Announcing Cloud related meeting, OMG Technical Meeting (21-25 March near Washington DC, USA)

Hi. I’d like to announce that at the next OMG Technical Meeting (21-25 March near Washington DC, USA) we will be having a Cloud-related meeting to restart the efforts begun months ago. I will be acting chair for now and would like to encourage anyone interested in Cloud and how the OMG might be relevant in this space, to come along to the meeting. We are essentially starting from scratch again, so the goal of this initial meeting is to determine membership interest as well as gather ideas and brainstorm around a number of options concerning the roles that the OMG could play. The idea of language neutral standards in the Cloud is critical, particularly given the fact that some standards will undoubtedly be driven through organisations that concentrate on a single language, such as Java. As an industry, whatever we do needs to be coordinated across these various bodies or we risk weakening the benefits that standardisation can bring. The OMG can play a leadership role in this area.

The meeting will be held on Monday 21st of March at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel, Arlington, VA, USA. Details of the overall Technical Meeting are here:

I’d also encourage anyone interested to sign up to the OMG cloud mailing list ( by sending email to


— Mark Little

JBoss, by Red Hat Registered Address: Red Hat UK Ltd, Amberley Place, 107-111 Peascod Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SI4 1TE, United Kingdom. Registered in UK and Wales under Company Registration No. 3798903 Directors: Michael Cunningham (USA), Charlie Peters (USA), Matt Parsons (USA) and Brendan Lane (Ireland).

FTA Announcement #11: Register Now, Guest Lectures, DocBook and New FTA Materials

Permanent link:


1. Last chance to register for the first term of 2011!
2. Rey Juan Carlos University joins the FTA Associate Network 3. Upcoming Guest Lectures at the FTA Campus 4. FTA books in DocBook format 5. New FTA materials published 6. About the Free Technology Academy

== 1. Last chance to register for the first term of 2011! ==

Registrations for the 2011 programme are growing at a very good pace.
Remember that you can register for any course of the programme until one week before the term starts. This means that you have time until January 3rd to register for these courses:

     * The concepts of Free Software and Open Standards
     * Basic GNU/Linux
     * Free Software Utilities
     * Network Technologies
     * Web applications development
     * Software development
     * Deployment of Free Software and Case Studies

Don’t leave it for the last minute! Register now at

Having trouble choosing only a couple of courses? Keep in mind that many of them are also offered later in the year:

If you’re still in doubt, contact us at and we’ll help you create your own programme!

== 2. Rey Juan Carlos University joins the FTA Associate Network ==

The FTA is proud to announce the incorporation of the University Rey Juan Carlos (Spain) to its Associate Partner Network, through the participation of the LibreSoft research group.

LibreSoft offers a programme on Free Software that leads to an official Master Degree by the URJC. The LibreSoft group will contribute courses such as Quality Assessment of Free Software, one of its main research topics, to the FTA programme. Apart from that, the LibreSoft group is involved in the taskforce for an International Master Programme in Free Software since the start, where FTA partners cooperate to design a common curriculum.

Read the official announcement here:

== 3. Upcoming Guest Lectures at the FTA Campus ==

FTA Guest Lectures are open to all: the videos will be published online and a forum will be available for those who want to discuss it with the lecturer. The FTA will welcome the new year with two first-class guest
lecturers: Richard M. Stallman and Benjamin Mako Hill.

Richard M. Stallman is a Free Software developer and activist. He is the founder of the Free Software Foundation and the GNU Project. He started the Free Software movement and is arguably one of the most influential advocates of Free Software worldwide. In his lecture, Stallman will focus on the most recent attacks to users’ freedoms, such as ACTA and DRM. This Guest Lecture will take place in February.

Benjamin Mako Hill is a Debian hacker, intellectual property researcher, activist and author. He is a free software developer and contributes to the Debian and Ubuntu projects. He’s also the author of two best-selling technical books on the subject. He currently serves as a member of the Free Software Foundation board of directors and of Wikimedia Foundation’s board. Hill has a Masters degree from the MIT Media Lab and is currently a Senior Researcher at the MIT Sloan School of Management where he studies free software communities and business models. His lecture, entitled, "Antifeatures", will take place in January 2011, stay tuned for the concrete dates!

== 4. FTA books in DocBook format ==

Until now, FTA coursebooks have been available in PDF format only. This allows everyone to easily read and print them, but it has not been easy to edit or remix the materials. Now FTA coursebooks are also available in the DocBook format: a semantic markup language for technical documentation. DocBook enables users to create documents in a presentation-neutral form that captures the logical structure of the content, which can then be published in a variety of formats, including HTML, XHTML, EPUB, PDF, man pages, and others – without requiring users to make any changes to the source.

We expect that this new possibility will be exploited by the FTA community. We hope that new creations take place, thereby materializing the opportunities offered by the copyleft licenses applied to the original course books. We invite you to discuss all the possibilities in our community space:

== 5. New FTA materials published ==

The FTA is proud to announce the availability of three new coursebooks, all under a free Copyleft license: GNU/Linux Basic, Implementation of Free Software Systems and the coursebook for Free Software Tools and Utilities.

"GNU/Linux Basic" will be taught in all three terms of 2011. The aim of this book is to initiate you into the world of GNU/Linux. It covers the basics of the free software, how to use and modify GNU/Linux to suit your needs, and how to find your way in this new world more easily. The book is not based on any particular distribution, but we need to specify certain actions for most of the examples and activities, for which we will use Debian GNU/Linux. Although this distribution is not as intuitive and user-friendly as others, it will serve to explain all the characteristics of a GNU/Linux-based operating system, step by step.

You can get a copy of the course book, written by Joaquín López Sánchez-Montañés, Sofia Belles Ramos, Roger Baig Viñas and Francesc Aulí Llinàs, here:

"Implementation of Free Software Systems" was written by Amadeu Albós Raya and Óscar David Sánchez Jiménez. This course book examines the deployment of Free Software systems. The reader will become familiar with agencies and projects related to the deployment of Free Software in the public and private sectors, and will learn to identify and understand the consequences of the use and exploitation of Free Software in different areas. Several case studies will be released soon as complementary materials. The FTA course "Deployment of Free Software Systems" is scheduled for the first and third terms of 2011.

You can get a copy of the course book here:

The course book "Tools and utilities in free software", written by Jesús Corrius i Llavina, is part of the course "Free Software Tools and Utilities". The students are introduced to some of the programs designed for desktop environments of end users. These programs allow users to browse the Internet securely (Mozilla), manage e-mail and work in groups
(Evolution) and create text documents, spreadsheets and presentations ( In this course, students will also discover how to work with these free tools in different environments. "Free Software Tools and Utilities" will also be taught in all three terms of 2011.

Download a copy here:

Register for these courses here:

== 6. About the Free Technology Academy ==

A Consortium formed by the Open University of Catalonia (Spain), the Open University of the Netherlands and the University of Agder (Norway) and led by the Free Knowledge Institute (FKI), the FTA has received the support from the EC’s Lifelong Learning Programme to set up an international educational programme on Free Software. The courses are taught completely online in a virtual campus based on the Campus Project interoperability framework.

Following the Open Educational Resources movement, all learning materials are freely available through the Internet. The use of Free Software (also referred to as Open Source software or Libre Software) is rapidly expanding in governmental and private organisations.  However, still only a limited number of ICT 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.

* More information:
* Contact information: contact[at]
* Digital version:

Free Technology Academy Newsletter

The Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON 2010) October 26, Open Data Summit, October 27-28

Web Site:

Dates: October 26, Open Data Summit, October 27-28, GOSCON

The Sixth Annual Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON) will be held on October 27-28, 2010 in Portland, Oregon at the Nines Hotel. The non-profit conference is designed for government IT management  This years program focuses on the role of open source software and collaboration enabling leading Open Government and Transparency initiatives throughout the US.  An Open Data Summit on October 26 gathers government, civic, and technology interests to collaborate on standards issue.

Topics: Role of open source software and collaboration enabling leading Open Government and Transparency initiatives throughout the US. Open technology strategy, policy, acquisitions, operations, organizational readiness, exemplary projects and use case are covered in breakout sessions.  Executive Open Data Round table includes state, city and federal leadership. Open Data Summit on gathers government, civic, and technology interests to collaborate on standards issue.

Intended Audience: Pubic Sector CIOs, IT Directors, Infrastructure and Development Mangers, Contract Managers, Data Managers, Enterprise Architects, IT Policy Advisers, Public Information Officers, Public Administrators with responsibility for information technology strategy.  Internal gov2.0 evangelists will also benefit from the program.

Location: The Nines Hotel, 525 SW Morrison, Portland, Oregon 97204

Registration:    Government and non-profits, $195 until October 18, $250 thereafter, Corporate $295 until October 18, $375 thereafter (fee includes all sessions, exhibits, conference meals, reception, and materials)

Conference Organizer: Oregon State University Open Source Lab

Registration: Government and non-profits, $195 until October 18, $250 thereafter, Corporate $295 until October 18, $375 thereafter
Program details and registration can be found on the conference web site at .

Conference Companion Events

Open Data Summit Wednesday October 26
Ignite Government Tuesday October 27 following conference reception

Other Conference Highlights

Executive Open Data Round Table: The State of Open Government
The conference opens with a panel discussion with government leadership explores the successes and challenges for the open government directive and its influence on state and local government operations, and the role of open source software therein.  Attendees will hear from government executives including
Sanjeev Bhagowalia Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies U.S. General Services Administration, Program Executive,
Mark Greinke, Chief Technology Officer, City of Portland, Oregon
Andrew Hoppin, Chief Information Of, New York State Senate
Carolyn Lawson Dep. Director, Technology Services Governance Division, State of California
Dugan Petty, Chief Information Officer, State of Oregon.
Bryan Sivak, Chief Technology Officer, Washington D.C.
Break Out Session Tracks
Open Source Essentials: An Updated Primer for Government Decision Makers

Open Collaboration in Action: Exemplary Projects

Open Source Agency Use Cases: Better, Faster, Cheaper – and the Lessons Learned

GOSCON is produced by Oregon State University Open Source Lab (OSL).

Webinar: Drupal Commons – The Open Source Alternative to Social Business Software, Thursday, August 12, 2010 – 1:00 PM EDT

The social web is free, shouldn’t your social business software be free too?
Join Jay Batson, Acquia co-founder, and Bryan House, senior director of marketing at Acquia, for a one-hour webinar presentation, discussing how to get the most out of Drupal Commons.
Drupal Commons is a pre-configured distribution, offered to help organizations quickly build and deploy community-based business applications. Built according to standard Drupal practices, Drupal Commons includes a collection of community contributed modules and Fusion-based theme, giving developers and themers a flexible platform to create custom social business applications.
What will attendees learn:

    * Overview of the Drupal Commons distribution
    * A discussion of the business use cases for social business software
    * How to get involved in the Drupal Commons community and influence its evolution

This webinar is intended for line of business considering social business technologies, as well as Drupal developers, site owners who want to learn more about how Drupal Commons can help them deploy social business applications faster.

Date & time:    Thursday, August 12, 2010 – 1:00 PM EDT
Duration:    1 hour
Speakers:    Bryan House, senior director of marketing at Acquia, and Jay Batson, Acquia co-founder

Register Now:

We hope that you will join us. If there are other topics you would like us to cover in future Webinars, please drop me a line.

Bryan House
Senior Director, Marketing
Follow Acquia on Twitter
Get a free, hosted Drupal 7 site:

Survey: Digital Natives with a Cause?

Greetings from the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore (

CIS, in collaboration with Hivos’ Knowledge Programme (, launched a project, Digital Natives with a Cause?( in 2008. As younger generations growing up in emerging information societies learn to engage with their geo-political and socio-cultural environments, a form of technology-mediated identity, popularly dubbed as the Digital Native, has been the discussion of a growing public and intellectual debate. These digital natives are transforming the ways in which they understand themselves as well as the world around them while engaging with Internet and digital technologies. Young users of technology are moving towards a reconfiguration of the world, where questions of identity, political participation, social transformation, cultural production, education, and livelihood are being restructured. The Digital Natives Research Programme focuses on producing new knowledge frameworks, vocabularies and lexicons to understand, investigate and support these new citizens or netizens rather who shall be the agents of change in the future. After the initial research (, CIS will gather responses from young users of technology to help us understand, document and support different practices aimed at social transformation and political participation more efficiently.

We believe that the world we live in is changing rapidly and the rise of Internet technologies has a lot to do with it. As young users of technology (as opposed to young users who use technology) adopt, adapt and use these new technologised tools to interact with their environment, new ways of effecting change emerge. This survey is an attempt to capture some of the information which gives us an insight into who the people are using these technologies, the ways in which they use them and what their perceptions and experiences are.

The survey will not take more than seven minutes of your precious time and it will help us get a better sense of the way things are. Please click here ( to start the survey. We would also appreciate if you could share the link to the survey with your friends and relatives via your blog, tweets or other social networking pages. Your help would go a long way in enabling us to find out how the youth of today are shaping the society and influencing the political/social scenario around them. Please note that the data collected as part of the survey would be anonymous and not used for any commercial purposes. We would also acknowledge your help in preparing the final report.

In case you need any further information or clarifications, please feel free to call us at +91 – 080 – 25350955 or write to us at

With best compliments,


The Centre for Internet and Society – Bulletin – April 2010

News Updates:
Worries voiced over ID Project
The Government of India’s Unique Identification (UID) Project came under flak at a workshop organised jointly by the Citizen Action Forum (CAF), the People’s Union of Civil Liberties – Karnataka, the Alternative Law Forum and the Centre for Internet and Society – An article in The Hindu – 17th April.

UID: A debate on the Fundamental Rights
UID: A debate on the Fundamental Rights – was jointly organized by the Citizen Action Forum, People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Karnataka, Alternative Law Forum and the Centre for Internet and Society on April 16th at IAT, Queens Road, Bangalore – An article in the Prajavani news paper – April 17th.

UID is an invasion of Privacy: Experts
The Nandan Nilekani headed Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) came in for much criricism at the first of a series of debates on the issue organised in the city on Friday – Deccan Chronicle, April 17th.

Experts debate on UID and rights
Bangalore, Apr 16, DHNS: A debate on ‘UID and Fundamental Rights’ organised by several city-based organisations, discussed the social, ethical issues, economic and legal issues that accompanies the UID.

Amendment to Copyright Act opposed
A report on the press conference held on 15th April, at the Press Club, Bangalore: The Hindu

They fight for the visually challenged
Times News Network – A report on the press conference held at the Press Club, Bangalore on 15th April, 2010.

Digital Natives Research Project Coordinator
The Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore, in collaboration with Hivos Netherlands, is looking for a Research Project Coordinator to help develop a knowledge network and coordinate international workshops for the project "Digital Natives with a Cause?"

Expel or not? That is the question
The decision of an international school to expel 14 students for their alleged ‘promiscuous’ behaviour has led to much debate and discussion.


Nokia eyes GeNext to tap mobile email mkt
Finnish handset giant banks on youth to be in the technology race

Critical Point of View: Videos
The Second event for the Critical Point of View reader on Wikipedia was held in Amsterdam, by the Institute of Network Cultures and the Centre for Internet and Society. A wide range of scholars, academics, researchers, practitioners, artists and users came together to discuss questions on design, analytics, access, education, theory, art, history and processes of knowledge production. The videos for the full event are now available for free viewing and dissemination.

Colour Me Political
What are the tools that Digital Natives use to mobilise groups towards a particular cause? How do they engage with crises in their immediate environments? Are they using their popular social networking sites and web 2.0 applications for merely entertainment? Or are these tools actually helping them to re-articulate the realm of the political? Nishant Shah looks at the recent Facebook Colour Meme to see how new forms of political participation and engagement are being initiated by young people across the world.

Meet the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine
Digital Natives live their lives differently. But sometimes, they also die their lives differently! What happens when we die online? Can the digital avatar die? What is digital life? The Web 2.0 Suicide machine that has now popularly been called the ‘anti-social-networking’ application brings some of these questions to the fore. As a part of the Hivos-CIS "Digital Natives with a Cause?" research programme, Nishant Shah writes about how Life on the Screen is much more than just a series of games.

Digital Natives with a Cause?
Digital Natives With A Cause? – a product of the Hivos-CIS collaboration charts the scholarship and practice of youth and technology with a specific attention for developing countries to create a framework that consolidates existing paradigms and informs further research and intervention within diverse contexts and cultures.


e-Accessibility: A Wiki Project
Envisaged and funded by the National Internet Exchange of India, and executed by the Centre for Internet and Society, a Wiki site pertaining to issues of disability and e-accessibility has recently been launched.

Copyright Law as a tool for Inclusion
Can Copyright Law be used as a tool for Inclusion? Rahul Cherian examines this in his blog on copyright.

Web Accessibility as a Government Mandate?
Is Web accessibility just a Government Mandate? Should private sites be ignored? Wesolowski examines this in light of the steps taken by ictQATAR to make its website accessible to W3C standards, and hopes that Qatar and eventually all other Arab nations will follow suit and make Web accessibility much more of a mandate.

Intellectual Property
When Copyright Goes Bad
A part of the Access to Knowledge Project, this short film by Consumers International is available on DVD and online at

Research Project on Open Video in India
Open Video Alliance and the Centre for Internet and Society are calling for researchers for a project on open video in India, its potentials, limitations, and recommendations on policy interventions.

Does the Social Web need a Googopoly?
While the utility of the new social tool Buzz is still under question, the bold move into social space taken last week by the Google Buzz team has Gmail users questioning privacy implications of the new feature. In this post, I posit that Buzz highlights two privacy challenges of the social web. First, the application has sidestepped the consensual and contextual qualities desirable of social spaces. Secondly, Google’s move highlights the increasingly competitive and convergent nature of the social media landscape.

The (in)Visible Subject: Power, Privacy and Social Networking
In this entry, I will argue that the interplay between privacy and power on social network sites works ultimately to subject individuals to the gaze of others, or to alternatively render them invisible. Individual choices concerning privacy preferences must, therefore, be informed by the intrinsic relationship which exists between publicness/privateness and subjectivity/obscurity.

Internet Governance
Does the Safe-Harbor Program Adequately Address Third Parties Online?
While many citizens outside of the US and EU benefit from the data privacy provisions the Safe Harbor Program, it remains unclear how successfully the program can govern privacy practices when third-parties continue to gain more rights over personal data. Using Facebook as a site of analysis, I will attempt to shed light on the deficiencies of the framework for addressing the complexity of data flows in the online ecosystem.

Sense and censorship
Sunil Abraham examines Google’s crusade against censorship in China in wake of the attacks on its servers in this article published in the Indian Express.

Report on the Fourth Internet Governance Forum for Commonwealth IGF
This report by Pranesh Prakash reflects on the question of how useful is the IGF in the light of meetings on the themes of intellectual property, freedom of speech and privacy.

The Right Ring Tone
Focus on improving service quality with a strong partner, and not on one-shot stake sales, says Shyam Ponappa in his article published in the Business Standard on April 1, 2010.

Other Advocacy
Maps for Making Change Wiki Now Open to the Public
Since December 2009, CIS has been coordinating and nurturing the Maps for Making Change project, organised in collaboration with Tactical Tech. During the past four months, participants have been on a challenging yet fertile and inspiring journey that is now slowly coming to an end. Would you like to know more about what has happened in the time that has passed? The Maps for Making Change wiki is a good place to start.

Look forward to your feedback.

Please feel free to write to us for any queries or details required.

If you do not wish to receive these emails, please do write to us and we will unsubscribe your mail ID from the mailing list.

Best Regards


Centre for Internet and Society
No. 194, 2nd C Cross, Domlur,
Bangalore – 560071
P: +91 80 2535 0955
P: +91 80 4092 6283

Text of S. 1714: Open College Textbook Act of 2009

S 1714 IS
1st Session
S. 1714
To authorize grants for the creation, update, or adaption of open textbooks, and for other purposes.
September 24, 2009
Mr. DURBIN introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
To authorize grants for the creation, update, or adaption of open textbooks, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
This Act may be cited as the ‘Open College Textbook Act of 2009’.
Congress finds the following:
(1) The growth of the Internet has enabled the creation and sharing of open content, including open educational resources.
(2) The President has proposed a new, significant Federal investment in the creation of online open-source courses for community colleges that will make learning more accessible, adaptable, and affordable for students.
(3) The President has challenged the United States with a goal of having the highest college graduation rate in the world by 2020.
(4) More than 80 percent of the 23,000,000 jobs that will be created in the next 10 years will require postsecondary education, but only 36 percent of all 18- to 24-year-olds are currently enrolled in postsecondary education.
(5) The high cost of college textbooks continues to be a barrier for many students in achieving higher education, and according to the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, 200,000 qualified students fail to enroll in college each year due to cost.
(6) The College Board reported that for the 2007-2008 academic year an average student spent an estimated $805 to $1,229 on college books and supplies.
(7) Making high quality open textbooks freely available to the general public could significantly lower college textbook costs and increase accessibility to such education materials.
(8) Open textbooks can improve learning and teaching by creating course materials that are more flexible, adaptable, and accessible through the use of technology.
In this Act:
(1) DIRECTOR- The term ‘Director’ means the Director of the National Science Foundation.
(2) INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION- The term ‘institution of higher education’ has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001).
(3) OPEN LICENSE- The term ‘open license’ means an irrevocable intellectual property license that grants the public the right to access, customize, and distribute a copyrighted material.
(4) OPEN TEXTBOOK- The term ‘open textbook’ means a textbook or set of course materials in electronic format designed for use in a college course at an institution of higher education that is licensed under an open license.
(5) SECRETARY- The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of Education.
(a) Grants Authorized- From the amounts appropriated under subsection (i), the Secretary is authorized to award grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible entities to carry out the activities described in this section, including creating, updating, or adapting open textbooks. The Secretary shall award grants in a manner that will result in the creation of a comprehensive slate of high quality course materials for introductory courses in a variety of subject areas.
(b) Eligible Entity- In this section, the term ‘eligible entity’ means–
(1) an institution of higher education;
(2) a professor or group of professors at an institution of higher education; or
(3) a nonprofit or for-profit organization that produces open textbooks.
(c) Duration- Grants awarded under this section shall be 1 year in duration.
(d) Applications-
(1) IN GENERAL- Each eligible entity desiring a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the Secretary may reasonably require.
(2) CONTENTS- Each application submitted under paragraph (1) shall include a description of the project to be completed with grant funds and–
(A) a plan for quality review and review of accuracy of content;
(B) a plan for access to ensure the widest possible availability of the digital version of the open textbook;
(C) a plan for distribution and adoption of the open textbook to ensure the widest possible adoption of the open textbook in postsecondary courses, including, where applicable, a marketing plan or a plan to partner with for-profit or nonprofit organizations to assist in marketing and distribution; and
(D) a plan for tracking and reporting formal adoptions of the open textbook within postsecondary institutions, including an estimate of the number of students impacted by the adoptions.
(e) Special Consideration- In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall give special consideration to applications that demonstrate the greatest potential to produce–
(1) the highest quality and most marketable open textbooks;
(2) open textbooks that correspond to the highest enrollment courses at institutions of higher education;
(3) open textbooks that are easily utilized by faculty members at institutions of higher education; and
(4) open textbooks created in partnership with for-profit or nonprofit organizations to assist in marketing and distribution.
(f) Uses of Grants-
(1) OPEN TEXTBOOKS- An eligible entity that receives a grant under this section shall–
(A) create a new open textbook for use in postsecondary coursework;
(B) update an open textbook for use in postsecondary coursework; or
(C) adapt a textbook into an open format for use in postsecondary coursework.
(2) LICENSE- An open textbook created, updated, or adapted under paragraph (1) shall be licensed through an open license.
(3) ACCESSIBILITY- The full and complete digital content of each open textbook created, updated, or adapted under paragraph (1) shall be–
(A) posted on an easily accessible and interoperable website, which site shall be identified to the Secretary by the eligible entity; and
(B) made available free of charge to, and may be downloaded, redistributed, changed, revised, or otherwise altered by, any member of the general public.
(g) Review Process- The Secretary shall develop a peer review and evaluation process in consultation with the Director to ensure that open textbooks created, updated, or adapted under this section are of the highest quality, accurate in content, and meet or exceed market quality and accessibility standards.
(h) Report- Upon an eligible entity’s completion of a project supported under this section, the eligible entity shall prepare and submit a report to the Secretary regarding all project costs, including the value of any volunteer labor and institutional capital used for the project.
(i) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be appropriated $15,000,000 to carry out this section for fiscal year 2010 and such sums as are necessary for each of the 5 succeeding fiscal years.
(a) In General- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, educational materials such as curricula and textbooks created through grants distributed by Federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation, for use in elementary, secondary, or postsecondary courses shall be licensed under an open license.
(b) Accessibility- The full and complete digital content of each of the materials created as described in subsection (a) shall be–
(1) posted on an easily accessible and interoperable website, which site shall be identified to the Secretary by the grant recipient; and
(2) made available free of charge to, and may be downloaded, redistributed, changed, revised, or otherwise altered by, any member of the general public.
It is the sense of Congress that institutions of higher education should encourage the consideration of open textbooks by professors within the generally accepted principles of academic freedom that established the right and responsibility of faculty members, individually and collectively, to select course materials that are pedagogically most appropriate for their classes.
Not later than September 30, 2015, the Secretary shall prepare and submit a report to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives detailing–
(1) the open textbooks created, updated, or adapted under this Act;
(2) the adoption of such open textbooks; and
(3) the savings generated for students, States, and the Federal Government though the use of open textbooks.

SocialCalc on Sugar

We are delighted to announce the release of the version #5 of SocialCalc activity on Sugar. We have introduced a number of features in SocialCalc on Sugar since the last community release –

1. Localization in Spanish, Afrikaans, Hindi, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, Chinese (simplified), French, German and Portuguese.
2. Ability to read and edit single sheet Excel .xls files.
3. Sharing of activity over the mesh network.
4. Ability to read and edit single sheet Lotus notes.
5. Optimization of the save files. The sheet extents will include just the part that has data. This feature also “canonicalizes” the saved data in other ways, such as removing no longer used formats and color definitions from the save file.
6. Localization made easy, especially of text in the user interface. All of the text that is normally seen during operation is now easily localizable by changing a single file, socialcalcconstants.js.

Please visit –

1. SocialCalc on Sugar –

2. SocialCalc on Sugar wiki page –

3. Download pages – the version #5 along with its source code can be downloaded from or from

4. For Educators

Video on using Charting Tools –
Guide for using Charting Tools –

We look forward to hearing your feedback and experience with SocialCalc on Sugar. We started a group about SocialCalc on Sugar for educators, content engineers, developers, translators, curriculum developers, testers and graphic designers on ScalableC ( to share ideas, collaborate and engineer curriculum materials and develop case-studies on using SocialCalc on Sugar at schools. Please join the group if you are a member at ScalableC. If you are not a member, please ask for an invitation at with the message “interested in joining SocialCalc on Sugar group”.

Please visit the developers’ guide documented for each feature –

a. Collaboration of SocialCalc in Sugar –
b. Localization Infrastructure –
c. Interoperability between SocialCalc on Sugar and Excel (.xls format only) –
d. Interoperability between SocialCalc on Sugar and Lotus Notes –
e. Manual for Programmers –

Opportunity for Developers and Content Creators –

We are looking for developers and content creators, who are interested in participating with us in a number of initiatives –

1. Develop teacher training videos for SocialCalc on Sugar in their local languages;

2. Develop interoperability between SocialCalc on Sugar and Excel (from MS Office 2007 – xlsx format), Apple iwork Numbers, Google Spreadsheet, Gnumeric, Open Spreadsheet format and KSpread;

3. Engineer features to modify the charts (like colors, fonts, scale etc.);

4. Integration of SocialCalc with Paint, Write, Arithmetic, Physics, Turtle Art and E-Toys and other Sugar activities;

5. Development of 2-D and 3-D area charts and surface charts;

6. Creation of shapes like rectangles, block arrows, equation shapes;

7. Creation of templates that could be used as teacher tools (example – income task problem sums);

8. Localization of SocialCalc on Sugar.

If you are interested, please write to us at

Best Regards,

SocialCalc on Sugar Team

Ignacio Valdes and Carl Leitner: Musings on Decentralized Source Control, Metcalfe’s law, the network effect

<ed.note>I get jazzed when I see described online the Eureka moment when people begin to grasp the power of the digitally, distributed enterprise-enabled collaborative results-only work environment (thanks Cali Ressler, Jody Thompson and Peter Yim for all the appropriate descriptors). Question: How long before institutional investors during quarterly investment calls will begin asking about and demanding this globally cooperative approach to problem solving from C-Suites? 50 to 80% of US youth are gamers (many multi-user games, virtual worlds, mobile devices) and we have political, taxation, chambers of commerce, HR departments, and educational paradigms that teach independent problem solving and the ability to “dependably” drive into cubevilles as the chief measures of employability. It’s time that biz schools begin listening to the like of Jane Mcgonical and her vision of the future and now work (see Superstruct). This exchange is from the American Medical Informatics Association Open Source Working Group listserv. Update: note the trajectory of Open Source for America as described in the following email.</ed.note>

From: Ignacio Valdes

Significant work that is yielding results has occurred in the last year such as in the VistA community. But I think I am just beginning to ‘get’ the power of Free/Open Source. The state of the art for open source development with collaboration, source control, packaging and integrated websites like is becoming just mind-blowing.

Think of development that resembles a multi-player video game with few stop signs or speed limits. That seems to be what is available on It isn’t just source control, it has a higher level of abstraction through the ability to route branches that seems to allow meritocracy in a way that old school developers like me marvel at. It is a little difficult at first to get your head around. It seems to be software as a bunch of state-space vectors. Crazy.

Which plays into Metcalfe’s law or the network effect to Electronic Health Record software. The ability to interplay software vectors at will is just amazing and may allow unusual things to occur in the near future.

I hope to be harnessing this paradigm soon.

— IV

From: Carl Leitner

We have been using Launchpad to host our iHRIS software suite:

We also use it to host the customizations we have done for different Ministries of Health, Faith Based Organizations etc. For example:

We have found it very convenient for managing the various in-country implementations, and we have provided training on the use of bazaar and launchpad:

Although Ubuntu and Launchpad have gone a long way in easing the learning curve for people not coming from open-source, we have occasionally stumbled. If anyone is interested, I would be happy to have a conversation to develop a shared “best-practices” document for those of you working in low-resourced settings.


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OSFA Members,

For some time now, the OSFA Steering Committee has been considering an OSFA deliverable for 2010: a grading/report card on the various U.S. government agencies and their policies and practices as they relate to open source software and openness more generally. (By openness, we intend the same meaning as the Obama Administration: participation, collaboration, and transparency.)

With the Administration’s issuance last month of its Open Government Directive (, we quickly came to an agreement that this is a project that should go forward — but with a new beginning.

We would first like to issue a set of “Guidelines for Open Government Plans,” to help inform the different agencies as they each seek to publish their mandated Open Government Plan by the April 7th due date. We are opening this discussion today; our expectation would be to issue this set of guidelines the second week of February, thus providing the agencies with sufficient time to take them into account.

We have supplied a first draft, which we expect the OSFA community to significantly improve. Our current draft is at Your comments and advice are welcome, AND please add them to the mail thread located at the bottom of the page so that we can capture them. And if you have a blog or issue a newsletter, please assist us in promoting this effort. We really would like to see our membership and influence grow.

Following publication of our guidelines, we will then begin work on a set of metrics/questions that we would intend to use to grade the agencies late this spring, following the April 7th launch of their Open Government Plans.

Thank you in advance for your assistance,

OSFA Steering Committee

NetFPGA Open Platform Overview

The NetFPGA platform enables researchers and instructors to build working prototypes of high-speed, hardware-accelerated networking systems. The platform can be used in the classroom to teach students how to build Ethernet switches and Internet Prototcol (IP) routers using hardware rather than software. The platform can be used by researchers to prototype advanced services for next-generation networks.

The NetFPGA is an open platform and available to developers worldwide. Reference designs included with the system include an IPv4 router, an Ethernet switch, and a four-port NIC. Researchers have used the platform to build advanced network flow processing systems. Multiple platforms could be connected together to route packets over multiple subnets.

The system consists of a reprogrammable development board, reference implementations, and sample courseware. The development board itself is a PCI card that can be installed in any PC with an available full-length slot. Hosted on the board are a user-programmable FPGA (with two PowerPC processors), SRAM, DRAM, and four 1Gbps Ethernet ports.

Programming and administration of the development board are performed by the host PC via the PCI bus. This allows users to remotely develop and deploy designs since physical access to the board is not required.

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We now have over 1,000 NetFPGA devices around the world. On August 4, 2009, Digilent Inc. (the company that manufactures and distributes the NetFPGA) shipped that 1,000th card to another end user in Korea. A map that shows the worldwide locations of the deployed hardware is on-line.

-john lockwood