links for 2006-10-25

Open Source

Venture Capital

One Comment

  1. About Ubuntu, Linux, and Mark Shuttleworth; and the contrast with Windows and Microsoft.

    There always have been two traditions.

    The ‘commercial’ tradition, whereby a publisher comissions an author to write a work, and then sells copies of the work at so-many dollars per copy. If someone starts selling copies of the work without the publisher’s permission, or makes a derivative work (translates to French and starts selling in Canada, maybe), then that is regarded as very naughty and is stopped by courts of law. You can always get permission by paying mucho dollars, of course.
    Bloomsbury Press and the Harry Potter books are a good example of this.

    The ‘scientific’ tradition, whereby a scientist reads and understands the works of all previous scientists; does his or her own research; and publishes his or her report. A good scientist will give references to all his or her sources, but there is no need to seek permission from or to pay any of those scientists whose work go before.
    SpringerVerlag are a good example of this; if a scientist (or his employer) pays Springer enough, then Springer will review and publish the paper and make it available to the whole world forever at no charge.
    Einstein couldn’t have done his work without Newton going before, but I think all that Einstein had to say was ‘Thanks, but you are wrong’ .

    Microsoft and Windows are ‘commercial’. Shuttleworth and Linux are ‘scientific’.

    The world needs both kinds of thing. Neither can exclude the other forever. If you get the wrong sort for your needs, it’s unlikely to make you happy.

    I wonder how the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is going to use its resources in addressing malaria
    I think they’re going to need some scientific progress. They might find Ubuntu works better for it.

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