April 25, 2021

The Role of Open Source in Health

This is my eighth blog post for the UVA class LPPS 4720. Academic research is critical for the advancement of medical science, yet many of the most prestigious journals are locked behind insurmountable paywalls. Open Access (OA) journals seek to combat this by bringing the principles of open-source to academia—they are completely free and open to the public so that anyone with an Internet connection can access quality medical research. OA also limits many copyright and licensing restrictions, similar to the spirit of Creative Commons licenses, so that the health community can freely build upon each other’s work. Read more

April 5, 2021

The Role of Open Source in Infrastructure

This is my seventh blog post for the UVA class LPPS 4720. There are two major types of infrastructure that power the Internet: decentralized and centralized. While open-source software can live on both centralized and decentralized infrastructure, I believe that the future of the Web will rely on distributed computing over a decentralized network of computers. Open-source is key to making this work effectively. As I mentioned in my previous post Tim Berners-Lee envisioned the World Wide Web as a primarily decentralized platform. Read more

March 30, 2021

The Role of Open Source in Communication

This is my sixth blog post for the UVA class LPPS 4720. In this post I’m going to get a bit meta and talk about open-source blogs on my open-source blog on open-source. For someone who wants to start writing online, there are really two options—use some sort of centralized publishing platform like Medium or go the decentralized route and build and host the website yourself (or use a service like GitHub Pages to host the site for you). Read more

March 24, 2021

The Role of Open Source in Agriculture

This is my fifth blog post for the UVA class LPPS 4720. When you think of farming, you probably picture massive fields with acres of land and tons of heavy equipment. However, not all food needs to be grown this way—individuals can empower themselves to manage their own small-scale farming operations. Unlike companies such as Vision Robotics and Naio Technologies that develop and sell proprietary farming robots, FarmBot is a company completely built upon open-source principles—they sell products, but everything, including the building instructions for the robots and the software that they run on, is fully open-source. Read more

March 16, 2021

The Role of Open Source in Education

This is my fourth blog post for the UVA class LPPS 4720. Education is a cornerstone of modern society and is vital to the success of future generations. This means that everyone should have access to a quality education regardless of their background or socio-economic status. Open Source has the potential to revolutionize and democratize education by reducing the costs of necessary materials such as textbooks (replaced with online open-access books) and software (use LibreOffice instead of MS Office, Inkscape and GIMP instead of PhotoShop, Linux instead of Windows or macOS, etc. Read more

March 12, 2021

The Role of Open Source in Energy

This is my third blog post for the UVA class LPPS 4720. The purpose of this assignment probably was to discuss how the Open Source movement will impact renewable energy, but I’m going to take this in a different direction and talk about computer chips. RISC-V is the first completely free and open CPU instruction set architecture (ISA) primarily for low-energy computers. According to its website, “the RISC-V ISA delivers a new level of free, extensible software and hardware freedom on architecture, paving the way for the next 50 years of computing design and innovation”. Read more

February 26, 2021

The Role of Open Source in Addressing Inequality

This is my second blog post for the UVA class LPPS 4720. Inequality manifests itself in many different ways, but I will only address one of these in this post: access to information. The 21st century, the so-called “Information Age”, is a time where connection to the Internet along with basic literacy enables an unprecedented number of people to freely participate in the “Human Colossus”. However, even with the Internet, the abuse of strict intellectual property laws can restrict free access to information and perpetuate inequality. Read more

February 11, 2021

The Role of Open Source in Innovation and Product Development

This is my first blog post for the UVA class LPPS 4720. While Intellectual Property (IP) has been a useful tool in the past to foster entrepreneurship, it has many underlying issues. An Open Source philosophy is a great alternative to IP which solves many of its issues, but still is not a silver bullet. To understand the advantages of Open Source when applied to innovation and product development, it is important to first understand IP. Read more

© Samarth Kishor 2020

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