Understanding Google’s Sale Of Motorola

In InfoWorld today, Simon challenges the assertion some are making that Google’s sale of Motorola after such a short time is a sign of failure. Noting all the gains Google has made, both financial and strategic, he suggests actually the deal is both profitable and clever. Certainly it’s a deal for its time, focussing mainly on triaging the negative consequences of a patent system designed for an industrial age being misapplied to the meshed society.  Read all about it.


The coming weekend marks the return of the Free and Open Source Developers’ European Meeting — FOSDEM. Held annually in Brussels, it’s one of the world’s largest gatherings of open source developers and a crucial venue for many projects to get together and discuss their next year over a few beers.

Simon will be attending for us. If you would like to meet him, you’ll need to tell us as his diary is packed and the event is huge. Please use our contact form.

See you there!

Setting Up Our Voice-Over-IP Phone System

As I mentioned recently on Google+, I’ve recently installed a telephone system for Meshed Insights using a Raspberry Pi. Here’s a description of the system I’ve put together.

Raspberry PI PBX

The brains live in a model B Raspberry Pi. I installed the GNU/Linux distribution Raspbian using the easy NOOBS on an SD card, then installed RasPBX — FreePBX and Asterisk — using the Pi Store via the desktop as that was easiest. I enabled sshd so I can log in from the office (using a private key so it’s less hackable), set the unit to have a fixed IP on our internal network and then disconnected the keyboard, mouse and screen. The system now runs headless in our server room. Continue reading

Patent trolls set sights on cloud computing

The trolls are coming. It’s inevitable. As the success of cloud computing continues, grows and evolves and the size of the associated deals increases, the eyes of scavenging trolls eager to make a quick parasitic buck are drawn more and more to the opportunities awaiting them in that field.

They can pick up the relevant patents from a number of different sources, notably from failed start ups and from university research facilities keen to get quick pay back for their work. For large corporations for whom trolling is only one of many lines of income, large portfolios of patents will have been created already in the course of their cloud computing business units regular operations.

Knowing that the attacks are coming, that the trolls are poised for battle, what defences can we prepare?  This is a situation that OIN speaks directly into. Among the many new updates to their anti-troll arsenal there is an intentional development towards protection of cloud services. This includes the addition of the packages from OpenStack to the new (March 6th) Linux definition, which given the OIN membership of IBM and Red Hat, both heavily invested in OpenStack, means the cloud infrastructure project has serious protection.

If your business relies on open source software, joining the Open Invention Network is an effective defence, worthy of your serious consideration. For more detail on OIN’s move towards defending the cloud, check out Simon’s InfoWorld article.