Free/Libre and Open Source Software

Netherlands Government Goes Open Source

In yet another blow to vendor lock-in and proprietary software standards, the Associated Press is reporting that the Dutch Government on Wednesday adopted laws requiring all national agencies to use the Open Document Format by April 2008. Even state and local agencies are required to comply by 2009; though there is flexibility in the new policy - agencies can chose to use proprietary standards, such as MS Office, but they must justify use. The new laws also mandate the use of FOSS in all agencies in a similar manner, for cost savings and accessibility reasons.

GOSLING, eat your heart out!

Shane Schick: Why open source has always deserved a census

An article by Shane Schick, editor of ComputerWorld Canada, talks about the need for an Open Source census.

Ever since we learned that the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft doesn’t take into account open source software when it comes up with its annual piracy statistics, we stopped reporting their numbers. When you only look at proprietary shipments, you miss a great piece of the puzzle. We just don’t know how big a piece it is.

Give me rice, but give me an OLPC laptop too

Criticism of plans to get technology into the developing world is misplaced, says Bill Thompson in an article for the BBC.

For those waiting for my review, this might tide you over. I haven't yet received my own XO-1 Laptop, but am of course very excited. Some of my excitement is for the laptop hardware itself (very energy efficient, etc), but most for how this hardware is key to an educational project.

MPAA caught infringing copyright

A Bit-tech article by Phil Cogar documents the latest copyright infringement accusation against the self-called pro-Copyright lobby group MPAA. Seems typical of some of these industry associations that they want their copyright to be protected, but don't respect the copyright of others.

Some Ideas for Marketing the OLPC

Paula Jones of Groklaw offers some thoughts on marketing the OLPC in comparison to the Intel/Microsoft "Classmate" PC. I guess I will never see the point of Microsoft Windows or other non-FLOSS software in an educational market where the children can't study, modify and redistribute changes to the software. The world's children don't need a tool that offers a one-way medium, an extremely expensive textbook, but a platform for them to learn the way they learned literacy: by observing what others have done, and learning.

Some of the alternative hardware may eventually be interesting (The EEE PC and Classmate both lack the Mesh networking and low-power dual-mode screen that are key to the OLPC hardware), but without the fully FLOSS learning environment they will remain non-useful alternatives.

OLPC: How do we gauge success? Will 490,000 units do?

Larry Dignan BLOGS on ZDNet about the OLPC, including the fact that the Give 1 Get 1 program has been extended to the end of the year.

Software Piracy Fight Makes Enemies, FLOSS makes friends

An article by Brian Bergstein of The Associated Press (Also in Washington Post) concludes as any article critical of the BSA should: as a suggestion to switch to FLOSS alternatives.

Enraged, CEO Sterling Ball vowed never to use Microsoft software again, even if "we have to buy 10,000 abacuses." He shifted to open-source software, which lacks such legal entanglements because its underlying code is freely distributed.

For many businesses, open-source has seemed technically daunting or unable to match the proprietary programs seen as essential in some industries. These days, however, the march of technology might be changing that.

How employers can pay the OLPC forward and why the OLPC project needs digital badges

A ZDNet BLOG article by David Berlind talks about an incentive program that some employers are using to encourage people to participate in the G1G1 program.

Earlier this week, Quality Solutions founder Fran Toolan wrote [and blogged] the following to the staff of his small company:

I encourage you all to look at [the G1G1 program] very closely. In fact that I want to incent you all to look closely at this….[Quality Solutions] will pay any of you that get involved with this program $200 per laptop you buy.

OLPC Give one Get one start tomorrow.

Starting November 12, One Laptop Per Child will be offering a Give 1 Get 1 Program for a brief window of time in North America. I plan to participate, and am excited to both be donating to this project as well as receiving an OLPC (As an activist geek wanting to demonstrate this project to other people, I am the child in my own life). There is a PSA up on YouTube, and a full-page ad (PDF) donated by the Economist.

Android: Licensing Software So You Don't Have To

An eWeek article by Carol Pinchefsky discusses the most recent open source software platform for mobile computing (today cell phones, tomorrow the mobile replacements to most of our PC's). Unlocking these mobile devices (both the locks added by carriers as well as hardware vendors) will be critical to ensure citizen computing rights in the near future.

Google's new open handset platform, Android, is not the first, but the third open phone operating system, after Trolltech's Qtopia and OpenMoko. All three are based on Linux.

Syndicate content