Show Sidebar Log in

Category Archives: International IT News

News from around the world

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. […]

Joining open source communities should be a requirement for public sector open source use

Karel De Vriendt, a recently retired European Commission official previously involved in the Commission’s policies and activities involving open source software, has recommended that public sector organisations using open source software should join the associated open source communities, or require that their IT service providers join on their behalf, Joinup reports. Using open source does […]

Bristol’s Trinity Community Arts joins SOPA & PIPA protest

Our friends at Trinity Community Arts today joined in with the protest being staged in the USA against SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) (news passim). Trinity supported the protest by adding the pop-up in the screenshot below, thus blocking access to their site. The text on the pop-up reads: Imagine a world without free knowledge […]

Open document standards mandatory in Hungarian public sector

On 23 December government ministers agreed that, by default, the Hungarian public sector will use open document standards for their electronic documents, as of April 2012. In December 2011 Hungary’s government also decided to cancel the funding of proprietary office suite licences for all schools (if only the UK government would – or could – […]

Yesterday’s Wikipedia featured article – Bristol’s Knowle West

Regular users of Wikipedia will be aware that the main page showcases a different article every day; this is known as the featured article. Yesterday’s featured article was the one on Bristol’s Knowle West area. Those familiar with the Wikipedia article grading process will know just how much effort has gone into getting an article […]

Brazilian government launches preview of its open data site

To promote the implementation of the National Infrastructure for Open Data (INDA), the Brazilian Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management last week launched the beta version of the Brazilian Open Data Portal. The full version is scheduled for launch in 2012. INDA is a set of standards, technologies, procedures and control instruments for meeting the […]

Public sector open source quote of the week: “EU laptops should have LibreOffice or OpenOffice”

But who said it? According to Joinup, it was Christian Ude, the Mayor of Munich, whose local authority is a European leader in the deployment of open source by the public sector in general and local authorities in particular. It was said in a letter to Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the EU Commission, a great […]

Portugal: schools advised not to renew proprietary software licences

In what could be interpreted move to increase the amount of open source software used in academia (or just public sector miserliness. Ed.), Portugal’s Ministry of Education has advised the country’s schools not to renew their licences for proprietary operating systems and office applications. The ministry, in its letter addressed to all schools in October, […]

Wikipedia testing new visual editor

One of the barriers frequently mentioned to getting involved in editing Wikipedia is the clunky editing interface; indeed it has come up at sessions attended by Bristol Wireless volunteers cunningly disguised as Wikipedians (news passim). Your scribe has some vague memory of the topic of the clunky editor even coming up in the course of […]