Open Cars – Accepted by Berkeley Technology Law Journal

Professor Lothar Determann of Berkeley Law (better known as Boalt Hall) and I have collaborated on a paper on Open Cars. “Open” this time means Open Standards, Open Interfaces, and an Open Aftermarket.  If you buy a BMW, will the autonomous driving computer always be from BMW, or can they be aftermarket devices that connect through Open Standards, creating a competitive market? And there’s lots of other discussion of the implications of autonomous vehicles and how things will change as automobiles become more computerized.

This is exciting for me, as it’s my first formally published law paper, and of course I’m not a lawyer. As an Open Source evangelist, computer programmer, and intellectual property specialist, I’ve spoken at several law conferences, and have even keynoted a few, but  haven’t submitted a paper before.

It was accepted by the Berkeley Technology Law Journal, which I hear is about the best tech law journal around, with a unanimous vote to accept by the editorial board, for publication in the Summer 2017 edition. A pre-publication version is available for download below. Your comments can help to improve the paper before it’s edited, write to bruce at perens dot com.

Today was exciting because Lothar and I presented a talk on the paper at Boalt Hall, where I’ve spoken a few times but never to this large an audience or with a catered lunch.

The discussion includes Open Source as one of a range of possibilities for Open Car software, but Open Source doesn’t dominate this paper.

Download: Open Cars Determann & Perens 32 BTLJ 2 [Forthcoming 2017]

I Viewed the WorldView 4 Launch at Vandenberg

WorldView 4 Launch at Vandenberg
WorldView 4 Launch at Vandenberg. Click for the 4000×6000 version.

I went to Vandenberg to see the WorldView 4 Launch on a ULA Atlas 4. This photo is from Ocean Avenue in Lompoc, about 2.8 miles from Pad 3. Taken with a Sony a6000 camera with Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS lens, at 210mm. The 35mm equivalent focal length is 315mm.

I have now gone to 6 launch viewing attempts near the rocket, and two distant attempts to view a Vandenberg launch, from a street in LA and from the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley. Of those, I saw the Falcon 9 DISCOVR launch at Cape Canaveral after being there for one scrub, I heard and did not see the Falcon 9 JASON-3 launch at Vandenberg from Ocean Avenue in the summer – too much fog. I caught a one second glimpse of a rocket in flight from LA. And now WorldView 4. I’ve been to the first attempt to launch this rocket months ago before the Vandenberg fires, a scrub of a launch at Cape Canaveral, and a scrub of another ULA launch at Vandenberg. So, this is the second launch viewing attempt to actually work out, and viewing launches can be really disappointing.

When I viewed the DISCOVR launch in Florida, it was clear enough to see the stage separation with the naked eye. At Vandenberg, there were high clouds. I was able to see a lot of the ascent using Orion Resolux 15×70 binoculars on a pantograph mount, but not the stage separation.

About the 1-second glimpse of a ULA rocket in flight from a street in LA, I saw it just as the stage separation happened. I missed a lot of that due to having houses in the way and looking in the wrong place. I could see the contrail over half of the sky afterward, so I missed a lot. It looks like you can get a good view of Vandenberg launches from the beach in LA when the weather is right and you know where to look. On a street with lots of obstruction, it’s a lot harder to catch.