Article: “Open source camera could pave the way for open source hardware

Another article by Jack Wallen. Let’s see, is he full of himself again, or is he actually saying something coherent and thought out? Sorry to disappoint, folks, but he’s full of himself again.

The problem is how over the top he takes this new idea, so let’s start with the idea, which, in actuality, isn’t anything new.

According to Science Daily, at Stanford University, some photography students have created a camera with a firmware that they are releasing as open source. The idea of open sourcing firmware isn’t new, but the application to photography equipment is, and could prove to be rather interesting. I am certainly interested in how far this could go.

But let’s get back to Jack’s response to this. He goes very over the top here. Perhaps Jack’s brain is operating at Internet pace, because he’s not slowing down to think.

And how is it he’s not slowing down to think? He talks about the Android operating system for mobile phones as if it’s something that hasn’t come to fruition yet:

Phone developers releases next smart phone as open source and open source developers go crazy making apps to outshine iPhone app store.

But from here, his lack of thinking goes even further, just not in order:

Auto maker creates open source car and some hobbiest (sic) discovers a means to double the gas mileage.

Given that Jack is a stylist with a degree in theatre, I won’t fault him for not thinking on this one. So here’s a little science lesson: you can only get so much energy out of combusting gasoline, and we can only optimize the internal combustion engine so much. And there are laws of physics that say that it takes so much energy to move a particular object of  certain mass at such a speed for a certain distance. This is why there are concerns that the only way to improve gas mileage further than what we’ve done, aside from substituting every car for hybrids or making them so aerodynamic they’re useless for hauling cargo, is to cut weight.

So it’s highly, highly unlikely that a hobbyist will discover a way to double the gas mileage of a vehicle by modifying software. Sorry Jack, but just some more wishful thinking. But it, unfortunately, doesn’t stop here. His next statement is absolutely absurd.

Cancer center releases their current drug research under the GPL and retired chemist discovers cure for cancer.

Here he puts his ignorance out there for everyone to see. But given that creationism still consumes the US, I can probably assume that Jack doesn’t understand the scientific process either.

Science has been nothing but open for centuries. So if a cure for cancer is going to be discovered, it’ll happen in the open and very peer-reviewed world of science. And if someone claims to have a “cure for cancer”, you can imagine it will be hotly debated for years, if not decades, to ensure the claim has merit.

Some “retired chemist” isn’t going to take a cancer center’s drug research and turn it around into a cancer cure.

And here’s a question leading from this quote:

I want:

  1. To be able to go to a site.
  2. Search through a listing of firmware for my hardware that matches my exact needs.
  3. Download that firmware.
  4. Install that firmware.
  5. Use my hardware in the exact why I want to.

Okay you want to be able to find “firmware for [your] hardware that matches [your] exact needs”?

Since you keep boasting about open source and that users can become developers and “rework it so it’s exactly the application you need”, how about learning to do that yourself? You talk on and on about software development, implicitly proclaiming yourself to be an expert with regard to open source, when you’re nothing more than a bastion of assumptions that haven’t seen a drop of reality since RedHat 4.2 was released.

If you want the exact software you need, practice what you preach and become a software engineer. Then you’ll get that dose of reality you so obviously need.

I want my hardware to have an “app store” so I could just download new functions and features instantly.

Will you be contributing to said “app store”?

Others have pointed out where you’ve gone wrong in your statements, yet you’re still spouting the same stuff. You do not understand software development, you’ve never been involved in software development according to every profile I’ve seen about you on the Internet, and yet you keep spouting off like you’re an expert.

Now I could be wrong and you could be a great software engineer. So if you’ve tailored all your software to suit your needs (something I highly doubt), then by all means publish the source code for all of us to see your brilliance, or lack thereof.

Oh and one last thing: separate in your mind the difference between open source and an open design. You can’t “open source” a car, but you can openly publish the designs and engineering drawings. You can also openly publish the hardware designs to, say, a mobile phone, but you open source the firmware.

But in a way your car is kind of “open source”. If you want to dissect your car to study how it works, be my guest.