Open Views playlist for 2006-10-10

FourstonesTu CorazonccMixter

Guest: Prayas Abhinav
I started last week with a description of what Open Source is. Mike Linksvayer from joined in to provide a brief introduction to the Creative Commons license, which is a more flexible alternative to copyright. I'll have Mike for a full hour next week, talking about the details of copyright and creative commons. Check out for some great information on what open-licensed music is out there, and a very interesting project called ccMixter.

ccMixter is a remixing project. The music that you hear in the background is actually a ccMixter product. ccMixter's tagline is "Download, Sample, Cut-up, Share". This is a great resource for people interested in creating remixes and mashups, without worrying about the legal nightmare of copyright restriction. Go to

This radio station runs on Open Source software, and I wanted to mention some very cool tools that make your computing experience just a bit better. When you get a windows machine you don't get CD-burning software, mp3 ripping software, Office-software, or a good graphics editor. A very useful compilation that bundles everything you need to get your computer to be useful is The Open CD project. Go to, and download the programs. If you don't have a high-speed connection, just stop by the station some-time, and we'll give you a copy of this CD. Probably the most useful thing on it is PDFCreator. If you've ever had the need to create a PDF file, this is a great and free solution. Just print whatever you need to to PDFCreator, and that's it - instant PDF!

[If you're a hard-core Open Source person, a very interesting website is it's a site that maps a bunch of open-source projects and weight-tags them, so that you can tell what's current, what's being worked on, and what's gaining popularity.]

This town has a lot of people who would rather be traveling to Cambodia than waiting for winter to descend upon us. I'm a Lonely Planet nut myself, but have recently realized that WikiTravel may be a great alternative. I've often been tempted to leave my Lonely Planet behind when I'm traveling just coz it's so heavy and occupies precious space in my backpack. But WikiTravel is completely online, and that means I don't have to lug the thousand page Lonely Planet India everywhere I go. I wonder how long it's going to be before Lonely Planet decides to open everything up and put their content online.

If you're one of the masses of budding screenwriters in this town, there's an excellent tool that allows you to create screenplays collaboratively, online. It's celtx, and you can get it at I couldn't possible describe how useful celtx is, so you should just go try it out. I've used it with 4 friends of mine, collaborating around the world. And if you're just into reading other peoples' scripts, that's cool too, since there are a lot of screenplays on celtx that have been made completely public.

Now that we're talking about movies, the first open movie has been released online, and can be purchased on DVD. What's an Open Movie, you ask? Go check out Elephant's Dream. If you think that you need a studio the size of Dreamworks or Pixar, or software that costs thousands, think again. Go check out, to see how the Open Source Blender project has been used to create a truly magnificent film. It's also the first ever High Definition DVD released in Europe. The best part of this project is that it's completely open. What this means is that the source files - the stuff that they used to create this movie - is all available for you to download, import into Blender, and create your own mashup or remix, or just learn how all this cool stuff works. We'll have a copy of Elephant's Dream at KRUU, just so you can see what's possible with Open Source and collaborative creation.

This week on Open Views my guest is Prayas Abhinav. Prayas is a volunteer with Creative Commons India.

I spoke with Prayas about his involvement with creative commons India, and his background using the creative commons license in his artistic works.

I also asked Prayas for his opinion on Network Neutrality. Net neutrality is a hot topic in Washington right now and there are several bills up for vote. I'll attempt to provide a synopsis of the issue, albeit in a very simplified form.

The topic basically revolves around whether Internet bandwidth should be differentiated based on the quality of connection, and these different qualities charged at different rates. For example, a company which sends out a lot of video would be charged a higher tarriff than a company that does not.The debate is often obfuscated by media distribution companies like MediaCom Cable, who condense the issue into sound-bytes stating that the issue boils down to rich silicon valley companies not wanting to pay for what they use. Net neutrality is not about Silicon Valley companies not wanting to pay for bandwidth. It's about how the Internet was set up and should work, and how it can scale going forward. The bottom line is that this issue will determine just how much the people who control the wires that make up the Internet will charge for access to the Internet.

Anyone interested in learning more about this issue should first look at the Wikipedia entry for Net Neutrality. If you would like to delve deeper into how the legislation around this issue might affect you, feel free to contact me. Send an email to