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It’s that day of the year again, so show your love for free software

It’s February 14th and all over the world, swains are getting knock-kneed and tongue-tied as they profess their love to the objects of their desire (OK, it’s Valentine’s Day, you long-winded beggar. Now get on with it! Ed.). Right, now that’s out of the way, let’s just say we’re once again supporting the Free Software […]

Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix announced

Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux distro, has announced the introduction of the Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix. Based on Ubuntu 11.10, Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix is now available for corporate and government institutions evaluating Ubuntu as a desktop system. The combination of Ubuntu’s ease of use, outstanding free software applications, certified commercial apps […]

Dear Cabinet Office, what part of open standards don’t you understand?

The Cabinet Office has announced a consultation on ‘open standards’ for software interoperability, data and document formats in government IT. This is the second such consultation on open standards: in January ComputerWeekly said it had unearthed evidence that Microsoft and the Business Software Alliance (BSA) had successfully pressurised the UK government into withdrawing its January […]

Haven’t we heard all this before?

The Register today carries an article entitled “ We really are going to start buying open-source from SMEs“. On Tuesday last in London Liam Maxwell, Cabinet Office director of ICT futures, said that open source had grown up and it’s time to dispel lingering misconceptions about it. Speaking at the Intellect 2012 Conference, Maxwell said: […]

Situation vacant: British Library seeks Wikipedian in residence

The British Library, whose main reading room has in the past played home from home for such diverse characters as Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, Mahatma Gandhi, Rudyard Kipling, George Orwell, George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, Lenin, Virginia Woolf, Arthur Rimbaud and H. G. Wells, is at present recruiting an experienced […]

IRC – not just for idle chat. It’s great for meetings too

Jules, our esteemed treasurer, is currently several thousand miles away from Bristol. Nevertheless, he was able to participate in our last monthly meeting fully due to the wonders of IRC. When he’s been away before, Jules has always emailed his report. However, this time all contact was via IRC and Mr Secretary is delighted: instead […]

Ubuntu Global Jam issues call for events

Yesterday Jono Bacon published a blog post inviting people around the world to organise events for this year’s Ubuntu Global Jam, which is being held from 2nd – 4th March. The Ubuntu Global Jam is a worldwide fun event that’s a great way to meet other Ubuntu and free software enthusiasts. Event organisers will need […]

US state of New Hampshire passes open source, open standards and open data bill

At the end of last week, both houses of the New Hampshire legislature passed HB418 (2012). This bill is “relative to the use of open source software and open data formats by state agencies and relative to the adoption of a statewide information policy regarding open government data standards.” That means that New Hampshire has […]

New Spark open tablet, complete with Linux & KDE pre-installed

PC World reports that KDE developer Aaron Seigo revealed over the weekend that a 7-inch Linux tablet named “Spark” will soon be available with KDE Plasma Active tablet interface as its default user interface. It will be priced at €200 or approximately £167 in real money. 😉 The Spark tablet’s specification will comprise a 1GHz […]

TDF to base community-driven foundation in Berlin

The Document Foundation, the organisation behind LibreOffice, the fork of OpenOffice that emerged after the takeover of Sun Microsystems by Oracle in 2010, today announced that it will base its community-driven entity in Berlin, in the legal form of a German Stiftung (for the benefit of non-German speakers, a “Stiftung” is a German non-profit foundation […]

Try out Ubuntu using your browser!

Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution, has developed a web page for testing the distro, according to Le Monde Informatique. Written entirely in HTML, this page allows potential Ubuntu users to discover and work with the Unity interface, which has received hefty criticism from users of more traditional desktops. As some people are […]

rms writes: measures governments can use to promote free software

Richard Stallman (pictured), also known as rms, the originator of the free software movement, has posted an article suggesting policies for a strong and firm effort to promote free software within the state, and to lead the rest of the country towards software freedom. Richard’s article makes some very pertinent points in respect of the […]

Another call for the public sector to get involved in open source associations

Simon Phipps, director of the Open Source Initiative (OSI), has joined the calls for public sector organisations using open source software to get involved in open source associations (news passim). Speaking at the recent World Open Source Conference, Phipps is reported to have said: “It is nice to have a policy, but if you don’t […]

European campaign to measure broadband speeds

We first became aware of this campaign via a Tweet from EU Vice-President Neelie Croes: We’re hiring! More volunteers needed to measure #EU #broadband speeds w @samknows The European Commission and SamKnows are together aimin to provide Europe with reliable and accurate statistics of broadband performance across Europe. They are currently recruiting volunteers […]

France launches its open data portal –

France has released the beta version of its open government data website,, Joinup reports. aims to foster collaboration and innovation and to increase government transparency by facilitating access to and the re-use of public sector information. The portal brings together data from many public agencies, including the French institute for statistics INSEE, most […]

Spain: Extremadura to migrate 40,000 public sector desktops to Debian

Spain’s Publico recently reported (Spanish) that the autonomous regional government of Extremadura is planning to move all 40,000 of its desktops to Debian Linux. In taking this step, Extremadura would be the leading Spanish public sector organisation for the use of free software, followed by Andalucia, País Valencià and Madrid. It is hoped the migration […]

Linux Desura game client released as open source Desurium

Ubuntu Vibes reports that the Desura game client has been open sourced. Progress on work to release the client as open source was slow as lead developer ‘lodle’ was taking a break. However, all the necessary work has now been completed and Desura has been open sourced as Desurium, with the code available GPL v3. […]