26 November 2008

IBM's ex-Mr GNU/Linux Joins Obama Policy Group

Good news: Irving Wladawsky-Berger, the person who essentially steered IBM toward GNU/Linux - with huge knock-on effects - has joined one of that nice Mr Obama's policy groups:


Technology, Innovation & Government Reform

The Technology, Innovation & Government Reform Policy Working Group will help prepare the incoming Administration to implement the Innovation Agenda, which includes a range of proposals to create a 21st century government that is more open and effective; leverages technology to grow the economy, create jobs, and solve our country’s most pressing problems; respects the integrity of and renews our commitment to science; and catalyzes active citizenship and partnerships in shared governance with civil society institutions. The Working Group is organized into four sub-teams: (1) Innovation and Government, (2) Innovation and National Priorities, (3) Innovation and Science, and (4) Innovation and Civil Society.

As well as interviewing him for Rebel Code, where he graciously spent some time explaining things when he was a busy man, I also interviewed him for the Guardian. That piece provides a lot of hints at just how wide-ranging his interests are. (Via eightbar.)

7 comments:

plh said...

Hmmm... I hope he's taken a closer look at the rationale behind and practical economics and realities of the patent system since this:

http://blog.irvingwb.com/blog/2005/08/software_patent.html

This is the real danger, Glyn: not idiots like Gene Quinn, but thoughtful people like IW-B who nevertheless seem to believe that inventions naturally 'deserve' patents, that the patent system is in trouble but is fundamentally beneficial (irrespective of field or 'industry') and can be made to work by 'rewarding' only 'good' inventions etc. The patent system mythology is strong and unless people like IW-B begin to see through it and ask the fundamental economic and ethical questions, we will have software patents (sorry - CII patents ;).

Anonymous said...

A good read. p

glyn moody said...

@plh: I'm not suggesting he's perfect, just better than say, Bill Gates...

He certainly gets open source, but it's no surprise he doesn't get why software patents are bad. I think he will see the light one day, just as he did for GNU/Linux. But the Big Blue implants take a while to wear off....

kozmcrae said...

Any word on repairing the word "innovation". Microsoft twisted its meaning into something completely different. I would think that before my Government would use that word in any title they would endeavor to rebuild its image.

glyn moody said...

@kozmcrae: bit of a non-trivial task, that....

zoobab said...

Read this one:

http://blog.irvingwb.com/blog/2005/08/software_patent.html

"It is ironic that if software patents were disallowed altogether, it might cause legitimate software innovations to then be protected as trade secrets, and thus keep them away from open source projects."

glyn moody said...

A bizarre viewpoint, I agree. But I'm not saying he's perfect, just better than Larry Ellison in this context.....