Microsoft Will License Windows Source Code

BRUSSELS (Dow Jones) — Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) said Wednesday it will license its Windows source code in order to comply with a European antitrust punishment.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, the company's chief counsel, Brad Smith, called the move "a bold stroke." The source code provides the building blocks of the operating system that competitors need to make products compatible with Windows.

In the past, Microsoft has refused to license this code. Software developers still will have to pay for the code, which open source advocates will not be allowed to "publish for free," Smith cautioned.

SCP writes:

International Day Against Video Surveillance
March 19–20, 2006

We, the undersigned, are unconditionally opposed to the use of video surveillance cameras in public places. We are also opposed to the use of surveillance cameras that, though installed in privately owned places, are actually use to surveill the public. We believe that both types of cameras, in addition to being useless in the "wars" on crime and terrorism, are tools that all-too-frequently used to violate our rights to privacy, anonymity, dignity and political dissent.

Cameras are not the only threats to our rights. Government agencies and private security firms also use wiretaps, bugs, GPS transponders, RFID chips, computers dedicated to data gathering, retention and "mining," etc. But we choose to focus on video surveillance cameras because they are the most visible manifestations of the emerging surveillance society.

"Hack the Knowledge" Lab

Technology, Creativity, Social Organization

Lancaster, England, Feb. 3–5, 2006

A Weekend Gathering For Collaborative and Creative Reflection

Lancaster University (Institute for Advanced
North West England.


The Knowledge Lab is an attempt to provide a collective space for
anti-capitalist reflection. It is located at the margin of the
university, an institution essentially geared towards the production
of knowledge as a resource for corporate interest and as justification
for particular constellations of power relations.
The Knowledge Lab is hence also an attempt to claim back some of the
university's space, resources and know-how from the military-industrial
complex and make them available for people concerned about and working
against the status quo of unceasing commodification, exploitation, war,
and biospherical destruction.

Bernie Roddy writes:

"Notes on Creative Property"
Bernie Roddy

According to a popular theory of property, you ought to receive the results of your labor, and those results are new property, your profits. For people who create things that can be sold such as movies, scripts, programs, or music, it makes sense to insist that any beneficiary of its sale be someone who invests labor toward the item’s creation, or perhaps toward its distribution. But someone who invests capital does not invest labor. Stockholders in a company do not have a claim to profits generated by new creations. An entrepreneur often does contribute labor, as does an artist. Both might persuade someone to provide capital, but any commitment to return some profit is not backed up by this conception of property. At best, it is based on a contractual relationship.

Free Software Advocate Attracts U.N. Security After Blocking RFID Tags

K.C. Jones, TechWeb News

GNU founder Richard Stallman wrapped his RFID-equipped badge in aluminum
foil at the U.N. World Summit on the Information Society, and found his
travel blocked by U.N. security.

A GNU expert's talk was welcomed at the U.N. World Summit on the
Information Society. His stance on RFID was not.

Richard Stallman, GNU founder and featured speaker at the gathering in
Tunisia last week, was held by U.N. security after wrapping his
identification badge in foil, according to Bruce Perens, vice president
of developer relations and policy for SourceLabs.

Stallman, who opposes RFID because of the technology's potential for
privacy invasions, objected to wearing the badge because it could track
him as he moved around at the summit. Organizers said the technology
would not be used since objections were raised over use at the 2003
summit in Geneva, according to Perens.

Sharing is Good

A group of activists is planning to download a song from the internet
in front of the building of the SGAE (the spanish association of
authors and editors, well known for its campaigns against file sharing
in P2P networks). The action will take place on the forth-coming

Free and Open Source Software Series from Pakistan

FOSSFP Technical Essays Series on Free and Open Source Software


"FOSSFP Technical Essays Series" is part of our commitment to share Free and
Open Source Software knowledge for benefiting the society. The technical
essays are researched and compiled by the FOSSFP Research & Development
Division on a regular basis. Currently the following technical essays are
available for download under Open Content Terms & Conditions:

Technical Essay 1 Title: "Some Common Commercial Software and their
equivalent FOSS options"

Document Ref no: fossfp/tech/001-9-2005 Version 1.0
Dated: 21-09-2005


Technical Essay 2 Title: "Graphic Design Tools — Free and Open Source
Software Alternatives"

Document Ref no: fossfp/tech/002-10-2005 Version 1.0
Dated: 17-10-2005



Fouad Riaz Bajwa

General Secretary

FOSSFP: Free & Open Source Software Foundation of Pakistan
FOSSAC ' 2006 Secretariat

Punjab University College of Information Technology

University of The Punjab, Allama Iqbal (Old) Campus

The Mall, Lahore-54000, Pakistan

Phone #: 92 (042) 111-923-923 Ext: 27

Cell #: 92-333-4661290






Philadelphia to Be City of Wireless Web

Arshad Mohammed, Washington Post

Philadelphia yesterday announced a plan to build the biggest municipal wireless Internet system in the nation, the latest of a growing number of cities to treat high-speed Web access as a basic municipal service like water, electricity and trash collection.

Philadelphia said Atlanta-based EarthLink Inc. will fund, build and manage the 135-square-mile network, which will offer low-income residents service for as little as about $10 a month and could threaten the profits of telephone and cable companies.

Full story: here.

Chavez Says Venezuela Will Produce "Bolivarian Computers"

Associated Press

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Tuesday
his government will manufacture "Bolivarian computers" affordable to
all Venezuelans — the latest initiative in honor of a Latin American
independence hero that inspires his leftist revolution.

"We will begin producing computers in Venezuela ... the project of
the Bolivarian computers," Chavez said in televised remarks.

Chavez says he is leading his country toward a socialist revolution
inspired by Simon Bolivar, a 19th-century independence hero who
sought to unite South American nations.

The Venezuelan leader, who is a fierce critic of capitalism, said
that brand name computers are too expensive and that the project
seeks to make computers more accessible to all Venezuelans.

The Bolivarian computers will sell for anywhere between 900,000
bolivars and 1 million bolivars, Chavez said.

Under his "Bolivarian Revolution," Chavez has launched a range of
socialist-inspired initiatives, including free education promoting
leftist ideology at campuses across the country and deals to supply
oil on preferential terms to Venezuela's neighbors as part of a
"Bolivarian Alternative" trade pact.

A new company will be created, Technological Industries of Venezuela,
that will form a joint venture with China's Lang Chao International
Ltd. to produce the computers.

Venezuela will provide an initial investment of 17.2 billion
bolivars, Chavez said.

The company is expected to begin production before the end of the
year and plans to produce as much as 80,000 computers in the first
year, said Chavez.

A total of 100,000 should be produced during the second year of
operations and as much as 150,000 during the third year, according to
the president.

The president said the new computer company will eventually
manufacture laptop computers and cell phones as well.

His announcement comes about a week after Massachusetts Institute of
Technology researchers unveiled the design for $100 laptop computers
being developed for children in developing countries. The durable
machines' AC adapter would double as a carrying strap, and a hand
crank would power them when there's no electricity, the researchers

Anonyous Comrade writes:

"Tunisians Conduct Online Protest"

Andy Carvin

Right now there's an extraordinary online protest coming out of Tunisia. The website,, is a collection of photos of Tunisians holding up signs in various languages, each with a message directed to Tunisian President Ben Ali.

Though the phrase they use, "Yezzi, Fock!," may appear to be a misguided attempt to curse out a certain swear word in the English language, it roughly translates to "General Ben Ali, enough is enough!" in Tunisian Arabic. In the words of the protest's organizers:

"This expression in Tunisian dialect intends to transmit a clear message to the dictator in order to give up power, because we consider it is enough. For us Tunisians, who are always banned from freely reaching independent information and who are violently forbidden from any peaceful demonstration; this kind of demonstration is a new form of peaceful protest."

The site, launched yesterday, contains dozens of photos of Tunisians venting their frustration at President Ben Ali. They note that free expression is technically protected under Tunisian law, though not in practice, so they're using the website to exercise that right:

"[T]here's no Tunisian legislative provision prohibiting the right to express our opinions. Absolutely not, this demonstration is covered by the fundamental guarantees provided as well by the Tunisian Constitution as by the International Conventions ratified by Tunisia. All the demonstrators on make use of their right to express an opinion in saying to the General Ben Ali 'It is enough!'"

The Tunisian authorities, not surprisingly, see the matter differently. They've already started blocking the site, so only those of us outside of Tunisia can see it. One can only imagine what might happen to these cyber dissidents if they were caught by the Tunisian police. No matter the response, though, it serves as another reminder of the ackwardness of having the World Summit on the Information Society hosted in Tunisia.

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