free software

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'Open Source' Is Not 'Free Software'

In the open source universe, using terms such as FLOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source Software) is common and represents a casual conflation of the terms open source and free software, which are often used interchangeably. I would be remiss if I didn't also admit that I have been guilty of same. I won't be doing that anymore—or at least I'll try not to—for a simple reason: Using the terms interchangeably is dangerous to the goals of free software and open media advocates (read "anti-DRM"). To continue this practice is to undermine beliefs that are fundamental to free software and associated movement...

A Primer on the Open Source Movement from a Health Care Perspective

Open source, in myriad forms, has emerged as a significant development model that drives both innovation and technological dispersion. Ignore it at your peril, as did the major computer companies destroyed or totally remade by Linux and free software, or encyclopedia publishers by Wikipedia, or journalists and marketers by social media. The term "open source" was associated first with free software, but it goes far beyond software now. People around the world use open hardware, demand open government, share open data, and--yes--pursue open health. The field of health, in particular, will be transformed by open source principles in software, in research, in consultations and telemedicine, and in the various forms of data sharing all these processes call for.

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Linux 2017: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols | ZD Net | January 4, 2017

In 2016, Linux turned 25. When it began, it was a student project. Today, Linux runs everything. From smartphones to supercomputers to web servers to clouds to the car, it's all Linux, all the time. Even the one exception, the end-user, is moving to Linux. Android is now the most popular end-user opearating system. In addition, Chromebooks are becoming more popular. Indeed, even traditional Linux desktops such as Fedora, openSUSE, Mint, and Ubuntu are finally gaining traction. Heck, my TechRepublic Linux buddy Jack Wallen even predicts that "Linux [desktop] market share will finally breach the 5-percent mark"...

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O'Reilly Report Explores Open Solutions to Health IT

Although many programmers and public interest advocates come to the concepts of free software, standards, open data, and transparent institutions out of idealism, modern businesses and governments are being driven to these same solutions out of the practical need to meet high expectations with diminishing resources. The ways in which the health care field has been incrementally adopting these paths are the subject of a new report, written by me and released by O'Reilly Media, called The Information Technology Fix for Health: Barriers and Pathways to the Use of Information Technology for Better Health Care. Read More »

Open for Business: The reputation economy of open source—do you take the egg roll?

Tarus Balog | OpenSource.com | September 28, 2011

Open source software has been referred to as a "gift economy," one where valuable goods and services are exchanged without the expectation of payment. That’s fine, so far as it goes, but when it comes to businesses involved with open source software, I think the term "reputation economy” is more accurate... Read More »

Promoting Open Source Software Government: The Challenges of Motivation and Follow-Through

Andy Oram | O'Reilly Radar | September 29, 2011

The Journal of Information Technology & Politics has just published a special issue on open source software. My article "Promoting Open Source Software in Government: The Challenges of Motivation and Follow-Through" appears in this issue, and the publisher has given me permission to put a prepublication draft online. Read More »

Should the DoD Buy Epic, or Cerner, or GE, or...?

Margalit Gur-Arie | On Health Care Technology | July 12, 2013

After a lengthy foray into building its own EHR from scratch (AHLTA) [...] and another shorter detour through the fantasy land of an open-source integrated EHR (iEHR) [...], the DoD announced that it will begin looking for a commercially available product to suit the DoD’s unique needs. Read More »

The New Open Source: Money, Corporations, and Identity

Danese Cooper, head of open source for PayPal, spoke to during the Day 2 OSCON morning keynotes about the sustainability of open source, mixing in some of the history of open source as well as her own sage advice. She started on a high note. We have won! But this comes with some interesting challenges. We now have a whole new wave of people coming in to participate, but they are not "battle tested," as she calls it. The group of people that have gone before, who have seen open source start, falter, struggle, and finally win, have passion for open source. Many newcomers do as well but they are also more intent on the money in open source...

Top Open Innovations in 3D Printing

Open source continues to drive rapid innovation in the 3D printing industry. This makes sense if you stop and think about it—a 3D printer exists to make other things. Combining that philosophy with free software and open source hardware helps other people participate in improving the objects that it makes, and in making the printers faster, smarter, and cleaner. Here are a few of my favorite open source 3D printing innovations from 2016...