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Without humans for scale, an NFL stadium can seem quite cozy from the turf. Or so I observed at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles, on a visit last fall.
For 45 minutes, Norman Vossschulte, the team’s Director of Guest Experience and my temporary tour guide, wound us through the cavernous building, from the aluminum baler and kitchen biodigester in the bowels of the structure, to the roof overlooking a solar-paneled parking lot, to the press box and special suites, where eager schoolchildren oohed and aahed over their home team.
Lincoln Financial Field isn’t exactly known for such serenity. “When there are 70,000 people in here, it actually feels larger,” Vossschulte says. On game days, the stadium accommodates 69,796 screaming football fans—the population of a decently-sized American town—and event staff adds another 3,000. Between matches, the facility also plays host to conferences, collegiate sports, and world concert tours, most recently The Rolling Stones.
All of that hubbub requires a lot of power for the Linc and other NFL stadiums. While the home of the Eagles consumes about 10 megawatts of energy per year, in 2013 the Dallas Cowboys could reportedly consume the same amount of juice at peak demand in a single game. Such events also generate a lot of waste: a single, spectacular night like the Super Bowl (which Lincoln Financial Field has yet to host) can produce 80,000 pounds of trash. And that’s just football. In the US there are also 29 NBA arenas and 30 MLB ballparks.
That’s why the Eagles have Vossschulte. The charismatic leader, who spent a brief period as a Disney World actor in the Jedi Training experience, wears many helmets—but one of his roles is leading the team’s Go Green initiative, an ongoing effort to shrink the Eagles’ environmental impact. It began in 2003, with a few recycling bins in the office. Now, it snakes through the 1.7 million-square-foot facility and out into the city and wider region.
But not every NFL team has made sustainability a priority. Some owners worry that fans will see eco-conscious policies as a political statement—one that detracts from the franchise’s real goal of selling tickets (and, of course, winning championships). Others shy away from the expense and logistical challenge; without league requirements or governmental regulations to push them, many organizations would prefer the status quo. Even for entities like the Eagles, the goal posts are always moving: “This was literally a 15-year journey for us,” Vossschulte says. And there’s still a long way to go.An eagle eye on waste
At Lincoln Financial Field, renewable energy keeps the lights on. The 11,000 solar panels on the building and over the parking lot provide about 40 percent of what the stadium needs to operate. The rest comes through a partnership with the local utility NRG, which sells the Eagles renewable energy credits linked to other solar or wind farms throughout the region.
That’s probably the easiest part of their sustainability practice.
After each game, 75 trash sorters fan out through the stadium collecting rubbish. They pick up rolling cans and forgotten cheesesteak wrappers. But they also slice open every single garbage bag and pull out any recyclable materials.
Typically, the NFL demands staff pour all beer into an open cup, to keep fans from throwing full cans or bottles on the field. But that practice creates a lot of plastic waste. So the Eagles asked the league for permission to serve beer in cans, as aluminum is one of the most recyclable materials on the planet. They got the go-ahead, so long as a staffer popped the top before handing it to a fan.
The Linc’s 11,000 solar panels, many of which are pictured here, provide 40 percent of what the stadium needs to operate. Drew Hallowell
Instead of sending recovered aluminum to a recycling company—where’d they earn about $45 to $75 for a ton of aluminum—the Eagles process it on site. By baling their own aluminum, they make $800 and $1,200 per ton.
Of course, plastic persists, from water bottles to shrink wrap.
Standing in front of a box of used plastic bottle tops the size of a USPS mailbox, Vossschulte explained how Braskem, a Brazilian petrochemical company, melts them down into plastic pellets. These pellets become the raw material for new products, like the super-sized plastic Lombardi trophy that commemorates the Eagles’ 2023 Super Bowl win. “The next thing we’re going to do with these is make cup holders for the urinals, so people can put their beer in them. And we’re also looking into making seats out of them, or benches,” he says.
“What Braskem has helped us understand is, instead of recycling, is there a way to close the loop, so instead of leaving the system, it stays in use,” Vossschulte says.
Other materials are treated the same way. Staff collect shrink wrap and send it to a company that transforms it into a material used in drywall. “Next time we’re building something in the stadium that needs drywall, we’re going to try and procure that drywall that was built with shrink wrap from our stadium,” Vossschulte says. Pre-consumer food waste (i.e. the stuff in the industrial kitchens) is sent to a contract composter or tossed into one of two on-site biodigesters, which harness hungry bacteria to decompose organic materials. The resulting energy-rich slurry drains into the sewer, where it’s filtered by the local wastewater treatment facility and turned into energy.
“We’re at 99 percent landfill free,” Vossschulte says.
Through it all, the Eagles have approached sustainability incrementally—a reduction here, a new initiative there. Vossschulte says this strategy has allowed the organization much-needed flexibility. Instead of doing everything at once and being stuck with it for years to come, the team incorporates new technology and ideas as they develop. But it also means it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly comes next. Beyond Braskem recycled benches and closed-loop drywall, Lincoln Financial Stadium’s green goals remain somewhat mysterious.
But Vossschulte says the team’s commitment is steadfast. “There are owners who are invested in this. Jeffrey [Lurie] is one of those owners,” he says. “He really believes we as a company, or a team, or a stadium are a citizen … We have a responsibility.”Friendly competition
The Eagles aren’t the only ones going green—especially in recent years.
One of the driving forces in stadium sustainability is LEED, a certification developed by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council. “It’s a way of legitimizing the work that they’re doing,” says Timothy Kellison, an assistant professor at Georgia State University who studies sustainability in sports. “Before that, teams had less opportunities to demonstrate that.”
In 2023, Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia upgraded its LEED silver certification to gold. A few other NFL venues have the same cred, including 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium and the Minnesota Vikings’ U.S. Bank Stadium. But they were built recently, with sustainability in mind. “For an existing building, that’s pretty rare,” Vossschulte says.
Some new construction has done even better. In November 2023, the Atlanta Falcons’ Mercedes Benz Stadium, was the first professional sports stadium in North America to achieve LEED Platinum. In addition to renewable energy efforts like installing solar panels, the organization “got every water credit you can get under LEED,” said Scott Jenkins, the general manager for Mercedes Benz Stadium. Atlanta is “plagued by flooding issues,” he told me. The stadium can store more than 2.1 million gallons of stormwater on site. It keeps rain from surging through the surrounding neighborhood, and reduces the stadium’s water usage by 47 percent.
There are other motivations for NFL teams to go green: “These owners are competitive, just like their sports teams,” Kellison says. “Something like having the greenest stadium in the world is a nice feather in the cap of an organization or an owner.” And while some owners are also genuinely altruistic, Kellison continues, “we can’t discount the business sense that it makes.”
By moving to 100 percent renewable energy, Lincoln Financial Field, for example, has freed up more than $200,000 a year for other projects, Vossschulte says. NRG buys the energy the stadium produces every day to power other parts of Philadelphia. Then, when the stadium needs it, they buy back solar and wind energy at a reduced rate. Normally, “energy prices fluctuate quite a bit,” so stadiums have to reserve a pot of money for surges, Vossschulte says. But with its NRG agreement, the Eagles are “able to budget to literally [to] the dollar what we spend annually on our energy costs.”
Still, not every team has incorporated sustainability in its mission. Kellison attributes this, at least in part, to concerns about fan response. “The difficult question a lot of organizations are running into is whether they want to jump into this perceived political question,” he said. While some, like the Eagles, believe sustainability will help them appeal to the next generation of season ticket holders, other teams worry climate action will alienate the ones they already have.It’s not easy being green
I asked Kellison how far we are from a totally sustainable sports industry—one that’s carbon neutral and zero waste. “If you catch me on a different day, I’ll give a different answer,” he told me. “Some days I wake up and feel very optimistic about things, and other days I’m less optimistic. So my answer today is, I think we aren’t close on an industry-wide level.”
Plenty of organizations have sat idle on climate action. Some don’t want to deal with the headache of updating policies and facilities, and others are worried that investing in sustainability will look political and alienate fans. Even the most eco-conscious teams can’t always compensate for their enormous footprint.
“We can celebrate the fact that Mercedes Benz stadium is the most sustainable stadium in the world,” Kellison says. But it replaced the Georgia Dome, which was only built in 1992. “The lifespan of these buildings tend to be short, not because the buildings are becoming necessarily outdated or falling apart, but because team owners tend to be able to get new buildings. They have a lot of leverage in the city.” Owners want the latest technology, diverse ticketing options, and a beautiful canvas for sponsors. And they argue that stadiums are an economic boon for the adjacent city (though that doesn’t always go as planned). But if teams were to truly minimize their carbon footprints, they would have to reckon with the environmental costs of construction and recognize that “the best thing you can do to keep a building sustainable is to keep a stadium up and running.”
While there are “some teams that are just doing remarkable things,” Kellison argues that lasting change will have to come from legislation. “Enlightened ownership,” as Jenkins calls it, and common sense business strategy can be a force for good, but local, state, and federal governments are the only ones who can guarantee a more sustainable future.Fandom of the future
The industrial underbelly I saw at Lincoln Financial Field is invisible to most Eagles fans. It’s meant to be. “Fans don’t come here to talk about sustainability, they come here to be entertained,” Vossschulte says. But the Eagles think they can have it both ways. “What we’re trying to do is convey the message in a fun way,” he says. Case in point: the “Recycle Your Beer Here” signs over the urinals.
Some teams may worry climate action will turn fans away. But Vossschulte believes the opposite is true, at least for the Eagles. Among season ticket holders, who are about 45 to 60 years old, sustainability is 9 or 10 in their top 10 reasons to support the Eagles. “However, with the demographic of 20 to 30 [years old], it was the number two driver of why to be a fan,” Vossschulte says. “It’s very important to continue with sustainability strategy from a marketing perspective, because [of] young fans who are coming up, and are eventually going to fill your seats.” And it’s important to do it now. “I don’t want the younger generation to be in charge when it’s too late.”
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AR and VR are reshaping the future in healthcare, offering more effective solutions for preventive healthcare, alongside a huge role in training and education
The healthcare industry gives visionary ideas, channelling exponential growth to make the greatest-ever contribution to humanity’s welfare. From 2023 to 2025, the global AR and VR in healthcare industry is expected to grow at a faster pace. Therefore, AR and VR will clearly reshape the healthcare industry in the coming years.Here are some of the ways XR technologies, that is AR and VR will reshape the future healthcare industry: 1. Training and facilitation of medical learning
XR technology has the potential to significantly improve the quality of learning and training for medical professionals while also lowering costs and improving retention.2. Training for Skill development
Another aspect of medical training is purely physical, such as inserting a catheter, drawing blood, and performing surgeries. While traditional methods entail learning from textbooks, slide shows, and watching a professional perform these tasks, AR and VR technologies allow students to learn these behavioural skills in a virtual or mixed reality environment by actually performing them. Medical students not only improve the quality of their learning by performing these skills in an immersive environment, but they also learn to do so with a much higher degree of accuracy and precision.3. Body mapping or Virtual assistance
There are numerous examples of AR/VR technology in healthcare that improve medical training for students prior to actual surgeries and allow doctors to practise complex procedures on a virtual human body. By synchronising and connecting multiple sensors, AR-based apps can assist doctors in creating simulations of patient bodies to work with complex scenarios or compensate for the absence or scarcity of doctors. It also opens up numerous opportunities for practitioners to use available information and AR-based hardware to perform complex medical tests.4. Augmented surgery or Realistic 3D visualisation
AR-based apps can improve patient safety during surgery by providing surgeons with real-time data on the patient’s vitals, procedure details, equipment locations, and other pertinent information. AR-based virtual interfaces enable doctors to visualise the locations of patients’ organs as well as diseases, tumours, or other abnormalities. This, in turn, expedites procedures while maintaining patient safety and improving the doctor’s cognitive conscience. During a TAVI heart procedure, for example, surgeons require a large amount of data and real-time information from sensors such as instant X-rays and 3D U/S scans. AR-based apps can provide them with quick access to such vital data sets.5. Simulating practical medical training
AR and other XR technologies can be used to provide interactive and immersive education to patients who are fearful or sceptical. Doctors and healthcare professionals can use VR and AR not only to train tech interns but also to educate patients during consultation sessions. This will also allow doctors to instil confidence and trust in their patients, allowing them to make more informed decisions.6. Education and Improved care for patients
Not only medical professionals but also patients can benefit from AR and VR technologies in terms of understanding medical conditions and details about treatment and a variety of procedures.7. Accurate risk and disease diagnosis
AR-based applications can assist doctors in detecting, avoiding, and treating a variety of diseases with a better prognosis. It can visualise information collected from various sensors into a unified interface to determine specific causes of a patient’s condition. It can also allow doctors to monitor veins, lesions, organs, and other structures without invasive procedures. EyeDecide is one such medical app that simulates the impact of specific conditions on a person’s vision using the camera display.8. Capabilities of Telemedicine
In reviews of Gran Turismo 5, the long-anticipated PS3 version of the ultra-realistic driving sim, critics pointed out the difficulty of distinguishing screen grabs from the game with actual photos of real-life cars. That’s one of the better indications of just how effectively video games have shrunken the gap between reality and digital representations of reality. But after driving the 458 Italia, Ferrari’s latest and greatest feat of hot-blooded automotive audacity, I realized something: the merger of digital and real realities works both ways. What makes the 458 Italia so remarkable is that Ferrari has made piloting a $230,000 sports car feel like playing a video game.
I approached our test drive, on a sunny and crisp November day, from what I imagine is a fairly unique perspective among the lucky journalists who’ve had the chance to test-drive the 458 Italia. I haven’t owned a car for the last five years, don’t really drive much, and have never buckled into anything as remotely powerful (or expensive) as the 458. I love high-performance cars, but my admiration is from afar.
So to prepare, I did what in hindsight is probably among the better things I could have done. I purchased the 458 Italia in Forza 3, switched on the manual transmission, and logged some laps from my couch, just me and the Xbox.
Getting behind the wheel for real twelve hours later, it’s striking just how similar the two experiences are. The Italia’s semi-automatic, dual-clutch transmission has no clutch pedal to work (good thing, because I’m not the handiest with a stick-shift). Which makes firing off gear changes with the massive metal paddles behind the steering wheel (described beautifully by someone who has more grounds for comparison than I as “buttered-lightning”) feel not at all unlike working through the gears with the A and B buttons on my Xbox controller. Had I been driving hard on a track, the Italia’s state-of-the-art traction control system would be there to keep all four wheels on the ground. Just like in Forza, purists can opt out of the car’s digital assistance with the flip of a switch (something we were strongly discouraged from doing by our considerate handlers at Ferrari, who were looking out for us). In reality, there are no bonus points for eschewing safety; just thrills.
Looking straight out of an F1 cockpit, the steering wheel has buttons for everything from turn signals to wipers to traction control; no stalks to block your grip of the huge metal paddle shifters behind.
Which brings us to the very important thing that the Xbox cannot yet provide: the truly indescribable feeling of stomping on the 458’s waiting gas pedal and hitting 60 mph from a rolling slow-start in 3.4 seconds, popping off gear shifts at the behest of the blinking LEDs on the top of the steering wheel (right there in between your white bloodless fists). I’ve ridden some serious roller coasters. I’ve sat in the passenger seat of some pretty fast cars burning out. I’ve even been shot into the sky from the top of a 1,000 foot tower. None come close to matching the giddy brain fizz of 0-60 behind the wheel in the Italia.
Trading lucky Ferrari stories with another non-gearhead in the days following, this feeling naturally came up. “It’s like…hooo,” she said, shaking her head and tapping on the inside of her elbow with two fingers, implying heavy intravenous narcotics use. Neither of us have ever shot heroin, but the metaphor seems apt; I can see how that full-body rush of endorphins could become dangerously addicting.
So does the 458 Italia provide the ultimate raw automotive experience, or the ultimate digital driving simulation? I would argue both. With so much of the car’s operations handled via perfectly responsive automation (it’s trust, really), everything but the pure joy of driving fast and hard drops away. I’m no expert, but that’s sounds an awful lot like the perfect Ferrari to me.
Just So You Remember…
…what you’re driving.
The Italia’s brakes have plenty of room to breath, should you find the need to use them.
Again, in case you forgot…the stallion is there to remind you.
The 562hp, 4.5-liter, normally-aspirated V8 sits under glass behind your head. And what a noise it can make from back there.
Two large, rubbery fins in the 458’s nostrils distribute cooling to the brakes, gearbox and engine. The silver stallion looks on.
Don’t those look comfortable? They are.
Looking straight out of an F1 cockpit, the steering wheel has buttons for everything from turn signals to wipers to traction control; no stalks to block your grip of the huge metal paddle shifters behind.
Dominating the instrument panel is the tachometer; speed is relegated to a much smaller gauge below and to the right, as if to say “no need to look down, your speed is ‘too fast.’”
A pretty view, for the gawkers behind.
Sexy In Silver Too
The twisty LEDs of the headlights look forward.
The B-52 is the old workhorse of the U.S. bomber fleet, with an average age of more than 45 years. It can carry a wider range of weapons, and loiter longer without refueling, than any other bomber. The B-52 has more than four times the range of the 2023 bomber. A.P. Photo/U.S. Air Force
In both Beijing and Washington D.C., nuclear weapons and their delivery systems have become particularly big news lately. In China, the DF-41 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is already driving in the streets of Manchuria. Stateside, President Trump has just received a briefing at the Pentagon on America’s nuclear plans.
Here’s a quick run-down of the nuclear systems of both countries—and what they are planning to obtain in the next 25 years:
The Minuteman III, a static display at a USAF base in North Dakota, is the workhorse of America’s landbased nuclear deterrent.
The DF-31A ICBM is China’s most capable nuclear missile, with a range of 11,200 km and multi warhead potential.
In one of the clearest photos of the DF-41 ICBM, the TEL truck transits through the streets of Daqing, northeastern China.
The ALCM AGM-86B is the primary nuclear strike weapon carried by the venerable B-52 bomber.
America has a clear lead in nuclear-capable bombers with its stealthy B-2 and venerable B-52 bombers. While both bombers can carry nuclear gravity bombs, the AGM-86 Air Launched Cruise Missile is the primary nuclear strike weapon for the B-52. The 1,490-mile-range ALCM carries a 150 kiloton (adjustable) W80 nuclear warhead and has some stealth characteristics. Similarly, China’s only bomber, the H-6K (less than half the size of the B-52), also uses stand-off attack, in the form of the nuclear capable CJ-20 cruise missile. However, the combined combat radius of the H-6K (2,175 miles) and CJ-20 range (1,243 miles) are too short to reach continental US territory.
A H-6M bomber can carry two cruise missiles, giving China a strategic strike capability previously held only by the U.S. and Russia. The newer H-6K bomber can carry 7 missiles, and the planned H-X stealth bomber will likely be able to carry at least a dozen.
Chinese officials have already stated their need for a strategic bomber that can at the very least, strike Hawaii and other mid Pacific targets. Noted artist Bai Wei has put together information from Chinese research articles and leaks to produce this speculative picture of the H-20 stealth bomber, which may fly by this decade.
Both nations are focusing on new stealth bomber programs. The USAF plans to receive the first B-21 Raider stealth bomber in the 2023s, while China is anticipated to fly the larger H-20 stealth bomber in the same timeframe. The B-21 is believed to be a highly networked, twin-engine aircraft, about two thirds the size of the 200-ton B-2, while the H-20 has been floated in defense circles as a four-engined, 200-ton bomber with global reach.
The strategic workhorse for the 21st USAF, the B-21 will use a variety of sensors, networked capabilities and electronic attack to operate in conventional and nuclear missions, starting in the 2030s.
The B-21 will be armed with the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile for long-range nuclear strike missions. It will be a stealthy cruise missile, with AI and enhanced electronic warfare capabilities to survive enemy air defenses. Meanwhile, China’s GS-6A stealth cruise missiles could be the basis for a nuclear capable version.
Trident II D5
The Columbia SSBN, the successor to the Ohio class SSBN, will be more stealthy and otherwise survivable.
Capable as they are, the Ohio SSBNs are due to be replaced by the Columbia SSBN, of which the first will enter service in 2031. Compared to the Ohio, the Columbia will carry only 16 missiles, but have quieter electrical propulsion and pump-jet propulsion. For its part, China will likely field a follow on to the Type 094A, the prospective Type 096 SSBN, which is expected to be stealthier than the Type 094A. The Type 096 may also carry a newer missile to replace the JL-2.
Old and New
The newer Type 094A (top) has a bigger missile payload bay and stealthier features. While an improvement over the Type 094 SSBN, it’s still a stopgap feature until the next generation Type 096 comes online.
You may also be interested in:
China’s new microwave weapon can disable missiles and paralyze tanks
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B-52 bombers to get longer-range cruise missiles
The Air Force’s newest bomber plane is named the B-21 Raider
An electromagnetic arms race has begun: China is making railguns too
China joins the laser arms race
Beyond The J-20: The Many Planes Of China
Don’t expect Oracle’s donation of the code of chúng tôi to The Apache Software Foundation to settle anything about the troubled office suite. If the situation does improve, it will be small thanks to Oracle.
According to Oracle, the donation is proof that “Oracle continues to demonstrate its commitment to the developer and open source communities. Donating chúng tôi to Apache gives this popular consumer software a mature, open, and well established infrastructure to continue well into the future.”
However, from the way that the donation was done, and the situation it leaves the project in, it looks very much like a last spiteful gesture toward the rival Document Foundation, the project that develops LibreOffice, the chúng tôi fork. The result is a future that leaves the future as troubled as the present. At the very least, to some observers it appears to show a disdain for the community that borders on arrogance.
If that sounds like an over-statement, consider the history. Some of the chúng tôi project members were dissatisfied for years with Sun Microsystem’s stewardship. When Oracle acquired Sun and its assets in early 2010, the dissatisfaction intensified. Many people pointed to Oracle’s lackluster treatment of other free software projects as an indication of what lay in OpenOffice.org’s future.
On 28 September, 2010, this dissatisfaction culminated in the creation of The Document Foundation. Organized by employees of Novell, Red Hat, and other corporations involved in chúng tôi The Document Foundation announced a fork called LibreOffice, and immediately attracted a large number of people who had previously worked on OpenOffice.org.
Although The Document Foundation invited Oracle to join its ranks, relations between chúng tôi and LibreOffice appeared to deteriorate when Oracle declared involvement in both projects a conflict of interest and insisted that LibreOffice supporters resign from their positions on the chúng tôi Community Council.
Almost immediately, The Document Foundation proved it had more momentum than chúng tôi with more discussion and proposals on its mailing lists. Within weeks, major distributions such as Ubuntu were deciding to ship with LibreOffice rather than OpenOffice.org.
Yet, despite such setbacks, Oracle’s previous assertion that it was committed to chúng tôi made most people believe that the rivalry would continue indefinitely.
At the time, the announcement was greeted with cautious optimism. But, since then, Oracle employees working on chúng tôi have been laid off, including long-time community manager Louis Suarez-Potts. Most of the project’s mailing lists shut down, and the last development patch was submitted on April 18. For all practical purposes, chúng tôi was dead, leaving dozens to wonder what was going on.
According to Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, the donation to The Apache Foundation was made with the encouragement of IBM, which develops Lotus Symphony, another chúng tôi fork.
From a corporate viewpoint, you can imagine several reasons why the donation makes sense. As an umbrella organization of nearly one hundred projects, The Apache Foundation resembles a corporation more than most free and open source software (FOSS) organizations, no doubt making it easier for Oracle to deal with. It is also well-established and unlikely to disappear, so chúng tôi has a permanent home.
Furthermore, Vaughan-Nichols writes that Oracle is contractually obliged to IBM to ensure the continued development of chúng tôi If that is so, then you do not need to be a tactician to understand why Oracle might donate where IBM wanted it to. You might also view the donation as a peace offering after clashes with The Apache Foundation over various issues about Java.
As for the free office suite community, donating to Apache at least superficially satisfies requests that the code be turned over to a neutral, FOSS-friendly organization. Until yesterday, the community was planning to petition Oracle to donate the code (I know, because I drafted the petition), but the donation suddenly makes the effort moot.
Even The Document Foundation officially announced that “we welcome Oracle’s donation of code that has previously been proprietary to the Apache Software Foundation.” Superficially, at least, everyone sounds pleased about the donation.
So why is the donation less than ideal? One answer is that The Apache Foundation has more experience with projects that involve servers and infrastructure than desktop appliances. If chúng tôi is going to thrive, then the Foundation needs to learn, and quickly.
Another reason is that the donation means that most of the chúng tôi code is now licensed under the Apache License, rather than the previous GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). That means that some parts of the existing code are now incompatible with the main license, and may need to be discarded or rewritten.
The difference in licenses also reflects a difference in FOSS cultures, since the Apache License does not prevent the code being used under a proprietary license. For at least some of the OpenOffice.org-LibreOffice community, this license is likely to be objectionable.
However, by far the largest problem is that what the Apache Foundation has been passed is a project with few, if any members. This leaves the situation much as it was with Oracle, with official title to the code controlled by one organization, and most of the development and innovation being done by another — The Document Foundation.
What makes this development especially unfortunate is that, in the last couple weeks, the members of this joint community have been edging towards reunification.
The mutual distrust between Oracle and The Document Foundation, it appears, was largely on the organizational level. In the community, working relationships seem to have been at least partly preserved.
For example, Louis Suarez-Potts went out of his way to point out that he and Florian Effenberger, a member of The Document Foundation’s Steering Committee, work for the same company and have “sought to maintain cordial and even friendly relations since last year.” Similarly, Charles-H. Schulz, another member of The Document Foundation’s steering committee, emphasizes that “We have here one community and two projects.”
True, the Document Foundation has indicated a willingness to work with the Apache Foundation, and states that it has received an email from Jim Jagielski, “who is anticipating frequent contacts between the Apache Software Foundation and The Document Foundation over the next few months.” So there is at least the possibility of a diplomatic reunification occurring in the near future.
But, for now, the community’s efforts, if not its individuals, remain divided in a way that is harmful to all parties. Schultz tells me that a project on the scale of chúng tôi under Sun requires ten million Euros a year. Alternatively, it needs to mobilize volunteer contributors on a massive scale. Yet, even if Apache can find the cash or volunteers, that still means a duplication of efforts that is wasteful and inefficient.
Furthermore, Schultz argues, reunification can only serve the greater good. It would restore confidence among corporate and private users, and remove any uncertainty about Open Document Format, the ISO standard for office files that both LibreOffice and chúng tôi offer as an alternative to Microsoft Office’s file formats.
Still another problem is branding. Although chúng tôi was not as well known as proprietary rivals such as Microsoft Office, over the course of ten years it had developed a certain name recognition. By contrast, in the seven months of its existence, LibreOffice has yet to achieve comparable recognition. In fact, as a new brand, LibreOffice is sometimes regarded with suspicion by users outside the free software community.
Specifically, Schulz argues for reunification under LibreOffice. His argument is that LibreOffice has already proven itself better able to attract community developers than chúng tôi ever was. “In seven months, we have attracted twenty times more developers than the chúng tôi project, [and] we have extended the number of contributors to a bigger size than the chúng tôi project ever had.” The strength of this argument only increases when you consider that the Apache version of chúng tôi will probably need a month or two to organize, assuming that it become a going concern in the first place.
After the animosity, expecting Oracle to donate anything to The Document Foundation is probably asking too much of human nature. All the same, reunification seems a sensible goal, even if not necessarily under The Document Foundation.
But instead of listening to the community, Oracle has chosen a solution that not only threatens to preserve the existing divisions, but also ignores the wishes of the community by making reunification more difficult. The unsettledness of the solution seems a direct contradiction of Oracle’s high-minded statements about supporting FOSS.
This story is unfolding rapidly. Rumors are that another twist or two are expected later this week. In addition, another petition is being contemplated by some members of the community — this time, to The Apache Foundation, requesting that it turn its new assets over to The Document Foundation.
Such a move may not be strictly necessary. It may be enough for Apache to show a willingness to cooperate by joining The Document Foundation. If that happens, efforts would still be duplicated when resources are scarce, but at least some degree of cooperation might happen in a way that was impossible under Oracle.
Maybe then chúng tôi could finally be free to become a true community project of the sort that many have dreamed about for years. After Sun’s and now Oracle’s mismanagement, such an outcome seems long overdue. Let’s hope that Apache shows a greater concern for contributors and users than its predecessors.
Yahoo acquired the blogging analytics program and social network MyBlogLog in January which was a smart and exciting move on their behalf. But what are they doing with MyBlogLog now?History of MyBlogLog
As a quick recap of MyBlogLog, the analytics program was grouped with a simple Social Networking offering which lets members upload their photos. Then, when blog owners run the MyBlogLog script, they can not only track their basic referrals and blog traffic, but also measure WHO visits their blogs, via MyBlogLog profiles.
But the defining point of MyBlogLog is the formation of communities and the MyBlogLog FaceRolls (ReaderRolls). The FaceRoll adds more of a personal touch to any blog running it by showing the last 5 to 10 readers and their avatar who visited the blog.
Given its personalization and networking aspects for bloggers, MyBlogLog was an early darling of the blogging community (MyBlogLog Search Engine Journal Community), and although the service is still popular, if Yahoo! doesn’t make some changes soon, who’s to say it won’t become yesterday’s news?The Future of MyBlogLog?
Not to say that Yahoo has to overhaul the service, but updating MyBlogLog to a better service would be nice.
Why then, can Yahoo not build something as easy as a feed reader? Why do they spend their time and expenses creating flashy MyYahoo homepages with limited feed integration technology when 80% of their employees could probably hack a very good Yahoo! Reader over the course of one day. And imagine what they could turn out over the course of one Hack Day!Yahoo! MyBlogLog Reader
Enough ranting, the next logical step for MyBlogLog is the launching of a Blog Reader which is preprogrammed with the feeds of the blog communities we have already joined.
For example, I’ve been a member of MyBlogLog for about one year. I belong to 15 communities which are all run by blogs I enjoy reading on a daily basis.
Yahoo! launches their MyBlogLog reader and suddenly my Reader is propopulated with the blogs I enjoy, along with suggestions of other blogs which members of the communities I belong to and my MyBlogLog friends read.
I’d be easily hooked and would seriously, if the reader were done right, probably ditch the other feed reader services I belong to.
And it is to my understanding that MyBlogLog has this technology ready to roll, and has been sitting on it for a good while now. So they should Beta test it, make fixes, then Alpha launch it immediately.Other Next Steps for MyBlogLog
David Dalka attended the SOBcon conference in Chicago yesterday where MyBlogLog Community Manager Robyn Tippins spoke about more upcoming changes, including the rebranding of MyBlogLog.
The biggest news is that there will be a rebranding of MyBlogLog. The exact timing and new brand were not revealed. (YahooBlogLog or MyYahooLog? Time will tell.)
A complete site redesign is on the way!
A new “Widget 2.0? is coming with some hover features.
Yahoo! is hard at work to remove the offensive photos so that MyBlogLog would be palatable to more conservative business blogs.
Some sort of method to turn off your presence for some types of sites will be added.
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