Is government open source code we can patch?
That's the question raised by Britt Blaser in “Oh, if only government went in for an open source make-over…”. It's also one suggested indirectly by Phil Hughes in Our Internet.
Democracy is by nature "our government". The open source twist on that we put it together and can hack improvements to it. Think of elected officials as committers and maintainers and you start go get the idea.
The analogy isn't perfect, because by nature open source code is purely practical: it has to work. While government often does not. All government is buggy. In the worst cases it crashes outright and is replaced or supplemented by corrupt alternatives.
But government and governance are not the same things. A lot of governance takes place outside of government, in society. What Britt's suggesting is an open source model of governance, facilitated by code, that directly engages citizens in governance. What Phil's suggesting is building or rebuilding the Internet on the model Bob Frankston suggests in my Interview with him in the current issue of Linux Journal. That model is one not dependent on mainframe-like proprietary networks by phone and cable carriers that add the Internet as "a service", but instead depends on individuals and small groups connecting to each other, and then out to the world by any means available, which might or might not include those carriers.
I have long believed that there is far more business, especially for carriers, to be found in bets on abundance than in bets on scarcity. In other words, there are non-monopolistic advantages to incumbency that far exceed the monopolistic ones.
I bring this up for two reasons.
First, individual and community-built networks will eventually encounter big carriers that own backbones as well as "last mile" CFR (copper, fiber and radios). When that happens, we need to be able to show business as well as social advantages of wide-openness and ubiquitous connectivity.
Second, those carriers are part of what Bob calls the Regulatorium -- a combination of regulated enterprise and governance in which the latter tends to control the former. We can work around it up to a point. Or we can hack it.
We did it with code. Now let's do it with connections.
Doc Searls is Senior Editor of Linux Journal
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.View Now!
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- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Google's SwiftShader Released
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- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide