Neuroscience and the Vision of Computing’s Future

Whilst attending OSCON, Simon ran into and conducted a short interview with Jeff Hawkins. Hawkins has a number of different claims to fame. The Palm Pilot and the Treo particularly stick out in the memory and indeed it’s  for “the creation of the first commercially successful example of a hand-held computing device” that he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Yet despite originating what is now a massive market in hand held devices, his personal passion is to be found in neuroscience and it’s to that cause that his energy is now dedicated. Continue reading

FLOSS Weekly Features OSCON

Perhaps you spotted Simon at OSCON last week? There was a lot going on and a great atmosphere. In the midst of it all Simon found a little time to carry out a series of interviews with an eclectic collection of interesting, key attendees. The interviews form the heart of this weeks FLOSS episode and cover a diverse selection of topics including Ubuntu phone, applied neuroscience, open source online video platform “Kaltura” and the need for hosting providers to be a part of the open source community.


OSCON 2013 Coming Up Fast!

OSCON 2013 is coming up fast! Running from July 22nd to 26th in Portland Oregon it’s the “epicentre of all things open source”. With over 300 speakers and 18 different tracks there’s something for absolutely everyone with an interest in open source.

On the Tuesday morning Simon will be chairing the Community Foundations 101 tutorial which is now filling up. The tutorial will be presented by a selection of non-profit foundation leaders and cover a wide range of issues faced by those considering starting a non-profit organisation for their own community. Registering now using the discount code “OSI” will not only get you a 20% discount but also get a free credit for a local attendee.

Community Foundations at OSCON

OSCON is approaching and the schedule‘s looking great. On the Tuesday morning Simon will be one of several open source foundation leaders giving guidance and sharing experience on some of the practical aspects of starting a foundation at the Community Foundations 101 tutorial. Here’s the program for that event:

Scheduled: 9am Tuesday August 23rd, in room F150

09:00    Welcome and introduction of Faculty
09:10    Should we form a Foundation or join a host organisation?
  • What is a Foundation and what benefits does it provide?
  • Should every project be part of a Foundation?
  • Should we start our own Foundation?
  • What existing Foundations could we join?
09:50  How do we form a new Foundation?
If we form a Foundation:
  • Where should we do that?
  • What “type” should it be? 501(c)(3, 4, 6), eV, Stiftung etc
  • Regulatory trends
10:30  How should we staff & administer it?
  • Staff roles
  • Do we need an Executive Director?
  • Outsourced administration
11:10  Fundraising and fund-using
  • How can we raise the funds we need?
  • How can we spend money?
  • Should we pay for code?
11:45  Open Q & A

12:00  End

Chair:  Simon Phipps, OSI & MariaDB Foundation

  • Josh Berkus, Software in the Public Interest & PostgreSQL
  • Steve Holden, Python Software Foundation
  • Paula Hunter, OuterCurve Foundation
  • Bradley Kuhn, Software Freedom Conservancy & FSF
  • Dave Neary, Red Hat & GNOME
  • Deb Nicholson, OIN, MediaGoblin & OpenHatch
  • Ian Skerrett, Eclipse Foundation

The topics covered here are just some of the considerations to be made when starting a foundation; in fact even the decision to start a foundation is itself not always the best option. Hearing about some of the mistakes, failures and successes that the panel have already experienced will help get your foundation on the right track.

Simon will also be giving a talk on the Thursday afternoon about the process by which corporations can find themselves embracing and benefiting from open source.

Thinking Of Starting A Foundation?

Open source projects are increasingly opting to form an independent entity – a “Foundation” – to form the core of their community, rather than relying on goodwill or corporate oversight. Foundations often hold shared assets such as money, trademarks and copyrights, provide infrastructure, and sometimes employ staff.

The idea is seductive, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. A Foundation can’t solve your community problems; it can only make firm the solutions you devise, by providing a canvas on which to paint the trust and governance you have all agreed and to guarantee it for future generations of your community. You need to solve the problems first.

Continue reading

OSCON Speaker

Simon has had a talk accepted once again at the iconic Open Source Convention, OSCON. He’s spoken there many times before, including twice as a keynote speaker and this year is sharing experiences of corporations engaging with open source communities – from both sides of the fence. His talk “Can Evil Corporations Embrace Open Source?“, is scheduled for the Thursday morning of OSCON.