Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
The indented, italicized sections below appear as annotations to the Open Source Definition (OSD) and are not a part of the OSD. A plain version of the OSD without annotations can be found here.
Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code. The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria:
1. Free Redistribution
The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.
Rationale: By constraining the license to require free redistribution, we eliminate the temptation to throw away many long-term gains in order to make a few short-term sales dollars. If we didn't do this, there would be lots of pressure for cooperators to defect.
2. Source Code
The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form. Where some form of a product is not distributed with source code, there must be a well-publicized means of obtaining the source code for no more than a reasonable reproduction cost preferably, downloading via the Internet without charge. The source code must be the preferred form in which a programmer would modify the program. Deliberately obfuscated source code is not allowed. Intermediate forms such as the output of a preprocessor or translator are not allowed.
Rationale: We require access to un-obfuscated source code because you can't evolve programs without modifying them. Since our purpose is to make evolution easy, we require that modification be made easy.
3. Derived Works
The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software.
Rationale: The mere ability to read source isn't enough to support independent peer review and rapid evolutionary selection. For rapid evolution to happen, people need to be able to experiment with and redistribute modifications.
4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code
The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form only if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source code. The license may require derived works to carry a different name or version number from the original software.
Rationale: Encouraging lots of improvement is a good thing, but users have a right to know who is responsible for the software they are using. Authors and maintainers have reciprocal right to know what they're being asked to support and protect their reputations.
Accordingly, an open-source license must guarantee that source be readily available, but may require that it be distributed as pristine base sources plus patches. In this way, "unofficial" changes can be made available but readily distinguished from the base source.
5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.
Rationale: In order to get the maximum benefit from the process, the maximum diversity of persons and groups should be equally eligible to contribute to open sources. Therefore we forbid any open-source license from locking anybody out of the process.
Some countries, including the United States, have export restrictions for certain types of software. An OSD-conformant license may warn licensees of applicable restrictions and remind them that they are obliged to obey the law; however, it may not incorporate such restrictions itself.
6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor
The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.
Rationale: The major intention of this clause is to prohibit license traps that prevent open source from being used commercially. We want commercial users to join our community, not feel excluded from it.
7. Distribution of License
The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties.
Rationale: This clause is intended to forbid closing up software by indirect means such as requiring a non-disclosure agreement.
8. License Must Not Be Specific to a Product
The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's being part of a particular software distribution. If the program is extracted from that distribution and used or distributed within the terms of the program's license, all parties to whom the program is redistributed should have the same rights as those that are granted in conjunction with the original software distribution.
Rationale: This clause forecloses yet another class of license traps.
9. License Must Not Restrict Other Software
The license must not place restrictions on other software that is distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the license must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium must be open-source software.
Rationale: Distributors of open-source software have the right to make their own choices about their own software.
Yes, the GPL is conformant with this requirement. Software linked with GPLed libraries only inherits the GPL if it forms a single work, not any software with which they are merely distributed.
10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral
No provision of the license may be predicated on any individual technology or style of interface.
Rationale: This provision is aimed specifically at licenses which require an explicit gesture of assent in order to establish a contract between licensor and licensee. Provisions mandating so-called "click-wrap" may conflict with important methods of software distribution such as FTP download, CD-ROM anthologies, and web mirroring; such provisions may also hinder code re-use. Conformant licenses must allow for the possibility that (a) redistribution of the software will take place over non-Web channels that do not support click-wrapping of the download, and that (b) the covered code (or re-used portions of covered code) may run in a non-GUI environment that cannot support popup dialogues.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
America in the Time of Empire
Posted on Nov 26, 2007
This column was originally published by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
All great empires and nations decay from within. By the time they hobble off the world stage, overrun by the hordes at the gates or vanishing quietly into the pages of history books, what made them successful and powerful no longer has relevance. This rot takes place over decades, as with the Soviet Union, or, even longer, as with the Roman, Ottoman or Austro-Hungarian empires. It is often imperceptible.
Dying empires cling until the very end to the outward trappings of power. They mask their weakness behind a costly and technologically advanced military. They pursue increasingly unrealistic imperial ambitions. They stifle dissent with efficient and often ruthless mechanisms of control. They lose the capacity for empathy, which allows them to see themselves through the eyes of others, to create a world of accommodation rather than strife. The creeds and noble ideals of the nation become empty cliches, used to justify acts of greater plunder, corruption and violence. By the end, there is only a raw lust for power and few willing to confront it.
The most damning indicators of national decline are upon us. We have watched an oligarchy rise to take economic and political power. The top 1 percent of the population has amassed more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined, creating economic disparities unseen since the Depression. If Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes president, we will see the presidency controlled by two families for the last 24 years.
Massive debt, much of it in the hands of the Chinese, keeps piling up as we fund absurd imperial projects and useless foreign wars. Democratic freedoms are diminished in the name of national security. And the erosion of basic services, from education to health care to public housing, has left tens of millions of citizens in despair. The displacement of genuine debate and civil and political discourse with the noise and glitter of public spectacle and entertainment has left us ignorant of the outside world, and blind to how it perceives us. We are fed trivia and celebrity gossip in place of news.
An increasing number of voices, especially within the military, are speaking to this stark deterioration. They describe a political class that no longer knows how to separate personal gain from the common good, a class driving the nation into the ground.
“There has been a glaring and unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders,” retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the former commander of forces in Iraq, recently told the New York Times, adding that civilian officials have been “derelict in their duties” and guilty of a “lust for power.”
The American working class, once the most prosperous on Earth, has been politically disempowered, impoverished and abandoned. Manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas. State and federal assistance programs have been slashed. The corporations, those that orchestrated the flight of jobs and the abolishment of workers’ rights, control every federal agency in Washington, including the Department of Labor. They have dismantled the regulations that had made the country’s managed capitalism a success for ordinary men and women. The Democratic and Republican Parties now take corporate money and do the bidding of corporate interests.
Philadelphia is a textbook example. The city has seen a precipitous decline in manufacturing jobs, jobs that allowed households to live comfortably on one salary. The city had 35 percent of its workforce employed in the manufacturing sector in 1950, perhaps the zenith of the American empire. Thirty years later, this had fallen to 20 percent. Today it is 8.8 percent. Commensurate jobs, jobs that offer benefits, health care and most important enough money to provide hope for the future, no longer exist. The former manufacturing centers from Flint, Mich., to Youngstown, Ohio, are open sores, testaments to a growing internal collapse.
The United States has gone from being the world’s largest creditor to its largest debtor. As of September 2006, the country was, for the first time in a century, paying out more than it received in investments. Trillions of dollars go into defense while the nation’s infrastructure, from levees in New Orleans to highway bridges in Minnesota, collapses. We spend almost as much on military power as the rest of the world combined, while Social Security and Medicare entitlements are jeopardized because of huge deficits. Money is available for war, but not for the simple necessities of daily life.
Nothing makes these diseased priorities more starkly clear than what the White House did last week. On the same day, Tuesday, President Bush vetoed a domestic spending bill for education, job training and health programs, yet signed another bill giving the Pentagon about $471 billion for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. All this in the shadow of a Joint Economic Committee report suggesting that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been twice as expensive than previously imagined, almost $1.5 trillion.
The decision to measure the strength of the state in military terms is fatal. It leads to a growing cynicism among a disenchanted citizenry and a Hobbesian ethic of individual gain at the expense of everyone else. Few want to fight and die for a Halliburton or an Exxon. This is why we do not have a draft. It is why taxes have not been raised and we borrow to fund the war. It is why the state has organized, and spends billions to maintain, a mercenary army in Iraq. We leave the fighting and dying mostly to our poor and hired killers. No nationwide sacrifices are required. We will worry about it later.
It all amounts to a tacit complicity on the part of a passive population. This permits the oligarchy to squander capital and lives. It creates a world where we speak exclusively in the language of violence. It has plunged us into an endless cycle of war and conflict that is draining away the vitality, resources and promise of the nation.
It signals the twilight of our empire.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Did you know that whenever you whisper, "I'm sorry..." to someone quietly in your mind, Daniel, someone over here sheds a tear and healing begins?
Did you know that whenever you whisper, "Can I help you..." to someone quietly in your mind, someone over here sheds a tear and an army of angels are sent?
And, did you know that whenever you whisper, "I love you..." to someone quietly in your mind, someone over here sheds a tear, healing begins, an army of angels are sent, and 10,000 bells are rung?
Actually, you even have your own marching band that follows you everywhere....
I love you,
In a recent interview with New Scientist when asked 'Assuming you can make synthetic bacteria, what will you do with them?' Venter replied
'Over the next 20 years, synthetic genomics is going to become the standard for making anything. The chemical industry will depend on it. Hopefully, a large part of the energy industry will depend on it. We really need to find an alternative to taking carbon out of the ground, burning it, and putting it into the atmosphere. That is the single biggest contribution I could make.'
Furthermore it suggests that one of the main purposes for creating synthetic bacteria would be to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels. (Source: New Scientist Issue 2626 Pg 57.)
Pretty good, eh?
Friday, November 2, 2007
Our government excels at doing its really bad stuff out in the open. They break laws in order to spy on citizens, and refuse to acknowledge objections from lawmakers or justice. They take taxpayers money and give it to the companies they run. They acknowledge the many billions of dollars that go missing, and offer not even a shrug. They put the people who formerly lobbied on behalf of industries in positions running the agencies that are supposed to be regulating them.
By looking under the rug for what isn’t even there, we neglect the horror show that is in plain view. In the process, we make it even easier for the criminals running our government to perpetuate their illegal, unethical and un-American activities.
In fact, the most logical conclusion I can draw from the existing evidence is that 9-11 theorists are themselves covert government operatives, dedicated to confusing the public, distracting activists from their tasks, equating all dissent with the lunatic fringe, and provoking the counterculture’s misplaced belief in the competency of its foes.
That’s the real conspiracy.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Five years after the attacks, 9/11 conspiracism has now penetrated deep into the American left. It is also widespread on the libertarian and populist right, but that is scarcely surprising, since the American populist right instinctively mistrusts government to a far greater degree than the left, and matches conspiracies to its demon of preference, whether the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Black Helicopters or the Jews.
These days a dwindling number of leftists learn their political economy from Marx via the small, mostly Trotskyist groupuscules. Into the theoretical and strategic void has crept a diffuse, peripatic conspiracist view of the world that tends to locate ruling class devilry not in the crises of capital accumulation, or the falling rate of profit, or inter-imperial competition, but in locale (the Bohemian Grove, Bilderberg, Ditchley, Davos) or supposedly "rogue" agencies, with the CIA still at the head of the list. The 9/11 "conspiracy", or "inside job", is the Summa of all this foolishness.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
All jokes aside, politicians and world leaders should embrace public policies which are environmentally sustainable. Public intellectual David Suzuki depicts a bleak picture for humanity's future if we don't adapt:
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Those at the very top have seen their incomes double in the past two decades. The share of incomes going to the top 1% has soared – rising from 8.5% in 1982 to 12.2% in 2004 (a 43% increase in their piece of the pie). The higher up the income spectrum you go, the better the story gets.Yalnizyan continues:
The average family raising children is clocking in 200 hours more a year than a decade ago...Still, as the numbers show, the vast majority of people are just pedaling faster to stay put.Who is benefiting from the working classes extra work? The Rich. This injustice can be rectified by increasing income tax and redistribute income. The rich could definitely pay for a %4o increase in the welfare rates. The rich might additionally be able to pay for free tuition for all Canadian university and college students.
Monday, May 28, 2007
$44.00. Logitech X 230 - PC multimedia speaker system - 32 Watt (total) (970123-1403)
$10.00 . ZALMAN High Sensitivity Headphone Microphone (ZM-MIC1)
Saturday, May 26, 2007
$149. OCZ Performance 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
$149. OCZ Performance 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
$145. AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Toledo 2.2GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket 939 Processor - OEM