Portland to be U.S. Open Source capital?

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The Christian Science Monitor reports that Portland, Oregon, is rapidly becoming ground zero for a burgeoning Open Source development community. The story was also picked up by USA Today. source is fast gaining converts, shattering traditional business models, and, in the process, transforming Portland into one of the world's open source hubs...

  • Companies like IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Intel have developed their own open-source labs here.
  • Linus Torvalds, author of Linux, the first mainstream open-source operating system, moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to work at the Open Source Development Lab in Portland.
  • In mid-October the city hosted the first Government Open Source Conference, a gathering for state and municipal technology managers interested in using open-source software in the public sector.
  • Most recently, Oregon Gov. Theodore Kulongoski announced a $350,000 contribution from Google to develop open-source software, hardware, and curricula at Oregon State University, which boasts an Open Source Lab, and Portland State University.

Get Hip to Text Messaging

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I heart my text messages.

Who doesn't like to get a note from their sweety during the day or confirm the address of where you're meeting your friend without having to take notes and loose it on the way there?

On my new cell phone when I call 411 they send the number I was calling about as a text message to my phone. I think that's cool. Why? Because I don't have to try and write it down and then program it back in my phone after they connect me. Also, I don't always have to call them back every time I want a specific number because I'm too lazy to program it. Now, I just program it right way in a few buttons. It saves them money, I'm sure, because I have unlimited 411 on my plan and they want to reduce the number of times I'm calling, no doubt.

Awwa Research Foundation - Knowledge Management

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(from - November 1, 2005)

The Awwa Research Foundation ( is a member-supported, international, nonprofit organization that sponsors research to enable water utilities, public health agencies and other professionals to provide safe and affordable drinking water to consumers.

The foundation initiated an in-house KM initiative to:

• establish an organizational culture to support knowledge management and improve sharing of information among staff and customers;

global library

NetSquared's picture reports on an important Washington Post Op-Ed piece, A Library for The New World, by Librarian of Congress James Billington...

Library Of Congress Proposes World Digital Library; Google Provides First $3 Million In Funds

The Library of Congress has been working towards digital preservation for 15 years, starting with the prescient American Memory collection. This proposal for a World Digital Library builds on the effort of the last five years to launch bilnigual, binational digitization projects with other countries; Russia, Brazil, Spain, France and the Netherlands along with the U.S. have made material available for any user. A more recent agreement between the LoC and the Library of Egypt, descendant of the grand library of Alexandria, enhances the global; potential to preserve and share material across the world. The idea, as James H. Billington, librarian of Congress, explains it: "to harness technology to bring scattered primary materials of the varied cultures into consolidated Web sites for each culture ... created primarily with and by the people of the respective regions."

Google, which has its own fascination with digitizing libraries, is the first donor with $3 million; other donors for the public-private project are being sought.

organ donors

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Today's New York TImes has an article about MatchingDonors. Worth a look.

My search for a healthy, living donor has been frustrating. I have no siblings, let alone an identical twin. Donors don't need to be related, but at minimum they need to share the same blood type.

Several friends said they would look into donation, but they turned out to have disqualifying medical problems or spouses who objected, or they grew scared.

I turned to, a Web site created last year to help link potential donors and recipients. Once a match is made, the process follows the standard path, with physicians at a transplant center determining whether to proceed with the surgery.

The site lists 2,400 potential donors and 100 possible recipients, and it says it has brokered 12 transplants, with about 20 more recipient-donor pairs matched and awaiting surgery. The site charges organ seekers several hundred dollars for a listing. There is no charge for donors. It waives the fee if necessary. as an example of a tool that could be used by nonprofits

NetSquared's picture Instant Podcast, Just Add Feed. (Get Real) - Automated blog to podcast service [ feed for net2 tag]

It's still in a closed alpha but the link above will take you to a review of  This is a great example, I think, of the kind of tools that could be tremendously beneficial to nonprofits.  Imagine:

  • Making site updates, calendars or anything else that can go into an RSS feed available to users with different levels of literacy
  • ...or folks who are visually impaired
  • ...or kids who have mp3 plays hanging off their bodies (iPods, phones)

Just a thought.

What do we mean when we say "remixing the web for social change"?

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Sean Coons at connecting*the*dots writes about the ways that social tools, most particularly tagging, intersects with social change. Here's a long quote:

The complete disregard of the intelligence and voice of the American citizen begins to explain the groundswell of blogging that has occurred over the past four years, specifically the political blogs and mainstream media watchdog sites. Across any time period in human history, technological advances go hand-in-hand with human motivation. While most of the time the potential for capital gains plays a large role in the motivation to advance technology, moral conviction has the ability to drive both the evolution of technology and the passion to leverage it to it's fullest degree. So what's the connection between geo-political events and blogging and the tactical fervor of Web 2.0? (social bookmarking, tagging, open source, open content, etc.) In a nutshell: everything.


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