privacy and licensing

File-Sharing Software Potential Threat to Health Privacy

The personal health and financial information stored in thousands of North American home computers may be vulnerable to theft through file-sharing software, according to a research study published online in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. Healthcare professionals who take patient information home to personal computers containing peer-to-peer file-sharing software are jeopardizing patient confidentiality, note the authors of […]

Why I Will Not Sign the Public Domain Manifesto

Why I Will Not Sign the Public Domain Manifesto

By Richard M. Stallman: The Public Domain Manifesto ( has its heart in the right place as it objects to some of the unjust extensions of copyright power, so I wish I could support it. However, it falls far short of what is needed. Some flaws are at the level of implicit assumptions. The manifesto frequently uses propaganda terms of […]

February 23, 2010 · 0 comments · privacy and licensing
Open letter to Google: free VP8, and use it on YouTube

Open letter to Google: free VP8, and use it on YouTube

With its purchase of the On2 video compression technology company having been completed on Wednesday February 16, 2010, Google now has the opportunity to make free video formats the standard, freeing the web from both Flash and the proprietary H.264 codec. Dear Google, With your purchase of On2, you now own both the world’s largest video site (YouTube) and all […]

February 20, 2010 · 0 comments · privacy and licensing

The Toyota recall and the case for open, auditable source code

Public Safety is not a matter of Private Concern In a recent article, Slate’s Farhad Manjoo attempts to play down fears of faulty software in car braking systems as a potential cause of traffic accidents. Citing numerous studies which conclude that “the overwhelming reason we get in crashes is driver error,” Manjoo reasons that “the less driving people do, the […]

February 20, 2010 · 2 comments · privacy and licensing

FreeBSD and the GPL

Linus Torvalds has said Linux wouldn’t have happened if 386BSD had been around when he started up. We trace the history of FreeBSD and how it’s affected the open source world. The first free Unix-like operating system available on the IBM PC was 386BSD, of which Linus Torvalds said in 1993: “If 386BSD had been available when I started on […]

February 18, 2010 · 0 comments · freebsd, privacy and licensing
Proposed guidelines for open government plans

Proposed guidelines for open government plans

Open Source for America (OSFA) represents more than 1,600 businesses, associations, non-governmental organizations, communities, and academic/research institutions who have come together to support and guide federal efforts to make the U.S. Government more open through the use of free and open source software. We applaud the Obama Administration’s Open Government Initiative and the December 8th Directive requiring all federal agencies […]

February 18, 2010 · 0 comments · privacy and licensing