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Open source

Ship the Factory – Not the Product

Written by , on September 16, 2012

When the Texas company, re:char, wanted to ship their biochar kilns to Kenya, they found the usual options were wasteful and costly. They concluded that it would be much more efficient to manufacture near to the customers. To do this, in a place with little industry or infrastructure, re:char designed  a fully functioning, off-the-grid, solar […]  Read more »

UK Govt. to Make Research Free Online

Written by , on July 17, 2012

The British government is to make publicly funded scientific research available for anyone to read for free by 2014. Under the scheme, research papers that describe work paid for by the British taxpayer will be free online for universities, companies and individuals to use for any purpose, wherever they are in the world. Tensions between […]  Read more »

What’s Wrong with Copyright and Patents

Written by , on February 18, 2012

 This video from explains it all: .  Read more »

Unmanned Pollution-collecting Drones

Written by , on May 18, 2011

Protei is a fleet of pollution collecting sailing drones which use existing technologies in an innovative, low-cost open-source oil collecting devices that semi-autonomously sails upwind, intercepting oil sheens which are going downwind. The design of protei is intended to be hurricane-ready, self-righting, inflatable, unbreakable, cheap and easy to manufacture for immediate response. The machine currently […]  Read more »

Open Source “Civilization Starter Kit”

Written by , on May 15, 2011

Realizing that the appropriate, low-cost tools for affordable, sustainable farming and settlement didn’t exist, Marcin Jakubowski decided to build them. The idea was to create an easily repairable, modular and scalable set of tools providing everything you need to build, or rebuild, civilization. The result was a group called Open Source Ecolody, and an open […]  Read more »

Environmental Patents Placed in the Public Domain

Written by , on January 24, 2010

Leading members of the corporate community, including IBM, Sony, Nolia and Pitney-Bowes, have come together in a first-of-its-kind effort to help the environment, unleashing dozens of innovative, environmentally responsible patents to the public domain. The pledged portfolio, dubbed the "Eco-Patent Commons", is available on a dedicated, public website,, hosted by the World Business Council […]  Read more »

UK Government to Favour Open Source

Written by , on February 27, 2009

The UK Government has adopted the radical policy of using open-source, in preference to commercial, software. Under the new policy, agencies will be required not only to consider open source solutions and make the choice soley on the basis of value-for-money, but will give peference to open source solutions where there is no cost difference […]  Read more »

Major Contributions to Open Source

Written by , on June 23, 2008

GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s second largest pharmaceutical company, which has spent a fortune researching cancer, has announced that it is making most of its information available to the research community for free. Glaxo’s logic is that academics and small companies to do pioneering work — identifying new targets for medications, discovering early warning signs and figuring […]  Read more »

New Business Models

Written by , on May 14, 2008

The success of Wikipedia has brought the notion of commons to public attention. Commons are not new but were a dominant part of most economic systems prior to the Industrial Revolution. In England, for example, the people of a village would have an area of common land which they could all use for grazing cattle, […]  Read more »