Our very own Tim McNamara of Rust in Action fame has penned a short piece on Contributing to the Commons in 2020. In it he mentions Clay Shirky describing a vision of how 'companies that embraced sharing and collaboration would win'. Yeah, well, not so much it seems. On the plus side, while these large companies 'use our own interests against us', thanks to open source you can still contribute in your own way as Tim outlines.
Some interesting news from a small US based Financial Services organisation... Rather than just pay a US$2 mill. bill for Oracle licenses they believed they weren't getting value for, they've invested in a move to MariaDB Database as a Service, SkySQL. That kind of annual Oracle license charge puts them in the 'Very Large Business or Govt. Dept. in New Zealand' category. The next question of course is if they can do it, why can't the Govt. or Big Business NZ do it as well?
A new election cycle is a good time to take stock of what has happened and what we might decide to do. In New Zealand we have a centre-left Government with a new set of technology Ministers… Megan Woods with Science, Research and Innovation and David Clark with Digital Economy and Communication.
Colour me gobsmacked. I've not heard anything like that since Microsoft's "Linux is a cancer" days nearly 20 years ago but no, here I am at a presentation by a security specialist and there it is writ large on the screen... well we can't let that go unchallenged can we :-)
I know, I know, it's difficult to do sometimes with peer pressure or FOMO being such relentless forces in our lives today... but that in itself is part of the problem and manifests itself in some truly fringe thinking being accepted as mainstream... Food for thought comes in the form of two articles, one about the US DoJ AntiTrust case against Google and the other an opinion piece in The Register about preventing the abuses the web giants of today partake in.
Hold my beer, as some might say... especially those that work at The Register. There is a nice piece written by Matthew Hughes in their 'Personal Tech' section on how to get started with a refurbished laptop of some sort or another running our favourite OS.
One of the things that has always mystified me is the mad rush to 'the cloud' for Microsoft Office products... they are pretty large cyber attack vectors when they are running on your PC and there is no reason to think they won't continue to be when they are in 'the cloud'... except you will no longer have control over them at all!
In the past New Zealand has shown great foresight and leadership in the world by staying true to its national ethos, even at the cost of breaking from international conventions. From recognising a woman's right to vote and denying US nuclear powered warships the right to transit, NZ has shown the willingness to make a principled stand, even if doing so was seen by many as risky. These decisions have proven to be some of our best moments, and have helped to shape our national pride and culture. New Zealand again has an opportunity to make a principled stand.