Ideas & Commentary

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?

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.

Hamilton Linux User Group mini-Conference

The Hamilton Linux User Group is having a conference on Saturday June 7th from 9am to 5pm at St. Andrews United Church, 479 Upper Paradise Road, Hamilton, ON.

Topics will include the OpenOffice office suite, Asterisk phone server, Zimbra email and collaboration/groupware suite and the Linux operating system. The focus being on F/OSS applications for business and end-users.

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.

CLUE's involvement in Internet issues: ICANN, Net Neutrality and competitive access

As a demonstration of CLUE's involvement in issues beyond "Linux Users", I want to talk about some of the issues that Evan Leibovitch (past executive director) and I (as policy coordinator) are involved in.

Evan has been acting as chair of the North American Region At-Large Advisory Committee of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). Evan will hopefully be blogging about his involvement soon, and some of the issues that the advisory committee deals with. People may get a taste for the types of issues by listening to the This week in Law episode 13 from last month.

While I spoke at IT360 last week on the issue of Software Patents and Free/Libre and Open Source Software, recent interviews and blogging have been focused on the related issues of "Net Neutrality" and competitive access to telecommunications facilities. While these two issues are often lumped together or even confused for each other, I try to separate them in my articles.

Free Ontario

Hi folks! I'd like to invite anyone interested in participating to check out the Free Ontario initiative begin run by myself at http://therabidpenguin.blogspot.com. In a nutshell, I want to try stir things up a bit in Ontario and get the discussion around Free/Libre Open Source Software going among Ontario Politicians.