In 2005, Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, sat down for two weeks to prototype his second major contribution to the Free Software and Open Source world and to the history of computing in general: Git.
This software allows programmers to collaborate on their projects´code in a number of new methods all together. Two years later, Torvalds is invited to speak at Google Tech Talks. He explains the personal, social and technical stories of how the design principles of “Git” emerged in the first place and answers many questions by the programmers of Google Inc.. His talk contains a lot of humourous banter within the Free and Open Source Communites. It has been viewed over 600.000 times online (update December 2011: over 840.000 times; update February 2015: over 1.300.000 times; update December 2016: over 1.670.000 times) making it one of the most influential media files ever that deals with the inside world of todays programmers. It may proove to be just as interesting for social anthropologists and media philosophers alike.
„When I say the professionalization of free software what I mean is doing things the best way we can.“
Shane M. Coughlan is the Freedom Task Force coordinator of the Free Software Foundation Europe. In September 2008 he discussed the future and the professonalization of Free Software with the Viennese Fellows of the FSFE.
“[T]he critical thing to recognize […] is that the legal code is not free culture – you are free culture. The legal code is just the ‘plumbing’ of free culture, it’s code”.
In the plenary session of Wikimania 2006 Lawrence Lessig explains his notion of the difference between “read-only” and “read-write” cultures. Subsequently he addresses Creative Commons and the above mentioned idea of legal code as foundation – as the “plumbing” of free culture. Most importantly might be the statements of bringing the licences Creative Commons and Wikipedia’s GNU Free Documentation License closer together to provide people broadest possibilities.
David Weinberger interviews Stephen Wolfram on his highly praised “computational knowledge engine” Wolfram Alpha shortly before it was launched publicly for Radio Berkman.
“[…]asking if we look at the world, the universe as it is, and you know,what are the kind of underlying primitives, what are the computational,the simple programs that can potentially drive all of this stuff, andWolfram Alpha it’s sort of the realization that all this knowledge thatis out there in this world […]”
MEP Eva Lichtenberger answers questions by Leo Findeisen about the dangers implied for civil rights in some of the upcoming decisions in the European Parliament in 2008 or the voting of June 2009. She outlines several issues that are partly interrelated and give rise for many concerns. These issues are the
Telecom-Package which still includes passages that would allow for searching children’s iPods while checking in at the airport; the so-called
French Three-Strikes-model that would e.g. allow private persons, families and businesses to be cut off their internet access; and the
ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) process where a lack of transparency about what mandate the European Council has given its diplomats to elaborate – behind closed doors – on rigid laws to enforce intellectual property rights in all developed nations, e.g. by border officials or via online surveillance.
She also discusses some historical developments that lead to the current state of the...