University of Hertfordshire last year found over 80 per cent interested in voluntarily paying for services which offered exchanges of sound recordings, and a survey of music fans in Sweden – home of The Pirate Bay – found that over 86 per cent would cough up: over half the sample would pay up to £12 a month.
The world’s first voluntary P2P service was due this spring from UK cable giant Virgin, but the ISP suspended the initiative late in the day due to record company nervousness.
So what’s the uptake? (more…)
Although still in beta, the Live TV service is designed to let you watch a selection of TV channels, including One, Two and BBC News, live over a Wi-Fi connection. It also supports several radio stations, including Radio 1, 2 and 4.
There’s no need to install any applications prior to watching to any of the channels, just “click and go”, the BBC said.
Currently the service only works over a Wi-Fi connection and broadcasts a 176 x 144 image, but the broadcaster hopes to extend Live TV out to 3G networks and to add more channels during the coming months.
Live TV is thought to work with a selection of smartphones, including the Android G1 and Nokia N Series devices. Register Hardware tried to access Live TV using an iPhone, the service wouldn’t work.
An interesting idea. Though you know if I were a dept head leading a bunch of 20-somethings I might want to have the CIO hand me a wireless traffic report every quarter. Why have someone on staff that is watching the latest on the BBC during work hours?