TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library

The wonderful and terrifying implications of computers that can learn

Watch this. It's a TED talk on Deep Learning AI algorithms:

I think the presenter is overhyping the implications of the technology in the short term. But in the longer term, he's right. Software is eating the world, AI is disrupting the value of human labor (starting with unskilled labor and gradually moving upstream) and those jobs are never coming back.

No Juju for you! Ubuntu's Not Invented Here syndrome

Today Brian emailed me to share his enthusiasm for the Ubuntu Juju project, developed by Canonical, the company that makes Ubuntu.

Brian is a good friend that has been advising us on all matters TurnKey practically since the project began. His advice and feedback is always well informed and insightful so even when I already have my own opinions on the matter, I still take the time to look into his suggestions carefully. Thanks Brian!

Standing up for free software, a free Internet and a free society

Six years ago, in the fall of 2008, Alon and I started TurnKey GNU/Linux inspired by a belief in the democratizing power of free software (free as in speech, not beer), like science, to promote the progress of a free & humane society.

What's the best way to do free software bounties?

First, I'd like to thank Joey, Noah and Jeremy for providing much needed feedback on a related blog post. Thanks guys. It really got me thinking. What if instead of a contest we figured out how to do community funded bounties? Wouldn't an open, continual system of free software bounties be much a better idea than doing another contest?

For great justice: all your criticism are belong to us!

I started writing this blog post as a comment to forum discussion that really got me thinking titled "State of TurnKey from a users viewpoint". Many thanks to Eric, Jeremy and Carl for their insightful and thought provoking comments. I've decided to post my response on the blog to draw attention to the discussion. I believe it reflects what many of you in the community must be thinking and I'm hoping to hear more people voice their opinions on the matter.

Be nice. It's a fscking gift

Open source development is usually fun and rewarding. You get to work on whatever you like. No permission required. No "business justification". Here's this thing I've created, isn't it neat? There's a deep sense of satisfaction in making things. Especially when other people find them useful. It's also pretty awesome when people decide what you've made is interesting enough that they want to join in and help make it better. Successful projects often form into communities. Strangers from all over the world turned into enthusiastic users, co-developers. Friends.

The only parts that suck are that:

  1. It is a bit more difficult to make a living purely from open source software. Giving stuff away generally doesn't pay very well.
  2. Some people just don't get it.

Is selling / monetizing open source a zero sum game?

Most of the feedback users send to us privately is good, but not all of it. We do get some negative feedback every now and then, though we try not to get too worked up about it. In a way negative feedback is good too, because at least a user cared enough to bother to shed light on an issue that was troubling them. We can (and do) resolve most issues users commonly report to us by making technical fixes to TurnKey, but sometimes users complain about things we can't change. Except perhaps to try and explain our thinking better.