Latest Examples of Public Sector Moves to Free Software

Posted in Europe at 5:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: European software policy as detailed by recent news


  • Linux users still obstructed from Parliamentary debates

    Parliament is still treating Linux users as though they aren’t citizens. It’s website, for them, is like the door of an exclusive Soho gentleman’s club.

    If you aint got Microsoft, you aint getting in – though we might give you a second chance if you go home and change that boho suit.

    Video broadcasts of Parliamentary proceedings are designed to be watched by people with Microsoft software.

  • There’s no better time for governments to go open source

    The UK government has revealed that it is considering ditching Microsoft software for open source alternatives. Cabinet minister Frances Maude has said he wants to see a range of software being adopted by the thousands of civil servants that work across departments and believes that this could save millions. Indeed, since Maude spoke out on the matter, it has been suggested that the government has spent more than £200 million on Microsoft products since 2010 alone.

  • That’s Not Lock-in. THIS is Lock-in

    That pales into insignificance with what is going on in the government of the UK. Although they have been making some good noises lately, they are in a deep hole.

  • Lottie Dexter should quit – and take the Year of Code board with her

    Tom Morris did some digging and found that only three members of the 23-member board appear to actually be programmers or have a technical background. So a campaign to drive home the importance of programming skills is predominantly made up of people who lack those very same skills.


    A more obvious example of what George Monbiot calls the captive state would be hard to find. This is just a cabal of private businesses looking for a government subsidy to ensure their future profits. Corporate welfare, in other words.


  • ETSI: ‘Open source clouds worth considering’

    Open source software is creating ‘tried-and-tested’ solutions addressing interoperability, portability and security, writes ETSI, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, in its December 2013 report on standards for cloud computing. Future specifications and standards may derive from open source projects, the standardisation organisation suggests.


  • French local politicians support free software

    Already 58 candidates for the municipal elections in France have signed April’s Free Software Pact, stating that they will support the use of free and open source software. Free software advocacy group April began its support campaign in early January. “Many candidates are keen to announce their support and to detail their plans for freedom in the digital age”, the group comments.

  • Free software campaign for European elections

    France’s free software advocacy group April has launched a campaign to get candidates for the European elections of 22 – 25 May 2014 to state their support for these type of software solutions. The Free Software Pact campaign is Europe-wide and the group is inviting free and open source enthusiasts to help contact as many candidates as possible.


  • Open source for Flanders’ Open Data Platform

    The government of the Flanders region in Belgium is using open source for its new open data forum, opened this week Tuesday. The site host is running Linux, web server Apache and content management system Joomla for the open data knowledge exchange website.

  • Walloon e-government should prefer open source

    For their e-government services and their websites, public administrations in Belgium’s Walloon region should prefer to use standards and open source software solutions, recommends André Blavier, an ICT expert working for the Agence Wallonie de Télécommunications (AWT), a government agency. Yet an even bigger priority for the Walloon government is making its data publicly available. “Open data will help development digital public services, and create a more transparent government.”


  • Dutch towns Typo3 association model for others

    TYPO3gem, the user group of Dutch municipalities using the TYPO3 content management system, is becoming a model for other groups of public administrations using open source solutions, according to a study published by the Open Source Observatory and Repository last week. Examples include the group of towns using Drupal, an alternative content management system, and a number of municipalities using zaaksysteem.nl, a case management solution.


  • Berlin: IT centralisation thwarts open source

    Berlin will not switch to open source operating systems for its workstations, the German Linux Magazine reports. The administration of the German city state again dismissed a request by the opposition party Bündnis 90/Greens to replace outdated proprietary desktop systems by open source. Such a switch clashes with the city’s efforts to centralise the IT infrastructure.


  • Canton of Bern parliament votes for open source

    Unanimous bar one abstention, the parliament of the Swiss Canton of Bern yesterday voted in favour of a bill to exploit ‘synergies in its software use”. The law instructs the canton’s public administrations to increase their use of open source, make their own software publicly available and, when starting new IT projects, give priority to this type of solutions. The measure is expected to result in financial savings.


  • Danish towns share IT PM tool as open source

    A group of five Danish municipalities are making available as open source KITOS, their IT project management solution, announces OS2, the Danish online community for public administrations and open source. The solutions will be web-based, letting municipalities manage their IT projects, systems and contracts.

South America

  • Argentina,Venezuela Strengthen Ties on Free Software

    Caracas, Feb 7 (Prensa Latina) Experts from Venezuela and Argentina shared experiences on software developed on the basis of free software, as part of the efforts to spread awareness among the population, specialized sources confirmed today.
    According to the Nacional Center for Information of Technology (CNTI), development teams operating systems Huayra (Argentina) and Canaima GNU / Linux (Venezuela) met by videoconference to strengthen the work in this area.

In Another Attempt to Derail British ODF Policy Microsoft Calls Its Systematic Bribery “Internationally Recognised”

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 5:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft wants us to embrace the criminal’s standard, not a real standard

ODF format

Summary: Microsoft strikes back against the British government for ‘daring’ to consider something other than proprietary software with proprietary formats

CRIMINAL organisation Microsoft, which is renowened for its illegal activities and collusion with other criminal entities, is calling its syndicates in the UK to go retaliate against British politicians who favour Free/libre software, fair competition, British companies, and real standards. This was predicable because it happened before (e.g. watering down of policies). It’s Microsoft’s way of “doing business”. Corruption is the de facto standard when it comes to Microsoft deals with the British government (various departments). We included evidence in over 100 posts over the years.

Microsoft’s latest retribution attempts are centred around the requirement of a standard. Microsoft wants us to believe that its crime-riddled proprietary formats, collectively referred to as OOXML, are in any way ‘standard’. They’re not. Not even in the UK. They’re corruption. Recall that even Britain’s BSI faced lawsuits over this corruption, as we covered in old posts such as:

Having been found to be bribing governments (probably as big as China's, not just banana republics), Microsoft should watch carefully its next move in the UK. If it attempts to bribe officials again (even ‘soft’ bribery), then it will receive a lot of blowback but no jail time, as it’s exempted from punishment for such crimes and Ballmer ran away on time.

Microsoft says that choosing ODF “sets a worrying precedent because government is, in effect, refusing to support another internationally recognised open standard,” referring to OOXML in the latter part. Well, everyone who watched this carefully knows the huge levels of corruption involved there, including bribed officials, rigged voted, etc. Nobody really considers OOXML “internationally recognised”; except Microsoft boosters and fake ‘journalists’ perhaps. Those know are informed recognise it as an internationally-recognised case of systematic crime by Microsoft. Here is a summary of just some of these crimes (counted up to an early point in time).

The British press says “Microsoft hits back at government’s open source plans,” noting that “Microsoft has urged its partners to pay closer attention to what it describes as the government’s “ill-considered” proposals to move to a more open IT model.”

Here again we see Microsoft acting by proxy. We saw that before. Whenever some Free software house (small business) in the UK receives some business from the government Microsoft sends out its proxies/partners as though they are some kind of “task forcex” (Microsoft terminology), commissioned to destroy any traces of non-Microsoft in the public sector. It’s an act of cleansing and it’s very well designed and occrdinated by the Redmond-based convicted monopolist.

“Last month,” the article gives context, “the government hinted it was considering moving away from technology such as Microsoft Office in favour of open-source offerings in an effort to break supplier “oligopoly”.”

Yes, indeed, and what’s wrong with that?

“According to Microsoft,” says the article, “the government is currently undergoing a consultation on plans to mandate the use of Open Document Formats (ODF) and to ditch Microsoft-developed Open XML (OOXML).”

Yes, indeed, because that’s the ethical and technical thing to do. We are going to take part in this consultation and we are going to urge our readers (especially British readers) to do the same. Microsoft is certainly going to use its proxies to bombard those in the consultation (sometimes it infiltrates those who assess the process, too, in addition to sending template letters to ‘DDOS’ the process, occasionally with sockpuppets) and the words from Microsoft are especially appalling because OOXML is a story of bribery and corruption, OOXML is not really a standard. Marketing, deception, revisionism, personal attacks etc. are going to be used by Microsoft to try to make it look like ODF is all about IBM and OOXML is ‘the’ standard. In reality, it’s not an international standard but an international case of crime (that tte European Commission was assigned to handle). Hundreds of examples can be given to show this, including bribery, entryism, retribution, bullying, etc. If OOXML was a real “open” standard, then how come when I leaked it (as if one needs to ‘leak’ standards) Microsoft and its cronies threatened litigation against me? So much for “open”… they were hiding the technical flaws and the fact that it’s just a scam (cannot be implemented by anyone but Microsoft, which also did not implement it, ever).

A Cabinet Office representative stated in response to Microsoft’s comments: “As part of our long-term economic plan, we’re committed to opening up government procurement to a wider range of suppliers. We want to see a greater range of software used and for departments to choose what is right for them and the users of their services.”

Simon Phipps, who back in the days of these Microsoft crime worked at Sun, calls for people to participate in the consultation. Any Updegrove, who was at the forefront back then as well, says “[t]he deadline is next Wednesday – make sure you’re heard!” We will be writing a letter and we urge others to do the same, possibly over the weekend. Talking about Microsoft’s crime and the rogue process should not be a taboo; justice has a lot to do with it. If the UK moves to ODF and embraces Free software, then other nations will use that as an example and follow suit.

‘Cloud’ Watch: ownCloud, CloudStack, OpenStack, Hadoop and More

Posted in News Roundup at 4:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: ‘Cloud’, ‘stack’, and all that hype over servers which mostly run Free software and GNU/Linux

Oprating Systems

  • As the desktop moves to the cloud, Microsoft is running behind again

    And what’s funny is that Microsoft, the company that lays claim to the desktop in business with the Office/Windows franchise is getting left behind by the likes of Google and Amazon.

  • January 2014 Web Server Survey
  • 10 Reasons Why Ruby Hosting is Best on OpenShift

    The idea of PaaS came from the Ruby land and nowadays the market there is quite saturated. OpenShift came from a polyglot by design and Ruby is very well supported. Let’s take a look why OpenShift is a great option for a Ruby developer.

  • Red Hat Advances OpenShift Enterprise Platform-as-a-Service

    Red Hat is officially releasing the next generation of its on-premises OpenShift platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud solution. OpenShift Enterprise 2.0 brings new data center and networking features that expand on the initial promise of the first release of the OpenShift Enterprise platform in 2012.

  • Dell and Red Hat Could Co-Engineer Success in the Cloud

    As 2014 gets underway, one of the biggest stories in all of open source has to be the transformation going on at Red Hat as it moves from being squarely Linux-focused to becoming a big player in the cloud computing space. As The Register notes, the company has “scraped up its Linux, virtualization, OpenStack and cloud management businesses into a new infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) unit.”


  • Getting to Know ownCloud

    As the new year begins, many people are focused on cloud computing, and that includes people who are focused on building out their own individual cloud environments. As we covered here, you can go beyond what services such as Dropbox and Box offer by leveraging ownCloud, an open source platform that lets you set up your own cloud computing instance, which means you don’t have to have your files sitting on servers that you don’t choose, governed by people you don’t know.

  • ownCloud 6 Community Edition Officially Released with Innovative Features

    ownCloud, Inc. is proud to announce today, December 11, that the Community Edition of its highly anticipated ownCloud 6 open source DIY (Do It Yourself) cloud server software is now available for download/upgrade with an improved design.

  • ownCloud 6 Community Edition Officially Released with Innovative Features

    ownCloud, Inc. is proud to announce today, December 11, that the Community Edition of its highly anticipated ownCloud 6 open source DIY (Do It Yourself) cloud server software is now available for download/upgrade with an improved design.

  • I have been fooling around

    My conclusion is clearly ‘enthusiasm’. I will certainly be using ownCloud as my private cloud server from now on and I can see some very cool ideas coming in the future. I’m exited about WebODF working with ODF documents using JavaScript and I can see many useful things to use it for. I can clearly see ownCloud useful for small business and e.g., schools and NGOs.

  • Open Source ownCloud Project Puts IT in File Synchronization Control

    One of the most obvious reasons that services such as Dropbox or Box are so popular with end users is that most internal IT organizations simply haven’t had a way to offer that capability. End users were acquiring mobile computing devices by the millions and they simply needed a way to share files.


  • ShapeBlue Offering Commercial Support for Apache CloudStack

    It’s been nearly two years since Citrix contributed its CloudStack open source cloud computing platform to the Apache Software Foundation, a move that gave the platform a leg up in the competitive open source cloud computing race. And, CloudStack continues to gain rapid adoption with large scale deployments around the world. In October, Apache announced the arrival of version 4.2 online, as we covered here.

  • Announcing Apache CloudStack 4.2.1



  • Enterprises Ask More from Hadoop, Need More Skilled Practitioners

    At enterprises around the world, as the Big Data trend spreads out, you can hardly talk technology anymore without the conversation focusing on Hadoop, the star open source framework for drawing insights from large data sets. We’ve also reported that the job market is very healthy for people with Hadoop and Big Data skills.

  • Cray brings Hadoop to supercomputing

    Cray has released a package designed to allow XC30 users to easily deploy Hadoop

  • Why elephants never forget big data

    Hortonworks is down at the watering hole, blowing its trumpet and enjoying a period of positive development.

    Just in case you missed the elephantine reference, Hortonworks (named after the elephant in Horton Hears A Who!) is a commercial vendor of Apache Hadoop, the open source platform for distributed processing of big data sets across clusters of computers.

  • The Questions for Hadoop Moving Forward

    In the beginning – October, 2003 to be precise – there was the Google File System. And it was good. MapReduce, which followed in December 2004, was even better. Together, they served as a framework for Doug Cutting’s original work at Yahoo, work that resulted in the project now known as Hadoop in 2005.

    After being pressed into service by Yahoo and other large web properties, Hadoop’s inevitable standalone commercialization arrived in the form of Cloudera in 2009. Founded by Amr Awadallah (Yahoo), Christophe Bisciglia (Google), Jeff Hammerbacher (Facebook) and Mike Olson (Oracle/Sleepycat) – Cutting was to join later – Cloudera oddly had the Hadoop market more or less to itself for a few years.


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