Big Gains for Open Aerospace: Interview with Open Research Institute CEO Michelle Thompson W5NYV

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by WE4B, Mar 2, 2021.

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  1. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Your comments specifically quoted my post. If you wish to make a global comment, please don't quote a specific comment by an individual.

    Again: kindly read.

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
  2. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Who is disagreeing on the government point-- the government defines proprietary as MORPHING to open source upon patent expiration, for example. It is self evident that the government has the CAPACITY to understand and recognize open source. It essentially legally forces technology to become open source.


    I will be distinctively specific so you understand it properly:

    Technology companies distinguish themselves--differentiate--by technology.

    Not marketing.

    Not sales.

    Not contacts.

    Not distribution.


    It is unrealistic to think that technology companies are inherently failing because they pursue proprietary innovation. That just is not factual. And that is what is quoted in the interview.

    IF an 'open source' enterprise seeks to develop an 'open' hardware platform, that's fine. I can tell you that you should expect technology companies to start with such an open source platform as a 'base'--and then INNOVATE a better solution with proprietary technology. And yes, that will be an invention that builds upon the prior art.

    Proprietary. AND likely NOT subject to an ITAR restriction.

    This happens daily.

    We now have almost 8 MILLION US patents that are OFF PATENT and thus essentially 'open platform'. Anyone and everyone can use those 8 MILLION+ 'open platforms'. And they do. They are in the public domain. Patentable improvements do not necessarily throw it back into an ITAR morass.

    Technology companies will not go totally open source just to get around an ITAR technicality.

    Chip W1YW
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
  3. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I made no such assumption, nor commented in any way that would allow that to be inferred. Again, if you reply to ME, you get a personal response. Not a robot here.

    Try lecturing the inventor of the invisibility cloak on ITAR. I mean: really! Get real!
  4. KA9Q

    KA9Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm sorry you seem more interested in taking offense than having a productive discussion. My apologies.
    KA2FIR likes this.
  5. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    None needed. I am not offended.

    You should just remember we were both at W2CXM...

    Chip W1YW
    KA9Q likes this.
  6. KA9Q

    KA9Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    Were we? Cool. I graduated in 1978. BSEE.
    WD4ELG likes this.
  7. KA9Q

    KA9Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    I know this will start a long discussion, but I simply have to disagree here. As a "technologist", i.e., an engineer who comes up with new ideas, I'm all too aware of how many companies with excellent technology ultimately fail, and how many companies with poor technology succeed through marketing, contacts. legal muscle (often by abusing the patent system), regulatory windfalls, or sheer dumb luck. Ideas are cheap; finding those who can use them, and making them work for them while overcoming obstacles both technical and legal (eg, from patent trolls), is the hard part. Again, I say this as someone who loves coming up with new ideas.

    One of the main reasons I retired, and wished I'd retired sooner, was that work had long ceased to be fun. It consisted mostly of sitting in interminable meetings with patent attorneys and other engineers preparing defenses against some bogus patent being asserted against my company. We'd argue for hours over the exact meaning of a single phrase in a claim. To be fair, occasionally it was very gratifying to bust somebody's utterly idiotic patent, like the time a guy claimed the very concept of a Bluetooth earpiece. I came back with a photo of Uhura from Star Trek with her wireless earpiece and we never heard from him again. But that was the rare exception. Patent examiners know the system is utterly broken, so they basically approve everything and let the lawyers and courts sort it out at enormous time and expense. I can't tell you how demoralizing that is for an engineer like me. You know, the very people who the system is supposed to support.

    You keep coming back to the patent system, while the "open source" concept has thus far been applied primarily to copyrighted software, and more recently to natural language works. Setting the thoroughly broken patent system off to the side for the moment, the fact is that the vast majority of proprietary software never passes into the public domain. Not only are copyright terms so ridiculously long that software is long obsolete far before the copyright expires, the authors are long dead and any source code is long lost. Their contribution to the art is lost unless someone goes to the considerable effort to reverse engineer it. Open source software development has been an enormous success; everything I write in my retirement is released under an open source license. And as I mentioned, ARDC, of which I am president, supports only open source developments. That point is non-negotiable.
  8. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page


    There is the world as it is, and the world we might want it to be.

    ORI is a great idea and I am happy that Michelle is championing it. But the notion that proprietary innovation in aerospace should be dropped is not realistic. You have too many people like myself who see their path in the world through the patent system. It works. Could it work better? Sure!

    If you have an open source hardware system--note HARDWARE-- then you cannot stop people like myself from building upon it. And securing proprietary 'disruptive' improvements. That's what inventors do. That doesn't mean we are greedy or any other unsavory adjective. It means we want the right to call the shots--at least temporarily--on how the innovation is used and who uses it. I don't need to be convinced that many, inventors lack sufficient ethical experience to make those decisions. But some of us old timers do.

    PRC basically looks at all innovations as 'open source' and summarily rips them off. I know. It's happened to me. They stole my ability to guide. Open source without ethics. That, definitively, is DANGEROUS to EVERYONE.

    Of course, under the proprietary US patent system, that open source abuse is countered--note the word-- with proprietary non-'open source' solutions.

    If people want to develop open source hardware, then knock your socks off folks! Just be realistic that proprietary innovation will never, ever, morph into becoming a totally open source hardware environment. And you don't need to 'sell' open-source as an approach by trying to 'cancel culture' proprietary.

    BTW, Yes, I was an ASTRO grad student, housed in Space Sci next to the Big Red Barn, a stone's throw from W2CXM. I was WA1JHQ. We have kibbitz over donuts.

    Chip W1YW
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
  9. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page


    The patent system is a leveling savior for nerds like me who aren't business psychopaths with the right haircuts , who learn to lie with a smile. As for patent examiners and attorneys, well, at some point , some inventors become the teachers not the victims.

    BTW patent examiners TURN DOWN almost all patents initially. So you have it wrong.

    If you want to fight for invention you fight for the words. That is the inventor's job; the patent attorney and USPTO are the enablers. I dig it.

    Coders fight for the code. Same idea.

    Inventors almost never 'retire' by the way. It would be like a musician who stops playing.

    Chip W1YW
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
  10. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    And I think that is just fine. Truly. Any and all technology initiatives through Part 97 are positive. They prevent us from disappearing.

    Since Part 97 proscribes such radio development 'for pecuniary interest' it certainly makes sense to 'seed' in an open source fashion. But being realistic, there will be many who choose to horizontally integrate those developments (whether seeded by open source funding or not) for commercial apps. There is nothing wrong with that: it pays the bills; it enables new careers; it opens up opportunities.

    Again Phil, open source doesn't need to defend itself. Many tech fields start as open source--as I mentioned. You have the resources in ARDC to establish something truly positive.

    Who can argue that?

    Chip W1YW

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