July 2009

Linus: Microsoft hatred is a disease

Linus Torvalds has said that he would consider contributions from any source, and that although he makes jokes about Microsoft, that Microsoft hatred is a disease. Recently Microsoft released 20,000 lines of code under the GPL that will allow better Linux integration with Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V or Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V. Some commentators have said that this move was selfish, and others have claimed that the move was forced on Microsoft by obligations of the GPL.

Amberdms Billing System

The Amberdms Billing System is an open-source web application providing accounting, invoicing, service management and time management functions, designed for small and medium businesses.

Lead developer is Jethro Carr one of Wellington's leading lights in the FOSS and LUG community.

KEY FEATURES

Accounting

* Provides full double-entry accounting.
* Simple UI makes it easy to create invoices and handle finances
* Ability to export information to CSV or PDF formats

Time Keeping

Air New Zealand adopts SilverStripe Content Management

Stuff.co.nz is reporting that Air New Zealand will be adopting a open source content management system produced by New Zealand IT company SilverStripe. Unlike many other companies SilverStripe has been expanding as customers looking for more cost effective solutions sign up. Last year they signed up the United States Democrats' National Convention.

Google to release Chrome OS

Google has announced that they will be releasing a operating system called "Chrome OS" next year. The operating system will have the Linux kernel at its core and will be released as Open Source. Google say that Chrome OS will initially be aimed at the netbook market which although initially dominated by Linux distributions are currently primarily Windows based.

Copyright Meeting a Success

Yesterday I attended a meeting about Copyright with Labour MP Clare Curran. The meetings was attended by representatives from APRA, ISPANZ, InternetNZ, Chapman Tripp, Creative Freedom along with various ISP's and independent record labels. Although this is an emotional subject the meeting turned out to be quite constructive, with various people making excellent points to reinforce their views. Although organised by Labour it was clear that the meeting was apolitical. The main focus was clearly to find a way to resolve the difficulties with copyright. Nevyn from Auckland LUG has posted further details here.

New Zealand geographical data released under Creative Commons

Two major environmental databases are set to become more accessible and easier to use following the re-release of these digital maps by the Ministry for the Environment.

The Land Cover Database and the Land Environments New Zealand classification layers, widely used by agencies in environmental and resource management planning, will now be issued online with a Creative Commons Attribution licence.

Ministry for the Environment’s Len Brown says this will promote the free exchange of environmental data, allowing more people access, use and benefit from the data.

SSC and MED Post G2009 Procurement Advice

On June 5th I wrote to the State Services Commissioner and the Ministry for Economic Development . In my role as President of the NZOSS I was seeking “advice on government agency procurement of software products following the recently concluded G2009 Microsoft negotiations.”

In particular I asked for “your confirmation that government agencies are required to tender for software procurement so that our member companies and others have the opportunity to tender open source products and services.”