Open-source students get mentoring help

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| Junior programmers are to get mentoring help, following the granting of
| nearly $600,000 in funding to set up an Open Source Learning Laboratory.

Managing Your Software Madness With Open-Source Alternatives

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| Few things are more annoying than software that doesn't deliver the goods --
| especially when your business is paying for the privilege of being annoyed.
| But no matter which application is driving you nuts these days, there is
| probably an open-source alternative available
| Here are a few of the chief contenders for the "World's Most Annoying
| Software" title, along with some worthy open-source alternatives. While these
| products vary in their quality and functionality, and while none of them will
| satisfy every small-business owner enough to justify making a switch, they
| are at least worth a closer look.


SSC to release portal code under GPL

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| "I wrote a few weeks ago about how they should consider releasing software
| under the GPL," Christie writes. "Well, they have taken that on board and
| agreed to work with Catalyst to release the code for behind the new
| government portal ( under the GPL. I thought this was a
| great demonstration of how willing government agencies are to engage and take
| on board alternate ideas." * *

Ases Eee PC with XP - special discount for schools?

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| So, hold on a second! A special tender for educational institutions? And this
| is only for the XP version of the Eee PC, not the Linux version? I wonder who
| managed to line up this deal? Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if Microsoft
| would be the one sponsoring this. Probably giving away the copies of XP more
| or less for free. If anyone has any information on the details of this,
| please let me know...
| Actually, assuming that Microsoft 'pays' for this special deal makes perfect
| sense, considering their recent DreamSpark initiative (see my comment about
| that here). As far as I can see, this is yet another attempt to ensure that
| students, as young as possible, are being let towards Microsoft products and
| are prevented to experience any alternatives. And since those closed-source
| products always hide 'how it works' from students, the only thing the
| students are left to learn is 'how to use it'. Training students with
| proprietary software just trains them to be IT users. Click here, click
| there. It only trains them in a particular vendor's products.

Standards NZ asks Microsoft staffer to 'rectify' statements

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| Standards New Zealand has asked a Microsoft employee to rectify statements
| made in an email to the Trinidad & Tobago Computing Society about New Zealand
| OOXML advisor Matthew Holloway. *
| The emails were sent as standards organisations around the world engage in
| sometimes heated debate over whether Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) file
| format should be accepted as a standard alongside the Open Document Format. *

A Microsoft Slur in the OOXML Saga -- Did I Tell You or Did I Tell You? -

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| Remember I told you I've noticed that people who don't support Microsoft's
| agenda end up the victim of smear campaigns?
| The New Zealand Open Source Society is reporting that an employee at
| Microsoft New Zealand recently sent an email to one of the technical bodies
| advising an NB involved in the OOXML ISO process, smearing a man's
| reputation, Matthew Holloway, apparently to undermine his technical input
| which was critical of OOXML.