Foreword

Once upon a time, there was a boy.

...with a computer

...and a phone.

This simple beginning begat much trouble! It wasn't that long ago that telecommunications, both voice and data, as well as software, were all proprietary products and services, controlled by one select club of companies that created the technologies, and another select club of companies who used the products to provide services. By the late 1990s, data telecommunications had been opened by the expansion of the Internet. Prices plummeted. New and innovative technologies, services, and companies emerged. Meanwhile, the work of free software pioneers like Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, and countless others were culminating in the creation of a truly open software platform called Linux (or GNU/ Linux). However, voice communications, ubiquitous as they were, remained proprietary. Why? Perhaps it was because voice on the old public telephone network lacked the glamor and promise of the shiny new World Wide Web. Or, perhaps it's because a telephone just isn't as effective at supplying adult entertainment. Whatever the reason, one thing was clear. Open source voice communications was about as widespread as open source copy protection software.

...

Download PDF.