Sea Lawyering

A couple of years ago, Simon Phipps, introduced me to the idea that any system contains its own counter system, which he describes as a game. In an article I am writing, I summarise this as,

any rule set, inspires its own games

Simon explores this in his Webmink Articles,  The Sentinel Principle and more effectively in The Open by Rule Benchmark.

He also explores the feasibility of realistically building “fair use” interpreters in an article on his Computer World blog, Fair Use Robots? Science Fiction!

In this last article he talks about “Quantifying Discretion”. The difficulty in building systems to undertake this work is based on the fact that at the edge of consideration, its exceptionally difficult, and that it may be that these decisions are not best amenable to a Wisdom of Crowds or the application of machine intelligence. They are best taken by trained and experienced and independent individuals, or Judges as we might call them, although we have usually chosen to ensure that a jury of peers is involved in our courts.


Can Free Software save the public money?

Bern City Council have adopted an Open Source software procurement policy.

This reported by long time Open Source campaigner, Simon Phipps in his Computer World blog. It seems, as in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, that this decision had a champion, in this case, a Councillor called Matthias Stürmer. Phipps story details the bureaucratic politics around the trigger decision which was the Microsoft licence renewal agreements. The size of the agreement required Council approval and the Council had been moving towards preferring Open Source IT. The Council review requirement led Microsoft to reduce the cost to a value below the review threshold and the renewal was approved without the Council approval. The Council was, it seems, unamused and took action to ensure that the policy preferences of the elected council were to be obeyed in future. Phipps reports, …

Open Source in the Public Sector

Open Source in the Public Sector

I attended Kable’s “Open Source in the Public Sector” 2009 conference and captured and published my notes at my original Sun now Oracle blog, the hyperlinks are listed below. I have reproduced and edited the articles here. This is backdated to the date of occurrence. The main changes are to repair some lost hyperlinks i.e. those that disappeared when Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems. Interestingly Liam Maxwell, who became the Deputy CIO for the UK Government spoke on Government and procurement but I didn’t consider his points worth recording. Shame on me. DFL 25 Jan 2014 …

Evangelising Opensource in Edinburgh

I was stood in for Simon Phipps at www2006 in Edinburgh, and paid Edinburgh a visit. I wrote up my notes on my sun/oracle blog. AS with other posts originally made there, I copied them to this blog in March 2016, but in this case, I have merged them into a single post.  I The conference was opened by John McConnel, Scotland’s first minister who spoke of a Scotland’s e-University, and was followed by Sir David Browne, (Chairman of Motorola) who told an interesting story about mobility and the network, from movable devices, via luggable laptops to today’s phones, although the fashion for Zoolander style tiny phones was probably on the wane by then. His story provoked the though that the critical technology for mobile computing was the development of the portable (and rechargable) battery. …

Open Source, friend or foe

The Register today, has an article, headlined “US in open source backlash” arguing that the US is a late, slow and distressed adopter of open source compared with Europe and Latin America. This prompted me to write up notes from a BT conference to which we had been invited. The notes were originally published on my sun/oracle blog, and I created this article on the blog as part of the exercise in unifying the blogs in March 2016. The original article looks at comments from MySQL & Google staff, and finishes with a review of Simon Phipps presentation to the meeting which I repeat here. …