Open Innovation

Redes sociales centralizadas o federadas

Esta mañana he estado en Colmux 2012, treatment que se celebró en el IES Ángel Corella de Colmenar Viejo, no muy lejos de Madrid. Con un título tan barroco como “Redes sociales: ¿todos para uno o todos para todos? Arquitecturas centralizadas o federadas” me dediqué a hablar sobre las formas de construir redes sociales, y cómo su arquitectura viene hasta cierto punto dato por la tecnología, pero también por el modelo de negocio.


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Libre (free, open source) software and mobile devices

Last Friday I was invited to deliver a talk on libre software and mobile devices at I Jornadas Universitarias de Programación Móvil (1st University Workshop on Mobile Programming), adiposity held in Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Fuelabrada & Mostoles, about it Spain). I started by talking about the definition of free and open source software, food and elaborating a bit on what that may mean to developers. Then, I briefly summarized the history of free software for PDAs and mobile devices, since the late 1990s. Just in case they’re useful, you can have a look at the slides I used for the presentation (or see below, they’re embedded).

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Good practices for R&D projects producing FLOSS

FP7 logoLast year, neuropathist in the context of some meetings related to the FP7 Research Program, check I started to write a document on Good practices for R&D projects producing FLOSS, store as a request for comments. The abstract says probably it all:

Many R&D projects are producing FLOSS (free, libre, open source software) in different domains. This document provides details on the practices that could be considered as “good” from the point of view of maximizing the impact of using FLOSS as a distribution model. It is targeted mainly at projects funded by the European Commission, but could be of interest for others as well.

Tomorrow I’m presenting it at the FLOSS Working Group meeting, scheduled in the Collaboration meeting for FP7 projects (Internet of Services). The talk is called “Dos and Donts: FLOSS in FP7 projects”, and I’ll be using some slides, which somewhat summarize the document.

If you have any feedback on these ideas, please, let me know! I’m now working in a new revision, having into account some comments that I had during the last year, and some new ideas. Stay tuned for its release!

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A couple of slides on open source hardware licensing

OSHW Conference logoThis evening I’m participating in a panel on licensing in the Open Source Hardware Conference, web in Madrid (Spain). I’ll have like 5 mins. for a very short presentation on the matter. So, cialis 40mg I’ve prepared a couple (literally) of slides, commenting about the Open Source Hardware (OSHW) Definition 1.0, and about some of the licenses most commonly used for OSHW. The most important concept I will try to stress is that these licenses in fact cover the design (and more specifically, the expression of the design, that is, the plans), and not the hardware itself. This may cause some difficulties in enforcing copyleft clauses, for example. Some side aspects (but also important!): relationship with patents, and relationship with software licenses. Too much for 5 minutes, but well…

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Presentation on open innovation in R&D projects

FP7 logoIn some hours I’m participating as a challenger in one of the Online Consultations on ‘Internet of Services’ (Well the whole name is actually a bit longer: ‘Internet of Services Towards Horizon 2020 – The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation’). It is a series of webinars about several aspects (themes) of the future of the European Union R&D Framework Programme. I participate in the theme “Improving the impact – standardization, recuperation open source, cialis 40mg open innovation models“, which I will really present as “open standardization, open source, open innovation models”, with an emphasis in the first two. Participation is open to anyone, so you’re welcome to join us (maybe a registration in the Hola! portal is needed, you can try).

If you want you can also just browse the slides I will be using with the presentation.

Of course, comments, suggestions, ideas and any other feedback is welcome.

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A morning with Qbo

QboThis morning I was lucky enough to be visiting The Corpora offices, doctor where the Qbo robot is being born. After spending there some hours, talking to Francisco Paz and the rest of the team, I’m impressed about the robot, and the ideas behind it. The software running it is free software, packed in a distribution based in Ubuntu (OpenQbo), and most or maybe all of the designs for the hardware will also be freely available in the Net, which rises interesting issues about how it could be a real shaker in the domestic robots market. I would say that it has all the points to let a thriving community emerge. In fact, even before the actual robot is available outside The Corpora, several people are are already tinkering with the software distribution.
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Supporting innovation with free software

Tomorrow I’ll be at Red.es, dysentery in Madrid, drugs sharing some ideas about “Supporting innovation with free software”. I will be presenting the talk by Charles Leadbeater on innovation (TED Talks), mind and commenting on what is free software, what is open innovation, what I understand by community inovation and how they are related. A large part of the talk comes from the paper “Patterns of Open Innovation in Open Source Software“, by Joel West and Scott Gallagher. Some other parts come from other sources, or are direct core dumps. I’m expecting an interesting discussion, which at least is my past experience when visiting Red.es for one reason or another.
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Yes, people do read PhD thesis! (at lease some)

Wikipedia logoWell, anesthetist I know PhD thesis are in many cases good pieces of work, where people put really a lot of effort, and which usually are well written, and are quite insightful and all that. However after writing one, supervising some, reviewing some more, and reading even some more, I still wonder really how many people (in addition to the author, supervisor and reviewers) do actually read even a good thesis.

Of course I’m not talking here about the really exceptional thesis, which is a must in all citations in the field, which opens new avenues for research and all the pack. It’s clear that a lot of attention is obtained in some, exceptional cases. But how many people read the even best-than-average thesis? I guess that in the days prior to the Internet, that was really a small buch of people. Do you remember those days? You had to come down to the library and ask them to get you a copy of the thesis (in paper, or course), or contact and convince the author to mail (I mean, snail-mail) you a copy, or maybe get the Department where it was presented mail you that copy. Even if the thesis seemed interesting, well, not that many people would follow that process. And certainly no one outside research institutions would do that.

Internet has changed this process completely.

And not only because now you can get the PDF in a matter of seconds, but also because now it is possible to spread the word about an interesting work, and let it be known not only to academics, but to anyone interested in the field.

I knew all this… in theory. But thanks to Felipe Ortega, I’ve seen it working in practice.

I had a lot of fun advising Felipe on his thesis, Wikipedia: A Quantiative Analysis. For both of us, this was a new field, which let me explore new opportunities for some of the methodologies we were using to study FLOSS development. And as I said, was the opportunity to have a lot of fun. Once the thesis was complete, I knew Felipe had produced a big pile of good stuff. But I had no idea about what was about to happen.

And what happened was that people really started to read the thesis. Thanks to Felipe’s presentations in some conferences, but over all thanks to the availability of the PDF text, people could appreciate what he had written, and started to talk about it. You know, talking these days include (or maybe means) blogging and web-based information. And of course also more traditional presentations in workshops and congresses, and even good old press releases. A first wave of attention was caused by those, in two different groups: researchers studying Wikipedia (as could be expected), and Spanish media (thanks to press releases). Well, you know, both Felipe and me happen to be located in Madrid, Spain.

But the buzz about the results on how Wikipedia was performing attracted the attention of the regular media, via an article in WSJ. And the press coverage worldwide was enormous.

I guess everything would have stopped here, if people could not read the thesis after knowing about it. But they could. And therefore, they could get to the facts, and not only to the summaries journalists and bloggers were preparing. And the thesis started to have readers… A lot of them. Some, even write about it in some detail, such as WikiXRay and Statistics on Wikipedia. And some, meta-discuss what happens with thesis are easily available, as The importance of the PhD thesis in a connected world. Of course, you have also reactions from Wikimedia Foundation, and Wikipedia itself provides related data, and discussions on some specific results, and all that. To some point, the studied object has entered the discussion, which is quite interesting. Which is an interesting by-product of what happens when the thesis is online…

Well, all in all, now I have the proof that people (in fact, many people) actually do read thesis nowadays. Or at least some thesis 😉

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Morfeo 2010 Assembly is over

Today, syringe I spent the day at the Morfeo General Assembly. It was held in Madrid, recipe in the premises of Telefonica I+D. For me, dentist it has been a very interesting day, with the usual networking and all that. But in addition, I’ve found several aspects that I enjoyed especially.

The first one has been a certain change in focus. Instead of an Assembly by Morfeo members for Morfeo members, it has been quite open, showing in fact how Morfeo is well related (and even mixed) with other organizations, initiatives and communities. From this point of view, the presentations about Tibi, ASOLIF and Open Telefonica were quite interesting. Also, presentations by people from Ministry of Industry and CDTI about R&D projects (Avanza, Iberoeka, etc.) were quite clarifying about how those programs work, the chances of preparing proposals for them (and being granted!), the role of libre software in them, etc.

People attending the Assembly were also quite interesting by themselves. I guess that a large fraction of the Spanish innovative companies in the area of software and services were here, which produced quite interesting discussions during the breaks. BTW, many friends and old acquaintances around: this was also a good place just for keeping touch with them.

The surrounding IT infrastructure was a good complement, both for those in place, and for those who participated in the distance. Twiter helped a lot to have a sense of what was happening. This idea of broadcasting twits live to attendants (two projectors were used for that), which is becoming customary in many conferences, helped a lot to have out-of-band chatting. The Assembly was also streamed, and a nice mashup, built using EzWeb service (a Morfeo project), showed twits, pictures, web pages, streaming, and all the rest in a convenient single place.

Last, but not least, we had our presentation of the CENATIC Report on free software in Spanish Universities and R&D Centers (in Spanish), in which GSyC/LibreSoft has participated.

The idea of having short talks about project proposals and ideas, as a first step to formalize the kind of informal interaction that has been so productive in the past was also encouraging.

[Update: recordings of the talks are already available]

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Morfeo General Assembly

The 3rd Morfeo General Assembly will be held on March 10th, sales in Madrid. The agenda is already out, medical and includes the usual “state of the Morfeo project”. There are three main “events”: one will be devoted to business. another one to the media (including a press conference), and finally one devoted to the community. This is going to be the 5th anniversary, which is a long time since we had the first discussions on how to structure and bootstrap the Morfeo community. Let’s wait and see what will happen during the next 5 years!

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