[All the action is happening in countries whose press doesn't get picked up.]

Free Software in Brazil: Analysis & Interview with Marcos Mazoni

,----[ Quote ]
| Given the vast institutional shifts to free software that have occurred, it
| is hard to imagine an economical way to rollback these projects — not only
| the changes within state-owned IT firms but the many other projects that
| Brazil has launched with free software: the massive Digital Inclusion
| project, the educational Linux projects as well as the general use of open
| source wikis, project management software, groupware, and so on.


Free Software vs. the Tax Man

,----[ Quote ]
| Slashdot recently linked to this comparison of the cost of Windows in Brazil
| and the US. This brings to mind a point I think I’ve seen Mike make: beyond
| the general point that libertarians should celebrate free software because
| it’s an example of non-coercive production of public goods, libertarians also
| have reasons to like free software because it’s more resistant to the
| coercive power of the state. When software is produced by a commercial
| company and sold in the marketplace, it’s relatively easy for the state to
| tax and regulate it. Commercial companies tend to be reflexively law-abiding,
| and they can afford the lawyers necessary to collect taxes or comply with
| complex regulatory schemes.
| In contrast, free software will prove strongly resistant to state
| interference. Because virtually everyone associated with a free software
| project is a volunteer, the state cannot easily compel them to participate in
| tax and regulatory schemes. Such projects are likely to react to any attempt
| to tax or regulate them is likely to be met with passive resistance: people
| will stop contributing entirely rather than waste time dealing with the
| government.
| Hence, free software thus has the salutary effect of depriving the state of
| tax revenue. But even better, free software is likely to prove extremely
| resistant to state efforts to build privacy-violating features into software
| systems.


Why Brazil Loves Linux

,----[ Quote ]
| Brazil imported the anti-Microsoft stance common in American geeks, but on
| top of the usual arguments Microsoft is foreign. This adds fuel to the flame.
| To the Brazilian Microsoft hater, not only there is an “evil monopoly”, but
| its profits are repatriated and its jobs are elsewhere. Practices like the
| 3-program limitation on Vista Starter further erode good will (Brazilians
| call it the “castrated Windows” among other colorful names). Add a dash of
| anti-American sentiment and you’ve got some serious resistance. This fiery
| mood has a strong influence, from the teenager hanging out in #hackers on
| Brasnet to IT departments to the federal government. Even in a rational
| self-interest analysis, one might rightly point out that if free/open source
| software (FOSS) were to wipe out Windows, negative effects on Brazil’s
| economy are likely minimal. The wealth, jobs, and opportunity created by
| Microsoft aren’t in Brazil (productivity gains might be, but that’s a whole
| different argument). The trade offs of a potential Linux/Google take over are
| different when there’s no national off-the-shelf software industry, plus
| Google’s revenue model works beautifully in a developing country. This mix of
| ideological and rational arguments torpedoes Microsoft’s support.


Days ago:

Microsoft gouging Brazilians for 20 percent of income

,----[ Quote ]
| Ever wonder why Brazil and other BRIC countries are so hot on open source,
| including Linux? Gustavo Duarte gives several reasons, not the least of which
| is the punitive pricing that Microsoft inflicts on these developing markets. *
| In the case of Brazil, Microsoft pillages businesses to the tune of 20.1
| percent and consumers at a 7.8 percent clip. Some people pay tithing to their
| church; Brazilians are asked to pay a tithe to Microsoft. Perhaps this is
| indicative of Microsoft's self-important belief? *


Last week:

FOSS in Brazil: An important shift in leadership

,----[ Quote ]
| This is big news for Brazil’s Free Software movement. One of the earliest
| public officials to champion FOSS in the world, Mazoni has earned a
| widespread reputation as an effective administrator and a skilled manager of
| FOSS migrations. *



Deploying KDE to 52 million young people

,----[ Quote ]
| By the end of this year 29,000 labs serving some 32,000,000 students will be
| fully deployed and in active use.
| By the end of next year (2009) those numbers will have swelled to 53,000 labs
| serving some 52,000,000 students.


The brazilian Election Supreme Court migrates 430 thousand voting machines to
GNU / Linux

,----[ Quote ]
| The brazilian Election Supreme Court announced at April 4th 2008, that the
| 2008 elections at Brazil will use GNU / Linux electronic voting machines with
| software digital authentication. *
| The Tribunal Superior Eleitoral (the brazilian Election Supreme Court),
| officially announced on April 4th, 2008, that the brazilian 2008 elections
| will use 430 thousand electronic voting machines migrated from VirtuOS and
| Windows CE to GNU / Linux and open source softwares for security and auditing
| defined by proper law. * *


Linux Voting Machines Save US$ 8 Millions in Brazil

,----[ Quote ]
| Brazilian Goverment will save US$ 8 Millions in election between 2008 and
| 2018. The economy is due to the use of Linux in the eletronic voting
| machines, made by Procomp-Diebold, *


ODF is now a Brazilian Standard: NBR ISO/IEC 26300 !!!

,----[ Quote ]
| On the afternoon of last Tuesday (08/04), the final translated version of the
| ISO/IEC 26300 was approved by members of the ABNT’s committee responsible for
| that activity. *
| According to the Brazilian laws, a National Standard needs to be written on
| our native language (Brazilian Portuguese) and this is why we need to
| translate and approve the translated text of any International Standard that
| is adopted as a Brazilian Standard (called here NBR). ABNT is the Brazilian
| National Body (NB) and handles all standardization efforts in Brazil. * *


OOXML: Brazil Says NO. Again.

,----[ Quote ]
| It is now official. Brazilian vote was decided by consensus of the entire
| technical team, including Microsoft crew’s: OOXML does not deserve to be an
| international ISO standard. *


Brazilian Enterprises Embrace Open Source

,----[ Quote ]
| Linux and related open-source software has gained an increasingly important
| role among large local corporations in Brazil, according to a recent study.
| The Instituto Sem Fronteiras, a Brazilan research firm, found that 73 percent
| of companies with more than a thousand employees are open source users. *


South America warms to Open Source

,----[ Quote ]
| In South American countries, as in most other areas of the world, the
| government is by far the biggest purchaser of software. Thus the Open Source
| trend that is now established in the government sector across the continent
| will doubtless spur Open Source adoption in the private sector. *
| There are a variety of motives for Open Source adoption in play in there,
| from the reduction in software costs to the desire to provide a "leg-up" to
| the local software industry. However, the motivation of the Peruvian
| government is unique in that the Peruvian supporters of the bill see "Open
| Source" as a citizen's right. The ownership and responsibility for the use of
| data and software have become a political issue in Peru. * *
| This is an idea that is unlikely to go away.