Business

5 tips for creating better mobile interfaces for the web

smartphones

The mobile revolution has changed user expectations of how they interact with different products. Meeting these changed expectations requires a huge amount of re-thinking from user experience (UX) designers. Pascal Mangold, CEO of Magnolia, recently explored this trend in an article on how the mobile revolution is challenging open source product interfaces and explained how Magnolia CMS, an open-source enterprise-grade Java Content Management System, redesigned its web-based interface to give its users an innovative new "driven by touch" content management experience.

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Journalist creates open source solution to extract data from PDFs

open up book

A group of journalists are announcing the launch of their breakthrough open source solution for the problem many writers and journalists have of how to take data in PDFs or images and easily convert it to a spreadsheet or other usable format. » Read more

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The impact of open source on business and social good

open nature of business

I vividly remember the time when my early opinions about open source software were built around questions that made natural (and perfect) sense to me at that point in my life, like: "Why would someone sell a software product for free?" and "Why should anyone participate in a project that does not reap financial rewards?" These formed the basis of my rationale. » Read more

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Dancing E startup aimed at knowledge sharing for all

lightning talk

What do 16th century Incas, 18th century shipyards and 21st century professionals have in common? Phil Verghis describes an issue that has plagued civilizations and industries throughout history: inadequate access to lessons already learned. We all understand the importance of sharing knowledge, so why is it difficult for us to implement it into our daily business practice?

Dancing E is a startup aimed at » Read more

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Get your business in open source shape

Starting off on the right foot

It should not surprise you that year after year the most common resolution people make is a combination of lose weight, eat healthier, and get in better shape. This, along with my own resolutions, prompted me to think about what it means to get a company in open source shape.

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Interview with Jenn Karson, co-founder of Vermont Makers

5 questions with

SparkFun’s Department of Education engages in educational outreach all over the country, and we’re always impressed and excited when we run into people and organizations as enthusiastic about electronics as we are. Over the past few years we’ve met a lot of people involved in the maker movement on the east coast, and Vermont continues to stand out as a state invested in furthering STEAM and electronics education in new ways. (In fact, Vermont’s Department of Education recently instituted a grant structure that will give SparkFun Inventor Kits to Career and Technical Education Centers around the state to provide preliminary Arduino training for FIRST Robotics teams!)

One of our friends in Vermont is Jenn Karson, who is on the forefront of the maker and open source movements there, and has worked with SparkFun on several educational endeavors, including the Champlain Mini Maker Faire. We recently caught up with her to talk about her experiences.

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Could open source build a jetliner?

open source jet

I know this might sound like an odd question. It first came up in a conversation I had with Gary Hamel, the eminent business thinker and one of the first people to recognize the importance of distributed co-creation and that it will change management in the 21st century. We were discussing how the power of participation could replace traditional management for purposes of coordination and what it's limits might be. We ended up using the analogy of building a jetliner as our best example of where tight coordination is required. This question has been nagging on my mind ever since. » Read more

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How the mobile revolution is challenging open source user interfaces

mobile mashup

In the past couple of years, a powerful paradigm shift has occurred in user experience (UX) design. UX designers used to focus on desktop users but now, mobile devices and mobile users are at the center of attention. The evidence for the importance of this paradigm shift is stifling: Morgan Stanley predicts that by 2014, mobile users will exceed desktop users. Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt says that "if you don’t have a mobile strategy, you don’t have a future strategy."

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How open source is driving the future of cloud computing

open source cloud computing

In 1998, Amartya Sen was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics. The lecture he gave, titled "The Possibility of Social Choice," succinctly captured both the subject of his work (generalizing economic theory to cover social groups of disparate actors rather than just individuals or corporations) and his irrepressible sense of humor (because the generalization applied to Arrow's Impossibility Theorem). Sen's crucial insight (for me) is this (emphasis mine):

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2012: What a year for Linux

Bubble hands

Global research and advisory firm, Forrester, said, "The explosion in open source projects in the HTML, mobile, cloud and big data spaces such as Android, jQuery, PhoneGap, Sencha, Hadoop and Cordova are driving a new model and a golden age of 'app' development."

Clearly, Linux had a great year—as did their many dedicated developers, communities, fans, and users.  » Read more

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