Communicating freely

Archive for July, 2007

Welcoming Marko to the FTF

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

As already reported in another blog Marko Milenovic is now part of the FSFE team.  I’d like to add to that news and let everyone know that Marko is also helping out at the FTF.

I’m delighted to have Marko on board.  We’ve really been expanding the FTF informal legal and technical networks lately and there’s a lot of exciting stuff happening.  The launch of the FTF consultancy services earlier this month is only the tip of the iceberg.

Amazing art (powered by Free Software)

Monday, July 16th, 2007

I recently saw an amazing Free Software-powered art project in Z├╝rich.

This is amazing...these wires are sending signals to rat cells! 

Basically it’s  a series of sensors that connect (via the Internet) with a cybernetic chip containing living cell tissue in a lab.  When people touch the poles they send a signal to individual cells.  These cells return a signal, and that causes noise to come out of a speaker just above the pole.  You can even train each cell to react in a different way.

Close to blade runner

I’ve really never seen anything like this before.  The most amazing thing is that the guys who build this engineered the sound system on a FPGA and built almost everything using Free Software.  I even saw that some circuit boards they had designed were released as copyleft.  The only non-Free software is a bitstream loader for the FPGA.

Kudos to them!

(The pictures here are from the Neuroom website, and reproduced with permission).

Free Software acquisition by governments (another note!)

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Stef was recently talking about Free Software acquisition by governments and I wanted to add my two cents.

I agree that increased adoption of Free Software in public administrations requires more support and deployment infrastructure.  Procurement guidelines need to be drafted with an awareness of Free Software.  Purchasing managers need to be trained in the benefits it offers.

It is true that the US government is increasingly supportive of Free Software.  The NSA is putting considerable effort into development efforts, and the Department of Defense is adopting Free Software solutions.  In Europe, the decision in Italy to move various government computers over to Free Software is to be applauded.  It’s a good first step in the right direction.

Let’s not be complacent though.  We still have a long way to go.  We need more advocates.  We need more training.  Outreach efforts are a critically important part of the growth of our movement.