FOSS in the News

How to avoid the benefits of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS)

FLOSS offers many benefits over software that has a sole proprietor and is funded by royalties. Examples of sole proprietor software are packages such as Microsoft Office where there is a single entity which either owns or is relicensing the exclusive rights on the software, and thus is the sole entity which can provide many levels of software support.

While I recommend against this, it is possible to use FLOSS and yet receive none of the benefits beyond lower ($0) royalty payments. Government departments seem to do this all the time, not wanting to accept the advantages of FLOSS (misinterpreting software acquisition policy? Ideologically predisposed to sole proprietor software? Offer your thoughts in the comments...).

The two most common ways to avoid the benefits of FLOSS can be summarized by two acronyms: COTS and DIY.

>> Read full article on IT World Canada's blog

An open door for open source?

CBC news reporter Emily Chung interviewed a number of people in the community on the Canadian Government RFI on what they called "No Charge Licensed Software (NCLS)".

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.

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.

Does Windows have a skeleton key?

The Seatlle Times reports that Microsoft has been making available a tool for law enforcement that, amongst other things, decrypts protected files on Windows systems.

December issue of the Open Source Business Resource

The December issue of the Open Source Business Resource is now out (PDF)

This issue includes (pp 29-33 in the PDF) my article titled "Protecting Information Technology Property rights". This article, and a letter to the editor, also promote The Canadian Software Innovation Alliance, which has launched a new website.

CDN Desktop Virtualization saves schoolboards money

A desktop virtualization software product developed by an Calgary-based company is teaching students at an Illinois middle school some pretty impressive multiplication lessons.

Several students at Danville School District 118 (up to eight) are able to gain simultaneous computer access to a single Linux PC using the Desktop Multiplier for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 (SLED 10), developed by software firm Userful Corp. and distributed by Omni Technology Solutions Inc., or Edmonton.

Aussie Study: Copyright Owners Inflate the Cost of Piracy

According to This story, a confidential study for the Australian government has concluded that industry statistics concerning financial loss due to piracy are "unverified and epistemologically unreliable." The study by the Australian Institute of Criminology and leaked to the The Australian, a national newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, was said to be in an "early draft" stage.

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