Two weeks ago we held the first New Zealand Open Source Awards. It was a huge success, drawing among others Minister David Cunliffe and National MP Maurice Williamson. Winning the Open Source Use in Government Award was the State Services Commission - ITC Branch for both their promotion and use of open source, specifically their use of Plone. YouTube has coverage of the presentation.
Via Groklaw we have this welcome news. A nice little story about guidelines based on open standards. The preamble to the document itself is an interesting read on the reasons behind the move. It's something that many governments around the world say and thankfully are now also doing.
And here in New Zealand? At least ODF is in for 'Future Consideration' in the e-GIF.
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!
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