Wednesday, 25 February 2009

UK Government Action Plan builds on Open Source and Open Standards

The UK Government has published its action plan in the ICT domain. It fully acknowledges the benefits of open source and open standards. On the governments website announcing the action plan the high value of community work for innovation is outlined:
"Open Source has been one of the most significant cultural developments in IT and beyond over the last two decades: it has shown that individuals, working together over the Internet, can create products that rival and sometimes beat those of giant corporations; it has shown how giant corporations themselves, and Governments, can become more innovative, more agile and more cost-effective by building on the fruits of community work; and from its IT base the Open Source movement has given leadership to new thinking about intellectual property rights and the availability of information for re–use by others."
This provides the base for the UK government's open standards and open source strategy:
"we consider that the time is now right to build on our record of fairness and achievement and to take further positive action to ensure that Open Source products are fully and fairly considered throughout government IT; to ensure that we specify our requirements and publish our data in terms of Open Standards; and that we seek the same degree of flexibility in our commercial relationships with proprietary software suppliers as are inherent in the open source world."
The concept of openness with all its benefits is increasingly being valued and incorporated into policies and strategies. More and more companies are transforming so that they are better positioned to compete in the new world where openness, open source and open standards play a key role for ICT. Getting ready for acting within new circumstances and for developing a new equilibrium between open and proprietary is a major element for increasing competitiveness.

The full UK government strategy is available in form of the open standard pdf from the UK government's website.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Interesting link of today - Interview with Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia)

The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) published today an interview with Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia. The interview was held by the FAZ journalist Marco Dettweiler and Prof. Roberto Zicari from the University of Frankfurt. Very interesting regarding openness and the work and basic idea of community collaboration.

Link to the FAZ website featuring the interview.

"Im Gespräch: Wikipedia-Gründer Jimmy Wales

'Dann hat die Community die Kontrolle'

Er will den Rest seiner Bibliothek erweitern: Jimmy Wales, Mitgründer von Wikipedia

19. Februar 2009 Jimmy Wales ist Mitgründer von Wikipedia und hätte somit Grund genug sich zurückzulehnen. Doch der 42 Jahre alte Amerikaner arbeitet an weiteren Projekten wie Wikia, Wikianswers oder Wikia Search. Ein Gespräch über die Kontrolle der Community, die Unmöglichkeit der Internetzensur und das Zitieren von Wikipedia-Einträgen in wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten.

[...] "

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Interesting link of today - Roland Koch candidate for next German EU Commissioner

The German magazine Stern writes on its website today that they have information that Roland Koch, recently re-elected prime minister of the federal state of Hesse, has been selected as future German EU Commissioner and, thus, successor of the current Commissioner VP Verheugen. There are, however, some conditions - most notably that the German Christian Democrats need a majority in the German parliament and thus the next Commission would have to start work after the German general elections in September this year, not earlier. Let's see...

Article on Stern-website:


Koch soll als EU-Kommissar nach Brüssel

Die Planungen der Union für die Zeit nach der Bundestagswahl laufen auf Hochtouren - und Angela Merkel überrascht mit einer Personalie: Nach Informationen des stern soll Hessens Regierungschef Roland Koch nicht Minister werden, sondern als EU-Kommissar nach Brüssel gehen. [...] "

Monday, 16 February 2009

Interesting link of today - what's a good student job

These days in Spiegel online:


Nächtliche Belästigung im Call-Center

Der Studentenjob von Silvana Koch-Mehrin war anständig bezahlt - manche Stöhn-Anrufe waren ziemlich unanständig. Im Call-Center lernte die FDP-Politikerin was fürs Leben. Denn auch im EU-Parlament fallen zotige Sprüche, mitunter von weiblichen Chauvinisten.

'Während meiner ersten Uni-Semester habe ich nachts in einem Call Center gearbeitet. Pro Stunde gab es 20 Mark, das war Anfang der neunziger Jahre richtig viel Geld. Aber bald verstand ich, dass der Lohn auch eine Art Schmerzensgeld war. [...] ' "

This triggers the question of what a good and useful student job is. I will blog on that soon.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Today: 200th Birthday of Abraham Lincoln

I have always been fascinated by Abraham Lincoln. Since the days in secondary school when I started learning about American history and international politics. I read biographies about him, watched movies (of course with one starring Henry Fonda) - and I love the piece on America by Johnny Cash where, besides many other things, he recites the Gettysburg Address.

Today is the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. A good opportunity for recalling the Gettysburg Address - below taken from Wikisource:

"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate…we cannot consecrate…we cannot hallow…this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain;
that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

November 19, 1863

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Gone Linux

I got a new laptop for work the other day, a Lenovo T400. Moving from my old T40 to the T400 I thought it's time to improve my productivity by a factor of 10 and reduce burdens of all kinds by a factor of 10, as well. Hence the logical consequence: I moved to Linux as operating system.

For some weeks I have now worked on a Linux platform. It's fantastic: it's fast, it's intuitive, it's secure, it's modern in look and feel. And all my business relevant software is available on Linux, e.g. LotusNotes, Lotus Symphony, Lotus Sametime for instant messaging etc.

I am a convinced convert. Time for change - yes, it works!!!