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[News] Free Software Saves Money, Effort, Duplication

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Retail Software: Proprietary, Bespoke, or Open Source?

,----[ Quote ]
| For growing retailers particularly those in the multi-channel retail market, 
| technology can be a major hurdle to the smooth growth of the business. 
| Software vendors can foster innovation at best and constrain development at 
| worst.   


Open source valuations remain birdseed

,----[ Quote ]
| Much of the value in open source is money that customers aren’t spending, 
| value which is plowed into other businesses, far beyond software. 
| The nature of asset value is also different. The code is the chief asset of 
| open source, while in the proprietary world it’s generally goodwill. 
| And that code, as we’ve seen, is immensely valuable. But who holds that 
| value? No one person or company does. Everyone does. 


How is a culture that reinvents the wheel and monopolises (i.e. pressures
others out of the market) a good thing for science and development?


Stanford offers free CS, robotics courses

,----[ Quote ]
| Stanford University has launched a series of 10 free, online computer science
| (CS) and electrical engineering courses. The courses span an introduction to
| computer science and an introduction to artificial intelligence and robotics,
| among other topics.
| The free courses are being offered “to students and educators around the
| world” under the auspices of Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE). Each
| course comprises downloadable video lectures, handouts, assignments, exams,
| and transcripts.


Committee sets goals for open-source info

,----[ Quote ]
| The National Open Source Committee, whose members include representatives of
| the government’s intelligence agencies, announced four goals today for using
| publicly available data, which officials call open source. They made the
| announcement at the Open Source Conference 2008 in Washington.
| The goals are universal domain access to allow for the greatest possible
| availability of the data, an integrated mission for its use across
| government, an increase in expertise in using open-source data and a
| governance model that ensures that its use aligns with the priorities of the
| Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
| Open-source data is information that is publicly available and legally
| obtainable, including pamphlets, Web sites, videos, white papers, news
| articles and academic reports. It has become an increasing focus of ODNI.


Open Source: The Textbooks of the Future

,----[ Quote ]
| In America, where I live, and across much of the northern hemisphere, kids
| are heading back to school. I’m no longer in school, but everyone in my
| family save for me works in one. One of the biggest issues facing schools
| today is how to keep textbooks up to date in a cost effective manner, and
| make them more manageable and affordable for students. K-12 science
| textbooks, for example, published before August 24, 2006 likely talk about
| the 9 planets in our solar system. Except two years ago, the science world
| decided that there were just 8 planets.


Open Source Textbooks Challenge a Paradigm

,----[ Quote ]
| A small, digital book startup thinks it has a solution to the age-old student
| lament: overpriced textbooks that have little value when the course is over.
| The answer? Make them open source -- and give them away.
| Flat World Knowledge is the brainchild of two former textbook industry
| executives who learned from the inside about the wacky economy of textbooks.


The World Wide Textbook

,----[ Quote ]
| A new project aims to develop low-cost, open-source textbooks for use
| in the developing world
| [...]
| Each of the proposed open-source books has an editor-in-chief
| responsible for putting together a chapter outline and rough
| description, and ensuring that the text comes together in a
| cohesive manner.


Open Shakespeare aims to free the Bard

,----[ Quote ]
| The project was formed under the aegis of the Open Knowledge
| Foundation, whose stated mission is the promotion and development
| of "open knowledge."
| "We have had quite a bit of contact with the Free Software Foundation
| and Creative Commons in one way or another," says project leader
| Rufus Pollock, who is a member of the Creative Commons UK team,
| "but we aren't working with either of them on anything specific
| at present."

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