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08.07.11

Gianugo Rabellino Helps the Attack on Software Freedom

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 11:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft’s Gianugo Rabellino joins the attempts to cheapen “Open Source” and portray the thug as a friend of the victim

Microsoft’s participation in OSCON was tackled by our team over a week ago, but a couple of important links on the subject ought to be added here as these are self explanatory:

  1. Microsoft: Cloud need only be open surface, not open source

    Microsoft is more open — at least on the surface — and that’s all that matters in the cloud era, one company exec maintains.

  2. Microsoft Further Dilutes The Term Open Source, Coins Open Surface

    One of the reasons I prefer the term Free Software instead of Open Source is the way mega corporations like Microsoft have diluted the meaning of Open Source to suit their agenda.

    Now, Microsoft is coining yet another term to further confuse users — Open Surface. Senior Director for Open Source Communities at Microsoft, Gianugo Rabellino, said at Oscon 2011 that “customer don’t care about the underlying platform as long as the APIs, protocols and standards for the cloud are open.” That’s when he threw the term ‘open surface’.

Microsoft: attack by entryism. They become their own ‘opposition’, therefore they win even if they lose. Rejecting Microsoft is defensive, it’s not intolerant. The company filing patent lawsuits and secret blackmail operations is worse than intolerant; it’s borderline criminal, but it wants the police (or antitrust regulators) to stay away, so it needs to be seen as a friend of the victim. Those who cooperate in this posturing are worse than passive; they are the opposite of peacemakers because they make aggression acceptable.

Links 7/8/2011: Red Eclipse Released, KDE 4.7 Praises

Posted in News Roundup at 7:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Document Exchange: The World Has Changed, Billy

    Microsoft, for its part, needs to change some of its stances concerning open source if it wants to remain a big player in this new world that we see everyday. FUD campaigns are not working; users are gradually opening their eyes to see that they are suffering from the abusive policies of a company that lies to them. Some of them have already seen Linux computers which make their own Windows 7 PCs look like outdated dinosaurs that offer them the same problems found in computers a decade ago.

    Steve Ballmer is delusional if he thinks that young people, those mobile phone-thumbing individuals, belong to the recalcitrant, almost extinct user base that yells “Windows or nothing!”

    Bill Gates knew that the success of Windows depended on the ignorance of computer users. However, the world has changed, Billy… You wouldn’t believe how the world has changed…

  • A new life for old computers

    One group of computer buffs was way ahead of the game when the state on July 1 required that old computers no longer could be thrown in garbage dumps.

    The Columbia Linux Users Group has been recycling computers in a different way for a couple of years. They take old (but not too old) computers, wipe their systems clean and install the free Linux operating system and Linux-based software. Then they give the computers to recreation centers and charity groups.

  • Linux Day
  • Desktop

    • Don’t fear the penguin – there’s a Linux package for every taste

      But the reputation is undeserved. Linux hardly makes any special demands on users and is about as simple to use as Windows or Mac OS. Indeed, the most daunting prospect with Linux is choosing between the variety of versions available – and the ability to dive beneath the user interface and get deep into the software, if you’re so inclined.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Hurd mentality

        While recently there was the merging of Mesa pipe-video to master. most of the recent video decoding work going on within the Gallium3D world has been into the ATI/AMD R600 Gallium3D driver for XvMC and now VDPAU support too. This is after the R300 support matured a fair amount, but the first one to the Gallium3D video decoding party was Nouveau. Worked on several years ago as part of the Google Summer of Code was Nouveau Gallium3D video coding. Fortunately, some of this work has been resurrected.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Smart Folders in KDE Workspace

        So, a few days ago I was talking with an apple fanboy friend of mine who used to be KDE user before being abducted by the i* family of products (he started with an iPhone, he ended with i*Everything…). Anyway he is still using KDE from time to time so I asked him what is the feature he misses most when he is using KDE, the answer as you may gest was “Smart Folders”.

      • Instant apps

        Recently the Plasma library just got a new neat feature: the support for packages of files the are pretty generic, not bounded to being a “plasmoid”.

      • Upgraded to KDE 4.7

        Some people may find it odd that I don’t track KDE releases very closely — at least, not on my Linux machines, which includes my laptop. There things tend to be “whatever DVD is on the top of the pile gets installed” and updates happen only rarely. Quite different from my OpenIndiana or FreeBSD boxes, which track KDE closely.

        Anyway, I saw so much buzz and enthusiasm for KDE 4.7.0 that I wanted to update my desktop machine at home. It was running Kubuntu 10.04 LTS (with whatever KDE came with that, probably KDE 4.4). That meant a three-step upgrade path: 10.04 to 10.10 (I used these instructions on techie-buzz), 10.10 to 11.04 (repeat the upgrade-to-newer-release steps) and 11.04 to 11.04 + KDE 4.7.0 (the install instructions are clear and point elsewhere to add the KDE backports repository — some of the screenshots don’t match what I saw, but it’s well done).

  • Distributions

    • Choice is good

      Then I went to DistroWatch.com because, frankly, I hadn’t been there in awhile. For those of you who are interested in all things FOSS, DistroWatch is an interesting place to not only keep up with which distros are peaking and ebbing in the great scoreboard of FOSS, but also to see who has released what when, and sometimes, why.

      I decided to take a look at how many active distros — including those which also are Solaris- and BSD-based — there are as of today, July 31. It’s down a bit since I last looked, which has been literally several years ago.

    • Gentoo Family

      • KDE development environment in Gentoo

        In short, what I want is:

        * download the sources somewhere in my homedir
        * my everyday user to have write permissions to them
        * non-bare clones
        * url = anongit.kde.org AND pushUrl = git.kde.org, if possible directly on initial clone
        * if possible, have a live and a regular release side by side

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora package social networking
        • Praise for Fedora 15 and KDE 4.6.x – A great experience!

          Some old time Fedora users may be aware of Fedora’s poor track record when it comes to KDE although things have been changing ever since the release of KDE 4.x. I regularly try Fedora KDE and so far haven’t been fully convinced with the experience until now.

          As a fan of both Fedora and KDE it gives me pleasure to say Fedora 15 with KDE 4.6.x is a great experience!

          Over the past few months I haven’t had a single crash or experienced any bugs with Fedora 15 and KDE 4.6.x. I am also particularly impressed with the fact that the latest (minor updates) versions of KDE are included in the standard update repositories.

    • Debian Family

      • New beowulf cluster at EDF (200 Tflops) based on Debian 6.0 Squeeze

        Électricité de France S.A. is pleased to announce that its new supercomputer, which is 200 Tflops and 43rd in the latest TOP500 (June 2011), is based on Debian Squeeze.

        This supercomputer, called Ivanoe, is made of compute nodes, graphical nodes, connexion servers and infrastructure servers. This represents 1454 IDataPlex IBM Servers and 200 Tflops.

      • DebConf11 ends as another success for the Debian Project

        The annual Debian Conference ended today after being held for the previous week in Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has been a great success for the Debian Project.

      • Derivatives

        • Knoppix 6.7.0 Live Linux distribution released

          Version 6.7.0 of the Knoppix Live Linux distribution is now available to download free of charge from the project’s download server or via BitTorrent. As usual there are English and German versions for CD or DVD.

          Version 6.7.0 of the Debian-based live distribution uses the 2.6.39.3 Linux kernel and has LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) as its default desktop. It includes version 3.3.3 of the LibreOffice suite, the Chromium 12 web browser, the Pidgin IM client, GIMP and Wine 1.0.1. There is also a new release of the ADRIANE (Audio Desktop Reference Implementation And Networking Environment) version designed for blind and partially-sighted users.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Interview with Cheri Francis on UDS
          • Flavours and Variants

            • The Linux Setup – Clement Lefebvre, Linux Mint

              Clement Lefebvre probably doesn’t need much of an introduction. As the founder of Linux Mint, he’s seeing more and more users flock to the various flavors of his distribution. Linux Mint began with a reputation for being a nicer, easier to use take on Ubuntu. Now, it often seems poised to replace Ubuntu as the go-to Linux distribution for new and experienced users.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi Interview With Eben Upton

      The robot revolution just got a little closer thanks to some of the cool devices that are coming down the pipe. One such cool device is called the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi device is basically a $25 Linux PC on a credit card sized board! This microcomputer looks perfectly suited as a low cost, micro form factor, low power, PC performance robot brain. If you think that’s unbelievable, well, believe it! Sure it’s not available just yet but already the Alpha Boards are being manufactured and they anticipate the devices will be available for sale later in 2011.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Asus Unveils 2 New Linux-Powered Netbooks

        Asus introduced the Eee PC back in 2007. This quickly became the standard for netbooks. In fact, some say the Eee PC coined the term netbook. Earlier this week, the Eee PC line was updated with two new models, the X101 and R011PX (shown above). Both models feature 10.1″ displays, built-in cameras, 4 hour batteries, 802.11B/G/N networking, and SD card slots.

      • Tablet smackdown: Galaxy Tab 10.1 vs. iPad 2

        Before launching into this review, which pits Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 against Apple’s iPad 2, I took a few days to familiarize myself with the Galaxy Tab’s Android 3.1 (“Honeycomb”) OS. The thing is, I’d already used iOS on an iPod Touch for two years, but was a rank newbie when it came to Android.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Song of the Leaders

    Leadership requires some mental agility in FOSS. For one thing, distributed development that includes a large number of volunteers means that hierarchal models of leadership don’t work. The means of coercion are automatically fewer, and aren’t as effective over a distance as they are person to person.

  • Open source opening doors to IT

    Danishka Navin speaks to the Mirror about revolutionizing IT needs among those in the outstations with open source software

    Danishka Navin saw a problem. In the rural regions of Sri Lanka people were struggling with the advancement of IT; students had to compete with the internet savvy kids of more privileged surroundings and teachers found it hard to keep up with the computer related modes of teaching. Danishka realized that a certain percentage of the younger generation was being left behind.

    The solution was free open source software that replaced the more expensive variants like Windows software, giving them a better change at a fast developing future. Hanthana Linux is a remix of the popular Linux distribution Fedora and was built with the aim of easily fulfilling the needs of people who don’t have consistent Internet facilities and people with minimal computer experience.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Hurd mentality

      It’s taken more than 25 years to develop but the Hurd operating system may soon be released.

      It’s been more than 25 years in the making and yet most people have never heard of it. Now the Free Software Foundation’s Hurd operating system may finally get to show what it has to offer.

      A little history: decades ago Richard Stallman began work on a completely free (as in freedom) Unix-like operating system. Frustrated by the increasingly proprietary software world around him, Stallman set about to rewrite the tools and applications that made up a typical Unix operating system.

  • Public Services/Government

    • CH: Proprietary competitors delay unwrapping of open source DMS

      A protest by Swiss proprietary software vendors is delaying the publication as open source of OpenJustitia, a document management system (DMS) developed in-house by the federal court. The court planned to unwrap the DMS in late August, but will now wait until after the court’s control committee in the parliament has looked into the complaints. This committee will consider the case sometime after the summer.

  • Licensing

    • Harmony horrors

      On the other side of the web, I kept discussing Harmony with Allison (Canonical) until I asked something and got no response anymore.

      Bringing up arguments like “it provides more clarity to contributors, a ‘check point’ to look at the legal situation and reassurance of legal status to users” or the already-debunked “but it is helps protect the copyrights and handling of disappearing contributors” doesn’t convince me that contributors should sign away their code while running the risk TO GET SUED BY THE COMPANY THEY JUST GAVE THEIR CODE TO FOR WRITING IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. Seriously, that’s a risk, read Michael’s post.

Leftovers

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • CD and DVD ripping to be legalised in UK copyright reform

        Time for another ripping yarn from CNET UK — and today the ripping in question is the copying of CDs and DVDs to your computer, which believe it or not is actually illegal. It’s a triumph for common sense as government takes on board a number of suggestions for reforming copyright and intellectual property law.

Novell and Microsoft Security ‘Honours’

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Security at 3:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Golden Flying Chairlet Award

Summary: Novell and Microsoft get special mentions for weaknesses in their proprietary software, which they wish to hide by hiding the source code

NOVELL is a proprietary software company whose software has gotten enough flaws to earn a Pwnie Award nomination. Thanks to our reader Tacone for bringing the following bit to our attention:

Remotely exploitable stack overflow in OpenSSH on Novell NetWare
Vendor: Novell

The ZDI advisory clearly stated that this is a remotely-exploitable stack overflow, but Novel claimed that it was only a denial of service attack and refused to patch it until ZDI dropped the details on their blog. You can’t argue with 0×41414141.

In other news, Windows has a rootkits epidemic again and this time Sony is not to blame:

Machines running the decade-old Windows XP make up a huge reservoir of infected PCs that can spread malware to other systems, a Czech antivirus company said today.

Windows XP computers are infected with rootkits out of proportion to the operating system’s market share, according to data released Thursday by Avast Software, which surveyed more than 600,000 Windows PCs.

While XP now accounts for about 58% of all Windows systems in use, 74% of the rootkit infections found by Avast were on XP machines.

The Register meanwhile says that “Microsoft is fuelling up 13 bulletins for release next week, including an update that guards against critical flaws in Internet Explorer.”

We oughtn’t forget that Microsoft lies about those numbers.

“It’s funny that I almost never have to reboot, or even logout, when I update my Linux boxes,” remarks one GNU/Linux advocate. ‘Why is it that Windows can’t update a file that is open? Linux & other *nix’s have had this filesystem feature for longer than I can remember. Doesn’t Windows have any decent filesystem?”

Finally, spyware too seems to be part of Microsoft’s package:

Microsoft has collected the locations of millions of laptops, cell phones, and other Wi-Fi devices around the world and makes them available on the Web without taking the privacy precautions that competitors have, CNET has learned.

The vast database available through Live.com publishes the precise geographical location, which can point to a street address and sometimes even a corner of a building, of Android phones, Apple devices, and other Wi-Fi enabled gadgets.

How come nobody remarks on the privacy implications? Without privacy, security too can be compromised more easily.

Microsoft Monetises Death Again

Posted in Microsoft at 3:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Amy Winehouse

Image by Bojars, licensed under the terms of the CeCILL

Summary: Microsoft finds another opportunity to grab some money as a music celebrity dies prematurely

PREVIOUSLY in this week site we gave examples where Microsoft sought to profit from disaster (e.g. in Haiti and after Katrina). The previous post mentioned Feynman, a dead scientist whom Microsoft exploits for profit, just like it did with other early deaths.

It is not as though Microsoft being insensitive should be news, but this new example is priceless:

Yes, it was hard to get it all into 140 characters. But the intention seemed clear: Amy Winehouse is dead. You can get her music here.

Microsoft also exploited Michael Jackson's tragic death for self promotion. Microsoft is a vulture of a company.

.NET Gets Called a Mistake, But Not in Xamarin

Posted in Microsoft, Mono at 3:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Xamarin site

Summary: Microsoft’s .NET is still promoted by Microsoft boosters from Novell, who helped Microsoft devour important scientific lectures under the pretence these would be available to all

MICROSOFT MVP Miguel de Icaza enthusiatically announces another release of a .NET clone which nobody truly needs. “Was .NET all a mistake?” That’s what some are willing to assert and as we showed last month, it increasingly seems to be the case. To quote:

It is time to reconsider the recent past and ask the question “was .NET just a forced detour on the road to another technology?”

Before anyone explodes I’d better say that I don’t have a definitive answer to the question that the title raises – how could anyone have such an answer. However the recent unsettling behavior at Microsoft has caused me to re-evaluate my .NET experiences and think hard about where it all came from and where it is all going. It is interesting and I promise not to be too provocative just for the sake of it…

.NET is just a lousy copy of Java, which matured over the years after Microsoft had been nailed for subverting Java, deliberetly fragmenting it (this was shown in internal documents we have in our wiki). The same goes for Silverlight, which is an imitation of Flash. It never really took off, so Microsoft resorted to exploiting dead scientists like Feynman (covered here before).

As one GNU/Linux advocate put it some days ago, Feynman’s videos “used to be on youtube but they were removed when Feynman’s heirs wanted to make some money from them (something Feynman I’m sure would have objected to).

“Bill Gates steps in and buys the rights to them and puts them on the Internet for free.”

The outcome: “Sorry, Silverlight for your browser is not officially supported.”

In conclusion he writes: “So to view these videos I would have to infect my PC with Microsoft SW. That’s too high a price to pay.”

What about using Moonlight, which Miguel de Icaza and Microsoft used to pretend Silverlight was cross-platform (they help the same illusion for .NET, also pretending it’s “open”)? Does Xamarin maintain Moonlight? Of course not. Now it’s time to buy Windows for Silverlight, which they pretended was available to all platforms.

Apple is Increasingly an Embargo Company, Not a Technology Company

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Patents at 3:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mossy fence

Summary: Apple is aiming at embargo of the competition rather than improvement of its own products, choosing a walled gardens approach against this nuisance called “counterparts”

IN ORDER to justify purchases of its overprices products, Apple needs to ensure it lacks any real competition. As we have been showing since Apple started its patent attacks on Linux (early 2010), Apple has no qualm about acting like a thug, despite its relative wealth. Those who preach for arrogance are expectedly arrogant themselves. Techrights lacks sympathy for Apple simply because Apple deserves none, and not just because of its size (SCO too became unpopular, despite rapidly-decreasing scale).

According to this recent report, “One day after Apple’s Mac OS X Lion was released into the wild, Steve Jobs’ bête noire, Adobe, has released an extensive list of wounds that the big cat has clawed into its products.”

“Problematic apps include such stalwarts as Photoshop CS3, CS4, and CS5; Dreamweaver CS4, and Illustrator CS5 and CS5.1,” says this report. Some quality, eh?

“I don’t understand how this can be possible,” remarks one Linux advocate sarcastically. “Surely “professional” proprietary software is meant to be superior to all that “freetard hobbyware” stuff.

“So what happened?

“Why didn’t Adobe simply download the sources to Apple’s software (or possibly vice versa), make the modifications necessary to get it all working together properly, rebuild it then publish it in their repo?”

“But in terms of actual market share (usage, not money), Apple only commands about 4% globally (according to Apple’s own SEC filings).”Apple may have a very powerful brand and it still appeals to rich people for whom unnecessary expenditures are largely acceptable. But in terms of actual market share (usage, not money), Apple only commands about 4% globally (according to Apple’s own SEC filings). By some estimates, GNU/Linux is still ahead of Apple, however GNU/Linux is not a company. Apple knows that commodity products can doom its core business.

“Somebody is truely [sic] blind,” says Norbert Evenich about Apple apologism (from Cult of Mac in this case). It is amazing how far some people would go to defend Apple’s aggression. Well, Apple has not gotten its way yet and its first victim, HTC, is still fighting back — a subject to be touched on in a later post.

Realising that GNU/Linux is on its tail (especially in lucrative areas like mobile devices), Apple decides to sue and sue and sue…

Apple is now trying to black Linux-based tablets and one report says:

Apple is seeking an injunction against Samsung which would block the Korean electronics giant from launching the latest version of its Galaxy tablet computer in Australia until the patent lawsuit is resolved.

On Monday, a Federal Court in Sydney heard Apple lawyer Steven Burley claim that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 had infringed 10 Apple patents, including the “look and feel” and touchscreen technology of the iPad.

Well done, Apple? Need we look at all those whom Apple imitates? The company’s spiritual leader, Steve Jobs, has himself admitted that Apple “steals” great ideas.

Well, Apple’s legal actions have thus far been unproductive as the legal head called it quits (maybe he got fired), as we covered a few weeks ago. Samsung is in fact Apple’s supplier in some areas, so Apple essentially attacks its own production line. Samsung is undeterred, at least based on the fact that it shrugs off Apple’s actions (Samsung has a massive patent arsenal too). Apple turning into an embargo company is a sign of the times, indicating again that patents need be reconsidered as a whole. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 will sell in Australia despite Apple’s complaint. “Samsung has said that its forthcoming Galaxy Tab 10.1 set for release in Australia is different from the device sold in the U.S. — which is the hardware Apple has targeted in its lawsuit. Because it is a different device, the Korean electronics company believes it is free to release its iPad competitor down under, according to a statement released to Ausdroid.net,” says the cited source.

“If Samsung fights back against Apple, why did it agree to pay Microsoft for Linux back in 2007?”“The company did not reveal what the difference is between the U.S. Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the one that Samsung will release in Australia. The statement did reveal that no other Samsung smartphones or tablets are affected in the Australian market or other countries,” it adds.

If Samsung fights back against Apple, why did it agree to pay Microsoft for Linux back in 2007? Maybe because those two companies had collaborated in many areas? That has been our guess over the years. We continue to encourage a boycott of Samsung for this reason.

(Software) Patents Backlash Becomes Mainstream

Posted in Patents at 2:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Man reads newspaper

Summary: The unpopularity of patents — and software patents in particular — is fast becoming a mainstream debate that merits attention and hopefully a fix; Hulu is now sued

IN the coming posts — mostly tomorrow — we will show that patents are viewed negatively in the press, even without having to be selective (the coverage is overwhelmingly critical of patents). This sure is an achievement to those who vocally opposed software patents and attended live debates on the subject. Developers have a much more compelling story to tell than lawyers and monopolists. All it takes now to turn the tide is increased exposure. Even those who are technology unaware or agnostic are starting to see their favourite products banned or at least injured. This gives a lot of momentum to the abolition proponents — those who view ending all software patents as the solution (not deterrence advocates who prefer a M.A.D. approach). The latest example of lawsuits that will fuel backlash against patents is this one against Hulu, which Reuters covered as follows: “Rovi Corp sued Hulu, accusing the online video site of infringing patents that cover electronic program guides.

“Rovi, created from Macrovision Corp’s acquisition of Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc in 2008, provides technology that powers the streaming services provided by Blockbuster On Demand and Best Buy Co Inc’s CinemaNow, according to the complaint, filed on Friday.”

Programme guides as a patent? Really?

European Procurement Rules Need Review for Built-in Bias

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, GPL at 2:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Route signs in piatra craiului

Summary: Romania ‘bans’ the GPL, whereas in Italy, the Puglia region council is starting to mandate the opposite type of policy

SEVERAL weeks ago we wrote some posts about procurement rules in the UK. These are unjust and one might even say “corrupt”. These rules ensure that those who lobby for them will continue to profit without having to work hard, let alone compete. The public suffers from this because of cost and quality. In the nation of Romania we have seen many such examples of misconduct and covered some of them in, e.g.:

Someone from Romania has just informed us of this translation of articles whose main message is:

There’s a government procurement bid going on in Romania for creating the software and infrastructure to modernize criminal records’ access within the country and to interoperate with European countries’ similar systems.

It is likely to become one of the many overpriced, poorly specified and poorly implemented solutions that are cranked out by companies that would not survive in the private sector but are close to the decision-makers and are tacitly supported by large IT companies whose proprietary software and expensive hardware have key roles such projects. Nothing new here.

What sets it apart however from other cases, at least to my knowledge is that in the general requirements section there’s a small paragraph stating:

“All versions of sofware that are part of the offer must not be published under a ‘free software license’ – GPL or similar”

Is that truly the case? And if so, then the FSFE has work to do there. The very opposite policy — one preferring or enforcing the use of Free software — should be embraced in the public sector. So once again we come across ridiculous regulations which must have been influenced by the fox in the hen house. Recall what Nichi Vendola did when Free software was gaining ground in Italy (Puglia). We now discover that, based on research from OSOR, Vendola may not get his way entirely:

The council of the Italian region of Puglia is about to approve the law proposed last December that will make the use of open source and open standards mandatory for the region’s public administrations, according to news reports. The region expects to save up to a million euro per year by increasing its use of this type of software, at the same time creating business opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises.

What about the education sector? Activism in this area is very much needed to ensure that policies are not perverted to the point of no return (like software patents in the United States).

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