On the open-* front, it turns out that next week is officially Open Access Week, pushing for open access to the results of scholarly work. I would venture that publicly paid research belongs to the public, and part of the social contract in supporting institutes of learning is that the results become evailable to the public quickly. That means I'm against patents on the results of publicly funded research as well. The results should be patent -- make public, published, obvious -- but I can't support further restrictions on that, as the contract around patents is a trade off between the public good and risk in investment. And for public money, that risk is non-existent.
But I digress. Open Access week. I actually found out only because one of the institutes at the faculty of science where I used to work won a prize around Open Access; of course the event around the prize is closed.
I'm in Grenoble this week for the ELCE conference, where I'm mixed in with hordes of kernel hackers and embedded device manufacturers. I feel slightly out of place as a userland-and-legal guy. I had a nice chat about patents with a gentleman from a consortium working on ultra-low-power communications; in particular when casting a specification as a standard I feel that patents which may restrict the use of the technology or prevent certan kinds of implementation (e.g. Free Software implementations) have no place whatsoever in standards. It seems like we agree on that topic; I will continue to ask people carrying 'open standards' on their banners to explain what they mean.
For the Open Web, two weeks remain for registration.