International

Brüssel entsetzt über Überwachung

Ein unerhörter Spionageskandal erschüttert am heutigen Sonntag das politische Brüssel, und verleitet Funktionäre und Abgeordnete zu überhitzten Stellungnahmen. Die Vereinigten Staaten sollen diplomatische Vertretungen der EU in den USA und den Europäischen Rat abgehört haben. Als Konsequenz steht nun die transatlantische Freihandelszone TTIP von konservativer Seite zur Disposition.

Die Bundesjustizministerin Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger als eine von vielen ähnlichen Stimmen:

"Wenn die Medienberichte zutreffen, erinnert das an das Vorgehen unter Feinden während des Kalten Krieges. Es sprengt jede Vorstellung, dass unsere Freunde in den USA die Europäer als Feinde ansehen. Es muss endlich, sofort und umfassend von amerikanischer Seite erklärt werden, ob Medienberichte über vollkommen unangemessene Abhörmaßnahmen der USA in der EU zutreffen oder nicht. Ein Rundherumausspionieren der Europäer durch die Amerikaner darf es nicht geben. (http://www.bmj.de/SharedDocs/Kurzmeldungen/...)


Die Aufklärung sämtlicher Vorwürfe über Überwachungsmaßnahmen der Vereinigten Staaten in der Europäischen Union ist auch eine Angelegenheit für EU-Kommissionspräsident Barroso, der sich dessen sofort und persönlich annehmen muss. Sollten die EU-Vertretungen in Brüssel und Washington vom amerikanischen Geheimdienst tatsächlich abgehört werden, wird das wohl kaum mit dem Argument der Terrorismusbekämpfung erklärt werden können." (https://de-de.facebook.com/FDP/posts/10151696181047250)

Nach 1989 hat Deutschland die ostdeutsche Überwachungsgeschichte intensiv dokumentiert und wissenschaftlich erschlossen. Wir wissen heute wie der STASI Staat ein Kabinett der Greise an der Macht hielt und den Wandel verzögerte, die Bürgerrechtler im Osten schikanierte, und sich im Klein-Klein des "Arbeiter- und Bauernstaates" verzettelte. Schon damals war anzunehmen, dass auch auf Seiten des westlichen Bündnisses ähnliche Methoden für die Verteidigung der freien Welt üblich waren, aber es gab das Verständnis, dass spätestens nach den 2+4 Verträgen diese Strukturen abgewickelt wurden. Das Ausmaß der Überwachung Europas haben nun NSA-Enthüllungen aufgezeigt. Darüber ist das Entsetzen groß, aber am heutigen Sonntag erreicht es eine neue Qualität. Die ungeheuren Enthüllungen, dass der demokratisch-institutionelle Prozess selbst Zielscheibe geworden sein könnte, sendet Schockwellen durch Brüssel und Strassbourg.Der Skandal reisst das politische Europa aus seiner allgemeinen it-sicherheitstechnischen Ahnungslosigkeit. Die Sensibilitäten gegenüber Überwachung hat das ostdeutsche Beispiel geschärft. Der aktuelle Skandal droht nachhaltig den transatlantischen Zusammenhalt zu gefährden und die Glaubwürdigkeit der westlichen Wertegemeinschaft. Da wirft sich die Frage nach der Kosten-Nutzen-Rechnung der Spionage gegen Bündnispartner auf.

Der Rat ist für die Abgeordneten des Europäische Parlamentes und die meisten Interessenvertreter eine Art Black Box, schwer zugänglich. Um so schockierender die Vorstellung für Abgeordnete, dass Drittstaaten mehr Einblicke haben könnten als die demokratischen Kontrollorgane.

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Germany and France Team Up For An Open Source Project

Open source is the philosophy of production and design that promotes a product's design or blueprint under a fair licence. While many organisations think that open-source policies are bad for the IT industry because of property rights, several technological firms in France and Germany think otherwise. In the most recent and biggest development in the computer industry, groups of two of the world’s most high-tech countries agreed to work on a wide-ranging project that will bring together several open-source organisations in Europe. The companies that pioneered this cooperation are Germany’s Open Source Business Alliance (OSBA) and France’s Conseil National du Logiciel Libre (CNLL). OSBA is a confederation of German open-source providers and users while CNLL works as France’s main agency in ICT solutions in the realm of open-source software development. H-Online reported that the two companies will collaborate to make their agendas and projects more accessible to neighbouring countries, and develop IT policy demands based on their respective codes.

OSBA and CNLL also call for more attention to the open-source industry and want open source software efforts to get more support from different government agencies. H-Online also said that both OSBA and CNLL want to put greater emphasis on interoperability based on open, royalty-free standards and freedom from patents.

France and Germany are two of the countries that recorded a significant increase in open source adoption. Forrester reported that the two members of the EU5 are now catching up in a high pace to USA and Canada. It said that in the coming years, "24% of German firms will extend their open source-based installations" while "31% of French firms are expected to run pilot projects based on open source."

Open source adoption is the trend in software development. Many companies succeeded because of this technological philosophy. By keeping their products open and free, they get global recognition. A good example here is PokerTH, an open source simulator that was launched in 2006 but has remained strong despite the presence of bigger online gaming companies such as partypoker. PokerTH, which is mostly used on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and GNU/Linux, is a Texas Hold’em simulator that has made waves in the open source community. Game developers who want to create online portals can easily do so by singing up and using PokerTH. Not only can you create web based sites, but you can also port the code into mobile applications for us within the Andriod OS.

Companies in Germany and France are lucky enough to have OSBA and CNLL. These two are the exact groups that the industry needs to expand open source adoption in Europe. They have the experience, tools, and the government’s backing to make a lot of companies and other institutions progress with using open-source software.

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lubuntu first alpha releases

lynxis published the first lubuntu test iso based on the seeds by David Sugar and additional patches. The first release was 381 MB and a second one only 292 MB. Following test images are also around this size. After crashing the c-base server several times with the lubuntu images, the LXDE team kindly offers the download from its website: download.lxde.org/lubuntu-9.10

lubuntu
lubuntu logo suggestion by gusion

The lubuntu project was started in February after I met with Mark Shuttleworth in Berlin. We talked about how to cooperate between LXDE and Ubuntu. Mark agreed that a light Ubuntu distro would definitely be worthwile to proceed. I started the lubuntu project with the goal to create an Ubuntu derivative that is fast and lightweight just as the goals of the LXDE project.

LXDE, "Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment", is an extremely fast, performing and energy saving desktop environment. It is maintained by an international community of developers and comes with a beautiful interface, multi-language support, standard keyboard short cuts and additional features like tabbed file browsing. LXDE uses less CPU and less RAM. It is especially designed for cloud computers with low hardware specifications like netbooks, mobile devices (e.g. MIDs) or older computers. LXDE can be installed with distributions like Ubuntu or Debian. It provides a fast desktop experience connecting easily with applications in the cloud. LXDE supports a wealth of programs, that can be installed with Linux systems locally. The source code of LXDE is licensed partly under the terms of the General Public License and partly under the LGPL.

The lubuntu team already had IRC meetings, face to face gatherings in Singapore, Berlin and other cities. And, I am excited to see the team getting together and releasing first results now. lynxis who is most of the time in the c-base just over the street from my appartment joined the team a few months ago. I am looking forward to more people joining up with us.

There are many ways you can support the project. Firstly download and test the current test releases. If you are a developer you can submit patches. If you are a tester, please leave info about bugs in the bug tracker. Secondly you can join us and create desktop backgrounds and logos for lubuntu. We have not decided yet, what the final logo will look like.Check out the lubuntu Artwork Forum and leave your ideas there. You can also help with translations, if you speak another language and translate the desktop of LXDE. Or you can help to improve or write Wikipedia articles about lubuntu and LXDE.

lubuntu logo idea by genelyk
lubuntu logo idea by genelyk

lubuntu design idea
lubuntu Design Idea by leo

Download lubuntu test iso: download.lxde.org/lubuntu-9.10

Links

* lubuntu on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lubuntu
* Join up with the LXDE community http://join.lxde.org
* lubuntu Artwork Forum http://forum.lxde.org/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=437
* Bug reports: https://bugs.launchpad.net/~lubuntu-desktop
* Seeds and Code of Lubuntu: https://code.launchpad.net/~lubuntu-desktop
* Launchpad Project: https://bugs.launchpad.net/~lubuntu-desktop
* How to make a LiveCD: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCDCustomizationFromScratch

Debconf11: The Debian Conference and Camp Proposal for 2011 from Germany

On Tuesday, June 2 2009 sixteen members of the local Debian and FOSS community met in Berlin to discuss a possible bid from Germany for the Debconf11. We had some discussions at DebConf8 already and also our DPL promoted the idea. There is a strong desire in the local community to get the Debconf to Germany for the first time. The participation at the informally organized Berlin meeting was already overwhelming. There is a big and active group of very welcoming and friendly local supporters and there is an excellent and cost effective infrastructure available to host the event and contributors from all over the world. We had a follow up about a Berlin bid during the Linuxtag on June 26, 2009, where bidders from Rhein/Rhur and Munich also presented their ideas for bids. We decided to submit only one bid for Debconf11 from Germany and will have an internal German process to decide which bid will work out best. During the Debconf9 there was a presentation of the bids from Germany.

 

Presentation by: Berlin - Torsten Werner, Rhein/Ruhr - Rene Engelhard, München - Michael BanckLinks

* http://debconf.org 

* Debconf 11 Germany Wiki page: http://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/DebConf11/Germany

* Mailing list: http://lists.debconf.net/mailman/listinfo/debconf11-germany

* Archive: http://lists.debconf.net/lurker-net/list/debconf11-germany.html

* IRC: #debconf11-germany on irc.debian.org AKA OFTC 

Chris Wickert running for Fedora Engeneering Steering Committee

A good friend of mine, Chris Wickert, is running for the Fedora Engeneering Steering Committee. Chris is a big contributor and supporter of LXDE and I value Christoph's contributions to the free software community a lot and especially his commitment to make computer systems more accessible to people who do not own high end computers, be it here in Europe or anywhere else in the world:

  • Christoph is the maintainer of Xfce and LXDE in Fedora, the lightweight desktops in Fedora.
  • His goals are to make Fedora more lightweight and less ressource hungry as well as keeping depencies low.

Christoph Wickert

To be able to vote for Chris you need to have a (1) Fedora Account and (2) be accepted in a group, for example as a Fedora Ambassador. Voting is possible until June 22, 2009. Chris is the most active distro package maintainer of LXDE in Fedora. His engagements is a great success for both Fedora and LXDE as the large interest at Chemnitzer Linuxtage and other events have shown recently.

A quote from Chris Wickert:
(I want to) … improve packaging quality and enforce higher standards for better cross desktop interoperability. Try to reduce the dependency bloat to make sure Fedora does not become too fat, so it still can be used on older or smaller hardware like netbooks or the OLPC without too much pain.

If you are interested to find out more about the community elections at Fedora, please check out: https://admin.fedoraproject.org/voting/about/fescof12

Links

* Blog of Chris Wickert http://www.christoph-wickert.de/blog/
* LXDE: http://lxde.org
* Join Fedora https://admin.fedoraproject.org/accounts
* https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Elections/Questionnaire
* http://www.leemhuis.info/files/fedora/answers.txt
* http://www.leemhuis.info/files/fedora/answers-table.ods
* https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Meetings:Town_Hall_FESCo_2009-06-03_1400

Free and Open Source Software Businesses and a growing Community in Afghanistan

Today I met with

and I was glad to hear the interest in Open Source in Afghanistan among students and recent IT graduates is increasing. Afghanistan still has a high degree of illiteracy. The IT literacy is therefore even more limited, but even among the small IT community the sense for the advantages of free and open source software and its business opportunities is very strong.

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