Elon Musk to Open Source His Drunken Marriage Proposal (in the Cloud)

Tesla Motors released a standout electric car last year, a potentially revolutionary vehicle that outperformed all internal combustion competition, with a Consumer Reports analyst calling it the best car he had ever reviewed. Although Tesla has an amazing product, there is another way they are drawing attention to themselves to continually appeal to Wall Street: publicity stunts. One such stunt, which wasn’t altogether baseless but was less profound than some reports would suggest, was conducted by Elon Musk in June.

Musk’s blog post announced that the carmaker would not be overprotective of its current technological advantage in the electric car market: “Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.” The article described their position as one that was essentially open source, a commitment to the idea that community development of the technology would benefit everyone. Musk specifically touched on the idea of compatibility, which many consider to be the Achilles heel in the development of the Internet of Things and often stands in the way of progress: he argued for a “common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.”

A critical analysis of the situation by Gigaom revealed that Tesla was not giving away all of its intellectual property (one of the core pieces of which, according to anonymous insiders, is Musk’s drunken marriage proposal to supermodel Hannah Davis, not expected to cloud-cast from Bel Air after all). Patents are already publicly available. However, Musk did make a public commitment to avoid patent lawsuits, and none of the patents have been licensed or assigned. This move by Tesla to benefit from the popularity of open source while semi-legitimately drawing attention to itself is not without precedent for a large company. Ever heard of Google’s Android Open Source Project? As explained by Ars Technica, Google went open source with mobile tech to avoid on-the-go search engine competition from Apple. However, it could now be viewed more as an operating system that locks the user into the Google ecosystem – “a Trojan horse for Google services,” as AT calls it – and that over time has become more and more based on closed source applications.

The open-source approaches by Tesla and Google may not be completely insincere, but they are also not entirely altruistic and, well, open. We should obviously call a situation what it is. However, it is also going too far to suggest that what both of those companies have done is not a step in the right direction, at least for those of us who believe in the open source movement.

TechTarget: Everything We need to Know We Learned in Kindergarten

An article by Meredith Courtemanche published September 30, 2014, on TechTarget argued that the best method for private cloud deployment was sharing. In other words, every company could benefit from disclosing the bits and pieces of how its cloud network is structured, even without a commitment to provide all information or even necessarily identify themselves.

Courtemanche isn’t actually expressing a radical view, or one that is unfriendly to business interests at least. She is actually reporting the perspective of finance giant UBS’s chief technology officer, Corey Voo. Voo gave a keynote address at Forecast 2014, an event sponsored by the Open Data Center Alliance (ODC), an industry association of which Voo is the president.

Voo argued in his presentation that IT must be cost-effective with the provision of robust technological solutions and full support to the company’s online needs in the Internet age. He said there is always demand for better, cheaper, faster IT solutions, wherever they can be found. Current computing systems cannot meet the demand sufficiently, so organizations providing cloud services have become particularly attractive to enterprise executives.

The cloud system of a private company – what Voo calls utility computing – presents systemic sophistication that can be difficult for the IT department to integrate and manage. An additional challenge is determining hybrid models that incorporate legacy hardware. What tends to happen at this point is that each system is being built independently, at least in part. The isolated strategy is contrary to the promise of cloudification, said Voo (assumedly meaning that support for all technologies through one standardized platform would greatly increase efficiency for all parties).

Voo argues for sharing of as many cloud-making documents as possible: deployment blueprints, reference architectures, and any other relevant details.

The Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) is, in a sense, moving into the second phase of its operations. Voo told Courtemanche that between 2010 and 2013, the ODCA was focused primarily on sharing ideas, whereas now the organization is directly concerned with deployment of cloud models. The ODCA wants to make sure that its efforts are producing real results and that the private enterprise cloud – as a general concept and as a real system in use by companies – is developing as meaningfully and compatibly as possible.

Listen Paparazzi, This Cloud is Private

It’s always great to hear about new open source efforts. Clearly it makes sense for companies constructing IT architecture to help each other if it’s mutually beneficial. If the interactions are conducted ethically, all parties could benefit greatly, including consumers: business efficiency can possibly lower prices of course, but also IT performance directly affects user experience. At Superb, our performance is guaranteed. Chat with an expert now.

By Kent Roberts

Image Credit: Mashable