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2 Tools for Transforming Senior Management into Open Leaders

This is the third article in our "Open Leadership Development" series. In part 1, I shared how we got started with building a leadership development system for our open organization. In part 2, I walked through four stages of leadership development in an open organization. Now, I'd like to share some leadership tools we've created for our open organization and published on GitHub under a Creative Commons license. One of my favorite homegrown pieces of our open leadership system is the OPT model, which was developed by my colleague Jan Smith, based on her observations within Red Hat and experience working with various leadership models. As you'll see, it's a strengths-based approach to development...

4 Open Source Drone Projects

Over the past few years, interest in both civilian and commercial use of drones has continued to grow rapidly, and drone hardware sits at the top of many people's holiday wish lists. Even just within the civilian side of things, the list of unmanned aerial devices that fit the moniker of drone seems to be constantly expanding. These days, the term seems to encompass everything from what is essentially a cheap, multi-bladed toy helicopter, all the way up to custom-built soaring machines with incredibly adept artificial intelligence capabilities...

5 Open Access Journals for Open Source Researchers

While there is no single, quick fix to the problem with the academic journal prices, there is a movement applying the open source way to academic research in an attempt to solve the problem—the open access movement. The goal of open access is to make research freely available upon publication or soon thereafter. Quite often the journal articles are licensed under some form of Creative Commons license or something equally permissive... Read More »

8 open source drone projects

Over the past few years, interest in civilian, military, and commercial drones has grown rapidly, which has also driven the maker community's interest in open source drone projects. The list of unmanned aerial devices (UAVs) that fit the moniker of drone seems to be constantly expanding. These days, the term seems to encompass everything from what is essentially a cheap, multi-bladed toy helicopter, all the way up to custom-built soaring machines with incredibly adept artificial intelligence capabilities. Most people are looking for something in the middle. They'd like a flying vehicle that is large enough to support a decently long flight time, hold a camera or other data capture device, and perhaps be able to control some (or all) of its flight autonomously using pre-programmed coordinates or real-time data.

An Open Source Mapping Primer

As you've surfed the web, you've surely come across many sites using embedded maps to display data. Humans are visual creatures, so presenting temperatures, crime statistics, or population densities on a map often makes quickly discerning patterns and spatial relationships easier than presenting the same facts as a boring table. Visualizations based on maps can be quite sophisticated and even show patterns across time as well as space; Maps Mania is one blog showcasing many great examples of online maps. But displaying data on an embedded map doesn't need to be a complicated affair. You can do it using open source tools. In this post, I offer some tips for getting started doing this...

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Canceling Elsevier Subscriptions Would Pay for Transition to Open Access

A central question for many people involved in Open Access is whether it can, or will save money. Most analyses suggest that a fully OA environment is cheaper (or at worst similar in cost) for institutions...But for research intensive institutions in particular taking the lead by investing in a transition to Open Access while also covering the costs of existing subscriptions could be expensive. At the same time real concerns are emerging about some traditional publishers successfully driving costs higher. How can countries and institutions invest in creating an Open Access environment that serves their needs and brings costs down without spending too much on the transition?

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Creative Commons Releases State of the Commons 2016 Report

Press Release | Creative Commons | April 28, 2017

Today marks another milestone for the commons: the release of the 2016 State of the Commons, our annual deep dive and celebration of the global community working to further collaboration, creativity, and access to creativity and knowledge. This year’s report goes beyond data and metrics to focus on the people that power the commons in every region of the world. These stories illustrate how our movement is growing and evolving, driven by people who choose to share. The commons continues to grow, with the total number of CC licensed works now at 1.2 billion in 2016, including the increased use of licenses that invite remix, commercial use, and collaboration – up to 65% of all content shared this year...

Forza open-source: Italian military to adopt LibreOffice

Jon Gold | Network World | September 15, 2015

The Document Foundation’s Italian subsidiary, LibreItalia, said Wednesday that the Italian Ministry of Defense has agreed to adopt LibreOffice, the open-source productivity suite, in October, and that it will create its own online training courses for the new software by the end of 2016. The move was prompted, in part, by an Italian law that mandates the consideration of open-source alternatives to proprietary software for government use, which was originally passed in June 2012. LibreItalia and the military’s IT staff will release the educational material to the public at large under the Creative Commons license.

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Global Group Communication and Culture Tips

If open source needed a new slogan it whould be: Think Globally, Act Globally. Probably with a semicolon instead of a comma, but what slogan uses a semicolon? A semicolon is slogan poison. Just like thinking locally is open source poison. The thing is, when you create a tool you need and decide to throw a Creative Commons license on it to allow others to add to it or make fun of your lousy source code, you can't be thinking locally. You know that it will now reach anywhere and everywhere. And, if you didn't realize that, then you're probably on a different Internet than me...

Open Access Isn't Just About Open Access

This Open Access Week, we are celebrating and advocating for unfettered access to the results of research, a movement that has shown considerable progress over the last few decades. Let's all take a step back, though. Much of the open access movement is forward thinking, offering solutions and policy changes that will help improve access to future scholarship and research. This is crucial, but if we want real and meaningful open access, we must look backward as well. Read More »

Open Human Augmentation Focus of Penguicon 2015 Conference

The Penguicon 2015 theme is human augmentation. The lines between science fiction and reality are growing thinner because of bright minds and innovators who focus on improving people’s lives. For instance, prosthetics that once cost thousands of dollars can be now printed with open source designs for less than a lunch for four at a decent restaurant. We’re even controlling them with impulses from our brains! People are either wearing devices that make them more powerful, efficient, or aware—or implanting tech directly into their bodies. As we become more like machines, we’ll explore some of those emerging technologies and talk to people who are actively developing them, like e-NABLE...

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Open Textbooks Gain in Push for College Affordability

Michael Melia | eCampus News | February 19, 2016

The standard textbook for Fundamentals of General Chemistry I at the University of Connecticut has a list price of $303. For students who use the version professor Edward Neth is preparing for the fall semester, the cost will be zero. An early adopter of open source textbooks, Neth said he turned to the new technology out of frustration with spiraling prices of commercial textbooks. “It’s seeing the costs go up every semester and almost feeling powerless,” Neth said...

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OPENPediatrics Open Sources Medical Diagrams and Animations

OPENPediatrics (OP), a free online education and best practice sharing community for pediatric clinicians worldwide, has launched a new library of openly licensed medical animations and illustrations, making them available for non-commercial educational use. The new multimedia library draws on the extensive collection of animations and illustrations developed for didactic and procedural videos created for the OP clinician community site.

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OpenStax Provides Cheaper Textbooks and Better Access for Higher Ed Students

OpenStax was founded by Rice University engineering professor Richard Baraniuk in 1999 under the name Connexions. It started like most open source projects: To scratch an itch and address a problem. In this case, Rice University wanted to do something on the web related to education. A grad student suggested that they take the model used to develop Linux and apply it to create textbooks, and Connexions was born. They decided on a license that allowed for reuse with attribution—in essence, this was the first use of the Creative Commons license even before the license existed.

Setting A Standard For Digital Public Goods

In June 2020, the Secretary-General of the United Nations published a "Roadmap for Digtal Cooperation." In this report, he expanded on recommendations made a year before, calling on all actors, including the Member States, the United Nations system, the private sector, and others, to promote digital public goods. He says to realize the benefits of increased internet connectivity, open source projects in the form of digital public goods must be at the center. While the term "digital public good" appears as early as April 2017, this report offers the first broadly accepted definition of digital public goods...The Digital Public Goods Alliance (DGPA) translated that definition into a nine-indicator open standard that we hope will serve as a comprehensive, shared definition to promote the discovery, development, use of, and investment in digital public goods for a more equitable world.