Category Archives: linux/open source

For amateurs and dilettantes who do not rely on their art for a living, moving to the commons has plenty of upside and little downside. For creative professionals, however, particularly those burdened by economic hardship, the risks associated with transitioning to a non-proprietary business model can feel (rightly or wrongly) prohibitive. Often times, the typical free culture advocate’s response to this concern is to either dismiss it, to reemphasize the moral case for freedom, or to point to others’ success stories as proof that “it can be done.”

We believe these responses are insufficient and miss the deeper point: no matter how feasible commons-based production may appear to those who are familiar with it, for those suffering from the paralyzing effects of systemic money scarcity – unemployment, poverty, overwhelming consumer debt – the free culture response is incomplete at best, and callous at worst.

Our proposal for addressing this issue is to combine the free culture movement’s view of the bitstream economy with the Modern Money view of the monetary economy.

Free Culture? Free Finance by The Modern Money Network (Columbia Chapter)

Ex-CIA Spy on Revolution

Unfortunately, the gap between those with money and power and those who actually know what they are talking about has grown catastrophic. The rich are surrounded by sycophants and pretenders whose continued employment demands that they not question the premises. As Larry Summers lectured Elizabeth Warren, ‘insiders do not criticise insiders.'”

But how can activists actually start moving toward the open source vision now? “For starters, there are eight ‘tribes’ that among them can bring together all relevant information: academia, civil society including labor unions and religions, commerce especially small business, government especially local, law enforcement, media, military, and non-government/non-profit. At every level from local to global, across every mission area, we need to create stewardship councils integrating personalities and information from all eight tribes. We don’t need to wait around for someone else to get started. All of us who recognise the vitality of this possibility can begin creating these new grassroots structures from the bottom-up, right now.

Lightworks – Pro video editing for Linux?

Anyone have any experience with Lightworks?

Very affordable ($60) video editing software, claims to be pro, and they (beta) support Linux!

I need to upgrade my video-editing set-up and with the demise of FCP really not sure what to do.

Apple makes a great laptop but I’m sick of using it for editing. I want a high-powered tower that I can upgrade myself as funds become available (and that will function decently with the limited budget I have now). The new Mac Pro will surely be out of my price range & I detest being locked into one manufacturer’s hardware, especially when nothing but the RAM appears to be upgradeable. And it looks idiotic. But the thought of running Windows is unsavory, to say the least. A Hackintosh seems like more trouble than it’s worth, but maybe not…

Linux is already standard for render-farms, and Blender is supposedly quite good, and Black Magic’s DaVinci Resolve (pro color-correction software) runs on Linux. So Linux seems like a promising environment for pro video editing & post. But the editing options were dire last I checked (albeit a couple years ago) — doable for simple web videos, perhaps, but buggy and definitely not set up for making deliverables for a professional post house. Though mencoder can probably do anything; perhaps I’ll end up with some convoluted workflow of editing on a Mac and compressing with Linux?

Anyway, mulling over the next upgrade. Avid on a PC? FCP-X or Avid on the cheapest Mac that will work with eSATA? Premiere on any of the above? None of these are particularly appealing, so I’ll be very excited if a Linux video workstation were to become a not-insane option. Lightworks on Linux is in Beta now, with a very long list of bugs, so it still qualifies as insane for the moment. But I’ll definitely be keeping tabs on it over the next year.

Diaspora* is [probably not] the new facebook

Diaspora* is a noble attempt to provide an alternative to that evil CIA-backed walled garden named Facebook. It’s an open-source, distributed, community-funded social network. They just launched their feature-poor and riddled-with-bugs alpha site. Still a long way to go before it can compete with the FB, but I support the spirit of the venture…

Add me: rrrojer@joindiaspora.com

I have a few invites left, hit me up if you want one.


BBC on Diaspora

Sharing Creative Works

Last week Creative Commons published Sharing Creative Works, the comic I’ve been working on for the past month or so.

Sharing Creative Works Banner

Originally intended as documentation for our OLPC collaboration, we settled for trying to come up with something American kids (and adults) would understand, as we realized we were pretty unqualified to educate children in the developing world. So in true collaborative form, the comic is on the wiki (admittedly, a poor presentation format) and all the SVG artwork is online, in the hopes that people who have a stronger knowledge of the different cultures the laptops are going to will give us feedback or make improvements.

Sharing Creative Works Storyboard

I wrote the bulk of the script (with lots of help from Jon, Alex, and Asheesh). This is the product of 4ish years of trying to explain CC to friends, family, and whoever else would listen. I’m really curious about how successful it is. Its definitely the approach I’ve found work best in conversation, but this is a comic. Of course I’ve been working on it for too long to have any sense if it works or not (but Valleywag twice blogged us).

As far as the artwork goes, I storyboarded it and then passed it on to our awesome graphic designer, Alex Roberts. He did most of the panels in Inkscape until he got bored of it, and threw it back to me. The art is kinda tricky because of how abstract the ideas are, leading to an over reliance on arrows and such. I had fun with the facial expressions towards the end though.

Sharing Creative Works 17

This is my first real project using vector graphics and its made me a lot more savvy with Inkscape, which is great. I definitely miss ink & bristol, and hopefully will have something new in that medium up here soon. On the other hand, SVG makes it so easy to revise and mess around, like with this final panel that didn’t make the cut:

Sharing Creative Works cut panel

October Update: California, Lampoon, Creative Commons…

Its been a while since my last post, but not for lack of things to say. Instead, my bandwidth for online activity has been consumed by two other endeavors. First, I gave the Harvard Lampoon website a complete redesign using Drupal. Its still very much a work in progress, and considering my attention span, it may stay as such for a while. But check it out, as we plan to update the content quite frequently (including comics illustrated by yours truly).

However, despite what my recent contributions to the Lampoon may seem, I am not back in Cambridge. My love affair with California is still going strong and I’ve decided to stay in Berkeley for the semester. Peace out, Puritans. Hello, beautiful hippie people.

And what have I been doing out here? Besides making lots of friends, art, and sourdough, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been hired as a Business Development Assistant for Creative Commons, the awesome organization I interned with over the summer. I blog for them a couple times a week, so that’s definitely been eating into the energy I have for this site. More to come on what else I’ve been working on there, but for now I should mention that we just launched our Annual Fall Fundraising Campaign, and along with it, a slick site redesign. Those of you already familiar with the great work CC is doing, consider making a donation!

Support CC - 2007

For the uninitiated, this video is a pretty good introduction to what Creative Commons is all about:

Adventure Time!

Awesome animation featuring wonderful motion, trippy yet innocent imagery, believable (if not entirely original) characters, and math-inspired exclamations like “algebraic!” Reminds me a bunch of a certain pair of brothers from back home…

This actually aired on Nickelodeon in January, as a short in a show called Random! Cartoons, a revival of Oh Yeah! Cartoons. Oh Yea! featured 3 animations each episode and by the end of its run had produced 99 different 7-minute cartoon shorts by a variety of animators. If Adventure Time is any guide, this present incarnation is something to be excited about. Maybe even a reason to start watching TV again.

But perhaps even more exciting, especially for those of us who would prefer to keep the tv off, is that the same producer, Frederator Studios, does a weekly internet cartoon show/podcast called Channel Frederator. The cartoons are submitted by animators from all over the world and each week they choose the ones they like the most. The downloads are high-quality, free (as in beer), and have no commercials (at least the few episodes I’ve watched). You can watch it in iTunes, but I prefer DemocracyTV. So far, I haven’t seen anything as rad as Adventure Time, but I’ve only watched maybe 4 of the 72 and counting episodes. 72 episodes! That’s a whole lot of animation. So ditch your homework, watch some cartoons, and let me know if you find anything good!

cute way to learn to code

Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby

Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby

Why’s (Poignant?) Guide uses cartoon foxes and pure silliness to teach (hipsters and pre-teen girls?) how to program in Ruby— the sleek, simple, and much hyped about scripting language from Japan. Perhaps not the best choice if you’re used to O’Reilly, but for those more familiar with Achewood and Cat and Girl, the Poignant Guide could be a fun way to pick up some skillz.