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Submission + - Sharing Lessons from Creative and Innovative Open Source Strategies->

celest writes: I shifted from engineering to study management because of my frustration that most problems related to the adoption of open source in organizations were not technical in nature. To curate some of the most important lessons from my research, I am editing a special issue of the Technology Innovation Management Review ( open access journal with the theme of open source strategy. The vision of the special issue is:

To showcase how organizations have actually implemented their open source strategies in practice, both to sharpen our theoretical understanding of how open source strategies work, and to provide real-world examples of the successes and failures of different ways of implementing these strategies. The intent is to highlight both the breadth of possible different open source strategies and to examine innovative models in more depth in order to better understand how they can be adapted to different organizations and different industries. has generously showcased our call for authors and we welcome submissions from Slashdotters who have implemented creative open source strategies in their organizations.
Link to Original Source

Comment In Canada Engineers Are Required to Write the Code (Score 1) 664

In Canada, the public is protected from such software bugs by statute, in the same way the public is protected from medical screw ups: a professional engineer is required by law to write any software code where safety is on the line. Just like when a new bridge is constructed and must be designed and validated by a professional engineer who is an expert in structures and who becomes professionally liable for the project, the same is true for software. If safety is on the line, a professional engineer who is an expert in software and/or computer systems (as the case may be) must design and validate the code and they become professionally liable for the software. Unfortunately, too many companies ignore the law.

Source: Professional Engineers Act of Ontario ( ) and Professional Engineers Ontario ( There are similar acts and professional associations for all provinces and territories in Canada.

Full disclosure: I'm a professional computer engineer registered in Ontario with PEO.

Comment Illegal in Canada (Score 4, Informative) 405

It's worth noting that this action (auto-enroll and bill) is illegal in Canada. Each province/territory has its own consumer protection act that requires explicit opt-in for any new services that are provided to existing customers, in writing. You cannot auto-enroll people and require them to opt-out to not be charged.

Source (for Ontario, at least):

Non-legalese summary provided by the Ministry of Consumer Services of Ontario:

Comment In Canada Professional Engineers Must Do The Work (Score 1) 100

In Canada, under the various provincial acts (and a National act that keeps them largely consistent), professional engineers (note, the word "engineer" is legally protected in Canada, like Medical Doctor or Lawyer, unlike in the US.) must do any work that involves human safety. That INCLUDES computer/technical related work. The classic example is software for air traffic control systems or software on space shuttle modules.

One of the problems for the engineering regulatory bodies (Professional Engineers Ontario - PEO - in the case of Ontario) is that many companies don't employ computer/software engineers even when their software involves human safety. They use computer science majors, or people with 1 year technical diplomas from the local college, or people with Microsoft or Cisco courses, or whoever happens to know whatever programming language they are using. The companies are legally required to have the work reviewed and signed off on by licensed engineers, but they just assume "oh, it's not like software is like a bridge or a building or something", so don't realise that the engineering priciples are no different than those used in structural engineering. Where it becomes even more fuzy is that the laws also state that licensed engineers must be used when "financial welfare" is on the line. Very few banking systems are properly designed by licensed computer/software engineers...

Source: I'm a professional engineer (P.Eng) registered in Ontario. Related legislation in Ontario: - Professional regulatory body in Ontario:

Comment Why is "monetizing" OS still = "clamping down"? (Score 3, Insightful) 168

Why is it that in 2013 the majority of discussions about generating revenue using a free/libre/open source strategy are still focused on "clamping down" and other zero-sum game thought patterns? Haven't we shown yet that there are not only strategies to generate revenue with open source that don't involve trying to control everything, but also that these strategies can be more successful in the long run? The type of "collision course" competition that the OP mentions is strategy thinking from the 70s and 80s. We're past that. We can do better.

I think a more interesting question to ask is: "How can Google generate revenue from Android while continuing to nurture the ecosystem and helping other stakeholders also continue to benefit from its success?". Facing challenging questions and trying to solve them is far more interesting than simply assuming that there is no solution, especially when anecdoctal evidence suggests otherwise.

Disclaimer: I'm doing my doctoral research in strategic management in the area of open source strategy, so my perspective is necessarily biased. Some of my work can be found at

Comment Real problem is estimated market size, not tech (Score 1) 160

The real problem is that pharmaceutical companies don't think there is a market for male contraceptives. It has nothing to do with technologies. There have been many effective, reversible, non-invasive procedures in human trials for the past 30 years:

The issue is that "most men" think contraceptives are "unmanly" and will "never take them". At least that's what several doctors have personally told me when I was investigating contraceptive options. Nothing will move forward until there is a (at least perceived) cultural shift towards the acceptance that males should be responsible for their own fertility, creating a (at least perceived) market to justify the large capital expenses required to finalize and make available the various drugs and procedures.

Comment Re:The issue of perspective (Score 1) 1145

Rationality is only one way of viewing the world. Lots of people aren't rational and a lot of social behaviour isn't rational. As an engineer, my brain is wired to think rationally and to view the world through a rational lense. It's my prefered way of interacting with people. A very large percentage of people don't work that way. They are driven more by emotions, communicate with emotions, interpret the world through feelings, not reason. They're humans too. Part of the point of the blog post I linked is to help you step into their world and understand it. Trying to understand people who don't see the world through a rational lense is still a worthy pursuit and can help you grow as a person, even if your preferred way of understanding the world (and mine too) is rationality. It's too easy to just say "they're not rational" and leave it there. Let's dig deeper and see what we can learn.

Comment The issue of perspective (Score 2) 1145

While reading about all of this, my biggest issue was that I felt like I was lacking perspective. I was seeing a lot of arguments from various people but I didn't understand how anyone's perspective could lead to the given outcomes.

I found this post very helpful:

It does a good job of moving you into someone else's shoes; some who is very different from you, whoever you might be. It was helpful. Viewing things from another perspective is NOT condoning actions. It's learning. Understanding. It's a step in the direction of addressing long-standing systematic issues. A first step.

Comment UR DOING IT WRONG! (Score 2) 215

You would think someone as big as VMware would have figured out, by now, that if "An inadvertent press of a key on a keyboard" can lead to "a full outage of the network infrastructure [including] all load balancers, routers, and firewalls [resulting] in a complete external loss of connectivity to [their Cloud service]" that they are DOING IT WRONG!

In other news, VMware announces they're releasing a new voting machine:

If you didn't have to work so hard, you'd have more time to be depressed.