First for those who do not know it yet: since start of February I am happily working for the free software (open source) project ownCloud. My main tasks are to integrate ownCloud into other products, for example into the Univention Corporate Server (short UCS).
As the ownCloud project will stay under the AGPL, there will be no secret code behind. The basic integration consists of creating a UCS package which nicely installs into the server and does auto-configuration and joining the environment. The goal: after installing ownCloud via package management it is instantly available for the users. That means, the setup procedure runs automatically and the LDAP module will be configured, so that users may login directly after installation.
Have you already heard about a search engine called DuckDuckGo? I am aware of it for, I think, far more than a year. And recently I have (subjectively) noticed a rising amount of posts related to DuckDuckGo, especially in the Open and Free Software Aspects (while I was writing this post, Linux Mint announced to start using DuckDuckGo as default search engine). It looks like more and more people are looking for an alternative to Google, which does not track users' data. I have had a critical view on DuckDuckGo before and still have it, though undoubtedly it has some positive facets.
To take away some illusions beforehand: DuckDuckGo is neither free nor open source software, but proprietary, and only some parts are open-sourced. Although i have not had a deeper look into the source, it pretty much looks like that the ranking algorithm e.g. is not open. They only stress the importance of inbound links, which is hopefully not a too strong ranking factor...
Nevertheless, the best way to get good rankings (in pretty much all search engines) is to get links from high quality sites like Wikipedia. Source
So yesterday Nokia announced its strategic partnership with Microsoft. It brought quite a disturbance on the industry and users, especially the free software community. As owner and main driver of the Qt Framework and driver of the free and Linux based smart phone operating systems Maemo and MeeGo, of course Symbian too, this will have quite an impact on the development and future of those products. With Microsoft breathing down Nokia's neck it is clear, that it will not be bright in this context. And moreover there is also a social impact. Let's take a look on the different aspects one by one:
Qt as a cross platform framework has most value for Nokia. Though I am not sure if it is compatible with Windows Mobile 7, it would make sense to develop the compatibility. If only to write applications only once, for Symbian, MeeGo and that Win stuff. Symbian will still be used in the low price segment and MeeGo phones, computers i mean, are not abandoned, yet. Well, you can have your doubts on this :
This has been the last day of a packed congress with amazing people and talks. Let me highlight the session I attented today, before i get to a short conclusion.
Which freedom do you choose?
The very first and excellent session dealt with Political Philosophy in FOSS. Adam Obeng roughly introduced Politics (on power) and Philosophy (on thinking really hard) as well as their combination, which takes the methods of philosophy and the subject matters of politics. The main part followed, in which he discussed freedom as used in the most popular FOSS licenses GPL and BSD on this base. He was very good in making clear how hard it is to find a definition of desirable freedom, because there is always a hook. The GPL on one side uses a "focuses freedom", because it is focused on the people as a group. As a restrictive license there are rules, that need to be followed, like redistributing software under a compatible license (copyleft). BSD, on the other hand, focuses on the freedom of a single person: take it and do whatever you want. For a better comparison the gave the example of "The General Slavery License" where people needed to provide work measured in LOC or time. This could leed to great software, brings forward the freedom of all users, but limits the freedoms of the programmers.
So this has been the third day of 27C3 and as such three fourth of the conference have passed. Absolutely a pity on the one side, on the other i am looking forward to catch up with my sleep demand. At least i have not too much blood in my caffeinstream. Today, i enqueued to the people who toppled down one or two times Mate bottles, which causes the famous and original hacker conference background sound. The talks I attended this day were unlike the day before more society related. But read for yourself:
A look on 2010
The first appearance today made Constanze Kurz, Frank Rieger, Andy Müller-Maguhn and Andreas Bogk from CCC in giving a retrospect of 2010. When they presented the development of member numbers as first thing by tradition, they welcomed the CCC's (basically a German club) first member from India. It followed a long, but entertaining report of the months, including (besides other)