Posted on February 22, 2007 in ignite, igniteseattle, video by Sarah DaviesComments Off

Here’s video of my talk at ignite: medicaid fraud lawyer

[MEDIA=1]

It’s obvious that I was pretty nervous talking in front of that many people, but equally obvious that we all had a good time.

Here’s video of my favorite talk that evening, Lee Lefever and travelblogging:

Posted on February 17, 2007 in creative commons, np tech by Brian RoweComments Off

As a non profit why lock away your contributions to society with a threat to litigate?

All copyright does is allow you to sue someone if your work is used by someone else.

Non-profits should tag their work with a Creative Commons license that allows other to build on the work and add to the NPO community as a whole.

I strongly recommend removing copyright notices in favor of an attribution only license which allows other to build on your contributions to the community as long as they credit the author. Most NPO’s want their work distributed in ways that help as many people as possible. All a copyright notice does is discourage sharing with the community as a whole.

Posted on February 13, 2007 in ignite, igniteseattle, talks by Sarah DaviesView Comments

The crowd was huge and fabulous. I am very happy with the talk I gave. Here’s the feedback I’ve gotten so far:

I just saw it. Vivid speaker. To be clear: I liked it. She’s my kind of commie

Yay! I didn’t even use the term “commie IP” in my presentation (that’s how I comedically explain our mission statement to my friends), but people still got it!

I’ll post a video of the talk when I get one…

Posted on February 11, 2007 in ignite, talks by Sarah DaviesComments Off

I have the high honor this week of being selected to give a talk at Ignite Seattle! The event will be Tuesday night at CHAC, and the list of speakers looks fascinating:

http://www.igniteseattle.com/2007/02/ignite-deux-the-speaker-schedule/

Come have a pint and geek out!

Posted on February 8, 2007 in microsoft, nonprofits, nptech, open source by Sarah DaviesComments Off

As TechSoup just announced that they will be offering Vista and Word 2007 to nonprofits for about $20 a license, I feel this is an appropriate time to talk about the moral implications of purchasing these products.

There are many reasons to discourage nonprofits from accepting donated software from Microsoft. Most nonprofits exist because they are trying to make the world a better place. Most nonprofit employees apply their own morals to their purchases. We buy recycled paper. We buy fair trade coffee. Software has moral implications behind it as well. Microsoft has refused to allow others to customize or edit their software. They have refused to share their knowledge with the rest of the community. They use monopolistic practices to discourage innovation. They routinely hire contract employees and require them to take periods of time off unpaid to avoid paying them benefits.

For these reasons, I strongly encourage you to examine Open Source options. Free software is not called free simply because it doesn’t cost anything. It is free because anyone can use it, build on it, customize it, change it, and share it. Thousands of volunteer developers have spent their time building these tools. The software is better and easier to use because it is built by software users for software users, not by contract employees without benefits designing for profit.

One of the tools available is Open Office at http://openoffice.org/. Another is Ubuntu at http://ubuntu.com/. Many people in the tech community help nonprofits out with these tools on a daily basis in tech forums. If you feel especially uncomfortable with them, and want someone to hold your hand all the way through, consider Red Hat at http://www.redhat.com; they charge for the service of implementing and customizing open source software built by volunteers. I’ve spoken to some open source developers, and they’ve told me that they do it because they want to help the world, and if you go to their forums they will answer your questions (and they won’t charge you $30/hour like Microsoft). Moreover, these tools are updated more often than proprietary software, and the updates are free of charge.

Doesn’t that sound better?