In this post, I discuss one example of how a choice for software freedom can cause many strange problems that others will dismiss. My goal here is to explain in gory detail how proprietary software biases in the computing world continue to grow, notwithstanding Open Source ballyhoo.
Two decades ago, nearly every company, organization, entity, and tech-minded individual ran their own email server. Generally speaking, even back then, nearly all the software for both MTAs and MUAs were Free Software0. MTA's are the mail transport agents — the complex software that moves email around from one Internet domain to another. MUAs are the mail user agents, sometimes called mail clients — the local programs with which users manipulate their own email.
I've run my own MTA since around 1993: initially with sendmail, then with exim for a while, and with Postfix since 1999 or so. Also, everywhere I've worked throughout my entire career since 1995, I've either been in charge of — or been the manager of the person in charge of — the MTA installation for the organization where I worked. In all cases, that MTA has always been Free Software, of course.
About 75 million Web sites depend on WordPress. If you are one of its many users who recently upgraded to Version 4.3, you may have noticed something new. Recently, a coop worker-member, Pea, informed me that this version includes a new tab with a reference to the GNU General Public License. With some quizzical interest, I ran the upgrade on a WordPress instance I maintain.
I eagerly waited for the upgrade to finish. When it loaded, what I saw was typical for a WordPress upgrade, a description of the version's new features. Then I saw a tab prominently named "Freedom." I clicked on it, and boom: right there were the four freedoms of free software, starting with Freedom 0. Take a look for yourself.
The Italian military is transitioning to LibreOffice and the Open Document Format (ODF). The Ministry of Defense will over the next year-and-a-half install this suite of office productivity tools on some 150,000 PC workstations - making it Europe’s second largest LibreOffice implementation. The switch was announced on 15 September by the LibreItalia Association.
The migration project will begin in October and is foreseen to be completed at the end of 2016.
The deployment of LibreOffice will be jointly managed by the two organisations, announces LibreItalia. The NGO will help the ministry to ready trainers in different parts of the military, and the Ministry is to develop a series of online courses to help with the switch to LibreOffice. The material is to be made public using a Creative Commons licence.
An agreement between the Ministry and LibreItalia was signed on 15 September in Rome, by Ruggiero Di Biase, Rear Admiral and General Manager of the Italian Ministry of Defence Information Systems and Sonia Montegiove, President of Associazione LibreItalia.
A fifteen-point checklist to help public administrations to procure open source software solutions and services was published in August by Swiss open source procurement experts. The list helps to determine which procurement specifications take this type of software into account, and which criteria exclude open source.
For a few months I’ve being hearing radio commercial for a tech company that does the usual stuff — support, equipment, etc — but they also advertise that they handle open source. They explicitly advertise Linux server deployments and maintenance.
As I said, it used to be lonely being a Linux or FOSS user in Panama. Not so much anymore.
Internet is this nice technology, who makes it possible to give a workshop even without being at a place. So yesterday I gave a workshop from Cambodia in Germany. But I had interesting expiriences with in Mumble did not work well, even its lighter and has good latency handling but Google hangout did work, I think Google has some priority in the network here, what is strange. But all participants from https://linux-statt-windows.org had fun in the workshop and learned something on the end.
Due to a heavy-handed approach to security Firefox, Chrome and Opera are causing problems. They block access to routers with inadequate SSL reporting the cryptic message, "Server has a weak ephemeral Diffie-Hellman public key".
Mozilla wants to keep Firefox profitable, and one of the means to do that is with ads. They can't just slap them all over the place, so they are going to be shown in the tiles, where they should be the least problematic.
LibreOffice Draw will not let you redesign a picture of a posing model so that it may go to print in a magazine. I doubt you will design the next generation of Airbus planes with it. But I can tell you it will go a long way in enabling you to draw charts, complex industrial schemas for plans and processes, and more simply, design graphical stuff anyone needs at some point in a business or a household (cards, menus, branding elements, process mapping, etc.)
We are surrounded by coding (often known as programming). That's why all the cool kids are coding, or they should be. However, computer classes in the UK are dictated by the national curriculum, with students limiting their computing activities to learning applications such as Word and PowerPoint, and using the internet to help with their school work. However, learning how to use Microsoft Office is often of little or no interest to kids. They are motivated by interactive activities such as programming, as they like to make things to find out how they work.
About a month ago the Blender folks released a new film project named Cosmic Laundromat.
Two days ago the ffmpeg folks released version 2.8. I saw one of the changes was that for webm they are now defaulting to using the vp9 video codec and the opus audio codec. Previous releases defaulted to webm with vp8 and ogg.
Well, FLOSS as textbooks anyway. Instead of post-secondary students paying >$100 per copy of a textbook they may only use for a year, they will be able to use on-line texts for the cost of access to the Internet. Indeed, Manitoba will forgo interest on students’ loans.
Now, if only they figured out that taxpayers’ money could be saved by using FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) in IT… They have opened their eyes to see a bigger picture in education; perhaps IT will follow.
Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, discusses the need for private cloud and why virtualization alone is not enough.
As new forms of virtualization, including Docker containers, gain in popularity, there is a reoccurring discussion in technology circles about the continued relevance of the private cloud. There are multiple tools and techniques to manage virtualization, including both hypervisors and containers, yet there is still a place and a need for the private cloud, and in particular OpenStack, according to Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor of Ubuntu Linux.
As open source platforms from Linux, to Cassandra, to Hadoop grow in sophistication and as potential applications grow in data-rich, application hungry financial services businesses, more traditional outsourcers and IT consultancies are developing specialist propositions around supporting businesses with their apps in these environments. This provides a degree of assurance and resilience to those who need it.