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Category Archives: International IT News

News from around the world

Hello Freecode, goodbye Freshmeat

Last weekend an historic change (for free and open source aficionados anyway. Ed.) occurred when Freshmeat, one of the oldest free software directories on the internet, changed its name to Freecode. The change is accounted for in part by the unusual name causing problems for many years when trying to sell advertising space for the […]

Belgium: public sector locked into MS Office

The desktop IT systems of many public sector organisation in Belgium are ‘completely locked-in by one proprietary office suite’, public IT administrators said at an open source conference, which took place recently in Schoten (sounds familiar doesn’t it? Ed.), according to OSOR. Belgian local authorities depend on a handful of IT suppliers that have all […]

Hungarian city of Miskolc migrates to Ubuntu

Once again the UK’s public sector looks like being left behind as news arrives from OSOR that the administration of Miskolc, Hungary’s fourth largest city, is moving to Ubuntu to become less dependent on a single proprietary vendor and to reduce costs. Sixty per cent of the city’s staff already use the open source OpenOffice […]

Portuguese government consults citizens on open standards

Portugal’s Agency for Administrative Modernisation (AMA) is currently asking citizens to comment on several open standards, including document formats PDF, ODF, interoperability standards, plus standards for geographic information systems and electronic invoicing. Comments will be accepted until the end of October. The consultation is part of the country’s open standards law adopted in April. This […]

The Linux Foundation announces consumer electronics long term stable kernel initiative

The Linux Foundation, the non-profit organisation dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, announced today (26th October) it is hosting a new project created by its Consumer Electronics (CE) workgroup. The new project, the Long Term Support Initiative (LTSI), provides for both an annual release of a Linux kernel suitable for supporting the lifespan of […]

Whitehall and Ile de France – a tale of 2 public administrations

At Bristol Wireless, we’re keen on comparing and contrasting the hesitant steps (prevarication surely? Ed.) of the British public sector towards open source software with the full-blooded embrace to which the public sector abroad subjects it. This has once again clearly illustrated this week. Courtesy of Guardian Government Computing, we learn that Whitehall’s plans for […]

Gnome outreach programme for women

In an effort to get more women involved in Free Software, the GNOME project is sponsoring several internships for women from 12th December 2011 to 12th March 2012. These dates are aimed at women students from the Southern Hemisphere who will have a summer break during this time, but any woman available for a full […]

Paraguay government project targets exclusive use of open source for all government agency websites in 2012

The government of Paraguay has embarked on an ambitious project aimed at implementing open source software (OSS) exclusively in all government agencies in 2012. Nicolás Caballero, IT Coordinator for the Office of the President of the Republic of Paraguay was quoted by a local newspaper as saying: “The first and most evident aim is to […]

Free & open source software – “the greatest success of the 20th century”

Waldemar Pawlak, Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, saluted Free and Open Source Software (FLOSS) as the “greatest success of the 20th century” in a conference talk on 27 September 2011, according to OSOR. He added that FLOSS is based on very sound principles and can provide solutions to some of the problems […]

CiviCRM 3.4.6 and 4.0.6 released

Via the CiviCRM blog, the CiviCRM team has recently announced the release of 3.4.6 and 4.0.6. This point release includes several exciting new “Make-it-Happen” features, along with 170+ bug fixes and minor improvements. The new features include: Membership Price Sets – Does your organization have national, regional and local chapter memberships? Now you can offer […]

Linus Torvalds releases subsurface dive tracking software

Linus Torvalds, the creator and maintainer in chief of the Linux kernel, is also well known for his hobby of scuba diving and – as The H-online reports – he’s has just released subsurface, a dive-tracking program he wrote after discovering that no dive log software worked for him. Subsurface runs on Linux and uses […]

Swiss politicians questioned on open source

Germany’s Linux-Magazin reports that Swiss politicians at both local and national level have been questioned on their attitude to open source by the Zurich Group of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). The individual questions and answers plus a summary, can be found on a FSFE Zurich Group wiki page (in German).

Even Malta leaves UKgov behind when it comes to open source use

Last week Mark Turner, CEO of Sirius IT and the lead for the Cabinet Office’s ‘New Suppliers to Government’ Workgroup expressed his frustration with the slow pace of implementing changes to the UK Government’s IT and embracing more open source (allegedly to go along with open standards and open data. Ed.) as follows via Twitter: […]

VolvoIT makes savings with Linux workstations

VolvoIT, the IT division of the major car manufacturer, is testing an open source workstation based on Ubuntu amongst its Chinese users, according to The workstations have 80% of the functionality of the proprietary workstations they are replacing but cost only one-fifth (20%) as much. Volvo IT is a standalone organisation within Volvo, employs […]

Today is Software Freedom Day

Yes, that’s right; today lovers of free software all over the world celebrate Software Freedom Day, a global outbreak of gratitude for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Its goal is to educate the worldwide public about the benefits of using high quality FOSS in education, in government, at home and in business; in short, […]

Norwegian street problems site now on v2.0

FiksGataMi, an open source-based service to report local street problems to Norwegian local authorities, launched an upgraded version of its website on 12 September 2011, OSOR reports. The new version – FiksGataMi v2.0 – is easier for both citizens and local authorities to use. FiksGataMi is a nationwide service to report faults and problems, including […]

Open source e-book tool reduces paper waste at Italian parliament

The Scriba eBook Maker, an open source tool to create documents for e-readers, is helping to cut down on waste paper in the Italian Parliament, according to OSOR. Senators are increasingly combining smart phones and tablet devices with the Scriba e-document service, offering them a practical access to all kinds of documents. Scriba eBook Maker […]

City of Bregenz reduces costs with open source VoIP telephone system

The Austrian City of Bregenz has changed its entire telephone infrastructure using a new open source and IP-based telephone system provided by an Austrian software company, OSOR reports. As a result, it has made substantial savings. Since autumn 2010, more than 250 city council employees have been using the system at 10 different locations across […]

Linux Foundation needs feedback on update to FHS reports that just before LinuxCon North America in Vancouver, The Linux Foundation released a draft proposal for an update to the Linux Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS). Versions of the draft (in plain text, HTML and PDF versions) can be found at This draft removes quite a few historical filesystem artifacts, such as /usr/X11R6 […]