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An update from Kalamarià

George Georgiadis, head of IT at the Greek municipality of Kalamarià, has commented that the almost ubiquitous use of MS Office in the Greek public sector is hindering the adoption of open source alternatives, according to a report on Joinup, the EU’s public sector open source news website. Kalamarià is drawing to the close of […]

Spanish council saves thousands with LibreOffice

Spanish IT services company ElkarMedia S.L. reports (Spanish) that the municipality of Azpeitia in Spain’s Basque Country will be avoiding the maintenance costs involved in using Microsoft Office and saving up to €30,000-40,000 in 3-4 years since the company installed the free and open source LibreOffice office suite on the council’s computers. In addition, ElkarMedia […]

University in challenge

Bristol University announced yesterday that it is taking part in a unique code-breaking competition as part of this year’s Cyber Security Challenge UK. Four UK university computer science departments have accepted the challenge to develop their own cipher – a puzzle based on encrypted messages – that will be released to other participating universities and […]

GNU Press now selling GNU/Linux Inside stickers

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) blog reports that the GNU/Linux Inside sticker pack is now being sold. The stickers are high-quality and durable; they won’t fade away or scratch off your computer, making it the ideal way to advocate your use of free software! They are perfect for replacing those *other* stickers that may come […]

OSS Watch publishes list of open source options for schools

OSS Watch, a service for higher and further education institutions in the UK, has this week published a list of open source alternatives to proprietary software for schools, according to a report posted today on Joinup, the EU’s public sector open source news website. “Where possible, we’ve included real-world examples of their usage,” said OSS […]

Next Wednesday is CiviDay 2013

Next Wednesday, 23rd January, has been designated CiviDay 2013 and 2 meet-ups have been arranged in London and Bristol respectively for users of CiviCRM, the open source CRM package, as used by Bristol Wireless. The meet-ups are described as a great way to: network with the CiviCRM community; find out about how people are making […]

Greek municipality of Kalamarià installs LibreOffice

The free and open source advocacy organisation GreekLUG reports that the Municipality of Kalamarià near Thessaloniki in northern Greece is in the process of installing the free and open source LibreOffice productivity suite on all of the council’s 170 workstations. According to GreekLUG’s press release (PDF), some 120 installations have been done to date. It […]

Bristol Mini Maker Faire – more details

Some time ago, we gave very advance notice of Bristol’s first ever Mini Maker Faire (news passim). More information has now been received from the organisers, as set out below: Saturday 23rd March is the date set for Bristol’s first Mini Maker Faire, a family-friendly event at which people show what they are making and […]

A message for our dear readers using Internet Explorer

According to our site statistics, nearly 41% of you out there are reading this article on some flavour of Microsoft Windows. In addition, 22% are using various versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser. And it’s to you, our IE users, to whom this message is addressed: use a better browser, preferably an open source […]

The Robots of The Bristol Robotics Laboratory

There’s an interesting sounding free talk coming up later this week on 10th January. Professor Alan Winfield, the Director of UWE‘s Science Communication Unit will be giving an introduction to the work of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory entitled “The Robots of The Bristol Robotics Laboratory”. The work of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) covers three […]

Egyptian openistas protest against Microsoft deal

A group of technology activists gathered in front of the Cabinet office in Cairo on Sunday 30th December to protest an Egyptian governmental deal with software giant Microsoft to buy software for the public sector, the English language Egypt Independent news site reports. On 26 December, the official Facebook page of Hesham Qandil, the Egyptian […]

Malta surveys open source use

Joinup, the EU’s public sector open source news site, reports that a survey to measure the popularity of open source amongst Maltese residents took place in early December. The poll was organised by MITA, the Maltese government’s Information Technology Agency. It was launched during the most recent meeting of Government of Malta Open Source End […]

E17 – there’s no rushing a good thing

Just before Christmas, Slashdot reported that E17 – the latest version of the Enlightenment desktop environment – had just been released. The previous release of Enlightenment took place in 2000 – 12 years ago! The release announcement is very sparse (apart from a list of the E17 developers): E17 has been in development for a […]

Mansfield funding free wifi project through “crowdfunding”

A project to provide the town centre of Mansfield in Nottinghamshire with free wifi is on track to meet its target fund after setting out to be “crowdfunded”, according to an E-Government Bulletin report. The “Make Mansfield Your HotSpot” project has been developed by Mansfield Business Improvement District, a partnership between the council and the […]

Basque government unveils open source repository

Last Friday the government of Basque Country, one of Spain’s autonomous regions, unveiled its repository of open source software,, according to a report on Joinup, the EU’s public sector open source news website. Making its software solutions publicly available should encourage other public sector organisations to re-use them and collaborate on development. The site […]

Charities: wake up and smell the lock-in

Ever heard of vendor lock-in? Here’s a definition from Wikipedia: In economics, vendor lock-in, also known as proprietary lock-in or customer lock-in, makes a customer dependent on a vendor for products and services, unable to use another vendor without substantial switching costs. One of the techniques used to achieve vendor lock-in is offering certain customers […]

Whitehall still struggling with openness

Courtesy of a news report today on governmental lists of open source alternatives to proprietary software on EU public sector open source news website Joinup, the chief scribe duly downloaded and read the Open Source Software Options for Government publication (pdf), which forms the basis for a Joinup case study. A quick glance through the […]