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05.28.11

Links 28/5/2011: GNOME 3 Analyses, Miro 4.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 8:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Australia wants to boost its PR stocks

    As the number of events organised under its patronage increases, Linux Australia (LA), the umbrella organisation for Linux user groups Down Under, is actively looking for people who can be part of a media sub-committee.

    [...]

    Apart from the LCA, Linux Australia, through a sub-committee, runs PyCon, Drupal Down Under, and WordCamp; it has also provided a grant to The Ada Initiative, a project that seeks to increase the involvement of women in free and open source software.

  • Heart of Linux – part 1

    I gave a talk to my local Linux User Group last night. By my reckoning, I could blitz through it in about 40 mins if it didn’t seem to be of enough interest, or go into a lot of detail and take an hour and a half.

    In the event, two hours after I’d started, I was finally allowed to finish because people had trains to catch. So I guess it went over fairly well. So here’s my attempt at a transcription, for whatever interest it might be.

    [...]

    11 is not “bad software”. X11 is more than twenty years old!

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • CleanCache Merged Into The Linux Kernel

      While the first Phoronix benchmarks of EXT4, Btrfs, and XFS on the Linux 2.6.39 kernel were just published this morning, an interesting change was just made for the next Linux kernel that will affect many of the file-systems living within the kernel. For what will be the Linux 2.6.40 kernel, or rather the Linux 3.0 kernel is the finally-merged support for CleanCache.

    • Linux performance improvements
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Kraft 0.43 Release

        esterday I did a new release of Kraft, the KDE application to create and manage business documents in the small enterprise. It is version 0.43, the former one was 0.42, release in april 2011. Both releases, where the latter is a kind of maintenance release of the first are the result of a comparable high development effort of the underlying code in catalog handling and document lists in Kraft.

        The document lists consisting of a latest, complete and time sorted view are now fully based on one Qt interview model feeding the views. That was a step because the original code was based on Qt3′s treewidget code. The result is convincing: the time needed to build up all views with a couple of thousand documents went down from around 20 seconds with the old implementation (which of course was not optimized) to almost nothing now. A nice result.

        [...]

        * Kraft Mobile – spin off a mobile app working on the new form factors providing useful functionality

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Zukitwo: A Beautiful GNOME2/3/Shell Theme Pack

        Zukitwo is a pack of GTK2, GTK3 (with 3 variations) and GNOME Shell themes. In this post I’ll only cover the GTK3 and GNOME Shell theme (you already know how to apply GTK2 themes, right? If not, have a look in the “INSTALL” file).

        Since the pack comes with both GTK2 and GTK3 themes, if you’re using GNOME 3, GTK2 applications will still look great. And of course, you can also use these themes (except for the GNOME Shell theme obviously) in the old GNOME 2.

        I especially like the GNOME Shell theme which comes with a transparent Top Bar and a beautiful Message Tray, giving GNOME Shell a glassy look.

      • Recent goings on in GNOME design

        Things have been busy in GNOME design since 3.0 was released. We’ve been hard at work, taking care of the small details as well as embarking on new projects. I’m sure I’ll have missed plenty of things, but here is a rundown of what’s been happening.

      • Ready for Gnome 3.2? The Shell gets world clock

        The new Fedora 15 is released and people start to really get a feel of the new Gnome shell 3.0. But not the developers as they are working hard on the next major version 3.2 of the redesigned desktop. One of the changes is that there could be a world clock that is coming to gnome shell. One of the Google summer of coders this year, a person called ‘Stéphane Maniaci’ is working on improving the current incarnation of the clock menu. The new clock is supposedly will have capabilities to display times from different locations.

      • Five must have Gnome shell extensions for Fedora 15

        This is a list of five must have gnome shell extensions. You can find the commands below on how to install each extensions. After installing you need to restart gnome shell (type alt + f2 and press ‘r’) or logout and back again for the extension to start working.

      • Gnome3 – yep, yet another Gnome3 post

        I’ve stated from the start, G3 is a massive shift for the end user experience, and a ballsy move in itself. When I first tried G3 it stood out as being an entirely different user experience to the windows-esque DE’s we are used to seeing. This, for me is an uber-cool move forward and more power to gnome for doing it.

      • Early thoughts on GNOME 3

        I must admit, the first time I installed Fedora 15 alpha, I did it only to test out what GNOME 3 was all about. It looked like an interesting interface that would work on a tablet-like device, having used the Andriod-based Archos 10.1 for while now.

        When Fedora 15 was officially launched on May 24th, I decided to move my work machine (a Dell Vostro v13) from Fedora 14 to 15.

      • Gnome (S)hell – Its underlying principles are an insult to users

        After trying Gnome (S)hell for the first time I was very optimistic, I thought a good future lies ahead but no longer.

        Looking a little bit more into Gnome (S)hell I have become very annoyed at the truth. The truth being Gnome (S)hell is designed for the mentally impaired.

  • Distributions

    • The Gentoo Newsletter (or why we don’t have one right now)
    • Dynebolic: forgotten Rasta Tux

      Latest version of Dynebolic 2.5.2 DHORUBA was released in December 2007. History wise, this is just peanuts. But in terms of Linux history, that is “ages ago”. ISO weights just under 700 Mb, in other terms OS was developed to be used from CD image. It is Live CD which means you can run it without installation.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15 and offlineimap users beware

          This is just a word of warning: if you have upgraded to F15 and you use offlineimap, observe very carefully what it does and ensure you have a backup of your email.

          I noticed yesterday that I couldn’t search for some email that I knew existed. On closer inspection I found a huge chunk of my archive inbox to be missing. Several months worth of emails, they stopped in March and then continued with the emails from yesterday that I had copied in from my Inbox.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Natty Narwhal boot times – What has changed?

            In my Natty review, I did mention that boot times seem to have changed considerably compared to previous versions of the distro. In other words, they got longer, which is kind of surprising as the desktop is quite fast and snappy. I had no numbers to quantify my feeling then, but now I do. Using Bootchart, I profiled the boot times on Natty. So let’s see what happens. Moreover, we’ll check if there’s anything we can do to make things better.

          • Ubuntu Ocelot takes shape

            Plans for the next release of Ubuntu Linux are taking shape. A look at what users can expect

            Earlier this month (May 2011), Ubuntu developers from around the world gathered at the Ubuntu One Developer Summit with the primary purpose of laying down plans for the next release of the operating system. Although not yet set in stone, here are some of the things users can expect from Ubuntu 11.10, also known as Oneiric Ocelot.

            The first thing will be the switch from GDM (Gnome Display Manager) to LightDM for managing initial logins. LightDM is a tenth of the size of GDM and so will remove some of the overhead, and hopefully contribute to faster boot-ups. LightDM is also able to use the WebKit HTML engine to render login screens that can be easily customised using HTML, CSS and Javascript.

            [...]

            For now the focus is on improving the Unity Launcher and icons, as well as adding additional features, such as progress bars, to existing icons. Ubuntu 11.10 will be released as a beta on 1 September 2011 and as a final release on 13 October 2011.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux 1.1.0 Released

              Two months after our 1.0.0 release the Bodhi team and I are proud to announce the availability of Bodhi Linux 1.1.0. This is the first of our quarterly scheduled update releases to keep the software on the Bodhi live CD current. The live CD includes a number of package updates including:

              * Linux Kernel 2.6.39
              * Enlightenment SVN Build from 05/23/11
              * Intel 2.15 Drivers
              * Midori 0.3.6

            • Linux Mint 11 (Katya)

              The Mint-X theme has been better integrated with Synaptic, GIMP, Banshee and Deluge.

              The search add-on might be helpful for those who use Firefox 4, Chromium and Opera. It contains bug fixes, more spit and polish, and lets you more easily search Wikipedia, YouTube, Amazon, IMDB and other popular sites.

              The Mint developers also made some changes to the default software selection. LibreOffice is now the default office suite (woohoo!). Gwibber is no included by default, Banshee replaces Rhythmbox, and gThumb replaces F-Spot. I’m fine with these changes, particularly the inclusion of LibreOffice. I shed no tears whatsoever for the demise of OpenOffice; it’s time has come and gone. LibreOffice is where it’s at now.

              Next, I’ll look at the hardware requirements and I’ll show what the install routine looks like in this distro.

              [...]

              Pros: Attractive default wallpaper. Software Manager has been improved with a font category, bigger category icons, better application pages, and a splash screen. Update Manager’s speed has increased. You can turn off fortune cookies in the terminal. LibreOffice replaces OpenOffice.org. This release retains the GNOME interface and does not use Ubuntu’s Unity.
              Cons: This release is still based on Ubuntu and is probably not well suited for those who dislike what Ubuntu itself has to offer. Those looking for Unity will definitely have to use generic Ubuntu instead of Linux Mint.
              Suitable For: Beginner, intermediate or advanced Linux users.
              Rating: 5/5

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • A Boxee Box review: Recent updates and questions of openness

    The Boxee Box, available since November 2010 with firmware recently upated to 1.1, is a winning compromise that makes a Linux-based HTPC easy enough for the least technical user.

    Linux-based HTPC (home theater PC) systems have been proliferating, and with good reason. Linux is known for being stable over long periods of time. You wouldn’t want to have to reboot your cable box as often as you do a Windows machine, would you?

  • Education

    • Bail out school ICT … Euro-style

      Schools and Colleges can’t procure ICT for toffee. Sure they can spend money and when it was plentiful they did just that. They had separate ring-fenced ICT budgets and mad old BECTA to advise them on what to spend.

      The former was eye-wateringly generous and created a generation of ‘boxed-set’ software reseller millionaires, the later ensured that no matter how dopey the procurement ‘due diligence’ had been done so no-one got fired.

      Once the kit was bought did anyone plan for the capital required to replace them? … not on your nelly, so when the money-tree was chopped down ICT found itself competing with leaky roofs for capital spending which in any case had been cut by up to 80%.

      So here we are ten years on from the mad days with a shed load of ageing stock, the vast majority of which is incapable of running even MS Vista (remember that OS?) and countless instances of expensive Learning Platforms that barely anyone uses.

      Schools are not buying anymore but they sure are spending. School ICT was a bit like buying an Inkjet Printer. The capital cost is very attractively priced but boy are you going to pay later (licences, support, maintenance, electricity, consumables).

  • Project Releases

    • Miro 4.0 Released : New Android Sync Feature, Music Stores, App Markets and More [Install from PPA]

      Miro 4 has been released with a long list of new features and fixes. Miro with version 4.0 aims to be a complete media suite and has come a long way from a being podcast/digital content service. Probably the most exciting features are inclusion of Music and App Stores.

      Miro 4 looks very similar to iTunes and is targeting android user base. It wants to provide same functionality to android users which iTunes is providing to iDevice users: sync music, share music, install apps etc. Miro is completely free, open source project made by non-profit organization. Read on for new features.

    • Hands on: Miro 4.0 offers music management, Android syncing

      The Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF) recently released Miro 4, a major new version of its open source media player. The new version introduces support for music library management and Android device synchronization—expanding Miro beyond its historical roots as a tool for consuming Internet video.

      Miro was originally created in 2006 under the name Democracy Player with the aim of opening up video. Its creators hoped to use the power of the Internet to move beyond the top-down approach of traditional broadcasting. The application makes it easy for end users to consume Internet video content from a wide range of independent sources. The scope of the application has grown over the years, but the focus has largely remained on open technology and encouraging the growth of inclusive content ecosystems.

  • Public Services/Government

    • U.S. Considers Open-Source Software for Cybersecurity

      Open-source software may not sound compatible with the idea of strong cybersecurity, but the U.S. Department of Homeland Security sees such software, which anyone can tinker with, as a possible tool for defending government networks from both online thieves and professional cyberspies.

      A new five-year, $10 million program aims to survey existing open-source software to find those that could fill “open security” needs. Called the Homeland Open Security Technology program, or HOST, it also may plant seed investments where needed to inspire innovative solutions that can fill gaps in cybersecurity defenses.

    • Need open source policy? Ask the DoD.

      It’s coming up on a couple of years since I wrote about the reasonable approach toward open source software adoption put forth by the U.S. Department of Defense, which was ready and willing to use open source, but was not requiring a less-realistic all-open source or only-open source approach.

    • MK: Public involved in finalisation of national Open Source policy

      In the course of March 2011, four public meetings were organised in cities of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in the aim to promote and discuss the draft National Policy for Open Software, by involving the public in the process of finalisation of the text. At the same time, the events marked the last stage of the project for the adoption of this policy.

      The events took place in the cities of Tetovo (14 March), Štip (17 March), Skopje and Bitola (22 March) respectively. Main presenters included representatives of the non-profit organisation promoting Free Software in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Слободен софтвер Македонија -, the Metamorphosis Foundation and the Ministry of Information Society and Administration.

  • Licensing

    • Choosing A License

      For me, the particularly interesting outcome of the tutorial is how it finishes a the turbulent trajectory of the FSF’s relationship with Apache’s license. Initially, there was substantial acrimony between the Apache Software Foundation and the FSF because version 2.0 of the Apache License is incompatible with the GPLv2, a point on which the Apache Software Foundation has long disagreed with the FSF. You can even find cases where I was opining in the press about this back when I was Executive Director of the FSF.

Leftovers

  • Canada’s procurement offer to EU will exclude hydro, urban transit: negotiator

    Canada will be putting a “very ambitious” procurement offer on the table when it heads to Brussels in July for an eighth round of trade talks, said lead CETA negotiator Steve Verheul in a civil society briefing today. But the offer will not include hydro utilities, and will likely also exclude urban transit — both sensitive areas for some provinces which use public spending in those sectors for strategic development and job-creation purposes. Since utilities are a major interest for the EU, it’s hard to see how a procurement offer without them could be “ambitious” unless, perhaps, it is heavy on other municipal commitments which cities across Canada are protesting.

  • 64-bit OS written entirely in assembly

    The folks at Return Infinity just released a new version of their BareMetal OS, a 64-bit operating system written entirely in assembly.

    The goal of the BareMetal project, which includes a stripped-down bootloader and a cluster computing platform is to get away from the inefficient obfuscated machine code generated by higher level languages like C/C++ and Java. By writing the OS in assembly, runtime speeds are increased, and there’s very little overhead for when every clock cycle counts.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • All Your Ideas Belong to Us

      In my search for a teaching position I came across this gem in a collective agreement:
      “ARTICLE 29
      INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
      29.01 An Employee who wishes to create or develop school curricula or school resources which are not on the Department of Education approved list of school curricula and resources, and/or use these school curricula or resources with students must seek permission from the Executive Director prior to developing and/or piloting such curricula or resources.
      29.02 All school curricula, resources or material which are created or developed by an Employee during the course of the Employee’s employment with the Employer shall, for all purposes, be the property of the Employer, unless there is another arrangement made in writing between the Employee and the Department of Education. “

      Isn’t that cute? A bureaucratic solution for a non-existing problem. The normal default behaviour is that when a teacher creates content as assigned by the employer, the employer owns that content. This moves the default to “all your ideas belong to us”. Is it a move to stifle creativity? Is it ignorance of the teacher’s role? Is it ignorance of how education happens?

    • Copyrights

      • Why The Situation Is Likely to Get Worse for Access Copyright (But Not Necessarily for Authors)

        My first two posts on Access Copyright this week focused on its decision to stop pay-per-use digital licensing in the wake of the Copyright Board’s interim tariff and the economics behind the copyright collective. This post explains why the situation is going to get worse and offers (admittedly unsolicited) advice about what to do about it (all three posts available as a single PDF).

      • Secret G8 memo reveals outbreak of internet harmony

        A private memo from within the G8 meeting on Thursday between internet chiefs and world leaders indicates strong levels of support from Barack Obama, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and co for the principles of internet freedom put forward by Facebook, Google and their peers.

        The confidential document, seen by the FT, supports the internet’s role in furthering the distribution of knowledge and free speech, broadly accepting a light-touch, internationally harmonised approach to regulation.

      • ACTA

        • New version of the ACTA text

          The EU Commission published a new version of the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) text (pdf).

          A Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan announcement mentions an April 15 round of negotiations: “The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was opened for signature on May 1, following its adoption by participants in its negotiations on April 15.”

Clip of the Day

Obama’s car gets stuck at US Embassy


Credit: TinyOgg

ES: La BBC Sobornada por Bill Gates

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception at 3:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft BBC

(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: La BBC recibió unos 20 millones de dólares de Bill Gates, a pesar del hecho de que la BBC se supone que debe mantenerse independiente e imparcial por su operación con dinero de los contribuyentes para “beneficio” de los contribuyentes.

El orgullo de la BBC se hunde a nuevos mínimos como la BBC, que en ocasiones publica columnas de Gates, está ahora también acepta dinero de él. Esto puede ayudar a explicar por qué la BBC DEFIENDE a Microsoft, mientras que al mismo tiempo también aceptar el personal de Microsoft para manejar la BBC del Reino Unido. Se supone que son los contribuyentes del Reino Unido, que pagan para lavarse el cerebro por Gates bajo el disfraz de noticias “imparciales”, no contaminada por la influencia del dinero y en su lugar patrocinada en gran parte por los contribuyentes. El canal/sitio probablemente va a lavar más ropa sucia de Gates para Microsoft[http://techrights.org/2010/02/04/bbc-net-propaganda/], la empresa que violó la ley, especialmente ahora que la “Fundación Gates ha dado a la BBC $ 20 millones para dar “forma” a historias sobre la salud materna infantil,[http://humanosphere.kplu.org/2011/03/bizjournal-gates-foundation-has-given-bbc-20-million/]” para citar un periodista que solía hacer PR (Relaciones Públicas) -disfrazado-como-periodismo para la Fundación Gates, y desde entonces ha desertado, tal vez dándose cuenta de que él era parte del problema, no la solución.

Claude Holtzman de la Puget Sound Business Journal informa que la Fundación Gates hizo su mayor donación a una organización de medios de comunicación, la BBC, en diciembre, pero no dió a conocer la concesión de 19,9 millones dólares.

Más información puede encontrarse aquí[http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/2011/03/gates-discloses-media-grant-after-report.html?ana=twt]. ¿Por qué mantenerlo en secreto? Deben haber sido y es avergonzate.

“… La Fundación Gates sirve como un fondo para sobornos de presión, para eliminar la crítica hacia Microsoft, Gates, retratan al agresor Gates como un héroe, y también ayuda a las empresas en las que Gates invierte…”Esta es la distorsión y el lobbyism -cabildeo-. Se caracteriza como fondo de comercio, pero en realidad ayuda a Gates y sus secuases vender patentes, glorificarse a sí mismos, y acallar algunas publicaciones más, las que tendrá que ser amable con Gates y Microsoft (es aquí donde viene el dinero, ¿por qué morder la mano que alimenta?). Como un lector lo puso el otro día La Fundación Gates sirve como un fondo para sobornos de presión, para eliminar la crítica hacia Microsoft, Gates, retratan al agresor Gates como un héroe, y también ayuda a las empresas en las que Gates invierte en un (para “dar forma” a la coberturay presionar a los políticos ). Techrights toma este asunto muy en serio, ya que ya no es sólo acerca del software, se trata de la ética y es sobre la muerte de la prensa de vigilancia. Kristi Heim, por ejemplo, acostumbraba a impulsar la agenda de Gates, pero después de coverturas como esta[http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2014280379_gatesmedia.html] que la despidieron. Hoy en día, Gates, con mucho gusto puede eliminar las voces que él no aprueba. Son estas las pruebas de como Microsoft utiliza sus influencias para atacar profesional y personalmente a las persona que él considera enemigos u obstaculos. Después de haber pagado muchas publicaciones grandes para asegura su cobertura de manera positiva, los editores están bajo gran presión para la obtención de tales fuentes de financiación.

Para citar del mencionado articulo a Marc Cooper, profesor asistente en la Universidad del Sur de California Annenberg School de Comunicación y Periodismo:

“Sería ingenuo creer que las grandes fundaciones de dinero no juegan el mismo juego que las corporaciones y otros intereses especiales.”

Cooper, profesor de periodismo, considera “ridículo” cuando los medios de reclaman que el dinero de Gates no influye en su cobertura.

Probablemente vamos a revisar el tema en una fecha posterior. Por suerte, ya que no hemos tenido mucho tiempo para hacer un seguimiento de la Fundación Gates (varias entrevistas sitio próximos y también estamos cargando cientos de videos TechBytes, que se convertirá en WebM), parece que uno de nuestros editores podría ser capaz de ayudar. Así que mantén un ojo en este sitio por que hay muchas cosas buenas por venir.

Translation produced by Eduardo Landaveri, the esteemed administrator of the Spanish portal of Techrights.

Introducing Eduardo Landaveri, Administrator of the Spanish Portal

Posted in Site News at 12:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Eduardo Landaveri - a happy dad

Summary: Eduardo Landaveri of the Techrights crew introduces himself to readers

AS TECHRIGHTS grew, so has the number of editors. For quite a few years, Eduardo Landaveri has produced translations of the articles in this Web site and then distributed these translations in schools (disseminated primarily among teachers). Only recently did he become the administrator of the Spanish portal of Techrights, which is a new section that we are proud to have and are grateful to Landaveri for building. It helps reach out to the Spanish-speaking community. We have asked Mr. Landaveri to provide an introduction for all of his followers who have enjoyed his work. Here it is in English:

Tue May 24 18:11:18 PDT 2011

“The truth is like the blade of a sword without its hilt, cuts on all sides to those who want to hold it, and more to those who want to wrestle with her.”

–Eduardo Galeano

My first contact with computers was made before I went to the University in my home country. After that, I studied Education and my dealings with computers were not more than a regular user would do to get by them. Years later, during the nineties, I had the chance to work not as a teacher but as an assistant in a computer lab. Once there, I got interested in how they work and how network communication occurs. Going back to school and learning on my own led me to a full-time job as a Network Technician. I maintain a site with at least 350 clients (all flavors) and I’ve just finished upgrading the wireless network configuration of almost 40 sites. I ended the project before my other colleague by using Perl to customize and change on the fly the access points and bridges configurations. It’s so wonderful how Free/Open Source can make your life so much easier.

During the nineties I worked with Macintosh and Windows machines, and I used to read about GNU/Linux system (e.g. Debian, Red Hat) as I was attracted to them. I said, “man, the guys who use these systems are really geeks,” but I really did not have the chance to play or work with them. Finally, once Red Hat 8 was released I bought a book that came with 2 installation disks. I got a second hard-drive and loaded a dual-boot machine at home. I was surprised; It wasn’t as hard as other people had put it. It worked out of the box and quite surprisingly I even made my hardware modem work with WVDial. Though Red Hat had already had its graphical system tools, I used most the CLI tools with the help of the book and other tutorials on the Internet. I got thrilled by it and used it more than my Windows hard-drive.

A couple of months later, my boss saw my book and told me: “are you playing with Linux?”

“Yes,” I answered, “and I’m thinking of putting it on my workstation here at work.” He told me, “do not deal with dual-boot systems just install it on a separate machine.” It really surprised me coming from a Windows person so I thought, “If I really want to learn this, I better follow his advice and use it as my main system.” I backed everything up & loaded Red Hat 8 on my job’s workstation, so enough soon my home windows partition would be history.

Though I support users using Macintosh or Windows clients, which I do very well, you have no control when using them, you are at the mercy of the manufacturer. Once their life cycle is over, you get a piece of junk. With GNU/Linux you can keep on using your old hardware and it will perform better than their latest proprietary releases. I love the control that the users have when using GNU/Linux, I can set up this system as a server, a full fledged workstation, or a customized desktop. I even have the freedom to choose which desktop to use. That’s what I loved from the beginning and I never regret that I have left behind proprietary systems.

Time went by and I set up an intranet for my workplace, which is still in use after three upgrades, a Samba and and FTP server. I also set up my main laptop which I use to troubleshoot networks and Cisco network devices. Every personal device I use has GNU/Linux. As a former teacher I have seen the increasing need for technology and how the majority of people in my country of birth couldn’t back then afford a computer, and how the situation hasn’t changed much in that regard, such that the only solution is not to teach future generations using proprietary systems but Free Open Source ones. The four freedoms guarantee that everyone will have unrestricted access to technology and the freedom to learn, which would benefit them not only as individuals but as part of society as a whole. Free Open Source Software is what Latin American countries need to break the chains of Colonialism which still exists and constitutes a threat to the future generations.

It is very sad to see teachers advise their students along the lines of: you have to buy this proprietary office suite or the other OS to “learn” computers. How ludicrous. How can I ever ask my students to buy a $400 office suite when that’s what most of their parents barely make during a whole week in the United States. Not to mention the same in Latin American countries where the current media weekly salary is $99. Althuser said, “schools are to replicate the ideology of the dominant class” and this is clearly seen not only in the United States but all over the world when children are taught the use of proprietary technologies as though they were the only way to learn computers. Education tends to preserve the status quo due to lobbyists, corrupt politicians, and those who are helped by idle people or teachers who do not know better. Education must be for empowering the individual, not huge corporations that benefit from it and do not pay taxes and dodge the system.

Around the time MS was attacking GNU/Linux using SCO, I started to learn more about the perils of software patents, e.g. how they threaten not only users freedom but how they are used as an instrument of domination of Third World countries. I might be accused of communism like others before me — those who have been harmed by those who defend those companies that bribe the system and take advantage of it. They have distorted the market in such a way that anything that threatens them is treated as a cancer and is attacked professionally and even at the personal level. The market serves them in that it keeps their dominant position, achieved not by technical advantages but bribery, dishonesty and corruption. Just look at the OOXML fiasco. Patents are their weapon of domination and they are being helped by politicians that push small countries into signing commercial treaties in exchange for económical “aid”. To paraphrase my namesake Eduardo Galeano put it on 1970: “Technology doesn’t change the inequality organization on the global market” – on the contrary the way it actually is with software patents it increases it.

I started frequenting this site through focused on how Novell betrayed the FLOSS Community — it interested me due to that. It raised awareness and sentiments against software patents. Since there was no Spanish version of the articles I started translating them and email them to many former colleagues so they could pass it on to others and educate the Latin American teachers against the perils not only of Software Patents but Digital Colonialism. One day, I saw the need of give my part: “Freely you have received, freely give” and I started to participate on our Spanish Portal. Mostly I work with the software patents articles because its threat looms all over the world and the future e independence of Latin American and African countries depends of their utterly rejection of them. I am a regular guy like many of you, with a family, responsibilities and I wish I could do more, but any free time I manage to get, it is employed on this site. I do it because I know that a world without software patents will be better for our children and everybody. Do you want to see a depressing site? Take a look to: www.usdebtclock.org. Obama is trying to raise the debt limit and the American people are unaware of it. Politicians only look after their interests and the lobbyists who sponsor them. They have forgotten the people, meanwhile lobbyists and companies like Microsoft do NOT pay taxes and the gap between rich and poor widens second by second.

Teachers of America and the World, Why should you use software from an abusive and coercive monopoly that is screwing you up and indoctrinate children with it, when you can be liberating them by teaching them with Free/Open Source Software? Change is not difficult, I did it myself, the important thing is to give the first step. What do you do when you are not satisfied with a vendor? You simply STOP buying its products. Same thing. Stop using proprietary software. It is not good for you, not good for your wallet, not good for your children’s future. You will never regret it!

People must have control of its own destiny. We all have to oppose software patents, write and held our representative accountables. Not to leave it to others. If we do not do anything, probably everyone will do the same. What we do now and what we just let pass will have consequences for our children’s future.

“Proprietary software is an injustice and we want to help you escape from it.”

–Richard Stallman

And in Spanish:

Tue May 24 18:11:18 PDT 2011

“La verdad es como la hoja de una espada sin su empuñadura, corta por todos los lados a quien quiera sostenerla, y más a quien quiera forcejear con ella.”

–Eduardo Galeano

Mi primer contacto con computadoras fue antes de ir a la universidad en mi país de origen. Después de ello estudié Educación y mi trato con ellas, no fue más que las de un usuario normal. Años más tarde, durante la década de los noventa, tuve la oportunidad de trabajar no como maestro sino como un asistente en un laboratorio de computación. Una vez allí me interesé en cómo funcionan y cómo se produce la comunicación de redes. Volví a la escuela y el aprendizaje por mi cuenta me llevó a un trabajo a tiempo completo como técnico de redes. Actualmente mantengo un sitio con 350 clientes (todas las versiones) y acabo de terminar de actualizar la configuración de red inalámbrica en casi 40 sitios. Terminé antes que mi colega gracias al uso de Perl para personalizar y cambiar la configuración de los puntos de acceso y de los puentes. Es maravilloso cómo el Free/Libre Open Source Software puede hacer tu vida más fácil.

Durante la década de los noventa trabajé con máquinas Macintosh y Windows y solía leer acerca de los sistemas GNU/Linux, Debian, Red Hat y me sentía atraído por ellos. Me dije: “Wow los chicos que usan estos sistemas son realmente geeks”, pero en realidad no tuve la oportunidad de jugar o trabajar con ellos. Finalmente una vez que Red Hat 8 fue lanzado, compré un libro que vino con dos discos de instalación. Compré un segundo disco duro y cargé una máquina de arranque dual en el país. Me sorprendió no fue tan difícil como otras personas solían decir. Todo trabajó allí mismo, es sorprendente que incluso hice trabajar mi modem con wvdial. Aunque Red Hat ya tenía sus herramientas gráficos: system-config-blah, en su mayoría lo hice trabajar usando la línea de comandos CLI, con la ayuda del libro y otros tutoriales en Internet. Me emocione por ello y lo utilize más que mi hardrive con Windows.

Un par de meses mas tarde mi jefe vio mi libro y me dijo: “¿estás jugando con Linux” Sí, le respondí y estoy pensando en ponerlo en mi máquina aquí en el trabajo. Él me dijo: “no hagas un sistemas de arranque dual sólo instalaló en una máquina separada.” Realmente me sorprendió viniendo de una persona de Windows, así que, me dije a mí mismo, “Si realmente quieres aprender esto, será mejor seguir su consejo y utilizarlo como mi sistema principal”. Lo hize y cargé Red Hat 8 en mi estación en mi trabajo, muy pronto en casa la partición de Windows pasaría a la historia.

A pesar de que apoyo a usuarios de Macintosh o clientes de Windows, lo que puedo hacer muy bien, cuando los usas no tienes ningún control sobre ellos, usted está a la merced de los fabricantes. Una vez que el sistema operativo es deshechado, te quedaste con una pieza inútil de hardware. Con GNU/Linux puedes seguir usando tu viejo hardware y va a funcionar mucho mejor que lo ultime de Apple or MS. Me encanta el control que el usuario tiene al usar GNU/Linux, puedo instalar este sistema como un servidor, una estación de trabajo hecho y derecho, o un escritorio personalizado. Incluso tengo la libertad de elegir qué escritorio uso, KDE, Gnome, XFCE, LXDE. Es por eso que me encantó desde el principio y nunca me arrepiento de haber dejado atrás los sistemas propietarios.

Pasó el tiempo y configuré una intranet para mi lugar de trabajo, que está todavía en uso después de tres nuevas versiones, un servidor SAMBA y un servidor FTP. También la configuración de mi ordenador portátil principal que yo uso para solucionar problemas de redes y dispositivos de red de Cisco. Todos mis dispositivos de uso personal tiene GNU/Linux. Como antiguo profesor he visto en la necesidad creciente de tecnología y cómo la mayoría de la gente en mi país de nacimiento no podría entonces comprar una computadora, y cómo la situación no ha cambiado mucho en ese sentido que la única solución no es enseñar las generaciones futuras con sistemas propietarios, pero los de código abierto. Las cuatro libertades garantizan que todos tengan libre acceso a la tecnología y la libertad de aprender lo que les beneficiará no sólo individualmente sino a la sociedad en su conjunto. Libre Open Source Software es lo que los países latinoamericanos necesitan para romper las cadenas del colonialismo que aún existe y es una amenaza a las generaciones futuras.

Es muy triste ver a los maestros “aconsejen” a sus estudiantes: hay que comprar esta suite de oficina de propiedad o el otro sistema operativo para “aprender” computadoras. ¿Qué ridículo? ¿Cómo se puede pedir a mis estudiantes a comprar un paquete de oficina de 400 dolares, cuando eso es lo que la mayoría de sus padres ganan durante toda una semana en los Estados Unidos. Por no hablar de la misma en los países de América Latina donde el salario medio actual es de $ 99 semanales. Althuser dijo que “las escuelas reproducen la ideología de la clase dominante”, y esto se ve claramente no sólo en los Estados Unidos sino en todo el mundo cuando a los niños se les enseña el uso de tecnologías patentadas, como si fueran la única forma de aprender computación. La educación tiende a mantener el status quo ayudados por los grupos de presión, políticos corruptos y por docentes que no saben nada mejor. La educación debe ser para dar poder al individuo, no a las grandes corporaciones que se benefician de ello al no pagan impuestos y esquivar al sistema.

En la época que MS estaba atacando a GNU/Linux usando SCO, empecé a aprender más acerca de los peligros de las patentes de software. ¿Cómo atenta contra la libertad sólo los usuarios, pero la forma en que se utilizan como un instrumento de dominación de los países Tercer Mundistas. Yo podría ser acusado de comunista, como otros antes que yo han sido, por aquellos que defienden a las empresas que sobornan al sistema y sacan ventaja de ella. Ellos han distorsionado el mercado de tal manera que cualquier cosa que las amenaza son tratados como un cáncer y es atacado profesionalmente e incluso a nivel personal. El mercado sirve para mantener su posición dominante logrado no por ventajas técnicas, pero por su falta de honradez, el soborno y la corrupción. Basta con mirar el fiasco del OXML. Las patentes son su arma de dominación y que están siendo ayudados por los políticos que empujan a los países pequeños a firmar tratados comerciales a cambio de “ayuda” económica. Parafraseando a mi tocayo Eduardo Galeano lo puso en 1970: “La tecnología no cambia la organización de DESIGUALDAD en el mercado mundial”, por el contrario en la forma en que realmente está con las patentes de software lo aumenta de manera abismal.

Empecé a frecuentar este sitio, aunque en aquel entonces se centraba en cómo Novell había traicionado a la Comunidad de Software Libre, me interesó por que creó conciencia en contra de las patentes de software. Como no había versión en español de los artículos, empecé a traducirlos y enviarlos por correo electrónico a muchos antiguos compañeros para que pudieran repartirlos a otros y concientizar asi a los maestros de América Latina frente a los peligros no sólo de las patentes de software, pero en contra del colonialismo digital. Un día, vi la necesidad de dar mi parte: “Gratis lo recibisteis, dadlo gratis” y empecé a participar en nuestro Portal Español. Mayormente trabajo con los artículos patentes de software debido a que su amenaza se cierne sobre el mundo entero y la independencia e futuro de América Latina y los países africanos depende de su rechazo por completo de ellos. Soy un tipo al igual que muchos de ustedes, con una familia, resposabilities y me gustaría poder hacer más, pero el poco tiempo libre que me las arreglo para conseguir, se emplea en este sitio. Lo hago porque sé que un mundo sin patentes de software será mucho mejor para nuestros hijos y todo el mundo. ¿Quieres ver un sitio deprimente? Echa un vistazo a: www.usdebtclock.org. Obama está tratando de elevar el límite de la deuda y el pueblo estadounidense no es consciente de ello. Los políticos sólo buscan sus intereses y el de los grupos de presión que los patrocinan. Ellos se han olvidado de la gente, favoreciendo a los grupos de presión y empresas como Microsoft no pagan impuestos y la brecha entre ricos y pobres se agranda segundo a segundo.

Maestros de América y el Mundo: ¿Por qué utilizar el software de un monopolio y adoctrinar a los niños con ellaabusivo y coercitivo que los está arruinando, en vez de estar liberándolos con la enseñanza del Software Libre/Código Abierto? Cambiar no es difícil, lo hice yo mismo, lo importante es dar el primer paso. ¿Qué hacer cuando usted no está satisfecho con un proveedor? Basta con dejar de comprar sus productos. Es lo mismo. Deje de usar el software proprietario. No es bueno para usted, no es bueno para usted cartera, no es bueno para el futuro de sus hijos. Nunca se arrepentirán!

Las personas deben tener el control de su propio destino. Todos tenemos que oponernos a las patentes de software. Escribamos y hagamos a nuestros representantes responsables. No dejar que los demás lo hagan. Si nosotros personalmente lo ignoramos, probablemente el resto también lo har Si nosotros personalmente lo ignoramos, probablemente el resto también lo hará. Lo que hagamos ahora y lo que dejemos de hacer, tendrá consecuencias para futuro de nuestros hijos.

“El software proprietario es una injusticia y queremos ayudarle a escapar de él.”

–Richard Stallman

We hope you will join us in thanking Eduardo for all the hard work.

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