It’s hard not to sympathize with this idea!

Venezuela Promotes Microsoft Alternative
– By JORGE RUEDA, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, March 29, 2006

(03-29) 16:11 PST CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) —

President Hugo Chavez, long critical of big transnational companies, is promoting free open-source software as an alternative to market-dominating Microsoft Corp.

Venezuela’s science and technology ministry recently held the Latin American Free Software Installation Fair, an event promoting the use of the open-source Linux operating system and other nonproprietary programs over Microsoft’s Windows.

Groups of Linux users have been organizing similar events in other Latin American countries, including Argentina and Colombia, and the Venezuelan government has signed on as a promoter.

The technology ministry said the fair is part Venezuela’s move toward “technological sovereignty, and taking advantage of knowledge for building national scientific independence.”

Chavez, a vehement critic of the capitalist system, issued a decree in 2004 ordering all the country’s public institutions to actively move toward open-source alternatives, hoping to save millions of dollars.

Government agencies have gradually been making the change.

Chavez says previous governments spent more on licensing fees for proprietary software than social programs to fight poverty.

The Venezuelan government hasn’t focused direct criticism on Microsoft, but Chavez has regularly condemned “the hegemony of the multinationals” — saying many big companies are to blame for putting profits above the needs of poor people across Latin America.


Wikipedia Workshop

Wikipedia Beginners’ Workshop
St. Christopher House
Friday, February 24, 2006, 5-6pm
Presented by Ron Foreman


What’s a Wiki?
Where to find Wikipedia?
Some Wikipedia statistics
How it works?
Quality Standards
Some criticism
Wikipedia tightens rules after Kennedy flap
About the Founder
The Wikipedia Mission: Imagine a world in which every single person is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing.
Community Portal
Wikimedia Foundation

Wikipedia’s sister projects
Wiktionary, Dictionary and thesaurus
Wikibooks, Free textbooks and manuals
Wikiquote, Collection of quotations
Wikisource, The free library
Wikispecies, Directory of species
Wikinews, Free content news source
Commons, Shared media repository
MetaWiki, Wikimedia project coordination

Google Earth

Google Earth

Google Earth is a free virtual globe formerly known as Earth Viewer. It was developed by Keyhole, Inc., which was acquired by Google in 2004. The product was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and is currently available for use on personal computers running Mac OS X Tiger and Microsoft Windows 2000 or XP. A Linux version has been announced for 2006.
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Wikipedia is a multilingual Web-based free-content encyclopedia wiki service. Wikipedia is written collaboratively by volunteers, allowing most articles to be changed by anyone with access to a web browser. The project began on January 15, 2001, as a complement to the expert-written Nupedia and is now operated by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Wikipedia has more than 3,210,000 articles, including more than 950,000 in the English-language version, and as of January 2006 it has more than 863,000 registered users. Since its inception, Wikipedia has steadily risen in popularity,[1] and its success has spawned several sister projects. There has, however, been controversy over its reliability.
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The People Own Ideas!

By Lawrence Lessig, June 2005, Technology Review

We entered the youth camp that morning by passing down a long, white gravel road and under a wooden gate. Spread to one side, and for as far as you could see, were rows and rows of tents. In front were scores of showers, with hundreds of kids in swimsuits milling about, waiting to rinse. It felt like a refugee camp.

In a sense, it was. More than a hundred thousand had descended upon Porto Alegre, Brazil, to attend the World Social Forum, a conference intended to offer a progressive alternative to the much smaller, and much more famous, World Economic Forum meeting at Davos, Switzerland (see “Letter from Davos,” April 2005).
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Grandparents learn to surf and they like it

By ANN GIBBON, Wednesday, June 15, 2005 Updated at 9:34 PM EDT
From Thursday’s Globe and Mail

Grandma’s on the Net again, the kitchen’s not her home. She used to make us cherry pies, and call us on the phone. We miss her homemade biscuits, and I’ll make this little bet, If you want to contact Grandma, you’ll have to surf the Net. From an Internet chain letter
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A Sunday Afternoon House Call

By Brian Krebs, Washington Post, June 12, 2005.

I just spent nearly seven hours doing emergency surgery on a Windows PC that belongs to a dear, longtime friend. The experience was so harrowing that I decided to blog it.

So it’s 2 p.m. Sunday and after a cursory examination of my buddy’s two-year old Windows machine, it is clear that the thing is missing patches going back to mid- to late 2003, just months before Microsoft released Service Pack 2, a massive set of security fixes and operating system tweaks for Windows XP. Needless to say, the computer did not have Service Pack 2 installed.
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