Thoughts on the White House Executive Order on open data

31 05 2013

What the White House did right

Here is the genius of this executive order. At its core it deals with something that is hard to communicate to a lot of people in a meaningful way. Here is the executive order for dummies version: This is essentially a core change to procurement and information publication. From a procurement perspective it basically means from now on, if you work in the US government and you buy a computer or software that is going to store or collect data, it sure as hell better be able to export it in a way that others can re-use it. From a information publication perspective, having the ability to publish the data is not sufficient, you actually have to publish the data.

This change is actually quite wide ranging. So much so that it could be hard for many people to understand its significance. This is why I  love the emphasis on what I would refer to as strategic data sets – data sets on healthcare, education, energy and safety. While the order pertains to data that is much, much broader than this, talking about datasets like the 5-Star Safety Ratings System about almost every vehicle in America or data on most appliances’ Energy Star rating brings it down to earth. This is information the average American can wrap their head around and agree should be made more widely available.

read full article

Posted from WordPress for Android


City of Munich: “Migration to sustainable desktop completed successfully”

30 05 2013

The administration of the city of Munich in Germany has completed the switch to the open source desktop, says Peter Hofmann, head of the migration project last week Wednesday. The IT department is now securing the strategy, to make sure it can be maintained by the city and to sustainably support interactions with citizens, businesses and other public authorities.

Hofmann, speaking at the Linux Tag conference in Berlin on 22 May, is confident that the city’s open source strategy can be maintained because it is focused on sustainability. “We took small steps, instead of a big bang approach. We prefer quality over time and choose making it ourselves over waiting or spending.”

The city is now using a unified desktop system, Limux, its own distribution based on the Ubuntu Linux open source operating system and open source applications, on 14,000 of the total 15,000 desktops, spread over 51 offices across the city. That is 2,000 more than it’s intended goal, using Limux on 80 % of its desktops. Hofmann confirmed that the city will now switch to using the LibreOffice, an open source suite of office productivity tools, replacing the current open source alternative OpenOffice, that is used since 2006.

Read Full Article

Posted from WordPress for Android

Swiss City Mandates Use Of Open Source, Banishes Microsoft Officially

11 12 2012

Europe Moving Forward

In an overwhelming majority vote, the city council in Bern, Switzerland has moved to implement all future infrastructure with open source technologies.  The “Party Motion”, as it is called in Switzerland, was submitted over a year ago, and has finally been realized.  Plans to move forward with open source design, strategy and implementation should begin immediately.

The party motion called for the following bullet-points.  These have been translated via Google Translate from German, so please consider that as you read them.

what happened at Freiburg?

full article

Posted from WordPress for Android

Microsoft dragging its feet on Linux Secure Boot fix

23 11 2012

Linux Foundation’s workaround held up by roadblocks

By Neil McAllister in San Francisco • Get more from this author

Posted in Operating Systems, 21st November 2012 23:21 GMT

The Linux Foundation’s promised workaround that will allow Linux to boot on Windows 8 PCs has yet to clear Microsoft’s code certification process, although the exact reason for the hold-up remains unclear.

As The Reg reported previously, the Secure Boot feature of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) found on modern Windows 8 PCs will only allow an OS to boot if its code has been digitally signed with a key obtained from Microsoft.

That’s a problem for many Linux distributions, because some lack the resources to purchase a Microsoft key, while others simply refuse to.

To help get around UEFI’s restrictions, the Linux Foundation has been developing a signed “pre-bootloader” as a stop-gap measure that will allow Linux distributions to boot, until such time as open source developers can come up with more effective solutions.

Full Article

Posted from WordPress for Android

German govt comes out against Trusted Computing and Secure Boot

22 11 2012

Trusted Computing and Secure Boot, especially Secure Boot, are supposed to boost the security of devices that you own. Yes, devices that you own! However, judging from the manner that Secure Boot has been implemented, it sure feels like you do not own that device you bought with your money. Hence the phrase Restricted Boot is more apt.

And since corporations now run the government, a corporation with enough power (and money… the power comes from the money) can dictate what you can do on and with that device that you own. Microsoft’s ability to dictate to hardware vendors, and by proxy, dictate to you, how secure boot can be implemented, is a very good example.

So far, who has challenged Microsoft? Other than dissenting voices from the Free Software and Open Source community, nobody.

But the German government

Full Article

Posted from WordPress for Android

Portuguese Government Adopts ODF as Sole Editable Document Format

20 11 2012


According to a press release issued today by the Portuguese Open Source Business Association (reproduced in full at the end of this blog entry), the government of Portugal has decided to approve a single editable, XML-based document format for use by government, and in public procurement.  And that format is not OOXML.

Instead, the Portuguese government has opted for ODF, the OpenDocument Format, as well as PDF and a number of other formats and protocols, including XML, XMPP, IMAP, SMTP, CALDAV and LDAP. The announcement is in furtherance of a law passed by the Portuguese Parliament on June 21 of last year requiring compliance with open standards (as defined in the same legislation) in the procurement of government information systems and when exchanging documents at citizen-facing government Web sites

Read Full Story

Posted from WordPress for Android

Debian Administrator’s Handbook published — and Freed

14 05 2012

Debian Administrator’s Handbook published — and Freed
[Posted May 10, 2012 by jake]

From: Roland Mas


Subject: Debian Administrator’s Handbook published — and Freed

Date: Thu, 10 May 2012 18:52:19 +0200


Archive-link: Article, Thread

The Debian Administrator’s Handbook is now available in several formats
and from several sources — all linked from the website at

This translation into English of the fifth edition of the French “Cahier
de l’Admin Debian” (published by Eyrolles) has been crowdfunded, and the
results are just released.  The funding campaign was so successful that
the book is even published under not one but two free licenses (GPL-2+
and CC-BY-SA-3).  It is available as paperback, in several electronic
formats for easy consumption, and even browsable online from the
website.  And of course, it’s also been made available to Debian users
in the “debian-handbook” package.

Written by Raphaël Hertzog and Roland Mas, two long-time Debian
developers, the book covers a large part of the skillset required of an
administrator of Debian systems.  It describes installation, migration,
configuration of basic services as well as the main network services,
monitoring and backups, virtualization, preparing Debian packages,
securing the system, and a quick crash-course for the beginners.

All versions of the book can be obtained from the website; only the
paperback version will require payment, but donations are welcome from
users of the electronic versions.

Title: Debian Administrator’s Handbook
Authors: Raphaël Hertzog, Roland Mas
Editor: Freexian
Language: English
ISBN: 979-10-91414-00-5 (paperback), 979-10-91414-01-2 (ebook)

Roland Mas

Posted from WordPress for Android