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10.18.13

Sharing Leads to Nobel Prizes

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 11:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nobel Prize

Summary: The benefits of sharing are realised by more and more people, who label it the “open” way

MR. Zemlin, a marketing and branding guy (not a technical man), takes pride in the achievements of Mr. Englert and Mr. Higgs, claiming that mass collaboration contributed to their Nobel prize [1]. In a way he is right and it is encouraging to see the Linux Foundation giving some credit to the GNU project [2]. Without immense amounts of sharing and collaboration, science would not have moved forward. Science is succeeding when the mentality of proprietary software vendors gets abolished.

A similar approach is now being proposed on order to fix the US Constitution [3], which is definitely outdated (dating back to the days when slavery was fine) and crowdfunding/crowdsourcing finds momentum [4,5]. The Washington Times says [6] that “[m]ore and more creative content is being distributed under open source licensing such as GNU General Public License and Wikimedia Commons.”

Maybe this whole ‘crazy’ idea of sharing, as promoted 30 years ago by Richard Stallman, isn’t quite so crazy after all. Without GNU and the GPL, would Linux have survived to this date?

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Congratulations to Nobel Prize Winners, and a Nod to Mass Collaboration

    We’re honored and humbled that Linux was able to play a part in facilitating the discovery of Higgs boson (“Finding the Higgs was done almost entirely with Linux. Indeed, many of the scientists we’ve spoken to say it couldn’t have been done without it.”). Created nearly 30 years after Higgs first postulated the existence of the particle and 20 years before its existence would be confirmed, Linux provided one of the needed technologies with which this work could be done. Additionally, the principles of mass collaboration that informed the way thousands of scientists over five decades were able to achieve a critical discovery is embraced daily by the Linux community.

    The Linux Foundation is preparing to host LinuxCon and CloudOpen Europe in Edinburgh in just a couple weeks. How appropriate that Linux played a small role in the Higgs Boson discovery that was rooted in that very city.

    Congratulations to Mr. Englert and Mr. Higgs and the 10,000 others who contributed to this achievement. We are grateful.

  2. What 30 Years of GNU Means to You

    Thirty years ago today Richard Stallman announced his plans to build GNU in a post to the net.unix-wizards mailing list. What followed was the birth of the free software movement, the founding of the Free Software Foundation and the GNU public license (GPL) — now used by the Linux operating system. His words continue to inspire software developers to this day:

  3. The US Constitution version 2.0

    After ‘version 1.0′ of the US Constitution was released to the public on Sept 17, 1787 there was remaining discontent among several states regarding the powers assigned to the new Federal government and a lack of protections for fundamental individual freedoms and civil rights.

  4. Bountysource CEO talks open source crowdfunding and bounties for developers

    Nearly a decade ago, two friends set out to create a full project management platform for open source software called Bountysource. The year was 2004 and the friends were Warren Konkel and David Rappo, and their vision included creating code repositories, file hosting, issue tracking, and bounty support.

  5. Opening Up To 3D Mapping: Collaborative, Crowdsourced Approach to Map Data Gaining Speed

    Finding your way in the urban jungle of a sprawling city is probably one of the most challenging tasks a motorist has to tackle. The days of folded paper maps may long be over, but electronic maps and automated navigation systems have yet to satisfy the modern navigator’s wishlist.

  6. Copyright law influences teachers “educational fair use” of materials

    Educators who wish to avoid the hazards of ferreting out legitimate fair usage aren’t entirely limited to materials published before 1923. More and more creative content is being distributed under open source licensing such as GNU General Public License and Wikimedia Commons.

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