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SA Government's OSS plans revealed

Doctor Daniel Mashao, the chief technology officer at Sita, announced the launch of the government-wide free and open source programme at the GovTech conference on Thursday.

On valuing freedom more than cushy jail cells

The problem isn't just silos and walled gardens — our names for choiceless dependency on one company's goods and services. The problem is the defaulted belief system that gives us silos and walled gardens in the first place. In that system suppliers believe that the best customers and users are captive ones. Customers and users believe that a free market naturally restricts choices to silos. It's a value sytem in which VCs like to ask "What's your lock-in?". Even in 2007, long after the Net has become established as an everyday necessity, we still take for granted the assumption that living in a "free market" is to choose among jail cells. May the best prison win.

Why proprietary code is bad for security

  • wolfgang.lonien.de; By wjl (Posted by wjl on Aug 25, 2007 2:09 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups: Community
Jabari Zakiya wrote an article headlined “Beware of Skype” in the Free Software Magazine. He suspects that the recent outage of the Skype network had to do with the US of A’s revised Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), something which is planned (and soon done) here in Germany as well: the spying of the state onto its local citizens.

Freedomware free as in $$

  • The Tux Project; By Landy DeField(land0) (Posted by land0 on Aug 25, 2007 12:53 PM EDT)
  • Groups: GNU, Linux
This is a kind of part two so to speak of an earlier blog entitled Freedomware. In my previous blog I talked about some of the reasons why FOSS development seems to just work so well. This time around I want to talk about an interesting thought I had in regards to answering the common question of... "why is it free?" I used to reply it is free as in freedom... to which they respond with a pause a blank stare before they either say "really" or change the subject. I have not even touched on the reaction I get when I tell them that I do not need to worry about viruses and spy ware. Why is freedomware free as in $$?

Grassroots Campaign Seeks to get GNU/Linux On the Air

Grassroots public relations campaign aims to get GNU/Linux mentioned on radio talk shows.

WinOSSCDRom V1.5 released

I am happy to announce that version 1.5 of the WinOSSCDRom is ready to download. The WinOSSCDRom is a collection of free and open source software for the Windows platform. For more info and download links please see http://www.winosscdrom. com

Ubuntu prepares 'Gutsy Gibbon'

Ubuntu developers have taken the wraps off the fifth update to the upcoming "Gutsy Gibbon" version, a major release that will include significant additions to the Linux distribution. Developers have been releasing "Gutsy Gibbon" builds since May, but the "Tribe 5" alpha release this week previews many of the significant features planned for the final release when it appears in late October.

Microsoft kills off anti-Linux 'Get the Facts' site

In Linux circles, Microsoft's anti-Linux site, Get the Facts, was better known as Get the FUD, and was seen as more of a joke than a convincing argument in favor of Microsoft products over Linux. Microsoft may have come to agree that the site was not serving any useful purpose, as the company closed it down on Aug. 23.

Latest INCITS Voting Results on OOXML; JTC1 Vote Begins to be Stacked

As you may know, the Executive Board (EB) of INCITS, the US voting body on OOXML in the ISO/IEC JTC1, posted two simultaneous, seven day written ballots - one to approve, with comments, and one to abstain, again with comments. The votes have now been received back. and are as follows:

to Approve, with comments: 12 for, 3 against, 1 abstaining (six with appended comments).

Abstain, with comments: Unanimous Meanwhile, becoming a voting member of ISO/IEC JTC1 is suddenly becoming very popular.

Money for service and your content for free

It's the big problem of the net: how do you make money if everyone can access the files you produce for free? Earning money is not evil, it makes it possible to produce more art or information. It's a waste of talent to need a day job to support what you consider your real work.

Removing Backgrounds Quickly in the Gimp

After publishing an article about removing backgrounds quickly in Photoshop, many have asked me how to do the same thing with the Gimp. While there is no equivalent to the Extract filter in the Gimp, you can still remove backgrounds fairly quickly. Here, I will show you how to do it with the Create and edit paths tool.

Linux: Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board

"The elections for five of the ten members of the Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board[TAB] are held every year, currently the election will be at the 2007 Kernel Summit in a BOF session," James Bottomley, the TAB chair, announced on the Linux Kernel mailing list. He noted that this voting session would be held on the evening of September 5'th or 6'th, providing an email address for sending nominations and adding that anyone is eligible, "only people invited to the kernel summit will be there in person (and therefore able to vote), but if you cannot attend, your nomination email will be read out before the voting begins."

ESTO for Linux on POWER

  • IBM/alphaWorks (Posted by IdaAshley on Aug 25, 2007 3:26 AM EDT)
  • Groups: Linux
ESTO is a tool that tunes the set of parameters for optimizing a specific target program. Expert System for Tuning Optimizations (ESTO) is typically used for tuning, for maximum performance, the optimization options used by a compiler when creating an application. ESTO is currently geared toward tuning GCC and Post-Link Optimization for Linux on POWER.

Share and Preserve Python Database Access

  • IBM/developerWorks; By David Mertz, Ph.D (Posted by IdaAshley on Aug 25, 2007 2:29 AM EDT)
  • Groups: IBM; Story Type: News Story
Databases are happy to handle many parallel requests. However, active processes (threaded or forked) almost inevitably eat up a valuable resource: database connections. Learn how to use the antipool.py module in Martin Blais' antiorm library to make the pooling and reuse of connections transparent to programmers, and in a RDBMS-agnostic fashion.

Surfing the Keyboard in BASH

  • commandlinemac.com; By Keith Winston (Posted by slippery on Aug 25, 2007 1:32 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Linux
You are probably familiar with common keyboard sequences like Ctrl-C to end a program, but there are dozens of useful shortcuts you can use in BASH to edit the command line, move around your command history, and control jobs. I've collected 18 useful Ctrl and Meta (Option) sequences to make you more productive in BASH. So grab your 'board and leave the wet suit at home, the water is warm this time of year.

Model train software spat threatens future of open source

A dispute over some open source software used for model railroads resulted in an important decision last week, involving the scope of open source licenses and the remedies available when they are violated. The decision has triggered alarm in the open source community, with a prominent open source licensing advocate charging that the court fell asleep at the switch in its legal analysis of the case.

Can developers reclaim donated IP?

In 2004 Daniel Robbins, the founder of Gentoo Linux, walked away from the project after creating the nonprofit Gentoo Foundation to handle its intellectual property (IP). In a blog post last month, Robbins wondered if he should take back the software, since it didn't appear the foundation was taking care of things. While Robbins didn't follow through on his thought, he raised an interesting question: Can someone convey intellectual property rights and then reclaim them?

Using kvm, or kqemu, to speed up qemu

  • debina-administration.org; By Azerthoth (Posted by azerthoth on Aug 24, 2007 9:49 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Debian
Have you ever wanted to play with a new distro without having to burn and then reboot into a liveCD or do an install into a spare partition that you may or may not have?

Did Microsoft Buy Netcraft?

Okay, I'm not seriously suggesting Microsoft is paying off Netcraft to produce positive survey results (although this is certainly a standard operating procedure for Microsoft). But something is odd, if not rotten, in the state of Netcraft. I have often cited Netcraft web server surveys as evidence that open source beats closed source. The Netcraft surveys almost always showed Apache leading Microsoft IIS by a wide margin, and showed Apache growing as Microsoft IIS market share was shrinking. Lately, however, Netcraft began to claim that Apache market share has been shrinking rapidly while Microsoft IIS has been gaining the market share lost by Apache.

Searching database content with Sphinx

If you use Google or any other search engine, you already are a user of full text searching: the capability to search for a word or group of words within many texts for the best matches for your query. Sphinx is a full text search engine for database content, which you can integrate with other applications. (You can test it or use it with a command-line tool, but Sphinx is most useful as part of a Web site, not as a standalone utility.)

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