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The BBC and a confused concept of what is free and open

One of the top 10 read pages on the BBC website today is a feature article by acclaimed computer scientist and inventor Jaron Lanier (inventor of the term virtual reality) urging the middle class to Sell your data to save the economy and your future

This particular quote stands out:

Upstream packaging and Debian: Drupal third-party libraries API

Many large, successful, de-centralised software projects have a suite of their own packages maintained with their own platform-independent tools. Typical examples are Drupal's collection of module and theme packages, the R Project packages (CRAN) and the Central Repository for Maven packages (Java).

In the case of Drupal:

Zermatt, Matterhorn and Gornergrat

The DebConf13 registration deadline for developers requesting sponsorship has been extended up to Sunday, so for those still undecided or anybody else thinking about a visit to .ch, I'm sharing some more pictures today.

Debian to rescue Skype users?

Last year at DebConf12 and the Paris mini-DebConf I mentioned some of the sophisticated techniques that the likes of Microsoft and Facebook are using to monitor their customers.

So when Skype was busted spying on the content of chat messages, it was no surprise for many people in the Debian community.

Get WebRTC going fast

A question that comes up more and more these days: what's the quickest way to try WebRTC and see it working? How can a web developer start experimenting with WebRTC in their blog or demo site?

Good news: it's no longer necessary to compile anything from source - and many of the components are available on Debian-based systems (including Ubuntu) or RPM-based solutions like Fedora

A quick look at how easy it is, explanation below:

British Telecom attacks free software with patent demands

The Register is reporting that British Telecom is now attacking the VoIP industry by claiming that it has patents over the IETF standardised Session Initition Protocol (SIP RFC 3261)

What GSoC and eBay have in common

What have GSoC and eBay got in common? At first, it may appear as an odd question.

In fact, there is a straightforward answer: action seems to happen at the last minute. Up to last week, many students had only submitted very basic placeholder applications on the Debian wiki but I've now seen a couple of more fully documented proposals arriving at the last minute.

An RTC infrastructure for debian.org

A number of potential Summer of Code students are now looking at the question of how to improve RTC in Debian. Making RTC available as a service to the Debian community may be part of the solution, as this would give the community a foundation to test things against and a useful tool for communication.

Action week for Google Summer of Code students

This week (22 - 28 April) is the week that really matters most for those students who want to participate in Google Summer of Code. The deadline for student applications is next Friday (3 May), but if you don't spend time exploring project ideas this week, you won't be able to make a strong enough application.

Here are the key things I need to see for potential students for the project areas I have offered to co-mentor in:

Switzerland Schilthorn with 007 (video - final leg)

Following up on the second and third legs of the cable car journey, we now have the final leg, rising up to the summit of the Schilthorn: