Monday, March 1, 2010

March Issue on Mobile Published

The editorial theme for the March issue of the OSBR is Mobile. The guest editors are Fran├žois Lefebvre from Communications Research Centre, Canada and Thomas Kunz from Carleton University, Ottawa. This month's authors include:

Andreas Constantinou is the Research Director at VisionMobile. His article discusses the importance of governance models to understand the dynamics of an open source product, constrasting it to the better understood role of licences. Using the mobile industry as an example, he demonstrates how governance models can be used by open source sponsors to control the development of open source products, and argues for more education and clarity on governance models.

Jason Kridner is the open platforms principal architect at Texas Instruments Incorporated. His article discusses the challenges and successes in establishing a vibrant ecosystem around the BeagleBoard, a low-cost, fan-less single-board computer. The efforts within this community have allowed the BeagleBoard to become a versatile and powerful open embedded device.

David Burgess of the OpenBTS Project discusses the project's experiences, which will probably become the first case of a free software GSM basestation in a public cellular network. The article focuses on the challenges of the project, as well as the advantages of having followed the open source route.

Fran├žois Lefebvre leads the Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting team at Communications Research Centre, Canada. His article surveys CRC’s attempt to increase collaboration and innovation in the field of mobile broadcasting by developing and offering complete end-to-end free and open source software toolsets.

Carl B. Dietrich, Jeffrey H. Reed, Stephen H. Edwards and Frank E. Kragh discuss OSSIE, a university-based open source Software Defined Radio project at Virginia Tech. OSSIE software has proven useful for rapid prototyping by industry as well as for published research and education of hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students. In addition to examples of OSSIE’s successes, the project’s challenges and approaches to mitigating and overcoming them are described.

Hal Steger, Vice President of Marketing at Funambol, inc., introduces the cloud computing paradigm as a way to deliver mobile applications and data. His article discusses trends that are driving the adoption of the mobile cloud, important components of mobile cloud infrastructure, and the role of open source.

Bradley M. Kuhn is the Policy Analyst and Technology Director at the Software Freedom Law Center. He briefly reviews the history of free software in the mobile device space, focusing on both software and hardware. A review of the available alternatives to-date leads him to conclude that users, while able to access open code bases from major companies, are at the mercy of these companies. For a number of reasons, true software freedom on mobile devices is, as yet, an elusive goal.

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