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 Thursday, September 13, 2007

InfoWorld has announced the 2007 Bossie Awards for the Best of Open-Source Software. Awards were given to 36 winners across 6 categories. Among the honorees are SpamAssassin, ClamAV and Nessus in security, Wireshark and Azureus Vuze in networking, and ZFS for storage.

Read more of this story at InfoWorld.

Thursday, September 13, 2007 8:50:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, October 01, 2006

"Yahoo has announced it will give away the browser-based authentication used in its email service, considered to be the company's 'crown jewel', in a bid to encourage software developers to build new applications based on e-mail". 

"Yahoo is a very large company but we can't build every applications that a user might want," a Yahoo representative said in an interview. "You can imagine tens of thousands of niche applications (springing) from Yahoo Mail." "Software developers have traditionally kept careful control of the underlying programming code of their products and allowed outsiders to make only incremental improvements. In recent years, Web developers have opened up that process to encourage outsiders far deeper access to the underlying code. Open applications like Google Maps and Yahoo's own Flickr have inspired a new wave of programming in which developers can combine software features from different companies to create what are known as 'mashups' -- hybrid Web products"

"Yahoo made the announcement ahead of a 24-hour Yahoo Hack Day, where it had invited more than 500 mostly youthful outside programmers to build new applications using Yahoo services. Considering the different needs of its huge user base (257 million people use Yahoo Mail), Yahoo has decided it can't build or buy enough innovation, so they are enlisting the worldwide developer community. The code will be released late in 2006. Yahoo notes that there are 'no security risks' since they keep absolute control of usernames and passwords."

Read the full article in Yahoo News.
This story was accessed through Slashdot.

Sunday, October 01, 2006 2:46:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on RFID, with a view to developing a coherent RFID Policy for Europe. In order to prepare for the consultation, the Commission is organizing a series of workshops (5) between March and June 2006, in which experts and stakeholders from all over Europe and the world come together to debate the key issues.

ITU's Lara Srivastava spoke at the first workshop (6-7 March 2006), and also at the third workshop in the series held 16-17 May 2006 on "RFID Security, Data Protection & Privacy, Health and Safety Issues" (see the presentation here). The Policy Framework Paper written by the Commission in advance of the meeting highlighted the vision of the ITU's 2006 Internet Report on "The Internet of Things" released in November 2005.

Two more workshops are planned in early June, after which the Commission will open up the debate for a wider on-line public consultation, resulting in a Communication on RFID to be issued later this year.

For more information, including webcasts, see the European Commission RFID Consultation Website.

 

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 4:53:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Workshop: Optimization Technologies for Low-Bandwidth Networks, ICTP Workshop, Trieste, Italy, 9 - 20 October 2006:

Bandwidth in developing countries can be so expensive that some universities cannot afford speeds equivalent to the average Western household with ADSL connection. The reasons for this situation include: Internet access available only via satellite connections and lack of communications infrastructure in many remote areas. Bandwidth and computing equipment are expensive as a result of weak currencies, high transport costs, small budgets and high tariffs. Universities cannot afford a decent link, or in some cases still do not see its value or are unaware of existing alternatives. By applying optimization techniques based on Open Source technologies, effectiveness of available connections can be highly improved.

The Workshop will provide information and practical training on how to gain the maximum benefit from existing connections to the Internet, exposing participants to the latest techniques to optimise the use of low-bandwidth network connections.

The Workshop will consist of theoretical lectures, laboratory hands-on sessions and demos. Linux will be used as primary O.S. Case Studies by Participants are also welcome, describing their computing and networking environment and connectivity related problems, issues on content delivery, etc.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 10:21:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 28, 2006

Juries began deliberating at the International Competition for CyberArts 2006 (Prix Ars Electronica) in Linz, Austria this morning. Over 4'300 projects from around the world are being considered.

Since 1987, the Prix Ars Electronica has served as an interdisciplinary platform for everyone who uses ICTs as a universal medium for implementing and designing their creative projects at the interface of art, technology and society. The Prix Ars Electronica is one of the most important awards for creativity and pioneering spirit in the field of digital media.

The event calls for entries in 7 categories, including a youth competition and a grant for young creative talent:

  • Computer Animation / Visual Effects

  • Digital Music

  • Interactive Art

  • Net Vision

  • Digital Communities

  • u19 – freestyle computing

  • [the next idea] Art and Technology Grant

ITU's Lara Srivastava is Jury Member for the "Digital Communities" category, which focuses on the promotion of the social use of ICTs and the creation of common public goods, the sharing of knowledge, and the narrowing of the digital divide. This category was introduced to the Prix in 2004 by Jury Member Andreas Hirsch and Howard Rheingold. The other Jury members are: Steven Clift (Chairman, e-democracy.org) and Peter Kuthan (Founder, Tonga Online).

The Net Vision Jury includes Marko Ahtisaari (Director of Design Strategy at Nokia) and the Digital Music Jury includes Rob Young (Editor-at-large, The Wire Magazine).

The Computer Animation Jury includes such names as Mark Dippé (Director of Spawn and Visual Effects Supervisor for Jurassic Park, The Abyss, and Terminator 2), Rick Sayre (Visual Effects Supervisor for Pixar's Toy Story, A Bug's Life and The Incredibles), and Shuzo Shiota (President and CEO of Polygon Pictures).

Results from all categories will be released during the third week in May. Awards will be handed out at the Ars Electronica Festival in September 2006. Check this blog for further news!

 

Friday, April 28, 2006 12:24:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 24, 2006

Brough's Communications points to Yale's Yochai Benkler's Coase’s Penguin, or, Linux and The Nature of the Firm whichs suggests that the open source development phenomenon has much deeper significance.

For decades our understanding of economic production has been that individuals order their productive activities in one of two ways: either as employees in firms, following the directions of managers, or as individuals in markets, following price signals. This dichotomy was first identified in the early work of Nobel laureate Ronald Coase, and was developed most explicitly in the work of neo-institutional economist Oliver Williamson. In the past three or four years, public attention has focused on a fifteen-year-old social-economic phenomenon in the software development world. This phenomenon, called free software or open source software, involves thousands or even tens of thousands of programmers contributing to large and small scale project, where the central organizing principle is that the software remains free of most constraints on copying and use common to proprietary materials. No one "owns" the software in the traditional sense of being able to command how it is used or developed, or to control its disposition. The result is the emergence of a vibrant, innovative and productive collaboration, whose participants are not organized in firms and do not choose their projects in response to price signals.

In this paper I explain that while free software is highly visible, it is in fact only one example of a much broader social-economic phenomenon. I suggest that we are seeing is the broad and deep emergence of a new, third mode of production in the digitally networked environment. I call this mode "commons-based peer-production," to distinguish it from the property- and contract-based models of firms and markets. Its central characteristic is that groups of individuals successfully collaborate on large-scale projects following a diverse cluster of motivational drives and social signals, rather than either market prices or managerial commands.

The paper also explains why this mode has systematic advantages over markets and managerial hierarchies when the object of production is information or culture, and where the capital investment necessary for production-computers and communications capabilities-is widely distributed instead of concentrated. In particular, this mode of production is better than firms and markets for two reasons. First, it is better at identifying and assigning human capital to information and cultural production processes. In this regard, peer-production has an advantage in what I call "information opportunity cost." That is, it loses less information about who the best person for a given job might be than do either of the other two organizational modes. Second, there are substantial increasing returns to allow very larger clusters of potential contributors to interact with very large clusters of information resources in search of new projects and collaboration enterprises. Removing property and contract as the organizing principles of collaboration substantially reduces transaction costs involved in allowing these large clusters of potential contributors to review and select which resources to work on, for which projects, and with which collaborators. This results in allocation gains, that increase more than proportionately with the increase in the number of individuals and resources that are part of the system. The article concludes with an overview of how these models use a variety of technological and social strategies to overcome the collective action problems usually solved in managerial and market-based systems by property and contract.

Monday, April 24, 2006 12:13:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Michael Robertson, who founded MP3.com, is launching a series of PC web-based "standard desktop" applications using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML) technology which he announces on his blog AjaxLaunch.com.

The first to be released is AjaxWrite (only runs on FireFox browser) which can read and write Microsoft Word documents.

Robertson says "For 90 percent of the people in the world, the need to buy Microsoft Word just vanished."

Also see Ajax: A New Approach to Web Applications.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006 9:21:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 27, 2006

On 23-24 March 2006 at ITU headquarters, the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit hosted a high-level experts workshop entitled What Rules for IP-enabled NGNs? focused on the policy and regulatory challenges related to the deployment of IP-enabled NGNs. The following materials are now available:

Monday, March 27, 2006 11:18:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 28, 2006

This publication, with a foreword by Nitin Desai, provides an overview of the key debates on Internet governance. It presents the work of the Open Regional Dialogue on Internet Governance, an Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme (APDIP) initiative that has collected perspectives from regional experts and end users.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 11:21:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 06, 2006

Pan Asia Networking (PAN) at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is pleased to share two interactive maps with you. The first of these maps provides information about the ICT market structure, regulatory functions, and the national regulatory agency for countries in Asia. You can access the map here.

The second map provides a list of indicators (including population, GDP per capita, main telephone lines, mobile cellular subscribers, radios, televisions, and internet users) in Asia since 2001. In addition, this map allows one to compare an indicator across up to three countries. An animated instruction guide for this map is attached. You can access the map here.

Monday, February 06, 2006 8:25:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A practical guide to planning and building low-cost telecommunication infrastructure.

This book was created by a team of individuals who each, in their own field, are actively participating in the ever-expanding Internet by pushing its reach farther than ever before. The massive popularity of wireless networking has caused equipment costs to continually plummet, while equipment capabilities continue to sharply increase. We believe that by taking advantage of this state of affairs, people can finally begin to have a stake in building their own communications infrastructure. We hope to not only convince you that this is possible, but also show how we have done it, and to give you the information and tools you need to start a network project in your local community.

Wireless infrastructure can be built for very little cost compared to traditional wired alternatives. But building wireless networks is only partly about saving money. By providing people in your local community with cheaper and easier access to information, they will directly benefit from what the Internet has to offer. The time and effort saved by having access to the global network of information translates into wealth on a local scale, as more work can be done in less time and with less effort.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 4:14:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The official website of the 1st Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), to be convened later this year in Greece has been launched.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 11:52:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The WSIS Stocktaking Report has been officially launched during the World Summit on the Infrmation Society in Tunis. The report has been prepared on the basis of activities entered to the WSIS Stocktaking Database that by November 2005 contained more then 2500 entries. 

For the launch presentation see Stocktaking.pdf (1.47 MB).

For the WSIS Stocktaking Database see here

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 10:50:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 20, 2005
 Thursday, September 15, 2005

Leaders from the leading national and regional telecommunications and radio standards organizations and a delegation from ITU consisting of both high-level secretariat staff and Study Group chairs met 28 August - 2 September, at The Tenth Global Standards Collaboration meeting (GSC-10).

The mission of the GSC is to exchange information between participating standards organizations to facilitate collaboration and to support the process of global telecommunication standardization in the ITU. The event was hosted by ETSI in Sophia Antipolis, France.

Participants at GSC-10 included the Australian Communications Industry Forum (ACIF), Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB) of Japan, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) from the US, the China Communications Standards Association (CCSA), the Telecommunication Technology Committee (TTC) of Japan, the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) of Korea, the ICT Standards Advisory Council of Canada (ISACC), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Guests and observers included representatives from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT), the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) and the Sector Board 4 of International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Specific resolutions on the following topics were agreed at the meeting:

  • Next-Generation Networks
  • Mapping Standards for "Systems Beyond IMT 2000"
  • Cybersecurity
  • Home Networking
  • Emergency Communications
  • Broadband Services in Rural and Remote Areas
  • Open Standards
  • Facilitating Liaison in relation to Measurement Methodologies for Assessing Human Exposure to RF Energy
  • Wireless access including RLANs, Ad-Hoc Networking and Broadband Wireless Access
  • Supporting Automotive Crash Notification ("ACN") by Public Wireless Communications Networks
  • Radio Microphones and Cordless Audio Devices
  • RFID Systems, Services and Networking
  • Public Protection & Disaster Relief
  • Ultra Wide Band
  • Intellectual Property Rights Policies
  • User Interest Working Group

Other areas discussed were:

  • Location-based Services
  • Internet Protocol over Wireless
  • Software defined radio & Cognitive radio
  • Digital Broadcasting including mobile multimedia applications
  • Satellite services

ITU maintains a repository of documents relating to this and all past GSC meetings.

Via the ITU-T Newslog.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 9:22:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The East African Centre for Open Source Software (EACOSS) is a specialised Free and Open Source Software training centre focusing on the East African region. Their mission is to promote the use and access to Free and Open Source Software in the East African community and contribute to the development through empowering people with skills to use ICT. The centre was founded in April 2004 and opened its doors in August 2004 on Port Bell Road in Nakawa - Kampala Uganda. The training center is located at the premises of Uganda Institute of Information and Communication Technology.

As part of their OSS Training programme, they have released an Introduction to Computers and Computer Literacy based on OSS.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 12:03:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 03, 2005

The BBC has an article on the adoption of open source software in Brazil.

Mr Cerqueira Cesar is a leading light behind the newly-created Global Organisation for Free Software, which has been set up by a broad coalition of Brazilian businesses and NGOs. More details are being released this week at an International Forum on Free Software, in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre.

The government here has its eye on a UN summit on information technology, to take place in Tunisia in November.

Already, Brazilian diplomats are pushing for a final declaration that would stress the advantages of open-source software.

They have won the backing of India and are now canvassing broader support from the developing world.

Friday, June 03, 2005 11:35:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 26, 2005

From a Bridges.org study:

The Software Comparison research project provides the needed background information and advice to people who want to make sound software choices for public computer labs in Africa. The final report represents the first comprehensive analysis of software choices in the African public-access context. The study looked at 121 computer labs in Namibia, South Africa and Uganda, examining the range of factors that affect software choices; the realities of the current situation in Africa; and the long-term implications of software choices for Africa. This research was led by bridges.org and supported by Collaborating Partners SchoolNet Africa, the International Development Research Council (IDRC) and the Open Society Institute (OSI). In addition, a number of field-study partners provided access to computer labs for the study. A high-level Advisory Group, comprised of experts in the field from both sides of the debate, was actively involved in the study on a regular basis: reviewing project documents (methodology, report drafts etc.), providing feedback and additional resources.

Final report: The final research report was released in May 2005. The accompanying news announcement provides a brief summary and background to the study. The full report and separate Annex can be downloaded as pdf files.

Thursday, May 26, 2005 4:42:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 24, 2005

At the WSIS Thematic Meeting "Towards the realisation of the ubiquitous network society", held 16-17 May in Tokyo, co-organised by MIC Japan, ITU and United Nations University (UNU), a new project to develop and mass-manufacture a US$100 laptop, primarily for use in schools, was launched by MIT Media Lab together with an Open Computer Initiative from UNU. The partnership aims to have working prototypes available for demonstration by the Tunis Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), November 16-18 2005. The initial specifications for the laptops are 500 MHz processor, 1 GB hard drive and wi-fi enabled, running LINUX. Over time, it is planned that the laptops would become more powerful, but not more expensive.

For more information, see: http://www.unu.edu/hq/rector_office/press2005/mre12-05.doc.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 8:22:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 19, 2005

South Africa's ITweb in an article says: "There is an opportunity for SA to lead the open source explosion, as we are a combination of first and third world, with various cultures, so we can understand and reach various markets. [via Information Policy]

Thursday, May 19, 2005 12:26:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 13, 2005

backstage.bbc.co.uk is the BBC's new developer network, providing content feeds for anyone to build with. Alternatively, share your ideas on new ways to use BBC content. [via Slashdot:]

Friday, May 13, 2005 10:22:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Australian Government Information Management Office has recently released A Guide to Open Source Software for Australian Government Agencies". [via Slashdot

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 3:32:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 13, 2003
 Monday, February 03, 2003

Tectonic: a relaunched news site focusing on the use of open source software (OSS) in Africa. The site is maintained and financed by owner and developer Alastair Otter [via Balancing Act]. Also see "ICT Development Activities".

Monday, February 03, 2003 11:37:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 23, 2003

Guy Kewney's Mobile Campaign has a fascinating article on Locustworld's affordable wireless mesh network solution, Meshbox. LinuxDevices.com has a primer explaining the MeshBox - a Linux-powered wireless mesh repeater by Jon Anderson, its creator.  As Guy Kewney's article notes: "However, there are going to be some controversial areas in the Locustworld experiment. The cheekiest move was the setting up of an IP address numbering authority, WIANA, or The Wireless Internet Assigned Numbers Authority." Also see my earlier articles on wireless mesh/parasitic/symbiotic networks in Watch this airspace and parasitic networks and Seeding Mesh Networks.

Thursday, January 23, 2003 2:08:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 13, 2002
 Thursday, December 05, 2002

From the extract (PDF), looks to be very interesting. The soon-to-be-published Networks of Innovation: Change and Meaning in the Age of the Internet (Oxford University Press; ISBN: 0199256985) by Ilkka Tuomi.

  • "As many commentators have observed, the process of science itself is very much based on peer-review, incremental development, non-economic motives, and geographically distributed collaboration. Indeed, tradtional models of innovation often assumed that basis research generates ideas and technologies that are appropriated by entrepreneurs who them to products and money."
  • "The history of Linux allows one to question to what extent existing economic models of innovation and technological development capture phenomena that underlie collective production of new technolgies."
Thursday, December 05, 2002 3:39:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Somebody once said that the open source movement is a modern-day equivalent of communal barn-raising. It's a surprisingly innovative force that policy-makers worldwide need to understand. Why has open source hit the radar scope of governments? The simple answer is that the public policy stakes have become much higher. The development of advanced info-communication networks is now a key policy objective for almost all governments around the world. Not only are these networks seen as an important determinant of national competitiveness in an increasingly globalized knowledge economy, they are also seen as offering new opportunities in areas such as education, health and social advancement. It’s no surprise that almost every government in the world has put a high priority on improving access to advanced info-communications technologies, promoting digital literacy and improved access to government public services (e-government). Not surprisingly, open source is increasingly seen as another tool toward this goal, in both developed and more particularly in developing countries. O'Reilly Network has recently published an interesting timeline from 1995 to the present documenting the use of open source software by governments around the world.

On that note, in October 2002, I participated in Georgetown University's Open Source Summit: Public Interest & Policy Issues, which was spearheaded by Dr. Linda Garcia and her smart group of students at the Communication, Culture & Technology Program at Georgetown.  Across town, I see that as a follow-up to their October 2002 conference on Open Source for E-Government, the Cyber Security Policy and Research Institute (CSPRI) of George Washington University is organizing a conference on "Open Source for National and Local eGovernment Programs in the U.S. and EU" to be held in Washington, DC, USA, March 17 - 19, 2003. Here is the call for papers. Slashdot has a related thread.

In preparation for the 2003 World Summit on the Information Society, the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit maintains some ICT Success Stories pages which includes one related to e-government.

Thursday, December 05, 2002 2:26:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Proponents of the open source software movement have found a new hero in Dr. Edgar David Villanueva Nuñez, Congressman in Peru. In his letter to the General Manager of Microsoft, Peru, concerning a pending bill on "Free Software in Public Administration", he makes some convincing and eloquent arguments, particularly, in my opinion, vis-à-vis the security of nations:

"To guarantee national security or the security of the State, it is indispensable to be able to rely on systems without elements which allow control from a distance or the undesired transmission of information to third parties. Systems with source code freely accessible to the public are required to allow their inspection by the State itself, by the citizens, and by a large number of independent experts throughout the world. Our proposal brings further security, since the knowledge of the source code will eliminate the growing number of programs with *spy code*."

There's an interesting follow-up article at Linux Today.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002 6:35:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |