This story was originally published on April 6, 2017 on the OpenChain News Blog. Want to learn more about the OpenChain Project and our industry standard for open source compliance? Visit and join the community.

The OpenChain Project today welcomes Catharina Maracke and Matija Šuklje as its first two Strategic Advisors.

“Catharina and Matija are long-term contributors to FOSS and related aspects of Open Technology and Law,” says Shane Coughlan, OpenChain Program Manager. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to work closely together as we grow OpenChain from a useful, refined project to widely adopted market reality.”

Catharina is an IP/IT lawyer focussing on compliance and related governance questions. With more than 10 years of experience in public licensing schemes and standardisation, Catharina has worked with different stakeholders from the public and private sector to build networks and healthy ecosystems around open access and open source projects. Catharina has served as International Director for Creative Commons, as a Board Member of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, and as a Member of the Global Agenda Council on the Intellectual Property System at the World Economic Forum. She is admitted to the bar in Germany. …

This story was originally published on October 6, 2016 on the OpenChain News Blog. Want to learn more about the OpenChain Project and our industry standard for open source compliance? Visit and join the community.

The Linux Foundation®, the nonprofit advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration, today announced that the OpenChain Project has established its first set of requirements and best practices for consistent free and open source software (FOSS) management processes in the open source software supply chain. The OpenChain Specification 1.0

The majority of people are not thinking about electric cars as a solution to their immediate needs. Electric cars are too expensive (generally true), have too little range (we will come back to this later) and the infrastructure does not exist to support them (depends where you are). In a nutshell, for most places apart from China these devices are still the preserve of the wealthy. Meanwhile, China has 99% of the world’s 250 million electric bikes, 99% of the electric buses and last year saw 1.1 million electric cars find a new home. Way to go China!

Too Expensive

As a ballpark, you need somewhere in the region of 35,000 to 45,000 USD to buy an electric car. Double that for a premium car from Jaguar, Audi or Tesla. This is within but pushing the boundaries of the average purchase price range in the United States of circa 36,000 USD. Statistically speaking, half of people in the USA spend less than 36,000 USD on a new car, making electric cars a little but not crazy expensive in that geography. The same holds true in West Europe and Japan, with new cars being around 31,000 Euro in Germany and about 2.1 million yen in Japan. Somewhat ironically, for reasons we will explore later, the largest gap between a gas car and an electric car is in Japan. A Nissan Leaf costs around 3.1 million yen, 10,000 USD ahead of the average purchase price. Ouch. …

I have been using the Bose QC35 for about two and a half years now. They were an upgrade purchase to a pair of QC15’s that I used for about a year and a half…and then left in a restaurant. Sighs. Anyway, as I await my new Planer Magnetic Verum 1 headphones, here are some notes on my favorite headphones to date.

My usage parameters:

  • I travel a *lot* and want something to reduce ambient noise
  • Occasionally I like to drift off into my own world while watching Netflix at home
  • I appreciate hearing details in my music

For the first point the Bose QC35 excel. They block a lot of ambient noise, especially the tiring drone of airplane or train engines, and they are exceptionally comfortable and durable. I have slept countless times using these headphones without any issues. Two and a half years of travel is not kind. They were clearly built for this. …

This post will discuss the audio cables that come with the Verum 1 but contains information that may be informative for any audio cable purchase. There are a lot of opinions out there and it can be confusing. Audio is perhaps more susceptible to intense debate around the topic than other fields as there are some very strong opinions about cables adding or removing character from music. For those of us from a computer background this is a dubious with respect to analogue cables and impossible with respect to digital cables. …

One of the first things you encounter in discussions about good headphones are suggestions that you may need an external DAC, or digital to analogue converter. This device takes the digital information in a file or CD (or whatever) and pushes it to wired headphones or speakers. The simplest way of thinking about this is that it turns ones and zeros into signals that are transmitted across connectors for headphone sockets and which are needed to make speakers work. At some point a great digital signal has to turn into something that moves air. That movement is analogue.

A DAC can be located in various places. For example, in your phone’s headphone socket if you have one of the increasingly rare devices with such a thing. Or a headphone adaptor from a recent phone. Or in the earphones of an noise cancelling or wireless headphone. Regardless, a DAC has to be somewhere. …

Buying a headphone for pure listening pleasure presents a different set of questions to the average practice of placing portability and convenience first. Some refer to these decisions as being part of the audiophile world and its attendant norms and practices. Some simply measure features with a different filter to previous purchases. They may seek audio capabilities wider than their existing headsets by choosing something with a HiRes label and/or forgo aspects of portability for access to entirely new categories of headphone.

Either way, there are a wealth of options. Today, with the intersection of technology, science and massive demand, there are headphones for every conceivable purpose and every different listening profile. Pricing and features are pretty confusing, with reasonable options in terms of capability racing all the way from circa $50 to $1,500. …

It seems we have two challenges related to science these days.

1: Lack of “belief” (understanding and education) around science.

2: A consequent logic trap that appears to validate relativism, or the perception of alternative truth, a rejection of fact.

The latter is tied to two muddled concepts:

One is the idea that scientific theories are frequently “wrong.” This is a misunderstanding because science is mostly about *testing* things and *learning* from both successes and failures equally.

The second is that science is an opinion, not inherent truth, because it quite frequently has no absolute evidence. This is another misunderstanding. Science is about replicable probability. …

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If you work in consumer electronics, drones, IoT, or automotive devices based on generic Linux or Android codebases, chances are you have encountered a variant of the GPL License and had to comply with the applicable terms.

For the most part, compliance engineering is centered around the GPL Version 2 (GPL hereafter), a copyright license that is triggered when distributing code. Software such as the Linux kernel or commonly-used versions of GNU userland tools fall under this license. To comply with the GPL, you must engineer your process with a good approach, toolbox and policies. Sometimes this means scanning source code and automating compliance work with tools like FOSSA. Sometimes it means scanning binary code to confirm its content. …

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Sharing Knowledge, Sharing Experience — Fantastic at the Right Time

First of all, stop.

I am often asked to provide consultancy to companies that are considering open source. Some companies want to use third party code for the first time. Some companies want to release their own code. Everyone wants to know how to do these things as efficiently as possible.

What do you really want?

The main challenge is that most companies are only beginning their exploration of the issues at hand. Often they are not sure what questions they want to ask. They may not have spent time to analyze their situation today, what they are thinking of doing next, and why this thought process exists. Unpacking with outside help can be very lucrative for consultants. …

Shane Martin Coughlan

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