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Opinions

Summer Reading

Today I thought I might suggest a little bit of summer reading, now the good weather has finally arrived in the UK! Some are a little off the beaten track, with less explicit links to free software; all of them, in my opinion, will be of interest to anybody visiting this website. So, read the list, pay a visit to Amazon and grab the nearest bottle of sun cream!

Free Software, Free Society by Richard Stallman

Advertising over adwordising

For any specialist interest, be it trade or hobbyist, it is the norm to find at least one specialist magazine. If you are into selling comics and games you are probably an avid reader of the Comic and Games Retailer publication. Where would the world's tissue vendors be without their Tissue World Magazine? Also I cannot imagine the problems caused if the machine lubricators were deprived of their monthly Machine Lubrication Magazine.

Those of us who are proponents of free software, and follow it in the technical press, also have our weird and wonderful publications. Though being IT oriented these tend to be on-line based rather than paper based (such as Free Software Magazine), but often have to undergo an experience that is distasteful and nauseating...

An open proposal for Microsoft open source certification

Microsoft. Open-Source Certification. This is not an April Fools, apparently. According to various news feeds (this was brought to my attention from PCWorld, but YMMV as these stories are periodic) they will be submitting some of their "shared source" licenses to the OSI. This is genuinely fantastic news, as after years of FUDing us around, they finally admit that Open Source exists, is a good thing, non-cancerous, and something with which they want to get involved. It's also very flattering, because since they're submitting to the OSI it tells us that they acknowledge the term "Open Source" (and by its implication "Free Software") and that its definition is vested and controlled. By someone else.

But now they've built the bridge, they need to know how to cross it. There's a cultural divide that has been fostered through the years. So listen up Microsoft, this is your next step in allowing shared source to become compatible with FOSS licenses and - more importantly - its inherent ideals!

Microsoft dreams

I won this great big lottery the other day. I rushed around and bought new houses and all the usual stuff, then I had enough left over to get a new sports car. Before I went to look at the latest Porsches and Ferraris, I thought I might have a look at the new MicroKlapt V16 F1 GT Ultimate. They had all these ads with everyone dancing around going, “Wow”, so it looked pretty good.

Microsoft Recycles Cash in Campaign Against Free Software

According to Matt Asay, justice is served by the recent $2.5M judgment against SCO in favor of Novell.

The wheels of justice grind slowly, but exceedingly fine.

Closer inspection reveals that while justice was served, it was within a very narrow scope. It seems that Microsoft has succeeded in recycling some of the cash spent propping up SCO in the campaign against free software.

Vodafone goes free software and does it very, very well!!!

Days ago I was appointed as the on-call support on our TIBCO installation. So I have been given a personal mobile phone, a personal laptop and, lastly, a Vodafone Mobile Connect Super UMTS card. You may well be interested in the fact that Vodafone Spain developed a Linux driver, the card seems to work very well with Linux, and that it was quite easy to configure it!

I am going to describe how I configured it to work with Vodafone Italia as the provider. Please feel encouraged to comment on this entry and fill in the configuration you made for your own Country or distribution. What follows is the configuration for Ubuntu 7.04.

Fighting OOXML

The normally boring world of international standards has turned into a bloody fist fight between the most brutal monopolist of modern times, and the Community. Just the name, “Office Open XML” makes my head spin, and when I start to read Microsoft’s so-sincere explanations that “users demand multiple standards”, my blood begins to boil. But before I turn green and rip off my shirt, let me take a deep breath and look calmly at how Microsoft is trying to do to ISO what Borat wanted to do to Pamela.

InformationWeek opens its mouth to change feet (GPLv3)

In trying to respond to recent criticism about misrepresenting facts regarding Linus Torvalds and GPLv3, InformationWeek has managed to show exactly how incorrect their first article was.

Their misleading GPLv3 article from last week drew criticism for using false evidence to suggest that Linus is on a new anti-GPLv3 and that Linus's insults are "the latest sign of a growing schism".

Misleading InformationWeek GPLv3 article

LINUS CALLS GPLv3 "A FINE CHOICE" - is a title that InformationWeek could have used for their article. It would have been very selective quoting, but that doesn't seem to be a problem for InformationWeek. Nor does pretending that old emails are new emails, or misrepresenting people.

Small musings, general mood and free software updates

Since this is, actually, a blog, I feel entitled to speak my mind in it once in a while. However, being the computer nut I am, most of it is tech-oriented.

If you’re actually interested by this kind of read, prepare your scroll wheel, soften your ergonomically designed backrest, and start reading.

The LUG is dead - Long live the soulless marketing corporate junket

I can still remember my first LUG meeting; the Greater London Linux User Group at the GND building, London. I met developers, end users, geeks, sysadmins, and a magazine editor who, although neither of us knew it at the time, would later publish my first articles on Linux. These were people with intelligence, soul, and consideration. I had finally found a like-minded milieu for my free software tendancies.

To contrast, in my capacity as the local “geek about town”, I recently attended a one-off event intended to bring together the local geek community to examine the future of the Web 2.0 technology platform. Of all the people present I met only three geeks. Everyone else was a corporate schill wanting to tell me of how their corporate strategy was going to change the face of Web 2.0. Or a marketroid relentless pushing their closed-source buzzword-compliant platform. Or bourgeois recruiters intent solely on badmouthing every employer they didn’t represent. Or a hanger-on, desperate for free beer. Alas, this was not the first geek event hijacked by corporate import.

So what happened to the community?

Save the internet before it's too late

In just a few days, the FCC will close its deliberations on Net Neutrality to outside comment.

If the giant telcos, like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, get their way, the FCC will abandon Net Neutrality and allow them to play favourites with big online companies who are willing to pay them the biggest bribes for favoured online treatment.

This will mean that everyone who can't pay will receive prejudiced online treatment compared to those who can.

Microsoft the copyright infringer

When we consider the situation Microsoft finds itself in with regard to the GNU General Public License (GPL), it is important to consider how one determines when someone has accepted the GNU GPL and, hence, when someone is actually bound by its terms. Many people receive software that has been licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL all the time. However, simply receiving software licensed under the GNU GPL does not, in itself, mean that one has accepted the terms. Indeed, there is no contract to sign when receiving said software and certainly no “End User License Agreement”.

GPLv3 due on Friday 29th

After a year and a half, GPLv3 is finally due this Friday, June 29th. Starting with the January 2006 launch, our focus in FSFE has on raising awareness and informing the free software community. Making transcripts of the January 16th launch and RMS's first GPLv3 presentations...

...and getting them on Slashdot was a good start.

Life and death in the IT world: a two-month summary

For the few that liked my blog and, after a couple of months of silence, thought that I was dead... well I am alive and kicked (no that’s not a typo; I know it should be “kicking”, but the reality is that I feel like I’ve been kicked in my back). What happened... well, a lot of work and, finally, a two-week holiday in Brittany kept me out of the real World. And, now that I am back, I am taking a look around. A number of new interesting news items stand out from the rest.

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