SSC wins open source in government award

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.

OSI Approves Microsoft License Submissions

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."

OOXML Payback Time as Global Standards Work in SC 34 "Grinds to a Halt"

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.

SeniorNet Sample The Source

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!

Expanding Copyright Horizons - Creative Commons Seminar 27 October 2007

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.