Links of the Week

Published: Sunday, May 17th 2020
Tags: software society links-of-the-week

Welcome to my first "links of the week" series of posts :). Here goes:

Europarama

While working in the garden I always try to catch up on podcasts and radio shows. This weekend I wanted something fresh so I did some googling and stumbled upon an amazing postcast called Europarama. It’s a podcast about science fiction and the future of Europe, and how we can imagine multiple futures for the old continent through science fiction. During the weekend I managed to listen to almost every episode - and they were well worth a listen!

I also learned that Europarama is produced in collaboration with what appears to be a very interesting magazine called Are We Europe, exploring "what it means to be European in an increasingly chaotic world". I have to spend some time exploring their "borderless storytelling" more closely.

Dollar Street

This is a link I’ve had in my bookmark collection for some time and it’s really interesting to go back to and look at from time to time. I remember when I first discovered it via TED about a year ago, I hooked up the laptop to the living room TV and the whole family travelled virtually across the world to see how other families are living, organized by income. Dollar Street by Anna Rosling Rönnlund at Gapminder is both eye-opening and entertaining.

Hacker Newsletter

Hacker News can be a treasure trove of interesting news for everyone interested in software, internet, engineering, and science. But it can be a tad bit overwhelming and tedious to sift through all posts. Enter Hacker Newsletter, a hand-curated weekly newsletter with the best links from the previous week - all delivered as a pre-weekend treat on Friday afternoons (for us in Europe). A perfect way to end the week. Sign up here.


Free Software by Default

Published: Tuesday, May 5th 2020
Tags: software

The other day I noticed that the Free Software Foundation Europe had published a very positive piece of news. They reported that the Dutch minister of internal affairs had published a letter to the Parliament (which I interpret as a letter of intent) where he commits to working towards making sure the source code of government software is, by default, released as free and open software to the benefit of the general public.

In the footnotes of my Google translated version of the document, it also seems as if the Dutch cabinet has already a procurement policy of picking the open source option between otherwise equally suitable pieces of software.

I’m very much in favor of having publicly funded software released to the public under a free and open software license (as well as publicly funded research, reports, data, etc). It feels like most could agree that this should be the norm when it comes the fruit of our tax payer money, yet it’s far from true in most countries.

One small way of trying to change that is by supporting FSFE’s "Public Money, Public Code" campaign and sign their open letter. I’ve done so, and I encourage you to do so too.