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OpenCola Soft Drink™
February 27, 2001 5:24 AM   Subscribe

OpenCola Soft Drink™ "source code" has been released under General Public License and is freely available for download from their website. It marks the first time that open-source licensing has been applied to a consumer product. Or so they say.
posted by Firda (12 comments total)

 
Shouldn't Bruce be working on a new novel for his rabid fans (like myself) instead of this elaborate online shaggy dog story? I guess I get the "joke". Or are their "other" products the real thing and I am sucker? Extremely likely I think.
posted by hotmud at 7:31 AM on February 27, 2001


So if this is GPLed, do I have to provide my own source code if I drink it?
posted by darukaru at 7:41 AM on February 27, 2001


5 to 1 throw, eh? Yeah, that's a pretty believeable Merchandise 7X.
posted by baylink at 8:19 AM on February 27, 2001


I think it's an interesting idea nonetheless. I'd love to GPL my cheesecake "source code" and see what others could come up with it.
posted by Firda at 8:36 AM on February 27, 2001


Bruce Sterling just wrote the glowing blurb. OpenCOLA comes from the company of the same name, one of whose founders is Cory Doctorow, also a sci-fi writer and a contributor to Mark Frauenfelder's Boing Boing weblog. The two of them together is like some mad dream team of weblogging. The company is based in Toronto and San Francisco.
posted by mikel at 8:52 AM on February 27, 2001


It looks like every website on this planet is only one degree separated from a weblog :)
posted by Firda at 9:09 AM on February 27, 2001


That's it. It's official now: Linux is not a consumer product. Everyone go home; there's no story here.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 10:17 AM on February 27, 2001


It's really fun reading the ingredients list and seeing how much of the stuff is irritating and/or poisonous in mass quantities. "Oils can cause skin irritation." "Art-grade Gum Arabic is toxic." "Phosphoric acid... is corrosive to the eyes and skin. Handle with gloved hands, and use extreme caution... *Do not* store more than 50.0 ml." "Caffeine... Toxic by inhalation and ingestion... Possible teratogen and mutagen." And we drink this stuff?
posted by kindall at 1:48 PM on February 27, 2001


We all regularly consume a compound made of a metal that is so volatile that it explodes on contact with water, and a poisonous gas; what's the big deal?
posted by harmful at 2:05 PM on February 27, 2001


The standard argument against open-sourcing tangible products is that they're up against insurmountable barriers to entry: economies of scale, plant costs, distribution etc. It's the difference between being able to knock up a fantastic meal every couple of weeks for friends, and running a Michelin-starred restaurant. But that's why it works well with software, where there's only bits to be exchanged.

It's easier to make nerve gas than manufacture cola.

And it's debatable which does more damage in the long run.
posted by holgate at 2:13 PM on February 27, 2001


Harmful, expect your cease-and-desist letter from the Morton Salt people to be arriving any day now.
posted by snarkout at 2:47 PM on February 27, 2001


We all regularly consume a compound made of a metal that is so volatile that it explodes on contact with water, and a poisonous gas; what's the big deal?

And given that plenty of this compound is dissolved in another compound, made up of a highly flammable gas and the gas that facilitates burning... well, I wouldn't go to the beach this spring break.

(Gotta love compound chemistry.)
posted by holgate at 5:11 PM on February 27, 2001


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