Anthony Doesburg writes a great introduction to Ubuntu Linux in a article in the NZ Herald today. He describes how Linux is slowly chipping away market share from Microsoft, and how the maker of Ubuntu has made a deal to supply Ubuntu on Dell computers.
New Zealander Peter Calveley has been successful in having the Amazon One Click Patent revoked by the US Patent Office. Calveley begun his campaign in 2005 as a hobby. Calveley has both a science and commerce degree, and sat a patent attorney exam just for fun. He opposed the patent because he thought it would be interesting and fun.
The Open Source Initiative has approved the license submitted by Microsoft. In a press release it stated "Acting on the advice of the License Approval Chair, the OSI Board today approved the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) and the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL). The decision to approve was informed by the overwhelming (though not unanimous) consensus from the open source community that these licenses satisfied the 10 criteria of the Open Source definition, and should therefore be approved."
An interesting bit of fallout from the apparent 'ballot stuffing' process that recently afflicted the failed ECMA-376 voting process. As mentioned previously there is a JTC1 subcommittee called SC34 that handles various office standards. ECMA-376 came through there as do a number of other interesting ones (The XML Paper Specification, a proposed PDF replacement...).
Andy Updegrove reports that as a result of that committees minimum 50% Primary Country participation rule and the fact that most of the countries who became P-Countries during the recent unprecedented upsurge in interest are not voting at all, no proposed standards have made it though SC34 since September.
So we now have total gridlock in a key standards process because one company refuses to support the ISO Standard Open Document Format for Office Applications.
Auckland SeniorNet took a step towards Linux on Tuesday morning. Vik showed up in Onehunga to gave them a presentation. He reports that the "Silver Surfers" have a keen appetite for new skills such as digital photo manipulation and page layout, but course attendance can be low because of the cost of the software involved. Open Source provided the solution, and the concept of free software was then readily assimilated.
The level of blank stares was generally low and all the Ubuntu CDs went, so look out Linux - here comes Grey Power!
Digital technologies are connecting people in ways that were never before possible but that brings challenges around copyright. It also adds new meaning to concepts such as the Information Commons and the value to society of unencumbered access to all information. The Creative Commons licences are a modern approach to balancing the rights of the creator and public access. They “allow” users to share, reuse and remix legally.
ISO-Vote.com is an OOXML voting visualizer that also lets you play around with various voting scenarios to see how a pass or fail is achieved at the ISO. It also lets you realize how big Kazakhstan is.
There's also some stories about what OOXML means in non-technical terms, so please send it around to people who you think might benefit from understanding this issue.
For those looking at open source for the first time take a look at our Getting Started page. This details where you can go to find applications to browse the net, run email, write letters, maintain spreadsheets and much more. Open source is high quality, free, legal to copy to as many computers as you want, more secure than common desktop software and compatible with common desktop software. So why not make the change today?
On the eve of trial SCO have filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The outcome of the slander of title suit against Novell had been reduced to deciding how much SCO owed Novell as a result of selling UNIX licenses to Sun and Microsoft. According to their agreement Novell would receive the license revenue and give SCO a administration fee of 5%. SCO returned none of the money received from Sun and Microsoft to Novell. According to SCO they have filed for bankruptcy in order to protect their assets.
Otherwise known as ECMA-376.
The ISO press release is here. Again, thanks to all of those involved who gave up time and resources to ensure that the correct decision was made on the day.
It doesn't stop here though. There will be a Ballot Resolution Meeting to consider the comments and that meeting will be run by the JTC1/SC34 subcommittee... of which New Zealand is not a member. We would strongly urge Standards New Zealand to register as a Participating Country on that subcommittee to ensure that the views expressed in the recent workshops are considered at the BRM.
The subcommittee membership is also important as apparently there has been a recent surge in P-Country membership there as well.