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Links 28/2/2012: Huawei joins Tizen, FSFE for Freeing Android

Posted in News Roundup at 5:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source

  • VA looks for Microsoft alternatives

    With an eye on reducing ongoing software costs, the Veterans Affairs Department said it is exploring alternatives to Microsoft Corp.’s longstanding Office Suite productivity software that has dominated federal desktops for two decades.

    The VA currently owns and operates the 2003, 2007 and 2010 versions of Office, which include Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and which are being used by more than 300,000 VA employees. Use of the integrated software suite has provided for interoperability between the VA’s many units.

  • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache ACE as a Top-Level Project
  • WURFL: a cautionary tale

    At the beginning of this year a DMCA takedown notice was used against the open source project OpenDDR. Glyn Moody looks at the background to this story and the issues that it raises.

  • Umit, Backed By Google, Prepares Open Monitor Tool

    Umit, an open source organization that’s loosely affiliated with Google, is preparing Open Monitor, a free and open source tool that will allow customers and service providers to monitor Internet connectivity conditions from any part of the world. If Open Minitor works as advertised, I wonder if there are potential integration opportunities with traditional RMM (remote monitoring and management) software that many MSPs already leverage.

  • Qualifying the open-source movement

    Open source began in the late 1970s and early 80s as a way of preserving the sharing ethos upon which early computer science was built. Since then it has grown well beyond its original scope, and now underscores the creation of many creative works.

    Patent law is also directed towards a similar end, but encourages individuals rather than groups. So does the success of open source suggest patent law, as we know it, is set to change?

  • Techtalk: NBN plan prices and open source software
  • Spotlight on Open Source Router Platforms – Thoughts?

    We talk about networking quite a bit on AnandTech, covering everything from the upper end of home routers to WiFi stacks in smartphones and extending all the way up to 10GbE in the enterprise. What we haven’t really talked much about is some of the open source networking software that’s out there to improve and manage your network.

  • Events

    • Open source ideals at HIMSS12

      A not-so-intimate group of healthcare IT professionals (a record-setting 37,032 attendees) gathered February 20 at the 2012 HIMSS conference in Las Vegas. They kicked off a week of talks, discussions and collaboration sessions addressing ways to tackle the challenges in the healthcare IT industry.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Add-ons behaving badly: the challenges of policing the Firefox ecosystem

        Firefox’s powerful add-on system is arguably one of the browser’s best features, but it is also occasionally a source of problems for Mozilla. Policing the add-on ecosystem to ensure that third-party code doesn’t degrade the quality of the Firefox user experience is a major challenge. It’s a problem across the ecosystem of web browsers, and some vendors, like Microsoft with its upcoming Metro version of Internet Explorer, don’t allow third-party plugins at all. In contrast, Firefox users have a sea of add-ons at their disposal, but there is danger lurking below the surface.

      • Mozilla Dropped Android From Boot-to-Gecko Project

        This week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Mozilla announced that Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom plan to build phones based on B2G, a platform that will run all apps on the phone, including basic apps like a phone dialer and SMS client, from the Web. Telefonica said it expects to release a low-cost phone running the technology this year; DT didn’t disclose additional details.

        When Mozilla first announced the B2G project last July, it said it expected to use parts of Android to compile the platform. But it ultimately didn’t have to, said Jonathan Nightingale, senior director of Firefox engineering for Mozilla.

      • Mozilla bets big on open Web devices
      • Mozilla Putting all the Pieces Together to be a Smartphone Contender

        When we think of HTML5 as a mobile platform, devices are not what come to mind. The mobile Web, almost by definition, is an amorphous set of technologies, standards, designs, contents and ideas. The mobile Web is more of a Wild West these days then its desktop counterpart. Mozilla is attempting to give the mobile Web shape and definition and today announced a partnership that will bring the first HTML5-based mobile operating system to a device in 2012.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The significance of a Foundation

      t was quite a month for the Document Foundation; the press rightly picked our three main announcements: the 3.5 release, the foundation’s incorporation and our partnership with Intel. I would like to go back to the foundation matter and show why the two other announcements are made more significant by the fact that we are now officially established and incorporated as a legal entity.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • What skills will the new government CIO leadership team need?

      But Mark Taylor, CEO of small open source company Sirius, who was appointed by the Cabinet Office to lead its New Suppliers to Government working group says the next CIO leadership must do more to open up the marketplace and work with other areas of government such as the procurement team to bring about change.

      “Some two years into the government’s term and so far not an enormous amount of progress has been made in terms of improving the number of SMEs doing business with government,” he says.

      The government still has little concept of how to deal with SMEs, he says. His company was recently contacted by a public sector organisation requiring a Linux refresh, which asked it to complete a 200-plus page booklet – a prohibitive procedure for time and cash poor small businesses.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • A single European open data licence?

        You’ll know that open data is a cause close to my heart, and I welcome your initiative. You’ll be aware that back in December I put forward an ambitious legal proposal to unlock the goldmine and open up Europe’s public sector, through a system that would be cheaper, easier to use and wider in scope than current rules. In legal terms, these take the form of amendments to the Public Sector Information (PSI) Directive: that means they are proposed by the Commission, but then must be agreed by both the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers before becoming law – and indeed those bodies have already held initial discussions on this topic.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Textbooks can be free

        The open-source method of learning would allow instructors to create and share information for all students to utilize. This type of education system is open to the whole world, which would share information on an immense level. While open-source books are the ideal solution to the high costs of textbooks, eTexts are a step in the right direction. In the meantime, students should use eTexts and push for an open-source learning model instead of pricey textbooks.

  • Programming

    • Google Summer of Code 2012: mentoring application deadline announced

      Open source projects and organisations have until Friday, 9 March at 23:00 GMT to apply to mentor students as part of this year’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC) event. Projects interested in applying can register (sign in required) for the eighth annual event now; application requirements can be found on the FAQ page and a Mentor Manual is provided.


  • Finance

    • Why Greece Matters to the Occupy movement, and the Occupy SF Greece Rally
    • The WikiLeaks GiFiles: Stratfor Plotted with Goldman Sachs to Set Up Investment Fund

      Stratfor, the intelligence firm at the centre of the latest WikiLeaks/Anonymous tie-up, attempted to set up an investment fund with a Goldman Sachs director to trade on the intelligence collected by Stratfor.

      In 2009, the then managing director of the investment bank, Shea Morenz, planned to utilise the intelligence from the insider network “to start up a captive strategic investment fund”.

      “What StratCap will do is use our Stratfor’s intelligence and analysis to trade in a range of geopolitical instruments, particularly government bonds, currencies and the like,” reads an email by Stratfor’s CEO George Friedman.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Walker Using Out-of-State Tea Party Group to Indirectly Challenge Recall

      After news outlets reported Monday that Governor Scott Walker would not be challenging recall signatures, the governor quietly submitted a request asking that the state elections board accept challenges from an effort involving a Texas organization with a history of voter suppression.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • An Open Letter to Chris Dodd

        Mr. Dodd, I hear you’ve just given a speech in which you said “Hollywood is pro-technology and pro-Internet.” It seems you’re looking for interlocutors among the coalition that defeated SOPA and PIPA, and are looking for some politically feasible compromise that will do something against the problem of Internet piracy as you believe you understand it.

        There isn’t any one person who can answer your concerns. But I can speak for one element of the coalition that blocked those two bills; the technologists. I’m not talking about Google or the technology companies, mind you – I’m talking about the actual engineers who built the Internet and keep it running, who write the software you rely on every day of your life in the 21st century.

      • ACTA

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