Open source: Why governments need to go further

Commentary: Yes, governments should open source their custom code. But more than that is needed.

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For Drupal (and Acquia) founder Dries Buytaert, “the default [in government] should be ‘developed with public money, make it public code.'” That is, if a government is paying for software to be created, that software should be available under an open source license. While he acknowledged there might be exceptions (e.g., for military applications, as I’ve called out), his suggestion makes sense.

Years ago I argued that government mandates of open source made no sense. I still feel that way. Governments (and enterprises) should use whatever software best enables them to get work done. Increasingly, that software will be open source. But when good open source alternatives don’t yet exist, it makes no sense to mandate the use of suboptimal software. 

But software that governments create? There’s

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Americans won’t be able to download TikTok or WeChat from Sunday

What’s happening? The US Commerce Department has issued an order banning Americans from downloading Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat; it’s due to come into effect on Sunday, September 20. Existing users in the US will still be able to use the apps, but they won’t receive updates or patches from Sunday onwards, and the apps will both disappear from Google’s and Apple’s US app stores. This announcement enforces an executive order issued by President Trump on August 6, which gave TikTok 45 days to sell its US business to an American company or face a ban.  

What are the differences between the two? That’s where the similarities in the treatment of the two apps end. While WeChat will effectively not work in the US from Sunday, TikTok has been given a reprieve until November 12. That means the app, which has about 100 million American users and is wildly popular

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How to copy expressions without changing cell references in Excel

Microsoft Excel updates cell references when you copy an expression. Here are a couple of workarounds for those rare occasions when you don’t want to change the cell references.

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Microsoft Excel has a helpful behavior in regard to copying expressions. After entering a row or column of expressions, you can copy them, and Excel will update the cell references according. Otherwise, you’d have to enter all expressions manually and that would be tedious and open to error. However, it’s not uncommon to run up against a situation when you won’t want to update the references. There’s no easy built-in way to do this. In this article, I’ll show you two quick workarounds for copying expressions without updating the cell references.

SEE: 60 Excel tips every user should master (TechRepublic)

I’m using Microsoft 365 on a Window 64-bit system, but this works in older versions. You can

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