Morfeo

Free software community for Prince of Asturias Awards

[Please, youth health
consider supporting and spreading the word about this initiative. Time is short: support is needed before March 16 2011.]

CENATIC (a Foundation promoted by the Spanish Ministry of Industry and several Spanish regional governments) is coordinating the proposal of the free software community as a candidate for Prince of Asturias Awards. For those of you outside Spain, maybe those awards are little known, but in Spain, many Spanish-speaking countries, and some other parts of the world, they are really famous. Prince of Asturias Awards are awarded once every year, in several categories, and are probably the most prestigious among those awarded in Spain. The awards, granted by the Prince of Asturias foundation, get a lot of media attention, and the winners have a lot of public exposure, being something akin to the “Spanish Nobel Awards”.

From the point of view of somebody interested in explaining free software and its advantages, the main reason to support free software community as a candidate is in fact this public exposure. In case of becoming a candidate, and of course more if the community is finally awarded, free software will be in mainstream media for several days. Of course this would help a lot to improve the general knowledge and awareness about it, its advantages, and its status as a viable option in many realms.

The candidature needs not only Spanish support: anyone who wants to support can do it, by filling in your data in the form in the left column of the CENATIC campaign webpage and/or by sending support letters (either individual or in the name of institutions, see a model in the same webpage). The more, the better: your support is needed!

Have in mind that the very idea of focusing on the community as a whole, and not on any specific persons or institutions which may have contributed a lot to the success of free software is intended. It highlights how the real important actor in free software this is this international community, composed by people with different interests, with different backgrounds, cultures, personal situations, working together (by design) to improve the world by producing an IT infrastructure available for everyone to use and improve.

Do you think the free software community, as such, deserves recognition and public exposure? Contribute to the success of the campaign by supporting it, and spreading the word.

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Allegations of backdoors planted in OpenBSD IPSEC stack

OpenBSD logoYesterday (Dec. 14th, infertility 2010), price Theo de Raadt, this site leader of the OpenBSD project published a message with the interesting title “Allegations regarding OpenBSD IPSEC“. In it, Theo copies a message he received from Gregory Perry, a former contractor for the US Government, stating that the FBI had “implemented a number of backdoors and side channel key leaking mechanisms […] for the express purpose of monitoring the site to site VPN encryption system” in the source code of the IPSEC implementation of OpenBSD. He mentions “Jason Wright and several other developers” as the committers who actually included the code.
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Supporting innovation with free software

Tomorrow I’ll be at Red.es, dysentery in Madrid, drugs sharing some ideas about “Supporting innovation with free software”. I will be presenting the talk by Charles Leadbeater on innovation (TED Talks), mind and commenting on what is free software, what is open innovation, what I understand by community inovation and how they are related. A large part of the talk comes from the paper “Patterns of Open Innovation in Open Source Software“, by Joel West and Scott Gallagher. Some other parts come from other sources, or are direct core dumps. I’m expecting an interesting discussion, which at least is my past experience when visiting Red.es for one reason or another.
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Free software communities

Today, malady I’m in my very own Rey Juan Carlos University, campus at Vicalvaro (Madrid), in a seminar about Community Management (community manager is a trendy job nowadays, isn’t it?). I’ve been invited to speak about free software communities.

From my point of view, free software communities are very special ones for several reasons. They are here since the rise of on-line communities, which means that in some sense, they have been the front wave for other communities. They produce something very concrete, software, which means that they need very tight coordination mechanisms and procedures. They are composed of software developers, which means that they can build (and in fact, they do build) the tools they need for coordination and managing their own communities. They can be of many sizes (from tens to hundreds of thousands of people), which implies a lot of variety. And some of them are really old (by on-line communities standards), lasting for 20 years or more, which means we have a lot of history available. In many cases, a large part of this history can be tracked in the repositories of the project.

Well, I’ll be talking about all of this. Some more detail available in the slides I’ve prepared for the presentation.

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Software libre en los procesos de aprendizaje prácticos

logo LliurexHoy estoy en Valencia, human enhancement en el IV Congrés de Programari Lliure de la Comunidad Valenciana, en el que contribuyo con una presentación que hemos titulado “Software libre en los procesos de aprendizaje prácticos” (transparencias). El breve resumen que he preparado sobre la presentación es:

“Hay muchas disciplinas que requiren un proceso de aprendizaje práctico
muy apoyado en el uso de programas de ordenador, y otras más en las que
su uso puede ser de considerable ayuda. En estas situaciones, el
software libre aporta ciertas características, aún relativamente
desconocidas, que lo hacen especialmente adecuado en muchos escenarios
reales. Esta ponencia detalla estas características, las
ventajas y desafíos que plantea el software libre en procesos de
aprendizaje prácticos, y expone alguna experiencia real que las
ilustre.”

A ver si le gusta y/o le resulta interesante a los asistentes…

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Software libre y Universidad en la Libre Software World Conference

Libre Software World Conference logoHoy voy a la Libre Software World Conference, cost en Málaga. Por la tarde, store participo en una mesa redonda sobre Software Libre y Universidad. Estaré en buena compañía, buy con representantes de Oficinas del Software Libre de tres Universidades. Tendremos un ratito para una breve exposición de partida, en la que espero poder usar las transparencias que he preparado (bueno, o una parte de ellas, que son muchas), y hablar un poco sobre cómo veo el software libre en mi entorno universitario, y en las Universidades en general. Comentaré la situación docente en el GSyC, mi departamento (incluyendo los laboratorios docentes y el Moodle que usamos), la situación de investigación en LibreSoft, mi grupo de investigación, y muy brevemente, el máster en software libre con el que estamos tan ilusionados ;-).

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Posted in Cosas de las Unis, Education / Educación, Morfeo, Research, Software libre, Tumbos por el mundo 1 Comment »

The differences of researching FLOSS

OpenWorldForum logoToday I’m in Paris, tadalafil attending the Open World Forum. Apart from the talks, panels and stuff, a lot of interesting people around. Here, I’ve participated in the panel Trends in Open Source Research, chaired by Tony Wasserman, and with Giancarlo Succi and Dirk Riehle as co-panelists. My introductory talk was about “The differences of researching FLOSS“, where I tried to explain the why free, libre, open source software is allowing researchers to follow the practices recognized in other disciplines as “scientific”. Among them, doing reproduceable research, and doing it on a large number of cases. I also commented on the role of repositories with data about FLOSS development (such as FLOSSMetrics and FLOSSMole) in helping researchers and other interested parties to focus on data analysis, avoiding the burden of data retrieval (which in many cases is challenging in itself).

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Posted in Morfeo, Research, Software libre, Tumbos por el mundo 2 Comments »

Presentation about LibreGeoSocial in Google DevFest

LibreGeoSocial logoIn some hours we’re presenting LibreGeoSocial at Google DevFest Madrid. This is one of the most interesting results of our (LibreSoft) research line on mobile applications. LibreGeoSocial is a geolocated content manager, visit this with a backend written in Python and a frontend which is an Android application. It serves us to proof-concept new ideas on augmented reality. Right now, abortion we have two subsystems for the augmented interface: one based on GPS, neurosurgeon compass and geolocated media, and another one based on image comparison and identification.

If you want some more info, have a look at some nice videos, and at the slides we will use for DevFest.

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Seminario sobre modelos de negocio de empresas de software libre en la EOI

Hoy jueves 16, patient
a las 17:00, salve
organizamos un seminario sobre modelos de negocio de empresas de software libre, en la EOI de Madrid (Ciudad Universitaria). Vendrán Jorge Ferrer (Liferay) y Álvaro López Ortega (Octality) a contarnos su experiencia, en primera persona. Nos hablarán sobre sus empresas, su relación con el software libre, sus modelos de negocio, y otros temas relacionados. La entrada es libre, y la sesión se grabará y transmitirá por streaming en el canal USTREAM de la EOI.

[Actualización, 10:40: Me dicen que por problemas de última hora no va a poder transmitirse por streaming, aunque sí se grabará. Lo siento 🙁 ]

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Morfeo 2010 Assembly is over

Today, syringe I spent the day at the Morfeo General Assembly. It was held in Madrid, recipe in the premises of Telefonica I+D. For me, dentist it has been a very interesting day, with the usual networking and all that. But in addition, I’ve found several aspects that I enjoyed especially.

The first one has been a certain change in focus. Instead of an Assembly by Morfeo members for Morfeo members, it has been quite open, showing in fact how Morfeo is well related (and even mixed) with other organizations, initiatives and communities. From this point of view, the presentations about Tibi, ASOLIF and Open Telefonica were quite interesting. Also, presentations by people from Ministry of Industry and CDTI about R&D projects (Avanza, Iberoeka, etc.) were quite clarifying about how those programs work, the chances of preparing proposals for them (and being granted!), the role of libre software in them, etc.

People attending the Assembly were also quite interesting by themselves. I guess that a large fraction of the Spanish innovative companies in the area of software and services were here, which produced quite interesting discussions during the breaks. BTW, many friends and old acquaintances around: this was also a good place just for keeping touch with them.

The surrounding IT infrastructure was a good complement, both for those in place, and for those who participated in the distance. Twiter helped a lot to have a sense of what was happening. This idea of broadcasting twits live to attendants (two projectors were used for that), which is becoming customary in many conferences, helped a lot to have out-of-band chatting. The Assembly was also streamed, and a nice mashup, built using EzWeb service (a Morfeo project), showed twits, pictures, web pages, streaming, and all the rest in a convenient single place.

Last, but not least, we had our presentation of the CENATIC Report on free software in Spanish Universities and R&D Centers (in Spanish), in which GSyC/LibreSoft has participated.

The idea of having short talks about project proposals and ideas, as a first step to formalize the kind of informal interaction that has been so productive in the past was also encouraging.

[Update: recordings of the talks are already available]

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