ComputerWorld NZ is reporting that Catalyst IT has begun a new Academy program to teach ICT and programming skills to selected school children. "The Academy will enable students to get some experience working alongside seasoned practitioners and not have to depend on their own resources and those of the school" says Don Christie of Catalyst IT.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has ordered that the Russian Government use GNU/Linux. This will occur in a transition that is planned for 2012. Russia has also approved the Open Document Format as a national standard. The new standard will come into effect in a half a year.
SilverStripe, the web based Open Source CMS has been given Microsoft Certification. Sigurd Magnusson of SilverStripe says "Microsoft's Certified for Windows programme is well known for indicating software and hardware products that have been thoroughly tested and which work well on Microsoft Windows. Of course, much of the innovation in the software world is now happening on the web, and with awareness and adoption of open source software growing fantastically, it makes sense for Microsoft to begin certifying open source web-based software."
On Tuesday the annual New Zealand Open Source Awards were held. IRD won the award for Open Source in Government for their work with Moodle. Moodle has momentum and is in early deployment stages at several other agencies. Ponoko Ltd was the winner of the Open Source in Business category, which has used Open Source technology to enable their custom production business. The Winner of the Open Source Project was SilverStripe for it's content management system that is being used world wide. For more see http://www.nzosa.org.nz
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The community of volunteers who develop and promote OpenOffice.org, the leading free office software, announce a major change in the project’s structure. After ten years’ successful growth with Sun Microsystems as founding and principle sponsor, the project launches an independent foundation called "The Document Foundation", to fulfil the promise of independence written in the original charter.
On the day before the Software Patent Debate Igor and I got some bad news. The lawyer who had said he would be able to present for the Pro Patent position would be unable to attend the debate. We needed to find someone credible, someone knowledgeable, someone who could put on a show. And we needed someone at almost the last minute. Despite impossible odds Igor thought of the perfect person; Brett Roberts, former Platform Manager, strategist and my long time and good natured protagonist. Thanks to the magic of modern communications in short order we had secured Brett as our debating opponent.
The University of Auckland IEEE Student Branch is proud to present the public Software Patents Debate on Friday 15th of October. If you're a programmer, this debate is for you. It will debate the issue of whether or not software should be patentable. It's important to come to this debate because the Patents Bill reform currently before Parliament. It affects everyone, from budding programmers to large multinational companies (think Microsoft).
The moot will be: "This house should disallow software patents in New Zealand".
It is easy to think that the software patents issue is this year's news. But it is worth reflecting on the fact that, in New Zealand as elsewhere, practically the entire IT industry has been campaigning against software patents for years. What was highly unusual *this* year was an New Zealand IT vendor organisation, NZICT, coming out in favour of software patents.
Seven open source experts, chosen for their eminence in or championship of open source technology, will form the judging panel of the 2010 Open Source Awards, which will be announced at a gala ceremony in Wellington on Tuesday 9th November.