E-Scribe : a programmer’s blog

About Me

PBX I'm Paul Bissex. I build web applications using open source software, especially Django. Started my career doing graphic design for newspapers and magazines in the '90s. Then wrote tech commentary and reviews for Wired, Salon, Chicago Tribune, and others you never heard of. Then I built operations software at a photography school. Then I helped big media serve 40 million pages a day. Then I worked on a translation services API doing millions of dollars of business. Now I'm building the core platform of a global startup accelerator. Feel free to email me.


I co-wrote "Python Web Development with Django". It was the first book to cover the long-awaited Django 1.0. Published by Addison-Wesley and still in print!


Built using Django, served with gunicorn and nginx. The database is SQLite. Hosted on a FreeBSD VPS at Johncompanies.com. Comment-spam protection by Akismet.


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"Open Source" spreading, blurring

I'm seeing lots of links to this CNN story about the CIA learning to use publicly accessible information sources. I have one comment, not about the news, but about the language:

Mary Margaret Graham, an aide to Negroponte, told reporters better use of open source information should lead to more effective use of clandestine intelligence gathering as well.

(Emphasis mine.)

The term "open source" is being used here -- not just by the reporter but, as far as I can tell from the context of the article, by the Federal government -- as a synonym for "publicly accessible." Not the same thing, of course.

So the good news is that the term "open source" seems to be seeping into the mainstream lexicon; it's a recognizable buzzword. The bad news is that, at least in this relatively high-profile example, the people using it don't understand what it means!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2005

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