December 19, 2007
O'Reilly Media Publishes Issue 6 of Release 2.0: Newsletter winds up first year with a look at the promise and implications
Sebastopol, CA--While the concept of open source software is widely
understood and generally accepted today, mention of open source hardware
can elicit an emotional response ranging from barefaced skepticism to
unbridled zeal. "As a trusted colleague suggested recently, putting the
words 'open,' 'source,' and 'hardware' next to one another in a sentence
is a sure way to cure insomnia among business people," says Jimmy
Guterman, editor of Release 2.0. The reaction is not surprising
considering how unformed our notion of open source hardware is relative to
that of open source software and the number of questions yet to be
answered: What part of hardware can be 'open'? How will communities
participate in its development? What business models will make it
attractive and profitable? How can production of the components be managed
to keep projects open and at the same time affordable?
These questions and others are explored in Issue 6 of Release 2.0 as it
takes a look at the current state of open source hardware and its emerging
role in business. The newsletter presents new tools and technologies that
are on the verge of changing how hardware is designed, produced, and sold.
It touches on how open source hardware will radically alter the shape of
the hardware manufacturing industry: "What old-school appliance makers
fear is precisely the problem solved by open source hardware," Guterman
reports. And "The Secrets Big Companies Should Know About Open Source
Software" offers a practical roadmap for companies assessing the benefits
of this business model.
"Open source changed the business of software irrevocably, in ways ranging
from how we produce and license software to how we maintain and distribute
it," says Guterman. "Although it's still early on, we're seeing
strengthening signals that the same thing may happen as hardware opens up
to open source."
To those who argue that open source hardware is merely a hobbyist fad,
Guterman says, "A fundamental article of faith at O'Reilly, one justified
over and over, is that it's hackers, innovators, and alpha geeks--in a
word, hobbyists--who provide the most reliable early warning signals as to
where technology and the business of technology are going. As we explore
in this issue of 'Release 2.0,' it's the promise of open source hardware
that's entrancing many of those emerging leaders."
Release 2.0, the bi-monthly newsletter for business leaders and technology
decision-makers, published by O'Reilly Media, brings early intelligence
and thought-provoking analysis of the ideas, people, and companies driving
world-changing technology trends. In Release 2.0, O'Reilly Radar gathers
the best minds to provide an advance detection system for the future,
spotlighting technology's inflection points and game-changing innovations.
Issue 6 of the newsletter also includes regular Release 2.0 features such
as "The Number," in which the Radar team zeros in on one statistic in
business and technology, exploring what is happening behind that number.
In this issue, "The Number" evaluates how the international social
networking market looks much different from that of the US. "The Canon,"
which looks at books, articles, websites, and other sources that offer
timeless ideas and approaches, suggests two slender, provocative volumes
that can change the way you see your business and your world. And finally,
the "Calendar" highlights some of the technology and business events that
are on the Radar team's radar and should be on yours.
Annual subscriptions to Release 2.0 are $495. Free samples of this issue
as well as back issues for purchase can be found at
http://radar.oreilly.com/r2/. For information on group subscriptions, site
licenses, or other questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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