Remember that level playing field for Open Source Software?

Just this week, in a reply to an MP’s request for an update on government progress to open standards and open source software the Minister for the Cabinet Office replied:

We are strongly in favour of using open source software wherever possible. We have established that that can cut the cost of providing digital services massively, while producing better results. On a recent visit to silicon valley, I and a number of colleagues found businesses that were capable of cutting those costs on a massive scale.

But don’t get too excited. As we said:

and also that

and here’s one they prepared later.

Continue reading Remember that level playing field for Open Source Software?

Open Standards, FRAND, and FOSS

Open Standards, FRAND, and FOSS

Thursday 29 March 2012, London

Cabinet Office is consulting on Open Standards until 3 May 2012. Our friends the BCS Open Source Software Group are staging an open discussion meeting which aims to unravel the relationship between Open Standards, FRAND, and FOSS. The event will clarify what effect this relationship has for the practical application of Open Source Software.

The outputs from the event will be fed into the BCS policy hub to form part of the BCS response.

29 March 2012, 18.00-21.00, London WC2 – Free to attend and open to all

Gerry Gavigan, OSC chair is presenting at this free event hosted at the BCS headquarters in London.

Continue reading Open Standards, FRAND, and FOSS

At last UK Gov has published its open standards consultation – but it is progress?

We were concerned that Cabinet Office inexplicably formally withdrew the first ever govt definition of an open standard.

However and at last they’ve published consultation on a new definition.

First off, credit where credit is due. The government is proposing royalty free open standards. Their definition is about as good as it can get.

That’s the good news.

Continue reading At last UK Gov has published its open standards consultation – but it is progress?

Select Committee: internet unsafe on a PC* (who knew?)

The Commons Science and Technology has just published a report on cyber crime

Apparently the internet can provide an opportunity for criminals and criminal behaviour and there are dangers for everyday users of the internet too.

No sh*t, Sherlock? What else?

*a personal computer running Microsoft Windows according to the BCS

Continue reading Select Committee: internet unsafe on a PC* (who knew?)

OSC joins Information Standards Board for Education, Skills and Children’s Services

OSC joins Information Standards Board for Education, Skills and Children’s Services

All part of our commitment to open standards

We’ve just been invited to participate in the standards work of the Department for Education. It’s all part of the required level of commitment to standards development that doesn’t seem to be fully understood at the centre of government.

This work isn’t exciting, is voluntary effort and is essential. It certainly requires more ongoing commitment than a couple of meetings with policy lightweights.

Continue reading OSC joins Information Standards Board for Education, Skills and Children’s Services

In another serendipitous co-incidence UK gov announces OSS desktop trial

As I observed during the Governmet IT saga, AKA “Govt IT – a recipe for rip-offs”:

A simple analysis of the time line of the Inquiry shows a remarkable tendency for the Government and those we might consider to be in its team to publish material just before key Inquiry dates, or on one occasion handed to the Committee Chairman during an evidence session. With that in mind we were curious to see what else had been published in the last few days that might be relevant to this report.

So really, when the London School of Economics published a report Total cost of ownership of open source software (pdf) detailing all the ways open source is a good idea; I had no excuse not to have got out there to look for some government synchronicity.

And lo, there was…

Continue reading In another serendipitous co-incidence UK gov announces OSS desktop trial

Open Data Institute – what could go wrong with that?

I have a uneasy feeling about Silicon Roundabout. It seems like the Californian gold rush, where huge profits could be made:

selling picks, shovels and blue jeans

A recent BBC Radio programme seems to indicate parallels:

Peter Day weighs up the evidence, talking to some of London’s most promising social networking companies, and the venture capitalists and business groups supporting them

And even Rory Cellan-Jones is a little underwhelmed. However, the place continues to get a lot of government love including the decision to site the shiny new Open Data Institute there.

Great announcement but what does it amount to?

Continue reading Open Data Institute – what could go wrong with that?

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LSE study for UK Gov… OSS has lower TCO (who knew?), will it pass the “so what? test

Today two interesting items have been published. The London School of Economics has published a report Total cost of ownership of open source software (pdf) detailing all the ways open source is a good idea and then there’s Mark Ballard’s HMRC rethinks £8.5bn megadeal as large suppliers resist flagship IT reforms.

The LSE study is a good piece of work unfortunately the Ballard article points to its likely effect: not much.

Continue reading LSE study for UK Gov… OSS has lower TCO (who knew?), will it pass the “so what? test

While we wait (cont p.94) the French Govt gets on with it

With thanks to Bristol Wireless we find yet another government other than the UK Government is failing to find reasons not to use open source software (oss).

It would seem that the French government is stimulating competition (sic) and apparently without any concerns about “how easily oss could be hacked” (perhaps because they agree with the US Govt regarding OS security but use the one of the better agile techniques…

Continue reading While we wait (cont p.94) the French Govt gets on with it