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Results 1-20 of 21 for Philip H. Albert.
OPINION

License Proliferation: When More is Less

For open-source software developers, coding is the easy part. Trying to find the right open-source license is where things get painful. It's like standing in line at Starbucks trying to decide whether to buy latte or mocha. Soy milk or regular? Tall or grande? Don't even get me started on ice c...

OPINION

Innovation: Not Just for Products Anymore

It's good to be the king. Pack leaders get to set the pace, choose which trail to take and be the first in line when everyone arrives. Of course, it is important for pack leaders to constantly pay attention to the pack. Being in front often means being the last one to notice when the pack takes off...

OPINION

No Really, Lower the Volume Already

Sometimes you can't win for trying. Like when you politely ask the kid sitting next to you on the subway who is playing his music a little loud to please turn it down. Just to be contrary, he responds by cranking it up even more. In my March 15 column, Lowering the Volume in the Software Patent Deba...

OPINION

Lowering the Volume in the Software Patent Debate

The debate over software patents is getting dramatic. For some, more than just lines of code are at stake. Rather, it is nothing less than freedom itself. As in the apocalyptic "Lord of the Rings trilogy," the armies prepare for war. The battle cry from Free Software Foundation Europe sounds: "Join...

OPINION

Is the GPL OK for DNA?

Duct tape is the world's most versatile invention. It makes ducts airtight, holds car parts together, patches holes in canoes and keeps rock musicians from tripping over wires onstage. It rips easily, holds firm even underwater and provides a quick fix for almost any emergency. But sometimes, duc...

OPINION

Bloggers’ Bill of Rights Has No Legs

Ellen Simonetti is a former Delta Airlines flight attendant who writes a Web log called the "Queen of the Sky." She is a "former" flight attendant because Delta fired her after she posted pictures of herself in uniform showing off her legs while lying across a row of seats in a Delta plane. Even th...

OPINION

OpenSolaris: Beyond the Rhetoric

Large patent portfolio owners seem to be in a particularly generous mood these days. A few weeks after IBM announced it was giving away 500 patents, Sun jumped on the bandwagon by announcing that it is releasing more than 1,600 patents associated with the Solaris OS, a move they describe as eclipsin...

OPINION

An Uncommon Commons

Last week's announcement that Big Blue was giving away patents was viewed as uncommonly good news in open source circles. When IBM decided to contribute 500 of its patents to a "patent commons" for the benefit of open-source software developers and end users, it conjured up visions of a city commons...

OPINION

Painting by Numbers with Paint.NET

It's a new rear, time for focusing on those New Year's resolutions. One of my resolutions was to spend more time outdoors, but it's the rainy season so I'm stuck indoors for now. In that case, I decided to put my cool new presents to good use. I took to the Web to research photo manipulation soft...

BEST OF ECT NEWS

GPL Rules: Lessons from the Sandbox

Robert Fulghum's essay, "All I Really Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten," teaches us that we can learn some valuable lessons from the sandbox: Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don't take things that aren't yours. If ...

OPINION

Open Source: Predicting a Happy New Year

From sports to gossip to business, it is a time-honored New Year's tradition for columnists to prognosticate on what we can expect in the coming year. Tabloids tell us which celebrity marriages will break up, where aliens will appear next, and what famous personalities will dominate the news. Fort...

OPINION

All I Want for Christmas Is To Own the Experience

Holiday shopping sure has changed. This year, my shopping list includes all things digital -- a TiVo box, some DVDs, perhaps even a digital camera. A generation ago, consumer goods did not come with microprocessors. Back then, once you bought something, you owned it. You could use it however you ...

OPINION

Just When I Had It All Figured Out

Every four years, the fall sport becomes following U.S. presidential politics. As any sports fan knows, you have to know the lingo to understand the talking heads. I take politics seriously, so after hearing the expressions "red-state" and "blue-state," I did my research and learned that red is th...

OPINION

Don’t Be Cruel: The Microsoft Protocol License Agreement

When Elvis sang "Don't be Cruel," he certainly wasn't referring to contracts. But contracts, like love affairs and other personal relationships, can often make the parties involved behave harshly to each other. When the rivalry involves money, as the old saying goes, business is business. I have s...

Dual Licensing: Having Your Cake and Eating It Too

Back in 1976, Bill Gates wrote an open letter to hobbyists. He asked, "Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? What hobbyist can put three years into programming, finding all the bugs, documenting his product, and distribute it for free?" Today, Gates has to eat those words because the...

OPINION

Stop ‘Forking Around’ with Software Labels

While I was handing out candy on Halloween, a trick-or-treater came to the door dressed as an open-source project. There was code everywhere and volunteer contributors were coming out of his ears. It was a clever costume, but what made it really scary was the giant fork he was carrying. Open-sourc...

OPINION

A Vote for Open-Source Voting Machines

Richard Stallman, president of the Free Software Foundation, started a revolution over printer drivers. According to the official history, he couldn't get permission or source code to modify a printer driver to suit his needs, so he wrote the General Public License (GPL) and a compiler. Eventually,...

OPINION

Software Terminology: What’s in a Name?

I love life and I love having choices. I guess you can say I am pro-life and pro-choice. Unfortunately, for most people those labels represent the opposing sides of a very divisive issue. The curious thing is that these terms are not really descriptive of the issue at all. In fact, unless you know...

Novell’s Patent Defense: Maginot Line or Sound Legal Strategy?

France built the Maginot Line in the 1930s, a supposedly impenetrable state-of-the-art defense system to protect the country from her long time enemy, Germany. It was meant to prevent a German invasion, but the Germans simply went around it, dealing the French a humiliating defeat in the spring of ...

Lessons from the Sandbox

Robert Fulghum's essay, "All I Really Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten," teaches us that we can learn some valuable lessons from the sandbox: Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don't take things that aren't yours. If ...

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