Writing Review for Week of June 18th, 2018

This week was my “potpourri” week on TechCrunch, with stories covering open source, Scottish digital transformation, autonomous warfare, low-cost health services, and more. A lot of these had been on the agenda for some time, so it was fun to see them all finally get published.

Open source sustainability

This was a deep dive analysis of the changing economics around open source, specifically focused on maintainers. Following up from Nadia Eghbal’s report Roads and Bridges almost exactly two years ago, I investigate two approaches for individuals — Patreon and License Zero — as well as two initiatives targeting organizations — Tidelift and Open Collective — and how all of them are creating new models to make open source sustainable.

In Army of None, a field guide to the coming world of autonomous warfare

This is a review of Paul Scharre’s new book, Army of None. I thought it was a great summary and overview of the challenges and opportunities of this tech, and really did a good job of getting at the nuances that make pronouncements in this space so fraught. A tad on the lengthy side, but a good read, even for those not particularly interested in defense policy.

How backups, backups, backups protect Verizon’s NYC cellular infrastructure

I had the opportunity recently to visit the Verizon switch that handles all cellular traffic for New York City — this is a discussion of that visit. It’s interesting to see such layered redundancy in a complex system, as well as seeing what has changed (and not changed) with trends like edge computing, 5G, and software-defined networking.

Patriot Boot Camp wants to turn soldiers into entrepreneurs

Using tech and $100m, Dr Consulta transforms healthcare for the poorest

CivTech Scotland wants to procure what no one knows exists

Disrupting the paycheck, Gusto’s Flexible Pay allows employees to pick when they get paid

Photo by Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt / U.S. Air Force used under government copyright license.

Discussion

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