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If Software Is Funded from a Public Source for Governments, Its Code Should Be Open Source

Date Published: Sun, 10 Feb 2019 12:06:01 +0200

If Software Is Funded from a Public Source for Governments, Its Code Should Be Open Source

If we as citizens pay for it, we should be able to use it.

Perhaps because many free software coders have been outsiders and rebels, less attention is paid to the use of open source in government departments than in other contexts. But it's an important battleground, not least because there are special dynamics at play and lots of good reasons to require open-source software. It's unfortunate that the most famous attempt to convert a government IT system from proprietary code to open source—the city of Munich—proved such a difficult experience. Although last year saw a decision to move back to Windows, that seems to be more a failure of IT management, than of the code itself. Moreover, it's worth remembering that the Munich project began back in 2003, when it was a trailblazer. Today, there are dozens of large-scale migrations, as TechRepublic reports:

Most notable is perhaps the French Gendarmerie, the country's police force, which has switched 70,000 PCs to Gendbuntu, a custom version of the Linux-based OS Ubuntu. In the same country 15 French ministries have made the switch to using LibreOffice, as has the Dutch Ministry of Defence, while the Italian Ministry of Defence will switch more than 100,000 desktops from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice by 2020 and 25,000 PCs at hospitals in Copenhagen will move from Office to LibreOffice.

More are coming through all the time. The Municipality of Tirana, the biggest in Albania, has just announced it is moving thousands of desktops to LibreOffice, and nearly 80% of the city of Barcelona's IT investment this year will be in open source.

One factor driving this uptake by innovative government departments is the potential to cut costs by avoiding constant upgrade fees. But it's important not to overstate the "free as in beer" element here. All major software projects have associated costs of implementation and support. Departments choosing free software simply because they believe it will save lots of money in obvious ways are likely to be disappointed, and that will be bad for open source's reputation and future projects.

And paying for support by a government is not a bad thing at all. Unlike some expensive proprietary software where foreign consultants are often brought in, with open source software can have 100% of the expense going to local support companies who create employment and pay taxes locally. For many governments, the saving on license fees can mean them being able to pay even more for local support and skills development if need be. For local support companies having full access to the source code means being able to fully understand it to solve support problems and even fix it if need be. Open source is NOT purely about saving money, especially for governments. Of course, there is no procurement involved (tenders take time and money) and full control is maintained by that government over the applications it uses.

Of course it takes a mindset change, not only for governments but more importantly for their vendors who will resist not being able to drop their boxes for a marked up profit, as they often do not understand the role they can play in providing support services around open source software (of course that support is open then to any vendor to compete to supply).

See https://www.linuxjournal.com/content/if-software-funded-public-source-its-code-should-be-open-source and also some interesting insight into what happened with the famed Munich turnaround at https://www.techrepublic.com/article/linux-to-windows-10-why-did-munich-switch-and-why-does-it-matter/ (hint: some of the issues could be due to poor and fragmented support).

#FOSS #opensource #government


If Software Is Funded from a Public Source, Its Code Should Be Open Source | Linux Journal
If we pay for it, we should be able to use it. Perhaps because many free software coders have been outsiders and rebels, less attention is paid to the use of open source in government departments than in other contexts. But it's an important battleground, not least because there are special dynamics at ...

OnePlus 6T gets unofficial LineageOS 16, CarbonROM, and more custom ROMs after device seeding program...

Date Published: Sun, 10 Feb 2019 11:32:37 +0200

OnePlus 6T gets unofficial LineageOS 16, CarbonROM, and more custom ROMs after device seeding program re-opened

Ever since the death of the Nexus program, OnePlus devices have become the de-facto option whenever someone is looking for a developer-friendly, yet “cheap” device (though the “cheap” aspect is no longer true). Not only can you easily unlock the bootloader, you also retain warranty after bootloader unlocking, and have access to the kernel sources of the device in a timely manner (which was Day 1 for both the OnePlus 6 and the OnePlus 6T). OnePlus also runs a device seeding program to kickstart custom development works on the device, which gives interested users many more options if they want to customize the software on their phone.

Good to see the seeding program has recommenced (to a smaller selection of developers). The smaller selection may also mean more competition amongst developers and hopefully also that the best quality developers for the OnePlus phones are getting the phones. Once my Google Pixel 2 XL starts to give up I'm aiming at getting a OnePlus phone next time around mainly also because of this great after-market choice that exists with LineageOS which extends the useful life of the phone.

See https://www.xda-developers.com/oneplus-6t-unofficial-lineageos-carbonrom-custom-roms/

#oneplus #lineageos


OnePlus 6T gets unofficial LineageOS 16, CarbonROM, and more custom ROMs after device seeding program re-opened
Ever since the death of the Nexus program, OnePlus devices have become the de-facto option whenever someone is looking for a developer friendly, yet “cheap” device (though the “cheap” aspect is no longer true). Not only can you easily unlock the bootloader, you also retain warranty after bootloader unlocking, and have access to the kernel

Using Friendica with Groups or Forums as an alternative to Google+

Date Published: Sat, 9 Feb 2019 23:07:29 +0200

Using Friendica with Groups or Forums as an alternative to Google+

I was hoping to use my Drupal website and blog as an RSS feed to my other networks but Drupal is quite complex (powerful?) in setting up Views and Feeds. Although it all basically works and I do have an RSS feed running it does not include images I have added to my posts. Of course, this is something that works well with Wordpress but let me say no more on that...

Friendica, as a macroblog (ie. unlike microblogs such as Twitter or Mastodon), is probably the most powerful and most connected out of them all. It can import from Twitter, G+, and others and also export to many networks.

But one concept to grasp is that it does not have groups/forums linked under your Profile. Everything is a separate Profile. So you create a Profile and set is as a personal, forum, or whatever type and then give it attributes. This is quite powerful as you can also set each one to mirror (import) posts from a different source. So I created a separate Forum on Friendica called Gadgeteerza for my tech posts. It imports from an RSS feed (I'm testing out Blogger for this right now as I need a good quality RSS feed as a source). The forum can be found at https://libranet.de/profile/gadgeteerza and is separate from my personal profile. I see on your personal profile you can actually also create "additional profiles" and then switch between them so that may be another way of doing it.

So I can create posts in two ways:
1. I added a new contact to that forum and gave the RSS feed as its address. Then I set that contact to "mirror" posts to my feed. One note here, not all instances of Friendica allow you to add and mirror contacts as RSS feeds and this is why it did not work on my personal profile instance.
2. From my personal profile, I can create a post and just mention the name of the forum with an exclamation in front (eg. !gadgeteerza) and that pushes the post to the forum. But in this way it posts as my personal profiler and not as the Forum.

And a bonus is that any Profile on Friendica will also have a RSS feed created from posts using the format basic-url.com//feed/[nickname]/posts for the feed URL

So yes I may also use Friendica as my source to create posts. It all depends on how well I can make it gel together.

#friendica #rss #forums


What Are The Differences Between a Shavette vs a Straight Razor, and Tips On Shaving With Shavette

Date Published: Sat, 9 Feb 2019 15:11:48 +0200
Shaving

Specifically, a shavette is a shaving tool with a disposable blade, either it’s a fixed or a folding blade which looks similar to a straight razor if put it on the table, but the only difference a shavette has is, it has a small tiny slot to slide in your shaving blade in it at the front edge. Unlike a straight razor with which you have to take care of its fixed blade the shavette does not require this as the blade is disposable.

A shavette is one of the most challenging razors that you could use. One slight wrong move and the chances of sustaining the razor burn are high. Vibrating of the blade while shaving can bounce and leave you with an unpleasant shave. The blade in a shavette is thin and lightweight compared to straight razors which does not vibrate against your stubble and skin.

Read about some more key differences between the two as well as some tips on using a shavette at https://xtrimblades.com/shaving-with-shavette-vs-straight-razor/

#shaving #shavette #straightrazor

What Are The Differences Between a Shavette vs a Straight Razor, and Tips On Shaving With Shavette

Date Published: Sat, 9 Feb 2019 15:11:48 +0200
Shaving

Specifically, a shavette is a shaving tool with a disposable blade, either it’s a fixed or a folding blade which looks similar to a straight razor if put it on the table, but the only difference a shavette has is, it has a small tiny slot to slide in your shaving blade in it at the front edge. Unlike a straight razor with which you have to take care of its fixed blade the shavette does not require this as the blade is disposable.

A shavette is one of the most challenging razors that you could use. One slight wrong move and the chances of sustaining the razor burn are high. Vibrating of the blade while shaving can bounce and leave you with an unpleasant shave. The blade in a shavette is thin and lightweight compared to straight razors which does not vibrate against your stubble and skin.

Read about some more key differences between the two as well as some tips on using a shavette at https://xtrimblades.com/shaving-with-shavette-vs-straight-razor/

#shaving #shavette #straightrazor

What Are The Differences Between a Shavette vs a Straight Razor, and Tips On Shaving With Shavette

Date Published: Sat, 9 Feb 2019 15:11:48 +0200
Shaving

Specifically, a shavette is a shaving tool with a disposable blade, either it’s a fixed or a folding blade which looks similar to a straight razor if put it on the table, but the only difference a shavette has is, it has a small tiny slot to slide in your shaving blade in it at the front edge. Unlike a straight razor with which you have to take care of its fixed blade the shavette does not require this as the blade is disposable.

A shavette is one of the most challenging razors that you could use. One slight wrong move and the chances of sustaining the razor burn are high. Vibrating of the blade while shaving can bounce and leave you with an unpleasant shave. The blade in a shavette is thin and lightweight compared to straight razors which does not vibrate against your stubble and skin.

Read about some more key differences between the two as well as some tips on using a shavette at https://xtrimblades.com/shaving-with-shavette-vs-straight-razor/

#shaving #shavette #straightrazor

What Are The Differences Between a Shavette vs a Straight Razor, and Tips On Shaving With Shavette

Date Published: Sat, 9 Feb 2019 15:11:48 +0200
Shaving

Specifically, a shavette is a shaving tool with a disposable blade, either it’s a fixed or a folding blade which looks similar to a straight razor if put it on the table, but the only difference a shavette has is, it has a small tiny slot to slide in your shaving blade in it at the front edge. Unlike a straight razor with which you have to take care of its fixed blade the shavette does not require this as the blade is disposable.

A shavette is one of the most challenging razors that you could use. One slight wrong move and the chances of sustaining the razor burn are high. Vibrating of the blade while shaving can bounce and leave you with an unpleasant shave. The blade in a shavette is thin and lightweight compared to straight razors which does not vibrate against your stubble and skin.

Read about some more key differences between the two as well as some tips on using a shavette at https://xtrimblades.com/shaving-with-shavette-vs-straight-razor/

#shaving #shavette #straightrazor

What Are The Differences Between a Shavette vs a Straight Razor, and Tips On Shaving With Shavette

Date Published: Sat, 9 Feb 2019 15:11:48 +0200
Shaving

Specifically, a shavette is a shaving tool with a disposable blade, either it’s a fixed or a folding blade which looks similar to a straight razor if put it on the table, but the only difference a shavette has is, it has a small tiny slot to slide in your shaving blade in it at the front edge. Unlike a straight razor with which you have to take care of its fixed blade the shavette does not require this as the blade is disposable.

A shavette is one of the most challenging razors that you could use. One slight wrong move and the chances of sustaining the razor burn are high. Vibrating of the blade while shaving can bounce and leave you with an unpleasant shave. The blade in a shavette is thin and lightweight compared to straight razors which does not vibrate against your stubble and skin.

Read about some more key differences between the two as well as some tips on using a shavette at https://xtrimblades.com/shaving-with-shavette-vs-straight-razor/

#shaving #shavette #straightrazor

Facebook to integrate Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp - Raising Privacy and Anti-Trust Concerns

Date Published: Sat, 9 Feb 2019 15:02:35 +0200

Facebook to integrate Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp - Raising Privacy and Anti-Trust Concerns

Many are concerned that this move may not improve the privacy concerns on Facebook Messenger and Instagram side as much as it may weaken the end-to-end encryption on Whatsapp. Many Whatsapp users do not use Facebook and want nothing to do with it. Will this interoperability not share information back to Facebook?

While E2E is a valuable security measure for users, it has the side effect of preventing Facebook from scanning messages as part of its advertising business. The technology has also come under attack from law enforcement organisations, since it hinders their ability to intercept suspect communications in real time.

On the anti-trust side, there is also a concern that this move may prevent the spin-off of Instagram and Whatsapp.

Matthew Green, a cryptography professor at Johns Hopkins University, said the change “could potentially be good or bad for security/privacy”. He added: “But given recent history and financial motivations of Facebook, I wouldn’t bet my lunch money on ‘good’.

See https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/25/facebook-integrate-instagram-messenger-whatsapp-messaging-platforms

#facebook #privacy #whatsapp

 

 

Facebook to integrate Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp | Technology | The Guardian

 

 

Live Transcribe - Google has launched a live transcription app to help deaf people

Date Published: Sat, 9 Feb 2019 14:49:14 +0200

Live Transcribe - Google has launched a live transcription app to help deaf people

Google partnered with Gallaudet University to design an app that translates spoken words from 70 languages and dialects into text in real time. Live Transcribe was specifically designed to help deaf and hard-of-hearing people. The app has been rolled out in limited beta for Android devices, and from now on it will come pre-installed on Pixel 3 phones.

See https://www.blog.google/outreach-initiatives/accessibility/making-audio-more-accessible-two-new-apps/ or get the app at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.audio.hearing.visualization.accessibility.scribe&hl=en_US

#disability #deaf


Live Transcribe - Apps on Google Play
Live Transcribe is a new accessibility service built by Google for the deaf and hard of hearing. Using Google's state-of-the-art automatic speech recognition technology, Live Transcribe performs real-time transcription of speech to text on your screen, so you can participate in conversations going on in the world around you. You can also keep the conversation going by typing your response on the screen.

We are doing a staged, limited release of ...

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