Free Software and the Canadian Federal Election 2008

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a donor supported charity founded in 1985 and based in Boston, MA, USA. The FSF has a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom and to defend the rights of all free software users. They have sister organizations in Europe, India and Latin America.

Since any inclusion of legal protection for "technological measures" in the law regulates what software citizens are allowed to run on their own computer, they have an interest in this issue. Canadians who are part of the Free Software Community really need to get involved in this election to ensure that the rights of Canadian Free Software users are protected. Richard Stallman, founder and president of the FSF, requested that I write this article to give our community some ideas of what to do.

Read the rest of this entry on IT World Canada's blog »

Evan Prodromou is a TWiT.

Congrats to Montreal-based Evan Prodromou who seems to have enlisted #3 Twitterholic Leo Laporte in Evan's attempt to open up Twitter with Identi.ca. To learn more about Evan's awesome project, check out FLOSS Weekly 37: Laconica. See also: Army.TWiT.tv.

FACIL launches lawsuit against Quebec government to close loophole

FACIL sent out press release (english press release, which includes a link to a translation of their court filing) that documents their launching of a case in Quebec Superior Court. The case is intended to end a loophole being used by the Quebec provincial government to award contracts to proprietary software suppliers without an adequate evaluation of all the options, including Free/Libre and Open Source Software options.

I was interviewed by Peter Nowak for CBC News last evening about the case. Even though I hadn't read the documents from FACIL yet, guessed which loophole they were trying to close.

Read full article on IT World Canada »

FOSS Jumps Over the Great Firewall of China

My longtime colleague Brian Osborn, publisher of Linux Magazine (which is what it's callled everywhere in the world except for the US and Canada where it's "Linux Pro Magazine") has been calling special attention to a recent article they've published, regarding the use of open source software to circumvent China's Internet censorship mechanisms. The article describes the mechaisms, as well as the software used to get around it all. Interesting reading, especially timely considering the Olympics.

The Barenaked Smear Job: A C-61 connection?

By now most Canadians know that Barenaked Ladies lead singer Steven Page has been arrested in New York in relation to alleged cocaine possession.

An interesting observation on news reports about Page's arrest suggest not only a massive smear campaign going on in the media (for instance, he never admitted to using the coke as some reports have asserted), but potentially a nasty motive behind the smear.

Charlie Angus: Parliament's biggest C-61 foe?

Popular news site TorrentFreak has singled out Canadian MP Charlie Angus (NDP --Timmins-James Bay) as one of the world's more vocal politician critics of DMCA-like laws such as Canada's pending C-61.

Does anyone here know Charlie? Does personal experience here bear out his now-international reputation on the issue? And to what extent is his position backed by his party?

Rogers violates net neutrality by hijacking failed DNS lookups

rogers
In what appears to be a violation of Net Neutrality by Rogers Cable, Digital Home readers are reporting that Rogers High Speed Internet service has begun redirecting customers "Server not found pages" to webpages laden with Rogers advertising.

full story on digitalhome.ca
and Michael Geist's blog

SCO loses in court again, but Sun's the loser this time

I've started blogging on my website, Xunil.com, and this was my first entry. The subject line says it all; I think the real loser today was not SCO (what's one more slap?) but Sun, a newcomer to this soap opera.

OpenMoko finally available

freerunner
The open source answer to the iPhone is here!

Openmoko is a linux-based touchscreen phone that features tri-band, GPS, accelerometers, 802/11b/g and bluetooth.
The Freerunner (second generation Neo phone) will be made available throught several un-conventional channels, including Canadian distributor; koolu.

While early adopters may have to work through some development with the worldwide open source community, this devices potential is unlimited.