Foreign Policy Magazine article on open source

While it's provocatively titled, "Beyond the Open-Source Hype", this article is reasonably balanced. While it does give Miscoroft a little too much benefit of the doubt, it does come to a conclusion I agree with: open source is certainly worth using, but in some cases the expectations from it are a bit overstated.

To me, just the appearance of this issue in a magazine that usually has little to do with IT, offering commentary that "Governments may be wise to choose open source", is one more small victory by itself.

Phishing epidemic?

For the second time in two days I have received a phishing email. It is puportedly from Bell.ca but a little research shows that it is really out of the IP space of Speedware.com a Montreal based company that develops and sells business intelligence solutions. Most annoying especially after reporting to abuse@bell.ca yesterday and getting no response.

So what to do? I found no Canadian sites collecting data on phihing exercises but I did find a couple elsewhere:
http://www.antiphishing.org/index.html and
http://wiki.castlecops.com/PIRT
I reported to both.

So be warned, the attempts are getting more and more sohistcated. By way of example, here's an excerpt from the messages I received:

John Dvorak attacks DRM, a few years too late

There's not much that longtime tech columnist John Dvorak has to has that I find agreeable. He's been wrong on so many issues related to open source it's been hard to keep track.

This week, however, there's finally something on which we can agree, as he implores his readership to Screw the Digital-Rights Bugaboo. Of course, in the US such a plea at this time is somewhat pathetic, as the DMCA is already in place. Where was this opinion when the DRM debate was actually going on south of the border? I guess I shouldn't expect more from Dvorak, but I guess it's (maginally) better late than never.

Canada’s Privacy Community Speaks Out on DRM, Privacy and Copyright

CLUE is participating with a wide coalition of experts and community groups who are deeply concerned about the legal entrenchment of “digital rights management” (DRM) technology in Canadian copyright law. Today this coalition, led by the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa, today launched the website intellectualprivacy.ca and released a background paper on the issue.

In an open letter to Minister of Canadian Heritage Bev Oda and Industry Minister Maxime Bernier accompanying the background paper, we offer to work with policy makers and politicians on this issue, and seek assurances that:

  1. any proposed copyright reforms will prioritize privacy protection by including a full privacy consultation and a full privacy impact assessment with the introduction of any copyright reform bill

  2. any proposed anti-circumvention provisions will create no negative privacy impact

  3. any proposed copyright reforms will include pro-active privacy protections that, for example, enshrine the rights of Canadians to access and enjoy copyright works anonymously and in private

CLUE will remain an ongoing part of this effort, and work with the coalition to ensure that Canadian copyright laws protect both creators and consumers, and will not impede the ability of developers to create free and open source software.

Comments are invited.

Census now available to Linux Users.

It would seem that the right thing has been done:

http://www22.statcan.ca/ccr02/ccr02_003_e.htm

More Political and Policy Advocacy

The census debacle is illustrative of how entrenched propietary software is in our public servvice. My question now becomes, "How much money is changing hands?"

We have an obligation to ourselves and our countrymen to try to ensure there is no re-occurrance of this problem. We have an obligation to enusre that our public servants work for our benefit and not their owm. Perhaps we can get our pariliamentarians to have a look at the deparmental budgetary processess and ensure the bureaucrats are working for our benefit. One way would be to make purchase of proprietary software a "show cause" where there are alternatives. Imagine public servants obliged to do the right thing or be fired.

Canadian Census controversy continues

Canadian Census controversy continues - Linux User Groups (LUG) and Canadian elected officials are responding to the news that the Canadian online census forms block free software users from participating. Last week's story helped uncover the fact that the software used for the online census seems to violate several government policies and treaties. [Newsforge]

Canadian 2006 Census - A Lack of Standards Compliance

Canadian 2006 Census - A Lack of Standards Compliance - The Vancouver Linux User Group (VanLUG), in conjunction with other Linux user groups from across Canada, is co-ordinating an effort to draw attention to the 2006 Census web site's lack of standards compliance and to the detrimental effect this has on the ability of Canadians to participate in the census.
Please also read followups to Critical policy failures of the Canadian online Census for more detailed information.
[Digital Copyright Canada]

Canadian census debacle

Canadian census debacle - http://trends.newsforge.com/trends/06/05/04/233250.shtml
contains a lively debate about the Canadian Census vs open source.

http://www.digital-copyright.ca/node/2425 is another review of the situation.
I too am very frustrated with the situation. As soon as I realized that the
Java applet involved was in fact Entrust's TruPass, I realized what had