software

Which office suite do you use?

open source software for the office

Office software suites offer a host of tools to help you get things done: email, a word processor, notepads, spreadsheets, as well as, presentation, finance, and publisher applications.

Which office suite was your first? Do you love or hate the one you're using now? From your experierce, how would you compare and contrast a proprietary suite to a free and open source one?

If you don't use a suite of office apps, all packaged nicely together, what tools to do you use in tandem to get work done? Would you say it's just as nice or better?

 

 

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Make something amazing on the web during Mozilla's 2013 Maker Party

Books to learn how to use the web

Think back to the first thing you created on the web. For me, it was making a Geocities homepage when I was a teenager (Hollywood, represent). I was amazed that by writing HTML, I could make images of the Green Bay Packers and my favorite PEZ dispensers appear on a web site with my witty commentary.

My self-taught childhood HTML skills laid the foundation for my life on the web. Instead of merely consuming information online, I was armed at an early age with the basic skills needed to create content myself. » Read more

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Are you open source enough?

Are you open source enough?

Is your project open source enough? Are you? Are you doing enough for your communities? Accusations like these are getting thrown around more and more, often in the simple form, "X isn't really open." It's a question we've even asked ourselves from time to time when we post stories on opensource.com—is this a real example of openness? But what is "open enough?" And does it really matter? » Read more

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Abolishing patents: Too soon or too late?

patent stop sign

"Patents are here to stay." This is the sort of statement that makes me uneasy. I guess in the 17th century the common wisdom was "slavery is here to stay." In the 18th century giving voting rights to women seemed absurd and foreseeing open borders between France and German was crazy talk in 1945. At a certain point, fortunately, those things changed for the better. Is it time to change the common wisdom on patents as well? Is the time ripe—will it ever be?—to utter the frightening word abolition? I do not have the privilege to know the answer, but I regard the question as a legitimate one. According to some patent experts, however, questioning the very existence of patents seems blasphemous. » Read more

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The open source advantage: Executives learn how to stay competitive

open source why

Let's say you're a big company in a competitive industry. One who innovates and succeeds by creating software. Not extending COTS, not adapting existing code. Generating fresh, new code, at your full expense. The value the company receives by investing in the creation of that software is competitive advantage, sometimes known as the profit-motive.

You’re an executive at this company. Creating the software was your idea. You are responsible for the ROI calculations that got the whole thing off the ground. » Read more

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How open source is outliving the hype 13 years later

open source in the stars

Open source as a buzzword has lost much of its buzz. It’s not quite as dead as "SOA," but it’s definitely been supplanted by today’s favorites: the Cloud, Mobile, and Big Data. Open source's demise as a hype label was inevitable—it’s hard to fake giving away your software for free (although there were more than a few companies over the years that were called out for being "faux-open source" with their freemium models or commercial licenses to the code). 
Thankfully, "open source" has outlived the hype to provide real value to the industry and to customers.

» Read more

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Could the Girl Scouts position themselves as a tech giant?

education universe

Now that full-fledged computers are approaching the size of a USB Flash drive and are being sold for less than $75, my interest in designing a Linux computer of my own has been re-awakened.

As an educator, I would stock that computer full of free creativity and learning software, logic puzzle games, tutorial screencasts, engaging multimedia and artwork created with open source software. Naturally, I would use Linux as the operating system for that computer. » Read more

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How software patents are delaying the future

software patents

This fall, I went to Amsterdam to talk about "How Software Patents Are Delaying The Future", on a discussion panel organised by the European Patent Office. The other people on the panel were patent attorney Simon Davies, and Ioannis Bozas, a patent examiner at the EPO. The panel was moderated by James Nurton of Managing IP. Despite our very different views on the subject, we had very friendly and informative conversations before, during, and after the panel.

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The case for digital literacy and open source in classrooms

learn

Municipalities across America should be working to bring open source educational tools to schoolchildren so they will have the necessary digital literacy skills to tap into their creativity and imagination, or even to provide them with valuable future life and workforce skills. And the case of the Feoffees of the Grammar School in Ipswich, Massachusetts—the oldest charitable trust in America—illustrates this point well. 

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Should software patents be abolished?

patent struggle

We talk a lot about what might be done to fix the problems of software patents, but not much about abolishing them. Abolition seems well-nigh impossible, given current economic and political realities. Serious economists and respected financial institutions don’t usually discuss it publicly. Thus, I was surprised when I finally got around to reading a recent working paper published last month under the auspices of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis that argued broadly for patent abolition position.

» Read more

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