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Purpose-built: Five specialised Linux distributions

By   |  August 6, 2010   |  
We've all heard of Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Fedora and Mandriva. But how about RIP, Damn Vulnerable and Zeroshell Linux? Here are five specialised Linux versions worth bookmarking. Damn Vulnerable Linux By its own admission DVL is the "most vulnerable and exploitable operating system ever". Fortunately those weaknesses are by design rather than by accident, because Damn Vulnerable Linux is designed for s ...

SA copyright laws outdated and in need of urgent overhaul, says new study

By   |  August 3, 2010   |  
Findings of a new study show that the current copyright regimes in Africa in general, and South Africa in particular, are not promoting access to knowledge and the authors have called for an urgent revision of copyright laws. Published by UCT Press, Access to Knowledge in Africa: The Role of Copyright was launched on Saturday at the Cape Town Book Fair. It is based on research in eight countries ...

SA tech podcasts worth checking out

By   |  July 27, 2010   |  
Audio and video podcasts are nothing new but recently there has been a boom in the number of good quality technology podcasts coming out of South Africa. From serious business-focused podcasts to geek talkshows there are at least four worth checking out. ZATech Show http://zatech.co.za/ The granddaddy of SA podcasts, the ZATech show is now well past its 100th show and continues to be highly enter ...

NetBeans training in JHB and Cape Town

By   |  July 23, 2010   |  
Need to get up to speed with NetBeans? The good news is that SA company Jumping Bean has teamed up with Munich-based Eppleton, to offer a NetBeans training series. NetBeans is an open source development environment for creating Java applications. Mark Clarke of Jumping Bean tells us that the courses will be held in Johannesburg and Cape Town between 23 August and 3 September. The courses will in ...

SA companies registrar wants you … to use Internet Explorer

By   |  July 22, 2010   |  
If you take the time to read the South African government's free and open source software policy (PDF) you'll find on page three the following commitment: The South African Government will encourage the use of Open Content and Open Standards within South Africa. So, if that is the case, then how come the Companies and Intellectual Properties Registration Office (CIPRO) demands that visitors use In ...

Get involved: Looking for African software translators

By   |  July 16, 2010   |  
What better way to contribute to free and open source software than to help translate applications into your home language? Anloc, the African Network for Localisation, has put out a call for language teams to do exactly this. The organisation's Localise Software sub-project aims to finalise these teams by the end of the month with translation beginning in earnest from August and running through  ...

SA education department's laptop initiative snubs open source policy

By   |  July 16, 2010   |  
A year after it was first announced, the South African department of education yesterday kicked off its teacher laptop initiative. The initiative aims to subsidise teachers so that they can purchase a laptop from one of the department's approved suppliers. It's a welcome addition to the education arena except for one detail. Despite a national open source strategy and a well-publicised set of mi ...

South Africa must take lead from NZ on software patents

By   |  July 15, 2010   |  
In huge win for anti-software patent activists, New Zealand has announced that it will not change legislation to make software patentable in the country. It is, however, a partial victory only as New Zealand's Commerce minister, Simon Power, also announced he would instruct the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand to draft guidelines that would allow inventions that contain software (embed ...

Software competition to encourage East African developers

By   |  July 15, 2010   |  
The US State Department has thrown its weight behind an initiative to promote software development for the good of East African residents. The Apps 4 Africa contest was launched earlier this month and aims to encourage developers to produce software that will improve the quality of life for residents of this region. The contest is open to all developers from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. T ...

New Maestro content management system rolls out

By   |  July 8, 2010   |  
CMS-Maestro is a new PHP-based content management system (CMS) released by South African Web development company Valente Online. Easy to install and use, CMS-Maestro offers the basics such as page and article management and adds to that the ability to add additional widgets, and manage menus and a range of media formats. In a release the company says that "CMS-Maestro is built with extensibility  ...