Articles, stories and opinion pieces on open source that do not necessarily reflect the official position of the NZOSS.

All opinions are the authors own.

Is $5bn enough of a punishment for a FAANG?

In this case Google... settling a lawsuit for $5bn US for (alleged) privacy violations in "private mode" browsing. I suspect this is just chump change to them and will be written off in the ledger as a 'cost of business' item and may even reduce their tax burden. Just remember folks, corporations, by some definitions, are psychopaths and will bleed you dry of information if you let them. Pay attention to the browsers you use and the settings you allow and stay safe.

US EdTech in NZ Schools/Kura

A recent RNZ article caught my eye with regard to US EdTech and Aotearoa/NZ Schools/Kura. We all have a relationship with the education system either having been through it and/or watching our children go through it so it is a bit disturbing when we see just how much of a negative impact 'IT Focused' thinking has on the system.

Jon "maddog" Hall on IBM, Red Hat and Free Software

For those of you that might have missed it, Jon "maddog" Hall has penned a piece on the IBM, Red Hat and Free Software discussions going on around the place. There is a fair bit of history in there which is pertinent to me... I had the pleasure of meeting Jon at a Linux Conf back in the day when I worked at IBM NZ. Very nice guy and understood the challenges we were all facing at the time.

European Commission opens investigation into anticompetitive practices by Microsoft

"It's deja-vu all over again"... Yes, it's official, Microsoft are being investigated for anticompetitive practices, again. This time over their bundling of products into their collaborative-in-name-only Teams offering. It's happened before and they've been convicted before but unlike IBM, who operated under a consent decree that lasted 45 YEARS, Microsofts punishment was very much a slap on the wrist effort.

French Government thoughts on the use of US Cloud based software in Education

This article (in French) appeared on my timeline with the implication that the use of MS Office and Google Docs was illegal in schools as they don't follow GDPR...

Turns out (with the ironical caveat that I used Google Translate) the response was a bit more circumspect than that... as in not quite illegal but 'deals' like that offered by US Cloud services should certainly be scrutinised for full compliance with local laws.

VSCode is designed to fracture

Another interesting read outlining some of the issues we face in our day to day choices in the IT sector. I'm not a developer and can't comment on the usability of the products in question however it has been noted that the original mantra of Microsoft of "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" is still a core tenet of their business model. In this case the enabler is the end-to-end control of an entire development infrastructure.

Give the Visual Studio Code article by Geoff Huntley a full read and ponder your options... online again for 2022

A reminder that linuxconf 2022 is coming up on the 14th, 15th and 16th of January. Unfortunately, thanks to some Global Pandemic that you may have heard about recently, this years conference is a mere shadow of its former self. Still has some pretty good speakers and staying fairly true to its origins as a grassroots driven technical conference though. Personally I really miss the IRL aspects of this conference though so here's hoping that we can get back to that in the near future. Details, times and tickets at