Michel Bauwens: Open Sourcing Digital Medical Devices

Michel Bauwens

Essay of the Day: From Open Source to Open Sourcing Digital Medical Devices

Excerpted from Glyn Moody:

“It is not just an issue for life-saving medical devices that can kill as well as save: it is about our increasing reliance on embedded software in everyday life, in developed countries at least.

Clearly, we can’t. If the code is not available, then it necessarily limits the number of people who have looked at it. And as Linus’ Law reminds us, given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow. That doesn’t mean opening up the code guarantees that all bugs will be found, but it certainly increases the probability. The corollary is that keeping it closed decreases the chance of someone finding such bugs.

But there’s a problem here. As we move from the realm of “pure” software – that is, programs running on generalised computers producing essentially digital output (even if that is converted into analogue formats like sounds, images or printouts) – to that of “applied” software, there is a new element: the device itself.

For example, in the case of the pacemakers, having the software that drives the computational side of things is only part of the story: just as important is knowing what the software does in the real world, and that depends critically on the design of the hardware. Knowing that a particular sub-routine controls a particular aspect of the pacemaker tells us little unless we also know how the sub-routine’s output is implemented in the device.

What that means is that not only do we need the source code for the programs that run the devices, we also need details about the hardware – its design, its mechanical properties etc. That takes us into the area of open hardware, and here things start to get tricky.

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Phi Beta Iota:  Governments have all failed to be responsible about understanding complexity and understanding the role of integrity as a foundation for sustainable properity.  Proprietary does not scale.  Closed kills.  It’s time now for open everything and no compromises with respect to intelligence and integrity.

See Also:

2012 (Book) THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth & Trust 

2012 (Slides) THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth & Trust

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Mar 24

Graphic: School for Future-Oriented Hybrid Governance with World Brain Institute, Global Game, and Prototype Center for Public Intelligence

Click on Image to Enlarge

Creative Commons license applies — no financial exploitation without permission.  Robert Steele owns three of the four world-brain urls (net, org, com) and is looking for a university with the gravitas to understand why this concept needs to be implemented in full, soonest.

See Also:

Director of articles & chapters leading to this graphic

Director of briefings & lectures leading to this graphic

Books leading to this graphic

Reviews of books by others leading to this graphic (negative)

Reviews of books by others leading to this graphic (positive)

Personal web page of Robert Steele

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Mar 22

Robert Steele: Intelligent Management of Intelligence Agencies, and the New Craft of Intelligence

Robert David STEELE Vivas

I have begun drafting my portion of the new Handbook of Intelligence Studies (Routledge, 2013), it is a chapter early on entitled “The Craft of Intelligence.”  I pick up where Allen Dulles and Sherman Kent left off.  My graphic on Intelligence Maturity captures the essence of my thinking at the strategic level, but of course there is more to come, including the desperate need to restore integrity to all that we do.

In 1988 I ghost-wrote for the Commandant of  the Marine Corps an article that he enhanced and signed, “Global Intelligence Challenges in the 1990’s.”  At that time my focus was on the difference between the conventional threat and the emerging unconventional threat.

Now my focus is on the purpose and process of intelligence as decision-support.  We must — we will — move from secret intelligence for the few to open intelligence for the many; from expensive centralized largely worthless intelligence to free and low-cost distributed intelligence relevant to every person at every level on every issue; from intelligence as window-dressing for channeling $80 billion a year to banks and corporations, to intelligence as an integral element of every aspect of a Smart Nation.

Today Owl sent me a link to an article, Philip E. Tetlock and Barabara A Mellers, “Intelligent Management of Intelligence Agencies,” American Psychologist, 2011, pp. 1-12.  I  respect Owl, so I printed it and read it twice.

This article is completely out of touch with reality and the authors have not bothered to familiarize themselves with the literatures pertinent to their endeavor.  Out of 89 cited sources 12 are non-intelligence-related prior publications of the lead author, 1 is a prior publication of the second author, and 11 are ostensibly about intelligence but truly marginal selections.  So 12% sources on the subject, 13% self-citation, and 75% escoteric psycho-babble irrelevant to the actual challenge.  As an intelligence professional, I am offended that two ostensibly erudite individuals would dare to publish this trype without even a semblance of understanding of the subject under discussion.

See Also:

Robert Steele: The Craft of Intelligence – OLD vs. NEW

Here are a few comments and additional links:

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Feb 10

Reference: Smart Nation Act Draft (Full Text Online for Google Translate)

Proposed Legislation: The Smart Nation Act

Institutionalizing Open Source Information Exploitation

and Multinational Information Sharing Beneficial to All

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Oct 24