---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Hinde ten Berge
FTA Announcement #2: Website and course descriptions published
1. Free Technology Academy website launched!
The Free Technology Academy (FTA) is proud to announce the official
launch of its website. It's available at http://www.ftacademy.org. There
you will find all the information related with the project, including
news, next activities, press resources and many more. All the contents
are released under a free Copyleft license, so feel free to share and
reuse all the FTA materials.
2. FTA course programme published
The Free Technology Academy aims to establish a full educational
programme on Free Software and Open Standards. This programme can be
followed as a whole or only partially, and these studies can be expanded
at one or more of the partner universities.
The first set of courses is finally available. At
http://www.ftacademy.org/courses/modules you will find the description
of each module included in the FTA master level programme. The current
1) The concepts of Free Software and Open Standards
2) The GNU/Linux Operating System
3) Network Technologies
4) Web applications development
5) Economical aspects of Free Software
6) Legal aspects of the Information Society
7) Software development
8) Case Studies
Each educational module in the FTA programme stands on its own and can
be followed independently, provided that the learner has the required
previous knowledge. Introductory courses require almost no previous
knowledge, besides the basics necessary to access the FTA campus itself,
while more advanced modules are meant for IT professionals seeking to
acquire specific skills.
The materials of each course will be published in the next few months
under a free content license. The registration for the first courses
will be announced soon, so stay tuned!
3. Contact information
To know more about the FTA, visit the official site at
http://www.ftacademy.org. To receive information on when registration
will open exactly, keep an eye on the website or subscribe to the
Announce list at
http://mail.freeknowledge.eu/mailman/listinfo/fta-announce. If you have
questions, or you are interested to become a partner organisation in the
FTA network, write us at contact (at) ftacademy.org
4. About the Free Technology Academy
A Consortium formed by three universities and led by the Free Knowledge
Institute (FKI) has received the support from the EC's Lifelong Learning
Programme to offer an international educational programme on Free
Software. Following the Open Educational Resources movement, all
learning materials will be freely available through the Internet. The
use of Free Software (also referred to as Open Source software or Libre
Software) is expanding rapidly in governmental and private
organisations. However, still only a limited number of IT professionals,
teachers and decision makers have sufficient knowledge and expertise in
these new fields. The Free Technology Academy aims to address this gap
by providing high level courses that fit into larger Master Programmes
at the participating universities.
FSMK releasing its fifth consecutive news letter.
We are glad to receive your comments whether it is a criticism or praise..
Write to us and distribute this edition to as much of your contacts as possible.
We welcome you to have your name on one of the articles in the
Thanks and Regards,
FSMK EB Team.
The following is a letter that KEI, Richard Stallman ORG have sent to the
European Commission, asking the European Commission to prevent Oracle from
acquiring MySQL as part of its acquisition of Sun. The European Commission
has the authority to require a divestiture of MySQL, so that it would not be
part of the merger, in order to ensure that MySQL would operate
independently, or be sold to a different company that would not face the
same conflicts as Oracle does.
KEI sees the MySQL acquisition as an important precedent for the application
of competition laws to free software. Traditional market analysis looks at
revenue based market shares, which are meaningless for software distributed
gratis or licensed under prices that reflect fees for services. Many
important free software services are supported by some type of commercial
business model, and can be fragile, if acquired by a firm that has an
interest in diluting or destroying the longer run viability of the free
We recognize the support Sun provides to increase competition in numerous
markets through its support of FLOSS and open standards. We also recognize
that Oracle's acquisition of Sun may be essential for Sun's survival.
However, Oracle should not be allowed to harm consumer interests in the
database market by weakening the competition provided by MySQL. For the
reasons elucidated above, we ask that you block Oracle's acquisition of
"[It is not] possible to distinguish between 'numerical' and 'nonnumerical'
algorithms, as if numbers were somehow different from other kinds of precise
information." - Donald Knuth
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Holmes Wilson <campaigns(a)fsf.org>
Date: Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 1:20 AM
Subject: [FSF] Why is free software important to you? Submit your
response to our new video campaign!
To: info-fsf(a)gnu.org, info-member(a)gnu.org
The FSF is launching a new advocacy campaign, and we'd love to have
One of the most important tasks for us at FSF is to help foster the
understanding that free software is crucial to a free society, and
that citizens should switch to free software at home and in their own
work, for freedom's sake. But in many ways, most of this work has
always been done by the millions of free software users around the
world, telling others why they care about free software and what they
use it for.
So, why not make all that energy, specificity, and persuasion part of
our message to the world on FSF.org? And what better way to do it
than with videos from free software supporters, published using free
formats and an exciting new free standard for online video?
In 2-5 minutes, using a camcorder, digital camera, or webcam, you can
create a video about why you or a friend love free software. Then
submit your video and invite friends to do the same!
At the Women in Free Software Summit and the Boston celebration of
Software Freedom Day 2009, FSF volunteer Dana Moser roved the event
asking participants the following questions, and making videos of the
* "What do you do with free software?"
* "Why do you like free software?"
* "Why is software freedom important to you?"
Blog post with Dana's videos:
Direct links to the video files:
More about Dana:
We look forward to watching your contributions!
Free Software Foundation
P.S. We've been collecting written testimonials for a while -- check
out the link below. If you'd like to submit a written testimonial,
If you'd also like to put up a short video to be part of our end of
year fundraising campaign, instructions are here:
info-fsf mailing list
Combining FSMK's opinion from two mails and forwarding FYI.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Senthil Sundaram
Subject: fsmk and the current school program
Had a discussion with Guru . Writing to the group stating what we
believe in . We might have got something wrong and open to correcting
the same. This also gives us a chance to explain what a movement means
1) We always make group decisions, I am communicating to him on behalf
of the group.
2) We dream to be a movement.
3) We cannot loose the right of being critical of the government -
especially when its having such a confused policy on implementation of
FOSS. It for Change has done so and put up a paper.
4) FSMK, our current focus is colleges and a movement from there [ and
skills as well]
5) We would like to continue dialogue and are very thankful for Guru
and others talking to us - however as and when there is scope for a
teachers movement in FOSS - that would be close to our hearts - Guru
explained that the current situation is a starting point .
6) dreaming to be a movement we cannot be a implementing agency of a
confused policy [ guru said look at this as influencing the
government]. We understand the tricky ground IT for Change others are
working and are thankful for the same.
8) i also explained FSMK is a part time group and volunteer based and
the limitations thereof.
1) FSMK will be out of the MoU with the government - as we don't want
to take money - and work in the spirit of a movement - as a group
trying to be a movement we don't want to take money and let that drive
us - A MOVEMENT is about certain IDEAS - OUR IDEAS WILL DRIVE US -
We will reserve the right to CRITICIZE the GOVT - FOR not implementing
the RIGHT IDEAS.
Money small or big is important as we are accountable. Many a time it
corrupts good activists and movements. There are many paper orgns
which exist for their own interests or individual interests - for
example many created out of the Tsunami money in TN . Dreaming to be a
budding movement( don't know if we really are!)that's not good for us.
Whenever we take money we need to have the infrastructure to make
accountable - I am sure all NGOs engaging in the current space will be
doing so. However fsmk doesn't have the resoruces to do so and hence
chooses to be voluntary.Lets hack. As soon as we are ready we will
2) Guru explained about nice and open officers in the government - I
said we don't see such officers immediately - though we are open to
working with anybody who is open - REQUESTED FSMK folks to be part of
discussions with SUCH OPEN OFFICERS - so that we can have a change of
PERCEPTION - if reality is so.
3) Guru said he would like to interact with us on the role of
government and put forth his points - on the positive aspects of GOVT
OFFICERS - and the chances for building a FOSS movement in that space.
I said we can arrange a discussion - for FSMK - or for everybody in
4) In spirit we will be part of the program on a best effort basis and
this will not be our main focus given our current skills and focus
area, which is building GLUGS in colleges . We will not be part of the
MoU. We will be volunteers.
We would like to be part of the current group ( not part of an
official consoritum/mou given our skills, prioritites). We like
movements and we can partner more effectively in a movement space. We
understand that in the current scenario that's evolving. Hence the
core or support distinction can only be made as we evolve and
depending on what we evolve into. Its suits us best to be voluntary
and we will eat all the food that's given in the trainings and not
spend from our pockets;), don't worry.
5) We understand the importance of NGOs/civil society
working/lobbying with government to implement Foss and educate the
officers. However we are clearly aware of the 50:50 policy position of
the current government and the resulting lack lustre implementation of
Foss in schools [BOOT] and we strongly believe in the role movements
can play in changing as they did world over, even in FOSS.
6) However we don't mind joining our friends in Foss and nothing gives
us more happiness than such solidarity - without compromising on what
is close to our heart. Once again thanks for all the support and
patience and lets continue the discussion if any of you feel we missed
Can someone point me to a comprehensive collection of materials used for
training in Free Software in schools in Kerala? Any and all of these
would be appreciated:
- Teachers' training material
- Teachers' training curricula and time frames
- Ditto for the Train the Trainers programme
- School curricula on and using FS
- Accompanying textbooks, training guides, etc.
Anything else that is available apart from this would be great.
Raj Mathur raju(a)kandalaya.org http://kandalaya.org/
GPG: 78D4 FC67 367F 40E2 0DD5 0FEF C968 D0EF CC68 D17F
PsyTrance & Chill: http://schizoid.in/ || It is the mind that moves
Free Software Movement - Karnataka
An Appeal: Flood Relief Fund
Karnataka has been reeling under floods of an
unprecedented nature leading to large-scale death and destruction.
This is a situation which was unforeseen and many districts of North
Karnataka are totally submerged and lakhs of people are marooned
without food or relief. About 15 districts have been submerged and
more than 6 lakhs people have become homeless. Estimated damages are
to the tune of Rs. 25,000 crore.
The Government machinery is doing its bit, but the sheer magnitude of
the calamity makes it almost impossible for it to be handled by the
Government alone. There is no assessment of the actual loss of lives
and property as many areas are still inaccessible. The threat of
epidemics is also something that looms large in such circumstances. It
becomes the duty of all patriotic citizens to rise to the occasion and
assist in such relief efforts.
Free Software Movement-Karnataka is organizing collection of relief
for the flood victims in an effort to provide succour to the
suffering. A Relief Team will leave to North Karnataka in the Third
week of October and along with the Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti disburse
relief in the affected areas. We request you to contribute generously
in this endeavor so that we can share their suffering and mitigate it
to some extent. Our volunteers will be approaching you individually
for your contributions and also seek your support to meet concerned
officials in your establishment to make it a meaningful effort.
Any such donations through DD/cheque, in the name of 'Free Software
Movement Karnataka' may please be sent to us. FSMK issues receipts
for the same.
In anticipation of your support and cooperation,
M:9900262828, 9448810822, 9448163453
--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: kiranchandra <kiran(a)swecha.net>
Date: Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 8:35 PM
Subject: Petition to Cancel Proprietary Tender by NIC given to CJI and DG NIC
Eminent personalities including Justice V R Krisha Iyer (former Supreme
court judge) and Dr. Pushpa M Bhargava (former Vice Chairman National
Knowledge Commission) have called upon the National Informatics Centre
(NIC) to cancel its tender (Ref. No: NIC/TPS/2009/18) form purchase of
laptops with preloaded software for the Supreme Court of India.
They were part of those who have signed an online petition, which was
launched on 24-09-09, opposing this proprietary tender. Justice V R
Krisha Iyer in his comment termed this tender reactionary and has
pleaded with the Prime Minister to intervene in the name of access to
Freedom of Information and Free and Open Source Software. Sixteen
organisations (http://www.swecha.org/wiki/index.php?title=Petition) and
370 individuals (http://swecha.org/node/23/signatures) have signed the
The petition has also been sent to the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India
Shri K G Balakrishnan and the Direcetor General of NIC Dr. B K Gairola.
There is confirmation from the respective offices that the petition has
The tender relates to purchase of proprietary brands of laptops (Apple
laptops) and the software installed (Windows XP) in it. Any fair
tendering practice should allow competition and only give system
specifications. In this tender, the only brand name given is Apple and
only operating system given is Windows XP from Microsoft. This makes the
tender a single source tender and is clearly anti-competitive since
there is wide choice of hardware, software and operating systems in the
market. Therefore, this is not a single vendor situation and no
exception should be considered on this count.
Moreover, the above mentioned tender is for laptops to be used by the
Supreme Court of India. As the supreme judicial body of the country, the
Court must set a proper precedent and not allow such unfair tendering
The tender also goes against stated government policy of encouraging
free and open source softeware, and open standards. The National
Knowledge Commission in its report on e-governance submitted to the
Prime Minister stated, “Because of the enormous size and scope of the
E-governance effort in India and because of the availability of globally
recognized software talent of Indians,we must actively encourage open
source software implementations and open standards wherever possible.”
The Department of Information Technology, in its Elevent Five Year Plan
(2007-2012) has remarked that, “If computer adoption has to reach from
current 1% of population to say 5% in next five years, we have to
seriously pursue some other route, viz., that of Free/Open Source
The current tender’s preference for proprietary suppliers will encourage
vendor lock-in as their data and files can be read by only their
software. Such a step by the Supreme Court would set the clock back in
the country, where increasingly Government organisations and others are
turning to Free and Open Source Software. In this context, it might be
noted that Allahabad High Court has already successfully converted to
FOSS and Open Standards (http://www.allahabadhighcourt.in/faq.htm)
Institutions like NIC under the Ministry of Information and Technology
have to ensure the adoption of software that complies with open
standards. It was therefore demanded that the current tender should be
scrapped forthwith and a new tendering process be initiated without
naming any brands and incorporating Free and Open Source Software.
Organisations & Important Persons endorsing the petition
(Web link : http://www.swecha.org/wiki/index.php?title=Petition )
* Justice V.R.Krishna Iyer's comments
"The present move by NIC is reactionary. I feel there is much
substance in the points made in the petition and plead with the
Prime Minister to intervene in the name of access to Freedom of
Information and Free and Open Source Software".
* Former Vice Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission Pushpa
M Bhargava's comments
"I am all in for free and open source software"
* Swecha (http://swecha.org/)
* Democratic Alliance for Knowledge Freedom (DAKF)
* Appropriate Technology Promotion Society (ATPS), Kochi
* Free Software Industries Association (FSIA), Kerala
* Open Software Solutions Industrial Co-operative Society
(OSSICS), Kochi (http://www.ossics.com/)
* Free Software Foundation, Tamil Nadu (FSFTN)
* IT for Change, Bangalore
* Knowledge Commons, New Delhi
* Free Software Movement Karnataka (http://fsmk.org/)
* Linux User Group @ IIT Delhi (http://www.lug-iitd.org/)
* Centre for Internet and Society (http://www.cis-india.org/)
* Free Software Foundation of India (http://www.gnu.org.in/)
* IIT Madras Linux Users Group (http://iitmlug.a.wiki-site.com/)
* Linux Campus Club SJCE Mysore (http://www.lccsjce.org/)
* [Free Software Movement West Bengal]
* Linux Users' Group, NITK Surathkal
(On behalf of the endorsing individuals and organisations)