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Bill Longstaff: Bravo to Elon Musk, patent-buster

Inventor/entrepreneur/engineer/investor Elon Musk recently announced he was giving away all the patents on Tesla Motor’s electric car technology, allowing anyone, competitors included, to use them. Musk, CEO and product architect for the company (for which he receives a salary of a dollar a year), made the announcement last week, commenting, “We believe that Tesla, other . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Bravo to Elon Musk, patent-buster

eaves.ca: Government Procurement Failure: BC Ministry of Education Case Study

Apologies for the lack of posts. I’ve been in business mode – both helping a number of organizations I’m proud of and working on my own business. For those interested in a frightening tale of inept procurement, poor judgement and downright dirty tactics when it comes to software procurement and government, there is a wonderfully . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Government Procurement Failure: BC Ministry of Education Case Study

eaves.ca: Mozillians: Announcing Community Metrics DashboardCon – January 21, 2014

Please read background below for more info. Here’s the skinny. What A one day mini-conference, held (tentatively) in Vancouver on January 14th San Francisco on January 21st and 22nd, 2014 (remote participating possible) for Mozillians about community metrics and dashboards. Update: Apologies for the change of date and location, this event has sparked a lot . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Mozillians: Announcing Community Metrics DashboardCon – January 21, 2014

Things Are Good: Open Hand: Low Cost Robotic Hand

A funding campaign on IndieGoGo is focused on making an open-sourced robotic prosthetic hand. This is wonderful because the end product will be shared with everyone and the hand can be made essentially anywhere.

The Open Hand Project is open-source, which means all of the plans to make a robotic hand will be published . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Open Hand: Low Cost Robotic Hand

Things Are Good: Open Tech Forever Hardware Cooperative in Colorado

Colorado has a new permaculture and open sourced initiative taking shape and it look promising. The team is adding open source technology from hardware and software to a sustainable agriculture setup. On top of all of that they are also developing an open source business model!

This is an exciting project with the ultimate . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Open Tech Forever Hardware Cooperative in Colorado

The Canadian Progressive: Aaron Swartz’s Last Gift: Site Launches Whistleblower Safe House

In era of “most aggressive government assaults on press freedom,” new open source dropbox provides “secure route” for leaks By: Lauren McCauley | Published by Common Dreams on May 17, 2013 One month before his January 11th suicide, web pioneer and creative commons architect Aaron Swartz completed one last project—an “opensource drop box for leaked . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Aaron Swartz’s Last Gift: Site Launches Whistleblower Safe House

eaves.ca: CivicOpen: New Name, Old Idea

The other day Zac Townsend published a piece, “Introducing the idea of an open-source suite for municipal governments,” laying out the case for why cities should collaboratively create open source software that can be shared among them.

I think it is a great idea. And I’m thrilled to hear that more people are excited about . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: CivicOpen: New Name, Old Idea

Things Are Good: Open Source Ecology Explained

Way back in 2008 I blogged on Open Source Ecology (OSE) which is an open source project to create tools and knowledge to build a fully sustainable village. The project has grown since then and they are going even further by designing tools that can be fabricated on site. Recently, they made a good video . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Open Source Ecology Explained

eaves.ca: Making Bug Fixing more Efficient (and pleasant) – This Made Me Smile

The other week I was invited down to the Bay Area Drupal Camp (#BadCamp) to give a talk on community management to a side meeting of the 100 or so core Drupal developers. I gave a hour long version of my OSCON keynote on the Science of Community Management and had a great time engaging what […] . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Making Bug Fixing more Efficient (and pleasant) – This Made Me Smile

eaves.ca: Is the Internet bringing us together or is it tearing us apart?

The other day the Vancouver Sun – via Simon Fraser University’s Public Square program – asked me to pen a piece answering the questions: Is the Internet bringing us together or is it tearing us apart?

Yesterday, they published the piece.

My short answer?

Trying to unravel whether the Internet is bringing us together or . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Is the Internet bringing us together or is it tearing us apart?

eaves.ca: Community Managers: Expectations, Experience and Culture Matter

Here’s an awesome link to grind home my point from my OSCON keynote on Community Management, particularly the part where I spoke about the importance of managing wait times – the period between when a volunteer/contributor takes and action and when they get feedback on that action.

In my talk I referenced code review wait . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Community Managers: Expectations, Experience and Culture Matter

eaves.ca: Transparency Case Study: There are Good and Bad Ways Your Organization can be made “Open”

If you have not had the chance, I strongly encourage you to check out a fantastic piece of journalism in this week’s Economist on the state of the Catholic Church in America. It’s a wonderful example of investigative and data driven journalism made possible (sadly) by the recent spat of sexual-abuse and bankruptcy cases. As . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Transparency Case Study: There are Good and Bad Ways Your Organization can be made “Open”

eaves.ca: Using Metrics to Measure Interest in an Open Source Project

David Boswell has a couple of interesting posts (here and here) about how he is using metrics to measure how effective Mozilla is at attracting and engaging people express an interest in helping contribute to the Mozilla mission.

Some of the metrics being used can be seen at Mozilla’s Are We Growing Yet website. What . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Using Metrics to Measure Interest in an Open Source Project

eaves.ca: Is Civic Hacking Becoming ‘Our Pieces, Loosely Joined?’

I’ve got a piece up over on the WeGov blog at TechPresident – Is Civic Hacking Becoming ‘Our Pieces, Loosely Joined?‘

Juicy bit:

There is however, a larger issue that this press release raises. So far, it appears that the spirit of re-use among the big players, like MySociety and the Sunlight Foundation*, only goes . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Is Civic Hacking Becoming ‘Our Pieces, Loosely Joined?’

eaves.ca: OSCON Community Management Keynote Video, Slides and some Bonus Material

Want to thank everyone who came to my session and who sent me wonderful feedback from both the keynote and the session. I was thrilled to see ZDnet wrote a piece about the keynote as well as have practioners, such as Sonya Barry, the Community Manager for Java write things like this about the longer . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: OSCON Community Management Keynote Video, Slides and some Bonus Material

eaves.ca: Containers, Facebook, Baseball & the Dark Matter around Open Data (#IOGDC keynote)

Below is a extended blog post that summarizes the keynote address I gave at the World Bank/Data.gov International Open Government Data Conference in Washington DC on Wednesday July 11th.

Yesterday, after spending the day at the International Open Government Data Conference at the World Bank (and co-hosted by data.gov) I left both upbeat and concerned. . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Containers, Facebook, Baseball & the Dark Matter around Open Data (#IOGDC keynote)

eaves.ca: Lessons from Michigan’s “Innovation Fund” for Government Software

So it was with great interest that several weeks ago a reader emailed me this news article coming out of Michigan. Turns out the state recently approved a $2.5 million dollar innovation fund that will be dispersed in $100,000 to $300,000 chunks to fund about 10 projects. As Government Technology reports:

The $2.5 million innovation . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Lessons from Michigan’s “Innovation Fund” for Government Software

eaves.ca: Want to Find Government Innovation? US Military is often leading the way.

When it comes to see what trends will impact government in 20-30 years I’m a big fan of watching the US military. They may do lot of things wrong but, when it comes to government, they are on the bleeding edge of being a “learning organization.” It often feels like they are less risk averse, . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Want to Find Government Innovation? US Military is often leading the way.

eaves.ca: Transparency isn’t a cost – its a cost saver (a note for Governments and Drummond)

Yesterday Don Drummond – a leading economist hired by the Ontario government to review how the province delivers services in the face of declining economic growth and rising deficits – published his report.

There is much to commend, it lays out stark truths that frankly, many citizens already know, but that government was too afraid . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Transparency isn’t a cost – its a cost saver (a note for Governments and Drummond)

eaves.ca: Two Reasons I love blogging: Helping out great communities

Non profits and governments… this is how open source works: If someone is doing something that is of value to you, help make it better.

There have been two great examples of this type of behaviour on this blog over the past week.

On Monday, I blogged about Represent, a project by OpenNorth that seeks . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Two Reasons I love blogging: Helping out great communities

eaves.ca: Adapting KUALI financials for cities: Marin County is looking for Partners

Readers of my blog will be familiar Kuali – the coalition of universities that co-create a suite software core to their operations – as I’ve blogged about several times and argued that it is a powerful model for local governments interested in rethinking how they procure (or really, co-create) their software.

For some time now . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Adapting KUALI financials for cities: Marin County is looking for Partners

Things Are Good: Global DIY Window Gardening

A TED Talk by Britta Riley is filled with inspirational information about the online movement to get efficient, open source, window gardening. Worth every minute:

eaves.ca: International Open Data Hackathon Updates and Apps

With the International Open Data Hackathon getting closer, I’m getting excited. There’s been a real expansion on the wiki of the number of cities where people are sometimes humbly, sometimes grandly, putting together events. I’m seeing Nairobi, Dublin, Sydney, Warsaw and Madrid as some of the cities with newly added information. Exciting! I’ve been thinking […] . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: International Open Data Hackathon Updates and Apps

eaves.ca: Open Data Day – a project I’d like to be doing

As some readers and International Open Data Hackathon participants know, I’m really keen on developers reusing each others code. All too often, in hackathons, we like to build something from scratch (which can be fun) but I’ve always liked the idea of hackathons either spurring genuine projects that others can reuse, or using a hackathon […] . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Open Data Day – a project I’d like to be doing

eaves.ca: Weaving Foreign Ministries into the Digital Era: Three ideas

Last week I was in Ottawa giving a talk at the Department of Foreign Affairs talking about how technology, new media and open innovation will impact the department’s it work internally, across Ottawa and around the world. While there is lots to share, here are three ideas I’ve been stewing on: Keep more citizens safe […] . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Weaving Foreign Ministries into the Digital Era: Three ideas