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Links: Free Software/Open Source Miscellany, Open Data, HTML5 Tidbits, and WordPress Suing

Posted in Free/Libre Software, News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Computer abbreviations

Summary: Grouping of recent news on Free software, including the hotly-debated WordPress controversy

  • Visual Effects For Project London Made With Blender!

    Project London movie is the triumph of community spirit, togetherness or whatever you call it over money. A team of online volunteers using free software, created the movie, Project London, with as many as 650 VFX shots! Isn’t that awesome?

  • Open sound series: Part 3 – Ampache

    While thinking of the next article for the Open Sound Series, I was listening to some music via Ampache. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ampache, it is simply a piece of software that allows you to upload, download, and stream music (and now videos) from a collection of media residing on a server. It features the ability to have multiple catalogs, ratings of songs and videos, playlist creation (including “democratic playlists” that users vote for), tag editing, album art and streaming various formats of music. While most software designed to listen to music does many of the same things, Ampache is then able to take it a step further by adding the idea of concurrent users of a single instance of the software.

  • Is open source ready for business prime time?

    Canonical has gathered open source enthusiasts to help Ubuntu make its mark on the business landscape in the UK.

  • Mozilla

    • new role at mozilla – director of web platform

      For the last couple of years I’ve been responsible for our wonderful Evangelism group at Mozilla. We’ve been responsible for a combination of developer relations, standards work and outbound developer-focused communications. If you’ve followed our work on hacks and devmo, especially around the release of 3.5 and 3.6 then you’ve familiar with the pretty amazing work of this team.

  • Licensing

    • GPL and WordPress: Failure?

      If there is any failing on the part of the GPL here, it is not in the eyes of the second party – that person doesn’t want to share his code anyway. If there is a failing it is that the GPL has failed to enforce the terms that the first party expected – which I think are in line with the expectations of Free Software.

    • Inevitable: WordPress To Sue Thesis Founder
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Fortune cookie says: To succeed, you must share.
    • Open Data

      • Economic benefits of data release

        The new coalition government’s commitment to transparency heralds an exciting time for the possibilities of open data. The data release movement is relatively new and it’s difficult to predict its full economic impact in advance.

        The US leads the way in encouraging and financially incentivising the software community to develop new apps based on publicly available data. The first round of the Apps for Democracy competition in Washington DC saw 50 new apps created in 30 days. The city gained $2.5m in development work outlaying just $50,000 in prize money for the winner. The Californian government introduced a transparency website costing $21k with $40k annual operational costs. As a result of citizens reporting on unnecessary spending the state saved a whopping $20m in a few short months. A similar website in Texas saw $5m savings, again within a few months of operation according to an EU e-gov survey.

      • Transparency Through Open Notes

        Technology has placed vast amounts of medical information literally a mouse click away. Yet what often may be central – a doctor’s notes about a patient visit – has traditionally not been part of the discussion. In effect, such records have long been out of bounds.

      • When does information not want to be free?

        Apparently, when it’s been released under a freedom of information (FOI) request!

        This is not, I imagine, the answer you, gentle reader, expected:)

        Pangloss was recently asked by an acquantance, X, if he ran any legal risk by publishing on a website some emails he had obtained from the local council, as part of a local campaign against certain alleged illicit acts by that council. According to X, the emails could destroy the reputation of certain local councillors involved, and that they had had great difficulty extracting the emails, but finally succeeded. Obviously the value to the public in terms of access to the facts – surely the whole point of FOI legislation – would be massively enhanced if the obtained emails could be put on the campaign website.

      • Some progress on the Local Spending/Spikes Cavell issue

        Yesterday I was invited to a meeting at the Department for Communities and Local Government with the key players in the local spending/Spikes Cavell issue that I’ve written about previous (see The open data that isn’t and Update on the local spending data scandal… the empire strikes back).

      • One Information Policy for Freedom of Information and Re-use

        The following guest post is from Katleen Janssen, researcher at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICT at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, and member of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Groups on EU Open Data and Open Government Data.

    • Open Access/Content

      • MIX: Gary Hamel’s experiment in reinventing management the open source way

        The MIX website has been up for a few months now, and it looks like there are 2-3 new hacks being put up each day. What’s more, all of the work on the site is licensed under a Creative Commons license, which is awesome (although they chose the “no derivatives” version, which is less awesome, and perhaps a bit misaligned with the vision of the project to me).

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • Get ready for a whole new forge

      Today SourceForge is announcing an open beta period for a new set of tools for developers. Specifically, our engineers have begun work on new and better tools for project members who want to use our tracker, wiki, and source code management. We also have a new open source project management environment. And there’s more to come.

    • Find the Python shell of your dreams in DreamPie

      Python developers have their choice of shells – command-line interpreters that let you write Python code and execute it immediately. Israeli developer Noam Yorav-Raphael used IDLE, the graphical shell shipped with Python, for many years, and even contributed to its code. But IDLE was originally created to run as a single process, so the client-server model was “quite hacky,” he says, and it was written using the outdated TkInter GUI toolkit. Yorav-Raphael decided that writing a new shell was the way to go.

      “I started to gather ideas for a new shell in the summer of 2007, started writing it in the summer of 2008 (so I had a working but not really usable shell), worked on it again in the summer of 2009 (which made it actually usable), and added some cool features in the end of 2009. I released the first public version of DreamPie in February 2010.” Today he released the latest version.

    • FLOSS Weekly 127: Guillermo Amaral

      Open source software development in Mexico.

      Guest: Guillermo Amaral

  • HTML5

    • Crash course: HTML 5 video

      If you want to watch Internet-delivered video on your PC, the vast majority of Web sites have settled on a single, consistent way to do that. That’s the good news. The bad news is that this single, consistent delivery system is Adobe Flash, with all its security and stability issues.

    • HTML5 in W3C Cheatsheet
    • Aloha: The HTML5 Editor

      Aloha Editor is an easy to use WYSIWYG HTML editor, featuring fast editing, floating menu, and support for HTML5 ContentEditable. It provides WYSIWYG editor to any website content instantaneously, enabling content editors to see the changes the moment they type.

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Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New

  1. The Latest EPO Spin: Staff Protesters Compared to 'Anti-Patent Campaigners' or 'Against UPC'

    Attempts to characterise legitimate complaints about the EPO's management as just an effort to derail the patent office itself, or even the patent system (spin courtesy of EPO and its media friends at IAM)

  2. The Serious Implication of Controversial FTI Consulting Contract: Every Press Article About EPO Could Have Been Paid for by EPO

    With nearly one million dollars dedicated in just one single year to reputation laundering, one can imagine that a lot of media coverage won't be objective, or just be synthetic EPO promotion, seeded by the EPO or its peripheral PR agents

  3. EPO: We Have Always Been at War With Europe (or Europeans)

    The European Patent Office (EPO) with its dubious attacks on free speech inside Europe further unveiled for the European public to see (as well as the international community, which oughtn't show any respect to the EPO, a de facto tyranny at the heart of Europe)

  4. What Everyone Needs to Know About the EPO's New War on Journalism

    A detailed list of facts or observations regarding the EPO's newfound love for censorship, even imposed on outside entities, including bloggers (part one of several to come)

  5. EPO Did Not Want to Take Down One Techrights Article, It Wanted to Take Down Many Articles Using Intimidation, SLAPPing, and Psychological Manipulation Late on a Friday Night

    Recalling the dirty tactics by which the European Patent Office sought to remove criticism of its dirty secret deals with large corporations, for whom it made available and was increasingly offering preferential treatment

  6. The European Private Office: What Was Once a Public Service is Now Crony Capitalism With Private Contractors

    The increasing privatisation of the European Patent Office (EPO), resembling what happens in the UK to the NHS, shows that the real goal is to crush the quality of the service and instead serve a bunch of rich and powerful interests, in defiance of the original goals of this well-funded (by taxpayers) organisation

  7. Microsoft Once Again Disregards People's Settings and Abuses Them, Again Pretends It's Just an Accident

    A conceited corporation, Microsoft, shows not only that it exploits its botnet to forcibly download massive binaries without consent but also that it vainly overrides people's privacy settings to spy on these people, sometimes with help from malicious hardware vendors such as Dell or Lenovo

  8. When the EPO Liaised With Capone (Literally) to Silence Bloggers, Delete Articles

    A dissection of the EPO's current media strategy, which involves not only funneling money into the media but also actively silencing opposing views

  9. Blogger Who Wrote About the EPO's Abuses Retires

    Bloggers' independent rebuttal capability against a media apparatus that is deep in the EPO's pocket is greatly diminished as Jeremy Phillips suddenly retires

  10. Leaked: EPO Award of €880,000 “in Order to Address the Media Presence of the EPO” (Reputation Laundering)

    The European Patent Office, a public body, wastes extravagant amounts of money on public relations (for 'damage control', like FIFA's) in an effort to undermine critics, not only among staff (internally) but also among the media (externally)

  11. Links 27/11/2015: KDE Plasma 5.5 Plans, Oracle Linux 7.2

    Links for the day

  12. Documents Needed: Contract or Information About EPO PR/Media Campaign to Mislead the World

    Rumour that the EPO spends almost as much as a million US dollars “with some selected press agencies to refurbish the image of the EPO”

  13. Guest Post: The EPO, EPC, Unitary Patent and the Money Issue

    Remarks on the Unitary Patent (UP) and the lesser-known aspects of the EPO and EPC, where the “real issue is money, about which very little is discussed in public...”

  14. Saving the Integrity of the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Some timely perspective on what's needed at the European Patent Office, which was detabilised by 'virtue' of making tyrants its official figureheads

  15. A Call for Bloggers and Journalists: Did EPO Intimidate and Threaten You Too? Please Speak Out.

    An effort to discover just how many people out there have been subjected to censorship and/or self-censorship by EPO aggression against the media

  16. European Patent Office (EPO) a “Kingdom Above the EU Countries, a Tyranny With ZERO Accountability”

    Criticism of the EPO's thuggish behaviour and endless efforts to crush dissenting voices by all means available, even when these means are in clear violation of international or European laws

  17. Links 26/11/2015: The $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, Running Sans Systemd Gets Hard

    Links for the day

  18. EPO Management Needs to Finally Recognise That It Itself is the Issue, Not the Staff or the Unions

    A showing of dissent even from the representatives whom the EPO tightly controls and why the latest union-busting goes a lot further than most people realise

  19. Even the EPO Central Staff Committee is Unhappy With EPO Management

    The questions asked by the Central Staff Committee shared for the public to see that not only a single union is concerned about the management's behaviour

  20. The Broken Window Economics of Patent Trolls Are Already Coming to Europe

    The plague which is widely known as patent trolls (non-practicing entities that prey on practicing companies) is being spread to Europe, owing in part to misguided policies and patent maximalists

  21. Debunking the EPO's Latest Marketing Nonsense From Les Échos and More on Benoît Battistelli's Nastygram to French Politician

    Our detailed remarks about French brainwash from the EPO's media partner (with Benoît Battistelli extensively quoted) and the concerns increasingly raised by French politicians, who urge for national or even continental intervention

  22. The Sun King Delusion: The Views of Techrights Are Just a Mirror of EPO Staff Unions

    Tackling some emerging spin we have seen coming from Battistelli's private letters -- spin which strives to project the views of Techrights onto staff unions and why it's very hypocritical a form of spin

  23. Links 25/11/2015: Webconverger 33.1, Netrunner 17 Released

    Links for the day

  24. United They Stand: FFPE-EPO Supports Suspended Staff Representatives From SUEPO

    An obscure union from the Dutch side of things at the EPO is expressing support for the suspended colleagues from SUEPO (more German than Dutch)

  25. Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

    A testament to how terrified journalists have become when it comes to EPO coverage, to the point of deleting entire paragraphs

  26. Censorship at the EPO Escalates: Now We Have Threats to Sue Publishers

    Having already blocked Techrights, the EPO's management proceeds to further suppressions of speech, impeding its staff's access to independently-distributed information (neither ordinary staff nor management)

  27. Response to Bogus Accusations That EPO Staff Protests Are Really an Attempt to Derail UPC

    Common myths about staff protests in the European Patent Office (EPO) debunked, with some additional background and general perspective on recent events, the unitary patent (UPC) and so on

  28. New Heise Article Makes It Clear That 'Nazi'-Themed Accusations Against the Suspended Board Judge Were Insufficiently Substantiated

    The personal attacks on a judge who was illegally suspended (a so-called 'house ban') increasingly look like the management's own campaign of defamation, mostly intended to marginalise and punish a judge who spoke about serious charges against VP4 (Željko Topić)

  29. Links 24/11/2015: Asus Chromebit CS10, Second Linux 4.4 RC

    Links for the day

  30. European Central Bank Staff Committee Adds to Growing Pressure on Abusive EPO Management

    The staff representatives of the European Central Bank E-mail their colleagues -- with European Central Bank managers' approval -- regarding the European Patent Office and its attacks on staff unions


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