NOIE at WSIS

NOIE has a booth at WSIS, and compared to the otehr countries it is sooo weak! I was a little embarrased. Giving out showbags with ACA stuff, and NOIE stuff that isn’t interesting compared to the Malaysian efforts, or the many African countries present, or any of the other countries here. The Malaysians are particularly awesome. They have amazing initiative, they created a site for open and free discussion about Islam online, with texts, 3d artifacts, forums and mailings lists. Will be trying to get Australia into the loop on that one 🙂

The Malaysians also have about %70 women in IT, which just blows me away, they have initiatives to get MEN into IT! Funny for us, but it certainly made redundant all these ideas that women are ‘genetically not suited to technical work’. Some of the crack I’ve heard over the years is amazing. Australia, and several other countries still have a long way to go.

Having LPI meetnigs with all the affiliates, we have 10 countries represented here, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, USA, Canada, Jamaica, Pakistan, Bulgaria, and China. They are a great group and it has been a pleasure working with them. As soon as I get this stupid Canon digital camera working under linux, pics will be up.

Also the Skolelinux guys. Very kewl little project, am bringing back the iso to play with and distribute to the educonf at LCA2004 (if david lets me )

We Seize!…. when we get organised.

So the Activists meetings happening downtown (see geneva03.org and hubproject.org) has some interesting aspects. I have a few gripes, firstly they are not organised particularly well, when you are passionate about something, being organised about it is a must 🙂 secondly, one of the big philosophies floating around is of the Yomango dudes, who basically encourage “shoplifting as a form of social desobedience and direct action against multinational corporations”, which I completely disagree with. On the flip side there was an awesome bunch of people there to chat with, they had a decent web access (FINALLY!) and I went to a great talk on Morphix by Mako, and another talk I already blogged about.

Hubprojects is their main site for anyone interested. They have been abused here in Geneva and for that I sympathise. They turned up to the planned venue and were stopped by Swiss RIOT police and told to go to another location. Upon getting there were told they hadn’t heard of them. I’m not sure why there has been so much objection but I’m led to believe it is because of previous protests they have held.

WSIS Corporate Vs WSIS underground

I have spent the last few days at WSIS working at the LPI booth, chatting to corporate and government types about open source. I assisted in the LPI presentation by presenting a business case for adopting the open source methodology. It has been great in terms of getting the right message across, speaking to HEAPS of other countries about their schemes to get computers to socio-econimcally disadantaged areas, and how it has improved the quality of life, speaking to the Malaysian groups about them having 70% WOMEN IN IT! and many other rocking things.

Catch-up..

6th Dec – Linux Australia Meeting

Meeting with Linux Australia ctte (except Leon and Anand). Went extremely well!

While we have not done everything we wanted to do, we have managed to nearly completely sort out the problems we unknowingly inherited. New constitution draft is up, membership registration page is nearly done (and constitutionally happy), plans for the new web site, to be done with a kewl app called drupal (drupal.org for those interested) early next year, a new charter! My favourite thing at this point was finding a way to incorporate transparency into a document that matters to the organisation and how it is run. It was suggested to me to release a document about Linux Australias’ dedication to transparency, but putting it in the actual charter creates a precedent and expectation that is more enforcible by the community.

We spoke about the AGM/SGM at LCA, and decided we want to add a small discussion point after the AGM (if we have time) to approach the subject of Linux Australia as an advocacy organisation. Thus far this year has been about damage control, fixing the issues, increasing the trust and buy-in, finding out what the community wants and needs and how Linux Australia can best facilitate these issues. We are still a long way from the desired communication with the entire community, mainly due to the inherited issue. With these addresses and out of the way, next year Linux Australia will be in a position to rock on.

Catch-up Part II..

Pumped for NZ

Boarded flight to Auckland in Sydney, felt odd to actually be getting on a plane again. Nice short flight, only 3.5 hours, nice dude to chat to about real estate and politics 🙂 Read most of the Australian papers on the plane.

Auckland – Saw the trailer for Lord of the Rings (III) on the plane, am completely pumped to come back to NZ for a real holiday (and I will be in a few months!!! Hey Mike I expect the grand tour!), however the closest I got was to see the airport and gaze into the distant mountains…am preparing for WSIS (http://wsis.org), is going to rock.

Auckland -> LA – Going to go straight through to Geneva, I can’t really afford US$200 a night at New York 🙂 Great movies on the plane, mind racing 1000 miles an hour, but the rest is doing me good!

WSIS? We Seize!

There is an excellent conference, read up on geneva03.net for details, but I am now in a discussion about applying open source methodologies to other aspects in society, such as the media. Very interesting, I believe these talks will be available online, so look out for them. I will post them as soon as I am able.

This rocks, so much is happening, so much forward thinking and coordinated efforts.

Retrospectively..

So I ended up travelling about 42 hours straight to get to the WSIS conference. All of the people around me complaining about 17, or 11, or 6! hours, pfft! Watched the trailer for Lord of the Rings III on the way to New Zealand, and got all psyched to see the country forgetting I would be there all of 2 hours. Ah, well, I will be returning there in a few months (Mike! I am expecting a tour and a drink 🙂

New York was snowing, 18 inches 😀 Like many Australians, real, thick, overcoming snow is fascinating. We have to supplement our ski fields with snow machines, I loved the place, and although I spent only a few hours there, am very keen to return.

So my flight path was Sydney -> Auckland -> LA -> New York -> Frankfurt -> and then Geneva. Phwoar!

My first WSIS day! “Send in the clowns”!

So today was great! Schmoozing with people from all over the world, discussing human rights, standards, how ICT can benefit people directly, development standards, many interesting and zany topics with many interesting and zany points of view. Being here with LPI has meant a foot in to door as to how world politics happen, what is happening with FOSS around the world, and how we as an international community come together for support with increased communication. The only disappointment thus far has been Stallman. Good old RMS has done it again, he managed to get into some sort of advisory role for the WSIS Civil Society who are putting together the Visionary Document for the WSIS. The full Visionary Document covers many topics from poverty, to womens rights, through media, cultural and ICT issues.

Anyway RMS has insisted upon an ammendment to the Visionary Document to effectively remove all references to FOSS or Open Source and replace it with Free Software:

“In this document, we use the term “Free Software” to refer to the specific
concept defined by the Free Software Foundation. Free Software is software
that is licensed in such a way that people have the freedom to run, copy,
distribute, study, change and improve it. Free Software implies access to
source code as does “open source software”; however, open source software as
the term is popularly used is not necessarily Free Software in our
definition. Some organisations release open source software without
permitting all of these actions. See http://www.fsf.org and
http://www.fsfeurope.org for in-depth discussions of this concept.”

I’m a bit sick of constant derailment of our efforts over semantics, but I digress. Maybe he truly doesn’t understand how destructive his actions are to our entire cause, because if he realised how hard he is making it, perhaps he would direct his passion and energy more constructively. People know the term Open source, they have associated it with Linux (RMS would hate that too 🙂 and thus the word is getting out. If we change the ball halfway through the game, people lose interest and walk away. What we call the ball at this point is irrelevant, we should be encouraging people to play.